Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Lani's Pad Thai

My brother, Alex, is married to Lani. She's intelligent, patient, gentle and ... she can cook! She makes the BEST Pad Thai noodles. Now, we compare all the Pad Thai we eat against hers. Yes, she gave me the recipe, but it doesn't come out like HERS.

We had a heavy Christmas meal at lunch so we wanted something light for Christmas dinner. Thanks, Lani, for always willingly making this dish for the family when we ask.

My kitchen sink faces the backyard so I couldn't shoot this inside the house. I shot this on the patio facing inside the house. Lani and her sous chefs are busy by the sink

Alex and Lani sharing a laugh at the sink

Thinly sliced pork, ready for the pan

Lani seasoning the sizzling pork

The garnishes--fresh cilantro and juicy limes

More garnish--fresh green onions

The succulent shrimp and clear rice noodles are last in the pan

Our smiling chef

Crisp bean sprouts are another garnish

The delicious finished dish. Where's my plate?

I believe cooking is love made visible. Thank you, Lani

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jasmine at Airport

Jasmine and Jason had a opportunity to go on his employer-sponsored trip to Mazatlan. These photos were taken at the airport on her return trip home to Denver. I'm glad they had a great time and that we were able to see her three times this year.

Jasmine and Jason - Christmas Tree at the airport

At the departure gate. I love your smile, Jasmine

The eyes speak

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Cards

Lauren: No cards? We HAVE to send Christmas cards, Mama!

Me: I don't have time. What if we just put YOUR picture on it?

Lauren: No Way! That's terrible. Like I didn't have a family. We ALL have to be in the picture. Pleeeease?

Well, here we are. I propped the tripod on the porch and shot this picture with the wreath hanging on the door. But, the wreath was barely seen. So I asked Lauren to hold it instead and the branches kept poking her. Check out her expression.

The Zenimuras Lauren and her Pop (Kirk)

Merry Christmas to all!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Norman, I can't believe
you're 36 years old.
If you're 36 ... that makes me ... ancient. Ugh.

I made this German Chocolate cake because Mom always made us one for birthdays.

Don't really know why though. But, it doesn't seem like a birthday without one.

Mom would have wanted this for you.
I wish you 50 more German Chocolate cakes.

I'm glad God put us in the same family.
You're an awesome brother to me and I love you!

Blow hard! I hope all your wishes come true!

Uncle Norman (36) & Lauren (16)
Happy Birthday!

Noodles, Rice and Seaweed

On Saturday, the girls just won their basketball game (Bullard 42,
Hoover 23) and they were hungry.

Mind you, not hamburger-and-french fries-hungry ... but, noodles, rice, and seaweed kind of hungry! Head for the best Japanese fast-food in town ... Zeni-Ya!

Hmmm. What to pick? So many good choices!

For me, nothing better on a cold winter day than a bowl of chicken ramen! Yummm!

Kirk ordered a "0" (half beef, half chicken rice bowl) with broccoli tempura. Yumm, too.

Lauren with her teammate, Kristi. Lauren had a chicken bowl and a big chicken salad. Happy tummy smiles!

We've been hanging with Cathy Hew since the summer basketball season. She's fun and easy to be with, so we'll be hanging with her for a while (unless she ditches us).

Auntie Rosie is one of the hardest workers and nicest people I know. She and daughter, Keri, keep everything running like clockwork and serve delicious fast food. Thanks, Auntie Rosie!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bullard High School Fall Sports Awards

On Wedesday, December 10, Bullard held the Fall Sports Awards in the cafeteria. It's the culmination of the Fall sports season for the athletes;
this is the first of three sports seasons during the year. Parents are invited and the athletes are hosted with a dinner before awards are given. This season, she played JV Volleyball.

Lauren, a Junior, is a three-sport athlete so this is her seventh awards dinner at Bullard. She received a Scholar Athlete Award for academic excellence.

The Awards Dinner is a dress-up event for students
(Lauren arrived just in time for the awards from her varsity basketball practice). Check out the look ... big smile,
basketball sweats and mukluks!

Finally! This is the first time Scholar Athlete Awards are given to ALL athletes achieving a minimum of 3.5 GPA. In the past, only one award was issued per sport. It's great the school now recognizes the efforts of ALL students who excel academically in addition to the rigors of sports' practice/game schedules.

