Art Vistas Lesson 4

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     The two moms and I had our 4th Art Vistas lesson with Connor’s class today.  After I dropped off the boys, I went to prepare for the class.  After recess, the teacher led the class to the cafeteria to join us.  One of the moms began by reviewing what they had learned in previous lessons: the different lines, primary and secondary colors. Then she talked about the neutral colors, i.e. black, white and brown.  Next she and the other mom shared two famous paintings and used them to lead a discussion to review the concepts. The children were eager and answered questions well.  Connor wanted to sit near me and held my hand while listening to the presenters.  Then it was my turn to talk with the kids.  I had the kids imagine where they would love to live and how their dream houses might look like.  The children got excited imagining a house on water, or made of ice or made of candies.  I demonstrated by drawing a cactus house, then it was the children’s turn to express their creativity on paper using oil pastels.  We saw many colorful and beautiful castles, tree houses, and other inventive creations.  There were a shark house and houses with many lookouts or with security.  This was one of the easiest and stress-free lessons, and the kids really seemed engaged drawing a cool house.  Connor drew a nice castle that he was very proud of it.


Basketball Game and Playdate

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     Michelle had two extra tickets to the UCLA vs Stanford basketball game on Saturday, so she invited us to join them.  I chose to take Logan; Connor wanted to go too, but he was fine after learning that there were only two tickets.  As soon as Logan came back from the tennis lesson on Saturday, I fed him a small lunch and then we were on our way to meet with Robyn and Brandon.  Robyn drove us to meet up with Michelle and Marcus before we all arrived at Stanford.  We found our seats, then Logan and I stepped out to get some snacks.  He chose a pretzel while I chose fries, then we were ready for the game.  Logan understood that Michelle and Robyn are UCLA fans, but he finally decided to woo for Stanford instead.  He paid attention to the game to some degree as he knew his team was leading, but he was more interested to watch the cheerleaders and the intermission entertainment.  He was especially intrigued by the teams of kids playing a game during halftime; I actually enjoyed watching them too as they were very good.  By the second half, Logan was a bit more restless and had asked several times when the game would be over.  He also enjoyed collecting some advertising cards that were on the seats or on the ground, and asked Brandon to help him too.  Michelle and Marcus needed to leave before the end of the game, then the rest of us stayed until the end of the game which UCLA unfortunately lost.  Robyn, Brandon, Logan and I trekked back to our car.  On the way back, we took a peek at the tennis arena; we saw some players practicing which was quite entertaining.  Robyn drove us back to their house, and we said goodbye to them and went on our way home.

     Today Logan’s friend Maxim invited Logan for a playdate and Connor was welcome too.  Since Connor enjoys playing with Maxim and Logan did not mind Connor tagging along, we accepted the invite and dropped both boys off early this morning.  Stuart and I decided to go play tennis afterward, and we ended up playing over an hour and a half.  The timing was just right, and we returned to their house right at two hours mark.  All three boys seemed to have a great time.  We asked to see if the boys especially Connor, gave them any trouble, and the parents were nice and replied that Connor was the easiest one of all.  They told us that the boys played a little bit with everything and spent the most time running around in the backyard.  I guess all of us ended up having a good exercise for the day too.

First Week of New Job

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    I survived the first week of my new job.  Back to five days a week and learning new environment was quite tiring.  So far, the people seem nice and the work place is decent too.  The drive to work is definitely much shorter, around 17 minutes each way.  I got too comfortable and had almost forgotten that it takes time to drive up the parking structure and walk into the building that I was close to be late on the second day.  I finally got into a better habit by the third and fourth days and was even able to  accompany Stuart to walk the boys to school first before going to work.  The boys were excited to have both of us taking them to school.  I have a couple more days of training next week and there are still lots of things to get adjusted to in the new environment; therefore I am glad to have tomorrow off as well to prepare myself.  I had requested to have every other Monday off until beginning of June, so I can fulfill my volunteering commitment at school.  This arrangement will also help me slowly adjusting to working 5 days a week again.

    One sweet thing to mention was when I came home after the first day of work, I found a banner that Connor made for me.  How sweet!


Snow Day

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    We had considered trying dog sledding at Colorado, but by the time we decided to give it a try, both places Dora knew about were all booked up.  So we settled on tubing instead.  We waited until the best weather day, Friday, to drive to the Adventure Park at Frisco.  The drive was beautiful and it got icy on the freeway after we went through a long tunnel.  It was a bit nervous for Stuart driving Gloria’s car on ice, but he managed to follow Dora well and get us there safely and timely.  After passing through the beautiful town of Frisco, we arrived at the Adventure Park.  All of us were excited to get out the car and bundle up to touch the snow.  We got tickets and quickly climbed up the moving walkway to the top for tubing.  Logan was a bit hesitant, but with Stuart as his company, he just followed the lead.  Connor was with me side by side, and he enjoyed the first round and wanted to go again.  Both Logan and Connor did the second run and enjoyed it too, but neither of them wanted to try anything different, like four tubes together or being spun.  So all six of us continued our pairings and coming down the hill again.  The weather was so nice that we were getting quite warm, and it felt great with the little breeze up on the hill.  The wait to come down was getting a bit longer, and we could only make one final, 4th, round.  The boys opted out and wanted Gloria to pull them around at the base instead.  So it was just Dora, Stuart and I on this last one, and we had the staff give us a big spin.  The spin added some momentum and more thrill; we all came down screaming and my hat flew off halfway down, never to be recovered again.  This was indeed a fun hour of tubing.


