Inspired by Soule Mama:

A Friday ritual.

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember – {this moment}.

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In this pot: baby carrots, 1 onions, baby potatoes, ground beef, barley and tomatoes, water, a can of V-8 juice all thrown in the crock pot last night…

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so we can have dinner ready by the time I got home…I just had to cook the rigatoni and 10 minutes later, dinner was served.

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Here’s my 2nd batch of Halloween cookies. I messed up on the green icing as the consistency was too runny. Ugh, other than that, it turned out better than I expected. I got the orange color better than the last time. I realized when decorating cookies, you need a load of patience and can’t do everything all at once. For the pumpkins faces, I did it last night and chill them in the frige. I had 5 pumpkins, and thought just to make 5 faces. However, they were so delicate, 2 of them didn’t make it.

Once I get the hang of these, I’ll definitely get the boys and girls involved. I think it’s a lot more fun when decorating the cookies in a group!

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So I’ve tried baking bread, cupcakes and cakes, and now onto my next big thing – cookies! Since it’s my first time ever baking sugar cookies from scratch, I didn’t want to over do it in case I messed up. I bought the these cookie cutters years ago when I was making bentos, but never used them for cookies. Well, here they are. Luckily, it turned out nicely.

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I made the icing from scratch as well. The fun part was decorating the cookies. The creativity is endless! I’m already seeing lots of decorating for Christmas!

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Today Mr. Piggy and I took the day off to take the boys for their annual checkups. Because we want to take advantage of the school holiday, so did everyone else. The doctor’s office was jam packed with people. We were there for an hour 45 mins. Lesson learned! Today I also witnessed how much my boys have grown. When the doctor suggested for them to take the tetanus and the HPV A shots, they didn’t even flinch. I remembered even last year, they refused to take flu shots when the doctor brought it up during our conversation. This time, today, Ah Lo was reading his book and Dai Bee was doing his Algebra workbook when they took their shots. Not a peep, “that’s it?” they asked. Yep, that’s it.

After lunch, we rushed home because we had a play date with Ah Lo’s friends. I invited a bunch of his classmates who are at the same reading level as Ah Lo. I recommended “Theodore Boone series, Kid Lawyer by John Grisham.” Today, I’d be the moderator as the kids discuss the book. I emailed the parents a head of time to have each kid come with 5 words they don’t know, and then find the definition, along with 3 questions about the book.

First, I had each write down what they thought of the book on a white board. Next they we went over the words they didn’t know and shared it with the group (i.e. immunization, flustered, recluse, frail, gazebo). The fun part was the Q&A. The kids asked the most detailed questions from the book. It was interesting as well as eye-opening for me.

The last 15 minutes, we had a debate: whether it is a good idea to have ice cream before dinner? They wrote down the points to support the answers. I kept the group small (4 people) and held it for about an hour which was perfect. I was supposed to bake some cookies/cupcakes, but didn’t have the time. As treats for the kids to bring home, I threw in some candies which they loved anyway!

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My boys have been bugging me about revisiting the farm we stayed last time. This time, we brought along their cousin (my nephew) to experience this unique short farm stay. We got there late on Friday night, so couldn’t do much.

The boys got up early Saturday morning and was ready for the chores. Here in the farm, there are endless chores. We were lucky to have Farmer Dan who not only was patient to show the boys around, but also available to give them a very educational outdoor education.

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1. Watering plants. This is an apple plant that Farmer Dan is trying to save since last year.

2. Feeding animals. One of the favorite chores here at the farm, was feeding Bella the cow which can take all day long.

3. Gardening. The farm basically is divided in two: raising livestock and grazing management. After the animals are happy, the boys worked on the garden.

4. Weeding. Besides helping Farmer Dan weed (food for the animals), the boys picked up beans that had fallen off from the shells. There are a few different variety of beans we’ve seen here for the first time at this farm.

5. Fruit picking. This time we were lucky to see the persimmon trees at its full bloom. You can’t get any more fresh than picking the fruit right off the tree, wipe and right into your mouth!

6. Setting up gopher traps. Lately, Farmer Dan is having trouble with the gophers in the garden. This year because of his injury, the garden has shrunk a bit. And with the gophers, it didn’t help either. Here he’s showing the boys how to set up gopher traps. We didn’t catch any this trip.

7. Pumpkin in the garden.

8. Beans we picked.

9. Feng helping with watering another tree.

10. Figs, right off the tree.

11.  The last of tomato harvest for this season.

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At the farm, it’s not all work, there are lots of fun activities and a great learning experience for the boys as well.

1. Dai Bee is trying to construct his bow and arrow from scratch.

2. Card games.

3 and 5. Feeding the chicken.

4. Up and personal with the farm animals.

6. Feeding the cats and dog.

7. Studying of bees and flies. Never got so close to bees and not worry about the sting because they are busy pollinating.

8. Farmer Dan shows the boys the correct (most comfortable) way to hold a chicken.

Inspired by Soule Mama:

A Friday ritual.

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember – {this moment}.

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In language arts, Dai Bee has been studying word roots. He has to memorize 50+ root words and their meanings. I think this is a fascinating and rewarding subject to learn in school, rather than just memorizing the spelling of words. This is a quick way to learn much more English vocabulary; concentrating related words in groups, rather than one at a time. Wished our teachers knew about this when we were growing up.

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Attempted my first mini ombre cake (using cupcake liners) for my nephew who turns 8 today. Obviously it wasn’t successful, but surprised the birthday boy chowed it down like he’s never eaten a cake! He doesn’t even like cakes! Glad I only made a mini cake for him. More experiments in the works.

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This was supposed to be Friday’s lunch, but since Dai Bee went to a field trip with his class with lunch provided, I decided to make these today since it’s one of his favorite – spam musubi. I made 8 for the 4 of them and everyone is happy!

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