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Monday, May 23, 2011

Living Traditions Festival

Attending the Living Traditions Festival was a first for us since we've been to Utah. The festival celebrates Salt Lake City's cultural diversity with traditional songs, music, dance and food from various ethnic communities. Verona's son was dancing with his dance group so we thought it would be great to go out and support. And of course...who can pass up the opportunity to do some cultural food tasting!? :)
The festival is held at the City & County Building by Washington Square Park in Downtown Salt Lake City. We walked around and took a look at the various craft booths that were featured at the festival before browsing all of the food options. I went for some of the Vietnamese spring rolls which were really good. The kids cooled down with some Hawaiian Shave Ice while we waited for Loi and his group to perform. They did traditional Maori dances and sang some Maori songs as well. All of them did a great job...especially the little kids. :) We took some photos of the kids enjoying themselves and headed home tired and ready to sleep! Ü

Utah Juniors Ü

On Saturday, Sariah had her first volleyball tournament since joining the Utah Juniors a few weeks ago. Their season had already started when I saw a picture of a friends daughter who was already playing and asked about the program. I contacted the club director the same day and she was incredibly nice and allowed Sariah to join the club with the remaining time that they had. Sariah attended a volleyball clinic last year and I wasn't too happy about the level of instruction that was being taught so I had high hopes for this new venture. After just a few practices, Sariah had already learned so much and she has improved each time. She loves volleyball and she loves her team. The girls were so friendly and welcomed her with smiles.

Sariah played 3 games during the tournament on Saturday. They won and lost a set on the first game and ended up playing a third and lost by only 2 points. They won their second game and lost their third (I attribute that to being tired, especially after being there for 7 hours Lol). Even with the last game being a loss, Sariah was happy to have played and she had so much fun doing so. Looking forward to another season soon. :)

Kidz & Baby Expo

It has been raining quite a bit for the past few days and so we decided to take our girls to the Utah Kidz & Baby Expo on Friday to get some of their wiggles out. After Sariah's Rockin' Recorder Program, we picked up our cousin Nua and her girls and headed over to the South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy. It wasn't as large an expo as I thought it would be but that didn't hinder us from enjoying the different vendors they had there. The girls took pictures with a princess from the Princess Festival booth, made a flower craft at Johann's booth, visited with a few live animals, dug for fossils at a museum booth and had their faces painted. They even scored a few free t-shirts, bracelets and candy! Ü
After making our rounds we headed over to the kids play area where they had 7 different inflatables for the kids to play on for free. It didn't take long before their shoes were sprawled on the floor and they were jumping, sliding and climbing in the jumpers. There was a balloon artist there as well and of course all of the girls wanted to get something. The artist was pretty darn amazing and I was impressed by the things she could make. Madysen & Tiara requested a bow & arrow (and it actually worked. So cool!). Sariah got a snake that actually rattled (one of my favorites) and Nohiana wanted a flower bracelet. Ü
After playing for another hour, we headed over to the concessions for french fries, sandwiches, cheeseburgers and hot dogs. It was actually really good for concession quality. Ü Nua and I purchased a few things from the booths before heading back home. Not too shabby for a day that started out gloomy!

Rockin' Recorder Program

A few months ago, Sariah came to me after school and said she needed money because they were starting to learn how to play the recorder. Her music teacher informed them that if they didn't have one they would have the option of buying one. A recorder is a woodwind instrument and is similar to a flute. Well, I offered to take her out to look for one but she was quite sure that she only wanted the one that her school was selling. Ü Sariah played the recorder every single day after school and I must admit there were several times where I had to shew her into her room to play because of the "noise". Ü It wasn't until a few weeks later that I realized how much she had learned and how I could recognize some of the songs she was playing! This weekend we attended their Rockin' Recorder Program at school. We are always excited to attend Sariah's activities, field trips and performances at school...but we were especially excited for this one having never attending a recorder program before. When we arrived all of the 4th grade classes were seated on stage and ready to perform. Can I just tell you how completely amazed we were!? They sounded incredible! I had purchased recorders for the girls in the past and had only taken them as musical toys but I was mistaken. They children even played some of their songs in harmony! They played over 10 different songs with some of the children having short speaking parts in between to introduce the next song. Sariah had a part too. My favorite classical piece is Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel and you can imagine how excited I was to discover that it would be their finale number. The kids did an outstanding job. After the performance the kids presented hardcover book projects they had been working on to their parents. Sariah's clever book as called "Arthur Itis". The characters in her book had names similar to those of ailments and we were proud of the creativity she displayed in her story. Great job Sariah! Ü

