Kevin’s birthday is coming up next month.

Kevin’s birthday is coming up next month.He will be 10 years old..
He even has some green mustache under his nose. Maybe   by next
birthday Kevin  will be fully  bearded  .Imagine Kevin look like a
middle age man.Wonder how will I look ,not far from behind this old man?

I
feel depressed  thinking of  my up coming  birthday.  No  joking about
this. Kevin and Scott are still excited  about this big day.They write
cards to invite friends, buying their favorite cakes and dreaming about
the new toys. I even saw Scott skipped in school yard yesterday . So
amazing, how is he still so young and I am so old.?
Mom
never remembers her birthday . Now I know why, because her number is
getting bigger every year. Dad remembers everyone’s birthday. He goes
to buy card then sends it out. He takes us out on Mom’s birthday
because Mom  is so depressed .
Kevin
and Scott  are getting ready for the big Chinese New Year  coming up.

It means they are expecting some lucky money from heaven . It is
time to make easy money. They are even practicing their lines right now
, what to say and how many bows they will deliver at every guest they
see.

Sometimes they make 5 or 6 bows at
older people but once an elder almost passed out from dizziness by
watching Kevin perform this miracle. So now they need to cut down the
bows by guessing how many blows the guess can take.

More
might mean less money and they don’t want that to happen. Kevin was
advising Scott on this grave matter the other day. Scott wrote down the
instruction line by line in the little booklet he carried around so he
wouldn’t forget . The instruction goes like this:
1:
If you see a very old person with white hair and walks gingerly: 3 bows
are the most, if he or she is still not responsive , then be ready to
bow again.Keep eye contact all the times.Then talk loudly about your
wish to their good health in Vietnamese. They might be slow  pulling
out the red pouch but stand there til you get it.Don’t move.They might
forget why you are there in the first place.
2: Watch out for the old lady who walks gingerly ( you can’t fake walk)
but  dyes her  hair dark black. This kind can fool you but you won’t
let her by keeping your eyes open.This type  is old but trying to look
young. So you need to raise your voice a notch like singing ,wishing
her nothing but the same beauty for next year.
3:With people under 60, just 3 bows and say the normal lines. Keep good
distance and do the bows slowly and gracefully .  Keep good posture.
Always talk loud and clearly.
Will report more next time about their progress. Wish you all a very happy  rat  New Year( Scott’ s favorite friend)..


AND HERE’S A GOOD ADVICE

“Don’t go gray without bitchin’
all the way!”

late for school

We were late for school this morning because Scott was late getting out of bed – or not wanting ever getting out of bed on the school day. Only Friday or Saturday night, you would see him staying up til 11 or midnight, then waking at 7 am in the morning playing with his toys.


lazydog


Every night going to bed, at praying time ,he would do the wet, puppy eyes that he will be good tomorrow. Then tomorrow comes, the same old thing happening again. He doesn’t likes to remember anything that requires effort or discipline.


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I just learnt this phrase from school :” An apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” I wonder if this means Mom and Scott are apple and tree. They are both forgetful intentionally.


appletree

We are scouting the cookbook to cook healthy food for Kevin. Kevin needs to lose weight; he is not that fat but if he’s a bit skinnier, he will look more handsome. From now on, no more fast food restaurant which is Kevin’s favorite place. He will have to eat more vegetable, no more big buttered croissant from Costco, no more doubled burger with cheese, no more Big fries ( Kevin doesn’t like anything named Small especially Fries.)


6194_chubby_boy_picking_a_red_apple_from_an_apple_tree_in_an_orchard

Poor Kevin, he looked sad yesterday sitting in front of the dinner consisting of salad, a bowl of soup, a little rice and some fish. The dinner stared at Kevin, Kevin stared at the dinner. It looked like a staring contest to see who would be the winner. Finally Kevin had to eat that boring meal ( according to Scott) .


fruitpicture

Scott and I don’t eat enough because we don’t like food that much. I prefer ice cream ;Scott only likes Orange chicken. Whenever Mom makes this dish, he will eat to make it up for the whole week. Mom is trying to cook gourmet meal from now on since it is boring cooking the same menu all over. But she can’t do that til she empties out the food supply we have right now in order to have room for the new ingredients. I wonnder how long this will take.


