Pumpkin Kitchen

We found so many pumpkin colors and shapes at Trader Joe’s. Olivine and I got carried away. It felt like a treasure hunt.
DSC01484We also found so man pumpkin flavored foods:
DSC01487 I love mini pies and these crackers are best paired with goat cheese.
DSC01489 This was a leftover Julie gave me from the craft night.
DSC01486 Yes even cookie butter comes in a pumpkin pie seasonal flavor. Come over and share some of these foods that remind us fall is here.

Asserting Herself

More and more I find myself in the tension between wanting to control this little girl, getting her to comply, while also being astonished by how much confidence and will power she exerts. Most days we don’t battle clothes. She can wear what she wants as long as it fits with the weather. So when she came out with this on my only request was she add shorts underneath for maximum play and movement.


She is also making daily discoveries at preschool. I moved the clip down low as we rotate out the piles of work she brings home. Luckily I have not been asked where they go when they leave the clip (mostly to the recycle bin) because she is enamored with what is being put up next.┬áThere is lots of talk of colors, shapes, animals, and textures. I listen carefully as she shows me the “H” like in Henry’s name and the soft cotton ball with sparkles.


I try hard to run with ideas she comes up with if we have the time. I catch myself saying “hurry up” or “let’s go” so now I am trying to say more of “Where do you want to go?” and “What do you want to do?” This gives her a space to make the decisions and be in charge, just like she craves. There was a morning recently where she wanted to write her cousin Fiona a letter on top of painting she had done. When she was finished we addressed the envelope together (I wrote while she added the “sticker”) and held hands over to the mailbox around the corner.


Her other concern is the game her brother’s play called “heads or tails.” She loved this the until the other day when I came into the kitchen and she was sitting on the floor with the magnifying glass and a quarter.


She was so perplexed and kept asking about the tail on the bird. She noticed feathers and a branch, but no tails. I recognize she is naturally a critical thinker who asks good questions, and I know this doesn’t come from trying to over control her.

Trade In

I went with Olivine on Friday morning to get an oil change. Without much thought I inquired about the trade in value the dealership would offer for my car that is almost paid off. When they came back and offered almost the same as the Kelly Blue Book value my interest was peeked.


I texted Joe, left a message for Sun, and reached my mom. I asked her opinion and weighed the pros and cons. She mentioned my Ji’chan who I am always considering when making big decisions. I miss him like crazy. If he was still alive I am pretty sure he would smile at this story.

Most of the negotiation happened by phone and required some repeated insight from my mom. Who is the queen of trading in cars and getting good deals all on her own. I clearly inherited the gene. I wouldn’t say I enjoy the process of haggling, I truly don’t! But there is something rewarding about being determined and pushing back against a male centered system. Plus, on the phone it was easy to hang up.

By the time I picked Paul up, I was driving back to the dealership. In under two hours I was done with negotiating, financing, and making sure the terms were the same or better with almost the same car payment. My main reason of trading in was the car was as a 2010 and almost at 100,000 miles. They were offering me a good trade in value. I had minor complaints about only having one key left out of three, and to replace it would cost hundreds of dollars. But what put me over the edge was the car was brand new and 2015 is the last model the company will make. I kind of went into a panic. With my mom’s support, I stuck to my terms and they came down.

Makes me seriously wonder if I could have talked them down more.

But I also don’t have all day to spend in a dealership. For now, I am happy. Not thrilled about having extended car payments, but ecstatic to have another Mazda 5 that is reliable.

Soccer Banner

This was seriously a two week process and I am relieved it was done by Picture Day this past Saturday.DSC01479This is part of the adventure of having Joe as coach. It was seriously a family effort with the lettering and design lay out (thanks Joe), mini drawing (Paul), big drawing (me with the help of Olivine), and our sponsor (thanks Steven our dentist). Henry gave thumbs up all along the way as he helped come up with the team name.

Unfortunately Staples wouldn’t print the original banner design because instead of my drawing there was a copyrighted image we didn’t have permission to use. That’s what happens when I have a coupon and insist on using a corporate printing company rather than a mom and pop shop.

Here’s my To- Do List:

Soccer Banner- Made

Halloween Costumes- Ordered (thanks Mimi)

Interview for Homework- Complete (thanks Jennifer)

Dishes- Mostly done

Laundry- Pending

Homework- Ongoing


Our monthly craft night was another success.


Yes, we did stencils again!


I found a whole bunch of different colors, shapes and textures of banners in the dollar bin at Target.DSC01473

I went crazy buying them and we decorated for all occasions.


We don’t have the next date on the calendar but we are already scheming the craft.


Sounds like Jenny is going to show us how to make felt trees for a little holiday decor and jars of her delicious peppermint scrub.


Is it really almost Christmas?


The changing of the calendar in our home always brings about a little reflection and eager anticipation.

I have a weekly, color coded- semester based calendar. Then I have the month with important dates calendar.


Typically September has been a month full of transition in our house with summer ending and school starting. This year was busier than most with Joe’s class, both of the boys starting homework, my classes requiring reading/writing, and my teaching that requires planning/grading.
That thankful banner was found in Target’s dollar bin and I am hoping that phrase will carry us through this next season. When we gather around the table at dinner we try to name what we are grateful for. A tiny tradition around our tiny table, training our hearts to stay in a posture of thanks.

DSC01466I also look notice the little reminders: a fruit bowl showing signs of summer having gone before we had our proper good-bye. I like it that way, really. Recently I couldn’t find any ripe nectarines in the market so I reached for pears and apples. I fondly reminisce about all those cooling batches of pear sauce for babies. Now pears are tossed into lunch bags because our house continues to change and grow.


I welcome fall. I look forward to a chill in the air, an excuse to drink cider, scarves, and sweaters. The windows are open and we are waiting.