Sushi-Making Party

This is what happens when Norm’s in a festive mood. He plans a sushi-making party for his birthday. :p

For a sushi-making party, you need rice. Lots and lots of rice.

Spam is also involved.


The spread…we need to learn to make some baked rolls. We had chow mein, potstickers (aka gyoza), inari, assorted rolls, spam musubi, miso soup, and edamame.

Another year wiser 😉 There was ice cream cake and lots and lots of mochi. Noticing a theme here? :p


And I guess our new tradition is to take a group pic followed by a silly group pic. 🙂 Missing is my older sis and her fam since they left a little early.

A few more photos can be seen AT THIS LINK.

My 30th Birthday

My 30th birthday consisted of a day of eating and surprises.

For lunch, we went to Chevy’s Fresh Mex at Bayfair Mall.  It used to be outside next to Chili’s, but now Chevy’s is inside the mall.  It’s a lot more spacious now.  We picked Chevy’s because of the free sombrero and dessert on your birthday.  I printed out a coupon for a free entree in the morning.  I thought Melody would like the sombrero, but she’s a bit scared of it.  Don’t know why, but the service was super slow.  It took us two hours to finish our meal.  I had to get utensils and the free tortillas that go with the fajitas I ordered from El Machino myself.  Melody loved eating chips, quesadillas, and my Raspberry/Strawberry Lemonade there.  She also picked the dessert.  It was caramel/chocolate syrup drizzled on top of vanilla ice cream on a huge brownie.  Yummy!

Melody spotted some construction vehicles inside the mall next to Chevy’s.  She was ecstatic.  These were the ones you put money in and they would move.  Bob the Builder was in the middle construction truck.  There were bulldozers, backhoes, and dump trucks…all construction trucks Melody learned about in books we borrowed from the library.

For dinner, my side of the family met up with Joyce, Melody, and myself at Kamakura Japanese Restaurant in Alameda.  I yelped the restaurant before in search of another Japanese restaurant to frequent.  We ordered a bunch of rolls, my usual Amaebi, and Edamame/Inari for Melody.  The food was pretty good and the service (I think) is better than Sushi House due to the place being smaller.  I was surprised when they turned out the lights and the staff and owner sang Happy Birthday to me.  They gave me a card and a birthday platter decorated with a golden tree, paper crane, cup of Green Tea Ice Cream, an orange cut-up in an orange bowl, and a Fuji apple sliced in the shape of a bird.  I was truly surprised.  At the end of every meal, guests get plum wine apertif (a really sweet dessert wine with hardly any alcohol) and kids 10 and under get Botan Rice Candy.

Joyce surprised me BIG TIME when she handed me a book of birthday wishes from over 50+ people I’ve befriended over my 30 years of life.  I was so surprised and shocked so many people wrote.  What is even more surprising is that Joyce assembled the book right next to me while I was checking e-mail.

Afterwards, we came back to our place and ate cake.  The restaurant wouldn’t let my family bring something from outside into the restaurant.  It was a pretty good Mango/Raspberry Mousse Cake from Sheng Kee Bakery.

All in all a very surprising and scrumptious 30th birthday.  Thank you everyone for such a memorable birthday.

– Norm

Birthday Thanks

I would just like to thank everyone who sent birthday wishes over my way today. Thank you for opportunities in sharing life experiences with you, whether in times of struggle or praise. May God bless each one of you as He has blessed me and my family. Here’s to many more adventures to come!

– Norm

Surprise Party

On Sundays we usually go to Gung-Gung and Po-Po’s for dinner. Sometimes, Yee-Yee and Kow-fu are there…and Uncle Aaron too! But Mommy and Daddy said we were going to a party. It was a surprise party.  I don’t even know what that means, but they said I was supposed to say “Surprise!” when I saw Uncle Frank. He is a worship leader at our church. He turned the big 5-0!! And his wife Gretchen decided to throw this surprise party for him.

We got to their home, and there were soooooo many people there. I didn’t want to go inside the house. Mommy and I walked around the outside, and we also went to the back, down the steps. There was a swimming pool and a big trampoline. And it was like we were in the woods. I wanted to play on the trampoline, but the big kids (teenagers) were jumping on it. Mommy said it was a little dangerous for me. I’m still little.

Then, they told us that Uncle Frank was on the way. We went out front. I think the neighbors were wondering why there were more than 80 people out in the street. The car drove up and I think I now understand what a surprise party is. Everyone brought a finger food/appetizer to share, and boy, was there a lot of food. Everything was so yummy. I even got to play on the trampoline a little bit after dinner. I love those big kids. They are so fun. I wanted to stay down there, but the pool was not fenced or anything, and really, I am too little to be jumping on the trampoline with the big kids. I also sat on the hammock for a little bit.

It was getting late. We sang Happy Birthday (one of my favorite songs right now), and some people ate cake. It was close to my bedtime, so we said goodbye to everyone and got ready to leave. It was a great time even though I was nervous when we arrived since there were so many people. I think we should have more surprise parties.

– Melody

Happy Birthday Melody!

Yesterday we went out to celebrate Melody’s 2nd birthday. It was just our 2 families. We came back to have her ice cream cake. She was so excited to be surrounded by the people she love most, minus Yee-Ma, Uncle Henry, and Baby Sam. We’ll definitely have a lot of photos to share for Our Week in Photos on Friday/Saturday.