Archives for posts with tag: inspiration

After a couple of years of encouragement, nudging, some nagging, Dai Bee finally bought into the idea of “giving back to the community” by volunteering his time to tutor younger kids. I suggested he reached out to his elementary school and the elementary school close by him. To my surprise, he jumped on it, sending out emails left and right and followed through the process.

Today he received calls/emails from both schools and are working with them to arrange for the schedule. I am guessing he’s mainly tutoring kids with math and/or helping some with homework (in different subjects). I am proud that he’s taking the initiative and staying on top of it. It’s a big step for him considering it took 2 years in the making. Hopefully it’ll work out and he’s able to help other kids.

I guess when the kid is ready, he’s ready.


Every tournament, Ah Lo’s teammates vote for the two kids to be the team captain for the team. This week, Ah Lo is the team captain. At the end of the tournament, he would give out a line or two to motivate the team.  He’s not the best player in the team, but he took the job seriously and kept the team upbeat and positive during this tournament. The team came back with a 2 wins and 1 loss.

Good job, Ah Lo. I’m so proud of you!

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

The brothers performed at Onlok Senior Home yesterday. It was a Friday, so we couldn’t get too many people to participate. Dai Bee played most of the time with 5 songs while Ah Lo played 2. One of the songs Dai Bee played was a Chinese song (月亮代表我的心). The seniors clapped with the tune and sang along. It was the sweetest thing to watch. Glad the boys are much more comfortable performing for others now. It’s such a special gift to be able to play music. They just don’t know it yet.

Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 9.53.52 AMUntitledAfter the performance, we met up with my sister at a gym to play badminton and ping pong. We were there for a good 3 hours, yet they still find the energy to shoot hoops when they came home.Untitled

Had some middle school friends over today and cooked up a storm. There’s always endless topics to talk about with this group of friends. So when we go out, we always get kicked out before we can all share our stories. That’s why we decided to have it in one of our homes so we can talk/laugh without anyone constantly coming over asking if we wanted anything else. *wink* IMG_8695

It was supposed to be potluck, but somehow I did most of the cooking. One friend brought small pot of tofu soup, one brought drinks, one brought fruits, and my sister brought chicken wings and garlic enoki mushrooms.

For me, I made some rose dumplings, mini mango tart, egg leaf salad, japchae and green onion pancakes. My friends have been wanting to try my homemade bread, so it’s right there on the table! Since it’s an Asian themed brunch, I made name cards using each person’s chinese name.

gatheringfood Happy for the company, grateful for the memories, and glad everyone left with their tummies satisfied.

Dai Bee’s last orchestra performance at his school. He was performing for choir last Thursday. The school year is coming to an end and with all these school performances and activities, luckily we live so close to school!


So the latest trend in Japan is the pull apart bread. I’ve been drooling all over every time when I see photos on Instagram. Unfortunately, most of the recipes I found are in Japanese, so I had to play around with it. The boys were eager to try it before I had a chance to decorate it.IMG_7080

By the time I put in the details, one-third of it was gone. Hahaha…IMG_7085

This is what’s supposed to look like. Yes, I know I have lots of work to do.


Photo from @umi0407 Instagram <- She’s the pro!

As immigrants who later became US citizens, my parents (who spoke minimal English), never voted. They believed their votes didn’t count, so they never bothered. Growing up, voting was something other people did, just not us. We just didn’t care and I never saw the importance of it…until 2008, yes, very late in my “voting” life.

It’s cliche to say “it’s a different world now.” Well it is, almost every night during dinner my boys and l analyzed the local issues on the ballot, we learned more about the election process and of course we discussed the presidential candidates.

Tonight and in past elections, I took them to the polling place so they are very much aware of what the election is about and how important it is. It is a privilege, and not to be taken for granted. No matter how rich or how poor you are, no matter how old or how young (at voting age), everyone gets ONE vote. I explained to them many people had fought hard for us to so that our voices can be heard heard. So yes, this is a different and better world.

p.s. Thank you to all the volunteers at the polling place all over for your hard work and dedication.

May the best woman win!


Two great news to share!

One is Ah Lo made it to the basketball team (same team as his cousin) he’s been trying out. I know that he wasn’t the best player who tried out, but he does have the height advantage. We’ve tried a few teams/leagues in the past, but most of these teams don’t have many serious players. With a straight losing streak, there were self doubts and discouragements which often lead to performance blocks. There were times he didn’t want to play at all. My sister invited him to practice with her son’s team last year. Though there’s plenty of room for improvement on this team, but I can see the commitment dedication in the coaches and families. The coaches not only foster positive attitude, they also believe in each player and his abilities, maximizes their talents, and make each contribute to the team. With this team, I hope Ah Lo can improve his basketball skills and grow with his team.


Next great news was today a letter came in the mail from “Creative Kids” Magazine. A few weeks ago, I started sending Ah Lo’s poems to kids’ magazines and various publications. I have totally forgotten about it. Today the letter came and said they would like to publish one of his poems called “The Golden Grand Piano.” I was ecstatic even when Mr. Piggy opened the letter and mentioned “what’s this Creative Kids?”  Anyway, hope this encourages him to write more.

“The Golden Grand Piano”

A blur of fingers moving on black and white,

notes spilling out as fast as raindrops falling,

slower and faster again,

louder and softer as it nears the end,

but no, turning the page,

another sheet of music,

a masterpiece of art written to inspire,

memorizing as I go,

making no mistakes,

and ending with perfection.

Tonight was Back to School Night for the elementary school. By now, we pretty much know the drill, but the excitement still fills the mind. Though we know the teacher (and very grateful for having her), we still like to know everything that happens (or will) in her class. After the informational meeting, we were encouraged to walk around the class and see our child’s work. We saw art work, self portraits, crafts they’ve done so far, and then there was this poem.