Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mission San Miguel

Miriam has been doing research on Mission San Miguel.  When she has completed her research work, we took a quick trip to the mission so that she could realize what she's been reading all along.   She was pleased to see the place although I am not sure if she could, in her mind, re-live some of the things that happened in that place hundreds of years ago. 

It was a great trip.  Visiting San Miguel was just one of the many things we enjoyed as family on that day. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Current Project: Ladies' Tea

I have not been blogging lately.  Some of my time has been taken up by planning and preparing for the Cornerstone Christian Church Ladies' Tea which will be held next week on May 1st.  I am the project leader for this event.  In addition to that, I am also the speaker!  That's right, I will be speaking at the Ladies' Tea on gardening.  Based on previous years' records, 100 ladies are expected to be at the party. 

I need to do some thinking and writing soon.  Not that the ideas that I am going to say are not already in my head but those thoughts have to be organized in a presentable form.  So if my blog seems 'cobwebby' at this time it's because of this project.  Expect me to post at least a couple of topics related to this undertaking soon.
Whenever we push ourselves to accomplish a goal, we trigger the awakening of a dormant ability that is hidden behind fears, lack of purpose and complacency. ~ Helen

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Helping Kids Do Homework

The kids were flooded with homework last week.  Yesterday it was obvious that their workload has not subsided.  It was like a homework overload; my kids look like they were about to drown, metaphorically speaking.  Something had to be done to help these poor children.  So we, their smart parents, decided to announce that we needed to go see a movie.  The kids responded positively as expected.  They produced massive amounts of essays in Biology (Brahms), History (Shannon) and solved Math problems with ease.  We'll see about the quality of their work later.

To the theatre we brought them to learn "How to Train a Dragon."  They deserved a break.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Savory Saturday - Broccoli Salad

Freshly baked baread to go with the salad

I always prefer salads that are made of green plant parts over the pale iceberg lettuce which looks like it is devoid of beneficial nutrients.   At home gulay (vegetable) is almost always a part of our meals.  I love cooked vegetables while everyone else like raw.  This salad is one of the few ways I like to eat broccoli raw.  The recipe is from my friend Julie G.  She makes it to Friday nights bible study and I enjoy it every time except for the one time that she did not cut the broccoli florets into bite sizes. :)  California broccoli can sometimes be very intimidating so make sure that the pieces fit in the mouth without involving creative oral maneuvering.

Broccoli Salad
Broccoli flowerets cut in bite size pieces
½ -1 small red onion sliced in rings (if desired)
½ cup sunflower seeds roasted
Sliced mushrooms
1 lb bacon fried crisp and crumbled ( I suse bacon bits)
Craisins (dried cranberries)

2 parts mayonnaise
1 part sugar
1 part red wine vinegar

Mix the dressing and let stand in refrigerator until ready to serve. Mix rest of ingredients in a large bowl. When ready to serve stir dressing and toss with salad.  (Cauliflower may also be added)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Miriam and Her Friends

Will, Erich and Miriam

These three kids all live in the same neighborhood.  Miriam L.  and Will L. are classmates and Erich L. is her friend ever since they were very small.   They spend a lot of time together either playing or walking to school together or just playing imaginary characters.  They posed for me because they all got the Golden Bear Award (academic excellence award for Brooks Elementary School).  In addition to that Miriam also got a special award for her Personal Effort and her superior performance in the Oral Interpretation Festival and  ... They were supposed to show their awards but they already tucked them into their backpacks when I asked them to pose for me.

