Saturday, June 11, 2016

Vietnamese Sports Day

After about a month of prep, David finally got to give his presentation on Vietnam today. I'll try to upload the video I took of him practicing last night.

Aside from researching the culture of Vietnam, David also had to dress in costume and we decided to bring food.

David found a recipe for watermelon jelly. At first I didn't think it was really Vietnamese, because it just looks like jello in a watermelon. But it's not quite. At least, not boxed jello.

You cut a watermelon in half and hollow out the meat. Save the hollowed out shell and squish the meat so that you get watermelon water (or juice!) I used a cheese cloth.

Then you mix 3 parts gelatin with 1 cup of the water and set aside. Meanwhile, heat 2 cups of water with 1/4 cup of sugar until it boils. Then pour the water/gelatin mixture in and mix well.

Pour all of it into the watermelon shell and let set overnight. I had a large watermelon so I made a double batch of the jelly mixture. If I ever did this again, I'd buy a small watermelon. Partly because that's a lot of gelatin to make and partly because I think it would stay together better if it was smaller.

Here are the watermelon jelly slices. Apparently it was tasty. I hate jello so I didn't try it.

The other food we brought (at the nice man from Saigon Grocery's suggestion) was Rambutan. These were a big hit. Apparently they're a lot like lychee, only sweeter.

Some people have though they were sea urchins!

There's the fruit and the seed.

We totally lucked out with David's costume. We thought he was going to wear a white shirt, white pants and a traditional square straw hat, but we could find the hat. And then David spotted this blazer and we found the hat (at Value Village). The canteen is ours from our dating years and Andrew and David made the gun out of wood.

Friday was also sports Day. I drive the kids to school on Fridays so I got to sneak a few pictures of the kids in their gear.

Jade was team green.

Lizzie was team yellow.

David was also team green and represented in his Viet Cong uniform.

Haylea is hear for moral support :)

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Perfect beach day

We managed to get all our chores done before Elisabeth's dance recital on Saturday which meant that we could spend a carefree day at the beach on Sunday. We headed to Harrison because it's my favorite. So far.

Elisabeth thought all year that as soon as dance was done she would cut off all her hair. she decided instead to add purple to it.

This was the view from my chair. AHHHHHHHHHH

While it was still cool, Elisabeth and Andrew played ball on the beach.

And frisbee.

David and I read books. Mostly because we knew we had friends coming later and so we'd be busy then.

Eventually it got hot and David felt the need to join his sister in the water. It was numbingly cold. I stood up to my knees and within a few minutes I didn't think I could feel my legs anymore.

Elisabeth didn't seem to mind.

Of course a trip to Harrison isn't complete without burying someone.

And then Elisabeth and I decided to go for a walk. For the first time ever, I ventured in the resort lobby. It's nice in there!

Then we walked to the hot springs.

Kandace, can you spot the bear?

Just kidding.

At the hot springs, there's a pipe that empties into a little pool of water. Where the pipe is the water is insanely hot. But as it gets farther away from the pipe, the water gradually cools and is quite nice. Elisabeth tried to cook leaves in the hot water while I wandered around taking pictures. There was  a large family also enjoying the space. All the men were in the water and all the women were sitting in the shade.

I couldn't understand their language, but it was clear that the men were trying to persuade the women to dip their toes in the water. Finally one ventured in, but she started at the hot side instead of climbing down the rocks to a more temperate area. The ensuing 'hot dance' and calls from everyone else were so funny, I couldn't help but bust a gut myself.

Thankfully they didn't mind the creepy stranger watching and laughing at their antics.

We made our way back to the beach and almost immediately Kandace and her boys arrived. It was like the fun could finally start and everyone dashed into the water.

And some of us dashed right back out again!

There were a lot of hijinks. It was almost like my kids didn't know how to have fun till their friends arrived.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

May Long Weekend!

The whole family was here for May long weekend! And it's been so long since we've seen Rob's family we decided to celebrate Charlotte's birthday too! For Elisabeth that meant face painting. She's been practicing.

Charlotte did a good job of sitting still.

Ruben likes the convertible mode of transportation.

Ada is a little obsessed with Jem and the Holograms these days. So her facepaint of choice was Jem's facepaint. And she and Charlotte dressed in their new matching dresses.

Elisabeth's Frozen toys and dollhouse got a good workout this weekend!

Meanwhile, we had a full house for dinner.

Alexis did some music instruction for the girls.

And on Sunday I had a brief respite from family and hit the park with my boy and his friends.

And their mama, but no photographic evidence of that.

After running around with them for a bit, we returned home to the cacophony of cousins.

And another huge family meal.

And I think we watched Frozen. Or that paws show.

Whatever we did, it was fun!