Friday, October 31, 2008

Tanaka Farms 2008

We visited Tanaka Farms a couple of weeks ago, this is a 30-acre working farm located in Irvine. It was a cool, clear day, perfect weather to check out the grounds and to pick out a couple of pumpkins.

It was cute seeing Steve and Sam holding hands around the farm, in their matching caps.

There were many photo-ops and character cut-outs, including this silly trio of animals.

This pyramid of pumpkins provided a great backdrop for many photographers and their families!

Shhh... Sam just spotted the pumpkin for him, small, perfectly found, within reach...

I think he's going for it...

Success! Anna and Sam were happy with their choices! What a fun morning.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Corona Del Mar Tide Pools

Earlier this month Anna and I went to Corona Del Mar beach with the Gabbi and Olivia and family, south of the main beach there are tide pools that are accessible by foot down a windy paved road.

On this day there was a friendly park volunteer to inform visitors to step on the dry rocks only, the wet areas are filled with shells and sea creatures, sea anemones, sea urchin, fish, hermit crabs to name a few.

I almost remember coming on a field trip to these tide pools when I was in grade school. The expanse to explore is great when it is low tide.

Rachel and I took an extended hike beyond the cliff you see over my shoulder, my legs felt sore for days afterwards.

On the way back to our cars, we passed by some lovely homes and landscaping. It would be nice to relocate here, but we are fortunate to have this so nearby.

Monday, October 27, 2008

First Grade Memories

These photos were taken during the 2007-08 school year. Anna had a fabulous teacher named Ms. Leah, it was her first year as a teacher. She did a great job and the kids learned so much from her.

The class went on a lot of memorable field trips during first grade, including the LB Aquarium... Anna and friends are taking a break here.

At the LB Aquarium they have a great bird exhibit where you can feed them nectar, wow!

At the La Habra Museum kids can play dress-up in old-fashioned attire.

What a sweet time Anna had as a first-grader, her second-grade school year is off to a great start as well.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Long Beach Aquarium

Our half-marathon goodie bag came with free admission to the Long Beach Aquarium, so we all went the day before the race. We were greeted by Sammy the Shark, Sammy the little boy thought the sea creature looked friendly enough to pose with, as long as Daddy was nearby.

Before we entered the exhibits, the kids were already partying it up in the parking structure.

Ooh, lovely sea creatures...

Anna and Sam are getting in line for a hands-on exhibit, I love how they are holding hands and getting along here.

Now they are waiting for a seal lion to swim by. This is my favorite photo of the day.

Hand to fin, how wonderful!

Each time I go to Long Beach, I'm loving it more and more. The weather is wonderful, the scenery near the beach is amazing, and there are some great restaurants nearby. Hooray for LB!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sam's 2008 Costumes

Ok, we're not trying to promote violence here, we are endorsing safety. SWAT Team members are our friends. We did remove all weapons other than the club from this costume.

When Sam put this outfit on he took on a new persona, repeating, "I'm a cool guy, I'm a cool guy." I have no idea where he got that, maybe wearing black makes him feel suave. In any case he doesn't look too cool using the flashlight as a telescope.

The next costume we like to call Space Elephant. This quirky costume probably represents his personality more, his love of animals with a touch of scientist.

Ok mom, enough with the photos and the commentary, I'm done.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Anna's 2008 Costumes

I saw this costume at Target, although the package photo didn't do it justice, I could tell it was nicely made and would be flattering on Anna. I surprised her with it. And it was a perfect fit, Anna's got the pose down as an Egyptian Princess.

Where did she learn how to pose, I have no idea...

Costume number two, a 50's Poodle Skirt Girl...

The kids have fun playing dress-up!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Long Beach Half-Marathon 2008

Steve and I ran the Long Beach Half-Marathon on Sunday. We left our house at 5:15am to be on time for the 7:30am start time. Here we are at the Hyatt prior to the race, we used the clean restrooms here (other runners had the same idea), very important!

We carpooled with my coworker Kristen, and met up with Rob. We posed outside the Long Beach Hyatt, minutes away from the starting line. The weather was great, sunny and cool, ideal running conditions!

Mari was there as cheerleader and supporter extraordinaire.

On your mark, get set, go! And we were off! It was an enjoyable run for everyone, Mari stationed herself along the beach at Mile 7 for some excellent photos!

Robbie's with a nice size crowd here, doesn't he look happy and relaxed...

Here's Steve at Mile 13! He finished in 1:50!

He cheered me on as I finished in 2:07.

The three of us reached our goal of running the whole race non-stop.

What made the difference for us:
Wonderful cool weather and beautiful views.
Mainly flat course with gradual downhill at the end.
Carrying our fluids vs. slowing down at the liquid stops.
Lots of runners vs. stop-and-go people.
Cheerleader (Mari) and great babysitter (Yumi) to put our minds at ease.

What a great day... and yes, we want to do another one.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Nike Plus

Sorry, have to brag to my loved ones, click here.

p.s. Steve reached this a while ago.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

2007 Christmas Photos

I just want to showcase some of the fabulous photos my friend Nikki took during our photoshoot last winter. Nikki is a fellow teacher and an avid photographer. I feel like this is your calling, Nikki!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Blog into a Book

Here is our family album for the year 2007. This is the second book I have made through blurb.com, basically I am able to feed all my information from my blog into a special program. Blurb.com binds it into a book, this year I did it in hardcover.

You can pick the layout for each page, font, photo size, etc. It probably took 3-4 hours to set up the book, in addition to the time I put into the blog itself.

Again, I'm really happy with the finished product. Look, you can put a photo on the back cover as well!

Friday, October 03, 2008

California Adventure with Candy Corn

The day after our fabulous Japanese dinner we took the family to California Adventure. The park is now decorated with Halloween decor, but really tastefully done with candy corn and pumpkins galore, nothing to frighten the kids here.

Chip and Dale had just arrived at the scene and I had my camera handy for this photo opportunity. This chipmunk is Chip, he has the black nose and one protuding tooth.

Dale has the red nose and the gap between his two front teeth, just a bit of trivia for those of you who are interested! Regardless, their unique features made Sam wary of both characters.