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3/15/2009 12:00:00 PM
Topanga
California

Half year report Feb-Mar 09 / part 2

A lot of fun things we got to do in the first 3 months of the year: go to the Grammys, skiing, attending a wedding, perform in a musical and Niki's mom's visit.

Well, as promised here is the report of all the happenings of the last 2 months. Remember to check-out all the new photo albums on our website www.lawur.com !!!!

FEBRUARY 2009

Since only the first weekend in January was booked up with a soccer event and neither of the boys' teams made it passed the first round at the State Cup tournament, we did have time for all these wonderful activities:

On February 8th Robert and I got invited by our friends Kumar and Suzette (we were in Vegas together...) to go to the Grammy Awards Show - Welcome to LA! Robert already had the honors to go there many years ago, but for me it was the first time. I was a bit afraid that there would be too many speeches and not enough music, but much to my surprise it was almost like a big concert - and I was delighted that Coldplay was part of it! We were sitting in a box being able to move around, dance, eat and drink.. A lot of fun! The after party was ok, the big stars certainly had their own private events (not that we would have recognized many of them anyway...) but after 5 hours of Grammys, we all were pretty wiped and not in the mood to walk around or dance some more. Yet it is always fun to scope around a room with many people and I was happily surprised to survive the afternoon and evening in high heels (for the first time in my life!)...!

The weekend after was Melissa and Adam's wedding (Maura's daughter) up in the Bay Area. The boys and I flew up the week prior to spend some time with Bob and Maura, the doggies as well as the two new kittens. Unfortunately it was raining the whole week but nevertheless we enjoyed being back to the 'old roots'. One time we managed to walk by the house, visit the pre-school and school the boys went to and go to the farmer's market in Santa Cruz with Maura (something we used to do a lot together). The boys saw Sammy, Sebastian's friend from pre-school, twice and after a few awkward minutes, time had no meaning (they haven't seen each other in more than 4 years) and had great fun even with Sammy's older sister Amanda. On Friday we had the rehearsal and dinner, Saturday Robert came up as well and we got to spend the afternoon by ourselves in San Jose, went out for dinner and strolling around - every hour to ourselves it charging up on our batteries! Sunday was the wedding and not even the heaviest of rains could change the happy mood of the bride and groom nor the guests. Sebastian and Benjamin were the ring carriers and looked really spiffy in their tuxes! It was wonderful to be part of this event and to help out. I always say that Melissa is like my younger sister (and Maura my older sister), so with that it was even more special to be there!

Due to some cold and rainy winter weather it snowed a lot in the LA area mountains and we took advantage of it going skiing one of the weekends. We tried out two different resorts, both being about 1,5 to 2,5 hours away. We are particular happy about one of them, even though it is a bit older and the lifts are back from the 50's - slow and not very comfy, the runs are great and the fewer people and less money can't beat that! Both days we took one of Sebastian's soccer friends along, Tommer and our guys had a lot of fun snowboarding through the woods with Robert! There is something to be said about living in an area where you can go skiing one day and to the beach the next.... :o)

MARCH 2009

Early March Robert left for what was to be a 10 day trip to England, 10 days back in the US and then another 10 days to the UK for the project end. It turned out that he was needed there more than expected and stayed for 3 weeks straight, came home for one weekend (to see Sebastian perform, see below) and then was off for another 10 days - so all in all he was gone almost 5 weeks, which was the longest for us yet since back together in the US. He now won't have to travel to London as frequently anymore, still every couple of months but not weeks, so it is all good and we are happy to have him back!

My mom actually already arrived mid February in LA, and after staying the first night with us she went and spent the first 10 days with Barbie, her sister, in Temecula. It was good for her to have a bit of quiet time and get adjusted on the time difference, without having all the kid energy around right away.. I guess it isn't so easy to travel at the age of 76 anymore. The rest of her 4 week stay she was with us, Barbie was sweet and brought her also spending a few days in Topanga. Again it rained a lot, but we still managed to do a few things. Mama and I also took advantage while the boys were in some of their classes, to go shopping, explore Topanga and it's surroundings or just enjoy a quiet morning at home together. One afternoon we all went to the Getty Villa, a famous art gallery right around the corner from us. The boys spent one weekend with friends of theirs which gave us time to take a day of driving around - visiting a beautiful meditation center, take a stroll along the beach and through downtown Santa Monica. On her last day we did go to the beach, because you can't come to California and not have put your feet into the sand once! Mama also was happy on some days to just stay home by herself and enjoy some quiet time, lying out under the Eucalyptus trees - while the boys and I did school or soccer related stuff. Barbie came back for one day and the two of them toured around Beverly Hills and Hollywood - unfortunately no movie offers.... ;o)

March was also filled with rehearsal for a local musical, that Sebastian participated in. It was twice a week, on top of soccer and towards the end I also participated in helping out with the costumes with some of the other moms. Even my mom helped sewing one of the afternoons! It was very time consuming but also a lot of fun and the 3 performances were a total success! Sebastian was very happy that for each one of them we had someone visit and watch. Barbie and Jimmy did not shy away from the long drive and neither did Bonnie and Julie from San Diego with their boys, and on Sunday Tommer and his family came. Sebastian definitely will want to do it again next year and even Benjamin would be old enough then (you have to be 10 years) - right now he is not so sure about it. The play itself was quite interesting all lined with Beatles songs, played by our own youth band (80% of them home school kids) and that very well! It was about an Indian girl being married off at the age of 12, a Chinese girl having to work in a factory, an boy from Iraq who's brother wants him to join the Taliban and a young boy in England back in the late 1900's who is being pulled into the war just because his father was a soldier. Those four characters magically "Come Together" (the name of the musical) in an timeless universe being able to escape the dogmas they have been put on to. Quite a heavy theme but with the music and dance a wonderful, upbeat performance!

Ok, these were the latest highlights - April and May report will be mailed soon enough, since we are going to visit Austria in June! So in the meantime warm regards to all of you, hope you are doing well and are looking forward to some news from your lives!

So long, The 4 Schmids Niki, Robert, Sebastian und Benjamin

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