Yup… overflow entry… sit back and enjoy the adorable fluff!
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.
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)
We 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.
Trinity 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.
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.
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.
We did our t shirts the day before since the day of we also had homeschool friends coming for a visit.
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.
I hope these inspire you to check out the library. Researching and enjoying other cultures is such a privilege.
Yoga has become a nightly routine for me now for well over 40 days and it is gradually changing my life. I have been going through the videos from the Yoga With Adriene channel on YouTube and am on my second 30 day series with her.
Currently I am almost midway through Yoga Camp. Each day’s video has a focus, the latest being “I Deserve”. Such a simple sentence to complete but for a moment it stopped me short. What DO I really think I deserve?
The idea of deserving something or being worthy is something I sometimes struggle with. How do I quantify what I deserve? Am I actually deserving of what I already have? How can I be deserving enough?
The reality of the life is that I think we deserve so much more than we realize… love, compassion, understanding, friendship, acknowledgement, acceptance… we all are so deserving of these things and yet often times don’t realize it or even deny it.
Of course there are the material things that we feel we deserve and work toward… a nice house, fancy vehicle, a room full of yarn (or is that just me?). These items require action to be “earned” and often hard work or a financial investment.
But when it comes to the statement in session today… I deserve… I felt like the list was much more the former category than that latter materials based one.
What do I deserve that I need to acknowledge in those quiet yoga filled moments? It isn’t a ball of yarn or a new dress or a book I want to buy… rather I need to realize how truly deserving I am…
So here I go to publicly state what “I Deserve”…
I deserve …
- Joy, I deserve to feel that full on belly tickling joy in my day and promise to embrace the opportunities to do so.
- Peace, I deserve to come to the end of my day with the realization that I lived it with the intention of peace.
- Love/Friendship… every hug, every moment with a beloved friend be it just a hello, I am totally and utterly deserving of that.
- Quiet, I deserve my quiet stolen moments. They are not lazy or negligent but an act of self love as I take some time to not be anything or anyone but me. Beyond mother, wife, teacher, friend etc.
- Support, I deserve support. Not as a monetary or physical manifestation, but the knowledge that my dreams and aspirations are supported by others. Even if they may not understand my particular brand of crazy.
- Recognition, I deserve to be recognized… even if it is just by myself. Who I am is worthy of recognition. And that can mean just my own realization that I am worthy, that I am a good person and that I truly do try my best in my life. Self recognition can be so powerful. External validation is often a great thing but if I can stand tall and proud and realize that I am working to be the best ME I can be… there is power in that.
So what does this all mean? Well, to me it means that I have work to do. As I wrote this post I felt those inklings of self doubt. Do I truly deserve friendship or love at all times? Do I deserve to be joyful when I feel I am lacking in something? Does that time I take for myself in silence mean I am neglecting something else more worthy of my time?
It means I have work to do. I need to make time to embrace the stillness and look inside myself to simply realize we are all deserving of so much more than we accept.
It means when I receive one of these blessings I need to acknowledge and embrace them, it is like receiving a compliment… am I the only one who has a VERY hard time simply saying thank you?
I am an example for my family and I deserve the realization that I am a pretty good one. And every day as I work on myself and my family I simply become MORE deserving. We all do.
So my goal for April 2018 onward is to not become more deserving but to become more aware that I AM deserving. We are all deserving of so much in life that we don’t acknowledge, ignore or even reject (consciously or unconsciously). Time to stop the cycle and accept the facts…
How would you finish the statement -I deserve-?