Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween 2007

We had a parade at our school in the morning. I had on the most basic costume ever: a pair of ears, plus eyeliner for whiskers and nose made an easy black cat. Leslea and Meghan looked great as witch and pumpkin.

This is our class post-parade, they were so excited but surprisingly it was a restrained excitement... we were academically quite productive for this type of day. In the past it's been a party all day long but we gotta stick to the standards these days.

In the late afternoon we went to church for their Harvest Festival. Sam scored some candies in his goody bag. As you can see he's walking around more and more, still making sure Dad's nearby in case he needs (wants) to be held.

Anna dressed up as a veternarian (one of two occupations she desires, the other being a movie star I think), she's got some candy in her cheek here, and Yumi was a rabbit. I'll have to borrow her ears for another easy costume next year.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Indoor Fun

A trip to Rainforest Cafe...

Enjoying free Drumsticks with a coupon from Kim (Thank you!)...

Creating Halloween costumes for Anna's animal friends. Can you guess what each animal is dressed as?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

October Candids

(From before the fires...)

Anna with the cutest smile as we waited for the monorail...

A visit to a wonderful principal and secretary team who used to work at my current school...

Sammy enjoying the mosaics at California Adventure...

Then checking out Flik later that day...

The little guy exhausted after the pumpkin patch, and finding a comfy spot to rest while Dad has a thoughtful discussion with friends.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hazy Shade of Fall

This is a photo of tonight's evening sky. And the moon is orange like the sun.

In our part of town, Monday and Tuesday we had gusty, smelly wind with tiny ash particles. Our schools (including Anna's) have been indoor-bound this week, on an inclement-weather schedule, basically spending all day in the classroom. Today, the Santa Ana winds have died down, now the air is warm and heavy.

Thanks for your emails and phone messages! It is so sad to read about those directly affected by the fires. Pray that these fires will cease soon!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

Today we went with our friends to Tanaka Farms. The trip started off a little rocky as we had assumed Sam's one pair of sneakers were in the car. They weren't, so Steve drove the 20 minutes back home with the little boy to retrieve them.

We started off with a tractor trailer ride around the grounds. Tanaka Farms is a 30-acre farm complete with seasonal vegetables and all sorts of amenities, including a corn maze and petting zoo.

Whew! We were able to meet up with Steve and Sam. Rachel took some nice family photos for us.

It was worth the drive home as Sam was on his feet non-stop, touring the farm and petting the animals.

Even Anna knows a photo op when she's in one.

Even though other families wanted to take pictures of their kids at the top of the haystack, they could see Sam was having such a good time being King of the Hill, so they found some other photo opportunities elsewhere.

It was a lovely fall day, cool with clear skies. A fun family day.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Mini Monet

Carefully choosing from the color palette...

Delicately placing each brush stroke...

Taking in the praise and squeals of delight for his masterpiece,
Not knowing his face somehow got painted as well.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Long Beach Half-Marathon 2007

Early this year, when I heard my friend Jen signed up for the Long Beach Half-Marathon and was going solo, I thought, I want to go with her, I will have done the Disney Half-Marathon the month before, so I should be trained pretty well. So I did sign up, and here we are before 7 a.m. at the LB Convention Center.

This Long Beach race is comprised of a marathon, half-marathon, bike tour, and 5K Run/Walk. Something for everyone.

This time around, I decided to carry a water bottle on a pack, I also carried my camera but was determined to run/jog as much as I could on this flat course and save the photos for before and after. So here I am before.

I did not take photos during the race but check out this great slideshow of the scenery here.

I really enjoyed this race, more than last month's. First, we started within 10 minutes of the first runners, no waiting around. Also, the weather was great, not too warm and the occasional cool ocean breezes. Also, most everyone was running, which was very motivating, very few "traffic jams". My big fear was envisioning being swept up with the full-marathoners and being forced to run on the 26.2 mile road, but fortunately the different paths were clearly marked.

Here we are after the race, medals and all!

So, what was my time? Click here, type in my last name and click "half-marathon". (It's amazing to think people can finish a full marathon in way less time than it took me to do a half!) I'm thankful it was an enjoyable day (thanks Jen!) and my knee feels fine. I know I'll be super-sore tomorrow!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Long Beach Convention Center

This morning Yumi and the kids accompanied me to the Long Beach Convention Center so I could pick up my half-marathon gear (bib number, timing chip) for tomorrow's race. It is truly the most attractive convention center I've seen, it's covered with a beautiful ocean mural. Anna and Sam kids thoroughly enjoyed spotting the different sea creatures.

Here's a very rare photo of Yumi with both of the kids (usually it's one or the other), as well as what appears to be a great white man-eating shark.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Santa Ana Zoo

Nestled amongst the malls and freeways in the vicinity, the Santa Ana Zoo is a hidden treasure in Orange County. Never too congested, there's plenty to see and do, such as play atop giant concrete amphibians...

Or pet a reptile...

Relax in a giant egg...

And take a relaxing train ride (while mom takes some photos on the sly)...

Monday, October 08, 2007

Sore Back

Steve was nursing a sore back last week while we waited for the monorail to take us to Disneyland.

Here he is, smiling (grimacing) while posing with the kids. The sacrifices Steve makes!