Nov 19, 2012

Thank-you'd out

This expression is probably not exactly grammatically correct or something we feel often.

But my husband did.
by our sweet little boy K.

This photo taken this summer is nothing to do with this post, but it captures him throwing....
He loves trains, cars, motorcycles, trucks, tractors, anything with wheels.
He also loves to throw stuff, like things listed above. 
So, when his Daddy moves the couch, well, we hit some jack-pot. 

K: "Wow! Dah! (That's how he calls Dad. Daddy is too cool to be called with 2 syllables, according to the old man) Thank you!"
Dah: "You are welcome, K."
K: "No! Dah! Thank you! Thank you, Dah! Choo-choo! Thank you!"
Dah: "Yup."
K:"Wow! Thomas! Thank you, Dah! Wow! Cars! Dah! Thank you! Thank you, Dah!"
Dah: "Yeah, yeah. It's okay, K."
K: "Thank you, Dah! Choo-choo! Wow, cars! Dah! Thank you!"
Dah: "Okay, that's enough, K."
K: "Thank you! Thank you, Dah!"
Dah: "....."

K thanked his Dad 5800 times (not that he counted), for about good 20 minutes. 
He is a very thankful child, to say the least, maybe. 

Oct 31, 2012

Baking and Making

October is a busy month for me with 2 birthdays. There are birthday cakes and birthday treats for classes to make. Then, you add Halloween on top of it. It's a crazy baking and making month for me! My husband just said to me, as if to just remind me again, "You are a crazy woman, and I've known that for years." (he said that yesterday during his lunch time looking at me just starting to make J's Halloween costume, yes, on the day before Halloween.) But I LOVE watching kids' smile and "Wow!" reactions. I thrive for it. That's why I bake and make things, just to see those happy faces!

Birthday cupcakes for M's class - chocolate cupcake and chocolate frosting with black food coloring. I don't know if the teachers liked the idea of messy black food colored frosting, but M loved it.   

J's birthday cake. It's, of course, a tank. I tried fondant for the first time. I was not so happy, but he love it. And my husband actually finished it up for me because I was so frustrated.  
M's birthday cake. It is supposed to be a fire truck. Why a 6-year-old girl want a fire truck cake for her birthday? "6-year-olds suppose to have fire truck cakes. That's what J had when he turned 6!" is M's response. Actually, looking back, I think J had something else on his 6th birthday...but we won't tell her that. She enjoyed decorating her truck with all the candies. Very festive.
Gingerbread mummies
They were birthday treats for J's class and it was a hit!
CTR sugar cookies for J's baptism
More sugar cookies for J's baptism
Mummy pigs-in-blanket. I made them for a party with "a pool of blood (a.k.a. ketchup)"
My favorite breakfast these days - home made granola (recipe adjusted from this) and frozen blueberries we picked this summer on top of vanilla yogurt.
A birthday gift for my mother-in-law - I just couldn't find what I hoped to find, so I decided to make it. Mothers' family tree broach/pendant top. She has 7 children. I was very pleased with the final product. Unfortunately, I was home sick when they celebrated her birthday, but I hope she liked it.
This was something for me. I wanted Halloween earrings, then one day the flat circle bead inspired me to make one. My husband thinks I should add some red dots to make them look like Black Widow....hmmm.
Last, but not least, here is the costume I started around lunch time yesterday (jacket, vest, and banner thingy). J was so excited and had a huge smile on his face! 

Oct 10, 2012

Line up!

 My little boy K has been into lining his toys...
 in the middle of living room,
 on top of the staircase,
 or on the dining table.
But they all have to face the same direction
whether going vertically or horizontally,
 so that they will all LINE UP!

Sep 20, 2012

Definition of "Rainbowry"

rain-bow-ry [reyn-boh-ree]

adjective, rain-bowr-ier, rain-bowr-iest.
1. brightness of colors in rainbow
2. in clear view of an arc shaped prismatic colors, it can be used to describe the brightness in particular section.

Developed by M on 9/18/2012. It was originally created to describe part of a rainbow (witnessed on the same day) having brighter color compared to the rest.

Example sentence:
"Hey, look! That part is really rainbowry!"

Other information:
The photograph of the rainbow which author had witness and has described above is not available due to absence of mechanical devise at that time.

