Monday, December 31, 2007

Day 4 in Renton and New Years Eve in Review

Well we are closing in on the end of our trip in Renton. Frankly, I am getting ready to be in our own home again. Ariel is still enjoying the ins and outs of the hotel, although she is terrified of the soda machine. Lol. Tonight we are going to the New Years Eve movie clip wrap party (say that 5 times fast), for as long as Ariel will last that is. Hard to say if she will make it to midnight, but she did have a late nap, we shall see.

Ken gave his presentation today, and he said it went well, except for a few technical issues to do with the different projector they had there today. Oh well, wasn't something he could control and he made things work regardless. They taped it today, so I am looking forward to seeing it once we are home. Oh, while I am on this subject, Ken will be sharing a shorter version as the message at church on January 27th. So if you are around, please come check it out.

This morning, I came out of the bathroom to Ariel sitting in her stroller... I took the hint. So Ariel and I took a walk in the morning after breakfast. We stopped by the Wal-Mart again so Ariel could ride the 'Snoopy Doghouse car'. Wishing I had brought the camera because she was pretty cute until she had to get off. 'WAAHHH!'

We got back to the hotel and waited for Ken to join us for lunch. We all took a bit of a rest in the afternoon, and then Ken took off for the last few sessions in the afternoon. I fell asleep until he called to tell me he was on his way back. I sure have been tired lately. I guess because I don't have my regular projects to keep me entertained. I have been knitting, check out my progress. Whee.

We just got back from making a brief appearance at the party. It was fun to say hi to everyone, and I wish I could have been more involved but until Ariel is a bit older, its difficult. No worries, there will be plenty of these events in the years to come.

Ariel was helping Ken present our clip from Ratatouille, but she was very upset when we stopped the film to discuss the scene. Kinda cute actually, and of course our friends thought it was adorable. A film girl indeed.

Now we are back in our room and its almost midnight. I have been doing a lot of thinking about 2007 and what kind of a year its been. I think like most people, we have had highs and lows, and have grown from it all. So in a way, is it a high or low, or more so a moment that makes us stronger and teaches us more about ourselves and our faith. So I could make a list of good and bad things, but I already have. My blog has been a diary of my year, and those of you who read it have become apart of the story. I look forward to all the joy, heartache and stories to come in 2008. I hope you will too, because this is the great adventure.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Day 3 in Renton

I wanted to start off tonight's post with a picture we took last night. Ariel had decided she didn't want to sleep with her pants on... and apparently there is a reason we use bumper pads on her crib. Heheh. We had to get her limbs back inside without waking her, which wasn't too hard at that point because she was in such a deep sleep. What a silly monkey.

We also didn't watch 'The Simpson's' movie last night. We weren't about to pay $12 for an in room movie. Seriously, that's way too much. That's like the cost of seeing it at the theater. So we will rent it when we get home. Instead Ken blogged and I watched 'Troop Beverly Hills' which was on tv. Lol, I love that movie, takes me back to childhood. Hee.

Today we attended the Harambee Church here in Renton. They are the ones letting the Hollywood Jesus group use the space at their church for the convention. Last time we were here, it was a older building they were renovating. Now it was all finished and very nice and cozy. It felt very welcoming, and we were greeted by a guy holding his infant daughter. In fact, everywhere you looked there were young kids Ariel's age. It was a fun change for us, since back home Ariel is somewhat on her own in that age group. She seemed really overwhelmed too, and was full of beans.

This was the artistic graffiti in the parking lot. I really liked it, breaks the traditional feeling that sometimes comes with church.

It was a nice service, contemporary music and feel but the sermon was somewhat long winded and very textbook feeling. Though it was funny that when the pastor went off his scripted notes, he was really a great speaker. Oh well. It was still a new experience for us to take back home, as it always is visiting another church. Ariel got her groove on during the music. Sorry its hard to see, as they dim the lights.

After the service, we joined some of the Hollywood Jesus people for lunch. David (he is the one in the black hat) treated us to a great Mexican lunch.

Ariel quite enjoyed it as well.

Ken then brought Ariel and I back to the hotel so that princess could have her nap. Of course she was super hyper and was being a total nut. 'Nap, I don't need a nap!' She went down of course with little fuss.

