Category Archives: Family

Birthday Fun!

So, recently we were at our Safeway grocery store getting a birthday cake for Luke.  Going through the checkout lane, the cashier asked who the cake was for.  Luke quickly stepped up and report that it was his birthday and his sister’s birth day was last week.  The cashier’s eye lit up and she said, “ok, what are your names?”

“I’m Luke and this is my sister, Jillian.”

Cashier then casually picks up the phone and dials the extension for the intercom.  “Attention Safeway shoppers, can you please help us wish Luke and his sister Jillian a Happy Birthday?”

A small cheer went up from the folks in the immediate area.  The cashier turned back to us and smiled, “I have to have some fun while I’m stuck up here.” Then she handed each a candy cane.

A minute or two later, the intercom chimed in again.  “Happy Birthday Luke and Jilly from everyone in the deli department!”

These Safeway folks are the best.

A Lego Miracle

Somehow, I managed to pick a Lego set for Luke for Christmas that was already part of his massive collection. He was happy enough to rip into it and build it again, but I was able to talk him out of that and return it get a different set instead.

So, a few days after Christmas we headed to the local mall to visit the Lego store. We ended up getting to the mall about 9:30; turns out that after the big holiday, all the stores go back to their their normal 10 opening time.  Oops.  So, we wandered around for a while and then parked at table near the Lego store to wait out the final few minutes.

An older guy asked if he could share the table as we waited. I said, “sure.” As he sat down he flopped a big Lego manual down on the table. I said, “ha! we’re headed to the Lego store too.”

“Yeah, my grandson is upset because his set is missing a few pieces.” “Really? That rarely happens. But, that’s a big set, so pretty believeable.”

Soon enough, the store opened and we both wandered in. We left Luke’s return on the counter and went shopping for a different set. While Luke wandered off, I overheard the older guy and the Lego employee talking.

“Geez, sorry that you’re missing a piece! We don’t have all pieces for every set at each store, but we can help you get that piece from Lego corporate. Let’s take a look at what you’re missing, and see what we’ve got. Oh, yeah, that’s an oddball part.”

The Lego employee disappeared into the backroom and comes back with big ziplock bag full of random parts.

“Wow, would you look at that? The exact part you need, in the right color, was right on the top of the bag!”

I somehow resisted the urge to let out a cheer, and instead gave the older guy a quick thumbs up.

Luke managed to find another set he was interested and all was right again in everybody’s collective Lego worlds.

Maybe We’re Doing Something Right?

On Thursday, I was picking up #1 at school.  A teacher from the classroom next to hers came up to me and said “are you Jilly’s Dad?” “Yep, that’s me.”  Hmm, where’s this going?

The teacher said Jilly is so cute and says the funniest things.   The teacher said her classroom is special needs kindergarten and one of her students is moving mainlining back into regular kindergarten in Jilly’s room.   The new kid sits at Jilly’s table and she’s been helping him through tough times adjusting to new sites, sounds, and kids.  She said, “the new kid is shy, but super smart, just like my Dad.”  The teacher said the transition is super tough for her kid and Jilly being super kind goes a long way to help him feel better.  I graciously thanked the teacher for all the kind words.

On the same day, Luke came home from daycare with a note.  It starts with “You’ve been caught…” but continued with “…doing something great!”  Turns out after making a mess with some small toys with his cellmates, he stayed behind after the rest went to next activity to make sure everything go put away.

Its totally true that kids act differently between home and school; ours tend to be great at school and a wreck at home a lot of the time.  Super frustrating at home, but we’re thankful that they get along great with all their friends, frenemies, and troublemakers in their school lives.

I guess we must be doing something right…

Diablo Foothills Regional Park

Another weekend, another park visit.  This one was only a 15 minute drive from our place.  It wasn’t obvious where to park;  there’s a small lot right at the trailhead, but it filled up just as we rolled in.  Better to park at the big (but unpaved and full of craters) lot you pass on the way in.

There’s a lot of picnic areas at the head end of the park, all booked for assorted parties today.  Folks were just beginning to load in supplies.

We got through the picnic areas and had just stepped off the paved trail onto dirt when a cloud of flies descended on #2.  He shoo’d them away for a while, but got annoyed pretty quickly.  So we headed back out and said we’ll return again soon better prepared with some bug spray.

Looking forward to going deeper into the park and investigating its rocks and ravines.

Diablo Foothills Regional Park

Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

We’re slowly trying to get to know our new area.  Our first major park like stop was Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve.  Its about 25 minutes away from our place.

The hills, even though all burnt up from the drought are still very pretty.  Would have liked to take the kids on the mine tour, but they’re a bit too young (7 and up only) so that will have to wait.

The kids did get to enjoy the views and some minor hiking on the trails. We didn’t venture too far because some of the trails were a little more advanced that we thought they could handle; ie, steep and slippery, or had an unguarded drop off to the side of the trail.

Looking forward to heading back to do some more trail exploring some time.


Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve The Stinky & Dirty Show

Kids loved the pilot, hopefully more good stuff to come.

(For preschool-aged children) – The adventures of best friends and unlikely heroes, Stinky the garbage truck and Dirty the backhoe loader, a dynamic and hilarious duo of resourcefulness that learn when things don’t go as expected, asking “what if” can lead to success. Based on the books by Jim and Kate McMullan. Written and developed by Guy Toubes.

Source: The Stinky & Dirty Show [HD]