Friday, December 30, 2011

Evaluation of the Christmas just Passed

This is a thinking season. Between Christmas to New Year. Together with cleaning and de-cluttering. Cleaning and Contemplating are like twins hovering on my left and on my right shoulders these days.  Of decisions we have made through the year and will be in the new one. 

Of Christmas that passed, I ask myself. Did I achieve what I set out to do? Did I place God above all ? Did I spread Cheer to my loved ones and to strangers? Did I give enough, especially to Charity? Did I hold all things in good spirit and let the holy spirit do its work in me. To all these questions, I can at best say I tried. I was very tempted to do away with the whole gift idea. It is easy for me, after all, many Singaporean Christmas passed with a family buffet dinner at a restaurant and Home Alone video at home. But my husband feel passionately about a traditional Christmas  for the kids. We talked about the American traditions relentlessly but it is most interestingly summed up in his recent written sparring on his favorite blog - Ricochet. You can read ahead what goes on in the head of this head of the family.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Day

Turkey looked great in the Oil-less Fryer

"I cooked this!"
I drizzled sage butter on it. It really was as crisp as fried.

We let it over cooked about 30 mins so the breast was not as moist as I like it to be but it still tasted much better than most fried Turkey I had eaten.

Kids friendly table setting. Love paper plates.
sides of Classic Dressing, Mixed veg and green bean Casserole as well as Gravy and Cranberry sauce. 
Cheese cake  - Dessert 1

Sweet Potato Pie - Dessert 2
Beverage of the day - Southern Ice Tea

As you can see, Santa did come last night.

Stamping after a sa-turk-sfying meal
 Highlights of the day

- Stew's biggest present this year : his first kindle which was lost 18 months ago. I found it when I was cleaning up  wrapped up as a gift for him.

- Charlotte was playing on my galaxy tab and bought  $100  worth of game points for one of her games. How did she do that? I don't know. All she said was " I pushed the buttons".

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Getting ready for Christmas

I love these guys, the look so serious. Absolutely adore the gift WeiEn made for us in the brown lunch bag and the green package is by Charlotte. Wouldn't know what it is until Christmas.
2 weeks ago
Operation Dust Busting Began. Goal -A clean decorated house and warm cookies  to welcome Santa. Much like a cleaned up house with  Sticky Cakes to welcome the kitchen God in the Chinese New Year Tradition. This year, we decided on a simple Christmas. So, only minimal decoration.

Living Room Fireplace

Front door, it looks much nicer at night with lights on.

He is so cute, sitting on top of my tomato planter Christmas tree.

WeiEn's Class celebration

With his friends

He is so excited, last day of school for Christmas Break

Benton United Methodist Church Cantata - One word - FANTABULOUS! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Althouse: George H.W. Bush endorses Romney, because of his "...

You have got to love Romney for this comment with Bill O'Reilley.
Althouse: George H.W. Bush endorses Romney, because of his "...: "I just think he’s mature and reasonable — not a bomb-thrower... I’ve got to be a little careful because I like Perry; he’s our governor." ...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cute Craft For Christmas Day

This Elf Craft is so cute, I am going to try and make it with the kids on Christmas. Usually we made these crafts on Thanksgiving, but we were not at home then. I still have some left over Thanksgiving red felt which would be perfect. They make me smile.

you will need:

  • wooden dolly clothes pegs
  • felt, red and green
  • black fine tip marker pen
  • fabric glue

  • template please click here MoreArrowGrey.jpg
  • scissors
  • small square of white cardboard how to: (there are step-by-step pictures below)1. First, download the pattern ( please click here MoreArrowGrey.jpg) and cut out all of the shapes. Pin these to the felt, then carefully cut out your elf clothes
    2. Using the rectangle for the trousers, insert one end into the split part of the peg.  Wrap it firmly all the way around, and using a blunt butter knife, push the excess felt from the other end into the split as well.  Your elf is now wearing trousers
    3. For the shirt, make sure you have cut the little cross in the centre before slipping it over the head of the peg.Fold the felt in half to form a shirt and glue along the lines as shown on the template.  Press firmly for a minute to allow to glue to hold
    4. To hold the arms down, dab some glue to underarm of each of the sleeves then press together while the glue holds
    5. For the hat, glue down one side of the triangle then fold over, pressing firmly.  Fill the open end of the hat with glue before popping it onto the head of the peg

