Celebrating at Souplantation

With Jeffrey back from Alaska (he spent six weeks at Kako Retreat Center), we took everyone out to eat to Souplantation. (Victoria and Lizzie spent four weeks at the camp in June.) Plus we had rarely seen Jason for the past few months as he was immersing himself in coding school to expand his web development skills.

Jeri and Tim photobombed by Josiah and Lizzie at Souplantation. Click photo for full size.
Lizzie, Victoria, Justin, Joanna, and Nicole at Souplantation. Click photo for full size.
Jason, Jeffrey, Sarah, and Josiah at Souplantation. Click photo for full size.

Fourth of July 2017

Our homeowners community had a picnic at the clubhouse for the Fourth of July. They had bounce houses and games for the kids. Everyone brought a salad or dessert to share. Joanna made a strawberry-upside-down cake that was right side up because we never flipped it. One popular burger chain is The Habit Burger. They have locations in various states but primarily in California. They catered burgers and fries for our picnic. They even had a veggie burger option.

Jeri, Joanna, Victoria, and Tim picking up our veggie burgers from The Habit food truck. Click photo for full size.
Joanna, Jeri, and Jason next to The Habit food truck. Click photo for full size.
Josiah in the sack race on the Fourth of July. Click photo for full size.

Peaches!

Last year, we harvested ZERO peaches from our peach tree. We credit an opossum (or some other night-time creature) for eating them all in one night.

However this year, we have had a bountiful harvest! We have picked well over a hundred peaches. Most are quite small…about the size of a quarter or half dollar. A few are larger then a golf ball. The rain probably helped increase the crop.

We’ve made peach cobbler a few times and have eaten quite a few fresh.

Peaches on our tree. Click photo for full size.

Spring Recital 2017

Joanna, Victoria, Jeffrey, and Lizzie sang “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho.”

Here’s Lizzie playing “O Love that Will Not Let Me Go” which was arranged by Justin.

Lizzie and others worked hard on this arrangement of “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.”

Lizzie, Joanna, Sarah, Nicole, and Victoria after the Spring Recital.

Lizzie, Joanna, Sarah, Nicole, and Victoria after Spring Recital. Click photo for full size.

A Tiny Avocado

Today we saw the first tiny avocado on our new tree!

A few months ago (in January), we bought a 10-year-old semi-dwarf avocado tree from Moon Valley Nursery. Over the ensuing months, we became more and more concerned as we watched the foliage gradually turn brown all over. But over the past few weeks, the buds have turned into a lot of new leaves and flowers.

Here are some pictures taken back in March. With the foliage turning brown, we were concerned.

New Avocado Tree. Click photo for full size.
New Avocado Tree Closeup. Click photo for full size.

The tiny avocado in the picture is smaller than a pea. We hope to see it grow MUCH bigger!

Tiny Avocado. Click photo for full size.

John Chiu “Chung-tai” Pau

Dominic, a Scouting enthusiast from Hong Kong, shared some information about Ian Pau’s dad (John Pau) and granddad (John Chiu “Chung-tai” Pau). Clicking the names will take you to FindAGrave.com for each one.

He also said that John Pau was a recipient of the British Empire Medal (Civil Division) in 1946, and eventually became the Assistant Commissioner of the Boy Scouts Association, Hong Kong Branch, in 1948.

Outing to K1 Speed and Claim Jumper

Today Tim and all of the boys enjoyed Mom and Dad’s Christmas present to the boys. They went go-kart racing (electric cars) and then ate out. Tim and Jeffrey had raced before but it was the first time for the others. Josiah was just tall enough to race with the adults instead of the juniors. Although we weren’t sure how that would turn out, he did very well considering that it was his very first time driving anything like this.

Here we are getting ready for our first race.

Tim in the lead car with Jeffrey and the rest lined up behind. Click photo for full size.
Jeffrey getting ready to go at K1 Speed. Click photo for full size.

A photo after our second and final race of the day.

Justin, Jeffrey, Josiah (front), Jason, and Tim at K1 Speed. Click photo for full size.

After racing, we headed to Claim Jumper Restaurant for lunch/supper. By the time, we got there the time was about 4:00 PM. Jason and Jeffrey got ribs; Josiah got mac and cheese (with soda, fries, and apple slices with caramel sauce).

