Saturday, September 17, 2016

Mid Autumn Festival Fun

Thursday began the Mid-Autumn Festival. We enjoyed Ryan having two weekday days off, though the way the government arranges things, he was supposed to head back to work on Sunday, to make up for the holiday missing work. Thankfully his boss allowed him to work on Saturday instead, as we don't want to miss church, especially when Ryan is leading worship. But workday traffic on a Sunday means we would need to take subway (1 hour, 30 minutes) instead of taxi (45 minutes). We've been blessed to be a part of a new church plant, but despite moving closer to our area of this huge city, the way roads and subway transfers are, it's exactly the same amount of transit time from our place. But it has been neat to get more connected to a smaller group, and we're trying to make it a priority to stay downtown during the day at friends' apartments so we can also go to the evening service. But not tomorrow, not with work day traffic delays. Then to top it all off, Dassah woke up with a cold (no - not another sickness!!) so it looks like the girls and I won't have to fight the office commute tomorrow...

But I digress.

Thursday we met up with some good friends for lunch. We thought since it wasn't a work day, traffic would be a breeze, right? Well, not when everyone else is off too and driving to meet friends and family. We got stuck in traffic for 1 1/2 hours, with squirmy hungry girls, arriving an hour after we'd planned. After just an hour with the friends (but a wonderful hour and a yummy lunch!) we headed back home, on the predictable hour-long subway instead. 

 It was late. The girls were an hour past their usual nap time. I was tired, getting a headache, and annoyed at all the time it spent just to have lunch with friends in our same (though huge!) city.

Yet Dassah sang. Sure, there were many moments of tired disobedience along that trip. But as we finally got closer to home, she stood at the window and sang praise to God as she watched the city go by. She's learned some hymns and children's songs, and often mixes bits and pieces of them to make her own songs. The pure beauty of praise from a child is so refreshing.

That night we went swimming - best decision ever! It was rainy, but inside we could all get some energy out. The pool was almost empty (almost unheard of!) and BOTH girls absolutely loved it. We felt we made up for all the commute time we put them through earlier that day. ;)

Speaking of rain, Dassah got to go puddle splashing three mornings in a row because it rained so much! Yes she gets wet and there's more laundry, but she gets energy out, and childhood is too short to miss out on opportunities like this, right? While searching for puddles we also noticed some yummy looking treats in front of a small store. We tried one (for all of 15 cents!) and discovered they indeed DID taste like a cross between a donut and a funnel cake. Not sure if it's a good thing that we discovered such a cheap goodie within walking distance! ;)

On Friday morning while Ellie napped and Ryan rested, Dassah went out for some mommy/big girl time. I told her we were going to do "girly" things with some friends, and after that she kept telling people we did "curly" things. :) She was pretty excited to dress up and go off with just mommy, and our friends were only a five minute walk away. Pretty perfect!

 Dassah has talked about getting nails painted ever since Grammy did it in May, so it was fun to do it with her. :) She picked out red first, but then wanted a different color for every finger! I am far from skilled at painting nails, but with two girls I'm going to get lots of practice I can tell. :)

 When did my girly get so grown up? She enjoyed playing dress up with her friend's things, which to Dassah means she puts something on only to immediately take it off and try something else on. Her four year old friend didn't quite understand that approach. ;)
 It's fun to have friends that Dassah knows and loves so well living so close by! It was refreshing for me too, to be able to talk some with my friend while our children played. We moms only get conversation in snatches, but those tidbits are sweet.

 For lunch on Friday, our good friend and former neighbor, recently back from time in the US, had us over for lunch. They always bless us so much with food and fellowship! Dassah loved her first experience with lima beans in a (hairy) shell. She peeled and ate over half of the bowl intended for everyone!

Miss Ellie is growing so fast, and so tall. Dresses longer on Hadassah at an older age are already getting too short! And her "look what I did!" face is the absolute best.

 When there was a break in the rain, we biked to Zoo Coffee after naps, Dassah's choice for her shoe celebration. She had always resisted putting her own shoes on, insisting that "I can't!" and I'd give in and do it because we were always already late getting out the door... But I knew she was old enough, so I gave her a challenge: put your shoes on yourself every day for a week, and we'll go out for ice cream. It's pretty amazing how she learned how almost instantly (though not without effort!) and so she earned her sweet reward. And I am so enjoying not having to bend down to put her shoes on multiple times a day!

She can also turn anything into a play thing these days, like the water bottles we get delivered. (Yes, delivered to our door and Ryan can even just call the guy when we run out now. No more filling up bottles and hauling them home!).

 We went to the Secret Garden after naps on Saturday since Ryan was working - he works so hard for us! This is actually from a few days prior, when we discovered it was finally open again after about 6 weeks of being closed. It's on campus and the students were on break so I guess it makes sense that it was closed, but we'd still gone at least once a week just to check, since it's such a retreat for Dassah and me. No risk of cars, just the ability to wander (as long as she doesn't go too close to the water everywhere!) and beauty all around.

There isn't as many flowers in the fall, but they make up for it with beautiful fall plants!

 Now that Ellie can steadily walk holding on to one hand, she is enjoying it a ton too. She wiggles to get down whenever she can (when I'm not trying to keep up with Dassah!) and picks up leaves and even huge sticks just like big sister. She also loves bobbing up and down in her special dance while holding on to (and trying to climb) this gate. :)

 After supper though, for some family fun we went out to the shopping mall just a short taxi ride where they've set up some fun carnival type rides. The trampoline with a harness that lets her fly is by far Dassah's favorite.

Ellie was in a great mood, wandering around and watching Dassah's joy and the bright lights!

But seriously, how did Hadassah get big enough to go on rides like these by herself? They grow so fast... And she's hardly scared of anything!

 Ellie kept wanting to walk over to the Merry Go Round and would giggle every time, so we decided to take her too. They kindly let them both ride for the price of one. It's memories like this that will last.

Especially when afterwards we joined the crowd of people dancing in the square. I figured out a little of the Chinese line dances while Dassah did her own thing much to other's delight. We also got a few looks when we pulled out a few swing dance moves of our own, while each of us held a girl on our hip. Evenings like these hold so much joy.

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