Talia’s 8th Grade Trip

Talia spent the last week back east on her 8th grade trip. She had so much fun! They were gone from May 22nd to May 30th. Here’s a list of where they went and what they saw.

In DC they went to:

FDR and Jefferson Memorials
Capital Hill tour
Supreme Court
Library of Congress
Union Station
Mount Vernon
Home of George Washington
Old Town Alexandria Ghost Tour
Wreath laying at WWII Memorial
Spy Museum
Mass at The Shrine
Smithsonian Museum
Smithsonian American History Museum
National Archives
Lincoln, Vietnam and Korean War Memorials
Iwo Jima Marine Corps Memorial
Arlington National Cemetery
National Cathedral Tour
Fords Theater tickets
Potomac River Cruise Dinner

Then they went to Pennsylvania:

Gettysburg visitors center
Dobbins House and Underground Railroad
Battlefield Tour
Amish Country Experience Tour
Independence Hall
Congress Hall
Liberty Bell
National Constitution Center
Franklin Court
Christ Church
Elfreth’s Alley

Then on to New York:

Empire State Building
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Times Square
Rockefeller Center
NBC Studio Tours
Broadway Show – Wicked
Ellis Island
Statue of Liberty
Wall Street
Ground Zero
China Town
Little Italy
Greenwich Village

Here’s a few of the hundreds of photos taken during the trip.

Twins Kindergarten Farm Show

The twins class performed their Farm Show play today. They were all so cute! Jared played a goat, which is the same role that Aidan had when he was in kindergarten. Riley played a cow, along with his friend Matt. Here’s the video of the play.

Here’s some of my favorite pictures from the play:

Meeting Amy

It was so much fun meeting Amy and her daughter Megan! I have “known” Amy online for several years and was so excited to hear she would be out here visiting family and we would be able to meet up for dinner one night. I brought Kayli with me. I would have brought Talia too, but she is still on her 8th grade east coast trip. Kayli and Megan hit it off and Amy and I had a great time chatting during dinner and afterwards at Amy’s camp site. I have never seen a fish jump out of the water like that before, it was incredible!

It was my pleasure to drive down to meet you Amy! It was only about a 30 minute drive up PCH. (PCH runs parallel to the ocean, so it was a nice scenic drive.)

Here’s my pictures:

New Firepit

We bought a firepit today and tried it out with the neighbors this evening. We used it to cook hot dogs and smores. It worked great! I am sure we will get a lot of use out of it this summer.

An earthquake, a bee sting and a portrait session

We really had a bit to much excitement around here this afternoon. Around 3:50 I noticed that the house was shaking again and told the kids we were having another earthquake. It was much smaller than the one on Sunday, but turned out to be on the same fault line. (4.0 centered in Hawthorne) The kids probably won’t even had noticed it if I hadn’t said anything. My whole desk was shaking so I knew it was an earthquake. A few minutes later Falyn was outside and started screaming that a “honey bee” had stung her. I ran outside and picked her up and saw that she had stepped on a bee. Her foot was getting swollen and a red rash was appearing all around the sting. We were working to get the stinger out when the my 4:15 pm portrait session appointment showed up. I had a First Communion portrait session schedule for a beautiful girl named Ashley. Ashley’s grandmother Linda was a huge help. She sat with Falyn and helped calm her down while we got the stinger out and I ran around looking for the benadryl. After giving Falyn some oral benadryl and spraying some benadryl gel on her foot and putting some ice on it, Falyn calmed down and we put on Tinkerbell for her to watch while we did the portrait session. You can see the sneak peek of Ashley’s pictures here.


Tonight at around 8:40 pm, we were hit by an earthquake. It turned out to be a 4.7 centered near Hawthorne. We are located about 20 miles away very near the fault line where the earthquake occurred. Our house shook for about 30 seconds or so. It never got really bad, but was enough to get the older three up out of their beds and wanted to know if they should run out of the house. The other three kids slept right through it.

Talia and Kayli’s No On Prop 1A Video

I was telling Talia and Kayli about the Orwellian doublespeak being used by the California government to promote prop 1A. After talking with me about it, they did some research on their own and decided to make an of their “Eskimo Talk Shows” video about it. (They have done several other “Eskimo Talk Shows”.) Talia then wrote a script and directed the filming. During the filming Talia learned how hard it is to work with little kids while trying to get Falyn to do what she wanted. Talia and Kayli both worked on editing it and this is the video they created. The only help I gave them was to lend them my aiptek camera and tripod.

Another Slab Leak

A few weeks ago I noticed the floor in the bathroom was warm. I thought it odd and told Dan I thought we had another slab leak. We soon noticed the floor in the entry way become warm as well. Then we started to hear the sound of a leak through the pipes in the kitchen. Instead of jackhammering up the floor to fix the broken pipe, we choose to re-run the pipes from the new bathroom to the other pipes instead. Since this is the second time we have had a pipe in the slab break, it just doesn’t make sense to fix it in the slab. By re-running the pipes, we take care of the problem once and for all.

Here is where the pipes were capped off in the living room.

Here is where we added the new pipe. It is in the wall in the stairwell.

Here’s after the new pipe was added:

Since the floor is no longer warm and we do not hear leaking sounds in the pipes in the kitchen anymore, this leak problem seems to be solved.

Aidan’s First Holy Communion

We celebrated Aidan’s First Holy Communion today. It was such a lovely mass. The kids all looked so adorable in their dresses and suits. They had all worked hard practicing for today and all did a great job. Here’s some of my favorite pictures from today:

Kayli’s Mother’s Day Prayer Service

Each year the 5th graders at my children’s elementary school write special letters to their mothers. Each child reads their letters to the all the mothers at a special service. The letters were all wonderful. Some were funny, some were touching, but all of them were very heartfelt and you could see how much each of this children loves their mother. I felt so sad for the kids whose moms were not able to be at the service. I am sure those moms are sad they missed such an important event in their child’s life.

Here’s the video of Kayli reading the letter she wrote to me.

Here’s a few pictures from the event.