Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

March 31, 2009

March 2009 – Lilah and Luke

Filed under: Lilah and Luke — dave9169 @ 11:04 pm

March highlights include:


Lilah ended her first season of YMCA soccer this month. She really enjoyed the experience and played well. In her last game, she actually got on a breakaway but passed the ball to a teammate to let him try to score the goal. She’s the one who had the better play on the goal, running right down the middle of the field, but in the end she got a little overwhelmed by the moment and passed the ball off instead of scoring herself. Oh well, perhaps that can be a “goal” for next season? For now, she is happy with having played her first season and also getting a trophy. Interestingly enough, Lilah also expressed an interest in wanting to play AYSO soccer, but when we told her that she’d be playing on an all girls team she said she changed her mind. Apparently, she likes playing on co-ed teams where she passes the ball off to the boys to score. We’ll have to work on that ;-).

The next sporting activity Lilah wants to participate in is swimming. I told her she definitely has the feet for it. For example, I’m a decent swimmer, but I have a pretty weak leg kick. This means that when I use the kick board it looks like I’m pretty much kicking in place instead of propelling myself forward with my feet. As a test, I had Lilah use a kick board and kick next to me. Sure enough, she kicked my butt. I could not keep up with her. That feat earned her the nickname “flipper feet.”

I’d have to say this was a pretty athletic month for Lilah. In addition to soccer, she also went hiking, played some basketball, and did a little grass-hill surfing at the Santa Barbara zoo. However, we were also pleasantly surprised with her academic achievement. This was the note Lilah’s teacher wrote regarding her second quarter accomplishments:

Lilah’s reading exceeds standards for 3rd grade. She is an intelligent young lady with great understanding of text in a variety of genres. She is also exceeding in math during the most challenging part of the curriculum. She contributes thoughtful information to class discussions, end enjoys searching out interesting details. She expects excellence from herself, driving her to write extensive narratives. She is a leader amongst her peers. We especially enjoy her poetry recitals due to her dramatic flair! Lila is a model student.

There’s a lot in that little paragraph — leadership, math skills, writing extensive narratives (like dad), and dramatic flair. Wow, way to go Lilah.


Luke’s report card wasn’t as stellar as Lilah’s, but he is making continuous improvements and is praised by his teacher for “working independently,” being a “capable learner,” a “model student,” and a “dependable” student who always does his best work in school. Where points come off for Luke are in his writing skills — more specifically his penmanship which needs improvement (a trait he shares with his dad . . . that’s why we have computers, right?).

Luke and I both joined the YMCA adventure guides this month. The adventure guides are basically a circle of dads and their sons who meet once a month to partake in various “manly” activities, including four weekend camping trips that are scheduled throughout the year. The monthly meetings are meant for the boys to get together to play, do crafts and also sit in a circle and talk about what they did with their dads during the month. For his first attempt, Luke did remarkably well. He didn’t remember all the things he was going to talk about, but the thing he did remember — joining the basketball team — he spoke of well. He also created an Indian name for himself — Fire Hawk — which is another thing you have to do as part of the adventure guides. This is a carryover from the days the adventure guides were called the Indian guides (I am told the old moniker was changed for “PC” reasons).

Our first big activity as part of this group is building a pine box derby race car in preparation for the pine box derby race at the beginning of April. If you’re not familiar with this event, it essentially consists of creating your own race car out of a pine box derby racing car kit. The kit includes wheels, axles, and a solid block of would that you carve, cut, or sand into a respectable race car. You can also paint and polish the car to customize it and make it your own. After that, teams in the adventure guides participate in racing heats at their local YMCAs until a winner is crowned.

Luke is very excited about the race, although his focus on building the car was a little suspect, leaving me to do most of the work. He did participate in some of the activities though — such as sanding and painting sections of his vehicle. The series of pictures below shows the various steps in our process — from the initial block of wood to the final finished race car.

A Visit from Grandma Carol

The kids also enjoyed visiting with grandma Carol this month and think it’s great to have three grandmas. During Carol’s stay, we visited the Santa Barbara zoo. The kids appreciated looking at the animals, but what they liked the most is a new play area that consists of a small hill of very slippery grass. This is where kids can sit or stand on pieces of cardboard and literally surf or toboggan down the hill at a nice rate of speed. I think we spent 30 minutes or more at this new attraction.

In any case, we all had fun and enjoyed our visit with Carol. Now she is back in “sunny” Alaska until she returns later in the year before fall and the “real” cold arrives. Here’s a nice little excerpt from an e-mail Carol sent recently that illustrates just how relative cold can be:

Weather BEAUTIFUL today–32 degrees and sunny, so feels like SUMMER–REALLY!

Well, that’s definitely not a southern California description of winter, but like I said, she’s in Alaska.

More next month!

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