Posts Tagged ‘Weekend’

Comic-Con 2013 – the recap

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

We returned to Comic-Con after missing the last few years since 2010. This time we brought a newbie with us to attend her first Con. Sabrina, Jesse’s girlfriend, had never attended Comic-Con so this was her first exposure to all there is to take in and do while in San Diego for the convention.

Thanks to my best friend Jim, we were able to come down a day early and get settled into his condo in Santee. We dropped off our stuff and hopped on the trolley to head to the Convention Center. Our goal was to see what we could do outside the convention center on Thursday as we only purchased passes for Friday. After about an hour ride on the trolley, we hopped off and headed to the Merchandise area in the Marriott to pick up the shirts we pre-ordered for Jesse and Sabrina. They decided to go with the Steampunk version of the 4 designs that were being sold.

Steampunk Comic-Con shirt

The Steampunk version of this years Comic-Con t-shirts

We stood in line, a common theme while at Comic-Con, for about a half hour before reaching the area and obtaining the shirts. Afterward, we headed to the Omni for the annual SDCC Blood Drive sponsored by the tv show, True Blood. We ended up spending 4 hours waiting for our turn to donate. In the end, Renee was denied the opportunity because her veins were so deep, but we both received the blood drive swag anyway. Jesse and Sabrina were glad when we finally exited, but we had to rush to make the trolley as we were late for dinner with Jim and his daughter’s family back in Santee. We enjoyed a great time with them at Oggi’s Pizza before calling it a night.

Coveted Comic-Con bags with capes

This year Comic-Con added capes to their bags with several being hot items to attain while others not so much.

We were up early Friday morning and rushing to the trolley so we could get our passes and get on to the show floor as quickly as possible to try and get autograph tickets for the WWE signing at the Mattel booth later that day. Despite nearly sprinting through the pass lines (careful to get exactly the bags with capes we wanted) and circling the convention hall at a rapid walk, the tickets for the signing were already gone by the time I arrived at the booth. I was encouraged to come back early to get in the stand by line for a chance to get an autograph. We stood in an extremely long line for posters/poster tubes from the Fox booth only to be told they ran out before we had even journeyed 1/3 of the way. We wandered the booths on the expo floor stopping at several Steampunk booths which Jesse wanted to see.

I eventually left everyone to get in the standby line for the WWE signing. I struck up a great wrestling fan conversation with a British kindergarten teacher who was teaching in Hong Kong. As the WWE wrestlers appeared, the crowds chanted their names and I held out hope we might be able to get an autograph. A few weeks prior, I had found a Daniel Bryan t-shirt in the bargain bin at Hot Topic for $5. The week prior to Comic-Con, he had been named the title contender for the WWE championship at Summerslam. I brought my shirt and was pleased when I was able to get it autographed and a photo with Daniel Bryan.

Posing with soon to be WWE Champion Daniel Bryan

I was able to get a shirt signed and then take a photo with WWE title contender Daniel Bryan.

I chatted briefly with WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley though his autograph was hardly distinguishable after singing so many things that day. I left that booth pleased and reunited with the family at The Tick booth where I snagged one of the few remaining 25th Anniversary Tick shirts in my size along with a “SPOOON” bumper sticker.

We wandered the Expo hall some more stopping at many booths before returning to wait for the Del Rey/Random House Star Wars novel signing by John Jackson Miller. I wanted to get a signed edition of his Lost Tribe of the Sith: Collection they were giving away. I was able to get one for myself and one for my brother Chris thanks to Renee standing in line with me. We went back by The Tick booth and I was able to get a signed collection of Tick comics by the creator Ben Edlund who was very nice and took time with each person in line. By now, Sabrina was excited about the chance to go to the XBox Lounge at the nearby Hyatt. We walked over to the Hyatt and she was able to try the new Halo game and enjoyed playing their new XBox One system. She also got a badge that encouraged her to visit many booths on the expo floor to collect Halo badges and Helmet pins. She managed to get all but one as the vendor ran out before we arrived.

Renee and I managed to walk a little of the Gaslamp Quarter while Jesse and Sabrina hunted Halo pins on the show floor. We saw several areas that were outside the convention center that looked cool. One big disappointment was the limited availability of the Godzilla Encounter. I had hoped to see it, but they only gave away 300 tickets each day. All in all, we had a great time and hope to be back again next year. We ended our day after a trolley ride back to Santee with a trip to In-N-Out Burger. It was enjoyable and thoroughly exhausting. It’s funny how we forget the energy you burn when mingling with over 100,000 other excited people at Comic-Con. Though the lines were longer than ever and we didn’t go to panels as we had in the past, we enjoyed ourselves and talking with fellow Con attendees. If you have never been, it really is a great experience that I recommend everyone try. If you want to see more photos from Comic-Con, check out my profile on Facebook.

