Monday, December 31, 2007

Vacation Part 1 continued

On our last day in Southern California, we visited Olvera Street and the Walt Disney Concert hall. The concert hall had an audio tour and it was wonderful. I have a feeling, we will be coming back to view a performance next time.

Vacation Part 1





We left for the Los Angeles area the day after Christmas as a group of six, Mom, Dad, Chloe and Pearl, Chris and her friend Michelle. Michelle is also a Chinese Exchange student; however, her host family is in Virginia. She and Chris became good friends through the exchange program and the internet, so we invited her to join us for Christmas break. Michelle enjoyed Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with our family and then it was off to Southern California for adventure and fun. Sadly, she had to return to Virginia on December 30th, so she missed out on the second half of our vacation.

First, we went to the Getty Museum, then shopping at South Coast Plaza. The next day was Disneyland and dinner at Medieval Times. The next day we went to Newport Beach and shopped at Fashion Island, touring the University of California at Irvine (for Chris) followed by another dinner show, Pirate Dinner. Finally, we went to Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles and then toured the Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry. We then spent one night at our cabin in the Tehachapi mountains before returning home (for a day).

Saturday, December 22, 2007


We had these pictures taken a few weeks ago. I think they came out really great. These will definitely be framed and posted around our home.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Visit with Santa

After their dance performance Saturday morning, the girls had a chance to tell Santa what they wanted. Chloe asked for a Princess Guitar. It has been sitting under the Christmas tree for a few weeks now, so I think we are good to go.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Home Tour

Please forgive this break from the regular subject matter of Chloe and Pearl. This past Saturday, December 15th, our home was invited to participate in a Christmas Home Tour fundraiser for the local Women's Club. There were four homes on the tour, two older homes, including ours, and two new homes. Saturday morning was our girl's dance performance (no good pictures), so we left our home in the hands of the hostesses and we watched our daughter's perform (or freeze, in the case of Chloe). Pearl did a very good job following all of the steps and moves. I think she was the best dancer in her group. Chloe usually does so well in her class, where we watch her on a monitor, but she became frightened on stage and just froze, poor thing. We encouraged her and two nights later at the pre-school Christmas program, she was once again scared, but she did manage to sing along for a couple of songs. Pearl was a little wound-up and over-animated, but she did just fine. The little girl who was supposed to be Mary, also had a melt-down and cried on stage until she was escorted off.

After the dance program, we returned to town and toured the other homes on the Christmas tour. They were all so nice and fancy. I felt a little humbled at my decorating taste, but our home is definitely the most unusual, so I knew that alone was worth something. The photos above are of our home. I will probably post a couple more later, especially the girl's bathroom with the tropical fish ornaments hanging from a pine bough. While this is the most amazing piece, it just doesn't look its best in a photograph.

We decorated the dining room in red and gold with a Chinese theme. Chris brought ornaments from China that we used on the Christmas tree and I found some Chinese candles with the character for "Peace" that I used for a table centerpiece. Then, I just added some Chinese place settings (with chopsticks and dragon placemats) and some red lanterns, and we were all set! Perhaps, I can leave this up through Chinese New Year, except for the Christmas tree.

Now our home is clean and decorated and we can just relax and enjoy it through the holiday season. What a nice feeling!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have taken on a monumental project that has reduce my blogging time to almost nothing. Our very unique home has been for sale for several months now and we anticipate that it could take a very long time to sell it in the current market. I hadn't planned on doing any interior improvements, but that was before the invitation...........We were invited to have our home on display for the annual local Women's Club Christmas Home tour.

I don't even decorate much beyond putting up a tree. Now I had about a month to not only decorate, but to get the house in shape so that I could decorate. Today's project is the installation of a new kitchen floor. So far, we have removed ALL of the wallpaper throughout the house. We have painted all of those walls in a variety of colors. I have purchased furniture, pictures, plants and many other things just to make the house look like someone actually lives there. This weekend will be the big push to decorate. Hopefully, there will be many pictures to follow.

In the mean time, we really needed to have a family portrait taken. Especially now, since we have Chris and Pearl with us. I am not too keen on how this picture turned out, but it is all we have. Some of you may be seeing this again in your Christmas cards, if I ever get those out.