Friday, July 14, 2017

Summer so far

We have been doing all kinds of fun stuff this summer. It has been going super fast! Swim team has been the bulk of our mornings of course and all of our Saturdays (except for one 4th of July weekend when we stayed home and really did nothing except play games and hang out. Camille joined us on Sunday).
   Gary and Jerri even stopped in for a quick visit and we met up with them for Dim Sum.
   Almost every Thursday we have gone to the beach (Twin Lakes) with the Lim family. We always enjoy our time with them. Even Oliven has really started enjoying the water. (3 times so far, and once with Colby and Alex - New Brighton Beach). We all really love the beach, and with Carrie it is very simple - the adults get adult chatting time and the kids get lots of kid time, which is great. We also followed tradition and went to the fireworks in Morgan Hill.
  We have been on two camping trips this summer. We started the summer with a trip to Mt. Madonna with Deb and Heather. Deb brought her cute little camper to sleep in. (I ended up feeling miserable with a UTI - Heather was very kind and took me to get some AZO at midnight). In the morning I came back to San Jose for some antibiotics. The first day while I was gone the boys went on a scavenger hunt hike with Deb and had a great time. (Oliven's favorite activity) We played lots of games and really enjoyed our time. Deb had a mystery ingredient dessert challenge for the boys with all kinds of different sweet treats. The adults got to vote on the best creation. It was Oliven, because Vander's was like the kitchen sink of desserts.
Larry, Theresa, Jeff and Marie joined us the second day to hang out, have dinner, and eat s'mores with us. That night I went home to sleep cause I still wasn't feeling great and I drove back in the morning to pick the kids up to get home for swim practice. We had pancakes for breakfast (Vander's favorite part) They had a great time and it really was a treat to get to spend that time with Deb and Heather. I hope we can make this a tradition in the future.
   I attended Alex's bachelorette party in Solvang. I flew to Anaheim to see the Grand's. I was going to ride up with Annie to the party, but she felt very anxious about leaving Hattie for two nights, so I met up with Lindsay and took the train up. It was nice getting to know here better. That night it was mostly lounging in the pool, drinking ( I chose to wait for the next night, cause I don't like to drink two nights in a row), playing the Newlywed game, and chatting. Annie came the next morning and we headed to the wineries, which was very fun. I love hanging out with Annie. We saw Justin Hartley and got a picture of him. So cool. The rest of the day was drinking and hanging out. I couldn't sleep that night for some reason - probably all the alcohols mixed together. It was so much fun. What a great group of women! I did feel like the 10 year younger crowd had a very different vocabulary. I really needed a translator for some of it. We headed back to Anaheim and I got to spend the day at the Grand's house. What a fun weekend!
   Golfland was a treat this summer. I planned it for the swim team little kids. They had a choice of golfing or going on waterslides. My kids chose golfing and did all 18 holes. They really had a great time with each other. I walked through the course with them, but really just as a supervisor. It was a super hot day and the boys really enjoyed themselves.
   We went to Kyoto palace for my birthday meal as a family. It was Vander and Oliven's first time and I think they really enjoyed their selves.
   We took a trip to San Francisco with Gina, Daniel and Ruth for the day. We went to Golden Gate park to play at a park with a cement side. Oliven was very brave and went down the slide several times, we all rode the carousel and saw a lion that reminded us of Aslan (we are reading the Chronicles of Narnia right now as a family). Then we headed over to the Presidio and went to this really cool artsy path and walked down it at a leisurely pace. After that we decided to walk across the Golden Gate bridge. We made it 1/4 of the way, enjoyed the beautiful view (it was super windy and chilly) and headed back as it was a far walk for Ruth. We got in the car and accidentally crossed the Golden Gate bridge due to confusing signage. We decided since we were already in Sausalito to eat dinner at an Italian restaurant there, and it was really delicious (almost like Italy Italian pizza). We re-crossed the bridge and went to Ghiradelli (sp?) for a really yummy dessert. It was super good - not surprisingly. Then it was time to go home after a fun-filled day, with a good friend.
