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Happy Chinese New Year!!

Chinese New Year has great meaning for our family. Please enjoy my resources and recounting of our yearly celebration a few months late.

It is that time of year again, when we celebrate as we were taught by our dear friends who are family back home. I have already sent off my red envelopes and this year special knots to my god daughters and their sibling. This is actually one of the big events that brings me right back to that homesick state of mind.

Neko-Chan got in the groove with Kai Lan as well.

Neko-Chan got in the groove with Kai Lan as well.

We cleaned the house and sorted out many containers of clothes and toys that we donated this year. We decluttered and made some big choices about broken or half forgotten items. Nothing motivates this brood like the realization that we need to clean for the lunar celebration. It is a reminder of home and love and tradition that the whole family enjoys.

Each of the kids had a trim or haircut, and received new clothes. I lucked out hugely on Amazon with a momentary sale on Qing Dynasty dresses for the girls’ 18 inch dolls. Echo’s new dress matched her doll nearly perfectly. There are other Dynasty reproductions the girls have hinted at wanting. (not hugely subtle hints)

Gavin on left

Gavin on left

20180216_113439We had a lovely home made lunch. Zander basically put together the festival rice solo (Gavin helped him with ingredient prep the night before). He used the recipe out of the Runaway Wok book which is a family favourite, minus nuts.20180216_122241

20180216_120250Trinity tried making rice balls from a recipe off Educaton.com, though it struck us more as a Japanese rice ball and was too heavy on the rice wine vinegar for anyone to fall in love.20180216_120915

I made a sweet glutinous rice cake from a recipe shared by All About Ami. I think I will make it again in a larger pan to make thinner slices. I enjoyed it, the kids are only half sold.20180216_123844

After lunch we had our sweets, as usual I tried to branch out to new options. I couldn’t find moon cakes so I picked up something called Wife Cakes.. nope, and the almond cookies didn’t quite cut it.20180216_101643

Don’t forget the red envelopes.20180216_124301

I have been working on my knotting skills and made lucky knots for my god daughters back home using Chinese cord and had the kids make their own very simplified braided version with a charm that represents their Zodiac symbol.IMG_20180203_002402_423

We did our t shirts the day before since the day of we also had homeschool friends coming for a visit.

Then that evening I went to my class as usual, so much fun! And then Ken and I got take out from our favourite Chinese restaurant, Rose Garden. A great way to end the day.20180216_191205

Happy Chinese New Year everyone!!! Welcome year of the dog!!! 新年快乐 / 新年快樂 (Xīnnián kuàilè)

Resources for this year were varied and fun, but since I have shared a lot in the past years this year I am going to give you the best books we found! No links just titles so give them a search and enjoy!

  • Fortune Cookies Fortunes by Grace Lin… I loved this book because she discusses how fortune cookies are an Asian American food in her educational blurb at the back. We also read as a family her book The Year of the Dog. Grace Lin includes fun illustrations along with her entertaining reminisces in this one.
  • The Runaway Wok by Ying Chang Compestine… we loved this one enough to purchase it brand new. We also have his the Runaway Rice Cake which was a lucky library find in their booksale.
  • We had 3 Magic Tree House books this year… A Perfect Time for Pandas (for Emanuel and his panda report), Day of the Dragon King and the companion to this book China Land of the Emperor’s Great Wall. Our landmark report lined up beautifully with our unit study – The Great Wall of China was fun to research.
  • You Wouldn’t Want to Work on the Great Wall of China! By Jacqueline Morley was helpful, of course.
  • We briefly talked about Mulan with the book Mulan by Li Jian, I was gifted the book Mulan by Shiamin Kwa and Wilt L. Idema which I am determined to make a summer read. I have really been in the research and expand the mind feel lately.
  • Another family favourite that is on the to buy list is The Nian Monster by Andrea Wang.
  • Videos…  Celebrate With Kai Lan and Nature Pandas (an older film by NATURE) were fun. I am sure we used a second Kai Lan dvd but it isn’t coming to mind.20180216_110922

I hope these inspire you to check out the library. Researching and enjoying other cultures is such a privilege.

Our Chinese Characters work.

Our Chinese Characters work.

