Tales of Two 4th Grade Somethings

•August 20, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Seriously, 4th Grade.  Peter Hatcher territory.  I can’t believe it.  But first, we had a few more days of fun…

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This is our beach crew.  Every Thursday we are in town in the summer, we meet these guys at the same stretch of beach.  We’ve been doing it since preschool.  They’re like family.  This was our last beach crew day of summer 2016, and happily, it’s immortalized.

Then Friday, we went to LACMA for the rain room (and art time, and yellow spaghetti time… you’ll see.  Here’s a slide show.

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Saturday the kids took lessons at School of Rock.  Molly learned guitar:

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And Jacob is ready to ditch school and join the band as the drummer.  He hasn’t seen Spinal Tap yet.


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We told him he has to continue with an instrument where you have to read music, like violin, but he can also take up drums.  So his #1 Christmas gift (over Lego and Nerf) is now a drum kit.  What have we done?

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Then we went to see The Tempest in the park, and got up Sunday to go to Paradise Cove.  Because it isn’t summer until we have a day at the cove.

Now we’re up to school!


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There are the 4th graders you wanted to see.


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Thing one…

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And thing two.  Gloves, slicked back hair, and all.

Mol let us take a picture with friends, but Jacob just wanted to hang out.  Away from us.


And that’s it!  Last night, for the first Friday back at school, we had an adventure where the boys went to the park and I took the girls to Whimsic Alley (they’re all Hufflepuff proud) for some Harry Potter fun.


And then a picnic at Jazz at LACMA.  And thus ends week one.  This weekend we’re all about a sleepover and soccer tryouts and Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet in the style of Pokemon Go) and then some relaxing family time.  To keep up with what’s going on, the 4th grade is in the bungalows, so they have their own world, and they have the same amazing teachers as last year.  So 4th grade looks to be amazing.  And we’re going to enjoy the next few weeks before soccer and fencing and clarinet and Girl Scouts and tennis lessons all start up…


•August 12, 2016 • 1 Comment

It’s flying by!  School starts Tuesday, and we have a jam-packed weekend of fun.  But before that, and then first day pictures, I wanted to catch up on a little but of August.

We did Hollywood Bowl rehearsals (and got out tickets for September!):


and even the boys paid attention, until they didn’t and we let them Pokemon Go to keep them quiet…


And then we had sleepovers (I got the girls this time):


And rolled that into a day at the beach.


filled with swimming, digging holes (I will NEVER figure out the attraction),


boogie boarding



and playing baseball with giant bubbles


And then last weekend we went to Big Bear.  It was wonderful to just take the sky tram and hike and take a boat around the lake and mine for gold (and other things – candle making, magic tricks…) and eat and eat and walk and swim.  Here are the pictures in a slideshow (and, I know the reminder isn’t necessary, but I always forget – if you want to see a picture bigger, right click on it!).

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Home Again…

•July 30, 2016 • Leave a Comment

And two quick slide shows to catch us up!  We’ve actually done a ton since getting home, but per usual, I only documented two outings, so here goes.  One is that we went to a concert as a family at the Skirball.  It was Brazilian music and wonderful (to get in the Olympics mood!), and there was the Noah’s Ark which we haven’t been to in years, and a fun baseball exhibit.  All amazing.  Jacob wouldn’t let me get many pictures, but Molly hammed it up…

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And then last night we went to Star Wars night at Dodger Stadium.  It was maybe the best baseball game I’ve ever been to.  Ever.  It was insane.  Plodding along, Dodgers winning, but nothing splashy.  Went with friends, everyone happy with Dodger Dogs, the sunset, the company, Storm Troopers and baseball.  Then it’s the seventh inning.  Suddenly, the bullpen loses it.  We go through 4 pitchers and the Diamondbacks score 7 runs in a row.  7!  It’s all over.  We’re depressed.  It’s a morose crowd that sings at the 7th inning stretch. Then Two home Runs are hit, with men already on bases.  Dodgers are winning.  It’s insane.  There are intentional walks and the wave and beach balls and then boy is everyone happy and when fireworks round out the night it is the BEST baseball night ever.  Here’s some pics.

