28 February 2012


What a treat that we got to see a fireworks display at the beach.  The kids were just standing there, eyes wide, mouths in an O, while taking it all in.  We weren’t sure if we would make it back in time.  The notice said 8pm.  We’d met up with a friend for dinner and did not get back until almost 9pm.  The minute we got back to the hotel, we asked the staff and they told us that it hadn’t started yet.


We hurriedly made our way to the beach and just as we got there, the fireworks began.  It’s like they waited for us.  What a treat!



26 February 2012

I haven’t really taken out my camera much since we came back from our trip.  I just feel like having another vacation, what with the weather here being cold and wet this week.  Most of the photos for this week are from our trip last week.  I still have a ton to go through and sort out.

1.  Crossed – We arrived for the dinner buffet early enough one night that I could walk around and take shots of the food while they were still “untouched.”  I love how they laid out the spoons, crisscrossing them down the platter.  With the wide array of food on hand, I didn’t get to try this, but I think this was a ham-wrapped melon (or mango) cube.


2.  A Glimpse – Here is a “glimpse” of the fun I had with my new toy.  I got an underwater point-and-shoot right before our trip!  I didn’t want to be lugging my DSLR to the beach or the pool and risk damaging it.   Josh diving between Chris’ legs –sans goggles, because his broke.


3.  Handwriting – Josh has dictation tests every Friday.  It started a couple of weeks ago.  The first week, he had only five characters to memorize.  Last week, he had 10.  This week, he had 11.  He comes home from school and practices writing 2-3 characters on a little notebook I got him.  He’s not happy about having to do that.  To master Chinese characters, one has to practice writing them –over and over again. 


4.  Bliss

5.  Gray – On our first day there, there was no hint of sun at all.  It was gray and gloomy and it was raining a bit.  This pic was taken from the resort’s shuttle bus on our way to town to stock up on snacks and drinks.  This is a typical “jeepney” –a popular mode of transportation in the Philippines. 


22 February 2012

Feeding Fishies

One of the highlights of our trip last week.


The resort used to have a basket of bread by the towel counter and we could help ourselves to the bread to feed the fish.  They don’t have that anymore.  Now it’s BYOB – bring your own bread.

The fish –mostly sergeant-major fish, –swarm around you once they know you’re there to feed them.  If you stick your hand beneath the surface with a big chunk of bread, they would even nibble off your hand.  Quite a cool experience for the kids.

21 February 2012

As I was snuggling in bed with her tonight, Zoë made an important announcement: “Mommy, I can sleep by myself when I am 20.”  Good to know.  A little over 15 years more and I can stop climbing onto bed with her and sneaking out when she’s finally dozed off.


I really don’t mind all that much, though.  I love snuggling with her and feeling her warm breath on me, taking in her sweet after-bath smell, feeling her little round frame against mine.  She likes us to lie facing each other with our arms wrapped around like in a hug.  Or spoon-style –with her holding tight to the hand that I have across her tummy.  So that she’ll feel it when I try to sneak out.  I’ve been caught out a few times.


Sure, she says 20; who’s to say how much longer I’ll be doing this. She might decide to be a “big girl” one day out of the blue and I know I will miss climbing into bed and snuggling with her.

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20 February 2012

This remains one of my all-time favorite photos of Josh and Zoë.
Nothing brings me joy like when I see them loving on each other.



19 February 2012

All of the photos this week are from our trip to Cebu this week.  It’s been such a lovely, lovely trip –no schedules, no routines, all-you-can-eat mangoes (for me), all-you-can-eat ice cream (for the kids), sun (for the most part) and surf… *sigh*  Can't wait to do it again!


1.  Love – We took Barnaby Bear with us to Cebu this week and Zoë keeps telling us how much she loves him.  Barnaby Bear is their class bear and each child could take him home for one weekend and then go back and share with the class what Barnaby Bear did over the weekend.




2.  Duplicated – {Duplicate chess pieces – white and brown.}  Josh challenging Chris to a game of chess.  Zoë assisting Josh, helping him move the pieces when and where he instructed her.  Chris eventually won this game, but Josh proved to be a worthy opponent, coming up with some really great moves.




3.  Trend or Trending – Lin.  Jeremy Lin.  I have given in to the Lin-sanity that’s overcome everyone who follows basketball.  Even on holiday at the beach, I took time to watch highlights of New York Knicks’ games on YouTube, watch interviews –old and new, –of this amazing kid.  Amazing not just in the way he plays, but amazing in the kind of person he seems to be –humble, grounded, with a good head on his shoulders. The kind of kid about whom you’d say, “His parents brought him up well.”