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New Year is here again ;Mom just made Vietnamese pickle for the New year ( Year of the Ox). She bought the ingredient last year; now she is making it because she wasn’t sure how to start this pickle. One shot she tried and it did taste good; my aunt Rose likes it.

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Talking about Rose; I asked my Mom how come I don’t have a Vietnamese name like other Vietnamese kids in school? Mom said she thought it would be too complicated with two names. Anyway, if I want the Vietnamese name ,I can have it now. I said I want it ” Rose”, but my aunt already got that name. So I asked her what writer is called in Vietnamese. It’s called ” Nha van”. So my name is Nha Van Kelly . Scott and Kevin don’t know how to pronounce this new name of mine, so it is just between Mom and me.

Kevin and Scott don’t seem to get excited about this coming Ox New Year; I wonder why or they forget what it will bring to them. They are both broke ,deadly broke or all of us are. Anyway, we wish you all the Happy New Year again.

I want specially to thank my aunt  Dzung in Australia for doing the blog for me. Without her , my work won’t look as pretty and I won’t be inspired as much in writing. My aunt truly brings out the beauty of my work and make a lot of people happy .

mai

Mr. Obama

1/14/09


Mr. Obama will be president next week on Tuesday. I wish I could go to Washington to see him sworn in. At Kevin’s school, they had a writing contest for 3 students to go to this event. Winners can go to the event. Kevin didn’t even write and send in. Kevin has no political ambition, and also not much interest in sports. Most of his friends play soccer at this school.

obama


At the old school, they play football because they are bigger guys. Kevin calls his friends “The football players”, meaning they like football more than studying. Kevin is scared that these guys might crush him any moment if he hangs around with them. Kevin doesn’t like football players and bullies. Mom should put him in more mentally challenging classes. Same thing for Scott.

football


In the car driving Kevin to his Monday writing class, thinking about the daughters of Mr.Obama, I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes because you would be like prisoners locked up in a room. Everywhere you go, bodyguards will follow and watch you like a hawk.


Last night, Mom had to take Scott to Cub Scouts meeting. After dropping him there, Mom and I sneaked to B@ N to check out new books arrival. I had StarBuck coffee to lift up my mood since I was put on detention for 3 hours in the afternoon by Mom ; I didn’t feel too good. The coffee did a good job for the money; $5.00 I spent; I felt better in no time.

starbuck


We read for half an hour, then had to leave to pick up Scott. I bought a book “ How to be a millionaire” so we all can be one in the future; it tells you how to save money , not winning lottery the way Mom wants. Last week on the newspaper, there was a man who won $10 million dollars lottery and had the heart attack the same day. He was 72 years old; he and his wife had been buying lottery for a long time: $2.00 each week. So to win you don’t have to spend lots of money , just a few dollars each week and be consistent.


In school, I just joined a knitting class and made a scarf for my Mom. She likes the scarf very much. Every night going to bed, she puts it around her neck to stay warm. She said since she got the scarf, she didn’t have the cough any more. Scott joined this class for the first day, then quitted because he had no patience; not like other boys; they were still here and knitting was their job. One boy was trying to knit a hat for the girl friend. I will knit a cap for Ms. Golda, our Chihuahua. I am still waiting for Mom to take me to the store to get some red yarn.

hipknits



The last thing in this entry today will be about Scott. Last night he went to bed, I saw him putting on a jean, a shirt, then his pajama clothes after that. Mom asked why, he said this would save time in the morning; he would just wake up, brush teeth, and go. It did happen according to plan, we were not late this morning: we were in fact very early for school.

