Jan 29, 2011

Ellie Shishi-Mai (Lion Dance)

Japanese traditional Shishi-mai (lion dance) is often performed during New Year.

Ellie made her own Shishi-mai at her pre-school (Yochien). She made it out of a tissue box.


Jan 8, 2011

Ellie is 5!!

Happy Happy 5th Birthday to Ellie!!!


For her 5th birthday, we just wanted a small family birthday celebration. But that is definitely not what she wanted. So, last minute call, we invited her neighborhood friends and had an easy-going birthday party at Children's Hall in Shibuya.

I picked Children's Hall so that I don't have to plan much. It was a last minute call but I completely forgot to mention that no presents needed, so everyone showed up with presents. I felt bad. I'm sorry, everyone...


Anyway, I think kids had a lot of fun even I didn't plan anything. (that's why I love Shibuya Children's Hall. They have everything!) They mostly spent time on the 3rd floor running around, doing crafts, computers, mini-theater, etc. Ellie had a great time with her friends.


Of course Noah was having fun with big people too!


After their hard play, we went in the resting area and had a little picnic lunch and cake.


Ellie's birthday cake was flower cake upon her request. Kids were so excited to eat flowers instead of cake though...


Jan 1, 2011

New Year Party

We had a wonderful New Year party at the Bezzant's home. Thanks to Mike and Jennifer for hosting the party. It was so much fun!


On New Years Eve, Jennifer and I cooked Japanese food together. We made Osechi (Japanese traditional New Year food).

Since it is New Year Eve, we HAD TO have Soba for dinner. It is called Toshikoshi Soba. It is a Japanese tradition to eat Soba to end the year.

This time, we made Soba noodles (buckwheat noodles) from scratch. This was our first time trying it but I think we did pretty good. Noodles were a little fatter than what we see at the store, but it tasted way better than dry store-bought Soba noodles. I think we are going to start doing this every year!


On New Years Day, we started out with Mochi pounding.


Jennifer and I bought Mochi pounding set at Setagaya Boroichi. (Yes, we had too much fun shopping at Boroichi!) We got Mochi rice prepared and we started pounding. Kids had fun trying it out. It was fun and Mochi was so tasty!!



Ellie's pounding Mochi all by herself!!


Even Bella tried it too!


During Mochi pounding, this is what Noah was doing... Trying to give Makayla as many kisses as he could!!



Mochis came out really nice and soft. We had them with Anko (Red Bean Paste) and Kinako (sweet soybean powder). It was really tasty! Ellie and JuJu loved it. JuJu kept coming back for more.


For dinner, we had a wonderful Shogatsu cuisine with 3 layer Osechi. Just a reminder, we didn't buy it, Jennifer and I made it all (almost).



We had a wonderful Shogatsu with our friends! Many thanks to Bezzant family for hosting the party!!