Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chinese New Year & Valentines

Both of our girls were sick during the week leading up to Chinese New Year and Valentines Day. I know my friends on the East Coast were stuck at home with the kids while foot after foot of snow fell from the sky. It was warm here, which I guess makes it a bit easier to deal with having the kids underfoot. However, I must say, I'm quite happy not being the 'Jack in the Box' anymore. Jumping up every 5 seconds to wipe a nose, give some medicine, or to administer a hug loses its charm well after the first 48 hours!

On Saturday morning we packed up the dogs and the kids and headed to James' parents house to celebrate Chinese New Year. Saturday was also my father-in-law's 80th birthday. As tradition dictates, we purchased a new suit for Dad for this special occasion. He looked very sharp in his new suit! (It still has to be tailored, so I couldn't get a photo!). He will wear it at the party we are having for him in July in San Francisco. That party will also be a celebration of James' parents 50th wedding anniversary.

The photo above shows the meal that was prepared for the Chinese New Year. Each dish is symbolic. The one that James' mother was REALLY pushing on both of us was the seaweed dish - meant to bring prosperity ($$) in the New Year. I'm all for cultural experiences but that stuff was truly nasty!!

Here's a photo of Josie dressed for the New Year. Behind her is her grandmother seated at the table that is set as an offering to their ancestors. Once Mom finished the prayers, everyone bowed 3 times - then it was dinner time!

Maddie was absent from school on Thursday when valentines were distributed at her school. Hailey collected Maddie's on her behalf and called with exciting news. Maddie received two 'mystery' valentines. One said, "You're gorgeous". The other said, "You amaze me". As I said to Maddie - it's kind of sweet and kind of creepy at the same time!! To add to the mystery, we arrived home on Sunday morning to find a box of roses on the doorstep. Maddie's mystery valentine had struck again. Lovely note with the flowers... unsigned. She's hoping to find out today who sent them.

James is having a fit - he is not mentally prepared for Maddie to turn 16 a month from now. All of our 'dating rules' expire at that time. Up until now, she's not been allowed on a 'car date'. She has only been able to go out in a group where a parent drives or meet up with a date for a movie, etc that we drive her to... Just as an aside, you all can bear witness to the fact I told James he would be sorry he bought Maddie her car a year and a half ago. My first car was a Ford Maverick that was about 10 different colors of primer and paint. Maddie will be tooling around in a 2000 BMW 325i convertible. Unbelievable. Next time any of you hear him protest when he's told he spoils his children - please, smack him in the head!

That's all for now, hope you all had a wonderful Valentines Day. Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I WON !!!

Dear Michele,

Congratulations on being the THIRD PRIZE winner in our Give Us Your Best Shot Contest for the Crown & Anchor Newsletter! The prize you have won is a Seattle's Best Coffee Gift Basket. Promotion Mechanics, the sweepstakes company handling the promotion had followed up with you to provide details about the prize you have won. We have received the information from them and soon I will mail the basket to you.

We will feature your photo in the January 2010 issue of Crown & Anchor newsletter.

Congratulations again, and thank you for your loyalty to Royal Caribbean!

Marta T. Ramirez
Account Executive, Loyalty Marketing
Royal Caribbean International
1080 Caribbean Way, 6th FL
Miami, FL 33132

First Prize was a 7 night cruise, Second Prize was a 4-5 night cruise and my Third Prize is a coffee gift basket. This is the first contest I have ever won!!! I'm very excited.

Many of you have seen the photo that won. It was taken on our Mediterranean cruise in 2007:

Given, its not technically a great photo. But I think the reason they selected it was more about the feeling of the photo... that's my guess anyway.

The Newsletter hasn't come out yet - not that I can find, anyway. As soon as it does I'll post the link. I can't wait to see the other photos that won!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dim Sum Sunday

Karen and I had been trying to get our families together again for a while. Before the holidays, we had planned to share Dim Sum at Sam Woo - a local restaurant know for their delicious selections. Our reservation in December was overcome by events - Karen & Eric's twin daughters were driving home from college and we were preparing for our trip back East. We finally managed to get together this past Sunday, and I'm so glad!

We all had a great time enjoying each other's company and the delicious food. Last time we got together at Naples in Downtown Disney. At that meal, Karen and I were on opposite ends of a fully engaged and long table. This time I snagged a seat right next to Karen... I wanted to hear all about the holidays - and a lovely 'get-away' she and Eric took to Hawaii in January.

The kids had a great time, as usual. Kenzie and Josie laughed and joked while inhaling their rice. We brought our 'third daughter' Hailey along with us. And we were thrilled to finally meet Kalie, one of Karen & Eric's twin daughters. As we were leaving James commented to me that we ought to make it a monthly gathering. It was such a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning!

Here are some photos that Josie and Kenzie took during our meal:

A Kenzie portrait by Josie

A Josie portrait by Kenzie

Self Portrait

Kenzie took this one!

Two firecracker girls by the big firecracker!

Finally, I was thrilled to learn that Karen and Kalie have joined the blogging world! Karen's girls did a great job of designing the sites. Check them out!!