Sunday, December 30, 2007

san diego: the zoo

on christmas day, jeremy and i woke up, unstuffed our stockings, and then headed to the zoo. san diego has one of the nicer zos i have ever visited; some exhibits and animals were really unique and cool... others not so much. the worst part of the day happened as we were walking in the gates and i said to jeremy "i can't wait to see the giraffes - they are on eof my favorite animals!" then i turned my head and saw the sign saying exhibits closed today: giraffes. i got over it though, because we saw the only living relative of the giraffe, the okapi.

to me it looks like someone found random pieces of animals and stuck them together.

another cool exhibit was the polar bears. they were being super playful and swimming around with their toys. the dad was swimming with this big plastic santa and turning flips and stuff in the water. the mom was watching him just shaking her head and saying... who needs kids when you have a husband to take care of. then he came out of the water and tried to puch her in! it was hilarious.

other animals that we caught at a really good time were the gorillas. the keepers were throwing food off the roof of the building we were standing in and we got to see them fighting over the lettuce and red onions. no one threw down any ranch dressing though. the big daddy was sitting in the corner hoarding all the food. a mom and her baby came over to get some and he wouldnt let them. the baby hid behind a log then kept trying to sneak over and get some lettuce. it was really adorable.

after the zoo, we showered etc. then headed to the gaslamp district for some eats. we ate at the amazing italian place... the service was super slow but the food was SO good (plus we got free coffee and dessert out of the deal!). people watching in san diego is not as exciting as it is in santa monica or downtown, but we did play i spy the texas longhorns fans. they were everywhere! :D

hope everyone had as sunny and happy of a christmas as we did!


Friday, December 28, 2007

san diego:fishing and museuming

when the alarm goes off at 5 am, it seems like something is wrong with that picture. i know a lot of you guys out there prolly get up that early regularly but i do not. and the difference between 5 am and 6:30 am is HUGE. im just saying. it was pretty nippy while the sun was down and we were out on the water, but our boat had a galley with boothes etc, so we ordered eggs and hash browns and warmed up while we were waiting to load all the people, drive the boat and load all the bait, and drive the boat to the good fishing spots.

i caught the second fish on the boat. thank you. it was in a spot where no one else was catching anything either. the fish was just too small to keep but nonetheless... between the two of us, we kept 10 or so fish i think. i had to throw back three of the four i caught.

it is called a sculpin (i have no idea if i spelled that correctly). the spiny things have poison in them so whenever anyone caught one of these the guys working the boat had to pull them over and cut off all the spines. jeremy was much more of a prolific fish catcher than me. he caught prolly ten or so and we got keep six of them. at the end of the boat ride the guys gutted and/or filleted the fish that people caught. so we came home with seven fish (or pieces of fish). the trick now is to get that to feed ten thousand people. the guy standing behind jeremy in this picture was also the cook. he was baiting hooks with baby squids and sardines then going downstairs and frying up eggs. i made sure he washed his hands before cooking anything for me!

jeremy caught a variety of fish - sculpin, bass (second biggest fish on the boat), rock fish, brown fish, orange fish, red fish, blue fish, one fish, two fish. we had a pretty good time. i kept my fishing streak alive (i have never gone fishing and not caught something). i almost had my espn moment (thank you uncle mike) when i thought i caught a humongous fish but it turned out to be a big rock on the bottom of the ocean. so that was disappointing.

after fishing we cleaned up and went to the san diego natural history museum. we saw a few fossils and watched a movie about the ocean (i definitely fell asleep - i had been up since 5 am!) and then went and checked out the exhibit in the basement - the one we actually went to see. the traveling exhibit of the dead sea scrolls was in san diego until new years eve so we got to see several scrolls, including 9 that had never been displayed before. they had those little paddles with a smal speaker that you plug in the number of the exhibit you at standing in front of and it tells you more than the placard. i learned more than i ever really needed to know about scroll making and stoarage, as well as life in quaran, the town (archeologial site) nearest the location of the cave that housed the scrolls. after museuming ourselves, we headed to the gaslamp quarter in downtown san diego for dinner. we found a polynesian place that served egg rolls and fried rice so we kinda ate chinese for christmas eve. well we tried anyways! :D


