Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Stork has Arrived

So Katy was due on December 23rd. After a frustrating and uncomfortable Christmas she finally called about midnight today (12/28) to say she was in labor. Sue and I had Rebekah duty and they were letting us know they were leaving to drop her off. About half an hour later they passed the baby baton, and Danior and Katy sped off to the hospital. We were too excited for much sleep that night. At 4:00 am Katy called telling us that she had a baby boy about 3:30 am, weighing in at 9 pounds. She and the baby we doing great. After much deliberation, the baby was named Jonah Michael Martin.

We visited with Katy, Danior, and Jonah about 2:00 in the afternoon on Sunday. Rebekah got to see her baby brother.

We had a great time taking care of Rebekah. When she woke up in the morning she grumbled just a little and I pulled her into bed with us. That gave us about another hour of sleep and when she woke up, she just looked at me and smiled. What a great feeling having her love her grandma and grandpa so much that waking up without mom and dad was nothing at all. We got her dressed and fed breakfast and she had to go down the slide before Church.

We all got ready for church and she was such a good little girl. In church she sat so well and was so quiet. After church we got home and had a snack. Then we went to the hospital to visit Katy, Danior and the baby. Sue got Rebekah ready and Rebekah helped brush Sue's hair to get her ready.

We tried our best to get Rebekah to take a nap when we got home. Fat chance of that. We were pretty wiped out, especially with the lack of sleep during the night, but not RL. We tag-teamed a little so we could each have a quick cat nap. Not RL. Anyway, we sat down for dinner after a few bites RL just could not hold out any longer. We made up for the sleep deprivation because she slept 12 hours that night. I guess we really wore her out.
Congratulations Katy and Danior. We love you. Thanks for the grandkids.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Fun

This last week has been a lot of fun (and expensive). To start, on the 24th was Brenda's birthday. She came over for a short while and we gave her some gifts.

Looking at the picture, you can almost hear her say Ooooo. Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving at our house. Brenda and Katy, with spouses, came over about noon. Us guys had a big project planned.

Inside this massive box was a swing set for Rebekah and any other grandchildren who pay us a visit. I thought it would be a good bonding experience for Rebakah's father and uncles to work together and put this thing together.

Many of the pieces were large and luckily there really weren't an overwhelming amount of parts and construction. Us men got to work while the women folk worked in the kitchen.

Once the platform area was done I let Rebekah try the slide. She really liked it. It took no time at all for her to learn how to climb up so it was up, down, up, down. In the next picture. Steven is attaching the swing pole and Rebekah could not wait as Steven was blocking the way. You can see Rebekah trying to pull him out of the way. She quickly figured out how to squeeze in front of him. Verrrrrry Cute!

Us men folk finished the set and the women folk finished the food. We had a terrific dinner and good (interesting) conversation. Here is rare footage of my mom having an opportunity to hold Rebekah.

On Friday we went to the Pantages Theatre to see Wicked. Brenda, Mike, and Katy joined us. The play was great and squeezing three adults into the backseat wasn't easy. After the play we had a great dinner at Bennihana's. Saturday Sue and I woke up early and hit the stores. Six hours later, our feet and backs were done so we called it quits. We got a lot of shopping done. Just a few more things to get for a few people, lots to get for me. Thanks Brenda for arranging the play and dinner.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Today is Brenda's birthday. Just like everyone else, here is my list of things about Brenda.

1. When Brenda was born it was while Sue was strattling the girney and the delivery table. Brenda was a big baby, born posterior with no doctor present. As soon as she popped out, the nurses were so concerned about Sue they handed me Brenda right out of the oven. As I held this goopy baby she slowly opened her eyes and just looked at me. I wonder what she was thinking.

2. As a baby, Brenda had very curly blonde hair. We would go to amusement parks and strangers, usually Japanese tourists, wanted a picture of her. Who knows how many photo albums in Japan her picture is in.

3. Brenda got lost two times as a young todler. First time was at Magic Mountain. Unbeknownst to me, she followed me into the restroom. When I finished resting, I walked out and Brenda was gone. We were frantically running all over looking for her when some gentleman came up to me hold Brenda and asked if this was mine. The second time was Halloween at the mall. There was at least a million people there trick or treating from store to store. Brenda followed the wrong group in the wrong direction. We found her shortly a few stores down just following the throng of kids.

4. One of our favorite stories is when she was a little baby she loved M&M's. Once she just kept popping them in her mouth until she could not chew or swallow them. She sat there with her cheeks puffed out and chocolate dripping down her chin. Another time I caught her in the bathroom when she had coated both arms solid with Desitin. Ever try getting that stuff off?