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Portland, 2016

•July 30, 2016 • Leave a Comment

I’m getting worse and worse at taking pictures of the kids!  They’re just getting more and more engaging as they grow up, so I don’t have as much time to just watch them play and snap away.  I’m usually hanging out and talking and engaging with them.  So, not a lot of shots of Portland this summer, though we had a wonderful time.  And I don’t have the time to do justice to a wonderful trip with wonderful family (or brain power), and if I wait until I do, these pictures will be months old.  So I apologize for a couple of quick short shrift posts coming up, and relying once more on the cuteness of the kids doing the talking for me. Quick pics:


Day before we left we went to a 3D IMAX movie.  The kids were hot and cranky and teasing each other.  This summed it up nicely.

Then we went to the airport to head to PDX.  This is the kids on their computers, waiting for the plane.


They looked like business people, waiting for a work flight.


Once we got to Portland, the kids got right to work on projects with Grandma and Grandpa, like sword and shield making, the important business of being spoiled with way too many treats, toys and games, and making a cool project each.  Molly picked out the fabric for a prairie skirt and bonnet.


Which Grandma did an incredible job on.  Guess who wants to be Laura Ingalls WIlder for Halloween?


While Jacob and Grandpa got out ALL the tools to make…


A marshmallow launching crossbow.  It’s very cool.


We celebrated Cory’s birthday.  (And Grandma’s and Lisa’s, but like I said, I was terrible about pictures.)


Saw a Shakespeare play that enthralled Molly (Much Ado, which is her favorite).


And it interested Jacob, but he was busy being silly…


We went to a wildflower field, where they made bouquets out of their favorites (this was Mol’s)


And this was Jacob’s.

And we even got to have LA friends visit…


Jacob played his first backgammon game, and I have a picture of it for family posterity!!


And the day before we left we went on a gorgeous hike.  At the end, there was a center with a piano and great views of Mt. Tabor.


And at the end was the best view of all; the kids with Grandma and Uncle Nathan.


The only other background I’m going to give, so the kids can read this one day and remember this summer with utter clarity, is it was the summer of Pokemon GO.  Nuff said.

Summer Time!

•July 2, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Oh summer, how do we love thee?  It’s impossible to count.  And I’m already too far behind to do much commentary, so we’re going for a series of slide shows.  I’ll try to be chronological, at least.

First was Jacob’s baseball trophy lunch at the park.  Here’s a baseball trophy recipient, who has just graduated from coach pitch.


And the team, one last time.


Then the next day was Father’s Day.  Here’s a slide show of our trip to the car show, all decked out in their car gear finest (that would be BMW shirt and hats…).


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And then a day of play with friends at the park:

IMG_6802Then we took a quick trip to Ventura and the Channel Islands.  It was amazing.  There were boat rides (which evoked both awe and shrieks of “this is a torturous death trap”) and gondola rides and the island which was spectacular and amazing food and a beach hotel and botanical garden and so much more.  As you can see…

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Then we came home and the kids did a week of camp while I worked and we did a quick turnaround to meet Jacob’s best friend up at Pismo Beach for a vacation.  There was much swimming and game playing and crab and ice cream eating and loads of beach time.  We also went to the elephant seal rookery, and in the off season there are still a few hundred seals!  We are totally going back for the baby season, which happens to be Rose birthday season.


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And then home!  Jacob is doing his fencing, while Molly is doing clarinet.  I don’t have pics of Mol playing (but I will at her end of summer recital!), but here’s Jacob fencing.  He’s getting so good!

IMG_7087And finally, we went to the Autry with friends yesterday.  These guys are so lucky in their amazing friends.

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Whew!  Now on to the 4th long weekend, which is kicking off tonight with Shakespeare in the Park…

School’s Out!

•June 18, 2016 • 1 Comment


Which means it must be summer.  So before diving into the past week of summer fun, I want to catch up on end of school.  Like the picture above, which was school spirit “tropical” theme day.