san diego: entry

sunday morning we served at church stage managing. we had the piano and four singers on stage for music - very midwest and non-mosaic. but kinda refreshing for a change. we ate lunch at chipotle (karla calls it it!) and hit the road. traffic was light driving down the 405 to the 5. we passed a field where the goodyear blimp was resting patiently, waiting for the next football game. i tried to get a picture of it, but by the time i got my camera out of my bag i was waaay too late. we drove by the naval base in long beach and a training facility. the boats were big. thats about all we could see - there were high walls on both sides of the freeway. we got to san diego around 3 and checked into our hotel. we had planned on going to a museum that afternoon but the museum was closing earlier than what they had posted online so we just took a nap and then went driving around looking for a place to eat. we drove past sea world and saw all the christmas lights up in the hills in a nicer part of town, and finally found somewhere to eat that wasnt fast food. it was way harder than it seems like it would be! we went back to the hotel early because we had to be at the docks by 6 am the next morning...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

pub for the holidays

last saturday night, we went out to eat with the shivelys and ochsners at this little pub near our house. lottie was feeling a little bit homesick over the holidays i guess. :D we had irish stew and pudding and shepherds pie and all that good stuff. it was delicious! the desserts were prolly the best part. i practically licked my plate clean. everyone had a hapy plate that night - we were all starving for good old comfort food!!! we sang along to the christmas carols on the jukebox... and by we i mean, lottie kim and me... not so much the boys. they would have moved tables if they could have prolly. the dart boards there are positioned unfortunately close to tables with real live people sitting at them, and if you have seen me play darts (anna) you would know, steel tipped darts are not safe in my hands. it was another great christmas celebration with friends.

christmas crackers

kevin and nikki were in town for a few days before christmas and we were able to revisit a tradition we started with them the first christmas we were all living here. they stayed the night with us on friday and we woke up and went to the french quarter in west hollywood for brunch. we popped our "premium" christmas crackers from ralphs... one of the prizes was nail clippers, one was a 35 inch tape measure (not the whole three feet, just most of it), one was a little whoopee cushion. hardly premium if you ask me. we read our lame jokes and took a picture in our hats. heehee. believe you me, we fit right in there too. no one even blinked at me when i forgot and was wearing my crown in the bathroom. :)

after brunch we came back home and played settlers with cheyne and andy, another couple that we know through kevin and nikki. (shane and darci - our expansion set came in the nick of time!!!) they had to head for the airport to be back for church on sunday, so i cleaned and started packing while jeremy took them. you need a lot of stuff for three days in san diego!!!

salsa II

a couple weeks ago tera's band sang at vive again. jeremywent with me this time, and al went with lottie, so the four of us had a grand ole time. the band sounded great and the highlight was tera's stalker. for those of you from the wichita area, he is vaguely reminiscent of crazy mike, although a bit more sociable and more aggressive. he took SO many pictures of tera, with tera, of tera, of tera's backside... etc. her husband tried to get him thrown out but the bouncers could only keep him off the dance flor (since he wasnt dancing) and order a drink (i.e. be a patron of the establishment). i have never seen one coke last so long. i think he drank it the entire three hours she was singing. her mom and grandma were there, and he managed to get a shot with all the women of the family. creeeeepy!

the people dancing werent as entertaining as last time, but mike (this crazy guys name is mike too!) kept us all entertained. poor tera.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

last weekend

last weekend was the busiest weekend we have had in a while. we had the cookie party on friday night, then saturday we cleaned and wrapped presents, jeremy did some shopping, i played scrabulous. then we went over to the dronens to babysit ashley while mom and dad went to his christmas party for work. we were there from 5 until about 10 or 1030. it was during this time that we composed our christmas letter. if it seems random and disjointed, know that we were watching a two month old at the same time. and we are not in the habit of doing so as we do not have a two month old of our own.

