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Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside



Inside the mind of a child… this is a very cool and comfortable “tent”



Complete with “bathroom” and “closet (where all the clothes are in)



Apparently it was not big enough for the little sister to tag along…so it was moved to “UNDER the table”


Inside the mind of a child… where creativity and simplicity filled the space…. 

Life is as good as what you choose to believe and imagine!  So let it be….





2009-Golden Years

Today grief has struck suddenly. As I was looking at this picture of him, tears rolled down my cheeks….


I wasn’t going to blog about this but then found out that this week prompt  is  “GOLDEN YEAR”  .

The prompt moved me to write.

On Saturday, February 22nd, my host father “Bob” died suddenly of a massive heart attack. He went out to shovel just a little bit of snow at the end of his driveway….

His family hosted me as an exchange student back in 1992 for a year!  I would not be where I am today if God didn’t use this family to teach and love me…

I have not written anything for 3 weeks because words can not express how great this man was!

The picture above was taken in December 2009. It was a very special year for me! In March 2009, I almost lost my life due to a C-section’s complication  during the birth of my daughter. For me to be alive now was a completely miraculous act of GOD. Being that close to death made me appreciate “life” even more.

That year we decided to take a road trip to visit loved ones in other states…

I remember going through bad roads and snow storm. It was so worth it because it was such a nice visit!  It was NOT the last time I saw him but it was a VERY MEMORABLE one for me because of how we parted.

I remember how tight he hugged me that night and said,” love u flo! You be careful now” with his thick Minnesota’s accent before I left.  I saw him wiped his tears as I wiped and tried to hide mine. I never asked him what he was thinking, what caused his tears…

I will tell you what caused my tears.  I was grateful for one more chance… I was grateful that I didn’t die back in March so I could visited them. I was grateful for the good time. I was grateful for the love that I received. I was grateful for the gift of “additional time with family”.

I wonder if he was thinking similar things because he had a health-scared too. A heart scare, a stent was inserted.

But I shouldn’t have to  wonder if he treasured the precious moments… I know he did… He loves gathering time…

Little did I know that he went to heaven way TOO SOON!  I am glad that 2009 was not the last time we saw him… I am glad we had more time with him…. more laughter… more smiles… more bear hugs…..

I rejoice to see how happy he was in this picture….


Though I know he is so happy up in heaven right now. It still hurts so much because I want MORE time…. more big bear hugs and more visit so my kids can learn from him… as much as I had learnt from him…. WHICH IS A LOT about grace… love… patience…kindness….FUN and LAUGHTER

Selfishly, I want more time because this year is my graduation year!  The girl with such broken English that first came to to their home to learn English is getting her clinical master degree in speech language pathology… He would have been proud!  Selfishly I want him here to be proud of me….

Please treasure your “years” with your loved ones!! Those years are GOLDEN YEARS!  You never know when death might come….



SERIOUSLY?? Bacon roses for moi!

What did you get for Valentine’s day?? I was a little sad yesterday!

My dear hubby said, “Your surprise is tomorrow morning”.  I asked eagerly, ” is a HARP on the way?!”

Nope! This am, I GOT BACON ROSES!


Seriously, I was SPEECHLESS!  He asked,” why aren’t you smiling?” After I composed myself and looked at the boys I said,”THANK YOU! That is cute!  Who’s idea was it?”

You have to give it to a man that watched the youtube video on how to make bacon roses with his 2 sons and decided, ” Let’s make this for mommy!  She loves roses and bacon!” He took a bunch of pictures too because he KNOWS I will blog this!

This is how you make bacon roses!


Roll the bacon


Cut foil strips


Cover the outsie of the bacon with foil strips and baked it!


Bought artificial roses and takes the roses out!



Take toothpicks… and cut it short!


Put it into the stem!


DSC_4077 DSC_4078 DSC_4083 DSC_4085

Stick bacon roses  to the toothpicks!


You got bacon roses!


I LOVE this man! The fact that he went to walmart and got all these stuff to make bacon roses! 🙂

I asked him,” Why don’t you just by me flowers and starbucks this morning?”  Well everyone gives roses!  I want to be different!  You know it is harder to give you BACON roses than if I just go to Kroger or order online!  TRUE!  Though I am still speechless! 🙂

BACON ROSES it is for me for Valentines day 2014!  I guess a man truly loves you when he gave you BACON for valentine’s day!



