Tuesday, December 1, 2009
We went to Chinatown in Boston for dim sum on Monday.
On Tuesday it was raining, but we still stopped for some outlet mall shopping in Kittery, ME on our way to Kennebunk. We ate lobster dinner that night!
On Wednesday we went to Freeport to the LL Bean Outlet where I found all sorts of bags and backpacks. We also made it to Gooch's Beach that day.
Thursday brought the highlight of our trip: my brother in law came home from Afghanistan and we sped back to Boston to meet him at the airport. What a great day!
I went to the New Balance Outlet on Friday to return some things and my daughter ended up with Bert and Ernie tennis shoes. She loves them! I also took my kids to visit a friend in Salem, MA. We went out to Marblehead Point.
Saturday was our last day and our Maine relatives came down to meet us for a day on the beach near Gloucester, MA. The perfect ending to a wonderful trip.
Real life after vacation brought the set-up of a new classroom for me and 27 wonderful kindergartners for me to teach! No wonder I have had no time to blog, plus my two beautiful children at home and their activities (Cub Scouts and religion class). The change has been tough! Having a classroom there is always so much to learn and so much to do. Even in the two years that I was gone, some things have changed drastically. I am always playing catch up in some arena of my life!
The ironic things that have happened are: I have already attended the funeral of one of my student's mother's and today, a first in my life: I had a student bite another student on the ear a la Mike Tyson! So much for my rule of only food, drink, and candy go in your mouth! What can I say: life is never dull with children around!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
The evening was once again a huge meal of chicken and ribs!
In the middle of the night our room was so dark that Reese woke up and yelled out to me, "I can't see!" I had to go and get her from her mattress on the floor!
Saturday, July 18, 2009
After a leisurely breakfast with family and laundry because our clothes got soaked on the top of the car, we took off to see the sights of Boston. We saw Fenway Park and stopped by the Prudential Building. We then set off on a walk through the city that included a walk down Boyston Street passed the Boston Public Library and Trinity Church. I liked the saying that was inscribed on the Boston Public Library Building. "The Commonwealth requires the education of the people as the safeguard of order and liberty."
We walked through the Public Garden and the Swan Boats to Charles Street and along Charles Street through Beacon Hill to a foot bridge near the Longfellow Bridge. We passed the Community Boat House and walked back toward the Prudential Center along the Charles Street Esplanade. It was fun to see a different side of Boston than I saw on my last trip to Boston, but I wore the wrong shoes that day and was not prepared for a long walk. The top of my sandal dug into my foot and gave me a blister that is still tender today. (I thought that we were just going to look at the shops along Newbury Street.)
We left for home after this trek and a stop at the candy store in the Prudential Center. Then, it was off to the Sam's Club, Lowe's for a grill, and Stop and Shop for groceries for dinner. What a tiring day that ended with a yummy taco meal!
With the end of the school year comes the start of festival season. We did two festivals this year and I think that we might be done. I have not done well in the past in the fall and do not anticipate that this season would be any better.
We had some family friends visit in June, and I had a great time taking them to Amish country. It was the best trip that I have ever taken to Amish country. We had lunch at an Amish restaurant, visited the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center, and ended the day sampling cheese at Heini's.
Father's Day weekend brought Ron's two best friends and their families to our home. I had a great time catching up and getting to know the wives while the kids played. The kids had an awesome time playing together and playing on the water slide that our neighbors brought out.
July brought the 4th and time spent with family. We had a great weekend with parties and fireworks. Now, comes more time with family as we visit Boston and Maine!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
As part of an assignment for one of my classes, I was asked to write about my family culture as if I were going to share it with my students. I thought that it would be a nice addition to my blog.
I am a first generation Thai American. I am an only child, and my parents are from Thailand in Southeast Asia. In my home we spoke mostly English although English is not the native language of my parents. I grew up with an understanding of Thai, my parents’ language and perfected my Thai language knowledge when I spend over three months in Thailand at the age of 10. I speak Thai in the main dialect and understand it in three dialects, the main dialect, the northern Phrae dialect, and the southern Yala/Pattani dialect.
