Look at my egg!

Look at my egg!

Yesterday was Palm Sunday.  We listened to Slovenian Polka music (isn’t that what everyone listens to for celebrations?) as we dyed eggs, made meringue cookies and Easter cupcakes.   It was a great time with our friend Shuang and Nonna (Nick’s mom).  It was Nathaniel’s first time dying eggs.  Ethan was just eager to grab eggs and drop them on the ground, so he was quickly whisked away and distracted with some crayons and toys.  We had grandiose ideas of making Ukrainian Easter eggs and using 100% natural dyes (with food)…but since both processes take much longer than 30 minutes, and because of last-minute decision-making, we ended up using the traditional vinegar/water/food coloring process.  We also incorporated rubber bands into the dying process to get some nice bright white bands across the eggs.  Crayons were also used for writing names, drawing designs onto the eggs.

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Shuang with Nathaniel

Shuang with Nathaniel: We asked Nathaniel who he wanted to marry when he grows up and he said Shuang!  So, in effect, here is Nathaniel and his future wife.  

 

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Cupcakes with green "grass" (coconut) and "eggs" (M&Ms) on top

Cupcakes with green “grass” (coconut) and “eggs” (M&Ms) on top

I was going to make a resurrection garden with Nathaniel, but we didn’t have time, so it will have to be done tomorrow, Wed. or Thurs. (before Good Friday).  Also in the making for Easter is an Easter wreath with cut-out recycled egg cartons.

Pictures of the resurrection garden and Easter wreath will be posted next week.

 

I’ve been introducing a lot of old Sunday School/Bible songs to Nathaniel and Ethan.  We’ll sometimes have guitar sing-a-long sessions with songs per their request.  Repertoire includes, but is not limited to songs like: “Have Patience,” “I’ve Got Peace Like a River,” “The B-i-b-l-e,” “The Welcome Song,” “Jesus Loves Me,” “Open the Eyes of my Heart,” “Lord, I Lift Your Name On High,” etc.

Ethan often will add his own vocalizations during our little bouts of sing and dance.

This video shows Nathaniel singing parts of “The B-i-b-l-e” and Ethan adding his own part during the chorus/main theme.  Enjoy!

I finally uploaded pictures of the past few months onto the computer. So, here are some highlights.

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Happy guy covered in dirt…

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Hoeing in action.

He loved being outside.  Squeals of joy.  Ethan sometimes trembles with delight and we call his trembles "leveling up" like when Mario (& Luigi) get an extra life.

He loved being outside. Squeals of joy. Ethan sometimes trembles with delight and we call his trembles “leveling up” like when Mario (& Luigi) get an extra life.

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My little gardener.

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This is the face of consternation. No tears. Just protest and disappointing frustration.

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This picture says to me, “indifference” and “very relaxed”. Nathaniel’s just thinking….what he does best.

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兄弟两人爱谈天。。。the two brothers philosophizing about life.

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Ethan has figured out how to crawl onto Nathaniel twin bed. He takes the hard route each time, crawling onto the bed frame and over the rail guard. He is the climber of the two.

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Ethan likes being an adult. He loves sitting on big adult sized chairs!

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Nathaniel’s classic smile for when I say, “Smile at the camera!”

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Ethan is a cuddle bug. He likes coming for a hug, going to play on his own and then coming back every few minutes for a hug or to sit in your lap.

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Nathaniel has taken to playing with stuffed animals more than he has in the past. Pretend play is so much fun!

An old one that I dug out of the video archives this afternoon. Hilarious. They still have this type of dynamic today. It’s great!

Spring is here!  

Or so we thought on Tuesday 3/12, when it was 55 degrees!  

That was before the severe winter weather warning and the gale warning that was issued on Wednesday morning.  We got 6 inches of snow yesterday alone!  And it was probably the windiest snow storm we’ve had this winter (and there’s been a lot, trust me).  

Today’s high is 21 degrees, bright blue skies and radiant sunshine.  A perfect winter day.  The snow is wet enough to pack for snowmen and well, it’s just pleasant walking weather.  Don’t forget your sunglasses!

Tomorrow’s high is back up to 55 degrees.  

The inklings of spring…always erratic and crazy here in Cleveland.

The first day of spring is technically March 20, next Thursday.  So, we will consider all of this freakish weather just a weird end to winter.  

