Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

February 29, 2008

February 2008 – Lilah and Luke

Filed under: Lilah and Luke — dave9169 @ 5:12 am

February was a short but eventful month. Here are a few of the cool highlights:

Frazier Park

The trip of the month was our day in Frazier Park. Going to Frazier Park is a great way to experience the snow without the traffic and crowds you’d get going to a ski resort in Big Bear. Sure it’s not a ski resort, but it’s less than a two-hour drive, it’s inexpensive (all you pay for is the gas to get there) and the kids have loads of fun.

The last time we went to Frazier Park (2 years ago), we didn’t end up staying too long because Luke got so cold his teeth started chattering and were were forced to cut our trip short. This time, we prepared a little better. Cat bought the kids ski boots, thermals, jackets, gloves, etc. When we arrived we changed into our gear and proceeded to walk up the mountain. Within minutes, we were all complaining about how hot it was and we ended up shedding most of our winter gear. It turned out that the weather in Frazier Park was between the high 50s and low 60s which is downright balmy weather when you’re going up and down a mountain. We really couldn’t have asked for better weather.

Lilah’s temperament was another matter. I swear she had more mood swings that day than I cared to count. Most of it due to the fact that her brother was doing a much better job of maneuvering his sled down the mountain than she was. It took Lilah a little bit longer to master this skill which meant we had to deal with a lot of poutiness and pontifications about how she wasn’t having any fun and how everything was boring, blah, blah, blah. In the last hour or so she settled down however, and got the hang of things, leading to repeated requests to climb back up the mountain and do it again — she even enjoyed going down the mountain in tandem with Luke.

It was unbelievable to see just how much snow had fallen in Frazier Park. I had never really seen it so full of snow. I mean there were people sledding in the neighborhoods and valleys leading up to Mount Piños, something I had never seen before.

Lilah Delivers First Big Oral Presentation (in Second Grade!)

I am amazed at how much earlier kids do things now than when we were growing up. When Cathy told me that Lilah would be working on an oral presentation for school I was a bit awe struck. The only thing I really remember about second grade was struggling a bit to do subtraction with remainders and a kid named Ray who helped me out and also declared “kill the white boy day,” but that is another story.

Seriously though, I don’t think I had to give a presentation until much much later in my young academic life and here I was getting news that Lilah would be a doing a presentation on her own where she would be graded for her actual presentation, her costume and her props.

The nice part is that her teacher had them do everything in steps. They had to research some historical figure, find facts about what this person did, type these findings into a report, then recite their report to their parents to practice the words they would eventually deliver to their teacher and classmates. Lilah told us a few times that she was scared, but you wouldn’t know it by the way she got up there in front of her class and read clearly and loudly for the entire class to hear. The teacher was nice enough to schedule the presentations early so that parents could come and watch before work. I was glad I did it as it was yet another chance to watch my little girl progress down the path of young adulthood. Her presentation was on George Washington Carver, the son of slaves who taught himself how to read, went to school and became a teacher, scientist and inventor. As Lilah recounted to her grandmother, Carver is best known for introducing crop rotation so that the ground would retain it’s “energy.” If you want to know more, here is the full text from the speech Lilah delivered to her class. Daddy, of course, was very proud!

My name is George Washington Carver. I am famous for helping farms in the South. This is a little about my childhood and good deeds. I was born in 1864 in Missouri. My parents were slaves. When I was a baby, my mom and I were stolen from the plantation, but I was rescued when my master traded me for a race horse. I grew up on the farm. I taught myself how to read. I even liked to paint. My favorite thing was nature and so people called me the plant doctor. When I was 12 years old, I left home and went to school.

My teacher helped me get into college in Iowa where I was the first black student. I studied plants and farming. Later, I became a teacher, scientist, and inventor. I studied diseases that were killing farmers’ crops. I invented crop-rotation farming. I told farmers to plant cotton one year and then plant peanuts the next year. That way the dirt gets its vitamins back. I invented 300 things using peanuts, like soap and ink. In 1940, I donated all of my savings to the George Washington Carver Foundation to help research in farming. I died on January 5, 1943 and later that year, the land near my childhood home was made into a national monument. That’s about my life.

Luke Scores First Goal

On February 9th, Luke scored his first and only goal of the YMCA soccer league season. I had come to the game with my camera, prepared to capture the moment should it present itself. Right before Luke’s goal however, I had lost sight of Lilah. I had let her go and play with some girls in a dirt field adjacent to the soccer fields, but somehow she had wandered out of my line of sight. Needless to say, a mini-panic set in. Just at about the time I was scanning the horizon for Lilah I heard this “go Luke” and as I turned around I heard people cheering. Luke had scored his first goal, and, of course, I had missed it. So much for capturing the moment. The good news is that I found Lilah soon after, and that even though I didn’t witness the goal I could see that Luke was clearly happy and energized by his accomplishment, much in the same way he was when he scored his first basket in the YMCA basketball league.

This was yet another example of one of my children doing something well before I did the same thing as a kid. If I remember correctly (and things definitely aren’t super clear), it took me 3 seasons to score my first goal in AYSO. I must have been nine. And here was Luke, just a couple of months shy of turning five, already scoring his first goal. Wow!

I’m sure there will be many of those “wow” moments for years to come, but it’s sure nice to soak them in now and smile when they happen. It really does wonders for the soul.

Until next month…

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