Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

(Okay, I'm going to try and pedal really fast to get caught up on the blog.)
In China, they celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. It's the biggest celebration they have aside from the Chinese New Year. It began about 1300 years ago, and is a bit like our Thanksgiving in that you spend it with your family and friends and visit. It usually involves time outside, gazing at the moon and reflecting on nature, its very low key, you hang out with friends, drink wine, and eat moon cakes. In the adoption community, I've read that it is a nice time to look up at the moon with your child and say a prayer for their birth parents, realizing that their parents see the same moon. I like that.

Well with FCC (Families with Children from China), they have a fun get-together every 3 months or so, one of which is the Autumn Moon Festival. There's no wine, but lots of moon cakes (they're kind of...well...yucky), lots of little Chinese girls, and lots of lanterns. Everyone brings their own picnic, the kids play on the playground at the park, and when it gets dark, out come the lanterns.
There's a "parade" of little Chinese girls and their families, holding their lanterns and walking around the park at night. It looks pretty to see all the lanterns lit up, and the kids love it!

Brendan and Ryan together after the parade.

Kate has been picking flowers and giving them to Mommy lately. She'll say "Here Mommy!" and sign 'flower'.

This silly lantern keeps sliding up and down on the stick!

I like this picture because you can see the full moon in the background, and there is just one autumn leaf on the ground, right near her lantern.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kate Begins Preschool!

Here we have Kate on her first day of preschool. She will be going two mornings a week. It was a cloudy, but warm morning, as Kate started at a local church preschool. It is the same preschool that Brendan and Ryan went to, and we just love it. I especially love the playground, with it's big shady eucalyptus trees, and a stream running nearby. Feels like you're up in Julian (the local mountain community).

Kate's teacher, Mrs. B., (who was also Brendan's teacher!) said she did wonderfully on her first day, and you would have thought she had been going there for three months she looked so comfortable.
I'm not surprised. She has been interested in school since I first took Ryan. During the summer, she would put on her pink Dora backpack and sign 'school'. I would smile and ask, are you ready to go to school? She would smile back and nod 'yes!' I believe she thought, all you need is a backpack, then you can go to school!

When we got there in the morning, Kate & I got out of the van, and I asked "Are you excited about your first day of school?" She smiled and said/signed "MY school!", with her hand on her chest, as if to say, it's my turn now! and this is my school!

Kate was also excited for Ryan to start his first day of Kindergarten a week earlier. Kate is now 3, and Ryan is 5 1/2. Both Kate and Ryan are the tallest kid in their class!
Brendan's first day at middle school didn't start until after 9am, so Dad was able to come with us to get Colton (4th grade) and Ryan off to a good start on their first day (and to help carry all the supplies they ask you to bring!) Kate seems to enjoy all the bustling excitement of days like this.