It’s that time of year again – Dragonboat festival, or Duanwu festival (端午節) where we eat Chinese tamales or sticky rice dumpling or zongzi (粽子). Yesterday, we trekked on to Mr. Piggy’s grandma’s house to learn how to make them. Took the boys with me as they learn from the guru on how to wrap the rice and ingredients using bamboo leaves.

We got to take some home and enjoyed it for dinner tonight.

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Today, celebrating Dragon Boat Festival and eating the zongzi remain as an important tradition among the Chinese. Wrapping the ingredients is relatively easy, except for the time commitment to prepare and cook it afterwards. Making the zongzi as well as the ingredients in it varied considerably in different regions.

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Lobster feast! Decided to invite my mom, sisters and BILs to celebrate Father’s Day altogether. Surprisingly, most of them didn’t have dinner plans (or they just show up for anything that don’t require cooking…LOL). Mr. Piggy and I picked these up from Costco. IMG_3787

I made succotash on the side. Bread was also store bought, which makes this meal for 14 not so bad (not too much work required).IMG_3790Last but not not least, Happy Father’s Day to this guy!IMG_3791

Back in 2013, two of my nieces moved in with us for a couple of years. Today I held back tears watching her walked across the stage, accepting her diploma and so ready to move on the next chapter of her life. She has grown from a clueless insecure teenager to a confident young woman. I know it wasn’t easy for her to get to where she is today. She listened to her heart, jumped through hurdles and stuck to what she believes in. She wrote me the sweetest note thanking me for helping her to get here. Those 2 years were hectic for me, but seeing her today has validated my decision (to have the Girls living with us) was correct. So, thank you!

“Oh, the places she will go…
Oh, the things she knows…
Once she sets her goals…
All her hard work will show…”

We couldn’t be more proud of you and your accomplishments! We ❤️ you.DSC_3728

Made her a money lei/necklace, a poster and “GRAD 2018” (cut out from cardboard). My sisters and I all chipped in to give her some cash (per her request). Instead of handing off checks to her, I put them in a pizza box. Mr. Piggy came up with the line, clever as always.

 

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}IMG_3514

Summer is here, which means boys will be spending more time in the kitchen making meals. This summer, their goal is to learn 5 new recipes.

Have been decluttering lately. There was a box in my office sitting staring at me for the longest time. I’ve been ignoring it for the past 6 years. Not today! I finally opened the box and went through it. Surely, 98.5% of the stuff in the box I needed to toss (old bank statements, medical records, etc.)

That 1.5% in the box were drawings and letters from my nieces and nephews over 10+ years ago. I don’t even remember seeing this. While reading this, I still hear that squeaky voice from that little boy who wrote this letter to me.IMG_3581

Another one pot wonder for a quick weeknight meal – Coconut red curry shrimp with couscous (easy recipe adapted from Martha Stewart – Sarah Carey). Ah Lo usually fills up half of his tummy before his practice. Otherwise, he won’t eat until 8:30pm or later.  Therefore, I only have 30 mins  from the time I get back home to having the food on the table. Quick and easy on days like these are key.IMG_3584

Now that I have chiropractor appointments during lunch time, I don’t spend time running to chinatown buying groceries. Therefore, I’m going with what’s easy (store bought pesto sauce) on our meatless Monday meals.IMG_3576

Made a strawberry sponge cake roll for a friend, named Winnie, whom I’ve known since high school. Last December she went through some major health issues. Some of us whom we met during HS are having a small gathering at her house today.  I brought her this, hoping to uplift her spirit a bit.

10 things currently happening in the house:

  1. Dai Bee tutored younger kids during school year and he finds it fulfilling. He hopes to continue next year.
  2. Noticed Dai Bee has a tad bit more HW in the last trimester than before. Hope he’s keeping up.
  3. Ah Lo started playing with a new basketball team. His coach is mean and strict, perfect in lighting up the fire in Ah Lo. We already seen improvement.
  4. Ah Lo’s new basketball team schedule is throwing us off our weekend routine quite a bit these days.
  5. Ah Lo started on wearing his braces on Thursday. He already hates it.
  6. Guess the boys will be reading plenty of National Geographic magazines this summer.
  7. Sat down today and went over our summer goals this year.
  8. Boys are starting their summer camps this coming Monday, yeah, not much of a break for them. Surprise. Surprise.
  9. Happy Dai Bee is willing to try out for volleyball next year (even though he said because his friends are doing it).
  10. June Triathlon moved to August, on a date the boys aren’t available. They’re happy about that. We still got July!