Sunday, November 23, 2014

Witch, Turkey, Fish

We had another eventful week in "Kobersteinville" as Dawna likes to call it in her newspaper (see Google+).  So, in reverse post title order... 

FISH
Xochitl passed her first level of swim lessons... she is now an "Advanced Preschool" swimmer.  What does that mean? She can bob, stay under water for 3 seconds, push off the stairs and swim 3-5 yards with kick AND arm motion! She was thrilled to get to ring the bell and get her ribbon!


TURKEY!
Lincoln Elementary hosted a short Turkey Trot race!  It's a fun race event where the winner gets a frozen turkey, second place takes home a sack of potatoes, and third place wins a can of yams! It was raining on and off all morning, so we spent a while waiting... the kids were called out of class to run between downpours...  Dawna came in 5th for the 3rd grade girls. Larry ran the WHOLE way! Xochitl, Jade, and I enjoyed cheering them on in our raincoats and parka!

One parent has a pet turkey that he claims has kept skunks away from his dogs... he brought the turkey for the kids to see.  His name is Thanksgiving. Jade would not get close enough to be in the same picture. Mom, clearly, this is not a puppy.


WITCH (and MONKEY!)

On Saturday, we went up to Danville to see Marisa and Sydney perform in "The Wizard of Oz" Marisa was cast as Glenda and Sydney was a flying monkey (more accurately and back hand springing monkey) and a citizen of the Emerald City. All the kids loved the play! Jade was totally into all the action, the dancing, and the applause! 
 


 The somewhat embarrassing part of seeing the play was that I have never seen the movie or the play or read the story... so I got to be surprised at what happened :) I didn't know how it was going to end... Also, on the way there, we got to see a big rig being pulled out of a ditch by a giant crane. Cool tools, terrible traffic... Anyway, great job Wightman ladies!

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Mother Daughter "Engineering" Time!

Saturday morning, I had finally had ENOUGH of the "click...click...click..." whenever I played low C on the piano. Some clever child of mine somehow got a penny underneath the key such that every time you played it, the key clicked against the penny.  Well, this was driving me insane. It had to stop.


So I started disassembling the piano much the same way I did about 5 years ago when I bought it and re-keyed it. Dawna was intrigued with the design and ingenuity of the levers beyond the music stand, fall board, and key lock. She helped me remove all 88 keys...one by one...


We found not only a penny, but several 10 yen coins, a one yen coin, and a Cabella's shooting arcade token. Random...

Then she helped me clean each key and replace them in their proper order on the piano. Dawna was also responsible for replacing the key lock and fall board.  She did great puzzling it all back together! 

THAT is an awesome Saturday morning! One cute girl, some great discovery, one project accomplished!

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Sunday, November 09, 2014

Honestly...

THWAP! BANG! THUD! Ka-tink-tink-tink...

Those are the kinds of sounds that make you go running towards your children.

So when I heard just that the other night, I jumped up and sprinted towards it, hoping there would be no blood accompanying the destructive cacophony.  Rounding the bedroom corner, I appraised the situation.  Ambulance needed? Band-aids? Well, fortunately, there was no blood, no painful tears, but there were an awful lot of sheepish looks and guilty faces filling the space... I found a couple of my daughters in the palm tree bathroom with the towel rack in their hands, instead of attached to the wall where it was supposed to be.

"What happened?" The question is as natural and obvious as anything.

"It... just fell off the wall," one little one replied.

"It fell off the wall?" I replied, drizzling my statement with disbelief. "You know, you don't get in trouble for breaking something. Accidents happen... but you DO get in trouble for not telling the truth.  Do you want to try again?"

"Well... we were hanging on it and it fell off the wall." Well, that was delicately put, I thought, as two penny-sized holes gaped open from the wall.  Ripped with force beyond all reason is more like it...

"Do you think that was a good idea?"

"No." Good answer. Obviously.

"Remember, things can be fixed or replaced, but telling the truth is far more important..." Then followed a lovely discussion about honesty, and being truthful and trustworthy... And we were all edified and rejoiced together. And then we fixed the towel rack.

Over the next few days, I pondered why my kids thought it was a good idea to hang on a towel rack... too much time on the school playground? Not enough time at the park? Or wanting to be a climber like daddy...

