Wednesday, December 27, 2006

To Cam Hong and Kai Yan

I'm sorry Cam Hong and Kai Yan, but I gave you the wrong recipe. I thought it was a good recipe, but it was not the one I was thinking of.

Monday, December 25, 2006


Hi ! Teacher and classmates .
How are you doing?
I'm sorry that. I could't come to the party on Friday. Because I had go to work. I wish, I could come and enjoy with you guys on that day .
But I enjoy our class' pictures on the blog. I think, the party was very fun. And I also thank the teacher about helping me hold my certificate when I wasn't there .
We are having a long holiday. So I'm missing all of you very much. With best wishes to you for a merry Christmas and a happy NewYear.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Dim Sum in December 2006

Please click here to see photos.

See you next year!


Hi, class.
I hope that us have a happy Merry Christmas and happy New Year with yours families.
Teacher happy holidays.

Writers' Awards

Yan Hua, Nhu Thai, Cam and Kai Yan received their Distinguished Writers Certificates.

Thuong Thi could not be present, so the teacher held up her certificate.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Book by Our President's Sister

Our president, George Bush, has a younger sister. Her name is Doro Bush Koch. Last month, she published her first book. The book's name is "My Father, My President: A Personal Account of the Life of George H. W. Bush".

That book is about the Bush family. It is a biography of both of the Presidents in the Bush family. The book reveals many silly facts about the Bushes. Doro spent 2 years writing this book.

Doro is the first woman In US history to see her father and eldest brother become president. The book ranks as a bestseller. I'm looking forward to buying her book. A hardcover copy of the book costs $15.00 on, but I don't know if it is worth it.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Why I have been absent from school

Hi, Class,

How is it going? I hope, everything is going good!

Did you miss me all this time? (ja, ja, ja, ja, I'm just kidding, do not believe me. )

Well, I have been absent from school for a long time. It was not my intention, because, I like to go to school a lot. But, I had to leave it for a few weeks, and I became sad about it, because I did not see you guys for a long time.-(

First, I left the school on Thanksgiving Week. It was, because my son was on vacation from school, therefore, I had to stay with him the whole week.

Second, I started volunteering at my son's school for more days. For different reasons, I needed to be as near as possible to him and his classmates.

Let me tell you that volunteering for any good cause is one of the best things that you can do. It is not just for your own benefit ( because you are practicing and improving your English, and you are getting some experience) It is also for the satisfaction that you can feel from helping others that are in need. It does not matter if the time that you can dedicate in this labor is just a little bit. The most important is, that you must do it with all your heart.

I was very busy, but now I am returning to my normal schedule. Some days, I woke up with a lot of desire to come to school. But, it was hard for me, because I had to choose between my duties with my son and my school.

This Monday, I am returning to school. I hope to understand everything that the teacher Richard is teaching, because I lost a lot of lessons.

O. K. Class, take care and be well :-)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

When I came to The United .

When I arrvied to San Francisco airport .I was very nervous and worried ,because I felt everything was difference with my country . I was upset and I would like to came back in my country , because everything I need to learned like a newborn baby. When I wanted to go somewhere ,I needed to wait for my husband . I scared to people conversation with me ,that why, I didn't want to go anywhere. Because I didn't mean what they are talk to me ,and answered with them .After that ,so I went to school to learn more English . I felt better than befor I came ,I didn't to be scared to takl with poeple .I tried to conversation and pratice with my classmate and teacher .When I went outside I to talk poeple , but sometime they didn't understand and I tried to desribe to them .Right now , I can drive by myself and sometime I can go to do something by myself .My English not well ,but at less I can understand and talk with poeple by the basic conversation ,when I learned at school . I hope in the furture ,my English will getting better and I can find a good job.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My Childhood

When I was a little kid my father passed away. My mother worked very hard to support the family. She tried to raise me and give me a better life because I was the only child she had. She was a good mother and she was a good father, too.

She had a small shop. She made salted tofu to sell to stores. We called it funhi then.

