SF MoMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)

Captions by: Melody (10) and Norm (Dad)
Photos by: Dad Norm
More info here –> sfmoma.org

Before the SF MoMA

We got to ride on the BART train. I wasn’t so happy since I get motion-sickness. Once we got there, we walked, since we had to go to the Embarcadero station. We got special permission from the agent to go to Embarcadero since our tickets were damaged. I had to go through the emergency gate.

Lunch in San Francisco

Once we got there, we went to California Pizza Kitchen. Apparently, it’s also known as CPK. We sat at the bar and got great service. I got strawberry lemonade and my dad got Vitamin Water. Then, we ordered a half-pineapple, half-Margherita pizza, for us to share. I really liked it. Also, I got an extra napkin. I needed it since I was getting messy with my pizza.
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Off to the SF MoMA!!!

We walked to the SF MoMA. It was quite a walk, but worth it because we got a lot of pictures with all the pieces I liked. (I’ll tell you more about that later.) So when we got there, the lady at the front desk recommended we start at the 7th floor (the museum has 7 floors) and work our way down to the bottom.

FLOOR 7

We followed her advice and went to the 7th floor, which turned out to be a music floor! My dad and I both love music, so this floor was perfect for us. This floor also had a wheel that powered all of the other machines around it. Each one powered the other.

The next room had a big “lake” with ceramic bowls floating around in it.  Once one bowl hit another bowl, a bell-like sound was emitted.  The area was very peaceful and tranquil.
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We went to a room with a bunch of red cords next. Everyone was putting on headphones and walking alongside the cords. At first, I was thinking to myself, “Why are they doing that?” But when I put the headphones on, I understood. There’s an energy coming from the headphones and it sort of buzzes in your ear, getting louder, and LOUDER, and LOUDER as you get closer to the cords. I wasn’t too crazy about it since the buzzing was really loud, but my dad stayed longer. We ended up going back to the tranquil bowl place – which, luckily, did not have buzzing.
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The next room had a big box with a bunch of cans and strings all across the place. Think of the game Telephone times 100. I know it’s kind of crazy, but you can actually hear the person if you find the right can! It’s sort of like a maze. Sort of like life.
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FLOOR 6

One of the art pieces I liked was this water reflection painting.
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This art sculpture was so amazing. I couldn’t even figure out which side was the front of it! It was really complicated, and my dad and I both agreed it looked like a stack of dominoes. All stacked up, just in a complicated – very, very, very, complicated way.
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FLOOR 5

There were a lot of sculptures on this floor. If I was a namer for this museum, I would name this floor “the sculpture floor” because it’s full of sculptures. We also went to the Oculus Bridge, which isn’t a sculpture. We had to look way down to the first floor. I’m scared of heights! So I just stood back.

FLOOR 4

This is another painting that I liked. It was rainbow and hilly. There was also a distortion mirror you can look really funny in.
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FLOOR 3

There’s also a sculpture garden outside where there is a “one-way” sign and people who come from way back when.  My dad wanted to take a picture with them. I refused. No matter how much he told me. Note: I am never going to blend in with historical figures. The wall behind the figures is a “living wall” that consists of 21 California native species of living plants.

FLOOR 2

On floor 2 is the Norman Zammitt (Canadian-born American) painting. We both really liked it because it was colorful and looked like a sunset so we tried to take a picture but it didn’t work. Somebody took a picture for us.
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We also thought Emily would like this flower piece.
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FLOOR 1

Floor 1 was the Figure 8 brown statue. We went inside it (we were allowed to go in) but it took us FOREVER, it seemed, to get out!
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That was the end of our wonderful and exciting day.  Of course, our feet were tired and we were tired. But it was worth it. Because we love each other and had a good time together.

How far we walked: 4.88 miles

Have you been on a local mini-adventure lately? Where did you go?

 

A Back-to-School Tradition

It’s that time of year – back-to-school season! Remember when the sales on school supplies started at the end of August and we school started after Labor Day? Well, gone are those days!

Our family is not particularly great at keeping traditions, but we great at eating ice cream, so I guess having a “surprise” back-to-school lunch at the Ice Creamery Sunday after church the week school starts is a good tradition. In the past, we’ve driven past our house and the girls ask where we’re going. This is the first year in six years that Melody remembered that we do this every year. :p

Ignore that I (Joyce) have a very limited wardrobe selection and that we are slightly in a state of frazzledness/dishelvedness…certain Sundays are full for us.

