Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Cross Country Season

Recently, my sister and I made it to the national competition in New Mexico for cross country. The competition in New Mexico had over 3,000 competitors from all over our nation representing their state.  My sister and I competed on the California Comets team which had qualifying meets to make this special team. There were 5 qualifying meets and top eight became part of this separate team. Michael also participated in the qualifying meets but came in 9th overall therefore prohibiting him from competing with the California Comets team. My sister and I trained everyday in the morning or at our night practices to get ready for the national competition. Our coaches, coach Kevin and coach Cathleen were very supportive and trained us very well!


At the start line

My start line

Hannahs start line
Hannah and coach kevin

Running to the finish!

Both Hannah and I took fifth at our championship race

Our first qualifying meet for New Mexico was in Arcadia on an all grass course. This event was difficult as we were not prepared to run on grass as our team practiced in the mountains.

Hannah and I both made it on to the second qualifying meet in Las Vegas. We drove for 6 hours to get to Las Vegas. It was a great trip as we had a chance to walk around on the strip and see a new city.  In Las Vegas, we saw a fountain show outside the Belagio Hotel which was gorgeous! The next morning, we competed in Las Vegas and once again, we qualified on to New Mexico. I placed third on my team and Hannah placed 7th on her team.

At Las Vegas

Enjoying the beautiful fountain

Hannah and her teammates

Playing on the slide in Las Vegas

After this meet, we had two weeks to train for our national competition. Hannah and I worked extra hard during practiced and it payed off! A few days ago, we flew out to New Mexico. That day, it was raining which created a muddy wet course. It was 30 degrees outside and snowing ten miles away. Hannah and I were both freezing going into the race and after the race. We both ran in leggings, long sleeve shirts, and mittens, yet our fingers and toes still froze during the race!  I placed 168 out of 400 and Hannah placed 136 out of 400 competitors in our age division.  I placed third on my team and Hannah placed sixth on her team.

Gorgeous snowy mountains

The exciting part of the journey was being able to ride back on a train. While on the train, we stopped in 8 locations and at 3 of them, we were able to see snow. Hannah and I made snowballs that we later threw at each other. Our cross country experience was really exciting with many events that I will never forget!

Getting ready to board the train

Playing in the snow during a break

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Post by Michael: Hiking to Paradise Falls

Over winter break, we did many amazing things, such as hiking to Paradise Falls. This was our first time hiking here, as we usually hike at Malibu Creek Park. This time, we decided to try a new place. It was a cold day, and we kept asking people where to go, as there were many trails. We finally found the way to the waterfall, and finally arrived after about a one hour hike. Since California is in a drought, the waterfall was small. We crossed the creek, and climbed up the rocks. There were many people sitting on the rocks eating lunch and enjoying the view, so we also ate lunch before starting on our way home. It was a fun hike, and I hope we can go to Paradise Falls again.

We stood under a giant Tepee

This is Paradise Falls

Monday, December 28, 2015

My Piano Recital

Last month, I played in a piano recital and performed two pieces, one by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the other by Gustave Lange.  The first piece I performed was called Turkish March and the second one is called Schelmerei.  

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was an Austrian composer who created many gorgeous operas, concertos, symphonies, and sonatas that helped build the beautiful music of the classical era. He was born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria, and was the youngest son of Leopold Mozart, a composer and instructor.  Mozart was a child prodigy and from the age of four he could play full symphonies and by age 6 he was already composing pieces and performing in Vienna and other parts of Austria. Throughout Mozart's life, he composed many pieces that were known throughout Europe and he traveled around Europe to perform his many works. Sadly, on December 5, 1791, Mozart died at age 35 from illness, leaving behind 600 compositions, including works for symphonies, the piano, and the opera. Some of these compositions are considered to be the finest works in the Classical period. One of my favorite pieces by Mozart is Ronda Alla Turka commonly known as Turkish March. This piece  imitates the sound of Turkish Janissary bands which was common in Europe at the time. 
Gustave Lange is a German composer born in 1830 and died in 1889.  He wrote music during the Romantic period.  The piece I played is called Schelmerei which means playfulness.  This piece is the first of six characteristics of music that he wrote. I especially enjoy playing this piece because it makes me feel happy and upbeat.  All of the sharp major notes really bring the piece to life.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Michael's First Piano Recital

In September, I had a piano concert at a church.
I first  played The Wild Horseman by Schumann. He was born in Germany during the Romantic era of music  in 1856. Robert loved books, writing, and music. When Robert was a boy, he took piano, flute, and cello lessons. Schumann married his piano teacher's daughter Clara Wieck, and they had a daughter named Marie. When Marie turned seven, Schumann gave her a birthday present of some of his songs. Later he wrote 18 pieces for young children, and 25 more pieces for older children. One of the songs he wrote was The Wild Horseman.

Next, I played Clowns by Kabalevsky. Clowns is a piece that has many staccatos and is a fun song to learn. Dmitri Kabalevsky was born in St. Petersberg, Russia on December 30, 1904. Kabalevsky was a modern composer and wrote a lot of music pieces for children including Clowns. Kabalevsky also wrote serious pieces such as symphonies, concertos, and music for the theater. He died at the age of 83 on February 18, 1987.

I was really nervous during the recital, and I was glad when it finished.  I still play these songs, and I like them very much.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Michael's Post: Labor Day Biking Marathon

This past labor day my family and I went biking at Marina Dell Ray. We went from Venice Beach to Manhattan Beach and back. We bicycled about 20 miles round trip. All six of us biked in a row, and I was first. The weather turned out to be sunny and windy. The bike ride from Venice ran along the beach so we at Manhattan Beach for a break. We had a small snack and went swimming in the ice cold ocean. 

My sisters biking to Manhattan Beach

Me eating a snack before going to the beach

My sisters having a snack

When we got back we were all very hungry and thirsty so my father took us  to Cheesecake Factory. First, we got the avocado rollls which were delicious. I always order chicken nuggets with french fries. My sister and I split the chicken nuggets and saved all the french fries for last.

At Cheesecake Factory

View of Marina Del Rey from the restaurant.

 The next day we went to Oxnard for more biking but we had to bike on the streets because there was no path on the sidewalk. It was a sunny and hot day. After we biked for along time we were all hungry and thirsty. This time instead of going to Cheesecake Factory, we went to Souplantation and got soup, pizza, and for dessert we got a chocolate and vanilla swirl ice cream. We had a great time this weekend, and I hope we go biking again soon.

At Souplantation 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Synchronized Swimming

During our Maui vacation, my siblings and I worked on a synchronized dance in the pool.  This was our second summer attempting to choreograph a routine that emphasized every team members skills and was creative.  I choreographed the routine while my sister, Sarah, taught my other siblings how to do the skills.  Sarah is a gymnast so she was able to teach us some gymnastics to incorporate these skills into our routine.  We worked for the entire vacation and finally finished on the last day of our trip. Here is the video from our routine from two years ago.

Our final sunset as we leave the beautiful island of Maui
Goodbye Maui.

What did you think of our routine? 
Did we improve?