Saturday, November 30, 2013

The End of November's NaBloPoMo

I have made it to the last day and have managed to post everyday. I enjoyed doing my writing at the end of the day to a point that some days I think that I miss the midnight deadline. I started out doing both NaBloPoMo and posting a status everyday of things I am thankful for on Facebook. I kept up with NaBloPoMo, but gave up mid-November on the thankful statuses. I just didn't feel the passion anymore to continue to post things that seem to have become trivial to be thankful for. I did say that I would probably post on the blog my thankful status posts from Facebook on the last day so that is what I am going to do.

Day 1:  I am thankful I was able to spend time with my family this evening attending Church, dinner, and Riley's last Spooky Gym as an elementary student!

Day 2: I am thankful that my children got to meet their great grandmother while in Thailand last year.

Day 3: I am thankful today for my health and for the ability to lead an active life.

Day 4: I am thankful that we live in a city with an awesome library system!

Day 5: I am thankful for my parents who are always there for me and my family. I love you very much.

Day 6: Thankful that I knew Linda Umstattd! Wonderful person and friend. May she rest in peace.

Day 7: Today I am thankful for my friends, old and new, young and old, near and far. You all have influenced my life and made it richer! Thank you for letting me be a part of your lives.

Day 8: I am thankful that I am able to foster my children's interests, whatever they may be, from trucks and trains to Lego, Nerf guns, archery, and hunting. The future looks to hold more artistic interests, drawing, pottery, and cake decorating.

Day 9: To my gramdmother, Mon Chaisurat, thank you for leading us by your example. We will remember you always.

Day 10: Thankful today for a day of rest in order to be refreshed to face the challenges of a new work week.

Day 11: Thank you to all those who serve and protect our country.

Day 12: I am thankful today to know many parents who love and care for their children; parents who take the responsibility of raising a child seriously and believe in being a parent first and then their friend.

Day 13: Thankful for all the opportunities I have been given in life, personal and professional.

Day 14: I am thankful for my education and that I am able to use my education to influence the lives of others.

Day 15: Thankful for my parents today and everyday! They have always supported me in whatever I wanted to do!

Day 17: I am thankful for all children; they teach you with their innocence and truthfulness.

Day 20: Thankful that we are able to help where we can, both in our local community and overseas!

Day 30: Last, but not least, thankful for my husband and the life we have built together. May we continue on our adventures together for all the days of our lives. Love you very much.

Well, after going through my post, I had 18 days of thankfulness. I have much to be thankful for in my life and although I try to concentrate of the positives in life, sometimes the negatives do get me down, but not for long!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday

This year I did not my traditional Black Friday shopping. It was so confusing to me this year because most places opened on Thanksgiving night and I didn't want to spend Thanksgivng plotting where I wanted to go. So, I let it go.

I did end up going shopping during the day on Black Friday. I went mostly to buy things that I needed for crafts rather than true Christmas shopping. I actually had a shopping buddy this year, which is new. My sisters in law have not ever expressed an interest in going with me and because I have traditionally had a plan, I have not minded going alone. This year, my "new" sister in law said she had a few things to buy, and I said that we would work together. We ended up at Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Ulta, Hallmark, Home Depot, and Jo Ann's Etc. We got most of what we needed and some of what we wanted!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Prayer

Last week Riley decided that he wanted to say grace for Thanksgiving dinner. Today, we sat as a family to compose what he would say.
I wanted to copy and paste or re type the words, but I am having trouble wifi connection. Happy Thanksgiving 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


An impending new year gives rise to reflection and goal setting. 
What will your goals for 2014 be? 
It’s never to early to start thinking about self improvement!

When thinking about 2014, my goal is to complete a half marathon. I want to complete it my way, by walking, but for some, it doesn't seem like it is enough of an accomplishment if I do not run it. I joined a 5K running program a few years back and ran a 5K. I found that I don't really enjoy running whereas my best friend who encouraged me to join, really misses the running. I guess I would rather distance walk. What I do miss is having a group to walk or run with. I enjoyed that time with my best friend or friends that I met as part of that group. I know that, for some, trying to improve something that you do naturally doesn't seem like an achievement, but it is my personal achievement/accomplishment, and I feel that it should be done on my terms. I want to join a training program to accomplish my goal, but it is seen as a waste of money. I don't know what to do. I don't really care what others think of my training with a group even if it is for walking, but it is discouraging when some cannot see past their own beliefs to support you.