2017 – Fifth and Third Grade

 

2016 – Fourth and Second Grade

 

2015 – Third and First Grade

 

2014 – Second Grade and Kindergarten

 

2013 – First Grade and Pre-K

 

2012 – Kindergarten and Preschool

We never remember to take those first and last day of school photos so this will have to do. 🙂 They aren’t always the most framable photos (and besides our wedding, we actually never had professional photos taken) but we love having these moments captured.

Does your family have back-to-school traditions?

 

Books for Young Readers

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Zondervan

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Here’s a look at some new resources from Zondervan this month for your family:

*The Bedtime Book

Sometimes I can’t sleep, so I have different sleeping strategies. One time I DID try counting sheep, all the way to 500! I was, of course, tired, because it was late. It definitely took me a long time! So whenever I can’t fall asleep now, I’ll think about this book and how the pig counted sheep…and fish…and dinosaurs!

I would recommend this book to kids who maybe are scared of not sleeping, and the dark. Hint: Me! – Melody (age 10)

You know I LOVE a book with raps…er…rhymes! Our favorite time of day with the girls, especially when they were babies, was bedtime (not just because we were going to get a little break from diaper-changing and such) because it was fun reading a book with them before they head off to sleep. Sometimes it was a few board books and other times they wanted to read the same book over and over again. The Bedtime Book is perfect for a simple story before your kiddo heads to dreamland. There are some cute rhymes in this one. – Joyce (mom)

Get your own copy *HERE.

 

*5-Minute Adventure Bible Stories 

I like when Moses put his staff in the water.

They’re not super long so they’re good for bedtime stories.

I would recommend this to everybody. – Emily (age 8)

I like this book because it makes me think about the Bible in a different perspective. I also learned new things “It probably took eight to twelve HOURS for the waters to part.

I would recommend this to everybody. – Melody (age 10)

As you can see in the picture below, two words I like are together in this 5-Minute Adventure Bible Stories book! Adventure + Discovery!! You’re sure to learn something new in this book as you read with your little one. – Joyce (mom)
Get your own copy *HERE.

OTHER REVIEWS

The Bedtime Book – Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook | goodreads | BookLook Bloggers
5-Minute Adventure Bible Stories – Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook | goodreads
 | BookLook Bloggers

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a tiny percentage if you make a purchase through my link at no extra cost to you. We received one or more items for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

A Mini-Adventure in San Francisco

A Note from Joyce: It wasn’t until a few years ago after our trip to Seattle when we decided we should have the girls explore our original hometown of San Francisco (where there is ALWAYS something new to discover!). We have done two almost-all-day trips with visiting relatives and we have also been on a few shorter mini-adventures. (You can find a few posts on our old blog.) For this mini-adventure, we decided to drive a few minutes out from Chinatown to see a site made even more popular (again?) by the Fuller House series.

We recently went to San Fransisco. It was a special occasion, of course, because we don’t go as frequently as we could. It’s funny because we live 25 miles away from San Fransisco. So to get to San Fransisco, you have to pass through the tolls. There are always a lot of people going through there, which makes me wonder if there is traffic, but every time there isn’t much as I thought there would be (at the time we go).

This is us on the Bay Bridge. They knocked the old one down on the other side. There’s the new Salesforce Tower!

This is the Financial District, which is where my dad works. The buildings are super tall. I wonder what happens when there’s an earthquake.

The reason we were there was because we had a family member’s anniversary celebration, so we went to our old church in Chinatown. Before that Emily and I went to Sunday School, where we did a Bible study. We definitely met a lot of people who knew us from when we were little. This is the prayer before the anniversary lunch at the church.

They gave a lot of speeches and there was even singing!

This is a mural which, evidently, used to be new and vibrant-colored way back when. (When my parents were little, probably.)

This is us in front of the church. The church is 4 stories tall. We used to go there before we moved, which is when I was 1. That was 9 years ago. But once every year we go back and visit. I have to admit, I do remember some people!

The church is near the border of Chinatown and Nob Hill(?), so afterwards we went into Chinatown more. This is what you think of when you think of Chinatown. We went and got some bread. There was a lot of people there, so we just got jostled around. The buns were really good. Compliments to the baker!

If you live in San Fransisco, another thing you have to endure is…the hills. We had to walk UP 4 entire blocks of hills back to our car.