Let’s stay on the school theme and show off their end of year big project, which was to plan and build the community of the future.  Molly is above on the right.  She built a house and the high school: EHS, which stand for Environmental High school.  It’s the big green building near the front.  Jacob built the town hall (right behind the tall checkered building, with red o the bottom), a house and a restaurant:


And of course they got awards.  Though Molly  didn’t get the reading award!  Because, as she said, “I don’t care if they know I read. I know I read more than anyone.” And she didn’t turn in her reading journal.


Jacob is mastering the photobomb.


This isn’t school, but it’s smarties at work, so it comes next.  They’re building a time machine.



Moving on to wrapping up baseball this year.  Today was the awards ceremony and team banquet, but those pictures are still on my phone, so backing up to the next to last game.  This was Mol before it.


And the baseball boy.  (It was a hot day; he had a fan.)


Then we went to the batting cages with the team.


After that, they won their next game 17-3.  So we will be going to the batting cages a lot next season.


And the season ended:


We also went to Topanga Country Days.


This was Chuck and Molly listening to the Bowie tribute band (they were actually amazing).


This is discovering the wooden weapons table at the fest (yes, we came home with a bow and arrow set, but not the long sword).


This is Molly’s Game of Thrones moment:


This, randomly, is us furniture shopping for a new table.

So is this:


This is our first trip to the polo matches this year.


Which of course devolved into something less civilized.


And even less…


Games done, we hiked up to the stables.


And down to relax at the Will Rogers house:


And lastly, timely to get these up before Father’s Day tomorrow, we celebrated Chuck’s birthday.


With kisses.


And shopping for a new guitar.  Like father, like daughter:


Next up: pictures from our Channel Islands trip and Father’s Day!


New Tricks

•May 13, 2016 • 1 Comment

First off, we went to the doctor today for their 9 year checkup, and they are about the most perfectly healthy kids ever.  So that’s a relief.  Jacob is officially 1/2 inch taller (still) and 20 lbs heavier (still).  But they’re both perfectly on their growth curves.  And last night we had a girls night (Molly and I went for cocoa or coffee and then to see the symphony – the kids orchestra teacher was playing in the west coast premiere of Stewart Copeland’s new symphony and it was amazing!) and a boys night (Jacob and Chuck went glasses shopping, burger eating and then played Minecraft).  And now I have some pictures from the last few weeks to catch up on…IMG_5631

It’s baseball season!  Which means we had picture day.  These are the ones I took, behind the team photographer.


And this is crazy girl, waiting, trying on the batting helmet.


And hanging out with their friend, who is on Jacob’s team.


Then we had a performance week at school.  It started with the talent show, where Molly was in her first play (playing a Hefalump)


(Terrible picture, but it was dark in the auditorium.) and getting her first post-show flowers with friends…


The very next day was the first orchestra performance.  Here’s Jacob seated with the violins:


And Mol with the clarinets:


And Jacob in a cute moment chatting right before it started…


I took some video.  It’s shaky and dark and frankly horrid.  Luckily, the Orchestra took video during rehearsal, when the auditorium lights were on and no parents were in the way.  You can see the kids clearly in it, too.  And definitely hear what we’ve been hearing for weeks. (You have to click on the link, for some reason it won’t let me embed a video right now…)

Here they were in the morning before school:


and waiting for carpool.


Then we had a crazy Sunday.  It started with me and Molly going horseback riding withthe Girlscouts.


She was super nervous.


As you can see.  So the woman that led our ride took her for a walk.


She got comfortable and we took off.


And pretty soon she was splashing her horse through creeks and up hills.


And she totally fell in love with her horse, Summy.  She now LOVES riding.

We rushed from there to take Jacob to his “epic” nerf gun shoot out.  It was a little terrifying.  The boys all had nerfs and we went to the Old Zoo for a crazy attack party.


The scene looked like Baghdad, with the rocks and sand…


But no one got hurt and a truly epic time was had by all…


So now we’re caught up!  Tomorrow we have a baseball game and then a Harry Potter birthday party to attend, so we have to go make pumpkin juice and a treacle tart before bed.  And Sunday we plan to go to the Topanga Fiddle Fest, which always yields some gorgeous pictures, so hopefully I will actually take some and remember to share them next week!







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