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儿子与钱打交道 (1)

We have a habit of using credit card while shopping here for convenience and cash rebate incentives.  However, this shopping habit does not provide good influence on the second generation since they do not see the actual exchange of money and it is very hard for them to get the sense of what the real money is or where all Mommy’s money come from.  Once we were shopping in China, My son, DiDi, saw me giving one piece of money to the cashier and got several pieces of money back, he exclaimed in wonder “Wow, Mommy, you made a lot of money buying this!” He was about 6 years old at that time.

Throughout the years, he observed his dad train his older brother about the art of bargain while shopping in China and he thought he could give it a try as well.  During our trip to China last August, we were trying to bargain a toy for him without his dad, he put his bargaining skill to the test.  However, what he uttered out made us run out of the store in a hurry.  Later on he told me that he meant to ask the saleslady to lower the price, but with his limited Chinese, he said “太便宜了“instead.

DiDi’s real brush of money came when he went to the middle school.  I bought him a 100 meal plan when the school just started, thinking this would last him almost the whole semester.  However, we were taken by surprise about a month later that he ran out of his lunch money and could not explain how he spent it within such a short period of time.  The next day, the school cafeteria printed out about 13 pages transaction report for us to review.  Apparently he has been enjoying the freedom of spending.  He would buy cookies, chips, & drinks in the morning and afternoon, a lunch, sometimes a second lunch and spend as much as $15/day some times.  No wonder he is getting chubby every day.

Apparently he is not the only one that has issues with spending money.  The school cafeteria suggested that we put a restriction on the amount the kid can spend daily. However, I hesitated to do so.  Therefore, my husband and I started money 101 with DiDi.  I told him about what the school suggested but I decided not to do so.  I want to give him a chance to demonstrate to me that he can be trusted. I believe that Didi was relieved to hear what I said.   Daddy bought another 100 meals plan for him and told him that the money was intended for lunch only, no cookies, chips or drinks.  Second, Daddy gave him a $20 bill and told him to hold on to the money as long as he can manage and should use the money for emergency only.  Third, we took him to Costco and bought the bottled water for him and showed him the receipt.  We explained to him it cost him a dollar to buy a bottle of water in school, yet it costs only about 75 Cents a bottle if we buy a bulk bottle of water form Costco.  By buying water from the Costco, we could save about 25 cents a bottle. We could save a lot if we buy water from Costco instead, all it takes for him is to remember to pack the water every morning.

Didi took in all the information and reported for the next few days that he was doing as what we asked.  He even said that he was able to control the urge of spending the $20 in his pocket, and I made sure that he felt really proud of himself for what he accomplished.  And I was really proud of myself as well and congratulated myself for lesson well done till about two months later.

儿子中国求学记 (1)

When my friend informed me that she would send her son back to Beijing and attend summer classes in 新东方 last summer, we were interested.  Grandparents live in Beijing and have invited my teanage son to spend some time with them in the summer since it is no longer easy for them to travel here anymore.  At first, we hesitated because we thought he would be bored with the grandparents.  But we realized it would be perfect for him to attend some classes during the day and spend the time with the grandparents at night.

The grandparents were elated to hear the news.  Yet they wanted to check out the facility and evaluate the programs in东方.  Grandma made the trip one day; she talked to the instructors and sat in one English class.  Grandma was not impressed about the class.  She said that Nick did not need to attend any of the English classes in新东方.  Anyhow, grandma bought a新东方program and studied the information with grandpa at home.

Daddy went to Beijing to investigate as well during one of his business trips.  He and his mother finally enrolled my son in SAT Prep course, thinking he would have a chance to improve his testing skill in Math and get a glimpse about how Math was taught in China.

My son was very excited; he and his friend were planning mini trips they could do over the weekend of the summary school in Beijing, only to find out that there was no weekend for them.  The SAT prep course is a 17 day, none stop course, which is a total shock for the boys. 

The second shock came when they went to the class.  The whole course of the class was devoted to English, no Math!  Ha-ha, so much so for the time and effort Daddy and Grandma made.



