a snow day!

ramblings, Family Talk, kidbits 2 Comments »

DSC02708

It actually snowed here yesterday! Can you believe it? approximately 4 to 5 inches worth. that’s the most we’ve had in the area in YEARS! Yes, I know that “snow” is a non-event up north but it’s a rare and celebrated occasion here in the south! the kids had a blast playing in it all day. And since us southerners aren’t equipped to drive in snow, I had the day off from work. Normally, I’d welcome the chance to stay home but sadly, it’s not a good time for me to not go in. I’ve got tons of stuff to do at work. argh. I’m so behind! But at least it gave me the opportunity to watch the Inauguration live on TV.
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Buzz, Vader and a masked intruder

Family Talk, kidbits 3 Comments »

I was meaning to post this photo over the weekend but I never got around to it.

halloween2008

so how was your halloween? Since we live in a large subdivision, the night was just hopping with activity. Kids of all ages roamed the darkened streets like zombies in search of sweets and treats. We normally have to split the duties in order to man the house for all the lil’ visitors that make their way to our ol’ spot in the cul de sac. So usually the wife gives out the candy and I take the younger two for an hour long loop around the neighborhood. And our oldest runs off with his friends to see who can end up with the biggest load in their bag.

And as always, I now have to find a way to get all this candy out of the house or I’m done for!

end of fall soccer 08

Family Talk, kidbits 1 Comment »

OK, enough of me complaining. Let’s move on to something more positive. How about a soccer update? Well, our middle child’s soccer team recently completed their fall season. Unfortunately, the kids finished off with more losses than wins. But nevertheless, the boys had a lot of fun. And I have to say that my son has vastly improved over the course of the season. He’s running a lot quicker, kicking a lot harder and is controlling the ball a lot better now. Kudos to the coach! Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that my son finally scored a goal during a game this season!! hooray!! Also, he came away with an awesome assist in the last game this past saturday. good job kidd-o!

soccer-oct08
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dinner for two

it's all about me!!, Family Talk 1 Comment »

After enduring a long and rough week, the wife and I had the rare opportunity to go out and enjoy dinner together without the kids. I can’t even remember the last time we did that. anyway, we kept it simple and just went to a fairly new sushi place in our neighborhood. The restaurant was relatively empty for a saturday night so my guess is that the place won’t be open for long. Another factor that may contribute to their demise is that their food wasn’t all that impressive. But who knows? I’ve been proven wrong numerous times before so maybe they’ll be sticking around for the long haul. And that’s all well and good since we do need the variety in the types of places to eat around here. But another thing that clued us in on the *quality* of the food there was the fact that we were the only asian customers having dinner there at the time. It’s definitely not a good indicator for a japanese-fusion restaurant. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the dinner out. As parents of little boys, we’re always thankful whenever we’re able to sit and share a meal together in peace and quiet.

up late doing homework..

ramblings, Family Talk 5 Comments »

We stayed up late last night helping our sixth grader finish up a project that’s due today. I warned my son earlier in the week not to wait until the last minute but apparently he has inherited my ability to procrastinate like the dickens. I guess I can’t blame the kid since I’m the king of all procrastinators but it would be nice if he could nip this habit in the bud before it’s too late. As with most parents, we want to see our children succeed in school so we couldn’t just allow him to do a half-assed job on the project. So last night, we sat around the kitchen table and helped him complete his project until a little past midnight. This is not a good way to start off his school year. I’m all for helping kids with their school work but I’m NOT going to spend the whole night DOING the work for them!!

just another humdrum birthday

it's all about me!!, Family Talk 1 Comment »

