December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas

Harrison Family Christmas 2014

December 15, 2014

disneyland with Lucas

Once upon a time there lived two college students who spent their hard earned money on Disneyland passes for three years in a row. Throughout the school year, Richard and I would go to Disneyland about once or twice a month (sometimes more). It was the perfect date night for broke to actually go out for dinner and or a movie...but with our passes it gave us the freedom of enjoying Disneyland and California Adventure.  

This Christmas season, with the help of two cast members, our family was able to go to Disneyland and California Adventure. With the price of tickets I'm eternally grateful for Dada's Disneyland cast member connection. The cost for entering the gates of the happiest place on earth is a steep one. I can't image purchasing annual passes now.

Going to Disneyland with a toddler was a new experience for me. The days leading up to our trip I had nightmares about loosing him in the park. I purposely dressed Lucas in orange. Dadi wanted him to wear a Mickey Mouse shirt, but I vetoed that idea. I could just imagine trying to describe my lost child to an employee....two year old, about 30 something inches... wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt.

Yeah, I just describes everyone's kid.

In addition to loosing my child, I was curious about how he would react to the rides. He doesn't like loud noses or fast movements.

Winnie the Pooh, Small World, Mickey's Fun Wheel and Buzz Light Year were a big hit.

We stayed until World of Color. Lucas slept through the entire show. After the show everyone else went on big kid rides while sleeping Lucas and I went shopped. Great day, makes me miss having an annual pass. 

December 8, 2014

handmade holidays

Homemade ornaments add a personal touch to any Christmas tree. This year my Mom and I teamed up together along with the boys to paint these cute wooden cars, trucks and trains. The boys each painted about one ornament before deciding to go outside and play construction site. After the boys finished Mom and I worked on the rest of the ornaments. It was fun painting the details on little cars, trucks and trains. 

Lucas wanted to paint Lightening McQueen. I think he nailed it. 

These silly boys had a blast painting their ornaments and my table. To prevent the table from being damaged I used butcher paper and secured it with painter's tape. This kept the paint from leaking through and my table stayed clean. 

I love how everything turned out. My tree has five new adorable ornaments and I have new memories to enjoy.  

November 30, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving.

I hope everyone is stuffed to the max. I know I am.

With one Sunday wedding dinner, two thanksgiving dinners, and one dinner and lunch to celebrate my husband passing the bar exam I'm ready to hibernate and not see another plate of food until Spring.

I have so much to be thankful this year. It is easy for me to get caught up in my own world that I forget to be thankful for the blessing that I do have. My husband is a newly minted attorney, my family is growing, and we have a safe and happy home.

Psalm 100

Enter his gates with thankgiving
and his courts with praise;
giving thanks to him and praise his name. 
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations. 

November 23, 2014

family wedding @ Villa de Amore

We kicked off the holiday season with a family wedding @ the Villa de Amore in Temecula California. It was a beautiful wedding. The bride did a fantastic job of using the venue's natural beauty in planning her colors and decorations. During the cocktail hour guests were given the opportunity to play lawn games...which worked out well for Lucas. He had a blast tossing the bean bags around the lawn disrupting everyone who actually wanted to play the game. 

Speaking of Lucas....he did well for not napping. The wedding started at two. Lucas usually naps starting around noonish and will sleep until 3ish. I knew going into this day that things might get interesting as the day went on...he did well until the dinner hour. Luckily I came prepared and had lots of goldfishes and crackers. 

Unfortunately I didn't plan for the cold....not just crisp air (I did plan for crisp air) but freezing bone chilling wind. The wedding ceremony and reception dinner took place outside. Indian sari's aren't made for the cold weather and the little shawl that I brought did not cut it. Several times during the evening I was seriously tempted to go back to the car slip on my pj's and ugg boots. 

Besides the weather it was a wonderful wedding and I wish all the happiness to the bride and groom. 

November 21, 2014

my husband is a lawyer

I'm going to keep things short and sweet tonight. Tonight marks a new chapter for our family. My husband just found out that he passed the California State Bar Exam. I am so proud of him and thankful that  he passed. What a great way to kick off the Thanksgiving week!

