Finn’s Broken Arm

On October 24th the boys left for school on their bikes just like every other morning. However, about ten minutes later my phone rang with a call from a Palo Alto number I didn’t recognize. Luckily, I always answer unknown local numbers because it was Finn who was distraught, having fallen off his bike. I jumped in the car to go get him and had a bad feeling immediately from the way he was holding his arm. I took him home briefly to have Bruce take a look and drop off his bike, and then we went directly to urgent care. He was pretty miserable, but some bonus screen time seemed to help.


The x-rays came back as we’d expected — it was broken. Or “transverse fracture of the distal radial metadiaphysis” to be exact.


He was much more comfortable once they stabilized it in a brace and sling.


Two days later we went back and got the cast.


Having a cast on is a pain, but he did enjoy the minor celebrity status it provided.



Finn’s First Goalie Mask

We’re borrowing (luckily!) most of the equipment Finn needs to be a goalie, but after a few weeks we decided he should have a proper goalie mask instead of his regular hockey helmet/mask. Not surprisingly, he was over the moon to get it.



Sophie liked the box.


Finn’s Goalie Tryout

Both boys have been loving playing ice hockey since they started last year. For about three months Finn asked me if he could try being goalie. I wanted him to remain a skater and hopefully learn the game before he tried goalie, so I just kept putting him off. Finally, he took matters into his own hands and asked the woman who runs the club if he could try it. Seeing how they are always in need of goalies, she was more than happy to oblige. So, on June 23rd he took his first pass at it. Here he is taking a shot from his goalie coach, Tony.


And, of course, I have video. Slo-mo!

He worked so hard during that first session. I thought he was going to come off the ice and say it was too hard and he hated it. However, he LOVED it! He hasn’t stopped talking about goalie stuff since that day.

He especially likes it that Ezra’s best friend Henry is also a goalie and they hang out at practices.


Last Day of School 2017

I don’t have any pictures of Ezra from the last day of school, but I did go to Finn’s class. He had a great year with Mrs. Johnson.



Another parent took a class photo and sent it to all the parents.


It was a good year!

Finn’s Third Piano Recital

On May 20th, Finn had his third piano recital. Here’s the video.

I think he’s made a lot of progress this year! And, more importantly, he seems to really like it. He sits down and plays at home all the time.

Gold Rush Day 2017

Finn got his turn to experience the magic of fourth grade Gold Rush Day on May 17th. He and the rest of his classmates had been preparing for this day for weeks and they were all very excited. His class was in charge of making this year’s town sign.


Finn’s work shift at the Assay Office wasn’t until right before lunch, so he spent the morning panning and mining for gold, buying stuff at the general store, and enjoying sarsaparilla at the Redwood Ridge Saloon.







Finally, his shift started and it was a doozy! He and his friend Satvik manned the scales during the busiest time when everyone was cashing out their gold for the day. Here’s a shot in the calm before the storm.


And here they are mid-transaction.


Once they were finally done, they enjoyed a miner lunch of chili and bread.


After lunch they had an auction, but I didn’t stick around for that so I don’t have any photos. I want to share a few of my other favorite shots from the day and you can see all of my photos here.

Here are Mrs. Johnson and Mr. Easton getting in some gambling time at the saloon.


A couple of girls from Finn’s class teaching school.


The opening gold rush.


It’s such a great day!

Finn’s Learning Celebration & Art

On May 9th, Fairmeadow had its annual Learning Celebration and Finn got the chance to show us around his classroom and all of the work he’s done this year. I didn’t take many photos while he was showing us around, but here’s one of him showing Bruce a book that they read.


We got to bring home his art portfolio that night — always a highlight. Here is 2016-17’s artwork.









Finn’s Fourth Grade Concert

On April 26th, the entire fourth grade of our school and another in the District got together at the middle school to put on a recorder concert. I have no video because I really couldn’t see the stage very well and I didn’t want to be rude and hold up my phone super high. I do have one still shot though! Finn is in the second row, about a third of the way from the left.


Finn practiced a lot for this performance and it went well. I think having the added complexity of so many kids and only a tiny bit of rehearsal time with both schools added to the excitement.

Finn and Bruce’s Bear Valley Trip

As I mentioned in my last post, Finn chose to go on a snowboarding trip for his birthday instead of having a party. He didn’t have to twist Bruce’s arm too much since he wanted to get back on the slopes again too. So, the weekend after Finn’s birthday they went to Bear Valley. They stayed at the Bear Valley Lodge. There was tons of snow.




They did some snowshoeing.


Made a giant snowball.


And had a snowboarding/skiing day.



Lucky ten-year-old.

Finn’s 10th Birthday

Finn hit double digits this year!


His birthday fell on a school day, so I made cookies (lemon, at his request) for his class and then we celebrated with dinner of his choice at The Counter. He opened one present early (just after school) and the rest in the car after we picked up Bruce from work.



