Braces, Phase II

On the day before school started (August 14th) Ezra got his second set of braces on after a break of about 18 months. He’s got a lot going on and will need oral surgery to coax an errant tooth into place, but for now it was just the top and a little bit on the bottom.

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More than anything, I just thought this scene was funny.

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Skylights

We finally found a household chore that Ezra will do without complaint: Cleaning the skylights. He loves being up on the roof so it’s a perfect fit.

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Ezra’s Sixth Grade Artwork

During the last week of school, Ezra brought home his artwork and projects from the year. As is our tradition, I’m posting it all here.

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Also! Here’s a picture of him from the sixth grade formal lunch that happened the week before school got out. So dapper!

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Ezra’s Last Sixth Grade Dance

The third and final sixth grade dance happened on May 12th. I’ve been surprised at how enthusiastic Ezra is about the dances, although so far it’s all about the junk food and not at all about dancing. So, I guess not really surprising at all. For this one, he went with Henry and I dropped them off. I wanted to get a photo of them before they left the car … it wasn’t easy getting them to settle down.

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Finally, they let me get one conventional shot.

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Ezra’s Last Orchestra Concert

Since Ezra has decided not to continue with cello next year, May 10th was his final JLS orchestra concert. While I’d be happy to see him continue with cello and will encourage him to take up another instrument in the future, I can’t say I’ll miss hauling the cello around! Here’s video of one of the pieces the sixth grade orchestra played that night.

Ezra’s Drama Class

Part of the elective “wheel” the sixth graders do is a drama class. At the end of the five-week course, they put on a mini-play and parents are invited. Of course, we went. It was super fun to see Ezra up on stage — I think he really enjoys it. He had some funny lines, and he even took over the part of another kid in his group who wasn’t at school that day.

Here are a few snapshots (I didn’t take any video, although we have a recording of the whole thing from his teacher).

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Ezra’s 12th Birthday

Bruce and Ezra got home from their snow camping trip in the afternoon of Ezra’s birthday. They were tired, but not too tired to clean up and have a small birthday celebration. All Ezra had on his birthday list was Anki Overdrive paraphernalia, so that’s what he got!

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For dinner we had Ezra’s choice of Howie’s pizza delivered and then ice cream cake.

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Happy 12th, sweet boy!

Snow Camping

Over the weekend of Ezra’s 12th birthday, he and Bruce went on a snow camping trip with Bruce’s colleague, Andrei, and his son, Edward. They went to Carson Pass and had a fun but chilly time. As with the Christmas break trip, I’m hoping Bruce will fill in the details on this post at some point! For now, here are some photos.

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More photos here.

Ezra’s Egyptian Chariot Project

Last month, Ezra and his classmates completed their unit on Egypt, which culminated in an evening where the kids presented their projects to all the parents. Ezra had been determined from the start to build a full-size chariot. Luckily Bruce was available to facilitate the process because I wouldn’t have known where to start. He had two classmates who were supposed to be helping, but they each only showed up for one day, so it was really Ezra’s thing. Here are some photos of the building process. As usual, he had a very clear vision that needed to be brought to reality.

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He was pretty happy with how it turned out.

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Here’s the debut ride.

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They also made headgear. Ezra wanted to pose with Emmy for the picture.

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And here’s a shot of everything together once we got it to school.

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On the night of the presentations, he and his teammates gave rides to other classmates. It was a big hit. I’m not sure how much he learned about Egypt in this process, but his enthusiasm was nice to see!

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum Field Trip

Ezra’s class spent the second day back to school after winter break at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose. They were just beginning their unit on Egypt (which, as you’ll see in future posts, proved to be quite successful!) and they seemed to be pretty interested in the Egyptian artifacts on display. Personally, I liked this mummy. Creepy cool!

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They had a replica of a tomb which was pretty interesting, and our guide for the day was funny and kept the kids interested which is always appreciated.

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I didn’t take very many pictures, but there are a few more here.

Cal Academy Field Trip

On November 15th I drove Ezra and four other boys to San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences. I don’t have very many pictures because I was mostly trying to make sure the boys did the worksheet they were supposed to do and that no one wandered off which was a real possibility with our group. We spent the first part of our visit in the earthquake area learning about tectonic plates and experiencing the quake room they have there. Here’s Ezra at a game about how the continents have moved around.

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We also spent some time in the room with the penguins. They were definitely a hit.

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We made a quick stop to see the albino alligator which was, thankfully, pretty far away.

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We visited a couple of other areas, and of course, the gift shop, and we had lunch there before heading back to school. The boys were all bummed that we were back in time for their last class.

Ezra’s First Dance

On October 21st, Ezra went to his first middle school dance. I have to say I was so proud of him because he went despite the fact that neither of his two good friends were going. I don’t think I would have done that at his age.

I tried to take a picture of him getting ready, but literally got the door slammed in my face.

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Luckily I’d snapped this one before he knew I was there.

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When I dropped him off, I took another one.

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And then he was off! When I picked him up he gave me a brief report: he met up with a friend and they ate their weight in junk food. I didn’t hear anything about any dancing, but it sure seemed like he had a good time.

Ezra’s “Dig” Field Trip

One of the first units of sixth grade study for Ezra was about archaeology. He seems to have taken to the subject and enjoyed the project of making up a civilization and creating its artifacts. The culmination of the unit was a field trip to the beach, where the artifacts were buried and teams of students dug up and analyzed other teams’ artifacts. Luckily he’s still happy to have me along on field trips, so on September 13th, we drove to Pacifica State Beach at Linda Mar.

The teachers had set out grids for each civilization. This is Ezra’s group’s.

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Before any artifacts could be buried, there was playing to be done. We were at the beach after all.

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Finally it was time for each team to bury their creations. Ezra made a golden chicken bone on a stick and a silver helmet.

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He had a good time doing the burying, but was disappointed when it came time to dig for the other group’s artifacts. Apparently someone else dug up the grid that he was supposed to dig, but he didn’t know it, so he dug and dug but never found anything. Luckily he was still happy to be in the sand. Some things never change.

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It was a pretty nice day for a field trip to the beach.

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Ezra’s Art 2016

Once again we got a stack of art to bring home at the end of the school year. The school’s art program is really good — the kids love it and their work is so great. Here are the pieces Ezra brought home this year.

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