Friday, February 29, 2008

Some Leap Year Celebration Ideas...Ribbit Ribbit

Pop-up Frog Card

Make a cute frog pop-up card using construction paper. This is a great Birthday Card or Get Well Soon Card.

Supplies needed:
* Two pieces of construction paper (use 2 different colors)
* Scissors
* Glue
* Markers or crayons

Fold two rectangular pieces of construction paper in half. One piece will be the outside of the card and one piece will be the inside.

Cut a straight line perpendicular to the fold in the middle of one of the pieces of paper.

Fold down the paper on each side of the cut you just made.

Cut a short, straight line on the top fold (do not cut all the way to the edge of the paper).

Fold down the paper on each side of the cut you just made.

Unfold the folds and open up the card.

Carefully pop the frog's mouth and eyes so that they bulge towards the inside of the card.

Draw half a frog around the mouth and eyes (draw the head, a leg and a foot).

Glue the other piece of folded construction paper to the back of your card.

Cut along the half-frog drawing you made in the previous step.

Fold the card up.

Now cut the other half of the frog out.

Open up your card and decorate your frog if you'd like - you can give it warty skin, stripes, and eyeballs (drawn on the underlayer). You might even want to glue on a long pink tongue (make sure that the tongue fits inside the card when you fold the card up).

Write a message on your cute frog pop-up card.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wacky Wed...what spice are you?

You Are Black Pepper

You may be considered ordinary by some, but you're far from boring.

You elevate the mood of any discussion, and people miss you when you're not around.

You are secretly very dominant and powerful. Most can only take you in small doses.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Aunt Lynn...

Happy Birthday Aunt Lynn...a fun, outgoing, smart, beautiful person (inside and out)...may all your dreams and wishes come hard and party often!!

We love you!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!!

Today is my Dad's birthday!! I cannot express how much love I have for him, he has been there for me through everything, has guided me on the right path, and supports me in everything I have ever wanted to do, no matter whether he agrees with it or not, he has helped teach me right from wrong, and gives me unconditional love. He is one of my idols, and I absolutely adore him!!

Happy birthday doot-doot!! I love you!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Strange dream....

I guess with the all the excitement of going on, the adoption must have been on my mind all night because I kept dreaming about our Chynna...I would wake up during the night and think "did I see her face" and "how old was she" and ....

the last dream I had this morning, I saw her face, and what amazing eyes, what beautiful black hair, and what a sweet little girl....yes little girl, she was about 5 years old and just meeting us for the first time, but instead of meeting us in China, she was brought to us here in the U.S., to my mom's house, by my sister. She came right to us with no hesitations...

What does this all mean? Does it mean she was born last night? or that she has already been born and was dreaming of having a forever family? Whatever it means, it made me believe all is going to be okay!!

Happy Friday, and sweet dreams!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Ali...and Happy Anniversary Ginnie and Jay...and

Wow, what a day today....good news everywhere....

our good friends Don and Be became parents!!! check out their blog and wish them's been a long road waiting to see Joanna Mei's sweet face....

also, I got my car back from the shop....yeah!! so happy to have it back!! good as new (new bumper and new back tail lift, and what a shine...I don't think it has shined that way since I've owned it...hehe)...I so love my car insurance company, they made everything so very easy (and no it's not the one with the lizard)....

other good friends of ours Ginnie and Jay are celebrating their wedding anniversary and their daughter Ali's (aka "Ali-Bear") second is the Ali Bear: all!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wacky Wed (what punctuation mark are you) and Thank you Annslee

You Are An Exclamation Point

You are a bundle of... well, something.

You're often a bundle of joy, passion, or drama.

You're loud, brash, and outgoing. If you think it, you say it.

Definitely not the quiet type, you really don't keep a lot to yourself.

You're lively and inspiring. People love to be around your energy.

(But they do secretly worry that you'll spill their secrets without even realizing it.)

You excel in: Public speaking

You get along best with: the Dash

I also wanted to thank LaLa and Annslee for the wonderful gifts for Chynna (that was so unnecessary but so appreciated..) guys are too kind:

Chynna will eat like a champ in this divided plate:

and drink from the matching cup

while reading about leapfrogs:

with Mommy who's feet are nice in toasty in these amazing socks:

Thank you again guys....we love you guys!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tuesday giggle

Don't we wish they all do....hehe!! Have a great Tuesday!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Chinese New Year 2008 Tampa ...

We had such a great time yesterday getting together with our friends and meeting some new ones, to celebrate CNY 2008 in Tampa....

Here's one of the videos (I'll post more tonite)...

and here is another:


Saturday, February 16, 2008

If it wasn't for bad luck....

we wouldn't have any luck at all....

Wow, what a week...first on Monday night on our way home from work, Ray and I get rear-ended (in the car we bought in May) while sitting at a red light...guy didn't even stop til he hit us (like we were his brakes or something)...there was an accident on the side of the road, motorcyclist hit and the driver of the car that hit us was too busy talking on his cell phone and "rubbernecking" to see the other accident to even notice our brakelights in front of him...luckily we didn't get hurt, but a little sore (my car different story but could have been lots worse...rear bumper smooshed and dents in the tail lift...amazing car my '07 Ford Escape!!)....

then our next door neighbor got air lifted to the hospital Friday morning...always nice to wake up and have an ambulance and fire truck and police cars in front of your house....of course even though I was still in my jammies I had to go outside and see what was the matter...and be there for his wife...she is a strong woman...held it together like this was just another ordinary day (while I silently prayed that he would be okay)...which he was (his wife called us to let us know no stroke, no heart attack, but mild case of they are keeping him a couple of days for observation and to get him healthy again!!!).....

then my mom calls me and seems my sister decided she too wanted to visit the ER...she too seems to be fine, but will be staying for an overnight visit (of course more prayers said....glad He is listening....)...

and then because on Sunday we are going to Tampa to celebrate CNY, Ray and I went shopping tonight...I needed a new blouse and Ray needed new pants...I find this amazing blouse and of course buy it....well when I get home I take it out of the bag to go hang it up and I think, hmmm this is a little heavy and upon closer inspection I realize the sales clerk FORGOT to remove the theft deterrent....great now what the heck am I supposed to do?? and the crazier thing, we went through two major department stores and no alarms....what the heck??? So I guess I will be bringing it back to the store so they can remove the useless thing....

bring on the weekend....let's hope this was the end of the bad luck run....

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Dearest Chynna....

And a Happy Valentine's Day to all of you too!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wacky Wed (What is normal about you?)

You Are Fairly Normal

You scored 50% normal on this quiz

Like most people you are normal in some ways...
But you aren't a completely normal person. You're a little weird too!

Why You Are Normal:

You would eat meat from a cloned animal

You rather be screwed over than screw someone else over

When you're in a car, you prefer to be the driver

You find the Macarena to be the more embarrassing dance

You prefer fiction to non fiction

Why You Aren't Normal:

You know a little about many subjects

You prefer flat potato chips.

You prefer a good nap to a good meal

You don't think glasses make anyone more attractive

You would rather be tan than pale

Surprising....someone thinks I'm normal...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Spoiled again....

After coming home from work (which is a story all in itself, one I'll save to blog about for another day), there awaited this ginormous box...our secret pal had struck again..

We received the most amazing things:

Thank you Secret Buddy!! We so can't wait to find out who you are so we can thank you appropriately!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Valentine's Day Card thought...

Have we really gone this far, hehe???

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Celebrating CNY.....

Yesterday Mom and I while out running our Saturday errands stopped by the Asian grocery store to purchase some "lucky candy" for our nail techs for CNY, and were lucky enough to get to the store just at the right moment....for the CNY celebration (unfortunately I didn't have my camera with us, so no pictures)....

There were so many people there of all ages....some in the most beautiful Asian attire....

While awaiting for the event to start we began noticing some of the people began putting in earplugs and covering their noses and mouths with face masks, and we thought hmmm how strange (but we found out why this was being done....hehe)....

