31 January 2012

Carrying On… Sort Of



Because of Chinese New Year, the kids were on a school break.  Only Zoë is back at school today; Josh goes back tomorrow.  Tomorrow, I begin spring cleaning.  That is, if I don’t succumb to taking a long nap (or go for a much needed massage!) after they’re both off to school.

 Red-things 

It might take a while for me to drop by and visit your blogs.  I’m trying to limit my time on the computer.  Carpal tunnel syndrome.  Not fun waking in the middle of the night numb from the elbow down.  My fingers get tingly even now as I type this short post.  I have an appointment with a specialist next week. Hopefully I won’t need surgery.

 

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29 January 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday | Smile



1. Smile – My little girl posing for me and asking me to take her picture.  The hands cradling her cheeks?  All hers.  That little hint of a smile?  All hers.  She ‘art directs’ herself. I simply take the photos.

 

Smile1

 

2.  Stand Alone – Our lunch and dinner today –pineapple fried rice (fresh pineapple chunks, shrimps, cranberries, button mushrooms, minced pork, peanuts, beans, garlic, and lots of coriander.  Topped with a sprinkling of dried meat floss).  One-dish meal.  I hate having leftovers; plus, making a big enough batch to last us two meals means I only have to cook once today!

 

Pineapple-fried-rice

 

3.  Rusty or Something Old

 

Old-and-rusty

 

4.  Artificial – Yes, these are CD’s.  We visited our friends’ farm today.  In place of real scarecrows, they hang these CD’s on strings to scare away the birds.  These here are just their extra CDs.  I wish I’d taken a picture of the ones that they have hanging in the fields.  They look pretty cool, all silvery and reflective amidst the field of green.

 

Artificial

 

5.  Repeating Pattern

 

Repeating-pattern

Happily Mother After

24 January 2012

Today marks the first day of the Year of the Dragon.  Josh told us that however this day goes, so go the rest of the days of the year.  A little fortune cookie nugget from our seven-year old. 

Happy-CNY

He’s full of these pithy sayings lately.  Over dinner tonight, Josh was reciting these left and right.  Some were deep; others were just plain silly.  Some, I know, he got from school; others, I’m guessing he made up –like this one: When a path leads to a dead end, use the other. Zoë, not to be outdone, came up with this:  If you feel sad, cry.   These two totally crack us up.

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23 January 2012

I Heart Faces | By the Book



Getting the children to love reading is very important to us.  That is why it is so heartening to see that Josh is such an avid reader.  These days when I don’t hear a peep out of him, I no longer worry that he is up to some mischief.  Chances are he is in his room reading.  If we have to go somewhere where he will have to do some kind of waiting, we always make sure that he has at least a book with him.  This way, we’d be spared the what’s taking so long? or the are we done yet? questions we usually get barely five minutes into the wait.

Reading-Big-Nate1

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22 January 2012

1. Colorful – Cupcakes at our godson’s birthday party. He and Josh have the same birthday. His younger brother’s birthday is just one day after Zoë’s. That’s why we are hardly ever able to make it to each other’s parties, as we tend to have them on the same weekends!

 

Colorful

 

2.  Sunset – I didn’t have a chance to be out during sunset this week, so this one is from the archives.  Taken this summer.

 

Sunset1

 

3.  Black and White – We rode the MTR (mass transit railway) all the way to Discovery Bay and back today.  This was towards the end of the line, hence the many empty seats.

 

BW

 

4.  Four

 

Four4

 

5.  A Day in My Life -  I made beef curry with fruits this weekend. The first recipe I’d tried with my slow cooker. I’d modified the recipe a bit and substituted/added stuff. Ingredients (apart from the beef): Pineapple chunks. peach slices, cranberries, onions, lots of coriander, pepper, salt, orange juice, brown sugar, all-purpose flour (I didn’t have quick-cooking tapioca), curry powder. I will be making this again, but I might try chicken or pork next time.

 

A-Day-in-My-Life

 

Happily Mother After

20 January 2012

You Are the Best Brudr



{Josh turns 7 today.  Still find it hard to believe that he’s already 7; yet at other times, it’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that he’s only 7.  I love that boy to bits!}

I had to take Zoë along with me to pick up Josh from school today and while waiting, she decided to write Josh a birthday note.

Four1

Here she is trying to sound out the words…
Four2

Note-to-Josh
Dear Josh,
Happy birthday. I love you.
You are the best brudr brother.
Love, Zoe

Four3


the long road
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17 January 2012

Birthdays



January is a birthday month in our house.  First Chris’, then a few days later, Josh’s. 

