Chicago Trip - Day 2

2nd day - Monday - June 28, 2010

Isabella's first day at Joffrey Ballet. We took the subway from Chicago St. station to Lake St.

After dropping Isabella off, Ian and I went exploring the beautiful city of Chicago. We took the water taxi at Michigan St. to Navy Pier.

Then we walked along Lakeshore Drive to our hotel (approx. 1.2 miles)...I was pooped by time we got to the hotel:)

We rested the rest of the time as I wasn't feeling very well. My back pain is still not fully healed from back spasms I started experiencing last Thursday.

We picked up Isabella at 4:20. I thought she was going to be exhausted after a whole day of class but she wanted to go around Millennium Park to do a "treasure hunt" activity. So we went walking around the park and stopping at each clue as she checks off her list. (Sorry I don't have pictures....forgot to put card back in the camera:)

After circling around the park, we walked back to the hotel. I was really exhausted by the time we got to the hotel (we walked a total of almost 3 miles). It's really tough with the back pain still bothering me.

Isabella said she enjoyed her classes very much....she even got to go on pointe for the first time.

Until next post...Stay tuned...

Chicago Trip - Day 1

Day 1 - Sunday - June 27, 2010

Millennium Park

Isabella on a "treasure hunt"
at the Chicago Cultural Center

End of Year evaluations for Isabella

SFBallet dance teacher comments:

Isabella is a wonderful student to work with and very talented. She has grown so much during Level 2. Her technique, physique and adaptability exceed the requirements for Level 3. Needs to keep working on her corrections but she is ready to be promoted to Level 4. Wonderful Showcase!

5th grade teacher comments:

Isabella is a true gift for any teacher to have. She always tries her best, can balance a multitude of activities and excels at anything she tries to do. I have no doubt her future will be bright and that she will do whatever she gets her mind to.

Ian's High School Graduation

graduation ceremonies started at 9am

here we are while waiting for Ian to come out after the ceremonies

as soon as Ian got out, we headed to Newark buffet for a family lunch

Then we headed home to prepare for Ian's celebration. We picked up balloons and cakes and we even had the chance to browse at Best Buy for Ian's gaming computer system. Phil said he will build it for him and make it "the ultimate" gaming system:)

Phil: "Anyway, you're going with mom and Belle to Chicago for 3 weeks. I should have it done by the time you come back".

Ian was happy at the prospect knowing his brother's expertise and capabilities.

Here's grad and mom posing in the backyard:)

Then we headed to our venue: City Beach in Fremont. Everything was all set when we got there. All we had to do was set up our entertainment system (i.e. karaoke:) Unfortunately, I left the plug at home. It was all good...there were plenty of things to, badminton, pool table, foosball, table tennis, and huge jolly jumpers. This is why we selected this venue. The kids love these activities. Everyone enjoyed playing. More photos here and here.

Inside the Program:

Message from the family

To our guests….

Thank you for joining us in celebrating our youngest son’s graduation. We are indeed very proud of Ian’s accomplishments. As some of you know, we moved to Pismo Beach before the end of his first semester at Logan High, thus adversely affecting his grades. He worked hard at Arroyo Grande High School despite the setback and undesired change. And today, we celebrate his determination and perseverance. Thank you for sharing in our joy. Blessings to you all.

To our graduate….

Dearest Ian,

We are so very proud of all your hard work, perseverance, and patience. As you move on to the next chapter of your life, may you remain the good person that you are. As you continue to strive and chase your dreams, always remember that your family will always be here to support and love you. Congratulations son!

Message from the graduate

To my family and friends….

This is it! I am so happy I’m finally done with high school! I am looking forward to the next phase of my life when I attend Cal Poly in the fall. I plan to major in Business Administration with a concentration on Information Systems Management. I am excited at the prospect of experiencing dorm life during my first year. My education thus far has been a fruitful learning experience not only academically but emotionally as well. I am blessed to have the loving support of wonderful family and friends like you. With that said, I feel well prepared for the road ahead. I believe that your encouragement and prayers will continue to be a key part of my success in future endeavors. For all your support, past, present, and future, I will forever be grateful.

Thank you so much for coming to celebrate with me.

24th Wedding Anniversary

Last week, Russ and I had the blessed chance to celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary in the beautiful San Francisco where we first met.

We left the house around 2pm and took the train to the city, something we haven't done in years.

We got off at Montgomery station and walked toward Howard Street as we reminisced the time when we first met at Computer Learning Center where he was my instructor.

We checked in at the beautiful InterContinental Hotel by Moscone Center where he proposed to me 24 years ago. Thanks to my step brother, Alvin, who is the Regional Director for InterContinental hotels, our room was upgraded to the 27th floor, providing unobstructive views of the beautiful San Francisco bay.

After we checked in, we walked across the street and had a fabulous lunch at Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant.

Then we walked to Market Street for some shopping at Westfield San Francisco Centre.

The following morning we had Japanese food for lunch before heading to the Bart station on Powell.

It was a wonderful and precious 24th wedding anniversary celebration.

SFBallet Student Showcase

Here's a photo of Isabella from the recent showcase
I ordered from Erik Tomasson Photography
more show photos can be found here

And here's a photo of my mom and me gallivanting in the City
taken by dad Dennis after we dropped off Isabella

Pismo Beach - June 5, 2010

Our bible study group has been wanting to visit our Pismo Beach home. I was concerned that we won't be able to squeeze it into our very busy summer schedule. But we were able to make it happen this past weekend. It was short but a lot of fun.

My mom and I left for Pismo Friday afternoon so we can prepare the house. Isabella still had her final Saturday SFBallet class. It was our first time being away from each other (we kept calling and texting each other until bedtime:) Russ took her to SFBallet on Saturday together with Ian and Immanuel and they all drove straight to Pismo after class.

The bible study group arrived around 11am. Only 5 of them could make it: Gabby, Fe, Nita, Vicky and Cesar. After lunch and a short rest, we headed for the beach.

Then Russ and the kids arrived and met up with us at Shell Beach around 3pm. They started playing touch football while we started the barbecue. It was a sight to behold for a mom like me. It always melts my heart when I see them having fun together. Truly a wonderful blessing I am so grateful for.

After chowing down grilled steak and fish, we headed to the beach where the boys went surfing and bodyboarding.

While Isabella entertained herself dancing on the soft beach sand.

All in all it was a wonderful and blessed day.

The following day, Sunday, our bible study group left early around 7:30am as they were worried about the dogs they left home alone:). After they left we started preparing to spend the remaining time for another blessed family bonding. We headed to Port San Luis in Avila Beach but not before a quick stop at Isabella's CDMA dance teacher, Ms. Kathy's, home at Shell Beach. Ms. Kathy and her garage is a huge part of Isabella as a dancer. It is where she started the beginnings of her journey toward her passion for dance. Ms. Kathy was the first one to recognize and encourage her talent. Isabella trained with Ms. Kathy for two and a half years, the first year in the garage.

here's an old photo with Isabella (the smallest one) training/stretching in Ms. Kathy's garage.

After a wonderful "catch up" talk, we were off to Port San Luis where the boys tried to go fishing.

While Russ and I savored our blessed family togetherness .

The weather was too hot so the fishing escapade didn't last long and we ended up spending time over lunch at this "hole in the wall" place on the port. All in all, it was another blessed family time.

And oh my mom had fun picking some rock of her faves.

My mom loves the sea...sea food, sea activities (i.e. boating, fishing, etc.) Last week, she and dad Dennis caught this sea creature. My mom wished it was something they could eat but they ended up putting it back in the ocean as they didn't know what it was.