In keeping with a long standing tradition, I took the day off on my birthday this past friday. I mean, who in their right mind would want to work on their own birthday, right? Well, instead of relaxing the day away, I unfortunately spent the bulk of it getting frustrated over setting up a new wireless-N router I received as a birthday present. I don’t know about you but whenever I’m in a situation where it’s not going quite my way, I get all worked up and become overly consumed in finding a way to make it right. For some reason, my old wireless-G adapter on my laptop wouldn’t connect securely with the new router. It’d work when the router is unrestricted but under WEP or WPA, it was a no-go. I was pulling my hair out, going through all the various settings trying to pin point where the problem was. If it wasn’t for my wife, I probably would have sat in front of the router and laptop for the WHOLE day until I got the darn thing working. Thankfully the wife pulled me away to get me to enjoy a nice meal at our favorite local korean restaurant. we then took our little one to the bookstore to stock up on some new books to read. As usual, the little one can’t help but stop at the train table to have a play with Thomas the Tank Engine.
the little one at the bookstore
And the day ended with me taking our middle child to soccer practice. while I was out with our future soccer star, our oldest went to his first school dance. No, he didn’t have a “date” or anything but went with some friends of his. Afterward, he told us that he had a blast. when asked what they did, he basically said that they ate candy, drank some soft drinks and just hung out. I guess, there wasn’t much dancing at the sixth grade dance. at least he had fun, right?
hanging out at the soccer field
As for the wireless router- I finally got everything working today (saturday). I never got my G adapter to work (in WPA mode) with the N router so I ended up purchasing a new wireless N adapter card for my laptop which pretty much solved everything.

guitar hero update

Family Talk, kidbits 4 Comments »

In my previous post about our middle schooler taking up the cello, our New York buddy Michael asked about our son’s progress on guitar. Well honestly, the progress has been pretty slow. I’m being careful not to force him to play the instrument. I’d rather he take the initiative in learning the guitar rather than me force-feeding him. I thought for sure seeing guitar legends Neal Schon and Rick Nielsen would jump start his interest in being a guitar hero but he’s still seems rather be playing video games and watching pokemon. so yeah, we’re taking it s-l-o-w.

But we have attempted a couple of simple songs. you know, songs with four chords (at the most). Now that he knows chords A, E, D - he can play R.O.C.K. in the USA by John Mellencamp. OK, there’s an occasional B chord in there which is pretty difficult to finger but most of the song is pretty simple stuff.

Other songs we’re working on are:

Words of Love by The Beatles. OK, it’s actually a Buddy Holly song but the kid doesn’t know who Buddy Holly is. But he knows who the Beatles are. It’s another song that only requires A, E and D chords.

There’s also the Juno song called Anyone Else But You. Now that song is only made up of two chords - G and C. It’s actually pretty boring to play and my son hasn’t shown any interest in that song. Maybe he needs to watch the movie to kinda get the song?

cello update

Family Talk, kidbits 1 Comment »

the middle schooler and his celloWell, I signed all the paperwork and gave the music shop employee my money and so we now have a 3/4 sized cello for our middle schooler to practice on. whew. the local music shop was a mad house!! It was about an hour before closing and the store was full of parents and kids, all wanting to rent band/orchestra instruments. I sorta felt bad for the store employees who all seemed to be around retirement age. I guess all the spots for Walmart greeters were taken. *ba-dum-bum*. thank you, thank you, I’m here all week. try the veal.
We ended up choosing the rent to own program since it didn’t require a large sum of money for a down payment (after my credit was verified) and the fact that upgrades to a larger instrument are allowed as our middle schooler gets older and more advanced. Since we know he won’t be the next “David Beckham” (after witnessing the last few soccer seasons), we’re now hoping he could be the next “Yo Yo Ma”!! ya never know!

the middle-schooler and his cello

Family Talk, kidbits 12 Comments »

the cellonow that my oldest is taking orchestra as his elective this year in middle school, we’ve been going around checking various rental programs offered at the local music shops. We didn’t realize the expense involved in renting a student sized cello for a whole year. ugh. The school is providing a cello for him to use at school but the problem is that he’s not allowed to transport a large (and delicate) instrument like the cello on the school bus. So we need one to keep at home for him to practice on. Decent sounding cellos can get very expensive. we’re talking thousands of dollars. and yes, there are very cheap models available on ebay but after speaking to several cellists, it seems that those are not worth the trouble. SO, we’ve been debating whether to purchase or to rent. Since our son is in need of a 3/4 sized cello, we probably don’t want to invest in one since he’ll outgrow the instrument if he continues on in the orchestra at school. and that’s the big “if”. will he stick with the cello after the year is through? ya never know with these kids today.

hooray for team canada!

