Cole, Alex, & Anna Grace

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Year of the Dragon

Tonight we celebrated Chinese New Year with family and friends. Both sets of grandparents were able to come tonight along with Anna Grace's beloved babysitter, "Meggie" and her boyfriend. Mike and I planned our menu to include some traditional Chinese New Years dishes and some family favorites. We had homemade dumplings so symbolize reunion of family, spareribs, fried rice, Chinese noodles with chicken to symbolize long life, and Mongolian beef. We also had Asian pears and oranges to symbolize good fortune. Anna Grace was excited to wear one of her dresses that we bought her in China.
Alex and I spent the afternoon making the homemade dumplings. As we sat together folding the dumplings one by one, he talked to me about how much he enjoys cooking new foods and learning about new holidays. I was reminded of how much my dad loved to cook big Chinese meals with my mom on a Sunday afternoon when I was a kid. He loved to be creative in the kitchen and I know if he was still with us, he would have embraced his little Chinese granddaughter and all of the Chinese customs that we are trying to learn.
So, it was with great pride and love for my parents that I set the table with some of the dishware that my parents used for their big Chinese feasts when I was a child. I really love having the chance to embrace Anna Grace's heritage and intertwine it with our own family traditions.
One of the most exciting parts of the evening was the cake that my mom brought.
She and her friend, Maggie, spent the evening last night icing and decorating a dragon cake!
The scales of the dragon were made of m & m's and orange candies. Alex colored the head of the dragon and we attached spiral candles to the dragon's mouth so that it could have real flames!
We had a great time tonight celebrating the Year of the Dragon!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A quick update

Ok- so I know that I have been slacking off on my blogging lately. The kid's schedules have been so busy that by the time I get everything accomplished in the day that needs to get done, I am ready to crash. The only reason that I have a few minutes of quiet right now is because I am home from work with Anna Grace who has a cold. She is napping and the boys are at school- they will be home in less that 30 minutes so I better hurry with my blogging. They will be busy working on homework, eating an early supper, and getting ready for church before I know it. I am posting some pictures of the kids enjoying time with their Christmas presents. Cole has been on several rides with his new mountain bike. It has been a great activity for the boys and Mike to do together.
Alex has not had as many opportunities to use the kayak that he got for Christmas because of the cold weather.

He quickly found that his paddle tends to allow water to slide down into his lap while he is paddling around our cold little lake. After just a few minutes of paddling, his pants were soaked! I think he will wait for some warmer weather to fully enjoy time in his kayak!
Still, I got some great pictures of him out there paddling around the lake while Cole and Anna Grace watched from the shore.
Anna Grace has been enjoying her art easel. She can paint on one side and use chalk on the other. Just yesterday she was painting dragons for Chinese New Year.

Speaking of Chinese New Year, we are getting ready for a big family dinner Sunday night. Last Saturday, Anna Grace and I met my mom (while the boys were on a mountain biking trip) at the Asian grocery store to get the things that we need for Chinese New Year. We are getting ready to celebrate the year of the dragon!