Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Walking the neighborhood looking at Christmas Lights and Visiting the Sleepy Hollow neighborhood

It's Christmas-time and one of my favorite parts of the season are all the lights and decorating of the houses. You've already seen what my house looks like in this post. Let's walk around the neighborhood and also to Sleepy Hollow Lane where all the houses go all out.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Second Christmas with the entire family

Theresa, Ian and I had our first Christmas on December 25th. My brother Jon and his family and my other brother Patrick all arrived on December 26th, so on Saturday morning December 27th, we all had a second Christmas together.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Putting up Christmas Lights on the Flowers' house

While Theresa's domain is decorating our Christmas tree inside the house, my job is decorating the outside of the house. I've always wanted a house that I can go nuts with, and every year I add even more lights.

Decorating the Christmas tree

It's that time of year, and it's time to put up the Flowers' Family Christmas Tree! This year we've got a little helper. No live tree for us this year, but Ian got a kick out of getting the fake one out of the box.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Meeting Santa Claus at Disneyland!

It's the Holiday season and Ian still hasn't taken a picture with Santa yet. You know, we could go to the mall, wait in a ridiculous line, spend way too much money on pictures, and be done, or we could head to Disneyland with friends, still wait in a long line and take my own pictures. I choose Disneyland!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Making Gingerbread cookies at home

After having a great time making gingerbread houses from a kit while we were in Michigan, I figured making gingerbread cookies myself would be a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

2014 Disneyland Candlelight Processional - Beau Bridges

Another year and another visit to Disneyland to experience the Candlelight Processional. We missed last year because Ian was only a month old and we weren't ready to leave him by himself yet, but before that, we'd come every year since 2009. This year we're back though with a fifth member of our group. Ian!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Making Gingerbread Houses

It's always fun to do some craft projects while we're visiting with family. Theresa had the brilliant idea to make gingerbread houses.

University of Michigan Volleyball

Donald wanted to make sure we had plenty of things to do while we were visiting them in Michigan. The nieces are really starting to get into volleyball so they've gone to see the University of Michigan girls volleyball team play a few times, and they were eager to take us too.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Watching the Buffalo Bills play the New York Jets for free at Ford Field

Boy were we happy that we were going to Michigan for Thanksgiving and not some place that was snowed in like Buffalo New York.
The Buffalo Bills were scheduled to play the New York Jets at home but there was so much snow, work crews weren't able to clear it all off and keep it off for the game on Sunday. On Friday, it was announced that the game would instead move to Detroit Michigan at Ford Field, be played on Monday night, and tickets would be given away for free online starting at 10am Saturday morning.
Donald was right on top of it Saturday morning and good thing because within 10 minutes, all 67,000 tickets were gone.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Celebrating Thanksgiving in Michigan

Happy Thanksgiving! Theresa, Ian, Richard, Chi and I all flew up to Michigan to celebrate Thanksgiving with all the family up there. We did quite a few things while we were visiting, so this post will focus on most of the "hanging out" time and the next few posts will get into some of the fun things we did.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Birthday Ian! Celebrating at Disneyland

Happy first birthday Ian! You're a whole year old today! Hard to imagine 1 year ago we were at the hospital and Ian was on his way.
What better way to spend his first birthday than at the Happiest Place on Earth! Disneyland!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Company D and Downtown Disney with the family

As a special treat, on Sunday we were able to take the family to Company D, a special overstock store usually reserved for only Cast Members. Twice a year employees can get passes for friends and family to visit and Ruston was nice enough to let us use his!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Ian's first birthday party - opening presents!

It's Ian's birthday! He's probably pointing at an airplane or something, but I like how it looks like he's pointing at his banner.

Ian's first birthday party!

