November 1, 2009:
Lots of Halloween Photos this year:
- Halloween Costume Party at Luda Voulfson's clubhouse with Luvishis, Rogachevs, Kraevs and others - most adults are in costumes!
- Halloween Parades and Parties at Alexandra's school and Rebecca's pre-school - Alexandra dressed as Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffanies and Rimma in 1920's style
- Pumpkin Patches - two different ones
September 13, 2009:
Time passes fast! First off, this site will now work for the most part in modern browsers other than Internet Explorer. Second, here are the photos from the summer of 2008 through the summer of 2009, including two major trips, as usual in reverse chronological order:
- Trip to the Big Island, Hawaii - we rented a house about 20 meters from one of the best beaches on the island and had a really great time.
- Summer 2009 - 'Russian Beauties'. After Alexandra's Alice in Wonderland Ballet and also after her Drama Camp performance. Fourth of July Barbeque in Armstrong Woods. San Francisco. Some photos of the kids at home. De Young Museum in San Francisco - we went to see Tutankhamen.
- We visit the Abelevs for Golda's 1 year Birthday.
- May 2009 - Our Santa Rosa Russian School kids 'performed' at the Russian Center in San Francisco. Snoopy/Ice skating for Eden's 8th Birthday. Oakland Chabot Space & Science Center. Berkeley. Alexandra and Rebecca in traditional Chinese dresses. Traditional summer barbeque in Armstrong Woods (actually had two this year).
- Alexandra's 8yr Birthday was held at her gymnastics gym
- April 2009 - Rebecca at Easter Egg hunt (my Dad is also there), various photos of Rebecca at home
- Dasha's 8yr Birthday party - just a few photos
- March 2009 - Rebecca's 2nd birthday, plus a few more photos at home
- Tahoe 2008-2009 - photos from all ski trips November through April
- Russian New Year - Rimma is Snegurochka and Alexandra in her 'classic role' - a mouse.
- Winter 2008-2009 - Ice skating, Alexandra in Nutcracker Ballet costumes, more home-made but studio-style photos of our daughters, sisters in the bathtub again, Rebecca with pigtails. Also, New York relatives Irene (my Dad's niece) and Gregory finally visit California, so there are group photos with them, their son, Dan, my dad and his brother Isaac.
- Fancy dresses for Nataly's 9yr Birthday party
- Trip across the Pacific NorthWest - Portland, Multnomah Falls (Oregon), Olympia (capital of Washington state), Children's Museum in Seattle, Victoria (photos from several museums there), the most incredible fall colors in Butchart Gardens (Vancouver Island, Canada), Vancouver (Canada) and back to Seattle.
- October 2008 - Mostly Rebecca at home and in a kid's gym.
- OctoberFest at Voulfson's clubhouse (this is a Bavarian Beer party)
- Fall 2008 - First day of school (Alexandra's 2nd grade). Playing with leaves. Alexandra with her teacher, Mr. Locker, with matching glasses. ;-)
- San Francisco Legion of Honor (art museum)
- Summer 2008 - Some studio-style photos Alexandra and Rebecca. San Francisco, Ghirardelli Square (note the leather jackets - a must in San Francisco in July). Kids in the bathtub. Bodega Bay. A get-together at our house with Luvishis and Voulfsons.
- Inna Dontsova with some friends visits Sonoma County - Wineries, Armstrong Woods (Inna was the Maid of Honor at our wedding)
- We visit the Abelevs - Max and Betty are now proud parents and Jan and Marina grand-parents. Also Rebecca and Alexandra wear matching dresses.
- June 2008 - Alexandra and Rebecca. Also Esher Luvishis. Photos after Alexandra's spring ballet show, including a group photo with all the grand and great grand parents.
- Grandpa's 80th Birthday - two different get-togethers actually, one for family at Syrah, another for Grandpa's chess students
June 23, 2008:
I finally got to listing the November and December photos here, plus I posted more photos for January-May of 2008, again in reverse chronological order:
- Alexandra's and Eden's 7yr Birthday - at Snoopy's Ice Arena. All the kids get to pose for photos with Snoopy (the white dog (beagle)) and Woodstock (the yellow bird). Then both kids and their parents go ice-skating. Alexandra also gets to ride the Zamboni (the ice grooming machine)
- April 2008 - mostly at home - kids surrounded by balloons; Alexandra loses her first tooth.
- March 2008 - More Tahoe Skiing. Alexandra has gotten so good, she can ski all the way down from the highest peak at SugarBowl. This trip was with Voulfsons again, plus Olga and Dasha. Don't miss the Russian Vodka 'advertising'. The kids are introduced to Monopoly (Kids version).
- Rebecca's 1st Birthday - we were visited by a Pink Princess. Lots of photos of Kraevs for some reason ;-) More face painting.
- February 2008 - at home or right outside, Rebecca in a super-cute coat, a family portrait in front of the house, etc
- Alice Voulfson's 6yr Birthday - at Voulfson's clubhouse; lots of face painting.
- January 2008 - Alexandra and Rebecca at home
- Russian New Years - Rimma 'returns to acting' in the role of Lisa (fox) Alisa from Buratino (Russian version of Pinocchio) - she's got a tail and lots of fur! Andrey Kraev is Kot Basilio.
- Tahoe - there are photos here from two trips actually - one on New Years and one in January 2008, first with Kraevs and Rogachevs, then with Luvishis and Voulfson families
- December 2007 - just a few photos here, Alexandra finally has long hair!
- November 2007 - mostly at home - for the first time, you can really see Rebecca's active character in these photos
- Halloween - Alexandra actually had two costumes - a witch and 'Mary with a Sheep'.
November 1, 2007:
Finally got a chance to organize all the photos from the last twelve months, so here they are in reverse chronological order:
- October 2007 - highlights include Rebecca under a love seat, Rebecca in a bunny-hat, Rebecca eating a shrimp, bath-time.
- September 2007 - Rebecca with the neighbors' cat, Luda Voulfson's birthday, Dan and his girlfiend come for a visit, so do Alex's Dad's niece Irina and her husband Greg (Irina is Dan's aunt), also from NYC
- Summer 2007 - Bodega Bay, Japantown in SF, lots of photos of Rebecca and Alexandra
- Santa Catalina Island (off the Los Angeles coast)
- Marine World (it's actually called Six Flags Discovery Kingdom now)
- Portraits - a whole bunch of posed shots of Rimma, Alex, Rebecca and Alexandra (though they look like studio photos, we took these ourselves at home - we still need to work on our lighting though ;-) )
- Alexandra's Ballet - these are the 'post-show' photos mostly
- Spring 2007 - Alex's birthday; at Olga Sazhina's.
- At Luvishis' house (their camera too) - their second daughter, Ester, is two weeks older than Rebecca (just like their first daughter Eden is a few days older than Alexandra)
- Alexandra's and Eden's Joint 6 Yr Birthday (these photos were actually uploaded back in May)
- Rebecca's Months 1-2 (these photos were actually uploaded back in May)
- Dasha's 6 Yr Birthday Party (some of the photos are from other people's cameras)
- Rebecca's Week 1 (these photos were actually uploaded back in March)
- Winter 2006 - among other things, Rimma's belly is getting progressively larger
- Russian New Years - just a few photos - Rimma 'directed' the show this year
- Tahoe - on New Year's eve, we rented a condo in Tahoe City together with Andrei Kraev, Sveta, Feodor and Ksusha. The condo was recently remodeled into a 'bear house'. Bears everywhere. Lamps were bears, towels had bears, cabinet handles were bears. There must have been over a hundred different bears. Santa Clause (Ded Moroz) came for a visit. And of course skiing with awesome views from Donner Ski Ranch.
- Ballet that Alexandra, Eden and Dasha were in - the Nutcracker Show and Rehearsals
- Fall 2006 - Rimma shows off her belly, some portraits, French restaurant, Thanksgiving party
November 10, 2006:
Boy, time really flies - it's been almost four years since I (Alex Hisen) wrote here! First of all, the site should be faster now (though folders with a hundred photos can still take a bit to load). Secondly, we have a new camera - it's a Sony DSC-R1, a 10.3 Megapixel digital camera with a 24-120 35mm equivalent lens (it's not an SLR). This means that we have a ton of very good looking photos but they are quite large.
To accomodate 10.3 Megapixel photos (that's a whopping 3888x2592 resolution and a typical uncompressed JPEG size of 3-4 Megabytes per photo), I've made a number of improvements in the "home-grown" software that runs this site. First, when photos are uploaded, they are run through the AMImageResizer Microsoft .NET little program Jeff wrote a few years ago. This compresses each image down to about 400-600 Kilobytes at the same resolution with very minimal loss of quality (which only becomes somewhat noticeable when the image is further resized down in resolution). The 'originals' are then stashed away and the images are further resized (using ImageMagick) down to 1024x768 and that's the size they are displayed in on this site. However, you can click on the new Download icon to get the original high-res photo. I've actually gone back to older photos for which I had high-res originals from other people's cameras (such as our Wedding photos) and placed those originals there for download via this icon.
Because we now have a ton of photos and because we are expecting another child, the existing and new photos have been re-organized yet again into a more chronological structure (i.e. there is now a year for each folder from 2000 through 2006 and there are photos both in the root of a folder such as 2005 and in further topical or event sub-folders). Trips are still separate (and old B&W Melekino photos have been moved to a new FromRussia folder). A number of minor events have been moved from Events to the year in which they occurred. Note that the year divisions don't exactly occur on January 1st. Instead a year essentially starts in the spring. This way, photos for various winter activities from a given season (such as Skiing) are not broken up into two years. I've updated the links from older posts on this page, so they should all go to the right place. One last note - there are now just too many photos for me to name each one. :-(
So, here is the list of photos posted in the last four years in chronological order:
- More photos of our entire family, including my grand-parents, from Winter 2002-2003 and early spring 2003 have been added to the 2002 folder.
- Photos of Alexandra's 2 Yr Birthday Party
- Photos from my Grandpa's 75th Birthday Party taken by Keith Halonen
- Various 2003 photos (mostly of Alexandra; a few photos from a trip to Southern California and Disneyland)
- Trip to Cancun, Yucatan and Mexico City in December of 2003 (with a few photos of Maya and Aztec pyramids)
- My 30th Birthday Party
- Photos of Alexandra's 3 Yr Birthday Party
- Various 2004 photos - my old school-friend from Russia - Alexei Ionov - paid us a visit, we took him around the Bay Area (wineries, San Francisco) and he made a number of high-res photos of us. In 2004, we also did an incredible amount of traveling. In France we were joined by Nisenboims and Pavel Gvantmakher, so France Photos include high-res photos from Pavel and Alex Nisenboim. One little trip we have no photos from is Chicago.
- Orlando (incl. DisneyWorld) and St.Petersburg, Florida in May
- Yosemite National Park - we rented a house near a lake together with the Luvishis family
- France, Belgium, Girona/Barcelona/Costa Brava (Spain) - this was all one very long trip
- Miami and Florida Keys in October - only my Dad and I went here (we were exhibiting at a trade show there)
- Photos from my Grandma's 80th Birthday itself and the few days before and after it - these were all made by Alex Nisenboim who came for the occasion (as did Pavel). While he was here, he also took some photos of the Abelev/Markos family. Finally, he brought along a bunch of photos of our various Israeli relatives and they can be found in Nisenboim.
- He also scanned some more really old B&W photos of the Bourdakov family (my Grandmother's parents, etc.)
- And we also scanned in old slides (color positives) my Dad made when I was a small child in Russia.
- Photos of Alexandra's 4 Yr Birthday Party
- My Dad went on a trip to Russia in 2005 and his friends there took some photos
- Various 2005 photos - we got a cell phone with a camera, so the really lousy-looking photos are from it. The only trip we made in 2005 was to Orange County (we stayed with Rimma's friend Inna and there are a few photos there from her camera) and San Diego (I had a conference there). Also this year, my mom's friends from Russia - Natasha and Sergey Stalnov - came for a visit (they work at Kodak in Moscow, so they take tons of high-res pictures with their Kodak camera ;-) ). Some of their photos are in the 2005 folder. They even took detailed photos of our house. They also took photos of my Dad's apartment. As usual, we hit some wineries and had a BBQ in Armstrong Woods with my grandparents and Hala Pflugfelder (BBQ means barbeque - shashlyki). Finally, my mom (and her husband Eugene) and the Stalnovs went to Hawaii (Maui).
- Aside from the Synagogue-attached pre-school Alexandra was going to in 2005, on Saturdays she also went to a Russian School which took place in a Russian Orthodox Church. :-) The Russian School put together two performances in which she took part - Teremok and Matreshki.
