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by Lori Ann

Spring Festival Strawberries

chocolate-covered strawberries… which holiday?

February brought both 春节 (pronounced “choon-gee-eh,” meaning Spring Festival i.e. Chinese New Year’s) and Valentine’s Day, two holidays that in our house mean lots of food! Can you guess which foods were for which? You may be surprised!

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Merry Christmas from Mama, Baba, and Tigger in China!

IMG_4962Enjoying her pajama bag gift from Baba

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Merry Christmas from Lori Ann & Saruskabeth(Christmas 1999 photo)

by Lori Ann

Our family does not “do” Santa.

Holiday decorations

That’s kind of a strange phrase, and I know it means different things to different people, but here’s my take on the truth about Santa: he was (probably) a real person, and he followed Jesus (we think), but he is no longer alive on earth, and so he does not pass out gifts today.

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by Lori Ann

Welcome to the December Carnival of Natural Parenting: Let’s Talk Traditions

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

Christmas Sheep

I was challenged by the Carnival of Natural Parenting Question this month: “From holidays to birthdays, long weekends to family vacations, what has your family done to make special occasions memorable?” As Mama to a young new family, I’m very conscious of the habits, routines, and traditions we’re establishing every day as well as each holiday.

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by Lori Ann


Saruskabeth’s Thanksgiving post inspired me to share a little from our own week:

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Holiday decorations
Creative Commons License photo credit: bunnygoth

To Santa or not to Santa? That’s our December “A Tale of Two Mamas” question. But what else can we answer for you about Christmas traditions in our homes in America and China? Respond with whatever you’re interested in us sharing about!

As a child, I never went trick or treating for the ‘holiday.’ My siblings and I would hand-craft costumes (that is, we would grab pillow cases, make paper masks, etc) and take turns passing out candy to trick-or-treaters. On a few occasions, our church would throw a welcome-fall party around Halloween, and everyone would dress up in costumes and go bobbing for apples and other fall-themed games and fun. Read the rest of this entry »

by Lori Ann

doofus pumpkin - Halloween 2010
Creative Commons License photo credit: John DeMarco

Hi all! Our November topic is Halloween. If you’ve forgotten, the idea behind ATo2M (A Tale of Two Mamas) is for us each — two different people raising two different families and living on two different continents in the context of two different cultures — to answer the same questions asked by all of you. So start asking! What do you want to know about parenting in China, parenting 3 in 3 years, or anything else about us and our families?

Since this is the first one, here’re some ideas to get your brain churning:

“Are you okay with your kids dressing as witches?”
“What did they dress up as this year?”
“Handmade or store-bought?”
“What do your neighbors think of Halloween?”
“Is Halloween commonly celebrated, and what does it look like?”

Ask away!

Happy Fathers' Day!We’d only been back in China a few days when Baba’s first Fathers’ Day (Babas’ Day?) came around. His gift hadn’t arrived in the mail yet (it did today!) but I wanted to do something special for him. In the U.S., I bought a silicone mini-bundt-cake pan at Goodwill, so I looked up a chocolate cake recipe and settled on the one below, originally from Recipezaar (I just halved all the ingredients; it took the same amount of time to bake). I wish I’d taken pictures, but we ate it too quickly, so you’ll have to settle for Tigger handing Baba his present.

Easy Chocolate Cake, no eggs or butter


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