Monday, December 28, 2009

The most recent command performance (with newly figured-out annotation editor work!):

And a little family band song from August:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Montclair Metrathon!

Crazy day of walking/running 7.5 hours to raise money for school programs - library, music, pe, computers, etc. Ryan was determined to be the top walker this year (as opposed to two years ago when he was the top money-earner). Last year's top walker hit 45 we knew it was a difficult task.

The beginning....everyone trying to jostle into the front.

Ryan struggling. He says he was ready to give up at 40km, but people along the way encouraged him to keep going. There's a bit of hand holding for the last 4 km. A boy has never been the top walker in anyone's recent memory.

Coming in for his last few yards.....the smile is starting to appear.

Success! 46 kilometres! That's 28.6 miles...more than a full marathon. We can't be 100% sure that he is the top walker, but based on our big ears, we think we've sniffed out that he probably was. Won't find out for sure until the Metrathon assembly where they announce such things in the next couple of weeks.

Celebrating with an oddly-placed sno-cone. And no, his hair's not cut. He has a mom-imposed pony tail.

Sierra simpatico.....she also met her goal of 30 kilometres - 18.6 miles - to earn a spot at the ice cream sundae party for kids who "walk really far." I think she feels really good to know that in all my hikes I've never walked 18 miles - that would be crazy!
Congratulations to both of you - dad and I are really proud of how hard you worked!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Some random happenings in September:

Ryan races in his first mountain bike race. The field was 8 or 9 kids and the class was 14-under. Clearly Ryan was the youngest, and the only one whose first race it was. He did great - came in a 32-ish minutes....a cluster of around 3 guys came in around that time and the leaders (who had been racing on a team all summer) came in around 22-ish minutes.

Here he's getting ready.

Mommy and Ryan.
The field of competitors.

The afterwards....playing around part. The sister thinks she's a monkey.

She really does.

No really, she does.

Earlier in the month, some playground time. Do you ever get too old for see saws and burying each other in sand?

Ryan and his friend Ryan find new ways to hang out at the pool.

And the San Jose Mariachi Festival last weekend:

Sierra and friends

As usual, Sierra wins the hula hooping contest. Those hula/tahitian hips are paying off.
Awesome park downtown with water fountains specifically for kids to cool off and play around.

And finally, even Comet was brought home a souvenir from the festival. He's thrilled.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Last night was the Montclair Elementary Variety Show.

Sierra danced Te Pua Noa Noa:

Ryan played the piano and sang Photograph by Jamie Cullum:
They were awesome!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ryan is the greatest salesman in the world. I think he has all the right elements. 1. He's cute. 2. He's cute. 3. He's cute and not afraid to ask ANYONE to buy a raffle ticket. Ryan's been all over Oakland, Berkeley and Walnut Creek. We've left San Francisco for the SF boys....but we may wander over there before this thing's done. He's got a great little table - there's music playing that the boys recorded of the Inauguration songs (unfortunately not yet available or for sale, but beautiful to listen to as you're walking by); and then printouts of photos of the chorus in DC and at the Inauguration. So even when people plan to walk by, the music or the photos catch their attention.

At the above concert venue, we got there early enough to see one of the musicians arrive. He was the cellist - Lawrence Granger - and he was awesome. He had forgotten his checkbook that night and felt so bad that all he could give Ryan was $60 cash to buy raffle tickets. Ryan was unbelievably thrilled - that was his biggest sale ever! So we got a picture of them together.

We also figured out that we have to be in a path where people have to pass by you. We tried Zellarbach on the Berkeley campus, but the space is way too wide open and people can avoid your table like the plague.

And his tally so far? 44 hours of selling. 455 people purchased tickets. 1,129 tickets sold. For a grand total of $2,005. We've guessed that for every sale he's probably said his pitch 10-20 times. So that would be somewhere between 4,000-10,000 utterings of "Excuse me, would you like to buy a raffle ticket to help the San Francisco Boys Chorus?" His goal is $3,000 and he only has until June 3. The money he raises helps pay for his trip to Eugene where they'll be participating this year in a children's choral festival called PICCFest. We talked last night about how much work it is and how we don't know if we're up for it next year. But as he said - "well, you know mom, next year I'll be in the Concert level (the highest group - he's being promoted in June) and there's even more responsibility....and they tour a lot more." Oh yeah.