For further questions, please contact author.

Sep 17, 2012

A bit of homesick?

Thank you, good ol' Facebook. Recently, I've reconnected with my friends from high school days. Some live out of the country (China and France!), some live in the town they grew up, and others live far from home - but not as far as I have come. It is fun but somewhat weird to see your old friends being moms...I guess it's been almost 20 years since those high school days. (wow, I'm getting old...)

Then, my brother started a blog. He is the captain of the fishing/crab catching boat my family own and he posts updates from the boat, smack in the middle of Sea of Japan! And he posts pictures like this
picture of the boat (source:
 and this. 
a view from the boat (source:
Isn't it a beautiful place?  I grew up looking at this. And I took it granted. I remember school teachers who were "stationed" to the tiny little town would say, "Children, you live in a beautiful place! Your town is surrounded by mountains in the back and a beautiful view of ocean. How lucky you are!"

Well, I didn't think so, at least back then. It was small. I had never saw a horizon except over the ocean. Because of it is such a small town, everyone knew everyone else's business (this part, I guess I don't really miss). I was just ready to get out of there.

And I did, ended up being here almost as far as I could possibly could.
No regret. I'm happy where I am. But now I am just very thankful for the place I grew up in.

It's just simply beautiful. Just like those teachers told us years ago. I just didn't know it.

Now I know it. 

And I can smell the air from the photo my brother posted - the food, the ocean, and even the splash of the sea water.

When I was in high school, a friend of mine told me that she could smell the ocean when she visited my home town. I didn't understand what she was talking about back then. Because I lived in it.

It's been 6 years since I breathed the air and ate the fresh seafood. I think I'm having a bit of homesick.

Sep 14, 2012

A lost tooth at school playground

September 12, 2012
Dear Toothfairy,
My daughter M lost her second tooth at school playground today. She was crying when she came out of school bus today because her lost tooth is really "lost", and she would have no tooth for Toothfairy to come for. Please accept this fake tooth (made of mini-marshmallow) as replacement. She did really lose a tooth today and is looking forward to your visit again. By the way, thank you for your visit the first time around. She was very excited.
Thank you,
M's mom

September 13, 2012
Dear Toothfairy,
Thank you for your generosity and understanding. M was thrilled to see that you visited last night. She screamed in joy "It worked! The fake tooth worked!"  Was it the shape of fake tooth (flattened mini-marshmallow with zig-zag in the bottom, which was M's idea) that helped you, or was it the letter her mom wrote to beg your visit in desperate? Either way, in behalf of M, I wanted to thank you. She does not have any wiggly tooth right now, so you can have a little break.
M's mom
p.s. Those coins (2 of each coin - 2 pennies, 2 nickels, 2 dimes, and 2 quoters - total 82 cents) were very educational. It was a good practice for her big brother to count.
p.s.s. How do you come up with how many coins for a tooth? Is it like, "first tooth for this much" kind of charts going on there?

September 14, 2012
Dear Toothfairy,
Yes, I know I said you can have a break, but I just wanted to give you a little heads-up. Now M got coins out of fake tooth (no, seriously, she really did lose her tooth and really needed a replacement that time), today she told me that she lost another tooth. Well, it was really not another tooth, it was a piece from double chocolate rice crispy treat. Yes, it was dark brown. It would not have been a very healthy tooth...
So, just to warn you, you may see some fake tooth popping out. I will try and keep you posted though. And I will sure write you a letter if she ever has to use a fake tooth again for a replacement.
Thank you,
M's mom
p.s. Do you count the number of teeth per child?
p.s.s. What do you do with those teeth? Just curious. Thanks!

Aug 10, 2012

Blessings of the rain

It's raining. It's been raining all day. So I decided to count the blessings of the rain.
What got me start thinking was....Let's face it, I had no excuse today NOT to clean my house. It was raining and cold outside. K and M were taking naps. J was on my computer playing a game. Yes, I could have read a book or done something else. But all the housekeeping neglect may have caught up on me and they were staring at me...

So, I decided to do some housework, which is a blessing for my family, I'm sure, even some basic ones.