My religious background is Buddhist. My parents grew up Buddhist and passed along the basic principles of thought to me. I was taught if you do good, you get good and if you do bad, you get bad. In addition I was taught to have great respect to elders and not to call them by just their first names. Therefore, I grew up with many “aunts” and “uncles”.
Education was very important to my parents and family. I went to private Catholic schools even though my parents were Buddhist because they felt that good education mattered more than the religion that was taught in the school. I was taught to do well in order to achieve my goals. I had cousins that came here for their higher education as I was growing up, and I was told that if they could do it, I could too. There was no question in my family about going to college. I was going, and I was going to get a master’s degree. Which I did!
Usually, we ate rice at one meal a day, most of the time, it was dinner. We also ate American foods and went out to dinner a great deal when I was growing up. We were not a family that had to eat traditional Thai food everyday.
I married a first generation Filipino American. He is the sixth out of six children. In his home they spoke mostly Tagalog, their native language, and he has an understanding of the language, but does not speak Tagalog fluently. He grew up with a Catholic background, and it was very important to his family to follow the church’s teachings. Through his culture he was also taught to have a great respect for elders just like I was.
My husband attended public schools even though they were very religious. Education was very important in his family also, and he was highly encouraged to go to college. In his community the Filipinos gathered together for social events, have a cultural center, and many social organizations that are based on their shared culture.
As he was growing up, my husband ate mostly Filipino food with rice as the basis. I believe that they mainly ate at home although they would sometimes go out for other types of Asian food. Foods that they ate that were American were ones that were easily paired with rice such as fried chicken, hot dogs, and SPAM.
As we raise our children as Thai/Filipino Americans, we combine our values and our culture. Our children are taught the same respect for elders that we grew up knowing. They are baptized Catholic and are raised Catholic although they are still influenced by Buddhist teachings because all religion is inherently good. They have grown up learning only English because it is the language that we are most comfortable speaking. Hopefully, one day, they will be able to travel to Thailand and the Philippines, and that will spark their interest in learning the languages. We raise our children to aspire to be all that they can be, but they have to go to college first! Both of our children love rice and will eat it plain as well as with chicken, SPAM, and bacon. We mainly eat American when we are out because it is convenient so the children are chicken nugget lovers, but rice is still an important part of our lives and we eat it a few times a week.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Well, the parent consultant took care of it for me. One day when I got to school, the principal asked if she could see me in her office. I was wondering what I had done. When I got into her office, she asked me if I recognized this green satin box with lace overlay. It did look kind of like the box I had my ring bearer carry for our wedding so I said yes. She said that the box was one that I had given her after I went on a trip as a student of hers. She still kept the box on her dresser and uses it for her earrings. I was amazed! The principal said that once the parent consultant jogged her memory, she knew exactly who I was and could even spell my maiden name to this day.
I have to say that it was nice to be remembered so fondly over 25 years later. The principal did not remember some of my former classmates, but she did remember me and in a positive light!
Friday, March 6, 2009
For an interesting read from an Asian perspective, read An Na's books.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Now that Riley has moved onto littler LEGO sets, I know that I will have to spend more time putting them together. In some ways I don't mind and enjoy doing something for Riley. He actually does really well not destroying what I have just built. But, on the other hand, I look forward to the time when Riley can put together his own LEGO sets. He actually needs the fine motor practice, but, with a two year old, it is easier to put the set together before all the pieces walk off. I know that one day, I will look back and wish that he would still need me to put together his LEGO sets for him, but I will also be happy that he has found the independence and maturity to treat his LEGO sets well.
Until then, Mommy is the LEGO builder, and Riley is the LEGO player.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
When you are young and you leave, you take it for granted that you will see each other again. I don’t take it for granted anymore. I always thought that Yai Pat would come to my wedding and meet my children. I thought that I would continue to have opportunities to go and visit my relatives in Thailand, but time and distance sometimes get in the way.
