Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It's My Party...!

This past weekend we had a small party for Sam, a month after his birthday. (Four families who lived nearby were invited, because of potential rain/duration of the short party, we did not want to obligate others to attend!)

We were planning on having it indoors all day but fortunately there was a pocket of sun right at lunchtime. Here's Sam's silly face against the party backdrop.

We had a balloon room...

And the bounce house was quickly put up... note our bare gazebo after the winds and rains tore it up last month...

And a small tent with bubble machine nearby.

Here's Yumi's wonderful creation, Sam was so excited about the "dinosaur cake".

We also had pork cutlets and fried rice (made by Mama) and orange chicken, salad and pizza for lunch.

The paparazzi...

And finally cake time. I love the way Steve and Anna are looking at one another here. It was a very nice day, the kids were really mellow and well-behaved.

Sam enjoyed the bubble machine, cake time, and being with Daddy best of all.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Art Masters

Anna's artwork was chosen to be on display in the school office. These landscapes were inspired by American artist Frederic Remington. Hers is on the bottom right corner.

She's very proud of her artwork, and we're very proud of her.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Anna is wearing her pink poodle costume from years ago, and Sammy finally agreed to try on a Halloween costume that we bought him a couple of years ago but refused to wear until now. So of course it was picture time!

Love the padding in Sam's costume and how it makes him look like a baby. Sam kept on repeating, "I'm a duck, I'm a duck." I think he truly believed he transformed into an animal.

Anna is so adorable, protective over her little bro.

Happy, swaying, carefree... how fun.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Beach in Winter

(Huff puff, huff puff, gotta keep up with Uncle Robbie's miles...)

Ok folks, this is what it's all about, despite the tiny home and high prices of things in Southern California, we got the beach in January. It was extra warm on Sunday and a great day for the sea.

We met up with friends in Newport, and the kids had fun making whatever they were making in the sand. It's interesting how they can get so immersed in constructing and rebuilding things for quite a long time.

Once we got to the water though, that's where we spent the majority of our time.

Dancing away like only Anna can...

The beach is one of those places where you can forget about everything else, surrounded by the amazing sight of the neverending ocean and the sounds of the crashing waves. The peaceful senses overload is rejuvenating indeed.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


This weekend we went to a birthday party for Lucy. What good etiquette this kids exhibit, looking at a family photo album with restraint and decorum.

It was really a nice surprise seeing Sam play with the other kids so comfortably.

This photo cake had one of the cutest pictures ever.

Later that day Steve blew bubbles for the kids.

It was warm weather during the day but gets chilly in the evening. The kids still stay active non-stop.

P.S. Don't you love Anna's dress? This green and black ensemble is one of her favorites these days (from Target).

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Popping Bubbles

Sam is determined to pop this huge bubble.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Unusual Things

... This present we received from friends in Japan, cute hand towels packaged as gourmet apples would be.

... And Steve sporting a goatee, grown out during winter break.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Two Tortoises

Dear Uncle Bob,

For Christmas we bought Anna a Russian tortoise. She named her Skipper. A few days later, Sam got a tortoise for his birthday. He named her Muta. These little girls will grow no longer than 8 inches. Skipper and Muta eat leafy greens and carrots primarily. Here they are trying squash. Their favorite treat so far seems to be strawberries. They are in the living room now, cozy in this large habitat of a huge plastic container filled with straw. When the weather gets warmer we’d like to construct some sort of outdoor play area for them, safely gated from our dog Michi.

Steve, Mina, Anna and Sam

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

January 1st

January 1st, what an awesome day. Of course, it's Sammy's birthday. It's the first year where he's truly aware of this special day. We taught Sammy the day before that he will show 3 fingers when asked, "How old are you?"

We made him a brownie cake and Steve helped Sam blow out the candles.

January 1st is also the day my mom makes her amazing osechi ryori. While everyone was asleep at my house I went early morning to partake in the feast. Mari and Rob arrived soon after. I really should learn to make a few of these dishes.

My favorite dish is ozoni, Steve's is kimpira gobo, which is burdock root.