Ah Lo wrote a poem and won 2nd place in the Literature Category at the school’s PTA Reflections Art Contest – “What is your story?” The program is a wonderful way for kids to explore their creativity in a number of different ways, including dance choreography, film production, music composition, visual arts, photography and of course, literature.

The boys have entered in the past (Dai Bee did music composition and Ah Lo, visual arts a couple years.) Since this is our last year with the school, this is not a bad souvenir to take home!



Busy night for us with activities back to back. Dai Bee has a winter concert, where he performs for the orchestra and choir. Both Ah Lo and Dai Bee have basketball practices happening the same night. Luckily the timing works out beautifully as Ah Lo has practice during Dai Bee’s performance. The great thing was the performance and practice are in the same location! How great is that?! After performance, Dai Bee changed (from a musician to a basketball player).

Dai Bee is also the concertmaster at his school’s orchestra. Because he’s part of the choir, he only played one song (the “Little Drummer Boy). Still, I thought he did great (but then, I might be biased.) This kid never ceases to amaze me.


With an additional sport (fencing) and a basketball league starting, the boys are busier than ever. I’ve recently checked in with them to see if they are ok with the activities, both are fine with it. The basketball league (CYO) for Dai Bee is very short, only a couple of months.

They are on the run during weeknights, so quick dinners are always helpful. They are not big fans of sandwiches, so it does require some work to make it them a bit interesting. Tonight is spicy pork, grilled onions and cucumbers with french baguette.   img_5003

Boys will be playing for the seniors this Christmas. They have been diligently practicing Carol of the Bells. What’s interesting is to see how Dai Bee teaches Ah Lo on sight seeing, rhythmical structure and the musicality (which is the most difficult). I pretend to be reading a book or looking at my phone, when I’m sole purpose is to act as a moderator. Or to ease the tension between the two. Both are learning and teaching at the same time. Dai Bee is teaching Ah Lo, while learning how to be a teacher. Ah Lo is learning his piece from his brother, while teaching his brother how to be patient. Good teamwork!


Need some hot soupy meal to warm the bodies – I went for Bun Rieu (Vietnamese Crab and Tomato Noodle Soup) from scratch. Made a big old pot so we will have it for tomorrow night as well! img_4869

Here is another poem wrote by Ah Lo about the special holiday.

The fragrant smell of the sizzling meat,

the aroma wafting into rooms crowded with people,

gathered to celebrate the famous holiday,


Joyful and cheerful, the conversations buzz on,

until the glorious turkey pops out the oven with steam rising,

silence is presence in an instant,

then delight and glee overwhelm the crowd,

as they settle down to have one of the greatest feasts,

on a grand day with fine relatives,

and that day is none other than,

Thanksgiving, the day we are all thankful for one another.

Glad we (or the boys) put up the Christmas tree yesterday, and today, we just made it one of our lazy days. We just lounge around and did nothing. No practices, no workshops, no games, no activities. So we slept in, rummaged through leftovers in the refrigerator and and stayed idle for most of the day. Of course, the heavy rain didn’t help much. It only gave us an excuse to do what we were doing.


Since I wasn’t hosting for my side for Thanksgiving, this allows me to do a few more things.

  1. Get the kids to put up the Christmas tree a day early. They were smart enough to recruit their cousins to do some of the work.img_4971
  2. Cook up a storm.img_4973-1
  3. and…playing with food.img_4975-1

Happy Thanksgiving!


Like last year, this Thanksgiving we volunteered at the Little Brothers. However, this year, besides the two Girls who came along, my sister and her two lil’ ones along with my Mr. Piggy’s cousin’s kids (the Ma’s) joined. So I didn’t get my hands on anything, except busy snapping pictures. Everyone was anxious and eager to help out, especially those who came for the first time. The boys ended up hanging out with the Ma’s the whole day. From volunteering in the morning, then off to visiting elders, lunch, spending time at the playground, and lastly meeting for dinner, they can’t get enough of each other’s company.

Finally, we (including the Ma’s) met up at my in-laws for their annual Thanksgiving feast.


Dai Bee’s SSAT scores came back. The good news is that he does’t need to retake it.

TOTAL: 2259 (Vocabulary-755, Math-761 and Reading-743)

Considering he skipped a grade and didn’t take any prep courses, these are pretty awesome scores. Now one more thing to cross off the list.