Then, I started cleaning areas that I hadn't done in A LONG time, like washing window and trimming by the kitchen sink, wiping kitchen cupboards and kitchen door (something about our over 90 lb. dog's tail smearing dirt...), etc.

Then, things started more noticeable, like things needs to be put back to where they belong...(again, because of all the neglect this summer)

Of course, some of the thing didn't have places to go back, so I had to make some places for them to belong. While I was doing that, I found things that I thought I had lost long ago, like a special ice cube (stick?) tray for water bottles.

But I didn't have any space to put that in my freezer (of course, the freezer was a mess), so that lead me to clean the freezer.....

The list goes on and on....

So, here it is, the blessings of the rain;
1. keeping me inside, instead of outside playing, inspired (is that appropriate use for this?) me to do some housework, and made me think that I probably should start thinking about kids going back to school organizing things to make things run smoothly.
2. while mommy was busy cleaning, kids enjoyed their freedom of watching movies and drinking Lemonade as much as they want (blessing for them in their account). They got along, and that's a good thing.
3. my thriving garden is loving the rain and tomato plants are growing like crazy, so are the weeds....
4. used to be brown, scorched lawn are now back in lush green
5. the lawn is back in green and needs to be mowed, but it's too bad, I can't mow because of rain (that counts as a blessing, right?)
6. cool weather gave us a break from the heat and AC use
7. and I'm just plain happy for farmers! Or anyone/anything in need of water.

Well, if it rains again tomorrow, I might do more of organizimacation thingy. If it's nice, we may head out to a park! We shall see...

Aug 7, 2012

Summer fun list update

Since Last time I posted on our summer list, we've been playing hard! Maybe this is my first summer enjoying being a stay-at-home mom. No scheduled activity for kids. I was originally worried at the beginning, but I really like this laid-back "So, what do you want to do?" kind of days.

Now, last time I said:
 We still would like to:
- go to a local ice cream stop (I know, those who are local, we haven't done it this year yet!!)
- go to our favorite beach about 2 hours away
- go more camping trips

Yes, we did go (finally!) to the local ice cream stop - Check! (courtesy of our library's Summer Reading Program, our kids each got free soft serve)
No on the second one, unfortunately, but we have been to beaches....Ummm, I lost counts, but several times.
And yes, to the last one. We just went last weekend and will be going again in a couple of weeks.

In addition to those, this summer we have;
- had M's first visit from a tooth fairy
- completed Summer Reading Program (Yay!)
- played a lot with cousins and had a serious water gun fight!
- had boys (yes, including my husband and boys and their cousins...I need to make another post on this) blow up a watermelon
- camped with 20 some cousins (sorry, I've lost count on this as well)
- J tried on tubing (behind a boat) for the first time
- J and M become comfortable in the water (I told J I'd give him $2 if he comes in the water with life jacket and learned to float)
- watched beautiful sunsets
- went blueberry picking twice (total 26 lb!)
- and play, play, and more play!

House work? Maybe I'll resume when school starts....

Jul 30, 2012

K vs. a garden snake

I did not witness this, but it has to be recorded. No photo either...
(Ok, here is a photo of K with beach boy lock before his haircut - nothing to do with this post)
The other day, our 2 1/2 year-old K had his first encounter with a garden snake at our friend's place. My husband was holding it to show the kids. K's big brother J touched a little bit. Despite my husband's warning to K not to go too close to the head of the snake, K went to touch its head.

Snap! (or maybe not so much...)

Of course, the snake took a bite of K on his thumb.

K's response?

He wrapped his hand around the thumb, held for a while, then yelled at the snake
"NO! BABY ITAI ITAI!" ("ITAI" means hurt in Japanese and he calls himself "baby", so he was telling the snake that K is hurting!)

He looked at the thumb (no bleeding or anything major) again, then again

Got that, snake? No more hurting K!

K vs. a garden snake - a garden snake may have had an advantage of biting K, but K didn't, stay tune for the round 2! (well, hopefully not too soon for his mother's sake...)

Jun 25, 2012

Summer fun check list so far...

Not that I make such a list, but for a record, I wanted to write what we have done so far...(to later convince my children that summer vacation is NOT boring, we did A TON of stuff. Ok, J?)

