Monday, December 20, 2010


Poppop gave Leo a snap circuits set for Christmas. Since we had a whole week off before Christmas, I decided we should open a present early and start playing! So Leo opened the circuit set. Yesterday we built a radio. This morning instead of wanting to watch TV or play video games, Leo opted to make a circuit. He was able to make a lamp circuit and a fan circuit by himself. Its amazingly cool - easy for kids and I've been playing with it too!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Leo Video 2009-2010

This is a brief video of edited clips from the last year. I make these videos every year for my Dad and then try to edit them down to something short enough for others to sit through! It features Leo's latest antics and a bunch of travel in Hawaii and on the mainland. Older versions are viewable at Enjoy!

Food fight

Leo drew this at school, for a story assignment. For those of you who aren't used to phonetic spelling, it says, "I like to have a food fight."

Friday, December 3, 2010


Leo went to sleep the other night asking why is the word "a" just spelled a but the word "you" is not spelled u? I let it go, saying, "yeah that is very interesting, go to sleep". Paul however, is going through every letter of the alphabet, "well, you have bee, 'c' is see..." They are having a great time and Leo is learning the difference between pee and pea and tea and tee.

Love of ties

Leo loves ties. He wore this to school today. Thanks, Por-por for the fancy clothes!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pictures from the Franti show

Michael Franti and Spearhead do a kids matinee show every year. This was the first time we went - and Leo's first rock concert. He had a blast with Marlee, Raya, and Kyla. He danced and jumped like a fiend for a while, and then got tired and settled down to do some artwork with Kyla.

Leo's warrior face painting and his glow sticks handcuffs (he made the handcuffs himself):

Kyla doing the hoops:



The Sharpes:

Marlee and Raya:
Leo and Marlee watching the puppet show:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

the answer to last week's puzzler

"I know what 4D is, but I can't draw it." Leo continues to spell like crazy and it's a lot of fun for us.

We're sitting now in the airport, having missed our flight to NJ and becoming intimate with the inner workings of DIA.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How about this one?

Since you all were so good at deciphering Leo's last phonetic spelling challenge, we defy you to get this one! You'll need context for this. The first panel shows this:

The second panel shows this:

The third panel shows this (parts of the second and fourth panels are in there because I couldn't crop well enough):

Fourth panel:

OK, what does this caption say?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Leo as a mutant

Root and Rebecca brought us this awesome book that teaches kids how to do fun, smart-aleky tricks. Here's Leo showing his mutant imitation

And then, just for kicks, can anyone read the title of this book? Leo is learning phonetic spelling at school:

Friday, November 12, 2010


Leo found a nickel. Paul said, "wow that nickel is from 1964. That's older than your Mommy! But not older than your Daddy". Leo replied, "Nothing's older than my Daddy."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Debbie's lecture at Stanford's Energy Seminar

Gave this lecture at Stanford last week on my big study. Was a really nice visit with the various energy institutes out there. And of course, weather was perfect and campus was beautiful.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Parades and early tricks and treats!

Leo dressed up as Harry Potter for Halloween this year.

They had a parade at school. Claudia was a witch.

Leo and Sami at the Mock Realty Halloween party down the street:

Our spider pumpkin

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dr. Seuss fans

Paul finished reading Leo a bedtime story and coaxed him to the bathroom:
"And now its time to brush your teeth
the ones on top and the ones beneath"

Leo followed with:
"Between our teeth, we find roast beef
Brush it out. Say, "What a relief!"

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Leo and Claudia

Leo's best friend is a girl in his kindergarten class named Claudia. They like to giggle, laugh, fight (yes, physically push each other around) and be really silly. Here they are, having painted their faces and pretending to be monsters:

We went to Dinosaur Ridge to see the fossilized dinosaur tracks. Here they are sitting among the tracks, having a snack:

Leo, Claudia's sister Sloan, Claudia:

Claudia at the dinosaur exhibit:

Recent pictures

Finally downloaded my camera. Some recent pictures:
Paul had a birthday! We celebrated at the Taj with the usual suspects plus Ann and Mike:

Ann and Mike had come out last week for a waltz workshop:

Leo on an alpine hike showing off his ability to swallow oranges:

Paul and Leo in their black and white:

Leo and his friend Chloe:

Erik and Xander's visit

Erik and Xander came to visit last weekend. The boys had a blast being boys: that means slingshots, tarantulas, etc. A cold Leo tries his hand at a slingshot:

Xander's extra-strength bow and arrow:

Leo in the web at the Butterfly Pavilion

Xander and Rosie, the Chilean tarantula

Leo, hanging out:


We had a great time visiting friends and family in CA last month. Real quick trip, packed full of fun. Leo and Hugo had a great time riding trains in Tilden:

Jean and her boys:

The gang waiting for the train:

Leo showing Mateo and Hugo the wonders of modern electronic gaming (Sorry, Jean!):

Hiking in Tilden with RootRoot, Erik and Xander:

Leo and Aunt Ruth:

Leo and Mateo in Sausalito:

And waiting for the ferry:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Can I do some chores? Puhleeeeeeze?

