Monday, February 23, 2015

Chinese New Year Snapshots

 Well Chinese New Year has come and gone, as have Grandma and Grandpa. We had a really relaxing break with time at home and several fun outings thrown in (and Jason and I got to have a night alone- woo hoo). And as always, we have used the Chinese holiday as a fun excuse to play dress up.

Grandma and Grandpa brought fun projects to make with the kids. 

 We had a BBQ on our rooftop one night with good friends

 The kids love getting red packets of money and say "gong xi, gong xi" to our neighbors.

 Annabelle was curious about the contents of her red packets
She also is very into making kissy faces these days

The three generations of Paine males got a basketball hoop up which Josiah is loving. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The January Joys of Normal

I was telling my mom over Christmas that I couldn't decide if this is the least productive or most productive time in my life. It is a gallop all day long, yet at the end of the day we seem to be back to where we started. My mom's wise answer: you don't need to have a product to be productive. 

There really is a lot going on nearly every moment of the day, but I love it that way (although I also love a glass of sangria and episode of Downtown Abbey).  I think blogging is going to be further and far between from here on out. For one, I share a lot with family and friends on What's App, which is much faster.  I also feel between all the papers I'm writing for my graduate courses that I am out of words by the end of the day. And thirdly, time. Enough said. But I'm sure I will occasionally get an itch to ramble of share pictures that the world needs like these. . . .

 mommy's little helper

Annabelle now claps and says "happy, happy, happy"

 The sillies made silly putty and have been having so much fun with it.

The Merriest of Christmases!

I know, Christmas was a long time ago. And I wasn't going to post these photos, but when I finally sat down to have a date with iphoto I was reminded of all our good times and just had to share a few. My parents are the absolute best. I just love them so much. Their visit, along with the great HK weather, made our Christmas break so wonderful. In case you don't know my parents they are fun, flexible, adventurous and generous. We got out and did a lot but also were able to enjoy some mellow days just hanging out. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November Musings

Don't you love November? I do! (I may have said the same thing about October). Life is not perfect, but we looking for the beauty and blessings each day. There is a fun little trail next to our house with a vista of our village. Among things I am thankful for, being able to live in the busy, most- vertical- city-in- the- world AND access nature is high on the list.

 We took time as a family to build an "ebenezer" by writing on stones things we are thankful for and that God has done for us. The kids also wrote on turkey feathers, because that's just fun.

 A friend once explained to me that as kids get older that it gets “easier” but also more “complicated”. I think I am starting to understand what she meant. Entering into this school- aged season in life has brought many joys, but also complexities. Not only complexities in the logistical sense (who has early release today? whose library books are due today? Whose supposed to bring show and tell? etc) but more so on the emotional level.

One thing that has really helped recently is getting to know and understand my kids better. A friend loaned me the book “Nurture by Nature” which explains Myers Briggs personality types for kids. I totally geek out on this stuff. (My family knows I got on a  kick for *years* where I couldn’t stop talking about birth order. So watch out if I corner you and open my mouth about Myers Briggs)

Josiah and Annette are at a great age to explore this.  I found it so helpful to put a name to a lot of the traits that I see displayed in both of them. Josiah is a very clear- cut ENFP (extrovert, intuitive, feeling, perceiving) while Annette I think is a ISFJ (introvert, sensing, feeling, judging) although I’ll need a few more years to be confident of her type. “Nurture by Nature” has a chapter on each personality type and every word, I mean every word, of the ENFP dripped of Josiah. It was so helpful and validating to understand the way God made him and in turn how to best parent him.

Now this little darling still remains in many ways a mystery to us. Some moments we get this look . . 
 . . .and other moments we get this one. I’m going to do my best for now not to analyze that but just to give lots of tickles and cuddles through the exhausting simplicity of toddlerhood.


 And just because who knows when I'll blog next, I thought I'd share year 2 of the Christmas jammies. They are a little snugger this year but bringing lots of joy. We are ready to launch into the advent season. Happy Holidays to you!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I should really be using Annabelle's short nap today to write a paper for my class or cross some items off my to- do list. But I wanted to grab this moment to remember and enjoy some recent moments. My little nephew had a near- death chocking encounter last week and my whole family has been reminded of what a gift and joy ordinary days hold. 
The weather is *slowly* cooling off so we're about done swimming now. We picked up this car and the slide for free!1 

Annabelle's latest thing is dolls and dress up

Josiah played in his first Rugby tournament. He got several "tackles" (they play touch still at this age) we were so proud of him

 Annette started piano lessons and is a very serious student. We are thankful for her amazing teacher Miss Lauren.