Tag Archive | Chinese Characters

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.

Learning Our Way to the Year of the Horse (mah)

January 15-22

We are definitely revisiting some old favourites with our Chinese New Year reading. And with each one recognizing facts we already know and gems yet to be learned. One of my favourite aspects of Chinese New Year is the celebration of prosperity, family and all things positive. We can always use a little positive energy right?101_5877 We slipped in some time to make a get well soon picture for a mom I met online through a multiples group. We figure a fun picture by the children would be an even better pick me up than a simple card! I am so impressed by the lovely heart all these mommies show.101_5878 Our new books definitely had the boys ready to read read read.101_5880 And we made ourselves a stable for our Chinese New Year year of the horse. We got our popsicle stick instructions from Activity Village HERE. It was a goup effort. The girls used markers decorate the stick while the boys did the gluing together.101_5882 This week was the week of sweet Echo pics. She is in the middle of a hat phase and 2013’s Christmas present from myself fits her better this year – a teddybear ear hat. I got the pattern off of CrochetSpot HERE.101_5883 The next day we had to brush out her hair, dress her up and take a few big girl pictures too.101_5887 The girls also modeled the aprons I made them for Christmas in front of the kitchen set they got from Aunty Holly, Uncle James and Cousin Jimmie! You can find that pattern HERE.101_5892 Friday was a total wash with a run to deal with passports. A WHOLE morning eaten up by the rather intense application process at the only office in the state. We had an appointment time thank goodness and the poor girl had a boatload of paperwork to do. Thankfully Ken and I had wandered down memory lane and got all the transcripts that exist for Ken for the entire time he was in public school. You need that proof to show that he was in the US enough for the kids to qualify for dual citizenship. My OCD of keeping lists of our addresses, baptism forms (which are a viable secondary ID here in the US???) and all that fun stuff came in really handy as well as Nana coming along to wrangle the kids. You have to have them there for a visual confirmation of their application and both myself and Ken to agree that they should even have the darn thing in the first place! But what a gateway passports are to getting all the other ID set up like Social Security and sorting our kids out so that they are set to live in either country! Lucky babies!

After all that government related fun the kids kicked back with some gaming. Funny how touch screens are natural to them!!101_5930 Our weekend was a quiet one. Saturday there was lots of time to play with those new toys… and for Trinity to work on her sticker book. One of those lovely ones where you pick up sticker packs and collect what you need.101_5931 101_5932Of course on Sunday they had Sunday School and an excuse to take ANOTHER picture of them all dressed up. I look forward to spring when going as a whole family and staying for service will be much more reasonable.101_5933 We did luck out with the Sunday afternoon thaw. It was so nice that the kids were out there without coats, shovels in hand to help clear out the driveway. We are not on the best side of the street for the sun to melt it all away completely.101_5936 101_5938We are loving the idea we found on Facebook of freezing coloured water in balloons to freeze and then burst and display. Nana and the kids have expanded to include freezing coloured water in other containers to add to what they are now calling her ice garden.101_5942 101_5940My favourite is the blue balloon.101_5945 We started the next week with dinosaurs…101_5946 potty sticker sheets (still spotty luck on that one)…101_5947 and well dressed scouts…101_5948 and boys in the mood to learn how to swim!image

On Tuesday we roped Daddy into teaching us about the first of 3 Chinese locations – the Great Wall (which became Trinity’s favourite). I have to admit to some interest myself on that amazing landmark.101_5950

With a Lego rendition of a portion of the wall

With a Lego rendition of a portion of the wall

Of course we continued with other learning leaning to China and all things Chinese New Year. We used Activity Village AND the official Kai-Lan site thanks to Nick Jr. HERE. Even Echo is getting in on the language practice.101_5951

101_5952101_5959We had a short reflection on what we could remember so far about China and Chinese New Year. I do love seeing what sticks in their brains.101_5953

And of course more stories.101_5955

We rounded off our first half of the week with some lovely dragons all ready to dance thanks to the generosity of Lakeshore. At our last visit to them to craft it up we mentioned we could not make this upcoming week… Ken had his vasectomy scheduled. So the girl gave us the shapes to add to our own paperbags. I had the presence of mind to photocopy this for future use!101_5956

Miss Trinity had a proud workbook completion…101_5957

And Emanuel lost ANOTHER tooth. So time for a tooth fairy note!101_5958

More Chinese Characters…101_5960

101_5963books…101_5962

and creative time…101_5964

With the kids covering Terracotta warriors with Daddy! 101_5961

I think we are well on our way to enjoying our countdown to our second very special New Year celebration of our year.101_5949

Splish Splash… Swim Lessons at Last!

January 11-14

What to do on our second weekend of 2014? Well, with the cousins in the house and the weather actually cooperating we booted as many out the door to play in the snow as possible!101_5845

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Goofs

Goofs

Of course there was a large portion of the day dedicated to Minecraft.101_5848

Sunday morning our 4 big ones headed off to Sunday School with the assurance that when they returned their cousins would still be there. I have to admit to loving having the kids dressed so nice once a week. And they really do enjoy their time with the teachers and kids.

In their Christmas sweaters. My step mom has some great taste!

In their Christmas sweaters. My step mom has some great taste!

101_5850In the afternoon Nana and Baba left to take the cousins home and we took the whole family out into the snow to create small snow forts and snowballs.101_5858

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Trinity in her Christmas scarf

Trinity in her Christmas scarf

When Nana and Baba returned Baba came out to join the fun. Echo enjoyed herself but quickly tired of trucking through what was almost knee deep for her.101_5863

101_5864That time outside was definitely just what we needed. And of course, once they returned indoors we had some time with the games. Skylanders for Miss Trinity (who dances as she plays) and Emanuel (who hops like a bunny).101_5866

Monday was back to school and back to an in depth study of all things Chinese New Year related. We had books to read and print outs from Activity Village to do.101_5867

Book list will be in the Chinese Resources entry

Book list will be in the Chinese Resources entry

We also brought out the brushes and Chinese ink Xinny gave us years ago and got to work creating Chinese Characters. We returned to our inks on Tuesday as well. It is just too much fun and so pretty.101_5869

1609875_10152166288456151_685429226_n101_5873101_5874Our ice rink and critters were ready for play! I am so impressed by how much fun the kids had with this VERY simple activity.101_5871

Miss Echo had to hug test one of my newest crochet pieces. I am currently working to get enough up to get my Etsy store back up and running. Though I have them up on Facebook under my It’s a Hoot page!!! Prices and all that are listed there so do check it out HERE.101_5872

Monday was our long awaited first swimming lessons for the twins as well!!! They ended up with private lessons as the third child was moved up to a more difficult class leaving our boys with two teachers!!1501807_10152166758026151_677904009_n

On Tuesday we were gifted with something pretty amazing. A homeschool family was downsizing some books… science, math game, some storybooks. And they were giving them away for free. I just lucked out being the first one to say we wanted them and that we would come collect them and wow were they amazing! Any time we can add to our library it is amazing! The woman who was giving them away was so pleased that we would be using them for our larger family. These books are going to be well loved! Now I just need to figure out WHERE to put them!101_5875

101_5876January has definitely been a blessed month!1512518_10152164426986151_1928749985_n