Friday, July 25, 2008

Communication is happening...progressively.

Another eventful day together! We had given Yumi a hand made map of Illinois on her first day with us. Since corn is a major agricultural product here, it was marked with a pictures of corn. So today we had plain old corn flakes for breakfast which she said she liked. I'm not sure if she was able to make the connection between cereal and our state, but we will try another time with some grill roasted corn.
She really enjoyed this game and even was able to beat Hannah after playing a few rounds!
Again, she brought our of her belongings another surprise. This was some kind of Japanese mix that she described as "pudding." It turned out to be reconstituted, sweetened tofu. She made it in the morning and put it in the refrigerator to chill. She served it after dinner and we all enjoyed its sweet flavor and its "pudding" like texture.
We took her to our favorite nature preserve in Palos Heights. I was hoping to share some of our native wildlife with Yumi. We were able to observe some ducks, Canadian geese, turtles, squirrels, butterflies and dragonflies. Most exciting we saw a trumpeter swan on the island in the center of the lake. Even though it was quite far away from us, it was apparent that this was a huge bird and we were disappointed that we could not get a closer look. We also saw many example of plants and trees, some of them are now in the right hand column of this blog.
Standing at the top of the waterfall we noticed the beautiful improvements around the preserve. It truly is quite a treasure on the south side of Chicagoland!
I thought this was an appropriate picture after yesterdays post about the Peace Memorial. The inscription on the rock says "Peace Be Still" and is dedicated to those who were instrumental in originating the preserve.
Hannah achieved her goal of receiving her orange belt tonight. She has been practicing all summer with her teacher and was very nervous when it was time for testing. Unlike some of the movies you may have seen (Jingle all the Way) where getting a belt is a graduation type show for the parents, Kenpo Karate has a completely different testing process. The student must stand before a board of black belts, no one else present (I had to sit behind a screen) and perform every move ever learned. If one is wrong they will ask them to repeat it only once. When she passed, she was given a new belt and told her "responsibilities." Responsibilities such as being a "big sister" to other new students and being a good example in the karate/self defense community. Hannah did a great job and was well rewarded.
For dinner we had teriyaki beef and noodles with vegetables. I'm trying hard to make sure she has some kind of food she likes, I don't want her getting too hungry. Other activities we did today is going to the mall, more origami folding and game playing. While playing outside in the evening, they snapped this picture of their shoes, I have no idea why, but I think it is kind of cool. So progress is good, and communication is not so hard when you use a lot of smiles, patient happy voices, and maybe even some good food or some pudding!

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