We always find something touristy and fun to do when we are in San Francisco! This time, we visited the Painted Ladies. These colorful Victorian-era houses were certainly vibrant. My favorite house was the lilac-colored one, which you can’t see in the photos because it was farther down.

There were a lot of houses – blocks and blocks of them! People just publicly sat and took selfies. I couldn’t believe they did that because people actually lived in those houses!

That’s me standing in front of all of the houses. I wonder if they’ll ever fall apart. Aren’t they old?

Here’s all of us as a family on the hill across the street from the Painted Ladies. I think one of them, in the background, was getting redone.

Selfie time! We took a lot of selfies. I guess we are one of those people. But I did see someone with a selfie stick…

That’s Emily jumping. She likes to do that, and dance. I don’t do that, so when they asked me if I wanted to do that, I said no.

The pastel colors are pretty!

Such detailed designs!

And one more random church we saw on our way back home.

Epilogue: Not included in the photos…which is the rest of the day…we went to my grandparent’s house (dad’s side) which is also in San Francisco while my dad went to Costco. After that, we went to my other grandparent’s house (mom’s side), which isn’t in San Francisco, for dinner. It was a busy day, for sure, but one to remember. I had a good time.

Have you been on a local mini-adventure lately? Where did you go?

If you want to know a few facts about the Painted Ladies, read more at UpOutSF.

Books for Young Readers [June 2017}

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Zondervan

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Here’s a look at some new resources from Zondervan this month for your family:

*The Berenstain Bears Bless Our Gramps and Gran

This book is about grandparents. My favorite part is the pictures of Noah with his family in their big family tree. I like spending time with my grandparents and hugging them.  I recommend this to everybody. – Emily (age 8)

This book is a story of Grandparents Day and the bear cubs share their favorite things to do with Gramps and Gran. On the inside of the back cover, there are some ideas on how to celebrate the day. – Mom Joyce

Get your own copy *HERE.

 

*NIV Kids’ Visual Study Bible, Hardcover, Full Color Interior: Explore the Story of the Bible 

When I saw this Bible and opened it, I was excited. This Bible really takes you back to when the Bible was written. I like the pictures and the references to where the verses are in the Bible. Another thing that I like about the Bible is that it has pictures of the things to help you visualize it. Let’s say, for instance, ornaments – you will see a bunch of gold necklaces. I thought it was really cool to explore the Bible in this way, to peek into Jesus’ world, and to dive in to discover what life really was back when Jesus and his followers were alive. – Melody (age 10)

Get your own copy *HERE.

*Run with Me: The Story of a U.S. Olympic Champion

We love a good Olympic story and this is a great one! One of our favorites to watch during the Olympics is Track and Field so we were excited for a chance to read Run with Me. Now, if you have been around awhile you know I am not a runner. It’s not one of those things where I shouldn’t say that because everyone can be a runner and such. I mean, I have bad knees and I’d much rather have my legs when I’m old than call myself a runner. So, therefore, I walk…we walk…we walk around the neighborhood, we walk around the town, we walk down at the marina, we walk at the park, we walk at the mall, we can walk for days, but running, not so much…BUT I love a good track story because everyone I know runs..they run on the treadmill, they run a 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon, run for fun, run for charity, run through colors, run through bubbles, run through mud, all kinds of running stuff. And I cheer them on.  Anyhow, none of that has to do with the book, except that we really enjoyed watching Sanya run in the Olympics. It is so incredible what the human body can do. I love the stories that Sanya shares in the book. They are very detailed and helps me connect more to her story and life in Jamaica. She tells about the lessons she has learned from her coaches, parents, sister, and God. – Mom Joyce

Get your own copy *HERE.

OTHER REVIEWS

The Berenstain Bears Bless Our Gramps and Gran  – (coming soon) Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook | goodreads | BookLook Bloggers
– NIV Kids’ Visual Study Bible – Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook | goodreads
 | BookLook Bloggers
Run with Me: The Story of a U.S. Olympic ChampionAmazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook | goodreads | BookLook Bloggers

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a tiny percentage if you make a purchase through my link at no extra cost to you. We received one or more items for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

San Leandro Public Library [Library Tour]

The next stop on our Library Tour Summer Series is the San Leandro Public Library. (This post is by Melody with italicized comments from Mom.)

I’ve had a lot of great memories at this library. When I was little, even though my parents worked a lot, my mom rarely missed bringing the four of us kiddos to the library on Saturdays to check out our books before going grocery shopping.

