New School, New House

•August 24, 2018 • Leave a Comment

So, when we got home from Portland, there was a lot of frantic this:


So much painting!  So much packing!  This is Molly, painting her room from sickly greenish to pretty lilac.  You can kind of see her amazing reading nook!  Once we have all the pictures and curtains hung, I’ll do a full before and after slide show, but for now, you can see that the house itself looked like this when we bought it:

front house

And looks like this, now that we’ve painted it:


So much better!  We love it.  You can see the ladder in the kitchen, waiting for the curtain rods to come so we can hang them.  In between the work, though, we found time for this:


and this:


Molly also fit in some time with Girl Scouts to work on her Bronze Award, which is a homelessness awareness project her troop came up with.  First they made signage and flyers:


Then, they held a food drive and got a TON of donations:


And then we moved!  One week before school started!  But with enough time to move on a Friday, clean the old place on Saturday, and wake up Sunday in our new home and brunch on the deck.


We all thought we’d be sad and miss out old home, but we don’t – not a bit!  Two weeks later and we are fully unpacked (ok, we need to hang some pics and curtains still, but not too bad!) and it feels like home.  We also had to uniform shop, modeled here in the regular and PE versions by two adorable new 6th graders:


And get ready for the first day of middle school:


So cute!  It killed me how grown up they look, and then we got to school and they look so tiny next to the giant, mustached 8th graders…  But so far they’re loving school and teachers and making friends and keeping up with the sudden influx of homework.

We also have managed to sneak in some friend visiting, like having our old carpool buddies (we miss them!) over for a swim:


And meeting up with Emma and the floating Thor for “Much Ado About the Avengers”


Now they’ve done 2 weeks of school, we’re gearing up for a weekend packed with sleepovers, working at a food pantry, going to see Titus Andronicus, Crazy Rich Asians (poor Jacob, the rest of us want to see it, so he’s getting dragged…  we promised him movie treats!) and the Jim Henson exhibit at the Skirball.  Because: last weekend before Labor Day!!!


More more more, PORTLAND!

•July 26, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I know, I’m even shorter on the words than usual, but I’m anticipating falling even further behind as we jet home tomorrow, paint, move and start middle school, all in the space of about 15 days.  And these are some great pictures of the kids enjoying family and fun and summer, and I don’t want them to get lost in the shuffle.  SO!  Even though we don’t leave until tomorrow, so I’m missing out on horseshoes in a few minutes and Shakespeare in the cemetery tonight, I want to get these summer snaps uploaded now…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I didn’t get many great shots with Grandma (I will do that today!!!  and they will be uploaded later…) or Aunt Lisa (she, ironically, is in LA this week, leaving there tomorrow…).  And I can’t find an old picture I wanted to put here of Molly and her alien from 5 years ago – we were so excited to find the alien again at Oaks Bottom Park!  So hopefully I will have a few updates coming up, but I didn’t want to sit on these.  We had an amazing visit, and a fantastic break from house stuff…


•July 23, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I’ll save all the rest of the Portland pix for when we finish up our week here, but here I have two quick slide shows to upload now… One is of Brasada (and the drive up there, when we stopped for lunch and also at the river).  So, here’s our cabin, and swimming, and biking and horse back riding, hot tubbing, horseshoe and cornhole playing and bunny enjoying!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And then on the way home, we stopped at the most amazing Alpaca ranch, where the kids fed them, watched the babies and shopped!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


•July 23, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I have to play catch up, once again, but for the best of reasons: we’ve been going insane because the house did indeed close, the week of the 4th of July.  So we had a week to paint and start packing before we left for Portland, not to mention also celebrating the 4th and taking a family vacation in Montecito.  So catch up #1: house!

IMG_5857This is us, realizing we need to get rid of a few things before we move.  So the kids had a yard sale!


And we spent the week painting a few of the rooms…


Cleaning out the pool…

IMG_5948And taking it for a test drive (swim).

Then, fourth of July! Which included the Holmby Hills festivities, Pacific Palisades (which, for some reason I have zero pictures of!) and the GoGos at the Hollywood Bowl.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now here’s a few from Montecito, mostly from the trip to MOXI, the children’s museum of Santa Barbara.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Whew!  Then we came up to Portland…  Next post!


•June 23, 2018 • Leave a Comment

And the living has been easy, fun and crazy stressful.  Easy and fun is all the friend and beach and testing out the new grill stuff.  Stressful to the max has been the house we are buying – fingers crossed that the last bit with wrangling inspections and credits goes through this week, we close on the 4th of July!  And we will no longer be independent, ironically, as we will be tied to this house thing.  More on that, when it comes to pass…

Meanwhile… two last day of school pics I missed:


Molly helping me get ready for culmination at the party store.

And after culmination, Jacob had his last baseball practice he didn’t want to miss, so here’s a tired crew hanging out, post partying, pre practicing.


