Monday, August 28, 2017

College Days!

 Zach has started his college adventures!

Last week Pete and I left with Zach for Boston, to move him in.  Of course our flight was during the eclipse, but we were able to see it briefly from the sky (after some pretty funny contorting to get ourselves int he right position to see it).

Some stuff we packed in a duffle and checked, but most of the stuff (like sheets, towels, mattress topper, toiletries) I ordered on Amazon and had shipped to my friend Michael who lives quite close to where Zach is going to school.  When I saw it all laid out I was a bit surprised at how much stuff there was, and was afraid we over packed.  I have been told by many though that this is actually quite light.  Phew!

Packing up from Michael's house

So exciting!
We arrived on Campus Wednesday morning.  The school had a pretty efficient system in place- we pulled up to the dorm, some kids were there with a big wheely bin and threw all Zach's stuff in it.  We then walked it to his room while Pete left and parked the car.

I just can not get over how gorgeous the campus is

 Thank goodness we packed "light".  Zach was put in a "forced triple", which means they shove 3 kids in a room meant for 2.  The above picture is it.  3 beds, 3 dressers, 3 desks,  2 closets and very little floor space.   (But hey, we get refunded part of our room and board costs, so whoop pee!)

 All moved in-- getting the sheets on the bed up there was ridiculous and took me 20 minutes and left me drenched in sweat.  I am guessing that is the last time they get changed.  Sigh.
 Throwing our colors out here, loud and proud.  Go Giants!

The name of his dorm

 Saying good bye was weird, and frankly a bit anti-climatic.  I think I had built it up in my head as this big horrible thing, but it really wasn't.  Seeing the campus and the dorms, and meeting several of the kids in the dorm put my mind at ease.  Zach was so comfortable and clearly in his element.  This is what we raise our kids to do- to grow and flourish and be independent adults.  I am thrilled that Zach has grown to do that, and so much more.  This is not a sad, devastating moment, but a proud and happy moment.  I got a tear in my eye, knowing how much I would miss him, but I was mostly just excited for him.

 Besides, we feel like he is still with us!  We have found a great use for the giant heads we had from graduation.  Haha!!

Family dinner

Zach sent us the above picture that he took walking across campus the first night. Stunning.

His first day of classes was today.  I did text him asking him to take a picture of his shoe like I always do for the first day, but he declined. Boo.  Lol.  He loved his first day of classes so you can't beat that.

Spread your wings Zach, you have made us proud.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Back to School 2017

I guess I forgot I had a blog-- have not been on here most of the year!  But it is back to school so I am back on it.

 The annual new shoe picture-- sadly missing a shoe this year as Zach was sound asleep.

 Vinny left first-- off to 8th grade!

 Followed by Joey in 10th grade.

 And finally Christopher in 5th grade.

Mrs. M- "Let me guess-- you are a Contini.  Which one are you?"
As usual we walked Chris to class-- he is old enough to get himself there, but walking to class on the first day is something we have always done, and this is our last year!!  This is our 14th and final year at the elementary school.  Woo Hoo!  He has Mrs. McCullough, who Zach had for 3rd grade.  Chris has been warned- Zach set a high bar, but we know he can reach it.

 And finally we have Zachary.  Who was still in his pajamas when I came home for lunch--he leaves next week for his college adventures.


Have a good year boys-- the sky is the limit!!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Happy Birthday Vinny!

 Vinny turned 13 today!!  And how did he spend his entire day?  Doing what he loves most- performing!

    This was show weekend for Shrek.  He actually had a very small part in this show- he was a guard and I think only had one line.  And while he was disappointed when the cast list came out,  he never complained and had a blast in the show.  Although it was a mostly non speaking part, his antics in the background cracked me up-- Vinny is a comedic natural on stage!  Talk about making the most of the role he got!

 As always, he was supported by his brothers.

 And Nani.
 And of course Grandma Liz and Grandpa Dave and Aunt Gina.

 After the show we went to Maggiano's for dinner with family,

then home to open presents!  He finally got a guitar amp which he has been wanting.  And then he went straight to bed, too exhausted for his homemade ice cream cake (or maybe he is getting sick-- after a week of tech (rehearsals) and weekend of shows it wouldn't be the first time).

Vinny, you are a complete joy.  I can not think of a better way to celebrate your birth then by watching you shine on stage!  I can not wait to see what you have in store for life-- I know it is going to be amazing!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Welcome to Adulthood Zach!

I am still struggling to wrap my head around this, but Zach is 18 years old today!

 This last year has been a challenging one for Zachary-- it has been almost a year to the day since his diagnosis of ulcerative colitis.

While it has been a rough one, he has never complained.  He faced his challenges with strength and determination that I honestly don't know if I could have done.

 Through it all this year, he continued to excel in school, and kept up with his other activities.

 As we await to hear from colleges, I have been acutely aware over the last couple of months about all the lasts we are facing- last time getting a Xmas tree all 6 together, last time decorating it together, etc...

I just can't get over how fast these past 18 years have flown!

We had family over for dinner.  We went around the table and all the adults gave Zach their advice about being an adult.  Great stuff-- everything from saving money, staying true to your self, and funding your retirement plan, to choosing your friends wisely.

And just like that, I am now the parent of an adult.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

First Day of School!

