Sunday, August 28, 2011

The First Blog: Summer of 2011

So, my sister, Laurie, has an amazing blog and it has inspired me to do one of my own. I have no doubt that it will not be nearly as cool as hers, but I'm sure I'll figure this thing out soon enough. So, to begin, I thought I would tell everyone about our fun and eventful summer.

This June I ended my teaching career and began my career in school administration. Although I was a little sad to be done with teaching, after 15 years in the classroom I am ready for a little adult conversation! My new job is as the (part time!) curriculum coordinator for a Montessori school. This job is perfect for me; I get to organize, research, observe, and plan (all of my favorite things) and I will also get to spend more time at home!

Brian and I started off our summer by taking a highly anticipated and well-deserved cruise of Alaska. We went with Brian's brother, Jim, and his wife, Tracy and had an amazing time with them! We went on an excursion where we saw glaciers calving, killer whales, and harbor seals. The ship also stopped at Skagway, Ketchikan, Juneau, and Victoria, BC. As a bonus, the ship sailed out of Seattle and so Brian and I had our 17th anniversary dinner at the top of the Space Needle.

My amazing mother-in-law was at home with our boys and two of our nephews who had come out from Arizona for a visit, while we cruised. When we got back, we decided to show Craig and Michael all of what New Jersey has to see, so we took the Holland Tunnel into New York and showed them the sights! We did the Natural History Museum, Times Square, the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, Ground Zero, the Statue of Liberty, Liberty Science Center, and Central Park and of course we had to ride in a cab and the subway.

After that, Michael decided he would go home, but Craig knew there was more of New Jersey he wanted to see, so we took him to Philadelphia! While there we went to the PA Mint, Independence Hall, Adventure Aquarium, and we ate lunch at the Philly Hard Rock.

The boys really wanted to go to the shore while they were in NJ, but unfortunately the beaches were shut down because of a massive sewage spill in the Hudson - go figure! Luckily we were able to do lots of swimming in the pool at our place.

In the beginning of August, I decided to visit my sister, Laurie, and her family at their new home in Colorado Springs. I had lots of fun finally getting to meet my new cuddly nephew, Wyatt, and playing with my sweet niece, Maya. Laurie and Pete have done an amazing job fixing up their house. It looked great! I am already looking forward to visiting them again with the boys so we can check out the Olympic Training Center before next summer's Olympics.

Next it was Nathan and Brandon's turn to have some fun, so we took the boys to Walt Disney World! For our first day in Disney, we went to Hollywood Studios. The boys loved Star Tours and the Indiana Jones stunt show.

 The next day we went to the Magic Kingdom where the boys enjoyed the classic Disney rides like Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Tiki Room, and Space Mountain.

And on the third day we explored Epcot. They had a cool spy device for Nathan, which kept him entertained through the World Showcase but Brandon was exhausted from the previous two days. Luckily my awesome mother-in-law (who may have been a little tired, herself) took him back to the main part of the park where they could enjoy ice cream and air conditioning while Brian, Nathan and I ate our way through the World Showcase.

And finally, on the last day of our trip, instead of going to the Animal Kingdom we decided that we could all use a little rest, so we lounged at the pool at our hotel all day, enjoying breakfast, lunch, and dinner served poolside. (Thanks for the great deal, Aunt Pat!)

And just when we though all of the summer excitement had wound down and we were readying for school to begin, Mother Nature decided to come for a visit! First, on August 23, we experienced our very first earthquake! The boys and I felt the shaking at home for about 20 seconds and Brian, who was in Cleveland, felt the quake too. It was just enough shaking for us to notice, but not enough to do any damage. In fact, the only sign of the quake at our house was a painting that became slightly askew.

And just 4 days later, Mother Nature decided that she was not yet done with us yet, and threw Hurricane Irene our way! Luckily we are 25 miles inland and we didn't have any damage to our home and our electricity stayed on, but there were certainly a lot of downed trees and flooding all over the neighborhood

So, that is the summary of the summer of 2011 for the Thiesse Family. Nathan is ready to start 6th grade and Brandon is ready to start KINDERGARTEN on September 7th. The only question left now is, what are we going to do next summer?