I first met Yai Pat in 1982 when I was seven years old. My parents and I were visiting Thailand for my first time, and Yai Pat was there to pick us up from the airport. I remember Yai Pat had a Volkswagen Bug that I wanted to ride in because my mom was riding in that car. Yai Pat insisted that I ride in the pickup truck with my dad because it was air conditioned. During this trip, I celebrated my eighth birthday in Phrae. Yai Pat sent me a telegram that was typed in English that said, “Happy Birthday Love, Pipat”. I wish I still had it today.
Throughout my young life I spent a great deal of time with Yai Pat considering that I live in the United States. When I would visit Thailand, I would always sleep in Yai Pat’s room where we would share stories as we lay in bed at night. Yai Pat made sure that my time in Thailand was fun. She arranged trips for me to places around Bangkok as well as to visit relatives and friends in Phrae, Yala, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai, Surin, Singapore, Koh Samui, etc. Because of her I got to spend time with family and see sights that I may not have known I wanted to see. I appreciate all the lessons she taught me, and all the memories I have with Yai Pat. I only wish that she could have lived until we met again on Earth.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Riley got to go and see the movie Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler with his dad and aunt before his flight back home. He slept on all three legs of his flights home.
The minute we were all together again we went to get Ron a new cell phone. He picked out a Blackberry; Happy 40th Birthday!
After our tiring day on the beach and our hike we were treated to dinner at Roy's Kihei. I guess that Roy's is an institution in Hawaii and has made it way onto the mainland. I ran into my friend from home who I saw on our picnic day again. She is a server's assistant at Roy's and we sat at her table. We had a great last night in Maui with a great meal, fish, shrimp, and duck with an awesome banana dessert! The kids were treated very well and got ice cream sandwiches for dessert.
Haleakala mountain is known as the world's largest dormant volcano. We actually went up to the peak above the clouds at over 10,000 feet. The road up was not as treacherous as the road to Hana and does not take as long. We left about 11am and we got up to the peak about 12:30pm. We spent some time up at the top and then drove back down so that we could be back in Kihei by 3pm for OSU football. It was a great feeling to feel that you are on top of the world, and the scenery was beautiful. On the way up you could see all parts of Maui's beautful landscape and over to the Big Island from the top.
We went back to Sansei for dinner since it was Monday night. This time Riley and I stood in line and just as we get in line, Riley tells me he has to go to the restroom. My sister in law had left to go and give Ron a key to the house, and I told Riley he had to wait until she got back. He did a great job, and we made it to the restroom at the local grocery store just in time.
After dinner we went to Borders so that I could use my gift card from Christmas to buy some Hawaii books for Riley and Reese. We ended up with an alphabet book, S Went Surfing and Santa's Hawaiian Holiday for souvenirs.
Monday, January 12, 2009
We ended our day by going back to The Shops of Wailea to return a nice shirt that Ron got from Tori Richards and for me to go and buy some souvenir t-shirts for some friends. We ate dinner that night at Matteo's and tried some of their other entrees which were just as good as the pizza, which Riley and Reese ate. Reese ate two pieces of pizza and was falling asleep as she was trying to finish the second piece. She ended up asleep in my lap and stayed asleep until the next morning!
Sunday, January 4, 2009
We went to the beach by the Maui Prince Hotel today. We thought that it would be a good place to go because I wanted to try to go snorkeling again, there was sand for the little kids to play in, and there was shade so we did not have to put up umbrellas. Well, the waves were just right for boogie boarding, but not snorkeling. The sand was perfect, and Reese played in the sand the whole time we were at the beach. Her feet did not touch the water.
Riley complains everytime we go to a beach that is not the first one he went to, with the sun, sand, and lifeguard. He wants a beach with a lot of sand, and he says that he just wants to play in the sand and maybe throw the ball around, but not go in the water. The minute we got to the beach today, he wanted his sunscreen on and he wanted to go into the water. It is funny how the minute he sees water, he changes his mind about going in. Riley had fun in the big waves and on the boogie board. We played in the sand and dug a hole for Reese to sit in which is her favorite thing to do when she sees a hole. Eventually, it got cloudy so we packed up and went home to shower and go and get manicures and pedicures.
