Sunday, January 31, 2016

Year of the Monkey

This week was time to celebrate the Chinese New Year again at the elementary. The kids always enjoy going to this from year to year. This year they had a lot of extra activities, which was fun and a little chaotic all at the same time. We got to play Chinese Checkers and Chess, practice with chopsticks, practice Konji, build a Chinese drum, do a building trivia game, a Chinese puppet show and other fun things before the big finale of the traditional Lion Dance in the gymnasium.

So much fun. I'm so glad that we participate in the dual immersion school and are learning the language as well as the culture.  Such a neat opportunity for these kiddo's. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Thus Far...

Thus far 2016 has been pretty laid-back and mellow. We've been kicking back, mostly at home and spending a lot of time playing games, watching movies and watching the playoffs while we prep for Superbowl (Go Patriots!).  We have done a few small things though. Since receiving some Christmas money, this little girl has been begging to go back to Build a Bear to make a real bear and spend hers. So since we had a little time on a Friday morning before preschool, I finally took her to do just that.  Meet Lila the pink bear.

I also took the boys to spend theirs. Caleb opted to spend his on a Chrome Cast for his room to be able to access the media server from there (so boring and grown up-ish, right?). Zaden bought some new characters for his Lego Dimensions game and Zaric opted for a fake pet bird, that talks and whistles.

We took a quick road trip to Evanston to get a piece of the 900 million Jackpot Powerball. And won a whopping $7. Skunked again!

Zaden and I made a couple small stylish changes. First up, I added some pink highlights t my hair.

And after he broke his glasses, again.....we went to get those fixed and also ordered him a second handsome pair.  Here's what he picked out.
Faith managed to pick up a sinus infection and some sort of eye infection that kept her down for a couple days, but after a trip to the Dr. and a few doses of antibiotics she's good as new! 
But the most exciting thing that's happened thus far is when the boys and I had some extra time on Friday while waiting for Faith and I took them to look around Petsmart. Mike and I had been discussing letting Zaric get a small pet for a bit now.  He's a huge animal lover and it's been suggested as part of his therapy, in my recent readings, for his anxiety.  So while there, and he was drooling over every animal we saw, he asked for the millionth time if he could "maybe get one someday." So I surprised him and told him that he could get either a hamster or a guinea pig. After meeting a couple of both, he opted for this little nugget.  Meet our new hamster, Shylo.

All of the kids love her. So far they've been checking on her first thing in the morning, having me put her in the ball for exercise in the mornings while she rolls around the house and being very responsible about making sure she has food, water and feeding her treats. She's still pretty skittish about being held, but we'll keep working on that.  We'll see when it comes time to change her bedding in the cage for the first time this week, how well that goes. But so far, I've really been impressed with his attitude toward the responsibility of a pet and with how well the other kids have taken to the idea and wanting to help.  Hopefully that lasts.

And that's it in a nutshell so far.  Still a week to go, maybe we'll actually go do something for a change.....and then again, maybe not. Who knows?

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Ringing in the New Year

The kids ditched us for Papa's house for New Year's this year.  So we decided to break out my new party shoes and head for the west border to hit up Wendover for the evening. We arrived around dinner time and ate ourselves silly, then returned to the hotel for a while before we donned our party hats and hit up the casino's to have some fun.
We had a great time people watching, playing some slots and getting out on the dance floor a little and actually staying awake until midnight to cheer it on with the crowd.
The kids were busy partying at Papa's and I received this pic of them with their cousins with party hats and their Jelly Belly champagne bottles.
After we returned home the next day and relaxed some, we continued to ring in the new year with one of my longest time friends, Scott, and his wife Holly with some dinner and nearly 3 hours of conversation.  We did the math and determined we've been friends for 24 years! Crazy!
And the kids continued having fun at Papa's. Faith even had a little "New Year, New us." party and took her new makeup from Santa to give them all makeovers. Papa was even a good sport and donned some blush and eye shadow at Faith's insistence to "fix his face."
We got to enjoy 3 full days of adult-only time where we watched some movies both at home and one at the theater, enjoyed the quiet house lounging around with the fireplace blazing, put together a large puzzle Mike received for Christmas and did a few errands while the kids played their hearts out at Papa's. I spent time with friends, got my kiss at midnight, broke even on the slots and got Mike actually out on the dance floor, not once but twice! 2016 is definitely starting out as a WIN!

Shen Yun 2016

 As part of Christmas, we bought each of the kids tickets to an event that they wanted to attend in the next few months to have a little date with either Mom or Dad. Caleb's event just happened to be  the week after Christmas. So he and I set off, first to his favorite restaurant (Pizza Pie Cafe) for some lunch.
Then we were off to the theatre to see Shen Yun for the first time.

This is a cultural performance filled with Chinese dancing, music and some singing. I was unsure if he would like it as much as he thought he would, but I'm happy to report that he absolutely loved it and couldn't quit talking about it afterwards with me and later with Dad. He's already requesting that we go again next year if it returns.  Since photography is not allowed, I had to borrow a couple pics to show. It was completely beautiful and impressive to watch.

I'm so excited that we were able to do this as part of their Christmas gifts. Instead of just toys, this year we are going to create memories.