Summertime, and the livin's large at Pasitos—once the boys' preschool, now a tot-fiesta over which they tower as full-on Lego roboticists. 🙂 Check out the fruits of Team Laser Ninjas' efforts yesterday:
Today the guys whipped up a terrific Father's Day pancake breakfast, after which we all headed to San Francisco. I'm too bushed to post photos right now, but in the meantime here's a peek at our visit to the always-fascinating Exploratorium, currently home to the amazing Strandbeests!
This weekend marked our 5th annual Las Madres family camping trip. (I think there've actually been six, but we didn't go the first year.) It's become a much-anticipated event every summer - the guys get to run around all day and late into the night with their friends, and all the parents get to hang out, socialize, and relax (mostly!). We leave on Friday afternoon and stay through Sunday morning. The boys were so excited this year they were literally leaping and dancing around the kitchen on Friday morning asking me how soon we could leave.
This year we had a total of 44 kids and adults spread out over several camp sites at Portola Redwoods State Park - a real gem deep in the redwood forest of the Santa Cruz mountains. Here's a gallery of our adventures, which included gorgeous weather, giant trees—including one dubbed the "man cave" by the Nack boys—hiking, a crystal-clear stream with swimming hole, Ranger-led Junior Ranger programs, s'mores (of course!), delicious homemade cookies courtesy of our friends Lorraine and Dina, making sunprints with found items, counting the scores of banana slugs dotting the ground, and religiously reapplying bug spray (LOTS of skeeters this year).
Man cave tour:
And just for fun, here are the galleries from prior years' camping trips.
The Willow Glen White Sox closed out their year with a bang: Henry knocked out a double, both boys hustled after some hits to center field, and Finn—to his great delight—received the game ball! Here's a little gallery.
Just like their parents (or at least their dad), our guys have their share of hilariously forehead-slapping moments. First, the brilliant cyclist Henry gets a little more familiar than he’d planned with a fountain at Google. (Make sure your speakers are on.)
Second, though separated by exactly six years, these two photos both show Finn’s goofy penchant for having crap stuck to/in his face. :-p
Back when the kids were really little, we were always too swamped & tired to figure out what to do on Memorial Day weekend, and thus generally stayed home and bemoaned the fact that we hadn't planned any adventures.
Five years ago we decided to throw a little backyard BBQ on Memorial Day weekend (see gallery), in hopes that maybe some of our friends would show up, having failed to make travel plans as well. Little did we know that pretty much everyone we invited would show up to hang out at our BBQ!
Over the past few years, our little BBQ has turned into an epic event! At this past weekend's fifth annual Nackyard Memorial Day BBQ, we had scores of grownups and kids populating the yard, coolers full of beer and soda, and good times had by all. Here’s a gallery of shots from the day.
A couple of weeks ago, Hen accompanied me to Google for this year's Take Your Kid To Work Day. Finn had planned to join us, but as he'd been sick the preceding two days, he felt strongly that he should attend school. "My team is counting on me, and if I'm not there, another kid is going to screw up our poster!" he said.
Thus Hen & I rolled on our own—literally, thanks to his bright idea of bringing his dirt bike to ride around campus. Who knew we had our own pair of little dirt tracks to race around? We connected with the boys' pal Zack & his mom, fellow Googler DeAnna, for a round of cookie-making & biking, followed by Henry performing some "dogfooding" down at the Imaginarium (Google's lab for building kids' apps). Getting drenched by a sudden downpour en route only added to the fun.
Who's got two thumbs & was excited to be commended for his on-field hustle? This guuuuuuy. 🙂
We've been awfully sad that our beloved Uncle John Murray has been in poor health lately. It's hard living so far away from our great—and great big—extended family, and I wish the boys could spend more time getting to know everyone. I felt grateful that Finn & I were able to make an impromptu trip to Chi-town last weekend to see Uncle John & spend time with much of the Murray clan, especially as Saturday happened to be my cousin Liz's son Patrick's First Communion.
Here's a gallery (slideshow) of some photos I captured during the reception, and later in the park by the Murrays' house (where Patrick, Mary, and Jimmy patiently gave Finn an intro to lacrosse). "We have a really nice family," he told me later. I'm inclined to agree. <:-)
We've had another rather epic Sunday with the lads. While Mom-O and our friend Jolene toured the de Young Museum, Team KOBI (i.e. King/Kids Of Bad Ideas—newly augmented with our equally mischievous friend Justin) rented a four-man bike & toured Golden Gate Park. We even crashed this year’s Bay to Breakers race, briefly carrying various weird characters who hopped aboard, until a cop kicked us out.
Justin also had the inspired idea of sneaking up "James Bond-style" on a group of unsuspecting musicians who were practicing in the park's band shell. I love that their music swelled up to provide a dramatic score to our hijinx. 😀
The guys were champs at this year's Willow Glen 5k, cranking through the 3-mile walk en route to some fun carnival games back in Tiger Park (behind their school). Check out a few little glimpses I grabbed along the way:
Henry Nack, behold the trebuchet. (I'm sure there's no way this meeting can end in mischief. 😉 )
In the dystopian classic Blade Runner, where neon signs wink through the ever-present rain, the voice in a disembodied advertisement promises, “A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies!” I chuckled thinking of this when I found the sign below propped up at the entrance to Finn’s room. I guess we’d better stay out for a while. 🙂
This? Oh, no biggie: it’s just what happens when Henry playfully forces his (fully cooperative & laughing) brother’s face into the sand. :-p
Finn's flu-induced fever, combined with his fascination with the name of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, topped with a sleepy lion hat, results in the following. Also known as: A typical Monday afternoon with Finn.
We enjoyed quite the day out last Sunday. First we hit Marina State Beach near Monterey for some baseball tossing (40 catches in a row with Finn!), sand castling, and taunting of waves (which sometimes won!). On the drive north we pulled a spontaneous pit stop to kayak with sea otters, after which we "cooled off" (as the boys love to say) at Marianne's Ice Cream in Santa Cruz. Here's a gallery plus a salty vid from our day out:
What happens when some ladies come over as our goofballs are winding down the evening? Hint: It involves relentless photobombing by Finn. :-p
Long ago the dudes decided that all of Finn's lions were boys & all of Henry's owls were girls. That way they could get married & have kids (i.e. the many little lions & owls in our pride/parliament). We were thus delighted & unsurprised when Finn noted at the breakfast table the other day, "Look, Leo & Ollie are having an epic romance!" 🙂