Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Mussellmans: Pre-Christmas Visit

The Mussellman Family came to spend some time with us while Mark was here in our area for business reasons. It was good to see them all again and see how the kids have grown. Their children are so well behaved that I thought that they are as good if not better than our own! (It's just difficult to accept that they are plainly better than ours :-)) To name a few incidents:

1. Maya, after putting her PJs on, asked Brahms to read her a book. As soon as the book ended she immediately ran to the bedroom so fast that we could not even say 'good night'. She just knew that she is expected to go to bed.

2. Jason was ready to go to bed. Jen put him in a portable crib, which Mark set up in the laundry room, and closed the door. We didn't hear him anymore. He went to sleep till morning.

3. Jen: You had enough juice already.
Maya: Can I have juicy water then? (Water in the juice cup)

Kudos to Jen and Mark!

One Beautiful Family: Jen, Maya, Jason, and Mark

Jason and Cousin Brahms

Maya Loves Salad

Miriam Reads To Maya

Bottles Need To Be Cleaned

Jason's Bedroom AKA Laundry Room

Compensating For The Lack Of Toys

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Traditions: Pre-Christmas Dinner

Traditions are not just practices that we inherit or emulate from those who are senior to us. Traditions can be developed or started by any generation.

One of the early friends we made here in El Dorado Hills are the Lippuners: Ueli, Sue, Marcus, Anna, and Erich. Getting together before Christmas day has been one of the things that we like doing. This time we had the children make gingerbread houses using leftover candies from Halloween while we, the parents, drank coffee. Back when we started doing this Miriam and Erick were in their diapers. Now they have their own cell phones.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Winter Concert

Yesterday was one cold day. I would describe it as a day to stay home after coming back from school or from work. A day to stay home and bake pumpkin dessert and then eat it with freshly whipped cream. However, there was a very good reason for us to be out: Brahms' Winter Concert. We bundled up and went to see him play Bass Clarinet, his new instrument. He did well and looked good in his new suit. It was a good thing that we went.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

We celebrated Thanksgiving with Grandpa George and Grandma Barbara this year. Normally George would cook the turkey but this time Tim actually cooked the 21-lb turkey in his barbeque grill! It was great! Except for the wing which was extra crispy. Shannon tried a new Italian Bread recipe and it was so good. Barbara made two kinds of salad and I made two (only two) kinds of pie - Apple and Pumpkin. Made giblet gravy on Shannon's request. Brahms helped make the mashed potato and Miriam helped fill the cups with sparkling cider. George carved the turkey with our very dull knife. He also taught us how to play Hearts. We had a great time! Hearts is so much fun!

We counted our blessings and praised God. Indeed we praise Him.

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

1124 Crestline B4 Thanksgiving

Barbara making fruit salad

Listening to thankgiving stories

Waiting for everybody

"1, 2, ...Look Happy!"

Straight from Tim's Grill

Beautiful and delicious

After-thanksgiving walk

Piggy-back ride

Hot chocolate drink at Starbucks

Definitely not coffee

Sunday, December 14, 2008

2006 Linden Avenue

Tim travelled to Boston in October and took a side trip to Nashville to visit the other Lewis Family. He got to play with birds at the zoo with Julianna and watched DJ play soccer. Tim enjoyed their new guest room (take note future visitors!) and most especially hanging out with his brother Dave, who is now a Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University.
2006 Linden Avenue, Nashville

Cozy Family Room
Dave and his new office

Triumphant DJ

One Happy Family:
DJ, Saskia, Dave, Julianna

Julianna with her sweet smile

Time together: Priceless

DJ looking like a grown up

Philippines: Miriam's First Visit

We had a good trip to the Philippines. The flights were uneventful other than being delayed for a number of reasons. We had to stay in Tuguegarao for the night of November 8th because it would have been to late to travel to Ballesteros and Abulug. Eddie and Nenie gave us a ride to Abulug. Miriam and Beth joined us along the way. We arrived at about noon where a lot of my sister and her husband, cousins and their children, Aunts and Uncles waited to see us. We ate a lot of pansit, adobo, and fried fish! It was a reunion for me and a big welcome for Miriam. A lot of relatives to see again. How people changed! I sure changed too. The place is the same except for the fact that Inang is not there anymore. I wished she was still there. I missed her so much. It will never be the same again. I was very glad to see my dear sister and her family. It was good to meet my brother-in-law and their children: Jacob, Jeremy, Liwliwa, and Lyka. They are so cute to talk to.

Miriam particularly enjoyed the following:
1. The beach
2. Jollibee
3. The rice fields
4. Unusual toys (ducklings, fish, kappi, crabs, etc.)
5. Food at the Jeepney Restaurant at the Intercontinental Hotel in Manila
6. Teaching her little cousins how to speak English
7. The Rain
8. Etc.

Her Kill-Joys:
1. Language Barrier
2. Food in Abulug
3. Lack of Private time
4. Staying at the Hospital

We also spent a night in Lasam where my cousin Miriam lives and works as a Elem. School Principal. Bong, her husband, very kindly came to pick us up from Abulug. Harris was there and we got to meet Matet in Manila later on. Matet is reviewing for her board exam for Pharmacists. She's a smart girl. She graduated from the University of the Philippines.

We proceeded to Tuguegarao on the 17th. We spent the day in a new resort in Tuguegarao (i forgot the name). Beth and Carlo and their children Cheska and Brian were there all the way from Aparri. Eddie and Nenie and all their children (Gigi, Dianne, Manix, and Eden) were all there. There were lots of food and swimming! But eventually Miriam was soon to getr sick.

Late that night we had to bring Miriam to the emergency room where she was admitted to stay overnight. She had to be "rehydrated". It was an interesting experience for her. It was uncomfortable for her and inconvenient for everybody especially my cousin Eddie and Nenie. Thank God she survived and was happy again the next day.

We spent two days at the Manila Intercontinental Hotel. Did a lot of shopping at Shoemart and Glorietta. Then we flew back home on the 20th of November.

Miriam and the Philippine Sea

Liwliwa and Miriam


Cousins looking alike

Matet's Birthday at Max's

Happy Student-nurses and Miriam

Miriam with relatives

Gigi and Dianne

Beth (She used to be small)

Miriam in the rice fields

Miriam and Miriam

Liwliwa (Joy)

Tropical fun in November


Posing with the Galvans

Miriam with the Yabises

Driving a kalesa in Enrile

Eddie and Nenie: "Goodbye"