2010硅谷女协会母亲节英文徵文活动定于39日在硅谷女网站www.svwomen.org 启动。《世上最好的妈妈是这次徵文活动的主题。这将是硅谷 女性九年来第一次以英文为徵文比赛要求,热烈欢迎海外华人新颖独特 的来稿。全部来稿将由来自9不同背景的获奖作家及母亲身份作家合作选稿,择最佳写作为一、二、三名完成。评委阵容强大, 是一非常有欣 赏价值的纪实母亲节写作。这次徵文比赛除了向亲爱 的母亲献上敬意,也是一个很好的机会显示,母爱与温馨的家庭对孩子们成长和才智的培养有不可替代的作用。如同此次徵文的主题《世上最好》的含义一 样,母亲的“”提示着 关爱与榜样,孩子的“最好的 妈妈”蕴含着成长与锤炼,于是,孩子和妈妈才有了人生上的双轨齐行

Starting March 9th we will begin accepting your personal essays for the sixth Annual Mother’s Day Essay Contest.  The submission deadline is May 4th.  Essays must be of original content, 300 to 500 words long, and must be written in English.  We are looking for humor, sweet and poignant personal anecdotes, mother themes involving cooking, family life, love and education of children, travel, dreams and sacrificed dreams,  sport’s mother’s, organized mother’s, community service Moms.  Personalities, values, beliefs, love life, the whole range of experiences of what it is to be a mother are welcome.  We want to reiterate that this year we are accepting essays from around the world.

Three essays will be chosen by SVWA. The first place winner will receive award of $150; $100 for second place; and $50 for third place.  Results will be announced on our web site at www.svwomen.org on Mother’s Day, May 9th.  Last year’s Mother’s Day Essay Contest was very successful, with thousands of visitors to our web site.

Many new Moms joined SVWA the past two years, and the SVWA Essay Contest Committee wants to encourage new moms to write about their own experiences. What do you know now as a Mom that you wish you’d known before giving birth? What wry, witty, honest and personal observations would you share with Mothers and Mothers-to-be everywhere?

Entries for this year’s contest should be sent to svwomen_articles@yahoo.com . Each essay must include the author’s name, address, telephone number and email address and a brief 100 to 150 word bio of the author.   

We want to thank our business sponsors for making the awards possible.


祝贺瑶瑶OM队晋级要去参加World Final了!

瑶瑶的OM队3月27号代表硅谷地区去参加加州的比赛,结果几个小毛孩子拿了State 2nd place,居然就晋级要去参加World Final了!


详情请见 :

Odessey of The Mind – 走向世界 (1)

瑶瑶的OM team拿了Regional比赛第一名


小儿子的女朋友 (二)


可是, 要想见到Elizabeth也并不是一件容易的事. 因为每天早晨, 当他们还都在睡梦中的时候, 我就顶着晨曦去上班了, 先生把两个孩子送到学校, 我在每天准时下班去接WW. 学校学生3:30就放学了, 家里有人照顾的, 放学就被接回家了, 而象我这样的双职工, 就让孩子继续上课后班, 家长下班后再去接他们. 我每天匆匆忙忙赶到学校的时候, Elizabeth早已经被接回家了, 想想, 我总不能因为要想见儿子的"女朋友"而专程请假吧.机会终于来了.

上个星期过万圣节, 那一天, 每个孩子都可以穿上各种各样的服装, 在学校开”PARTY”. 我和先生商量谁参加学校的活动, 先生说他忙, 我也就乐不思蜀地把任务承担了下来, 想到终于可以见一见这个cute girl 了, 说实在的,我心里还真是有点激动.

中午早早就到了学校, 推开WW班级的门, 满屋的”动物”, “人物”, 还真有点象个” 动物园”和”大剧院”. WW今年打扮成一个小乌龟, Elizabeth打扮成什么样呢? 对了, 好象听WW讲过, 是个小猫.

我跟老师和WW打过招呼后, 就开始搜寻小猫. 放眼望去, 班级里竟然有好几个“小猫”, 有小花猫, 小黒猫, 还有小白猫, 个个都挺cute. 到底哪个是Elizabeth呢?心里还真是没底. 正当我啄磨的时候, 看到WW在跟谁作鬼脸, 我顺着他的视线望去, 哇, 原来“小黒猫”也正在冲他作鬼脸. 啊, 明白了.