We, so far, have:
- gone strawberry picking (which kids lasted for about 1/2 hour...)
- gone to a beach with cousins
- bought a 34-year-old pop-up camper and gone 2 night camping trip to a lake
- gone to a spray park, well actually twice so far
- joined our local library's Summer Reading Program (we are in lever 3)
- played with cousins at their lake-front house
- (this was only J and me) gone to a special event where you could experience flying a remote control airplane. J got to control a remote control airplane. We made rocket ships out of papers too.
Here is Josh learning how to use the remote control by simulation - Man, those kids with hand-eye coordination in computer games...*sigh*
- sent off their cousin flying out from an airport
- played at different parks for hours (so Mommy doesn't have to see the pile of dishes)

And of course, we have logged many hours of computer game, TV watching, popsicle  and ice cream eating, and plenty of whining and fighting time as well.

We still would like to:
- go to a local ice cream stop (I know, those who are local, we haven't done it this year yet!!)
- go to our favorite beach about 2 hours away
- go more camping trips

More to come!

Jun 8, 2012

Let the Summer begin!

Officially, Summer has began. 

Day 1: we played with play dough.
 J's blue Jay and her eggs.
M's Robin and her eggs.
J said her Robin looks like Angry Bird - M was not so happy about that....

And the fun with play dough ended by 9 am. 
Yes, 9 AM!  

(Phineas and Ferb, please don't tell me there is 104 days of summer vacation...)

We decided to go to a spray park in the early afternoon before K's nap (no photo).

Kids had fun. They splashed, took breaks, went sliding, while I sat in the shade reading a book.
It was a nice afternoon.
Then, K got splashed (yes, we were at Spray Park where you should be sprayed by water) on his face, M fell from a slide on wood chips and scraped her knee, and their friend hit her head with one water feature. 

It was time for us to go home. 

A couple of more girls joined us in the backyard and played in the sandbox, with water. A lot of water. (again, no photo, due to my policy of not showing kids' face much on public...)

After 7 wet/sandy/muddy kids later, I had a little quiet time....

No, oh no, we are not done yet. 
Because my husband took older 2 monkeys to Summer Festival!
 They got to ride
and ride
and ride.

By the way, this was the gift for my son J's teacher Mrs. R. She was a wonderful teacher.  J asked what her favorite color was one day - it was red. So I made a pair of red themed earrings (no photo). The package and card were scraps of my paper supplies, but I thought it turned out cuter than I thought! Thank you, Mrs. R!


Today, on Day 2, we are taking easy. J and M are at their friends' house for a play date (Thank you, M!). K is napping. And me is trying to keep record of this precious moments. 

Happy Summer!

Jun 3, 2012

Now I understand...

Some of the things my mom did that I didn't understand before I became a mom:

Here is my mom working on her Etegami piece (December 2009)
Mom was able to work around the house long before eating breakfast.
That was probably because certain things had to be done before she was able to sit down to eat, like packing my lunch and ironing my school uniform.

Mom was always the last one to choose a piece from assortment of cakes.
That was probably because she loved her kids so much that she wanted them to pick their pieces first.

Mom would tell me sometimes at dinner times when we had rare delicacy, "Oh, I don't like it. You can have it."
She may not have really disliked (or maybe she did) whatever it was. She probably wanted us to have it more than she did.

Mom was always learning new things and taking lessons in cooking and crafts. I remember her working late at night.
That was probably her sliver of "Mommy time" to enrich her life and to escape from the mundane task of housekeeping. And if things need to be done, then late at night can be the only the spare time which may cutting into the precious sleep time (ahem, it is 12:25 am on my clock...).

Mom would tell me that I needed to take a nap even when I thought I was not tired (and of course I fell sleep after a while). It may have been the summer I was in Kindergarten. I remember lying on a small mat feeling cool summer breeze.
She probably knew that I needed enough rest.

Mom would tell me I needed to be quiet while she took her 15 minutes power-nap after lunch before she headed back to work.
She most likely needed it, because I know I need it sometimes so that I can make it through the day.

Thanks, Mom. Super belated, but Happy Mother's Day.
Some things are easier to write than say in person.
Hmm, maybe that's why mom writes me letters....*light bulb*

May 16, 2012

Guest Post: "Battling Cancer With Support From Family and Friends" by Heather Von St James

Belated Happy Mother's Day to all! (slight delay due to sinus infection...)

