Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Home for the Holidays

It was another whirlwind trip to the Bay Area.  And since Kevin had spent a total of 48 hours in California so far in 2014, we focused this trip on family.  So if you are a friend who did not get a call or visit while we were there, please forgive us.  The kids and I at least, will have a lot more time in the summer to visit.


Skaggs Family Christmas

A trip to Alcatraz to see the Ai Weiwei art exhibit (which I highly recommend if you're in the area)

A walk with the dogs and Grandma and Papa on the beach and crab lunch in Half Moon Bay


Twain Harte Christmas with my mom, niece and three great-nieces

Lots of good one-on-one time with Grandma Diane and Papa

Some Berkeley time with some of my favorite people in the world

And even more cousin time with Alana and Devin

And once again, there were tears on the plane ride home.

But we were back in the Big Apple no less than 13 hours before we found ourselves in a museum.  In the two days since we've been back we've already been to the Museum of Modern Art so that we could take part in Beyond the Cut-Out - an interactive children's activity related to the Matisse Cut-Outs exhibit we saw a few weeks ago.  It ends next week and I didn't want to miss it.  

And today we had a play date with the kids' friend Phoenix from their creative writing class and his mom Janell at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I still think it's funny when a mom asks if we want to have a play date in an art museum.  The kids think it's the most natural thing in the world.  Holden took charge and led us through the armor room and Egyptian hall like a pro.

Last night we had dinner at Maeve's house.  The girls pampered the moms with a spa treatment.  

It must have relaxed Sharon so much that a few hours after we left she gave birth to her third son (and fourth child).  Congratulations, Maeve's Family! 

And tomorrow morning we finally take off for several relaxing days - a vacation from our vacation.  Stay tuned.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Third Time's A Charm

Word to the wise: if you're going to see Santa at Macy's Herald Square, go early on Monday morning.  Pull your child from school if you have to (I saw several in line who had done just that). 

On our third attempt and after waiting a mere 30 minutes in line to see The Man, Holden says, "It's not the real Santa anyway."


Our productivity level academically speaking, is on a steep decline this week.  We've still been able to eek out a few lessons but overall I'd call this week a wash.  

Holden reading Kevin's old copy of Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

Ella and Holden are understandably at the point of wanting to kill each other.  The poor things spend literally every minute of the day together.  They sleep in bunk beds, have breakfast, lunch, and dinner together, take all of their classes together and sit at our kitchen table together for most of the day.  They still take their baths together for crying out loud.  They have been fighting non-stop.  I couldn't take it anymore yesterday morning so before starting our lessons for the day I forced them to work on a creative project together.

They had to make a poster of The Golden Rule.  

Treat others the way you want to be treated.

It actually worked.  They didn't fight for at least an hour after that.

And last night Kevin and I checked off another big item on our New York Bucket List: seeing Billy Joel play at Madison Square Garden.


I bought the tickets back in the spring as a Christmas present for Kevin.  I was able to keep the secret for six months and then one night a month or so ago he comes home from work having read a New Yorker article about Billy Joel.  He was insistent that I try to get some scalped tickets online.  After he went on and on about it, I worried that he might go online and buy some overpriced tickets himself, so I gave him the tickets.  He was thrilled and the show was incredible.  Nowhere in the world will Billy Joel have more devoted fans filling a stadium than his hometown.  The crowd, singing along to every word, was wild, even when he reminded us, "You know I haven't put out an album in over 20 years, but thank you for coming anyway."  It felt like he was playing a small piano bar: talking to the audience between songs, having us choose several times which song to play (through our applause), playing Christmas carols that everyone sang along to.  It was a real show and a great way to send us off to California today.