Archive for Family

Merry Cookie Day

Despite their parents’ lack of enthusiasm for  holidays in general, kids LOVE all of it. I have no idea how that happened. Kids unanimously wanted reindeers on our front lawn, I drew a very firm line there. I helped them bake cookies and they decorated them. Merry Cookie Day! …says Immi.


Anyhow, I’m wishing you all warm and cozy longest nights of the year!


Ashland drew this picture, I love how cheerful it is.


Misty Beach

The summer’s end is fast approaching and we finally made the time to go to the beach. Misty ocean was as pretty as ever and the blue sky that peaked through the clouds every now and then was welcomed too.







Strawberries and Country Road

Strawberry season is here!




Lucian says about drive through the countryside with windows down and breathing in sweet scented air…


…”I’m as happy as a dancing kitten!!!”


A happy, sunny, blue sky day. With lots of happy, sweet red strawberries.


Moving and Stuff

Octonauts — they are super cute and have accompanying books which is great. Now the kids are all into under sea adventures! We got them these freshly picked toys/books because…


…as exciting as the prospect of starting new life in a new home is, the actual process of ‘moving’ is unglamorous. Like Lucian found appliance shopping really really boring. And bored kids = chaos.


But as tedious, stressful and physically draining as moving always is, we feel recharged every time we drive to our new home.


A picturesque old barn, I wonder how many people took pictures of it?


Impossible Things

On this ordinary sort of drizzly grey day in-between two business meetings, we got the the keys to our very first house of our own. This is something we have been contemplating for four years and specifically working towards for 2+ years.  I can’t even begin to express the huge ton of hard-work and determination it took for us to be able to  buy this cute and nicely updated mid-century ranch with fantastic backyard for kids as a 100% self-employed business owners. We had been warned by many people that making this happen is virtually impossible these days and believe me, I felt discouraged many times in the process. But we did it!

(Ok, so the front door isn’t updated like most of the rest of the house, but I do like it for the ‘original charm’.)

…Which means we shall be moving soon. Over next few weeks. Gradually, because last move from VA to OR  was sudden and quite traumatic (never again like that!). First thing kids did in the new home is run around making full use of its emptiness.


There is one important thing I want to let you know. About two years ago, it occurred to us that while Portland is our favorite city in the whole world, and we are proud to base our business there, and we enjoy everything it has to offer on some weekends (yummy eats, coffee, parks etc. etc.) that we might not actually want to live “in” it. The reasons are many & complex but anyhow we have been looking for a perfect little town for living in since and found it here where this house is — a very nice 40 minute drive from downtown PDX beyond the suburbs and through beautiful farmlands.

Immi is looking forward to planting lots of pink flowers, Lucian to raising chickens and Ashland to growing carrots for his bunnies he hopes to have one day (I’m not sure about bunnies, but he can definitely grow carrots). I shall enjoy the wide open floor-plan and lots and lots of natural light from big windows perfect for taking pictures indoors.

Lego Castle

Immi completed a lego ninja castle (recommended for 8-14 yr) without any help. This is the first lego thing she has ever built following the instruction (it simply never occurred to me to let her try it before, though she creates conceptual sculptural thingies often with legos). I’m sure that many parents of almost-7-year-olds would not give much thought to such accomplishment but the thing to note about immi is that she scores ONE percentile in cognitive skills and in problem solving skills in standardized tests. Essentially, the test scores says — she lacks intelligence. Todd and I shrug off at these numbers and laugh at the standardized tests in general because while these tests are possibly useful enough to see if the mind it’s measuring is beyond ‘ordinary’, it doesn’t seem to capture the unique intelligences or account for specific disabilities (that prevents high scores despite their capability) that Immi and other ASD kids have. I have been told by experts that Immi is a visual learner. So it’s true, Immi can barely follow two-step verbal instructions sometimes, but she can complete a whole booklet of visual instructions involving hundred of pieces very quickly and easily.

Incidentally, this kit was purchased for Lucian who wanted it. I didn’t think that he can follow direction to complete it at this point, but I thought that I can build it first, and then after that, he can make whatever he wants with all the interesting pieces it comes with. Immi saved me a lot of effort!


Lucian. He is THREE years old!

A few days ago Immi (she’s always planning some party or the other!) was asking Lucian if he wanted a Thomas Train Birthday cake for his birthday. His reply was “Thomas Trains are for babies. I want a black one, a black birthday cake.”

I contemplated making it, possibly charcoal based natural food coloring in fondant maybe. But deciding that it’s way beyond my skill level (sloppily made black cake couldn’t possibly be appetizing!) I took Lucian to our favorite bakery and let him pick whichever one he wanted. Ironically, he picked this classic white cake. Not that black one was an option, he was very pleased with his choice.

That’s Lucian for you — unexpected, charming and sophisticated with an edge.  He’s often happily cynical with a touch of darkness+sunshine+cute. Plus, he is really really funny. He makes me laugh many times a day, every single day. Happy Birthday “Little” Lucian!


Cinderella, Knight and Ashland

Happy Halloween!

Even though it’s kids’ favorite holiday, I almost decided on skipping the whole Halloween thing because [1] kids have been sick for past 2 weeks (finally starting to feel better) [2] I have been feeling kinda ill too [3] we are super super busy with work [4] we have many other things we are working on that’s keeping my mind preoccupied beyond capacity. But I felt too guilty about not doing anything. …So, Immi picked Cinderella outfit (I vetoed Immi’s first choice, princess Tiana costume, due to exceedingly poor construction) and Lucian is my little knight in polyester armor. For Ashland, matching knight costume and ninja outfit from last year were offered, but he said that he wanted to be “Ashland” because he is not a knight, nor a ninja, but an Ashland — he requested his favorite hat instead. I’m often amused by Ashland’s philosophical/poetic way of being.




Playing in Sunset

Sunset at our favorite park.






Lucian. sunsethill4

Beach Day, Finally.