The stores resold funhi to people who wanted it. She worked very hard day and night. Most of the time I stayed with my grandmother. She always forgot to buy me a toy, but I was still lucky. I had an aunt. She was not very rich, but she gave me whatever I wanted in that time.

Sometimes when my aunt came to pick me up, she saw me cry and then she asked me what happened. I told her I saw the other kids had toys and I wanted a toy like them. She went to tell my mother and my mother didn't know what toy I wanted. Then my aunt took me to buy a lot of toys.

Several years later, I grew up, and our family situation was getting better. My mother hired a person to help her with the work. She had more time to stay with me. One day, she asked me what I wanted. I told her that I needed a motorcycle. Then she took me to buy a motorcycle. That was the first toy she bought for me.

After I got that motorcycle, I liked to go out, because I had friends and I didn't want to stay home all the time. I was playful at that time, but mother very much regretted buying me a motorcycle.

She said that before she didn't have time, but right now, when she had more time to stay with me, I went out on that motocycle day and night. She said it was hard for her to see me. When I got home, she was already asleep.

Until now it is very hard for her to see my face, because I am here and she is still in my country. Everytime we want to meet, we just talk by telephone. I hope my mom will come here soon.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Favorite Holiday

When I was living in Viet Nam, my favorite holiday was the Viet Nam New Year. It was a lot of fun.

One week before New Year, everyone was very busy. Some people needed to clean their houses and some enjoyed going to the flea market to buy some stuff that they needed to decorate their houses before New Year arrived.

Anyway, I loved the flower flea market the most. It was very crowded with people. They sold many kinds of flowers for three nights. The customers never forgot to buy some red lucky envelopes that were special for the children.

But now, that I am living in America, maybe Christmas is my favorite holiday. After Thanksgiving. everywhere you go you see stores selling stuff for Christmas and a lot of Christmas trees.

Some people decorate their houses and their front yard with lights. It's very beautiful. But in America, they don't have any flea market at night and people are busy with their jobs. They just stay home with no where to go. Anyway, I still miss New Year in my country very much.

Talking To My Supervior In English

Last Friday was the my day off . As usual, at 4:45 pm I was watching TV at home. The telephone rang. I turned off the TV and went to pick up the telephone, but when I heard the sound on the other end I was worried. I recognized the voice was my supervisor. I thought maybe I made a mistake last week and he was calling me to complain.

When I talked to my supervisor, I found out that he just called to ask me to work overtime, not to complain about any mistake. I asked my supervisor, why he didn't call me earlier. because it was 5 o'clock ,and I hadn’t eaten dinner yet. How could I get to work by 5 o'clock?

Then my supervisor told me that one of my co -workers just called sick at 4:30, and he hadn’t known my telephone number .He had to check in the computer, so he was a little late. And he told me not to worry about being late. I could come in at 6 o'clock.

I was very happy because this was the first conversation I had in English on the telephone and I could understand it one hurdered percent! I hope I can understand all my conversations in English in the future. I know this is only my dream and goal.

About a passenger and a stewardess

Hello, my wonderful class!

I am going to tell you a story about what is respectable and unrespectable. This story is about a passenger and a stewardess. I heard it on the radio.

One day, a man was sitting in an economy-class seat of a plane and reading a newspaper. He looked very happy. A woman who was overweight sat next to him. She began eating and didn’t stop. The man looked very uncomfortable. His face turned purple because he was very angry.

He thought, “Why is this ‘elephant’ sitting here? There are many seats around the plane. She makes me unhappy. I have to figure out a strategy to convince her not to sit here."

Then, he saw a stewaredess walking around the plane. So the man got out of his seat and went to talk to her.

"Hi, young lady, I have some problems," the passenger said.

The stewardess smiled at him. "Yes, what can I do for you?" she asked.

The passenger said, "Hey, can’t you please ask the woman sitting next to me to move? Before she sat there, I could look out of the window at the beautiful natural scenery, but now I just can see an elephant.”

The stewardess still smiled at him. She said, "OK, I will check to see if we have another economy-class seat for you. Just a moment, please.". So she began to check. The man was happy again. He looked at the fat woman and she was still eating her food.

In a little while, the stewardess came back and told him, "Hmm... Unfortunately, we don't have any vacant economy-class seats, but we have a first-class seat."

The man was very excited. He thought, "I just wanted to change to another economy-class seat, but now I can sit in a first-class seat. I'm very lucky."

The stewardess talked to the woman while the man was thinking about his good fortune.

The stewardess said "Hi, lady, we are offering a first-class seat to you now."

The woman was very surprised that she could sit in the first-class section. She followed the stewardess and smiled to the man.

The man was puzzled. He wondered to himself, “Why did the stewardess offer that ‘elephant’" a first class seat. Why didn’t she give it to me? "

The stewardess and the large woman smiled and waved goodbye.

The man was still standing there trying to understand what had happened.

This story tells me that the man didn't respect the large woman. I know that if you don't respect others, how can you expect others to respect you?

What do you think, my friends?

A Blind And A Cripple

In a large apartment building, there lived about 30 to 40 tenants. Among them lived two handicapped people. A blind man and a crippled man. And both of them lived alone and lived next door to each other.

Every day the tenants who lived in this apartment went about their lives the same as all the other people who lived in the city. They went to work or to school. At night they stayed at home to watch TV or enjoy music. Their lives were simple and peaceful.

One windy night in autumn, suddenly, someone in this apartment building shouted, “Fire! Fire !”

The appartment really had caught on fire. Every tenant escaped from the apartment except the blind man and his crippled neighbor. No one went to help them.

When the blind man and the crippled man were woken up by the noise, the cripple saw that the apartment was surounded by the fire and smoke. The blind man heard the sound of the fire and smelled the smoke .They were very surprised. They tried to call 911 for help, but the telephone had lost connection. They ran to the window, but there was only fire and smoke. No one knew that they were still stay inside the apartment building.

While the blind man and the crippled man didn't known how they could escape.

Both of them ran to open the door, but of course, outside the door it was full of smoke. They ran into each other. So both of them and talked a while about how to escape.

Then the blind carried the crippled man on his back .The crippled told the blind the safe way to escape.

At last, both of them escaped safety from the fire.

From this story, we can learn that when we meet something dangerous or difficult, if we keep calm and help each other, we can solve many problems easier than if we try to solve them by ourselves.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Problem

A couple of weeks before my daughter was ten years old, she gave me a paper from her school. It said, "Your daughter’s eyes have a problem and she can’t see clearly, so you have to take her to the doctor to check her eyes."

One day later, my husband made an appointment for her on the next Friday. That Friday I was working, so my husband took her to Kaiser Hospital because our insurance was in there. My husband paid $30 for an appointment.

A doctor checked my daughter's eyes and he told my husband that my daughter needs to wear glasses, but we had to pay for the glasses because our insurance company didn’t cover that.

My husband called and told me about that on the phone. I was very surprised to hear that, so I told him to go home and I would find another place.

After two days, I found a glasses shop on International and 6th Avenue. I went and asked for some information and then I showed our insurance policy. The doctor told me that our insurance is very good. So the check up was free. Then the seller explained to me that if my daughter chose glasses worth less than $200, they would be free. But my daughter chose glasses for $380, so I paid $180 to the shop because it was over the coverage of our insurance company.

The doctor also gave me some information. She said, "Your daughter can go to a check up every year for free but the glasses are just free every two years." So we went home, and my daughter was very happy. Now I think the problem was with Kaiser. It was not our insurance company. I don't like Kaiser but I have to go there sometimes.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Good Boy

John Yau is a star and very famous in our Kung Fu school. He has been learning Kung Fu since 2003. He is a young boy. He is just 9 years old, but he has won 9 medals in Kung Fu competition.

Do you know who John’s mother is? Let me tell you. She is our classmate (Yue Ai).

