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.
The tiny avocado in the picture is smaller than a pea. We hope to see it grow MUCH bigger!
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.
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.
A photo after our second and final race of the day.
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).
Justin got a club sandwich; Tim got a veggie wrap.
We got two desserts: Raspberry Cheesecake and the Chocolate Motherlode Cake. We took most of the dessert home.
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.
A lot of food was prepared…fruit, vegetables, scones, cookies, mini-sandwiches, and more.
Today we got over three inches of rain…which is a LOT for Southern California.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
A few posed as mannequins.
The Starbucks was busy.
That evening, Grandma treated us to dinner at Souplantation. Thanks, Grandma! Yummy!
A favorite activity whenever Grandma visits is playing Skip Bo, a card game.
Today some of us went to the Irvine Spectrum (a large, outdoor shopping mall). Lizzie bought some boots and Josiah got a Starbucks drink at Barnes and Noble. Other than that, we got some exercise by walking around.
We celebrated Josiah’s birthday. His big present was getting a Lego version of the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars. Jeri created a number of clues that led to his present.
On some Sundays, Tim will make waffles for the family. However when making waffles today, Tim made the mistake of using baking soda instead of baking powder (not the first time that he’s made this mistake). So he had to throw out the first batch. After he whipped up another batch of batter, we soon had some jalapeño and cheese waffles plus one chocolate batch (complete with chocolate chips). Yum!
We had church this morning and came home for lunch. Because Jeri and Nicole were still helping Eileen with her Christmas meal (provided by the senior center), we had to eat lunch (burgers and fries) without them. (Eileen is a 95-year-old blind lady who requires help on a daily basis.) Finally Jeri and Nicole make it home around 4 PM. By the time that they have finished eating and we have finished taking pictures (a painful ritual for everyone), it was 5:30 PM.
Here are Sarah and Joanna in front of the tree.
They were joined by Lizzie and Jason.
Here’s our Christmas family photo.
A bunch of smiling faces.
The lighting was terrible in this and many other photos.
Here we are joined by our guest for a week, Grandma Stogdill.