找了个机会,我笑呵呵地问“ 小黒猫”: “what’s your name?” “Elizabeth”, “小黒猫”很大方, 我正在想往下该说什么的时候, “小黒猫”主动发话了: “I usually play with WW, I like to play with him. ” “Really? WHY?” 我假装吃惊地问: “Because he is very friendly.” “Did you parent come here today?” 我想套套她的“Background”, “No, I just have a baby brother, they are too busy”. 我看着Elizabeth那可爱的笑脸和“金色”的头发, 还真的猜不出来她来自哪个国家.

“May I have a play-day with WW ?” Elizabeth主动问到. “Sure” 对于这么cute girl的请求, 我能说不吗? “I may not invite WW to my house now, but can we meet in Sunnyvale park? ” 说实在的, 我们不是住在一个CITY, 还真不知道她说的那个公园在哪里, 但是, 我也不能流露出来, “I can give you my home phone number, so you can call my parent someday.” 小姑娘流利的说出了她家的电话号码和住的CITY.我也正式地记在了本子上.

PARTY的时间很快就要结束了, 家长们们都在忙忙碌碌的给这些可爱的“小动物”们, “大人物” 们照相,录像. 今天能见到小儿子的"女朋友", 这么落落大方, 天真活泼的cute girl, 我当然不会错过这个难得的机会. 在给WW照相的同时, 也抓拍了不少Elizabeth的镜头.

Elizabeth大概看我这个“阿姨”还挺友好的, 就笑笑问我: “May I take a picture with WW ?” “ of course, 当然, 当然”, Elizabeth快速跑到WW 的面前说: “Your Mom said I can take a picture with you”, 想不到却遭到WW 的反对: “Oh, No, No……” 一边说一边跑开了, Elizabeth就在后边追: “ It’s OK, you are still my friend……”.

这么有趣的瞬间, 这么难得的时刻, 我就对WW 略施小计, WW 终于答应了: “OK, fine…….”. 我赶紧拿起相机, 不停地按下快门……最后是照全班集体照, Elizabeth坐在了第一排, 还用手保留住右边的位置, “WW , come here”, William却傻傻的问老师他应该去哪里, 老师被这么多孩子家长围着, 两手一摊: “哪有地方就坐哪吧”. WW 回过头去, Elizabeth身边的位置已经被别人占了, 他也就随便找了个位置坐下, 接下来就是咔咔的快门声和孩子们欢快的笑声……

参加完PARTY, 我还得急忙赶回公司上班, 刚出学校大门, 手机响了, 原来是老工打来的: “PARTY结束了?” “结束了”. “见到Elizabeth了吗?” 哇, 原来劳工跟俺一样惦记着这事……

几天以后, WW告诉我: “Elizabeth told me she Like me and Love me, 问我你为什么还不给她家打电话, 所以我们可以有一个Play-date.” 我说, “妈妈不认识Elizabeth的父母, 不知道该讲什么”, “That’s ok, but make sure when you call, don’t speak Chinese.”

孩子们的友爱是纯洁的, 是透明的. 他们不用掩饰, 不用矜持, 他们也许还不理解爱的涵义, 多年以后, 他们也许会彼此忘记, 当你对他们提起这段往事的时候, 他们也许会不好意思, 会害羞, 但谁能说, 这不是一个美丽的瞬间呢?






Click here
to be directed to the Scholarship Program application page. The deadline to submit your entry is April 15, 2010, so don’t delay!

 LIFE Lessons

The loss of a parent or guardian is one of life’s most difficult ordeals. The emotional strain can be devastating to children and young adults. And for too many families, an untimely death also brings financial stress, making recovery all the more difficult.


Recognizing the character and perseverance that so many young people show in the face of such adversity, the LIFE Foundation sponsors the LIFE Lessons Scholarship Program for college students and college-bound high school seniors. Qualified entrants who submit essays or videos about how the death of a parent or guardian impacted their lives are eligible for a Grant Prize of $10,000 in scholarship money.  The Grand Prize winner will be chosen from the pool of First Runners-Up from the essay and video categories.  Total of all scholarships is $80,000, and allocated in the following amounts:

LL grand prize
Grand Prize Scholarship Winner:
Video or Essay (1): $10,000

LL essayEssay Scholarships:
First Runners-Up (4): $5,000
Second Runners-Up (40): $1,000

LL videoVideo Scholarships:
First Runners-Up (1): $5,000
Second Runners-Up (5): $1,000

Why LIFE Lessons?