Chinese Character for parental love = ache and rattan

Chinese has different characters for LOVE.  “Téng” is usually use to describe parental love means “ache” or “love dearly”. Its homophone means “RATTAN”.  Homophone is like “bat” for the animal and “bat” for baseball.

Chinese parents usually say,” Wo hen teng ni” which means I really love you dearly. The fact that the meaning says “love dearly” and ache can also means that parents LOVES their children so dearly that it hurts

teng_with numbers

What is interesting to me is the homophone for this character is “téng” for rattan! Hmmm no wonder Chinese parents often beat their kids with rattan! 🙂 I remember when I was little my maternal grandmother chased me and my cousins around her house with this rattan tool.  The tool was used to beat mattresses because she used to hang mattresses out in the sun to kill the germs 🙂


tepokan kasur

Since that was “teng” is the Chinese character for LOVE… Do we have different character to express children’s love to parents??

Sure we do…. but we don’t call it love! In Chinese children’s love to parents can be expressed in what is called “filial piety”. Children have the responsibilities to RESPECT their parents, care for them, make them proud and  carry the family honor!

Remember MULAN??  She didn’t say she went to war for her father because she loves her father… It’s to defend the family honor and of course SHE LOVES her father. That was how she expressed her love!

The character for is “xiào”.  It consists of 2 different characters.  Lao is for “old” or elderly and zi for son.  See the character is showing that the “son” is carrying the “old”

xiao_with numbers

So what about “Ai” the famous Chinese word for LOVE??  Well, that word is actually for romantic love. The first part is GRIP… to me that shows how 2 people hold hands as they walk into their marriage. GRIP to me means seriously holding on into something, taking marriage vows seriously as they walk together entering the “ROOF” representing the home…Inside or under the roof is the character for HEART! The center of it all is the LOVE from your HEART… and the foundation of it all is FRIENDSHIP! Isn’t it beautiful?

Ai with numbers



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What happened when your dad is a computer engineer??

I have been wondering why we kept receiving boxes since last week.


Guys have hobbies right?  Some might be cars or sports… My dear hubby’s first love is moi (said the confidence me! ) and computer/technology…

He often shops online for those electronic stuff. So it is not uncommon for me to receive boxes that are not mine and I never ask him about his purchases…

Anyway, I came home to a big box and asked, “what the heck is this?”

Dear hubby, ” OH, I want to build a COMPUTER with the boys” 🙂

Me,” WHY?”

Dear hubby: ” Why, not?  I built my first computer when I was 18!”

Me thinking to myself  ” Hmmmm yes… 18… our boys are 11 and 6!  I guess we both TRULY believe in EARLY intervention in educating our kiddos! I guess that is also what happened when a geek married a nerd :-)”

He has a list for items that the boys have to keep track as it arrived


So I told him, “I have to blog it!!”

So friends expect “HOW TO BUILD your own computer 101 in a few weeks! ” 🙂


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Spending Valentine’s with kids


HAPPY FRIDAY!   I am kicking off a “Friend’s Friday” because I have been blessed with hundreds of AMAZING friends, so I am going to let you hear a little bit from them! This event is so perfect for a day like this because I have body ache and sore throat but too hyper to sleep all day!

So, I can’t think of a better person to start than BEA!  Bea and I went to the same high school in Indonesia. I remember her as friendly, sweet and smart! Now, she is a wedding planner in MN and founded BEE THE BUZZ event! (www.beethebuzzevent.com). Check out her blog here and be inspired!

So here you go, from the DESK OF BEA MULAWARMAN…

Every home activity in my book must have two components: fun and feasibility. It must be fun for everyone (i.e. no stress for the person who prepares it) and feasible – or in other words, achievable. I have a hard time spending and laboring hours on end for something that will be wreck in five minutes. Also, this does not have to be done on Valentine’s day or Valentine’s week. It could teach our kids to be loving and kind for the rest of their days and lives.

So here are my top 5 Valentine’s to dos with kids at home:

1. Valentine’s Love Messages

I find it simple and effective. Write loving messages for your kids (and don’t forget your hubby!) on your bathroom mirror with a window marker or soap on Valentine’s week. You can do this every day or every other day or maybe one for that week! Have your kids leave notes for you, their dad and each other.


{image from gwenmossblog.blogspot.com}

If you have older kids, write a real letter (yes, with pen & paper) and tell them how much you love them.


