Friday, May 30, 2008

Revlon Run/Walk



This is the second year in a row that Jemma has participated in the Revlon Run/Walk to raise money for breast cancer. Dad ran the 5K and mom pushed Jemma in a stroller then we hung out on the lawn in the coliseum and picnicked with Doug and Andrea's family and friends. We were honoring Pearl Frank, Doug's mom, who sadly passed away this year after a long battle with breast cancer. We miss you, Pearl!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cultural Heritage Day








Our local FCC group - Families with Children from China - organized a fabulous day of cultural events - all Chinese - well, except for the Origami workshop. We began with a parade celebrating the Chinese zodiacs (year of the Monkey for Miss Jemma) and then watched a student from UCLA dance an ancient Tibetan folk dance (photos still on other camera) and then participated in various workshops. Mah Jong was by far the hands down fave - teaching us all how to count in Chinese as well. There was a lot of swag at this affair and Jemma clung on to a wand with metallic streamers and pretty much mastered the twirling of it by the end of the day. The other big highlight was meeting Karen Chau - creator of the hit, super peppy Nickelodeon show, "Ni Hao, Kai Lan!" Jemma is addicted to this super, super positive cartoon, and has picked up a small vocabulary of Chinese, and can actually recite most episodes by heart at this point (I can barely remember the feeling of a spongy brain). Finally, Daddy put his face inside the painted Kai Lan scene though Jemma was very disapproving of this new look and kept screaming, "ting! ting!" That's Chinese, for stop.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Star is Flown



On our flight home we ran into Allison Dunbar, star of stage and screen and TV - and also of Ellen's play, "Y2FU"! (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0241815/) Allison and Jemma hammed it up together for the camera - two little actresses.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Culture Vultures




We hit New York City at just the right time - the trees were in bloom, the weather was crisp and clean and the exhibits at the museums were faboo. We walked across the park to the Guggenheim to see the fantastic installation by Chinese modern artist, Cai Guao Qiang. And then off to the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum to see the Rococo exhibit (and to shop at their amazing store.) We pray our daughter will manage hedge funds one day, rather than choose to be an artist but that doesn't keep us from exposing her to all the art we can. We just pray she doesn't want to be a dancer...

Love Those Leyvas!




What a wonderful time we had staying with our dear friends, Carol & Ismael and their beautiful children, Isabelle, Tommy and Ismael. They welcomed us into their beautiful home as if we had been living together for years - the children embraced Jemma with so much love. Jemma longed for "the guys" the next day and kept asking about Isabelle. Luckily, Jemma has "Froggy" as a memento from this special experience and hugs him to sleep every night.

Dine & Saurs





A trip to NY would be not be complete without a visit to the Natural History Museum and a fancy lunch at Jo Jo's. We enjoyed these special treats with our friends, Mark Brown and Nicki Genovese and their delightful daughter, Michayla. Make no bones about it - we had a seriously delicious meal.

On the Town!





Jemma had a chance to reunite with one of her favorite gal pals, Michayla, in the Big Apple. These two whooped it up NY style, however, within the first hour of hanging out together, Jemma fell smack onto the tile floor in Artie's Deli - notice her duck lip? Ah well, even a fat lip didn't ruin the fun for these two - or the concerned parents...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Reunited!






While visiting the east coast we gathered with our ol' New Yawka friends. We congregated in a Chinese restaurant (of course) in the west village, next to a great playground.

A Seder in New Jersey!





We gathered with our extended family, Ellen's sisters Debbie and Sharon, their husbands, Tom and Lee and the four nephews, though we only captured Jared, the oldest nephew in our photos. We remembered the hardships of our ancestors when they were enslaved, and honored the freedom we enjoy today. Then we asked the four questions and threw in a fifth for good luck, which was, "Why on this night do we eat to the point of exploding?"

Recurring Role!



Jemma made a second appearance on the PBS show, "A Place of Our Own" and she's already been asked to join the show again for next season. It's a fun day with lots of free snacks and everybody on set loves the children. What's not to love?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hot Tub, Cool Aunt






We enjoyed a hot Sunday swimming at the home of Johnny and Karen, (he the stepson to my Aunt Tina. ) Their children, Sarah and Jessica, delighted Jemma and she delighted them back. At the end it was hats off to a great day and then hats back on, but on opposite heads!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Typical Mornings



Usually, the first thing Jemma wants in the morning is her juice water. But more often than not, she also wants to share Dad's bowl of cereal with him. She grabs a spoon and starts digging in, while half awake (she wakes up at 6am promptly most mornings!) Then, when she is fully awake, she begins a series of fun games - usually involving her dolls and things in the cabinets and drawers. On this particular morning, Jemma thought making shoes out of rubber gloves was a fabulous idea. And you should have seen her scrub the floor with those feet!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Daily Life

Here's a quickie video with a Flip cam - be forewarned, it leaves you wanting more. video