Friday, February 26, 2016

Chap Goh Mei

"Chap Goh Mei" literally translates as the 15th night of Chinese New year in Hokkien, which marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations.  Somehow, the 15th day of CNY had come by so quickly!  We never had a chance to eat any dumplings, but I was finally able to make some the day after.  Bob mentioned that it would still be Chap Goh Mei in Hawaii Time Zone.  That's was good enough for me! :-)
So glad I was able to find some dumpling skin at the supermarket downstairs!
Graham actually ate a lot of them, but only the meat!
Charlie on the other hand, ate most of the skin and maybe just half of the meat.  He did enjoy the purple carrots that he had picked out earlier at the supermarket that day. Here he is counting the stems, which he had carefully lined up along the border of his plate.  Too cute!
We didn't even give the boys their Ang Pow (red packets) yet.  Charlie is obviously very excited!
And I asked Graham if he knew what "Ang Pow" meant and he said, "Ang Pow means MONEY!"
I suppose he is partially correct! Hopefully one day, Graham and Charlie will be able to celebrate CNY with my family in Malaysia.  They really miss out a lot of the tradition being away.

I'll have to figure out how to make "pau" or meat buns with all the left-over ground pork from making the dumplings.  Wish I paid more attention when my Grandma/Nai-nai was still around. Her pau's were the best! 

Dubai Miracle Gardens

I had seen some photos of the Miracle Gardens and recently saw a friend's posting as well on Facebook.  So I figured, why not actually go see it!  It wasn't too far of a drive - just over an hour.  There are no signs directly off the freeway that we drove in on, which is probably why I have never heard of this place!  Quite an interesting entrance:
A lot of flowers everywhere!
It was quite amazing what they have done here with all the flowers:
Yup, turned over VW Beetle as a water fountain!
There were a lot of heart-shape designs on site:
Getting warm and it's only February.  Time to get the umbrella out!
More flowers!  Funny though, we only spotted 1 butterfly in the entire area!  They do have a Butterfly Farm right next door.  Perhaps the butterflies are all in there instead!
Some pretty neat sculptures/iconic buildings in the background - made out of fake oranges perhaps.
Love the upside-down umbrellas at the outdoor food court:
Time for ice-cream!
The boys love their ice-cream!
There was an amusement park next door, which the boys really wanted to go to.  I'm not exactly sure if it was actually open.  It looked rather run down.
Another item off our "To visit" list in the UAE!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Kings and Queens Day at school

There seems to be so much going on at Graham's school!  Everyone played dress up for Kings and Queens Day last week.  Thankfully, I had an old cardboard box laying around and it came in very handy when I had to make Graham his shield and sword.  Of course, Charlie wanted one of everything too!
The boys made their own crowns out of paper:
All set for the day!  
I managed to fold and sew up our table runner for Graham's robe.  We have never used the runner before. I had it made for our long dining table to match our Roman shades when we ordered the drapery.  The robe wasn't the fanciest but thankfully, Graham is an easy kid to please!
And I also made a whole batch of scones for his class.  I probably could have coated the top with sugar, but I figured his teacher probably wouldn't appreciate that so much :-)
I wonder what's next??!  The school is definitely testing my creativity!

Graham's school assembly play

Graham was involved in his play during his school assembly a couple of weeks ago.  He played this fish named "Tiddler" who was always missing out on school.
His part of the play was to hide in a treasure chest and once Tiddler was finally called during the class registry, he would jump out of the box.  Well, he TRIPPED out of the box and fell on his bum!  Everyone at assembly laughed but Graham just kept going - got on his feet and continued with his lines after that too.  Too cute!

Graham was later awarded Star of the Week by his teacher.
Bobby and I are so proud of him! 

Happy Valentine's Day!

We didn't do too much during this year's Valentine's Day. Actually, we didn't do anything at all!  Bob was in Madrid, Spain for work and it was just me and the boys.  I did get Bobby some chocolate and also a cute little kitchen gadget.  He does most of the eggs, when we do eat them over the weekend - so I thought this would be cute:
I'm still waiting for my Mr Egg!  Perhaps this weekend???

It took me a while to figure out which strawberries to buy and I'm glad I went for the crate (despite the price. Ugh!).  These were sweet and perfect to be covered in chocolate!
We brought those over to a friend's house to also celebrate Chinese New Year with her family.  I also made some corn "frax" cookies (as Graham spelled it :-)   It was my first attempt and just so-so I think. Need to work on the type of flakes for the next batch next time:
Happy Valentine's Day, honey!  Looks like you'll need to make up for this one next year! :-P

Random pics of the boys

Just a few photos from the past couple of weeks:

Yes, we watched some of the Superbowl (American Football) early in the morning before school!
Charlie had a whole week off for the term break last week vs. just 2 days for Graham, so he had a chance to go practice some golf with Mommy.  Check out that follow-through! Need to get him to transfer that weight to his left side!
I think he enjoyed teeing up the golf balls in a row and hitting them really quickly. Too funny!
He also spent a lot of time coloring while Mommy was busy in her Fit Boxing class;
As for Graham, he's been practicing his drawing and writing at home. Corn frax anyone??? :-)
And you wonder why the boys love getting those Happy Meals so much at McDonalds.  This is one of many reasons - Transformer masks! Too cool!
And we drove by a local golf course here recently on the way to a Korean restaurant.  No, there is nothing wrong with the color scheme of your computer. The putting green is brown. It's just ALL sand!  Someday, Bob and I will have to come out here and play!
Something about these metal chopsticks that the boys really liked at the Korean restaurant!
Anything Graham does, Charlie has to try it out too!
Never a dull moment with these boys!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Happy Chinese New Year!  This year is the year of the Fire Monkey.  What does that mean??? Well, I really couldn't tell you.  Ha ha!

We decided to head out to one of the local malls to see some of the celebrations.  But first, as Charlie would say... "Speedy sports car!"  He gets so excited when he sees one:
We arrive into the main square of the mall and the boys get straight into lantern-making.
Then, we wait for the lion dance show.
And while we wait, we take some pics:
One more photo op!  Charlie was too scared:
Finally, the drums start:
Too loud!
Family we-fie!
Well, come to find out - it was only the Chinese drummers in the morning.  So we leave and come back another day to catch the lion dance.  It's a school night but Mommy makes an exception, as Chinese New Year does only come once a year.  The boys get all dressed up:
But dinner first.  Long noodles for long life!
Graham goes for most of the chicken instead:
As we gathered by the main square waiting for the show, an announcement comes on. The 6:30pm Lion Dance Show has been postponed to 8pm.  NOooooo...!!!  This made me really upset!  I try to figure out who I needed to talk to but seems that Management has already left the building.  Of course! Needless to say, that made me even more upset! So I did post a feedback on the mall's Facebook page and have yet to hear back from someone.  Grrr...!

Anyhow... after a few more deep breathes, we find a nice spot to take some photos.
And we found a nice spot outside the mall as well, by the main entrance.  Good thing the taxis didn't run Daddy over while he was trying to take this photo!  
Probably another one of my all-time favorite pics of me and my boys!

Well, not quite the right way to feel (angry at Management!) during the first day of Chinese New Year. This Fire Monkey year is already stirring up some emotions! Hopefully the rest of the year will be better.  Insha-Allah!