Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Party at Raging Waters, San Jose, May 28th

Here are various photos from Sunday's party at Raging Waters -- the water slide park in San Jose. They're not in order!

Simone got a "tattoo" (air brushed on) of two dolphins. She went in umpteen air tubes down the various slides in the park, including the really long ones (see last picture). She is just about fearless!!

Everyone had a wonderful time.

May 27th -- playing with a classmate

Simone and one of her classmates, Calisa, played for several hours on Saturday. (Calisa wasn't going to be able to come to the party at Raging Waters on Sunday.) One of their artistic feats was to use sidewalk chalk to draw a car (you can see the seat behind Simone and some car windows!) and play in it. Calisa is driving, and Simone is in the passenger seat. Simone's two Trudies are in the back seat!! What imaginations!

First party - May 26th

The first of two birthday parties -- this one in Simone's classroom on Friday afternoon, May 26th, her actual birthday!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Proud times!

Anne's kids did well in collecting their respective awards last week. Parker earned a medal and trophy for all the reading he did this past year. He really outdid himself!

Kira's graduation from Kindergarten included a wonderful program of singing and dancing by all the pre-K, K, and 1st grade students. It was great fun for everyone.

Austen received awards for qualifying into the Duke University talent i.d. program because of his extra-high test scores; he also received an award for perfect attendance.

Their parents' hard work is definitely showing!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Patio finished!

Here are three photos of the finished flagstone patio. Dwarf mondo grass has been planted between the stones, and there is a path (second picture) leading from the little patio that came with the house, across the lawn, through the trees, and out to the big patio.

The last major project in the back yard will be a fairly low ground cover (asian jasmine) across the back of the yard along the fence, under and around the crape myrtle trees there.

In the third picture, the extra flagstones (small and/or broken) are piled in the mulch. They'll either be used decoratively somewhere, or they'll be tossed out. I'm not sure yet.

It's taking shape, better and better each week!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Latest attempt

I tried to post one of the movie clips I took at Austen's band concert on the evening of May 18, but it really messed up the look of the blog. So ... if anyone would like to hear his band perform, just go to and enter WRITEACHER in the search box near the top right of the screen. The videos I've uploaded are available from there.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Kitty movies on Mondays

Here's a fun website to start out the week in a good mood -- KittyMovieMonday. I have now posted all three of the movie clips I have: two of Indy taken last year in La Quinta, and one of Cabernet ("Jungle kitty"), taken and narrated by Austen (with Kira's help).


Friday, May 12, 2006

Patio -- in process

Here are some photos of the transformation that's taking place. (The rose beds along the side fences were put in during March -- ten rose bushes in all, five on each side. The five crape myrtle trees along the back fence were put in last August.)

Now the flagstone patio is in process. Hooray! It'll take a while to be finished since my gardener has other jobs and commitments, too, but there's no real rush. He's about one-fourth of the way done with the flagstone part; then he'll plant tiny mondo grass plants in the spaces between the flags. It'll be about 20' x 50' in area, and it'll be wonderful for a big table/chairs/umbrella set, container gardening, etc.

I'll post more photos as things move along.

Earlier back yard

Here are a couple of photos of my back yard as it looked last September ... tiny bit of grass; my wonderful, gorgeous trees; lots of weeds! Later in the fall, the area seen through the two darker trees (just left of center in the first picture) was planted and the grass area extended on both sides, but not filling up the whole weedy area all the way to the back fence.

I knew what I wanted to do almost from the very beginning with this yard, but I also knew it would probably cost a bundle and would have to be done in stages. Slowly, slowly it's getting done!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Here are Kira and Ken, about to take a ride in the Miata!

Don't they look sporty??

Friday, May 05, 2006

Northampton's field day

Yesterday was Field Day at Parker's school for the 4th graders. He had a blast! By the time it was over, he had been in a tug-of-war, played on the big bouncy-toys, run races, and participated in water events (relay-like races to fill a bucket with water from a sponge and from a cup!). They were all dirty, wet, and tired -- and happy.

In the first picture, Parker and his friend Ian are showing me their class's sign, indicating that they are on the team from Mrs. Wells' class called the Wild Cats.

In the second picture, Parker is running back to his team's bucket with a cup full of water.

In the third picture, he is leaving the starting line for the 50m dash.

More at Kemah!

Kira is demonstrating the use of her new pop gun!

Then we see Ken and Kira enjoying another of the rides at Kemah Boardwalk.

Here are two views out over where Nassau Bay enters Galveston Bay. There were all kinds of boats and ships out there. It was a beautiful day!

At Kemah

Here's the crew at Kemah on April 29 -- David, Ruth, Austen, Parker, Anne, Ken, and Kira (on Ken's shoulders). That's Galveston Bay in the background.

Part of the fun at Kemah is the area where the rides are. Parker and Kira are still talking about this one! It went up and down randomly and suddenly -- they loved it!!

To Kemah

On our way to Kemah Boardwalk on April 29, we drove past the entrance to the Johnson Space Center (NASA complex) outside the city of Houston.

And Kemah was having a Corvette show, including some from the original years!