Josiah and Tinker Bell

Everyone (except Tim and Jason who had to work) went to California Adventure on Friday (Jan. 18, 2013). The weather was hot…sunny with temperatures reaching the low 80s. They got to the park early and did a number of rides including California Screamin’ (roller coaster), Mickey’s Fun Wheel (ferris wheel with swinging gondolas), Goofy’s Sky School (a different type of roller coaster), Hollywood Tower of Terror (a few did this one), and Toy Story’s Midway Mania (3-D shooting game).

Jeri took Josiah to Disneyland. Josiah loves the Peter Pan story and likes the ride, Peter Pan’s Flight. He got a chance to meet Tinker Bell as well.

Josiah and Tinker Bell

They finished their time with the new Radiator Springs Racer in California Adventure before heading home (via Taco Bell) around 2 PM.

Tim (who took vacation on Tuesday and Wednesday), Jeri, Victoria, Jeffrey, Elizabeth, and Josiah all went to California Adventure on Wednesday this week. After a few weeks of cool weather (highs never getting out of the 60s), we had a really nice day. It was sunny and around 75 F.

Christmas 2012

This year Grandma Stogdill came to spend Christmas with us. As always, we very much enjoyed spending time together with her.

Come Christmas morning, we were still wrapping a few presents so we didn’t open presents until early afternoon…and, of course, we had to take our annual Christmas photo before we begin unwrapping. Click on the photo below to see it full size.

Front (L to R): Sarah, Elizabeth, Grandma Stogdill, Victoria, Joanna, Nicole.
Back (L to R): Justin, Jason, Tim, Jeri, Jeffrey, Josiah

Our “New” Big Screen TV

Back in 2006 when we lived in San Jose, we purchased via Craigslist a beautiful oak entertainment center. Our current TV didn’t come close to filling the opening designated for it. Then we spotted a Craigslist moving sale that listed a nice TV for $50. So Justin and I drove and picked it up…it just fit in our Audi sedan.

Oak Entertainment Center

That TV served us well until 2011 when it finally died. Watching Craigslist, we found someone selling their stuff. Because she didn’t like her landlord, she was determined to get rid of all of her stuff so that her landlord. So for $25 she sold us her TV along with other items.

In the year 2012 as flat screen TVs kept coming down in price, I start wondering if we should spend the money to buy one. We don’t have cable or satellite TV nor do we watch much television. However I thought that a better TV would enhance our Friday-night movie nights. But I just didn’t get a peace about proceeding.

Then came New Year’s Day 2013, Jeri and some of the girls leave to go to Kohl’s to do some clothes shopping. Just a few minutes after leaving, Joanna calls home to say that there is a flat screen TV sitting on the curb just down the street from our house.

Samsung LN-T4642H

Figuring that there is nothing to lose, Justin and I walk down to the house. I knock on the door. Someone comes to the door but doesn’t open it. The man asks through the door, “What do you want?”

So I ask about the TV. He says that the TV doesn’t turn on; the power supply just clicks. When asked, he gives me permission to take it and adds “It might be a simple fix.”

Justin and I carry it home. I immediately go to my computer, open a browser to Google.com, and type in “samsung tv doesn’t turn on power supply clicks.” I soon discover that because of a class-action lawsuit that Samsung opened an 800-number hotline where owners can call to get the TV repaired for free.

The next day, I call the number and schedule an appointment for the next day. Sure enough a guy shows up, replaces a few capacitors, and gets the TV working.

So the Lord provided us a free 46″ TV. The vertical resolution is only 720 instead of 1080…but, heh, we’re not complaining!

What a beautiful example of God providing.

A Birthday Visit to Disneyland

Tim was able to take a personal day off from work to celebrate Jeri’s birthday (a day late). Nicole, Victoria, Elizabeth, and Josiah joined us. However after a few hours, Nicole wasn’t feeling well so she and Victoria went home.

We enjoyed the new Radiator Springs Racer in California Adventure’s Cars Land. We made it through the park gates a few minutes before the official opening time of 9:00 AM. Tim immediately got in the (already-long) line to get FastPass tickets to the Radiator Springs Racer ride.

The weather was very nice…clear skies with a high around 72 F. The park wasn’t crowded. A few of the popular rides had wait times over 30 minutes. But for those, we used FastPasses. Most of our wait times were five to 10 minutes; a few were as long as 20 minutes. So we got to do a lot of stuff.

We saw a few shows with the last one, the Candlelight Christmas Processional, being absolutely FANTASTIC! The quality of the production (stage, scenery, sound, lighting, etc.) was first-class Disney. We enjoyed in immensely.

Afterwards, we did Astroblasters. Our family nicknamed it BLAB for Buzz Lightyear AstroBlasters). A person in a wheelchair got on the ride shortly after we did; this enabled us to rack up some serious points while the ride was paused. Here are our results. Elizabeth was the winner (but only by a little).

Elizabeth gets high score honors. Click for larger image.
Jeri and Josiah. Click for larger image.

Miramar Air Show 2012

On Saturday (Oct. 13, 2012), six of us went to the Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar, California (near San Diego) to see the 2012 air show. Jeri, Justin, Nicole, Jeffrey, Josiah, and myself (Tim) made the 80-mile trip.

Although I knew that the drive would take a while, I was amazed at the volume of traffic on I-5 both southbound (our direction) and northbound. We left our house at 10:20 AM and after a quick stop to pick up a couple of bagels, we were on the Interstate by 10:30 AM. The drive was stop-and-go most of the way.

Around 1 PM, we arrived at Miramar. However it took us another half an hour to make it into the base and to a parking spot. Then we had to walk about 20 minutes from the parking area to the show.

Here we are watching, the AV-8B Harrier perform its vertical take-off and landing demonstration.

Nicole, Justin, Jeffrey, and Jeri at Mira Mar Airshow
Nicole, Justin, Jeffrey, and Jeri at Miramar Airshow

Of course, the Blue Angels were fantastic! Except for Josiah (who wasn’t born at the time), we had seen the Blue Angels before at the Quad City Air Show back when we lived in Rock Island, Illinois. They never cease to amaze. I was most impressed when the six Blue Angels started from six different directions and they all crossed at the same time in front of us!

Tim and Josiah at Miramar Airshow
Tim and Josiah at Miramar Airshow

The afternoon show ended around 4 PM. Then we looked at the various ground displays. Here’s Josiah with a Marine Captain who has flown the Cobra helicopter in battles in Afghanistan.

Marine Captain and Josiah In Front of Cobra Helicopter
Marine Captain and Josiah In Front of Cobra Helicopter

We stayed for the evening show. The best part was F/A-18 afterburner passes. We left before the fireworks show. The drive back home was fast; we made it from the air show parking lot to our house in less than 90 minutes.