Archive for January, 2014

The Holidays

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

The last two months have flown by. In addition to school work and reading 5 hours each month on his own, Coleman has been busy learning how to play the violin, learning how to play chess, and practicing karate with Matt Pynch. He also got to spend lots of time with family over the holidays, including Uncle Paul who flew to Las Vegas twice (bless his soul) to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with us.

In chronological order since my last post . . .

I turned 37, and Coleman attended my birthday lunch along with Jenica, Gigi, Wendy and Mari. He was extremely well behaved, and his behavior was recognized by a complete stranger. A man stopped me on my way out of Spago to tell me how refreshing it was to see a kid read a real book while out to eat rather than play on a device. That comment alone made my day. I always love receiving compliments on my parenting!

Three generations.


Josh and Roma met us on the way out of the restaurant. Coleman showed Roma his book.


The next day we attended Mehrzad’s birthday party at the Mini Gran Prix. Coleman doesn’t usually like attending birthday parties for Gabby’s friends, but in this case it was okay because the birthday boy has an older sister who is Coleman’s age.

We had Thanksgiving at our house again this year.

Several chess games were played.


Coleman still loves his uncle even though he never lets him win at chess.


Coleman wore a festive turkey hat he made at school.


We finished the day off by making ourselves sick with Gigi’s fudge pie. Gabby’s gesture is suggesting “Hmmmm, is this a good idea after all the food we just ate?” Wise beyond her years.

We started the next day off with a hike at Lake Mead.

Actually, it wasn’t really a hike. More like a slow walk.


That afternoon, Gabby and Coleman tested for their gold belts with Matt Pynch. They practice a Korean form of karate called Song Moo Kwan.
Here is a video of both kids doing karate.
Here is a video of Coleman doing his kata.

He receives his gold belt from Mister Pynch.
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One happy boy.


Our friend and neighbor Jaime Martin gave us a personalized gingerbread house for Christmas. Coleman wanted to eat it, but we wouldn’t let him. Who eats a primo decoration?
We brought home two Christmas trees this year - one big one and a small one for the kids. Here is the video of their reaction to the small tree.
Coleman and I ran in the 5K Santa Run downtown. We finished in 33 minutes, which is pretty darn good for his first 5K! I wonder if he will be as goal oriented as I am.

Coleman and Gabby before their solo violin performances at Nevada School of the Arts.


Coleman performed four variations of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star at his violin recital in December. Watch the video of the first version.


We went to the Binion Christmas party again this year and Coleman got his annual caricature. The kids received tons of presents. When they opened all of their loot the next morning, it felt like Christmas had come early.

On Christmas Eve, I let Coleman open up one present before we went out to dinner. We gave him a Kindle Fire. My hope is that he uses it more for reading than for playing Angry Birds. I’m not sure if that’s realistic.

After dinner at Vintner Grill, we went to Wendy and Richard’s house to open more presents. Note that Coleman loves giving bunny ears. I guess that’s a trend that will never die.

Just one of many presents from Grandma Wendy.

Mr. Silly or possibly Mr. I Ate Too Much Dessert.

A rare photo with both Uncle Roy and Aunt Mari.

When I look at this picture, I think that Coleman and Gigi do look a lot alike when it comes to face shape and maybe nose.

Santa brought the kids bikes this Christmas. Coleman’s bike is a tad big for him, but he’s still excited about it. He’s been riding it around the house to learn how to balance.


He also got a hatching dinosaur egg. I’m not sure why he loves these things so much, but he does. We put them in water for days on end and watch them hatch. Fun.

Another favorite present was the keyboard that Pop and Madi bought them. Besides the fact that they love banging on it, I think it’s going to be a great tool to reinforce what they know on violin.

Matt Pynch bought Coleman a new gi.


Coleman and Gigi.

Coleman and Uncle Paul. Coleman had just opened another gift from Pop and Madi - a super cool helicopter that flew around (it stopped working after a few hours, but we can still play with it).

Aunt Mari gave Coleman and Gabby a cardboard castle and a cardboard house. We started painting the castle first.



As I was working on this blog, Coleman was on his bike in the house. Matt Pynch suggested Coleman put his feet on the pedals, and he basically rode for the first time without training wheels. YES! Mission accomplished.
We visited the Container Park over Christmas Break, and the kids loved the playground area.


We headed to L.A. for a few days during the break, and Coleman and I rode bikes on the boardwalk in Santa Monica. He was still using his old bike with training wheels. We rode at least 6 miles. Then Coleman played in the sand while I watched a pack of dolphins in the water. It was a pretty great morning.

We had lunch with Tim and then checked out his garden behind his house.


One thing we always do while in L.A. is hang out at playgrounds. Coleman and Gabby took a break in the shade.


Overall, it was a great year. We went on epic trips and had lots of fun together as a family. I am looking forward to the years ahead while I still have them under my roof. Life is good.

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