Hollinger-Langmuir Family News

Ten Days: Adventures and Life and Stuff

St. Patrick’s Day was busy! First I judged the parade in San Francisco. Then I went to the LLW Kickoff. Then Val and I went to Liza and Jody’s for a fun night of friends and games.

The rest of the week was relatively mundane: my band practice, kids in school and band and after school activities. I had lunch with Freda on Friday, which I always enjoy. We usually go to Hobees in Redwood Shores; they’re starting to know us there!

On Saturday there was a lot of coming and going. Haley had a Feldenkreis lesson at Michelle’s, then went to Glynis & Susan’s. Katelyn went to her friend Jackie’s birthday party, where apparently she had a blast playing Guitar Hero. Then she went to Glynis & Susan’s.

I trekked down to Sunnyvale in the rain for a West Bay Community Band concert to celebrate the grand opening of Faith in Action’s Silicon Valley Rotating Homeless Shelter.

On Sunday Haley had a “Model Seder” in her religious school class. After that we went down to Michelle’s again for another lesson. Apparently we’d gotten our wires crossed because she thought she was coming to us, and we thought we were going there. Thank goodness we were a little early and she was a little late, so we caught her just as she was driving down her street!

On Sunday Val and I went shopping for sofa beds (again!), but didn’t find anything we wanted. We also went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and were only marginally successful at getting a few things. We came home and shopped online.

On Monday I took Val out to dinner at Alfiere at the Westin. I got a certificate for dinner from a silent auction benefitting the JCC in Foster City. It was nice to have someone else cook for a change!

Now we’re starting another week with the added stress of getting ready to leave on vacation on Friday. And of course, the kids have a *lot* of homework. Sigh.

March 28, 2012 Posted by | Family, Haley, House, Jason, Marilyn, Recreation, School, Val | Leave a Comment

Katelyn’s Open House

The Mills HS Open House was last night. As usual, the “entourage” went: me, Val, Kathie, Glynis, Susan, and Adrien. It was amusing introducing the “gang” to the teachers, especially those who remember a slightly smaller group from Back to School Night in September. It was chaotic as, for some reason, they’d scheduled the 8th grade (incoming freshman) orientation and tours for the same night. I guess  it was more convenient for the staff to only have one evening they needed to be there, but it sure made it more crowded for everyone!

We were a bit disappointed based on expectations from elementary and middle school. At previous Open House events, you go and see a bunch of the kids’ work posted in the rooms. You get to see projects you didn’t even know they’d completed, and to compare their work to the other kids’. This really wasn’t the case. It seemed to be just a chance to have a short chat with the teachers (really short, since there was a line waiting to talk to each one), and see if the classrooms had changed much, which they hadn’t. At least we got to meet Katelyn’s history teacher, whom we hand’t met before since she just started in that class this semester.

Katelyn is turning in her registration form for next year. She needs to take a language, and has decided on Japanese!


March 16, 2012 Posted by | Jason, School | Leave a Comment

Homework Hell Week

Some weeks are just worse than others. Usually Haley has just a few things to do for homework. She had 7 separate assignments on Tuesday evening, and had a mess-up with turning in a packet of work from the last 3 months. She’s pretty stressed this week.

Katelyn has also had a lot. Last night she spent hours making a scale model of a book. She’s a real perfectionist which meant it took even longer, but it’s really quite good. I’ll try to post a picture at some point.

March 16, 2012 Posted by | Haley, Jason, School | Leave a Comment

If it’s not one thing, it’s another (furnace woes)

If life wasn’t already complicated enough…

Our furnace started malfunctioning yesterday. I got home around 5:30 and it was 85 degrees in the house; the furnace just refused to go off. So we had to shut it off at the source. Luckily we still have our home warranty so I filed a report online and got a call from the repair people at 9:30 this morning. They’re coming this afternoon! At least I seem to have a meeting-free day so it’ll work out. Especially for Katelyn, who left her Geometry binder at home; I’ll run it down to the school before the repair people arrive.


March 16, 2012 Posted by | general, House, Jason, Marilyn, School | Leave a Comment

Jennifer & Selena Visit

Jennifer & Selena visited on Sunday. As usual, we had a great time hanging out, watching the wildlife in the yard, and playing games. “Stone Age” is a favorite for us, and we got in two games yesterday.

March 13, 2012 Posted by | Marilyn, Recreation, Val | Leave a Comment

Jann & Trev Visit; Hugo

Jann & Trev brought a great assortment of bagels to add to our brunch fixins on Saturday. Adrien stayed so they could wish her a happy birthday. Then afterwards the kids went off to do their own thing and the four of us played Buzzword.

After they left we had a “do your own thing” dinner, which turned out to be 4 different kinds of pasta plus lots of veggies and other stuff. We watched “Hugo” together.

