cupcake joy.

I cannot take credit for these amazingly decorated cupcakes - but I got to HELP! One of my closest friends here is a baker - and she is incredibly gifted with all things sweet! She was the inspiration behind our Cupcake Walk 2010.

This is her hobby! ...and I got to learn by helping frost and create the details of all 48 cupcakes! I just followed her lead, and learned from her! It was so fun! We made pumpkins, owls, bats & bugs. All the ideas came from this book. Aren't they incredible? I especially loved the owls - and the intricacy of all the bugs. Everything is edible!!

The owls & bugs took the most time!
(did you notice the edges are rolled in sugar too?)

The kids were awestruck by these beauties. YUM!!

Harvest Carnival 2010

Since last years' costume party was such a success - lots of families & kids were requesting another party this year! It has now become an Annual Event! Somehow we managed to pull off another extravaganza of epic proportions.....spanning TWO apartments - right down the hall from each other. We had similar games, but opted to have a Cupcake Walk instead of a Pinata this year! The kids (and parents) loved it! We also had a goldfish pond and a Photo booth!!

The girls dressed up as a Shepherdess (Asia), Tinkerbell (Eden), and a Ballerina (Syd). Justin found a Chinese Street-sweeper uniform, and I tye-dyed my Hippi shirt. The kids loved dressing up and playing games with all their friends! ...and eating the special cupcakes too.

Here is Sydney with her friend, dressed as a pink cowgirl.

Eden & Syd with their friend, a Pink Princess.

Asia, the Shepherdess with Davey Crocket & Maid Marion! So historical!
Happy Harvest to one and all!


worms. not a fun topic.

This month 4/5ths of our family caught WORMS. Just typing that word makes me cringe. I am told its a common ailment around here - but annoying to say the least. The fact that it spread so quickly between the girls; we had to quarantine our family & apartment quickly. We pulled E&S out of preschool - which is where I assume they caught the nasty little parasite. We all took our allotted doses of Albendazole, and waited 10 days! It was a challenge, since we didn't feel sick - but wanted to keep the parasite from spreading. The girls were troopers though!

We also began a strict hygiene regimen - scrubbing hands, omitting all sugar from our diets, bleaching all surfaces, washing toys, and buying new bedding! I was a laundry fiend. Amazingly, I survived Worm Infestation 2010, which is miraculous! Let's hope this is not an annual recurring event.

p.s. The girls are out of preschool for this season. :)


October activities....

FALL 2010 Kindergarten Co-op is back in full swing! I have about 8 five-year-old's every Wednesday in our home for 2 hours of hands-on learning, and then 1 hour of Physical Education - outside! This is the most kids I have ever taught at one time - and its definitely full of energy! The kiddos look forward to Wednesdays so much - and they are so fun to be with! Asia attends her own Co-op with friends her age down the hall.

Here are some picts of activities & crafts this month of October:
(my kids only, for privacy sake)

Eden making "Grandma's Scones" - using math skills!
The kids made the snack this day...and it was yummy!

Learning about plants & how they grow: Dyed Celery!
Eden was so proud of her blue celery stalk. She even ate it for a snack!
She also planted a bean - and watched it grow!

Family sing-along & music nights:
Eden showing some interest in playing guitar!!

Baking some delicious Banana Muffins together!

Can we get any more excited about Leaf Prints?
(made from styrofoam, pencils & markers)

Making pumpkin masks!
(learning about mixing colors, painting, using scissors)
...and here's the whole gang!

We also made orange scented playdough!

It has been a very full month of crafts & fun group activities together. These international kids are so precious & I cherish the time I get to spend with them.


bye bye Sushi!

We've only had Sushi for 3 months - but it seems like forever! She has been such a wonderful companion to the girls! Sadly, we have to give her away - since we will be traveling soon. We are happy that she will be moving to a close local friends' home who already has another cat, and who loves her already. The girls were sad to see her go, but they will get to see her again!!

We love you so much Su-su!!


learning from older generations...

Today as we were riding bikes outside....this little lady hobbled up and set her portable chair right next to Justin. She was really excited to talk to the foreign guy who speaks Chinese. Her voice was high-pitched & raspy & hard to understand - since she is 98!! She was so happy to have someone listen to her stories & thoughts...it was cute. She had an amazing dragon cane - which looked quite old too. I discreetly snapped a photo of her feet - which appear to have been bound as a young girl. I am amazed that she walking as well as she was!!

I love meeting older people in this culture - they love to sit and talk & reminisce! Justin said that he only caught about 50% of what she shared - but it was interesting to hear her ideas. Even some other Chinese neighbors couldn't understand what she was saying....so I guess it wasn't only ME!! I love the lines in her face, her toothless smile, her honesty & friendly spirit - and her perseverance in life. What a treasure!!