Saturday, December 15, 2007

Dearest Aunt Esther and Cousin Becky, and the rest of the family....

As you all know, I visited California in late November while accompanying my students on their school trip to America. I was only home for a week, and I got alot accomplished during such a short amount of time. However, I was disappointed that I hadn't a chance to meet with you guys like we had planned. It was nice talking on the phone, and our conversation made me feel all warm and happy inside.

I thought I might share some pictures of the family that I took during the welcome home Thanksgiving-esque barbecue that my Mom threw for my welcome home. It was wonderful to see my family and close friends, and I wish all of you the Merriest of Christmas's this year. I wish I could be there!

It is always such a good time to catch up with everybody at Jessie and Debbie's house. I'll especially miss hugging all the babies and seeing how old they make me feel. It is a real slap in the face when the kids you used to sneak beers with out of the ice cooler suddenly show up at the door with a car seat instead of a 12 pack:)
Please send me pictures of this year's Christmas, as I'll will send you mine of my debaucherous adventures in Thailand.

Had I to do over again, I'd have waited till the holidays to visit home so that I could be with you all. Let me walk you through the new developments of the family.

Here is my dad, Cynthia and Alex posing in front of the football game that all the men seemed to be hovering around. I'm not sure what was so important about this game, but it inspired quite a few shots of tequila which I didn't partake in. I don't believe in football.

I know, huh?

It was great seeing Ricky and Rayna. She looks older and more Jack-like everytime I see her. Joking aside, they were great companions and totally made my week due to their halarious tomfoolery and silly ways. They are quite a bunch of sillypants. By the way, her jacket reads "I'm not handicap, I'm just lazy". I tried to steal it, as I am also not handicapped, but lazy.....however, she pulled it out of my suitcase when I wasn't looking. She also stole my cool new white sunglasses. Punk.

I was quite happy to see that Rayna has been continuing to play the drumset that I left her, as well as happy that Ricky brought his guitar to the party. It is always great fun when we have our little jam sessions. This one was especially funny because of the newest Siguenza hit "Foot Fetish", where Ricky ad-libbed a hilarious ditty about how the reason that Rayna's boyfriend broke up with her was due to her freakish foot fetish. This is not completely fictional, as she constantly asks us if we would like a foot massage. I blame this creepy affliction on my mother, who makes poor Rayna massage her feet everyday.

This photo is one of my favorites because it includes some of my best friends in the world, Janine and Kenny. You have probably met them at other important occasions such as my Japan going away party, college and high school graduation, or any other family party that we have had. They now have a young son named Mikey who is quite the cutey pie. He also makes me feel old. I'm not sure if you have met Ricky's girlfriend, Stephanie, but she is the blond girl that Ricky has his arm around. The blondest child is named Christopher and he is Stephanie's son, and soon to be Ricky's kid.

I went to Disneyland for the first time in about 10 years. Here I am posing with Mikey, Kenny and Janine's son.

At Disneyland, Alex and I rode Autopia.

On my last night in California, Ricky and Stephanie came back to the house and she dyed my hair. During this time, I got a chance to speak to her more, and I came to like her very much. Stephanie is a very nice girl, and I think they are a cute couple. Perhaps you know by now, but she's pregnant.
Yes folks, my little brother is going to be a daddy soon. During the time I spent with them, I have seen Ricky take a father's role with her son, Chris. He is very playful and joking with him, but does seem to have the iron fist of discipline that can be compared with my mother. Seeing this, I have already started my very own campaign of spoiling the kid rotten. If there's one thing I know, it is that one Toni Jr. is enough, and I think they ought to have a Grandma Esther influence of pure indulgence close by their side. That's gonna be me.

Here is Chris already loving me after only a week of my attempts at friendship. I seriously cannot wait to spoil this little boy, along with the baby coming soon. Do you like how Stephanie cut and dyed my hair?

At Disneyland, I was too cheap to buy the Splash Mountain photo, however I did take a photo of a photo. This is us. It was a very good time.

Here is a photo of MammaBear in the haystack scene of her new job. She took me around and introduced me to all of her coworkers. I was touched at how she seemed so proud to pass me around and introduce her "daughter who teaches in Japan". Despite their nonchalance at my presence, I did understand her love for her job once she introduced me to her boss. This lady was a very intelligent individual who surpassed my expectations of anybody working in social services in LA. She complimented my mother's diligence in her work, and encouraged her to get back into school and become a manager like her. I liked her boss, and I'm glad my mom is happy with her job. Toni is always happy in her job as long as she is being appreciated. Even if it has crazy long hours, shitty benefits, and bad parking, she will go to work every morning with a smile on her face as long as she feels that she is doing a good job.

At these times, I like to be compared to my mother. Another beautiful quality that she has is her willingness to do silly things to make someone (namely her children) happy. What I mean by this, is that when I jokingly asked her to sit in this Thanksgiving scene and pretend to eat the corn while petting the sheep....she did it without an ounce of embarrassment. I love my Mommy.

And this brings me to my friends and brother, Alex, pictured here on Main St shortly before closing time at Disneyland. My loved ones are a great crowd, and share that quality of my Mother's. Which is to do whatever makes them laugh, be happy, and entertain their friends...even if it is dancing in front of a large group of people at Disneyland for the sheer sport of photo-taking.

Auntie, Becky....I love my family and friends, and I hope you enjoyed the update.
Miss you lots,


If you would like to see more pictures from my trip with family and friends, please visit the facebook link:

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