Benny and his friend Griffin at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Third Grade!

Benny started third grade yesterday. Two of his best friends are in his class this year. He already had homework last night. I guess the long, lazy spelling list-free days are over.

The Waning Days of Summer

After returning from the Midwest, we finished up the summer with a few weird projects around the house.

Benny went to Chess Camp for a week (he even won a little trophy in the Friday tournament) and we made a Chess Cake to celebrate. Benny was very particular about placing the chess pieces.

Which side is winning?

We also held a day-long Monopoly tournament featuring eight stuffed animals. Bat won the trophy with some very cunning deals. Froggy made some very reckless business deals  but Camel was quite prudent.

Free Shakespeare in the Park was performing "Henry V." I wanted to take Benny to see it since he likes British history and battles and knights. So to prepare him for the play, we made the main characters out of paper towel rolls.

Here are the two conniving bishops who gave Henry the idea to invade France in the first place.

Here's King Henry V:

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends!" 

These are (left to right) the French ambassador, the Chorus and the French dauphin.

Dauphin: "My horse is better than anybody's."

Let's not forget Princess Katherine:

"Is it possible dat I should love de enemy of France?"

And here's the whole cast:

"May our oaths well kept and prosperous be!"

Ron, Benny and I packed a picnic and went to see the performance in Redwood City. It was very well done, with lots of music and valiant swordfights with duffel bags. Benny was able to follow the action and he knew the big quotes. He came home with one of the tennis balls that the French Dauphin sent Henry to make fun of him.

Go Packs Go!

So I'm finally uploading my pictures from our July vacation to the Midwest. There aren't many, I'm afraid, and most are plagued by bad lighting.  But here we go.

In Wisconsin we visited Ron's sister and her family and celebrated Independence Day. The week included a visit to Lambeau Field, the shrine of the Green Bay Packers. Go on, ask me anything about the Packers. Really. Clouds of Packers trivia still swirl around my mind. The team was founded in 1921. The community of Green Bay has only 100,000 residents. Aaron Rodgers is the quarterback and he likes to strike weird poses in photos. Synthetic fibers are sewn into the field sod. Go on, ask me more.

Here are some shots of Benny at the Lambeau Field gift shop and museum:

Benny tries the Lambeau Leap.

Benny and I took the ferry to Michigan and attended my cousin Matt's wedding. It was a true family reunion, with all 11 cousins gathered in one location for the first time in years. Here's a picture of the Kilpatrick branch. Notice Benny's flapping shirttail. (He really hit the dance floor that night.)