Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

January 31, 2010

January 2010-Lilah and Luke

Filed under: Lilah and Luke — dave9169 @ 12:47 am

Here are the January highlights:

Family Mountain Bike Ride

Thanks to a nice sunny New Year’s Day, we were all able to ride our bikes on the dirt trail in Sycamore Canyon. This was the first time all of us, including Cathy, had been mountain biking together. If it had been up to Cathy, we would have simply ridden on the paved trail that runs along a riverbed close to our house, but with a little nudging from me and the kids we convinced her to join us on a 6 mile ride. The kids absolutely loved riding their new mountain bikes on the trail and relished the dozens of dips in the road — some of which are mildly technical and require you to just go for it and accelerate through the terrain in order to make it safely back up the other side. Lilah screamed like a cowgirl any time she went through these sections and Luke also let out a few guffaws of his own.

The only one who was not too amused by the dips and slightly more treacherous sections was Cathy who prefers to ride on smoother pavement so that she can be more in control. In any case, Cathy was a trooper and made it through the trail without taking any tumbles. At the three mile turnaround marker, Lilah insisted on going farther so the two of us went about another mile or so while Cathy and Luke waited for us. We had a great time.

Luke and I Visit to Harrison Trash Transfer Station

Because one of the dad’s in our adventure guides group is a member of the Harrison family, he was able to arrange a tour of the Harrison Trash Transfer Station. Adults and kids learned a lot on this visit. For one, we learned there was a law passed in 1995 that required the county to reduce the amount of solid waste in its landfills. This led to the creation of a trash transfer station where all garbage trucks must dump their garbage so it can be sorted for recycling. Once the garbage is sorted, larger semi trucks take the remaining garbage to the landfill. It’s interesting because from the outside the transfer station looks like a regular office building. But take a few steps inside and you’ll see that the building is all hollowed out so that garbage trucks can dump the trash onto the floor and loader vehicles can move the trash to the different sorting areas. Inside, there are workers that stand next to conveyor belts and weed out the trash from the recyclable items.

It’s a pretty amazing process. The kids, of course, loved getting to wear hard hats, goggles and masks and seeing all the big vehicles moving the mountains of trash. They also liked seeing how the recyclables are packaged into giant squares that can then be loaded into trucks bound for the recycling plant. We learned that one big square of aluminum cans is about 1,000 pounds and consists of approximately 24,000 crushed cans.

For anyone who is curious, I created a separate site with many more pictures chronicling our visit.

Lilah Showcases her GATE Project

This month Lilah had to show off her GATE project at the community center along with dozens of other kids. She ended up writing a book on German Shepherds which included original illustrations from Lilah. The book was in the form of a diary in which the German Shepherd describes the grueling work he must do and all the different things he is capable of doing. At first, Lilah wasn’t too happy about the lack of questions from the visitors who strolled through the center checking out all the exhibits. One small suggestion I offered to Lilah for next time was to create a large tri-fold cardboard display (that practically every other kid was using) to educate the audience on some of the highlights of the presentation. That way her small book wouldn’t get lost between the giant displays. As always, she got a little grumpy with my suggestions insisting that she did not want to do it that way because “that’s what everybody else was doing,” and she wanted to do something different. Okay, fair enough, dad knows when to back off ;-). She did get happier later in the evening when one of the members from the city council came in and talked to her about her presentation for a few minutes. I think it was definitely a good learning experience for her.

Monopoly Night Becomes Friday Family Ritual

I have never played as much Monopoly as I have this month and what a “looooong” game it can be. For the kids, however, this does not seem to be a deterrent to playing. Cathy and I try every trick in the book to keep from playing sometimes — we tell the kids it’s been a long day, maybe we can play tomorrow, we tell them they have to get ready (put on pajamas, brush teeth, etc.), we tell them they have to set up the board and money — but it’s no use, the kids do everything they’re supposed to and are ready to roll. What is cool about the game is that the kids don’t realize all the things they’re learning along the way. They learn math, they learn how to negotiate, and they also learn to work as a team, especially against dad. If I’m winning by a big margin, the kids will actually work together to keep each other in the game. Luke will tell Lilah, “I’ll let you slide,” if she lands on his property and the rent is too expensive and Lilah will do the same for Luke. Lilah has managed to win two or three of our games (I can’t remember anymore) and Luke also has won a game too, which had him beaming and grinning all through the night and the next day.

Funny Anecdotes from Luke and Lilah

The other day, Luke asked me,  “Are you smart or are you a slave?” I told him I was smart so then he asked me to count to five. I followed his request and when I finished Luke pounced and said, “No, you did what I told you so you’re a slave.” The little guy cracked himself up.

Lilah and I are supposed to go to a father/daughter dance at the YMCA in February. Last year she said she really wanted to go but we missed it so I jumped on it this year and noticed she wasn’t too excited. She said she didn’t want to go because she didn’t want to wear a dress. She said, “I’m a sporty girl, not a girly girl.” Cathy and I both tried to explain to her that there are different occasions in life that require different outfits, but it was going in one ear and out the other. Later, I had my mom get involved so that she didn’t just hear the advice coming from mom and dad. That seemed to soften her up a little because she then told me she did not want to wear a pink dress. I told her she could get any dress color she wanted. In the end, she picked a nice sparkly red dress with some sandals to go with it (not exactly dress shoes, but hey close enough).

More next month….

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress