Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hanging on my rear view mirror...

...is a Pope John Paul II World Peace Rosary. The purpose is to pray for world peace and conversion. The colors represent the five parts of the world:







GREEN - Africa
RED - The Americas
WHITE - Europe
BLUE - Oceania
YELLOW - Asia

Monday, August 27, 2007

Three Guys & a Doll


I found this picture of Claire being catered to by Shane, Mike, & Riz on our Savannah weekend. It was too cute not to put up on my blog! So, enjoy everyone! I know I have at least 3 great daddies in the making to call upon if Kate & Claire need anything!
Song: Forever Young by Bob Dylan

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tai Chi in China

In China, if you are up early enough, and sometimes in the afternoons, you will see people of all ages outside in the streets and parks doing Tai Chi. It is a beautiful sight to watch all of them dance in unison, usually to beautiful music. Sometimes they hold swords, sometimes beautiful pieces of silk, but nonetheless, they are out there every morning exercising! We could learn a thing or two from them, don't ya think? Watch this short video to see this beautiful form of exercise in China.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Our Moon Festivals

The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is on Septemebr 25, 2007. The moon festival is very simple and lovely. The Mid-Autumn Festival is a nostalgic occasion for families to gather to watch the full moon. It is also a romantic night for lovers, who sit holding hands on hilltops, riverbanks and park benches, captivated by the brightest moon of the year. The Harvest Moon or Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhong Qiu Jie) is a day of family reunions much like a Western Thanksgiving. Chinese people believe that on that day, the moon is the roundest and brightest signaling a time of completeness and abundance. During the Mid-Autumn Festival, children are delighted to stay up past midnight, parading multi-colored lanterns into the wee hours as families take to the streets or city parks to moon-gaze.

The people in China do a lot of travelling during this time so they can be with family, friends, and loved ones. Traditional foods for a Chinese Mid-Autumn feast are red for good luck. Lobster and salmon are particular favorites along with apples, pomegranates, roasted peanuts, pomelo, chestnuts, and moon cakes. Here is nice salmon recipe for Moon Festival. Try it at home!

On the past moon festivals, I have celebrated with my children in the following way:
We get together with Chinese friends and cook Chinese food. Then, we tell the girls stories about China, about our travels to get them when they were babies and I usually read them a chinese story. And then we cut into a mooncake from China Sprout!! The ones shown in this picture are my favorites! They are filled with White Lotus Paste, which is sweet and delicious!
Then we get our lanterns and go outside to look at the moon. We play chinese music and sing songs and watch the moon together while nibbling on mooncakes, and coffee or tea for the adults. It is a lot of fun.

Watch the video to see how much time is required to make an authentic mooncake and then you will appreciate why they are so costly!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Angel's Lullabye

Midnight moonlight shining through the curtain lace,

Paints a perfect picture on your perfect face.
One sweet angel sleeping in my arms,
You are the promise I knew God would keep,
You are the gift that makes my world complete.

And you'll never know how much I love you,
But I'll keep on telling you my whole life through.
Now I believe in miracles, and you're the reason why,
So dream on while I sing you my angel's lullaby.
Song by Reba McEntire


Congee

When my babies were small, I used to make congee all the time for them. My Chinese friend came to my house and taught me how to make it, which is very simple. Anyhow, I decided to make a big pot of it today.
I used basmati rice and jasmine rice, water, chicken broth, leeks, ginger, mushrooms, soy sauce, and a little black sesame oil. The most important thing is that you use about 1 cup of rice, 3 cuos of water and 3 cups of broth. I shredded a chicken breast and stuck it in to make chicken congee. You can add pork, beef and any ground versions of these, as well. You throw all of those things into a casserole pot, cover with a lid, and simmer it at a low boil until the rice "pops". Check it often and stir it to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan! It turns into a yummy porridge! My girls were choming at the bit to eat a big bowl today at lunchtime!

Rules of Life

Live Simply.

Love Generously.

Care Deeply.

Speak Kindly.

Leave the Rest to God.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bikini Babies



Itsy bitsy bikinis!

On a hot, hot day in Savannah...



