Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Our Weekend

Our weekend first started off with basketball. Matthew is a couple weeks into his basketball season and loving every bit of it. They have practices once a week and he has just as much fun at those as the actual games. After the game last weekend, we were gathering up everything and getting ready to go and he and some of his team mates just kept shooting baskets and would have probably stayed there forever if we had let them. I would love it if there was an open gym somewhere that I could just take him and a couple of friends and let them shoot baskets for hours. They would love it.

This picture below is of Ryan and Lily. Lily is five days younger than Ryan. They pretty much keep us entertained during the game. The snack together, play ball together, play mommy and daddy together...yes, that's right, and get into trouble together. She is adorable. Please notice the grins on BOTH faces and the hand holding.

After basketball on Saturday, Rich and I headed to Vegas for a sports show. It was incredibly relaxing. I read all four of the books I took (yeah me!) and got in a nice long nap. Rich came back to the hotel room after he was meeting with reps, ready for dinner, and I was apparently snoring. That is success in my book!!! Yeah me, again!

Since we stayed at the Mandalay, we decided to only walk the strip one of the nights due to the chilly weather and my forgetfulness to pack a jacket. I needed make-up, so we walked down to the Forum Shops at Caesars. I guess we have never really walked that much, for that long, outside on the strip and it really opens your eyes as to how FILTHY Vegas is. The streets were horribly gross. I now understand why we cut through billion dollar casinos to walk on their plush carpets. I felt I needed a tetanus shot when we got back. If I come down with Hepatitis, it was due to the streets of Vegas.

We stopped at the Bellagio and took these horribly tacky, tourist pictures with our phone camera. We looked like those people I usually make fun of. KARMA!! Inside the Bellagio Botanical Gardens, they had a fall theme with scare crows and cornucopias. They had this huge tree, with a face on one side. It moved, spoke, and smiled for cameras. The eyes even moved, which was a little to creepy for my taste, but I took a picture anyway!

Inside the Botanical Gardens in the Bellagio.

Us in front of some watering trees.

One of the trees in the gardens.

This would be the "freaky" tree. Seriously...a little creepy.

Us in front of the reservation counter at the Bellagio. Those are huge cornucopias behind us.

This is a picture of a display at the Four Seasons. This was right outside where we had out sports meetings and when we walked by each day, there was this overwhelming smell of sugar. The entire display is edible. Amazing!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Look-A-Like Day!

Today was Look-A-Like Day at school and Matthew and his little friend Ryan S. wanted to dress up together. When Ryan's mom came up to me and said they wanted to dress together, I immediately thought of the jerseys that Matt and my Ryan have for the Kings. And I thought it would be sooooo cute, because it says each of their names on the back of the jerseys. All in all, perfect!

Quick side note about Ryan S. This is how small Lodi is. When I had Matthew in the hospital, the last day I was there, right before I was checked out, they brought a mom in who had just had a c-section. I happened to recognize her because I had worked with her husband a few years earlier. Anyway, here we are, six years later and from sharing a hospital room to the boys being in the same class and friends. LOVE IT!!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009


Well, I have a six year old. How freaky is that? Yes, this was the big birthday weekend and we made the best of it.

This is the last time I will post about Disneyland for a while. One, because frankly I think you are done reading about it and seeing the kids on the same rides over and over. And two, our season passes are done and we won't be purchasing them again due to the cost of having to pay for Ryan now. The happiest place on earth is also the most expensive place on earth.

We loaded up the car on Friday night and headed to Anaheim. Both the boys slept from Lodi to Fresno, woke up to eat dinner, and then went back to sleep. The end of the week must have caught up with them. When we arrived at DL at 11:15pm, everyone was WIDE AWAKE, so we headed across the street and decided to ride some rides. The park closed at 12:00am, so we were successful getting on some rides. It was nice to let the boys out and run around after being in the car all night. The best part of that night was the guys face at the entrance who scanned our passes and realized that it was our first entry of the 11:30pm. I think that officially puts us in the crazy family of the year category.

Saturday was officially Matthew's birthday, so he proudly wore his Happy Birthday button for everyone to see. All the cast members said Happy Birthday to him and he had a hard time saying thank you. I told him if someone wishes you Happy Birthday, SAY THANK YOU! It later occurred to me that my children have been programmed to not talk to, he was really following the rules.

