Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Moon Festival of 2011

The Autumn Moon Festival....
What an amazingly fun night we had with our FCC Friends last Friday, celebrating the Moon Festival.  The Moon Festival is a harvest festival which is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar and consists of such traditions as eating moon cakes and carrying lanterns or releasing them into the night sky.

Below is a group photo of our sweet FCC kiddos!   Boy is it nearly impossible to get them all looking at the same time!  But they're all in the picture, so we've got that going for us!

The meet and greet at each event is always so fun.  The kids are all excited to reunite with all their pals!

And then the playing begins!  Simone, SP and FuDa built a fairy house.
While everyone else hit the playground....

We got to meet our newest FCC addition!  Baby O came home a few weeks ago and is just darling!  It looks like Sammy is trying to share a truck with him....
Or maybe not!  He did love the baby though and kissed and hugged him all night!  I've never seen him enjoy a baby like that.  I have a feeling they're going to be best of buds!
Oh...his JieJie pushing the swing!  I'm told Miss O has been an amazing big sis!
The three amigos!


Craft project time- making our lanterns for the lantern march!
Oh....SP is Sammy's favorite buddy!
And story time - a book about the Autumn Moon Festival!
And then our march!  
It's so awesome to see these 20+ kids of all ages marching along with their lanterns! 

Then we got to release our lanterns into the night sky!  This is magical to me...always my favorite part of the night!  It's so beautiful and peaceful to see all the lanterns lit up and soaring together.  And the contrast of that peace mixed with all the commotion going on around, all the noise of the excitement and the kids and adults laughing and ooohing and ahhing.  

And another reason it's my favorite....the kids reactions are just the best!
Sammy was amazed!
Here's our lanterns (biodegradable and environmentally friendly!)

And so now we just have to wait another year before we get to do it all again!

Follow this link   Brooke's video    to watch a video one of our FCC member's daughter made of the night.  It really is a great video and I think she captured some of the joy we all have in our celebrations!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

August happenings

The month of August is already over and boy did it fly on by!  We've been busy -  busy with school starting, busy with friends and just being together as a family.   Simone started second grade (sob....) and Sammy started preschool (sob again!), or playschool as we like to refer to it! Both are doing great, Simone loves her teacher and has tons of pals in her class. And while it hasn't been a seamless transition for Sammy he seems to do better every day and really likes to play with his little friends and all the cool toys, inside and out!  

Here's the 1st day of school, after picking each up and getting a special treat!

And flashing back to the morning, here's my Simone ready to head out the door!  She looks lovely and was just so excited!
And here's Sammy....   not too happy at all.  Now he did go to summer camp at the same school, but this was his 1st time without big sis.  He was not feeling good about this whole school thing.
But he did well, and has mostly good drop-offs, and great days once I leave.  He really enjoys it and is well loved by his teachers!

Of course  we've still been hitting the parks in the afternoons.... got to run that energy out!

And sometimes you just need to cool off

We've had some fun visitors to our yard this year.  There are 3 deer that meander up our street and usually stop in the yard before heading through the woods across the way. I got one on film before the dogs spooked them. It's always sooo cool to see!
And a huge hit this month...Farragut Fleet.  It's a "touch a truck" experience that a neighboring town puts on annually.  We met up with some of our favorite pals....  and some of the neatest trucks and equipment.  Pure heaven for my littlest dumpling!

And Simone enjoyed quite a bit as well!

We hit yet another park after.  The kids rode bikes and ran along....

Some kids bigger than others!
And stopped for refreshments and some play time.

Naturally we had one heck of a cold front come through -  being August and all.
Oh wait...now that I think of it we never got cold at all....hmmm.  Maybe I should've reminded them...

Oh...now this looks about right.   Back to the splash pad and park!
Sammy is wearing a very special shirt sent from a very special person.  He wears it well too!

And another total highlight of our month.........
A visit from some very dear friends.  A family we traveled to China with almost 7 years ago were staying close by and popped over for an afternoon/evening.  The girls (Simone and G) are from the same SWI (Social Welfare Institute) and had not seen each other since we landed on US soil! 

But they were best of friends within moments and had a wonderful time playing.  I think they came down when they were hungry, and not a moment sooner!  And I too am a big fan of Miss G...she has an amazing personality-the perfect combo of sweet and self confident.  She was just darling.
There was also a new addition to the family that Sammy Wei was just smitten with!  I have to admit, she stole a piece of my heart as well.  Sammy is still talking about her and it really was the first time he really made such a close connection with a friend - they were partners the whole evening!

Of course we took a walk to see the horses next door.

  The girls were more excited to create a secret hand shake...although they did give the sweet horses a bit of attention first.

And Sammy was busy practicing his new run.  Run Sammy....run

So as you can see, our month was pretty full of good times and pretty great friends!  Now September is officially here and summer is almost truly over (pool closes this weekend...booo).  But I am quite confidant we will find plenty of fun times still!