    6. Place some glue in each sleeve to hold the gloves, you might need to push these in with a skewer. While the gloves are drying, you can cut a small rectangle of cardboard and write some words on it from your favourite Christmas Carol

    7. Dab some glue to each of the gloves and wrap them around the cardboard to hold. Draw two dots for the eyes, a small nose and a mouth
    Wooden Dolly Clothes Pegs:around $2 per pkt from craft and variety storesFelt: Available from Spotlight, Lincraft or most art and craft stores
    Helmar Fabric Glue: 125ml - around $5.99 from art and craft stores
  • Wednesday, December 21, 2011

    25 clever ideas to make life easier

    25 clever ideas to make life easier

    Amazing ideas! Must read. 

    Frantic Cleaning Day - Before & After

    Peace finally returns to this closet.  Now they can read in here if they like or Charlotte can work with different cubby "lessons" .Musical instruments in the white basket, counting in red, magnetic writing pad in one, Winnie the Pooh imaginary play (with a loadable truck), puzzle and shapes clock as well as her well, gun (she needs her sports).
    So I woke up yesterday morning a woman with a mission. No more Mess! Nightly ritual of endless picking up of toys ended this day. Too much time had been wasted. Time I needed for many other important projects. I could not makeover my house in a day but I could start with the most troubling areas. Toys! The constant battle was getting old. It was me or them.  A lot were hand me downs from my nephew and very old, a lot had beautiful memories I had with Weien playing them, alas the baggage of sentimental values. Plus who knows, they might want to play with them when they are older. Yeah right.These were the reasons I lived with them for so long. Now, they are going into storage underneath the guest room bed.

    Then the evil computer station at the breakfast nook that had caused so much anxiety over the years. I don't mean technology was evil, only when they create a mess. Their role was to enhance life not the opposite. I could not count the number of mornings I woke up, took one look at the station and got POed. It was like a big wire monster that robbed smiles and joy. As we added more and more technology, the monster grew bigger and bigger. He too, needed to go. So Mr Sanity could return. Maybe.

    So for 12 hours, I sorted, cleaned,organized. I wished I was 20 years old. Cleaning massively was a massive undertaking. Lots of planning required. In order to move the clutter, they need to have a place to move to. Then, meet the devil of Details. It was easy to store something when you stacked them, but to store in a manner you can easily retrieve was a different story. Living in the rural with 4 seasons also meant we needed much more things because one simply could not afford to run to a store when you ran out of something. Then finally, the aesthetic value we deserved but usually did not prioritize. So as I turned my kitchen and breakfast nook into a junk yard, my daughter was exploring through like she landed on mars. But she still needed her meals, got cleaned and entertained occasionally.  I appreciated so much her ability to tip toe so she could "help" herself to  cookies when she was hungry. Babysitting and Cleaning was not a fun combination. But did I say come hell or high water? 

    He promised with Him all things are possible. So I said my prayer before I started. Part faith, part naivety. Somehow, it managed to come together. Now, a messy closet is a calm hideout for them (intended, anyway) and I have a really nice lookout of the green and the scurrying squirrels and rabbits. And of course, the lovely birds.
    I don't have the right matching furniture or accent pieces to create exactly what I want. But it will do for now.

    C is for Christmas and for Calm.
    So, if you did't get a Christmas Card from me, you know I have been cleaning.

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    Home Remedies: Craftroom Reveal!

    Home Remedies: Craftroom Reveal!: I was beginning to think this day would never come.... but here it is! My craft room makeover is finally finished and ready to share! ...

    Monday, December 19, 2011

    WeiEn and Charlotte - Indoor & Outdoor

    She loves her Tablet. She can bring out her own learning program.

    This tablet is very heavy but she is not daunted

    now, finally in a better reading position

    she can focus now. She has learnt almost the entire alphabet
    She also loves to Play on the Piano

    one of her favorite friend piglet listening to her

    brother and sister duet

    Did you like that mommy?
    Wow, leaves Mommy.

    This is the first time she sees a pile of leaves. Weien is pretending to be trapped

    I am stuck !

    Look, the leaves are burying my feet!

    She loves the rustling sound of leaves

    Lets make a giant pile

    Sister is helping

    she just picked the leaf from the lowest hanging branch

    WeiEn is leaf collecting. Beautiful colours are irrestible.

    I am going to ride my tricycle