John practices very hard everyday so he improves very quickly. He went to his first tournament, in Berkeley, in 2004. I still remember that day. He was very nervous. He cried and wanted to see his mom. I told him, “I am here. I can take care of you like your mother.” Then he listened to me. He did every thing very nice. He won three 3rd place medals in his first competition.

We took pictures of all the students who went to the tournament. The next day, when John came into the training room, everyone saw 3 bronze medals hanging on his neck. He ran around inside the room like a bird. I thought, he was very happy and very proud of himself.

The next year, was his second time at a tournament. He didn’t need anybody to help him. He knew every thing to do, and he could help other new students. He won 3 silver medals at that time.

Last year he still won 3 medals, but not bronze and not silver. They are gold. He is a good boy. He is hard working and continues to practice every day. He doesn’t want to travel with his parents. He just wants to be the champion every time he competes. He wants to get a Black Belt.

I was very happy. In one year he took a giant step. I enjoy our students’ successes. I feel my hard work is worthwhile.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Driver License

Today I was absent because I went to the DMV to take a driving test. Yesterday my father said, if I passed the test, he would make something special for me on my birthday, so it made me feel stress.

When we got to the DMV, we saw the road and we got ready for the test. On the car in front of us, the back lights of the car were not working.

My coach said, "If some lights are not working, the car can not go on the test road. You will be the next one, are you ready now?"

I said," I feel very nervous."

He said," Don' t be nervous. You will pass."

After that, the examiner came to my car and my coach had to get out of the car. The examiner asked me something about the car and he told me to drive where he told me to drive.

About 20 minutes passed, we got back to the DMV. The examiner asked me to park the car. After I parked the car he said to me," You have made some mistakes on turning the corner, although you make these mistakes you still pass."

When I heard this, I felt very excited. I made a phone call to my father and told him that I passed the test the first time I took it and I said," Don't forget what you promised me."

He said," Ok." After that, I made phone calls to my sister, mother, aunt and cousin and told them about that.

The whole family are happy for me.


When I got my first child, I was so exciting , so worrying ,and I exciting.Because the new baby will bring me into the other new life, I worrying, because I will be bussy when the baby cry, and I need to learn how to take the baby.before one month the baby came my husband very excited to looking a name for the baby,it was a baby girl, my husband said however a girl look like, but a beautiful name is very important to a girl, so he tried looking a beautiful name for our first child, he kept looking and looking, but he didn't find any name for our child. few weeks later, he told me, he decided to give the baby's name is Yucca, I didn't know what that mean, I asked him did anyone have this name, he told me, this is a special name only for our baby, no anyone have this name, this is a name of the plant with beautiful white flower, I hope our baby look like a flower beautiful forever. In the eariler, there were many people in my husband's family against about the name of the baby, they want my husband change , but my husband didn't want to change, and they said, the sound not nice, prounoun like yuc, then, my husband said ok, he change the pronoun like Spainish yuca, the writing of my daugther's name still Yucca. He wanted keep the name until my daughter growing up ,if she doen't like then she change by herself.

My Best Friend

In October 1965, after the “China Second Sports Meeting.” competition, about thirty outstanding Wushu players stayed in Beijing.

We came from different cities. We were members of the national Chinese Wushu team, and were preparing to visit Indonesia.

My friend, Guo Pei, and I lived in a room together for about six months. She was from Shanghai. I was from Jilin. We were the same age and same height. We became good friends. We are still friends.

She has big eyes. She is strong willed, but very nice. She has been divorced for ten years. She and her daughter lived with her foster mother in Shanghai.

One day, three years ago - in 2003, she called me. She said that she had immigrated to the United States. I was so happy. She is living in Los Angeles now.

We call each other almost once a week. I am very happy, I have a best friend in my life.

What Happened With My Cousin

My cousin lives in Cambodia. Her name is Rartny.

She had a fiancé. She was going to get married in January, 2004.

Her fiancé lives in Phome Phan and he works in an Orphanage. He's a nice person and handsome.

