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.

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

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Miscellaneous April 2017

A few loose ends. We got a trampoline. Actually, Finn did, for his birthday. It’s been the greatest!

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Bruce got an award for filing his first patent application.

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Emmy thinks she fits in an egg carton. Actually, I guess she does.

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And, boys love cats.

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PTA Award

I’m going to toot my own horn here for a second. Last month I was on a team of people recognized for our work with Safe Routes to School. It was unexpected and, of course, nice to be honored. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go to the ceremony because it was on a Thursday from 4-6 pm, which is the absolute busiest time of our week. My friend Tiffany sent me pictures though.

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And I got a certificate.

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Take Your Child to X Day

April 27th was Take Your Child to X (and Waymo) Day and this year all of us got to go. (Last year Ezra and I were at NASA on a field trip and missed it.) It was a good thing spouses were included this year because Bruce spent the entire day working on the Loon/FSOC display and was unable to show the boys around. Granted, the FSOC display was very cool — lasers, optical fiber spelling out Loon for All, more dry ice. I sneaked a picture.

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The only other pictures I got (we weren’t supposed to take any) were of the sign-in wall.

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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.

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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.

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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March for Science

On April 22nd we participated in the March for Science in San Jose. We were a little late in getting our act together for the sign but Bruce came up with a great idea to have a beaker that was spewing steam (via dry ice). Luckily we had a big cardboard box to start with. Of course, we had to wrestle it away from Emmy who was just sure she could get inside.

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Bruce did have to make a trip to OSH for PVC supplies to make the dry ice tube, and then, of course, there was the trip to the party store for the dry ice itself. So, it was a little involved. Anyway, here are a few pictures of the sign building.

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It was a challenge to get it to dry.

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Almost ready!

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We waited until we got to San Jose to do the writing, just to give it a little longer to dry, so that happened in the back of the car.

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It came out pretty good!

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It was a huge hit with our fellow marchers. Lots of people snapped photos.

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Here’s a quick video of the action.

And here’s an example of the impromptu photo shoots that happened. That’s my friend, Rosie, who we happened upon, hiding behindĀ the giant Neil deGrasse Tyson. I don’t know who the other woman is; she just wanted her picture taken with our signs.

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Post-march we continued to have fun with the leftover dry ice. Always a good way to liven up breakfast.

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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.

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They did some snowshoeing.

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Made a giant snowball.

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And had a snowboarding/skiing day.

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Lucky ten-year-old.

Finn’s 10th Birthday

Finn hit double digits this year!

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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.

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

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After dinner we continued the celebration with ice cream cake.

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

Colorado Trip

We spent the last few days of Spring Break in Silverthorne, Colorado with the SoCal Moisions thanks to a generous offer of his cabin from Vanessa’s uncle. The cabin is enormous, with comfortable common areas, a nice kitchen, and, much to the boys delight, a pool table.

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There was still patchy snow on the ground when we arrived, enough for the boys to have a snowball fight.

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The first full day we were there we went snow tubing. I’d never been before and it was super fun.

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The second day we went skiing. I was a little nervous since it’s been eons since I’ve skiedĀ and I was worried about getting hurt. Bruce and I took a class for beginners, which was good (and we “graduated” early since we weren’t truly first timers). Here we are all geared up.

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I don’t have any pictures of us actually skiing, which also means I don’t have any of me falling when trying to exit the ski lift. Which is good.

The boys took a snowboarding class. Here’s video of Finn (it takes a while to become apparent where he is).

And here’s Ezra.

They were both very tired by the time we caught up with them in the afternoon and there had been some mishaps. Snow sports are hard, but overall they had a really good time. I thought they looked great out there!

Overnight we had a little snow storm so we woke up to a thin blanket of snow.

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Bruce and I got in a little hike around the property and then we packed up and hit the road. We were all happy to get home to our girls — even allergic Bruce.

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Half Moon Bay – Spring Break

On the first day of Spring Break I decided to take the boys to Half Moon Bay. I’d found what looked to be a nice hike along the coast and figured that would be a good outing. Sadly, once we got there I realized the trail is only open on the weekends. Here’s a shot of the cliff we would have been walking on.

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We did find a lookout point which was fun for a few minutes.

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So, in lieu of hiking, we just went down the long trail to the beach. Could be worse!

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It was a bit too chilly though, and after a while I talked them into another hiking trail a few miles up the road. We got a couple of miles of walking in.

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And then we went to lunch.

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Charming, I know. So, not the day I planned, but a good start to the break nonetheless.

Giant Spin Art

We’ve been getting monthly project boxes for the boys for a few months now — one Tinker Crate and one Doodle Crate. They’re fun, quick, self-contained projects. In April, the Tinker Crate was a spin art box that made small (5×5 or so) spin art.

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Of course, this being Moisionland, the inevitable next step was giant spin art. I was not paying attention at all (this was the same day as the cat cake) but when I came outside this is what I found.

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Here’s a video of the contraption in action.

We now have filled the house with both small and large spin art. The small ones hanging from the ceiling drive the cats nuts!

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Emmy & Sophie’s First Birthday

We don’t know exactly when the cats were born since someone just found them in the “wild” but the rescue we got them from put 4/1/16 on their paperwork. Finn and Ezra weren’t too crazy about that date because it’s April Fools Day. Finn wanted to make their birthday the same day as his, but Ezra was not OK with that. So, we finally decided on April 2nd. Here is a typical set of photos of them — Sophie, ever alert and Emmy, resting.

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At some point during the day, we decided we needed a birthday cake. And why not make it a cat cake while we’re at it? I found an online how-to (of course) and set out to make it. Two round cakes were transformed into a kitty!

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I made vanilla buttercream frosting, then Bruce and Finn worked on the coloring and decorating.

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We melted chocolate to make eyes and a mouth.

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And voila!

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The girls didn’t get any cake, but they got some roasted chicken.

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I think they have a pretty good life.

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Bruce at Winnemucca Lake

Continuing their ice fishing quest, Bruce and Andrei made a day trip to Winnemucca Lake in March. Sans children and armed with a longer drill, they gave it another shot.

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There were still no fish.

But it was beautiful!

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Spring Walk & Roll Day 2017

Way back at the beginning of the school year, I chose to have our Spring Walk & Roll Day in March instead of April because a) we had rain in April last year and b) April is when the standardized testing is happening and I figured everyone already has enough to worry about. Well, point b) was fine, but, unfortunately, we still had to fight the rain. I was really worried we’d have an unsuccessful event, but with the helpful ideas of a veteran Safe Routes rep, we managed to pull off another great W&R day.

It was a family affair — Bruce and Finn both helped make the poster and man the tables.

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The poster was a huge success!

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Here’s a video that shows all the post-it notes that the kids drew. I really was surprised at the outcome — such enthusiasm and creativity!