November 14, 2014

These Happy Golden Year by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Ingalls family will always have a special place in my heart. As a little girl, I grew up reading (and watching) the Little House on the Prairie series. And now as an adult I'm thrilled to be able to reread and enjoy the adventures of Pa, Ma, Mary, Laura, Carrie and little Grace.

"These Happy Golden Years," which won the Newberry Honor award in 1944, continues the autobiographical account of the Ingalls family. The book starts when Laura is fifteen and ends when she turns eighteen. Laura is now a young lady, and her life is getting interesting. To help make ends meet, Laura takes on a teaching job twelve miles away from home. This is the first time Laura is living away from home and she struggles with homesickness and learning how to be a good teacher. Every Friday afternoon, the handsome and much older Alamanzo Wilder braves the cold weather to take her home. As the story progresses, Alamanzo becomes an even bigger part of Laura's life. Between the buggy rides, the singing school and sledding; soon a friendship turns to love for Laura and Alamanzo ending in their marriage and the start of a new life together.

Laura's romance with Alamanzo is an excellent example of a wholesome courtship without the pressures of modern dating. Should I have daughters I would definitely suggest this book during their tween/teen years. Laura is a fine example for young girls - someone who studies hard, goes out and does what she needs to do, has adventures and along the way finds true love.

October 16, 2014

The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

Life's been busy, I'm going to keep things short today.

This book has been on my "to read" list for years. As a child, I read the kid's version and fell in love with the story of Christian and his fellow companions. Following the example of the March sisters, I would tie a burden on my back and march around the house playing pilgrim - trudging through the Slough of Despond, climbing the Hill of Difficulty, slaying Apollyon and resting at Palace Beautiful.

I was happy to find an unabridge audiobook with modern language of the Pilgrim's Progress. The only downside with my copy is that it does not include Christiana's journey to the celestial city. However, I did want a copy with modern language vs. Old English and so I'm not going to complain to much about the missing second part.

October 4, 2014

it's fall ya'll

Happy Sabbath and Happy Fall! 

While my husband was away playing bass guitar for a friend's Hawaiian band; Lucas, Dadi and Dada, and I took a trip to the Irvine Park Zoo and pumpkin patch. Between September 20th  and October 31st, the area behind the train station is transformed into a festive pumpkin patch with many family friendly activities.  Lucas had a blast running through the hay bale mazes, searching for the biggest and brightest pumpkin to sit on, munching on delicious banana bread and sticking his head through the wooden cutouts. 

I was so proud of Lucas for getting on the pony. Several months ago I tried to introduce Lucas to horseback riding and he cried the whole time. However, this time he happily rode Ginger and didn't want to get off when his turn was over. 

And of course the day wasn't complete until we walked around the zoo, groomed some goats and checked out an owl with upside down and backwards binoculars. 

September 12, 2014

The L.A County Fair

Good Lord, it's hot here. I'm actually kinda jealous of those who live in parts of the country where its transitioning into fall weather - here in SoCal we are experiencing highs in the triple digits.


When its this hot most SoCal residences stay inside, go swimming or head to the cooler weather of the coast. Not us. Our family, along with a couple of friends all piled into the car and drove down to the L.A County fair for a day of farm animals, fair foods and trains.

On top of serving fried, cheesecake, oreos, twinkies, red velvet cake and pecan pie...fried bacon donuts,  pineapples and chocolate hot dogs were listed on the menu. 

I limited myself to one fried oreo and one shared funnel cake. That was enough fried food to last me for a lifetime...

I'm glad that L.A County Fair brought back the farm exhibits. Lucas loved being able to pet the cows, sheep and goats up-close. I did feel bad for the animals. It was at least 90 + degrees in the shaded areas and some of the poor critters looked uncomfortable.  In the old outdoor show arena, the fair turned the entire area into one large farm. Kids could watch demonstrations on how our fruits and vegetables are grown, what it takes to be a farmers and how to grow your own garden. 

As the day went on, it did cool down and we enjoyed the forestry services exhibit and the train museum before heading home exhausted.  

