At the bottom on the left is an alphabetical list of the pages in this web site, to help you navigate if you feel so inclined.
A guide to our family photo album covering 1994-2010, showing the principal themes, is here.
A year by year guide to our family time-line from 1994 through 2007 is here.
A photo journal beginning in 2008 is here.
The most recent pages of the album, copies of posts from my WordPress family blog, http://ianstock.wordpress.com/, are linked here:
Happy Valley School is the wonderful elementary school where Daphné and Alban started in September 1997, Tom in 1999, Charles in 2000 and Alexander in 2003. (Nicholas went directly to Junior High when he arrived in Santa Cruz in 1999). The school was founded in 1863, five years before the University of California was founded in Berkeley. Which is not to say that there are many similarities between the two. For example, the Berkeley campus is up to about 30,000 students, and Happy Valley has about 135 pupils. Or again, Happy Valley remains free for pupils, which cannot be said for Cal.
The photo on the left, taken in September 2003, is a charming study of what happens when you let young and old maniacs loose together in Santa Cruz County. The big bearded guy in the back row is the teacher, Dan McGuire, who is a very gentle and loving teacher: how else would we have that picture? Here is Dan doing what he loves, the Happy Valley School Rail Faire.
The luck we had in stumbling on this truly caring environment was the high point of our arrival in Santa Cruz. On the far right is the school's suitably modest gateway. It is a modest place.
Below, in October 2000 it was Charles' turn to receive a diploma, for "gentle manners", among other things. These certificates of appreciation dot the walls of Alex's and Charlie's rooms at home.
The pictures in the table below are official class pictures. Alban, who did not speak a word of English when we arrived, spent four years there and blossomed. Daphné moved on to junior high after two years, and was getting straight As before she graduated. Again, she did not speak a word of English when we arrived. Charles started Kindergarten in 2000, and Alex in 2003, and happier kids at school would be hard to imagine.
We'd like to list each moment of encouragement and help that they all received, and identify each responsible care-giver one at a time. But they're all exceptionally good with kids, and we have been exceptionally lucky. Thank you all.
Finally, here are Alexander's and Charles' School photos from September 2004.
Happy Valley parents hung out together too: it was a great group. Here's one occasion when they partied, and here's another occasion when they worked for the school. Many parents put a whole lot of effort into the school.
Listing of Pages in the Site
. . . with Alban