Party is over boys, school is back in session!  Everyone leaves at different times now, so I had to wait until after school to get a group shot

Joey was first to leave this morning--he is now joining Zach at Leland High School as a freshmen.  He is thrilled to no longer have to share a school with Vinny.  Bret Harte just wasn't big enough for the 2 of them!

Vinny was next to leave--starting his 7th grade year at Bret Harte.  For the first time, he has a school to his self!  Not sure who he is going to annoy.

 Christopher left next--off to 4th grade at Graystone.  He was happy to hear who his teacher is-- the same 4th grade teacher that Zach and Vinny had.  Joey had her for math only in 4th grade. Mrs. Medlin will be the only teacher at Graystone to have taught all 4 of the Contini boys!  Poor thing--she should probably get a raise for that.

Chris happy to find a friend in class.

Last but not least, his last first day of school- Zach! As a senior this year at Leland he is only taking 5 classes.  He wanted to get out early every day so requested periods 0-4.  So what did he get?  Periods 2-6.  Oh well, at least he can sleep in a little and leave a little later most days

 Not sure what year we started the shoe picture, but here it is!

I caught them all after school for our annual group shot--presenting Contini boys, 2016!  I looked back over the years and realized we have been doing this shot since day 1!

Zach's first day of kindergarten, 2004

Joey's first day of kindergarten, 2007

Vinny's first day of kindergarten,  2009

Christopher's first day of kindergarten, 2012

And now I need to go get a tissue.  *sniff sniff*

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Camp Kennolyn 2016

It has been AGES since I last posted.  (so what has been happening since I last posted in April?  Baseball for all 4 boys, a play for Vinny, and 8th grade promotion for Joey.  That about catches you up!)

The kids just got back form camp though, so I decided to throw some pictures up about it.  As always it was a fabulous 2 weeks for Pete and I.  We went to a Peter Gabriel/Sting concert (outstanding!), enjoyed several dinners out,  watched lots of movies at home, and got lots done around the house)

We started at Carpo's for our usual lunch prior to drop off.

Then we headed over to check in--everyone passed the lice check!

Heading in

Many of the same counselors are there every year-- they always remember the boys, and the boys love seeing them again.

Off to our cabins!

This is Joey's 8th year, and is his final year as a full fledged camper.  Next year he will be a CILT (camper in leadership training).  He lived it up!  To quote his letter home, his cabin was "the dream team of all cabins".  He was in Mammoth this year, along with cousins Peter and Gian.

With cousins Peter and Gian, and big cousin Alex!

Joeys activities were fencing, outdoor adventure, senior climbing (the wall climb), senior pool hang out, senior time (basically hanging out in the square with other senior campers), and silk painting.  Silk painting?  An odd choice for Joey, but sounds like a bunch of his friends were all doing it so he joined in.

Vinny was in Humboldt, along with his cousin William.  This is his 6th year at Kennolyn.

His activities were: Guitar, Riflery, Pool hang out, archery,  Ropes for a double period

This was Christopher's 4th year at Kennolyn.  He was in Big Creek this year.

His activities were: Riflery, outdoor cooking, hand built pottery, ping pong, wheel pottery, and junior ropes.

And what about Zach?  This was/is a big year for him- he is in the final year of counselor training.  He is a junior counselor.  He is assigned to a cabin, and sleeps with them along with their main counselor.  He arrived early to be assigned his cabin, and then stays for another week for the next session, which is a 1 week session.

I poked my head in his cabin hoping to say good by.  Didn't see him, but saw his stuff!

For the first 2 weeks he was assigned to Angels Camp, which is the youngest boys cabin-- mostly 7 and 8 year olds.  Zach is great with young kids, so I thought this was perfect for him!

Some pictures we saw on the camp photo stream:

From beach day

Boardwalk day

Zach with his cabin

Senior beach day

Chris in wheel pottery

Zach at the dance

Vinny at the dance

Vinny in ropes

We always receive 1 letter from each boy-- mostly because there is one night that it is required before eating dinner.  Vinny and Joey were also made to do this a second time-- they were not thrilled.

Vinny's first letter- "Let's start with the fact that I am only writing this because I want dinner"

Vinny's 2nd letter- "They are making us write another letter for some reason"

Joey's 2nd letter-  "Nothing new happened but I have to write this to eat"

So Pete sent them both the above letter!  Haha!!


The day started off with cabin introductions:

 Christopher's cabin

Joey's cabin- the yellow sponge is the award for having the cleanest boys cabin all session.  It sounds like was some bribing that happened for Joey's cabin to win it!

 Vinny's cabin-- he is there, but standing behind the tall kid so you can't actually see him.  Sigh
And Zach with his little boys.

I thought it was so cute-- the little boy sitting next to Zach was hanging on to him the entire time.  I am sure Zach was great at taking care of him and the others.

After cabin introductions we spent a little time having fun around camp:

Eating lunch with the counselors,

Joey eating with his counselor Adam

Joey with both his counselors Adam and JJ

Vinny with his counselor Spencer

And Chris with his counselor Ollie
 Finally, it was time to say good by.

And then my fun begins- laundry!

Kennolyn, we love you!  I look forward to hearing all the stories, as they come out here and there over the coming weeks.   It is good to have the kids back, but will be great next week when Zach is back and we are all together again.  Until next year!