Friday, March 25, 2016

And the Winner Is...

When it was announced at school three weeks ago that the talent show was coming up, Kaia shrugged it off when I asked her if she was going to enter. A day later, after mentioning Kaia's hesitation to the teacher in charge, that teacher approached Kaia. Kaia's response to "We need your original act and skills in the talent show," was "sure." Gee, I wish it was that easy for me, but you know how it goes when it's someone other than the parent asking....

Anyhow, that teacher was right! Kaia's act was a refreshing break from all the singing performances. She ended up sharing first place with a group who did a great job synchronizing and harmonizing to the cup songAlthough I think they should have been second.

Kaia choreographed her own routine. It was fun to see her perform in front of her peers, a part of her that most had never seen/known before. Even in front of this crowd, she did not get nervous. This girl has nerves of steel when it comes to her and tumbling! And it was fun seeing her beam with pride as her classmates complimented her. This sport has really been good for her focus and self-confidence. Now on to state in two more weeks.



Sunday, March 20, 2016

And the Notariety Continues...

Back in November, Jaelyn spent a few hours with a reporter from Klipsun, a publication by students at Western Washington University. Somehow they learned about Jaelyn from previous media, and reached out to us. They print an actual magazine, as well as have an online presence. Their articles go more in depth about their subjects than a typical news piece. The reporter asked lots of questions of Jaelyn, did a photo shoot in our front yard, then came and watched her soccer game.

Following a phone call by an editor for some fact checking, we knew it would be awhile before the article was published. They told us it would probably be after the New Year. Every once in awhile I would check, but I never found the article. Today was one of those days, and after coming up empty handed, I decided to search the author's name. Bingo; found it!

Now there are a couple errors, like the caption under the main photo that says Kaia is older than Jaelyn, which may cause some tension in our house, and that we brought Jaelyn home in 2003 (funny, she was born in 2004), but overall it is nicely written, and represents our Jaelyn well.

What I do love though, is the opening photo she used. You can read the entire article here. Isn't this just the sweetest photo....

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Finally, the Floor...

Last weekend, Kaia finally got to compete in her favorite event, tumbling! And she didn't disappoint, as she took a first in her flight, and second overall.  She also took second in her flight, and second overall, on the double mini.  Here's one of her two runs...

video



Mike took a video of her flight award too, so thought I would share since we've never posted this experience before. The award for her flight (those in her age group and same level) took place on the floor. You can hear the proud dad in the background!
video

But at the end, she got second out of all age groups at her level, so she got her medal on the podium.


And here's a cute photo of the team. Hard to believe she's one of the older ones now, since she was the youngest her first two seasons. Now she is a seasoned veteran! She still is one of the tiniest though;) Her nickname on the team is appropriately, Mighty Mouse.

Now we are on a break for a couple weeks. Felt good to stay home and be lazy today. The first Saturday we've had off in some time.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

My Monkey...




I have several monkeys in my house, but only one is officially a monkey who is celebrating her special year, according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar!

We didn't go down for Chinese New Year celebrations in Seattle, like we did last year, as Kaia had a gymnastics meet. We did celebrate at a restaurant with local adoptive families. In fact, we have been getting together with local families to celebrate since 2004, before we even brought Kaia into our family!  Check out this throw-back photo from 2011 and see if you can pick out some of the kids you see in the 2016 picture.



What is fun to see now is how much the kids really enjoy interacting with one another. Before they would all be together, but not really talk to the kids they did not know, other than this one day of the year. Now the kids all sit together and jabber away! I was happy to see my own kids wanted to wear their traditional dresses. Looks like I will need to put new ones on the shopping list for this summer's trip...



Sunday, February 7, 2016

Let the Games Begin...

So yesterday Kaia had her first competition of the season. This year she moved up one level for her double mini event, so is now a level 6. Her first fun her momentum took her forward, causing her to take a big step on her landing. Her second pass looked much cleaner to me, but apparently not to the judges;) Her flight was mixed in with two age groups, so she was with 11-14 year olds. She got a medal, but then again, so does everyone in tumbling and trampoline. Annoying to me! She looked cleaner than a couple people who fell, but her coach later told us that she didn't do one of the required moves correctly. Oops, what do I know?  She moved up to Level Six mid-season last year and is looking good.

She is level 5 on the trampoline. This tends to be her least favorite event.  She nailed it yesterday, scoring a 25, and easily taking first place out of a flight of 10 or so.  She told us she almost "happy cried" when she finished, as she was very proud of herself. She typically focuses on her mistakes, so this was very encouraging to hear from her. Now the question is "Does she move up a level on trampoline?" She met mobility for this event, which means she met the required score to move up (by quite a bit). She and her coach will be visiting this topic at practice this week.


Unfortunately, Kaia did not get to compete in her favorite event, tumbling. This gym does not have a big long enough floor for Level 6 and above, so she was excluded. That will have to wait until next's week's competition. Check back next week to see how her first time on floor goes.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Islanders No More...

So sometime during this Fall soccer season, Jaelyn's league changed all their team names from Islanders, to Deception. Turns out there are teams named Islanders. Go figure; we live in the Puget Sound! But after three seasons cheering for the Islanders, we never could get Deception to roll of the tongue right.

But despite the name change, the team did great! Many of them went as a team to two different camps this past summer (thanks to some team sponsors!), and it paid off. They placed second in league. Unfortunately their last two games of the regular season were cancelled, due to the other teams not being able to field a full roster.  In early January we lost a very close game 1-2 in the state cup. The next week was a bit of a letdown, and we lost 3-1.  Sadly, once again, the next opponent couldn't fill a full squad last weekend, so we won the final game of the first round of state by forfeit. Kind of a letdown to end your season that way, as third place doesn't move on.  The girls were proud though, as they should be.

As always Jaelyn, way to work hard! Now it's time for a break. Not long though, as gymnastics competition begins next weekend!


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Tim, I Mean Mike the Toolman...

I want to take a moment to encourage my husband to do more home improvement projects compliment my husband on the fine jobs he is doing around the house. It all began with the kitchen and hallway floors, then replacing most of the molding around the house and built me a fireplace surround, followed by replacing our kitchen sink. Oh yeah, did I mention the roof? I think I may have missed some others, but you get the point. For someone who didn't like to work around the house, he sure has become quite handy (thank you youtube). Now I don't even have to ask. He sees a need and tells me what he has planned. Look what he accomplished before Christmas:

The before of our popcorn ceiling...
This ugly stuff is all through our house, but now that he tested it out on one room, maybe it will all be gone soon too...



After painting, ripping out carpet and replacing with flooring, along with new window molding...
And topping it off with Jaelyn's Christmas present, voila...
Before we expanded our family, this room was once an office. It has evolved since then. She loves it; thanks Dad!

Now I can't wait to reveal what he is doing now. It's his most adventurous project to date. It's looking good. Stay tuned!