Sunday, October 12, 2008

Nate & Misha's July Adventures: International Medalist!

July was busy with more swimming for the kids, but the big news was Nathan & Michelle's trip to Nashville: Music City USA for the International Barbershop Harmony Convention and Competition! Nashville was great, and Nathan's chorus, Voices In Harmony, came home with the 3rd place Bronze Medal!!! What a rush up on stage in front of 10,000 people at the Sommet Center! The videos are no longer posted online, but some great pictures of our action-packed performance can be found here (in the red Zoot Suits!):
We also enjoyed some sight-seeing: the Grande Ole Opry, Andrew Jackson's Home - the Hermitage (fascinating and rich history of a Southern icon!), the Parthenon replica, and of course plenty of BBQ food and street music!
Being back in the midwest/south sure made us miss visiting family in Illinois and Kentucky! Michelle did get a chance to meet up with BFF Coleen in Louisville, KY, and we made sure to visit a Stake-N'-Shake and watch some fireflies!
After returning home, we enjoyed a family weekend of camping in Henry Coe Redwoods, Santa Cruz mountains. We also visited the beach and boardwalk -- and somehow, Matt was swallowed by the sand!!....

June 2008 Review: Gymnastics, Swimming, Tar Pits and more!

OK. So we got pretty behind in updating our busy summer activities. Matt graduated from kindergarten, and a few days later Sarah was off too for a long, fun summer at home with Daddy. Matt and Daddy went to visit G'ma and G'pa Staples, and went to visit the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum of Natural history in LA. Matt had a great time [except with the smell of the Tar Pits -- look at the expression on his face! :-)], and a couple of very close encounters with some very large prehistoric creatures.
Meanwhile, Mommy and Sarah had a great time learning to ice skate, and exploring and learning at the SF Exploratorium. Sarah was also finally old enough to go with Mommy to "bring your child to work day", and learn about lab research and DNA technology.
The Sarah and Matt had a blast as summer started, continuing gymnastics and taking swim lessons almost every day. Matt is learning to use the pommel horse (already doing leg-cuts!), and Sarah is working hard on her bar skills.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Catching Up on May: Sarah's First Communion and 8th Birthday

May began for us with Mother's Day week: Matthew's Kindergarten had their annual "Mom's and Muffins" time with their mommies on Friday morning (Daddy was a helper). Matt and Mommy had a great time enjoying muffins and juice, and reading stories together. Then the weekend began.....

Sarah's big First Communion Mass was Saturday evening, May 10th (hey, wasn't that our 11th Anniversary too!??.... we hardly noticed). She looked gorgeous in her white dress, and posing with Fr. Jim (our Pastor Emeritus). We're very proud to have her as a more active participant in the Mass and as a more active member of God's community :-). Matt was pretty anxious to get out of the Church and run around outside.

Finally, Sarah had a very fun skating party on her birthday on the 31st. She had lots of friends (and their parents!) in attendance, and all had fun skating (or at least trying to skate) around the rink. Her cake was once again by Misha and Nate of NorCal (a Littlest Pet Shop-styled Peacock)....... :-)

Both kids continue to do well in gymnastics too, and we've all been excited to watch the Lakers in the playoffs.

We'll be back soon with June updates so far.....

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Matthew's 6th Birthday

Last night was Matt's 6th birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. He and 10 of his kindergarten friends had great fun playing games, and goofing around in front of the stage-area video camera (which put them all on-screen!). He enjoyed the birthday theme of his favorite new cartoon (and Playstation video game), "Ben 10". His cake, showing Ben's alien-DNA-powered Omnitrix and a few of his alien hero alter-egos, was once again created by chef Michelle (AKA, Mommy) and confection designer, Nate (AKA, Daddy).

Today, we spent a fun afternoon as a family at California's Great America, just a few miles from our house (Daddy's first time, since we moved here almost 4 years ago). Sarah even went on a her first big, inverted roller coaster, The Demon! We also met Aang, from Matt and Daddy's favorite cartoon series, "Avatar: The Last Airbender" -- along with many other Nickelodeon characters.

** In other news: Matt is doing great, having fun, and reading well above his class level in kindergarten. He likes math too! Sarah continues to excel at the top of her class.

Sarah and Matt both will advance to the next level in Gymnastics this month. Sarah will begin level 3, and Matt will begin level 1 (advancing from "Tumbler" level 2). As we expected, Matt is a total natural, and could do everything his teachers asked him to do the first time he tried! He needs to improve a bit on steadying his hand stands, and has even begun work on the rings and pommel horse! Sarah is working hard on uneven bars, especially on her "back hip circles".

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Well, here we are in the blogosphere!

Just thought we'd try a new way to keep our friends and family informed on how and what we are doing, and hopefully meet some new friends along the way. We live in California's San Francisco Bay Area -- by way of Santa Barbara (where Nathan and Michelle met and lived for 11 years).
Michelle and Nathan were married in 1997, and added our great kids Sarah and Matthew in 2000 and 2002. We love God, science, nature, music, and each other very much -- and try to make the most out of each and every day together.
Recently, we took our first trip to the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland. Sarah and Matt LOVED pretending to be weightless in the space shuttle. More to come soon!