   The boat races and over nighter with swim team was really fun for Vander. Oliven didn't love it as much because he really wanted to play dodge ball and didn't really get a chance.
  That evening I went to a thank you dinner (for helping at Hannah's wedding on the 4th of July, which was an amazing wedding. It was casual around her pool and so unique). Colby and Alex came
to town for a visit. The next day we headed out to Henry Cowell State park for some camping. We played games, had s'mores (of course), enjoyed each others company. We also went to the beach and all three of the boys played in the water despite it being very chilly. Oliven forgot his sandals, which created a big debauchal, with LOTS of wining and annoyance by everyone else. Ollie soaked his tennis shoes, and neither boy brought a sweatshirt. I doubt they will forget that again. Only time will tell. We went on an awesome hike and got a chance to see downtown Santa Cruz through the trees and enjoy the redwoods while Alex worked at Starbucks.
    Karen flew in to visit. I took her over to see Hannah's house, which was her house growing up. She loved it. It brought back all kinds of memories, good and bad. She also got to see a neighbor that was there when she was growing up and they caught up with each other. So cool. We also took her down to see the cabana club.
  Karen was excited to have an overlap trip with Colb and Alex. Alex had to work during the rest of her visit. :( We took a trip to the pool for the swim team's rootbeer float pool party. It was a bit frustrating because Oliven didn't want to come, but then he did, but he didn't get in the pool.
  We took Karen to the Winchester Mystery house, which she loved. In the mean time Vander, Ollie, and I got them haircuts, went to Big Five and Marshalls. It was very leisurely, and we got lots of steps in.
   On Friday I went in for Lasik surgery. I didn't really want to do it while Karen was here, but that was the appointment that they had, so I did it. It was a bit creepy to have a machine holding my eye open, but it was a pretty quick procedure. That night was pretty rough, but the next morning I felt pretty good. It's crazy that the eye is so resilient! Karen hung out with the boys during the surgery so Justin could take me. It's really amazing to wake up seeing and not need glasses or contacts. I still keep thinking that I need to take my contacts out at night. I am in the healing stages now, but it's so cool.
  Saturday morning Karen took me to the follow-up appointment and then we headed over to the swim meet. Karen was impressed and overwhelmed. There were a lot more people there than she had anticipated. That night was Family Fun night with pizza, cookies, and soda at the pool. It was of course delightful.
Sunday was Cookbook Club (theme of "Stuffed") at our house. Karen made cheesecake strawberries and I made canneloni. There were only 6 of us total, so I used the China that Grandma Gretchen gave me when we got married. It was a nice afternoon and Karen got along great with my Cookbook club ladies.
  The highlight of Monday was playing the game Sushi Go and then Karen taking us out for all you can eat sushi for dinner at Mr. Sushi. Who knew 18 years after meeting Justin that I would really enjoy all you can eat sushi.
 Having Karen here to visit was really nice! We all really enjoyed her company and were happy to have her. Vander even let her use his bed while she was here and he slept on Oliven's floor. I think Karen was most shocked by how healthy we eat and I think she loved the fresh peaches on the tree. I hope she comes back again soon, and maybe Uncle Ken will join her. :)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Last Day of school

