Archive for » December, 2012 «

Christmas had been wet and rainy. I was okay with that. I have always liked the rain.

Christmas Eve:

I was the first to get up and stormed out to go shopping at our local grocery stores. Braving the weather and the madding crowd were the price I had to pay for very fresh food.

Nearly 3 grocery stores and 2 hours later, I came home with a slight headache. But it was all worth it. Just take a look at this beautiful all organic vegetable platter we had.

All organic Veg Platter

Hubby and the kids are all up gearing up for the party. With Christmas music playing in the background, and Christmasy scented candle flickering on the kitchen island, my headache went away without the assistance of medication.

This was the first time in years that we have had Christmas all to ourselves, and I intended to celebrate the holiday to its fullest, and hold nothing back.

In no time, fresh snack trays covered our kitchen island.

Snack trays

My kids would not settle for Christmas without Christmas cookies. This year, I decided to let them make their own Christmas cookies. I gave them a colorful pack of cookie Play-doh. The kids were gleaming with happiness. They put on their aprons, rolled up their sleeves, and went to work.

Rolling the holiday red dough

After two beautiful trays of cookies were put on the cookie sheet,

Homemade Christmas cookies

they had even more fun decorating the cookies. Santa will be very pleased.

Decorating the cookies

I had cooking duties for everyone. I quickly marinated the steaks and portobello mushrooms, and shipped hubby out to the BBQ grill in the backyard to perform his kitchen duty.

Our filet mignon wrapped in bacon

While in the meantime, I boiled three live crabs on the stove. Yes, we had steak and crabs for our Christmas Eve dinner.

It is our Christmas tradition to open one gift on Christmas Eve. The kids opened two each. They begged.

The new helmet

Much later that night, we went to Church to attend the Christmas Eve service. We don’t go to church often. But I have always loved Christmas eve service. I love all the Christmas music and songs they have on this very special occasion.

Christmas eve service

Plus, it is okay to greet everyone with “Merry Christmas” at the church.

Christmas Day:

We woke up to pouring rain outside. Christmas was expected to be much the same as Christmas Eve. But not really.

With more Christmas music and scented candle in the background, my 12-year-old and I made a big pot of Sausage Corn Chowder first thing in the morning. We set the pot on the stove to simmer, then went on to arguably the best part of the holiday: opening all the presents.

It took over an hour to open the presents. They were spoiled rotten with the many gifts, we also like to take our time to wow and admire each and every gift.

About 90% of the presents under our tree were for the kids, but I got the gift I really wanted from Santa.

New coffee maker

I have been good this whole year.

For Christmas Day dinner, I made a fabulous meal out of Cheese fondue. This was a peculiar choice, since I don’t much like cheese. But hubby and the kids love cheese. I am sometimes selfless like this.

Thanks to a Fondue recipe book, I bought cheeses that I do not know how to pronounce. I then prepared crusty bread, vegetables, a huge chunk of Canadian Bacon, ham, and chicken meatballs to go with the cheese fondue.

Cheese fondue

I served our Christmas day dinner early, at 3PM. Even I had to admit, it was yummy.


Feeling full, the kids decided it was time to play a round of board games.

We settled on the living floor, and played two rounds of board games. Then my 12-year-old convinced us to play a game she learned at school called, “Live cow, sleeping cow, dead cow”.

“Live cow, sleeping cow, dead cow” was the silliest stupid game ever. The kind of game where you most certainly will roll your eyes upon hearing the description of how the game is to be played, and the kind of game when you get down to play it, you will laugh until your stomach hurts.

So, the four of us hurled laughter at each other while rolling on our living floor. That worked up an appetite, and we went back to eating a second round of cheese fondue at around 5PM.

After feeling full a second time, we settle back into our family room and watched the last Harry Potter movie. When the movie ended, it was around 9PM.

Time for dessert!

Chocolate fondue!

I served chocolate fondue with fresh fruits and cookies.

Good thing we have New Years coming up. I have a resolution to make: lose some weight.

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Merry Christmas and happy 2013!

Wishing all of you: Love, Peace, Joy.

A few Christmasy pictures from our home….

Our beautiful tree

Lovely sight to greet my mornings


My baby's foot and hand prints ornament

Our cozy snowman

Random ornament

Kids' favorite holiday activity

Home sweet home

Christmas village on our bay window

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Have you ever skipped lunch, just to make room in anticipation for an outrageously amazing dinner? When that dinner finally arrives, you feel justified to eat twice the normal portion of dinner?

I did just that recently, and nearly ended up in the emergency room.