Riley would not stay home for girl's night out. He is starting to have some anxiety again because we are getting close to going home, and he knows he has to fly with his dad. They actually did really well. Reese cried when she first sat on my lap by the pedicure well because she thought that the water was for her. Riley entertained himself by watching football and walking around, but was careful not to be in the way. Reese finally got comfortable enough to get off of my lap about the time for my fingernail painting which was very convenient.
Well, I picked out a dark purple for my toes, and I did not pick out a fingernail color because I could not decide. When we got over to the manicure station, I was going to ask the manicurist's recommendation, but found that she did not speak English. Riley was with me and he said that you should pick blue Mommy because blue is your favorite color. I said that I was not sure that I wanted blue, and he said, "Mommy, blue is your favorite color and it is mine too". I asked him if it was important for me to get blue and he said yes. I tried to steer him toward either a light or dark blue, but he wanted the one in the middle of the shelf of polish which is a cross between ocean blue and turquoise. I got it for him, and he thinks that I am beautiful with the polish. He is proud of himself for choosing the color, and if I would have known he wanted to choose my nail color, I would have let him choose the color for my toes!
We left there and headed for Pa'ia, where they were some little shops and things, but not a lot to do besides shop. I did have a bunch of gelato from the Ono Gelato Company. I helped Riley and Reese eat their vanilla. Ron and I shared a tiramisu, and then Ron ordered a coconut for his sister that she didn't really want and was going to waste, so I ate it too. Needless to say, I felt almost sick afterward. We were going to try and see the surfers just east of Pa'ia, but the traffic was too heavy.
We went up the mountain toward Makawao and saw some beautiful churches and was able to look down toward the figure 8 of Maui and toward north Maui. We stopped in Makawao and look at a few of their shops and I bought some strawberries for Reese that were grown on Maui. They were $4.99, but since she has not been eating much on this trip, I thought that they were priced well enough to buy them anyway. Well, my sister in law went to Safeway on the way home and she said that I got a good deal since the ones there were $7.99. I definitely would not have bought those!
On the way down from Makawao we stopped at Costco for fish and at Walmart to pick up the pictures and came home. We all came home grumpy and tired of each other and spending time in the car. We ended the evening with leftover cake and watching The Notebook. The rest of the family wanted to compare The Notebook to Benjamin Button which they had seem the night before. Ron and I were gain and thought that we had not seen The Notebook before, but once we got into the movie, we realized that we had seen it before.
Friday, January 2, 2009
After breakfast we travelled along the coast to see Kapalua, where the Mercedes Championship is being held the weekend after we leave, Napali, where we saw some whales off the coast, and Ka'anapali, where I believe that one of the Big Breaks was held. We stopped off at Whaler's Village for some shopping, and where Riley got a special birthday gift from his dad, a Hot Wheels Airport. We left Whaler's Village to go to Lahaina to have lunch. Ron and I have fond memories of Lahaina from our honeymoon when we had dinner at the Lahaina Fish Co. right on the ocean. Lahaina was very crowded because there was a cruise ship in port. We ended up eating lunch at Cheeseburger in Paradise, which says it is the original one. We ate on the second floor where it was open and you could see out into the ocean. (Earlier in the week, we discovered that the hotel that we stayed at for one night on our honeymoon is on the main strip in Kihei directly down the hill from my sister in law's house.)
Once lunch was over, the kids had enough car riding and we dropped them off at home. My sister in law ordered a cake for Riley at the Four Seasons Hotel because it was the only bakery she could find that would make a special cake that tasted like mainland cake without having a grocery store cake. She said that most of the bakeries in the area bake a traditional Hawaiian cake that was spongy, and she wanted a homemade cake for her nephew/godson. The cake was absolutely beautiful, tastefully decorated and just right for a six year old at the same time. Riley really enjoyed the cars/trucks that came with the cake and finally being able to open his presents. He now has a complete collection of Thomas the Tank Engine videos as well as a new big wheel and more construction toys. We also had pizza at home for dinner which is what Riley wanted, pepperoni, of course.