2017 End of Year Recital

 This weekend Mia had her final piano recital of the school year. It was held at The Palace Theater in their cafe. Fun for us since we have been to several performances at this venue.

Mia was the only student to play a hymn. Most little ones played nursery rhymes or short classical pieces. Mia said that she wanted to play Simple Gifts, and since it is one of my favorite songs….I was so happy. Here are a few pics from the recital and the reception that followed.


Enjoying fruit and pizza. Ten was nice enough to buy pizza for everyone at the reception. I ordered the day before, and we brought it over before the recital.


Mia did a really great job.

Now, we will be going radio silent for the next few weeks as we head to Japan. I still need to post about Ten’s bodybuilding competition, but I think I will scrap all of the minor posts I had planned. We are in for a big trip, but I hope to post about everything we do.


Birthday and Father’s Day Weekend

Ten is always a bit out of luck because his birthday and Father’s Day are usually only a few days apart. This year his birthday was the Friday before Father’s Day. Last year, I totally failed both gift wise and event wise, so this time around I wanted to make him feel special.

We decided not to do a cake this year, but one of his coworkers bought him a small piece of very nice cake…so Mia ran and grabbed a bunch of candles, so that we could do a proper celebration. 

We all sang Happy Birthday and Ten blew out his candles….and Mia and Emi quickly ate the cake up. I had a tiny taste of it….and oh my….it was delicious….and I immediately added “eat cake” to my Tokyo to do list.

We also gave Ten his gifts. We got him a cookbook for dads and a french fry slicer. He has been wanting this thing for a while….so I think he likes it…but we haven’t been able to test it out yet.

Beautiful princess candles on the cake.

On Sunday, we celebrated a really nice Father’s Day. We gave him a family compass and a nice book about what being a dad means. We then drove over an hour north to a Father’s Day BBQ at a local farm. We had a nice drive up and were able to buy some gifts for people in Japan there. Everything is locally made which makes it the best kind of gift in my opinion.

Once again….my phone memory was an issue so I got one photo of the setup….and it wasn’t a very good one. I absolutely need to get my phone all cleared out….it’s getting pretty ridiculous….and was in fact one reason that I stopped blogging in the past.

BBQ buffet under a big white tent.


They had cheeseburgers, hotdogs, watermelon, baked beans, cheesy potatoes, salad, cornbread, and just so much more. Also, there was a good breeze blowing…perfect lunch. We also enjoyed the apple cider they make there.

Ten had 3 cheeseburgers! They also had grilled chicken, brisket, and pulled pork. We didn’t try those…but it all looked really good.


We also had pie for dessert. I had a slice of blueberry but couldn’t finish it.


Ten had a slice of each…no idea how he can hold that much food.

Mia loved the food and the farm store. My little friend Emi was having the best time playing in the gravel.


So, that is what we did to celebrate Ten’s weekend. He really enjoyed his meal out, and it was well deserved. He does an awful lot for our family, so he deserved a day out to do something that he loves….eat and spend time with his kids 😉

Birthday Party at Kids U

On Saturday, we had our second to last birthday of the school year. I know we have finished school, but the birthday parties are stil going for Mia’s classmates.

For this party, Ten decided to take Mia, and I hung out with Emi. The party was at one of those places with inflatables, and the theme was Lego Batman. Mia asked me to buy a Batman gift for this friend, so we actually got him some Lego Batman things….she knew exactly what her friend like. 

Lego Batman cupcakes. So cute…and good job Ten for snapping these pics.

The pictures are very out of order, but here is Mia and ger best friend having some pizza.  

Selfie time.


The kids got to play in a gym space and the inflatable space. Honestly, these aren’t my favorite types of party to attend because someone usually ends up hurt….and pretty badly….but today there were no major problems. 

Mia had a great time seeing all of her friends from school. A lot of them will be moving to Kindergarten next year, so I feel like that this will be the final get together for this group….and btw Emi ended up getting a cupcake out of this.

Moana Dance Camp

So, I have quite a few posts that I need to wrap up. So, going to start with one of the shorter ones. Last week, the girls attended Moana dance camp and had the best time. It was a was a three hour program every day for a whole week. They practiced some hula, did crafts, and  ate snacks. However,  Mia did ask me if I would pack them a snack from home because the dance school snack was too small. So, every morning I packed up some fruit, crackers, and a few other things to send with them.

This was clearly a drop off program, so I could only snap a few pictures….also the memory on my phone is non-existent.

Here the girls were at the end of one class playing with scarves and wearing their Moana costumes.

When we got home one day, the girls wanted to show me their Moana poses….I’ve learned that everything has a pose.  

The girls made lots of crafts throughout the week. There were fish, boats, bags, hats….just so many ocean themed things.

Wind socks seem to be a popular craft in these parts.


On the last day, I snuck in a bit early to try and grab some video. After a total of 3 seconds, my memory was full 😦 Also, you can’t even see Emi because she was hiding in the back. I did try though.

The girls had a great time. They were so excited to go back every morning. Next year, we might thing of extending this camp a bit.