He got a few sets of LEGO minifigures which we opened and put together at dinner.


After dinner we continued the celebration with ice cream cake.


No party this year — he chose to go on a snow trip with Bruce instead.

Choosing an Instrument

I don’t remember this happening when Ezra was in fourth grade, but this year the District held several events for fourth graders to try out and choose what instrument they’d like to take next year. Finn is interested in either the trumpet or trombone, and despite the ridiculous lines at the event, he got to try each of them.



We’ll see which one he ends up with, and start preparing the sound-proof practice room.

Finn’s Sacramento Field Trip

On March 9th, Finn and I went on the annual fourth grade field trip to Sacramento. I was happy to get to go again since I had a great visit with Ezra’s class two years ago. It’s an early day though! We were on the bus at 6:30 am! Here’s Finn and his friend Floyd setting in for the ride.


There was some confusion at first when our bus tried to drop us off at City Hall instead of the State Capitol building, but soon enough we were where we were supposed to be. We started off with a class picture in front of the building.


Once inside, we waited for our tour time by walking around a bit. Here are a few shots.


Los Angeles County’s display case (every county has one):


Finn in front of the bear that guards the governor’s office:


Our tour guide later told us that Arnold Schwarzenegger bought the bear from an art gallery when he was governor. He also said they call it “germ bear” or “bacteria bear” because everyone touches it. Yuck!

Here are a few shots from our tour. We weren’t able to see the Senate room because there were too many other tours happening but we did see the House. (As an aside, it did seem to be quite a bit busier tour-wise than two years ago. I’m attributing it to everyone’s increased interest in government since our last debacle of a presidential election.)






While our tour guide this time didn’t harass the kids about how they are responsible for taking part in government (a good point with poor execution), this year’s guide wasn’t that great either. He did a pretty good Schwarzenegger impression though. But, he didn’t point out fun things like the tiled California poppies on the floor. Luckily, Finn’s teacher, Mrs. Johnson, did.


After the Capitol, we still had two more stops on our Sacramento tour. Next was Sutter’s Fort, which had another school doing an overnight field trip in costume. Our kids got to see rope and candles being made, as well as the cannon being fired which was a huge hit.




After lunch, our final destination was the Railroad Museum.




Once again I had a little nerdy moment to myself while I admired the place setting display from the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe line.


Finn asked me to sit next to him on the way home. I think he had a wonderful day but was just done interacting with friends. Or maybe he just wanted to play games on my phone. (Sad news for him as there aren’t any games on my phone!) It didn’t really matter because about 20 minutes in he was out.


Great day!

Finn’s Buddy Assembly

On February 24th Finn’s class teamed up with their second grade buddy class for this year’s buddy assembly. They did a version of the book Click Clack Moo which was super cute. They also sang a song — here’s a video.

The video is a little far away, so here’s a picture from after the performance.


Finn’s Mission Project and Fiesta Day

After weeks of research, writing, and creativity, Finn turned in his mission project on February 9th. He was very proud of his storyboard, which was the required part …


… and his model, which was the optional part.


He and Bruce did a bang-up job, even creating the inside and installing a light. Here’s a peek through the front window.


He was also excited about Fiesta Day and his new sombrero which he wore all the time.


Sophie liked it too.


We are very proud of Finn for doing such a great job on his project!


Fiesta Day was Friday the 10th and the kids learned a dance and got dressed up to perform.


Here’s video.

Here’s a post-dance picture of the whole class.


I left after the dance, but they also had a taco feast, so all in all a great end to the week for Finn!

Mission San Miguel

Finn was assigned Mission San Miguel for his project, so on February 4th we made the 2+ hour trip south to pay it a visit. I was hoping to make it into an overnight adventure, but we just couldn’t make it happen. It turned out to be fine as a day trip, and on the way back we stopped at Mission San Juan Bautista so Bruce could see it. Here’s Finn just after we arrived — he was super happy.


There was a wedding about to happen inside the church so we spent some time outside first.


Here’s the bell tower.


On the side of the church was a small cemetery. This was the entrance.


Inside the side yard …


They had a small museum and store, which we saw next. Finn liked this cannon outside of the store.


After we saw the grounds and the museum, we went inside the church. (The person at the store told us it was OK, that people who get married there understand there will be tourists visiting.) I snapped a couple of pictures.



After the tour we had lunch at a local diner, which was surprisingly good, and then we hit the road. The stop at San Juan Bautista was fairly brief but Finn was excited to show Papa all the things he saw on his field trip. Here are the three of them standing on the original El Camino Real.


At the historic park, they were doing a monthly reenactment and we ran into a couple old-timers at the end of their day. They were very nice and had the boys stand in one of the vats for a photo … which was a little weird.


Finn took a bunch of pictures that day too, which are in a separate album here.