In addition to accomplishing a half marathon, I need to really start taking care of my body and eating better. My sweet tooth usually gets the better of me, but I have found this fall that home cooked meals are not always difficult. The crock pot can be a friend if you are prepared in the morning. And, made from scratch mashed potatoes are really not any harder to make than instant mashed potatoes. I think if I planned out meals more thoroughly, I would have the ingredients on hand for a variety of meals. I have also gotten better at making up meals on the fly; using items that I have and making some kind of creation that is a decent meal. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Epic Fail

I tried to bake chocolate chip cookies tonight to take for Thanksgiving dinner since I forgot that someone at dinner is allergic to peanuts. As I was making the cookies, I thought there is a reason why I do not like to do this, cream the sugar and butter together. I find it hard to make scratch cookies. I usually buy a dough and just break and bake. Once, naked, the cookies turned out really flat and runny in that they ran into one another on the tray. They were cooked on the ends, but not in the middle. My husband thinks that I did not put enough flour in them; I have no idea. They taste good, but are not presentable. Good thing I had a plan B.
This is how they turned out! Sticking with cakes, cupcakes, brownies, and Rice Krispies Treats!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Tell us about the last thing a person or advertisement convinced you to buy.

I can't think of the last thing that a person or advertisement convinced me to buy, but this question makes me think of my daughter. She loves infomercials, and she wants whatever she sees in TV ads. So, in thinking about her, I guess the last thing that I was convinced to buy was her birthday present, "The Rainbow Loom". It was something that she saw on an as seen on TV ad. She loves to go to Walmart where she can find most of the things that she sees on TV. She usually tries to convince me to buy something for her. I usually tell her someday.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Busy Weekend

I was so busy yesterday that when I turned to look at the time, it was 11:58pm. I knew that I would not be able to get a post posted in two minutes, but wanted to keep with the spirit of NaBloPoMo and post twice today to make up for yesterday.

Yesterday, my duaghter received her First Reconciliation or First Penance sacrament. She was nervous and excited at the same time. We had s set back the night before in trying to get her to learn the Act of Contrition and whether or not she would be able to take it in with her or it had to be absolutely memorized. We found out during the prayer that it would be provided, but she wanted to take her own in with her and we let her. Problem solved.

In addition, I, somehow, gave our laptop a virus and had to take it in. Although I have the app for Blogger on my iPhone and iPad, I usually prefer to post from my laptop. WIth my laptop not readily available, in combination with the fact that I like to post after 10pm when my kids are in bed, and they did not go to bed last night, I forgot yesterday's post until it was too late. Today, I am posting with my iPad using the keyboard, which is a great substitute!

Saturday, November 23, 2013


I decided to make buckeyes this year for Thanksgiving. Normally, I try to make them for Christmas, but in all the hustle and bustle, I usually don't get to them. Ironically, I don't eat them. I don't like/cannot eat peanut butter; it makes my mouth itch. But, years ago, I found a recipe and tried it and everyone loves it.

As I was putting the first cup of peanut butter in the mixer, I remembered that one of the guests at Thanksgiving dinner is allergic to peanuts. I thought about not bringing them, but, then, what am I going to take? So, I think that I will take them and not uncover and label them well, peanuts!

In a new tradition my duaghter helped put the chocolate on the buckeyes so most of them do not have  the amount of chocolate on them that I would like, but, I did not want to get her too discouraged. The ones that we couldn't get out of the chocolate with the toothpick, we just covered with the extra chocolate.

Here are some samples. I think they will all taste fine and will be eaten! Go Bucks!

Friday, November 22, 2013

How important are book covers in getting you to read a book?

I think that the book cover is more important in getting me to pick up the book. What the book jacket says, either on the inside of a hardcover or the back of a softcover book, is more of what influences me to read a book. But, some books will speak to me at different times. When I first picked up The Help, I could not get into it. Everyone said what a wonderful book it was, and although the back cover looked interesting, I could not get into the book. I put it down for awhile and then picked it back up and could not put it down! A book that I thought I may be interested in reading by the cover and even own a copy, but have never picked up is Eat, Pray, Love.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Irony of the "Fire" Room

At one of the school I taught at, my room had a blue-green and white checked pattern tile floor. It was interesting to have kindergartners in that room because I would occasionally catch them hopping hopscotch. The rumor was that the floor had that tile because, at one time, a student set a fire in the coatroom. Traditionally, in older buildings, the coat room would have two doors, one on either end. This coat room was open leading me to believe that the story was true.

