As an extension of our trip, we booked a campsite near the farmstay. These collages sum up our 2 nights at Calaveras Big Trees State Park! Without cellular service in the woods, the boys managed to find their source of entertainment: made bows and arrows; practiced their archery skills; collected twigs for a raft; and built bond fires on their own.

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We even got to try zip line for the first time! Not a bad way to end the summer.

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Landed on a farm for our mini summer getaway! The boys have always wanted to visit a farm since they experienced it a few years ago. Finally, this summer we found a place 3 hours from home. We stayed for 2 nights. The farm chores kept the boys busy, at least in the morning.Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 4.19.59 PMScreen Shot 2017-08-17 at 4.20.08 PM

Initially we were a bit bummed when we were told there weren’t much to do here at the farm. Compared to our last farm stay, there was much more ‘chores,’ especially with a a big garden. This farm was a bit run down, and the cabin was comfortable. In the morning, it took about 1-1/2 – 2 hours for the chores around the farm. The boys were eager to help out whatever they could. For the rest of the day, we made the most out of it by playing board games, card games, hanging out at the ‘pool,’ and of course, having fun with the cats and dogs!

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It’s not quite finished yet. I’m just anxious to share. I’ll post it when it’s complete.

Another goal accomplished ✔

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Currently happening now: working a piece for string quartet. Though this is not his first composition, it’s his first for string instruments. He doesn’t know what a special gift he has!IMG_9100IMG_9101

So great this summer the boys are helping out with dinner. Today, they are pretty much the lead cooks for making our meatless Monday meals. IMG_9093IMG_9092Meals made from the heart always taste so much better.IMG_9090

We got to spend some time with some college friends today. It was a potluck, and I made salad, coffee rolls and fruit tarts. Since these are a bunch of foodies, I was under pressure to perform 🙂

Of course, the more pressure, the more nervous I get to make things perfect. I had to make two coffee rolls (because the first one cracked). This shell of this fruit tart was under baked and the pastry creme didn’t have the perfect consistency. I’ve made these before and never had this problem. This time, I just got anxious and scooped it up to the bowl. The trick to baking is to willing to accept failures. I know exactly where my mistakes were. I will keep trying, keep practicing until I get this right again. After all, “mistakes are proofs that you are trying…”IMG_9077

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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Ah Lo shared his book of poems with our neighbor who also happens to be a poet (with some published work!) A few days later, we found this in the mail…IMG_8976

Been dropping off/pick up my nephew to/from school (while my sister is at home with her newborn). He’s always so cheerful in the morning and so happy to see when I pick him up in the afternoon. I don’t remember ever reacting this way when I picked them up from preschool. Spending the little time with the little guy on the bus brings back so many great memories, when I would sing to my boys, chit chat, answering questions, and my favorite – playing ‘I spy’ games.

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More postpartum food / soup for my sister. Here’s silken chicken slowly stewed for 4 hours. The soup is the essence of the chicken. Since I didn’t add any water, every drop of the soup came from the chicken itself, so it’s super nutritious…IMG_8922-Ginger and wine steamed chicken with chestnut and wood ear

-string beans and tofu stir fry

-garlic brussel sprouts

-papaya fish soupIMG_9020