Ballet Graduation Gala

On Saturday (June 10), Mia was set to perform in the graduation gala at her ballet academy. Ten headed off in the morning to his competition, so the girls and I basically just had a pretty lazy morning. They played while I slowly got things ready. Around 10:00, we headed out to do some errands and then were back home by 11:30 to start preparing for the afternoon.

I got all of us looking presentable, and we headed to the theater at 1:00. We dropped Mia off at the dance studio, and then I decided to wait outside on the benches and let my date burn off some energy for the next 30 minutes.

The shoes came off as soon as she started playing.


Emi loves to dance and do all of the moves the older girls do. It is adorable.


After 30 minutes or so, we headed into the theater and made some small talk with some people that we know. I also looked at the silent auction baskets. They had some very nice things like a “Russian basket,” piano lessons, etc….but I knew it didn’t make a whole lot of sense to bid on anything because there would be an evening performance later in the day.

I was so lucky that one of the moms texted me a few photos from backstage. For this performance, I decided to watch the girls dance rather than help behind the scenes since Ten had to be out of town. Since we have zero family around, it is either me or Ten in the audience.

Mia is the tallest one of the group. Where she got these genes, I will never know.



Did I get pics of faces? Yes. But thy were just way too zoomed up of the other kids also….so decided not to share those. The performance was really beautiful. Mia’s group did a great job, and she performed very well.

A small bouquet of flowers from her teacher. We got her a small ball and bat. Ha.

She was very proud of herself. Great job Mia!


So, Mia has completed the earliest stages of the ballet academy and will be moving on next year to enter classes with the Russian teachers. Great job Mia!

I didn’t get video of Mia dancing, but this is just as good. Emi dancing to the music that she hears.  

Emi’s Graduation

 On Thursday, June 8, Emi graduated from her 2s program…..a sort of pre-nursery class. It was a pretty big deal because she had some major separation anxiety…..ALL. YEAR. LONG…..but we made it through….and it helped save a tiny bit of my sanity. 

When we walked in, the kids had on a little cap that they had made. SO CUTE!


She looks so sweet here.

The teacher called up each student and presented them with a certificate, sticker, and a book that she made about that student. She said that Emi loves art, science, and math….and continued on for the next several pages.

A mama’s girl 100%. I mean to the extent that she wakes up every morning and asks….I get to do so and so with you today, right? ….Wants to make sure she is right by my side.

….and here she is trying to punch Ten. Definitely our spirited child.
After the ceremony, the kids sat down to a very nice snack/lunch. I brought a vegetable tray that I had shaped into an owl, a pickle and olive tray, and the paper plates and napkins. It was so funny because people kept complimenting me on my pickles.  They were all like…wow these are so good. I think they thought they were from a gourmet food shop…but nope just from a jar at the supermarket.

We pulled a chair up for Mia. What was supposed to be a light snack turned into a feast. The parents really did a good job.

After snack, the kids sang their last goodbye song.”There will always be sumshine.” We then handed the teachers their gifts and said our goodbyes. 

I totally dropped the ball on gifts, so I ran to Whole Foods before and filled gift bags with soap, lip balm, bath bombs, and gift cards.

So, one year down and next year off to pre-school.

Gymnastics Observation Day for Emi

June 6 was Emi’s observation day for gymnastics. This is a mommy and me class, so it basically meant the teachers helped out more than usual so we could take pictures.

Emi loves gymnastics. It is by far her favorite activity. 

A smiling blur.


Bear crawling across the bars.


Smiling while getting ready to go upside down.


I asked her to just stay still for a moment. Love this picture.


Handstand practice.

And of course…..there had to be a medal ceremony.  

Gymnastics is Emi’s thing for the moment. She loves to swing, jump, flip, and run. Also, she has no concern for her own safety. Perfect for her. I think we will be taking the summer off, but we will start back up in the fall.

Birthday Party at the Water Club

Saturday was a busy/fun day. First , Mia had ballet rehearsal in the moring. I worked as a volunteer, so at 8:15 in the morning we loaded into the car and drove to the studio which is right across the boarder in NY. Mia practiced until 10, and then we drove back home to get ready for….another birthday party. It feels like every weekend we have 1-2 parties to go to. I think we have been to maybe 8 parties in the last six weeks! I just recently had to decline an invitation because it was just getting crazy out of hand! 

Anyway, this party was at a private water club which was super nice. The mom is actually a world famous athlete, so I really tried to only snap pictures of Mia….only fair as someone might actually recognize who she is.

Anyway, the kids spent the first hour of the party just hanging out in the pool and swimming. The moms chatted under the sun umbrellas. It was so nice because the club staff were constantly coming around to take drink orders and to see that we were  taken care of.

There is Mia in the orange floaties. The girl in the pink is wearing Emi’s. I brought hers just in case, and the mom that borrowed them was so thankful.