This was a deeply embarrassing mishap. I planned to never bring it up, and prayed that the incident would just fade from our memories. But my 12 year old decided that this makes a good story for her Language Arts writing assignment. So, below is her writing narrative of what happened:

Mama's Fish House

Over Thanksgiving Break, which happened to be the week of my dad’s birthday, my family and my dad’s side of the family went to Maui. For his birthday dinner, we went to Mama’s Fish House, the fanciest restaurant on the island. Even at only 5:30 PM, we could already see the tiki torches lazily blazing away on the pathway lined with stones and palm trees, and we could hear the waves lapping at the beach just a few feet away.

Mama's Fish House Grounds

With eight adoring relatives with us, my sister and I could only expect them to take a thousand pictures, and we were right. By the time we actually sat down for dinner, it was already dark.

About half an hour into our meal, my sister Ta and I asked Mom and Dad if we could go for a short walk along the beach.

“No!” they answered firmly.

“Please?” we begged. “It’s Dad’s birthday today! Of course we’ll eat more when we get back.”

They were easy to persuade that day. “Ten minutes. And you have to stay on the restaurant’s grounds.”

“Thanks,” we called as we rushed to the door.

Meanwhile, on the way out, I stubbed my toe on one of the rocks siding the pathway. It hurt, but the darkness prevented me from noticing anything out of the ordinary.

When Ta and I returned to the dining room ten minutes later, my toe hurt horribly. I glanced down at it under the table and was surprised to see blood all over my toe and flip-flop. I quickly excused myself to the bathroom to clean it up, but did not mention the bloody foot for fear of disturbing the family dinner. I did not know it would be disturbed anyway, by another event.

After cleaning the wound, I opened the door to leave the bathroom and was greeted by a strange sight.

My mother, the one who always told me not to touch the floor in public places, was lying on the ground outside the restroom. She looked…asleep.

A flashback of something she had told me once ran through my mind. She had been driving along a road so backed up the car wasn’t moving at all, so she and her friends in the car had decided to play Truth or Dare. She had been dared to do cartwheels on the side of the road, which she did not really know how to do. She went out and did clumsy cartwheels anyway, and effectively provided fabulous entertainment for everyone else stuck in the traffic.

I honestly thought she was playing Truth or Dare again. That was before she opened her eyes and said with a woozy smile, “I fainted.”

After that, our dinner was a surreal blur of waiters, relatives, and other random people asking her if she was okay, if she needed anything, if they should call 911. Apparently, she had fainted twice that night—she said it just felt like falling asleep, and, never having fainted before, had wondered if she was dying while I wondered if she was playing Truth or Dare. One of my aunts, who was a nurse, said she had fainted from a dramatic drop in blood pressure, because after taking an allergy pill my mom had drunk a mai tai on an empty stomach, then had eaten too much food.

Opakapaka swims in butter sauce. Yum.

We all thought it was hilarious that Mom had fainted because she ate too much food. Mama’s Fish House was delicious, but I’m warning you, no matter how good something looks, don’t eat too much of it.

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Last weekend, we got this unexpected “Thank You” card from our offspring.

Thank you card from the kids

Thrilled, I immediately began to ponder which of my recent random acts of kindness occasioned such a noteworthy and formal show of appreciation.

I tore open the envelope, and the card read:

“Thank you for not killing us for no reason”.

Thank me for what?!

It gave me a spectacular laugh. Let me explain…

I have a long obsession with TV crime shows. I have watched thousands of hours of CSI, Law and Order, The Mentalist, etc. In the recent months, I have also gotten hooked on Bio Channel’s numerous documentaries about notorious crimes and criminals, such as Killer Kids, Mothers Who Kill, Unusual Suspects, Women Behind Bars, 48 Hours, and such.

These shows are addictive. They are often fascinating, so, when the kids are around while I am watching one of these shows, they also became engrossed in it. They even ask me to pause the show often to explain certain matters to them.

Earlier on Saturday, we were watching a show about a man who killed his whole family, his wife, his 3 teenage children, and his elderly mother. Then changed his identity, got married again, and hid from authorities for 17 years before he was finally caught. The psychologist interviewed him in depth while he was in custody, and determined that he suffered no mental breakdown. He meticulously murdered his entire family over life’s minor disappointments.

These shows are almost always heinous and gruesome. I worried to myself often how these horrid shows might affect my young children. And now, I have my answer:

They make them VERY grateful!!!

As it was my husband’s turn to chuckle over this Thank You card, I said to him, “SUCH grateful children. We should let them live forever.”

“YAY!” The kids cheered.

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