Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007

Goodbye 2007...

It all went by so fast, it's hard to see you go.

But we look forward to more adventures...

And some travel, perhaps?

What does 2008 have in store for us? We look forward to finding out!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Visiting Family

Yesterday we went to visit our friends Louise and Dorcas. Prior to our visit Anna asked, "Are they family?" Well, perhaps not by blood, but definitely they are part of our family.

We first drove up to Burbank to see Louise at her home. She enjoyed sitting outside watching the kids run around in her yard.

Sam was a little camera-shy, nonetheless he had a lot of fun playing around with Anna.

We then drove to Los Angeles to visit Dorcas in her new apartment, adjacent to her church, very convenient. She is very happy in her new home.

We had a lot of fun visiting these two lovely ladies.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas 2007

Argh, ahoy there me hearties, and a Merry Christmas to you!

Christmas began in this household around 7:30 a.m., when Sam woke up.

This "pirate ship" was Sam's main present. It is basically the bow of a ship, Sammy-sized, complete with cannon launchers and sound effects.

Anna's main present, a Russian tortoise, which she named "Skipper". Skipper is enjoying a strawberry slice here.

It took a while for Sam to get used to the eye patch, he didn't want either eye covered.

Rob, Mari, my parents and Yumi came over for Christmas lunch. The menu included my holiday favorite Honeybaked Ham.

Anna set the table, she also made place cards.

Oh, and who could forget the fruit tart from Whole Foods...

We are enjoying our vittles here...

Yumi is organizing the many presents she brought over.

And saying goodbye to Rob and Mari after a fun day.

May you be richly blessed this Christmastime and holiday season!

Note: Thank you so much for all the presents! Sam has yet to open all of his. No need for any extra birthday presents!

Friday, December 21, 2007

San Diego Part 2

Here is a view from our hotel, the photo doesn't do it justice, we had a beautiful bay view of the city.

Embassy Suites includes a buffet breakfast in their package. Anna chose some bread, bacon, a donut, fruit, and hot cocoa.

After we checked out of the hotel we drove to Balboa Park, this huge tree greeted us on our arrival.

Balboa Park is the nation's largest urban cultural park. It has tons of museums and beautiful gardens. Everywhere you look there is something lovely to see, I could easily spend a lot of time here.

Here's a nice view of the Botanical Building, "it was built for the 1915-1916 Exposition, and it is one of the largest lath structures in the world". You can check it out for free.

For a nominal fee you can enter the Japanese Friendship Garden. We enjoyed looking at these temari thread balls in their museum, no flash photo of course!

We took a nice stroll around the garden.

I accosted a nice man who took our only group picture, when I saw his photo didn't appear on the camera, I asked him again (nicely) to take another one.

There was this fascinating display depicting the birth of Jesus Christ which I can only describe as life-size dioramas, it was fun seeing Anna describe each scene.

Here is a more complete view of these dioramas.

We had a great meal at The Prado, a lovely restaurant located in the Park. We (I) chose outdoor seating due to the perfect weather and perfect views.

Mama and I ordered the seafood paella, Yumi had the confetti pasta with braised beef short rib. Both of these dishes were excellent, I'm getting hungry just writing about it. Anna devoured the buttered noodles and garlic bread.

After lunch we checked out the Botanical Building, what a colorful display of poinsettias.

On our way out of the park, Yumi took a longer stroll across this water display (can you see her?), perhaps a little hesitant to leave so soon.

San Diego is a great place to visit, next time I'd love to see more of the bay, and check out more of the musuems in Balboa Park. Also, I'd love to have a close-up of the Gaslamp District.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

San Diego Part 1

Last weekend Anna, Mama, Yumi, and I went on a postponed-trip to San Diego. On Saturday, the day started with Mama and I going to Old Towne while Yumi and Anna went to Sea World. As you can see, the weather was perfect, it was clear, sunny with a coolness to the air.

Mama and I decided to go on a double-decker bus tour of the city. This was really fun, before my view of this city was comprised of the zoo, Wild Animal Park and Legoland. We saw several interesting sights, including,

The ship that was used in "Master and Commander"...

And our hotel from a cool view. There were lots more photo ops which I may post at a later date, along with some photos from Mama and Yumi.

I just love being a tourist.

There were these interesting metal statues of gun-slinging cowboys in Old Towne. Mama and I ate lunch at the Old Town Mexican Cafe, I had a Chicken Enchilada and Mama had a lobster taco, tasty!

We then met up with Yumi and Anna, and checked into the hotel. Here's the lobby, complete with yummy lemon water.

At night we dined at the Fish Market, we had an ocean view, it was really special. I had the tilapia, Anna ate chicken strips and fries. Yumi ordered the Lingcod, while Mama enjoyed the seafood skewer.

We then strolled to Seaport Village. There was a lovely tree made of poinsetta that Anna posed in front of.

Here's a nice photo from the hotel lobby.
Tomorrow's post will include photos of Yumi, I promise!

Friday, December 14, 2007

2 Parties in 1 Day

Last Sunday, Brendan's party at Pump-It-Up proved to be loads of fun for Anna, she probably went on this giant slide a few dozen times.

Sam was scared out of his shell on this slide. If you could enlarge this you'd see his look of terror.

Fortunately there were plenty of other bouncers to play in.

While Anna was the social one, Sam ran away at the sight of a group photo.

Brendan's cousin Grant was born on the same day, same year as Anna, believe it or not!

Next, Jesi's party was held at the Kidseum, adjacent to the Bowers Museum. We enjoyed the dress-up area of exotic clothing.

Sam mellowed out with these nesting dolls.

But he was once again frightened this day, seeing his dad's head turn into an eagle's.

Anna usually seats herself near some yummy snacks at a party, here it's the huge punch jar.

Jesi received a plethora of gifts, whoa, it was an early Christmas for her.