Traditional Japanese New-Year

On new years eve we went to the traditional Sumsion New Year's Eve Party, held at the Poulson home.  The important parts of the tradition are food, the candy bar game, and talents.  The food and candy bar game were fun; talents are always great.  This year, Timmy sat up by himself for his talent.  He looked around at everyone like, "Why are you all clapping?  This is old hat for me.  Give me a toy."  Sara was going to tell everyone the story of Baby Moses and act it out with me, but she was scared of dogs this year and one wandered through the room and brought her talent to an abrupt halt.  Later she tried to show her knowledge of colors on Daddy's "Sara's Colors" app, but she decided to play instead of showing them right after just 3 colors.  Rea read a book to everyone.  It was a My Little Pony early reader that we'd gotten out of the library the day before; she read it by herself the first time, but it took more than five minutes, so she practiced and practiced until at the party she could read/quote it very quickly and fluently.  She was very proud of herself; she wants to read My Little Pony books to everyone.  Alison made instant fudge for her talent.  It takes less than ten minutes, including chilling it.  That was popular.  I did push ups with progressively more kids on top of me, and also showed off the phone app mentioned above.

On new years day we had a game day. We had 7 players, 7 big kids and 2 babies. We had a baby sitter who actually arrived this time and took care of the kids. We played Space Cadets Dice Duels as well as Shadows Over Camelot. Both games seemed to be liked fairly well, though Space Cadets needs more attention than a couple with babies can easily afford. It is a frantic game that is very time intensive.

Alison says that her family would love the game, however they would have a hard time spending the time to learn the rules. We are brainstorming ways to teach them the rules of the game easily. Perhaps they would watch an instructional video on the internet to learn the game.

After the party was over I finished assembling the cheese cave. It took a few hours to pull out the old thermostat and install the new one. I bought an Stc-1000 thermostat (the 110v version). The install was pretty easy, but I ran into an unusual problem. The thermostat wouldn't switch on for cooling purposes. After fooling around with it for a while I realized that it had a delay of 3 minutes for the sake of the compressor. With this knowledge I finished the install easily.

With the new year we made some new years goals.

Mike: Do 100 push-ups at a time, Make a node website, read the scriptures 60 days without missing (even saturdays), get a game published.
Alison: Run 3 miles non-stop, write 50 blog posts, write every day about her scripture studies, Be complaint free 21 days straight.
Rea: Swing all the way across her monkey bars with her feet up, Write a children's book, give 4 testimonies in sacrament meeting, play at preschool politely with the other kids for three weeks in a row.
Sara: Ride a balance bike, read a book all by herself, know most of the people in the Book of Mormon, Talk to a friend about Jesus
Timmy: Crawl & Walk, go through Doman's reading, math, and music, Say a prayer, 4+ word sentences.
Image stolen from here.

One night, the girls earned a dessert by cleaning up or something, so Alison sliced a pear and got out the dregs of our hot fudge sauce and caramel sauce. Everyone got one chocolate pear and then the hot fudge sauce was gone. The girls had fun putting caramel on their own pears. Then Sara started scooping out caramel and licking it off the knife, calling it "gooma scoops". She must have thought Mommy didn't notice, because when she looked around and saw that Mommy was scraping out the hot fudge container with her knife and licking it, she got the cutest face, a mixture of shock and delight (sort of like the picture to the side). She exclaimed, "Mommy's eating gooma scoops too!"

We made muffins friday night. They were chocolate acorn muffins (Acorn muffins are really darkly colored, so adding chocolate seems to be a natural thing to do.) The muffins turned out pretty good (very dessert-like.) Here is the recipe:

2Tb butter
3Tb honey
3Tb sugar
1 egg
3/4cu milk
1cu acorn flour
1cu wheat flour
1tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp cinnamon
dash nutmeg & ginger
half a bag of chocolate chips

Mix liquids and add solids. stir a bit and then pour into muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Makes 14.35 muffins.

On Saturday we went to Amy and Dave's and helped them with their computer. After we were done we went back home and Alison went to a baptism and Mike made plans with the girls to make them kimonos (really yukata) as play clothing.

After Alison came home we drew up the plans and cut them out and sewed them together. They turned out pretty cute. I still have the plans if anyone else wants them, but I am not going to digitize them unless I get a request.


As Alison sewed up the kimonos we made random cookies. The recipe was not recorded, but it included peanut butter, powdered sugar, wheat and acorn flour, eggs, root beer, raisins, chocolate chips, and baking soda. The girls really liked them.

We went to 9:00 church for the first time today and made it on time. I prefer 9:00 church, but Alison doesn't like getting up in the morning.

We will end this post with our new-years haiku.

A cold wind blowing
we can remember summer

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