Best. Party. Ever.

While I wait to see if I can steal some photos of our housewarming party from my friends who took pictures (since I took none!), I’ll write about the other party we had last weekend — Charlie’s 5th birthday party. Jerri found a company (Best. Party. Ever.)┬áthat sends out, in this case, Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker to provide Jedi training for the kids. It was a total blast for the kids and the parents.

About 45 minutes into the party, Obi Wan and Anakin walked up and started asking questions, trying to find Charlie. Ollie gave him up.

Obi Wan and Anakin try to find Charlie

After a while, they started in on some Jedi training.

First lesson of Jedi training

Took a Jedi oath.

Taking the Jedi pledge

And started off on a treasure hunt.

"Walk this way"

After successfully finding the treasure box, Charlie distributed lightsabers to all the kids.

Treasure box found

Then some group training began.

Jedi training

Here are a couple of videos of the instruction.

Then each kid got to have a one-on-one fight with Anakin. Here’s Finn.

Here’s Ezra.

And, finally, here are a few close-up pictures that Carroll took.

Jedi Ezra

Jedi Ezra 2

Jedi Finn

Best. Party. Ever.

Lists

In addition to penguins and Star Wars, the idea of clubs is a big deal in our house right now. Last week, Ezra and Finn wanted to make lists of their club members — Ezra’s Penguin Club and Finn’s Star Wars Club.

Ezra's list

Ezra assigned each of his club members a type of penguin (of course, he kept Emperor for himself). He also added — in correct parentheses — that he’s the boss.

Finn surprised me by writing out his Star Wars list by himself! He asked me how to spell everyone’s name but made all the letters.

Finn's list, page 1

Finn's list, page 2

He’s not all that concerned about spacing or starting a name on one line and continuing it on the next (see, Ch … arlie) but WOW, he’s writing! By way of translation, his list is Kai, Syd, Charlie, Ollie, Aeden, and Marietta. He added “Papa Bruce” the next day, using both names for him so we would for sure know who he was talking about.

Secret Meeting

Last Wednesday while I was chatting with Teacher Angie at Cottage pickup, Finn called a secret meeting with Teacher Sahar. They hunkered down on the pillows in the reading area.

Finn and Teacher Sahar in a secret meeting

Sahar later told me that Finn said his secret was that he wants her to buy him a double lightsaber for his birthday. And, he told her that she had to say that her secret was that she loves him. (I think she really does. And the feeling is definitely mutual.)

Ezra’s First Grade 100th Day Project

Friday of last week was Aveson’s 100th day of school, which meant 100th day projects were due Thursday. This year we were a little disorganized with planning the housewarming party and Bruce being gone on a hike in the desert last weekend. (Since he’s the one with the glue gun, he’s in charge of school projects.)

This year we skipped the glue gun and went for potato stamps. Ezra wanted to exhibit his penguin obsession for his project and after much discussion as to how we could do it (in a timely manner as we know he sometimes lacks focus), the stamps seemed to be the best bet. So, he drew a baby penguin and an adult penguin and Bruce carved them into two halves of a sweet potato. Here’s the adult one.

Penguin potato stamp

Ezra then used the stamps and some paint to stamp 50 adult penguins and 50 baby penguins onto a large piece of paper. Voila!

Ezra and his project

Ezra's First Grade 100th Day Project

Tree Climbing

The oak tree in the backyard is perfect for climbing … except that the first branch is too high off the ground for the boys to get on it. Last weekend Bruce brought them a ladder to get them started, but on Monday the landscapers came and dumped a truckload of mulch right next to the tree. It still wasn’t quite high enough to reach the first branch, so Ezra piled up some more.

Building the mulch mountain

And tried again.

Ezra climbs

Success!

Ezra got up in the tree

This Week in Pictures

A few pictures from the week …

Meeting on the rocks.

Meeting on the rocks

Cookie ‘n milk dunking.

Cookie dunk

Finger licking good

Finn at Cottage practicing his lightsaber technique while wearing his Obi Wan garb (AKA a brown much-too-small sweatshirt he recently discovered in his cubby).

Finn at Cottage

Ezra’s Friendship Day folder full of cards from his classmates.

Ezra's Friendship Day folder

And the “cards” that he gave out — he also made one for Finn.

Friendship Day "cards"

And finally, my Friday lunch date with Ezra while Finn was at Cottage. Yoda and Chewbacca came, too.

