Last Day of 7th Grade

An epic 7th grade school year is in the books. Quinn was 100% virtual with 2 classes per day from 9 am – 11:30 am. I don’t know how they covered a years worth of curriculum but they made the most of it.

And Quinn had a great academic year with mostly A’s and a couple of B’s. And that’s with 3 honors classes: english, social studies, and math. Next year he will add honors science to his schedule.

Here’s what the first day of school looked like. We got Quinn a ChromeBook that he used for school only and that worked out really well.

Did I ever post this picture of him learning virtually?

Last day of PE doing push ups. He was so D.O.N.E.

Obligatory last day of school pics. Jumping for joy.

His luscious glory, as Don likes to call his hair.

Class of 2026! Um, it almost fits him in the 7th grade. Should be interesting in the 12th grade.

Just a reminder of years past.

The kid doesn’t really ask for much but we usually get him something at the end of the school year. This year we got him a Gamer’s Laptop. He was so surprised and happy and his gaming friends were so excited for him.

And that’s a wrap on the 7th Grade!

Cousin Susan’s Wedding

I took a solo trip to Northern California to attend my cousin Susan’s Wedding. It’s about a 7 hour drive and I got to Chico Thursday evening, just in time to have dinner with Susan and Vaughn and a bunch of her friends. When I returned to the hotel that evening around 10 pm the temperature was 95 degrees. Wow!

Friday I enjoyed the afternoon floating in her pool in her backyard oasis. They recently did a major facelift on the backyard and pool area and have nicknamed their casa Rancho Relaxo. Ross and Tamara arrived Friday afternoon. That evening Sue hosted a Taco and Margarita party. Pam flew in to Sacramento that evening so I had to cut the night short and pick up Pam.

Saturday was wedding day! It was a flip flop casual wedding in their backyard.

Pam, Ross, and Amy. Our first time together in a couple of years.

Susan was escorted by her two granddaughters, Gracie and Carlee.

Sue and Vaughn. I’ve never seen Sue so smitten and happy. Vaughn is such a great guy and they have so much in common, yet they are quite opposite. I expect them to have many happy years together.

A view of the party from the fancy air conditioned port-o-potties. The van is a Sprinter van that Vaughn has converted into a mini RV. They live on about 4 acres so a handful of their guests arrived and stayed in their RV’s.

Amy, Susan, Pam, Ross.

Sue has two first cousins named Amy, one from her father’s side and one from her mother’s side (me). She just recently connected with the other cousin Amy after not knowing her for most of her life. The other Amy was super interesting and we had an instant friendship. As I type this a week after the wedding, the other Amy is still at Sue’s house helping her jar the produce from her garden.

It was so lovely as the sun was setting. It was also really warm and some feet in the pool were necessary.

Holly, Amy, Holly, Amy. We couldn’t resist. Susan’s friends were having the time of their lives. So much fun.

They literally took the plunge!

The party ended up in the pool! What a fun weekend and so happy I got to spend it with Sue, Pam, Ross, and Tamara.

Long Weekend

Quinn had a 4 day weekend which was very welcome. Only 9 more school days left. The countdown begins.

I got a new camera lens and was testing it on our happy boy.

On Saturday we had a pool party with Barbara. We heat the pool to 90 degrees so you can float for hours without getting cold.

I always feel like it’s summer when the Red Kirby Skimmers return and I saw him for the first time this weekend. He likes to sit on the tip of one of the palm trees so he’s easy to photograph.

Quinn had a friend over on Sunday and they were in the pool for 3 – 4 hours. It was nice to have a friend over and get screen free time.

Quinn spent a bit of the weekend in his swing.

He also rediscovered his Virtual Reality headset and spent quite a bit of time playing on the VR. Don helping him unscrew a lightbulb.

At the beginning of the pandemic, we got an indoor cycle for exercise without leaving the house. We use the Peloton app on our ipads for at home classes. I really enjoyed riding this past year and proved to myself that I ride enough to justify the real-deal Peloton.

So here’s the new bike. We were able to sell the old one pretty quickly. And I added some artwork from Mixtiles. I picked some of our favorite pictures from St. John and Mo’orea.

I love the way it turned out. Some of my favorite places and memories.

Science Award

Quinn earned a special award in Science for his outstanding performance. His science teacher this year is pretty amazing. She communicates so well with the kids and parents and Quinn loves her class. They are currently learning about genetics.

The school created a slideshow with all the award recipients.

The school had a drive through with the Principal to pick up the certificate but I wasn’t able to get a picture. Instead I will give you a picture of Quinn annoyed with me for taking his picture during class. So embarrassing.

May Around Here

We had a Turkey Vulture visit our neighbor’s fence. I took the first picture with my cell phone and you can get a sense of its size. Then I pulled out my zoom lens for the 2nd picture. What a face!

We repainted Quinn’s bathroom and I thought it was time to pull down the “Playroom Rules” sign. I saw these on-line and thought they would be bright and whimsical in the bathroom. They are postcards that I put in Target frames.

My friend Amy and I were ready to get our families out of the house so we planned a hike at our local Sapwi park. It also houses a disc (Frisbee) golf course. Don and Quinn putted around while we waited for our friends.

We only went about 1.5 miles but based on the complaining you would have thought it was 10 miles. They were so borrrrrrrred.

We had dinner at a local brewery so the kids could chat and spend time together. Ha! Regardless a nice afternoon/evening out with friends.

Universal Studios

Shhhh! Don’t tell the school but Quinn and I played hooky on Wednesday and went to Universal Studios with Davi and Elias.

The first thing we do is go to Hogsmeade to ride the Harry Potter ride, which is the best one in the park and gets the longest lines. As we predicted, the park was not crowded at all and we walked on to the ride.

Must get Butterbeer! They make a slushie Butterbeer and it is so sweet, cold, and delicious! Masks were strictly enforced in the park but there were special sections for eating and drinking. California has a mask mandate until June 15.

We were able to do all the rides we wanted and eat all the junk we wanted.

We ended our day with the Animal Actors show which is the most unique animal show I’ve ever seen — they have owls, rats, chickens, cats, dogs, guineau pigs, parrots, pigs, ducks, you name it! It was made even better by some bloopers of animals not doing what they were supposed to.

It was such a nice change of pace and the boys loved their day off of school.

Mother’s Day

To this guy who made me a mother.

We visited our local Botanical Garden that has a nice view over the Conejo Valley. There were lots of flowers in bloom and it was a lovely day.

I love our Thousand Oaks oak trees.

On the way home we introduced Barbara to our local Larry the Llama. When we pulled up, all the chickens came running over. But Larry didn’t smell food so he didn’t get too close.

Socially Distanced Dinner Time!

I was in the mood for a Seafood Extravaganza so we had lobster, shrimp, and Maryland crab cakes with a big salad.

Quinn has an extra credit assignment due where he needs to tell a story with a picture and then write something about it. We thought that today would be a good day to tell a story.

Chess: Last Time and First Time

Quinn has always loved chess but it kinda comes and goes. He recently discovered an on-line chess game and started challenging all his friends and his dad. Don suggested they take the chess boards to La Jolla and I suggested they play on the beach for a photo opp. I think I posted the pic in my last post, but here it is again.

Today an image popped up in Don’s Facebook Memories. It was their first game of chess 8 years ago today, April 17. Here’s the original picture.

I found another image that I took. All the serious thinking happens with these two when their tongues are out.