Amelie at 9 years, Mia at 7 years, Desmond at 4 years, Miles at 22-months
July 7, 2013


We left off the last update right before May Day. We spent the day at the park and it was a lot of fun. It's hard to even spot Miles in this picture, but he had a great time running around.



Naomi helped the kids make flower crowns for themselves.



Once the flower crowns were done, they decorated the may pole and unwrapped the ribbons from last year.



The may pole flowers came out great.



The May Day celebration was a lot of fun for everybody, adults and kids.



We did another weekend trip up to Sebastopol in Northern California, up above San Francisco. We spent an afternoon at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum. They do bird rescue and rehabilitation there. This display really freaks you out, I didn't realize how huge these things can get. And that bear is pretty big, too.



The museum had this flight simulator to feel what it's like to be a bird.



We also dipped our toe in the Russian River at Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach. Mia was catching dragonflies with her net. Later, when we were at Mono Hot Springs, we had forgotten to bring nets, and she still caught a dragonfly with her bare hands. It took her over an hour of trying, though. I was impressed with how she stuck with it.



Back home, Amelie has been taking karate for a couple of months now. It's a lot of fun and the class is filled with other home-schooled kids.



The annual Lion's Club Fish Fry has moved from the airplane park when I was a kid over to a bigger park, but it's still going strong. It's a lot of fun to take the kids there, seeing as how I used to go there when I was their age. Mia is all set here for a ride on these bears that spin around.



This is a kid rid, easy enough for even Desmond to go on, and Amelie is ready to go.



Desmond won this stuff animal by throwing softballs into a basket. He was pretty good at it.



Corn on the cob, caramel apples and Hawaiian ices and these guys were making out pretty good.



And at the end of it all, time for a well-deserved nap.



In other news, I sold my 1958 Chevy BelAir 2-door hard-top coupe. One last picture before I sign it away. I love the car, the kids love the car, but it's so polluting it was either sell it or spend $15k putting a modern motor into it, so we decided to sell it. I can always buy another '58 down the road, but it was really hard to let this car go.



I decided to get together all the elements for a fashion show the girls could have fun with, and I have to say, it was surprisingly easy. I already had daylight balanced lighting from the HBNews4You stuff we did, and ebay sells the backdrop and stands for about $20 each. I bought a floor fan from HomeDepot and we were all set. I found I got best results using my flash with a soft-box on it, the pictures came out great with it.



It was actually way more fun then I thought it would be. The girls used the area behind the backdrop as a dressing room, and they would alternate who came out to have their picture taken. Some of the poses are hilarious, too.



Mia modeling the latest in 4th of July fashion. It's funny because they wear the same clothes all the time, so during the fashion show it's the only time I've ever seen them wear all these other clothes we've bought them. This is the first and last time I've seen Mia wear this dress.



Even Miles and Sharky got into the spirit of it.



HSC (Homeschoolers of California) has camping trips throughout the year, and Naomi had heard that the Mono Hot Springs campout was the best one, so we made sure to sign up for it. We spent a week there, it was a lot of fun. That river behind Miles was very cold, though.



Six people camping for a week was a lot of work, and we barely fit everything into the minivan. We ended up leaving a day early, though, but since it takes all day to pack, it didn't matter. Mia is standing next to a little Zen garden she made.



Desmond and Miles have been getting along much better lately, it's nice to see them playing well together.



The hammock is always in high-demand.



We brought a raft and some inner tubes to float down the river with. We tied them together and it worked out pretty nice, except the river was a little low so your butt bumped against rocks on the bottom, but it wasn't too bad. This picture was taken by another camper there, Maura.



This year we spent the 4th of July at a block party that was a ton of fun. Here somebody had put ten packages of snakes together and lit them all off at once.



Five morning glories going off at once, now that's a sparkler.



Mia's much more sensible with just a single one.



The best part about the sparklers, though, is writing on the ground with them.



Amelie had fun lighting off her own fireworks.



This video gives you a good sense of the craziness going on all at the same time. There was a stretch of about thirty minutes there where it was just non-stop fireworks.



With longer exposures, you can come up with some pretty cool pictures.



At some point a policeman stopped by, who knows why, it was pointless. As he was driving away there were bottle rocks going up in the air. This guy happened to be holding a roman candle as the cop drove up, but he only got a warning.



I took Desmond for a new bike helmet, this is what he picked out. Until next time, stay safe!



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