My kids were playing with washi tape the other day and this is what they came up with: a board of “I love you because …” is also easy to make and oh, so sweet!


2. (Non-candy) Valentine’s favor for school

My daughter and I did this a few years ago and it is still our favorite! Click here for tutorial on how to make it.


3. Valentine’s Reading Books

A few books in our house have been a favorite to read on Valentine’s.




Geronimo’s Valentine

pic6  Cupid Doesn’t Flip Hamburgers

pic7    Roses are pink, Your feet really stink

pic8       Valentine’s friends
4. Valentine’s Board Games

Care Bear’s Warm Feelings – The Game that Melts Cold Hearts
It is an easy game that can be enjoyed with Children under 10 years old


Tic-Tac-Toe hearts
Click here on how to create one!


{image from alphamom.com}

5. Valentine’s Cooking Lesson

If you have kids big enough to learn how to cook, I’d start them with a simple scrambled egg (with parental supervision, of course!). My daughter loves making them and my son loves to eat them! Click here for a recipe from pickledplum.com


Isn’t she amazing!

Hope you enjoyed it!  Please let me know via comment or fb what you think about Friend’s Friday!

PS: Message me if you would like to be featured on my blog. You don’t have to be a blogger!  To friends from  Zero to Hero, this is in response to challenge day 29: Creating an editorial calendar!  Message me if you would like to participate!


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Calamity day’s assignment = ABSOLUTELY no homeschooling for this mommy!

Today marked the 7th SNOW DAY for my kiddos! This snow day is driving me CRAZY!!! First of all, we are still working on the calamity day’s assignment for the 6th snow day (last Wed). Yes, yes… it’s due in 14 days… but on top of the assignment my kiddos are still having their regular school work/assessment (aka test) that they have to prepare…

Anyway, today I decided NOT to be so helpless! My boss asked me,” do you really want to come in for a meeting at noon?” I said, ” YES!” Not because I am so dedicated! But because I have to finish grading all these quizzes by FRIDAY and because my KIDS started wrecking the house 🙂

So off we went! We got stuck stuck at Wendy’s drive thru and 2 gentlemen pushed my car! 🙂
Then about 1- 2 minutes later a truck cleared the drive thru! NICE!!


Made it to the parking lot! Almost got stuck!


So they hang out in my office while I met with my boss!


WE came home and I had this GRANDIOSE IDEA that they are going to do their homework and I will grade 50 or so student’s quizzes each with 3 pages!


We sat down and worked for about two hours! The 2 hours didn’t look this quiet and peaceful though! This picture perfect lasted 2 minutes!


Today I learn that I will definitely not going to homeschool my kiddos because….

I can NOT TEACH 3 kiddos who are at different ages together! I admire those who can! I wonder what Laura Ingalls Wilder did in that 1 room school house..

I found out that I am not that smart and has forgotten MOST if not almost all of my math (exception: basic addition, subtraction, division and multiplication). Heck it was about measurement and conversion! I didn’t grow up here so I had to google “feet, inches, ounces, cups” and all those good stuff! I grew up with simple kg, km, cm, ml 🙂

Dealing with a 4 year old drama queen is NOT my forte…

I believe that their TEACHERS are way smarter than me and KNOW MORE than me in regards to all these common core and curriculum stuff. HECK they know all about those different clouds! Cirrus… Cumulus… (I know them too now because I used GOOGLE HAH! What would I do without GOOGLE!

I can’t help a 5th grader write his writing assignment when HE is the one correcting my grammar 🙂

Anyway, some of you may think, ” But SHE is a TEACHER and for those with special challenges and some very severe ones… SHE IS SO PATIENCE!”

Let me tell you the truth!
My KIDS listen to their teachers better than they listen to me so I am not that patient at all with them.

Several of my good friends are homeschooling their children! Today you have my respect and LOVE! I can not in a million year picture myself doing this on a daily basis! You truly must be called to homeschool your kiddos because it is so NOT EASY!

Initially, I was happy when they got their 6th day calamity day’s assignment because it gave them something to do. But now I am WORRY…. WHAT IF we have another snow day again (soon)… This assignment is PILING UP on top of MY WORK and MY ASSIGNMENTS!

HARD being a Stay Home Working MOM!

So we went to get ice cream… YES on a snowy day that started at a LEVEL 2 snow emergency 🙂