Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

December 31, 2008

December 2008 – Lilah and Luke

Filed under: Lilah and Luke — dave9169 @ 4:26 pm

Can’t believe another eventful month has passed us and that we’re now embarking on yet another new year. Here are the highlights for December 2008:

Pearl Harbor Memorial Exhibit

We began this month with a visit to the Pearl Harbor exhibit at our local airport. The kids enjoyed the experience as they got a chance to see vintage aircraft up close and even board one of the planes. In addition to that there were all kinds of artifacts like soldier’s helmets, guns of all shapes and sizes, medals of honor, and plenty of pictures documenting this moment in history. We also learned about a special program at the airport where kids and adults get a chance to work as “mechanics” on the different planes that are being restored. Basically, there are different projects going on at all time within the airport hangars and if you’re signed up you can participate in placing panels on planes, screwing in nuts and bolts, and a variety of other assignments. Lilah and Luke expressed an interested, but we’ll see if that interest is still there in another half dozen years or so as you have to be 12 or 13 to sign up.

Lilah Recital

Lilah performed three songs at her recital: “Oh Christmas Tree,” “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” and “Silent Night.” She did well but stumbled on a few parts which got her a little upset. We found the reason for her displeasure later as she let us know that the music stand was too far away from the keyboard making the notes on the sheet music very difficult to read — thus she was forced to pause at certain moments to discern the notes. In any case, any disappointment she may have felt soon melted away when she received her first trophy. She was very happy and we were happy for her. Luke, always the competitive one, reminded me that he has three trophies and Lilah only had one. I thanked him for the information and told him to keep that one under wraps for now ;-).

Christmas Train Show

In December, Metrolink sponsors a decorated Christmas Train that stops at our train station a few weekends out of the month and performs a live Christmas show with Santa, elves, reindeer, etc.. This was the first year we got a chance to see the show and for the most part we enjoyed it. The local fire men also get involved as they collected gift donations from parents and also allowed our kids to climb all over their trucks and take pictures, something Luke is very fond of doing.


On Christmas Eve we got together to open gifts at my sister’s house. There weren’t really any big gifts the kids absolutely wanted this year. Well, kind of. Lilah did say she wanted a Yorkie dog after she had one fall asleep in her arms at the pet store. Also in Lilah’s Christmas list was a wish for Joya’s left eye to get better so that she doesn’t have to get it removed. That was a nice hear-warming item to see on her list. Lilah also surprised me later when she presented me with a plate of goodies for Santa to eat when he visited our house. Not only did she have a cookie on there for Santa, but also about a dozen baby carrots as well. When I asked her if the carrots were for Santa too, she said the carrots weren’t for Santa but for the reindeer so that they could have the energy they needed for their trip.

Luke pretty much fixated on one thing for Christmas: Pokemon cards (which Lilah also wanted). In addition to that, Luke expressed interest in a Hot Wheels racetrack and very late in the game he mentioned that a Nintendo DS would also be cool to have but luckily he didn’t really press for that one so we skipped that gift this year.

In the end, we didn’t give the kids every single little thing they wanted, but Lilah and Luke were still very happy with what they received which included:

  • Plenty of Pokemon cards
  • An old-style duck shooting game
  • Perfection – another retro game you all might remember
  • Webkinz dolls which the kids are still very fascinated by — Luke got a bat which he called Fangs and Lilah got a Kitty which she named Kaylee
  • One of those manequin doll heads that you can apply make up to or practice your hair braiding techniques on

Well, that’s it for this month. Hope all of you had a Merry Christmas yourself and that this New Year brings you what you need as well as some wonderful unexpected surprises along the way!

P.S. Here’s a link to the annual recap letter Cathy sends out every year just in case you missed it.

December 22, 2008

We visit Griffith Park Observatory

Filed under: Lilah and Luke — dave9169 @ 12:32 am

One of the highlights of our Christmas break was visiting Griffith Park Observatory with the kids. Lilah has been learning a lot about planets at school and both kids recently enjoyed watching the National Geographic special about the rover missions to Mars so we figured the observatory would be a good place to go.

The observatory has a state of the art planetarium theater that presents several shows throughout the day. We ended up seeing a show about the origins of water in the universe. The kids had a blast as the 360 degree viewing experience really makes you feel like you’re out there in space.

There are dozens of other exhibits at the observatory, including a section that includes a station on each planet. These stations even include a scale you can step on to see what you would way on that particular planet. There was one planet where I only weighed about three pounds, I think it was Pluto. Luke laughed when we got to the Uranus station because a bigger kid at school taught him that depending on how you pronounce Uranus, it can mean different things. Of course, now Luke knows exactly what that pronunciation is and he loves to go around spouting off phrases that include the word Uranus in them, such as “Did you see your anus?” “Was that Uranus?” etc.

Anyway, you can really make a whole day out of visiting the observatory because in addition to what’s inside the place, there are also plenty of hiking trails and picnic areas around the observatory with panoramic views of the city and the famous Hollywood sign in the nearby hills. It’s definitely a worthwhile and relatively inexpensive trip (free to get in), if you have the time.

On a Side Note

I really liked this sequence candid photos I took of Lilah while in the Griffith Park Observatory cafeteria.

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