Saturday, May 31, 2008

Helicopter Landing

On Friday morning, two U.S. Marine helicopters descended upon our school for a visit. It was my day off, so Sam and I went over to check out these special aircrafts.

One of the pilots is a coworker's friend, and was able to arrange this for our school. It was so exciting to see the helicopters circle overhead and land so gracefully onto our field.

I learned a little bit about the skills and training these particular Marines have, and it made me feel really grateful and proud to be an American.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Anna's Open House 2008

Thursday night was Anna's Open House, her classroom's decor was red, white and blue, very patriotic. Here she is with her good friend Daniel.
There was a lot of writing displayed in her classroom, each student had several samples of his/her work shown everywhere. Anna brought home a folder of stories she had written each month of the school year, very impressive.

I got a shot of Steve and Anna posing below her patriotic girl (above Steve's head).

Anna's teacher Ms. Leah decorated the center of the class with this huge flag, which made a very nice statement. Anna has had such a wonderful year in first grade, she was so proud of all her classwork. In no time at all it will be her last day of school.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The games we play at home...

Squeezing the face in these easy-bake oven tweezers... really, it doesn't hurt.

Getting hugged by mommy multiples times. Ok, now that's starting to hurt. :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Strawberry Festival

Last Saturday, Anna, Yumi, Mama and I went to the 25th Annual Strawberry Festival in Oxnard. It was a hot day but Anna and I had our hats to shade our faces.

The festival was like a fair, complete with kiddie rides, vendor booths, and food... The highlight for me was sampling whole strawberries from different growers, and comparing texture and taste. My mom eventually bought a flat of berries here, these were dense and sweet.

Here was a unique booth of butterflies Anna and Yumi admired.

We couldn't pass up the chocolate-covered strawberries!

Yumi volunteered to carry strawberries back to a bus which took us to our car. Anna told Grandma she had to share the strawberries (kids can get away with saying things like that), and she gave us half to bring home. We've enjoyed them so much!

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Boiling Crab

Where we live, food fads seem to come and sometimes go. I'm thinking Krispy Kreme donuts, lettuce-wrapped burgers, boba drinks... the latest craze is cajun seafood, peel and eat, no utensils needed. A popular spot is The Boiling Crab, a nondescript restaurant tucked away in a local mini-mall. (My friend Kathie was a little embarassed about taking the photo but I told her to remember that I was from out-of-town and tourists like to take photos of everything.)

Order crawfish, shrimp, crab by the pound and the type of seasoning you want. Extras such as corn, sausage or potatoes can be thrown in as well. And voila, your seasoned food is brought in bags and placed on your butcher paper covered table.

This peel-and-eat food is not for everyone, especially those who don't like to "work" for their food. But one taste and you'll be hooked. I hope this is a fad that's here to stay. It was so yummy and a fun dining experience with Kathie and her sister. Check out my shrimp and Kathie's crawfish!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mother's Day, Our Way

I had a fabulous Mother's Day, although this isn't me in the photo. Mari and Rob met up with us at Mama and Papa's house, Mama made us kids lunch, isn't that typical. I'm pretty sure my mom gets a lot of joy from making food, almost as much joy as we get from eating it!

Steve is checking out the intricate design on Rob's shirt, thinking, I want one of those.

Mama made us tonkatsu sandwiches and Yumi picked up sushi, and we all played Wii. For me the highlights of the day were church in the morning, lunch with family, and a nap in the afternoon! Until next year when I can feel totally relaxed again, hee hee...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Disneyland, just girls

A couple of Sundays ago, one of the hottest years to date, Yumi, Anna and I went to Disneyland for a few hours. A lot of people didn't want to bear the heat that afternoon, as the lines were short and we went on several rides in a short amount of time. Here we are at Autopia.

We also took some photos with some martians...

And rode on the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. I'm not a video game player but somehow this ride gives me higher scores.

We also went on Indy Jones, my favorite ride and Anna's new favorite as well!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bella's Birthday

Yesterday the family attended a birthday party, of Anna's friend Bella. It was a birthday party unlike any other. The theme was Arabian Nights, here's a lovely confection by Cinderella Cakes, check out their other designs.

Bella's party was set up at a nearby park. Sam and Steve went on the largest inflatable slide I've ever seen. If you could zoom into Sam's face you can get an idea of how fast and steep this thing is.

Ok, here's the zoom-in.

The entertainment didn't stop there. Buster Balloon gathered the guests around for incredible balloon tricks.

Yes, that's Buster, inside a huge balloon.

And jumping around... he's been on TV before, I heard. Here's a clip of one of his acts.

Guests could relax in the pillow-decked lounge area. Anna met up with good friend Michelle.

Balloon hats and huge goody bags ended the party. This was one of those days where you can't believe what you just saw. Happy Birthday, Bella!

Monday, May 05, 2008


Mari, Rob and I participated in the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation 5K/10K Run in Irvine early yesterday morning.

Imprinted on our red shirts was our team name "Running with Todd", in remembrance of a district colleague's son who passed away from cancer.

Here, Rob and I are getting ready for our 10K.

Mari's 5K started after our run did, so she was able to take some action shots. The weather was cool and overcast, great running weather. Our goal was to run the race nonstop.

We all attained our goals, hurray! Impressive especially for Mari and Rob, who have just taken up running but a few months ago!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Pool Cuties

What a contrast in skin and hair color but the similiarities in facial features can't be denied.