March 13, 2012 Posted by | Family, Recreation | Leave a Comment

Happy Birthday Adrien!

A  bunch of us went to Lai Lai in Millbrae to celebrate Adrien’s 75th birthday. Joanie’s birthday is the same day, so it’s great she was there and we got to sing Happy Birthday to her, too. (And also 4 other people in the restaurant!) Pictures coming soon.

March 10, 2012 Posted by | Family | Leave a Comment

Thumb PT

Got the splint off my thumb on Tuesday, and now have to do painful manipulations on my thumb many times a day to get back mobility. Making progress, though!

March 10, 2012 Posted by | Marilyn | Leave a Comment

News from September 2011 to March 2012

How ridiculous! No information from our family since last September! OK folks, here we go with what we’ve been up to since my last post on September 5, 2011:

Probably the biggest new is that THE KITCHEN PROJECT IS COMPLETE!! Go see the pictures. We’re loving the result. Suddenly we can all be in the kitchen at once, and we can talk and socialize while we’re cooking. We’re really happy with it. We’ve also completed the fireplace. (Pictures coming soon.)  Now comes the next set of things:

  1. Put down carpet in the attic.
  2. Move long-term storage items from the house and garage into the attic, which includes organizing the garage.
  3. Get our things out of storage.
  4. Get built-ins installed around the fireplace for media and equipment.
  5. Plant nice plans on the hill outside the lovely new bay window, so we’re not looking out on dirt.
  6. Buy new furniture for the family room (sofa) and the living room (sofa bed), and rearrange what we have.
  7. Put up artwork.
  8. Have a party!!

Whew, sounds exhausting! But it’ll all be worth it.

So, what else have we been doing….?

The kids are doing well in school. Haley is figuring out how to maneuver middle school, so her first trimester grades weren’t great. We’re awaiting the next one. Katelyn’s first semester grades were fabulous, although they’re slipping a little now. She assures us it will all work out. Meanwhile she really likes school, and especially likes her Peer Helping class. They did a one-day event at the Millbrae Rec Center, and a weekend retreat.

I started playing tuba with the West Bay Community Band. I’m really loving it, and had a concert on 11/18 in Redwood City and 12/3 at the Hiller Museum in San Carlos. Speaking of music, Haley is playing percussion at Taylor Middle School. She’s taking drum lessons, learning how to play the drum set. We recently got her a set, which is currently living at Kathie’s. Katelyn is playing alto sax with the Mills High School Band. She’s gotten to play at football and basketball games, as well as in their winter concert. She likes it, but hates getting up at 7am four days a week. She’s considering switching to jazz band which is an hour later. She’s also periodically trying out the baritone sax. She likes it, but it’s almost as big as my tuba! 🙂

Haley started swimming with the Burlingame Aquatic Club. She tried out last year and didn’t make it, but took parks & rec classes to get better and tried out again and made it. She’s in the pre-competitive class, but really likes it. She swims 2-3 days a week after school. She had her first practice swim meet on 10/1.

Haley had a fun birthday party a couple of days before her birthday. We continue to struggle with kids not coming to her parties. It’s not about her, it’s just that there are lots of kids with birthdays around that time, and too much going on with school starting. But we had fun anyway, and her friend Zahra stayed overnight. The following week we celebrated with the family at Benihana’s, her favorite restaurant. Oh, and, as promised, she got her ears pierced on 10/1.

Mybirthday was relatively mellow, although a bunch of us got together at the Millbrae Pancake House for dinner on 9/28.

The kids started back at religious school. This is Haley’s last year in organized Hebrew study; next year she starts her Bat Mitzvah work. Katelyn’s class is doing Comparative Religions. They spent the first semester looking at different kinds of Judaism and now they’re looking at other religions. I recently accompanied the class on a trip to a Mosque to learn more about Islam. They’ve both done activities with the youth group also. Haley went to a beach party, to play laser tag, and to the Mystery Spot. and Katelyn went to a day outing to the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. The family attended the 6th grade Shabbat dinner & service on 11/4.

I had a really nasty fall in the driveway on 2/4. Banged up and scraped up both knees, scraped up my left hand, and dislocated and broke my right thumb. Four weels later and it’s healing, but still pretty banged up.

Also on the medical front, Haley’s scoliosis has gotten a bit worse. We went to see a second specialist who recommended waiting before doing anything drastic like putting her in a brace. Meanwhile the swimming is good for her back, we’ve got foam pads on her beds, and she’s getting Feldenkrais lessons to help with her body mechanics.