Chocolate Chip Cappuccino

Yesterday at Barnes @ Noble, I ordered one big Chocolate Chip Cappucino to drink there and one to bring home. It costed me almost $10.00. Mom said that for that money on Latte, I could buy a book. Some day when I am famous, I can drink as many Lattes as I want too.



front-window

This weekend, Mom and I will try to cook the Peking Duck. Mom always wants to make this dish, but she can’t find any easy recipe. She just got one from the newspaper, and it sounds super easy. Mom never wants to do anything that looks complicated with exact measurements; she just throws things in and mix (the Vietnamese way she says).



peking-duck1


Cooking Vietnamese way is fun, I like it also – just a dash of this or that, and some other things; then you have the dish. Mom is a fast cook. She can make 3 dishes in less than 30 minutes time. If she were any younger, she could be “Van Can Cook” like “ Yang Can Cook”.



Mom is thinking about starting a women club for her single friends supporting one another because all her friends are without husbands. ( I asked what happened to the men? Mom said they liked going to Vietnam for younger brides).


hen


These sad women need a shoulder to cry on once in a while. Having a club, they can call each other to talk instead Mom has to listen to everyone’s story. She has no patience sometimes because most of her friends are weak –hearted people; they are scared to make any move except cry and cry.


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The plan is to get together once a month to bring their best dishes to eat and to cheer each other up. Mom will be president of this club so she can pick whoever she wants to join the club. Mom is the only one with a husband, but she has this idea for her friends to have a good time, so she gets to be the president. She is funny but tough to deal with. Mom doesn’t like taking orders from others, so in order for her to be in any club; she will be president.



an


She is bossy to us but very nice to her friends; she always looks out to see whom she can introduce to whom. Her matching skill is good; sometimes if it doesn’t work out, she would point out that at least the people have fun for a short while. And then it’s time to move on to new destination.



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Mom always points out to me that says if you are the president of your own club, you can do whatever you want , and people tend to listen to you.I will start my own club soon once I figure out what club I want it to be.



Mom has very unusual friends, each has a special talent. One can sing very well. Another one is the best cook in town. One other friend who can cry on cue: if you want her to cry, just put on a Vietnamese song, she will cry and cry. If this friend comes over, Mom has to put on American music like Frank Sinatra’s . Another friend who only likes to go to the temple whenever she has a chance, and nowhere else. In fact Mom has quite a few friends who like going to temples; Mom likes this kind of friends because they don’t have big ego, they let her get away with things. Then another friend who only watches Korean and Chinese movies – nothing else.


strange_people


Only Mom gets to do everything. She will watch international movies, listen to music, read books, and cook. She writes poems the most, but she dabs here and there like Scott. You never see her staying with one thing too long. Right now, she is reading true crime books and tells us about things to stay out of troubled people’s way. Actually, Mom does lots of reading so that she can write poems.


“You have to read so you can write. Things don’t come from nowhere.” Mom says.

Kelly’s writing Jan/12th/09

Scott wasn’t drinking his milk last night. I told him: “The cow spends lots of time making milk, if you do not drink his milk, you are wasting his time”. After hearing this, Scott picked up the milk cup and drank. For Scott to do something, you have to give him a good reason.


We saw a video of Scott and me when we were one and half years old. Scott walked around with one pacifier in his mouth, the other one he held near his nose for smelling. Even as a tiny toddler, Scott was walking and climbing every where around the house. One day he took out the pots and pans from the cabinet in the kitchen, and climbed inside to hide. Mom was worried and looked everywhere for him.


Picking up Kevin from school, in the car Mom asked him what was the best thing happening in school today.


Today , the best thing that happened in school was that my friend Zachary got off TTR. The other best thing was Mikey got on TTR .” Kevin said. (TTR is Time To reflect, a school punishment, where the student has to wear his/her T-shirt inside out, and do extra stuff.)


Mikey was the bully Kevin didn’t like. There was supposed to be no bully in this school, but this Mikey tried to be one whenever he could get away. He was disrespectful to Kevin; that is why Kevin didn’t like him. Kevin likes respect whenever he can get.