He thinks he can make his goal...and I hope he can because he's worked his little heart out.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Over the last few weekends we've begun to play Monopoly. The game begins on Saturday night, continues on Sunday after dinner, then gets put aside a week until we can come back to it. Ryan so far has been the tycoon with risky strategies of buying whole blocks of hotels and leaving himself very little money. It seems to pay off for him.
Sierra does really well with transportation strategies, and just basically loves money. I play blocker and hold onto properties for negotiation purposes. It's all been good groundwork for explaining what's going on these days in the world.......

And just a random picture of Scott's homemade pizza - Sierra's favorite being pesto, cheese and an egg.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy First Day of 3rd and 4th Grade!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I am so proud of Ry and Si's sewing! In case you missed it on their own blogs (see link at right), they both did lots of sewing camps this summer and these are the results of the final camp:
I loved Si's fabric so much I made myself a matching skirt.

Ry is the undisputed pocket expert around here now. He's also the tech guy. We bought a ruffler foot attachment for their machine which is extremely huge and weird looking and I went at it for about 15 minutes before giving up the other day....just didn't get how it went on. He had it figured out within 10 minutes this morning and sewed me up a ruffle asap. Rock on Ryan.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Yay! Somebody took video and posted the performance! Sierra is on the far left.....then almost at the very end she switches and as they walk off she's the 4th of 5 to walk off.

This is great because the music is so beautiful. The song is called Kawika. Also, there will be a professional DVD so if you're willing to fork out $39.95, you can buy it here. I don't think I'm quite ready to cough up that much cash.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The road to winning Ka La Hula i Reno (also known as Heiva i Reno):

First, practice, practice, practice. And preferably find someplace fun to practice. Like Half Moon Bay. You know....on the beach....where hula was meant to be done.

Always listen to your Aunty Moe - she knows what she's doing:

Now follow her lead:

Next, find a group of people at the beach who are celebrating a birthday, then perform for them to get experience in front of an audience (sorry you can't hear the song):

Arrive in Reno and hang with your hula sisters to wait for results from the tahitian competition (and be ecstatic for them when your sisters Chelsea, Katelyn and Kalene take 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in their age category - and don't forget Francisco in the back row with the lei who took first place in his age category for Kane [men]!)

Next, run over to a conference room at the hotel and watch the big girls rehearse for the next day:

Then you rehearse with your crew for the next day:

And sneak in a solo rehearsal or two:

Wake up the morning of the competition and go over to the ballroom to watch the big girls block and rehearse their dance:

Then block and rehearse your dance:

Now you can take out the braids mom spent two hours putting in two days ago. Get big girls to do your hair while telling you all their horror stories of how much it hurt to brush out their hula hair when they were little (try to listen and take comfort through tears....then get mom to take over brushout so that it's not quite so painful....or at least you can yell at her and somehow that makes you feel better):

Now go to another parent for be-flowering (hey - no fair - how did YOUR mom get the sucky job of hair brushout?) Notice big smile to get be-flowered:

Some final touches with the flowers:

Such a pretty smile. And look at that great hula hair!


Now, be sure to let off a little steam in the hotel room, overlooking beautiful downtown Reno:

And be sure to blow us some kisses backstage right before you perform: it is - the big moment! Si is on the far left. Three judges - not too scary, right? Although the one on the far left (in purple) is a Merrie Monarch judge - the superbowl of hula competitions:

Waiting with hula sisters for the results to be announced:

Oh my gosh! Is that right? We won? Let's go get our award!!!!

Pose with sisters - Sarah, Jessica, Jordan, Jasmine (hidden from view) and Sierra - and with judge and Aunty Moe and Uncle Kalen:

Now, go up and hang onto the premiere award - The Adjucator's Pick - the Best Hapa Haole Hula Award:

By winning this award they now automatically become finalists in the Hapa Haole Festival competition being held in Hawaii in October.

In all, Ke Ola Loa (Te Ora Roa O'tea) won the following:

1st place Keiki Hula Auana (that's Sierra!)

2nd place Wahine Hula Auana

1st place Wahine Hula Medley

1st place Music

1st place Costume (older girls)

Best Hapa Haole presentation

And don't forget the tahitian competition from the day before - 1st, 2nd and 3rd place PLUS a 1st place for Francisco

Now pose with everyone associated with the halau (except mom who is taking the photo):

And that's the road to winning a competition. Phew. Take a rest, spend a couple of days in Tahoe, then go see grandma. Life is good.