Lately....

 Quinn has had a rash around his mouth for months and we trying to find the cause.  His pediatrician recommended a blood draw to test for allergies. 

The nurse at the dr's office tried twice and she sucked and it was traumatic.  So I went on-line and found a child friendly blood draw lab.    Quinn appreciated my research and found the experience not so bad.  His funny face as he looks away from the butterfly needle. 


 All done with no tears. 


Reward!


Our local school board is a mess.  So Don and I are getting out there supporting some new school board members who are focused on the kids.  We attended a meet and greet on Saturday and have plans to continue to participate in our local politics. 


Just a mom chilling out in her sons room after he gets out of bed as the breeze flows through the house. 


We met the Conrath's in Ventura for a bike ride and dinner.  A nice way to end the weekend. 



First Day of 5th Grade

5th Graders Rule the School!   And this 5th grader is now in a mens size 8.5 shoe!


Hard to believe this is Quinn's last year of elementary school. 


He has lots of familiar faces in his class this year so we know it's going to be a great year for Quinn.


Hummingbirds

We love hummingbirds.  Don really loves hummingbirds.

There is a wild bird store near Quinn's TKD studio so I stopped in and bought a recommended hummingbird feeder along with lots of tips on how to attract these little creatures.

It takes (Don) a little bit of work but it is paying off and we are enjoying watching the hummingbirds at the feeders.  I need work on my hummingbird photography but it was fun trying to capture this guy. 





Day at the Beach

School starts this coming week so we needed to sneak in one last beach day.  We met a handful of friends down at Zuma Beach.

Quinn loves to spend most of his day in the water but he usually comes out chattering with blue lips.  So I got him this wetsuit to keep him warm and he loved it!


As you can see, it was a pretty hazy day....


But the sun came out eventually.  These two spent a good bit of time boogy-boarding.  The current was pretty strong and the lifeguards were walking up and down the beach keeping a close eye on everyone -- especially these two.  They may have been whistled at a couple of times for going out too far.



Moms appreciate it when boys want to prove their strength.


Photo Weekend in NYC

I was so excited to be invited to a photography gallery opening in NYC by MeRa Koh.  She is the photographer I have travelled with to Thailand and Utah.  I was already planning on being in Maryland during that time so it was a no brainer.

I left Quinn with Grams and Pam and hopped on the train to NYC.


Her exhibit called "A Different Life" was showcased at the Sony building.  MeRa is one of Sony's premier artisans.  

A handful of the ladies that attended the winter retreat in Utah in January.  From Texas, Washington, California, Florida, and Chicago.


With our trusty leaders MeRa and Brian. 


 All of these ladies are previous students and showed up to support MeRa.  I'm  peeking out from the back right in the middle. 


MeRa is such a talented photographer and it was pretty fantastic to see her work on the walls.  If you click HERE you can see her husband, Brian, and daughter, Pascaline, "televising" the event live. 

The next morning we went back to the Sony building for a workshop.  The view was pretty amazing. 


And the inside of the Sony building was pretty nice too.


Friday night we went out for Italian food in Brooklyn and then down to the water to shoot the NYC skyline.   There were about 15 of us with our big cameras on tripods.   In this image you can see the Statue of Liberty on the far left of the image. 



We were shooting these images with a 30 second shutter speed which made the water really flat and reflective.  Here's a similar shot below from my iphone.  Not so great. 


On Saturday MeRa did a mini-class that was open to the public.  It was geared towards professional photographers who shoot families and kids.  MeRa is a master of using light so I am always learning from her when shooting side by side.   Here we are on the streets of NYC shooting one of the volunteer models. 


I love getting together with my photography group.  I'm always learning and making new friends.  And I'm happy to say that I'm already signed up for another weekend retreat!

Trip to Maryland

Quinn and I had a great visit back to Maryland in early August.

The day we arrived we had a surprise visit from my father's first cousin Robert and his wife Doreen from Nova Scotia.  We all love Robert and family and they literally drove down from Canada for an afternoon visit with my mom.  I was happy we arrived just in time to see them.   


Fun nature walk with Pam and Ben.




 Quinn going with the socks and flip flops look. 


Quinn was super excited to be able to see and catch fireflies as we don't have them in Cali.  We didn't find as many as normal but Quinn did catch one to bring in and show Grams. 


No trip to Maryland would be complete without a crab feast.  And we only had to walk a couple doors up to Sandy's house.  Alex was there to help his grandmother. 


Let the feast begin!


A beautiful sight for this Maryland girl.


I love spending time with my sister!