Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Visit With Santa

So, we're home! Yeah!!!! And we took Ethan to see Santa. For months Ethan has been telling us, that he would like Santa to bring him Rex, from Toy Story. I was a little nervous that by the time we came home, Santa may not have enough Rexs' left, so I arranged with my Father-in-law to secure one with Santa. So you'd think we would not be in for any surprises, right? Wrong!!!!

We got to see Santa, Ethan gets on his lap, tells him how he's been good, and when Santa asks him what he wants, he replies, "Jessie, from Toy Story." Jessie? Jessie???? Whatever happened to Rex? Well now, we have 2 days before Christmas, and we need to find Jessie.

Christmas in Dar

The year before Ethan was born, and Ethan's first Christmas, we spent in Dar. While we were not sure we'd like an African Christmas, the people and friends we have, made them extra special. Since then, I've had jobs that were flexible when it came to taking vacation, so we often left fairly early for Christmas at home. This year, my job gives me great vacation time, but it's not all that flexible. And while it's sad, it also gave us an opportunity to enjoy some of Dar's festivities.

During the last week of school, both my class, and Ethan's class enjoyed class parties. For my class, I made cookies and let the kids decorate them. Parents brought in tons of food. We had a feast!

For Ethan's party, I was reminded of a great idea by Kim over at Mom Tried It, Ethan and his mates made edible Christmas trees, using ice cream cones, green icing and sweets. I left my classroom, in hopes of checking out the tree making in Ethan's class, but the first time I went, they were playing games, the second time I went, I walked in the classroom to see this...

..... I thought the Christmas trees would make it home, but apparently not!

Each year, we've hosted a little Christmas party for Ethan and his mates. I couldn't get myself quite organized this year. that was until Ethan asked why he wasn't having a party. Oops! So we stole an idea from one of my mates, and quickly threw together a cookie exchange party. It was a lot of fun. The kids all brought in cookies to share, and we painted ornaments to take home. The best part, once the kids were on their sugar high from the cookies, it was time to go home!!! teeheehee!!!!

Every year the Little Theatre has a Miscellany. I love it, and although I love coming home for the holidays, I miss it. So this year, I was thrilled we would be there for it. The kids put on a lovely production on the Sleepy Shepard. Even Ethan got teary-eyed. I can't wait till next year, he'll be five and old enough to participate. After the show, guess who showed up on the roof??? Yes! Father Christmas! He gave Ethan a motorcycle. "Wow Mommy! Just what I wanted!!! How did he know???",  was Ethan's reaction. and of course, what would the Theatre Miscellany be, without some of Katy's fabulous turkey??!!!

Yes. I love Christmas in Dar, however, nothing beats Christmas at home! Snow.... here we come!!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Heading Home

We head home on Sunday. Am getting all giddy and excited. And I've got my list of must-dos. 

1) Swiss Chalet.
I can hear that chicken calling me already.

2) Visit Santa
I'm not sure who's more excited, Ethan or me.

3) Costco
I'm getting my list together

4) Snow Angels
I'm melting here and just want some nice, white, cold snow!

5) Starbucks
Yes, I want a Starbucks Latte. Or hot chocolate.

6) Chapters
Books, books, and more books!

7) Target
Oh yes! We're going to Buffalo for New Years with my cousin and her family. We've got it planned out. Leave the boys with the men, and off we go to Target...... and.....

8) Victoria Secret

9) Build a snowman!

10) Niagara Falls
Ethan hasn't seen the Falls yet, so am excited to take him there.

Of course, I can't wait to see all our friends and family.
Sunday can't get here soon enough!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

1. Holiday Colours
Ethan and I baked red and green cupcakes with snowy white icing.

2. Winter/Holiday Icon
Yes, I'm in Tanzania. Yes it's summertime here. But what is Christmas without a candy cane hot chocolate?

3. A Tree
The Movenpik had this tree displayed. It's made with empty water bottles.

Our tree at school. This week the students will be making ornaments to finish decorating it.

4. Quiet

5. Your Favourite Colour
Red is my favourite colour. And aren't these shoes the greatest?

We're off to Canada next Sunday. Yipee!!!! So we won't be able to participate in next week's challenge but after that, you'll get some great Canadian shots!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cooking With Swarn - Assessment

Not only is Swarn a great Indian food cooking teacher, she's a wonderful teacher. She's our PYP Co-ordinator, and newly appointed Vice Principal. Our cooking class, also consists of 6 teachers. Which means that someone, and I don't know who, came up with the brilliant plan to have one last cooking class this past week. But instead of a class where we learn to cook, oh no, this would be our summative assessment class! Yeah really! I actually had to cook a dish and bring it in to share.

I decided to go with the paneer. It seemed simple enough. Scott was there to witness that I did, in fact, make everything, from start to finish!

You may remember from last week, to make paneer, you start with milk.

When it starts to boil, add the lemon juice and it will start to curl.

Drain it.

And, voila! Paneer

Now to make the actual meal.

Cook the peas and tomatoes.

Add the paneer and spices.

Add some milk.


I wasn't the only one to put my cooking skills to the test.

Lara conquered Shahi Tukra.

Joanna fed us Fish Tikka.

Lucy brought Dal Tadka.

Kate tempted us with Murgh Cholay.

The meal was delicious. The best part was everyone made it into work the next day!!!! I didn't poison anyone!!!!!!!!

You Capture - Sweet

It's been ages since I've participated, but thought it was high time to get back into the You Capture mode. This week's assignment was sweet. And we all know how much I like sweet things!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Happiness Project

We've set up these Random Act of Kindness at school. For the past two days, lovely, sweet treats have found their way to me. 
And while these make me oh, so happy.....
my jeans are not as thrilled.

I'm joining Leigh and her quest for happiness.
What makes you happy?


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cooking With Swarn - Paneer

I love paneer. Really, I do. Years ago I had dinner at a mate's and she made the best paneer dish I've ever tasted. It was a scrambled egg version of paneer. Delicious. So you'll never guess how thrilled I was to discover we'd be making paneer in class this past week!

This week's menu consisted of making our own paneer (yes, making it, not buying it), crumbled paneer with peas, and paneer stuffed paratha.

Paneer is unbelievably easy to make. Or at least Swarn makes it look easy. All you need is milk, once it starts boiling, add lemon juice, and voila! paneer!

Once the paneer was ready, we started on the curry part. Also easy! It's simply tomatoes, peas, paneer and spices!

And, of course, what Indian meal would be complete without the bread? This week we made, plain, and stuffed paratha!