after they got home, we headed out to pasadena to russ's house for his annual christmas party. one of his roomies is a dj, so there was music going, dancing, and cookies. also someone brought one 6 pack of beer (after they specifically said on the invitation no alcohol too!). when we got there the beer was sitting on the stove untouched. after about an hour or so, people gradually grabbed them (who drinks one of the six beers at a party with 50 or more people at it where there isnt supposed to be drinking anyways??? who?) and had to be asked to drink outside. it was pretty comical from where i was standing. we got to meet russ's girlfriend, who was actually slated to stay with us for a while back in august or september or something but wound up staying at her brother's place or something. we stayed and hung out for a little over an hour, then drove to burbank to the blue room and met dan and emily. we chilled with them for a few hours, finally, around 4 am (i know!) poured ourselves into bed.

two and a half hours later we got up for church. thats right. i hung out with the 3 and 4 year olds (thankfully they halped the time pass quickly) and jeremy directed the service. after church we went out to eat with sarah and jason and a couple other peoples. then home for an all too brief nap. up again and off to a salsa club!

the singing bee

tomorrow (friday) night on nbc (check local listings for time) our friend, and mosaic's very own jon pyle will be competing on the singing bee. that is the one with joey fatone (you know we all say fat one in our heads) i believe. anyways, we have never watched the show before but this one should be fun. he is a pretty cool guy. so check it out... if you dare!

tonight is our work christmas party. we have it at victorio's, an italian place down the street a little ways. the nicest things i can say about the party: it starts at four so for the first hour we are paid to be there and the place always is decorated really nicely. other things i could say: the food is mediocre (not bad at all, but defintiely not great) and the one glass of wine we are all allowed is #1 skimpy and #2 not that great. everyone still goes every year. without our spouses mind you because we arent allowed to bring them. because dubnoff cant afford to pay for them. yep. but i guess it is free food so i shouldnt complain too much. although i heard a nasty rumor that they were not paying for any wine for anyone this year. more forced socializing with the people i see all day everyday (more than the people i actually like, for example jeremy) and half of who (whom?) i dont really like. at least when they get a little tipsy there is free entertainment. because isnt that what the season is all about anyways?

how many five year olds could you take in a fight?


Looking for payday loan?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

rachel is 1!

our first baby in our small group, rachel yeng, turned one at the end of november. unfortunately for us, she lives in texas. so we had our own party for her here so she could add us to her first birthday scrapbook. the shivelys and ochsners showed up, along with kris's friend's adorable baby sam. he was the laughingest baby ever!!! we ate disney princess cupcakes, drank hot chocolate, watched football and wore party hats. not quite the same sort of party as rachel had in texas i am sure but it was fun all the same.
i waited so long to post this (you can see that the picture says dec 1) because i had to get the photographs to rachel (well emay really) because i didnt want to spoil the surprise. also because we have been so busy...
8 more days until san diego...
10 more days until christmas!

cookie party

last night was the third annual shively christmas party. everyone brings heaps of one kind of cookie, we eat kim's chili over spaghetti noodles (it is a southern thing), drink custard (similar to egg nog), gorge ourselves silly on cookies, and at the end of the night go home with quite the assortment of baked goods. every year (as we, besides the shivelys themselves, are the only 3 year attendees) we bring shortbread and peppernuts, made from grandma koci's recipe. i always make extra to take into work too. the girls at work started asking after thanksgiving break "when are you bringing in the peppernuts?" each year i make them i get better and better. i am still not as good as grandma koci, and i prolly wont ever be. but thats ok because she still sends us hers along with fudge (something i have yet to attempt) every christmas. this year we made a half recipe of the peppernuts and we still are going to have too many i think. hopefully everyone at work really enjoys the ones i made and we can keep the good ones to ourselves!

several of the bible study gang were there, both old and new. and really new in ashley's case. i got her to sleep and jeremy took over when my arms got tired. he talked to eric, ashley's dad for a while. eric said "a baby looks good on you jeremy" and it really does. baby as an accesory. nice. we will have our own accessory someday, but this post was not a prelude to the big announcement so dont get too excited. (and that sentence was mostly aimed at a certain person, i am not going to say your name, <>, but you know who you are.)

