Sunday, February 27, 2011
As part of our church's worship on Feb. 13, children were invited to join a Praise Chorus. Grace was very excited to get to be a part of something so special. She finished her weekly homework early in the week, and went with Jason to worship practice on the previous Thursday night to practice (she got to stay up past her bedtime of 7:30pm, which was in itself a pretty big deal). The children were included for Third Day's "Children of God." I grew up regularly singing in church, but it's not something our church does very often (have children at the front). I hope that changes- what a gift, to see our children praising our Lord!
Saturday, February 19, 2011
So a few weeks ago, we tried to help our kids experience Vietnamese culture through Lunar New Year. Last weekend, it was their turn to experience Mennonite culture. Like Jason, my close friend, Jill, is also Mennonite and I'm glad that she knows a lot about the culture, especially the cuisine. Last week, we were treated to a special verenika dinner. The best way that I can describe these, are that they're kind of like dumplings that are supposed to be filled with a hard-to-find hoop cheese (Jill ended up using farmer's cheese). They're eaten with a special sauce and often served with German sausage and zwiebach (Mennonite rolls). I was almost done eating before I remembered to take a picture- oops. They're also quite time consuming to make, so it's not something we get to eat very often. Needless to say, we ate until we were stuffed- it was delicious!!! In addition to a wonderful meal, we got to spend quality time with good friends!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
We've gone to the Cos' home these last few years for the Superbowl. As always, it was fun to watch the game, eat, and hang out with good friends! (Jason makes fun of me for taking pictures of people watching T.V., so I didn't this time). It was a beautiful day outside, and so the kids spent most of the afternoon playing outside (for memories' sake, we were all cheering for the Packers, and they won 31-25 against the Steelers).
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Now that our kids are a little older, I realize that I need to be more intentional about teaching them about my Vietnamese culture. In years past, I've thrown Vietnamese New Year's parties with Asian cuisine for our friends (no kids), but now that we have kids, I feel like we need to include them! Feb. 3 was Lunar New Year, and I definitely didn't want to pass up on this teachable moment. We invited some of our friends to join us on Saturday in ringing in the new lunar year. Most people refer to this as Chinese New Year, but there are many other cultures that celebrate it. That's why I refer to it as Lunar New Year. We were originally just going to go for Vietnamese food as a way of celebrating, but some of our friends found out that there was going to be a lion dance at Shanghai, a local Chinese restaurant. Many Chinese customs have been incorporated into Vietnamese culture, so even if we were part of a Vietnamese circle here (we're not), it's likely we still would've gone to see lion dances. The dancers weaved throughout the restaurant, and they came right to our table. Grace loved it, while Jeremy held onto Jason quite tightly. Jackson was brave enough to "feed" the lion as it came to our table.
It was a neat experience with our kids. We enjoyed the Chinese meal (it was hard to talk though since we were spread over 2 tables), and then headed to our house afterwards to hang out. In Vietnamese traditions, every lunar new year, children are given li xi envelopes (red envelopes with money inside). The children wish their parents and elders wishes for the New Year, and then are given the li xi. We decided to keep that tradition, and presented all of the kids with li xi. It's the Year of the Rabbit, which means that it's supposed to be a peaceful, easygoing year. From what I've read, the Year of the Rabbit signals a year devoted to family, and so I look forward to an amazing year for our family! Chuc Mung Nam Moi- Happy New Year!
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Grace's school held their 1st semester Awards Assembly last Friday. Jason was able to find coverage for a few of his classes so that he could attend, and Grandma was also able to come. We are so proud of Grace- she earned 3 awards! Jason left as soon as her class' awards were presented. It wasn't until the next day when we saw Grandma that we found out that Grace had actually received a 4th honor. After the 1st grade awards were handed out, Grace was recognized for being the top A.R. reader in all of the first grade. She didn't say anything to us about this when we saw her later that day (and she hadn't received any certificates because her teacher had been absent). As avid readers, Jason and I are thrilled that our daughter has such a love of reading! We are so thankful that she is excelling in school and absolutely loves learning!