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Utah Pasifika Festival

This weekend we attended the first annual Utah Pasifika Festival in Provo, UT. The festival was created to bring together Pacific Islanders in Utah and to encourage people to take an active role in the community. Although Pacific Islanders were a prime focus, the festival was open to people from all walks of life.
Aside from the intermittent rain that day, we did manage to keep as dry as possible. We made our rounds to each of the booths and filled up on homemade Hawaiian sausage, teriyaki plates, lau lau, ice cream and nutella crepes. Yum! We watched cultural performances from various groups and islands and the girls participated in some of the dancing as well listening to some very talented singers.
It wasn't bad for a first time festival and we look forward to going again next year. Ü

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day Weekend

Fred ended up having to work during Mother's Day weekend and since we wouldn't be able to spend the whole weekend together, we thought it would be a wonderful idea for the girls and I to fly back home to CA and surprise our mother's for Mother's Day! Ü I didn't mention it to the girls until the day before we were to leave and they were absolutely thrilled! We flew out to CA on Friday after Sariah got out of school and you can imagine how surprised my sister, Chrystel, was when I called and asked her to pick us up from the airport. :) We got to my mom's house and walked in the door behind Chrystel...she looked over to the door and we yelled, "surprise!" She was so excited and happy to see us and we were just as happy to be there. I couldn't wait to see my niece Chloe...she has grown so much! We giggled and laughed at all the new things she could do. She's absolutely adorable! We tried to surprise Fred's mom as well but it was a really busy week for her and if we didn't end up telling her over the phone...we probably would never have caught her at home! :) We spent the weekend relaxing with our families, eating at Panera, shopping and enjoying each others company. My mom ended up being sick on Mother's Day so I decided to stay home from church to take care of her. She felt better towards the evening and we headed over to Mama Lucy's house (Fred's grandmother) and spent time with the family there as well before heading back to my moms house. Even without doing anything extravagant for Mother's Day, it was a wonderful weekend and aside from having Fred there, we wouldn't have changed a thing. We're so incredibly thankful for the mother's we have and for the innumerable things they have taught us, the examples they've set and for the unconditional love they show us every day.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Evening of FUN with MOM!

Last Thursday we attended our Stake's "Evening of Fun with Mom" activity. The cultural hall was set up into different stations with the majority of the stations being activities to...be active! We divided into groups with our daughters and the first station we went to was Four Square. It was so much fun! The girls were cute trying to "school" their moms on how to play and the moms were sweet in letting the girls do so. Ü
After a few minutes we rotated to the 'not-so-active' but definitely yummy sundae station! We made ice cream sundaes with all the fixins' and sat at a table to complete a "How Well Do You Know Your Mother/Daughter" questionnaire. Sariah and I compared answers and it was obvious that we knew each other quite well. Ü
After the timer rang we headed over to the next station where we played hopscotch, marbles and jacks. Ü Sariah & Madysen stuck to hopping while I finished up my sundae. Ü
Next, we scooted on over to the hula hoops which has been a recent favorite of my girls. They love to hula hoop and Mady is surprisingly good at it!
The last station we headed over to was the jump rope station. I turned the rope with another one of the mothers and the girls took turns playing School Jump. I'm not sure what the correct name of the game is but all of the girls lined up and they had to go through each grade while we turned the ropes. For Kindergarten they had to run right through as we turned without getting tangled in the rope. For First Grade they run in and jump once and then run back out...and so on for each grade. Even though some of the girls had to "repeat" some of the grades, they all had so much fun...and the mothers did too! It was a great active activity and they definitely succeeded with an "evening of fun".