Yesterday, I rearranged the furniture in my current room in order to be able to use the projector with my computer. The principal stopped by today and liked how I had rearranged my current room. During our conversation we shared how we would often change the furniture around and then sometimes change it again the next day if the traffic did not flow the way we wanted it. Somehow the conversation led to a previous school I had been at, and she had been at also. I shared that I was in the room with the checked floor. She revealed that it had once been her classroom also! What a coincidence!
Here is a sample of the floor!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Crazy v. Happy

Think about something that drives you crazy. 
Now, think about something that makes you happy. 
Does it change your perspective on the former?

Something that drives me crazy is when my children ask questions and then don't bother to listen to the answer that I give them so they have to ask the question again.

Something that makes me happy is being able to have conversations with my children in the van. We have had many bonding moments in the van, and I, sometimes, think of it as the former dinner table. The other time that I get information from my children is right before bed while I am reading a bedtime story. Even though my son just listen and reads his own things from his bed, I still sometimes get information from him if it is really bothering him during this time.

It does change my perspective. I realize how much I enjoy talking to them and communicating with them. One day, they will be independent and not ask me questions anymore because they will "know it all"! I better appreciate the conversation while I can get it!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How much of the day are you plugged in? Do you consciously set aside offline time, or does it happen whenever it happens?

I am plugged in most of the time that I am not at work. When I am at work, I only check texts if I get them and answer an occasional phone call. Once I leave work, I tend to plug in to find out what is going on in the world. Because I am not plugged in at work, I found out about both Sandy Hook and the Boston Marathon via social media after work.

I don't consciously set aside offline time. Starting this week, my husband has stated no electronics until we get some housework done, dishes, laundry, dinner started, homework, etc. It has proven to be a good strategy because once he plugs in, I don't see any reason to do work because he is not helping out. It is really annoying at restaurants when I am trying to get myself and the kids not to use electronics and he pulls out his phone to check scores/play games. I finally got to the point of if you can't beat them, join them. Kids and I still limit ourselves during the meal itself though.

I find that if I am into a really good book, I will be offline more. I have seen it with my kids also. Tonight, my daughter read for 90 minutes because we went to the library and she found a new series of books that she really likes.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tell us about a time when you felt out of place.

There was a time in my life that I always felt out of place. Being Asian and living in the Midwest, it is easy to be the only Asian in the room most places you go. As an adult it is something that I always notice, and it is hard not to in a profession of predominantly white females. When I was in my graduate school program, how to get more people of color into the profession was a topic of conversation and still to this day, there are not many more than there were before.

I remember when I lived in California, I had an Asian friend who had lived in the LA area since she came to the United States. Her boyfriend was also Asian. One day, she was telling me a story about her weekend. She said that she was with her boyfriend and they went into a restaurant and had to leave because they were the only Asians in the whole restaurant. I told her that it is that way in most places outside of LA. I don't think that she really believed me, but, in my experience, it is true.

Nowadays, I can feel out of place even among people who look like me. Just looking like someone does not provide a sense of belonging with those people. I have found my own way and my own sense of who I am outside of what I look like. Those that are my real friends and family can see beyond the color of my skin. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Rosalina is 21.

On this occasion of Rosalina's 21st birthday, it is the only thing that I can think about writing tonight. I think about meeting her as a small child in 1994. I remember going to her sister's baptism in Midland in 1996. One Christmas, she wore matching outfits with her sisters; gasp! I don't know how her mother convinced her to do that!

In 2003 she moved to Cleveland and that gave us the opportunity to develop a deeper relationship. I saw her through the trials and tribulations of the teen years. I even remember one New Year's Day visiting her in the hospital because her asthma could not be controlled. Through it all, I have always seen a beautiful, fun loving person who is willing to work hard for what she wants. We loved working with her when we did festivals, and we enjoyed travelling with her when we could.

I have always tried to develop relationships with my nieces and nephews in order to bridge the generations, but also, because one day, I will not be here, and it is up to them to look after their cousins, my children. I try to share with them my knowledge, and what I think is best, but it is up to them to follow their own path. You will only learn by experience, and sometimes, you need to have the experience yourself rather than be told not to do it. You remember the lessons better that way!