THWAP! BANG! THUD! Ka-tink-tink-tink...

My thoughts were interrupted by a sound that I hoped to never hear again...

And there was my son... standing in the owl bathroom... towel rack in hand, guilty look on his face... "It just fell off the wall..."

[Heave big sigh now...]

Next time I make a public service announcement about honesty, please remind me to invite ALL the children of the household. It will save me a lot of time... and maybe even a towel rack or two...

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Sunday, November 02, 2014

Holy Halloween Countdown!

 What a year it has been for Halloween! We didn't want to miss any chance to party, so as a result, we were a part of 7 Halloween celebrations.  That might have been a bit overboard for one year... we are pretty "funned out" as they say.  But here's the countdown of activities we attended, spanning from October 24-31, in order of appearance...

7. Lincoln Spooktacular: The first chance for the kids to put their costumes on display! And here they are: It's Halloween 2014! Starring...
Dawna as Maid Marian from Robin Hood (This is a costume I wore as a kid... made by my mommy!)

Larry as Aren't-You-A-Little-Short-For-A-Storm-Trooper: You might THINK he's a storm trooper, but he's actually Luke Skywalker in disguise ;) You can tell because he likes to carry around a light saber...
Xochitl as Ariel (another costume I wore as a kid hand made by mom!)

Jade as a pony... or a bubble... or is it a bauble? It's a hard word to say, but she tries...
All the cuties together, ready to party hard!


6. Niles Carnival: We attended Henry's school carnival and had a great time with all the games and prizes! We had some last minute changes here...

Jade as a puppy... or a bubble... or a bauble... just as all friendly animals are called... She had a badly scabbed up nose that could almost pass for a puppy nose...

Xochitl declared the Ariel costume to be just too itchy... plus she kept stepping on the fin.  So she swapped it out for this blast from the past costume of mom's... an old Betty Gentry dance studio special I wore to tap dance to "Tiptoe through the Tulips." But if you ask Xochitl, she's going as the sunshine. Yeah... we have no shortage of girly things to dress up in around the hosue. 
The most creative part of the Niles carnival was this carnival game with three giant hula hoops on the ground and the kids had to throw poker chips into two to win the prize: their choice of donated stuffed animals! I am so recommending this one to our school for next year!  The kids thought it was awesome and the parents loved trading in 20 old stuffed animals for just one or two...

5. Family Halloween Evening: Nana and Papa put together a great family home evening party for us and the Pauleccas complete with favorite activities including...
...Donuts on a string...
Which is fun for all ages! From the mamas... 

... to the babies... 

...and everyone in between!
... Stirring and Stirring and Stirring the brew!!!! 
Other events not pictured from this night included a treasure hunt, candy corn drop, and Halloween themed dinner. Great times with cousins!

4. Google-ween: Always an enormous production!  This year was Alice in Wonderland themed event.  The kids enjoyed such things as...


...croquet in Disney A in W style with flamingo mallets, face card wickets and balls decorated like little hedgehogs!

... white rabbit petting zoo!

...giant chessboard!

... Giant Alice legs!  These were just outside a "rabbit hole" tunnel on the other side of a rose bush maze. Loads of fun, terrible traffic getting off the campus... note to future Google-ween visitors: just head south to get on 101. If you try to head north, you'll encounter nearly gridlocked traffic trying to get around buses and  illegally parked cars mixed with the regular traffic of the afternoon... not a pretty picture...


3. Lincoln parade and class parties: FINALLY got to the actual Halloween... Larry and Dawna had a parade first thing in the morning.  All the classes marched around the school to the cheers of the parents. Xochitl and Jade were my tag-alongs as we went to Larry's class to decorate pumpkins, make paper bag bats, and sing Halloween songs with the kids.  Then we went to Dawna's class and had sweets galore!  Dawna wanted to bring something to share with her class, but as we all know, Dawna is not a sweet-tooth kid. She asked me to make a veggie tray to take to her class.  I was impressed by the third graders.  They all wanted some vegetables and ranch and some kept coming back for more and more! Every last veggie was eaten up! One cute kid said to me while grabbing more carrots, "You make the best treats!" Thanks :) We were at the school for the entire day... When we got home, we had naps and recuperating time before our last events...

