Not much seems real anymore. The passing of time, our daily activities. School. Work. Making meals, cleaning, laundry, yardwork. It's not quite 'going through the motions', as much as setting a pace and sprinting through the day. It's a blur.
For example, Fall Break has passed us by. In a blink. I am aware that the bambini had time off (Aut and Tonio enjoyed three weeks, while Cody had two). Last year, I had the entire three weeks off to be a part of their vacation (and to make sure it really happened). This year, I strung together a week off to help make them memories. The rest of their time? I know they had fun by the pictures taken...
Tonio's little buddy, Brinley (Mary's daughter), sits down to hear a funny story told by Tonio. She's a sweetie and Tonio clearly loves his time with her!
Mary (Tonio and Aut's Kindergarten teacher) and Ami (Cody's Kindergarten teacher who was born on April 23rd, just like Cody and is Mary's sister...is that a run on sentence?). Mary's one year old, Brinley and Ami's triplets...yes, triplets!, Hunter, Colton and Ethan, Autumn and Antonio played a rousing round of golf at Golf 'N Stuff - Tucson's equivalent of Disneyland!
Autumn texted me updates, telling me how good the 'Bunchkin' triplets were at golf - there were holes in one and just a little remorse at having to give up the colorful ball on hole 18, ending the game.
Hunter and Tonio even got to feed the fish!
Mary took the bambini to the zoo! Brinely looking comfy posing with Autumn and Tonio out front. This peacock seems to be a Kodak photo opportunity spot.
The zebra had a baby!
Mary also had the kids swimming, hanging at McD's and keeping them smiling while I sold books. They even got to help Mary in her kindergarten class, prepping for the upcoming quarter! I asked them 'how did it feel to be back in kindergarten?', which elicited a elongated 'Daaaaddddd' from both of them.
Even Brinley needs a break after all of the excitement!
Then, Nana and Pop came out from Baltimore to visit! Over the years, they have been here many times - so, instead of putting on our tourist hats, we brought them into the fold of our daily routines...
Celebrating Maleah's 1st birthday at Kim and Roshan's. They got Maleah her own cake! Instead of diving into it (as we all urged her to do), Maleah gently plucked the Minnie figurine decorating the cake, ate the icing and then picked carefully at other decorations on the cake. Kim had even placed a mat under her high chair, in anticipation of the one girl food fight that we all were sure would erupt!
There were about 400 people there (just kidding, there were about 30!) celebrating following a beautiful baptism ceremony in the morning! All of the kids swam, jumped on the trampoline and ate great food...and wore Nana and Pop out!
Nana and Pop were impressed at how Autumn and Tonio improved their swimming over the year. Cody? Already a strong swimmer, thrilled Nana and Pop by swimming the length of the pool and back underwater without surfacing for air.
We celebrated Pop's birthday a little early (it's on Halloween!), surprising him with Tony Sirigusa's new bio "Goose". Being from the Baltimore area, they are big Ravens fans and Sirgusa was a great player for them not too long ago. He's a funny guy and does some commentary for the NFL in his retirement.
Here, at Zona 78, one of Kimmy's favorites, we ate with Angie, Mark and David...
Followed by a visit to Frost for some gelato (and cappuccino's for Angie and I!)! They let you taste test their gelato and David and Cody are trying them all!
Cody, David, Tonio and Autumn enjoy their gelato
Mark, Angie, Nana and Pop also enjoying the gelato!
I joked with Angie, at some point, that I had gotten the two little ones to church 6 times during their 3 weeks off (and Cody and Brendon their once, too!). Four of those times, were to the San Xavier Mission. The kids love to play 'who sees it first?' as we approach via I-19 and the 'White Dove' materializes out of the desert on the reservation. One of the days, we got to go to Mass in the little Juan Diego Chapel, which was nice. They enjoyed seeing Toni and Ivan, who keep the Mission clean and dust Kimmy's photo regularly and hear some of their stories. And, of course, they lit candles for their Mama and also lit candles for some close friends.
On Wednesday, October 3rd, we went to the Mission twice. In the morning, we happened to go to Mass. Toni and Ivan were cleaning in Mary's chapel, where Kim's photo brightens the altar. They asked if we'd be coming back that evening for the procession and celebration for St. Francis de Assisi. Ivan warned us that it was going to be crazy with packed crowds and fireworks. Sounded good, so we got there 'early' around 6:30 p.m.
After Mass and a special blessing of St. Francis, they carried his statue out into the plaza, where there were traditional native dancing going on, fireworks lighting the night sky and music.
My phone does not do well in the dark, but they set large aerial fireworks off just yards from where the 3,000+ crowd celebrated.
In the middle of the throngs, they lit off strings of Black Cat fireworks by the thousands! Tonio and Aut had never seen such a thing. They did not know what to do!
There were ceremonial dancers. Damn my phone takes lousy night shots! As I tried to take a clearer shot, the dancer stopped, and shook his head waving his hands, asking me to stop taking shots...
One more! This group of minstrels strolled the grounds playing traditional music from Mexico. They were fantastic! The kids had never seen anything like this and the event had them riveted from the moment it started!
That is the first week and a half of their break! We took Nana and Pop to the airport and headed to the Mission. It was a good visit and the kids wished it could have lasted longer.
That was how the first week and a half went...
Fast and furious! Grateful for all who helped make the bambini's time memorable!! We are blessed.