D can be kind of obsessive about the Olympics. He memorizes medal counts and has been vigilantly tracking how many medals Russia has had taken away. To celebrate the start of each Olympics, we try to have the food of the host country. For example, see our celebration for London 2012. Sochi 2014 was a little more difficult!
Korea was a fun challenge. We were having our small group over on Friday night, so I made it into a Korean potluck and viewing party. Two of our friends are Korean American, so we felt the pressure to keep it real–ha!
Our main dish was an attempt at bibimbap. I just went to Zion Market and bought a bunch of bulgogi meat ($4.99/lb). I cooked it in a wok and then kept it warm in a crockpot, which worked really well. I added a little of the juice so it would not dry out. Other guests brought the various toppings, including carrots, spinach, lettuce, and zucchini. D fried up some eggs right before for the final touch. We also topped it off with sesame oil and gochujang.
Yum! We also had homemade japchae (noodles) and pa jeon (scallion pancakes) from Trader Joe’s. The pa jeon passed the test of our Korean American friends, in case you were wondering!
We went simple with our viewing setup. I really like Soohorang, the white tiger mascot this year!
I also set up a seaweed tasting bar with a new snack I found at ShiftCon called Sea Snax.
I like the Onion Chomperz and the Lime flavored Sea Snax!
Getting in the spirit! Let’s go, U*S*A*!!
We went on a road trip the day after Christmas, so I never had a chance to write about our Christmas. We went to church on Christmas Eve Sunday and my parents hosted Christmas Eve and Christmas.
As much as I appreciate a nicely wrapped gift, I just cannot be bothered. Although this pile of presents may not look like much, they took forever to wrap (plus stocking stuffers not shown).
The faux fireplace on television is always fun to have on Christmas morning.
I bought these mini mugs at Crate & Barrel years ago, and the kids still use them! Perfect for hot chocolate.
The only time you can find D in the kitchen is for breakfast on the weekends. I really appreciate it, though! My only contribution was “making” the cinnamon rolls from Trader Joe’s–pretty good!
Our artificial tree is a behemoth that takes up two boxes in the garage. It was a hand-me-down from my sister and BIL. D wants to downsize, but I would prefer to keep it until we really need a new one. And yes, a tree skirt would be nice. One of these days…
Some of my favorite ornaments!
Thank you Amazon, for making it easy for Grandma in Napa to send Christmas gifts to k and n!
You know a Christmas gift is good when it comes with safety goggles!
Christmas roast dinner prepared by my mom. I am afraid that I will not be able to carry on this tradition!
So grateful to spend time with family in celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!
This year our winter break started relatively late, so k actually had to attend school on her birthday. We do friend birthday parties every other year, so this year was a small family dinner celebration. k requested Panda Express takeout, and my mom made Spam musubi and chap chae. Unfortunately, my mom was not feeling well that day so she was not able to make it.
n photobombing the mini cupcakes.
Mini mango mochi with sorbet.
I am excited for k’s new adventures for 2018, including Outdoor Science Camp with her classmates, bridging with her Girl Scout Troop in San Francisco, and possibly two different week-long camps with church friends in the summer. It is really difficult for me to believe that we will have a middle schooler this year!
I do not think that I wrote about this here before, but D’s dad passed away in July of this year. So, this was our first year celebrating Thanksgiving without him.
This picture from 2008 is one of my favorite Thanksgiving pictures with k and her grandpa.
We met up in Napa with D’s mom, sister and brother and his family after our camping trip. We visited grandpa’s site and placed flowers on it (still waiting for the headstone).
It might seem strange to take a family picture in a cemetery. However, it is a beautiful place, especially with the fall foliage and it seemed appropriate.
There was a beautiful sunset that night.
We ate dinner at the Marriott.
Isn’t this a pretty fall salad?
Porkchop was an A+!
The kids shared an adult salmon entree and a kids’ grilled cheese. It might not have been traditional Thanksgiving food, but it was a nice dinner!
Testing out my new camera that D gave me for my 40th birthday. We went to our annual pizza party at the pool (thanks, Jeff Jones!) and went trick or treating around the neighborhood. D went back a little early to watch the World Series.
I wonder how many kids actually followed my instructions. n wrote the numbers on the bowls for further guidance–haha!
We are officially on Summer Break! One of the things on the kids’ summer bucket list was to go to the beach. Even though it is not that far away, we rarely go. Saturday was the perfect day to go since we are in the middle of heat wave. The bad thing is that it seemed like everyone else had the same idea. Parking was a nightmare, but once we put our feet in the sand, it was all good. I actually needed a jacket because it was pretty breezy!
We ended up at Huntington State Beach. The kids did all of the classic beach sand activities:
Filling up their tunnel with water.
Burying someone in the sand.
n also worked hard on this tri-level sand recliner. Happy Father’s Day!
I’m skipping ahead a few posts to wish my dad a happy birthday. We had a combined early celebration with Mother’s Day. That is what happens when we have so many things to celebrate!
Pineapple Upside Down Cake–not sure why it has five candles. I really appreciate the special bond between my kids and my dad. Happy birthday!
D was able to zip around in an MX-5 over the weekend. He even took the kids for a test drive, but only around our neighborhood.
We hosted our small group on Friday night. On Saturday, two of my college roommates stopped by for a short visit. It is always fun catching up with them.
On Sunday we had breakfast at church (pancakes, eggs, fried rice and shoyu sausages + jook for those who want it). After church we hosted a joint celebration for Mother’s Day and my dad’s birthday. D christened our bbq that we received last year.
We sang happy birthday to my dad and ate this cake from Costco, which should be called “Death by Chocolate”.
One of my Mother’s Day gifts was a Grand Canyon puzzle. Hopefully there are no missing pieces!
On n’s actual birthday, we celebrated as a family, at home. We tried to duplicate the ice cream nachos from Farrell’s that he loved so much last year.
For his birthday party, he invited a small group of friends and we went to BrewBakers in Huntington Beach for a root beer and pretzel party.
The place is quite small, and there was another large party scheduled right before us. There was too much “down time” for my liking, but it all worked out in the end. Here the kids are rolling out their pretzels.
Next came the brewing of the root beer!
They had the kids play “kick the keg”.
Next we were shown how to bottle the root beer.
Finally, we sang Happy Birthday and ate skateboard-themed cupcakes that I made for the occasion.
We let the kids enjoy some of the root beer at home. It was really good, probably the best I have had. The flavor had a lot of depth. I’m still having a hard time accepting that n is really five years old!
I haven’t been blogging recently because I feel like we haven’t been doing anything “blog-worthy”. There were some activities that I thought we could do this past weekend, but then it was so hot and windy (and smoky, due to a fire, on Sunday), I just felt like staying inside. We did help with our church’s rummage sale, though. The kids enjoyed sorting, and we scored some good finds, including a sauce pot and non-stick frying pan. We also used my birthday BOGO for Souplantation, also a favorite with the kids.
The weekend before, k went to a school friend’s birthday party at Pump It Up! The birthday girl’s mom is very creative/crafty and went all out with the theme, as you can see (so cute!):
I appreciate how, at this stage, all of the parents have opportunities like these to get to know each other better.