Sunday, December 31, 2017

Trip to movie theater

We finally make it out to the movies!  But first, a quick photo.  I thought this one turned out really well!  The boys and their funny faces again:
Charlie LOVES popcorn!  And at this movie theater, it's buy 1 free 1 big bucket of popcorn.  Whaaaat...!??!  So Daddy gets to enjoy a big bucket too!
Graham is totally relaxed as you can see.  He is not into popcorn but nacho chips.  And somehow he will only eat it once the movie starts.  And you can really hear him crunch. Thankfully we are seated towards the front and there's a whole empty isle behind us. HAHA!!!
More "dabbing" by Charlie. I still don't get it!
We have been out of the country for 3 years. I can't believe how comfortable these movie theater chairs are now. And they recline almost all the way too!

Holiday lights

While driving towards Torrance, I noticed a sign that said "Holiday Lights".  So the boys and I ventured out during the day to see what the big deal was.  We did see lots of string lights so thought it might not be a bad idea to check it out at night.  And wow... talk about holiday lights!!! And traffic too!
We find a park and take a walk.  Hello Snowman!
Graham and Charlie are showing off their shoe lights!  Thankfully you can turn them off so at least they can use them for school:
Family photo op!
Charlie is being so cheeky these days:
It's amazing how many lights there are. Some homes have 10,000 lights at the expense of an extra $200 a month on their electricity bill!!!
Time to do the "dab".  I'm not even sure how or why this whole "dabbing" came about:
It's too bad you can't really see how huge these Chinese Elm trees are but almost everyone has one or two in their front yard.  And they hang these lights all by themselves, all optional of course:
Some people really go all the way!
The boys really enjoyed the night:
Until next year!

Finding Santa

Santa was at Lunada Bay a couple of weeks ago but the line was just too long that evening. Charlie was quite disappointed (actually, he was super sad!) so I decided we would go to the mall to find Santa.  We left early (Dec 21) and there was thankfully only one other family in front of us to sit with Santa.  Phew!
I was not able to take my own photos so I had to actually buy a package. What a phony!  Oh well... $25 bucks later...
Charlie was just BEAMING when saw Santa!  So definitely worth it :-D

We take some other photos with the Christmas decor:
The boys got a peppermint lollie after the photo session. Unfortunately, that lollie did not sit well in Graham's belly.  He told me he had to use the restroom and while we were searching for it, I hear a splat! I turn around and his breakfast is already on the floor of the mall.  Oops!!! And yet, he did not want to go home and somehow, he managed to keep himself clean through the entire process.  So we continued on shopping at the mall.  Never a dull moment with the boys!
Time to take a little break.  Love the live plant wall towards the back:
Mommy wanted to get some boots for Christmas as all of my boots in storage went moldy.  I actually do not like shopping for shoes because it is always difficult to find the right shoe size for my big feet.  But looks like everything went really well at this particular shoe store. Even the boys got new shoes - with lights! How did that happen??!!?
Win-win for everyone.  Merry Christmas to Mommy and Graham and Charlie!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Trip to the Library

We finally made it out to the library during the school break.  And I am glad we did!  The boys are just a little bit more excited about reading:
Or even if it's just looking at pictures!!!
There was a plane writing letters in the sky during our trip to the library.  Maybe this was a sign... that there is HOPE in these boys. (The "E" did show up a few minutes later after I took this photo)  LOL!!!
This person flying the airplane was definitely in a happy mood that day!

Setting up for Christmas

I finally convinced Bobby that I needed new storage options.  I couldn't find anything at the local thrift store (yes, I actually went there!) but did scope out the Ikea website.  I didn't think I had to assemble more Ikea furniture but the storage solution I found on their website was just right for our space!  But first, I had to clear up the area:
Why do we have so much stuff??!!!  Ok, here it is!  One down, one more to go:
I told the boys that I was so happy to see floor space and here is Charlie being sarcastic.  He is literally hugging the floor space. Ha ha!!!
Ta da!!!  Who knew we actually had all that floor to walk on :-P 
We set up some Christmas decorations:
And managed to find this as well.  Still can't figure out who gave this Surfin' Santa to us but it definitely fits the California vibe!
So glad the boys didn't want a Christmas tree this year.  It really would have been a stretch to find more floor space.

I was also finally able to move the loveseat away from the sliding door.
Christmas socks are hung by the fireplace and we have our make-shift garland Christmas tree on the sliding door.  Even Bobby was impressed!  He just can't see where I hid all the "extras". Ha ha!!!  

Well, I was really hoping to put away or at least organize all our stuff before the New Year. But looks like it might end up being my New Year's resolution!  That and also getting to the gym.  I was so excited seeing the TRX bands and spin bike in the gym but have yet to actually used it.  In time!!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Another Phoenix run

We were actually hoping to celebrate Christmas in Phoenix but with Bobby's hectic schedule we decided to head out there a week earlier.  We are still moving a lot of things from our "cozy" apartment into the "Phoenix House".  The boys LOVE making s'mores here!!!
I was rummaging through some Christmas stuff in Phoenix and also dropped off some delicate ones.  Like this wooden souvenir from Germany.  The heat from the tea-light turns the blades on top that in turn, makes the little people go in circles at the bottom.  Now I wish I bought a bigger one!
We also went orange picking so Mommy could press fresh orange juice. By hand. Grrr....
This time, Bobby also managed to finally hit some golf balls.  He was so happy to be out, including the Graham and Charlie:
Charlie working on his chipping.  Pretty good form there!
Putting competition.  Hmm... I am not exactly sure who won as Bobby took the boys out and sent me the photos later. Maybe they both beat Daddy??? :-P
Our agave plant that was given to us by our neighbor is getting big!
Another successful trip! Oh, we discovered Graham's new stretch during our road trip. Too funny!!!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Tide Pools

I think this photo sums it all up for us.  Bobby snapped this photo a few weeks ago when we went down to the beach not too far from our place.  The tide was low so we were all able to go on the rocks and check out the tide pools.  We saw lots of hermit crabs and poor Charlie was frightened by a crab (or vice versa really!!).  It is just magical here...

Plants update

Good news and bad news!  Bad news is I finally had to get rid of the Dragon's Breath plant. Those spider mites really got to it.  And also the ivy in the kitchen.  I tried to save this one last strand but nope!!!
But on with the good news - the multi-stripe Holland bell pepper is doing really well!
And I finally decided to plant some ginger as well.  The organic ginger is breaking my bank!  Haha... well, not really but I figured why not try and grow some myself.  Supposedly it does take some time to finally produce new ginger, like 8-10 months to be fully grown!!!  Well, lots of time and good weather here :-)
Check out how HUGE these pumpkin leaves are!!! Bigger than my hand and I have fairly large hands for a girl. Charlie said we can sell our pumpkins to make money :-D
I planted a new pot of basil and tomatoes from seed yesterday.  Hopefully those won't take too long.  The temperature is dropping outside so most of the time, the pots just sit inside under our living room lamp.  We do get some nice sun on the balcony but only for a couple of hours or so.

And oh, no Christmas tree for us this year - fake or live.  We all decided to use Graham's little succulent as our "Christmas" tree.  It is leaning over so much!  Hopefully it won't tip over by Christmas. Ha ha!!! It's a bit dark outside now to take a photo of it so I will be sure to post one later.  I am glad that the boys understood when Bobby and I said "It's not about the tree, but the spirit of Christmas."  Or I suppose, to them it is really all about the presents!!!

Snow at Lunada Bay

So technically it is real snow but just not a lot of it :-)  The local community had a Santa/Winter theme and dumped two piles of snow.  First impression for the boys?  COLD!!!
Graham and Charlie's hands were freezing handling the snow. I obviously forgot the gloves!
It got a little bit slippery after a bit as the snow was being packed down by so many kids!
Some live singing of holiday music while we wait for Santa:
In the meantime, there is a train so we just HAVE to get on it:
We write our notes for Santa:
We decorate our cookies:
I don't know how Graham managed to score 3 cookies!!??!
Unfortunately, when we did get back to the line to see Santa, it was really looooong!!! Charlie was quite persistent about wanting to wait but thankfully we managed to change his mind. But that means I will have to find another Santa for Charlie before Christmas!

Earlier that day, the boys' school had their holiday sing.  Unfortunately I am not able to post any photos or videos but Graham and Charlie did great!  Although not exactly sure what happened to Charlie as he started to cry when his class was starting to leave the stage after their performance.  He did spot me when he got onto the stage and we exchanged thumb-ups.  Maybe it is still a bit overwhelming for him to be performing in front of so many people. Poor kid!  I had to sit with him for a bit during snacktime before he finally calmed down.  Hopefully his stage-fright will improve next year!