Tag Archive | YMCA

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.

Super Quick Look at September… Sort of

Back to the reflection on the rest of 2017 and September. First off, September was my month of HONEST PHOTOS. So if you search out those two words you will find weekly posts sharing that little experiment. No filters, no cropping.

This is a picture heavy month so I may split it up into two posts, plus there was the Renaissance Festival, which I will share separately. Good grief, I just made more work for myself!

Let’s see… YMCA was visited… often, as usual. This was the tail end of our summer stuff, plus a continuation of things like my work outs and the karate classes.20170911_183653

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Zander

Zander

Neko-chan won our hearts even more, this time with OUTINGS! Yup, we chinchilla proofed our bathroom as best we could and try to let her out once a week at least. She seems to approve, though getting her into the cat carrier is a trick at the best of times.IMAG1340

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20170928_220745We spent lots of time outside, with the loss of our summer walks to the YMCA we took as many as possible to the front lawn of the nearby Catholic church. They have Poke stops there as well as a lovely yard to sit in.IMG_20170908_105635_184

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20170920_122535We started our new school year relatively quietly, really with the year round schooling and the kids really enjoying ongoing pursuits (like the nursery rhymes) there isn’t a huge need to “start fresh” in the fall. But we did do pictures and such.IMG_20170905_110728_195

Zander

Zander

Gavin

Gavin

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We even had a lovely special lunch.IMG_20170905_130005_142

There were a few new supplies and of course full time in the classroom once more.20170905_090744

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Sunday School started up again, I am now a substitute teacher for the little dudes.20170910_103708

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The siding was replaced on the house.20170916_133532

And on the inside we put shelving into the schoolroom that can be adjusted.20170917_145403

Dinner out with the godson was a family affair this time.IMG_20170916_200508_124

20170923_194727But we also got in some fancy dress date nights.IMG_20170915_183456_148

We finally got to meet our new niece Maevowyn. You will remember her baby shower from my post way back when. Just Ken and I went to visit since Shandai and Ravyn have a smaller apartment and we have a larger family. I am one proud aunty. You can see a photo post HERE. But first a teaser. 20170904_162619

And visited an amazing yarn exhibit.20170922_190858

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I got in some crafting myself.20170924_220901

Echo got her school shots going.20170914_150022

And I got an awesome mug.20170916_120600

Fall fun.20170920_123644

A busy, people and activity filled month. Be sure to check out the overflow and the baby post and and and. Love to everyone who made it to the end of this monster post!

A Very August August

Whatever that means… Echo turned 7 in August. And summer continued to happen.

The twins did the Splash and Dash at the YMCA. This was the last year they could register and the first I had heard of it. It was just a fun thing and they did enjoy it. I think this year Ken will do a fun run with them. The other three with the rest of the clubY kids who were there were around to cheer them on.IMG_20170819_110223_762

IMG_20170819_110341_865We spent a lot of time at the YMCA in August. Lots of walking in the sunshine to do what we could do there. Zander chose to do schoolwork over club as he really does get bored. They are so quickly aging out of the program really.IMG_20170826_104211_498

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It was quite the trick to get this daycare art with its paint home!

It was quite the trick to get this daycare art with its paint home!

Don’t forget karate!IMG_20170803_200105_644

We did try to see the total (well mostly here) solar eclipse. We went so far as to make viewing boxes… but weather conspired against us. So we went from an eclipse viewing to playing in the warm rain! Not a bad trade off!IMG_20170820_151832_817

With our viewing boxes early in the morning when we could see some clear sky.

With our viewing boxes early in the morning when we could see some clear sky.

So much for that!

So much for that!

How we had to watch it

How we had to watch it

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Our revised rain party

Our revised rain party

Of course we worked on getting used to our newest member of the family. She is so fun to photograph (if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you would be well aware of this already!).IMG_20170831_223650_062

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20170811_215055Emanuel took a week off the family and went to a camp with his friend Aidan. It was so odd to only have 4 kids!FB_IMG_1502383358796

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FB_IMG_1502383435268We made as many beach trips as we could on our sunny free days. Sometimes including friends like the Schwartz boys and their mom Renee.20170831_164222

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20170831_162838We went to a neighborhood community event hosted by friends we made at the YMCA who were also instrumental in getting me off my butt and into the R.I.P.P.E.D. classes!

Bike parade

Bike parade

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IMG_5417Had school in our classroom AND in the sunroom.20170830_120440

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20170830_083640We did our part and sent some of our useful items to the YMCA collection for the YMCA in Houston after the hurricanes. It was so amazing to be part of a very successful drive where the two YMCAs worked together to fulfill a requested need.20170829_115520

Miss Echo lost her first teeth!IMG_20170814_211141_146

And I sewed up a storm.IMG_20170830_214228_949

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A purse!

A purse!

We visited the Pixar exhibit at the science museum with out homeschool buds.

Echo and Nate

Echo and Nate

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IMG_20170812_145904_049Ken and I visited the local soda shop.IMG-20170825-WA0006

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And visited with Cousin Robbie. As well as baby Karissia when we were over at the Novaks. You will remember pictures of her baby shower HERE (her mom is Sophia).IMG-20170812-WA0002

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Snoopy!

Snoopy!

We had lovely fancy ice cream out at a place near the Novak’s as well.20170826_141647

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20170826_141636Snuck in some Canadian pride time at Canada Days in Little Canada. Though it was less exciting than we expected.IMG_20170806_122755_026

It was a great month in retrospect. I love that these moments flash back into my mind as I look at the pictures. I hope you enjoy them too! 20170831_162848

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Squirrel

Squirrel

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