- Halloween photos with various grand-parents and other friends (Alexandra had a Snow-White costume)
- In January 2006, the Russian Church put together a New Years 'show', with the usual bad guys including Shapoklyak, played by Rimma.
- In early 2006 we went crazy skiing. Rimma and Alexandra went skiing (3-4 hour drive one-way) something like seven times that season (as opposed to just once in early 2005 when we went to Lake Tahoe). Some of the trips were together with Dasha Botygin, her mom Olga (who played Kikimora in the New Years show) and lots of her relatives. The photos are mostly from the early trips. At the end of the season, Alexandra could ski by herself.
- Alex Nisenboim sent us photos of Fanny pregnant and their daughter Naomi's first month
- 2006 - tons of photos from our new 10.3 Megapixel camera, so they are all organized into subfolders (first three and Hawaii are under Trips actually):
- Las Vegas (I was exhibiting there so we stayed at the very posh Venetian) and Arizona (Great Canyon, Sedona, Phoenix)
- Southern California - Rimma and Alexandra drove down to Los Angeles to pick up Rimma's parents who flew in from Russia for a visit. They stayed at Inna's again. They hit the beach in Orange County, Disneyland and Santa Barbara and Solvang on their way back.
- We took Rimma's parents to Yosemite (Olga and Dasha also went with us) - we discovered an awesome new place there - the Hetch Hetchy dam.
- Various photos of Rimma's parents stay with us, including short trips around Bay Area, them playing with Alexandra, etc.
- Three 5 Yr Birthday parties - Dasha, Eden Luvishis, Alexandra.
- All three of them also go the same Ballet School and they took part in a Mother Goose-themed ballet (the latter photos include my grandparents and Rimma's parents at the performance (for parents-only) at a local concert hall.
- Marine World (an amusement park with rides and animals fairly close to us)
- Muir Woods National Monument (a little park with big tall Redwoods a bit north of San Francisco) - we ran into old friends, the Kassiyaniks, here.
- Shashlyki - every year (usually around 4th of July but this year early while Rimma's parents were still here) our little Russian community gathers for a BBQ in Armstrong Woods with all the grandparents.
- Various photos from this Summer - includes several trips to San Francisco and its Zoo, some with the Luvishis family, summer activities such as canoeing down the Russian River (also with them), Bodega Bay (with Diana and her sons), pool at my Dad's apartment complex, Alexandra playing Tennis (well, learning to), also Rimma's first signs of pregnancy.
- Alexandra's, Dasha's and Misha's first day in Kindergarten (in the local Albert Biella Elementary School)
- All of a sudden (with one day to prepare) we went to Hawaii - first a few days at a new resort with man-made lagoons called Ko Olina on the main island of Oahu, then at a cottage 5 meters from the ocean in Makena on Maui.
- Halloween - this year we celebrated this over three days - first in Kindergarten, then at our house, then at a local shopping mall.
Posted prior to December 8, 2002:
A number of photo folders have been regrouped into Misc, Trips (Melekino, Russia, Israel, etc.) and Events (Birthdays, Wedding, etc.)
- Photos from our (Rimma, Alex and Alexandra) trip to London and Israel
- Alex & Fanny Nisenboim's Wedding (the main purpose of our trip to Israel) - here are some captured camcorder frames of them and our relatives taken on the day and throughout that week in Akko, Haifa and Eilat.
- Lots of photos from our Wedding! Use the tree on the left to navigate to Events, then check out the various folders under Wedding. Note that some of the folders have over 50 photos and so the interface takes a while to load up for these folders - please be patient. Also, most of the photos are likely to be larger than your screen resolution, so I recommend viewing the site full-screen and using the Zoom icon whenever you see it, to view the image in better detail.
- Some captured camcorder frames of Alex Nisenboim and Gluskers on their travels in California (they came to our wedding).
- Some photos of Alex and Rimma at John & Tara's wedding. (John works for Alex's company)
Posted prior to August 24, 2002:
Alex Nisenboim in Israel has scanned in some old black and white photos of our summer in Melekino on Azov Sea in Russia more than 15 years ago.
Photos of Alexandra's 1 Yr Birthday Party
- Alexandra, mostly:
- 1-minute Videos (a bit under 2 Megabytes each):