What we’ve been up to lately…

August has seriously flown by!

Today I… Wanted to share some of the things we’ve been up to lately:
1. Celebrating one of my students’ birthday with cupcakes and ice cream on minimum day Friday last week!

20130817-121810.jpgAlthough I didn’t eat any cake and ice cream.. I was just so excited it was Friday! Lol. Finished week 2 of school! Now on to week 3…
2. Celebrated our 3 year anniversary with a simple dinner at home..it was nice.

20130817-122001.jpgI attempted to make sweet potato shepherds pie, but I don’t know.. It was eh!
3.Got to see a movie in a theatre! That was a big deal for me!

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4.Really have been so busy with life and work that I have had no time to blog!

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1st Day of School!!!

Well… The first week of school is officially here! Crazy how fast summer flew by! And.. It does just feel a little early since most other schools are still off for another month! Oh well, at least we get out in May!
Not only did I start my official first school day as a full time teacher yesterday.. I’m starting off with 33 Kinders.. And to me.. They are just going to be babies still!
It is definitely going to be a learning experience, but I’m looking forward to watching them grow.. Teaching them how to read and write (eek! So much pressure!) and just having fun with them!
Here’s to the first day of school!

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What we’ve been up to lately…

Wow! So many things have happened since our last conversation!

1. This girl WAS sleeping through the night, but NOT ANYMORE! Ugh.

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2. I don’t want to jinx anything, but we almost have a house! Just waiting for closing! Eek!!!!!!! By the way… That ever so occurring word”pending,” actually feels pretty awesome when you are the reason behind it!
3. Made another piñata, but I’m not too happy with it. It’s supposed to be a surfboard.. But it looks more like a tombstone! Ha.

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4. My last week of professional development and we finally get to start decorating our classrooms! Can’t wait to show you guys! Here are some ideas!

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I don’t know.. It might be weird making my room camping thing.. But I just can’t help myself!
5. I love my husband! (Especially his chubby cheeks as a kid!)

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Who Am I?

Today I…officially go back to work.

Yes, it was quite the realization when my husband and I decided that (right now) I will not be able to stay home with my daughter so we can save some $ to buy our own place. Yesterday, actually, my daughter spent her first day at daycare!T’was a success! What a wreck I was in the morning when I dropped her off though! Nevertheless, I survived..like all moms do.

3 weeks of professional development starts now…then the first day of school on August 5th! Where did my summer go???

I’m thankful I was able to fit in good vacation/family time during the 3 weeks I was off. And, even though I tend to complain, I am thankful I even have a job in this economy.

Anyhow, we were given our first assignment for professional development. I thought it would be interesting to share it with you all… as a fun activity/ice breaker. Basically, we are to choose 6 objects/items that represent our cultural identity and present them in our “Culture Bag.” I feel like I’m in college again..although I’m enjoying the challenge of coming up with these 6 items.  The following questions must be answered during our presentation:

1. What is the significance of the items in your culture bag?

2. From whom or where did you get the items?

3. How do these items define your cultural identity?

Please bare with me as I share them all with you:

1. FAMILY PHOTODSC_0514The value of family has been ingrained in me since I was a child. My parents sacrificed for me and I, intend, to do the same with my own family. My family is my driving force. They are what pushes me to get out of bed in the morning, to get out of my comfort zone, and what encourages me to embrace any obstacles that might get in the way. I take my role as a wife and mother very seriously because, in my mind, there is no other option.

2. SLIPPERS

I am an Asian American. I realize that slippers is kind of a lame symbol to choose to represent my Asian culture. But, it’s hard not to be reminded of it every time I enter my parents house. It’s customary to remove your shoes when entering an Asian household because it is believed to be a good “health” practice (leaving any dirt/negativity at the door) and, because of the many pressure points in one’s foot, it is believed to be more “free” as your feet are not confined to a shoe. Whether my family truly believes this or not, I think it’s interesting that we’ve adapted to this practice and it has become a norm.

*Weird side note: I really love being barefoot!

