Tuesday, May 22, 2007

In Praise of Green Beans

Tonight's dinner was rice, rotisserie chicken and sauteed green beans. LK and CB love the chicken, but turned their noses up about green beans. That's not a surprise -- in my 10+ years as a mom, I haven't personally met many kids who love green beans or green peas, or any green veggies, for that matter.

In order to get them to try different vegetables and to make vegetables a regular part of their diet, I've set a rule since they were little. My rule is, they have to finish whatever vegetables I serve at dinner time (I mean the portion I put on their plate). It's OK if they don't finish their rice/noodles or protein (usually chicken or fish, which they love anyway), but they have to finish their veggies.

They both know that's my rule, and there's no way around it.

So, they'd complain (or whine) from time to time, but they do finish their veggies, and even learn to love some of them. For example, LK and CB love corns, carrots, snow peas, cabbages, Chinese bean sprouts, celery, cucumber, and spinach. They just don't like green beans and green peas. And broccoli is something they love sometimes and hate sometimes, depending on their moods.

Anyway, we had green beans tonight, and, not surprisingly, they both groaned when they saw that on the dinner table. Their mood was quickly lifted by the golden-brown honey rotisserie chicken, and they started to joke about how yucky green beans are. The other day, I shared with them that someone who lives in Indonesia sent me a special acrostic made from my name. That must have made an impression on them. Before I knew it, LK started writing an acrostic of beans on a sticky note, right at the dinner table.

This is what LK wrote:

Never will eat

She even took out a dictionary to look up "atrocious", just to make sure she got the right word she was looking for. Then she read it out loud for us:

"Atrocious, adjective, very bad, outrageously cruel".

"Yup, that's the word", LK said, satisfied with her choice of word.

How can innocent little green beans be "outrageously cruel"? Beats me!

Now, CB always loves to follow his big sister's footprints. Of course, he'd have to write an acrostic too! So this is what CB came up with:

Black souls
Astonishingly gross
Never'll eat, ever
Sardine-like taste

We were all cracking up!!! LK exclaimed, "You don't even know what sardines taste like!!!"

CB shouted back, "I imagine they would taste as gross as green beans!"

We laughed until tears came out!

"OK, guys, now it's time to finish your green beans!!!" I hate to break up a party, but we had to finish dinner and move on to other tasks before bedtime.

Much to my delight, this time, the kids finished their green beans without further complaints. :-)

Friday, May 18, 2007

3 Men Who Walked on Water

Do you really know your theology?


The 1st one was Christ ...

The 2nd one was the apostle, Peter ...

Then there was this guy, Jose ...

Need I say more? :-)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Journey into Love

Happy Mother's Day!!!

As I woke up to this beautiful sunny day this morning, having just returned from a whole day of empowering experience at the Morristown Women's Festival yesterday, I felt totally at peace and joyful. I felt loved. And, above all, I felt grateful.

It's been an absolutely amazing journey for me as a mother. My daughter is 11 and my son is 9 this year. I feel blessed to have my Mom and sisters (pictured, I was 3 months pregnant with my daughter in that picture), and so many wonderful girlfriends with me on this journey.

Just as we are growing our children, our children are growing us! I've learned so much about myself, and grown so much as a woman.

I hope you celebrate today, knowing that you are the perfect mom for your child(ren).

I hope you enjoy this day, knowing that no matter where you are on your life's journey, you are on the right path to become the woman you are meant to be.

I hope you trust and surrender to your Self, and relax into it.

I hope you let your Inner Goddess come out and play, even just for a day!

I hope you savor today, knowing that you are loved.

You hold within you the love you are seeking.

You are LOVE.

Written by Hueina Su on Mother's Day, May 13, 2007

Monday, May 07, 2007

Carnival of Family Life 1-Year Anniversity Edition

The Carnival of Family Life is celebrating its 1-year Anniversary at its founder Kailani's blog An Island Life this week. There are a whopping 61 submissions this week!

I have participated in a lot of blog carnivals, and I can honestly say that the Carnival of Family Life is one of those that consistently host high-quality articles. I'm very happy to be part of this 1-Year Anniversary edition this week. Make sure you go over there to check out those wonderful (and some downright hilarious) articles at the Carnival of Family Life this week!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Pennies in the Shoes

It's such a beautiful day today. Sunny, warm, white fluffy clouds. So even though I felt a little sleepy from staying up till 2:30am this morning making my new business cards & brochures, I urged "the crew" to move outdoors instead of sitting in front of the TV. Don't want to waste a gorgeous day like today.