Paying for college is a major financial challenge for most American families, but it becomes infinitely more difficult when a parent dies at an early age. Typically, parents can be counted on to provide at least some financial support for college. But when they’re gone and can no longer lend a financial hand, college often seems out of reach for many young people. LIFE takes great pride in being able to help deserving young people realize their dream of achieving a college education.

LIFE Lessons also provides the LIFE Foundation with the opportunity to help all parents understand the important role that life insurance plays within a sound college-funding plan. Parents’ dreams of a college education for their children don’t need to die when they do. If parents account for college funding in their life insurance planning, they can take comfort in knowing that their children will have the chance to pursue a higher education and realize their full potential.

Note to Students

LIFE awards LIFE Lessons Scholarships once a year. This year, we will start to accept applications on March 15th, 2010.  The deadline to submit is on April 15th, 2010.  The scholarship recipients will be notified around July 15th, 2010.

Entering is easy. First, read the rules to make sure you qualify. Then, either enter online , or call (202) 464-5000 x4446 to request a paper entry form. In addition to some basic information, you’ll need to submit a brief essay (500 words max) or video (3 minutes max) discussing how the death of your parent or guardian affected your life financially and emotionally. Be sure to describe how the loss of your parent/guardian impacted your college plans (e.g., your ability to afford college, attend the college of your choice, etc). Explain how the lack of adequate life insurance coverage (or no coverage at all) impacted your family’s financial situation. Comment specifically on how things might have turned out differently for you and your family if the person who died had adequate life insurance coverage. Also indicate what you have done to provide for yourself and/or other family members because of financial challenges your family has faced.

If you have any questions, please email scholarship@lifehappens.org, or call (202) 464-5000 x4446.

Donate to the LIFE Lessons Scholarship Fund

LIFE accepts individual contributions from those wishing to support this important initiative. Your financial support can make a world of difference for a young person struggling to afford a college education due to the loss of a parent or guardian. Donations to the LIFE Lessons Scholarship Fund are tax-deductible. Click here to donate.

孩子若能拿7個C, 一輩子就受用不盡了!ZT

三月二十五日,學區的家長會邀請了“A Parent’s Guide to Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Your Child Roots and Wings ” 的作者 金斯伯格博士(Dr。 Kenneth Ginsburg)來演講。談的是父母最想要孩子有的“挫折忍受力”。

金博士強調挫折忍受力來源的最底綫是生命中的重要人物對他的無條件的信任,相信他們是可以很好的。(Young people will be more resilient if the important adults in their lives believe in them unconditionally and hold them to high expectations.)

要孩子擁有踫到逆境,可以克服,又再度站起來的能力(resilience),金博士提出他綜合各家理論之後的7個C 的模式:
1. Confidence: 讓孩子相信他們自己。金博士特別指出在美國為了顧及孩子的自尊心(Self-Esteem)常常對那些不用或不值得稱許的行爲(praise kids for nothing),大加稱讚,那不是自信。—-我的詮釋是孩子只有在認清自己的優點,接受自己的弱點時的自信,才是真自信。
2. Competence:注意到做得好的地方。相信自己的能力。
3. Connection:有人在我的後面支持我。(Someone is on my back)這個人可以是家裏的成員,或來自學校、社區,或醫療機構。
4. Character:知道對與錯。 要教導孩子價值觀念。
5. Contribution:讓孩子做對他人有益的事。金博士說了“讓你的孩子被‘謝謝’環抱著。(surrounded by thank you)”
6. Coping: 遇到困境要能有正面的抗衡策略。
7. Control:藉由家裏的管教,孩子對自己的行爲的拿捏、控制是發自自身的内在力量(internal control),而不是依賴外面他人的約束。。
如果孩子這些C 都有了,不管他到那裏,做父母的大概都不用操心了。

小儿子的女朋友 (一)

小儿子5岁多了, 在一所私立学校读学前班. 每天他睡觉之前, 我和他都会有一点 “TALK TIME”, 通常我会随意地问他一些问题, “今天开心吗?” “在学校有没有一些SPECIAL THING啊” 等等.

