10-Week Training for the SF Half Marathon

The SF Half Marathon is coming up on July 23, and it will be my FIRST half marathon, finally!! Finishing 13.1 miles will accomplish one of my 2017 New Year’s resolutions, and I can check it off my bucket list! I have a goal to beat 2 hours, which is about 9 minutes per mile. I started running once a week on Sunday morning with Anita or Joy. Then I found this 10-week training plan for a Sunday race on halfmarathons.net even though I had 11 weeks left until the race. I have been asked about my mileage and pace, so I’m blogging my training plan now that I have gotten into the habit of running 5 days a week and stayed on schedule to Week 4. See my Workout Log.

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I am dreading that I will have to keep up my training in Hong Kong for 5 weeks this summer, my last month before the race. I will have to make it happen, whether paying for the gym or waking up in the wee hours to run outside before it gets uncomfortably humid. Also, I only have a week after returning from Hong Kong to adjust to the weather back home and recover from jetlag before the race. I realized it takes hard work and discipline to train for and run a half marathon, especially having to push past mental laziness after an exhausting day of teaching first graders. I have nooo interest in running a marathon and don’t know what people think about for such long runs. It hasn’t gotten any easier or any less painful to run after 3.5 weeks, but I am slowly chipping away at my pace, getting faster and stronger, and it will be worth it once I’m done. On another but related note, I just signed up for my second 10K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day!

Some random photos from my training over these months…

Colette’s Turning One

Wow I’ve been at Pillar long enough to watch Deb and Pastor Danny grow their family into four! Deb was my small group leader when I first came to Pillar, she initiated meeting up with me, and then she became pregnant with Cami. Then I became her small group leader a few years later and then she became pregnant with Coco. Pastor Danny has been with me in Women’s Group since the start and has supported and encouraged me a lot in this ministry over these 3 years. I’ve seen Cami born and turn one (see Camilla Turns One Today!) and Coco born and now turn one too, looking like mini Cami. So thankful for Deb and Pastor Danny, love your family!! Happy first birthday, Coco baby!!! You are so adorable, and Laurel eemo loves you! The team of ladies from Angela’s Twinkle Twinkle Baby Shower put on another fabulous party with an amazing canvas painting backdrop done by Sarah and Deb, gorgeous flowers by Jenn, and all the beautiful details by Deb! We had all-you-can-eat hot pot at Shabu House for my first time and cake from Susiecakes, and it was all delicious. Colette’s first birthday party was a fun celebration!

Open House with My First Grade Class

Last night’s Open House was very SUCCESSFUL!!! My classroom was PACKED with nearly 100 people during the hour, and 26 out of 30 students in my first grade class showed up with their families – parents, siblings, and relatives! It takes a lot of time and effort over weeks to get the classroom ready, so I am thankful to see that so many of them made the time and effort to attend Open House. I was so proud to watch my students show off what they have learned in first grade as their families celebrated their accomplishments and hard work with them! Checking off Open House means the end of the school year is just around the corner – 15 days with the students, 16 days including our last teacher day on June 9th! Enjoy a walkthrough of my first grade classroom in photos with the checklist that I make for students and families as a guide! (For the safety of children, I had to blot out as many names and faces as possible.)

Welcome to OPEN HOUSE with My First Grade Class!

360 degrees around my classroom


Back of the Classroom (starting from the door)

Please sign in here and walk around our classroom with the checklist on the clipboard as a guide!IMG_20170516_174555

Class Helpers: See if your child has a job in our classroom for these two weeks. Ask your child what is his/her favorite classroom job and why.

Classroom Photos: These were taken at multiple events over this school year.IMG_20170516_174550

Word Wall: Test your child to read and spell some of the 100 first grade sight words.IMG_20170516_174600

Behavior Chart: Ask your child what color he/she was on today – hopefully green!

First Grade End-of-the-Year Picnic Sign-up SheetIMG_20170516_174605

Back Table: Have your child solve some math problems using the math resources available on the table (place value blocks and 120 chart).IMG_20170516_174613

Writing Wall: Your child typed this poem on Google Classroom!  Students listened to The Important Book and wrote their own versions, following the pattern of the book. Look out for your child’s copy of our class book of poems after Young Author’s Fair on Friday!IMG_20170516_174609_20170517171811185

Large Windows Side of the Classroom

Spring Trees, Plants, and Butterflies: We have art every Friday! Find your child’s art projects. Have your child tell you what a plant needs to grow.IMG_20170516_174619IMG_20170516_174634

Butterflies: Have your child tell you the life cycle of a butterfly and some facts about butterflies. Look at the 4 chrysalises, but please DO NOT touch the butterfly house.IMG_20170516_174627

Front of the Classroom

Pronouns: Ask your child to use the pronouns in the pocket chart in sentences.

Calendar: Ask your child to tell you about today’s date and yesterday/today/tomorrow. Ask your child how many days we have been in school.

Slideshow: These were taken at multiple events over this school year. Enjoy!IMG_20170516_174641

Door Side of the Classroom

Animal Adaptations: Ask your child how animals survive and grow in the 3 habitats.IMG_20170516_174703

120 Chart: See if your child can count and write the numbers from 1 to 120!IMG_20170516_174708

At Your Child’s Desk

All About Me Book: Learn more about your child and take home this book tonight!

Art Vista Portfolio: Take home your child’s collection of Art Vista projects this year.IMG_20170516_174647

FULL HOUSE FOR OPEN HOUSE!!!!!IMG_20170516_182103

Mother’s Day 2017

Belated happy Mother’s Day! I am thankful for my mom and another opportunity to show my appreciation for her display of God’s love, selflessness, generosity, humility, and care towards me!

I had plans on Saturday to take my mom on a day trip to go hiking and explore and eat in SF, but it didn’t work out because my mom had some business to take care of. Instead, I stopped by the Sunnyvale Farmers Market after my doctor’s appointment and picked up some groceries, a bouquet of snapdragons and mums that I paired together, and Philz coffee to surprise my mom!

After running 5 miles on Sunday morning to finish week 1 of my 10 week training for my half marathon, I made breakfast with what we had at home – avocado egg toast and coffee!

About a month and a half ago, I made a dinner reservation for two at 6:00 PM at Black Sheep Brasserie in Downtown Willow Glen. When I bookmarked this place on Yelp a long time ago and even when I made the reservation, it was rated 4 stars, but recently dropped to 3.5 stars.

Decor and Ambience: A modern restaurant with light bulbs from the ceiling, succulents, a nice bar, and spacious seating indoor and outdoor. For Mother’s Day, the restaurant had a few tables occupied with early reservations, but some that weren’t filled until later reservations. The noise level was reasonable and ambience was casual. I liked the decor and ambience!

Service: Our server was so good! She was very nice, well-mannered, and gentle. She served our table, but had many other tables to serve and still did her job with calmness and politeness. The busboys were also attentive to our tables and cleared dishes off the table right away.

Food: While ambience and service was great, this meal was pretty good but the food was not good enough to want to come back. I would only order the mussels and fries again.

“Burnt” french onion soup with rich beef broth, gruyere crouton ($9) — I love cheese but this was too cheesy that it got really tiring to chew the gruyere so I didn’t eat all of the cheese in it

Mussels in saffron cream, pommes frites, aioli ($16) — best dish, mussels were big, generous amount of about 15 mussels, fries with aioli were so delicious

Pan roasted duck breast with peas and carrots, pearl onions, marcona almonds and mint ($29) – duck was good but a little fatty, we didn’t like the pairing with peas and carrots that weren’t cooked thoroughly. I mean who especially likes peas to have that be the side in an entree…

Despite what we thought about the food, Mom and I enjoyed our dinner! We checked off trying another restaurant in the South Bay, even though Nick’s Next Door will remain our favorite!

Black Sheep Brasserie: 1202 Lincoln Ave, Ste 30, San Jose, CA 95125

Easter Dinner

Easter at the end of my Spring Break was already 3 weeks ago. Since I just posted about the pizza pasta I made a week ago, I’ll catch up on blogging about my Easter dinner too! March and April were so busy and stressful at work that I stopped cooking once I started working late and lost my voice for 3 weeks. For the past few years living at home, I have either not cooked or I go big and cook a fancy meal for others, such is the case with Easter dinner two years in a row. Last year I made my first Easter dinner for 11 people, my visiting relatives from HK, Australia, and NY! This year it was my mom and family friends, a small group of 4 of us! I was so sad that my steak was way overcooked because I didn’t have enough time to use the sous vide and get the perfect medium rare steak, but thankfully my guests eat steak cooked thoroughly. On the bright side, I successfully made roasted beets and brussels sprouts for my first time and they were yummy!

Ingredients: ribeye steak, mushrooms, beets, carrots, brussels sprouts, onions, dried thyme

Roasted brussels sprouts and onions and roasted beets and carrots with thyme

Appetizer: Cream of mushroom soup with mushrooms

White grape with elderflower sparking juice and fancy table setting

Entree: Ribeye steak with roasted brussels sprouts, onions, beets, and carrots

Dessert: Mom’s jello eggs and Trader Joe’s mini chocolate ice cream cones