Catherine's Baby Shower Invites

My sweet friend, Catherine, is having a baby this summer, and I had the great privilege of hosting her baby shower. Hosting her shower, of course, got me super pumped for baby!  I couldn't imagine a better way to celebrate his coming than to throw a party for him and his momma! I LOVE throwing parties and Baby E coming was more than an excuse to throw one. Apart of every good party, are the invitations! They are the first things people see & set the tone for the rest of the party! When people saw Catherine's invites, I wanted them to get excited about the shower and, of course, come! 
Thankfully for me, picmonkey.com exists. Without pic monkey I would have literally been clueless on the invites. Or I would have resorted to writing them on scratch paper or something. Yes, yes,  I know, I could have just sent out an Evite, but being in China, I feel like I want to cling and recreate anything that reminds me of home. And at home baby showers often equal cute invites! 

^The front of the invite
The back of the invite^.
I whipped these up (Whipped, I use lightly, as this did take me quite a while, I'm no expert!) on Picmonkey and purchased the elephant JPG's and PNG's from igivelove on Etsy. I bought those here.  I loved these elephants! They fit the colors, patterns and theme perfectly!

In the invites I also (created on Pic Monkey) included a map, 
and a taxi card, business card size, for people to show their taxi drivers on the way. 
Thankfully, everyone found their way! 
Also, on Pic Monkey I was able to create these labels, that I then cut out, pasted elephants on, and used as food toppers. 
Included with each invite I also printed "Baby E's Wish List" and wrote a personalized list, based on Catherine's wish list, on what Baby E needed. 

I had the the invites and taxi card printed at a photo shop on photo paper and everything else I printed and cut at home. I glued the front and back of the invite photos together, piled everything up, clipped them with a paper clip and tied it all up with a ribbon. 
The final product. 
Over all I was really pleased with the final product and hope Catherine and there other ladies loved them! 
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Painted Eggs

Easter weekend I had the opportunity to share with my students about Easter. 
We of course talked about and watched a short video in Chinese on what Easter is all about, Jesus.
I can't really go into so much detail about that here. We then painted eggs! I saw a post on a relatives Facebook wall that asked the question of basically, "Why do Christians paint eggs?" The question was asked, because painting eggs is a pagan tradition and practice. Historically, eggs resembled fertility and were painted to represent spring and new life. At some point in Christendom, Christians started painting eggs red to tell the story of Jesus. The red was to represent Christ's blood shed for our sins on the cross and the cracked open egg resembled the empty tomb upon Jesus' resurrection. Actually, if you want to read some cool stories on the whole egg painting tradition read here. I'd like to tell you all the stories here but that would be plagiarizing. :)  
And as a side note on the topic of "why do Christians do pagan things" (in a sort of response to my relative) in Asia & many places, painting eggs & egg hunts and including Santa & gifts in Christmas activities, opens the door for the G*spel and deeper conversations. 
Regardless of it's pagan roots or disputed Christian roots, painting eggs, for our generation & many Christian families, has become one of the ways we celebrate Christ's resurrection and get excited for Easter. And I know my kids sure loved it! 
But on to what this post is really about, painting eggs with my students! They had tons of fun and I did, too!  I love the break in the routine to do creative, fun, hands on activities. When parents, especially Chinese or Korean parents, are paying you to teach their children, do fun, hands on activities, isn't viewed as learning or worth their money. But the excuse of a holiday, always allows for the fun stuff!
We used water colors! Which was actually so much fun and I think I prefer over egg dying. The kids get way more involved when they can paint!
We also used some glitter wax crayons, which would have been a nice touch, but we had some crazies in our bunch and the wax didn't dry but kept rubbing off.
Love this egg!
Ya. This was the end result after one of my students, Simon, used these. He was making a mess the entire time. It drove me crazy.
He would paint his egg and then dip it in the water to wash off the paint and say "Again, again!" See all that dirty water on the table, ya, Simon.
Simon's egg. Glitter wax crayon fail. Never again.
There's Simon in the background. :)
I loved these sweet pictures. It's just cool to see things in the eyes and through the drawing hand of children.
Jesus on the boat with the disciples. :) Cute.

Did you paint eggs around Easter? 
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Spring & Silas

Every Sunday we get to see this cuteness, not the dandelion, but the cuteness below, Silas. He is a delight to be around. He's just hilarious. We love watching him search for chocolate & sweets, give his sisters sweet hugs, play with his toys and just be all boy, each Sunday.
Silas loves to go outside! A few Sundays ago with each person that left Silas was getting more and more anxious to go outside! He would point to his coat, put on his shoes, and finally put on his coat, as each new group left his house Sunday, hoping, just hoping, maybe he too would get to go outside!
I was watching the scene and my heart just melted for the little guy, so Zachary and I decided to take him outside on a walk. I'm so glad we did. It was awesome to see the outside, spring weather and flowers, with a little 2 year old by our side. He quickly sought out the dandelions and blew those seeds away like a pro.
We love the spring time here! I know we've said it before but I'll keep saying it and taking pictures! Its just so beautiful!
This little one looks familiar! We have lots of these in Texas!
Silas quickly discovered, thanks to Uncle Zachary, that if he hit the cherry blossoms, tons of petals would go flying off! This, of course, was great fun for him!
After a while of playing in the grass and hitting trees, Silas headed towards the Klugg's (his fan) house but animatedly started saying "bike! bike! bike!" and walking across the square to a lobby where tons of bikes were kept. I told Silas, "Sorry, those aren't our bikes. Those are someone else's." But he was on a mission. He walked into the lobby and started saying, "Bike! Bike! Me bike!" and pointing to a very cool strider. So, after much inquiry of Silas, "Is this your bike? It's yours? Yours?" we finally determined that it was, in fact, his bike!
Of course, he knew it all along! He probably thought we were very slow! This little man showed his bike who's boss! He was awesome on it! He was flying across the square with his legs up and having so much fun!
Zachary and I are convinced that this bike is amazing and our kids will never have training wheels but instead a strider. I mean, really! He's two! And he was already balancing with his legs up.
Looking fly Silas, looking fly!
I love these little moments that make us slow down and just enjoy the things and people around us. 
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