Another post unearthed from the rubble of this blog…

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Social media has pretty much made this blog a moot point, but I will write a new entry occasionally to justify its continued existence. This past weekend was Jesse’s birthday and Mother’s day. Since he had to work on Saturday, his birthday, we decided to drive down on Sunday following church to have a combined birthday and Mother’s day meal. We also delivered the cards and gifts that grandparents, aunts and uncles sent to him at our address.

After picking him up, we made a trip to Best Buy so he could spend some of his birthday money and then we drove to a discount theater to watch a movie. After spending a few hours there, we went to find a restaurant for dinner. Deciding that we were not willing to wait over an hour for a table at the Cheesecake Factory, we settled on Outback for dinner. Before returning to the Dream Center, we searched unsuccessfully for a hardware store before trying Walmart to get something Jesse wanted for his room. Renee was happy to see Jesse since I had seen him the Sunday prior while in LA to attend the Adobe MAX conference. Jesse and I had gone to see Iron Man 3 and eat In-N-Out when I came down.

The summer heat has arrived and we are glad the cooler is working well. If you have summer plans that bring you out to California, be sure to contact us as we would enjoy spending time with you.

There and back again

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

We traveled down this past Saturday to pick up Jesse and bring him home from the LA Dream Center for the first time in over 3 months. He has been working non-stop and has a lot going on there. Besides the work in the kitchen and food ministry, he completed his 1st semester of Bible School at Angelus Bible Institute. He works on Sunday mornings in the 4-5 year old class at Angelus Temple. Sunday afternoons, he works with a church in South Central ministering to 9-13 year olds. He was ready for some down time and brought his laundry along for the ride.

We stopped at Panera on our way back home to enjoy our favorite “Pick Two” combinations. Afterward, we hit Target and Michael’s looking for a few things he wanted. We arrived home and his Grandma Z was pretty happy to see him. He quickly unpacked and we watched some shows on the DVR that we had saved for him. After watching Tron: Uprising and Walking Dead episodes, he was off to game in his room.

We were up early Sunday and off to church where he spent time talking with his former youth pastor about the Dream Center. I taught the Adult Discipleship Class and then joined Renee in the Nursery as we had a lot of babies to take care of. We went home and grabbed a quick bite to eat before going to see The Amazing Spider-Man at the theater. Upon returning home, Jesse got on his computer and got his gaming fix met as well as his Nick’s Pizza fix.

Monday morning, Jesse and Renee did a little shopping and enjoyed a mother-son lunch for the first time since he graduated high school. That night, I picked up Chinese food to satisfy another of his hometown cravings. More gaming was done as he played DC Universe for many hours.

Tuesday morning, we headed to DMV in Victorville to replace his stolen Driver’s license. The only difficulty was finding where the office had moved to. After searching for it for a half hour, a hunch led us to the right location and he was able to quickly get a replacement license. We returned home for a few more hours of gaming and packing. Grandma Z returned from her overnight trip to San Diego and we were off to LA.

It was great having him home for 4 days and we do miss having him with us. However, we are grateful that he isn’t sitting in his room playing games and finding it difficult to get work in our hometown. He enjoys the work he is doing and has a heart to serve others. While our home is always open to him, he may never do more than just visit from this time forward. We are always grateful for time he has now and cherish the time we had together.

Last year as a teenager

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Earlier this month, we traveled to Los Angeles to pick up Jesse, his roommate James and friend Sean to celebrate his 19th birthday. They dressed up in Steampunk attire while Renee and I wore our usual jeans and t-shirts. We dropped off his birthday presents and cards at the Dream Center and then traveled to the Americana at Brand in Glendale. We stopped at the Jewel City Diner for some delicious burgers and seasoned fries. Afterward, we made our way to the Pacific Theaters to see The Avengers. It was starting its 2nd week of release, but there was still a line and a full theater. It was a great movie with the Hulk having the best scenes. Renee and I even went to see it a 2nd time this past Tuesday.

It is amazing to see the young man our son has become. We are happy that he has found a place where he can do something he loves. He has been at the Dream Center for 9 months now and enrolled at Angelus Bible Institute since January. We talk to him on Skype once a week or more. We went to a baby shower for my goddaughter/best friend’s daughter this past weekend in San Diego and saw many little ones running around. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we had a little one, but now he is a grown man chasing his dreams. We couldn’t be happier for him. We are grateful for the time the Lord gave us with him and look forward to the day we can spoil his kids though not anytime soon. 😛

And another year nears its end

Monday, December 12th, 2011

We were grateful to have Jesse home from the Dream Center over the Thanksgiving weekend. He wasn’t sure until a few days prior whether or not he would be coming home. We drove down Wednesday night to get him and stopped for some Panera on the way home. He brought all of his laundry with him and enjoyed sleeping in his own bed. Thanksgiving day we gathered around the table to enjoy the feast that Renee had prepared. I spent the day watching NFL and Jesse got reacquainted with his computer and online friends.

On Friday, the Christmas decorations were brought from the shed. Mom Zeliff arrived as we began setting up the tree. Jesse took care of the Nativity, placing it under the Christmas tree. He also raided the decorations, taking some back with him to LA along with several strings of lights. He and I were both up early on Saturday to begin our marathon day of Beta testing the online game Star Wars: The Old Republic. On Sunday, we took him back to the Dream Center so he could return to the work he is enjoying so very much.

He has said that he plans on staying in LA through January so we will most likely be spending our first Christmas at home without him. As is our tradition, I have typed up our year end newsletter. If you care to read it, you may download it here: http://zeliff.net/Christmas2011.pdf. We wish each of you a blessed Christmas season and happy new year.

Off on his great adventure…with another to follow.

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Yesterday afternoon, we dropped our son Jesse off at his school to join his classmates, history teacher and a number of parents on a two week trip across Europe. They will be visiting Rome, Paris, Normandy and London during their time overseas. It was the culmination of 6 months of asking for help from family and friends, selling off his childhood (his words), and doing odd jobs. We told him he would have to raise the money himself if he was to go. It was a test of his faith and the Lord came through for him. It is a wonderful experience for him and it will broaden his worldview.

Though I joke about when he moves out, I found myself pondering what lay ahead for us. He will be graduating in a few more months and has plans to begin a 4 month internship in Los Angeles. Jesse and I sat outside the church building Sunday afternoon while Renee attended a meeting and joked and laughed together. The realization is setting in that the boy we raised is soon to be off on another adventure, life. Our time with him in our home is dwindling despite Renee’s wish that he stay until he is older. I left home two weeks after graduating high school and returned 5 months later for a year before leaving home for good at 19. Renee married me at 18 while she was still in high school and moved out.

Now it seems, we will have an empty nest as Jesse spreads his wings and embraces his destiny. It is an accomplishment that we are glad he has achieved, but also one that is bittersweet. We are now entering the post-parenting part of our lives. We will always be there for him, but he won’t need us as much or be around our home as frequently. As he graduates high school, we graduate as well. There will be grandkids at some point, but we aren’t in a hurry for them to arrive. Enjoy your great adventure son, we are so very proud of you and will await what lay ahead on your journey and ours.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Time for the monthly, (used to be bi-monthly) blog post. Since the last post, Mom Zeliff came and spent Thanksgiving with us. We enjoyed having her visit and had a wonderful meal together. Mom also treated us by bringing back Bluebell ice cream from her visit to see Aunt Loretta in Yuma. We can’t get it here and my Texan wife Renee was very pleased to have some. During the time off, we got the Christmas tree up and the lights hung outside. Since that time, the wind has beat the heck out of the lighted garland we hung leaving it unlit for the rest of the holidays. I may take it down and try and fix them, but that isn’t a priority with Christmas bearing down on us quickly.

After mom returned to Florida, we were happy to be visited by the Lantz family before they left Ft. Irwin for Texas. Verna was in our youth group oh so many years ago and is now an Army wife with a wonderful family. It was great to see them again and share the Bluebell stash. We hopped her kids up on sweets for the long ride back to base. I feared that would have put us on her naughty list, but she informed me that everyone fell asleep on the ride home.

We did sneak in a couple of movies in the last couple of weeks. We saw the 3rd, and probably final, Chronicles of Narnia movie: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. We all agreed that is was bit plodding at times and that the sea monster scene was a bit intense for the many toddlers we saw in the theater. We went to see Tron: Legacy this past weekend. We enjoyed the graphics and CG effects, but the story also seemed a little slow. The ending was kind of anti-climactic as well. We had not seen the 1st movie, so maybe that would have helped our enjoyment. We will revisit the original on DVD and see what we think then.