Christmas Eve With the Novaks

I know, I know… slow me. But there were some great photos I want to share as well as some good memories. I promise once I get the Christmas parties posted I WILL get back to getting current AND sharing my school resources. Nothing deep and introspective right now. But… that can always change.

Chess

Chess

Our tradition has become going to the Novak’s for Christmas Eve. This year we added in a trip to a church that Alex has become very active in to enjoy their Christmas Eve service.20171224_161259

They had a great tree in the lobby, so we took full advantage and took a whole bunch of pictures. Not a bad looking group. And again, mistaken for blood relatives, surprisingly it was Ken and Andy who were asked if they were brothers. Usually it is confusion over whose kids are whose.20171224_160508

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Just the god son

Just the god son

After a larger number of photos we took advantage and got a couples picture.20171224_160736

Then it was into the sanctuary for service. It went pretty well with 9 kids, two moms and 2 dads. I will let you guess which ones nodded off.20171224_162932

20171224_162615The little kids got a lovely little gift bag as well.

After all that fun it was back home for dinner. We had a brisket (thanks to Ken) and ham and lots of snacks and lovely foods. Everyone was well filled up.20171224_190719

Presents went over well and we had a nice visit with Andy’s parents John and Maggie.20171224_195723

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Each of the boys got a handmade gift, a couple from my fair pieces.

Each of the boys got a handmade gift, a couple from my fair pieces.

We always have such fun at the Novak’s. Even with Alex recuperating from some rather scary brain surgery the kids had fun, snuck in some sledding and basically left the adults alone to eat too much, sit and chat, play a game or two and enjoy some Christmas music. Wonderful!

Snoopy!

Snoopy!

December Brrrr

Yup, a quick overview of a month already well blogged… December…

Advent fun…20171214_110348

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Chinchilla….IMG_20171221_225121_574

YMCA time…20171223_114252

R.I.P.P.E.D

R.I.P.P.E.D

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Night out with Chris and Renee to see a play!!

Pre show Mystro time

Pre show Mystro time

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A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

More Chinchilla…

So serious

So serious

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Taught Gavin how to clean the cage.

Taught Gavin how to clean the cage.

Crafting with Gavin…

He made all of our cards!

He made all of our cards!

Crafting period…

These are my final finish of the year and are an adorable set from the designer Knot Bad.

These are my final finish of the year and are an adorable set from the designer Knot Bad.

Neko-Chan is such a sweet model

Neko-Chan is such a sweet model

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Knot Bad rocks!

Knot Bad rocks!

The arrival of a lovely fruit box from Grandma and Grandpa Reinsch…20171221_145011

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Baking…

The twins made cookies as a present we mailed off!

The twins made cookies as a present we mailed off!

Monster cookies

Monster cookies

A somewhat surprise visit from Nana and Baba…20171227_092632_HDR

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And just plain old fun!

Cousin Robbie visited and mentioned never having had a scarf... well that problem was quickly solved!

Cousin Robbie visited and mentioned never having had a scarf… well that problem was quickly solved!

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Opening presents with Aunty Holly and Cousin Jimmie

Opening presents with Aunty Holly and Cousin Jimmie

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Don’t forget school time, we kept up a pretty good pace considering the amount of excitement. Lots of opportunity to learn as we researched some origins of our favorite carols.IMG_20171219_152151_526

We made crystals!

We made crystals!

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A handmade Christmas card

A handmade Christmas card

By Emanuel

By Emanuel

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Chinese for New Years…20171231_180435

If you want to see the already blogged activities.. here you are…

  1. Anoka Lights
  2. Santa Visits
  3. Christmas Pageant

So now that I have posted this WAY out of order (what with the blog back log), here’s hoping I can catch myself up before mid 2018!!!! Wish me luck!!!

We braved the insanity of Mall of America right after Christmas... someone asked for a gift card from Santa this year.

We braved the insanity of Mall of America right after Christmas… someone asked for a gift card from Santa this year.

She stood in line so long that some Christmas money made its way to the purchase.

She stood in line so long that some Christmas money made its way to the purchase.

Dungeon and Dragons with Dad!

Dungeon and Dragons with Dad!

Gavin asked for an item with sequins...

Gavin asked for an item with sequins…

Doing Home Depot at home

Doing Home Depot at home

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