Leo's new addiction is ZombieFarm, yet another iPhone game. The zombies eat brains and because I didn't know how to play he was under the impression that the only way to get brains was to buy them at $1 (real money) a pop. He started begging for the $1 and I explained that I didn't like games that required a constant flow of money to play them. He begged and begged and finally I told him that if he had his own money, he could do whatever he wanted with it, like buying brains.

I explained that he was old enough to get an allowance and to do chores. And extra chores meant extra money. He immediately cleaned the entire living room, and received a quarter. He folded the laundry, and got another quarter. I quickly ran out of chores that I thought he was capable of, since he can't reach the cabinets to empty the dishwasher and can't really wash floors yet or vacuum. So he started begging me, "can I do some more chores? Puhleeeeze?". I guess I need to make maximum use of this newfound enthusiasm for chores while I can!

Video - Leo biking


Leo learned how to ride a bike today! Paul took him to the track and started him on the push bike which is his old bike sans pedals and cranks. He had to persevere through Leo's unwillingness to do something that challenging but finally convinced Leo to try the real bike. Leo managed to bike the whole track. I'm going to have to take him to the park tomorrow to see if we can keep the momentum going!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Near accident on bike

This morning Leo was having a hard time and we rushed out of the house to bike to school instead of walking. Leo rides a tag-a-long third wheel that is attached to my bike.

Paul thought biking on the street was easier than the sidewalk or the field, both of which are clogged with people walking to school. So we rode down to Lehigh and Table Mesa and waited for an opening on Table Mesa to turn left. But there are two schools up the hill from this intersection and nearly everyone is turning left from there to go up Lehigh or going up Table Mesa to drop kids off at the schools. So we waited many minutes with no opening. Finally someone who wanted to turn left onto Lehigh stopped to let us go. Although I had recently looked up the hill and not seen anyone coming, I hadn't counted on the cars coming out of the school parking lot and so as I headed across the street, a car breezed past us several inches in front of my bike.

I told Leo to never never do what I just did. I'm still all shaken up about it. Leo said, "Mom you almost got in an accident!" I don't think he realizes we almost croaked.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Leo had an eye doctor appt today. They confirmed very strong red/green color blindness. Oddly, Leo also has a small congenital cataract, which supposedly won't interfere with his vision. And then he is already near-sighted at an age when most kids are far-sighted. They are predicting glasses in six months and every year after that.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Last weekend we visited Jean and hung out with her 4 year old son Mateo. He pulled out a book and started reading it. He pointed to each word as he read it and even had to sound out words like 'picked' because he wasn't simply memorizing the book. I was so impressed, and so proud. Leo was impressed too, "He can read and he's only 4. I am 5 and I can't even read!".

I guess it made a big impression on him, so yesterday he pulled out a book (an old Weekly Reader book from Kristin) and read two sentences. I'm really happy for him. Nothing like peer pressure!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Leo's first day at school (kindergarten)

The kids all line up and wave to their parents as they go in for their first day of Kindergarten. I was teary, anxious and nervous and excited. Leo was pretty mellow about it all. I guess it's his fifth school in five years so he takes it all in stride.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A million times

Leo sings, "Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?"
Me, "Spongebob Squarepants"
Leo, "Who lives in a sewer under the sea?"
Me, "I give up, who?"
Leo, "Patrick"
Me, "Oh. What is Patrick anyway?"
Leo sighing, "A starfish. I have to tell you that all the time. I've told you a million times already."

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hit me in the head with a rock

We're camping at Lake Granby. Leo keeps wanting to play this ridiculous game where he throw two handfuls of gravel above his head and then covers his head with his hands so the rocks don't fall on his head. This is the second night he's done it. Yes we've told him to stop. So Paul finally tells him that if he wants to get hit in the head, Paul will do it for him. Leo says ok. Paul says ok, let me get the hammer. Leo says, "No! Not with a hammer! With a rock!"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Finally reading!

I really haven't been pushing this, but somehow I just thought Leo would be an early reader in the Lew family tradition. I figured he'd be a bookworm and smuggling books under the dinner table to read while we had supper.

A couple months ago, he started spelling spontaneously the words "boo", "moo", "dog" and "dots". The latter was off a candy box! Its been coming slowly. Anyway, today at school he showed me a booklet he had made by copying some cards of word families. Like "bat", "cat", "hat", "at", etc. He didn't know what the words were so I explained how to sound them out (I've explained this before). Anyway, it caught on this time and he was able to read 6 pages of word families. We called each page a "level" in gaming language (yeah, I thought he might be one of those game whiz kids who was illiterate) to make it exciting. Anyway, level 6 was attained and we celebrated.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dinner conversation

Leo: Mom! You pour the flowers into my mouth.
Mom! You put the sink in my mouth.
Mom! You water my eyeballs with your tears.

Paul: did you ask nicely?

Leo: please please please!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Video clip of some critters we found at camp

Leo found a couple leeches under a rock and did a little video explanation. I added some clips from this giant beetle grub that Davey found splitting wood. gross and fun - what camp is all about

Monday, July 26, 2010

The amazing leo

Leo and his cousin Joylin put on a series of very cute shows last week: the Amazing Chopping Leo, the Amazing Magic Leo. This morning Leo came at us with two straws and a fierce look on his face and announced: "Fasten your seatbelts! It's the Amazing Magic Stabbing Leo!"