Today was the last day of 1st and 3rd grade, so we celebrated by going out to lunch with the Lim family. It's tradition, and who are we to break tradition??? We decided to go to Golden House Chinese Food Restaurant because we all love it. We went to Baskin Robins for a scoop of ice cream afterwards and ended our afternoon together with a trip to the pool to play. It was nice to catch up with Carrie. Neither of us have had much time recently. The kids always enjoy their time together. It was a great way to end the school year.

End of the school year

  We have so many plans for the summer...I hope not too many!!! The end of the school year went swimmingly (literally because of swim team, but figuratively as well). The end of the year is always a bit tough because swim team starts before baseball ends, so we were on two different schedules in the evening and some dinners had to be eaten at 3:30 and 4pm. Not ideal.
Vander got to be on the Memorial Day tournament team this year. I think he really enjoyed it, but when it came time to do All Stars he decided that he wanted to pass and get into swimming for the summer.
  Oliven (and I) had a piano recital. This was the second one so far. He was of course adorable and did a great job. He comes into my bedroom almost every morning to say good morning and give me a double hug. He says, "this is the best part of my day so far." It's definitely my favorite part of every day. It is special and for me at least, sort of magical.
  As for me, recently were for me a performance for the 2nd and 6th graders (skits and a musical), which were great. I feel like I had a good first year as the music teacher and really brought the program to life. I look forward to learning from this year and doing even better next year.
  Last weekend Gary and Jerrie came for a quick visit as they were passing through and we met up with them at Dim Sum for a brunch.

Vander's 9th birthday

My big boy is 9 years old. He had a family party which included a chocolate peanut butter cake. Apparently the frosting is too sweet. Who knew that could happen for Vander??? 
  For Vander's 9th birthday he decided to have a sleepover with his best friend, Bella. He also invited Oliven's best friend, Jeremiah, to come sleep over at our house. The kids had a great time. They played outside, ate dinner, watched a movie called Justice League: City Breakout (Vander asked for popcorn and pretzels instead of a cake) and played Wii. In the morning they had blueberry pancakes. The sleeping arrangements were originally all four of them in a room, but that didn't work out so after an hour of "trying" to be quiet Oliven and Jeremiah went to Oliven's room for the night. They all had a great time and I would say without a doubt that the first attempt at a friend sleep over was a success.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Hattie's first birthday

  Hattie had a Very Hungry Caterpillar themed birthday party this year. It was super cute. Annie really knows how to throw a party! It was really cool decorations and tons of fun. Hattie ended up very very red with frosting, which totally made the day. Lots of family and friends showed up to celebrate this cute little lady. This even included a surprise visit from Colby and Alex. They were in L.A. for Alex's little brother's graduation from college and happened to text Freddy to ask if he was around. Their flight had been cancelled by Spirit airlines, so they had the afternoon free.
 Oliven and I had flown down on Thursday for the birthday party and stayed until Monday afternoon so we could spend time with our favorite girls. You can't beat cousin time. We had a really nice trip to Anaheim. We went to a park and the library and enjoyed our time together. On Saturday all the kids were a mess. Oliven coughed all night on the Friday night and so he didn't sleep at all and he was crankier than I have ever seen him in his life. It was not pleasant. Molly wasn't feeling great because she needed medicine. Hattie was having teething issues as well as a double ear infection.
Sunday, they were all feeling better and everyone enjoyed celebrating with Hattie Bear.

Oliven's 7th birthday

For Oliven's 7th birthday he decided to have an Earthday theme. They started the party by picking up trash. He made it into a game. They had to see who could pick up the most trash in about 20 minutes at the park. They did a great job. Oliven gets credit for all of the trash collected because he was so philanthropic in his choice of birthday activity. :)They were all surprised that there were so many cigarette butts on the ground because they never see people smoking. Oliven couldn't believe how many litter bugs there are out there. There were still lots of pieces of trash on the ground from Easter celebrations.
They had hotdogs and sausages for lunch. Afterwards they played an hour of Super Smash Brothers on the Wii. Then they decorated cookies the size of their faces like the Earth. We finally found a dessert that Vander couldn't finish. Who knew that was possible? He is my sugar boy. Right after they were on their sugar highs they went into the computer room to build a Lego set. Ollie got one for each boy. He invited only his best buddies: Jeremiah, Evan, Cooper, and Vander. He gave his party a 9 out of 10 rating.
  He had his family get together on his actual birthday. I was at a conference all day for EQ (a really great conference about building community and improv.) Because of that dinner was a little late, but of course delicious. Everyone enjoyed the pork ribs, rosemary potatoes and broccoli. For his dinner out he chose the Cheesecake Factory this year. Yum.

Take your kid to work day

The kids finally were old enough this year to go to the take your kid to work day at Lockheed Martin. They had a really good time with their dad at work and got to do lots of fun activities.