Good job, Lo! Go Bullard Knights!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

At The Ingels

On Sunday evenings, we have Small Group meetings at the Ingels home. Johan & Katerina have such a warm and inviting home, so conducive to our studies and intimate discussions on issues of faith. I am so appreciative they have welcomed all of us to meet there—it is truly a calming and comfortable atmosphere in their home. Thanks so much, Johan & Katerina!

Last Sunday, I was keenly aware of the young children’s voices—talking and playing in the other room. For me, the sounds of children are especially enjoyable during the holidays.

Enjoying delicious Christmas treats and belly-warming beverages
Catching up on everyone's Christmas preparations before the study begins. See the mobile at the top of the photo?

Here's a close-up of the mobile.
In Swedish culture, Santa rides on a goat. Cool!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Alex & Lani

Happy 7th Wedding Anniversary, Alex & Lani!

Anniveraries are always special events. They mark significant milestones in our marriage journey.

The ups and downs of life shape us. But,
Love never ends.

Lani--I'm thankful Alex brought you to us. You have been a blessing to our family since we first laid eyes on you.
I love you for making all of us better than we are.

Alex--You're my little bro. I love you simply for being.

Alex & Lani, I wish you the very best this year and all the years to come. We pray that your marriage roots continue to grow deep and strong. God bless your marriage.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Family Ties

“I want to be buried in Fresno.
That’s where you are.”

Mom died in Alameda, CA of colon cancer in 1993. She never lived in Fresno, but I’m glad she chose to be near me. In 2006, we buried Dad with Mom, and they’re together now.

We went to the cemetery to clean up their plot and put
some Christmas poinsettias this afternoon. There were lots of families doing the same thing—cleaning plots, decorating with poinsettias and little Christmas trees. It’s comforting to know that long after we pass from this mortal life, families continue to stay together and look after one another.

Kirk & Lauren fix the floral foam for the poinsettias
I've never asked Kirk to come to the cemetery with me.
He just does. I'm blessed that he honors my parents.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Cousin Bubba

Bubba & I have been chatting over the phone over a year, but finally met in person on Friday, 11.28.08. We are second cousins (his mother Mary May Martinez-Artero and my mother Norma Estrada Capacia are first cousins). He spent most of his growing years on Guam.

Bubba’s wife, Clarissa, is stationed at Travis AFB (in Medical Administration) in Fairfield, CA. Prior to Travis AFB, they were stationed at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS for a year. Before that they spent 5 years at Geilenkirchen NATO AFB, Germany.

We met Bubba, Clarissa & Gabe at the Nut Tree Village in Vacaville. We found a table in the little park, then gathered up tables and chairs so we could visit for a few hours. It was fun meeting cousins for the first time and discovering we have lots of things in common with our Hawaiian-accented, Guamanian-Filipino cousins. Kinda cool to have a cousin named Bubba.

Bottom (lt to rt): Clarissa Artero, Gabe Artero,
Lauren Zenimura & Norman Capacia
Top (lt to rt): Kirk Zenimura, Bubba Artero, Teresa Zenimura, Teddy Capacia, Lani & Alex Capacia

Everybody ... make funny face

Can't walk past a Christmas tree without taking a family picture, eh?

It sure was cold that night.
Bubba and Clarissa brought us
here for hot bowls of pho.
Thanks for treating us, too!

After pho, we shopped at a asian market across the parking lot and walked off some of our dinner. We walked to the fish section and asked each other, "Hey, how you cook that?" or "Cook that for me next time!" If everything works out, we'll see you again at New Years ... food and ukelele in hand!

To see all the pictures taken, click here

Black Friday 11.28.08

I needed to exchange a broken picture frame at Ikea and I thought they’d open early. When we arrived, there was a looong line outside Ikea, so we stopped next door at Walmart first.

This store is just too big to walk in
and walk out. A shopper can get
easily distracted by the many signs and smells. Huh, Teddy?

My brother, Teddy, said we HAD to stop here.
Must try the popcorn shrimp and popcorn chicken, daw.

Here it is ... fried food in the wee hours of the morning. Hmmm.

Satisfied tasters

Here we go ... playing follow-the-leader to the next store

There was a looooong line around Ikea and another 30 minutes before the store opened. We thought there was a big sale. Kirk waited in line, we waited in the car.

This is the reason for the long line.
We didn't know about the -- Free Breakfast.

Remember -- we just ate popcorn shimp and chicken.
Now, we're chowing on free bacon, eggs and potatoes.

Content shoppers -- eating again!
(Teddy, Teresa, Kirk, Lauren & Norman)

We stopped at Arden Fair Mall for some slippers.
The tree was beautiful, but too many people. Time to leave!