I have my first guest post here!
This is Heather and her family. And this is her story:
Heather Von St. James with Family

Battling Cancer With Support From Family and Friends

When I was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer in November of 2005, I was a new mother whose daughter was just three and a half months old.  I thought I had my whole life ahead of me; so receiving this diagnosis was devastating, especially when I learned that unless I sought aggressive treatment, I would only have about 15 months to live.  No one wants to hear that, and I was only in my 30s.  Despite my fear, I was determined to stay strong for my daughter and husband.  

My husband and I went to Boston to pursue the most intensive mesothelioma treatment options available, and I gathered up all of my energy to face the battle ahead.  While there, I underwent the removal of my left lung, followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatments.  It was exhausting, but my husband was there to support me, and I had many devoted friends and family members helping us from a distance.  I don't know what I would have done without my parents, who took on the care of our infant daughter Lily while I was in the midst of these grueling treatments.  

My parents back home in South Dakota were integral in raising Lily during this period of her life, and the people who I grew up with stepped up to help them in any way they could, providing babysitting services and old baby supplies to help keep them going while they all prayed for my recovery.  Even though I was far away from them, I was constantly aware of their love and concern.  Knowing how much they cared about me went a long way toward strengthening me during that dark time.

Even though getting cancer was a horrible experience, it was truly moving to see how many people would be willing to go out of their way to help me and my family when offered the chance.  Of course, some people who I thought were friends high-tailed it out of there, but I came to appreciate who truly was there for me, and it has given me a better understanding of how to treat others who are in need.  While leaning on the support of old friends, I also made new friends who helped cheer me on through my treatments and whose friendship I will always treasure.

Now I just take one day at a time and am grateful for every moment.  I know that no matter how well I seem, more cancer could always emerge, but I am determined to enjoy every day as much as I can, and this is the way everyone should live, whether or not they are battling a deadly disease.  Life can change suddenly, and all we can do is enjoy it and do everything in our power to preserve it.  Moreover, if we can make someone else's burden lighter along the way, that is truly making the most out of life.

May 10, 2012

I'm a proud Mama!

 I am a mother of an artist! (I am totally bragging about it)

There are two local public school art exhibits going on right now - one at a gallery on our local university, and the other at a small art gallery downtown. And my son J's art works are at both sites! 
Art is probably his favorite subject. This was his first year having art class and he is absolutely loving it. 
It's one of the reasons why he looks forward to Friday (along with chicken sandwich on hot lunch menu, and having weekend coming so that he can play game with his cousins and all that).

Here is his penguins. 
I love the 2nd guy from left sliding down.  Weeeee!
Each pieces were hand ripped, not cut with scissors, J told me. 
Sounds like fun to me!

And here is his happy smiley lizard guy.
(I sure thought it was chameleon, but...)
Doesn't he make you smile?
Today was "artist reception" at the local art gallery, so we invited his grandma, Papa (a.k.a. grandpa), and grandma-great.  He was explaining to them that, for this piece, he first drew with crayon, then he filled all the white spots with paint. He sounded just like a proud artist would.

Oh, he said both of them took him 4 Fridays to finish, whereas other pieces usually take him 2 or 3 Fridays to finish. So, yeah, they were special ones for him.

I can't wait to display these in my house! I'm thinking making our staircase wall to be art gallery.

May 4, 2012

A gift of journals

It was not a New Year resolution, but about a few months ago, I decided to start a journal.

For each child. (Blue for J, pink for M, and green for K - the color happens to match to their baby blankets, kind of. )

I don't do scrap booking for my family. Kids have kinda-sorta-filled baby books. I have tons of pictures in my PC, not printed. I have several journals that I write from time to time, including this one and the one include not-so-happy stuff.

But this is going to be different. It is more like letters to them. I am writing individual journals not only to record our family memories and their milestones, but also to share my thoughts, hopefully, for many years to come. I am writing anything I want each one of them to know; I am sharing my memory, my experience, my wisdom, and most of all, my love.

My hope is that sometime in the future when they are away from home and face challenges in life, they will open this and read to remember how much they are loved and they will be able to overcome whatever the hardship they may face. I hope, as I share things in their journals, they will not make the same mistakes that I made or misery I struggled through when I was younger.

