Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas letter 2013

Happy holidays from Team Thompson!

Ryan turns 4 in a couple of months, a fact he happily shares when asked, and is still the family member most likely to share an impromptu hug.  He both enthusiastically throws himself into the fray then cries for Mommy when he takes a bump then throws himself back in.  He's also learned the days of the week and how to sing at preschool which makes for a entertaining combination.

Claire turned 6 this year and has blossomed both physically and mentally as a first grader.  She loves gymnastics, races Jay to school on her bike, and scored six goals in one soccer game.  She's also taken on the role as matriarch for the kids, enjoys helping around the house, and has discovered fashion.  She continues to confound and entertain her Dad with her sense of humor.

Jay is 7 and in second grade.  His plate of extracurricular activities includes gymnastics, soccer, basketball, and baseball and he recently earned the Big Ribbon for passing the swimming test for all 4 strokes.  He's a voracious reader, usually at the expense of anything else such as picking up his room.  His blonde surfer hair and friendly nature make the girls at school swoon.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Shawn, Alysia, Jay, Claire, Ryan plus Moses and Bella the cats

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas letter 2012

Happy holidays from Team Thompson! This year we had kids on skis, kids on bikes, kids running races, and kids swimming laps. The only thing moving more was our car getting them there.

Ryan is nearly 3 and splits his time between the terrible twos and being the sweetheart of the family. He's transformed from the toddling baby of the family to a charismatic nonstop talker who's always happy to share his opinion and give you a hug. He started attending preschool in the fall and we chuckle how he delivers a “bye, Mommy” then runs to the toys without looking back. Like most third kids we know, Ryan runs the show when everyone plays together.

Claire celebrated her 5th birthday in October. She graduated from preschool in the spring and started Kindergarten in the fall at St. Raymond with Jay. Her teacher says she’s often the last to finish her class work and projects because she’s trying to get it perfect. Claire is very proud that she’s learned to ride her bike (her “two wheeler”, as she says) without training wheels. She enjoys swimming and just started gymnastics. Her wit sharpens with each passing day as does Daddy's wariness about the boys it will attract.

Jay, 6, is now in first grade. He played soccer this Fall with Mom as his coach and Dad as referee but Shawn suspects baseball will be his sport given how many times we've retrieved the wiffle ball from the neighbor’s yard. He can now read and will prove it to you by dictating nearly any written text in the room. He tells us he likes school but sometimes pretends he doesn't. He’s also big into swimming and was one of the stars on the summer swim team.

Shawn is particularly excited at how much progress Jay and Claire made on the ski slopes this year. It turns out it’s pretty easy to lift a 5 year old on and off the lifts and the blue runs aren't that steep if you know how to “pizza” your skis. With snow already in Tahoe it should be a good ski year for us.

Shawn set a personal record for tenure at one company earlier this year and says Google is still the best big company. The big family news this year is Alysia’s decision to take a break from Oracle. She’s looking forward to making dinner and learning where the mop is. She is the kids' consummate coach covering both of their soccer teams and their summer swim team. Alysia and the kids also had the chance to spend more time with our families by living in Virginia over the summer and she’s hoping to repeat that again next year.

We’re more likely to post pictures than words these days but you can still find our updates here on our blog throughout the year.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Shawn, Alysia, Jay, Claire, Ryan plus Moses and Bella the cats

Monday, February 27, 2012

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011

Greetings from Team Thompson! We hope this holiday season finds you well.

In 2011 we settled into a routine that will seem familiar to families with school-age children. With 2 kids in school plus soccer games and birthday parties we traveled less while learning more about the wonderful people and places in our local community. We relish our small town lifestyle where we can walk to school and ride our bikes to work and Stanford football games. We’ve enjoyed helping our children discover their own unique place in it all.

Ryan is nearly 2 and is the easy-going and gregarious diplomat of the family. He loves hanging out with his big brother and sister and, sometimes to their chagrin, interjects himself in the middle of their play. He’s ready with a “sorry, Mommy” when one’s needed and happily offers a hug after Jay or Claire gets hurt, usually caused by him piling on top of them. He and Claire share both tumbling and library story time each week.

Claire celebrated her 4th birthday in October and has one more year of Preschool before she joins Jay at St. Raymond. She can be incredibly charming (and, at times, challenging) and makes friends easily. She energetically busies herself working on art projects and with helping around the house. Claire is happiest when she's hanging from a tree, the uneven bars, or even Mommy. Shawn keeps saying she's going to get us a medal in the 2024 Olympics.

Jay, 5, started Kindergarten and takes golf and chess lessons after school. He played soccer this fall with Alysia as his coach. School has brought the best out of Jay and he’s voraciously learning to read and write including usefully telling Daddy the score and down of whatever football game is on. He’s grown taller and stronger and has shown himself to athletically adept both on the field and shooting baskets in the backyard.

Jay and Claire’s schools bring great communities and we spend much of our free time socializing with these fantastic people. Alysia had a little too much to drink at the St. Raymond benefit auction which resulted in us now having a full slate of dinner and play events paid for and scheduled for the spring. Shawn plays hockey regularly at the school gym with other St. Raymond parents.

We took a bit of a break from distance running after last year's half marathon fest but still made time for the Warrior Dash and Muddy Buddy (both opportunities to pay to crawl face down through mud). On the job front things remain the same as Alysia's still with Oracle and Shawn continues at Google.

On the home improvement front (and there always is one), we put more of the final touches in the side and back yards. We had built a pergola that shades us from the summer sun and provides a place to hang the screen for outdoor movies. Shawn’s very proud of the stone patio he built that supports his new commercial-sized smoker.

With Great Grandma Thompson now possessing home wireless and an iPad we’re officially moving our Christmas letter exclusively online. You can find it and other updates here on our blog throughout the year.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Shawn, Alysia, Jay, Claire, Ryan plus Moses and Bella the cats

Friday, July 1, 2011

Initials in the concrete

Our oldest Jay is named after my uncle who died in 1972 when his Air Force jet crashed on a training mission while flying in a storm. I promised my grandmother that I'd name my first after him. If you go by her house you'll see that she flies her American flag 24/7, good weather or bad. She's a veteran of WWII and told the American Legion when they asked about it that if her son could be on active duty at night in a thunderstorm, she'd fly her flag then too. That story makes me so proud.

Today, my dad sent me pics where Uncle Jay wrote his initials and the date 10/20/64 in the concrete behind the barn at the old farm. As we head into the anniversary of our independence, I'm glad to have this little remembrance and to have been able to honor Uncle Jay and his service by carrying on his name.