November 23, 2008

Kayaking Laguna

Friday afternoon we decided to go on another kayak expedition. There was no swell, so it was perfect for a beach launch. We put in at Heisler's Park in Laguna Beach and paddled north to Cameo Cove. The only way to the beach there is by water since Emerald Bay and Cameo Cove are gated communities. We had walked on the rocks to Emerald Bay several years ago, but never past it. The water was incredibly clear. Some divers we met said that visibility was 20-25 feet. Practically unheard of in these parts. We could often see the bottom and even Mermaid saw some orange tang. Super cool. Probably the best part was Seal Rock. It's visible from the beach we always go to, but too far to swim to. It's iced in bird poo and the smell is pretty atrocious when you get near. Look what we saw when we got a little closer. Lots of babies. The big papa was keeping lookout(totally blurry, but there's a bunch of seals on the rock). The lingering smoke provided a stunning sunset. Jesse is drying out the pieces to store until after the new year. We're traveling a lot the next month or so (or more). The kids may complain, I might be hesitant at times, and Jesse may wish he had gotten a single, but I think we've all really enjoyed our family kayak.

November 20, 2008

I heart you Muji

I'm having muji withdrawals. I ran out of my 600 yen face scrub and have spent three times as much trying to find an american replacement. It's time for a new calendar. I like the ones sans kittens. I need some new tops, not tshirts. The kids need leggings for winter. And those groovy short tights. Ok, so I actually go to akachan honpo for those, but still. I might make a trip to NYC, just to go to soho and their muji. I might have to make a Mitsuwa run soon, and see what they've got there.

November 19, 2008

Getting Crafty

If you haven't noticed, I'm a little bit befuddled by blogging post Japan. I'm just not sure where to go with it. Our schedule is annoyingly monotonous and I've been pretty swamped with school (mine, not just Mermaid's and Monkey's).

But I think I turned a corner today. I dragged the Monkey on an excursion to Jo-Ann's because I've made PLANS! I'm getting crafty! Oh Yeah!

Both families have drawn names. I drew my niece Kjr and my super cool sisinlaw Amy. I've decided to blatantly copy things I've seen online. Namely And the beauty of it is that neither my neice (she's only 4) nor my sisinlaw (nonblogger) ever look at my blog. Not much chance of spoiling surprises here. So here's the first creation. One slipper. I haven't finished the other one yet, but it's on my to do list for tonight. And a big thank you to Mrs. Fuji who taught me to crochet, supplied me with hooks, and gave me the confidence to try this even though I've only made flowers.

More projects in the works:
*reusable cloth sandwich bags using my kawaii fabric supply.
*more slippers for my kids since they seem to like them.
*a new Christmas dress for Mermaid since she's grown about a foot since last year.
*new stockings. Our old ones are either in the Christmas decorations box here or gracing someone's fireplace in Japan (sorry mom).
*I'm also thinking of something for Jesse, love of my life. But he definitely reads my blog, so not even one little clue.

November 16, 2008

Week in Review

It has been a short, but filling week. School. Homework. Then Saturday we decided to have an adventure and include some garage saling. This is after we spent an hour and a bit cleaning and decluttering. I guess we did make some room for new stuff. Jesse found a whole bunch of tools and junk drawer stuff that everyone needs, but hates to buy. And the girls were given three used handbags. The crazy part is that one is a suede Coach bag and the other is a snakeskin Oleg Cassini bag. I mean, these aren't super expensive, but they're not cheap. I mean. My goodness. The girls are giving me the Coach bag for Christmas.
"But then you'll know what you're getting!"
"That's ok."

Then we went to the beach because it was 92 degrees or something crazy hot like that. We saw some pretty cool tide pools. The water was freezing. But I managed to get a little sunburnt.

The downside of this week-
The Santa Ana's are blowing.
And parts of orange county are on fire (not close to us). But we're getting lots of smoke and my eyes sting and I can't breathe very well.
And there were protesters outside of church yelling at us even though we have an Obama Biden sticker on our car. And Jesse didn't follow the directions to keep your windows rolled up so I heard someone calling us mormon bigots (which felt like a bit of bigotry itself as he has no idea how I voted, if I contributed anything to prop 8, or how I feel about anything and I really don't think mormon bigots drive turquoise ford escorts). And they scared the mermaid, which upsets me even more (and isn't it great when you have a new reader who wants to know if we'd read the signs because she would like us to tell her what they said).

November 13, 2008

Discounts and FREE STUFF

Did you see the Snapfish Freebie on Oprah? Log on today or tomorrow and get a free photo book (Christmas present anyone?)
The catch is that you have to order it by Sunday, the 16th. Kind of a lot of work, but worth the 29.95 of freeness in my opinion.

And, I got an email with a code for 30% off at the Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic. It's only good for in store, but might be worth the trip. It's good until the 16th of November. And 5% of your purchase will go towards charity. Pretty decent deal. I've been eying a sweater at the Gap. Hmmmm. Anywho, drop me a line on my emaill (see my profile) and I'll forward the coupon to you.

What other freebies do you know about?

Montana de Oro State Park

November 12, 2008

Morro Bay

We celebrated Veteran's Day by camping with J's twin brother Christian, his wife Da and their little Enzo. We also got J's sister Kaity and her family to come: Danny, Gio, and Zeke. We spent the first night at Morro Bay State Park. We brought the kayak, but it was so windy it had one voyage and then no one wanted near it.

The second night we spent at Montana de Oro State park, also near Morro Bay. The boys went surfing Monday morning. We went to meet them and took the kids extreme hiking. We ignored the habitat restoration sign because it sure looked like a trail (which was WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. The trail was at the far end of the parking lot without a sign to mark it. Next time we'll know.) Ended up taking the kids down a cliff and up a gully. Zeke felt in need of a hug after the ordeal. If you haven't been up, I'd suggest making the drive. It's really beautiful. We all had a lot of fun. J is new to car camping since he grew up on a small island. He's trying to figure out the allure of it. He did like the foil dinners we made.

We spent Tuesday in Santa Barbara and dragged everyone on a death march into the mountains. Of course we didn't have enough hiking treats, got lost at least 3 times, and carried most of the kids off the mountain. This picture is at the end of the hike. Don't they look miserable? (Our kids slept like logs that night!) Mermaid is looking forward to adventures with cousins her own age. She did not like being the big kid.

November 6, 2008

Gimme Some Candy

Way too much candy. I organized it like I saw on designmom. J thought it was a horrible idea. The kids did take the display to mean it was a free for all. We had so much candy, I tossed a red snickers bar because it didn't go into any of my groups (I also tossed laffy taffy and airheads and most of the tootsie rolls just because I read they're really bad for kids' teeth).

November 4, 2008

Have you voted?

The lines were 2 hours long when I went, but now there's no one there. I've been so excited to see so much involvement this election cycle.

If you haven't voted yet, go!! Even if it's a provisional ballot, GO! VOTE!

Civics for kids

Tonight at dinner we discussed the upcoming elections. We've been trying to impress upon the kids the importance of voting. And that this election is special since there's a good possibility that the first African American will be voted into the presidency.

Mermaid said, "I'd vote you Daddy."
Monkey said, "I'd vote for Heavenly Father." And then added, "I think Daddy would win. He runs fast." (run for office. get it?)
And Mermaid has been noticing all the election signs around school, so she made her own.
"Vote for princess."
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