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Archive for the year 2015

Light Your Heart 2015

Posted on December 13, 2015 by under Babies, Events.    

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Brian and I had a blast at the Light Your Heart last weekend. This fundraising event for Heartspring used to be the Lights on the Lake launch party but they discontinued Lights on the Lake last year so naturally the benefit had to be renamed.

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They had a different band this year, but they were very good.

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Here’s a picture of how the venue was decorated.

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Here are some pictures of our great-looking group.

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The Bowmans always look happy and fabulous.

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Looking back at my pics from the evening, I realized that I missed taking a photo of Michael and Rachel. Yikes! I think it’s because they kept wandering off. LOL.

We wandered away from the table a few times ourselves. A couple of times to bid and rebid on silent auction items and once to take some photos at the photo booth.

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The photo booth was cool but it wasn’t as cool as the photo booth last year. The photo booth last year could accommodate more people. And, I don’t know what it was with this photo booth but we could not get the timing just right. We would pose and then the camera would snap a picture just as we would move. It was fun, though.

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There were lots of great silent auction items this year, but it seemed like there were fewer than last year. I bid on the WSU items but didn’t win any of them.

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It’s a good thing too because we ended up winning one of the live auction items.

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Attendance seemed low this year compared to last year. Last year they filled a much larger venue. I’m wondering if Garth Brooks had a lot do with it.

People weren’t bidding as much in the live auction either so we thought we’d help out. LOL. Last year the puppy fetched $3500. This year we were able to take it down at $1400. Granted Goldendoodles look like teddy bears and probably go for a lot more in general, but our little Shiba is the cutest little puppy ever. That said, even though we would have donated even more for the privilege of adopting her, I’m glad the bidding ended when it did.

We were disappointed to find out that you don’t get to take the puppy home with you that night. You actually have to go to the store and sign a bunch of papers and they give you a bunch of extra stuff too like a crate, bed, toys, food, etc. Makes sense. We’d never won a puppy from a live auction before so we didn’t know.

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Here’s a picture of all the stuff we got with our puppy adoption. The Snuggle Puppy is the best thing ever. We actually went back to the store and got one for Molly as well.

Anyway, I’m glad we lost all of the silent auction items that we bid on because that would have made for a very expensive evening otherwise. Heartspring is a great organization though so we are happy help. We named our new puppy Saki, which in Japanese can be translated as “blossom of hope” — fitting considering the circumstances.

Here’s to Saki, the newest member of our happy family!

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Big Brothers Big Sisters Holiday Party

Posted on December 13, 2015 by under Events.    

Brian, Nickira, and I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Big Brothers Big Sisters holiday party at Botanica last weekend.

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We saw Thunderdog, Santa Claus, and Mrs. Claus. We also did crafts and played bingo. It was a lot of fun and Nickira received several presents.

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Thunder dog gave Nickira a gigantic stuffed dog, almost the same size as her.

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Santa gave Nickira a present and we also got a photo with him.

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Here’s Nickira with her giant dog and other Christmas loot.

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She loved her dog. She got the biggest stuffed dog out of all the kid there. That was the absolute highlight of the day.

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The dog was so soft and comfortable that she promptly fell asleep on it on the way home.

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Here she is completely out. She was so out of it that she ended up drooling on the dog. LOL. And then we finally had to wake her up when we arrived at her house.

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I didn’t get to see Nickira this weekend because we enrolled our new puppy Saki (more on that later) in puppy school and yesterday was her first day. I’m hoping I’ll be able to spend some time with her on Thursday so we can give her Christmas present to her.

We missed the Big Brothers Big Sisters Christmas party last year so this was my first one and I didn’t really know what to expect. It was really cool actually and we had a great time. Nickira liked it so much she said that we have to go again next year.

We will most definitely be back!

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A Savage Christmas Party and White Elephant

Posted on December 6, 2015 by under Events.    

Every time I get caught up on the blog I get behind again. LOL.

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Our project director Kim Savage hosted a wonderful holiday get together at her home last week. We enjoyed a nice dinner and had a fun white elephant gift exchange. The Savages were wonderful hosts and made everyone feel welcome.

By the way, there are actually way more people on the project than pictured above. Some couldn’t make it and there were a few people who had already left by the time we got around to the group photo.

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While we were waiting for everyone to show up at the hotel lobby to carpool to the party I took a picture of Kelsey with her very festively wrapped white elephant gift. Both Kelsey and her present were so cute, I just had to.

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The best part about this is that, if you look at our project manager Andy’s party attire next to Kelsey’s, they look like they’re going to two totally different events. LOL.

The white elephant gift exchange went well. Of course, Andy had to outdo everyone. Despite the $25 gift limit he managed to put several things in his gift. His seemingly bottomless gift bag included a giant bottle of Svedka, a couple of bottles of Fifty Shades of Grey wine (one red, one white), and a bottle of Boone’s Farm Blue Hawaiian (it was nasty but Radhika seemed to enjoy it). His gift was naturally the most coveted gift of the evening. Mine didn’t fare too badly and was stolen at least three times as well before being benched but I actually followed the gift limit rules. Granted, it would have cost more than $25 had it not been on sale at the time but Red Envelope gifts always present well and tend to look more lavish than they really are. I got five of those gifts to give a way last year and just happened to have this one left in storage. Since I didn’t have time to order anything online for the event, I ended up using this one and it worked out. Looking back, this gift is probably one of the most well-received gifts that I’ve given to people that I really should have bought a dozen to save for occasions like this one. Now that Red Envelope has folded I can’t get them anymore.

