Saturday, September 25, 2010

Feeling a little knotty :)

Last weekend when we went to the Korean cultural event I learned a little about Korean knotting. I made a knotted bracelet and I was completely fascinated by it.

The art of Korean knotting is called maedeup. It's an ancient art that you can still find all over the place in Korea. I have a bunch of Korean souvineers that have really cool knots on them, including the kids hanboks. I've been fascinated by the beautiful knots ever since I first saw them but they look really complicated. The picture on the left is a good example of something decorated with Korean knots. (It's not mine, by the way. I found it on the internet as an example.) I've seen them on clothing, jewelry, keychains, hair clips, zipper pulls, etc. I love them! There are all different kinds of amazing knots you can do and lots of really pretty things you can do with them.

Anyway, at the Korean event they taught us how to do the very most basic knot and even that one was tricky at first, but it was so fun that now I'm totally hooked! So yesterday I went and bought a book with instructions on how to do several really cool knots and today I've been driving around town trying to find the right supplies. The cord they suggested is ridiculously difficult to find around here, unfortunately. I've examined every type of string in town in the past 24 hours. I've been to bead stores, craft stores, jewelry luck. I finally found some stuff that will work for practice and then I found a website where I can order exactly what I need to make jewelry, but I'm going to have to wait for those supplies to arrive.

So today I'm up to my elbows in string and I'm teaching myself the art of Korean maedeup. It's super tricky and I don't follow written directions very well (Shawn laughed that I'm even attempting to read directions, because I don't read the directions for anything) but I'm slowly figuring it out. The book I got has instructions for several gorgeous knots, including a very complicated series of knots that turns into a dragonfly, which I'm truely fascinated by. We'll see if I can actually produce anything that even slightly resembles a dragonfly. :)

If I should happen to sucessfully create anything I'll be sure to take a picture and post it on my blog. If all I end up with is a pile of tangled string and a few tears, we shall never speak of this again. :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sweet Clarissa

I bought Clarissa this t-shirt at the Korean event yesterday and it looks so cute on her that I had to take a picture. :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The best day EVER!! :)

Oh my gosh, we seriously had so much fun today! I've been dying to get home and blog about it!

Last week the grandma of one of the kids at our taekwondo studio gave us a flyer for a Korean cultural event that was happening today. There is an organization called the Idaho Korean Association (IKA) that does events every now and then. That is great news to me because I have been searching high and low for Korean cultural activities in Boise and they've been extremely hard to find. The Korean population here isn't huge and because there's not an adoption agency in Idaho that handles Korean adoptions there are very few Korean adoptees here either. Taekwondo has been almost the only Korean cultural activity I've managed to find.

So getting that flier was like finding treasure and I was REALLY excited about it. The flier said that there would be some cultural activities open to the public from noon to three and then an invitation only dinner at five. This was the first I heard about the IKA and I was super interested in being a part it so that I could be informed of future events so I e-mailed the address on the flier and explained who we are. I got an e-mail back letting me know that the dinner was full and it was too late to sign up but that we were welcome to come to the activities durning the day. That was fine and I've been looking forward to it for days.

Then first thing this morning I got a phone call from the head of the IKA and he said that he had managed to find us a spot at the dinner!! Yay! It was really nice of him to do that, I appreciated it a lot.

So today at noon we went to the hotel that the whole event was being held at. We walked in and there were a bunch of Korean women in hanboks there to greet us and show us where to go. We went into the first room and there were several stations set up. At the first one they gave us Korean post cards and a gorgeous book about Korea that I'm really happy to have. Then we went to the second station and they had hanboks in all different sizes for us to try on. Josh and I both tried one on and we looked fabulous. :) The third station was a craft table where the kids made a Korean coaster that turned out really cute.

Then we went into the next room and they had all sorts of fun things in there! I learned how to make Korean jewelry and hair clips (yay!) while the boys learned paper folding (which we call origami, although that's not the Korean word. I can't remember what they call it in Korean.) and then we all learned how to write our names in Korean and we got to paint it on rice paper. So fun!!

Then we went outside in the courtyard and they had Korean food demonstrations and everyone got to make their own kimbap, which is basically sushi with no fish. It's vegetables and rice wrapped in seaweed. It's pretty good! We also had a few other Korean dishes that were really yummy. We had fun eating noodles with chopsticks!

Then rest of the courtyard was filled with different stations where they were teaching Korean games and music. The kids played a game where they had to throw sticks in a pot and they learned how to play a song on some big drums. We had SO much fun! Every second of it was just awesome.

While we were there we were amused to find that a few people knew who we were. We ran into a woman there who is the mother of one of Master Lee's teenage assistants. We had never met her but her daughter (Master Lee's assistant) apparently talks about us and her mom knew who we were right away when she saw us. She was so nice to us, she was working at the food booth and she snuck us to the front of the line, lol. We felt like VIP's. :) The Korean community here is pretty small and we stand out as being the only cacausian family with a young Korean adopted child, so when people hear that there's an adoptive family, it's obvious that it's us when they see us. Word gets around, I guess. Everyone was SO incredibly nice to us.