When you enter the library, there’s a sign that says, “Public Library” and a gift shop/cafe (aka Bookmark Cafe) on the right side. (Shown above. It’s the little area sticking out behind the bike racks.) On the left corner, there is a Friends of the Library bookstore. On the left side, there is a hallway that leads to a theater and some meeting rooms(?). On the left near the entrance, there is a police department office.

One of our favorite things at this library is the chair with the mom and her two kids. The mom is reading a book. I wonder what book it is? (I’m not sure the stories behind these statues, but we see them at all the libraries, and hopefully, I can do some “then and now” photos of the girls with them through the years.)

There are tables at the library as well as chairs. It’s a great place to study!

We saw this electronic sign flashing different events.

After we saw the sign, we walked up to the second floor.

At the library is a map of San Leandro. One time we saw one of Castro Valley and we tried to see where we lived.

These are some clocks showing the time in all different parts of the world.

I’m not sure if I ever saw this part before because we don’t usually go to the second floor, but there’s a lot of chairs and tables. Perfect for reading! Or studying!

Here is another view from the second floor.

We saw another sculpture that we hadn’t seen before, which is a girl reading to a boy.

Another view from the second floor of the library.

One of the library’s rooms is the History Room.

Be sure to follow these rules if you’re there! I think they’re good rules for a library.

San Leandro Marina Park [Parks + Playgrounds]

Next in our Parks + Playgrounds Summer Series is San Leandro Marina Park.

This is not a complete recap of our time at the San Leandro Marina Park. We were meeting friends at the playground after we took our walk around the loop/Faro Point, but I miscommunicated our exact location since there are two playground areas. And then, since I handed Melody the phone to message our friends while I was driving across to the other playground, she left the phone in the car, so I only had photos from our walk.

One-Mile Loop / Faro Point

One of our favorite parts of this park is this loop that stretches out into the Bay. It is a one-mile loop with stations for your workout, like jumping jacks, sit-up bench thingie (not the technical term), balance beam, jump-over bars (also not the technical term), pull-up rings, and more! Here we are at the starting line. I feel like they need to add some encouraging words on the ground where they mark every quarter-mile. It is always pretty breezy so hold on to your hats and wear layers!!! There have been many morning walks here where my face would be feeling the heat, but that Bay breeze starts you off with a chill.

On this particular day, there were a bunch of seagulls. I have never seen this many in this area before. We had to dodge a few of them. Yikes!

Emily likes to scooter so there were times when she just went on ahead.

Seeing all the planes fly in to land at OAK is another favorite thing about SL Marina!

Here we are coming to the final stretch of the one-mile loop!

….but then we continue on because we are following a walking program on my health phone app and was trying to walk 1.45 miles. After you walk past the 1.0-mile marker, you can keep walking forward and to your right, there is another path. I mostly see bicyclists go in this direction, but there is also a nice size dog park. I’m not familiar with dog parks but it looks like there is a plenty of space to run around.

Play Areas + Picnic Areas

So besides Faro Point, you also have the actual park areas. The play area closest to the loop is for older kiddos. Between the two area is PLENTY of grassy areas for picnicking and running. There is also a volleyball area with sand. The last time I looked, there was a net, but I can’t remember if it is always there.

At the other end (where you most likely will drive in from), there is a playground structure for younger kiddos. There is a path that goes around the play area for any kiddos who want to scooter or bike around. There are two small water-spraying statues that kiddos can/will climb when the water is or is not spraying. There are restrooms close by but they are not the best, but I’m never about any public restroom anyway. :/ FYI: The toilet paper is the super duper thin kind where you can only really pull out one “square” at a time or just go really slowly, and there is only a hand-dryer blower thing. Bring your own tissues and/or toilet paper if you think you may need some for your kiddos.

You can reserve the picnic areas and they have really nice new-ish grills available. There is not much shade where the play areas are strangely and unfortunately, but there are LOTS of big trees across the border of the grassy field as well as some of the picnic areas.

We’ll most likely be back, so maybe more photos will be added!! 🙂

Website | Yelp 1 | Yelp 2 | TripAdvisor | Great Kids Park

We have seen some amazing parks and playgrounds and would like to visit them all, but since we don’t really have time to do that, please share your pics with us! And we’ll be updating with pics from our mini-adventures!

What are your family’s favorite activities at the park or playground? Swings, carousel, rock wall, train ride, tube slide, bridge?