有一天我突发奇想的想逗逗他, 就不经意的问了一句话: “Who do you love the best?” 他歪着脑袋, 很认真的想了想, 说:“我第一爱的是你”,我知道他通常都会说,第二是爸爸和哥哥…..可是这次他却不好意思起来,“The second one……I am shy to say”, 他害羞的表情引起了我的好奇,就不动声色的“引诱”他,“It’s ok to tell Mom your secret”.

他大概被我的“真诚” 所打 动,就趴在我的耳边说:“The second one is Elizabeth (伊莉莎白)”. 哇,还真有“情况",我真有点吃惊,想笑,又忍住了,就假装认真的问:“伊莉莎白是谁呀?你的同学吗?”  “Yes, she is a cute girl in our class, she told me she like me”. 看着他那认真可爱的样子,我不由的笑了.

在以后的 “Story Time”, 每当我们读到第17页的时候,WW都会问我,“今天可不可以先读到这里,明天在接着读?” 我以为他困了,想睡觉了,就跟他说晚安,关灯让他睡觉.

可是连续几天都是停在17页,我有点好奇,就问WW:“ Why you always stop in this number?”, 他很平常的回答:“17 is Elizabeth’s cabinet number, it’s easy to remember. ”天哪,这个 伊莉莎白到底是个什么样的女孩呢,我开始有点好奇了,突然间想起,前不久,在给小儿子报 After school class 时候,有很多选项,什么画画啊,武术啊,象棋啊,法语啊,中文啊等等,他都没吭声,却嚷嚷着要去“ India Club”, 难道说伊莉莎白是个印度小女孩?

连忙问WW, 他想了想说:“Probably, I can’t tell, but her hair is gold color”. 我明白了,在孩子们的眼中,大家都是一样的,没有那么多观念在里边,我也就把这个疑问留在了心里.

有一天把WW从学校接回家后,他玩着玩着,突然跑到我的面前,“ Mom, I want to show you something ” “OK” 我因为忙着作饭,没有理他,只见他兜里兜外地找,最后很沮丧的告诉我,“Sorry, Mom, I lost it”, “那是什么东西呢?” “Elizabeth give me her hair, you can see what color it is.” 

我终于意识到,我应该跟他“谈谈”了,就放下手中的活,跟他聊了起来.“I want to know something about Elizabeth, 你怎么知道伊莉莎白喜欢你呀?” “嗯,I can tell” 他想了想,“ First of all, each time he call ‘Hi, WW’, the voice is different. ” “ what do you mean the voice is different?” 我问到,“就是吧,她叫我的时候,声音有点痒” (我到现在为止,也没明白痒的意思).

“第二点,我们每次见到each other 的时候,都彼此做鬼脸;第三点,她总是喜欢坐在我的旁边;第四点,她总是拉我跟她一年级的朋友们玩;第五点,她告诉我说她喜欢我, 她说我是她的boy friend……”.

听着他列举一连串的证据,我强忍住笑, 打断他说:“我知道第六点,你告诉她说你也喜欢她”,

“Mom, 你怎么知道的?”  WW睁大眼睛,吃惊的望着我,“Iam a smart Mom.”

说真的,我还真想能有机会能见一见这个cute girl.



Aleks Math Program

I am looking for 5 partner to sign up for the www.aleks.com K-12 math program on a 6 or 12 month basis, so that we can shared the discounted family/home-school  cost of $449.76/six month or $809.76/12 month, an average of less than $12.50/month per student.  My daughter has been doing it for sometime, on and off, and we see great difference in her math ever since she started. For individual use, the cost is $20/month.  The nice thing about the program is it is designed for self study on a computer that the student can log on anytime to study at their own pace all the way to G12.  One kid we know of reached high school level at grade 4, and in some schools, the math teacher use it to help some struggling students. Its master account allows parents log in to monitor their kids progress anytime, anywhere, making it ideal for families with both parents working full-time and kids stay home alone. 

You may access  http://www.aleks.com  to check out. Please contact me atcyu2000@gmail.com if you are interested in join.  I am trying to sign up on Friday, so that we can use it during the Spring break and for preparation of STAR test, and later one, during the summer.  I’ll  take 5 more kids and will start sign up for the group as soon as I get enough people.  Once a group is registered, it cannot allow to add members at the same discounted price anymore.  Please get back to me if you are interested ASAP,  with your email and contact number.  My email address is cyu2000@gmail.com

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