Around the House

Around the house the reading is non-stop.



Amazing science experiments with water.




Trying out a new camera lens that gives pictures a bit of a blur.  


Getting cold enough to light a fire.


So much fun finding new books to read over and over.


 And finally getting rid of those halloween pumpkins.




Night at the Museum

The Natural History Museum in Los Angeles offers overnight adventures at the museum.  So I got together with a couple of friends and we signed our boys up for a Night at the Museum.

Ready to go with an air mattress, sleeping bags, flash lights, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  


All the guys hopped in a minivan and hit the road!


They made it!


Don said there were lots of people there and they were divided in to groups.  Their group set up camp in the African Mammals section near the hippo and something deer.  Love this picture of their campsite :)




Creating fossils.


Of course Quinn was one of the last to fall asleep and get up in the morning.


They had so much fun and it was a great adventure!

Magic Castle

Last weekend we had a guest pass to visit the legendary Magic Castle.  You must be a member or have a guest pass to get in and we were lucky enough to score a guest pass from a friend.  Kids are only allowed on Saturday and Sunday mornings as the evenings are pretty dressy and pretty raunchy.

This place is pretty legendary and is the training ground for professional magicians.

Our red carpet moment outside the castle :)  Quinn and I needed a couple of new clothing items to meet their daytime dress code.


In order to enter in to the castle, you have to say "open sesame" to the trick library door.  Once in the castle there are many rooms with different performers.   During the day 3 of the rooms are open.  

We first went to the "Parlor of Prestidigitation" which was a very kid family performance by Funny Eddy.  Definitely Quinn's favorite performance of the day.

And then we went on to the "Palace of Mystery" which was a more traditional magic show.  An older gentleman started the show and his slight of hand with playing cards was pretty incredible.   And then a magician named Puck who has been on TV was up.  He was our least favorite.

And last we went to the "Close Up Gallery" which was a very small theater with about 12 seats.  The performer was more of a freak of nature genius vs. a magician.  He started with 2 rubix cubes and had audience members mix them up.  In about 60 seconds he solved the first one.  And then he looked closely at the 2nd rubix cube and in about 30 seconds he  re-jumbled the first solved cube to match the 2nd mixed up cube.  Wow!  And his card tricks were just incredible.  We were blown away!!!

They don't allow any photography in the castle so we got this amazing shot from their professional photographer ;)  The main reason for getting this was because we also received another guest pass back to the castle.


It was a very magical morning!

The Hardy Boys

Quinn is such a voracious reader and the other day he was asking me about the books I read as a kid and if I had read Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  I told him that I read the Bobsey Twins and Nancy Drew.  And that boys generally read The Hardy Boys.  Quinn seemed interested.

So yesterday I ran by Barnes & Noble and they now sell an updated version of The Hardy Boys.  It has just the right ratio of words to pictures.  I don't think Quinn would like the original version but this one caught his attention.  And the boys are 8 and 9 years old in the book.


After he read the book he put a detective problem together for me to solve.  He told me it was very beginner.  I'm so glad I got an A+ on my first assignment.


One of Quinn's favorite places to read is our family "library".  I snuck up and took a quick anonymous picture of him and his new book.



Laptop Light

Quinn's teacher has agreed to let him "write" his homework on the computer.  We only revert to the computer when it requires alot of writing in sentences and paragraphs.  And these days it's often dark by the time we sit down to do homework.  I made it a little darker last night.



Cub Scouts

Quinn is an official Cub Scout or Wolf Scout or Something Scout.  We're still figuring it all out.  But he looks like this.


Today his troop or pack or den had the first field trip of the year to a food pantry at a local church.  Here he is with his buddy Zach.  Their faces!!!


We all took a big bag of food. We met with the pastor and food pantry volunteer who told us a little bit about the pantry.


And we got to see their small, but generous, pantry.  They serve about 15 families a week.  She asked if they had any questions and here Quinn is asking if a dog counts as a family member.  Our boy.


If you know Don & I, you know we probably don't agree with everything the Boy Scouts stand for.  However they made some changes to their policies over the summer which was a move in the right direction.  Since Quinn isn't big in to sports we wanted him to have a "team" and the Boy Scouts definitely teach alot of good stuff.

Half Awake


Second Grade Class Picture

 Our handsome Second Grader.


Quinn decided he wasn't going to show all his teeth when he smiled and only do a semi-smile.  I think he nailed it.  

And his class. 


He's One Tough Mudder

Last weekend Don ran in a 5K mud run with a couple of friends from work.   He got a little bit muddy :)


Here's a great picture captured by one of the event photographers.   Who is that monster?


An Afternoon at Leo Carillo

On a beautiful sunny SoCal Sunday we enjoyed an afternoon at Leo Carillo beach which is on the Ventura/Malibu line.




We hit the beach at low tide so there will be lots of tide pools and things to explore.  Unfortunately all of the caves that we used to find so fun are gone.  Not sure if the low tide was higher or if the tides have brought sand in, but they were gone.  Boo!!

Quinn and Don working on a dam.  






A view looking towards Leo Carillo Beach.


And the view the other way.