Thursday, August 27, 2015

First Day of School 2015: Clare

Dressed in her winter uniform for orientation and school pictures.
With MUCH anticipation, excitement and a wee bit of trepidation, Clare began her Marist career this week. Between gatherings with peer leaders, buddies, cross-country practice, and various parent functions, we had plenty of preparation. Clare was more than ready to get the ball rolling, and so far (three days in) is besotted with it all (well, not every cross-country practice)!

She and Abby have also resumed their Swim Atlanta practices, which means more giggling in the Testani kitchen, albeit in different uniforms.

In fact, the two of them were so enamored of their first day (and clearly had lots of time on their hands) that they developed a second secret handshake. Here's hoping that the next six years include many more of these happy highs!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

First Day of School 2015: Danny

Much to his chagrin, Danny was the first of our household to go back to school. This being the year of three kids, three schools, he was also the only one to go back to school. Life ain't fair...but he smiled like the shiny new Third Grader he is anyway:

As I picked him up from my first carpool run of the year, we noticed a larger-than-life photo of him prominently located above the parking lot and green space:
Upon viewing this, he declared, "I'm famous!" Hopefully this unexpected sight will be among many things that exceed his expectations this year.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

2015 San Diego Summer: Fun Favorites

There are a LOT of traditions we have come to love (and dare I say expect?) for our trips to California, and I am pretty sure we covered them all this year!

Grampy rented a boat again, this time down on Mission Bay, where the sea lions were plentiful if not interested in our salmon offerings:

This was followed by a Mexican lunch in Old Town (and margaritas!), plus the obligatory visit to Cousins Candy:

The kids took a horseback riding lesson, this year including Laura for the first time:

Perhaps most of all, are the traditions that take place within Grammy & Grampy's house and yard, from games and dance parties to al fresco dinners, s'mores and performances:
It gets harder to say goodbye every year...which simply means we had such a wonderful time. Boy, do we have big plans for next year! Until then, we will bask in our memories.

2015 San Diego Summer: Awesome Excursions

As alluring as the beach is, we rounded out our visit with plenty of other fun outings, including a couple of new things that are likely now traditions. Beginning with: Disneyland! Where Danny discovered the joys of Space Mountain, and Laura determined that Thunder Mountain was her favorite ride...keeping her hands up the entire time.

We decided to give the Del Mar horse races a try this year, and it was a BIG hit (largely due to Grampy's generosity in funding the kids' bets):
As the first winner, Clare was quite pleased.

During our day out with Parlin, we checked out the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, and got this rare photo of all five kids looking at the camera and smiling!:
What a lucky crew we are!

Monday, August 10, 2015

2015 San Diego Summer: Beach Bums

I always sort of dread these trip round-up posts (which comprise the bulk of the blog lately), because it's boring to write - and read - play-by-plays, and really difficult to capture the fun. However, we have too many great pictures, and the excursions deserve to be commemorated.

The day after our arrival, and the joyful reunion with family (and cousins!), we hit the beach for the first time. Now that the kids are older, it's easier to go to the beach and much more worthwhile. Laura, especially, has come into her own as far as the beach goes, which makes it SO much more pleasant for me. Our first beach visit was to Oceanside, the nearest of them to Fallbrook.
Danny and Laura were the first to hit the water, which was a surprise. However, the big girls ventured in the furthest and the most:
Laura preferred to skirt the shoreline, but she spent a LOT of time along it:

A few days later, Danny, Laura and I met up with Breen and Colin and hit Coronado Beach (after a visit to the Midway):

Loving our visors.

A few days after that, we decided to try the Del Mar Beach, which proved to be excellent. (So much so that we ALL got sunburned. Oops.)

And for our last day of the trip, we opted to try yet another beach: Moonlight State Beach in Encinitas. Parking was rough, but the kids enjoyed it:

The ocean looks very inviting, on this hot August day in ATL...until next year!