To a Prosperous New Year!

Every year Dad has a party at the shop after praying for a prosperous new year.
But this year was a bit different! He turned the upstairs into a play area with a tire swing, bar swings, regular swing and even a rope for people to try to climb up! There was also a dartboard right behind me! I guess I trust them enough to stand in front!

Photo Note: The first few pictures have a really cool – as in cold, not B`) although I would say they are pretty B`) – look to it because I was still trying to find out which camera settings to use!


Annual Pool Party

Every year for Ellen’s birthday we would have a water fight and the little pool setup. But, this year, there were no water balloons because last year we didn’t clean up so the balloons melted into the ground and took scraping to get out.

And if you notice, it might be about time we updated the pool to a bigger one. 

Wes lying in the pool

Wes sure seems to fit right in though.

Kisses for the birthday girl

Kisses for the birthday girl!

Tina's 8th grade graduation

Graduating to the Next

Three different level graduation in one week: high school, 8th grade, Pre-K!

Kes' Pre-K graduation

Kes’ Pre-K graduation

I wasn’t able to make it to the high school one but that doesn’t mean I am not just as proud of her!

The Pre-K graduation had to be the most fun one. At graduations for the kids, they sing, dance and are just so darn adorable! As the grades get higher and we get older, we “calm” down and become very “discipled” – and boring.. Adult life! (T.T)

Long Month with Lots of Lions

Here are a few pictures from 2 of this month’s lion dances. March has been a busy month for our school to do lion dance. We had at least 1 every Sunday and maybe another one during the week. This pass Sunday was our last one for the Chinese New Year season. A 5 hour, up and down Chinatown parade by our school and Sifu Rome’s school.

The Lions, The Dragon & The Boyfriend

My Lions for the day!

The Best Friend came out to support me =)

And then there is this chicken looking Unicorn

Sifu Cheung

Each other’s other halves.

After the parade, we went to Joy Tsin Lau to celebrate Sifu’s birthday, his 40th years of teaching Kung Fu in the US & Chinese New Year.

As much work as all this was, I think I will miss eating together so much. I also got to be in the Northern Lion for the first time and see the Unicorn in action!

Do you know the difference between the South Lion, Northern Lion, Dragon & Unicorn?

Gong Hey Fat Choy :: Year of the Horse

Chinese New Year has to be my favorite holiday. Favorite part? The music! Chinese New Year music is so happy & festive bringing back many memories & traditions from when I was little & Ah-Jaw (great grandma) was still around. Many things have changed but the general idea of family & celebration still stands.

The pass 3 years, we’ve been able to get group family pictures minus Dad because we always do li shi late.

Another huge thing for New Year is going to see lion dances in Chinatown or Washington markets. This year, Steven & I got to participate in the lion dance! Lots of work & cuts into family time though. But it’s stilly pretty fun so I will have a different post all about that.

This year is the year of the horse & since I am a horse, I had to get this watch from Swatch!

Also, have you seen the Chinese New Year commercials? They are mainly family focused & brings tears to your eyes!

Happy New Year everyone! Take some time out to spend with the family! =)

Links to Places Mentioned:

Since Chrissy Arrived

It’s Chrissy’s first winter with us so we are super excited!

First thing first, family time & Grandpa’s birthday! ❤ Simple dinner & cakes because we already went out for dinner on the weekend.

Next, cleaned/organized my closet which I have been waiting for her to come & help with.

Sky Zone!! It was so much cooler than I thought it would be. You end up losing your sense of gravity & feeling really dizzy if you attempt to bounce or run afterwards though.

“Do you wanna build a snowman?”
Have been waiting to see Frozen and since there was a theater down the block, it was perfect! The movie was cute & I liked a lot of the not too too typical aspects like the true love & who is evil. “Born or a curse?”

Christmas with the family! With a tree & everything!

Poconos trip where she learned to snowboard & skii.

Ice skating with the kids!

Mummer’s New Years parade.

Snow day the day she was suppose to leave but she changed her flight & was able to roll around in the fresh, fluffy snow, shovel & clean the car for the first time!