This gave me a nice break to read and do some knitting. Yes! I said knitting! I pulled out the kit last night and got it started. Took a few tries but I eventually got it and look at this!!! I am so happy, and will turn this into a scarf for Ariel next winter.

Ken got back and we ordered room service since I felt like staying in. While we waited for it to arrive, Ken and Ariel played with the the piggy bank, which is a huge hit. Very cute.

Tomorrow is Ken's big presentation, so I need to hand over the computer so he can prepare. Can't believe tomorrow is the last day of 2007. What a year... more on that for the next post... I need to think about it. Good night!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Day 2 in Renton

We are really enjoying our time away, even though Ken has to go off most of the day, its a nice change of scenery. Ken was up early and ready to go this morning, and somehow I slept through it. I was up at 6am, with Ariel, who woke up a little unsure of where she was. After a cuddle she went back to sleep, but I guess it was enough to make me tired enough to sleep through noise.

I had some cereal for breakfast, and I am sorry Ken, your 'American' Corn Pops are no good! The one positive is they aren't rough like ours, and don't take the roof off your mouth. The downside, they are like flat! Seriously, they are like deflated 'Canadian' Corn Pops. Yes, I am strange for wanting to bring up such a lame subject, but it entertains me to no end. Hee. Sorry, to my American pals who like them.

So this morning, Ariel and I went for a walk down to the Wal-Mart, as there isn't much in these parts. Besides, it has enough stuff to entertain us for a few hours. I let Ariel pick out a toy as a treat, and she got this really cute 'piggy bank' by Fisher Price. Its really cute and sings and counts.

She loves putting the money in the slot, and it has kept her entertained for long periods of time.

I got a 'teach yourself to knit' kit. Its one of my projects for 2008, as I want to learn again. I did start in elementary school, but have long forgotten. With my friend Meeka getting into it and making cute projects, I totally want to try too. You have inspired me girl!

Ken came back to join us for lunch. We both had amazing chicken burgers that had avocado in them, yummy. Ariel had some chicken strips and impressed our waitress from last night again with her eating.

Then Ken left again for the afternoon sessions and both Ariel and I took a nap. I didn't think I was that tired, but apparently I was, and fell asleep pretty fast. At 530pm I woke up to Ken coming back. Crazy. Lets see if I sleep tonight.

We decided to stay in tonight, and Ken picked up a Pizza Hut pizza. Yum. Ariel was of course in heaven. Can't beat a veggie pizza.

I love this picture, she looks so tough. 'Don't you mess with my pizza!'

Then came some coloring with Daddy...

... and a bath to get all the tomato sauce out of her hair. She wasn't impressed with the washing of the hair tonight for some reason. Hehe.

Tomorrow we are going to the church that the Hollywood Jesus event is being held at for their morning service. Should be interesting to attend another church and see what they do. Other than that, I think we will spend most of the day tomorrow together, as there isn't much happening at the Convention until Monday, which is when Ken is giving his presentation. I guess I will report tomorrow on what we decided to do. Yay!

I am off, we are gonna get an in room movie tonight, I think 'The Simpsons' since we haven't seen it yet.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Hi, we are in Renton!

Hey folks, we made it! Yes, we got all packed up bright and early and were at the border by 830am. Only had to wait about 20 minutes, so that was good. Ariel was quite happy as she had her buddy Elmo with her. Ask me how many times we got to listen to his little song. Haha. Good thing we could drown it out with the radio.

Today was a fun day of outlet shopping. We stopped at 2 different outlets, and they were so different. The first one was completely dead! Not much there, so we continued on to the next one. The description online was not kidding when they said it was one of the best outlets. It was PACKED!

Ariel was really hungry at that point and wasn't in any mood to wait any longer so we went to the McDonald's for literally, fast food! Now, we know that McDonald's taste totally different here, and we don't have much luck with the beef (if you call it that) and so we decided to all stick to chicken. Ken also discovered that the ketchup at McDonald's was really gross too. It wasn't Heinz but their own brand, yuck. Just plain ugh!

While we were eating this older lady was cleaning tables and stuck up a conversation with the lady sitting next to us with her 2 kids. That's when it got funny. This is what we heard...

'Well, you should see those Canadians, they are coming down to shop a whole lot and boy to they know how to shop! They are so funny with the way they talk and you never know where they are gonna pop up.'

