Friday, August 29, 2008


We took our kids to Disneyland and California Adventure this past week. On the first day we enjoyed the magic of Disney. We were 1/2 mile from the park from our hotel and decided to walk the first day. Xander could ride most of the rides as well as Mia and CJ could ride everything.
We went at a great time of the year. Most of the rides we went on only had a 5 to 10 minute wait. Mia loved riding on Splash Mountain. She got to go twice, since we had a switch pass. Disneyland really accommodates families. If Xander and/or Mia couldn't ride a particular ride and both Ben and I wanted to ride, all we had to do was to ask a worker for a switch pass and we both took turns and got to skip the long lines. We also had fast passes which turned out to be a great thing. We didn't do it on everything, just the rides that were a long wait.
We spent all day there until we were exhausted and then the walk to the hotel seemed to take forever. We decided to park in the parking lot and take the tram the next day, especially since Ben has a silver pass and doesn't have to pay for parking.
We promised CJ fireworks and fireworks she did have for 3 days. We were so close to Disneyland that we couldn't escape the fireworks if we wanted to. It sounded like the hotel was being bombed and was under attack. Amazingly, Xander and Mia slept through them on a couple of nights.
The next day we spent at California Adventure, which we decided wasn't as cool as Disneyland. We HAD to go on the new Toy Story ride which was 4-D. I spent the whole day listening to Ben talk about what Disneyland and California Adventure would be like without the Pixar movies and how awesome Pixar is, yadda, yadda, yadda. . .yeah I know Pixar is cool. If I have to listen to how awesome Pixar is for the rest of my life, it will be well worth it to have a husband who loves his job and is proud of what he does!
The coolest part of California Adventure is the Bug's Life part. It is filled with places for your kids to play in water. We went on most of the rides and headed over to Disneyland to catch a few rides we missed.
Disneyland was a great adventure. I don't think we could ever afford to go if we didn't have Ben's silver pass. It got us in free to both parks, free parking, 35% of merchandise in the stores, and a food discount in the park. We actually let the kids buy something in the stores. When Ben and I were kids, we never got to buy anything at Disneyland, it was just too expensive. Man, our kids are spoiled! We have decided to make a Disneyland trip a yearly event. Man, our kids are spoiled! Thanks to Pixar for making this trip possible!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Xander's Second, and the 6 (million) Bees


Xander just celebrated his second birthday. He got a bike and a mini soccer ball. But his favorite present was his Black and Decker tool belt set, complete with a drill, hammer 2 pliers, 2 screwdrivers, a level, calipers, screws, nails, 2 saws, hard hat, measuring tape, and more!!!! He loves to help me (Ben) fix things around the house and usually sits down next to me with one of my screwdrivers and bangs things. Now he has his own set and he wants me to sit by him while HE fixes things.

(Notice the cute, ugly couch he's sitting on? Val is making a new slip cover for it - watch for an update with the newly cute, cute couch)

On another note, I noticed a swarm of bees flying high over our heads as we walked past the side of the house. I saw that they were crawling under the siding of the house near the girl's bedroom window. I decided that I wouldn't worry about them because A) outside, they were like 20 feet above our heads and didn't bother us. and 2) You couldn't see them from the girls window (which is never open anyway). I also didn't want to freak out any of the girls in my house. Things changed last week when I found 2 bees in the kitchen. I told Val that there was probably a bee hive in the wall outside the girl's window, and she called the landlord and asked him to spray.
A couple of days later he came and sprayed. It must have upset the bees, because CJ got stung that same day while taking out the trash. Friday morning (Xander's birthday), Val and the kids went outside to watch Xander play with his new bike. Mia wanted to ride her bike so she took off toward the back yard. Suddenly - a blood curdling scream!!! I heard it from the house and thought that it sounded full of actual fear (as opposed to Mia's everyday frustration filled or fun filled blood curdling screams). Then she screamed again. Soon, I heard Val start talking to her so I figured it wasn't an emergency or anything. It turns out thousands of dying bees had dropped to the ground and were wriggling and writhing on the ground!
It looked like the ground was moving! Poor Mia was terrified.
And with good reason!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Not "The Asian Girl" Anymore


Sunday, someone was describing me to the missionaries. They said, "The friendly girl with black hair, she was wearing a black dress. . ." Throughout my entire life it usually goes like this, "You know, the Asian girl." And the other replies, "Oh yeah, her name is Valerie."