3. Tiki Tiki Tembo

A very old version of this book was given to me by my grandfather on my Dad’s side. He’s Vietnamese and speaks very little English. I remember the day he gave this to me. He said, “Melinda, good book. Read.” And, that’s all he had to say and I did it. I have this fond of appreciation of tradition and keeping my culture alive as much as possible. Although I can’t speak the language, I hope to instill the same values my grandparents passed on to my parents and onto me..and so forth.

4. CHOPSTICKS

Food is a central part of my family’s life. If you don’t know me, I love to EAT! And..not gonna lie, I can EAT. We find excuses to throw parties not because of the event, but because of the food to serve people. Eating is also very reflective of my mood. I’ve learned that if I haven’t eaten, I get super grumpy! My friends know this about me too.

5. Miraculous Medal

Faith has always been a very important part of my life. I was born and raised Catholic and with every decision I make I try to make them reflective of the morals and guidelines my faith has been founded on. I know I don’t always succeed in this, as I’m very imperfect, but my goal is to continue to grow in this area as well as pass this on to my children.  My passion for teaching also sprouted through my personal mission to make a difference in people’s lives.

6. Dance


The first is an old video of a Filipino cultural dance called Singkil that I performed when I was in high school. I can’t believe I found this on YouTube! Dance pretty much took up the majority of my time in high school. I lived for it. It was my escape. It was also my most enjoyable form of exercise. Ha!

The second video is a performance I did with my Tahitian dance troupe back in 2008. Those were the days when I was in good shape! Ha!

Dance is definitely one of my passion in life that I cannot live without. I would say, it is definitely something that defines who I am because it’s an activity that I have been doing almost my entire life.

Well, there goes what’s in my cultural bag. Pray that I don’t mess up my presentation today in front of my fellow staff members!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post,

Melinda

Rehearsal Dinner

Monday night
After wedding ceremony practice, we all carpooled to the restaurant where the rehearsal dinner was going to take place. Of course, we all got lost! Haha. However, we were all not surprised since that seemed to be the trend over there. We finally made it to the restaurant at about 8pm, snapped some photos before it got dark, and enjoyed a long, relaxing meal.

Did I tell you how Italians eat? When they go to dinner, it’s an event! They don’t plan to eat real fast, then catch a movie afterwards…no no..the main event is eating. They have small breakfasts, small lunches, and GRAND dinners! (No less than 4 courses at one sitting). AH~MAZING! So..the rehearsal dinner ended at about 2 am! Haha.

Here’s a blurry pic of the bride and her fam bam: 
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It’s crazy to think that I’ve known her family since I was in 3rd grade. Her sister was still a baby! Her parents were also the jewelers who helped Eddie choose my engagement ring and our wedding bands..so we have a special bond with them.

Ok, ready for the food??? [I regretfully didn’t write down the names of the dishes, but hopefully the pictures will do it justice.]

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Course 1: Assorted smoked meats and side salad

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Course 2; Don’t remember what this was called, but my absolute favorite thing on the menu that night!

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Course 3: Some sort of Pork fried goodness with greens and carmelized onions

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Course 4: chocolate lava cake

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And this is how the night ended…blurry. BFF”s for sure! Lol. [Btw…I didn’t realize it until I looked back at my pictures that in the below (left) photo I was flipping my husband off! Shame on me! So, I couldn’t post that in this space! Ha…which is why I cut if off!]

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Gosh, take me back!

A Day Trip to Siena

Monday

On Monday, after a nice, long rest we escaped from wedding duties and took a day trip to Siena (about 20 minutes away from our villa). It was a cute town that felt nothing like Tuscany. Plus, it was more of a tourist attraction than anything else because the Piazza del Campo was just so neat to see!

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I really appreciated the architectural design of the buildings (sorry for the overkill of pictures). It’s crazy that people see this everyday on their walk to school and/or work. So beautiful!
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Had to snap a photo of Italian Yogurtland! Ha.people sitting piazza2 piazzadelcampoAnd…of course..had to conclude our visit with dessert! Mmmm…gelato!

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Hope you all had a safe Independence Day!!!

~Melinda