Monday, December 24, 2012

Candy Cane Lane

A few days ago, on a cold evening, my family and I bundled up and went on a stroll to Candy Cane Lane.  Candy Cane Lane is blocks of houses lit up with Christmas lights and fascinating decorations.  After you see these images, I think you will be just as amazed as I was looking up at the lights. 

Candy Cane Lane started in 1952, when some homeowners decided to amaze the community with a display of holiday lights and decorations.  There success has been ongoing since with blocks of lights to see.  One house even hired a Santa to visit and take pictures with kids in his sleigh.  Some people come from hours away just to see these extraordinary sights.  It was good we arrived early because as we were driving back, the exit from the freeway was lined with miles of cars waiting to exit and see the lights!

There were lines of cars seeing the lights with many kids standing on the seats popping there heads through the convertibles.  Viewing the lights was amazing, but walking and viewing the lights was even better.  The best decorated houses had music playing.  There was even a building with a train in front of it puffing out thick clouds of smoke.  Some houses even had a motorized seesaws and merry-go-around spinning.  Others had a display of blown up Santas riding on motorcycles, sleeping in bed, and skiing.  Even after seeing all the houses, I still couldn't decide which one was my favorite.  I think the neighborhood did a fantastic job of making the holidays special and exciting!  Hopefully, I will come back next year and take another stroll through the neighborhood!

Everything was spinning and lit up with "Its a Small World After All" playing in the background

Hansel and Gretel walking to the yummy witches house

Puffed up decorations

Santa and us

The Train

The flickering lights made this image blurry but still amazing!

How did you spend the holidays?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Taking a Stroll Through the Neighborhood

A few days ago, My mom, brother, sister, and my friend Leah, went on a stroll through the neighborhood.  It was a cloudy, cold and drizzly morning.  As we were walking,  we noticed the gorgeous trees of Autumn.  Most of the leaves of the trees had fallen off which made it fun to walk through them.  The leaves made a crunchy sound as we stomped through them.  One house had many leaves for us to grab a few and  throw up in the air.  Instead of snowflakes falling, we had colorful leaves falling! As we were walking, we saw a huge leaf that took up half of my body!

My favorite leaf was a blood red one with a little bit of yellow.  Leah and I had a great time collecting our favorite leaves and making a bouquet with them. Every one had a good time included my dog Romeo, who raced after us.  As soon as we arrived home,  it started pouring cats and dogs!  We got very lucky to arrive home in time. 

We've had some unusually hot and cold weather lately, so we still have flowers and roses blooming in November.  Who ever heard of that?

I think this flower is unusual and gorgeous because of its shape and color.  If you look at it closely, it looks like a bird.  This flower is called bird of paradise. What do you think? 

What does your neighborhood look like?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Edublog Nominations 2012

I am very excited to be part of the Edublog nomination process.  I have been blogging for two and a half years, and I have come across many interesting blogs that deserve an award.  

Here is my list of blogs that I nominated:


Best Class Blog

Mrs Yollis’ Classroom Blog

Mrs. Yollis has been an inspiration to many current and new bloggers. She started me on the path to blogging and I am grateful to her for it.  She has a new interesting post up almost every week and supports her student bloggers by leaving comments on their blogs.  She also comments back to many of her readers on her blog.


 Best Student Blog

Come Somersault with Sarah

One of my favorite student bloggers is Sarah's blog.  Sarah is my younger sister, and she has become a great blogger. She has been blogging for one and a half years and publishes new posts a couple of times a month a

Best Twitter Hashtag


I love the #comments4kids hashtag! When I publish a new post, Mrs. Yollis tweets it out using this hashtag.  I always get some really lovely comments from everyone that received her tweet. It is wonderful!

Most Influential Blog Post

Family Blogging Month By: Mrs Yollis’ Class

Mrs. Yollis came up with the idea of having family blogging month a few years ago.  She does Family Blogging Month in the Spring and in the Winter. This is a great way for family to find out what we learn in class.  Last year a lot of my relatives participated in her blog. She also likes to compliment the family's comment by giving each child a point on a chart for every comment they received.  At the end, the student with the most points gets a prize and a chance to do a guest post on her blog.