September 10, 2014

Winter of the World by Ken Follett

Winter of the World by Ken Follett is the second installment of The Century Trilogy and picks up right where Fall of Giants left off. The story starts in 1933, with the rise of the Third Reich and includes such events as the Spanish Civil War, the American depression and World War Two, it concludes in 1949 with hints of the cold war to come. 

I really enjoyed Fall of Giants, and was a bit disappointed with Winter of the World.  It felt like the same story - with different historical events. Even the characters seemed to be recycled - same characters different names. I guess I was really hoping for something new and fresh. 

As a work of historical fiction, Follett has done his homework. The historical events and real life characters portrayed have been well researched. I thought the part about Japan's justification for their need to go to war was interesting. It was a piece of unknown history for me. 

I found it interesting that Follett chose to skip the Holocaust and instead focused on Action T4, the Nazi's euthanasia program for the handicap. Perhaps he felt that the Holocaust had been done before and was looking for something new to flesh out? 

As with all of Follett's books, the bad guys are people to go along with the establishment - the fascists, the communists, the old aristocracy and of course the church. If I had to guess, I'd say that Follett is a socialist, and or a labor party member.  

Sex plays a huge roll in the story. Follett spends more time talking about/describing sexual encounters between characters than he dose on the horrors of World War 2. Characters - male and female- have hearty sexual appetites. Women are often described as having firm tits and round asses, and are ready for a romp in the hay or a blow job to go. Too much sexytime does make me wonder if he is compensating for something???  For the most part the ample amount of sexytime didn't bother me. However, when Follett introduced a 13 year old Jewish girl whose parents just died in a concentration camp he goes into detail describing her round bouncy breasts that clung to her thin tight dress. Why did he have to go into detail about her body? Her parents just died in a concentration camp? The size and shape of her breasts wasn't necessary.  

This book is not my favorite. However, the narrative is quick and absorbing, the characters are interesting and Follett provides readers with a front row seat to many memorable historical events of the 20th century. 

September 7, 2014


On a hot muggy afternoon, I took my friend Allison out near my parent's home for a Guild Wars Cosplay photo shoot. This was my first Cosplay photo shoot and it was a lot of fun. Allison is a fantastic seamstress and a beautiful model. The amount of detail put into this costume is stunning. I'm in love with the green fabric used on the blouse, and leather corset. The natural hills of Southern California make a perfect background for the Guild Wars universe. 

August 31, 2014

Fiero Concert

I had the pleasure of photographing Fiero over the weekend. The group came out to Riverside to perform at La Sierra University's Hole Memorial for a concert.  The group features Andrew Harrison on the soprano saxophone, Isaac Lopez on alto saxophone, Emma Reinhart on tenor saxophone, and John Hallberg on baritone saxophone. All four members are currently attending USC. I've heard Andrew play many times, however this was the first time I've heard his entire quartet perform. As a group they sound amazing, mixing classical and contemporary pieces to create a truly unique music experience. 

August 26, 2014

train rides and a birthday

A beautiful day for the beach. Sabbath morning our family boarded the train and road the rails to San Clemente. For a weekend in August, the beach was empty. Not that I minded...I prefer empty beaches...more room to spread out. The tide was high, and the water was refreshingly cool. Lucas enjoyed digging in the sand and wading in the water. He was so busy that he forgot about the yummy snacks packed away. At the end of the day, we were all ready to board our train and head home. I had hoped that Lucas would sleep on the way home, however there was too many interesting things to see outside of the windows. Thankfully, our train car was nearly empty and we avoided bothering other passengers. It was a great way to end the summer and spend my birthday.

August 16, 2014


With over 840 miles of coastline, California is home to some amazing beaches. For C's birthday, we headed down to Oceanside's Harbor Beach. It was a lovely day. The kiddos played in the sand, digging holes and creating castles. At first Lucas was hesitant about going near the water. He would cautiously walk towards the water, then suddenly run away as soon as the tide came in. Finally, at the end of the day he timidly put his toes in...a wide smile slowly spread across his face indicating that he finally got over the fear of the ocean water.  We ended the day with one tired and dirty baby boy.