...why not strip down to your skiviest "kini" and play in the next door neighbor's sprinklers with their big dog? That's what we did in this sweltering lowcountry heat. Lily is our neighbor's dog and she is wonderful! My girls love to go to Lily's house to play, and today was no exception, since Allison left her sprinklers on for us! LOL Everyone got wet and it was a great way to cool down today!

Stand Off...

Lily is our neighbor and we love her. She is a great dog! Whenever we go over to see Lily, Baci follows along to guard us. So, today when we were palying in the sprinklers, Baci came along, too. Lily just could not believe that Baci was lounging in her driveway, so she approached him, but never too close! Lily is terrified of Baci! LOLOL They had a stand-off for about 20 minutes. You can see in the pictures that Baci didn't give a wink that Lily was staring hm down. He was ever so confident that the 120 pound dog would not come too close. And he was right! LOLOL!!









Too Much TV!

I came to the realization that mayb my children have been watching too much TV this summer. It started early this summer with Claire's absolute fascination with Charmin Ultra. Wherever we went, if she saw a package of Charmin Ultra she would start yelling it out loud and making a big to do about it. Thatw as really funny, as explained in a previous post. Anyway, Claire, being the more language-savvy child of the two girls, proved my point today with the following statement.

We went to the Yankee Candle store in the mall to get some more Electric Home Fragrancers because they were on sale! When we got home, I opened it and when Claire saw it she said rather bluntly, "Mama, that is an AirWick air freshener...It's good to be home." I cracked up laughing because the girl knows slogans, for heaven's sake! So, I am going to have to cut back on TV now, as school doesn't start for another few weeks!




Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Shots



Claire had to get 4 shots at the pediatrician last week and they told me as we left to give her a dose of Tylenol because one of the shots was a particularly nasty one. So, when we got home I gave her the Tylenol and all was well...until about 2 in the morning when she woke up and came in my room as red as a beet and blazing hot! She was miserable. My heart ached for her and I gave her a teaspoon of Motrin. She immediately felt as though she was going to vomit, which she never did, thank God! She slept next to me all night, I barely slept, and for the entire next day she ran a fever. She slept most of the next day and on the third she finally made a complete recovery. I called the pediatrician to make sure this was normal and it sure enough was. The pictures are worth a thousand words and all of you new mommies will go through this.

The picture next to her is a "Get Well" card that Kate made for Claire and she placed it next to her as she slept. Sisters are so sweet! She had a bowl next to her in case of spit-ups and a sippy cup filled with water throughout the day. She also had a very concerned mommy by her side in bed the entire day. We made it through, thank God, but whenever your babies are sick, it is a very rough road! Remember, to stay calm and call the pediatrician if you have any concerns.

A Mermaid Masterpiece

Claire created a masterpiece on the back of the paper menu when we went out to lnch with our friends yesterday! She handed it to me and proudly exclaimed, "mama, look, I made a mermaid masterpiece"! Then she wrote her name for the first time! How proud am I, you ask? TOOOOOOOOOOOO proud!



Introducing Baci

I thought I would finally introduce my first son to you all. He was born on September 1, 1996, so he has a birthday coming up. So here it goes...

May I present to you the most handsome of handsome cats around, mommy's first baby, who still drinks kitten milk out of a bottle at the wee age of 10, and is so fierce at protecting me he has been known to chase big huge dogs away as they yelped in fear...the great...the glorious...the BACI!
Baci means "kiss" in Italian!

Every Day On Your Birthday

Rose A. Lewis has written a new book that is absolutely fabulous called "Every Day On Your Birthday". Claire received this book for her birthday from our very close friends Julia, Kate, & Morgan. Julia has always been known for giving great books as gifts and she did not disappoint with this new one! I cannot read through either of Rose Lewis' books without crying, which is a sight to see in and of itself! I Love you Like Crazy Cakes really makes me cry. Took me a good year before I could read through it after Kate came home from China!

Lola

I had to post this picture of Miss Lola, who was taking a moment to catch a fish from her boat! I love her hot pink life vest!! Lola and her parents are very dear friends who live on the other side of the continent. Although we are far away and rarely get to visit, we have maintained a wonderful friendship that sprouted in Nanchang, China. We met our beautiful daughters on a hot summer day in 2004...the best day ever! Our hearts are always with our friends across the prairie and we miss them tons! Love you all!!