Molly the Clarinetist

•September 14, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Molly had her amazing recital.  We were blown away by her dedication and hard work.  She is simply amazing, especially considering she just took it up last fall at school and has only been taking private lessons and working towards this recital over the summer.img_20160910_9999_5

Here she is, about to start.  The recital was near our house, at the home of another student that studies with her teacher.  There were 4 kids, and they all did an amazing job.


Here’s the audience set up…

Molly’s first piece was Hedwig’s Theme:

Yay!  Then the other kids played their first pieces and we had an intermission snack break.

Back for the second half, which was Jamaica Farewell:

And she was super relieved to be done:

img_20160910_9999_8Then her teacher gave them all certificates.


And the kids hung out by the pool, relaxing and playing.


And beauty pageant flowers…








Daddy’s Home

•September 5, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Chuck had a last visit of the summer up to Montreal to wrap season two (yay!), and we packed many a sleepover and outing into that week, and then were so happy to have him home for Labor Day weekend that we packed a lot into this weekend too.


Of course, I forgot to document all of it, but I got a few snaps.  Like this one of the kids meeting the coolest owl before the hip hop show at the Ford.  Where we all learned that we love owls, love the new renovations at the Ford and really really love hop hop street dance.


From there we went to the library, because it’s another happy place for us all.  And they just looked so grown up, they cracked me up and I had to take a picture.


I happen to have a pic from that night’s sleepover, because they made (and ate) a cookie white house.  Which they awesomely decorated, and practiced their Nixon impressions.  (Not pictured!)  and talked about Donald Trump.  It was pretty funny.


Here’s the back of Jacob’s head as he watches, for the second time, Romeo and Juliet as done by Pokemon.  It was pretty awesome.  Actor’s Gang, we love you.


And we made it!  Barely… to the Hollywood Bowl before the season ended.  For Shakespeare at the Bowl night.  Their first experience with Antony & Cleopatra, which is intense.  But fun, and gorgeous at the Bowl at night.  You can see the Hollywood sign in the hills behind the stage…

And weekend!  Friday was sleepovers and craziness, and Saturday we kind of relaxed and read and played and watched Harry Potter #6 – as both kids have finished that book.  Jacob is almost done with book 7, which means we have two more movie nights filled with HP coming up this fall.  I think I’m more excited (or as!) as the kids.  And Sunday we went to the first ever LA Fleet Week.

Mixed emotions – it was amazing, and we all learned so much.  Including a huge ,huge appreciation for the men and women of our armed forces.  They were so incredible and kind and patient with the kids, explaining all their gear, and jobs and toys (the helicopters were fascinating, including the Osprey, which you can ask Jacob all about how it changes from a helicopter to a airplane – you can see in the pictures that he is giving a thumbs up in it, which does not begin to convey his excitement about it).  And Jacob was floored and fascinated by it all.  Especially the guns.  And therein lies the dilemma.  While the search and rescue missions were incredible to hear about, seeing the kids with guns gave us horrible pits in our stomach.  But lots of places for good discussions.  Just had to mention how conflicted we felt before showing the pictures of kids beaming with weapons.  But the upside was all the incredible technology on display, and that captured their imaginations as well.

Here’s a slide show of pics from the day, many of which Jacob took as he took over my camera, for some selfies and Molly pics.  I took the ones of Jacob.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Then we needed some peace.  So we went to Terrenea for lunch, and that was heaven.


And a cliff walk:



and one more…


Tales of Two 4th Grade Somethings

•August 20, 2016 • 1 Comment

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

IMG_7300 (1)

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

IMG_7403 (1)

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


IMG_7426 (1)

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?

IMG_7440 (1)

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!


IMG_7450 (1)

There are the 4th graders you wanted to see.


IMG_7462 (1)

Thing one…

IMG_7457 (1)

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!).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


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…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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…).


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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