Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My Birthday Party

Recently, I celebrated my tenth birthday on November 8th. My cousins, and grandparents came to my house to wish me a happy birthday. We celebrated my birthday in the evening when I came home from gymnastics. I was really glad to see my grandparents holding a huge chocolate cake, my favorite. I quickly showered and put on my warm pajamas. When everyone arrived at our home, my grandmother pulled my ears 11 times, an extra time for good luck, and I blew out the candles.

Getting my ears pulled

The next day, I invited my friend over to go ice skating with my family. We all drove to the rink, and wore thick pants, and a warm sweatshirt and jacket, so if we fell, it wouldn't hurt as bad. When we entered the ice rink, I got the chills, as it was very cold. We all quickly got our skates on and went onto the slippery ice. We adapted to the slippery ice instantaneously, and were soon skating very fast and playing games like tag. We finished our adventure unscathed with no injuries.  After skating for about 4 hours, we went out for dinner with my aunt and uncle. 

Here is a video of us skating on ice.

Do you have any funny birthday traditions?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Bach Pieces

Over the weekend, Hannah and I recorded 2 new piano pieces that we recently learned. We both played Bach. I played a piece called Invention in C major, and Hannah played Prelude in C minor. I worked very hard to learn all the right notes, playing parts loud and quiet, and learning the piece by memory. Many of Bach's pieces have two voices/melodies, the right hand has one melody, and the left hand has a different melody. When I play, I am supposed to show both melodies. Bach wrote these Inventions, as exercises for his students to play with no mistakes. He wrote one invention for each scale. The first one was for C major, then C minor, and so on  for all the scales. I played the first invention in C major. My sister Hannah's prelude was one of 6 short preludes that Bach wrote also for his students as exercises. They were never meant to be performed, but since they are beautiful we decided to record both of them.

My name is Hannah, and I am doing a guest post on Sarah's blog. This weekend, I learned a new piece. It was a lot of work to learn it by memory. I had to practice this piece many times.  The piece is two pages long. I played it so many times but I just could not remember this piece by memory. One day I practiced only the left hand and I realized that I almost had it by memory. When I tried to record it, I played it perfectly without notes. The piece is hard because the left hand has it's own melody and the right hand has its own melody.

What did you think about these pieces? 
Should they be played only as exercises or performed as concert pieces?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Auditioning for the Junior Orchestra

Over the summer, I learned many new pieces. One of those pieces was called Variations on Puccini Theme by Charles Dancla. Dancla was born on  December 19th 1817, and died on October 10th 1907.  He was a famous violinist, composer, and teacher.

This piece has 3 parts to it. The first part is melodic and sweet sounding, and not very fast. The second part is a little faster, and it sounds as if someone has the hiccups.The last part is very fast, and was the hardest part of the piece for me because it was at the very end and my fingers were tired.

As summer came to an end, my sister and I auditioned for a junior orchestra. To get into the orchestra, I had to prepare scales and one violin piece to play for the conductor.  After the auditions, the conductor let me know that I had made it to the first violin section. On the first day of rehearsal, the conductor gave us many pieces to practice at home.  The theme of all of our pieces is music by Russian composers such as Tchaikovsky. The orchestra members come together every Thursday for rehearsal.  It is my responsiblity to make sure that I come prepared and know my part well. In January, we will have the first concert of the season.  The concert attire for girls is all black (either a dress or skirt), black tights, and shiny black shoes.   I am really excited to show off all of our hard work to my family at the show.

This is Hannah, and I also auditioned a piece for the orchestra. It was called Concert by Reiding.  I like this piece because the first part is slow but then the second page gets a little faster. I also like this piece because it has loud and quiet parts.  I had to play the Concert  for the conductor at the orchestra. After she heard me play, she put me in the second violin section. Now I play every Thursday. I have to practice all my violin pieces that the conductor gave me. I have to play them every day at home. I have a stand partner named Rachel, and she is very nice. She is ten, and she plays a little better then me. She has been playing at the orchestra longer than me, and that is why she plays a little better then me. Soon in January, there is going to be a concert so I have to practice a lot at home. For the concert, I have to wear a black dress and black shoes.

Did you enjoy the pieces we chose to play?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Locks of Love

My hair before I cut it
Over the summer my mom took me to the
hairdresser to get my hair cut.  Two years ago, my little sister Hannah cut her hair and donated it to an organization called Locks of Love, and last year Miriam did the same. Finally it was my turn.  Before I cut it, my hair was twelve inches long. To donate, one needs hair to be at least 10 inches or longer. Locks of Love makes wigs for children that have lost their hair. I had wanted to have a short hair cut and was glad that it also could help a child who doesn't have hair. I now have very short hair, that almost goes to my shoulders. I think I like it better this way.

