If you were to ask me what I’ve been doing in the past week, I could answer you with one word: knitting. I’m recently obsessed with knitting, and I want to do hardly anything else. Not even read books! (A huge change for me, the bookworm who could be found sitting on the couch reading for eight hours a day only a few weeks ago!)

So, you may ask, what have I been knitting? I made a pair of slippers for Gloria and am now working on a second pair for Aunt Anna.

Besides that, I found a nice, simple sweater pattern and it’s coming along nicely.

John got interested after watching me knit non-stop for a while, and I taught him how too! After mastering the cast-on, knit, and purl stitches, he got to work on some really lovely i-cord coasters. Aren’t they so pretty?


Gloria is getting interested too, now, so I may end up teaching her as well. After all, there can never be too many knitters in our family!

A Pomelo for a Snack

Every Wednesday Mommy buys fruit.  While she typically only brings back apples, pears, strawberries and the like, she recently came home with a pomelo.

The pomelo, alternately called the 柚子 (pronounced yòu​zi​) in our family,  is a huge, citrus fruit about the size of a small melon (such as a honeydew or cantaloupe).  It’s sweeter than most grapefruits but a bit more tart than the oranges that you typically buy in America.  We used to eat them pretty much every time we had people over or we went to someone’s house, at potlucks, for a snack, etc.  Since we’ve moved back to the US, however, we’ve been unable to find them.  Until now, that is!


Needless to say, we were all pretty excited about it and the pomelo didn’t last long after Daddy peeled it.  It was sweet, juicy, seedless, and everything a pomelo should be.  Don’t you want some?

John’s Birthday

Was yesterday, February 7th.  So this post is just to tell you all about how it went!

First of all, we went to the theater with Uncle Paul to watch THE LEGO MOVIE!  Peter had found out quite a while ago that the film’s premier would be on John’s birthday, so Daddy got tickets and we all went to see it!  It was very fun, and exactly what John wanted.

After the movie, we went home much-inspired to play with Legos and create all sorts of awesome things.  The result?  The boy’s room floor was promptly covered with Lego bricks.  Fun?  Definitely.  Messy?  Obviously, but that’s okay.

After we had been building for a while, Aunt Anna came over and we had dinner.  Fish n’ Chips, which is quite possibly John’s favorite food.  And, of course, followed by cake and ice cream.  (Picture included because I feel like teasing my China friends)

It was so tasty...

It was so tasty…

After dinner it was present time!  He got lots of fun stuff like Legos and chocolate, and John and Daniel enjoyed putting the sets together.  It was a great birthday, even though John is now fourteen, which somehow makes me feel older than just fifteen.  The important thing is that he had a great day, and everyone else had fun, too.  Happy Birthday, John!

By the way, let’s see if you can figure out how many times the words ‘Lego’ or ‘Legos’ were used in this post!

Lots of chocolate for John!

A Tree in our Backyard

Of the four largest trees in our backyard, one oak is particularly huge and well-formed. We’ve had a lot of fun in this tree, and John, Daniel, and Gloria have all become expert tree climbers because of the practice it affords. John and Daniel in particular have some great tree-climbing accomplishments. With the help of a rope and ladder, they have managed to reach heights of over 30 feet! Even those branches are pretty thick, though, so they have been allowed to keep climbing on the condition that they be careful and use the ropes.

About 20ft into the tree.

About 20ft up the tree.

With John’s helpful counsel, even I, Julianne, managed to climb up the tree. I barely got 10 feet up before coming down, though. I’m nowhere near as talented at climbing trees. I leave that to my gifted brothers! (And, of course, Gloria.)

John helping me climb!

John helping me climb!

Just yesterday John climbed up the tree. After crawling along a fairly straight branch, he managed to fasten a thick coil of rope around it. Now we have a tree swing!

Doesn’t it look like fun?

First Post: Christmas Eve at the Cassetta Home

I know that it’s not Christmas Eve anymore, but I’m hoping that there are still people who will want to read about it anyway.

On Christmas Eve, we have a few traditions. We invite our family or friends over, eat tamales and posole, and play a game called “The Grab Bag”.





Christmas cookies and my attempt at mince pies

Christmas cookies and my attempt at mince pies

I don’t know how the Grab bag tradition started or who made it up, but it’s definitely a highlight of every Christmas Eve. Mommy fills a huge bag with unwrapped gifts, and we take turns passing the bag around and picking things out. There is another rule, though. You can’t look when it’s your turn to pick something.

As the game progresses, we begin trading. Gloria had quite a few offers this time, and ended up with some of the best candies and other items.

IMG_20131224_213628It was a lot of fun to see our relatives and make some advantageous trades with them. Well, advantageous for Gloria…