Of course I was dying to say, 'hey, hows it going eh?' I held back and just giggled to myself. I must admit, we are out this way in droves thanks to our dollar. In fact, I happened to notice that the majority of cars parked beside us all had Canadian plates. Hehe.

For me the big hit was the Carters store. I found 3 really cute dresses for Ariel. All were on sale, and super cute. Also found a great little sweater that she can wear over them. They will be so nice for the summer months. I found this experience more to be about exploring than anything else. I wanted to see the difference in the clothing and quality. Some places there was a very noticeable difference while others there was none... except in price. Crazy. I wish we had outlets in Canada.

While there, we came across a very cool artist, a Chinese lady who was making art using a person's name. Well, we were so amazed and enchanted with them, we had to get one for Ariel. She created it in front of our eyes. Beautiful, a wonderful keepsake.

Ariel was showing signs of needed a nap, so we decided it was a good time to drive, and she got to sleep in the car. By the time she woke up, we were at our next stop. We didn't stay long as we were all a little tired, and headed to check in to our hotel.

Ariel was really excited about staying somewhere new. Including her fun ride on the baggage cart...

...and finding the big mirror in our room.

Here is a little tour of our little home away from home.

Then we went to eat at the hotel's restaurant. I had a wonderful turkey dinner, Ken had ribs and Ariel had mac & cheese with some apple sauce for dessert. The waitress was very impressed with how much she ate for being such a little peanut. That's our girl!

After dinner, we went across the street to Wal-Mart to pick up some cereal and milk to have in the room. Now we are all hanging out in the room watching Bruce Almighty on tv while I type this.

Well, I want to take a bath to freshen up before bed, but first I want to give a congrats out to Jeff and Marie and their newest family member Eleanor. She joins her older twin sisters Moira and Kasia. Can't wait to meet her in person. Whee.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Rain, snow, rain, snow... make up your mind!!!

Its been either raining or snowing here all day. Kinda odd since neither seems to be winning the battle. In the end it didn't make a nice night to go out to look at the lights at the gardens, so I guess we will have to wait till next year. Blah!

I have been packing for our little adventure, as we leave early tomorrow morning. Its always a challenge packing for a little person, and a big daddy person too. Haha. Want to make sure Ken looks nice for his presentation, of course he would love to wear his stop motion t-shirt instead. He didn't win this conversation, and the nice shirt is packed. We should be able to post while away, as our room has Internet and we have Ken's laptop from work. So we shall see how it goes. Strange to think we will return in 2008. Wacky!

Today was a visiting day. In the morning, Ariel and I met up with Stella and Kara for breakfast at Ricky's. Ariel got a present from Kara...

...ooh, what is it?

...yay a National Ballet t-shirt!!!

I choose to wear my clothes my own way. I am starting a trend!

After a nice visit, we stopped at the post office to pick up a special parcel for Ariel. It was her secret Santa gift from Brenda and Mallory! (I had a feeling we might have gotten you!) Ariel of course was pumped to unwrap another gift!

Ooh a cool wooden puzzle and hair clips!!!

A close up on the clips, so cute Brenda! (She made them herself.)

Then we were joined by my good friend Dianne! It was so good to see her in person and not on a blog! We had a wonderful visit and Ariel was eager to play some music with her! She also agreed the Elmo was in fact creepy! Haha. We gave her a little glow worm toy for the future baby, Ariel helped pick it out. After Ariel went down for a nap, we hung out for several hours, chatting by a glowing TV fire until it was time to part ways. We are hoping to get out her way in the Spring, so we shall see. I'd love to see her more, I miss her so much.

Well, keeping this short and sweet tonight since I still have some packing to do. Bye!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Boxing Day

I think it was the first year in quite awhile that I didn't drag Ken out to the sales at the stores. Hehe, I know we are hitting the outlets on our way to the convention this weekend, so no worries. Instead, we had a quite day at home. We slept in to 9am, which was late enough for princess. She wanted to get Daddy up but he kept telling her 'go to sleep' which in turn she will lay down again. Of course she knows its a game and soon was demanding we go have breakfast. We made some pancakes and listened to Ariel's new High School Musical 2 soundtrack.