Next might, Jacob and Chuck had a boys night of video games and burgers while Molly and I went to the Ford for a dance show.


And then we went blueberry picking with friends.  No pics in the field, because we were picking pounds and pounds of berries, but here’s the kids as we got there.


Everyone with their ring pops!


We had a beach day:


Where the boys dug a massive hole


And the girls curled up and read


And we got a new grill and fixed up the backyard and looked so summer ready we had to take pictures…


(Even one with me!)


Molly tried on a glasses look (which she asked me to take a picture of, since when she tried to look at herself in the mirror, the glasses made her eyes cross).


And Jacob and I went for a hike with our friends, Amy & Penelope and their adorable dog.


Because Molly was at Shakespeare camp, being amazing!  Friday, we all got to go see her perform.  First they did a dance:


Then she did a scene from Antony and Cleopatra.

and then she was waiting to go on…


and perform as Lady Capulet:

Ironically, that was the first of our Shakespeare double header, as that night Chuck and I got to go see Tom Hanks as Falstaff in Henry IV.  He was wonderful!  But we preferred the afternoon matinee…

EOY: School —> Graduation

•June 12, 2018 • 2 Comments

And here’s all the school stuff!  Holy cow, they had a lot of events, and we took a lot of pictures.  I felt like I wasn’t taking any at the time (and I took exactly 0 at graduation, because tears, but luckily Chuck and teachers and other parents took plenty which I have here) but it turns out there are a LOT.  So…

Starting with a few weeks before graduation, the kids had their last award ceremony, for getting math and reading awards.  That was the day before their last elementary school spring orchestra concert, so I’ve grouped those pictured together, along with their last spring singing concert and art projects (self portraits).  Awards you can tell, because they’re holding certificates.  Orchestra performance is white shirts, black pants…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Then we had school presentations of the Wax Museum.  The kids picked historical figures they respected and admired, dressed up as them, made posters, wrote papers and then became wax figures of the people, who came to life if you pressed a button and gave a presentation about their life in Spanish and English.  It was super impressive.  Meet you on the other side to tell you who they were.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Einstein is pretty easy, but in case you weren’t sure what Queen Mol is, she’s Catherine the Great.  They were superb.

This is events at school: the yearly 5th grade vs the teachers kickball game (Jacob got to kick second because they went in order of best behaving kids and Molly got to pitch the ball for an inning because she was the only kid to ask!) and then we had a lunch picnic, autograph albums and a photo booth at school.  It was super sweet to see them making memories and saying goodbyes.  You can also see a few of the kids teachers (this years teachers in red, and Molly’s favorite teacher ever – her first grade Spanish teacher, Ms. Albela).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We also had park day, where all the kids walked to the local park and parents met them there with water balloons, sports equipment and lunch (pizza and grilled hot dogs, watermelon, and tons of desserts – all of which Molly and I made!). The big shot at the playground was a class picture of the whole 5th grade.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And then we have graduation day.  I can’t even.  Just look.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You can see them goofing in the class before the ceremony, lining up to walk in, walking in, getting their certificates, getting their medals (more in a minute!), singing (Lean On Me) then at the celebration after with us, teachers and a couple of friends.  The medal is a big deal – it is a certification on biliteracy that only 18 kids in the grade got. (Only 6 were kids who aren’t native Spanish speakers, proud parent bragging moment!)  The kids did an essay in Spanish that went to the district and was assessed for fluency in writing.  And they had no idea they were getting it.  I’m really proud of them.

That’s it!  They graduated!  We’ve got giant 6th graders who are starting middle school in August.  We gotta get on buying uniforms this summer…

EOY – Not the School Stuff

•June 11, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I’ve got two sets of pictures to catch up with, and I’ve grouped them into not school and school.  Here goes…

First, Molly insisted we get her hair cut before the end of the year, so all her friends could see her summer cut.  Too cute, first thing the next morning:


SOLO!  We saw the movie at the El Cap and couldn’t resist the photo ops.  Well, the kids could, we had to bribe them to take the pictures.  (God bless Mickey shaped ice cream…)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Then, we began June, or what we affectionately call “Daddy Month” at our house.  Because June starts with June 1, and Chuck’s birthday, before moving to Father’s Day, and usually we squeeze some more celebrating daddy in the weekend in between…

We did the annual trek up to Malibu for the day, playing, beaching, relaxing, eating and more.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And finally, I took the kids and one friend each to Candytopia to celebrate graduation.  It was heaven – two floors of room after room of statues, art, exhibits and things to play on and in (like a marshmallow pool) made of candy.  Also, each room had candy to eat.  We left hyper, a little sick, and sooooo happy.  (Good thing, because traffic took almost 2 hours to get home!).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Whew!  Tomorrow: school.  Get your tissues.  It was sad.