Saturday, August 02, 2014

Keelie Rides a Bicycle

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This was taken a while back.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013 and Happy New Year 2014

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Wow, we left this blog without an update for an entire year! Blame Facebook. We regularly update friends & family there. If you still haven’t joined Facebook, well, resistance is futile.
In March, Kyle had surgery on his right eye for the condition he inherited from dear ol’ dad. He liked him some of that sedative, but he was none to happy when he came out of general anesthesia. The surgery worked, thankfully.
In October we took a weekend trip to San Diego to see some family in from out of town, and went to Legoland for the first time.
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Bright and early November 1, we were privileged to be invited guests at the dedication of a window on Main Street, USA at Disneyland, honoring our friend Tony who retired from Walt Disney Imagineering earlier this year after a distinguished career. You can read more about that at my Kenversations™ blog, including the fun day we had at Disneyland after the ceremony, being escorted around like celebrities.
Here’s Kori with Richard Sherman, who along with his brother Robert, wrote songs I guarantee you know for movies, theme parks, Annette Funicello, and others (“Mary Poppins”, “it’s a small world”, the Carousel of Progress, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, “Charlotte’s Web”, “The Parent Trap”) They are major characters in the movie “Saving Mr. Banks”, which is out now and I highly recommend.
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And here we are with Tony and a replica of his window…
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I had attended attended Tony’s induction as a Disney Legend a few months before at the D23 convention, which was held in our city. Every few months or so, we join a group or friends for dinner and movie viewing hosted by Tony.
“Hi Minnie!”
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Here’s Kyle defeating Darth Vader.
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And here’s Keelie defeating Darth Maul.
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Keelie has this to say about visiting Disneyland:
“We visited Disneyland with the Lawrence family. We got to watch the fireworks, and we also got to be snowed on. All the people that hadn’t visited Disneyland before, but had been visiting Walt Disney World (which is kind of like Disneyland): Guess what we have in Disneyland that you don’t have at Walt Disney World? Instead of Expedition Everest, we have something called the Matterhorn Bobsleds. It’s really fun. We don’t have water parks like you do. But we do have something in Disneyland that is like a water park. It’s at A Bug’s Land, which is in California Adventure, which I know you don’t have. So you might might not have A Bug’s Land. There are little fountains that little kids can play in. But they need to wear their bathing suits.
“As you saw up at the top, we visited Mickey when he was wearing the Mickey’s Magical Map outfit that he wore in the show!
“We got to go on Space Mountain. It was fun for me, but I’m sure it was not fun for my best friend Audrey. I might be wrong.”
Kori and the kids recently got to enjoy the annual tradition of Teddy Bear Tea with my mother.
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Mother & daughter…
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Kori continues to visit doctors to have her electronic pulse generator adjusted in an effort to find the best setting for deep brain stimulation. In that regard, it has been a rough year.
Kori also continues to homeschool Keelie, who can get through her coursework quickly… when she wants to.
Keelie is continuing with dance (tap and ballet). Kyle started learning martial arts in September, specifically Moo Yea Do. We have often talked with the Grand Master Tiger Yang himself. This is NOT Grand Master Yang…
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The kids really love swimming, especially Keelie, who never wants to leave a pool. I really need to make an effort to find them a place to swim in the colder months.
The kids love their time in Sunday school, and Kori takes them to various field trips and activities with some of the local moms and kids, and they make it up to Pasadena almost once a week to spend time with my mother, sisters, nephews, etc. Thankfully, Kori’s parents also live in Anaheim so we can see them regularly, too.
I became a sort of co-host on The Sweep Spot podcast. So if you want to hear me rattle on about Disneyland, you can do so by listening to the episodes on which I’ve appeared.
Other than what you see above, 2013 was mostly another boring year, which is good. Keelie turned 6, Kyle turned 4. We didn’t lose our house, I didn't lose my job, no major crimes were committed against us (that we know about), we didn't have to file a lawsuit against anyone, and the dog didn’t die.
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Since this officially serves as our Christmas card & letter to all…
~Merry Christmas~
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – The Gospel According to Saint John the Apostle, Chapter 1, Verse 14, New International Version
May your 2014 be one of happiness, peace, health, and prosperity.
*** *** ***
Thanks for stopping by and checking out this latest update. Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. You can leave a comment here or contact us a KEPellman [at] yahoo [dot] com or find Ken on Facebook or Kori on Facebook.

–Ken, for the Pellmans of Anaheim  
December 2013
KEPellman [at] yahoo [dot] com

[This was originally published on Christmas Eve 2013, but due to a technical issue was printed under a previous entry's URL.]

Merry Christmas 2012 and Happy New Year 2013

[NOTE: This was originally published Friday, December 21, 2012, but due to a technical issue, it was replaced at its original location with the 2013/2014 update.]

My, my, where does the time go? We last did a general update here in July.

2012-07-30 Keelie with Aubrey

There’s Keelie with her young cousin on her mother’s side, Aubrey.

The biggest event for us this year happened in July. It was when Kori had two quarter-sized holes drilled into her skull and two electrodes inserted deep into her brain.

Yup, you read that right.

Oh, they patched up the holes. They left the electrodes in, and the wires for the electrodes run under her skin from the top of her head, down her neck, to her chest. A week after she got the electrodes inserted into her brain, the wires at the other end were attached to an electronic pulse generator that was inserted into her chest. Kori has a remote on/off switch. When the device is on, it sends electrical pulses deep into her brain, but not HBO. The device has a range of settings, and it is up to neurological experts to find the right setting to maximize the benefits, and that usually takes much trial & error, testing & adjusting.

Why?

Well, I can’t be the easiest person to live with, so It was only a matter of time before one of us had brain surgery. And since I wasn’t going for it, Kori did. But seriously… it is called Deep Brain Stimulation and it is a treatment for dystonia.

Also in July, this happened…

2012-07-27 Window

Every square inch of our plate-glass sliding door shattered instantly (and noisily) while I was sitting a few feet away. Why? We don’t know. We had the glass and door removed, and the opening boarded up that day. Then, people would come take a look and then NOT get back to us with an estimate. So it was months before we finally shelled out the $$$$ to completely replace the whole thing, as well as the windows in that room. So far, the new door has not shattered.

In August, I (Ken) very much enjoyed an UNOFFICIAL Disneyland Custodial reunion, for, oddly enough, former and current members of the World Famous Disneyland Custodial team. One of my contemporaries got the ball rolling and organized it after attending some funerals for fellow Janii who died too young, and wanting us to get together under more enjoyable circumstances. It was a very big success and I hope it is an annual thing.

CustodialReunion2012-1

Notice how clean that park is!

All aboard the Dinosaur Train at the Natural History Museum!

2012-08-11 PBS

Kyle is so excited that he’s… he’s… napping. My mother is doing stellar grandmother work pushing him around in his stroller.

Brain surgery wasn’t enough stress for Kori, so she started officially homeschooling Keelie as summer drifted away. Keelie is a tad on the strong-willed side, so there is much fun to be had during this process.

2012-08-20 Kyle and Keelie

Why homeschool? Heh… how much time to listen to me rant do you have? You don’t really want to hear me list the reasons. But if you want, we can hit you up for fundraisers anyway.

2012-08-20 Keelie

Kyle and his cousin Lainey, Aubrey’s older sister, had a joint Third Birthday Party at a local indoor child-party place.

2012-08-25 Kyle and Lainey

Keelie and Kyle adore both of their maternal cousins.

In October, Kori flew out of state to a Secret Undisclosed Location to finally have a meet-up weekend with her MommySisters. They are not to be confused  with Sister Wives. No, MommySisters are pen pals who’ve been keeping in touch since they were all expecting children due in July 2007. We’ve had a couple come through Anaheim, but this was finally a group of them getting together… at least a few who were able to fit it in to their busy schedules.

In November, I wrapped up my bid to be elected President of the United States of America on the Imaginary Party ticket. I lost.

