Sunday, December 5, 2010


We spent Thanksgiving at Jill's Aunt Barbara's and Uncle Marc's house. A couple of years ago, Marc had a serious stroke after an operation to remove a brain tumor. The cancer came without warning and grew so fast that by the time they found it, the tumor was already quite large. Marc's been progressing slowly but surely since he had the stroke. The last time we saw him was in August in Carlsbad, and it seemed to me that he had made some progress since then. I really admire grace and perseverance that Barbara and her two children have shown as they try to help Marc get back to full strength. We truly had a lot to be thankful for.

Thanks to my brother-in-law, Richard, who took most of these pictures.

Ann with Marc and his son Kai

Jill's family

It's a miracle. Both girls looked at the camera (or at least in its general vicinity).

Uncle Matt might be Sadie's favorite person in the world. Ok, there's no maybe about it.

"Check out my boots, Aunt Kim. Aren't they hot?"

I just liked this picture of Jill and Ashlynn.

The girls are very sweet to each other these days (usually). They are constantly hugging and following each other around. Sure, they will occasionally fight over toys or books. But for the most part they get along great. It's pretty fun to watch.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Visit from Tom's Family

I'm usually about 3 months behind on my blog posts, so the fact that this one is only three weeks after the fact is pretty good. In mid-November my parents, sister Stephanie, and niece Taylor came out for a visit. They live pretty far away (Stephanie is in Arizona and the rest of my family lives in North Carolina), so it's always a treat to see them. I took a few days off work and had a little "staycation."

Thomas Comes to Perris
The highlight of my parents' visit (at least for Sadie) was the Thomas the Tank Engine festival in Perris, California that we went to. It's a pretty good racket this Thomas fella's got going on. Basically, thousands of people pay $20 a pop to ride a "Thomas" train for 20 minutes. Of course there's a lot of other stuff to do. They have trolleys and other trains you can ride. Sir Topham Hatt makes an appearance. There's a live band and jump houses. But the main draw is Thomas. Dora and Thomas have made someone a lot of money.

Belmont Park

We also went to Mission Beach and spent a few hours riding the rides at Belmont Park (a very poor man's Coney Island). I haven't done that in a long time, and it was really pretty fun. Sadie loved the tilt-a-whirl and carousel. Ashlynn didn't care for the carousel too much, which was unfortunate, since that was the only ride she was big enough to ride.

My folks, Diane and Alan.

Sea World

We spent a day at Sea World. Since Jill and I were chasing the girls around a lot, the best picture I have to represent our trip to Sea World is this one of a bunch of flamingos about use Sadie and Taylor to create an alternate ending to the movie "Birds."

We also spent an afternoon at Coronado Beach and took the ferry downtown to Seaport village and did some other touristy things. My family was only here for a few days, but I definitely think we made the most out of it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Random pictures

I've been pretty lazy about updating the blog, so here are a bunch of random pictures to show how the girls have been growing.

Ashlynn turned one a couple of months ago. I didn't really get any picures from her b-day, so she's stuck with this flattering pic of her going to town on some ice-cream cake.

Ashlynn is our very blonde, blue-eyed, gap-toothed baby. She's been walking since she was 10 months old (currently 13 months) and recently mastered the point-and-grunt language. It's incredible how effectively she communicates using this technique. Ashlynn is a climber. She is also a squealer, a cuddler, and good copy-catter. She likes to share her food and to push toy strollers.

Sadie is still obsessed with trains and (to an only slightly lesser extent) her neighbor Jay.

Sadie is also very fond of her babysitter, Katrina, but I don't have any pics of Katrina. It's a little sad, but Sadie would much rather sit with Katrina at church than with her parents. Actually, it was a little sad the first week. Now, it's kind of nice.
Sadie is (for the most part) a delight. She loves her little sister and let's Ashlynn play with her toys, as long as Ashlynn doesn't try to play with Sadie's favorites. She started pre-school this fall (the next pic is her first day), and she recently graduated from her toddler bed to a big-girl bed. This was a big deal. I still think she's too cute for her own good, but she's started whining more, which helps negate some of the cute factor. But she doesn't whine that much and there's just too much darned cuteness to negate.

I think the two of them are going to give me a lot of heartburn when they get older.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A little stage fright?

Sadie's been doing a summer dance camp this past week. Yesterday, they had their "recital" for the parents. There's our little Sadie-bug, front and center. According to Jill, she made a lot of progress during the week and was following directions well. When it came time to perform, though, she froze. Maybe dancing isn't her calling in life. But I still think she's pretty cute in her little tu-tu.

(For some reason, videos get cut off on the side when I post them on the blog. Right click on the video and click "watch on youtube" to see the whole thing.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ashlynn's our new water baby

Sadie used to be so brave. The past two summers, when we would go to the ocean, she'd run right in. Now, she runs in to her ankles and then runs away from the "big waves." As you can see, those waves are massive.

Ashlynn, however, is another story. She's not afraid of those big waves. In fact, we can't get her out of the water.

She's a cutie, but a handful. Ashlynn's a lot of work too.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sadie's birthday

This post is only a month overdue, but we had a birthday party for Sadie's third birthday. How quickly they grow!

She's so independent already. I can't wait for her to become a teenager.

At any rate, the Sadie Bug is really into Thomas right now, so we had a Thomas the Train party, complete with jumper and everything. (By the way, I am officially converted to jumpers for little kids' parties.)

So the jumper was in the front yard, and in the back yard we had a bunch of Sadie's toys strategically set up for the little kiddos to play on. I think it was a success. Just look at how much fun those kids are having.

Nice job ladies!

Sadie certainly enjoyed herself.

I hope that's cupcake on your face!

Ashlynn had a good time too. That's her "I'm having a good time" face. Or maybe it's her "I've got a very special present for you, daddy" face. I get them confused.

Of course, the highlight was the Down by the Docks set that Jill and I got Sadie as her present. We really hit a homerun with that thing. She'd play trains all day long if we let her.

"I'm going to play with my trains all day long, and you can't stop me. Hahahaha!"