So, pool parties can be so dangerous. Mia actually got out of the water and asked if she could take the floaties off….She is a great swimmer, but safety first when playing around in the water. No sooner than I had explained to her why she had to keep them on…we saw a mom jump into the water, fully clothed (handbag and all). Apparently, her child had gone under and couldn’t get up to get air. The lifeguard didn’t even notice. The mom basically rescued her kid. So, so lucky. Mia said….wow, that was terrible. I will definitely keep these on.  Several kids ended up in floaties after that.

Bright and sunny day. I believe it was only 72 degrees….June in New England. Yay for heated pools.


Hi again!

After swimming we went indoors for lunch and entertainment. They had a small buffet set up, and you could order anything off of the restaurnt menu. They did a great job making sure everyone was taken care of. 

Mia had the balloon maker do a T-rex. She also had a purple cat made for Emi.

We then sang Happy Birthday, ate ice cream cake, and did face painting.

Snapped a pic in the car. She chose to have Pikachu….but she didn’t want the whole face…just a character…very cute.

We then got very nice gift bags to take home and everyone started to clear out. We were asked if we wanted to stay a bit to hang out

, but I knew Emi was waiting   at home. We said our goodbyes, and made our way to the car.

Fun way to spend the morning, and it’s so fun to celebrate a birthday with a family that you very much do like. 

After we grabbed Emi a Happy Meal and took her to the library with us. Whew, I was tired when we got home.


Bits and Pieces

 I wanted to do lots of things this week….and then the reality that several classes are still running set in. We just didn’t have much free time. 😦 However, a few things to note….

Mia made the Honor Roll for Kumon again. She is doing very well. We took a break with Emi, but am wondering when she should go back.

Also, Mia and Emi had their 3 and 5 year old check ups. They are super healthy kids. The doctors are always so surprised when they see that we haven’t been to see them since the previous check up. The girls have never even had to be on antibiotics….but the thing is….they totally get sick. However, we are big believers in letting their immune systems fight off as much as possible. So far, this seems to be working. However, something very, very serious would require a trip to the doctor.

After shots, we went to Carvel so that the girls could get some soft serve and play chess. They have no idea how to play, but they like to pretend.

One swirl kids cone and one chocolate, both with rainbow sprinkles.


Look at those lips.


….and a little on the nose.

Next, we went to the playground to burn off some of that ice cream before dinner. I so wish this playground had a bench so I wouldn’t have to pace around…but the girls love “the red playground.”

Last but not least, a picture of Emi and her unicorn t-shirt. She loves this thing….and her “unicorn pose.” 


That’s all for now. Happy weekend!

Summer Adventures: LegoLand Discovery Center

OK. So, I took a little bit of a blogging break. We have been adjusting to our summer schedule which is actually all over the place. Too many invitations to spend time with people, and those are hard to say no to.

Anyway, our Memorial Day weekend weather wasn’t ideal. Like really and truly. So, we ended up spending a lot of time at home. However, we were able to take one day and go to the Legoland Discovery Center in Yonkers, NY. We also had a buy one get one coupon which made it more affordable. 

When you first enter, you get your photo taken against a green screen. We actually didn’t go see what the real picture looked like…totally forgot.


The first room was basically an interactive display on how Legos are made. The kids had fun with it….I don’t think they really got the gist of it….but it was fun.


Mia was so proud of her little Lego lanyard. Emi was amazed by all of the Lego creations.


Next we hopped in the very short line for the Kingdom Quest ride. I was excited for a shooting game. I have way too much fun with them. We were lucky the line wasn’t that long since we picked the first time slot of the day to enter the center. 

We had no idea that they take a pic inside. hahaha. I told Ten to take a pic of the pic when the workers walked away. He thought I was nuts….but hey…no way we are buying these things. The three girls were serious. Ten was too, but clearly really tired. He has been eating such a tiny amount of carbs…so its taking a toll.

My pictures are a bit out of order, but we then went on to Mini Land….which was a replica of NY. I loved this. However, first I have pictures from the Ninjago City Adventure. This was what we came for, and it did not disappoint.  

We first went over to the giant obstacle course. It was shaped like a temple with different ninja traps to navigate. You weren’t able to see what it looked like from the outside, but Mia assures us that it was awesome.

Ninja poses.


Excited to see Sensei Wu….which is like a Japanese word combined with a Chinese (?) name…? Just realized that.


Nya and Mia.


Emi loved this rotating hamster wheel thing. Here she was doing a “ninja move.”

There was also a dojo training center. This was really fun too.  

Choose a color and then see who can hit the most of their chosen color. Emi dominates this game.


They also had a cool climbing wall course. Mia was so good at this.

The girls played forever in this area, but by noon…it was getting way too crowded. So, we had to call it a day.

Here are a few more pics of some of the other areas they had.

New York


Earthquake simulator.


Duplo area for 5 and under.


A car building area with race tracks and test tracks.


A Star Wars area…and all of these sections were interactive.

On the way out, there were a few things you could sit on and take a picture. The girls had the best time….and are asking when they can go back.
We didn’t get to do a whole lot over the holiday weekend, but this was a complete homerun.