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…

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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!

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

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•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.

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

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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…

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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.

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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).

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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.

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

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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…)

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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.

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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!).

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

Mother’s Day and a Pleasure Faire

•May 22, 2018 • Leave a Comment

We’re heading into the end of the kids elementary school career at breakneck speed.  I’m sad and too busy to wallow in the sad, at how fast they’re growing up.  So I feel like everything is tinged with that color of watching them grow up so fast, as if each thing we do might be the last time they’re young enough to truly enjoy it, not just indulge me by sticking with our traditions.  Like Mother’s Day, and our traditional trip to the Polo match at Will Rogers.  Which did not in fact happen this year!  We got to the field and learned at the last minute that it was cancelled due to slightly wet grass from a sprinkle the day before.  But it meant it wasn’t too hot and we could run around…




and go for a hike.


We also had amazing croissants


and mimosas


before heading home for amazing presents and cards and a lovely dinner out.

It’s also baseball season still, which means games once or twice a week along with practices…


And at last weekend’s game Jacob scored twice off base hits.  Which was AWESOME.  Then Mol and I took off from there to zip up to a Girl Scout event – the girls picked The Guinea Pig Rescue as their charity they raised money and goods for this past spring, so we went up to deliver things and meet all the guinea pigs and other rescue animals.  It was pretty amazing.

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Sunday, the weather held at cool, and so our first visit to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire was incredible.  We’ve meant to go every year, but the heat, crowds and distance have kept us from going.  Well, it turns out that when it’s cool and you go early in the morning, it takes about half an hour to get there, no one is there, and you almost need a sweater!  So it was perfect.  We saw so many shows (like jousting tournaments and fire whips!) and got to have interactions with all kinds of people because it wasn’t too busy – like the tug of war, Molly getting attacked by the mad girl on a leash, the executioner (you can see in the pictures how all the kids suggested someone else was ripe for killing), the candle maker where the kids made candles, and best of all – the armorer, who let the kids play with sword and pikes and even helped molly try on a full chain mail suit and helmet.  We also got to try throwing the throwing stars.  (Sadly, the lines had gotten too long for dagger throwing…)

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Which brings up up to date – except for one last outing after school yesterday to try “Dragon’s Breath.”  That’s cereal puffs soaked in liquid nitrogen, which when you bite them, releases puffs of smoke, like  you’re a dragon.  It was so fun.  They also make liquid nitrogen ice cream there, so the whole shop is a chemist’s sweet wonderland.  It also shares space with a make up store, so Mol tried on lipsticks before having Dragon’s Breath, which is why her mouth is so bright.  🙂

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