We decided to go to Hedden Park, one of our favorite local parks with a lake (with peddle boats in the summer), nice playground, soccer field, large pavilion for BBQ & parties, trails, and lots of grass to roam around. Our favorite part of that park, however, is the small creek hidden in the woods behind the playground. I love walking along the creek. No matter which season we go there, it's always beautiful and makes me want to slow down & just enjoy the moment.

However, that's not why my family loves that creek.

There is a trail along the creek, but, we prefer to walk on the rocks in the creek. DH, LK and CB LOVE to walk across the creek on those rocks, zig-zagging their way all the way to the little waterfall at the end of the trail. I join them sometimes, trying to capture the Kodak moments with my camera. It's fun & exciting when you can find the right rocks to step on to go across the creek. The water is very shallow (less than knee height), so there's no worry of drowning. Although, you do have to watch your footing, because some of the rocks could be very slippery.

We've been there for many times over the years, and nobody ever fell in the water before. Occasionally, one of the kids stepped into the water by accident. DH slipped & scrapped his knee one time, because he was trying to show off. Being the cautious one, I haven't had any accident (knock on wood) by that creek.

Today, we started off with high spirit. It's our first outing of the season. The weather had been so erratic the whole winter & spring here in NJ. I am really ready for some real spring weather. Something like today's weather. Just perfect. I'm amazed & very grateful that my asthma and allergy haven't been bothering me that much, compared to what happened last spring. I'm a little stuffy & can't smell anything, but, I'm not on any medication. Wow, I guess acupuncture really helps.

Anyway, we started out by the lake, watching the ducks, geese, and white fluffy clouds. Then the kids said they wanted to "warm up" at the playground. They were gearing up for the hike by the creek. After a few rounds of monkey bars and slides (don't ask me why these have anything to do with "warming up" for hiking or walking across the creek), the kids were ready for the challenge.

The kids were very excited for their first hike by the creek, and I think DH was a little too excited. He wanted to dive right in, and took on the very first possible pass across the creek. CB followed his daddy right away, and LK was right behind him. I looked at the set of rocks DH picked out. They are mostly big enough and dry. However, there was a big gap between two rocks that I didn't think the kids could walk across. I quickly voiced my opinion, trying to stop them. The kids were already in the middle of the creek, and, just as I predicted, CB couldn't get across "the gap" even when DH tried to reach out to him to pull him over. OK, gotta turn back. CB and LK turned around and walked back toward me. LK took a wrong step, and stepped into the water with her right foot.

"OK, that didn't go so well", she said, stopping to take off her sneaker & let the water out.

She shrugged it off, and kept going. I told DH to pick a better pass next time.

A moment later, we came to the next possible pass. These rocks were smaller, and some of them were wet. The water was running fast. I was a little concerned, but DH charged ahead, and the kids did not hesitate to follow him. CB was right in front of me, trying to step across a wet rock to DH. He took another step forward, trying to reach for DH's hand, when all of a sudden he slipped and stepped right into the water. When he tried to step back onto the rock, he slipped again and this time he fell right into the creek. It happened so fast -- I was trying to grab him, but he slipped again and fell further away from me. Well, it was only a few feet away from me, but I couldn't reach him in all my panic. DH was on another big rock and couldn't reach his hand either. Luckily, the water was very shallow. CB reacted very quickly and after a few tries climbed back onto a rock.

He didn't cry or anything. He joked that "This is why I wanted a stick (to walk with)!!" I was amazed that he was so calm. I, on the other hand, was a little shocked. Of course, you always think about the worst case scenario afterwards. Things could have been MUCH worse. But, of course, I didn't want to show that worry in front of the kids.

CB was totally soaked and cold. So, that was the end of our adventure for today. Enough excitement for a day, if you ask me. We wrapped CB in two beach towels and drove home. Despite of what happened, both kids were in a good mood on our way home. I was just so grateful that we are all safe and sound.

When we got home, CB took off his sneakers and LK noticed the pennies in CB's sneakers. For some reason, CB started putting one penny in each of his sneakers recently, saying the pennies seemed to bring him good luck. LK said, "Well, your pennies didn't work this time, did they?" CB said, the pennies only work on "smaller" luck. But, I said, "Oh, I think they did. Things could have been worse, you know."

Yes, I do believe that CB's lucky pennies worked. He is safe, and that's what matters.