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Another School Year Over

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Another School Year Over

This past year brought a lot of events in our family. There were changes for some of us, challenges for some of us, and growth for all of us. Now that there are 3 of us who attend (well, okay, one of us teaches, but you get it) school daily, we measure things in years of 10 months at a time. Summer somehow seems like an entirely different entity.


The 4 of us on our first day – August 2016

I came back to 5th grade this year. I got a new partner, and a new principal. We went on several field trips this year – more than last year.


Soaking up local culture and Art


Re-enacting the American Revolution at Riley’s Farm

This year had its challenges for me, but being in the classroom for the second year, teaching (mostly) the same content was much easier than last year. I had a much clearer picture and understanding of my expectations.

We raised money for another 3-day field trip to the Pali Institute this time. It was a great experience!


Checking out wildlife in the pond at Pali

My son, the 16-year-old, was finally able to get his Comedy Troupe started. It was a struggle sometimes, and it took a LOT of strength for me to stay out and let him find his own wings and his own voice, but he did. He managed the team and ran the practices and at the end of the year was able to perform to a full house!


the teams warming up before the show


My son, with his winning “Karate Kid” move

He also managed to get himself into the “Top 10 of 2019” at his school, something he aimed for last year but JUST missed.

Our youngest daughter started middle school this year. Thought it seems like *just yesterday* that she started pre-school, now she is ready to take on 7th grade. She had a year of adjustments, but rose to the challenges that faced her. Last year, she was very involved in things like Math Field Day and her dance elective. This year, as she was adjusting to middle school, she decided to scale things back. Next year she’s hoping to be part of the performing arts elective. She did, however, attend all the dances.


The youngest (right) ready for Mardi Gras

Our middle child had a full, busy year. She performed several times with her performing arts elective, and was in the Spring Musical. She also trained to be a Junior Docent for a historical building in town.  She auditioned for a new Arts high school and was accepted! And finally, she graduated 8th grade and is moving on to high school in the Fall.


Heading into the audition


My girl and I on her promotion day.


While I am glad to be back in the classroom, the worst part is that I don’t get to volunteer in the kids’ classrooms or go on field trips like I used to. (Though, admittedly, now that they’re older there are less opportunities to do this.) Luckily I was able to take a few personal days and chaperone the 8th grade field trip to Catalina. I did it for my son, and now my daughter. (Hopefully in 2 years I’ll get to go with my youngest.


My daughter, ready to try snorkeling at Catalina

Somewhere in there, we also managed to go on a trip during Spring Break. (Now that one child will be on a different schedule next year, this may be our last Spring vacation in awhile…)


Salt Creek in Death Valley

Next year will bring even more changes for us. Not only is my daughter starting high school in another district, I’m changing schools (and grades! I’m going from 5th to 1st grade). We’re back to having 3 kids at 3 schools for a few years. Luckily my husband’s schedule is flexible enough that we can tag-team with all the kids!

For now, we’re on Summer vacation. We began our summer by saying good-bye to my Granny. She was a fabulous, loving woman with a great laugh. She is missed.


Granny and I, 2 years ago

Two kids are taking summer school classes, both Mom AND Dad are taking classes this summer, and everyone will be busy. In there somewhere, we’ll be headed on a trip, and attend Comic-Con. I worry this summer will go by in the blink of an eye, but we will make the very most of it.

Happy Summer, everyone!!



What Makes Someone Sexy?

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Looking back on that high school yearbook, I found more than one entry from a guy I didn’t know very well, saying I was “sexy.” First of all, knowing that I was 17 when I graduated and these guys were writing that makes me feel kind of icky. Second of all, at the time, I don’t think I truly knew what it meant to be sexy. I suppose there are several ways you can define sexy.

Let’s see if we can define it. Wikipedia says “Sexy is an adjective to describe a sexually appealing person or thing.”

In the thesaurus, the synonyms for sexy are “arousing, come-hither, cuddly, flirtatioushot*,inviting, kissable, libidinousmatureprovocative, racy, risqué, seductivesensual,sensuous, slinky, spicy*, steamy, titillating, voluptuous

The free dictionary’s definitions are these:

1. Arousing or tending to arouse sexual desire or interest.
2. Slang Highly appealing or interesting; attractive
Hmm…. I’m sensing a pattern. We’re getting a little closer, but not quite what I’m looking for.
It took 6 definitions to find one I feel is the most true, and I found it in the Urban Dictionary. It’s the #6 definition and says
“Its not a word , its an attitude.”
Now, maybe this is where men and women differ. See, I think MOST men (okay, maybe not all men) would agree that playboy models are sexy. And bikini models. And big boobs. Victoria’s Secret and Carl’s Jr. ads count on that.


