Tag Archive | Mulan

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.

From Chinese New Year Onto Valentine’s Day

February 11-12

Time to finish off Chinese New Year… Zander and Gavin each finished up their studies with writing out some of the things they learned about the celebration on pages with year of the snake themed borders. They also each drew their own special cobra… the instructions were found on Art for Kids as a special Chinese New Year offering. Added to each picture is the Chinese characters for Snake. Not a bad finishing touch.

Gavin and his snake

I lucked out and came across TWO shows for the boys to watch the night before. The movie Mulan (which they then drew something in their journals about) and a FoodNetwork special on making a full out Chinese New Year meal. We learned a few interesting things from that second show:

  1. fish in Mandarin is the same words as abundance
  2. dumplings symbolize wealth
  3. roast chicken symbolizes togetherness and prosperity
  4. long noodles symbolize longevity

Emanuel got creative with the Legos… He made his very own McDonald’s counter… giant M and all.

“M”

The counter

I attempted the heart shaped cupcakes with a less than amazing result… still yummy but NOT heart shaped. With lovely whipped icing everyone was content with them anyway.

Gavin and his snack

The weather has worked in our favour BOTH days what with the storm warning over and all the lovely snow that resulted from it. So the kids have been out enjoying, shoveling, getting wet… I had to throw all the gear into the dryer after Tuesday’s fun in the sun… so much melt off from the roof!

First

Putting them to work

It was a nice day out and they all got a little damp

I have to share a sort of dinosaur related video that Trinity and Emanuel assure me is AWESOME!

Tuesday was right into Valentines Day with all the worksheets and hearts and colouring.

Dot to Dot

We also made our monthly poster – I am having the kids make one a month for the whole year. I write out the name of  the month and then each kid draws something they see or do that month!

February

Since it was Shrove Tuesday I gave pancakes a try again on the gas stove with much better results! At least the kids were pleased.

Chowing down

Not a bad work up to Valentine’s Day… and a completing of something special from Chinese New Year.

We also pulled out the micro remote control cars from Alan and Xinny.

Beginning to Catch Up…

We are back from our epic adventure and I am entries behind on my blog! It was all worth it… we traveled (in our OWN van SAFELY), visited (with kids, adults AND kitties), celebrated a special birthday (Trinity’s) and enjoyed MY belated birthday present (Comic Con!)… oh and so much more…

But first of course is the drive to Echo’s follow up appointment one month after her surgery (her SUCCESSFUL surgery). We got up rather early, packed our NEW van up and headed out SUCCESSFULLY… we even went over 80km an hour! We are no longer a bad reverse version of the movie Speed! YAY! We had to drive with our temporary travel sticker as we were heading right to register permanently and get our new licence plate AFTER her 9:45 appointment. 

We made rather good time and parked in the parkade this time to save on walking. Then it was right in to the cardiology clinic to sit and wait. Ken actually took the big kids to the toy area right outside the clinic and I did all the tests with Echo. They were mostly worried about doing her Echo-cardiograph and did that first. She was NOT impressed but they were able to show me the device with the heart beating around it. Nothing moving where it shouldn’t, it was rather amazing! 

They weighed and measured her as well and it turns out she has gained almost a POUND since surgery. So good for her! And we were able to get her EKG done too… though blood pressure never really came out right. Then there was just the wait to see the cardiologist who was VERY happy with her progress and glad to see all of the kids together. We had also brought in our thank you card which made its rounds and was VERY well received! 

Waiting for the cardiologist... note the obvious boredom!

Of course Echo wanted to walk out of the hospital and tripped and fell face first in front of some nurses and the kids were bored out of their minds but we were ok! I am so glad we do not have to go back for 5 months! 

Pre trip and fall but cute group!

After hospital it was time for a wee bit of shopping – and lunch… well both stores were in the same place so first we went to Education Station to redeem Trinity’s birthday 10.00 gift certificate. She also had birthday money to spend from Nana and Baba so there was some excitement to be had! She decided on a jewelry box you decorate yourself with jewels. A great choice as she keeps getting tiny pretties to save and has no good place to put them.

And then, of course… lunch at “the Meatball Store” AKA IKEA for those less in the know! We had to get our fill of meatballs while the kids watched some of Mulan on their tv in the kids’ area. VERY delicious AND affordable! One of the things we miss from moving out of the city. Then Trinity and I wandered the toy section to spend the last of her birthday money. She managed to get a dolly, dolly clothes and a cute soft bathtub set. 

NOMS

With the shopping and eating and hospital stuff done it was time to head out to our next destination – the registration office, then Grandma’s work and then to Sharon and Darryl’s for our two night stay to visit with them and their 3 kids Emma, Ethan and Logan. They are back home from California and the kids are all around our kids’ ages. So it works PERFECTLY… oh and Echo LOVES Sharon. 

We continued on the hour south east and went right to the registry. With minimum fuss (Ken had to come back out to get cash since he couldn’t use his card there) we had our licence plate and then it was just a matter of stopping in to see Grandma and borrowing her washroom… and a screwdriver! And then we were official… New Used Van is ours! What a success!

The rest of the evening it was time to catch up with the Bleau family. The kids were in toy and friend heaven… we had play time, some yummy dinner and then ADULT time! Ken and Darryl did some gaming and Sharon and I hung out while she made a cake just to celebrate Trinity’s birthday! It was a lovely and RELAXING evening. The kids had a bedroom to sleep in – two large bunkbeds and a pull out bed that we didn’t use. 

Snuggling with dolly on the comfy couch

It made me VERY tempted to start trying to convince Ken that we needed to move back to town… almost. The small town feel and the ability to still do most everything combined makes it so comforting. Ken just rolled his eyes at me. 

So that is the Wednesday… onto our second day in town and the relaxation that followed in the NEXT blog entry. After all, we stayed in ONE PLACE with toys, kids and friends for a whole day! Gotta share that right… and who’s birthday did we celebrate? Can you hear Trinity yell TRINITY???

100% healthy!