Earlier this  month, Keelie and Kyle attended what has become an annual tradition for Kori and the kids…

Teddy Bear Tea 2012 Keelie (1024x676)

Teddy Bear Tea! Both of their paternal aunts were there. That’s Kim there with Kyle…

Teddy Bear Tea 2012 Kyle (1024x656)

Keelie is still taking dance (tap and ballet). Since Kyle loves dancing at home and seems very musical, we signed him up for the class Keelie is in and their cousin Lainey joined, which is officially for boys as well as gi rls. However, Kyle refused to join the practice session, surveying the instructors and the other students, all female, and stating, “I’m a boy.” Showing him Fred Astaire did not sway him. So I took him for cigars and beer at a local sports bar. No, not really.

The kids love their time in Sunday school, and Kori takes them to various field trips and activities with some of the local moms and kids, and they make it up to Pasadena about once a week to spend time with my mother, sisters, nephews, etc.

I continued appearing as a guest from time to time on The Sweep Spot podcast. So if you want to hear me rattle on about Disneyland, you can do so by listening to the episodes on which I’ve appeared.

Other than what you see above, 2012 was mostly another boring year, which is good. Keelie turned 5, Kyle turned 3. We didn’t lose our house, I didn't lose my job, no major crimes were committed against us (that we know about), we didn't have to file a lawsuit against anyone, and the dog didn’t die. (But… we did have Kori’s handy father create a new dog door in the wall to replace the one that went away with the sliding door replacement. The fact that the dog, who was used to going to the backyard at will, had few accidents when we were without a dog door, is one reason the dog is still alive.)

*** *** ***

Since this officially serves as our Christmas card & letter to all…

~Merry Christmas~

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – The Gospel According to Saint John the Apostle, Chapter 1, Verse 14, New International Version

May your 2013 be one of happiness, peace, health, and prosperity.

*** *** ***

Thanks for stopping by and checking out this latest update. Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. You can leave a comment here or contact us a KEPellman [at] yahoo [dot] com

–Ken, for the Pellmans of Anaheim  
December 2012
KEPellman [at] yahoo [dot] com

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Summer 2012 Already?!?

Hey everyone! How are you doing? Facebook and Twitter continue to be the place to go to keep current on what we’re doing, but I do like the blogging format. The problem is, the moment I start working on a blog and the kids see the pictures, they climb onto my (Ken’s) lap and start making requests of who they want to see in pictures.
However, the kids have been staying with my family (for good reasons I will get into in another update), so I was able to throw this together without having to stay up extra late at night.
Let’s see… where did we leave off?
Christmas 2011 Castle
Ah yes, it was around Christmastime when we last gave an update. Living close enough to Disneyland to see and hear the fireworks does have some advantages. Kori and my mother (and anyone else who comes along) have been taking Keelie and Kyle to Disneyland on a fairly regular basis during the week. Those kids have no idea how spoiled they are!
Here’s Grandpa Pellman making a visit in January.
2012-01-07 Grandpa Keelie Kyle
Kori and the kids meet up with some other mothers with young kids, often weekly. Here’s Kyle at a meet-up where they were learning about Groundhog Day. The day, not the movie.
Gound hot day celebration 2012-02-01 Kyle
It’s like looking at me [REDACTED] years ago.
Whenever the kids are sitting peacefully together, it is a good idea to capture the moment with a picture…
2012-02-21 Keelie and Kyle
… and, perhaps, a commemorative coin from the Franklin Mint.
Every year, the kids have special Easter outfits. Here’s Kyle’s… such a ham…
2012-04-06 Kyle
And Keelie’s…
2012-04-08 Keelie
This was NOT Keelie’s Easter clothing…
2012-05-01 Keelie
…but she is wearing Kyle’s tie.
Big doings around here included the arrival, in May, of Cousin Aubrey, born to Kori’s sister Kendra and Kendra’s hubby Steve. Aubrey joins Cousin Lainey, who was born just nine days before Kyle. Kyle, remember, adores Lainey, and so does Keelie. Keelie is happy to have a younger girl in the family. Kyle is happy to have a cousin his age. They are now happy to have a baby around, too.
Here’s Kori with new arrival Aubrey…
2012-05-14 Kori
And proud grandparents, Bill & Pam (known to my kids as Granddaddy and Puma.)
2012-05-14 Pam and Bill
Yup, Keelie is happy to have another younger girl in the family…
Cousins meet 5-17-12 005
I think this is the moment at which Kyle realized he was no longer the baby of the family…
Cousins meet 5-17-12 040
He’s no longer the baby, but yes, he loves holding his Cousin Aubrey.
Kyle and Aubrey
One thing making life a lot easier now is that Kyle is pretty much completely potty-trained, even though he’s still not even three years old. Yay!!!
Kori and the kids get together regularly with Kendra and her kids. In addition to that, going to Disneyland regularly, and meeting up with the local moms & kids regularly, Kori and the kids will regularly visit my family in Pasadena, and sometimes I will join them after work. We visit Puma & Granddaddy along with Kori’s other siblings, and Kori and I have been meeting up with a small group from our church every two weeks or so. So, we’re keeping busy.
Keelie's 5th Birthday Celebration at Disneyland 6-10-12 153
Keelie made out like a bandit for her fifth… FIFTH(!)… birthday in June, enjoying a special day at Disneyland Kori worked hard to put together for the ladies. They wore matching purple shirts Kori made.
Keelie Turns 5
Granddaddy took that beautiful picture. Keelie also had a “small” family-only party at our house… which meant 25 people.
And here’s Keelie wrestling with Cousin Macon for some grub…
2012-06-30 Keelie With Macon
I have been appearing as a guest from time to time on The Sweep Spot podcast. So if you want to hear me rattle on about Disneyland, you can do so by listening to the episodes on which I’ve appeared.
Thanks for stopping by and checking out this latest update. Please keep in touch at let us know how you are doing. You can leave a comment here or contact us a KEPellman [at] yahoo [dot] com