Check out these great blogs and let me know what you think!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Race Day

Training for the 5k is exciting, but competing in the race is even better.  My day started on a chilly morning with the sun almost out.  I warmed up with my track and field group that were also getting ready to run the race.  There were thousands of people watching, walking or running the race.  While I was resting from my warm-up,  I looked around, and tried to  find the start line.  Since there were so many people, I couldn't even see it! There was also a DJ warming everyone up before the race.  A giant clock counted down until 8:00 am and the horn blew the start of the race.

We were running a large loop around the streets in our neighborhood. The week before the race, I ran this loop in practice 3 times.  I was just halfway through the race when the sprinklers of the house I was running next to went off.  I got soaking wet, and it felt great to get wet midway through the race.  Toward the end of the race, my PE teacher was standing and cheering me on. As I made my way to the finish line, my mom and sister cheered me on as well. It was a lot of fun seeing Mrs. Yollis and some of my other teachers at the community event.

Next to race, there were there were many different booths set up advertising and giving away free samples of different foods and drinks.  Later, we went to check my race time on the board and I came in 7th place in the 10 and under group with a time of 28:16.2.  I was extremely happy that I was in the top ten and that my hard work payed off.  I will be joining the track and field team in February to become even faster.

Look at all the cold runners behind me


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Disney Hall Concert

At the end of summer, my family and I went to see a concert at the Disney Hall.   Unlike the other stages with the orchestra in the front and seating in back, the Disney hall is a round circular hall that has seats all around it.  It is also has an interesting shape from the outside.    Disney Hall construction started in 1994 and finished in 2003.  The project was launched in 1992, when Lilian Disney, widow of Walt Disney, donated $50 million.   The Disney Hall has an amazing acoustic sound so even thought there weren't a lot of musicians, there was a lot of sound.

The Palpiti Arts (the name of the program) supports musicians ages 19-32 and invites then to come from different countries to perform in the U.S. One of the violin soloists, Pavel Sporcl, had a blue violin specially made for him by a Czech violin maker Jon Spidlen. My favorite piece  played that evening, Minimax, was by Paul Hindemith and this piece made everyone laugh.  It was a parody on military music and had some funny sounds and funny interactions between the different instruments.  The name Minimax came from combining the name of Prince of Furstenbuer two pet names, Maxi and Minzi.


Top of the building

What interesting building have you seen?
Where were they located?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Training for a 5k

Every year,  the city has a charity run to raise money for the The Talbert Family Foundation, which provides financial help to families who suffer from cancer.  A nice boy in my grade at school, has Leukemia,  and this year I am running to raise money for his family. The run is 5 kilometers long on the streets. Most of the course is set on hilly streets, and so I have to get into better shape to prepare for the race.  The race will be on the morning of Nov 11.

To prepare for the race, I have been running 3 days a week.  I have been trying to find places with many hills so I will be prepared. This weekend, my mom took Hannah, Michael, my dog Romeo, and I to a the mountains above our home for a run. I am not sure exactly how long the trail was, but I think it was around 5k. The trail was perfect to train on because there were many steep mountains. I ran until the trail ended with Romeo panting and running beside me and then turned around and ran back.  It was a very enjoyable run because I was able to see beautiful views of our whole city below.  Even though it is October, we had a  gorgeous clear sunny day with not even a single could.  Hannah and Michael, brought along their bikes and biked with my mom running slowly behind them. My siblings complained most of the way back because it was too difficult for them to pedal. They ended up having to carry their bikes most of the way.   For me, it was a great way to spend the morning exercising.

Have you ever trained for some type of activity?

What do you like to do for exercise?

Monday, October 15, 2012

New Piano Pieces

My sisters and I learned a couple of pieces over the summer and so my mother recorded us.  I played Prelude Op 38. by Dmitri Kabalevsky and Sonata No. 9  Hob. XVI/4 by Joseph Haydn.

