Saturday, December 26, 2015

Baptism Boy

"I've been waiting eight years and one day for this!"
 "I'm ready. I've spent all year memorizing all the Articles of Faith. Ask me anything... except maybe number 10..."
 "Let's see... Uncle Aaron will give the talk about baptism. He knows I love cars. He says baptism is like a car: you must keep it running smooth with obedience and repentance as we travel down the highway of life."
 "And Uncle Dan will give the talk on the Holy Ghost. He also knows I like cars.  He says the Holy Ghost is like a stoplight: sometimes it gives you a green to go ahead and do the right thing; sometimes a yellow warning, and sometimes a big red STOP if there is danger or temptation nearby."
 "And my cousin...Isaac's sister...the one with the flute... All her family will sing my favorite primary song: A Child's Prayer.  They play and sing so well that you can't help but feel the spirit."
 "Daddy did a great job Baptizing and Confirming me, but I accidentally put one foot too high up, so the witnesses said I got to go under again."
 "I look pretty handsome, right? I picked out this tie because it reminded me of BB-8 from the new Star Wars."
 "Mom dragged me to TWO stores to get this outfit! TWO STORES in ONE NIGHT! It was rough."
 "My family tree was well represented at my baptism. I had uncles, aunts, and cousins from both sides of the family, all my grandparents, plus a great aunt and uncle, a great-great aunt and uncle, and cousins once removed."
 "Thank you Uncle Weston for getting married so close to my baptism day! I think that's really what they were there for, but I got a bonus baptism benefit!
 "Wrong way, Dad!"
 "When Dan asked all my friends in attendance to stand, nine people stood..."
 "...but when he asked all my relatives to stand, 51 people stood!"
 "And after the baptism, they all came to our house for pizza!"
 "Don't worry, Dad! You're halfway done with baptizing your kids. The difficult ones are behind you."
 "All my friends and family that came wrote me letters or drew me a picture while I was getting dressed, kinda like this..."
"I've been preparing for this moment for eight years and one day. Now it's done. Now I'm preparing for my next important steps as I keep growing in the gospel!"

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Happy Minecraft Birthday

Poor Larry has had very few proper birthday parties in his life, considering the busy time of year that his birthday falls... but this was a big year for him. Eight is great! And along with his baptism, I actually made something of a themed birthday party for him. There was a lack of school friends in attendance, but an abundance of cousins from both sides of the family! 

Lawrence kept changing his mind about what kind of party he wanted, so when it came right down to it, we planned and shopped for the party in a matter of a couple days. Many thanks to the many previous families who have done Minecraft birthdays and posted their ideas and pictures for us to get ideas and inspiration from. After all the research, this is how it went down in the Koberstein home (unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures on our good camera, so we'll have to settle for phone snapshots to tell the tale):


On the wall in the living room, Dawna and I designed and put up some Minecraft decorations. My favorite was the sword:
With each piece being a 3x3in. square, the whole sword measured about 4.5 feet long.
If you're familiar with Minecraft, hopefully you recognize this torch... but most of my family that came wasn't familiar with the game.  Most of them thought it was a cigar... whoops. 

Of course I had aspirations to create several other "pixel art" style wall decorations, but alas, I ran out of time. 

Across the dining room arch, I strung a banner that I printed from ThePartyAnimal which was super cute. I added one extra creeper between the two words... and if you look closely, you'll see that I accidentally punched and hung the H in birthday upside down...whoops...

The Food
For the "cake" Emily made rice crispy treats with Cocoa Crispies and then I cut them into cubes and topped them with green frosting to make grass cubes. I tried to build a little block tower thing... but clearly I need more practice with Minecraft :) They were very tasty though! 

I also made Jell-o jiggler cubes in blue for water, red for lava, and green for grass.  Lunch was a build your own sandwich bar.

The Activities

Creeper bowling! We wrapped up six blocks with green paper and drew the faces on them and since it was such a last minute event, we just used whatever green cups we had in the house and rolled a green ball down the hall towards them. Lots of fun!
Pin the tail on the piggy. Classic game with a cubist twist! The thing I love most about the Minecraft theme is how easy it is to make anything from Minecraft... all you need is the right colors of paper and a chopper!
And of course the main activity that all the kids worked on the longest is the one that I took zero pictures of... We used Perler beads to make a variety of Minecraft gear. Items created include swords, boats, health hearts, even a couple of the characters.  Even if I didn't get any original pictures, here's something to give you an idea of how cute they all turned out:
At the end of the party, each kid got a crepper goodie bag with a minifigure. Yay!

So that's the party of Minecraft, as celebrated the day after Christmas and Larry's 8th birthday!

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Good Morning, Turkeys!

Good morning, turkeys! We started our Thanksgiving morning with a wonderful turkey trot! 

Up until last night, I thought I was running a 5k with my kids, but Weston and Myra wanted to trade their 10k tags for 5k's. So, I switched and ran the "10k" as Myra Au (for all intents and purposes)...and Myra ran the 5k for me! 

