Summer 2016, Part 1

Somehow it's July, and summer is really here!

School ended for both kids--Samantha had her last day at "the Center," with a bit of sadness on her part, and lots of hugs from the teachers. They all told Helen they'd see her soon (just two years now!), and reminded Samantha that we would all come back for the Halloween potluck dinner in the fall, as a reunion. Meanwhile, Marcus finished up second grade and is ready for third. He did a week of a fishing daycamp where he went by van down to the Cape and caught a couple scup (porgy) that he brought home, nicely filleted (above left), one day. Below, their last days--Marcus walking to the schoolbus with a pack of kids, and Samantha holding her portfolio of work at the end of the day. Marcus's orchestra had a great end-of-year concert, and Samantha got to meet the kindergarten orchestra teacher, who will be her conductor in September. My mommy-and-me baby class with Helen also finished up. It was fun to have some time with other moms and babies so close in age to her.


While Marcus keeps busy reading (he's finished the Seekers series and most of the Survivors series and is on series 3 of the Warriors, with a few random books, including The Wild Robot, tossed in that aren't part of a series), Samantha does art. Here are some pictures from Samantha's last few weeks at the Center, mostly of the "Grasshoppers" with Katrina, and also of some of her artwork.

This first picture (below left) is of Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Ron is the tallest. You can see their robes. They're at Hogwarts having a feast (pictured in the background). The next picture is of a birthday cake hat she made, complete with candles (one finished, one in progress).

I got really excited to read all about "The Mystery of the Washing Machine," but on page two (pictured, second from left) you can see that she solved it. More details in the sequel, perhaps?

At home she made a basket to contain a lot of her artwork and books, and a placemat for the basket to sit on.

Below left is a picture of "the president, Obama, the queen, and the King of the World." She's pretty sure Obama is on the right. They're all wearing hats. Presidents love to wear hats. Second from left, she poses with the water bottle she decorated for Robert for Father's Day. She wrote "Daddy Dad Daddy" on it so he would know whose it was. Next, albeit a bit hard to see because she used yellow for her clothes, is a family portrait of us all: I'm holding Helen and nursing her (with milk just flowing out of my breasts, apparently), she's wearing her favorite yellow dress from sarah, Marcus is looking surprisingly short, and Robert is at right.

During the last week of school, Robert and Marcus went to a Red Sox game (they lost) with great seats that Marcus won in the South End Baseball raffle.

We also went to the Scooperbowl downtown and ate a lot of ice cream.

We watched the Pride Parade from near the Boston Common, in a drizzle, during one of Robert's softball games.

We went to "Out of the Park," a Red Sox away game projected live on a giant screen on the Boston Common, with batting cages, face painting, balloons, cotton candy, popcorn, and hot dogs.

Marcus's baseball team finished up the season with some good practices and a couple of losses, but a really fun end-of-year party, complete with a family baseball game and cake with all the players' names on it.

We had a party at our house with all of the Grasshoppers from the Center (save one, who was away that weekend), and the big brothers played Pokemon in Marcus's room while the Grasshoppers themselves played happily (and sometimes watched the card game action).

Samantha manages to keep busy with creative play at home, and some reading time, when not doing art or practicing the piano. She started sobbing when we said we were going to take a break from piano lessons over the summer, due to scheduling, so thankfully Miss Alyssa worked something out and Saturday morning piano lessons will continue.

In June Samantha turned four and a half (pictured: four and a half chocolate munchkins) and also went to a "Fireflies and Fairies" event at Drumlin Farm with Robert. They made "fairy charms" out of wildflowers, and then spent the rest of the evening catching and learning about fireflies.

One Saturday, Marcus went to an introductory parkour class, while Samantha went to Robert's softball game, and then we all met up downtown together.

We started going to the concerts at Titus Sparrow, both the kids' concerts on Tuesday mornings and the general ones on Wednesday evenings.

We've been going to the Wednesday morning art classes at Faneuil Hall. This day, the teacher showed pictures of Klimts, and then the kids collaged and used gold paint and made patterns in the background of their pictures.

Robert and Marcus went on a mini speedboat tour of the Boston Harbor, with Robert driving slowly in the no-wake zone and then fast and bumpily out toward the JFK Library and back.

We enjoyed the Greenway fountains and playgrounds.

We went to the reflecting pool at the Christian Science Plaza to watch our friends sail their remote-controlled boats, the Public Market for lunch with Robert and Sarah, and the Thursday morning festivities (storytellers, playground, sprinkler, Playworks "recess," music, snacks, and the Frog Pond) on the Common.

Fourth of July weekend was packed with fun activities. First, Samantha and Robert went to a puppet show at Faneuil Hall, then to the new pop-up playground at Government Center.

Then Cori came to Boston for the weekend, and we all met her and then went to Chinatown to watch martial arts demonstrations and lion dances during the festival.

That night we watched "Minions" at the Prudential garden outdoor movie night, running into Sophie and her family (from the Center) and lots of kids from Marcus's school and their families.

On Sunday, Robert and Samantha and Cori and Valentina went to the MFA while Marcus and I hosted some other friends who hadn't met Helen yet, and then we all met up for Indian lunch. Monday we set up the kiddie pool and had a great time splashing around and grilling with friends--followed, of course, by fireworks.

Family snuggles are still going strong--the children adore the baby, who is always getting passed around and kissed and slobbered on. She mostly adores it right back.




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Created: 7/6/16. Last Modified: 7/6/16.