About Me

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I love to laugh and love with my family, read, exercise, cook and sew, all the while giving thanks to God for his immeasureable love and faithfulness to me.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Eve

So we're slowly crawling our way out from under wrapping and tissue paper, ribbons, packaging and the like.  Basically life is returning (somewhat) back to normal from the Christmas festivities.  We still have a few more days of playing, so the routine of day-to-day life isn't quite there, but, if nothing else, we're trying to re-establish normal bedtimes...that being said, the Noodle is off to spend the day/night with Grandma and Grandpa, so on second thought, perhaps we'll wait until the weekend..........

Here are a few photos from our Christmas Eve.  What fun we had!
Sometimes a little too much "fun"....!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Have your self a merry little Christmas...

Wishing you all that is brightest and most beautiful on this holy day.  Let us rejoice because a Savior has been born and He is Christ the King!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Advent Chain Days 23 and 24

The big day is almost here!  So exciting :)  We had a few last minute things to finish up--day 23 was to make birthday cupcakes for Jesus and day 24 (today) was to go down and walk around the urban market in our big city.  I have such fond memories of doing this as a child.  Things have changed somewhat though--now the fruit and veg stands are heated (I kid you not).  Memories also include layer upon layer of clothes so that we wouldn't freeze as we hoofed it up one side of the market and down the other.  I love all the sights, smells and of course the people watching.  You see all walks of life down here--big-wig exec to the fresh-off-the-boat immigrant to the suburban housewife--all bartering and buying their goodies for the holiday.  A great equalizer, I'd say!
Tonight we're off to our church's children service and then to have tea with Lollie and Papa.  The anticipation is building and we're enjoying every minute of it!  Merry, merry!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Advent Chain Day 21 and 22

Even with all the birthday fun yesterday, we still found time for our Advent chain activity (read the Nativity story and act it out with the Little People figures) and since one of the Noodle's gifts was the 3 Wisemen, now we can tell that part of the story too.  The nativity continues to be a good pre-dinner/Mama's-in-the-kitchen activity.
Today we made reindeer food to sprinkle out on the lawn Christmas Eve.  Santa always gets milk and cookies, but we can't forget his hard working team!  Somewhere I found a fun recipe on-line--1/4C oatmeal, 1/4C brown sugar and a sprinkle of glitter (or in our case, colored sugar-cookie sprinkles).  Mix it all together and voila!  Something for the reindeer to munch on while Santa's doing his thing.

Birthday re-cap

Whew!  I think we were all exhausted by the end of yesterday.  It was busy, but fun.

5:30 a.m., bright and early, I heard a little voice say "Who's there?  I'm all done sleeping!  Can I get up now?"  I went up and told her it was waaay to early for her to rise and shine, but after about 20 minutes, I could still tell she was wide awake, so I went back up to get her but made her pinkie swear that she'd take a nap later on in the day since no one wanted a crabby birthday girl.  Wow--that was one long sentence, wasn't it?! 

She had gotten out the special birthday outfit that she wanted to wear the night before, down to the hair accessories and her favorite blue panties.  What a hoot.  She kept checking to make sure it was o.k., since she and J had organized everything while I was at the gym.  I reassured it that it was fine!  I love how she put everything out on her rocking chair just like she would be wearing it--only minus her body, ha ha!
On J's way home in the morning, he stopped by double D and picked up some munckin holes for the munckin...a breakfast of champions, I'd say!  She was thrilled.  Then it was time to run off for her last day of school before Christmas vacation.
I went in a little later in the morning to read a story to the class and to volunteer.  I always love to see what's going on and to get a little glimpse into her school day.
The pretend center...with superhero shields (?!?!)
After preschool let out, we headed over to a friend's house for a play/lunch date.  The Noodle was again in her glory--CARS mac-n-cheese, chicken nuggets, juice and cupcakes with TONS of frosting.  Quite obviously healthy meals flew out the window this birthday ;)  The 3 little ones had fun making a tiara craft that we had brought and after blowing out the candles on the cupcake, it was time to head home for the (much needed) nap. 
Once she woke up and we played for a bit, it was finally time for the grandparents to come for the party.  Her request this year for her special birthday dinner?  White bean chicken chili...not Chinese food, as it has been the past few years!  After eating 2 bowls, spinach salad and some homemade bread, she was finally ready to tackle the presents.  Honestly, she had been ready for some time, but had showed remarkable control!  The CARS jammies and the Grinch book and DVD were definitely the highlights.  Then it was time for cake.  She hadn't been too particular this year, so when she continued being vague, I offered up the idea of a cookie pizza.  She thought that sounded tasty and I thought it sounded much easier than trying to fight with icing that never seems to go on smoothly onto a shape that  hardly resembles the vision that I have in my mind which I'm trying to re-create!  There we go with the run-on sentences again.
By 8:15 everyone had left, the Noodle was sawing logs and J and I weren't far behind. Right before she nodded off though, she doubled checked that she'd still be 5 when she woke up the next day.  I assured it that she would be...for another 364 days.  Definitely a fun day!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

You're 5!!