5. Her first boyfriend was a real jerk. I disliked him so much I offered Brenda $50 not to see him again. She took the offer, the money, and never did see him again. I offered a $100 for her to dump Mike but she turned me down.

6. Brenda has worked with me for over two years in the accounting department with Ameron Global. For me, this has been a great two years. We have two hours of special one-on-one time each day, although quite often Brenda is asleep on the way home. For once in my life, I have the first hand scoop about Brenda and Mike before Sue does.

7. I remember Brenda's favorite toys as a young girl were mostly dolls. She liked Strawberry Shortcake the most. Later she liked a collectors doll. We gave her one for Christmas and she was so happy.

8. In high school Brenda and Katy used to fight like crazy. Most of the time it was about clothes. They were constantly accusing each other of taking their clothes. It got so bad they each put a lock on their bedroom door. I would always tell them "Sisters are Forever". I guess it eventually worked as Brenda and Katy are really good friends.

9. Growing up Brenda always thought Katy got all the good stuff. Things were never "Fair". As a result I developed what has been known as the "Fairity Speech" where I would ramble on and on about how things may not seem fair at the time but over the long-run they always evened out.

10. As everyone knows, Brenda is a great person with a great heart. She cares about other people and always lights up a gathering. She got her good looks from her mom and he wit from her dad.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saturday, Sue, Brenda, Mike, and I went to the LA Auto show at the convention center.

We left at 8 in the morning and drove to the North Hollywood Metro station. For future reference, the station is on Lankershim, not Laurel Canyon. So I messed up, at least I knew which trains to take. Brenda and Mike got a little frieked out about taking the subway. They live such sheltered lives. The red line connects with the blue line which has a stop at Pico just a block from the convention center. Once inside we made a beehive dash to the restrooms, then to the west showroom for the first set of cars. Our primary reason for going was for Sue to check out what kind of car she would like.

Okay, so maybe the Ferarri is not a realistic car. Sue would really look hot in one of these but we need a family car with a back seat.

I think Sue would like this car except it says "King Taco" and she is the Queen. Also no room for me. One car she wanted to look at was the Honda.

Okay, wrong Honda. She wanted to look at the Honda CRV. This is Honda's concept car.

Ah, we found the right car. Sue gave it good look over.

Sue, Brenda, and Mike gave this car a good look over too. I think she is having fun.

One car for Sue, one car for me, one car for Sue, one car for me.........

Okay, two for me. This is the car I want, the new Camaro. My first car was a 1968 Camaro and they have revitalized the feel of the old muscle car. Dodge did the same thing with the Challenger which is my second choice. These are real cars, not like a Lamborgini or Ferarri. Besides, those real expensive cars do not do well when they crash, just ask Brenda.

Another car for Sue. After a while all these mid-size SUV's started to look the same for me. Notice in almost every picture with Sue she has a car door open. Interesting!

The Camaro look pretty hot in black too. Such a tough choice. Maybe a black one for me and a silver one for Sue. Then we can switch each week. For lunch I had a hot dog that was wrapped in bacon. Surprisingly very good. We hopped on the subway to go home and just like last year, we got on the Purple line instead of the Red line. It appears the two lines share the same track and alternate. A nice gentlement on the train alerted us to the problem and we got off, took the next train and made it back to North Hollywood. First thing when we got to the car was take out the sanitary hand wipes. We had a great time.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Another Day in California

It is so much fun living in Los Angeles - NOT. This Prop. 8 thing is really disturbing in so many ways. Not just the nonsense about the LDS church, but the lack of a response by our glorious mayor and governor. Their silence is a shameful approval of the bigotry and persecution about religion, not to mention their complete disrespect for the vote and will of the people. the media is so one-sided and give the gays so much media coverage and rarely tell about the other side of the issue. This week we are enduring yet another round of fires through out the state. Locally in Sylmar and Newhall a fire is raging and the entire San Fernando Valley is entrenched in smoke. Yet with the need for our great police officers to help protect life and homes, they have been deployed to city hall because of the gay's protest. A great example that these people do not care about anything or anyone but their cause of wickedness. I am convinced they really do not even care about marriage, to them it is all about money and immoral sex.

So what is this mysterious black stuff in the picture? Is it goo from outspace, shadows, or a lame attempt at sidewalk art? This is actually a pooling of ash from the fire. This is the filth we are breathing. For some reason, probably as a result of small winds, the ash has pooled in front of our garage. There is also a collection by our front door mat. At times it looks like it is snowing outside.