So, I write occasionally, like maybe once every week or so, when they do something funny or special. From the topic, I usually move onto share my thoughts and experience or whatever I want to share.

Because I want them to know that I will always love them no matter what (yes, it gets harder when a 2-year-old is throwing a full-blown tantrum throwing toys at...but that's another story), and that each one of them are a very special child with special qualities.

Would they roll their eyes when they read it? Maybe. Maybe not. We'll see.

May 2, 2012

Only about 3 years away from's one way to look at it.

This morning, I complained to my husband that this whole stay-at-home-mom thing is hard. Everyday mundane things, like the never-ending piles of laundry and dishes (I was looking at sink full of dishes from last night even though I ran a load last night. Hmmm...). 

So, he said to me,
"Honey, you are only about 3 years away from half-retirement!"

I said, "half-retirement?", just puzzled. 

He said, "Well, in about that time our youngest will be school. And when you clean the house or whatever, they will stay the same way for about 8 hours till kids come home. Isn't that great?"

I knew why I married to this guy. 
 Oh, by the way, isn't this a beautiful flower? I took it a couple of weeks ago when it was nice and sunny out. (I know it's totally out of contents here, but this photo just made me feel more peaceful.)

In a meantime, for about another 3 years, I will keep my spirit up for raising these fun crazy kids who I absolutely adore, and try not to focus too much on those piles of dishes and laundry....

Because, honestly, there is no way I can keep my house clean with this monster K.
He is just too much fun.

Apr 30, 2012

Belated Eggstravaganza post

How long ago was Easter? My artist friend V invited me to her house for Eggstravaganza again. I got to meet a locally famous artist at her house, and oh my, I had so much fun. We, adults, colored and decorated eggs while we visit. But this is not just simple soaking eggs in colored's pretty serious. It's all fun, but you know, we'd spend at least half hour or so per egg. I decorated 3 eggs in 2 hours...
 Here is a pic of V's collection from past Eggstravaganza.
 Not a good shot, but my battery was dying on me...
 Eggs drying on egg drying board she made (I think she pinned on grid-drawn form).
Again, not a good pic *sigh*
 And these 3 are the one I made this year. I probably should have done them in emptied eggs, but I didn't think much...oh well. 
The look was going for the blue was the Ukrainian folk art of wax-and-dye method. V even had the kit to do it! But it seemed involve a bit too much. So I went for crayon-and-dye method instead.  I was really happy how the cherry blossom one turned out to be though. Isn't that pretty???
It's a lot of crayon-and-dipping-and-drying. Every time the egg came out the colored water, it revealed another layer of color...oh, it was so therapeutic!

This is the photo of eggs my family decorated. Kids tried crack-and-dye, tape-and-dye, marbleizing tech with oil, and crayon-and-dye methods. 
K decided to go with dye-and-stick-and-crack-and-sqeeze method....
Having a good time, either you are young or not-so-young, that's the whole point of Eggstravaganza!

Apr 29, 2012

Sunday Popcorn

This was our weekly menu one week. This was one of those many weeks that I didn't fill out the entire week, and as you see, kids helped themselves. It is nice to have a 1st grader now who knows how to write and loves to help his sister.  And in case you can't read, here is what's written;
Monday: Bacon Pasta
Tuesday: Teriyaki chicken (I probably should post on my cooking blog that I have not updated for a LONG time, but at least I know one of my sisters-in-law would love it. The problem is that I don't measure...but that's another story)
Wednesday: White Lasagna
Thursday: Teriyaki Burger (J's favorite)
Friday: Chocolate pancake (M's request)
Saturday: Pasta (one of the very few items M would eat)
Sunday:  Popcorn

That's right, popcorn for dinner. That's what we do. Or I should say, that's what my husband's family have been doing for many many years. I don't know how many generations, but I know wherever we live, our family is having "Sunday Popcorn"

I believe Sunday Popcorn started back in a farm where my husband's grandfather grew up. For a leisure, his family gathered over bowls of popcorn and enjoyed each others' company, because, well, popcorn is pretty cheap.

