Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Some Final Summer Scenes

School starts next week, and Steve and I have already started up workshops, so summer is pretty much over for us (sob). Here are some departing shots...
Kayleen and Anna at the beach...

Andrew's birthday party, do you see Anna on the far right?...

Is that the Goodyear blimp flying out of Steve's ear?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Venetian Part 2

It was Bouchon again for breakfast, reviews say they have one of the best breakfasts in America! It did not disappoint, Steve had the lightest crispest sourdough waffles ever. I ordered something with the word "oef" and several other French words, the waiter explained it was a mushroom/ham/cheese/white sauce gratin with two eggs, baked in the oven in a iron plate. Accompanied by brioche toast and potatoes. We dined outside before the 100 degree weather hit!

I apologize for the montage of photos with just "me", thanks Steve for being the willing photographer. We enjoyed the huge pool...

Took photos from the Blue Man Group display...

And posed next to the living statue. What fun!
We enjoyed the different environment and felt like we were a million miles away, when in fact it was just an hour-long plane ride to Vegas. It was a get-away in every sense of the word.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Venetian Part 1

To celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary (a month early) Steve and I decided to fly to Vegas for 1 night, our first outing together alone since having kids! We stayed at the Venetian, a luxurious all-suites hotel. Here's a photo in the lobby.

The hotel clerk wanted to know if we wanted to upgrade to a 1400 square-foot room (basically the size of our house) and offered us a special. We thought, "Why not?" Ten years is a milestone, let's make this something to remember!

The bedroom...

All marble bathroom with jacuzzi tub...

Living room area...

And a close-up. We had two bathrooms and three tv's at our disposal as well. Pretty crazy and over-the-top! It was kind of nice feeling like high-rollers for one night in our life.

Later we had dinner at Bouchon's, Thomas Keller's Vegas restaurant, he runs the famous French Laundry in Napa. I had scallops topped on a rich crab sauce (sorry I can't describe food as good as Rob and Mari!).

Steve had Steak Frites! Delicious! The service was excellent and unpretentious. The decor was very classy.
Later we saw the musical, "The Phantom of the Opera", what a treat! Tomorrow I'll post some more photos from our getaway.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Friday Night Home Fellowship Group

On Friday evening we met up in Huntington Beach for a bbq/potluck with our Friday night home fellowship group. Five of our nine families were able to make it! Since we have taken a break during the summer, it was so nice getting together and we look forward to starting up again next month.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Lake Arrowhead

We joined up with Alexandra's family for an afternoon trip to Lake Arrowhead. Here are the girls posing near one of the large wood carvings featured in their shopping area.

Sam enjoyed looking out into the lake and at the variety of ducks. He can say, "Quack, quack" (but it sounds more like "kack, kack).

I had never been to Lake Arrowhead, there are cute shops, a playground overlooking the water, very calm and peaceful, it's a very nice place to spend the day.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Twin Peaks Family Retreat

This past week we went to Twin Peaks near Lake Arrowhead for Calvary Chapel's Family Retreat. Not knowing anyone else who was going, we went out on a limb and took a step of faith hoping it would be a good decision in going. And we did have a great time. First, here's the view from our room.

In the mornings and evenings Anna would have classes while Steve and I switched off in hearing a sermon or going to a small group study while the other took care of Sam. Anna and her new friend Alexandra hit it off immediately. They were both apprehensive in being dropped off at first but I heard that Anna told Alexandra's lingering grandparents that the class was for "kids only", so Anna shooed them away politely which made her friend feel at ease.

There was daycare available for Sam but we chose to take care of him, perhaps next year he'll be ready. Here's the outdoor ampitheater. I look a little scary but it's a cute photo of Sam.

The sermons were given by Pastor Carl Westerlund on renewing the mind, he teaches seminary students as well. The retreat also included 3 meals a day, one meal here included bbq tri-tip and ribs, corn and more. We met lots of nice people during the family-style meals. The teachings, the accomodations, the meals, everything was so organized, we were impressed.

There was also a sand play area, volleyball court, and swimming pool. Sam liked the rock formations and stairs as well, lots of shadowing by Steve. Hopefully tomorrow I'll blog about an outing to Lake Arrowhead we went on during the retreat.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Two Dogs

Ok, I've showed a picture of Michi here, so I'm not being unloyal by showing this photo of Anna with our neighbor's chihuahua puppy Cookie. What a cutie...

But we can't mention the words "cutie" and "dog" without showing Chu-Chee as well. Love the tufted haircut.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Cousins and more Part 2

Here is Anna "cradling" Lily like a baby in the mini-hammock. These two sure came up with unique games during the visit!

Steve wheelbarrowed the girls to a nearby park, walking with mom Marilyn, while I drove Sam to the destination.

Sam was dressed up in long sleeves to prevent extra scrapes, doesn't he look dapper, he sure enjoyed the basketball court at the house!

We celebrated Marilyn's birthday with food from Pasta Pomodoro, and now there's one near us, yeah, so tasty!
Happy Birthday Marilyn!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Cousins and more

We had a lot of fun during our trip visiting family up north. Here are Grandma and Grandpa Goeller with Anna posing at a local park.

Anna and Teddy enjoyed a double swing ride at a birthday party.

Steve sacrificed some of his wardrobe to make space for the bounce house in the van... just kidding. Double-click on the above image to see Teddy, Lily, Anna and Kim enjoying the bounce-house we set up in the Johnson front yard. It was a huge hit.

Teddy sure is a sweetie with the nicest grin. He can brighten up a room with his infectious laughter.

Christie managed to hold both Anna and Lily while the rest of us posed for photos. More pictures to follow!