One of Kevin’s other friends, a Vietnamese guy named Tom is gone. His Mom took him out of this school last week because he was on TTR. The boy did something wrong and he had to write 50 letters or something to the teacher. He had to stay up till 11.00 o’clock to write these letters. His Mom told our Mom that she felt bad for his son watching him suffer.



Kevin has not been put on detention, but if he got to be on, Mom would think it’s good since he will learn his lesson and won’t do bad things again. Mom believes in punishment. Every time another Mom complains that they are so strict here. Mom would say she could not wait for Kevin to be on TTR, she thinks it’s kind of neat.


But Kevin is so behaving because he doesn’t want to risk not having the chance to go to Los Angeles at the end of the year for the school trip. Quite a few kids get kicked out from this school because they do not behave. Ever since going to this school, Kevin acts like an old man; he is so cautious on everything except playing games on the computer; he behaves better than our Mom.



Tom’s Mom switched him back to his old school. I saw the guy, he was very skinny. All Kevin’s friends are skinny. Maybe Kevin should be on TTR, so he can have some stress and lose some weight. Kevin even gains some weight because the food is better here than at the old school:

Nice breakfast and beautiful lunch,” Kevin’s own words!



I hope that Scott can gain a few pounds going here next year. Now, he looks like a skinny cat.


Mom asked Kevin’s thought about Tom being removed from school. Kevin said his Mom made a big mistake and will regret it later because this is a very good school. Once you are out, you can’t come back. Scott said this school didn’t look good from the outside. Kevin said outside didn’t look good, but inside was very good.

Dad and Kevin went to Florida for the holiday. Kevin’s friend asked Scott to come over to his house for his birthday party because Kevin couldn’t go. Scott went and stayed for 2 days. Coming home, he was happy like a clam, smiling because he was important that he could replace Kevin to attend his friend’s birthday party.


Mom and I stayed home, we went for lots of shopping and saw “The  Tale of Despereaux”.   It was about a cute,  brave little mouse with a big heart; he taught us how to say sorry to everything . If we all can do this, accept any fault even it’s not even our fault; then there is no war.   They should show this movie free in the Middle East or Iraq so they can stop the fighting. Mom says I should act like this little mouse, so cool all the times. I promise I will try.


We came to pick up Scott, as soon as I saw him, we started another verbal war in the car. I asked him what he did, he said would not tell me; then I said I would not tell him what we did. He said he’d already known what we did. I got really mad at his attitude.


Coming home, Mom put us to work since we didn’t do it since Wednesday. After a few pages, Scott fell  asleep on the table.  No desire, no need to try when work is needed; but if you let him play games on the computer; he would stay up til any dawn to finish the mission.


I really had a relaxed time without Scott; just Mom and me; we went every place we could think of,  do anything without a little boy whining every 5 minutes. It’s so annoying. I might not want to have kids when I grow up seeing the way Scott live out his life.


Mom bought tons of clothes and gifts because they were on super sale. The next day she came back for more because she could not stay away from sale. I wonder what she will do with all these clothes. She plans to give them out as presents the next several years or for Scott and Kevin to wear when they hit adolescence.


On the way out to the car, passing by a nursery I wanted to visit to buy some flowers for the house. Mom saw Rosemary on sale in the shape of the Chtismas tree, very beautiful ( her sister kept telling Mom to buy her some Rosemary for the kitchen). So this was the big chance of a life time. Mom bought two full-carts of 1 gallon  Rosemary delight. The saleman kept asking :

” Are you sure you want all of these.” Mom nodded happily.


I think my aunt only wants one or 2 little bushes; she ended up getting 20 gallons of them.   It is always fun going to shop with Mom. She rarely buys anything, but once she sees something too good to pass, she buys big like she has her own store to run.


Coming back from Vietnam last summer, she had about 30 pairs of shoes from a super sale I supposed.  They just sit  in the closet right now. They look good, but you can’t walk far in them; they will hurt your feet.I think she also has about 30 purses waiting to be used, she feels better since she thinks she can put them to good use by passing down to me . I probably won’t have to buy any purse for the rest of my life.