 Our immediate family was well represented with Jon, myself, Dawna, Larry, and Xochitl all participating as registered runners. Each of the kids had a running buddy and Jade relaxed and slept in the stroller during most of the race. Jon ran with Dawna (and Jade) Larry ran with Weston...

...and Xochitl ran with Myra.

Grandma and Grandpa Koberstein and Uncle Lynn also joined the race!

 So, the thing about Antioch/Brentwood (or anywhere on the other side of the mountains) is that the hot days are hotter and the cold days are colder. And this morning, it was COLD! We stayed in the car as long as possible...

...and then boogied over to the starting line!

My fingers and toes were numb until about mile 3, when we finally got to run in the sun.

Dawna, Xochitl, and Larry, anxiously shivering before the race... In our training runs the past couple weeks, we've had a hard time staying motivated for the entire 3 mile distance. But, there is something magical about music. Music got my son to keep on moving--skipping, jogging, hopping along--until the race was over. Music got a 5 year old across the finish line too. It's amazing!! :)
Everybody finished their race strong! I was so proud of Xochitl and Larry! I didn't run 3.1 miles together until I was 28 years old! Here's my 2nd grader and kindergartner running that long! I ran into Larry and Weston just as I was finishing my race. I maintained a pace under 10min/mile, which made me very happy! But I was sad to discover that the "10k" was only 5.8 miles. Way too short to count! I caught up to Larry and Weston when I was almost done with the race (Lynn and I started the 10k fifteen minutes before the 5k runners). But Larry was not distressed, because "first the worst, second the best" so he gladly took the best spot :)
Dawna did an amazing job! She has been working on running lately, running on the treadmill while watching Netflix and running around the Lake in Newark for the last few Saturdays. She did so well, in fact, that she placed third on this, her first 5k ever!!! I think having daddy to push her to run faster helped... not to mention her long Koberstein legs!

Thus it was on our fourth year running a turkey trot on Thanksgiving morning, with hopes and dreams for continuing the tradition for many trots to come!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Now bring on the feast!

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Monday, November 02, 2015

Nice to meet you.

Meet Chu the Panda. He is the class pet for Mrs. LP's class this year. He gets to go home every night with one of the students who was a "bucket filler," meaning that they made good choices and were good helpers and good listeners that day at school.  Oct. 29th was Xochitl's second go-round with Chu. The first time we had him over a weekend and we got to do a lot of fun things. Xochitl was concerned about only having him for one night this time and took every effort to make the night unforgettable. Chu got to play at the park, play in the sandbox, watch a movie, and even have this very special dinner made for him by his hostess. Xochitl dutifully drew a detailed picture of all their adventures together. I hope we get him again this year! He's a very good house guest :)
Meet Halloween Deja-Vu. That costume looks familiar... isn't that?? Yes! It's the same costume Larry wore last year... only this year it actually fits him! It was an actual Disney Store purchase, on the pricier side, so I bought it bigish, and hey, I got two Hallween costumes for the (high) price of one! Or two Halloweens for the price of one? In any case, I'm glad it got more use.
 Meet Halloween Deja-Vu. Wait... Didn't we just do this? Yes... Xochitl wanted to be the sunshine again for the Lincoln school parade (my kids love to switch around costumes between events...) Later that night she was my star trick-or-treater dressed as a bride. This girl out trick-or-treated everyone else in the family! Her goal was to get the most candy, and boy did she ever meet that goal! Our neighborhood is pretty kid deprived, so the houses that do welcome trick-or-treated greet them with big smiles and handfuls of candy.
Meet the most famous and spoiled baby at Lincoln Elementary.  Between directing the Leopard Choir, doing music time in the kindergarten classrooms, and just picking up the kids every day, it seems like everybody at that school knows Jade and everybody tries to steal a hug, which she generally snubs... Anyway, her fame also gets her plenty of amazing hand-me-downs from devoted fans, which she loves to pieces! Give her a Belle dress, and she will no doubt give you a hug... So that's what she wore for all the Halloween festivities: "My Bella" as she calls it. 
 Meet the literal last minute DIY. Dawna has been asking for weeks to be Princess Leia for Halloween. We found a costume at Target back in September, but it just... looked cheap and cost a lot, so I passed, intending to make a costume for her. And then somehow, it was October 29th. Um... yeah.  My sweet Dawna never complained about my putting it off and then never having time for it. She was happy to use a costume for a nurse that Nana had given her for the Niles carnival.  And then the night of the 28th, she stayed up late deep cleaning my entire kitchen, hand-washing the piled up pots and pans, sweeping and wiping down the floor... so on the morning of the 29th, I had nothing to do... except make a princess Leia dress!
Having to work with only what I had at home, I looked up a few DIY ideas, ranging from cutting a hole in a sheet (literally...) to a super professional pattern. I went for something in between.
I used this old fabric that's been hanging around my attic since our wedding (it was used to cover up extension cords around the gym for the reception, haha...) Luckily Dawna had a cool looking silver loopy belt. It would have been nice to have some brown ear muffs to really complete the hair effect, but this didn't turn out too bad :)
And now, we are ready to meet November! 

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Skyline to the Sea!

I did it! I completed a super awesome marathon course! ( a not super awesome time...) Skyline to the Sea was shaded by redwoods, pines, and manzanitas. Cool breezes and fog also kept us running cool throughout my 6 1/2 hour run (yeah, I know, not super impressive time, but still complete!). 

The beginning of the race was crowded going along the narrow trail. Fun to be out and among so many crazies! Five Kobersteins were on the course that day: Lynn, Weston, Louis, Jon, and Danielle.

Slightly nervous at the beginning, but ready to go... Why am I doing this?
And then I ran a marathon. I took some random video notes along the way every few miles, documenting how I was feeling, funny things I saw, etc... but that is not for this post...

So glad when it was over...a little worse for wear, but wearing my MEDAL! When can I sign up for another one???
My feet and shoes took quite a beating and dirty-ing. 
Five cute crazies in One stinky car... happily on the way home!

 Thanks to my Koberstein brothers and my adoring Koberstein husband. Couldn't have done it without your planning, prodding, and twisted sense of fun...

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dad's Book Club: Go Set a Watchman and The Wright Brothers

So, Dad and I swapped books for our birthdays this year (which happen to be only 10 days apart, by the way...) I got him a book that I really enjoyed listening to while training for the marathon: The Wright Brothers. He got me a book that he wanted to read: Go Set a Watchman. In honor of our great thinking alike minds, here's a bit about my experience with each one:
I absolutely adore "To Kill a Mockingbird." I mean, who doesn't? This novel should be read as what it was intended: a draft, a study, an experiment that led to TKAM. Harper Lee is still hilarious, still an exceptional story teller with quippy dialogue and moments that fill you with nostalgia for your own growing up years. I love the way she retold some horrifyingly embarrassing moments from Jean Louise's childhood. All in all, fun to read, good laughs, and a nice appendix piece for TKAM. Obviously, it's not the most polished work of literature. Quite frankly, I'm not entirely sure I understand what she was getting at with Atticus and Jean Louise having the fight of their life in his office... did Uncle Jack really set it all up? Was Jean Louise really discovering herself or just discovering that her "Finch" background is both an advantage and an excuse? Who can really tell... but in the mean time, the anecdote about the "falsies" discovered on the high school marquee was pretty much my favorite. I missed Jem... but I suppose it would have been too much for Scout to have two great men in her life...
I loved listening to this book as I was running.  It's rare that I enjoy a non-fiction book, but this one was inspirational and interesting. I loved learning about Kitty Hawk and the family dynamics of the Wrights. Those boys were protected from so many things, so many close calls avoided. I love that they were emphatic about not working on Sundays. Their determination was amazing. Their ideas were incredible. Great to listen to, and Dad says it's also good to read. 


Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Oh Mantis, Oh Mantis

Oh Mantis, Oh Mantis,
Your surprise appearance there
Just outside of my front door
Sure gave me quite a scare.

Oh Mantis, Oh Mantis,
You did not fly away,
just tweaked your head and looked at me
and flitted the opposite way.

Oh Mantis, Oh Mantis,
Into the house you came
and I with greatest gentleness
did guide you out again.

Oh Mantis, Oh Mantis,
Still near the house you stayed
Until the boys came with a jar--
You didn't seem afraid.

Oh Mantis, Oh Mantis,
Such beauty, majesty.
Seen close up by curious eyes
In the glass observatory

Oh Mantis, Oh Mantis,
We truly wish you well.
Won't keep you long, now let you go
Just watched you for a spell.

Off went the lid.
No more hid.
Wings spread wide
Away you flied.

Oh Mantis! Oh Mantis!
Did you hear my shriek?
I saw that bird so swiftly dive
It's got you in its beak!

Oh Mantis! Oh Mantis!
You never found reprieve!
Now you're that bird's yummy lunch,
But for you we will grieve.

Oh Mantis, Oh Mantis,
I get it now, you tried...
When I very first opened the door
You wanted to come inside.

-D.S. Koberstein
Based on a True Story
from the Koberstein household

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Sunday, September 06, 2015

Ginger the Guinea Pig

My sweet fourth grade daughter informed me that her teacher's birthday was coming up and she wanted to make her something cute and fuzzy because her teacher loves little animals. 

So, she went to work and found a pattern online (it was actually a whole site of free stuffed animal patterns that we will likely visit again.,.)

Then, she put the pattern up on the projector and traced it in the size she wanted. Then she cut out the pattern, pinned it to the fabric that she picked out from my FabMo (aka Fabrix) collection from years past, cut out the fabric, and picked out some beads for eyes. 
Then it was mom's turn. I did the sewing machine work, then handed it back over to her to sew the eyes and ears on and stuff. We finished it up by sewing up the backside, wrapping it up for Miss Chapman, and naming her Ginger. I think it really turned out cute! I was really proud of Dawna for finding and sticking with a project like this! It was really fun to work on with her! I hope we have many more Sunday night sewing projects ahead :) 

Good luck, little Ginger!

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