Monday, February 06, 2012

Repurposing a playpen

In our house we have a 4 1/2 year old, a 2 year old and a ball pit.

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When the 4 1/2 year old began being able to climb out of the playpen (about 2 years ago) we decided not to get rid of the playpen, but to repurpose it into a convenient place to put all of the various size balls that she had amassed. Then, one day, while browsing on Amazon, I noticed the many different – and expensive – kids of “Ball Pits”, then I noticed replacement balls. BINGO! The playpen became our ball pit.

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As a matter of fact, this isn’t our daughters original playpen/ball pit, the first one got so much use that we had to replace it. Oh, and the ball pit balls are available at Amazon, K-Mart, and Wal-Mart, and I’m sure most of those aren’t original either!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

Ah, here I am, updating this neglected blog. Is blogging dead? I very much like the format, but we’re so busy being parents and taking care of our responsibilities that there isn’t much time to put together worthwhile blog postings. I (Ken) like to update my status on Twitter and Facebook, like hundreds of millions of other people.
5-06 2011 Kyle
Life has been mostly about the kids and taking them to see family. It’s great when we visit family and grandparents, aunts, uncles, and nephews keep the kids entertained and safe. Keelie and Kyle both adore their cousin Lainey. They have a standing weekly playdate. In general, Kendra, Steve, and Lainey have been great for the kids and have graciously babysat when needed.

Here Keelie and Kyle take a break from their slapstick routine to calmly hug.
Keelie and Kyle love each other! 5-18 2011
Kori and the kids have also been going to see my mother and siblings on a regular basis while I’ve been at work, and we’ll all go to see Kori’s parents and siblings when we can. Kori has also been taking the kids to local meetups in parks and such.

We’ve tried to get to Disneyland on a regular basis. These kids don’t really grasp that very, very few little kids in the world get to do that. The “Toy Story” movies have Kyle’s imagination, and he alternately pretends to be Woody or Buzz, and usually asks to ride Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters… several times per day. We didn’t make as good of use of our passes to Knott’s Berry Farm.

Kyle knows all of his upper and lower case letters and the sounds they make (and which letters make what sound). He continues to be very musical, and can recognize and sing back tunes even if I’m the one “singing” them, and I’m doing so with different lyrics. Otherwise, he’s such a chip off the old block that sometimes we think we should have made him a Junior.

