Archives for posts with tag: family

Spend the day celebrating America’s birthday by picnicking with Mr. Piggy’s family (at Lafayette Reservoir). We also rented a boat around the reservoir to get some sun. Happy 4th!IMG_4057


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 one of them walk 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.

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

Our annual pancreatic awareness walk was today. This year our group was much smaller with just the 3 of us and my younger niece and nephew. One of my sisters took Ah Lo and her family to a basketball game in Santa Cruz. It was a beautiful day for the walk, in memory of my dearest dad. IMG_3442IMG_3401EDIT

DINNER is invariably one of the happiest part of my day. I love trying new recipes, prepping and cooking, but what I enjoy most is when the 4 of us sit around the table, chatting openly just about everything. I am always fascinated by the range of conversations (some new, some were continuation from last night/week) rolling around the dinner table throughout the week. The topics of discussions vary widely from school/work life we reflect on that day to world events, finances/investments, government, drugs, health, education, history, sports and so much more. We share opinions of family members, friends, classmates, co-workers, and give each other a chance to tune into another’s affairs. Sometimes we reminisce our travels, and then brainstorm for next destinations. My boys are always impressed by the wealth of knowledge Mr. Piggy has about almost everything. I love to watch the boys as they listen with great admiration when their dad speak while learning a thing or two.

Tonight Dai Bee told us about his field trip to Angel Island with his Chinese class. From there, we switched to the success of business moguls such as Li Ka Shing (the most influential businessman in Asia), Jack Ma (founder and chairman of Alibaba), Warrant Buffet (one of the most successful investors of all time), and Bill Gates and his focus on philanthropy.

I love our dinners are never ‘just dinner’ at our house. Besides exposing the boys to new food (and yes, we even talked about the types of food and their origins), there are always a lesson learned. We always leave the table with either a wacky or a in depth conversation. For this, my heart is always full. I wonder how many families get to spend this meaningful time together, as a family?

One of my resolutions for 2018 is to read at least one book a month, and my boys, at least 3 a month. When my sister and nieces heard about it, they wanted to join. So together, we formed a ‘reading club.’

This month we read “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline. It takes place in the year 2044 where our world is suffering from global energy crisis. People found ways to escape the harsh truth by living through the virtual reality game-world. The main character in the book, a series gamer, decodes clues and solves puzzles to win a prize hidden in the game. Since this book makes many references to dungeons and dragons, video games and 80’s culture, I recommended for the boys to read. Of course, it took them 2 days to finish it. Everyone finished it in time for the release of the movie (yesterday). Those who read it were uber excited to watch the movie, especially after a sneak peak at the movie trailer.

Thursday night, we all went out to watch the movie. We were all a bit disappointed since there were many details in the book (which we were all waiting to see) didn’t make the cut. The plot is drastically different and we only get a fraction of the detail featured in the book. Anyway, we all enjoyed reading the book and had a great time ‘reviewing the movie’ together. Until the next good read…IMG_2452

Right before we went to the movie, Dai Bee told me he has a science test the next day. I felt bad to drag him along to watch a movie (on a weeknight). Glad to hear he did well on his test. Phew!

Another jam packed Saturday. First we have a 5k Run in the morning. When I signed up, somehow I thought it was 5k was ONE mile. I know?! Of course, got some lip service from my boys since one of them has a basketball game in the afternoon. Still, they were a a good sport and came out to run with me in the morning. IMG_2046-EDITEDAfter the race, we went home and took a short break and went off to Ah Lo’s basketball game. It was a nail biter since we won by one point! These games are a lot more interesting to watch now since Ah Lo has been improving. Way to go!

We had to part after the 1st game since Dai Bee has a piano recital in the evening and Ah Lo has another game. Mr. Piggy reported our team won the second game.

Big feast with ma familia today celebrating Year of the Dog. I spent all day today in the kitchen cooking, dicing, plating. I started out with easy pace in the morning and then got nervous when I realized I have a whole bunch of stuff to do!


I made 8 dishes and my sisters made soup, brought fried rice, salt and pepper fish and duck.

We started Prosperity Toss (撈起- or Lo Hey) tradition last year. Since this is the year of the dog, I made the dog design with spiralized zucchini, Japanese daikon, carrots with wood ear (dog’s ears), red bell peppers, smoked salmon and fried wonton skins.


Today is also the day we pass out red envelopes to the kids.

Great to have my family living so close, and even greater to have cousins who are (fairly) close in age. Since I’m back to work today and thankful that my sister and BIL can take my boys for a fishing trip. They went from pier to pier on a chilly day trying to get a good catch.

Results of their fishing expedition- lost 3 hooks, 2 weights, 1 line, and gained 0 fish, and a few giggles.