Merry Christmas, everyone!
While I wish everyone is enjoying this joyous day, I find it difficult to be in the the cheerful mood. Worrying about my health, my granny, and trying to stay calm. About a month ago, I had the Christmas menu all planned out. I was going to cook up a storm. Of course, it won’t happen. Instead, I had everyone bring a dish. I made ribs, garlic shrimp pesto pasta and this apple rose pastry. I was exhausted by the time the party ended.
Since I wasn’t hosting for my side for Thanksgiving, this allows me to do a few more things.
- 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.
- Cook up a storm.
- and…playing with food.
Attended a relative’s wedding today, one of the most relaxing and fun parties. It was a mix of traditional and modern twist to it. Parents from both sides spoke for a bit, and then groom and bride told their story of how they met. There were many details put into the party, from decorations to floral arrangements, sign in area to dessert table, it was quite impressive. The venue was beautiful and we all had a blast.
And I must add, the best and most practical wedding favor. Congrats once again to Jamie and Vince!
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!
Joined by my sisters and their families, we explored Clear Lake State Park this weekend for our annual camping trip. Everyone got their share of work, and my biggest responsibility is to transport all the kids to the campsite on Friday. Other than that, I am also planning for activities to keep the kids busy during our short stay.
For my boys, it’s easier to engage them because they are older. Got them to help out setting up the tents and canopy, do dishes, find ways to hang up the dish rack, towels, etc.
On Saturday, when we have the full day to ourselves, we tried to fill up the day with things to do: collected twigs and built floating rafts, hiked to the lake (adding some fun with a scavenger hunt along the way), climbed rocks, and finally enjoyed a light lunch by the lake.
The boys tested their rafts while others splashed in the water.
By dawn, it was time to go fishing with the uncles. Though we didn’t catch any fish, but the experience was unforgettable. The boys learned some casting techniques from their uncles.
We came back to the site for dinner, shared some stories and Ah Lo gave his presentation about “bullying.” We ended the night with campfire and marshmallows, and of course, not to miss out on the stargazing opportunity which was absolutely stunning.
My sisters and our families joined the walk to support and bring awareness to the pancreatic cancer research. It was three years ago that we lost our dad to this deadly disease. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August 2013, and died a month later. Seeing him suffer for last month was extremely difficult. Although his presence is no longer here, his strength, energy and grit are still with us. This is another way to remember our dad, and boys’ grandfather.
Together, our families raised over $3k. We hope one day soon, we will find a cure. Let’s continue to fight against this war to end this disease.
Today I attended my niece’s college graduation. From the day she received her letter of acceptance from Sac State and we threw her a college send-off party four years ago up to today, this girl has proven to us nothing is impossible. Beating all odds she was the first to go to college and graduate in her family, first to graduate among her cousins, and she has done so with determination and self motivation.
I was in tears when the speaker asked the graduates to stand up if they were the first to graduate in college, more than half stood up, including my niece. It was not easy and I am sure she struggled with many challenges. Today, she has shown me that it does not matter how slowly you go or how high you have to climb, as long as you don’t stop, you will make it.
To Crystal: There will always be obstacles no matter what you do, but know your dreams can outweigh all of it. Life can be challenging but you are much stronger. Just know that now you can do anything.
She has made me ONE PROUD AUNT today.
My family’s side of the Thanksgiving celebration! Some were store bought, some were home made, but everything was delicious! Our family doesn’t really have a traditional Thanksgiving feast. We have different themes every year and people bring different things. As you can see, our main course was not the turkey, but the roast pig (baby not included).
I took on the dessert part and made three different desserts for all three generations, although I only took pictures of the two.
Turkey Jello are for the Z-Gens.
For the Y-Gens, I made kiwi banana crepe, which unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to take pictures.
For the X-Gens (my sisters and mom), I made the Coconut Pudding in Shell w/ Xueha Paste (椰汁燉雪蛤膏).
Everyone went home happy!
Our Thanksgiving volunteer started our day early. We did this last year, and this year, we went with the Girl and her two older sisters. I am glad my boys woke up early, no complaints and got right into work as soon as we got there.
This year, we visited another couple who, as always, anxious to share with us their life stories.
As usual, off to the inlaws celebrate Thanksgiving with them. They always have their traditional meal with a turkey, ham, a tons of vegetables. It took a long time to roast the turkey so we didn’t eat until close to 9pm. By that time, Mr. Piggy and I didn’t eat much, especially with all the carbs – mashed potatoes and sweet yam puree. I just munch on my salad and a little bit of turkey. I must say, this year’s turkey was one of the best ones I had. Mr. Piggy’s cousin roasted and it was on the spot!
For fun, I also brought a cheese platter: