Category Archives: tradition

Family day: a momentous occasion

I was reminded by Ed today that it was this date in 2007 — five years ago — that we adopted Monkey Man and Gorilla Girl.  I have never been good with dates, and routinely forget birthdays and even my … Continue reading

Posted in adoption, family, identity, loss, memory, tradition | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

“Một con vịt”: what “sisters” teach

When Monkey Man and Gorilla Girl were three, we visited an older Vietnamese woman, Nu, who taught them a little Vietnamese–counting from one to ten, the words for airplane, dog and duck. Nu also was a surrogate grandmother who fed … Continue reading

Posted in adoption, connection, corn, family, food, identity, language, lessons, teaching, Tet, tradition | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Kin in the kitchen

Thanks to Hanna for the inspiration — her A to Z holiday photo montage kicked my brain into gear. My cousin and his mom (that makes her my aunt) visited us today, and as we sat around the dinner table, … Continue reading

Posted in aging, community, connection, family, holidays, memory, nostalgia, tradition | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Trying harder at Inside Out

Three Oaks hosted Inside Out on Saturday, July 30th.  The festival consisted of many of the Elm Street proprietors showing their wares, plus spaces for games, creative outlets for the kids, and live music. Three Oaks makes an effort to … Continue reading

Posted in community, experience, holidays, neighbors, summer, tradition | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Mother’s Day: several pictures, no words

Posted in experience, holidays, motherhood, photography, spring, tradition, tranquility, unexpected gifts | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

But my mommy said, “No cats.”

Gorilla Girl and Monkey Man don’t have school tomorrow, so when I visited their classroom today for lunch, I was treated to a surprise — my first, probably of many, homemade Mother’s Day gifts. I greet Mother’s day with a … Continue reading

Posted in family, holidays, motherhood, tradition, unexpected gifts | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

A Tet party in five acts

Act One: It’s 10:00 am in an apartment on the Southside of Chicago.  A family of four, mom, dad, two adopted Vietnamese four-year olds, prepares for a houseful of guests who want to celebrate Tet with them. The house has … Continue reading

Posted in adoption, community, connection, food, friends, holidays, memory, motherhood, Tet, tradition, transformation | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

What it’s like to be the mom of two four-year olds adopted from Vietnam (for those who aren’t)

On Friday, I attended the CASE (Council for American Studies Education) Conference at the Chicago History Museum. I signed up months ago, when I envisioned February to be a time when I would have time on my hands and need … Continue reading

Posted in adoption, connection, education, inspiration, memory, motherhood, Tet, tradition, unexpected gifts, writing | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Snow day?

  While Chicago and most of the midwest is hunkering down in preparation for “snowmageddon,” my school is preparing teachers, parents, and students for business as usual. The blizzard alert for Chicago on  The Weather Channel emphatically warns people not … Continue reading

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Posted in community, education, experience, memory, teaching, tradition, winter | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Belly up to the Pho bar

In preparation for Tet (Vietnamese New Year) arriving on February 3rd, I am testing recipes for our annual Tet Celebration.  A friend asked if I had tried making Pho, and I hadn’t, so I thought there is no time like … Continue reading

Posted in adoption, food, holidays, motherhood, Tet, tradition | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments