Paparazzing over my little playground patrol boy (^_^)

Caleb the Campus Negotiator

I never thought I'd do this....but Today I became a paparazzi mom! In chinese they call it "Dog chase Team" (狗隊)! Yesterday during our site council meeting, I heard my boy say to Mr. McGann (our school principal), that he will be a PAL today!!

So, I became my son's nightmare today. I followed (he claimed I chased) him around during recess, camera in hand, while he dutifully made his rounds as a PAL!No wonder they call people like me "狗隊"!

He didn't look too pleased when he saw me sneak up on him...

Recently I learned of a very interesting project done at our kids' school! They call it the PAL program, though I can't remember what it stands for. I heard from my 4th grader that they pick 8 kids from each class and they dress like safety patrol guys, walking around campus with clipboards in hands! It's a great program, wish they had it when I was little! And it trains the kids to help their peers too!

Caleb's Buddy Andrei helps a student

When they see kids fight or argue, the negotiator team of 2 goes out and settles disputes! One asks important mediating questions while the other acts as a recorder! It's amazing how organized and orderly the kids work together, and conflicts are usually resolved peacefully!

Caleb supervises students as they play dodgeball

I think we could keep peace and order if we had one of these PALS in our neighborhood, or in our homes! The questions are great, and even likens to questions asked by marriage counselors country-wide!

He kept running away whenever I approached and snapped shots of him. And after school, I asked him if any crisis arose that morning. He said his biggest conflict that day was trying to escape from a probing mommy (^_^)!

Hey! Stop following me, mom!!

But things are easier 'read' than done. When Caleb and sister were fighting one day, I patiently asked them these exact same questions....but....they continued fighting and didn't even respond! So I guess it's a lesson for us all....to apply communication skills gracefully to ourselves and our beloved when disagreements do come up! And inevitably they will, but that's okay, as it's part of life with our loved ones.....(^_^).

This Year's Thanksgiving is the most Memorable one of the Decade! Mom's Noah's Ark Adventure

Two weeks ago, I sent this email to my good friends to pray for mom (^_^)....

Hi Dears!!

Today mom called me to say her house is FLOODED! Turns out that her 50 yr. old house's plumming was broken and the water kept buiding up inside her walls and flooring...So now she's living in a Noah's Ark (in Rowland Heights)! Her animals need places to go ... and we are all helping her with house insurance companies, contractors, hotel and kennel arrangements, etc....Please pray for us to have wisdom and energy to help!

A week later....

Thanks SO much for everyone for praying for my mom! She's doing well, moved to temporary hotel in Brea, and over the weekend they removed the asbestos from her home. Hopefully in the next few days, they can start repairing her home (walls/floorings due to water damage)! Definately a memorable Thanksgiving for us all!

Visit Grandma at her Hotel in Brea

Abbie and I had fun visitng her on Thanksgiving day and ate at a yummy chinese restaurant with her & sis at Rowland Hts.
Michael the Pomeranian love to hug Abbie! Chihuahua is shy...

Grandma buys cheesecake for Abie at Shuen-Fat bakery

The house continues to be repaired today, and this Thanksgiving, I learned that the Season of Thanksgiving and Christmas is not only about gathering and traditions, but even more, it is about Loving & Helping in times of need. We may not be gathered in a beautiful restaurant with turkey, stuffing, and gifts, but we are thankful to God for the very basics we have in life. Food, shelter, health, and loved ones seem to be so commonplace, yet when one of them cease to exist, our lives are turned upside down.

So this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the air I breathe, the energy I have, and Lovoed ones whom I can love. May everyone have a blessed Thanksgiving!


Disneyland....Here we come!

We decided to redeem our "Give a Day, Get a Day" vouchers today for Caleb's 9th birthday (early) celebration! It is a very good promotion they offered this year for us volunteering for different organizations!  

Disney's Haunted House
 We have not visited Disneyland for 1+ year now, and this is the first day of the kids' Thanksgiving week off. Boy, this is definately the 'CROWDEST" place on earth today! Nonetheless, it does give us a holiday ambience so we braved the cold weather and crowd, and went on (only) 4 rides in 6 hours....

The kids loved eating popcorns the most, followed by Buzz  Lightyear's Astro Blaster ride!

The most relaxing (and shortest line) ride was "Winnie the Pooh" ride, which daddy enjoyed (screaming in)!

Pooh ride

It was very cold, but good thing we brought our hot water canteens and made delicious hot cocoa to raise our body temperatures. This has been the coldest winter in Orange County in a long time!

Mmm....yummy hot cocoa!

Cold and bundled kids

5 days later....On 11/27, Caleb turned 9 at 8:17am! What a big smile!

Caleb plays himself a Birthday Song!

Abbie & her new friend, Buzz. She said she will not buy any more toys until she turns 7 years old....if only I buy her Buzz Lightyear. Wait, isn't it brother's birthday??


Is it Thanksgiving Already? Wow....