This is Chris’ cake that I’d baked for him.  I’d burnt the bottom and you could see the parts where it’s unevenly baked.  I blame my cake mould or the fan in my oven… or both.  Not sure if Chris was just being nice, but he said it tasted good.  The kids loved it.  But then they have a sweet tooth.  That and the fact that this has cream cheese frosting, which is always a hit.

Bleuberry-cake

Made some mini-bundts and cupcakes with the leftover batter.

Mini-bundts

Josh and Zoë helped with decorating the cupcakes.

Cupcake-decorating

One more cake to bake –for Josh’s birthday later this week.  After that,  I think I’m done with baking for the month. 

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15 January 2012

I’d missed the first Scavenger Hunt Sunday of 2012 last week.  I hope not to miss any for the rest of the year.  I’d missed picking up the camera and finding joy in taking pictures.  Maybe it’s the winter blahs, perhaps it’s the holiday madness.  Whatever it is, I. am. back!

1.  Winter Wonderland – Zoë got to play with fake snow at her best friend’s house. They had a blast making snow muffins.

Snow-muffins

3.  Sweet – Blueberry smash for the blueberry cake that I baked for Chris for his birthday.  (6oz blueberries – mashed; 1/3 cup granulated sugar; 2 tsp lemon juice ~> All combined and cooked over medium heat until thickened (around 8 minutes).  Cool in fridge; to be folded in with vanilla cake batter.  {Recipe from Kiss My Bundt.)

Sweet

3. Stacked Up – Some masks for a school project stacked up on a table in the Art Center.

Stacked

4.  Hole – Some holes in the veggies on the rooftop garden at Josh’s school.  Each year level has a little plot where they plant different vegetables.

Hole

5.  Frozen – I’d managed to get through all the other prompts halfway through the week.  This ColdHot Pack from the freezer was a last-minute find.
 Frozen


Happily Mother After

10 January 2012

Family Hike



We decided to go on a hike on Sunday up at Parkview at one of the Tai Tam Family Walk trails.   The weather was perfect.  The children were game.  We were in the company of good friends and their two kids.  

 

The children grabbed some sticks and merrily took off.  My friend and I brought up the rear while the hubbies went ahead with the children.  We chatted.  I stopped to take pictures.  What could be a more relaxing way to spend an afternoon?

 

Wild-berries1a

I had on my 1.8/50mm lens when I took the shot above, but switched to my kit lens shortly afterwards.  It was much easier with the zoom on my kit lens when taking pictures of the kids, but I wish I’d kept the prime lens on.  Huge difference between the shot above and the ones below.

Red-leaves

I wish I have a camera body for each lens (hah!).  If I do, the next thing you’d hear me wishing for would be extra arms to carry each camera and still be able to shoot effectively!

Dry-curly-fern

 

(Trying out a new “watermark.”  No, I am not planning to plaster every photo with it, but since it is new, –and as with many things new, –I like to play around with it some.  Indulge me, will you?)

 

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09 January 2012

Out of the many photos that I had taken in 2011, this one here of the old man at Fort Langley has to be my favorite face photo.  Not counting my many favorite photos of my kids, of course.

 

old-man1
Just looking at him, you could tell that he’s such an interesting character –the long hair, the tan leathery skin, those eyebrows, the eyes that miss nothing. He was giving a talk about how wooden barrels were made back in the olden days. What do I care about wooden barrels, but he kept me standing there and listening until he finished his demo and talk. I was more captivated by how efficiently he moved about, by the way his eyes would twinkle when he shared something funny, by the way he would impatiently sweep his hair to one side when it got in the way. 

If I drink beer, I’d offer to buy him a couple just to sit and listen.  You know that you’d get a good yarn or two out of him.

I_Heart_Faces_noborder_125x100

06 January 2012

Babyccino



My baby enjoying her babyccino after a visit to the dentist this morning.  She had to have a cavity filled and boy, what a trooper she was!  She just sat back and watched the video and let the dentist do her thing.   She didn’t even flinch.  (The happy gas probably helped a lot.)

babyccino

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03 January 2012

A Day at the Farm



We took the children over to a local farm on New Year’s Eve.   While it was a long way away and we got lost getting there, it was really worth the trip.  We live in the city and going to a farm is always a treat.

Emu2

The children  got to ride a horse,

Josh-on-horseback
feed the koi, feed the goats and the oxen,
zoe-feeding-ox
play in the elaborate rope gym,
Rope-gym

Zoe-on-rope-gym
and “catch” their own goldfish.  Yes, we now have four goldfish.

Catchng-goldfish

I’m not very sure, but this goat might have been one of the goats that helped themselves to our lunch.  We had to quickly pack up our food, while trying to ward off the goats and move to the dining area. So much for enjoying our food at one of the outdoor tables. 

Billy-goat

That aside, we had a wonderful time at the farm and we might go back later this month when the strawberries are ripe enough for picking.

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