Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Party Girl

Lots of running around last weekend as Wynn had two kids' parties to attend! First was her friend Tessa's birthday Saturday night - at the Too Cool Cooking School with a bunch of her classmates ... great concept; the kids make their own dinner during a 2-hour party (while the parents can sneak off to the coffee shop)

Sunday night we continued our annual Chinese New Year tradition of having a dinner and playtime with the other Twin Cities families we were in China with for our kids' adoptions. Wynn and Jenna, the Guanxi Girls, continue to be smart, outgoing, and a bit wacky. Josh, from Anhui, loves to talk and have fun too - just not as rambunctious as the girls...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Up a Wall

Today Wynn's school was closed on account of Chinese New Year, so the family of one of her classmates, Dylan, chose today for his 7th birthday party.  

Dylan likes rock climbing. A LOT. Such that he's a regular at the "pinnacle" of the Bloomington, MN REI store.  And he's pretty darned good at it, from what we saw. 

The tall glass atrium on the right side of the building houses the rock walls...

That teeny little person checking out the bases of the rock walls is Wynn. The one on the left is 55 feet tall; the one on the right about 40.

This is a rock-climbing birthday party!  Mandatory safety briefing!

A little dubious...  at least she was paying attention :)

Dylan does a demonstration.  The crowd goes silent in rapt attention...  Wynn starts to get the idea she might like to do this.  The kids swarm the gear station & all want to get suited up to climb...

Special harness, special shoes.  Love how she's focused while the kids are racing around her.

Tightening & knotting, learning the signals with the belayer

And up she goes.  "I was kind of scared," she said.  "Why did you keep climbing?" I asked. "Because I really wanted to know I could do it."

That's her about 3/4 of the way up...  way beyond what I was guessing she would have done.  (Double click the photo to enlarge)
At this point all the other kids had stopped whatever they were doing and were chanting "GO WYNN! GO WYNN!"  The parents were all beaming.  I was scrambling to text-message Ann what was going on while taking pictures...
And with one last push over that scary negative space by her knees, she stood up and rang the bell.

"Coming down was the hardest part," she said.

Someone surprised herself today & learned a valuable lesson about how to handle her fear!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chinese New Year gala 2013 - Yinghua Academy

Chinese New Year is becoming such an important part of our family's life, and as Wynn gets bigger and more involved at her school, we learn about and adopt more Chinese traditions.

A tradition at Yinghua Academy is the annual New Year's gala, where each class performs - it's almost 3 hours long, with over 500 kids on stage at some point - in costume no less, and all the families in attendance.

Here are some photos from last night's performance!

We had two different Dragon dances during the show!
The entire 3rd-grade on stage in synchronized martial arts
Here's our girl!
This is Wynn's homeroom teacher - who's an AMAZING vocal talent.  She did a big solo number last year, too, and brought down the house!
Two lions dancing for us this year to close the show!