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.