I think it's wonderful. It's not a trip to Disney World. It's not a fancy dinner. It's a family time. We gather together and visit. We usually have, in addition to popcorn (because popcorn itself really doesn't fill you up), cheese, fruits, and juices. Sometimes some treats if someone was up to baking something. Tonight, we had yummy fresh salsa, freshly baked zucchini bread, and no bake cookies. 

We adults visit while kids play together. No fight (except between siblings) among cousins. Someone is always watching over little ones. With that many kids (at least 16 kids of ages 2-14 today), you can play pretty much any kind of games.

So, that's why we have Popcorn on the menu. Not that popcorn is their favorite dinner item, but it's a fun family time together with their cousins.

That's our Sunday Popcorn.
And that has been on our menu most of Sundays, and will always be.

Feb 20, 2012

I am content

This photo is nothing to do with this post. But it adds some love to it.

About 5 years ago, I left my full-time job and became a full-time mom with a part-time job. I hated it. I didn't know what I was doing. I struggled, A LOT. Many things, both good things and bad things, happened this past 5 years. I think I made a post back when I started liking it.

I would love to say that now I am content. I am content where I am, who I am, what I do, what we do as a couple and family, how we do things, and a lot of things...I feel just content. Well, most of the time.

It could be because my baby is now a little boy who can understand what I say most of the time and able to follow direction if he wants to. And he is capable of somehow somewhat communicate between his baby signs and his increasing vocabulary in Japanese and English (sometimes it's a guessing game). His sleep schedule is set, so my schedule is kind of set. He tells me "NO!" a lot. But I know he loves me. Oh how much he loves me!

It could be because this winter has been mild. Having sunny days helps. It lightens up everything, house, my mood, my life.

It could be because my husband is happy at his new position. He is not stressed as much as before. He comes home and is able to relax. We chat and laugh. Oh he makes me laugh. I get never tired of that guy.

It could be....many things. But I am happy to be able to feel this way - content. Not overly happy or pretend everything is fine. Everything is not perfect, but I am okay with that.

When I had J 7 years ago. Many visitors at hospital told me that he was "such a content baby". I didn't quite understand the meaning back then, but I start to understand.

It kind of feels good.

Feb 15, 2012

Valentine's Day dinner

 For Valentine's Day dinner, I decided to make pink crepes for fun.
Adding a few drops of food coloring and imitation flavors wouldn't be that bad, I thought. So I tried.
I shouldn't have given kids choices, cherry or strawberry flavor. J wanted cherry, M wanted strawberry, of course. "Fine, I'd divide the batter in half and flavor one of each", I thought. So I did.
 They looked pretty pink as batter, not so much on the skillet, but sure it was pretty pink on a plate. 
 They smelled like artificial cherry and strawberry. 
I even made some chocolate ones too.
But J said to me, "Mom, will you make just regular crepes next time?"  M, who wanted the strawberry flavored crepes, didn't even touch it. K ate total 5 of regular and chocolate crepes, but no pink ones. I guess my pretty in pink crepe dinner plan failed. I don't think those leftover pink crepes will be eaten...oh well. It was still fun to see kids' reaction when they saw those pink crepes. 

So I took one last shot of the Valentine's crepes accompanied with smoked sausage sauteed with pancake syrup (I know it's weird, but J's favorite), and my new attempt on strata. I added sliced oranges to make it more like a descent dinner, instead of just dessert for dinner. 
Dessert for dinner? That sounds actually good.....

Speaking of dessert, my dear husband made this:
Chocolate mousse.  
It was delicious.
And it was his first time making mousse.
Here is him in whipping action with his recipe reference to the left (i.e. his laptop). 
I love when he works in the kitchen and I get to sit on the couch and watch some PBS show.

Well, hand whipping didn't cut it. After (finally!) he asked me where hand mixer was, he was successfully able to whip up actual mousse consistency stuff. The best part of this is that it was made of just chocolate bar and water. That's it. He found the recipe from a science blog. A SCIENCE BLOG! I didn't know he reads science blog. I thought he was history kind of guy. He said, "I love science. I read science stuff. I just suck at it."  So, that's where he got the idea of making this fancy dessert for his wife on Valentine's Day. What a man.
He loves me. 
I'm so loved.
Happy Valentine's Day!