So after all those fun festivities we came home briefly, changed into nicer clothes and went back to the hotel for the banquet. It was held in a big banquet hall at the hotel and it was awesome. The events during the day were open to the public but the dinner was just for members of the IKA, so it was mostly Koreans. I feel surprisingly at home in a room full of Koreans, lol. We stick out like a sore thumb a bit, but they all were so friendly and welcoming. I really enjoyed myself and we made some new friends.

Once everyone was settled they had us all stand and they sang the Korean national anthem and then the Star Spangled Banner. I'm a big dork and things like that make me tear up a bit. To see all those Koreans proudly sing their national anthem and then honor the US by singing our anthem was kind of cool. It felt like the olympics. :)

The dinner was delicious and there was a lot of entertainment to go along with it. Before the dinner started they did a really neat presentation. A few years ago the IKA paid for two American Korean war veterans to go back to Korea and they were both at the dinner. They presented them with a video presentation about the Korean war that was really neat. It was kind of a thank you to the American soldiers for how much they helped Korea during the war. It was a really touching video. It talked about how Korea has gone from a country that needed aid to being a prosperous country that provides aid. I thought that was neat. After the video they had the vets stand up and they presented them with plaques that were signed by the president of Korea! Super cool!

Then they had a few guest speakers, including the mayor. There were several community leaders there, which I thought was nice. They served a great dinner and while we ate there were several musical groups that performed traditional Korean songs and dance and then the highlight for the kids-Master Lee and his two assistants came and did a taekwondo demonstration. The kids were super excited and I always love to watch the black belts perform.

We really had an amazing time. I know I keep saying that but the whole thing was just awesome. I feel like we have friends in the Korean community and that makes me happy. When the dinner was over we went out in the courtyard and sat with Master Lee and his assistants and their families and it was nice to feel like part of their group. Half the conversation was in Korean, but they still made us feel like we belonged there! :)

It was a really really really great day. The whole family kept talking in the car on the way home about how much fun we had. Fun is an understatement-it was a truly awesome day. :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Goodbye summer, hello fall!

I seriously can't believe that it's September already. This year has gone by scary fast. In about six weeks Clarissa will have been home a year! Crazy.

Life is moving along pretty smoothly here. Friday was Shawn's birthday and we had a really fun day! He took the day off work and we went shopping together for his birthday presents. He wanted new running shoes and running clothes and it was easier for him to pick them out himself, so we had a fun time shopping.

Then in the evening one of my wonderful friends offered to watch the kids so we could go out to dinner. That was huge because it was the first time we officially left Clarissa with someone for any extended amount of time. She has been home for almost a year and we haven't had a single babysitter or anything. We haven't been in a date in so long that I can't even remember the last time. I suppose the last time we went out alone was in Korea before we picked Clarissa up! For attachment purposes I just haven't wanted to leave her. But at this point it's been long enough. Clarissa has a healthy attachment to us and we decided that it's finally OK to start leaving her every now and then. I'm grateful for good friends who I trust so much with my kids. As hard as it was to leave her the first time I know that she was in really good hands at my friends house.

We left her and the boys and we went out to dinner. It was glorious to have some alone time again! We were pretty excited about it! :) Clarissa did really great while we were gone! She played happily, which is great because in the past she's been really clingy to us and wouldn't even let anyone else hold her. She's more secure with us now and becoming more independent, which is great.

After dinner we invited our friends to come back to our house for cake and ice cream. We had a lot of fun, it made us realize that we don't have people over enough. We need to change that.

The rest of the weekend has been really low key and relaxing. Shawn and I recently discovered the show Glee and we're totally hooked on it. I can't believe we haven't watched it all this time! We've been catching up on all the episodes whenever we get we get a chance and we managed to sneak a few in on Saturday afternoon and last night when the kids weren in bed. We have six more before we're caught up. The Glee soundtrack is playing right now while I type. It's my new favorite iPod playlist.

Oh! Here's what happened to me last week! The other day I was laying down with Clarissa trying to get her to take a nap and she was being super squirmy and trying to get off the bed. I slid her back towards me and she suddenly whipped her head back and slammed her head right into my nose. I've been whacked in the face by my kids by accident before but never this hard. I heard something crack and blood was everywhere and it wasn't pretty. I got cleaned up and my nose REALLY hurt. It throbbed for hours. I don't think it's totally broken or anything, it's not crooked or super swollen or anything major like that, but five days later it's still really sore.

Then last night we were watching Glee on my iPad on our bed. We had the iPad set up on a stand between us and one of our cats was also curled up asleep between us. One of us must have shifted and the iPad got knocked off the stand. Unfortunately it was our super jittery cat that was sleeping between us, the iPad being knocked over scared her, she jumped up and tried to run away and in her panic she accidentally scratched my face really bad! I have a huge long gash above my upper lip that looks so ridiculous. Fantastic. Thank goodness I don't have anywhere to go today. It looks worse today than it looked last night. There's not enough makeup in the world to cover it up.

So now my nose hurts and my face is scratched. It would be funny if it didn't hurt and I wasn't embarrassed to leave the house looking like this! I'm writing it in my blog so that I can go back and laugh at it later when it doesn't hurt anymore, lol. In the meantime I'm not leaving the house or answering the door until I don't look like I was in a fight!

So that's the news from our house. Shawn had a birthday, Glee is the best show ever and Clarissa and the cat apparently have some sort of diabolical plan to destroy my face. Fun times at our house! :)