2. Bayside Trunk or Treat: Tradition... As always, a trunk or treat at the church building on Halloween evening.  We try to keep it short and sweet. Hot dog barbecue, walk around with candy, the end. The fun part was that Jon and I finally got to dress up :)

So here we are! I am being Tasha Yar and Jon is Capitan Jean-Luc Picard! He even let me shave his head for the occasion! He looked awesome! 
Sparring practice... use the force!
Wait... What movie are we from again???  We embrace all Sci-Fi. 
1. Trick or treat! And finally! What Halloween is actually for! Trick or Treating! After all that, the kids didn't last too long outside... basically we made it down our street and back... but the fun part was that we got to actually tag along with a neighbor girl who is in Larry's school class! The kids ran along from house to house and we old moms had to struggle to keep up with their enthusiasm for the candy... My kids took tips on which houses hand out full size candy bars... They scored a LOT of goodies... After the trick or treating, Brooke and Jon and Alex joined us to watch the Lego Movie and relax.  I love it when Halloween is on a Friday! No guilt for staying up late!

And to conclude the post, here's our little artist Dawna's rendition of Halloween!

Happy Halloween!!!

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Friday, October 24, 2014

A pressing matter...

Once upon a time in a faraway land, Jon and I had no children. Weird... 
We went on a looooooong road trip from Orem, UT to Chicago, IL with stops on the way including attending my roommate's wedding in Winter Quarters, Nebraska, visiting my old mission in Nauvoo, and seeing what appeared to be a Wal-Mart growing out of a corn field. 

Upon arrival in Chicago, we enjoyed the hospitality of Ben and Sarah (who were also kid-less at the time) and enjoyed the many sights of the city with Sarah's expert guidance. 

That was a great trip and I could fill many posts just about that... but the origins of this post come from the very tail end of that trip.  Jon and I were newly wedded for six months and still putting our house together.  Sarah had (for some reason) two garlic presses in her kitchen and asked if we wanted one.  I did not yet have a handy dandy garlic press, so I accepted the offer.  That garlic press rode with us back to Orem, slept in storage while we lived in Fremont, and moved with us into our Newark home.  It has served us well for the better part of our ten years of marriage... 

But unfortunately, our dear garlic press met its untimely demise the other day.  It pressed its last clove... straight through the bottom... as pictured... 





It's a sad thing to see a garlic press die, but it lived a full and vivacious life.

Now that we are done mourning...  does anybody have a great garlic press that they love? I need a very sturdy one apparently... one that can handle high traffic loads of garlic and take the pressure of life with the Kobersteins...

I'm on the hunt... This is a very pressing matter...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Random Reunion

 It all started when Joe H. had a conference in San Francisco.  Cheryl H. emailed us and asked if she and the kids could hang around for a couple weeks.  Naturally, we said of course anytime and every time you're here!!

So they were coming to visit! Yay!

And then Lynn and Weston, the local boys, said they weren't going to miss out on the fun... they wanted to come play with Cheryl and Joe and the kids...

So they were coming, too! Yay!

And then Dan and Karla had this cute baby boy to introduce to his many aunts, uncles, and cousins... and the Bay Area is at least a little closer than Oklahoma... They got tickets to fly!

So they were coming, too! Yay!

And so we were all here in Newark/Antioch having a grand old time...
When the phone rang...

And then Louis had some work testing to do in Milpitas; just for a day and a half... and wondered if he could stay at our place... Bring It On!!!

So he was coming too! YAY!

And somehow, for two days, six of the seven original Koberstein Kids were all together in one humble home! Oh the fun! The Games, the Music, the Museums, the Laughter, and the food we all shared! It was an awesome impromptu family reunion!


BUT WAIT!!!
Where is Gwen?
Apparently she didn't get the memo... So sad... We would have loved to complete the picture...

Can't wait to see all of the Kobersteins--including two RETURNED MISSIONARIES-- next summer at the actual Organized and Planned reunion...

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Wonders of Technology...

People used to think you needed a big screen to entertain... 


Nope...

Here's the proof: Six children being entertained by a six-inch tablet... and making a very neat horse-shoe formation at the same time :)