Diaries - Travel - Photos

Previous Diary -


A Visit With Ava, Sam, and the Gang

June 7-11
written June 8+
Dear Friends and Family,

d140607_02_fruit.jpgWe are leaving our yard construction and the HOT valley weather for a few days and going over to Monte Sereno to visit with the kids.  In Fresno, the weekend high temperature is expected to be 109F (43C), but down in the Bay Area it is only going to be in the low-90s.  Much nicer.

This time of year, Highway 152 is lined with fruit stands and it is required to make a stop for locally-grown fruit.  We loaded up with cherries, apricots, and white nectarines this time.

Over at Gabby's house, we were greeted by another construction site, the front yard is completely torn up.  While Gigi read with Ava, Gabby and I went to look at paving stones to replace this sea of soft, gray, gravel.  We could not jump to a decision, but I'm guessing it's something like in the pictures.  Anything would be better than the current muck and the house owner just wants it DONE.
Then it was time to go out and enjoy the FINISHED back yard, chatting and swimming.  Ava has become a fish and Sam, with floaters, goes along with her no matter what. Even Opa jumped in the pool.
For dinner, we inaugurated the new gas grill and cooked up tri-tip roast, hot dogs, and fish.  Not too shabby, even if that's from the grill chef.  Our after-dinner entertainment was a dance show where Ava went through the steps her class would be using in the Sunday recital, plus some added singing just because she wanted to.  World-class.
By the way, daddy (aka: Mamal) doesn't show up here because he was off winning a three-day golf tournament at the local club.  Congratulations!

Sunday was a big day; a family birthday party, a dance show, a baby shower for some, and another swimming session for the rest of us.
Ryder's Birthday
Ava and Sam's cousin Ryder was two years old on Saturday and this warranted a family gathering, always an occasion.
Cake was a hit, but even better was the bouncy-house/wading pool.  The fearless-five cousins played for hours!

Ava's Dance School
Ava's dance school joined the annual St. Christopher's festival as rehearsal for their big show coming up next month.  We could not take advantage of all the festival activities, but we certainly enjoyed Ava and Camille's dance duet.

Baby Shower: Nicole the almost-mom, and her sister and mom.
While Gabby and Marianne were at the shower, Mamal and the kids and I enjoyed the pool.  Too bad I forgot to take pictures, because Mamal almost killed himself inflating a trio of pool toys, but the fun was worth it.  I'm sure we will have a repeat show, so I will illustrate just how much air it took!

At the end of all this, we had two very tired kids, tired parents, and worn out grandparents.

Monday was back to work and school, for those who do such things.  Ava started her last week of pre-school, properly prepared and excited for "funny hair day", while Opa and Gigi enjoyed some time alone with Sam.  Both kids are growing so fast.
Ava off to school and "independent study" at home for Sam
Pool play time, Sam in the morning with Opa and Ava with Daddy in the evening.
Speaking of pool activity, Mondays are now Coach Chuck swimming lessons at the Rahimi pool.  He manages to make learning fun for everyone.
Swim Lessons
Ava worked on proper style. Sam was as fearless as always. Friend Camile and little cousin Ryder were made comfortable in their first ever swimming lessons.  (Somehow I missed a picture of cousin Reef.  Sorry)
 The evening ended with a barbecued shrimp dinner, kiddie bedtime, and quiet time for adults - the normal routine that suits everyone.  Tomorrow will be another full day. (Actually, not.)

Tuesday was a bit different than anticipated.  The kids left for morning preschool as planned and Gabby's morning plans went ahead as did Marianne's; shopping and chores mostly.  I had looked forward to my own shopping - Fry's for techie stuff and K&S,my favorite camera store up in Palo Alto.  However, overnight my eyes had turned an interesting shade of red and by lunchtime I was searching out the nearest Kaiser clinic.  The doc diagnosed me with conjunctivitis, prescribed anti-bacterial drops, and sent me on my way.

Since then, I have stayed out of public view,  both because the condition is contagious and because it apparently looks fairly frightening.  I just avoid mirrors, but those facing me sorta gasp.  Ava looked and shouted "Ouch!".  Meanwhile, little Sam is suffering from an inflamed ear canal and is also acting pretty grumpy.  Definitely cuts down on the fun.

Wednesday started with a Gigi cooking lesson and ended with Ava's graduation.  In between, Sam and I worked on our medical conditions.  My eyes seemed better, but his ear is still a problem.  Poor guy!
Cooking class.  Gigi taught Ava how to make  "palahinta" (Hungarian for crepes).  Ava concentrated on the lesson and enjoyed the product, but brother Sam woke up out of sorts (from his earache, I'm sure) and decided he did not want much of anything.  Maybe tomorrow.

Ava's Preschool Graduation.  The ceremony at Little Oak Preschool was as formal as possible - for five-year-olds.  Of course, all the parents and grandparents were enchanted and now Ava can head to kindergarten with a proper diploma.

On Thursday we head home.  Again it will be hard to leave our little Enkelkinder, but we'll be back.  Now we need to get our Fresno life in order again, but that's another story.

John and Marianne

d140609_50_beams.jpgps: Back in Fresno, Gary had received the wood for the bocce court walls: 20-foot 6x6 timbers.  We are both glad he has some strong young men to move these monsters.


Diaries - Travel - Photos

Previous Diary - Next Diary