Here is the big 6 year old!

Matthew got a camera from us for his birthday. When we went to West Virginia and Washington DC earlier this year, I gave him a camera I had won at school to use, but it really didn't take good pictures. He was so good with it though that we thought he could probably handle having one of his own. My niece Mikayla go a camera last year for Christmas and she loves taking pictures. I also remember my sister-in-law setting some ground rules right away for when it is appropriate to take pictures and when it is not. We did the same right away....thanks Stace!! I think I will let Matthew do his own post in a couple of days and I will let him share with you the pictures he took on his trip.

Here is Matthew trying to take a picture of Goofy and Goofy isn't letting him.

Here are some other fun pics from the trip.

This is Matthew's favorite "ride" in California Adventure. The rope swing.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Homework....The Never Ending Story.

Matthew is screwed. Is that rude? Okay, how do I put it another way...he's toast. He's a goner. His life is over. Done. Finished. Why? Because I am the homework checker. Not because I am "the teacher." It's because he has to do his homework when he gets home and I am the only one here to check it. So, he's screwed. Why? Because I am the teacher. I am mandated to check, correct, and teach. It says so on my diploma. And it should have said so on his birth certificate...but that is another story, for another time, for those parents who believe that a teacher should teach their children everything they need to know in life and think they have a free pass as a homework checker.

Matthew came home with sentences today. Take five spelling words, write five sentences. Simple, right? Totally. And simple is what he delivered.

I have a tent.
I get a pen.
I like the color red.

I looked over them and said. "These are sentences, but they are not good sentences." I told him that I was going to erase them and he was going to do them over again. I told him that my students can't write simple sentences for me, they have to write sentences that have details in them. I told him that it is not okay to do enough work just to get by, that I expect him to put more effort into his work and try harder. This was his response...

"But Mom, I am not one of your students. I am not in the fifth grade. And those were sentences!!!!"

So he wrote new sentences. I helped him think of sentences that had more details in them like, "I went to the pet shop to get a hamster." and "I set up a tent in the backyard to go camping." and "I have a good friend named Jeevan." OF COURSE, I had issues with him starting all of the sentences with "I", but judging by the look on his face and the meltdown that was to come on at any minute, I decided to skip that. There is always next week.

I had someone tell me one time that the reason Matthew is so smart is because I am a teacher. There is absolutely no truth to that. He's learned a lot because we have taught him. Those "teachable moments" that I have some days in my classroom, where I have gone completely away from what is in the text book, to describe and give details to explain to my class what the concept is....that doesn't get turned off when I come home. Some days it does....don't get me wrong. The thought of sitting with Matt and doing homework after I have corrected 90 papers and it's only Monday, is not appealing. But it's simple, his teacher isn't responsible for everything he learns. So yeah...he's screwed. Because teachable moments have no office hours.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Happy Halloween. The two goblins of the Marini household were in store bought costumes this year (GASP!!!). I know, I know. The last couple of years I have made Matthew's costume and this year I totally gave in. But listen....he wanted to be a tornado. And as cool as that sounds and as cool as it would be with all the ideas going through my head....I still wasn't sure how I was going to do it. So, last week when Kathy and Terry, our fabulous executive assistants for Reese School, offered a M&M costume....I JUMPED ALL OVER IT! And Matthew seemed to be very satisfied being a giant piece of candy. So all were happy.

That brings us to Ryan. He wanted to be a skeleton. Then a spider. Then a skeleton. Then Buzz Lightyear. Then a spider. Then a skeleton. Then a spider. Then Buzz Lightyear. Do you get the idea? Ryan was a pretty much a day to day decision. And as much as I like to support his need to express himself in different was getting down the to the wire, so the $11.99 Buzz Lightyear costume won. Yeah Buzzzzzz!!!

Trick or treating was fun this year because both boys were able to walk up to the door by themselves, say the magic words, receive the candy from strangers, and move on to the next house while Rich and I stood at the end of the driveways yelling..."Don't forget to say THANK YOU!!" That was fabulous.

Yesterday we met the Locke's downtown and did a little Trick or Treating to get us in the mood.

The big boys on their own...

Here is the cat that adopted us for an entire block and walked with the boys to each house.

Ryan wanted to bring the cat home. (I think Daddy did too)

At Nana Sharon's at the end of the night. Ryan is in a sugar coma.