Tuesday, February 5, 2008 ;
1:28 AM
Feb 2

Actual day of ds1's bday. Received cards and sms from back home. Thanks everyone who wished ds1 a happy 5th bday. I read everything you sent to him.

The rest of the day was uneventful. Both boys were down with a cold by now. ds2 spread it to ds1. Not that serious, but still better not venture out and expose them to the extreme cold. This past week and the next would see a lot of snowfall again. Dh and almost every guy I meet (church and otherwise) have been complaining about the shovelling. Some even feel they should go out and buy the powered snow plow, if this continues.

Kids are happy of course, because once they step out, they sink right down the couple of feet of snow. They love the feeling of being buried in powder, I guess.

Feb 3

Dh went to church alone. He came back saying half the congregation was not there, due to bad weather. Evening service was cancelled. Too much snow.

Indeed, dh has to shovel so many times a day just to make sure we have a path to walk and that our door can open! If not, the door gets stuck and we have to push it out towards the snow real hard in order to get it to open. This is despite having a shelter. Also, the car would get stuck if we do not keep the driveway clear too.

Once he shovels and scatters the snow melt (some salt mixture), it snows yet again, so after that he has to go out and shovel some more. If he doesn't, then the buildup makes the next shovel job even tougher and more backbreaking.

During these times, I can hear him muttering that he wants to go back to Spore. haha.

Some friends from church gave ds1 bday gifts, and it made him so happy. Really cheered the sick boy up.

Pics show him with Jen Crill's and the Geilman's gifts. Below shows the contents. They set to work on the activity books and the puzzle at once. Made me happy too, because it occupied both boys for the rest of the afternoon.

Since there was no evening service, Chris parents told us to go over to their house earlier.

We went, after I gave the kids some Chuan Bei Pipa Gao and lugging a box of Kleenex and a ziploc for the used tissues. (We did tell them we are sick, but they said they didn't mind, mainly cos they're all adults maybe. With stronger immune systems. :-))

I packed a basket with some tangerines, dried longan, dried shitake mushrooms, and other Singapore spice and food mix packets for them. My mom and mom in law had sent us a lot, and we're more than happy to share these with people who can appreciate them. (Last time we shared our precious premium dried longan with the church, and the glass bowl was still full. No one dared to try it, I think. So we brought them home again. And then later on, we learnt that they don't really use dried shitake in their cuisine too, and they find seaweed disgusting. :-) Not all Americans of course, but generally.)

Above left: The kids enjoyed playing with the exercise ball in the living room.

Above right: Group pic.

Both of Chris' parents prepared the meal, which was really delicious Cantonese cuisine. They're Americans, but their grandparents came from Guangzhou and settled in San Francisco. They run a restaurant there, so I guess they've got the chef genes. They cook really yummy dishes!

They also made 2 kinds of dessert which we cannot find here at all. One is the glutinous rice with coconut and tapioca? Not sure about the exact ingredients, but it tasted so good, I had another, even though I had a sore throat. The other was a combination of grass jelly and lychee and something else. Some agar agar mixture. Something we haven't had for a long time also. They don't have these kinds of desserts here, like Cheng Tng or Red Ruby or Ice jelly with fruits (staples in any food court in Spore). Dh had 2 bowls of the grass jelly. hehe.

Then we just sat around and had a good chat.

We were just telling them how we couldn't find authentic Chinese cuisine in the restaurants here and they said, they moved from California to Utah in 1992 and since then they've only found one place in SLC. Then dh said, it must be Little World! And they exclaimed, yeah yeah! Little World was recommended to us by Anthony (the UofU PhD student) and since trying it out, we have proclaimed it the best too.

Then, I mentioned how we took one year to find the well-stocked Asian mart we are so happy with. And then they said, all these years, they always go all the way down to SLC to eat at little World then buy groceries from this very good Asian mart before heading home. We were talking about the same Asian Mart!

I find it so funny that Chinese who need real Chinese food all find the same places in Utah, ultimately. Then these 2 places must be the ONE in Utah then. The owners must be so proud that they are the single uniting factor for all Chinese in Utah? :-) Indeed they are doing very thriving business. Little World has a 1.5 hour wait!

Chris' parents were born in San Francisco. So Chris is already 2nd generation ABC. Yet, I see in their family the same values and similar upbringing of families back home in Spore. Not quite the same as American families in terms of how the kids move out of home right after graduating from high school, how they eat most of their meals together at home (though the kids are already 21 and 24?) and other aspects. Even though they are very American in all other ways.

Chris is graduating from Uni in May and he is currently looking for jobs. He expressed interest in working in Spore, just for an overseas experience, and I gave him some websites. Wow, if he really moved to Spore for work, it'd indeed be an eye opener, and the church in Spore would surely welcome him with open arms and treat him as part of their family.

Chris' dad works with Southwest Airlines at the SLC airport. He gave the kids 2 stuffed aeroplanes! Very cute, because, the yellow one (see below left) had a birth tag stating its birthdate and the name was TJ Luv! How apt for my kids. And then the black and white one was fashioned after Sea World's Shamu, and had its birthdate on the tag too.

Besides, giving them some traditional rice paper-wrapped candies, Pocky and Glico biscuit sticks (which the kids miss a lot!), they even packed a lot of the yummy dishes for us to bring home. I was so delighted because that meant I probably need not cook for both lunch and dinner on Monday! Really, the amount they packed for us! (above right).

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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-{dear-hubby}- dh
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-{dear-son}-ds2 J
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