I've kinda gotten lazy. Being Asian usually made me different and unique automatically, I really didn't have to try. In the Bay area, my Asianess doesn't make me stand out as much, so I've got to step it up a notch. I was thinking of dying my hair bright pink, or wearing rainbow tights with all of my outfits. Whatever. It's too much work. I think I'll just be me. Now, I kinda know how it feels to be a white person living in Utah. I look like everyone else. Sigh.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

"It's my party; I can cry if I want to. . ."

Mia turned four on Thursday and we had a birthday party for her today. Mia would have loved a princess, makeup, and Barbie birthday, but since we had some boys coming we decided on a magical birthday party.

The kids made magic wands and hats, learned magic tricks and performed in a magic show, went on a magic bean hunt, and made magic potion. Did I mention it was magical?

This is a horrible picture especially since I cut off the birthday girl herself. It was rather crazy with the 8 kids that we had, I was lucky to get any-I can't imagine Livy's party with 17 guests!

What is a birthday party without the birthday girl or boy crying? It is almost a given. Mia did shed some tears, but in the end was a very happy camper and had fun with her friends. I think her favorite birthday present were the Barbies she bought with her birthday money. She bought four and now, it's official, Ken, the Barbie is a polygamist.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tag Team Cleaning!

It's been a constant battle trying to get the girls to clean their room. CJ ends up doing most of the work and the girls usually fight. So the other day I got an idea to send one girl in at a time for 5 minutes and then they alternate. Mia loves this and constantly asks during CJ's 5 minutes, "When can I go in?" "Is it mine turn yet?" There is no fighting and Mia actually does her part. Hallelujah!

I've decided to do some activities with the kids since the Olympics is going on. I've posted them on my preschool blog. I also hope to keep posting ideas when the school year begins. Fall time is my favorite time to teach! The holidays make it so much fun, so stay tuned!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

All Cozy Wozy!

We are all cozy wozy in our new place and have put together a slide show of our new place with all of our things in it for those of you who are interested.

Click Here to see a slideshow of the inside of our new place

For those of you who aren't interested and because I have nothing to write about, I leave you with a message from a commerical here in California. This is real.

"Help conserve water. Men, shave less often. Women, help conserve water by not washing your hair." I'm waiting for a message like, "Don't eat meat, because it hurts the animal's feeling and don't eat vegetables because that's the animals food and it will also hurt their feelings."

Californians are weird.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

We finally are moved in officially! You know a place is big enough when you can't find someone in your house or when you yell and they can't hear you. I love that Ben and I have our own room, and I can hide in it whenever I want. The kids love yelling and hearing their voices echo because of our tall ceilings. Running is also a favorite pasttime for the kids. Ben said to Mia, "No running in the house." She replied, "I'm not running, I'm hip hoppin!" Ben loves having the toilet separate from the shower so while others maybe showering, he can still read in his favorite room. We even had our bikes stolen, to welcome us to the neighborhood.
4/7 th's of Ben's family came to visit us shortly after we moved in. We had a hard time recognizing some of them. It was a coinincidence that Ben and Caleb had the same haircut. Here is a poem of our time together:

Ode to Ben’s Family

To Jim, Kathy, Abby, and Caleb
Thank you for coming to visit ub
We ate icecream, I stuffed your tummies,
We ate A LOT, it was yummy!

You helped us refinish our spotty table,
I watched you do the work, though I was able.
You spoiled my kids, Ben and I too,
You did my dishes and still weren’t through.

San Francisco was a busy day,
We crammed in the van and were on our way.
Playing at the Exploratorium was great fun,
After the beach, park, and carousel. . .we weren’t done.

The Pixar tour and the picnic, “Hey, free food!”
San Gregorio beach, “Surfs up dude!”
I misplaced my camera, oh dear!
I have no proof that Abby was here.

After you left, and said, “Good bye”
CJ got real sad and started to cry!
Thanks for coming to visit us
Even though there’s no Betsy or Russ!

You made us feel special,
Ben’s family-rocks.
You made us feel loved,
I hope I keep finding, Caleb’s socks!

Ghirardelli Square
Golden Gate Park
Our beautiful refinished table