With spring in mind, we are starting to think about our seedlings and what we want to plant in our garden this year.  We should’ve started our seedlings already, but didn’t realize it was that time of the year already!  Tomatoes, green beans, sugar snap peas and lots of leafy greens are on the preliminary list.  Our peach tree is getting bigger and while we probably won’t see fruit this year, it will have another season to mature.  Seedlings this weekend or next!  

Nick and I are committing to 40 days of no meat (Lent) and 40 days of waking up at 5 (Nick) and 5:30am for quiet time and prayer.  We’ve also started reading the book Upended and are really really enjoying the challenge of the book:  How Jesus recreates how you communicate and your relationship with the world you live in.  Excited to get more into the book, as I am only on chapter 1.  

Nathaniel had his first realization that Mom and Dad don’t always know everything, and that not everything we tell him is true.  I told him 2 names for the 2 cars on a page of a story we were reading and the 2 names were actually assigned to the wrong cars (should’ve been flipped) and Nick read that same story that same night and correctly assigned names to the cars.  Nathaniel and Nick proceeded to have a 10 minute debate as to which car was what name.  Nathaniel proudly and confidently told Nick, “I talked to Mama earlier today and she said that this car was ___ and that car was __.”  

Sad to say, I was wrong and Baba was right…but it was very difficult to convince Nathaniel that I was wrong.  

Ethan’s starting to walk around very confidently and can enjoy walking around outside too.  He’s also developing a very very quirky and humorous personality.  Lots of giggling, smiling and high-pitched squealing from that kid.  

That’s it for now!  Pictures of the past few months can be found here:  Google Plus

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In his element

This is a perfect picture to start off the weekend!

Another perfectly captured moment.  The boy in his element.  Dancing. the. night. away.  I know I’ve shared a lot about Nathaniel’s dancing inclinations, but this picture was priceless (Tim and Megan’s wedding).  It’s one of those that you just want to blow up and put onto a canvas!  Thanks Peter Liang, for the picture.

Sledding

Our family went sledding last week, on a sunny afternoon. It was beautiful and the snow conditions were perfect! We brought our new vintage flexible flyer (a hand-me-down from our neighbor) and our faithful toboggan (lucky find in the attic of our house!). Little did we know that the flexible flyer works best on already-packed snow. The snow we were sledding on was fresh and powdery. So when Nick took Nathaniel on the flexible flyer, this is what happened: over the first steep slope then face-plant into the snow. The flexible flyer had dug into the powdery snow and catapulted Nathaniel forward into the unforgiving snow! It was a sad site to see, but Nathaniel was ok. He complained a little bit, but then wanted to go sledding again.

Ethan loves sledding, contrary to what this picture conveys. He was upset because his hands were getting cold.

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Recently, a friend of ours hung out with Nick and shared a really neat tradition he started with his son, who is a little older than Nathaniel.  We began that tradition today. 

I started writing a book of letters to Nathaniel, for him to open up and read when he comes “of age,” at 18 or whatever age Nick and I decide down the road.  

We are so happy that our friend shared this tradition with Nick!  Instead of just a book of pictures of Nathaniel’s birth (which we already have), we will write about his personality traits, his character, his strengths and weaknesses, what types of things he enjoys doing at each age and projections of what God’s gifts to him are, and how he could use them in the future.  I wanted to write andwrite and write, but ended up just limiting myself to what I thought was most meaningful and important for him to know..helpful things.

How will you leave your legacy?  What types of traditions do you have similar to this? 

 

photo 1Happy Birthday Nathaniel!

Today is Nathaniel’s birthday! He is 3 today. This 3-year-old is ready for hire. Construction, excavating, drilling, you name it, he’s got the tools for it! His helper, Ethan, is also ready for some action.  Happy birthday, Nathaniel!  We love you!

It is the year of the horse!  Here is a little Chinese New Year greeting from Nathaniel.

We recently started taking another Chinese girl to church with us on Sunday.  It’s really neat that the Lord just brings us people who are interested in coming to church.  The soil is rich and ready to be tilled.  Lord, would you equip us to till the soil and gather the harvest?  

We are headed down to Amish country this weekend with family!  Stay tuned for some pictures and stories of the weekend!

Just a short one today.  Thanks for reading and watching.

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