Sunday, January 29, 2012

RRRROOAAARRR!

It can be fierce, the year of the dragon! though so far... mostly fun! 
We've had a pretty fun week.  It was spirit week at school, so there were all sorts of theme days... ugly tie day, crazy hat day... you get the idea... I totally rocked Crazy hat day.  
Otherwise we have had some rainy days, but it finally lightened up for a few days. 
 Grace and I gathered the fallen sticks from our yard and made a bit of a fort that we hung out in for the day.  

 Got some scooting in.  Saturday, we made it over to Bob's for breakfast (giant pile of pancakes) and to restock some staples.

Grace enjoyed her yogurt; Daddy and I had our regular Dots game (dad won), and we all left super full.  That afternoon, I got to help Jameson celebrate his 6th birthday at this awesome place called "Out of this world pizza and play!"

 A big name for a big place full of climbing structures, cars, slides, pizza and fun!!

 We had an awesome afternoon running around and hanging with my buddy!

I headed home and Grace had just fallen asleep, so Dad took me out to swim.  It had been a while, and he forgot the camera, but I went down the HUGE slide by myself, and spent a lot of time going around the whirl pool with Joaquin and Benjamin. Today we went to church in the morning (Dad got elected to the council), and headed (in the rain) downtown to have a yummy lunch at Chen's good taste before heading over to the gardens.  We were pretty lucky, on three fronts... (1) Grace ate like a champ... pretty much all of the won-tons in the soup (maybe 10 or so), (2) I got to eat almost all of the pepper salt squid YUM! and (3) Lions visited the restaurant while we were there!   Eh?  What you might say?  LIONS??? yep.

 Grace was less than thrilled about the visit, but I was so stoked... Lions and firecrackers, and lettuce (which I was showered with) all at the doorstep.

  We got a pretty close-up experience.

After the exciting lunch, we went to the Lan Su Garden where we got to enjoy another lion dance,

some tai-chi, make some lanterns and decorate some dragons,

have our name written in Chinese calligraphy.  In spite of the rain, it was a beautiful visit... lots of goldfish in the ponds,


red lanterns everywhere,

persimmons hanging heavily on the tree, beautiful stones, water dripping, lovely.

 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Gung Hay Fat Choy! (or... nom nom nom eating our way through the week)

We have managed to fill this week full of friends, food and fun, a good way to transition to the year of the Dragon!!!
Last week, since our big plans consisted of cozying up around PDX and watching the storms roll through, we thought we could manage to jazz it up a bit.  We had a short week, Monday off, so in a pleasant change of events, we had Pearl come over to our house for the afternoon!   
We had a great time, Owen and Pearl play so very nicely together, it is just great to see.  Dad and I had some big cooking plans, 
so we sent the big kids to go Bowling while I attempted a nap and attempted to help dad with dinner.  They had so much fun.  
Each kid won one game (if you don't count Mom's rockin scores... totally blowing the kindergartners out of the water... with bumpers,  ahem). 
 Anyhow after a fun filled afternoon (topped off with a doughnut :), 
we had the rest of Pearl's clan over to share our Bo ssam, the Korean version of southern barbecue.
  The pork had roasted all day in the oven, Dad had put together a bunch of tasty sides (fresh pickles, ginger scallion sauce, ssam jam, etc...) Pearl's Dad brought his home-made kimchee and wow, this stuff was great!  
I have easily consumed as much meat as any of the adults this week (there was a TON of leftovers... relished). My favorite though was all of the play-time after dinner.  Those guys are great!  
 Well, the rest of the week brought snow on and off, it was actually kinda tough to get to play in it, so Owen and I woke up super early, I didn't last long, but Owen made snow t-rexes at 6:30am to get his snow fix in before heading to a late-start day at school.  
We did finish off the week watching O's  martial arts class.  He's getting better already!  
and, of course, a muffin at the bakery.  Mom was on her way home, but a subtle suggestion from me and Owen and we made a bit of a detour en route. 
 It didn't take much.  
This weekend was pretty quiet.  The folks claim they spent it all shoveling food into Owen and me, maybe its the weather, maybe its an impending growth spurt.  We'll have to see.  The weather did clear up for a spell yesterday afternoon, so we took advantage with a nice walk. 
 It was certainly nice to get outside (even if we had to be practically kicked out of the house to get us started), even just for a bit.  Today was pretty special.  We anticipated the New Year (monday) with a grand feast at Joaquin and Esme's house.  It was so nice to celebrate with friends!  In addition to J. E, Val and Ray 
(who cooked up some yummy noodles and long-beans... 
Thanks Ray!), we got to play with Elodie and her family and Jamie and his Mom.
(though I'm pretty sure that this is NOT the way to welcome the year of the dragon)
The feast was wonderful!  
  Everyone had a
 fun and nice evening 
and us kids had sooo much fun running around, 
chasing Esme (the ringleader), 

testing some adults with feats of strength, 
printing up some year of the dragon t-shirts (thanks Daddy!) and (FINALLY)
 settling down for a good dragon story at the end of a fun filled evening.   
 Happy Chinese New Year friends and family!!!  We wish you peace and prosperity in this coming year.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

flurries

Finally getting back into a more normal routine.  We all had school this week, to celebrate getting through it all, we grabbed some ice-cream after wu-shu.  Mint chocolate... my favorite.  Grace did pretty well and I was really surprised when we ran into a friend from Wu shu showed up too!  In spite of the cold, it was a great way to finish things up.  

 When we got home, we did some water-color painting.  Really, Grace got totally into it and had a good time.
 She finished up with a bit of a music performance.  She can make "hakalele" music out of about anything, but this time she actually got to use Dad's Uke.
 This weekend has been pretty low-key, a trip to the winter market, but with loads of wind and rain, so it wasn't too long lived.  BUT we got bagels and some cool carrots, so we were pretty happy.
 In hind-sight we should have grabbed some brussel sprouts too.
 Today was pretty great, we got to celebrate Henry's 2nd birthday!

 HAPPY BIRTHDAY friend!  There were amazing cupcakes.

Cute AND yummy.  Really yummy. 

 We had a nice morning playing with our friends.  In addition to cupcakes, play-time,

 some toy-story movie fun we got an extra special surprise... SNOW!  

After the birthday party... Grace went home and fought off a nap (NO!!!! NO NAPPIES!!!!!!! ZZZZZZZZZ)
and Dad and I went hunting for cataput supplies and some groceries.

 As soon as G. went to sleep and while Dad and I were on the road, the snow really started coming down again.

It was lovely, but did not last long enough.  Soon after the snow, a flock of robins landed in our yard.  At least 25 that mom could count were looking through our front yard.

  Pretty cool!