Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

April 30, 2008

April 2008 – Lilah and Luke

Filed under: Lilah and Luke — dave9169 @ 2:38 am

April was another full month for the Guerra family. So far May is feeling like a welcome relief from all the April craziness, which included:

Luke’s Birthday

The month began with Luke’s birthday, which gave dad a chance to by a skateboard (but more on that later). We gave Luke a choice of having a big party with all his friends or going to Legoland later in the month after our big consignment sale. Luke, of course, chose Legoland and we were all happy with the decision. We did, however, have a small “family only” party for him so that he could feel like he had a birthday.

He got a few presents, but was happiest with his new skateboard, something it seemed like he’d been asking me for all year. I was a little concerned with Luke getting a skateboard so young because I know how easy it is to get injured riding one. That’s why I made sure he understood the importance of always wearing his protective pads and helmet, which he has done a good job of doing so far — with the exception of when I took this picture.

But sometimes an example can leave a longer lasting impression than words. That’s where dad and his new board come into the picture. During Luke’s birthday, I asked my nephew how to loosen the wheels a bit on my skateboard so I could get going faster. Once home, I followed my nephew’s instructions, loosening the appropriate bolts, and then raced to the top of our hill — with kids in tow. I gave myself one push and went down the hill at a nice pace. It felt good, but I decided that I wanted to go even faster. That led to another trip up the hill, from where I proceeded to give myself 3 or 4 really hard pushes to get myself going really fast. Well, somewhere in that zeal, I lost my balance and hit the asphalt — HARD. The kids screamed and asked if I was okay. “Yes,” I said, which was true in the sense that I had no broken bones. However, what I did have was a nice bleeding gash on my elbow because I had failed to follow my own rules of wearing safety equipment. That’s where I turned the story into a lesson for the kids. With a serious expression, I looked over at them and said “See you guys, this [pointing at elbow] is why you always need to wear your pads and helmet.”


Well, you’ll all be pleased to know that after nearly a two-year hiatus, the Guerra family won the Legoland fire truck race again. If you don’t recall that adventure, I wrote about it on our July 2006 update. The kids really enjoyed the trip because not only did they get to go on all their favorite rides — car racing, helicopter, a ship that allows you to shoot water at other people and others to shoot water at you — and some new ones, they also got to spend the night at a hotel. Funny how a simple one night stay at a hotel can elicit such excitement, especially when dad stacks pillows on a bed and launches each child onto the stack over and over again. I won’t delve more into this trip as I’ve written about it before, but I just want to reiterate how much nicer it is going there vs. Disneyland or other bigger parks. In general, the lines are shorter, the food is better, and fun is had by all. Oh yeah, there’s also the eating breakfast at dinner time, courtesy of Denny’s — the kids and the adults love that.

Lilah Enters Speech Competition

Last year, Lilah skipped the speech competition because she was a bit scared by it and we didn’t push her to do this elective activity. This year, however, she had a change of heart and decided to participate. As parents, it was cool watching her practice for the event and eventually recite a pretty long poem by memory. Cathy and I both noticed a marked improvement in her delivery the more she practiced. I mean not only did she recite the poem, she also varied her intonation, and used appropriate hand gestures to act the poem out. And when it came time to perform her poem — Math My Way by Kate Farmer — she did superbly.

To me, she was the best out of her small group of participants. But this a really big competition with a few hundred kids, spread out amongst multiple classrooms, participating. The kids also had to recite their poems twice. I showed up at the second session where Lilah’s delivery seemed flawless. But I guess the first time around Lilah had to start over when her concentration was broken by a photographer’s flash that went off in her face. Anyway, these were the things we tried to explain to her when she got mad at not getting a trophy. I told her we can’t always win the “fire truck race” in life but that I was proud of the work she had put into her poem and of her performance. At the time, she didn’t really seem to appeased by my words, but in the end she let it blow over and moved on.

Kids Consignment Sale

The kids had a great time seeing our kids consignment sale take shape again this year. I have to admit, that event though it’s a lot of work, it is always nice to see when it finally all falls into place. You start with an empty warehouse, then three days in a row of checking in and organizing merchandise, and then you open for business. The kids like that, but the part they like the best is picking out their own things to buy.

The short story on the sale is that we grew it about 40% from our initial sale last fall, we finally reached the break even point in terms of money spent/made, and if we can handle doing this for another year and a half or so, we might actually have something we can sustain in the future and pass off to an event manager so that we’re not doing so much of the day-to-day work. The added bonus to doing this was that we’re able to provide donations to two local charities — Ventura County Foster Parents Association and Ventura Crisis Pregnancy Center. Plus the kids get to see their parents doing something cool and they get a few new things in the process.

Okay, that’s all for now everyone. More next month!

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