Lunch with Ezra, Yoda and Chewbacca

First COL of 2012

On Wednesday we had Ezra’s first Celebration of Learning for first grade. Last year there were three of these but they’ve cut it down to two this year, and we’ve been anxiously awaiting this first one.

We started in his Literacy classroom. He read to us from his journal.

Reading his journal

Showed us the book he wrote about Belize.

Ezra's book

His Important Poem — he wrote it about Finn (sniff, sniff).

Important person poem

And his quotes from the Caring & Courage bulletin board.

Caring and Courage bulletin board

Over in the Math/Projects classroom, he showed us some jobs (this one is the Beaded Stairs Frame).

Ladder job

This one is the Listening Match (Bruce had a good time with it).

The listening match job

He brought out his folder (continuing the Angry Birds theme that runs throughout his life).

Ezra shows off his folder

And he did a little math.

Math

Math

Little brother was quite cooperative during the festivities.

Little brother at COL

Hockey Finn

We’ve been clearing out the guest room, which had doubled as a storage locker for all the kitchen stuff (and was generally just a repository for a bunch of other stuff we hadn’t put away). Among the things that needed to go down to the basement was Bruce’s old bag of hockey equipment. Finn saw the helmet and couldn’t resist.

Hockey

The crazy thing is, it’s not that much too big for him.

Sunday Dinner

I got a new Crock Pot on Friday and decided to try my hand at a hearty beef stew today. I have to say, it was delicious!

Stew

It was a all-day, all-in-the-family cooking day for us. The boys made bread.

Making bread

Finn was a little sad that it didn’t take longer to stir.

Post breadmaking

It came out great.

Bread

We even had dessert — cinnamon coffee cake — which was a big hit.

Cake

Clearly, we are very happy to have our new kitchen!

Cleaning Out the “Ash Hole”

Bruce wanted to have a fire tonight, so earlier today he and the boys cleaned out the fireplace. I was in the kitchen and didn’t realize what they were up to, when Ezra came in yelling, “Mommy, come quick! Do you want to communicate through the ash hole?” Needless to say, I had to go see what was going on.

Finn and Bruce took the outside job.

Finn and Papa clean

Ezra took the inside job. He was quite thorough, I might add.

Ezra cleans

I hope Ezra doesn’t get in trouble at school tomorrow when he uses his sharing time to talk about this activity.

My Goofballs

Ezra and Finn were playing some sort of game the other day involving Angry Birds, their eggs (yellow cardboard building blocks which are put away in the larger box), and, of course, Ezra’s penguin, Mumble. They put everything in place and then demanded I take a picture.

Goofballs

Today they were pretty excited with the installation of the new grass in the backyard. Ezra was home from school with an ear infection and, apparently, some pretty bad wheezing, neither of which had any effect on his energy level. (He’s on antibiotics and an inhaler to try to clear things up.) As soon as Finn got home from school, the three Moision Jedis took to the backyard.

Finn enjoys the new lawn

Three Jedis

It’s all fun and games until someone gets hit with the broom.

Three Jedis

Backyard Progress

After a couple of weeks of not a lot happening, we had some major progress in the backyard today. In fact, we’re all done except for a tiny patch of missing mulch.

Finally a lawn!

Finally a lawn!

Planter around lawn

Rock seating area

We also got this lovely camellia (“Nuccio’s Gem”) to go in the newly empty corner planter area in the patio.

A home for a Nuccio's Gem

Here’s a close-up.

"Nuccio's Gem"

Jedi Madness

Finn was playing with his lightsaber yesterday and asked me to take some pictures. I used Instagram and he liked picking the filter to make the shot look different. He also liked naming the pictures.

“Jedi moves”

Jedi moves

“Jedi master”

Jedi master

Catching Up

We took the boys to have dim sum in Chinatown over the weekend — something Ezra got to do a while back and he hasn’t stopped talking about it since. He couldn’t wait for Finn to try it. I had my doubts that my finicky four (and three-quarters) year-old would even take a bite, but he surprised me!

Dim sum

Ezra, of course, loved it again.

Dim sum

And they had a great time riding on the Metro as an added bonus.

On the Metro

They’ve also been enjoying the new chalkboard in the kitchen, as well as Bruce’s Star Wars drawings. It’s all Star Wars, all the time around here lately.

Drawing

Last but not least, a couple of days ago they hunkered down in the dry pond in the front yard with a potato gun and some lightsabers.

In the bunker with a potato gun