Sunday Snapshot {the year of the dragon}

Last year, to welcome in the year of the rabbit, we experimented with making jiaozi on Lunar New Year's Eve.  Our dumplings weren't quite dim sum quality, but they sure tasted good and we had a great time making them.  We vowed to make homemade jiaozi a yearly tradition in our home.

Then the Lunar New Year snuck up on me.  I'll blame it on the fact that the date jumps around so...

To ring in the year of the dragon, we didn't do much more than ask the kiddos if they wanted to sport silks to church last Sunday.

Dumplings or not, they did wish most everyone they saw "Gung hay fat choy" (wishing you good fortune and happiness in the new year) and got lots of smiles both at church and at the Asian restaurant where we had lunch.

While my crew was forgiving that I had overlooked blocking off New Year's Eve for dumpling making, my oldest ~ who has the memory of an elephant ~ did want to know when we'd be making our jiaozi for New Year.  And since we had so much fun making them a second time with friends last year, we invited our neighbors to join us Friday night for a dumpling making party and feast.

While Abbey and Elijah hadn't made dumpings before, they weren't afraid to jump right in and get their hands a bit dirty.
Caleb quickly seemed to remember the process and cranked out dumplings as fast as Ian could scoop filling
Elijah and Daniel getting a little help moistening the edges by my mom.
DQ watches Abbey's technique.  (and what is it with my girls and gymnastics leotards?)
Ky decides moistening BEFORE filling is easiest.
Within 15 minutes, all 75 dumplings were filled.  The only thing that happened more quickly was how fast those 75 dumplings were eaten.

Then Saturday we went to the CNY celebration hosted by our metro area's Chinese American Society.
And yes, I did sport my cheongsam.  I'm tellin' ya, Kylie has a memory like a steel trap.  She may have been only 2 1/2 when we traveled to meet her first sibling, but she remembered that I bought myself a dress on that trip.  And each year when she has worn hers, she's asked me if I was going to wear mine.  I was pretty self conscious about it, but this year I realized that it won't likely be much longer that my girls would want me to dress like them, so I bought a pair of leggings to wear under it and decided to hold my head high.  Ky and DQ's smiles were worth any second glances I got...

While we were there we took time to do a few crafts.
And of course the artists had to proudly display their dragon creations!

This year we carefully studied the performance schedule for the day to guarantee we would catch a dragon dance.  
being able to carefully study the dragon while it was not dancing helped all four not to be frightened ~ too bad Ian and I didn't think of that the first year...
We ran into our neighborhood pals while there.  Please imagine if you will the spectacle we created in getting this gang to stand together and smile...
yes, we do realize how blessed we are to live in the same neighborhood with two other families that "look like us" ~ one of whom we traveled with on our first trip to China in 2007.
Caleb may have gotten to test his skill at Chinese yo-yo,
he was actually freakishly good considering it was his first try
but his smile would indicate that the highlight of the day was running into "the one with the purse!"

This year's festival had less booths hawking trinkets (a disappointment for the girls) and crazy long lines for the dim sum (a disappointment for Ian and I), but we did get to see lots of dancing, singing, and of course the dragon dance.  Overall we had a great time, best modeled by the one who left it all at the festival.
despite the noise around him, wee one did indeed give up the fight with sleep before we headed out

We may have been behind on celebrating, and may have missed a few of the traditions (no haircuts, no new outfits unless buying summer wardrobes at consignment last week count, and the big housecleaning before the holiday didn't quite happen) but our family is looking forward to the year of the dragon.  A new year is always exciting.

Gung hay fat choy!


Sunday Snapshot

Don't know what Sunday Snapshot is? Stefanie, the creator, describes it as:

"Sunday Snapshot is just a way to capture that special someone or something right now, because we all know time is fleeting... right now will be a distant memory before we know it!"

To join in, stop by her blog to get details.


withgratefulhearts said...

Enjoyed your post. Your kids look so precious in their Chinese outfits!

Amy Murphy said...

Great post! I love the pics!

Chris said...

I just have to laugh....

I, too, felt like CNY kinda just snuck up on us. ;)

My girls wore their silks to school one day last week. I finally put up our decorations this past Friday, and Avery keeps bugging me about wearing my Chinese 'dress'! I haven't yet, but you certainly have inspired me to do so.

Looks like y'all had a great time celebrating!

Stefanie said...

Great pics of your precious cuties in their silks! So glad you were able to celebrate... bet the kids had a BLAST :)

Tina Michelle said...

That is so cute and looks like a ton of fun. the only celebration we found in our area was our local museum threw something together. It was really fun but so crowded! We saw so many families wearing their silks but my girls did not have any to wear. Don't worry about wearing that dress. Any second glances are people admiring the dress and your beauty!

anything but LoKEY said...

I've got to get brave enough to try homemade dumplings. My kids love them! And way to go mama, sporting your silks! :)

Nancy said...

You looked great! Glad Caleb saw the one with the purse! She is a cutie! Happy cny!

Laine said...

Happy Chinese New Year!!!!!
Sigh...remember two years ago? The BEST Chinese New Year party EVER happening at the Garden...

We went to our city's festival Saturday too! And we cheated on the dumplings...we used FROZEN and boiled them...can you believe that? But ya know what? They were YUMMY! But we do have a dumpling party in the works with some friends so we'll see if I can redeem the lack of authentic celebrating! :)

By the way...

And so are you in your little Chinese silk...YOU GO MOM.

When Ky gets to be 15 like another "k" around here...see if she wants mom to dress up. Can I tell you that my K would CRY if I dressed in my silk for the festival? Worse. She probably would have RUN AWAY. But you have given me courage and a GREAT idea. I'm puttin' on that silk for my littles. They will LOVE it! Forget the teenagers! LOL!

You are BEAUTIFUL!!! Where is Ian's silk? He can borrow Rob's....

Traci said...

You did better than i did... I did... well... notta! We do have Chinese food frequently though... does that count?

Glenda said...

Thanks for making our Chinese New Year celebration one filled with food, laughter, friends and the making of wonderful memories!