The rest of the day Ken spent working on his presentation and Ariel played well while he worked and then joined me while I did some laundry. I got 2 big loads done and folded by Ariel's nap, so I got to have a little rest in the afternoon.

When Ariel got up, we headed over to Dad and Rita's for dinner. Ariel got to show off her lovely new coat from Grammy.

Also her little Paris outfit too, while riding the horse of course.

She soon discovered the chips and shrimp dip. Yum, and wanted to feed herself...

...then everyone else.

Poor Mike was a little afraid of soggy chips. That didn't stop her of course.

This was totally worth a video! Too funny!

Then she played with the marble toy with Grandpa.

Gotta love the sound it makes, so another video. Whee!

Ariel also found time to check herself out in the mirror...

...and do some rocking in her favorite chair.

Then came dinner, oh wow. That was some good prime rib.

If that wasn't enough, Dad made my favorite, coconut cream pie!!!!

Oh yeah, that's worth another picture!

Then came presents. Ariel got a new book, stuffed toy reindeer and a donation to her school fund. Ken got the Twin Peaks dvd set with another itunes card. He loves his itunes! I got a lovely new piece of pottery that matches my other pieces. I think this one will go on the kitchen table. I also got a gift card to Linens and Things, so much shopping fun to come, whee!

We packed up and came home to get princess ready for bed. She and I have a breakfast date with Kara and Stella tomorrow morning, so we need to be up bright and early. I think we also might try and go to VanDusen gardens tomorrow night if its not raining. I haven't been in years and with Ariel totally in awe of the lights, I think she would really enjoy it. Well, I may go eat that left over piece of pie Dad sent home with us, hehe. Good night!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day!

We survived! Whee! Actually, Ariel handled the day very well. Ken and I woke up at 7am to call Michigan and open gifts over the phone. We let Ariel sleep in, since there wasn't much point waking her up when she can't really talk on the phone. We got some lovely treats from Ken's family, including a digital photo key chain, bath stuff, carousel type picture frame and some chocolate. Ariel got some cool markers...

a new book that is made of foam...

SUPER cute outfits...

and a neat ornament that Grammy talked into and recorded her voice. Ariel loved that, and she got one that she has to talk into to send back to Grammy. Awe!

At 830am Ariel woke up and we did our stockings. Ariel was really into it this year. We didn't have to prompt her much to pull things out. She seemed really excited about the new Cd's.

Then Nana, Papa, Mike and Josee came over for brunch and presents. It was strange not having Dad and Rita there, but times change as families get bigger. Ariel still had a good time!

She also got some neat gifts under the tree. The doll cradle I refinished for her, and sewed all the new bedding for turned out so well...

then turned into a bed for Ariel!

Then Ariel unwrapped what turned out to be the hit of the day! The Elmo that sings... also known as the 'creepy toy' I mentioned weeks ago. Yes, this toy is just plain weird, and Ken said if he wasn't a Muppet, he wouldn't be in the house.

Hahaha. I had to grab a video of this guy, because you just have to see what I mean... look deep into his eyes.... you are getting sleepy!

Don't you think his eyes lighting up is weird? Or is it just me? I think its kinda like its possessed or something, but what can you do when your kid loves it? Oh well, we love you too Elmo.

Ken gave me a super cute Quatchi doll! He is one of the mascots for the upcoming Winter Olympics that is being hosted here in Vancouver in 2010. I think he is soooo cute. Even Mike commented that he would like one. Hee.

After our guests left to head off to other events, we welcomed friends Maureen and Darrel and their kids Andrea and Tim into our festive circle. The kids brought Ariel some cute cars and she was thrilled! The kids played and we had a nice little visit. Its hard to believe a few years ago both those kids were Ariel's size. Time flies.

We had dinner at Nana's, leftovers from our turkey on the weekend. It was nice and simple, which is always good after a busy day. Ariel brought along her new friend, she loves to hug Elmo. She then ate a full plate of food, and we all watched her as she showed off her cutlery skills. Pretty impressive indeed, as she is so steady with each bite of food.

We are now home again, enjoying the peace. Not much planned tomorrow, no crazy shopping for me. We will finish presents over at Dad and Rita's tomorrow evening and have a yummy prime rib dinner. Yay. Now, I plan to hit the hay pretty early, that is if my daughter will let me.
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