I was suppose to host the reunion dinner at my house this year but MIL had to go down to KL to visit her youngest daughter who needed to go through a surgery 3 days before Chines New Year. So we had the reunion dinner at my mom's place this year. I decided to cook the 汤圆 (glutinous rice ball) since we didn't have it during 冬至 (the winter solstice celebration). Charlotte helped me with the 汤圆 and it made me I realized how much she has grown. I was hesitated to let her participate because I was worried about the mess that I will have to clean up after that but I was wrong. She did a great job, all the 汤圆 were nicely done, round and almost perfect, no mess and she helped from the beginning till the end (I was expecting a quit like 5min after).
We then got ourselves ready and headed to my parents house. Charlotte is able to join and have a lot of fun playing with her cousins this year and I managed to enjoy the reunion dinner (and also the following few days events) very comfortably time round.
We took out some fire crackers and fire works after the reunion dinner. My 3 nephews and Charlotte were all excited as Pat getting the fun going. They were not allowed to light the fire crackers/works but only watched from a distance and that too brought a lot of laughter and noises to welcome the 牛 year.
The kids also enjoyed the "bak kua" and I think they made a pretty good advertisement for the Kiew Brothers bbq meat...
It's a practise that my mom will give us the dried "longan" and red dates every year and she always says (in hokkien) "给你红枣, 望你年年好;给你龙眼，望你有好末境" (sorry, don't really know how to translate) before we went home. We were told to cook the desert (tong shui) with it and serve on the first day of Chinese New Year.