Family Talk, kidbits 1 Comment »

aug08-soccer-canada-001
hooray for team canada! they won their first game of the season. it’s definitely a good sign for the team of 2nd graders. Finally my son gets to feel what it’s like to be on a “winning” team after spending the whole last season without a win.
aug08-soccer-canada-002

and so it begins. again.

Family Talk, kidbits 1 Comment »

phonecam - fall soccer aug08
where did the summer go? Is it time for fall soccer, already??? yup. at 8 AM this past saturday, my lil’ seven year old met up with his coach from last season for some practicing with the team. hopefully they’ll do better this season. you may remember that my son’s team ended up completely win-less last season!! ouch.
phonecam - fall soccer aug08 redux

Beach Hideaway

Family Talk, kidbits 2 Comments »

we retreated to our secret beach hideaway this past week. It was definitely a refreshing change of pace.

the-beach-jul-2008-001

We love going to this particular beach since it’s never that crowded. and we’re hoping it stays that way!!

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Take the sky for example, a canvas of a billion suns
But our local hero shines them out by day
Save for the winking of a Venus or Mars

Even the stars sometimes fade to gray
Even the stars hide away

I see the bare moon raise his big, bald head
I see my friends played the fool
I’ll make my own way in the wide world
Just know I don’t want to wander too far

Some will call me all kinds of names
Some will say I don’t play the right kind of game
I try to be honest, try to be kind
And honestly leave when I know that it’s time
I know that it’s time

Hear a phoebe sing his only song, this summer’s day is hovering
I’ll ride my full heart, troubles fly like embers
Out the windows of our traveling car

- Hideaway by The Weepies

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the mayor of simple-ton

Family Talk, kidbits 3 Comments »

that’s a whole lotta parts just to pour some water, son.
had some fun working with the 11 year old putting the finishing touches on his “simple machines” project. It was great trying to come up with the various parts from what we had around the house. most of what my son used were legos, wooden train tracks and random bionicle parts.
here’s what he ended up with :
pulley system - some old shoe string that is wrapped around an old tape spool which is attached to a lego tower. the shoe string is attached to a wedge that is raised to hit a toy car on top of an inclined plane
the wheel and axle component - is a toy car
the inclined plane - “Thomas the tank Engine” railroad tracks set up on an incline which the toy car rolls down to hit an “S” shaped lego blocks that knocks down a straight piece of wooden track
lever - the wooden track hits a see-saw like lever which then hits a water filled bottle (an old target prescription bottle) that pours the water into a wide plastic container.

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turn it up to 11!!

Family Talk, kidbits 2 Comments »

well, the lil’ man is 11 yrs. old today. each and every year I ask the same thing: where, oh where has the time gone???

since his birthday fell on a school night this year, we celebrated his birthday over the weekend. he and his best friend went to the movies to watch Speed Racer. we then had a fabulous cookout with the relatives. again, we had perfect weather over the weekend. for the cookout we had grilled chicken, salmon, kabobs, an assortment of tasty side dishes courtesy of the grandparents and aunt kim and of course a delicious birthday cake. the birthday boy came away with some video games, lots of clothes (for his ever growing body) and a new Nintendo DS of his very own. now, we’ve been holding off on getting a DS for the longest time. since we already have TWO Game Boy Advances PLUS a gamecube and a nintendo Wii, we REALLY didn’t want to continue throwing any more money at nintendo. it just didn’t seem right, you know? .. but somehow the boy convinced his grandparents he HAD to have a DS and so now he’s got another game system that requires the purchase of even more games. ugh. it never ends!!
the birthday boy turns 11
oh, I almost forgot. I also gave him the tickets I purchased a while back for the upcoming Journey/Cheap Trick/Heart concert in august. I don’t think he’s all that thrilled about going to the concert at this point but maybe, just maybe this’ll be a nice introduction to the wonderous world of rock music. :)

maybe my son needs a good talking to from Mr. Jack Black?


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