26 February 2014

A Blessing



Bless You Precious Girl

May you be gentle but strong, humble but confident,
and innocent yet wise in all you do.

May your beauty be rooted deeply within finding strength
in your character, your compassion, and your courage.

May you always know that you are valued and prized with a love that provides your needs, satisfies your desires,
builds your character, and prizes your purity.

May you follow the hand of God every day of your life.
(Source: Here)
With-parasol-(1)
 

24 February 2014

Spoken Word Poetry



I'd never heard of it.
I didn’t know what it was.
Then I saw this and was hooked.
And totally blown away.


I was blown away by the beauty of the images she created with words.  I was blown away by her ease with words. 

If you love words and the beautiful imagery words can create when woven together by a master wordsmith, watch this and watch Hand Me Downs.   After that, check out An Origin Story and also go on to watch When Love Arrives.  I just spent an entire morning listening to spoken word poetry and I am hungry for more.

21 February 2014

Reading




My current pair of reading glasses.
My current book.

Reading-glasses-(1)

It’s hard for me to be in-between books, so I make sure that I have at least of couple books on hand that I can reach for once I finish with current one.  Lucky for me that our library is just down the block and that I can reserve and renew books online. (I love our public library system!)  We can borrow up to eight books at a time per library card.  The kids each have their own and Chris and I have our own, but we also have my mom’s and my MIL’s at our disposal, which is really great.

One of the things that I am very thankful for is that both Josh and Zoë love reading.  When they have their noses in a book, they’re oblivious to whatever else is happening around them. I usually have to call their names several times to get their attention.  I don’t get too upset, though (exasperated at times, yes), because both Chris and I get that way sometimes, too.

What’s on your reading list this week?

Linking up -

19 February 2014

Learning Chinese



I agree with Josh:  Chinese* dictation sucks.  But don’t tell him I said that.

When I was learning Chinese, I wasn’t having a grand old time doing it either.  I totally understand how Josh feels about it.  My friends and I were in the same boat.  Now many of us regret not learning it better when we had the chance (2 hours a day, Mon-Fri – for 12 years!).  I am glad that I learned Chinese, though, that I at least know some Chinese.  Enough to get by –enough to be able to read most items on the menu in Chinese restaurants, enough to be able to ask and give directions.  Enough to be able to carry a coherent conversation.  Enough to understand the gist of a newspaper article. 

I keep telling Josh that whatever dictation words that he has now on a bi-weekly basis (around 25 words/phrases) is nothing compared to what I had back then (short passages, not simply phrases).  That doesn’t really comfort him.  He can’t relate to that.  All he can think about is what a pain it is that we have to practice every day and how hard it is to learn all the different strokes for all the different characters.

Every week is the same old story, the same old process.  He starts with groaning and complaining about having to practice the characters.  Some days there are tears.  Then as the days progress, he grows more confident.  He ultimately comes home proud and smiling that got great marks for his dictation test that week.  Then the same process starts all over again.

Parasailing-(1)

Meanwhile, the process is less painful with Zoë.  She would tell me that she also finds Chinese challenging… BUT then she’d add, “But I will do my best, Mommy.”  And she does.  Without anybody asking, she would pull out what she needs to study / write and would get down to it as soon as she comes home from school.  She asks for help when she feels she needs it, but pretty much works independently.  Very self-motivated and very conscientious about learning (not only Chinese, but pretty much everything else).

Challenging as the process may be, I still want my children to learn Chinese.  I don’t expect them to be Chinese scholars and be able to spout Chinese poetry on command, but I do want them to be able to read and write to a fair degree.  I know that what they learn will become more challenging as they move up, but I do hope they persevere. 

My job?  To support them along the way and hopefully help them appreciate the beauty of the language, appreciate that learning another language gives them more options later on in life –not just career-wise, but so much more besides. 

How many languages do you speak?


*Putonghua (Mandarin).  We speak English at home and the children are exposed to Mandarin only in school, during their daily Chinese class.  Playground language at school and with their friends is English.




12 February 2014

Brrrr!



It’s been really cold here the last few days.  Not cold as in snowy-blizzard kind of freezing cold by North American standards, but definitely cold by Hong Kong standards.  Today the weather is 8oC and over in Sochi (Russia), –where the Winter Olympic Games are being held, –they are at 15oC.  Go figure…

Figure skating
Skating rink
‘Rink’ around a rosy…?

(Did you ever play this game –where you start off a phrase with the last word from your friend’s phrase?  I love these types of games.)
Jumping-the-waves-(1)
I wish we can do this again soon. Sunshine. Beach. Jump the waves…

10 February 2014

As you can see from the title, this month’s Creativity Project theme is Love and Light.  Should be easy, right?  I’d thought that, too, yet I found myself stumped.  I did gather a few photos from the archives that I thought would fit in with this theme, but that would be too much of a cop-out, so I did a mini-shoot of sorts with a friend’s little girl … this afternoon.  Talk about cutting it really close!

L is super adorable and she was such a delight to shoot.  I asked her to make faces for me and she gamely did.  When she saw me having fun taking pics of her, she asked her mom for a camera so that she could take some pics herself!   How can anybody help but fall in love with this little girl?  Such a cute little personality to go with that sweet face.

Leah7

Leah6

Leah8

Leah9

Leah3

Leah10

Leah2

Leah4

Leah5

Sweetness overload much?

These ones below are from the archives…. just had to share (again)!  They are some of my all-time favorite photos of Josh and Zoë.



joshandzoe-smiles1

Kiss

Who-They-Love

Please head on over to Here I Blog and keep following on to the next person in our circle for a treat of warm, fuzzy, sweet Light and Love photos.  We’d love to see your interpretation for Love and Light, too; please share them with us over at our Facebook page!

05 February 2014

Happy Year of the Horse



The children are home this week on account of Chinese New Year holidays.  Beyond the flurry of gong xi fa cai (a Chinese New Year greeting) and lai see packets, we’ve just basically been chilling and getting together with friends here and there.  We have a couple of play dates set up, but that’s pretty much it.  A rather quiet and laid back start to the Year of the Horse.  Me, I like that.  Quiet and laid back.

Red-bud-(1)
 
 
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