Everyone was a really good sport about the white elephant gift exchange. The first gift to be stolen was Andy’s and once the gift stealing started we implemented a twist where anyone stealing a gift had to take a swig off the Boone’s Farm as penalty. It made you really think twice about whether you wanted to steal because, besides Radhika who seemed to like it, everyone agreed that stuff is nasty. That didn’t slow down the stealing, though. Gifts were still stolen and the bottle was pretty much wiped out by the end of the game. Probably because Radhika drank half of the bottle.

Speaking of Radhika, she ended up going home with my present and I went home with hers. After all of the gift stealing was said and done, we just ended up exchanging presents with one another.

This was the first of many holiday parties of the season. We are off to a great start!

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Thanksgiving 2015: All is Well That Ends Well

Posted on December 5, 2015 by under Events, Family, Games.    

It was a little stressful this year but it turned out alright overall.

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The days leading up to Thanksgiving were hectic. We found a car for Brian, which we paid for on Monday. Then we sold Bebot on Wednesday. That didn’t really leave much time to get ready for Thanksgiving specially since Brian worked Monday and Tuesday.

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Luckily, we don’t really have to do much to prepare for the meal. We just buy the deluxe holiday meal from Fresh Market as we’ve done the last few years and follow the reheating instructions. The nice thing is we’ve done this a few times that we have it down. We just pull up our Thanksgiving project timeline year after year and follow the schedule.

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The only hitch this year was that we didn’t get everything that was supposed to be in the box. Didn’t realize it until we were planning where everything was to go. I was like, “Turkey will go here. Ham will go here. Stuffing will go here…” And then Brian interrupts and tells me we don’t have any stuffing.

I was like, “What do you mean we don’t have any stuffing?”

“They didn’t give us any,” was Brian’s reply.

I opened the fridge in disbelief. Sure enough, no stuffing. Brian didn’t think we were supposed to get any and was rather calm about it. I don’t really care for stuffing but I was quite upset. We paid for the deluxe holiday meal package and three pounds of stuffing was part of the deal. Not only is stuffing a big part of Thanksgiving, but it was on the list of things we were supposed to get. I had to show Brian this picture to prove to him that we got gypped.

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I called Fresh Market at least three times but there was no answer each time. I don’t know why I bothered or why I kept trying other than I was desperate. I knew that they would be closed for the day and there was nothing we could do. We had to go without stuffing for Thanksgiving this year.

On the bright side, I really don’t like stuffing so it’s not like we were missing anything important. Had they gypped us on the corn souffl├ę then I probably would have gone completely ballistic. LOL.

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Here are some pictures from Thanksgiving.

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Mom made lumpia so we just put it in place of where we were going to put the stuffing so there wasn’t an empty slot. It turned out alright. I don’t think anyone really cares for stuffing either, and I’d rather have lumpia any day.

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Since we had lumpia, we had to bust out the bottle of Silver Swan soy sauce and Datu Puti suka. Mom brought a bottle of banana ketchup for also.

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This is our turkey.

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We got two different kind of bread to go with our meal. Fresh Market’s bread is yummy!

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We also had ham because that was part of the deal.

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The mashed potatoes were delicious. Don’t know what’s so different about these, but the mashed potatoes made by Fresh Market are just better than others I think.

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We had way too much green beans.

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This is the corn shuffle, which is my favorite dish out of all the items that the deluxe holiday meal includes. It doesn’t look like much but it is delicious. We usually have leftovers of everything else but this always gets wiped out.

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We were expecting a few more people to join us but things came up and it was just us.

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We still had a great time, though.

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Brian made these decadent “adult chocolate pudding” desserts with Rumchata and Godiva. Everyone else thought it was too strong but I liked it.

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Afterwards grandma taught mom and dad how to play Skip Bo.

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And then it was time to video chat with Brian’s folks in Oklahoma.

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Here are some pictures of Brian getting everything set up.

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Don’t mind the bored look on Brian’s face. That’s how normally looks.

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Isn’t technology great? You don’t even need to visit people anymore. ­čśë

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Later that evening our awesome neighbors came by and brought their dogs Nikki and Ellie over. Jim is working is Orlando now and he was home for the holidays. Their house just went on the market because Karen will be following him shortly.

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These guys are hands down the best neighbors we’ve ever had. We are really going to miss them.

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So that was our Thanksgiving in a nutshell. Even though I was a little stressed out about the whole stuffing situation. It all turned out okay.

Brian called Fresh Market the next day to complain about missing a vital part of our deluxe holiday meal package. They asked him if he still wanted the stuffing. It was pointless at that point since we had already eaten the rest of the food and so we had no more need for it. They offered us a gift card to compensate us for the missing item and that was fine with us.

How about you? How as your Thanksgiving? Anything interesting happen?

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Happy Belated Birthday to My Sister

Posted on November 28, 2015 by under Events, Family.    

We had a family dinner in celebration of Jenni’s birthday the other day at Oh Yeah! China Bistro the other day. Here are some pics…

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Jen Cannady and QQ

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Eli, Jenni, and Mom (background)

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Mom, Dad, and Logan

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It was really nice to have the entire family together, including the Cannadys. It’s not all the time that everyone can be together in the same place so I’m very grateful for the opportunity to see everyone and celebrate Jenni’s birthday.

Happy belated birthday, Jenni!

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