The lesson that I hope that you will always take with you is that regardless of the choices that you make, I love you with all my heart always and know that I believe in you and will always be here for you. Do not ever be afraid to come to me; I will help you if I can, but if I can't, I will listen nonetheless.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)

Why does a typhoon need two names? I don't know the answer, but there was mass destruction all the same.

We participated in a fundraiser for disaster relief today and are trying to plan other events to help with rebuilding. Although the Philippines is half a world away, their needs are the same as those who are nearer to us in times of disaster. We choose to help this cause because these are our relatives and friends.

Never forget where you came from and always realize how fortunate you are to enjoy life in the United States. Our "poor" will never compare to theirs.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Night Dinner

Traditionally, I like to go out to eat on Friday nights. I am usually tired from the work week and every other week, it is payday, so why not? Today, I already had a beef roast thawed out in the refrigerator, and I did not want it to go to waste, so I came home and cooked. I got out my iPad and looked up a recipe for a beef round roast and found Perfectly Roasted Bottom Round Roast with Garlic and Thyme. I actually had all the ingredients! Once I got this going, I thought I would pair it with some frozen vegetables, which we always have on hand. Then, I thought, let me see if I have some instant mashed potatoes. Well, I didn't, but I did have some Idaho potatoes in the pantry. So, I looked up a recipe for mashed potatoes and found Perfect Mashed Potatoes. I didn't have any heavy cream on hand, so I found Nestle's Table Cream in the pantry and used that for a substitute. With the frozen broccoli steamed in the bag in the microwave, Voila! A home-cooked meal and all made from scratch!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Early Bird or Night Owl?

I am definitely a night owl. I can do anything at night. Staying up late is like the golden hours for me. I can get up early to do something, but I am so much more productive at night. I can stay up most nights to the point that I have trouble getting up in the morning. But, I am not usually a grumpy morning person, but definitely not really awake until I get to work.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book Fair & Giving Life Purpose

Both of my children wanted money for the book fair at school today. I told them that they had only $12.00 to spend this time. My daughter chose a Question of the Day Diary, which I think that she will enjoy. My son has always liked non-fiction and chose "The President Has Been Shot!": The Assassination of John F. Kennedy by James L. Swanson. Just reading the title from his wish list, I thought that the book would be about Abraham Lincoln so I was pleasantly surprised that it was not.

I picked up the book and started reading The Beginnings and then flipped to the back of the book and read the Epilogue. The words that spoke to me today are, "He believed," Jacqueline Kennedy said, "that one man can make a difference-- and that every man should try." (p. 210) I believe that I try everyday, some I will reach and make a difference; others may be for someone else to reach on another day. I know that I won't reach them all, but to brighten the future of some is worth it.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Name five things inside your refrigerator right now and how you feel about them.

1. Milk: gotta have it, both white and chocolate is preferred, but white can be used to make chocolate in a pinch!

2. Sriracha Hot Sauce: seems to be the latest fad in cooking. Has always been a part of my life! Love it on fried rice or in pho (noodle soup).

3. Creme Brulee Coffee Creamer: like the fact that I can add it to my coffee and not have to add sugar to my coffee in the morning. Don't like that many times the main ingredient is high fructose corn syrup.

4. Apples: love the Granny Smith especially with caramel.

5. Ketchup: I don't really eat it, but life is hard without it always on hand in the refrigerator.

Monday, November 11, 2013

If you had to be trapped inside a movie for 5 days, which movie would you pick?

I would love to be trapped in The Sound of Music. It is one of my all-time favorite movies. I would love to travel to Austria and be one of the VonTrapp children. I would not mind the routines, singing, or field trips. It seemed like lots of fun to hang out with Maria even though we know that Hollywood takes lots of liberties in portraying real life.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

From the Mouth of a Seven Year Old

The seven year old sleeps on the bottom bunk, and the ten year old sleeps on the top bunk. The ten year old likes to sit on the bottom bunk to get dressed in the morning. The seven year old does not want her brother to sit on her bed. So, she makes a sign, "No Riley's on Reesie's bed!"

In the shower tonight Reese could hear her brother rough housing with their father. She took the quickest shower tonight in order to be able to go back out and play. She even said, "This is the first time I have dried myself."