The Lion Dance began, with the beating of these beautifully decorated drums and these symbols, and two brillantly colored dragons dancing first in the street and then went through the entire store, and came back outside to continue the dance...

and that's when we found out why the earplugs and masks were used...the LOUD firecrackers then began going off (and the smoke, wow is all I can say, amazing but loud and smoky)...while the lion dance continued...the dragons even climbed the pole up the building...when the dragons were back safely on the ground the firecrackers continued to explode and they even went up the building and up the pole...

we had an amazing time and were so blessed to have timed our shopping just right (without knowing it) to experience our first CNY celebration....

Friday, February 8, 2008

More cool facts about CNY....

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4706 begins on Feb. 7, 2008.

Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.

A Ratty Year
Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality. Those born in rat years tend to be leaders, pioneers, and conquerors. They are charming, passionate, charismatic, practical and hardworking. Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck, Samuel L. Jackson, William Shakespeare, and Mozart were all born in the year of the rat.

Fireworks and Family Feasts
At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children "lucky money" in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.

The Lantern Festival
In China, the New Year is a time of family reunion. Family members gather at each other's homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast on New Year's Eve. In the United States, however, many early Chinese immigrants arrived without their families, and found a sense of community through neighborhood associations instead. Today, many Chinese-American neighborhood associations host banquets and other New Year events.

Chinese New Year ends with the lantern festival on the fifteenth day of the month. Some of the lanterns may be works of art, painted with birds, animals, flowers, zodiac signs, and scenes from legend and history. People hang glowing lanterns in temples, and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon.

In many areas the highlight of the lantern festival is the dragon dance. The dragon—which might stretch a hundred feet long—is typically made of silk, paper, and bamboo. Traditionally the dragon is held aloft by young men who dance as they guide the colorful beast through the streets. In the United States, where the New Year is celebrated with a shortened schedule, the dragon dance always takes place on a weekend. In addition, many Chinese-American communities have added American parade elements such as marching bands and floats.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Gung Hay Fat Choy!!

Traditional Celebration of the Chinese New Year

Of all the traditional Chinese festivals, the new Year was perhaps the most elaborate, colorful, and important. This was a time for the Chinese to congratulate each other and themselves on having passed through another year, a time to finish out the old, and to welcome in the new year. Common expressions heard at this time are: GUONIAN to have made it through the old year, and BAINIAN to congratulate the new year.

Turning Over a New Leaf
The Chinese New year is celebrated on the first day of the First Moon of the lunar calendar. The corresponding date in the solar calendar varies from as early as January 21st to as late as February 19th. Chinese New Year, as the Western new Year, signified turning over a new leaf. Socially, it was a time for family reunions, and for visiting friends and relatives. This holiday, more than any other Chinese holiday, stressed the importance of family ties. The Chinese New year's Eve dinner gathering was among the most important family occasions of the year.

Sweeping of the Grounds
Preparations for the Chinese New Year in old China started well in advance of the New Year's Day. The 20th of the Twelfth Moon was set aside for the annual housecleaning, or the "sweeping of the grounds". Every corner of the house must be swept and cleaned in preparation for the new year. SpringCouplets, written in black ink on large vertical scrolls of red paper, were put on the walls or on the sides of the gate-ways. These couplets, short poems written in Classical Chinese, were expressions of good wishes for the family in the coming year. In addition, symbolic flowers and fruits were used to decorate the house, and colorful new year pictures (NIAN HUA) were placed on the walls (for more descriptions of the symbolism of the flowers and fruits.

Kitchen God
After the house was cleaned it was time to bid farewell to the Kitchen God, or Zaowang. In traditional China, the Kitchen God was regarded as the guardian of the family hearth. He was identified as the inventor of fire, which was necessary for cooking and was also the censor of household morals. By tradition, the Kitchen God left the house on the 23rd of the last month to report to heaven on the behavior of the family. At this time, the family did everything possible to obtain a favorable report from the Kitchen God. On the evening of the 23rd, the family would give the Kitchen God a ritualistic farewell dinner with sweet foods and honey. Some said this was a bribe, others said it sealed his mouth from saying bad thins.