Awards Ceremony

It is my observation that when these three kids are together they are very dependable.  We parents can ask them to walk home and they make it home with no problem.  However, when one is not with the group, the remaining two suddenly become extremely adventurous.  They try to come home using other roads.  One time Will and Miriam decided to take a "short cut" on Platt Circle.  It took them almost one hour to before we could find them.   Normally the walk would take fifteen minutes at the most. The weather was really hot and they were carrying a lot of books.   Laura, Will's mom, found them all sweaty and red.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Amenities of Our Town

The Town Center.  Our town has changed tremendously since the time we moved here.  Way back then there were only Raley's and Mc Donald's Restaurant and the two gas stations.  We used to go somewhere to do something.  One of the best additions to this place is the development of a nice place to go in El Dorado Hills.  We call it the Town Center!  It is a beautiful destination whenever the sun is shining.  When we can we'd pack our lunch in a basket, drive seven minutes and settle on a picnic table by the pond.  It is definitely simple, stress-free, and low-cost.  The fact that we can decide to go see movie in about fifteen minutes before the show starts is priceless.  On top of that, we now have a choice of where to have dinner when we decide to eat out.  Gone are the days when the nearest ice cream place was in Folsom.  Now we even have Cold Stone.   We almost now live in a city!  :)

The Library.  Of course there is also the public library as a very inviting destination for the kids.  One of their favorite things they did during this Spring Break was to walk to the library together.  What a cheap way to satisfy their need for something to read.

Two years ago or so, I encouraged Shannon to work in the library (volunteer).  She was accepted to work there and really enjoyed it.  Being a volunteer worker, she also found the library as a convenient place to do her tutoring jobs.  So far she has tutored students who needed help in Math, Chemistry, and Biology at a minimal fee of $10.00/hour.  Last week she was offered a paid job at the library which will start in July.  She was very pleased to have this opportunity. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Some Pies are Better

In our family pie is considered the staff of life.   My husband often quotes his late grandfather Waldo by saying "All pie is good pie.  Some pies are better but all pie is good pie."  

As the only person who makes pie in this house, I must say that I have made a great discovery.  WinCo's Lemon Meringue Pie is much better than what I make.  Although the crust is not that great, WinCo's Berry pies are also very good.   An even more important discovery is that my entire family agrees with me.  Now I don't have to make lemon meringue or berry pie as long as we live near a WinCo Store.  I will still enjoy making apple, peach, cherry, plum, and pumpkin pies yet I will also enjoy the break from time to time.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Goodbye Ford Ranger

A truck that we enjoyed for eleven years has finally retired.  Freely we let it go to find a new life through Cars 4 Causes.  Someone out there will still find some good use for it. 

The plan was to keep the truck for Brahms to use when he starts driving which is a year from now.  New drivers are supposed to have old beaten-up vehicles and we thought that this would have been just the right one for him.  As it turned out that was only what we thought.  It overheated and blew off a gasket...and to our surprise it was a terminal case for a vehicle. 

It was a very useful vehicle in many ways: 
1.  Commute vehicle for Tim when we lived in Fremont.
2.  Hauled garden materials such as compost, manure, bricks, and plants.
3.  Hauled home appliances and furniture including two chairs that went a flying on I-50.
4.  Carried bicycles from the bottom of the hill when kids could not climb up with them.
5.  Provided fun ride for the kids and their friends from school - (no seat belt at the back of the truck.
6.  Carried a lot of junk to the dump.
7.  Carried Alas Cargo boxes to be sent to the Philippines.
9.  Used to help a number of our friends move.
10.  Offered to friends to use when they needed a vehicle.

Now that we do not have a truck, adjustment will have to be made on our part. We still have two vehicles at home but none of them is like the Ford Ranger.   

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Bay Area Cousins

It was good to have Mark and Jen and their kids last weekend.   Jason is now talking and loves to run up and down the driveway.  Maya is age four! She spent a lot of time playing and reading with Miriam.  Both kids made us smile a lot while they were here. 

Maya:  Can I have some?

 Jason:   "Ba-ya-yah" (strawberry)

Inspecting the bird feeder

Mark captures them both!

Brother and sister

Is Maya imagining palm trees.

"Ashes, ashes, we all fall down!"

Jason sees the windchime

Jason and "Bobby" smell herbs.