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Birthday and Cremation Day

Today we chose to spend the day with our sister and celebrate her 53rd birthday. On the other side of the world my family celebrated the life of Mon Chaisurat, my grandmother as she was cremated. Both celebrations are important in the cycle of life. It is important to recognize people during their lives as well as when they have passed on. Our relationships with others make us who we are. In the celebration of a life after death, it is a time for the living to gather and remember the person they have lost. We will see each other again, but it is just as important when the person is living to let them know how they are important to you.

Friday, November 8, 2013

What I Have Learned So Far About Daily Blogging.

Although I have done NaBloPoMo before, I have found that this time it seems to be more difficult for me to post until late at night. I am consistently looking at the clock at around 11pm and realizing that I have not posted yet for today. I do find that I have things to post about or have found the prompts from NaBloPoMo or The Daily Post to be sufficient. I have found before though that if I cannot find inspiration from the prompts, I have tended to give up on that month.

In addition, I started using Momento, an app for the iPhone, to journal about my family for when I have the time to write about it in a scrapbook, then I will have something to refer to. If I would just keep up with my blogging, I would not have the issue of having to journal.

Daily blogging is rewarding. For me it has gotten me away from reading about others and gotten me to concentrate on myself.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cheering Section

Do you have a mentor? Tell us about him or her. Are you a mentor to someone else? Tell us what that relationship has added to your life.

As a teacher I believe that your fellow teachers serve as your mentors and your support system as we navigate the changes in the education system and the problems that our students bring to school with them. At this point I do not count one person as my mentor, but many people depending on what my needs are at a given time.

I am a mentor to someone else this semester. She is a college student that is getting her first experiences in the classroom. I believe that it has added to my life an appreciation of where I have been and where I am now. Because of time constraints, I do not feel that I have been the best mentor this semester, but I have tried to impart as much knowledge as I possibly can.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What was the last thing you searched for online? Why were you looking for it?

I was looking for the correct spelling of a friend's last name so I could post it on Facebook as what I am thankful for today. So, once again, thank you Linda Umstattd for your kindness and friendship. May you rest in peace.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tell us about your writing space. Where do you write your blog posts?

I can write my blog posts on my iPhone, my iPad, or on my laptop. I have written posts on my iPad with a keyboard, but I still prefer writing on my laptop. I like the full size keyboard. I usually write at my counter table in my family room sitting on a stool. I like to be in the hubbub of activity going on in the house.

Monday, November 4, 2013

NaBloPoMo and Giving Thanks on Facebook

NaNoWriMo started sending me e-mails in mid-October about National Novel Writing Month. I have never participated in NaNoWriMo, but it did lead me to NaBloPoMo two years ago. I didn't participate in either last year and decided to try NaBloPoMo again this year. After I posted my first blog post in a long time, I got on my Facebook page and saw friends posting things that they are thankful for, and it reminded me that it was November, the season of Thanksgiving also. As the first day of the month was coming to an end, I decided to post my thankful things on Facebook as well as participate in NaBloPoMo.

So far, so good. I believe that I have posted on both for the first four days of the month. But, each day, I have forgotten about one or the other until the very last minute. I am hoping as the month goes on, I will start to post one right after the other or that the posts will start to crossover.

At the end of the month, I think that I will do my last blog post on the things that I was thankful for in November! We'll see if I remember...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Extra Hour

With the turning back of the clock we get an extra hour today. I am not sure exactly how I spent mine. I could say that I got an extra hour of sleep. I could say that I spent an extra hour outside or doing chores or cooking. I guess my point is that no matter how much time we are given, it is never enough. Live each day, each hour, each minute to the fullest with no regrets!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

In Loving Memory

Mon Chaisurat passed away today. She was my grandmother on my mother's side. Because of Facebook, I was able to find out about her passing within 15 minutes of it happening. My cousin messaged me when he saw that I was online.

Friday, November 1, 2013

NaBloPoMo Day 1

I am trying it once again! Last year I gave up NaBloPoMo last year for NoBo, training for a 5K. This year, it just seems like a good time to get started writing again.

If you found one million dollars in the morning and had to spend it by nightfall, what would you do with the money?

I would pay off all of my family's debts and then pay for dream vacations as well as invest the money for college educations for my children.