Thanksgiving Week

Quinn gets the full week off for Thanksgiving which is really nice for both of us. On Tuesday we took Mae to the Waypoint Cafe at Camarillo Airport for lunch and to watch the planes.

The day before Thanksgiving getting as much done as I can.

Cranberry on China. This year I pulled out mom’s good china. The only picture I took on Thanksgiving — pathetic!

We usually do a family hike on Thanksgiving but the winds were so strong we couldn’t really go outside. In fact, many homes had their power cut off as a safety measure to prevent wind-related fires.

But we got out on Friday. Quinn hates it when Don walks to the edge. Sonic’s probably not too happy either.

Around Here in November

Quinn is starting to accumulate hats with each trip to the mall with friends.

Quinn is crushing it in Honors Algebra this year. We always told him he was good at math and now he’s really feeling it.

He has these grid sticky notes for drawing graphs in math but they are frequently used for something else.

Gruyere and Pear still life.

Mae’s condo is across the street from Quinn’s middle school and once a week he walks over there after school. On this day they visited Larry the llama and gave him a treat. Mae gave him that shirt for his birthday so now Quinn calls it Grandma’s Shirt.

We are coming to an end with all of the structural issues at our new rental condo. This is before the repair.

Balcony rebuild. Outside and In. This also requires me to spend alot of time in the city permit office. Fortunately they are very nice and the permits were a breeze.

Don recently got promoted and moved into a new office with a view.

Sit and he will come.

Lovely sunset view over our neighborhood.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

We spent our Sunday afternoon at the LACMA. On the way to the city we like to stop at a local institution called The Stand. They have a patio in the back that we love. Speaking of love, Quinn recently discovered that he loves Chili Hot Dogs.

There is a very large exhibit at the LACMA called Band and I have captured Quinn in it over the years. He has grown but I have also captured him from a closer distance which makes him seem even taller.

Next stop is always Metropolis. A mesmerizing giant hot wheels-like display.

A self portrait.

And the main attraction. The Obamas. These were so impressive in person. Best part of the visit.

Mazel Tov!

We attended our first (and probably last) Bar Mitzvah for one of Quinn’s Odyssey teammates. We attended the morning ceremony at a nearby temple.

The young man spends about a year preparing for his bar mitzvah and during the service he has to read/chant quite a bit of text and also create a “sermon” from the Torah. It was a really lovely and touching ceremony involving family and friends. The boy in the middle is the bar mitzvah. Quinn in his “hard clothes”. He asked why fancy clothes have to be so hard.

At 6 pm it was party time!

The celebration was at a local golf course and it really was like a mini wedding reception. The photo booth was a big hit with the kids. Quinn tried to put on all the photo booth props.

The moms.

The kids. They were having so much fun. Quinn was trying to create a picture-in-picture-in-picture kind of thing.

The Hora – so much fun and an important part of the bar mitzvah. You might recognize Coach Juli from Odyssey.

Quinn has discovered that he is very good at the limbo — just like his dad. Here he is with his Odyssey teammate Lex (aka Julia). They had such a fun night together.

The parents got a sit down meal and the kids got a pizza and fries buffet along with an ice cream sunday bar. And the DJ’s made it so much fun for the kids. Quinn was up dancing and participating in all of the fun activities. There was a game of musical chairs where the kids had to find certain things before they could sit back down….like cash, a AAA card, womens shoes, etc. At one point Quinn just pretended that he was sitting in a chair and he got a big pass for the next round for his creativity.

What a fun night! And it was great for all of us to be able to spend time with friends and celebrate a really great young man. Mazel Tov!

Halloween

Quinn and his friends wanted to Trick-or-Treat this year and this might be the last year. Who knows. The skeleton and his side kick.

We met up in front of their elementary school and walked through that neighborhood. The motley crew.

There was one street with lots of houses decorated and people giving out candy. The house on the end of the street always hosts a free haunted house for anyone that dares to enter. But the rest of the neighborhood was pretty quiet. And we only had 2 large groups of trick or treaters. Things still not quite back to normal.

The boys went back to Elias’ house to trade candy and continue the fun. When Quinn got home he said it was the “Funniest Night of my life”. So I guess it was a good one!

Around Here October

A typical morning scene.

Now that it’s getting cooler, Sonic and I are getting out more. And we can go on the trails because it’s not so snake-y.

At the orthodontist getting his upper retainer.

Quinn has an hour tuba lesson at Thousand Oaks High School so I made the most of it with a hike up Tarantula Hill during sunset. I didn’t see a tarantula but I did see a pretty big spider.

Another morning, another Sonic pillow.

On my morning walk with Sonic I saw this hummingbird in a neighbors butterfly bush.

Sonic likes to follow me around the house, especially if there seems to be a walk in his future. But he will hedge his bets by sitting on the stairs so he can easily access upstairs and downstairs, depending on where I go.

A short video of Sonic getting a Halloween scare.

Fun with friends.

14th Birthday: Part 3

Today was family birthday celebration day. It started out like this. Trying to get the kid out of bed as it approaches noon. Sonic is of no help.

Opening some gifts. The orthodontist recommended a Waterpik to make flossing easier. We will see how this goes. And Quinn loves weird cube shape things.

Mae joined in on the celebrations today. Quinn requested Hot Pot for dinner and it was delicious. And then another day, another cake. German Chocolate. Happy Birthday Quinn!

14th Birthday: Part 2

Quinn’s birthday fell on Saturday this year so we took Quinn and his best buddies out to celebrate. This year Quinn wanted to do a Men in Black Virtual Reality experience

It was the 4 teens and 2 dads. Getting geared up and ready to go into the room. They had a blast.

The teens.

It was about an hour drive each way and they chatted and laughed the whole way there. They thought this meme was outrageously funny and took turns trying to read it without laughing…they couldn’t.

We had lunch and headed home for cake. I purchased this “famous” birthday cake from Milkbar in NYC and it arrived in perfect condition and it was delicious.

Quinn did not give us one single gift idea for his birthday but money is always a good gift. But I had to give it to him in a creative way.

When I gave the gift to Quinn, I asked the boys what they thought was inside. They said boxes in boxes in boxes. They were right but didn’t know it yet. Although they guessed that there was a singular item, like one cashew, in the final box. So much fun!

Happy Birthday to the best kid ever with great friends. We love you Quinn!

14th Birthday: Part 1

We kicked off the birthday celebrations on October 8. Friday after school I took Quinn and 4 friends to the mall for Fro-Yo.

Not sure what’s going on but here they are.

They all had a little bit of spending money and Quinn bought himself a cowboy hat. I think it looks great on him! Such a fun time for these teens.

Braces No More

Quinn has had braces for almost 4 years. We were originally told it would be 2 – 3 years but Quinn was not diligent in wearing the headgear or rubber bands so the extended time was a bit self-inflicted.

Don and I talked about it and we agreed it was enough. So on his last visit I told the orthodontist that we were done. Although not quite as perfect as the ortho would have liked, they were close enough.

Here is is the day he got his braces back in 4th grade.

The much hated head gear that he had to wear at night for a year or more.

It’s difficult getting after school appointments with the orthodontist unless scheduled months in advance, so I pulled Quinn out of school in the morning so that we could get these things out before his birthday.

He’s so happy to have them out. He has permanent retainers that are attached in the back on both upper and bottom teeth and he will wear a plastic retainer at night. And he is still working on the open mouth smile after years of doing the closed lip smile.

Such a handsome dude!