Enough about the gays (literally) and the fires. Last week we took Rebekah to Toys R Us and bought her a little car. Boy did we pick out the right toy. When she comes over, the first thing she does it get into her car. It has a music box for the horn and all day long we hear it playing the songs.

Katy is about 6 weeks away from having her baby. The next few weeks should be a lot of fun. Next week we are going to the LA Auto show. Then Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving we are going to the Pantages to see Wicked. Then we approach the Christmas season. Best thing about the holidays is being together as a family.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


So Friday, the week before Halloween, our primary had its annual Halloween Carnival. Katy, Danior and Rebekah came to enjoy the activities. There was even an appearance by Brenda and Mike. The meal was boiled hot dogs, as good as they sound. RL was dressed as a fairy.

She liked her magic wand, especially to put in her mouth. This photo is the fairy with an attitude.

After the carnival we all park the cars in a circle and the children go trunk and treating. Rebekah really got into it. She especially liked the tootsie pops from the Waldman's.

These pictures were taken with my new camera. It is really nice and I got a great price on the kit.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Been tagged

So visiting Brenda's website, I guess I have been tagged. Sue can do her own post. I think these things are dumb but I will play along. Why 8 things? Listed in no particular order:

8 favorite TV shows
1> Heroes
2> Magic Finally Revealed
3> Chuck
4> Bones
5> Gray's Anatomy
6> Simpsons (yes, I still like it)
7> DSN (Direct Shopping Network)
8> How Its Made

8 favorite restaurants
1> Chili's
2> My Brothers
3> In and Out
4> Yamato's
5> Benihanna's
6> El Torito
7> Back Angus
8> Numero Uno

8 things I did yesterday (Monday)
1> went to work
2> Genealogy
3> watched TV
4> fed the critters
5> checked email
6> read the Internet
7> pet Angel
8> went to sleep

8 things I look forward to:
1> My next vacation/cruise
2> Retirement ( a long way off)
3> Our family get-togethers
4> Seeing Rebekah
5> Sleep
6> Katy's new baby
7> Spending time with Sue
8> Holidays

8 things I like about Fall:
1> Holidays
2> Cooler weather
3> End of daylight savings time
4> Snow-topped mountains
5> Trees changing color
6> New TV shows
7> Crisp clean air
8> Elections being over

8 things on my wish list:
1> a monthly vacation/cruise
2> Early retirement
3> spend more time with kids/grandkids
4> computers that do not freeze up in the middle of things
5> more Republicans than Democrats
6> Less "non-thinkers" in society
7> Sue's eternal happiness
8> Happiness and success of my children

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Garden Update

I know the excitement everyone shares over our garden so here is the update. Basically, it is kaput. Garden season is over. Our few apples were actually as good as store-bought ones.

I promised Rebakah a while ago that she would get first taste. Yesterday we planted a very limited new crop. Mostly onions and herbs as planting season is gone until next spring. Rebekah was a good helper. If anyone knows of vegetables that can be planted this time of the year let us know.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Getting Older

I have come to the conclusion that it really sucks to be getting older. Case in point: Last Friday at 6 in the morning I went outside to feed the critters (birds and squirrels). As I walked toward the feeder I missed the step off the patio and my foot landed sideways. Ouch! I hobbled to the feeder (critters come first) and then into the house. As the day progressed my ankle got worse and worse. By Friday night I could not put any weight on it (and I have plenty), and the ankle was all swollen. I decided to stop being stubborn and to take people's advice. Saturday Sue took me to urgent care. So much for Urgent Care, they would not even see me and sent me to the hospital emergency room. We spent 2 1/2 hours at the ER, not my way of enjoying conference weekend. The X-ray showed I had a sprained ankle with some slight ligament tears. I realized this was the first time in my life I have been on crutches. About 3 hours later, the doctor called and said the radiaoligist looked at the x-ray and saw a small bone chip or flake, whatever. Treatment was the same, stay off the foot for a few days.

I was on the crutches for 3 days and graduated to a cane. Today (Thursday) I can walk again, however, last night I aggrevated it again. I got up in the miidle of the night and the dog decided to join me, right under my feet. She tripped me and I landed on my knees and wrists. Spent the rest of the night in pain from my ankle and wrist. At least the dog knew she did wrong as she quickly came over to see if I was okay, as if to say "I'm sorry", and gave me a lick.

Sue was so sweet taking care of me the way she did. Love you dear.

