Monday, May 23, 2011

Hard work?

Lukas and Noah have entered the profession of consultants. Today they participated in a panel telling App developers and Video Game designers what they like and do not like. Both boys drew out games they would like to see developed and had a chance to describe them to people in the industry. In addition to walking through their game ideas, the kids were asked questions about what they like about certain games, and what type of games they play and on what platforms. The best part was being able to play with various apps and games on IPads, IPhones and game consoles.
And the pay, one asks.... Ice cream and a t-shirt! The experience as they say at MasterCard - priceless!

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lukas' recital

This afternoon, Lukas had his recital. Not only did we have the pleasure of hearing our son perform along with 18 other students, but at the end Eun Ha Chong performed a short piece. What a wonderful ending to a lovely recital.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Well, we are heading overseas next week, and we are going to do some touring.. not sure this get up is making it into the suitcase however....
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011


When Lukas was born we held a private dedication ceremony for our family and a dear friend and minister. Noah was dedicated alongside one other little boy in our church in Washington DC two years later. Both Bob and I prayed and hoped that one day, each of our little boys would come to a saving knowledge of Christ and choose to commit their lives to him. Since this is a personal decision, we could only pray and trust God for his providence in our sons' lives.
During the past two years, both Lukas and Noah have chosen to put trust in Jesus Christ, each doing it when he was ready and felt lead to do so. The next natural step is be baptized, as a public expression of faith. Our current church baptizes infants but also offers believer's baptism for those wanting to make this public statement of faith.  Last year we saw several young students from our church be baptized in the Pacific Ocean at the annual Beach Barbecue for the church. Lukas and Noah both asked when the event was announced this year, if they could be baptized. What a joy, it was music to our ears to hear their desire to be baptized.
Sunday after church, Bob, Lukas and Noah changed into swim trunks and walked down to Carmel Beach. A large part of the church family along with several of our dear friends from the area joined us and three other families taking part in the baptism.
Bob along with Pastor Rick baptized first Noah and then Lukas, watching carefully for the right wave, not too tall and forceful, not too shallow and therefore sand gritty, but just right.

After a quick and delicious barbecue lunch we headed off to our next event, violin recital. Noah had been a bit worried that he would have to perform in his wet suit, alternatively his swim trunks, but there was no need to worry, the church clothes were still in the car ready for round two of the day.  Fortunately we do not have to worry about hair being wet, and needing styling before a performance.
A wonderful and special day that we will remember always.

Monterey Lego League Spring Challenge Exhibition

It started in early March with a kick off and culminated this past Saturday with an open to the public exhibition. Lukas and Noah participated in Monterey Lego League Spring Challenge - Wild and Woolly, A Walk on the Wild Side. Each team had to design, build and program a robot to look, and behave like an animal. The teams also had to design and create the zoo like environment most suitable for the animal chosen. Each team interpreted the ideas in a different way and judging from the faces on the kids, everyone had a great time. Noah and his team mates kept improving the zoo, adding, enhancing and re-positioning parts of the zoo even while the exhibition was under way. Not satisfied with status quo, the team also began to write more programs that they gleefully tested out on the zoo table. Lukas and his team mates also worked on last minute additions, changes and updates to make sure Mr Komodo dragon was up to par. It has been ten busy weeks, but the learning and the fun made it all so worthwhile. It certainly helps to have a very patient, kind and computer savvy Dad and husband, when the inevitable happens, and happens, and happens. Bob spent many long and tedious hour this past week trouble shooting a plethora of computer issues to make sure that Robogator and Komodo Dragon would take a walk on the wild side on Saturday.

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Each team was asked to bring a cake to the Lego Exhibition, so we set out to make the Zoo Stormers' cake. Since they had built a Komodo Dragon, Lukas thought a Komodo Dragon cake would be appropriate. Thanks to Goggle, we quickly had more suggestions and alternatives to choose from than we ever anticipated. Dragon cakes are very popular and come in many shapes, colors and postures.
Mamma was entrusted to bake the cake, whereas the cutting, assembling and decorating was handled by the guys. The Komodo Dragon posture was driven by the size of our cake stand - so it is turning its green head laying more in an S shape than straight. Lukas and Noah had fun adding jelly bean teeth, gel scales and sparkly green sprinkles all courtesy of a very generous Grammy who sends us left over cake decorating materials.
The final touch came with the left over edible Easter Grass - just what the Komodo Dragon needed.
It was a bit messy, but sure fun to make this cake and the boys were so proud of their cake, and it was truly theirs.

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The birthday with no end

There arrived yet another big box addressed to Noah last week! He was so surprised and excited - he really thought all the celebration was over by now.
His excitement grow even more when he saw where the box came from, and when he opened the bright green birthday sack, he squealed! Two fun cool and very much wished for gadgets fell out of the bag. Preparation for Lego League Exhibition took a back seat to playing with these new fun contraptions. Thank you Aunt Lisa and Uncle Jeff for extending the birthday celebration far beyond any expectation.

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PhD assistants?

Bob showed Lukas and Noah one of the programs he is using for simulation in his PhD research. The three of them giggled, laughed, discussed and bantered around ideas for a long time. The next day, Lukas was telling me about optimizing cars and traffic patterns.... I am pretty sure that was not in one of his home school classes.
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Final Lego League meeting

Spring Challenge for Lego League came to an end last week. Lukas and Noah worked hard with their team mates to make sure the robot, ehm Aligator and Komodo Dragon performed properly; the zoological parks were designed, crafted and finalized; all systems were go for Saturday and the Exhibition. Since there was a threat of rain on our last day of practice, we had to resort to re-arranging the furniture so that we could set up the tables inside. I am thinking the couches are getting used to being pushed out, it seems it is not unusual for the furniture to move to accommodate some gathering, activity or event in our little house. One thing is for sure, we are using every square inch to the fullest!

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Surfing dudes

We were invited to a surprise birthday party on the beach, and Lukas and Noah dressed for the occasion - yes wet suits. No it was not the required dress code, as a matter of fact they were the only ones in wet suits, but not the only ones in the very frigid water. Most of the guests were huddling under blankets as the sun has given way to clouds and winds. Lukas and Noah spent most of the party in the water, surfing on boards, and body surfing - their body temperature returned to normal after a very long hot shower that night.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

It has been a very busy week for the boys, lots of great activities and events, and it all culminated in the recital this afternoon. Noah's music teacher Mrs. Mildred Kline held the recital at the Carmel Foundation, and even invited Lukas to perform as part of the program.
Bob was all set up to film all of it... only to find out that his little camera has been used for short Lego animation movies, and the SD card was full to capacity of Lego men moving 1 millimeter at a time. Since the music pieces were pretty short, he did not even had the chance to clear out the card .. Fortunately, both of Noah's pieces are captured. Lukas will have another chance on Saturday at his recital, and the SD card will be clean by then.

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