Recital Mania

Well, we survived all of the end-of-school-season madness – an assortment of recitals, shows, parties, festivals, and other activities in quick sucession.  Jenya had a speaking part in the Montessori end of term recital – if I can figure out how to post video clips I’ll link up the video.  The theme for the Montessorri show was south america, which has been the theme for a lot of the school year – so the kids can name every country, major city, and important event in south america, but aren’t clear on what country they live in… 

They also had their gymnastics recital, and got the ubiquitous medals and trophies for showing up (a trend I’m not happy about in the world as a whole, but at least now I’ve got the kids to understand that they don’t "win" those medals).  They all did a great job, and all got promoted – twins from little dipper to big dipper, Jenya from Lucky Star to Pearls (Pearls is the pre-team team prep level), so they were very happy.  And of course they did a nice job at their dance recital earlier, as well.

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New Business

As most of you probably know, my time with my current company (ESS) is coming to an end soon, and I’m getting involved with a new company.  Lunn has been busy updating the graphics and layout for the website (Aspira Consulting), continuing his unbroken trend of somehow being volunteered to do logos and/or graphic design for every company I’ve been involved with for the last ten years or so.  We’ll be finishing it and taking it live over the next week or so.  Feedback is welcome!

Jenya Rocks!

So Jenya FINALLY got to climb the rock wall, after waiting impatiently for "forever."  And she did a great job, and really enjoyed herself.

The new Y in our neighborhood opened a year or so ago and has a rock climbing wall.  Jenya has been dying to climb it ever since she first laid eyes on it, but much to her dismay they have a hard and fast minimum age of 7 years to climb.  She has frequently expressed her frustrations with this rule ("It doesn’t matter how old you are, it matters can you do it").  Frankly I’m inclined to agree with her, but we explained to her that different places have different rules, and the Y has a right to make whatever rules they want for their space whether we think they are fair or not, and if we want to go there we have to play by their rules.  Life’s like that.

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A Week in DC

Just got back from a week in DC with the family.  It was a very nice quasi-vacation.  We stayed at the company condo (a bit cramped but great location and the girls loved it).  We did quite a lot.  We spent Saturday at the Air and Space museum downtown — they were having a kite special event, so the girls got to make and color their own kites, and watch kite dancing events, and all kinds of stuff in addition to the usual neat stuff at that museum.  Unfortunately I forgot to bring the camera, so no pics of that visit.

Lots of pics of the next few days, tho.  We had a nice breakfast with Lunn’s parents and some of his cousins.  The girls got to meet Rose, their 18 mos. old new little cousin, and her mom Becky and her husband.  Another one of Lunn’s cousins, Niles and his wife, were able to join us as well.  It was a very nice visit.  After that, and after a detour to the playground to let the girls burn off all the energy from behaving well at the restaurant, we went over to my friend Lynch’s house for a nice bar-b-que and visit with him, his wife and two boys, and of course their dog.  The girls very much enjoyed playing with all the boys’ toys, and even condescended to play with the boys themselves from time to time.

The next day we went to the Reston Zoo, which we’d been told was a good petting zoo.  It actually turned into one of those "good but totally not in the way you intended" kind of trips.  The place itself was overpriced and an absolute tourist trap.  The girls learned some interesting lessons, tho — like how to project physical dominance to scare off the omnipresent ducks, swans and geese chasing them looking for food.    But Jenya got to pet a bunny (actually several bunnies), which made her week — and they all got pony rides, which they enjoyed. 

We capped off the tourist-y portion of the trip with an afternoon at Mt. Vernon.  The twins were really too young to appreciate it, and mostly just ran, played, and got bored, but Jenya seemed quite interested in the history.  The best part was the girls’ visit with "Martha Washington" — they had an actress in full historic garb recreating Mrs. Washington, and she had a very interesting in-character conversation with the girls — told them all about life as a little girl in colonial America.  Afterwards Jenya said "wow, she must be 170 years old." 

I put an album with some of the pics from the trip up on the albums link

Jenya Starts a Blog

Jenya has started her very own blog – you can read her first story here at http://rlestina.typepad.com/jenyas_writings/.  I encourage everyone to comment on her entries – I know she’d love to see some feedback from her family on what she writes.  If you don’t know how to do it, all you have to do to comment on a blog entry is click the comment link at the bottom of the entry and write your comments. 

Friday Float Fest

In what has recently become a regular Friday ritual, I took the girls over to the local Y tonite for a fun evening.  First we walked and ran on the indoor track for a while, then we adjourned to the indoor pool for the Y’s "float fest," which basically consists of them filling the pool up with all kinds of strage and colorful inflatables.   They do this every friday for a few hours in the evening, and the girls absolutely love it.  It’s also a nice way to cool off after the run.125_2550_r1   

A few weeks ago when we started doing this, Jenya on her own initiative decided to test for her deep water band.  Basically the Y won’t let kids under a certain age go into the deep end of the pool unless they’ve passed this test, for which they receive the little plastic band you can see Jenya displaying on her right ankle in this picture.  I was quite impressed – she found out she wasn’t allowed into the deep end, figured out what she needed to do to change that, and did it (a test involving swimming some laps and treading water for several minutes), all entirely on her own without my involvment (or even my knowledge, till the lifeguard came up and wanted me to sign off on it).  Pretty neat.

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The Nutcracker

Jenya went to her first real ballet performance last night – Grandma Bea took her to see the Nutcracker.  Jenya very much enjoyed herself, and was practicing her twirls and pirouettes all evening after the show. 

Lunn and I took the twins to the local mall while Jenya and Bea were at the show.  They played on the playground and rode the christmas train, and generally enjoyed the extra attention.

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