Happy Birthday Ian! On Saturday, we celebrated Ian's 1st birthday!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween with Ian and visiting Cheese Addiction

A little late in posting this, but Happy Halloween! Argh, we be pirates this morning. And since it's Friday, yes, I wore this to work as well.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Disneyland after the pumpkin patch plus a Halloween Party

After visiting Tanaka pumpkin patch, since it's so close by Irvine, we stopped by Disneyland!
Ian's not so sure about his Halloween hat. That's okay buddy, I'll wear it today.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pumpkin Carving day at the Flowers house

Welcome to Ian's pumpkin patch! In a tradition that reaches back at least 5 years, we're having a bunch of friends over to carve pumpkins.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Tanaka Farms - visiting a local pumpkin patch

Welcome to Tanaka Farms! In early October, our neighbors Grace and Gene invited us to join them at a nearby pumpkin patch.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dining at the Napa Rose with Ruston and Jacob

After exploring the parks we were hungry. Good thing I set up reservations a month ago for the Napa Rose! Theresa and I have enjoyed it every time we've gone. This will be Ruston and Jacob's first time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Disneyland with Ruston and Jacob - Holiday Haunted Mansion and Halloween Pumpkins

It's a very special Sunday afternoon and Ruston, Jacob, Theresa and I are all getting together at Disneyland. We're going to check out some of the fantastic Halloween events going on here.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns - going to see thousands of carved pumpkins as Descanso Gardens

Welcome to Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns at Descanso Gardens. To get into the Halloween spirit, I threw out the invite to all our friends to join Theresa, Ian and I to go see over 5000 carved pumpkins. As usual, Jacob and Ruston were quick to accept!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Visiting the Erie Apple Orchard

I'm a bit behind on getting this last trip report from Michigan finished.
On our last day in Michigan, we all visited the Erie Orchards. We try to get out here every year to pick apples.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Picking a pumpkin and carving pumpkins in Michigan

I know I'm behind on some of my blog posts. We're going to jump back to Michigan and our trip to the farmer's market where we pick some pumpkins and then carve them.

Ian learns to walk, Ethan's game and Abby's game

Ian is getting a lot of help learning to walk while we're in Michigan. There were a few spills along the way, but by the end, he really started to get the hang of it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Arby's Meat Mountain sandwich

I've been meaning to try this for some time. The Meat Mountain from Arby's. Back home I just don't have an Arby's close by, so I've never made the trek to find one. Finally, I was able to track one down.

What is the Meat Mountain? Read on.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Monday, October 6, 2014

Visiting Frankenmuth Michigan and Aubrey's volleyball game

It's Tuesday and we're in Michigan hanging out with family. Today Donald has a special treat planned for us. We're driving nearly 2 hours north to Frankenmuth Michigan.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Austin's football game and Ian's tries his first donut

It's Sunday morning and T, Ian and I are up in Michigan visiting family. One of the things we're excited to do is see the nieces and nephews playing sports.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Flying to Michigan and Ian's first White Castle experience

Every year, right around this time, Theresa and I take a trip up to Michigan. We visit with family of course, but it's also the season for apple orchards and pumpkin carving. Plus the weather is a little bit chillier than California so it helps us get into the Fall spirit. This year we've got another passenger joining us. Off we go!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

2014 Lay's Do Us A Flavor contest

Once again Lay's would like their customers to "Do Us A Flavor" and vote to save one of their four new offerings. In 2013, finalists voted on three new flavors, Chicken and Waffles, Cheesy Garlic Bread, and Sriracha. Of those three, Chicken and Waffles was my favorite, but Cheesy Garlic Bread ultimately won.

This year our flavor choices include Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese, Cappuccino, Mango Salsa and Wasabi Ginger. Not only are we getting new flavors, but there's new textures as well. The Mango Salsa chips are being offered as Wavy Lay's and the Wasabi Ginger are a thicker and crunchier Kettle Cooked chip. Let's dig in and find a favorite!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Visiting Jon, Jess and the kids in Napa - Part 2

Theresa, Ian and I are up in Napa visiting my brother and his whole family.

After spending the morning at the house, we packed a picnic lunch and headed to Alston Park. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Visiting Jon, Jess and the kids in Napa - Part 1

Theresa and I took off work a little early this week so we could drive up to Napa to see my brother and his family.

Since we were driving, Theresa and I tried to plan it out smartly. Ian goes to sleep around 7:30pm and traffic in LA is lighter at 7:30pm, so we put Ian in his jammies and took off late. By the time we got to the freeway from our house, Ian was already asleep. He stayed asleep for the whole ride which meant for the entire 6 hour drive, we didn't have to stop once. The drive itself was uneventful besides a few stretches of the road where there was a strong crosswind that was blowing all the 18 wheelers all over the road. We arrived around 1:30am with Jon greeting us in the driveway and we immediately went to bed. Just because we haven't slept, I don't think Ian is going to give us a break. He'll still be up at his usual 6:30am.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Disneyland After Dapper Day

Good morning! After a nice long night of sleep for Theresa and Ian and a short night of sleep for me after getting in late from hanging out with friends, Ian woke us up at 6am.