Jesse continues to raise money for his trip by working odd jobs(raking leaves, hanging Christmas lights, etc.) and selling items online. He has raised 60% of the $4000 goal with his next payment of $586 due January 15th. Thanks to all who have sent contributions or offered your support in prayer. His most current sponsorship letter is available here. He finishes 1st semester finals this week and is looking forward to Christmas break.

If you didn’t receive our Christmas card and would still like to read our annual letter, you can read it here. We wish each and everyone one of you a blessed Christmas filled with love and joy. Know that we love each of you and are grateful to count you as family and friends. We look forward to 2011 and all that it holds for us. Hopefully that includes visits from or with many of you. Merry Christmas and happy new year.

Give thanks with a grateful heart…

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

I am so thankful to all who have offered a prayer or financial support to Jesse for his senior class trip. He passed 50% last week and continues to sell items online and through craigslist. His newest version of the sponsorship letter is at: http://zeliff.net/Jesse/Europe_Trip_Sponsor_Letter.pdf. He has another $586 due on December 14th.

This time of year always brings thoughts of family and holidays past. We are celebrating our 5th in our home in Apple Valley. Our 1st Thanksgiving in this home, we had our friend Julie visiting from France. Last year, we had my mom visiting from Florida and she will be joining us again this year. I remember other Thanksgiving meals in Oklahoma shared with Renee’s best friend Michelle or her co-worker Warren as we moved over the holiday weekend. Another time, we gathered Renee’s youth group at Tim’s house in Copperas Cove, TX. We used to travel to see Renee’s family or mine, but we seem to stay put nowadays. We are thankful to all our friends and family that have shared a Thanksgiving meal with us.

On another note, this past Friday we went to Knott’s Berry Farm to take advantage of their Veterans get-in-free special. I made the mistake of eating a steak and egg burrito before hopping on the many roller coasters there. Due to the cloudy weather and most of the schools being in session, we only had to stand in line for 20 minutes on the very first coaster. After that, we literally walked up and got on each of the coasters. In 2 /12 hours we had been all the way around the park and had been on each of the coasters we wanted to ride. We decided to leave and head back home as my stomach continued to protest. We stopped at Panera Bread Co. and my stomach forgave me for the burrito/coaster adventure after treating it to a Frontega Chicken sandwich and some black bean soup.

That’s about all for now. We wish each of you a happy thanksgiving and hope that your holidays are filled with joy and laughter. If you desire a newsletter and Christmas card, please send us your address.

November and things are looking better for Jesse.

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Jesse has been working hard and has raised 1/3 of the money he needs for his senior class Europe Trip. He raised $350 at the yard sale, mowed a lawn, sold a bunch of items through craigslist and a store at half.com. Donations have come in also for which he is very grateful. To allow him more time to raise money, we agreed to sign-up for a monthly payment plan. This means 4 payments of $586 are due the 15th of each month through February. He has about $375 more to raise for his payment this month. His updated sponsorship letter is available on our website: http://zeliff.net/Jesse/Europe_Trip_Sponsor_Letter.pdf and the half.com store is at: http://shops.half.ebay.com/dzeliff_W0QQ. Our weekends have involved going through everything and taking photographs to post them online to sell. We have a bunch more items to post and pray that they sell to help Jesse.

We will most likely have a sparse Christmas so we can dedicate money toward helping him take this once-in-a-lifetime trip. Thank you to all who have offered there support. He is really looking forward to spring break and this wonderful opportunity.

Who will buy our memories? – Yard Sale Oct. 15-17, 2010

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010
Yard Sale Oct. 15-17 - 22880 Wren St

Yard Sale Oct. 15-17 - 22880 Wren St Apple Valley, CA

We have cleaned out the closets and shelves to help our son raise money to go to Europe for his Senior Class trip. If you are in the area, please come by as we will have lots of collectibles to include: Disney, Star Wars, Lego Bionicles, Hot Wheels, Speed Racer, DVDs, books, video games, software and more. It will be at 22880 Wren St in Apple Valley, CA on Oct 15-17, 2010 from 8am to 2pm.

If you are unable to come by and would still like to help, please consider sponsoring Jesse on his trip. His sponsorship letter is at: http://zeliff.net/Jesse/Europe_Trip_Sponsor_Letter.pdf. Thanks to those of you that have already sent money. He is close to covering his first installment due on October 24th.