4.  Paper – Both Josh and Zoë spent a long time at the resort’s Adventure Zone going down the giant slides, climbing the rope gyms, etc.  Zoë even called us to tell us not to go pick them up yet; that she would call us again when they were ready.  They both stayed for the two projects –hat decoration and sand art.  (Okay, I know this is a stretch for paper, but the sand art was on a piece of black paper.)  They’ve both declared that they are going back again tomorrow after we’ve hit the beach and the pool.




5.  Plastic – Zoë hard at work getting water with her plastic bucket to wet the sand to make a sand castle.




14 February 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day

I could not resist.
M&M’s have a Valentine’s Day special pack.
Of course, I had to get some.


♥ x ♥ o ♥
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12 February 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday | Shadow

1.  Shadow – I was trying to do the hand thing and focus at the same time, but just could not get the shot I wanted.  Chris came to my rescue.  I really love how this turned out.


2. Facial Feature – I’m pretty sure we’re meant to do “human” facial features, but this emu will have to do.  I didn’t have time to be creative with the kids this week.


3.  Spicy – I  was stumped with what to do for this prompt until we were at the supermarket and I saw these Thai chilli peppers.  We bought a pack.  I’m sure we’ll find some use for these other than being props for my photo.


4.  Gold – We were walking through my friend’s farm and I spotted this tree.  I asked her what it was and she said, “I think it’s called Golden Amber or something.”  We had a good laugh about it when her husband said it was actually something else (I can’t remember what it was now!).  Golden Amber sounded prettier.  The picture here doesn’t do it justice.  The leaves were shimmering in the afternoon light and they looked golden against the pale blue sky.


5.  Fabric – I suppose I could use this for Gold above, too.  This was a Lion Dance at our place during Chinese New Year.  The “lions” get really flashy outfits.  Some of them were in gold, like this one;  others were in red or green or purple.


10 February 2012

Little Joys

Have you ever tried picking a baby leaf off a hibiscus plant
and sticking the end to your palm
and cry out, “Look, a little leaf is growing from my hand!”?


07 February 2012

Cauli Popcorn

Have you noticed that I’d been posting more food-related pictures than usual?  Well, that is because I’d been practically living in my kitchen for the past 2+ weeks.  My helper had been away.  I occasionally do the cooking, but these past two weeks, I’ve had to do some menu planning as I was in charge of each and every meal.  Surprisingly, I’d actually enjoyed it.  I had a chance to experiment with new recipes and try out my slow cooker (bought specifically to help me on those days when I’m out the whole day ferrying the kids to and from their various activities!).

Here is another shot of the pretty cauliflower.  Even cut up, it still looks pretty, doesn’t it?  It looks like a bowl of pretty popcorn!  Sort of.


05 February 2012

1. Color Me Green – I am not a fan of cauliflower, but I am a fan of this particular cauliflower. This was from my friend’s farm. It’s a bit different from the cauliflowers I am used to –where the florets are tightly packed together. This one’s florets are spaced further apart… and are just so pretty. I’m not one to go gaga over a veggie, but seriously, I took so many photos of this one and I almost did not want to chop it up and cook it.





2.  Strike a Pose – With Mr. Potato Head, at a local mall.  Whenever there are displays like these, Zoë always runs up, poses, and asks to have her picture taken.





3.  Footwear – Josh’s favorite footwear, even when the weather is cold –his Crocs.  He says it’s because they’re easy to slip on and off.




4.  Hobby – These days, it’s experimenting with different settings and techniques.





5.  Shiny – A shiny red ball hanging off one of the cherry blossom branches in our church.



03 February 2012

Super Sweet

The door closed behind Zoë and Chris as they headed to wait for the elevator.  I settled back, looking forward to a few minutes’ rest before I start on my day’s to-do list.  Knock, knock


I opened the door, thinking that Chris must have forgotten something.  There was little Zoë standing there, looking up at me.  “Mommy, I love you.  Bye!”


How did I get so lucky?

01 February 2012

Buttered Drumsticks

What we had for dinner last night.

All ready for roasting in the oven.

Butter with minced garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, paprika ~

generously rubbed over the drumsticks and under the skin.

On a bed of frozen potato wedges.

A few sprigs of rosemary for the fragrance.



The skin came out crispy and the chicken juicy.  I’ll definitely be making this again, but will experiment some more with the flavored butter rub and try out different spices. 


image NapTime MomTog
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