Mom even saves some beautiful clothes for me right now: the ones not fitting her anymore but too beautiful to part. It would take 2 of me to fit into her clothes. Anyway I don’t want to hurt her feeling so I just say:   “Keep anything for me, someday it will fit.”


We came to our uncle’s house for New Year Eve’s party last night, just a small gathering.   I packed some gifts for my two cousins and their girlfriends (they are about 23 years old) . They were shocked and very happy when I handed them the gifts. Mom bought so many gifts after Chrismas so I  can act like Santa Claus the whole year; no need to wait til the big day. In fact we passed out about 10 presents after Christmas, they are called New Year presents (I write Happy New Year in the cards inserted).



Scott and I wish you all a Happy New Year .

From Kelly Nguyen


Xmas Holiday

Dad and Kevin went to Florida for the holiday. Kevin’s friend asked Scott to come over to his house for his birthday party because Kevin couldn’t go. Scott went and stayed for 2 days. Coming home, he was happy like a clam, smiling because he was important that he could replace Kevin to attend his friend’s birthday party.



Mom and I stayed home, we went for lots of shopping and saw “The  Tale of Despereaux”.  It was about a cute, brave little mouse with a big heart; he taught us how to say sorry to everything . If we all can do this, accept any fault even it’s not even our fault; then there is no war.   They should show this movie free in the Middle East or Iraq so they can stop the fighting. Mom says I should act like this little mouse, so cool all the times. I promise I will try.

We came to pick up Scott, as soon as I saw him, we started another verbal war in the car. I asked him what he did, he said would not tell me; then I said I would not tell him what we did. He said he’d already known what we did. I got really mad at his attitude.


Coming home, Mom put us to work since we didn’t do it since Wednesday. After a few pages, Scott fell  asleep on the table.  No desire, no need to try when work is needed; but if you let him play games on the computer; he would stay up til any dawn to finish the mission.

I really had a relaxed time without Scott; just Mom and me; we went every place we could think of, do anything without a little boy whining every 5 minutes. It’s so annoying. I might not want to have kids when I grow up seeing the way Scott live out his life.

Mom bought tons of clothes and gifts because they were on super sale. The next day she came back for more because she could not stay away from sale. I wonder what she will do with all these clothes. She plans to give them out as presents the next several years or for Scott and Kevin to wear when they hit adolescence.


On the way out to the car, passing by a nursery I wanted to visit to buy some flowers for the house. Mom saw Rosemary on sale in the shape of the Chtismas tree, very beautiful ( her sister kept telling Mom to buy her some Rosemary for the kitchen). So this was the big chance of a life time. Mom bought two full-carts of 1 gallon  Rosemary delight. The saleman kept asking :
” Are you sure you want all of these.” Mom nodded happily.

I think my aunt only wants one or 2 little bushes; she ended up getting 20 gallons of them.   It is always fun going to shop with Mom. She rarely buys anything, but once she sees something too good to pass, she buys big like she has her own store to run.

Coming back from Vietnam last summer, she had about 30 pairs of shoes from a super sale I supposed.  They just sit  in the closet right now. They look good, but you can’t walk far in them; they will hurt your feet.I think she also has about 30 purses waiting to be used, she feels better since she thinks she can put them to good use by passing down to me . I probably won’t have to buy any purse for the rest of my life.


Mom even saves some beautiful clothes for me right now: the ones not fitting her anymore but too beautiful to part. It would take 2 of me to fit into her clothes. Anyway I don’t want to hurt her feeling so I just say: “Keep anything for me, someday it will fit.”


We came to our uncle’s house for New Year Eve’s party last night, just a small gathering.  I packed some gifts for my two cousins and their girlfriends (they are about 23 years old) . They were shocked and very happy when I handed them the gifts. Mom bought so many gifts after Chrismas so I  can act like Santa Claus the whole year; no need to wait til the big day. In fact we passed out about 10 presents after Christmas, they are called New Year presents (I write Happy New Year in the cards inserted).



Scott and I wish you all a Happy New Year .

From Kelly Nguyen


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