Dmitri Kabalevsky, a Russian composer was born in St. Petersburg in 1904. In 1918, Kabalevsky moved with his family to Moscow, where he studied at the Scriabin Music School. At the age of 18, Kabalevsky began to compose for piano. His early pieces were practicies for his young students. He entered the Moscow Conservatory in 1925 to study piano.  His career as a composer ended in 1987 when he passed away.  Prelude is jumpy, fast, and loud.   Kabalevsky's preludes are a set of 24 piano pieces, and each piece is based on a folksong and is written in a different key. It was composed between 1943- 1944 and dedicated to Nikolai Myaskovsky, his teacher.

Joseph Haydn is an Austrian composer who composed in the Classical Period in the mid 1700s.  Haydn composed many wonderful Sonatas and Sonatinas. In a previous post, I played a piece by Haydn.  To get more information about Haydn and to listen to me playing more music by this composer visit this link. The piece that I am playing below is a happy, light, fast piece.  It is so fast that if my fingers get tired or get stuck on a note, then I mess up the whole entire song.  Hope you enjoy it!

 Which piece did you like better?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Blue Danube Waltz

My sister Hannah has been working on a piano piece called Blue Danube Waltz by  Johann Strauss all summer long. Strauss is an Austrian composer who composed  Blue Danube in 1866 in honor of the Danube River that flows through Vienna.  He was  known to compose light music, particularly dance music and operettas. He composed over 500 waltzes, polkas, quadrilles, and other types of dance music, as well as several operettas and a ballet. In his lifetime, he was known as "The Waltz King."

Strauss was born in St. Ulrich, a city near Vienna, to Johann Strauss I, a composer of dance music. His father did not wish him to become a composer, but rather a banker because they were poor family. Nevertheless, Strauss Junior studied the violin secretly, and when his father discovered his son secretly practicing one day, he gave him a severe whipping, saying that he was going to beat the music out of the boy. Fortunately, this did not discourage the young musician from learning the violin, and today we can enjoy many of the pieces he composed.

Hannah is six years old, and enjoys playing the piano as well as the violin which she just started a month ago.  This piece is 6 pages longs and is taller than her. She hopes you enjoy listening to her play.

Did you enjoy this piece?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Visiting the LACMA museum

Over the summer,  I went to Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) museum for the first time.  The is an art museum in Los Angeles, California.  LACMA was established as a museum in 1961.  LACMA is huge and there are many buildings  although most of the time we spent in the fine art section.  We didn't have time to visit every building but maybe next time we can see some of the exhibits. In the fine art section I especially enjoyed three paintings that I describe below. In the same building we also went to see Egyption antiquities which had a very interesting mummy.

The first painting that I enjoyed was called Miss Charlotte Papendick as a Child and this painting was painted in 1788.  It was painted by John Hoppner who lived during 1758-1810 in England.  He painted it with Oil on Canvas.  I really liked this painting because she had a gorgeous dress and Charlotte looked like she came from a wealthy family.  I also liked the scenery that the artist painted as a background.

The next painting I really enjoyed was called Jean as a Huntsman and this painting was painted in 1910.  It was painted by Pierre-Auguste Renoir who lived during 1841-1919 in France.  He painted it on with Oil on Canvas.  Renoir painted in the  impressionistic period. When you look at the painting up close, it looks blurry, but from far away it is beautiful Unlike Miss Charlotte Papendick who looks like she is from a wealthy family, painter during this time painted common things.  I really enjoyed this painting because it had an adorable beagle next to the boy.  I also liked the scenery that the artist painted. Jean looked like he was hiking to the mountains.

 The last painting I enjoyed was called Two Girls Reading and this was also painted by Pierre- Aguste Renoir.  This painting was painted during 1890-1891.  I liked this painting because it reminds me of Sarah and I reading together.  We would read together in bed and sometimes we peek at each others book.

After the paintings we went on to look at the Egyptian antiquities   section.   I had never seen a mummy before but it was quite an experience.

After the museum we visited my great grandfather who is 95 years old.  We call him Old Grandpa  and he doesn't really mind this title.

 What is your favorite type of paintings?