One day he told his boss, "I'm going to get married" and his boss said, "OK, but you and your wife must go to the hospital to check for HIV. If you don't have the result of the blood test, I can't let your wife to live in the Orphanage."

Her fiancé came to my cousin’s house and brought her to the hospital. After 5 hours they got the results. She has AIDS. She was very shocked.

The doctor said, "She has been infected with AIDS for 4 years" and he explained to her that AIDS is contagious and that she could pass it on to someone.

And then they came back home. My cousin told her family and they were very surprised. She never had a boy friend before her fiancé.

How did she get AIDS?. She always listened to her mother and followed traditions. Her fiancé really wanted to get married with her, but he couldn't. He was very sad.

Her wedding was a failure and she has been upset. Now she looks and feels like a leper.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Today, I went to the school to pick my daughters up. I was late a few minutes .
because I needed go home first to cook lunch for my daughters before they got home.

On our way home, in front of the school, we had to wait for the traffic light until it changed to green. I saw a little girl in front of us. She already had stepped down to cross the street and she crossed to the other side .

I wondered why she was going home by herself! I looked back behind me and I didn’t see an adult.

My daughter asked me, “ Why is that girl walking by herself?”

The girl looked younger than my daughter.

We didn't say any thing more. I just kept my eyes on the little girl because she was walking on the other side of the street from us. But, she just walked and didn't look carefully. Some streets don't have much traffic there. Still, I was afraid for her.

I watched her for more than three blocks until I turned to go to my home. The girl continued walking. I think, it was very dangerous for her.

The Christmas in my Hometown

I came to America six years ago. I still miss Christmas in my home town. My home town is Ho Chi Minh City. There is a big church in District 1 that is the most famous church in town. At Christmas time, the church is crowded and busy. Some people are religious. Some are not religious ,but they like to go to church. In another place, we call District 8 all the Christian families decorate their houses for people to visit and take pictures.

And at this time, people like to buy something to prepare for the Vietnamese New Year which is coming soon. On the street, a lot of people make a market in the front yard of their house and we call it the free market.

Any way , Christmas in my home town is not important like in America ,but I still like my home town Christmas. Maybe, because I grew up there.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Vacation In Los Angeles

This Thanksgiving, my husband had one week of vacation.

My father-in law, mother-in-law, my husband, my daughter and I went to Los Angeles. During the trip to Los Angeles, we talked a lot. We enjoyed the view by looking out through the window of our


When we arrived at Los Angeles, it was evening. We stayed in my sister-in-law’s house. We cooked and ate dinner together.

On the first day in Los Angeles, we went around Chinatown and bought some groceries. Then we ate lunch at a Chinese restaurant.

The next day, we went to the Little Saigon Plaza. It is a large supermarket. There are many small, different types of stores there. Some sell products that we use daily, but eighty percent of the stores sell diamonds, gold, clothes or DVD players.

We enjoyed this happy holiday together. I hope we will have more holidays in the future.

The First Time I Went To The Oakland Zoo .

I went to my class in Room 101 this morning. My teacher called on me to go in front of the class and to talk about last weekend.

What did I do ? I told about the Oakland Zoo, because I took my children went there last Saturday. I remembered the first time that I went to the Oakland Zoo was on Mothers day, because my friend told me that the zoo had a free ticket for mothers on Mothers day. I saw a lot of parents taking their children to the zoo.

Outside the zoo there are some rides for children, and inside the zoo there is a sky ride. When you go on the ride it is very exciting because when you look down you can see all of the animals. When I went on the ride for the first time, I looked down and I saw a lion. I felt too scared. I thought that if I fell down in the lions place what would do I do . My daughter sat with my husband. She dropped one of her shoes by accident in the giraffe place and, until right now, she doesn’t want to go on the sky ride again. But she is so happy and interested in going on other rides. She likes to see the animals and she told me , "Mommy, I want go to the zoo again. I like it and I don't like you to go shopping. I get so tired when we go shopping." After I heard that, I suggested to my husband that we become members of the Oakland Zoo.