I cannot believe how fast this year has gone! It seemed like last week that we went to Yosemite for my birthday in August, and now we're almost through with this year!

Today was the first time Abbie and I went to school at 8am! It's Thanksgiving feast day so instead of her usual 9:45am start time, she starts at 8am, just like big brother! She was up bright and early at 7am, awaken by big bro, and dressed/ate like a champ!

They sat on their 'lines' and celebrated November birthday kids, and big bro ran up to the front when his name was called. Time Flies! He's going to be NINE years old next week!

Caleb was one of the kids who donated a book to our Chaparral library in honor of his birthday, so he took a picture w/Mr. McGann and other kids as they held their 'celebration book' proudly!

Kids did flag salute and Abbie was so cute singing it! I never seen her sing it before!

Later at 11:15am, the kindergarteners had their Thanksgiving Feast and it was so wonderful to see them seated and enjoying the blessings God bestowed on them this year! Have a great year, my sweetie pies!

The Lord will keep watching over all of us in the exciting new year to come! This past week was rough, as grandma Kathy's house had water damage & discovery of abestos. But God will help us all through the challenges life brings, because He said, "My Grace is Sufficient for You"! ~(^_^)~

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


So You think Plants can't dance? (^_^) Watch this!

Autumn bird hiding in Fall Foliage ~ Kobee bird
It you think plants can't dance or feel.... guess again! (^_^) Yesterday Abbie and I went to Home depot to buy our Fall flowers & foilage and she picked out two cool plants for herself! One is the fragrant rosemary min-Christmas tree and the other....a super cool Sensitive Plant! It is called "含羞草" in chinese!

Our Sensitive Plant 含羞草
When you touch it, it really moves!! Boy it moved so fast I had a hard time videotaping it for y'all! So next time....be nice to them! They really do have feelings! (^_^) (*_*) 

I played with them as a little 5 yr. old in Taiwan, and this plant brought back wonderful childhood memories! So I planted it (and all the other flowers) in the front yard flower bed!

Another good thing about loving your plants...is that they give you delicious fruits! Like my tomato plant....whom I almost threw out 'cuz it looked um...sickly....but didn't....and now it gives me yummy tomatoes! Abbie actually loves eating them 'cuz they're small and super sweet!! [She refuses to eat the big store-bought tomatoes].

African Daisy

Rosemary Mini-Christmas Tree & Abbie

The mini-Rosemary Christmas tree now proudly sits in the middle of our family room, literally! As you can see, Abbie put it in the middle of the family room on her pink stool.

Too close for comfort!

Trembling tiny tree

Her brother is playing Bakugan Wii next to the trembling tree....hope it doesn't get knocked over! (^_^) It reminds me of Charlie Brown's tiny little Christmas tree!

p.s. Purchased a few more flowers a week later!

Tiger Pansies

The kids named this "Popcorn Flower" after we saw them at Disneyland!

I thought I had pulled out this flowering plant but it grew beautifully last week!

I thought this Fox Glove had already finished blooming. Apparently Not!

This is a fragrant flower bed flower....forgot its name too but it grows quickly!


Harvest Festival was a Blast!

This past weekend was super busy! I think I lost my voice because of too much outdoor (windy!) partying! Hubby was off hiking in the highest mountain in the U.S. (San Juancito Peak ~ Elevation 11,000+ ft) in Palm Springs, so the kids and I decided we will eat at McD and have fun at our Ladera Harvest festival! We ended up staying there for 4 hours!

Abbie was in her tank top and freezing! We had to go to the car to get our big jackets!

Abbie loved playing the games and doing all the crafts, though Caleb preferred to eat treats nonstop. Here he is eating kettle corn 'while sister goes on a horseback ride.

Brother keeps eating...

And eating....

Sister LOVES horseback riding!

The kids were really good at getting the stuffed animals! They won tons of cute animals and other treats!

It was a super good deal, with $5 wristbands letting kids play all the carnival games and enjoy petting zoo and pony rides! The kids loved petting the farm animals....We were surprised to hear one big Turkey mumble, "Gobble Gobble Gobble" under his breath! Hope he will be spared from the table this Thanksgiving! (^_^)

We even had a beautiful horse-drawn carriage which goes around Avendale Street by Founder's Park for free ~ A special treat we've never had in Ladera's 11-year history!

The kids won a dozen prizes and enjoyed decorating cowboy hats! Abbie also HAS to get her face painted...it's an addiction of hers. She got a little bunny on her cheek! 

Decorating the hat was fun! Caleb wasn't too thrilled though ~

It was so fun to see them in Western hats taking pictures "in jail" and with cowboys/damsels who looked like "Back to the Future 3" casts!
Brother laughs at jailbird Sister!

Your turn will come too, brother!

I was so out of place in this Western theme w/my USC sweather! (^_^)

Abbie loves these activities! We never missed a Spring/Fall festival ever since she was a toddler! We are so blessed to have a great community and good neighbors!