Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ashton is six!

Yes, there is now a six year old in the house. This years party was again at Safari Run as our popular daughter invited so many kids we needed a big location. What a great time everyone had with both parents noticing that while there were more kids, having them older really makes a difference for the party chaos. While I wouldn't go so far as to say it was a "relaxing" event, there was very little actual stress involved.

Snaps to Judy of course who did all the hard stuff (party favors, cupcakes, snacks, decorations, food prep, etc. etc.) as I think on it, no wonder it seemed so stress-free!

Since this is a Bear birthday, it had to span several days. Sunday was the family party. Both parties had the theme "Kung Fu Panda" as we've officially grown to an age where princess themes are somehow obsolete.

Grandpa Bob dressed for the occasion as "Kung Fu Grandpa". As you can see he was showing Dan a few of his super secret moves. Don't try this at home boys and girls, it requires special training, appropriate beverages and, of course, the proper clothing.

With so many people attending her party there were so many gifts. From mom and dad (ok lets be honest, dad did all the work) Ashton got her first computer. A mini computer that is just her size and that happens to be the source of severe jealousy from her sister (those who remember being a kid, this was obviously a big part of the appeal for Ashton).

Grandpa Bob helped set up a skype account for her so that they can webcam-communicate to each other. Mom and dad feel left out of the whole technology thing as this is our very first webcam for the house.

Once again, we are amazed that time has gone by so quickly and at how blessed we are to have such a wonderful child. Ashton has grown into a very generous and beautiful person who is very comfortable in her own skin. It was amazing to see her "work the crowd" at the party, helping out her mom in keeping straight all the guests names, their parents names, their siblings names, etc. etc.

What a wonderful girl and what a great birthday. Thanks to everyone for making it such a special day for her.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Neighborhood Playdates Rule

We are so fortunate to have a lot of kids on our block. This makes neighborhood play-dates a regular thing. Of course playing in Bob's car is a favorite of Jacqueline's so she decided that her friend's Sophie and Julia should join her.

Julia agreed to drive and Jacqueline insisted on sitting in her car seat for the drive (according to J. they were going to Park City, I think this is to win points with Dad and make him happy to share his car)

Of course no play date would be complete without some jumping in the bounce house. Sophie and Jacqueline are clearly lucky to have each other. While they are in different preschools now, they will be in the same kindergarten class year after next.

What a great life.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Day at San Mateo Japanese Gardens

Somehow on a Sunday we found ourselves at Central Park in San Mateo. I have never seen it myself (although the girls and Bob had). The [very old] train runs on the weekend and the girls were thrilled to be getting a ride.
Before the train ride we went to the Japanese gardens. Wow, who would have guessed such a pretty park exists right in the middle of town. I've heard it was even more gorgeous years ago but it sure impressed me and the several dozen other families that were going through the park.
We managed to get a photo of me and the girls together. While I attempt this move on a regular basis we are rarely successful having all three heads in the same direction.
Of course it wouldn't be much of a zen garden without koi. These fish seemed very very healthy to my untrained eye. I guess San Mateo takes good care of these guys.
Of course, one of the big attractions was the several different bridges to cross. Dad and the girls were enjoying viewing the fish.