I find as I get older I have less and less patience. Especially for certain things, such as stupid people, not stupid things people do, but stupid people. In an attempt to stop calling people "stupid" or"morons" I decided to call them "non-thinkers". Anyway, Katy was over Saturday for conference and she wanted to work on some sort of top-secret wood project. She wanted to use my router. I told her I bought it about 5 years ago and I could never get it to work properly, in fact I thought I broke it trying. Needless to say, I lacked the patience to set it up properly. Katy spent about an hour actually reading the instructions and analyzing all the parts. She got the darn thing to work and it worked very well. I realized how patient and intelligent she is (although I already knew that) and how impatient I can be.

One final note, last Sunday I gave in to my desires and upgraded my camera. This was a tough decision as it was several hundred dollars. Thanks to some encouraging from Sue, I realized how boring my life is and photography is about my only hobby. I don't have the camera yet as it needs to get delivered, but stay tuned for the first pictures.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Things are Happening

One great thing about our lives is that even though our daughters are married, they still live close by. Brenda works with me and we get to spend one-on-one time together as we ride to and from work each day. Sometimes she is asleep on the way home but if not, we have lots of good talks. We get to see Katy 1-2 times a week. Seeing Rebekah is great and I especially appreciate it as I did not have grandparents to visit when I grew up. The other day Katy and Rebekah came over and stayed for dinner. Katy made cupcakes and Rebekah seemed to like them

You know those shade canopies you can get for the backyard? The instructions are very specific about anchoring them down to the ground. I guess our great neighbors believe that portion of the instructions did not apply to them. We got home from work one day this week and this is what we found.

Sue loves to play the piano and I love listening to her practice. This day she had a little helper. Rebekah needs a little more practice but she definately has music in her genes.

Another home improvement project completed. We felt we needed some sort of gate for the front yard. Rebekah likes the yard and while in the front she likes to run down the driveway. We are not as young as we used to be so if we are not careful and fast enough she could get in to some real trouble. Beside, the dog likes to wander too. We put together two fence pieces and attached some wheels. Mike dug a post hole for me and was blessed with several blisters for his effort. Steven almost had me drill through his finger too. Anyway, injuries and all, it turned out to be a success.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Alaska Vacation

Sue and I had a wonderful cruise to Alaska. We left Saturday August 9th with Steven driving us to the airport. Our plane was about 1 ½ hours late due to a runway in Seattle being closed down. Nevertheless, we got to Seattle and had no difficulty finding the Princess employees and getting on the bus. After a 20 minute drive, the Golden Princess was waiting for us. We left Seattle about 5pm and cruised all day Sunday.

Alaska is just beautiful with mountains covered in snow and glaciers. We arrived in Juneau and took an excursion to the Mendenhaul Glacier. As we got off the bus one lady start to barf. That was disturbing. The glacier was real nice and at that site was a small stream where the salmon were spawning. I won't show a salmon picture without their signed consent, besides they like their privacy. After we returned we roamed the town for a short while.

This was Monday and it was our 29th wedding anniversary. 29 years of total happiness. To celebrate we had dinner at the ship's specialty steakhouse. Good thing because that was the day the dining rooms had a bad menu option. Most of the time we ate breakfast and lunch at the buffet and dinner in the dining room. Food was great. One day Sue actually tried some cavier. This picture shows how well she liked it.

The ship's entertainment, well what can I say, it was a cruise ship. We had seen most of the acts before on other cruises so it was disappointing. At least the singers this time were on pitch. Tuesday we were in Skagway. We had a wonderful excursion, a bus ride into the Yukon and a ride on the White Pass train back. The Yukon is so beautiful. This first picture I will enter in Princess's photo contest.

Sue has a new friend.

I like this picture from "The small boat harbor". I wonder what the large boats are like.

Wednesday we crused the Tracy Arm thingie, a deep canyon carved by a glacier. There were icebergs everywhere with the most incredible color blue. Glaciers and waterfalls landscaped the 3,000 foot granite cliffs. This was the only place it was actually cold. It was cloudy almost every day with light sprinkles.

The last picture is the glacier that carved the entire canyon over the last 10,000+ years. The next day we were at Ketchikan where we did our shopping for family. Rebecca was the big winner. Then we left about noon and sailed all the next day arriving at Victoria about 7pm. We were there for a few hours and left about midnight. We did not even get off the ship since there was nothing to do at the stop, especially late at night, so we enjoyed watching most of the people leave the ship and slowly walk back five minutes later.

To me, here is the most beautiful woman in the world, my bride of 29 years.

As fate would have it, the Golden Princess is the same ship we were on in January for Brenda's wedding. Brenda told me to eat a hot dog for her. Here you go Bren.

This last picture is of the two of us exercising on the ship. 4 laps around is a mile. Thanks Steven for taking care of the house and Katy for picking us up at the Flyaway.