three good looking ladies, yes? kim was the hostess with the mostess and lottie was not wearing a witch's hat as it may seem in the slightly blurry picture above.

merry christmas! may all your shortbread be slightly brown and your flour never run out when baking peppernuts!


christmas shopping

we have our christmas shopping mostly finished, and due to the wonders and joy of online shopping, most of the presents are on their way to their new homes. the three boxes of gifts we have at home are waiting ever so patiently for their turns through the usps sustem. so, for those of you who have received your presents, congratulations. for those who are about to receive them, we salute you. for those who may get presents after christmas, we apologize. it took a while to find the correct size of box to send them in.

also... we have been receiving christmas cards daily, slowly but surely. be sure to keep a sharp eye out for our card, but dont start looking too soon, or hold your breath. we are working on things, but the christmas show took a whole week of our lives away that we are struggling to recoup.

we appreciate your patience.

thank you,

Monday, December 10, 2007

christmas: a modern take part 2

as promised a couple more videos... remember when i mentioned flying baby jesus?

it was pretty awesome. during one run through jesus came loose and tumbled into a heap on the floor. sacreligious? yes. hilarious? also yes.

we started and ended the show with this dance - it got better every time. amazing.

it was awesome to be able to work with this incredibly talented pool of actors and dancers and musicians and the creative visionaries who directed and produced the whole thing. wow. thats all im saying.


christmas: a modern take

this past friday and saturday, jeremy and i were pleased to help mosaic present christmas: a modern take, this year's christmas musical/drama/live dance and musis/original films/flying baby jesus/etc. we were the backstage managers, and while i would like to say the show went off without a hitch i cant. i can say that any hitches were my fault only once (never make the same mistake twice, right sarah?) or that any hitches that were not my fault did look like they were a part of the show (we were staging a show within a show - the actors were playing the part of people putting on a christmas show. so when there was feedback or lighting problems, it was all already in the script. convenient is it not?)

the only thing i can think to compare it to is the first week you bring a baby home from the hospital... huge learning curve, lots of minor frustrations, erratic schedules, late nights, messy house, no clean clothes, and at the end - something great. but we dont have a cute baby to show for our troubles... just some youtube videos...

that was an orignal song of one of Mosaic's staff. there was a film playing on the screens showing the struggles one of the characters in the play has been through and provides more insight into her character.

this dance was towards the end of the show when everything is beginning to come together and the characters are realizing that jesus is really why they are doing what they are doing.

this video was during mary's "labor pains" and her dealing with the fact that she is giving birth to god. the person laying against the rock is mary... i know it is hard to see details in these pictures.

i will make another post with two more videos...


sprinkle doughnut

i was reading this blog called . it is written bu the writers of the late show who are on strike. descriptive title huh? in the november archives about halfway down there is a picture of a striking writer with a picket sign and a doughnut with sprinkles only on half of the doughnut. i LOVE it!!!!!

brian regan would be so proud!

anna that reminds me of the time we went to krispie kreme and asked them to make us a sprinkle doughnut with sprinkles only on half and they thought we were crazy but they did it!!!!!

"you have seven left."

"well if i get two bavarian creams and one glazed how many would i have left then doughnut lady? huh?"


Sunday, December 2, 2007

this weekend

aftertrimming our tree on friday night, we woke up kinda early on saturday and started cleaning. since we were in fresno last weekend and had people in town before that, we had quite the small mountain of laundry piled up. i did three loads on friday and three more on saturday and we finally have clean clothes and more importantly, clean sheets. the ochsners and shivelys came over on saturday afternoon and hung out for a while. lance and kris brought their friends baby sam. he is the smiling-est thing i ever saw. all i had to do was look at hima nd he cracked up (insert joke about my looks here) kris said that he hardly ever cries, just giggles all the time. in a room full of strangers, he was certainly well-behaved. jeremy and i watched football all day - the usc ucla game (lame!) and the big 12 championship. we were rooting for missouri but oh well. the big 12 did remarkably well this year in the grand scheme of things. hopefully kstate has a better year next year. today we stagemanaged at church, ate at chipotle, and took a two hour nap. it was great. then we walked to the park and played tennis for an hour or so, walked to the grocery store, and walked home. jeremy was waylayed by a drunk in front of a liquor store on our stret. he wanted jeremys opinion on if he sided with the devil against god does jeremy think he would win? or if he sided with god against the devil? well, really he thinks that he will make his own team in the middle and fight both of them. i think his brain is pickled. we came home and caught up on some stuff we had dvr-ed and now im headed to bed. early to rise + 2 hour nap + early to bed = better monday