Getting measured
When we came into the salon, there was a long line of many adults and children waiting to get their hair cut. Finally it was my turn. The hairdresser had me sit on a tall chair in front of the mirror. Then she  measured my hair, and put a rubber band where she wanted to cut my hair, at 10 inches. My mom took a quick photo, and then the hairdresser cut it off. I held my hair in my hands, and it felt weird holding my own hair away from my head. Meanwhile, the hairdresser did some snipping to make my hair even and pretty.

When I got home, I showed off my hair to all my siblings. They all liked it, and also now want to get their hair cut too.


Have you ever had a funny or different hair cut?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A visit to Sequoia National Park

I really enjoyed Sequoia National Park because of the big Sequoia Trees, all the rivers, and the cave. We drove up a windy road that went high into the mountains until we reached the Sequoia Trees. When we neared our destination, we saw many tall sequoia trees, with really wide trunks. We hiked up the trail, and when we stood next to the sequoias, we looked like tiny mice. As we continued up the trail, we saw a big boulder that fell, and attached to the sequoia. They looked like a married couple. These trees were my favorite part of Sequoia Tree National Park, and they brought beauty for many people to see.

 Another part of Sequoia that I really enjoyed were the Indian Head River, the Potwisha River, and Hospital Rock River. Our first stop was the Indian Head River, where we hiked down to get there. There weren’t many people there, and we didn’t spend much time there. We crossed the rocks with our grandfather, and swam a little bit. Our next stop was the Potwisha River which was very good for swimming and we had a wonderful time.  Our last destination was Hospital Rock where there were numerous people.  It was our favorite because you could cross the rocks, jump from boulders into the water, and swim. The water was very refreshing, after a hike to get there. I will never forget these rivers, and there unique features. 

The last day of our stay, we went to a cave. We hiked down a long strenuous path to the cave. During this hike, we saw a small waterfall.  Inside the cave, it was about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but we were prepared with our warm jackets. It was also a very wet cave, and there was water dripping from the ceiling, and puddles on the floor. While walking around, we saw many stalacites hanging from the ceiling. Our guide led us into many different rooms that were all very unique.  In one room, our guide turned off her flashlight, and it was pitch black. She told us that the person who found this cave thought it was ugly because he couldn’t see anything. When she turned on the lights it was a beautiful room with a small river flowing on the side. I will never forget our trip to Sequoia, and the beauty of the places we saw.  

In the evenings, after spending the day exploring the park, we played chess in our cabin. There was not much else to do at this time. so my grandfather, me, and Miriam would play a game of chess.

Have you ever been to Sequoia?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Farewell to Maui

Ahihi Kinau Reserve- One of our favorite snorkeling places
Our vacation has come to an end, and we used our last days wisely. We went to the beach in the morning, ate lunch, and swam again in the ocean until the sunset. At the beach, we rode many waves, created tall sand castles, and dug deep holes. I had many favorite beaches, but if I had to choose one, I would pick Mana Kai,  because of it's small waves, and warm water. A close second was Grand Wailea beach.  My favorite snorkeling beaches were Ahihi Kinau Natural Reserve on the south side of the island,  and Honolua Bay Reserve on the west side of the island. We saw many beautiful fish there, and even 3 turtles. We saw 1 big one, and 2 baby ones.

Haleakalā National Park

Honolua Bay- Our favorite snorkeling spot

West shore beaches
Here are links to all the places we went to. We took turns on writing the places we go.

Miriam wrote on the following topics on her blog (Miriam's Magical Moments):

I wrote the following posts on my blog:


Please Vote for your favorite and leave a comment as to why!

Get your own Poll!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fun in the pool in Hawaii

Near our condo, there was a warm pool, and a hot jacuzzi. Since the day we arrived, my siblings and I have been working on a synchronized dance in the pool. We had to stay together, and every one had to memorize their parts. We also had to practice all the lifting, and put together the dance. This dance was difficult, as it was long, and it was hard for all of to agree on the routine and not fight. We worked on it every evening during our vacation, and at the end, my mother recorded our final dance.

At the end, we all held hands and bowed. We had a fun experience trying synchronized dancing, and we hope we will get together, and create something else soon.

Here is the video of our synchronized dance. 