 He's always so happy in the morning.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Dapper Day at the Disneyland Resort - Part 2

Let's see, where did we leave off I think we had just finished swimming in the pool and headed back up to the room. I can't remember exactly what time we headed up to the room, but we've been running around all morning and once we got there Ian passed out. We had discussed meeting Sean and Kelly at 4pm, but he just kept sleeping. By 4:15 T and I stopped being so quiet and started getting ready ourselves. He woke up not long after that and we headed in to the parks. I checked with Kelly and it turned out Sophie had the same idea about sleeping late.
The Disneyland Band was making their way down the street as we were headed in.

Dapper Day at the Disneyland Resort - Part 1

It's Dapper Day at the Disneyland Resort. Well technically it is a Fall Evening Soirée this time. The organizers realize that it's still really hot in September in Southern California and instead of being a full day event, most of the meetups are held after sunset. Since we've got a home base at the Grand Californian, we're going to be changing into our Dapper clothes later today.

It's unfortunate that babies don't understand the concept of sleeping in. Even though we're on vacation, Ian still insists on waking up by 6am. Ugh. At least he sleeps through the night. It's very nice having a Starbucks in Downtown Disney right outside the hotel. T and I both grabbed coffee and went looking elsewhere for breakfast. Wetzels was still closed and we really just wanted something quick.

The day before Dapper Day at the Disneyland Resort

Tomorrow is Dapper Day at Disneyland. What is Dapper Day? It's an unofficial event that started back in February of 2011 where people come to the park dressed in their best stylish outfits.
Definition: dap·per
Adjective: neat and trim in appearance; very spruce and stylish
One of the great perks of coming to the park during this time are the deep discounts at the park hotels. By getting a convention rate, the organizers have been able to offer rooms at very reasonable prices. Normally rooms at Disneyland's nicest hotel, the Grand Californian, start at $450 per night. Theresa and I have always wanted to experience it, but living just 30 minutes away, that's always been hard to justify. With the Dapper discount that dropped to only $225 per night. Still expensive, but much easier to swallow.

Theresa and I left work a little early, picked up Ian, and showed up about an hour before the 3pm check-in time.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Go Broncos Go plus a visit from Gram

Football season is finally back! That's definitely cause for celebration!

And not only that, but Gram is here for a visit too! What a great weekend!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

2014 Disneyland Half Marathon - my 9th year running it

It's been a busy weekend already and now it's finally time to run! Yep, Sunday morning super early is the 9th annual Disneyland Half Marathon.

Both Theresa and I are running it this year.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

2014 John Williams concert at the Hollywood Bowl

As the Hollywood Bowl website states, it just wouldn't be summer without John Williams coming to the Hollywood Bowl. Theresa and I have been coming to see him since 2005 and it's always an amazing experience.

John Williams is 82 this year and is as sharp and well-spoken as the first time we came to see him. He puts on a truly incredible concert. And how could he not? His music scores all our favorite movies.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Disneyland Half Marathon Expo and packet pickup

Anyone else remember what they were doing back on January 22nd at 9am? I do. I was signing myself and Theresa up for the 9th annual Disneyland Half Marathon. It's pretty insane how popular this event has become. Back when this event was just beginning, registration took months to sell out. Lately though it's been selling out faster and faster, even though the price has increased dramatically.
In the inaugural year of 2006, the race took 5.5 months to sell out and cost $95.
In 2013, the event sold out in just over 1 day and registration now cost $175.
So what happened in 2014? Prices went up another $20 to $195 and still registration sold out in 9.5 hours. You've got to be on top of your game if you want to run in a Disney race.

Fast forward to August 29th, 2014. It's race weekend and today is the day to pick up our race bibs.

A fun day playing on the splash table

It's a warm sunny Friday and we happen to have the day off work! T just got Ian a new splash table after seeing another friend with one and we're inviting the neighbors over to play.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A delicious Sunday morning breakfast

Theresa's been wanting homemade waffles for the longest time now. Finally on Sunday morning the whole family ended up in the kitchen to make them.