Spring Fair 2014

When you live in Puyallup, you start to take The Fair in stride.  In September, you’ll have 17 days of horrible traffic somewhat offset by the great time you’ll have on those couple days you actually attend.  In March, there’s the Spring Fair, which is a much smaller event taking only four days with much smaller daily attendance (some would say more reasonable daily attendance).

This year’s Spring Fair gave an opportunity to expose Ermias (pictured with David) to the experience in a perfect setting.  He loves spending time with his cousins and they love showing him around.  The kids played games, ate fair food, and generally had an awesome time.  Welcome to America, Ermias.

Easter 2014

David and Daniel

Easter is time for the greatest of celebrations as we commemorate Jesus’ triumph over death on our behalf.  He is risen indeed!  This year, the boys had a small egg hunt at our house and the main event was at Julie & Cindy’s.  Weather was fantastic and the crowd was almost big enough to fill their great yard!  At this point, Ermias is tightly connected with David as seen in many of the accompanying photographs.

Daniel’s First Daffodil Parade

Daniel – focused

As a seventh-grader, and a member of the Aylen Junior High Band, Daniel got to march and play in the Daffodil Parade this year!  It was so much fun to see him out there, and I think he had a great time too.  This year the parade was held during Spring Break, and many students were not around, so they put all the feeder junior high bands with the high schools and had them march together.  Daniel marched in the drum line with Puyallup High School.  While there, we ran into one of Janel’s friends from junior high, Ashley, and her family.  Click the picture to see more.

So Proud

Daniel (The Great!)

Daniel made the Honor Society in 7th grade.  This is an accomplishment regardless of other activities or life experiences.  The fact that he kept his grades up while participating in every sport the school offered, in addition to club sports and church activities, says a lot about his work ethic and character.  When you add in that this is only his fourth full year of school, it’s nothing short of a miracle!  Here’s a picture from the induction ceremony – click it to see a few others.

California Visit

Mid-winter break was awesome!  Here’s basically a day-by-day account:

Daniel, our own “Ethiopian Super Natural”

We took our time enjoying the waterfront and the Exploratorium, which is similar to the Pacific Science Center in Seattle.  On the pier next to the Exploratorium is an exhibit that records sounds and then plays them back 12 hours later.  Since our visit was shortly after the football season and the Seahawks won the Super Bowl (43-8 in case any Denver fans forgot), David went by the microphone and yelled, “Go Seahawks!”  Unfortunately, we weren’t going to be around at precisely midnight when it played back.

I get so much joy out of watching the kids interact with Science exhibits, and this place had so many interactive exhibits!  It was incredible to watch in wonder at their exploration.


Sarah & Caio joined us on a tour of a couple wineries.  The first is an incredible Italian castle, Castello di Amoroso.  It’s an amazing place and well worth the tour.  The second is the winery that produces my all-time favorite Merlot (and now my favorite Zinfandel, and a couple other reds).  We sampled a significant number of wines and discover
ed that Sarah and I have a very similar palate.  We both signed up for the Markham wine club.  The first place was for the tour; the second for the wine!

Chef Ryan

After the wineries, we went back to Ryan and Janel’s home for a rather-impressive tri-tip dinner (and some good wine). Ryan’s parents made the drive and it was great to spend time with them.  Then we played games and the kids goofed off!

A bit conspicuous

Next,  we wore our Seahawks’ gear and got pictures with the San Francisco skyline.  We toured Alcatraz (yes, it was actually the first time for many of us and it was very interesting).  People made jokes but treated us very well, especially considering this was just a few days after the Super Bowl!  Even though Allison and Eileen are 49ers fans, they indulged us with the pictures.


One of the things we enjoy while traveling is touring college campuses. We went to Berkeley and had Ryan as our tour-guide. As an added bonus, Janel and Ryan had done their homework and found an excellent Ethiopian restaurant near the campus. Dinner was awesome. The next day we went to Stanford and caught up with Sarah Howard and kids.  What fun!  Then we visited Janel’s school and classroom.

Click on any picture to see the rest of that gallery.

At Stanford

Christmas Day!

Celebrating the Lord coming to save us is always THE highlight of the year.  We love to get together with family, eat, open gifts, eat, visit, eat, watch football, eat, play games and, occasionally, eat.  This year was special for a number of reasons, including Sarah & Kyle joining us AND it was Ermias’ first Christmas in America!  We always take a lot of pictures and video.  This year, I organized the video into gift opening and other highlights.  I tried to cut it down to the essentials, but we had so much fun that I just couldn’t cut it too far.  Click on the photo above and enjoy both videos below.

More highlights:

Christmas Morning Musical Interlude

Predictably, the boys were up and anxious to come out for Christmas morning before the adults were ready to go.  We had them practice their instruments – David on the euphonium and Danial with his drums.  Since Sarah, Kyle and Caio were here, Daniel let Caio jam on the drums a bit.  Daniel has been playing the drums just over two years and David has only had the euphonium for a couple months.  They’re both pretty good.  Enjoy this brief video.

Christmas Eve 2013

Missing Janel & Ryan

Sarah and Kyle were home for Christmas, which made it extra special. We enjoyed great food and fellowship at Richard & Margie’s home. We put some of the video together for your enjoyment. Sarah & Kyle bought Daniel & David a fart gun from the movie, Despicable Me, which provided a fair amount of (disgusting) entertainment throughout the evening (and way beyond). Caio (Kyle & Sarah’s awesome exchange student) got to handle a crab for the first time. Enjoy the pictures and the video.

Early Christmas

Sarah managed to get 4 tickets for the Seahawks game being played the Sunday before Christmas.  She was taking all the boys – Daniel, David and Caio (who has become a big Seahawks fan during his stay).  Caio’s cousin also came over from Bremerton on the fairy and joined them for the game.

So we bought jerseys for all of them (and Sary-Jo and Randy).  Of course they needed to be opened before the game.  Both the tickets and the jerseys were huge hits!  Click the picture to see a few more.  They captured the whole experience including hair and makeup.

Click the picture below to see pictures of their game experience.