Sushi Kingdom …. Arg! Wanted to take Mom here to try but forgot how I said I probably wouldn’t be back but now I know & will remember not to be back. The sushi is horrible but it isn’t great either. I also got a major stomach ache from it. 😣

SokeSoke & Y-ee took us to The Cheesecake Factory was yummy but half of us were still full from lunch. I didn’t get anything so we ended up able to share. I also love the brown bread that they give for free so we asked for some when packing leftovers and the guy went and got us a freshly baked, whole roll!! I was so excited 😳

Federal Donuts that I am not a fan of but she wanted to try because it was in a magazine.

Didn’t get to take her to 5 Guys though.

Proud, Delicious & Excited

White Coat

I was a proud sister today though there was never a doubt or surprise. Today was my brother’s white coat ceremony which also means he is now an official Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (PCP) student. The reason there has never been a doubt is because he’s always been a smart kid. His first 2 years didn’t even phase him; you’d be lucky if you could catch him sitting at his desk really studying. Now, however, it’s crunch time! I’ve never seen him study as much in his entire life as I do this semester. Surprising but still not doubtful that he’d to great. The white coat ceremony and getting into the program may seem like a big deal to a lot of people but for our family, it’s not a big deal until you graduate. You could very well drop out at any time. But I was still proud cause I know I would definitely not have been able to make it that far. I cried all the time taking basic Chem in college and asked my brother for help; he knew that stuff as if it were 1+1.

After the ceremony and finally meeting his friends, I took him & Mom out to sushi. Mom likes to eat out but we normally go to Chinese or Vietnamese places; I’m never sure what kind of out place to take her to but I knew her & Steven both like sushi. The place I wanted to take them to was not open for lunch but since we were already in the area, we walked over to Crazy Sushi; turned out to be an awesome choice.

We were there about 10 minutes before opening but since they were probably ready, they let us in. I’ve already been here 2 out times so I know that the sushi is better than most places around and the service is good. The same lady from the other time seated us and ended up taking to us in Chinese. She asked if we knew Mandarin so I was able to practice my broken, mostly forgotten Mandarin from school.

We had 2 yummy appetizers (vampire bowl & rock shrimp) and 3 different kind of special rolls (Odessa, M16 & Fried Oyster); Mom also had hot tea that the lady constantly kept refilling. We liked the Odessa roll so much we ordered another one along with a Shark roll. We made really good choices this time around because everything was sooo good! I also really like this place because their dish presentation is always really pretty! I like to draw but is not able to do so from my imagination; I have to look at something to draw it. Not very creative..

Pumpkin Carving

Speaking of creative, Steven, the boyfriend & I finally got to do pumpkin carving! We stopped by Walmart to pick up 3 pumpkins for around $4; I already had a Hello Kitty carving kit at home.

The emptying out of the pumpkin was very easy and felt like I was sticking my hand into someone’s gut.. The carving part wasn’t too bad either if you have the right tools. I always thought we didn’t really need a kit. I just got one because it was cute. Turns out normal kitchen knives and spoons aren’t as great. We all used what we had and shared my kit and came out with 3 awesome pumpkins!! We’re all so proud of how they turned out!! Apple’s panda was one he found online but since we couldn’t print that one, I drew it on for him. We also didn’t want to keep real candles in there so we ended up sticking glow sticks in them; evil eyes looked awesome!

Lesson learned: Carving kit is worth it!

Links to Places Mentioned:

Dancing Lions :: Moon Festival

Moon Fest Supports

Yesterday was the celebration of the Moon Festival in Chinatown where I was able to partake in the event for the first time.

First I would like to say thank you to all the family & friends that came out to support me!!!

I use to go to this festival every year when I was younger just wandering the street the whole seeing my 30 best friends. 😏 Later on, not only did I only stop by to make it a tradition, it was rare seeing anyone I knew there. But now, I was able to be a part of the event.

Since I joined Cheung Shu Pui’s Kung Fu Academy, I have prataken in the Independence Day parade, a birthday and a wedding where I either played the symbol or was the tail. The Moon Festival is what sifu has been training us newbies for; lions and first form demonstration.

Being the lion is really exciting when you have a bunch of kids in the crowd because they are excited to see the lions but also scared of them. It does get very tiring very quickly though; especially when you have to parade down the street as oppose to staying in a general area. I also use to think being the tail was very easy but it is actually a lot more painful to the entire body whereas the head is just tiring to the arms.