   Next we had a yummy lunch at the ski lodge.  The lodge was pretty and it was not too crowded.  Afterward both Dora and Gloria were tired and wanted to take a break, so the rest of us went to play with snow just outside.  The boys, Stuart and I played with snowball fight for quite a long time, and enjoyed getting to use powdery snow.  In between, we also built sIMG_6202ome snowman.  At the end, Logan and Connor built four snowmen and claimed that they were the four of us.  They made a snow angel at last which wrapped up our short trip to see the snow country.  The drive back home was smooth and uneventful.

    We relaxed a bit at the hotel and packed up, then we went out to have the last dinner with Gloria and Dora.  It was a wonderful, short and sweet trip to Colorado, and great seeing the girls.  The next morning Gloria gave us a ride to the airport for our early flight.

Our Trip to Colorado

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     We made a short four day trip to visit Gloria and Dora during the winter break.  Dora had visited us not long ago, but it had been a long time since the boys saw Gloria as well as their doggies Arvin and Abby.  We were fortunate that both Gloria and Dora were able to take the days off from work to hang out with us.  We had decided to stay in a hotel near Gloria.  Dora and Abby decided to stay over at Gloria’s, so all of us could be close by.  It was very nice catching up with them and for the boys getting to know the doggies.  Logan warmed up to Arvin and Abby quickly, and would shy away only if the doggies got too jumpy sometimes.  Once he held onto the leash for Arvin, Logan fell in love of walking him and asked to walk them several times.  Connor on the other hand was very scared of the dogs.  He was genuinely nervous every time the dogs were nearby and he would request not to go to Gloria’s.  Connor wanted us to carry him to stay clear from the ground.  Finally by the second to last day, Connor felt a bit more relaxed and enjoyed handing them toys and treats, and attempted to give some commands.  Connor also claimed that he missed the doggies now that we are home.

    For the trip, we did not have a set itinerary; we just played it by ear based on the weather.  We were lucky that we caught very warm weather with just one day of stronger winds, therefore we had to postpone the snow trip to the last full day.  We spent some time hanging out at both Gloria’s and Dora’s apartment complexes, and they each were new and had nice facilities.  Dora lives very close to downtown Denver; one day we took a walk down to the nearby neighborhood to stroll and to eat.  At her place, we could catch a beautiful view of the city too.  The boys also really enjoyed hanging out in the clubhouses at both complexes, having hot cocoas and playing on the computers.  We played a few games of billiards at Dora’s too. 


    One day we went to check out the Wild Animal Sanctuary which was very cool.  This sanctuary was huge and had a very long observation bridge.  We learned some nice rescue stories from the volunteers and from the signage, and we saw many animals, lions, tigers, bears, porcupines, alpaca etc, and learned about their habitats.  It was an interesting visit and a great exercise too.  There was one of those penny souvenir machines at the far end of the bridge; both boys were happy to receive a special coin.  But unfortunately Connor dropped his down the bridge later which caused some tears to be shed.








Another thing Gloria and Dora suggested us to check out was the mechanical animal rides at the mall.  They thought the boys would like them, and it turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip.  Both Logan and Connor spotted them and immediately wanted to ride them.  These rides were slow but quite cool.  The boys could drive them anywhere they wanted to inside the mall, and we could hop on too since we would still be within the weight limit.  The boys had a blast riding around and chasing each other.  We went back to the mall another night for dinner, and the boys were thrilled to get another turn.

    The snow day blog to be continued.  Overall this was a great trip to CO.  It was wonderful seeing Gloria and Dora, and letting the boys get to know their aunties and the doggies better.  We did many fun and interesting things, and we caught great weather.  The boys also loved staying in the hotel as always.


Brotherly Love

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     Logan’s lunchbox was missing one day last week, and there was a long story about how he looked for it everywhere, then went for hot lunch instead, and how it was discovered later.  When we were talking about the incident again at dinner, Connor seemed to know the story very well and so we asked him how.  Thimageen Stuart and I learned the cutest thing.  The kindergarteners have their lunch time first and it overlaps with the lower graders’ lunch by 10 minutes.  Connor informed us that he often goes to Logan’s classroom to wait for him to come out for lunch.  Therefore, on that day, Logan told Connor about the missing lunchbox, and Connor tried to help him look for it too.  It was such a nice mental picture thinking of Connor waiting patiently outside of the classroom for Logan each day.

    On Friday, Connor also learned that Logan was out sick as he did not see Logan during the recess.  Connor told us that he went up to Logan’s classmate Maxim and found out his whereabouts.  Connor seems to always be keeping tabs on Logan’s activities. 

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