Jason, Jeffrey, and Josiah at Claim Jumper. Click photo for full size.

Justin got a club sandwich; Tim got a veggie wrap.

Justin and Tim at Claim Jumper. Click photo for full size.

We got two desserts: Raspberry Cheesecake and the Chocolate Motherlode Cake. We took most of the dessert home.

Taking pictures of the Raspberry Cheesecake and Claim Jumper’s famous Chocolate Motherlode Cake. Click photo for full size.

Surprise Birthday Party for Lizzie

Today Lizzie’s sisters (and mother) completely surprised her with a belated birthday/tea party. Eight of Lizzie’s friends from church came over for tea, snacks, games, and a generally good time. One of the games that they played was paper telephone which involves drawing and writing messages.

Here is Lizzie at the head of the table.

Girls around the table at Surprise Party for Lizzie. Click photo for full size.

A lot of food was prepared…fruit, vegetables, scones, cookies, mini-sandwiches, and more.

Food for Surprise Party for Lizzie. Click photo for full size.
More Food for Surprise Party for Lizzie. Click photo for full size.

Today we got over three inches of rain…which is a LOT for Southern California.

Rain during the Surprise Party for Lizzie. Click photo for full size.

New Year’s Eve 2016

Just like last year, we invited friends from church to spend New Year’s eve at our house. However, unlike last year, the weather was cool and wet so we weren’t able to play sports (like flag football) outside.

By far the favorite game of the evening was one called Fruit Bowl. Everyone chooses a fruit name (banana, strawberry, etc.). Everyone sits in a circle except for one person who stands in the center. One person in the circle is chosen to start the game by calling someone else’s fruit name. The person in the middle tries to tag the person who is called before that person calls out someone else’s fruit name. If a person gets tagged before they call out another fruit name, that person becomes the one in the center. Many people literally played this game for hours (at least six or seven hours).

Playing Fruit Bowl. Click photo for full size.

Two Japanese exchange students (who are visiting the United States with a group from their high school for nine days) spent the evening with us.

Sarah and Nicole with our Japanese friends, Kenta and Kota. Click photo for full size.

Everyone had a good time. Some people just sat or stood around and talked. A few watched the movie, National Treasure. Some played other games.

Playing Dutch Blitz, Victoria, Jayme, Katie, Christeen, Philip, and Andrew with Jeffrey watching. Click photo for full size.
Nicole at the table with Lizzie and Kristie behind her. Click photo for full size.
Gathered around the table on New Year’s Eve. Click photo for full size.

Most people stayed past midnight to ring in the new year and watch the local fireworks show going on all around our house. Here’s a group photo. Tim (the photographer) had ten seconds to get into the picture. Because he was still moving slightly, he’s a bit blurry.

Group photo from New Year’s Eve 2016. Click photo for full size.

End of Grandma Stogdill’s visit

Just as Grandma Stogdill gets ready to leave, we finally got some nice weather…sunny with a high around 70 degrees! We decided to go to Fashion Island, a mall in ritzy Newport Beach. Everyone was able to go except for Joanna who had to work.

We had lunch in the food court. Later Jason and Lizzie bought Starbucks drinks. The mall has a koi pond with quite a few large and colorful fish.

Grandma Stogdill, Josiah, Jeri, Nicole, Jeffrey, Jason, and Justin near the koi pond at Fashion Island. Click photo for full size.

A few posed as mannequins.

Jason, Jeffrey, Josiah, and Lizzie working as mannequins. Click photo for full size.

The Starbucks was busy.

Lizzie, Nicole, and Tim at Starbucks in Fashion Island. Click photo for full size.

That evening, Grandma treated us to dinner at Souplantation. Thanks, Grandma! Yummy!

Josiah, Lizzie, and Sarah going through the line at Souplantation. Click photo for full size.
Grandma Stogdill, Joanna, Nicole, and Jeffrey at Souplantation. Click photo for full size.
Josiah, Lizzie, Victoria, Sarah, and Jeri at Souplantation. Click photo for full size.
Tim, Jason, and Justin at Souplantation. Click photo for full size.

A favorite activity whenever Grandma visits is playing Skip Bo, a card game.

Lizzie, Jeri, Sarah, Josiah, Grandma Stogdill, Joanna, Nicole, and Jason playing Skip Bo. Click photo for full size.