Archives for posts with tag: events

One of Mr. Piggy’s cousin got married today. It has been an extremely long day for us. Finally by 7:30pm we got to enjoy a great lion dance show (before the banquet) and excellent food!

To Mr. and Mrs. Nguyens, you guys are made for each other, and it’s great to see true love exists! Congratulations on your wedding and lots of love!


Today turned out to be a very nice day as we gathered with our cousins from my mom’s side of the family. Sure, everyone is on FB, and through updates, we get a glimpse of each other lives here and there. It has been a long while since we really connect face to face. With everyone’s hectic schedules, it was wonderful to have everyone come to the picnic. I was happy to hear that some are willing to shuffle their schedules just to make it to this event! We all had a blast.

It was potluck, so everyone brought something to the table. I bought salmon and made these goodies for the kids.


This was taken 30+ years ago during Chinese New Year.


30+ years later, we’ve all grown up!


Right when we just digested all the food from yesterday, we have another one today at my in-laws (just as festive). One can always find fish, chicken, vermicelli and roast pork in their celebration dinners. Because she was still fighting a bad cold, she made it a lot simpler than last year. It was still delicious and lot of hard work put into the meal. Her older daughter came to help her prep the meal. Woo, now let’s make room for a couple more of these meals.

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Today we had our traditional dinner before CNY with ma familia. Because of everyone’s schedules, we tend to pick a weekend closest to CNY to have this big feast. Normally, I tend to do more for the meal after CNY (open year dinner). However, with timing issue, I decided to spend time on this meal instead.

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To be sure there’s enough to feed my big clan, I made 8 dishes. My mom brought the chicken, roast pork and soup, My sister brought the  braised beef brisket. We had a total of 12 dishes set on the table and plenty of leftovers this night. What is shown here is only 80% of what was actually served. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of all the food on the table.


We had (from left to right top to bottom):

1) Chinese carrot braised beef brisket with bok choy, as side.

2) Chicken (store bought)

3) Stir fry vegetable dish: snow peas, black fungus, lotus roots with king trumpet mushrooms

4) Pan-Fried Tofu Skin Rolls Stuffed with Shrimps  (鮮蝦腐皮卷)

5) Roast pork

6) Steamed Garlic Shrimp with Vermicelli (蒜蓉粉絲蒸蝦)

7) Salmon (I bought the head and tail separately. I pan fry them first, then plate it). The filet were from Costco. I use soy sauce, cooking wine, ginger, garlic as the sauce to bake it the salmon filet).

8) Pan-Fried Stuff Tofu (香煎釀豆腐)

What’s not included this picture:

9) Stir-Fried Clams with Black Bean Sauce (豉椒炒蜆)

10) Brined and Roasted pork belly (红燒鹵水五花肉)

11) Chinese cabbage with dried scallops and mixture of roasted and white beech mushrooms (清蒸娃娃菜乾瑤柱)

12) Fish Maw Crab Soup (鱼肚蟹肉清湯)

Last but not least, I’ve made this almond jello and the red bean soup (which I didn’t take a picture). My sister also brought homemade cheesecake. You can all imagine everyone left with a full stomach! That’s how I like to roll for Chinese New Year.

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Today is Bike-To-School today, or walk, or scooter. I’ve never seen so many bikes parked in the school yard, so many bikes there aren’t even enough racks for them. The great thing is that everyone who biked/walked to school today gets a prize (a little bag, a granola bar, a pencil, a keychain, a flashlight and a bunch of stickers). I love the idea. There should be 4 or 5 times of these programs during the school year.


Mr. Pringles has nothing to do with biking. Just thought I make something plain for Ah Lo because he’s still not feeling his normal self.


“Today I am thankful for the ride to work…”

Woh, we started the day at 8:00am this morning and it didn’t end until 10pm!! It was one of those weekends where activities were jam packed.

Dai Bee’s music teacher signed him up for Association of Instructors of Music (AIM)’s Solo & Ensemble Music Festival. This is our first time there so we didn’t know what to expect.  He was asked to show up 10 minutes early before his performance to warm up. After that, he would perform for an adjucator (judge). He performed solo for piano and quintet for violin. At the end of each performance, the adjucator gave him some verbal and written comments, which were to help him improve. Each student also received “ratings” from the adjucator when done: Superior, Excellent, Good and Fair. Dai Bee received “Excellent” in both his performances. The goal of these performances is to encourage the student’s musical and intellectual development and to find out where he is in his musical skills and knowledge.

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As soon as we were done with the performance, we got onto our next activity – wood workshop! I signed up for a 6-week course to create a project of their own using raw materials, special equipment and tools in a woodshop. Of course, the first day, the teacher went through the most important lesson – safety.  “Projects range from traditional toys, games and furniture to imaginary sculptural pieces and much more. Kids build skills, such as how to safety use tools and apply their school mathematics in a practical application. They discover the importance of taking time to measure accurately. They will practice their skills with an inch ruler; learn how to get precise lines using squares, and clamp their wood for cutting with hand saws. They will learn the difference between a back saw and a cross-cut saw, a band saw and a coping saw. Students will learn how to use hand tools prior to using power tools. Working in a fun and supportive atmosphere, students also practice problem solving “mistakes” so they can successfully complete their projects.” 

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Then the usual pick up and drop off at the pool for swimming. We round up the night at our school’s spring auction gala. Thankfully my sister was able to babysit the kids so that we could enjoy a night out.

“Today I am thankful for the great parents who volunteer tirelessly at our school’s fundraiser…”

Here’s another evening filled with fun and educational math games. We go every year and have not been disappointed. My boys love this event and participate in most of the games. I just love the creativeness of the teachers and appreciate all their hard work!

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Today I am thankful for the bus schedule…”

Volunteered all day at the school today for it’s annual autumn carnival. Dai Bee’s class is selling spam musubi’s ($2) and duct tape wallets ($2) to raise funds for class field trips. Along with another parent, we each made 72 spam musubi’s and 40 from the teacher. Ah Lo’s class is selling ice pops (25 cents each) and making Halloween puppets (50 cents – $1.00). The sun came out so his class sold all 225 ice pops! This is the first time I didn’t hang out with the boys. The boys got some spending money (using their spanking duct tape wallets). They roam freely around the school yard, buying snacks and playing games.

“Today I am thankful for such strong community event and the beautiful weather…”

Just barely finish digesting the feast yesterday, we have another to work on with Ma Familia. Luckily, there weren’t any scrumptious turkey and juicy ham, just the whatever you can whip up menu. If the fruiturkey looks somewhat familiar, yes, I’ve recycled it today, just add fruits!

We know it’s not about the food, it’s the company! Well, there were 30 of us, together, watching the second batch of kids growing up, playing, dancing, singing and fighting.

Nobody left without stating why this Holiday is such a special one…we all wrote down something to add the colors on this Thankful Tree…

Today I am thankful for those who brought food and laughter to the table…”

Ah Lo has been to this school event a few times now with his older brother, but tonight, he could actually participate as a Kindergartener. He spent an hour hopping from one table to the next, learning something new as he goes.

Today I am thankful for the teachers who organized this event...”