Chinese Noodle you are 5 today!  We can't believe it!  You have been sooo excited for your birthday and the opportunity to say that you really are, truly, 5 (even if you're not in Kindergarten yet, which is the other thing you're desperate to say).  The past few days you've been chattering away non-stop, swinging from every piece of furniture/handle/railing you can find and bouncing around until you crash.  Quite honestly you've been exhausting both me and Daddy with your activity level, but we love to see you so full of life!
As a 5 year old, you can tie your shoes, ride a two-wheeled bike, zip up your coat, and state your phone number and address.  You continue to love Thomas and Ka-Chow/CARS.  You claim that "Barbies are scary"--ha ha!  Your favorite food is still rice, with Chinese food being a close second, but you're also really into soup lately.  You still fall asleep in the afternoon anytime we are driving in the car for more than 10-15 minutes ("My carseat makes me fall asleep") and by 7:30 if you're not heading into bed, watch out!! 
Your little personality continues to develop and you're becoming more willing to talk to other adults and are taking less time to "warm up", as you like to say.  You also are becoming more vocal in what you want to wear and how we do your hair--braids and piggie-tails.  Good thing we instituted that one 'day a dress/one day pants'--that saves us all (usually) in the mornings :)
You have such a sweet heart and love to help out either Daddy or myself.  Your silly nature and antics keep us laughing but your serious side is never far away either.  Both Daddy and I are so proud of how you are growing and learning about how to be the best little girl that God intends for you to be.  We know that you put a smile on his face, just like you do ours.  We love you to the China moon and back and still stand in awe that God has given us the privilege of being your parents.  Enjoy your special day!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Advent Chain Day 20

Sometimes I manage to think things through so that life will be easier and not more complicated.  Today was one of those days.  The activity?  Re-read all of the Christmas favorites.  Since we do that multiple times in one day, it was a no-brainer.  Ahhhhhh, nothing like curling up with a good book and the Noodle!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Advent Chain Day 19

Since I'm off of school now, I have to kick the birthday and Christmas preparations into high gear.  I was able to do a little last minute shopping this a.m., we made the birthday treat for school this afternoon and in between took time out for a haircut.  Tomorrow I'm hoping to do a little wrapping, sewing and baking before picking the Noodle up from school.

Today's activity was to take a walk down memory lane and look at past Christmas holidays in our scrapbook.  My S-I-L is an avid (when time allows) scrapbooker.  She got me into it while we were waiting for the Noodle.  I haven't done nearly what I should do, but somehow doing 3-4 pages for a Christmas book is do-able for me.  That's been the extent of it these past few years.  I still have a "waiting" scrapbook that I started when we were in the holding pattern for the Noodle.  Perhaps that should be a new year's resolution--to finish it?!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Advent Chain Day 18

Our activity for today was to bake Christmas cutout cookies.  I made the dough yesterday and while the Noodle and J were out playing in the snow, I did the cutting out and baking.  Somethings are easier without help.  Besides, the real fun is always in the decorating.

Speaking of playing out in the snow, during J's folks move, lots of toys from childhood were unearthed.  One being a snow-block-fort-maker (for lack of a better term).  Doesn't really matter that it is from circa 1978...it still works great!
The Noodle, 2011

J and his older bro, 1978 

"Only 1 structural member was used in the making of this fort"...a direct quote from the resident architect.

Once they came in from outside, we were ready to hit the icing, sprinkles and colored sugar.  Interestingly enough, last year the Noodle was all about the sprinkles and colored sugar.  She definitely had the "more is always better" theory to her cookie decorating.  This year, she was way more into the icing.  She mixed, swirled, dabbed and spread to her little heart's content.  Again, probably not going to win an Ace-of-Cake award, but mmmm, they sure taste delish :)

A tradition all our own

One of the traditions that our little family started when we grew from 2 to 3, was to make jiaozi as one of our Christmas goodies.  I should correct myself and say that J is the one who actually  makes them, but we like to hang in the kitchen and lend our support.  Some years I'll pitch in, other years I'm more of an observer and conversationalist.  A few years back Uncle and Aunt C were in town and we had a jiaozi making party after the Noodle went to bed.
Yesterday afternoon seemed like the best time to set aside the 2-3 hours that it takes to make these little pockets of goodness.  So while it was doing this outside,
 inside it looked more like this--
When everything was said and done, J made 140 dumplings.  They certainly are a labor of love, but are soo worth it.  I also love how it is a way to weave in the Noodle's history into our traditions.  Do you have any fun family traditions?