Thursday, August 18, 2011

Back to our Singapore LIFE!

Well we are officially back to our "normal" life in Singapore.
While we may miss the beautiful summer we had in Switz,
we sure do love our Singapore life.

Here's Mateo back at work w/ his team:

Mateo had time to take Ella for a haircut and shopping on Orchard Road - 
here she is with her new dress and summer scarf. 
After 3 hours of shopping, Mateo found her the perfect school bag 
(she wanted sling not backpack).  I think Mateo is the best Papa!

Here are the kids back to school, waiting for the school bus.  A big day for our family b/c 
Niko joins the crew at the Canadian Int'l School!  I didn't quite know what to do with my 
new-found free time.  I kind of felt like I should update my resume and start emailing people about possible part-time job leads (seriously!) BUT the first thing I did 
was say a little prayer of grattitude for a  beautiful ten years of 
....then onto organizing family life and getting a massage!

My sweet sweet Niko getting off the school bus around noon.  
He is so happy to go to ECE every morning!
Out of all the four he is the most ready to go.  
Quite the opposite of crying Ethan at this age in Paris halte garderie.

I was actually a little jittery when I took Ethan to the new campus for fourth graders.  It was HUGE!  There were TEENAGERS milling around.  He has a locker!!! (wow is he excited).  His first impressions when he came home made us smile.  He said there were no supervisors at lunch time making sure they all ate.  He also said after school there were no bus aunties to help them find their bus.  He said "we went on the REAL road and figure it out ourselves AND if you are not on the bus, they LEAVE you!"  Welcome to the real world my BIG BOY Ethan!  Did I mention that he has a sweet kind male teacher who has taught 4th grade for over 15 years?  Can I just say how joyful we are about Mr. Bain from Miami.  I signed up for room parent right away.

Debbie F my dear friend and a dental hygienist extraordinaire squeezed 
our whole family in for back-to-school cleanings.  My kids had such a 
positive and fun experience!  We're going to miss her when she moves back to America.

Best part of Singapore living for me?  Wonderful friendships! 
Breakfast brunch with the Blondes!  
Really fun to catch up and swap summer stories.  
We all had the best summer travels but we are all happy to be HOME again.

There are so many things I love about Singapore.   The way the country celebrates 
their National Day is so impressive!  So much national pride.  
We took the kids to Marina Bay for ice cream and to see the crowds:

Mateo took the kids home so I could join Debbie F and Jennifer/Kyle for special tickets from Marina Bay Sands Hotel to see the parade, musical extravaganza, military planes and the fireworks.
It was a really great night of celebration!  I LOVE Singapore!  The theme song touched me...
all about how the country has one heart and it is one family.

My Triple August Birthday Dinner with Dad and Auntie M.

VERY cool to have Auntie Malou visiting from the Philippines in August 
(she had a movie shooting in Barcelona).  We went to Luigia's Italian eatery.  
Most people wouldn't think anything of these photos but 
for Geneva it's a big deal to FINALLY have a restaurant that is kid friendly!

Here is Alma P, Auntie M, little sis Lisa, and my Mom:

Our helper Alma P was VERY excited to meet Malou b/c she's 
quite a well-known and well-loved actress back home, so she took 
lots of photos of her and with her.

My Dad turning 63:

Little brother Chris - the kids just think he's the coolest "teenager" though 
he's now actually a "man" at the age of 21 this November.

Little brother Mike with Carvie (the only 100 percent Filipina in law so far)
 and their number two babe Zen eating DELISH Itlaian.

Happy birthday Auntie M!  Such a cool aunt!

With little sister Alma H and cute Chris.  
I probably don't need to put "little" in front of
my siblings' name since Agnes was not in GVA
everyone is "little" compared to me turning 38!!

Paris Love

Paris is definitely our most favorite city in the world!
We had three days to walk, eat, reminisce....walk, eat, reminisce....
it was a perfect birthday trip for me with my favorite person in the world!

 We went to our favorite bridge, favorite restaurants, favorite parks, favorite places to relax, 
favorite places for our morning jogs, it was just AWESOME!  
We had sweet memories of Ethan the toddler and Ella the 
baby every corner we turned....

Because we lived on 38 rue du Louvre, the Louvre will always be near and dear to our hearts.

BEST memories in the Tuileries gardens taking the kids to the 
park and on the old-fashioned merry go round and pony rides.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Swiss National Day Village Festival

It's fun to get all Swissy on Swiss National Day.
Here's Niko with a giant cowbell.

Chilling out at the Mayens food festival.

The best part is the festival is RIGHT across the street from the chalet, 
you can see it in this photo as Zadian gives a go on the bull ride.

Fun day with Chris DG and Hiatts....we sure love celebrating with family!

Here's how they make cheese up in the Alps.

And here is how Zadian makes apricot jam at the kids activity, it was DELISH.

Swiss National Day Lanterns & Fireworks

We think celebrating the 1ere aout up in Mayens is the BEST,
a nice small local celebration.
Here are the cousins getting ready for the lantern parade.

Furners, Hiatts and Guiwans all ready to parade away.

Ethan setting up camp for the firework show that is amazing,
 esp. considering it's just a tiny mountain village.

The Jorasse Telesiege Resto

Going up the telesiege to the Jorasse ski top is always my FAVORITE
outing while up at the chalet b/c we eat GREAT Swiss food up there
with an AMAZING view.  I love relaxing up there.

We did a special family hike in honor of the four-year anniversary for Parker 
Fairholm Bradford Memorial.  A beautiful day to think about the wonderful 
Bradford family.

Look at Niko's dangling feet, I hold on to that cute kid soooo tight so he doesn't slip through.

We love the family chalet

 Here is the backside of the de Guzman family chalet that we love so much.
The views are stunning and it's a cozy gathering place.
It's so nippy at night that we even build fires for some s'mores!

The playground mom built for the grandkids is so great.

Valais day trips we love

One of our favorite Swiss things to do is to visit the Cailler 
Chocolate Factory in Broc.
Best part is the TASTING room!

We discovered some beautiful  hikes this summer, one was to the Durand Falls, 
a hike up these steep wooden staircases then a loop around 
downhill in the forest....just gorgeous!

The Valais region makes over half of the Swiss wines, so it is beautiful fertile land.

The cousins found some treasures when we went for a picnic along a glacial river in Ovronnaz.

Fun Picnic photo with the Guiwans

This summer we went up to the Champery area and tried this 
"parc animalier" and the kids LOVED it!
A petting zoo, feeding animals, pony riding place.

The Hiatts discovered the Fairy Caves, it was a cool walk through 
tunnels to get to an underground waterfall.  Really great adventure!

Mateo was in an out of Switzerland this summer, one day we picked him up afterwork in 
Lausanne and took him straight to the Trient Gorge.  
A fun family day that was soooo windy!