Saturday, December 31, 2011

Count Down

Rai and Ko got into the spirit of New Years Eve today. Rai was on the computer all day, searching for photos and videos of every great city as midnight moved from Australia to Asia and Europe. Meanwhile, Ko just looks at New Year's Eve as just another opportunity to raid the pantry and eat, eat, eat.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Gift Thank You Cards

It's time to send out some thank you cards for some extra special gifts we received this year...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Adventures of Rai and Gabby - Part 2

I know it's been three long days, three sleepless nights for most of you as you contemplated the shocking cliffhanger ending in the first installment of the Adventures of Rai and Gabby. I won't keep you waiting any longer. The shocking finale begins here!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Julius, Paul or Frank?

Less than a week ago, I had no idea what PFI, or Paul Frank Industries, was. Today, our entire family has a Paul Frank outfit. Each of our shirts has Paul Frank's most famous creation, Julius the monkey, on it. I won't claim complete ignorance, though. Of course we've seen Juilus around before, but I always just assumed that it was just another character from the Japanese pantheon of pop culture icons. It turns out that Julius was born in a garage in Huntington Beach in 1995. Cool.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Adventures of Rai and Gabby - Part 1

An attempt at making a "comic book" using the application Comic Life. Please let the many deficiencies inherent in a first attempt slide.

An attempt at making a "comic book" using the application called Comic Life. Please forgive the errors inherent in a first attempt! Enjoy!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! With so many kids around, it feels extra special this year. We've got our two boys, and Uncle Sterling is here with his family and two girls. There is no doubt that the holidays are so much more meaningful with little ones around! And, Santa must know which homes are empty and which are filled with children waiting anxiously to get a visit from Mr.Claus because he heard all those little voices in Grandma and Granpa's home and came knocking at their door. The highlight of our Christmas this year was a surprise visit from the man in the red (the kids enjoyed it, too!) video

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ko's Walking!

Many milestones have been reached at the cabin. Rai and Ko both had their first experience with the snow there. Rai was potty trained there. Ko had his first full night of sleep there. Ko learned to crawl there. It's also the only place that the boys have seen their Dad so relaxed that he hasn't done any lesson planning for school.
From our recent visit, we can now add that Ko also learned to walk at the cabin! While Rai took a few weeks to get the hang of walking, Ko went from nothing to walking as long and far as he wants in just one day. Rai was walking at 10 months but Ko has held off until month 14. Seeing how quickly he became so proficient we can see that he was just holding off until he knew he could do it perfectly. Watch the video montage below to see Ko's progress over the course of just one day! In the video, you can really see how he goes from just a few steps, then a few more with a retreat to Mom, then a bit further, a finally to walking confidently across the entire room.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Where's the Snow?

The first big snow of the winter fell during our Thanksgiving break at the cabin last year and the year before that. Witnessing this dramatic change of seasons is always a highlight of our holidays. Overnight, Hotsprings Valley turns from green and yellow to pure white. Every surface -- the ground, the trees, every branch and pine needle -- is covered in snow and ice. Magical is barely enough to describe it.
This year, we couldn't make it to the cabin for Thanksgiving and had only one week to spend there during this Christmas holiday. We couldn't wait to see our snowy home away from home. To our surprise, we found the high Sierra completely devoid of snow. The cold of winter had arrived without the snow. I guess we'll have to wait for Spring Break to see that snow. This time, although we couldn't build snowmen, or go sledding, we made the most of our time at the cabin by going for walks, finding dogs to give dog treats to, visiting the hotsprings, finding things to keep us busy indoors and, of course, enjoying the lights of Markleeville town.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rai is 32 Months Old Today!

Today, Rai turned 32 months old. When we think about one month and how quickly it passes, it's hard to imagine that Rai has been in our lives only 32 of these short time periods. At this point, it's virtually impossible to imagine or remember life before this amazingly bright, beautiful, and hilarious little boy joined our lives. We love you, Rai Rai!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Icy Fondue

One of the right-outside-our-door-don't-need-a-car highlights at the cabin is the several mile hike up to Hotspring Creek Falls. In early summer, the main falls and the few minor falls further up the trail are a wide and thundering torrent of frigid snowmelt waters. By late summer, however, the falls are significantly narrower. Actually, we're continually amazed at just how much smaller the falls are late in the season. The reduction ratio must be close to double digits!
By Fall, the falls are such a tiny trickle that it is hard to believe that they were a raging deluge just 4 or 5 months before. With this in mind, we had pretty low expectations when we decided to make a hike up to the Falls our one "big" outing during our week at the cabin. When we made it to the Falls, though, we knew that even if we had set out with high expectations, we would have been amazed by the early winter scene we discovered in the cliffs above Hotsprings Valley.
The Falls were in transition from Fall to Winter. The creek was half frozen, half flowing water and the Falls were a wall of ice. Underneath that wall of ice, however, the water continued to flow and the ice was thin enough still that that water flow could clearly be seen. It was an incredible sight and we knew that we had hiked up at just the right time to see it. In a few more weeks, the snow will fall and the Falls will no longer be easily accessible by dry trail. We went up to see a waterfall but ended up seeing an... ice notfall. Or, as Ashe likes to call it: "a giant icy fondue!"