flight 93

jeremy and i finally watched flight 93 on friday night. we had rented it from netflix months ago, and kept putting off watching it. as mentioned previously, it was my brilliant idea to watch it while doing laundry and decorating for christmas. i thought "oh i know the story it can just play in the background and i can finally return it."

oh man. this is one of the best movies i have ever seen. we were riveted, sitting on the edge of the couch the entire time. it was really well-made, with lesser known actors so you actually see the passengers of united flight 93 and not matt damon or something. we have not watched united 93, so i dont know how the two stack up against each other but this one is definitely worth watching. it was made in cooperation with the passengers' families, and based on the actual cell phone conversations they had with their family members. they knew that the terrorists were on a suicide mission and they were prolly going to die but were so brave and calm when talking to their wives and moms and kids...just amazing.

sounds like a downer movie but it isnt. the end shows the crash site over the course of a year and by the spring the ugly scar in the ground was healed over with new beautiful grass. this septmeber 11, i will have something beautiful to reflect on instead of focusing on the negativity of the day. these people were true heroes and some of the most courageous people i have ever heard of. just regular old people on a commuter flight that did something extraordinary and decided to act in such a short period of time (it was only about 40 minutes from take off until they crashed).

go rent it right now. you'll cry ( i cried for most of the movie) but it is such a great movie. wow.

where were you when you heard about the events of september 11? i was a freshman in college eating breakfast in the derb and the first two planes had hit the towers but it just seemed so surreal. it wasnt until much later in the day that i realized the magnitude of the events that took place that day. i went to class like normal and people were talking about it, but it wasnt until the end of the day when all the reports were in and we realized that it was an actual planned attack that things were really scary and real.


Saturday, December 1, 2007

so fresh and so green, green

jeremy and i bought our christmas tree last night. i love the smell of a real tree. walking through the christmas tree lot is one of my favorite christmas-y things. yum. after it dried (yes it has actually been raining and cooler - yay "winter") we brought it in from the porch and did our christmas decorating. we got a small tree because we prolly arent going to be here for the actual day of christmas, but i cant stand to not decorate at all. we strung our lights and beads, then got all the ornaments out of their boxes and put them on. it was cool to see how many memories we already have going through the ornaments people have given us and those we have bought on our vacations (florida, our cruise, sequoia, the lion king musical, disney land). i love christmas! we hung our stockings by the coffeepot and memo piggie bank with care, in hopes that our spouse soon would be there, filling it with great goodies!
you will have to excuse my red puffy eyes. in all my brilliancy, i decided to put on a movie while we were doing laundry and decorating. the uplifting film i chose: flight 93. but more about that in another post. we put the star on the tree, jeremy drank his egg nog (yuck!) and went to bed. unfortunately, when i woke up this morning, there was nothing in my stocking yet. oh well. 23 more days to go!
merry christmas!

big al turns 30

last sunday we mat al and lottie, arianna, and tera and corey at the new arclight in sherman oaks for al's birthday movie: hitman. it was actually a pretty good movie. a bit more blood and nudity than i expected (the guy stomping on another mans head and the melon like sound of his brain exploding was a highlight) but overall a pretty entertaining movie. in a fight between jason bourne and 47, i think 47 would win. but jason is hotter. so there you go. ivenever played the video game, but al has, and he said it was pretty accurate.

we went to lannathai for dinner and dessert after the film. it was great as usual (green veggie curry with chicken, potstickers and spring rolls) and we had a fun time just hanging out with the slovaceks. we did not see scary transvestite person and i was kinda disappointed.