Moon Festival

Eight of us performed first form while others had weapons. I am not a very intimating kung fu student or lion. I giggled a lot during the form because Ainhi was right in front of me taking pictures.  And I was told I look like a very happy lion while everyone else looked tough; just adding a little joy to the world. 😋

It is amazing how many different personalities, morals, beliefs and talents I have met since starting this only 2 and a half month ago. This isn’t even a quarter of sifu’s students. I am super excited to meet new students at every event; and hopefully in other countries too!

On a side note, I had to do some research about the Moon Festival for a presentation and learned a few stories about how the event came to be. Links to stories I read below. The most interesting this though is that you can see a bunny on the moon that night. Keep an eye out for it on Thursday, September 19th this year (aka 8th month, 15th day of the lunar calendar.)

Let me know if you see it!

Late June – Early July Update

Foam Festival

Did my first 5K run! It was an obstacle course but was kind of a bad experience. It was super hot that day and I discovered the hard way that hot foam is really gross! It was something new though so I can go in next time with more experience.

On our way there, we drove by a restaurant called SMASHburger. The name caught Ellen’s attention so she looked it up and since the menu sounded pretty good, we stopped by after. Not a bad choice at all! The burgers were pretty darn good and not greasy at all. Wish there was one closer to home! Their SMASHfries were pretty good too!

An awesome 4th of July

Independence Day Parade – Ellen’s Birthday Party

I was in my first Lion Dance and parade! After only 2 days of practicing Lion Dance Steven & I was able to participate in the Independence Day Parade with our school. Although we only got to play the symbol, I still felt totally cool!

It was a very long wait for the parade to start and didn’t last very long but it was an awesome experience.

After the parade, we had to head home for Ellen’s birthday party and every year her party turns into a giant water fight that the boyfriend ended up finding out the hard way.

We then went to go pick up some fireworks and blew them up instead of going to watch them.

Electric Run

My second 5K wasn’t as successful and the weather wasn’t helping either. The night was so electrifying that you heard thunder and saw lighting all night! The night of the run, there was a thunderstorm alert but because it wasn’t for sure and wasn’t canceled, we went! Meeting up and when we were there was nice but after letting the first 2 waves of people go, the “fire department shut us down.”

They are rescheduling so I will post about this event again! Based on the experience I did have though, I think it would have been a lot of fun; Music could have been louder though.

Hershey Park

The family usually tries to go somewhere fun at least once a summer and Hershey was the place this year. We mostly stayed in the water section of the park until later in the day because it was so hot but it was nice; I think both the kids and the adults had fun.

[Top; left to right]
1: I am a graduate of Monster University!
2: Delicious Takoyaki!
3: This describes our friendship a bit
4: Took the kids to the Big Time Rush concert

Terakawa Ramen

When we went to California, our uncle took us to a Japanese noodle house and my mom really enjoyed it; so he looked for a place at home and we finally got a chance to go. Our aunt from California was here on vacation too so she got to try too. I am not really a big fan of Japanese noodles but I  have been really crazy about takoyaki ever since

Big Time Rush

I always said I wanted to go to a Big Time Rush concert so when I saw it on Groupon; I jumped! Got lawn seats and took the kiddos to their first concert. I think I was definitely more excited to see them than the kids were. Mothers at these kinds of things are vicious! And we didn’t think about bringing blankets >o< First timers mistakes.

But I enjoyed it and hope the kids did too; 3 of them even got to hug Logan!!!

My summer has been pretty amazing so far. How about everyone else?

Party It Up

Grad Party 1

We haven’t had a house party since we moved in but Mom wanted one for the big occasion. Thankfully, it was not as hectic as I imagined it would be. We were following the weather all week-long and was not excited when it showed rain. We borrowed a bunch of tables, tents and chairs for outside and since there really wasn’t much rain, everyone was able to be outside and even had their own section; elders, gentlemen, ladies, kids and older kids.

Hung Graduation

So proud of her!

I first went to Hung’s graduation at LaSalle University in the morning and had to run around getting cheese and looking for stereos, the candles that goes under the trays of food. I always wanted to have an outdoors graduation but with that, you need perfect weather or it is just a hassle! Hung’s graduation was outdoors and raining! But luckily, they were also airing it live inside in theater which is where I stayed until they called her name.

Graduation ceremony
Graduation party
Job after graduation
Mini-vacation before work
Start studying to go to graduate school

Is anyone going or thinking about going to grad school?