Merry Christmas from Booksin Band

First the whole Booksin Band plays “Jingle Bells,” and then the Advanced Band brings it home with a few more favorites.

See if you can find Felicia and her clarinet! Enjoy!

Recorded Friday, December 12.

San Diego in September (and October)

We’re off for a full family vacation in the southwestern corner of our fair state! That’s right: San Jose Unified just won’t drop this “Fall Break” nonsense, so we’re playing along for a week in San Diego.

Follow along on Twitter, and keep an eye on Storify!

Among our plans, a visit to San Diego Zoo Safari, Sea World (yeah, I know), Coronado (and the Silver Strand), and the Miramar Air Show!

We’ll also knock down our 15th & 16th California Missions, leaving only the five northern missions left after our Mission Mission of 2013.

Underway: Our Family’s Last Year of Elementary School

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What Jocelyn started (below) in 2004, Felicia (above) will end in 2015! Our family’s final year of elementary school has begun. Oh, and so has sophomore year.

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Booksin 2004-2014 (2015)


The crazy summer of travel (Hawaii, Florida, Costa Rica, plus some less-far-flung visits around the state) has come to an end, and academics are the new buzzword.

Jocelyn has begun a very rigorous schedule of advanced classes at Willow Glen High School, while Felicia is gearing up for middle school with our last hoorah at Booksin School.

Florida! More than just a plane flight away from Costa Rica

It was a plan so crazy – it just might work!

Cash-in three airplane tickets from an abandoned trip to Cancun to go to Florida mostly so Jocelyn could fly direct to Costa Rica for her two-week Outward Bound adventure, that itself was rescheduled from her planned trip to Peru. Got it?

Full Twitter feed and Storify recap after the break!

Continue reading Florida! More than just a plane flight away from Costa Rica

Booksin Band 2014 Concerts

120 Kids from three elementary schools can’t be wrong! The 2014 band show was pretty awesome.

Friday night featured the Booksin Band in concert with elementary school bands from Trace and Willow Glen, performing as one big group. And it was pretty impressive. Look closely, and you’ll see Felicia in a number of songs, performing as a group and as a clarinet soloist with the advanced players.

Check out these links to see more from shows the band did at Booksin for their fellow students, also on Friday.

First daytime student show
Second daytime student show

Bob Marley – Brazilian Style

With Drums!

From today’s end-of-year performance in Felicia’s Fourth Grade class. Please enjoy this Brazilian Drumming performance (if you can find her).

Brazilian Drumming @ Booksin (Ms. Macon 4th Grade 2014) from David Keller on Vimeo.

Oh: The password is “Macon4th” … Sshhhhh!

Spring 2014 – California’s Gold Country

Hwy49MainMapTime for another Road Trip!

Last summer, we hit the road to explore thirteen Spanish Missions, motivated by Felicia’s Fourth Grade California history curriculum.

When they return from Spring Break, her class will officially embark on their journey through California’s Mission period, followed closely by their unit on the California Gold Rush.

So, we better hurry!

We’ll start from Oakhurst on Wednesday morning, traveling through Mariposa, Sonora, Angel’s Camp, Jackson, Sutter Creek, Placerville, Coloma, Auburn, Grass Valley, and Nevada City.

Where should we stop? Where will we stop?

Follow along up-to-the-minute on Twitter:

Check out the Storify after the break! Enjoy! Continue reading Spring 2014 – California’s Gold Country

Felicia’s “Citrus Fiesta”

IMG_9183Booksin’s Annual 4th Grade Science Fair was today! Felicia’s entry was called “Citrus Fiesta,” and it explored how different liquids support growth in plants.

Big Question & Purpose: “Does orange juice, cran-apple juice, grapefruit juice, or water help a plant grow more quickly?”

Hypothesis: I believe that the Grapefruit Juice will work best out of the juices, because it has Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium.


  1. The water was the strongest at 73% survival rate and 9 cm average height.
  2. The orange juice was the 2nd strongest at 80% survival rate and 4.2 cm average height.
  3. The Cran-Apple was the 3rd strongest at 40% survival rate and 3.7 cm average height.
  4. The Grapefruit Juice was the 4th strongest at 33% survival rate and 1.8 cm average height.


Water: The average height at the end of the experiment was 9 cm. The survival rate was 75%. I observed that two of the plants were doing so well then they started to shrink.

Orange Juice: The Average height of the plants at the end of the experiment was 4.2 cm. The survival rate was 80%. I observed that the dirt was tough and I believe it had mold on the top.

Cran-Apple Juice: The Average height at the end of the experiment was 3.7 cm. The survival was 40%. I observed that the dirt was very dark and almost black. Also three of the plants died at the very end of the experiment.

Grapefruit Juice: The average height of the plants at the end of the experiment was 1.8 cm. The survival rate was 33%. I observed that the dirt had a thin layer of mold on the top. Also three of the plants died at the end of the experiment.


  1. Push the potting soil into the container
  2. Plant seeds
  3. Water until seeds sprout
  4. When seeds sprout begin feeding the plants with 1 teaspoon every other day with the juices
  5. Poke holes in the dirt


  • 1 teaspoon Simply Grapefruit Juice every other day
  • 1 teaspoon Minute Maid Orange Juice with Calcium and Vitamin D every other day
  • 1 teaspoon Cran-Apple Juice, Ocean Spray every other day
  • 1 teaspoon Water every other day
  • Natural organic potting soil, enough to fill 24 1.5 in. cells
  • 25 Flying Saucers Morning Glory seeds
  • 72 spot container for plants, with 1.5 by 1.5 in. cells


In conclusion my Hypothesis was incorrect because the average height of the Grapefruit Juice was 1.8 cm which was the smallest and the survival rate was the worst at 33%.

One possibility is that the citrus caused mold in the dirt. The mold then made the dirt appear unhealthy. The dirt then was not suitable for the plants and they did not grow as well.

If I do another experiment I would see when plants are fed different juices, then water, which plants come back strong.

Of course, comparison is the albatross of all younger children. Jocelyn’s 4th grade science project in 2009 was the “Elevation Exclamation,” and 5th Grade was called “Up, Up, and Away” [design similarities are completely coincidental].

We hope 2014 is Best Year Ever!

2013-14 Holiday Card

2013 was our best year ever!

We began with a family trip to Banff, Canada, celebrating our 20th Anniversary and spent two summer weeks in China with cousin Kiana & Family. We toured fourteen California missions along El Camino Real, and we still found time to see Yosemite Valley, Big Sur, and Hearst Castle, with many visits to Tahoe.

Felicia began 2013 with successful heart repair surgery, and finished with two tournament championships with her soccer team. She learned to play her grandmother’s Clarinet, and has joined her school’s advanced band as a 4th Grader.

Jocelyn started 2013 in 8th grade, and ends it loving High School. She spent a week in Washington DC and New York, holds down midfield on her soccer team, and spells better than her “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” character.