Free from the every-watchful eyes of the Kitchen God, who was supposed to return on the first day of the New Year, the family now prepared for the upcoming celebrations. In old China, stores closed shop on the last two or three days of the year and remained closed for the first week of the New Year. Consequently, families were busy in the last week of the old year stocking up on foods and gifts. Chinese New Year presents are similar in spirit to Christmas presents, although the Chinese tended more often to give food items, such as fruits and tea. The last days of the old year was also the time to settle accumulated. debts.

Family Celebration
On the last day of the old year, everyone was busy either in preparing food for the next two days, or in going to the barbers and getting tidied up for the New Year’s Day. Tradition stipulated that all food be pre-pared before the New Year’s Day, so that all sharp instruments, such as knives and scissors, could be put away to avoid cutting the "luck" of the New Year. The kitchen and well were not to be disturbed on the first day of the Year.

The New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day celebrations were strictly family affairs. All members of the family would gather for the important family meal on the evening of the New year’s Eve. Even if a family member could not attend, an empty seat would be kept to symbolize that person’s presence at the banquet. At midnight following the banquet, the younger members of the family would bow and pay their respects to their parents and elders.

On New Year’s Day, the children were given Red Lai-See Envelopes , good luck money wrapped in little red envelopes. On New Year’s day, everyone had on new clothes, and would put on his best behavior. It was considered improper to tell a lie, raise one’s voice, use indecent language, or break anything on the first day of the year.

Starting from the second day, people began going out to visit friends and relatives, taking with them gifts and Lai-See for the children. Visitors would be greeted with traditional New year delicacies, such as melon seeds, flowers, fruits, tray of togetherness, and NIANGAO, New Year cakes.

Everybody’s Birthday
The entire first week was a time for socializing and amusement. On the streets, the stores were closed and an air of gaiety prevailed. There were numberous lion dances, acrobats, theatrical shows, and other diversions. Firecrackers, which symbolized driving away evil spirits, were heard throughout the first two weeks of the New year. The Seventh Day of the New Year was called "everybody’s birthday" as everyone was considered one year older as of that date. (In traditional China, individual birthdays were not considered as important as the New Year’s date. Everyone added a year to his age at New Year’s time rather than at his birthday.)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Wacky Wed (What Goddess are You?)

You Are Aphrodite!

A total shining star with a ton of admirers
And no wonder: you live life to the fullest!
When things get bad, you can easily take off to a happier place
But occasionally, you need to deal with problems head on

I always knew I was a godess!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Monday, February 4, 2008

Treat Rats with Kindness....

AP News Report....BEIJING - An animal rights group called Monday for China to treat rats with kindness and respect, as millions across the nation begin to celebrate the coming Year of the Rat.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, said it has asked the Chinese government to consider animal welfare laws for rats used in laboratory experiments. The group also recommended a series of guidelines for animals used in science.

"Rats sing, they dream, and they express empathy for others," Coco Yu of PETA's Asia-Pacific branch said in a statement.

China has increasingly become a place of business for international pharmaceutical companies, the group said....

The rat is one of 12 animals in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac, which follows the lunar calendar. The Lunar New Year is Thursday.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Will he see his shadow???

Happy Groundhog Day (quite possibly....), here's a little diddy about that so ugly he's cute Punxsutawney Phil:

Jolly little groundhog
As happy as can be
He'll be waking up soon
To see what he can see.
We hope the sky is cloudy
And out our friend will stay
For then we'll know for sure
That spring is on its way.

Update.....He saw his shadow...more winter on its way....Stay warm my northern friends (it's quite warm here in Fla......), guess Fla.'s not sure whether it's winter, summer, spring, or fall.....

Friday, February 1, 2008

Happy Fly-day... soup....have a great Fly-day!!