Sunday, September 16, 2012

Goodbye Summer

Too quickly summer has come to an end and we are back to school.  Isabelle is a second grader this year and Madeleine has begun her first year of preschool!  

Happy first day of school Isabelle!

Here's Maddy at preschool open house.  She's been developing this fake smile for awhile and now it's very hard to get a picture without it.  Let's hope this is a phase.

Maddy's first day of school!  She needed her big sister to be in the picture.

Miss Independent

Maddy is going to the same church preschool Isabelle went to and even has the same wonderful teacher.  She learned almost everyone's name the first day and was quick to tell me the names of each poor child who did not follow directions and (gasp!) ran in the hall.  It seems both my girls enjoy reciting "The Naughty List" as I know the name of each stinker in Isabelle's class as well.  How likely do you think it is they've omitted their own names from the list a time or two? :)

Madeleine has also come home asking many theological questions that, quite frankly, I'm not prepared to answer.  Please, if you know the answer to:  "If Jesus is God's son, who watches over him when God goes to work?", would you let me know?  She's also planning on using Jason's ladder to climb up to Heaven.  

I've referred her back to her teacher.  I think that's fair of me.

We are very sad to see summer go...

Goodbye pedicures,

goodbye garden,

goodbye cartwheels and tumbling, 

goodbye trips to the Children's Museum,

and goodbye summer evenings with friends.

But, onto my very favorite season - Fall!  I can almost smell the caramel corn and apple cider...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Heritage Camp

If I had to pick my favorite activity of the summer, hands down it would be the weekend we spent at Heritage Camp.  It was put on by Isabelle's Eastern European/Central Asian adoption group and included families who had adopted from Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, and more!  The children were divided by age group and were kept busy all weekend learning about their birth countries, playing cultural games, eating ethnic food, and making new friends.  It was amazing!  

Isabelle and Madeleine in their camp t-shirts ready for the day!

Even though the focus was on Eastern European culture, the organizers made sure to include all the birth countries of the children represented.  I love how the Ethiopia and Kazakhstan flags are hanging right next to each other.

Maddy was in the very small preschool group.  How lucky the only other member was also a little sister adopted from Ethiopia!

They became fast friends!

Bulgarian dance class...

Isabelle's group headed over to the field to learn how to play hockey - a major sport in Kazakhstan.

These two were ready for a serious game!

Isabelle even scored a goal!

Maddy and her group played a much tamer game of soccer.

During arts and crafts time the girls decorated country pendants...

...and used them as accessories.

Isabelle learned how to make Kazakh doughnuts...

...and we listened to Gypsy Jazz.

Guess who loved that?

Since it was an Olympic-themed weekend the children competed in the Nomad Olympics - stick horse races...

...and archery.

I was even able to attend a Kazakh cooking class for adults.  We made Kazakh noodles which were later served at dinner.  Delicious!

Look how huge just a small piece of dough became!

The weekend ended with a parade of nations closing ceremony.  Isabelle was so proud to hold the flag of Kazakhstan.

The Ethiopian contingent!

We love our girls' birth countries and are so lucky this camp exists!  What a fantastic way to learn more about where Isabelle was born and teach her about her culture and country traditions.  Not to mention it was GREAT for her to be around other children with the same family make-up as ours!  Unforgettable!