Whenever we free time, we can go there because very it is very convenient for us to go there. If you have time ,you can visit and if your children like the zoo and are happy there, you can join and become a member. The family plan (2 adults and 4 children) costs $80 a year. I hope you will like it!


More than forty years ago, the winters were very cold in Jilin City in China.

One day in the winter, when I was young girl about seven years old, I walked to school from my home. I saw big snow, and a strong wind swept my face. I felt very cold that day. I put my hands into the other side of my sleeves, I rolled my shoulders forward. I took small and slow steps.

I didn’t want to go to school. I wanted to return back to my home. At that moment, a soldier stepped in my front of me. He said, “Little girl, relax your shoulders; put your hands out from your sleeves, take deep breaths, step bigger and faster. You will feel better.”

I felt much better, after I followed his advice. What he said, is engraved on my mind even now.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Sick Boy

A few weeks ago, I saw a movie on TV, that was called “Criminal.” It told about a little boy who just was 11 years old but he was a murderer.

The police found that some kids in his village had been killed and all of the victims had been attacked in the same way. But the police couldn't find who the murderer was. Then, after that, they asked for help from the F.B.I. Several days later, some FBI agents came, investigated and wrote a report. Finally, they suspected and arrested a man who lived in that village. He was a quiet man. For a few years, he had been separated from his wife, however, he was living with his son. When the FBI visited the man, his son was suddenly missing. The agents thought that he had killed his own son and even the other kids.
Then the police came to search his house and they found some things that proved that his son was alive. The FBI thought that the man was covering up something.

Finally, that man had to tell the truth. Although it hurt him very much, he said that his son became a sick boy when his parents separated. He was jealous of all the kids who had a happy family. He liked to play baseball. So, when he couldn’t control himself, he brought his friends to the wood to play and after that, he attacked them with the bat. All the victims were his friends.

I remember, when the police arrested him, that he wasn't afraid and his face was very angry. If you were his mother, how would you feel?

Saturday, December 02, 2006


My eldest sister, her family has immigrated to Canada in 1989. I immigrated to the USA in 2002. We always keep talking by long distance telephone once or twice each month.

But my elder sister’s family didn’t call me recent two months. I felt that this was an uncommon thing and I felt nervous, so I brought a telephone card to call my elder sister’s family.

Unfortunately, I learned that my brother-in-law got sick from the call. He is 78 years old. He had treated in the hospital for about 20 days. The next day when he got better, he went home. But at that day, his youngest son got a serious appendicitis.

When my nephew waited to see a doctor in the hospital, there were eight patients who had the same appendicitis but not serious were also waiting.

May be the staffs of the hospital knew that my nephew is an Asian. They scheduled him to get his operation last, so he had waited for about 22 hours.

Treating appendicitis requires a simple surgery. If a patient who has serious appendicitis doesn’t get surgery soon enough, it is very dangerous for him or her.

During the surgery, my nephew’s appendix exploded. It was very dangerous, but my nephew was very lucky. His life was saved after about two months of treatment in the hospital.

Do you think he was treated unfairly because he was an Asian?

A Shy Twin

Samantha and Julian are my new Kung Fu students. They were born twins. They are just 4 years old. Their mother told me; Samantha is one minute older than Julian.

The twin’s mother told me that they were very shy. Samantha is less shy, because she is learning ballet once a week. I said “You don’t have to worry, I am a patient teacher. They will become self- confident students.

When the twins took the first a class, they were, as expected, very shy. They cried and cried. They didn’t want to leave their mother. I told them that they could practice with their mother. They held their mother’s hands to do all the movements.

Every time after Julian finished doing his forms, he went back to his mom with his face to the wall. He used his hands to cover his eyes. He kneeled, and bent his body forward, and put his face on the rug. This made everyone laugh.

The twins were very shy, but they very smart. Now, they have gotten much better. Their mother doesn’t come into our training room. I enjoy teaching them very much. I love them very much.

This Day in History