A Sunny Day In L.A.

So our “big” spring break outing was a trip to Universal Studios in Hollywood for the day.  We drove down to L.A. early yesterday and combined it with a late night visit to see Wilson!  Sadly, Rolf had to stay behind to go to work (and Rudy would have preferred to stay behind, I think) but Max and Olivia were looking forward to it and were perfect partners in fun for the day.

The first thing Rudy said when we got to the front gate was “We go to Wilson’s house?”. When I responded “no, not yet”, the second thing he said was “We go home now pretty please?”. Ha Ha Poor guy…he had a long day ahead of him!
Soooooo, he wasn’t a big fan of the giant velociraptors roaming the park…
…or the Transformers (this was our second attempt at a meet ‘n greet with Optimus Prime after I accidentally traumatized Rudy with an encounter with Megatron!)…
…we couldn’t even win him over with a big train in Harry Potter World!!
But he did begin to warm up during the studio tour…
…and made friends with the minions!
Especially this one! 😉
My minions.
We squeezed in a couple of rides…
… even a nap!…
,,,before ending on a good note with Max & Olivia making friends with Megatron…showing Rudy he’s not such a bad guy after all!
Uh, yeah, he’s not quite convinced!


We closed the park down and headed over to APU to drop off Olivia who is staying on campus the rest of the week for an extreme college experience with Wilson and his posse!  She was pretty excited about living in Wilson’s world for a couple of days and, by the looks of it, is fitting in already…

Olivia and her new housemates!
Hanging out in Wilson’s MOD doin’ what cool college kids do…playing XBox!
When Rudy found out Olivia was staying, he asked if he could stay too! Awww, I didn’t see that coming. Someday, big boy!

Max, Rudy and I rolled into our driveway at 1:15 am so, needless to say, today will be a quiet day at home.  In fact, the next couple of days will be particularly quiet as both Max and Rolf head out of town early tomorrow morning for the weekend.  The “BIG FUN” of spring break may be over but we still have 4 days of fun at home before Rudy heads back to school on Monday (the big sibs don’t go back until Tuesday! Woo Hoo!).  Spring break ROCKS!  😉

Zoo Fun

We took advantage of our day with no commitments yesterday and went to the zoo!  We haven’t been to the zoo in a long time and it was a good outing for all of us.  Rudy was definitely more aware of and interested in the animals this visit which made for a lot of laughs…

We saw funny elephants…
…pooping lions…
…and giraffe’s going pee-pee…
We also saw the very rare and elusive North American iguanicats!!…
…and finished off our visit with a train ride…
Train selfie.

Our spring break has gotten off to a good start…simple moments made extraordinary by the people with whom they are shared.



Spring Break Is Here!

It’s Sunday afternoon and there is a big sigh of relief over the fact that there is no school tomorrow or the day after that or the day after that…etc!  We have a week off from school, sports and therapy and we’re pretty happy about it.  Rudy got a head start on spring break as the Goleta Unified School District schools had Friday off as well.  Woo Hoo!!!  Actually, I’m not sure Rudy is all that thrilled about spring break.  He loves going to school and being with his friends!  😉  What a blessing it is to know he is in a loving and stimulating educational environment that he enjoys so much.

Ms. Ochoa and aide Daniel joining Rudy in some Move-a-thon fun!
Rudy and his typical classmates in Mr. Latta’s 2nd grade class.
A big thank you to all who sent Rudy a $1 during his Facebook $1 school fundraising campaign!  He earned  “Big Paw Sponsor” recognition!!!!

Rudy showed great determination during his school’s annual Move-a-thon last week and he has shown great support on the sidelines of many DPHS Lacrosse games the past couple of weeks…with both Max and Olivia playing lacrosse this spring, we get the fun opportunity to go to twice as many games as in years past!  Rudy has even made himself useful as assistant clock-keeper…

Keeping a close eye on the game with Dad…



Rudy has been working hard on his sight words the past couple of years and began stringing them together to read simple sentences in recent weeks.  Ms. Ochoa started introducing phonics to him recently as well to see how he would respond and he is getting it!  Here’s a little sample of his progress that his teacher sent me:  (sorry the video is a little wonky)  

What a great reminder of how much fun it is to learn!!  🙂  Well, even though Rudy may not be desperate for some time off from school, I think the break this week will do us all some good.  Happy Spring Break Everybody!!

Early Show of Spring

Spring has sprung early here in the Goodland!  After all the fabulous rain we got this winter, the hills surrounding Santa Barbara are green again and the spring blossoms decided it was time to make their grand entrance…the California poppy fields are bursting and the scent of orange blossom is filling our backyard…it’s simply lovely.  This along with Wilson’s visit last week for his spring break AND the start of lacrosse season are contributing to my premature SPRING FEVER (an unfortunate condition that quickly transitions into SUMMER FEVER for me and, of course, it’s much too early to be dreaming about the lazy days of summer)!!  Ha Ha  So, this week has definitely been an exercise in keeping focused on the present.

Rudy sure was in heaven having Wilson home for a week…

…there was a lot of this going on…
…as well as a lot of this!

Wilson picked a fun week to be home as we enjoyed a ton of fun celebrations that included Max’s 18th Birthday and a SBRM graduation!

Our household now includes FOUR adults!  Wait, WHAAAAAAT?
Nothing says “Turning 18” like an epic game of ultimate frisbee with friends!
Quality Friends = Quality Life
There was another amazing show of support for the 20 individuals who graduated from the SBRM residential recovery program on Saturday night!  Another vivid example of Quality Friends = Quality Life!  (PC: Dale Weber)

Senior fun for Max is starting to amp up as his class begins the last quarter of the school year.  Last week was the “Senior Lip Sync” event, this week is the “Team Grease Pole” competition and prom preparations have already begun!  It’s a blessing to watch him and his friends enjoy this special season…

The birth of a new boy band!


lip sync shinanigans

Lacrosse is here!  Max started his third season on the boys varsity team at an away game last week and Olivia started her very first season of LAX on the girls jr. varsity team with a home game against local rivals San Marcos HS.  Bestie and SMHS sophomore Cady demonstrated true friendship by coming and cheering for Olivia while she played against her SM classmates!

This rookie is grateful for the support from Kyla and Cady!
Quality Friends = Quality Life!

As for Rudy?  Well, he’s definitely earning the nickname “Rudy the rascal” this week.  Ha Ha 🙂  He sure got a ton of special attention last week and was more active than usual so this week has been a week of testing boundaries and realigning.  I think we’re all looking forward to spring break in a couple of weeks.  We don’t have any special plans but we sure are looking forward to time off from the usual routine.

Rudy’s spring parent/teacher conference was this week…it was a student-led conference where Rudy demonstrated his daily activities and learning procedures.  He’s making progress and even read his FIRST sentence this month!!!  Way to go Rudy!  Thank you Ms. Ochoa and Team!!!

Up next?  Well, Rolf has a couple of trips coming up before the end of the month and I have my very first colonoscopy to look forward to the first week of April!  Fun!  I wouldn’t mind inserting (no pun intended) a plan for some fun outings before then…possibly a drive up into the hills to show Rudy the poppies and/or a day trip to Universal Studios to see the new Harry Potter World.  We definitely need to soak up the beauty and take advantage of our early spring!  Warm hugs to all our dear family and friends who are getting blasted by snow and frigid temps!!!  Sorry for the spring tease…love to all.


backyard orange blossom…I wish you could smell it!
Quality Friends = Quality Life!  😉