We had lots of fun times with friends and family:

  • BBQ with Beth’s family and ours at Scooter’s on 9/10.
  • Attended Glynis’ 50th birthday party on 9/17, where we had food, fun, a singer, and several of us played instruments and helped out. Val started stressing about hosting my upcoming mid-century party.
  • Jann & Trev visited on 10/1.
  • Jennifer & Selena visited on 10/15, 11/13, and 1/14.
  • Attended Kathie’s birthday party on 10/22.
  • Val and I went to a party at Liza & Jody’s on 10/29.
  • We visited with Liza & Jody on 10/30, 11/26, 12/18, and 1/28
  • Glynis & Susan took the kids to see Taiko Drumming on 11/5.
  • Kathie took the kids to see “Acting Can Be Murder” at Mills on 11/6.
  • Val gave us all a special early holiday gift by getting us Tapis Rouge (Red Carpet) tickets to see Cirq du Soleil performing TOTEM on 11/12.
  • Val and I saw Pink Martini in concert at the Paramount Theater in Oakland on 11/20.
  • We had Thanksgiving dinner at Mom’s in Morgan Hill. It was supposed to be Susan’s turn to host, but given that her boys weren’t coming and that Val had to work, she suggested having it closer to us. We promised Mom we’d do most of the work!
  • We visited Jay & Timnah on 12/4.
  • We went to a vegan sushi restaurant in SF for Katelyn’s birthday dinner on 12/9. Katelyn went indoor skydiving for her birthday with her friend Briana the following day.
  • Val spent 2 weeks in Europe on her own in December. She visited Erika & Charles in Italy, as well as Tracey, Jason, and Laurie in London and Devlin in Berlin.
  • I went to Kung Pao Kosher Comedy with Ray and Rio on 12/24.
  • I spent Christmas morning with Kathie and the girls, and then to Liza & Jody’s for lunch and socializing, then stopped by Glynis & Susan’s.
  • The girls were at Kathie’s and Adrien’s a lot of the winter break. For the first week I got time to myself, and for the second week Val and I got time together after she got back from Europe on 12/31.
  • Michelle and I hung out and made dinner on 12/27. It was lovely to have kid-free time together.
  • I went and playing Scrabble Deluxe with Katelyn and Glynis on 12/30.
  • We spent New Year’s Eve together as a family. However just before midnight Haley discovered that her snake Rosie had died, which was quite sad.
  • Val and I went to Liza & Jody’s party on New Year’s Day.
  • The girls accompanied Susan to her family’s yearly gathering, this time in San Diego, 1/13-1/16.
  • When I was on business in Phoenix I got to see Dad & Reggie on 1/25.
  • We attended Kathleen’s 60th birthday party on 2/4.
  • Val and I attended Barbara’s early 70th birthday party on 3/4.

I had lots of lunch dates with my friends and family:

  • Olga on 9/9
  • Judy on 9/16
  • Freda on 9/22, 10/20, 11/22, and 2/16
  • Christopher on 10/5
  • Francesca on 11/3 and 2/24
  • Meghan on 2/27

Val and I have had lots of travel. Val traveled to Lexington, KY in October and again in February. I visited 6 customers in just a couple of months. The first two were local (San Francisco and Petaluma), but the others took me to Phoenix, Columbus, Austin, and Colorado Springs. I’ve got another trip to a conference planned in May, back in Austin.

Val and I also continued working with the Exiles, and I am now on the board of LLW.

Other miscellaneous activities:

  • I finished up my career coaching with Joan Tabb from Great In 8 Coaching. I highly recommend her for helping to focus on what’s important and moving your career forward. She helped me realize what was most important to me on my recent job search, and I’m still totally happy at Guidewire.
  • I helped my friend Michael with mockups for a new mobile app for foodies.
  • I went to a Back Port Concert on 10/9 to see Robin Flowers & Libby McLaren, whom I hadn’t seen perform in about 20 years. They were still great!
  • Haley spent one afternoon helping out at A Child’s Way. She wants to do that more often, and they like having her there.
  • We carved wonderful pumpkins on 10/29. See the pictures.
  • I attended the Sholom Women’s Member Appreciation dinner on 11/3.
  • I went to a special clothing sale for Making it Big with Glynis & Susan on 11/5. We also stopped in at the WeBeBop outlet.
  • Haley participated in Outdoor Education, a week-long program through the school, 11/14-11/18.
  • The girls and I made vegan latkes on 12/17. Haley took a bunch to school the following week.
  • I treated Katelyn and me to a pedicure on 12/30.
  • I went to a special Sale at Go Figure with Ruth on 1/12. Spent way too much on clothes.
  • Haley attended her first semi-formal dance, at the Millbrae Rec Center, on 2/4.

Whew! That’s a lot!

With this new blog format I should be able to post shorter notes, and more often. Stay tuned!

March 4, 2012 Posted by | Family, general, Haley, House, Jason, Marilyn, Recreation, School, Travel, Val | Leave a Comment

Previous Family News

Any news older than this is available on the old web site, starting HERE. Enjoy!

March 3, 2012 Posted by | Family, general, Haley, Jason, Marilyn, Recreation, School, Travel, Val | Leave a Comment