Photo of Victoria’s Secret model.
And I’ll admit – I sure as heck can appreciate a pretty face and body on a man.
But there are some people I find incredibly sexy for their minds, their art, and their talent.
Danny Elfman

Danny Elfman

I love his music – it evokes such feelings in me when I listen to it. I have Spiderman2, Edward Scissorhands, MIB, and The Corpse Bride themes on heavy rotation on my iphone, and still love listening to Oingo Boingo music that brings back memories of my youth.

Another one for the sexy files?
Steve Martin

Steve Martin

There is just something about Steve Martin that I’ve always loved. From SNL to Three Amigos to L.A. Story, to Parenthood to Grand Canyon to Father of the Bride to his play Picasso at the Lapin Agile. 

I simply love him. He’s brilliant, funny, and I always feel happier after I’ve seen him.

Now, here’s a guy who might be considered more “traditionally” sexy, who knows?

This guy is hilarious

This guy is hilarious

Photo from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
I’ve loved him from the first minute I saw him on SNL. He makes me laugh so hard. He just seems like he enjoys every minute of his job, which I just love. What’s sexier than I guy truly happy? What’s sexier than a guy doing what he loves and entertaining the masses? He also seems like just a genuinely nice guy. I’d love to just hang out with him in the backyard.
I know there’s more to this list – and to be fair, I didn’t include women. There are plenty of sexy women out there who aren’t overtly sexual. Like Meryl Streep, who is so incredibly talented I’d watch her read the phone book. Or Michelle Obama – an incredibly confident, well-spoken woman who is helping to change the world, or at least the US. Or J.K. Rowling, who wrote my favorite book series of all time.
I find sexiness in confidence, but not arrogance.
I find sexiness in passionate people – people who believe in a cause and fight for it.
I find sexiness in art.
I find sexiness in kindness.
I find sexiness in talent.
Where do you find sexiness, and WHO is sexy in your mind?

Local Color – A Day At The Getty Museum

Today we met my parents at the Getty Museum. It was a gorgeous day to be outside in the garden and venture out somewhere to see some art.

I have been to the “Old Getty” aka the Getty Villa years ago (it was gorgeous, and I’d love to go there again), but I’d never been to the “new Getty” (okay, so 1997 isn’t exactly new)…

Anyway, that’s where we went today.

Here are some photos of our day.

Waiting to get on the tram that takes us up to the museum.

Riding on the tram

Our view from the tram

Fountain on the way to the gardens

Gorgeous maze in the middle of a pond in the gardens


Outdoor sculptures

View of the city. Don't mind the haze.

The sculptor's daughters

Gorgeous detailed, giant urn

Crazy unusual vase

This vase is Bohemian- which I just realized I might be!

This piece is labeled as "Bohemian or Italian." I just loved it.

It was a great day of sharing culture with the kids, and seeing a Los Angeles landmark and learning something new. It was great to spend some time with my parents, and doing something together as a family. We have SO many things to do in Los Angeles and we don’t advantage of them as often as I think we should. We’ve been wanting to visit the Getty for 14 years, for goodness’ sake! 🙂

Perhaps in 2012 we can cross a few more landmarks off our list.

Here’s to more art and culture and local color in all of our lives!

Bye for now, Getty! We'll be back some day!





Halloween Fun, Day One

Halloween gets started early around here. One of the first things that happens is the Fall Festival at our elementary school. (The middle school has a dance on the same evening.) Usually it falls on or very near Halloween, but since this year Halloween falls on a Monday, it’s the Friday before – October 28th, and most kids were not in costume.

Mmmm... pizza!


Decorating bags to hold all the prizes


Sean met up with us after checking in with friends.


3 pumpkin girls


Big Slide was fun... we almost missed it!


After the festival, we went to the girls’ tap class, then had a bit of a rest at home before changing and heading out into the night for Maddie’s gallery showing for Dia De Los Muertas at the Zona Rosa Caffe.

Sean playing games, while waiting for his sisters.


I have to giggle at this photo, because at the age of 10, Sean is oblivious to cute girls in leotards bustling around him. This will all change in a few years, surely.



Near the cafe where the art show was happening, we passed through the alley behind the Pasadena Playhouse. The big doors were open, and we got a peek at the backstage area where the props and such are housed and made. Pretty neat. Pretty big.

Blessing of the storefronts.


Heading into the gallery

Inside the cafe - gallery's upstairs.


A lot to look at upstairs... where's Maddie's art?


"Here's my fish!"

Art on our way down the stairs


It was pretty cool to see her art in a gallery setting. By then, we were all pretty hungry, so we looked around a bit more and then left, taking a peek at the decorated alley on our way back to the car.

And headed to a late dinner.

Tonight will be part two as we go to a family friendly, no scary costumes allowed (very important in this family) costume party, and then Monday we’ll have costumes on at school and trick-or-treating in the evening. I’m sure we’ll be all Hallow’ed out by Tuesday.

How do you celebrate All Hallows Eve, Dia De Los Muertos, or Fall?