Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chinese New Year 2012

Happy New Year!! We celebrated hard for CNY this year. More so than our regular New Year! And I wouldn't have had it any way. We caught up with friends, old and new, and family! There was lots of Chinese food, lots of laughter and hugs, and even a dragon puppet!!

On Saturday, Ava and I headed to Cleveland. We were invited to join three of our travel families to celebrate! We haven't seen each other since our travel and it was so wonderful to see everyone. All the kids are growing up and changing so much!
I was in charge of dessert. Well, my original plan was to make a traditional Chinese dessert. Until I started to research. Let's just say we opted for cake!! I called Wixey's to see what they could do for me and here ya go!!
Goldfish and Mickey Mouse kept these girls super content.
Sunday was Round 2. Our local FCC hosted a lunch at Happy Rose. Here is Ava and her dress I had made. Isn't is adorable? I have to find her picture from last year and compare...
Me and my girl!!
Ava and Rosemary. They have a something very special in common other than China. They both share Uncle Tom!!
Sharing ice cream with EllaRozzie
Sweet Thomas
I love this kid!! My little Rozzie
It was a big party day and an exhausted little girl zonked out on the way home.
Monday was Round 3. I made cupcakes for Ava to take to school for her friends.
I also had these envelopes for the kids. It's customary for the adults to give the kids red envelopes with money which symbolizes Good Luck. I filled each envelope with the chocolate coins.
And sealed them with these stickers!!
Ava's teachers really stepped up with this holiday. They researched the holiday and traditions and have been incorporating it into class all week. Here are the Chinese lanterns they made
And the celebrations continued into the evening with family and friends at Empire Chinese Restaurant.
Courtney made this amazing dragon puppet for Ava! How adorable is it??
Ava was super stoked to see Emmett!!
A close up of the puppet
More friends and family!!
So sweet!!
Had to take a picture of my dads food. He substituted his rice for french fries. Haha!!
We had a great CNY with our girl!!! So happy to share this holiday with her!

Cleaning out the diaper bag

The other night John brought in the diaper bag he kept in his truck. Now this was rarely used and I haven't carried one in months. I carry a little backpack with her stuff in it. Inside the bag was diapers, Gerber puffs, and this outfit. Now to put it into perspective....we took this outfit to China over a year ago.
Look how tall she is!! Makes my heart smile...Love this kid!!

Sawyer's Baptism

Last Sunday, we had the pleasure of celebrating Sawyer's baptism. While we didn't go to the church (um, Ava??) we did join in the festivities back at Lisa and Keith's house. Ava adores Sawyer and pronouces it so cute. It almost sounds like Sour. Here are some super sweet pictures of them.

Boy, does Sawyer look like his Daddy in these pictures!!! :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ava and Aiden

Ava had a little friend at her school named Aiden. They were best friends. They played everything together. They held hands all the time. Inseperable. Then Aiden's mama decided to be a stay at home mama. And Aiden doesn't come to school anymore. He's been gone for about 4 months and not one week has passed where Ava hasn't asked where Aiden is.

Fast Forward to Tuesday: Daddy decided to pick up Ava early and take her out to lunch and play at McDonalds. And Mama even managed to get away to meet them. But Mama and Daddy were lost souls in the crowd when from across the playland we heard "AVA!!!!". The look on my girls face when she realized it was Aiden was PRICELESS. We had already eaten, they had just got there. She sat with him in his chair while he ate and then they played together and held hands. For 2 hours!!

I couldn't believe John let her play that long! I was so proud! His response? "Like I was going to break up that reunion".

Monday, January 16, 2012

Blog Slacker

We're here! And we're good!! I know I've been a slacker lately, but A. I've been really busy with work and B. we haven't done too much. Things have definitely been quiet around the Houghtaling house. Ava started back up with gymnastics and swim lessons last week. She did great at gymnastics, but had a hard time at swim lessons. For any of you who know Ava will know she doesn't like change. At all. Well, her swim class has a new instructor. So I took a picture of her during swim lessons. Yes, that's my hair you see. Why? Because Ava refused to get in the pool and sat on my lap the entire time. But I absolutely love this picture!! She did really good this past week and participated like it was no big deal.

We made a run to Bed, Bath and Beyond. I really wanted to get us these matching hats! Aren't they so cute!!

And if you have ever heard of Tim Tebow, you will recognize this picture. Tim Tebow has been a topic of conversation in our house ALOT lately. I think John and I both have crushes on him. Haha!! Anyhow, here is Ava doing the "TEBOW".

And lastly, Ava wanted her toes painted. But she didn't want to wait until I was available. So she took it upon herself. With crayon. :)

Sorry, the quality of pictures isn't the best. They are all from my phone. Yesterday, we had Sawyer's baptism. I got some really cute pictures of them together. I'll try to upload tonight.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Gingerbread Cookies

Recently Ava watched an episode of Little Bear and they were making gingerbread cookies. It's all she has talked about. She has asked me everyday to make them....

I decided today was the day. I asked her if she was ready and she said she would be right back. And strolled into the kitchen in this outfit?? Really??
I would have made them sooner had I realized that I had everything we needed in our cupboards.
Ava enjoyed stirring and them got mad at me when I took it away to mix it with the mixer.
But then I didn't realize the cookie batter had to be refrigerated for 4 hours. Whoops...So we had an after dinner project.
I opened a can of frosting and drew little faces on them...
And it was just enough to make this little girl happy!!
Nana and Aunt Emily even came over for hot chocolate and cookies. It was a nice way to end the weekend. :)
Have a great week!!


Lately my friend Courtney and I have been obsessed with Pinterest. We also introduced it to Tricia recently. So we decided to have a craft day on Saturday to start some of our projects.
First up...canvas print with a picture or saying done in glue. After it dries, you paint it all the same color. See the result at the bottom!
Next up? My sign that says FAMILY. I spray pained a wooden plaque and bought the wooden letters that Tricia and I decorated.
In it's final place. But I still need more up there....Back to the pin boards...:)
And my final glue/canvas print. My kitchen is done in wine/grapes/glasses...This was definitely a group effort. Tricia found the picture, Courtney drew it out, I traced it in glue, and John painted it for me!! Haha!!
I was pretty happy with the way everything turned out. I just found my next project today! It's for our bedroom....Stay tuned!!


Plain and simple.
She asks for it first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
So guess what Daddy bought??

Yes, I still have my Christmas cards hanging up. I can't help. They make me happy so I am still enjoying them. Everything else is put away though.
She was so EXCITED!!

We've been eating popcorn all weekend. No joke. It's a definite success in the Houghtaling house!


Last Tuesday, Ava started Gymnastics again. She was soooo excited! She did a great job and seemed to pick right up where she left off. I'm glad we got her back into the session.

Here some pictures of the first night...don't you love the static in her hair?