Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's A Wonderful Life

Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.

Here are my old friends visiting me: Scaught from NYC and Mike from SF who brought his friend Justin. We had lunch at South Coast Plaza Magiannos. It was great to catch up and pick up where we left off.

The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. - Elizabeth Foley

Japanese training video

Too bad we didn't know about this when potty training Alex:

Sunday, December 28, 2008

God Bless Us - Everyone!

Wishing all of our family and friends 
A Happy New Year!

Over the weekend we decided to go to Alpine Village in Torrance.
It's not as nice as our Old World in Huntington Beach, however, we did discover a nice market and a colorful Christmas store (I'll definitely have to come back in the '09 to get some cool ornaments). Not much excitement except for getting stung by a bee - thank God I'm not allergic.
Alpine Market has Dutch products that David remembers eating as a kid like Hagelslaag - chocolate sprinkles for toast.
The window of Alpine Toys & Leathergoods
Inside the Alpine's Christmas shop.

Friday, December 26, 2008

You know, You make me happy.

Today while running my morning errands I was listening to NPR and there was an author being interviewed. He wrote a book called Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth. It was really interesting to learn about Nigeria in Africa, a country that is so poor, but is high in the spirit of happiness. Reflecting on this made me think about the simple things that make me happy. Between 1 and 10 I would say I am 25 on the happiness quotient...why? Take a look at these Christmas photos (and listen to one of our favorite songs "HAPPY" by Mocrac).

Alex opens his gift from Santa Christmas moning.

At Oma & Opa's home for our annual Christmas breakfast.

Dad and Tason enjoyed their croissant and scrambled eggs.

David, Alex and Omi loved the Quaker oats.

Alex keeps his feet warm, with his firetruck nearby just in case.

We end the morning cozy by the fire.

Alex thanks Oma for all his Christmas presents.

We pay a quick visit to see my neice Leila and Lougene.

Then, it's the Ancheta's house for lunch to see Papa and Mom.

The Uncles strike a pose as do the Aunties.

Justine goes back to Spain Dec. 26 to her family in Sevilla.
Moses will go on a road trip to Minnesota where he will live for the next two years.

Alex gets the toy of his dreams from Mom and Papa!

Jasmine plays with chopsticks since Alex won't share.

Our cousins kick back and watch the Laker game.

My Papa web chatting with our relatives in the Philippines.

A nice shot of Auntie Rosalyn and me.

Christmas day ends watching Alvin & the Chipmuncks.

Happiness is Family!

What are you doing New Year's Eve?

One of our favorite groups, Pink Martini, will be performing 2 New Year's Eve shows at the Disney Concert Hall. Alas, tickets cost an arm and a leg, so we'll have to settle for YouTube:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Holiday Celebrations

Our best friends the Garcia's had a birthday party for their son Kyrin who cebelrated (apparently Armilyn has had too much eggnog--David) his 7th Birthday.

Ky's cool Lego cake was the theme of the party.

The Garcia's strike a silly pose.

Alex devours the chocolate Lego cake.

Madeline's 5th Birthday during the Spence's visit to Cali.

Chuck-E-Cheese is a hit with the kids.

James enjoys his icing on the cake.

Jasmine ponders on what game to play next.

Alex tries his luck with this racing game, while David cheers him on!

Evelyn roots for Maddy and Delany.

Our annual friends holiday party at the Garcia's house.

A great dinner at the Garcia's included turkey, ham and tamales with all the fixin's.

Miki makes a delish Pomagranate martini and we toast our friendship.

Maia and Ky open their gifts from Alex.

Elia and Heather fight over the chili chocolate from Germany.

post by Armilyn

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wishing everyone a happy, warm and safe holiday!

Alex tells Santa what he wants for Christmas, except that Santa remembers Alex visiting a few weeks ago, hence the naughty smile.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

LIFE Archive

Google and Life Magazine have partnered to present the online archive to Life's wealth of photography.

There are astonishing full color photographs of WWII American troops in the Pacific Theater that give a new perspective to wartime.

I like this famous shot by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt on VJ Day:

Not one to miss out on all the fun, Alfred tried his own version with himself as the guy grabbing a lady from the crowd. Check out the disapproving expression on the two old ladies in the background!

This one by Allan Grant of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly backstage at the Academy Awards in the 1950s is a beaute:

All images are copyright Life Magazine. You can even buy a print of your favorite one!

post by David

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Charlie Brown Christmas

The first Christmas we spent together when we first started going out, Armilyn and I listened to the soundtrack to "A Charlie Brown Christmas" so many times we lost count. It's been a holiday favorite ever since. We never tire of it.

So naturally it's become one of Alex's favorites too. He even would listen to the CD during the summer. Whenever we wanted him to slow down and relax, all we had to do was put it on. Of course, he calls it "Piano" because of Vince Guaraldi's piano playing in most of the songs.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Marco Polo

Last night, Armilyn caught the end of In The Footsteps of Marco Polo on PBS. It is a film by Denis Belliveau and Francis O’Donnell that follows their journey retracing the path Marco Polo took over land and sea from Venice to China and back. It took them two years to complete the entire 25,000 mile trip.

You can find out when it is playing in your area here.

Oh Christmas Tree

Oh the weather outside is freightful...and since we've no place to go - we stayed home and decorated our Christmas tree.

Holiday Shopping

David & I are always on the hunt for interesting gifts to give for any occasion. Here are a few cool shops with unique gifts that we recommend.

Old World Market, Huntington Beach - Great imported German chocolates!

Justine visits us from Barcelona, Spain to get some souvenirs from The Vintage Emporium in California Heights, Long Beach.

The Vintage Lady in Old Town Tustin.