Danny & Family

Just Some Random Stories About Me and My Family

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Sat. Morn. Post, Vol. 13 - Nina's Birthday Party

Our daughter Nina turned nine a couple of weeks ago, and just as we've done in the past, we threw a birthday party for her. Since her birthday always falls near Labor Day Weekend, we opt to move her party to the Saturday after Labor Day. We learned years ago that few people show up on a Saturday of a 3-day holiday weekend. Our plan for this year was to have a backyard pool party and BBQ. We did this last year too, and it worked out fine. It also fit our budget, which is even more critical this year.

Well, our pool didn't cooperate. I guess I should say I wasn't diligent enough in cleaning the pool since we re-filled it back in June. We have an above-ground pool, and cleaning it is not as easy as a large built-in type that that has a large filter and vacuum system. The water is clean, and I keep plenty of chlorine in it, but it's the dirt that has fallen to the bottom along with the algae growing on the bottom and sides that make it look . . . less than desirable to my wife Laura.

Our kids didn't seem to care, as they swam with the little green stuff mixed in the water. But as Laura put it: "I wouldn't let my kid swim in a pool that looks like that if we were invited to a pool party." I therefore have to assume that all of the moms of the girls we invited will think the same, and the girls would then be trapped in our backyard with nothing to do.

So what did we do, you ask? We had the party at the new water park that opened in the city next to ours. Splash! is it's name, and it has a pirate theme. There are pools, slides, a lazy river, and all sorts of things to climb on - in and out of the water. There are tables with umbrellas throughout the park, and plenty of chairs - both the regular type, and the ones that recline back like a deck chairs. They even have an area for parties where you and your guests are covered by a canopy. So that's what we did - reserved a canopy for the day. After the morning football game was over, all the little cheerleaders played in the water park and celebrated Nina's birthday. It only cost a little more than what we planned, because we did not provide food - only a birthday cake and bottled water. Enough of the chit-chat, here are some pictures - this one is of the whole park:

Here's the birthday girl:

Here are most of the girls taking a break from splashing about to pose for a group picture:

This was a popular spot all day long, not just with the kids from our party, but many others. There must be something about steering a ship's wheel . . .

One of the many breaks from swimming to take pictures:

Drying off in the sun before presents and cake:

We're all in our places with bright shiny faces:

I was pleased to find the peace sign is still popular with the kids. So are High School Musical-themed gifts (the small bag in the center). Nina also likes McDonald's, the color pink, and journals to write in. Her friends know her well.

We gave her The Beatles Rock Band. Nina loves The Beatles, and she and Laura have been playing non-stop since last Saturday. I am a huge Beatles fan, and I am so happy that Nina has fallen in love with their music. Our son Brady, on the other hand, is not the least bit interested in the Beatles. That's his loss.

Did I mention this was a SpongeBob-themed party? Well maybe you noticed the party hats, table cloth and sand pail "goody bags" in the pictures above and figured it out on your own.

Here are some of the parents who attended:(l-r) Mina, Laura, Suzie, Amber (seated), and Michelle. Not shown is Nina's dad (me), because he's on the other side of the camera.

Oh, there I am, with my Honey-Bunny!

See you next Saturday morning.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Sat. Morn. Post, Vol. 12 - No Topic

I got nothing.

I thought about writing a post on President Obama's speech - particularly Rep. Joe Wilson's "You Lie" comment.

I thought about writing a post in honor of September 11th, 2001 - sharing my memories of that tragic day.

I thought about writing a post about what I'm doing this weekend, but then I will be repeating what I intend to write on my Facebook page.

So I guess I'll only write a couple of sports-related comments:


Ohio State! (I'm not necessarily an Ohio State fan, I just root for any opponent of USC)



Rams! (The last two seasons the Rams were a Los Angeles- err, an Anaheim-based team, I had season tickets. My heart was broken when Georgia took the team to St. Louis)

See you next Saturday morning. Maybe I'll have more to say.


Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Sat. Morn. Post, Vol. 11 - San Clemente, part 2

Continuing from my post last Saturday morning . . . our family was on a vacation and we were celebrating my son, Brady's, 16th birthday. We took a weekend trip to San Clemente - a beach city in south Orange County, CA, about an hour away from were we live in La Habra, in north Orange County. As a matter of fact, our two cities are on opposite corners of the county. Enough of the geography lesson.

Brady is on a co-ed cheer squad called the California Allstars. Brady and his friends all met this year, and all (including Brady) are new to the squad. Last year, the squad won the 2009 World Championship. Brady only invited friends from his cheer squad to his birthday party (he did not invite any of his friends from school). The first to arrive were (L-R) Julian, (Brady), Tyler and Kiara.

Not too long after, a couple of others arrived: Chris and Jaylen, who are brothers, and who both cheer on the squad. They are new to the squad this year too. Once all the guest arrived, we took that long walk (nudge-nudge; wink-wink) across the street to the beach, and hung out for a while.

The older kids tumbled on the sand, entertaining the people on the pier above. My daughter Nina, her friend Alyssa, and Chris and Jaylen's little brother and sister made sand castles and waded in ankle-deep water. Here the kids make a pyramid thing in the shadow of the pier.

Just the boys on the beach goofing around. I'm sure you don't recognize it, but the white house on the bluff above Brady's head was the a home of San Clemente's founder, Ole Hanson.

After much fun and sun, we were ready to come in to open presents and eat cake. One of Brady's gifts was several dollar bills taped together like a continuous string. Brady loved this gift a little too much.
Here are all of Brady's party guests (L-R) Chris (holding his baby sister Mya), Tyler, Julian, Kiara, Jaylen and Brady:

Here is Brady's birthday cake. Albertson's makes a great cake, and my wife Laura loves to order this particular one. We have ordered this same cake for several birthday parties - sometimes filled with fresh strawberries, but not this time.

We had a great weekend, and everyone who attended Brady's party had a great time. By Sunday morning, we were all pack up and ready to check out, and in about an hour's time we were back home.

Moving up to the present time, it's Labor Day Weekend, and that means I have labor to do around the house. Oh, that's right; I get to do that every weekend. Well at least this weekend I can watch UCLA play football, and I'm one week away from NFL football. It's the most wonderful time of the year. See you next Saturday morning.

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