Keelie is mindful of relationships (“Daddy, your little sister is funny.”) She’s reading above a second grade level, which at 4 1/2 years old isn’t too shabby. She surprises me with her artistic talent. Her memory abilities continue to be scary. She’s also very sociable. While trick-or-treating this year, she would introduce herself to the other kids and ask them for their names. She couldn’t understand why they would rather run quickly to the next house rather than mingle.

Both kids are strong-willed and stubborn. Not sure where they get that. [Ken and Kori both do their “innocent-but-really-guilty” looks.]

The kids both had a gymnastics class over the summer – it was the second time around for Keelie.
6-17 2011 Keelie
Kyle liked doing everything in the class, but at different times than he was supposed to. He took to holding and swinging up on the bar so much than he was doing that other places, too, such as the Aquarium of the Pacific.
6-17 2011 Kyle and Daddy
Keelie continues her dance classes. She had a recital over the summer and another one just before Christmas.
Keelie Ballet Dress 7-16-2011
Is that attitude, or what?

In July, Kori and I got out to see “Weird Al” Yankovic and his AL-pocalypso Band kick off their tour. We had some excellent seats, but we didn’t take such great pictures.
Weird Al Concert 7-9-11
Also in July, we were able to go to a great, intimate event at the Grammy Museum, where Mr. Yankovic was interviewed and then answered questions from the audience, including one from yours truly.

We’d cool down over the summer with swims at Puma & Granddaddy’s and at Nanny’s/Auntie Kim’s/Uncle Mike’s.

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In September, we went to Kauai for a week.
Kauai 2011 9-16
It was my first trip to Hawaii, as it was for Keelie and Kyle.
9-19 2011 Kauai
We didn’t even know there was going to be a trip until Mother’s Day. We wouldn’t have been able to afford the trip if it wasn’t for being able to stay at the Keel family timeshare. Actually, in hindsight, given everything else that happened this year, we couldn’t afford to fly there, either. But we did.
9-20 2011 Kauai
We shared a two-bedroom suite with Kendra, Steve, and Lainey. Kyle tossed his cookies upon takeoff from LAX, and it was an omen. Everyone in that suite got sick during week we were there, except for me. It continued through the flight back to LAX.

Here, Keelie works the stage at a luau.
9-21 2011 Kauai
Back home, Kyle re-enacted a scene from one of the bedtime books we read. That’s his soup bowl on his head.
11-04 2011 Kyle
Keelie, along with Nanny, Auntie Kim, and Mommie, returned to Teddy Bear Tea at the Langham just before Christmas. The Langham will always be the Huntington to me.
12-23 Keelie TBT
Kyle and Keelie both enjoyed Christmas…
12-24 2011 Kyle
They are both growing so fast!
12-24 2011 Keelie
Our house was attacked by bees literally just before our September vacation – removing them cost a pretty penny. Both of our vehicles needed expensive work in the last several months, and we’ve run into ongoing trouble with the condo we were pretty much forced to rent out rather than sell when we moved into the house, so that’s been a financial drain as well. If we had known all of these things were coming our way, we wouldn’t have bought the tickets to take that vacation.

I resumed writing columns for LaughingPlace.com and my friends have had me as a recurring guest on their podcast, The Sweep Spot. If you are interested in Disney, especially Disneyland, check out those links.

Kori has been a serious coupon shopper this year, coming home with bags full of groceries for ridiculously low cash spent. She’s very organized  and methodical about it.

Other than what you see above, 2011 was mostly another boring year, which is good. Keelie turned 4, Kyle turned 2. We didn’t lose our house, I didn't lose my job, no major crimes were committed against us (that we know about), we didn't have to file a lawsuit against anyone, none of us suffered a major illness or injury, and the dog didn't die.

May your 2012 be one of happiness, peace, health, and prosperity.

Please keep in touch!

–Ken, for the Pellmans of Anaheim 
January 2012
KEPellman [at] yahoo [dot] com