Have you ever tried coordinating something with your siblings or friends? 
How did it go?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


A few days ago, we were feeling very energetic, and decided to try to surf. We went to Mana Kai Beach which is supposed to be a very good beach for going on boogie boards, body surfing, and for going on paddle and surfboards. In the mornings between 7:00am  until lunchtime the waves are small, but the winds start picking up around noon until 5:00 pm.
We rented our surf board  from across the street, and carried it to the beach.  We didn't have anything on our roof in the car to hold the surfboard, so we couldn't go far with it. As we put the board onto the water,  we had to pass through the shore break into the deeper part of the ocean where there were no waves so we could stand on the board. When we watched other people go surfboarding and paddle boarding, it looked so easy, but when I tried it, I found it to be a lot harder than it looked. The board is very wobbly, and it is hard to stay balanced. I got knocked off the board many times and it became very tiring to have to get back onto the board over and over again. We each took turns trying to get up on the board and counted the seconds to see who can stay on the longest. When we became cold, we rode a wave on the board to get out. Then we built a few very tall sand castles, and dug many deep holes. We had a wonderful day, and will never forget this experience. 

Have you ever tried to surf?
 How did it go for you?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Haleakala National Park

We recently drove to the Haleakala National park, which has a volcano crater. We had to drive through winding roads, and up to 10,000 feet elevation. As we reached about 8,000 feet we were so high that we were driving through the clouds. Finally we reached the volcano. The volcano  forms more than 75% of the Hawaiian islands of Maui. The western 25% of the island is formed by the West Maui Mountains. As we drove through the entrance, we went straight to the visitor center to pick up a map and a Junior Ranger Booklet for Haleakala National Park. To receive a Junior Ranger badge, we had to complete a certain number of activities in the booklet based on your age.

Finally we were prepared for our long hike called Keonehe'ehe'e (Sliding Sands). It was called sliding sands because along the trail were loose gravel. There were many signs showing the way of the trail, so nobody went off.  When we started our hike, the clouds were coming in, and we couldn't see the volcano. After about ten minutes everything cleared up and we took many  beautiful photos. We saw all different colors of mountains. At the bottom, there was some green grass growing, and to the right of that, there were some pink and red mountains. It was very windy above the clouds, so we put our long-sleeved shirts around our head, so it would cover our ears. We felt much nicer and warmer with the sweaters around our ears. In the beginning of the hike, we went straight down for about 40 minutes but then we had to go back up. It took double the amount of time to go back up, so that hike back up took another about 90 minutes with a few short breaks.   All together we hiked approximately 3 miles.

After we finished that hike, we ate lunch, and got ready to go back to the visitor center to get our badges. The ranger checked all our booklets, and corrected our mistakes. Then she told us to read the pledge that was written on our books to always take care of nature. Finally, we earned our badges, and took a photo together with the ranger. We are now official Junior Rangers of Haleakala National Park.

Have you ever visited a volcano?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Spectacular Beaches and Amazing Views

Fleming Beach
Recently, we flew to Maui, Hawaii. It was a long flight, and we were kept busy doing our homework, reading and playing games like Uno and cards. When we neared Maui, we saw lights of the city. The island is large with many sandy beaches and warm calm waters.

Wailua Falls
One day we took a trip to the city of Hana located on the eastern part of the island.  In the middle of the drive it started pouring, but it rained warm rain. It wasn't surprising to us because it was a rainforest and everything was very green. While driving, we saw many tropical fruit trees such as Guava and apple bananas. To keep us busy on the drive, we bought a CD, that talked about all the sites and guided us around this part of the island. Check out Miriam's post for more details about our drive.  It was about a 3 and half to 4 and a half hour drive through the amazing rainforests.

Black Sand Beach
As we approached Hana, we stopped at Waianapanapa State Park, also known as the Black Sand Beach. It has black sand from the volcanic rock.  While the black sand was nice and soft, the water had large black rocks that hurt are feet. We therefore wore our water shoes when swimming. In this beach, the surf was high, pulled us in, however, the water was very nice and refreshing. We couldn't go out far because of the huge waves. Only our dad went in all the way in the water, and he didn't even have water shoes.

Black Sand Beach

Red Sand Beach
When we left, we drove a little more, and parked on the streets near Hana School. Our next stop was Kaihalulu known as the Red Sand Beach. We had to to hike a few miles to get to this beach. We hiked up the hills and down the mountains. It was a very hard hike because it the sand was slippery, and we were high up. When we finally reached the beach, we saw gigantic red boulders above a beautiful blue pool of water. Although the waves were high, the large boulders blocked all the big waves. It was a very nice and refreshing swim before our trip back home.

View of the Volcano from the car driving back
For our long drive home, we decided to take the other way through the barren volcanic land.  While driving, this road took us high up, and there was a gorgeous view of the ocean. The ocean was turquoise near the shore, and gradually became darker blue. The other side of the road had a view of Haleakala Volcano.  It was hard to keep our eyes on the road. The rode was bumpy and unpaved for part of the trip.

Do you enjoy going to the beach? 
What do you like to do there?