Saturday, June 17, 2006

kindergarten graduation

It's hard to believe it's June and the school year is already over. It seemed as if Maeve had just started kindergarten and now she's ready to move on to first grade. She's learned so much since September, including how to read. Mom is a little afraid that she's going to be bored at home this summer after all the activity in school.
Maeve says, "I had my kindergarten graduation. I am so happy that I'm going to first grade!"Maeve receives her certificate from her teacher Ms. Wilkerson. Maeve with Mrs. Kennedy and Ms. Wilkerson

Mother's Day: Hiking Namsan

This picture of Seoul Tower (or Namsan Tower) wasn't taken the same day. But that was our destination the afternoon of Mother's Day. We took a cab to the backside of Namsan to hike up to the tower. Then we came back down the other side and ended up hiking home, somewhat accidently. We meant to catch a cab home but kept walking while looking for one and finally decided we were close enough not to bother.

Claire catches a ride going up Namsan. She also hiked a good portion of the way.
This was at the top by the Tower. Claire was asleep by this point. I thought the little "soccer balls" with tufts of grass that are behind me were pretty funny.

Views of Seoul. I had to get a picture of the kimchi pots on the roof. And you've got to love the air quality! You can see the smog in the last two pictures, especially.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Claire turns 2!

Claire turned 2 on May 3rd but we celebrated a few days early while Grandma Mun and Papa David were still visiting us. (They flew back to the States on May 2.) Big sister Maeve was more than happy to help with everything from blowing out candles to opening gifts. She was the one who kept explaining everything to Claire. "Blow! Blow out the candles! Time for your presents! Open your presents! Maybe I should help her open them?"

While the concept of opening presents was a new one for Claire, she quickly caught onto the idea and enjoyed opening her gifts. She also enjoyed playing with her new toys. Well, she would have if she could've gotten them away from her sister. Just kidding.

Friday, June 09, 2006

National Museum

These are pictures from the Children's Museum portion of the National museum. Children are free but the adults had to pay something like 5oo won (a little over 50 cents). It was meant to be about an hour or so of hands-on exploring for the kids.
Grandma tries to show Maeve how to use this drum.

Claire discovered the kitchen. One side was modern and the other was a traditional kitchen from the "olden days." I didn't think I would ever get Claire out of there. She would have played there all day if she could! Eventually, I convinced her there were others things she might enjoy as well. While she ran back and forth in the kitchen, emptying plastic food from one container to another, someone asked if she was 3. This was about a week before her 2nd birthday! It was an American asking so, no, they weren't referring to her Korean age.

Maeve tries her hands at another drum.

As much as Claire enjoyed the kitchen, Maeve really liked trying to grind grain. I don't know why she liked it so much, but we had a hard time dragging her away!

Claire made an attempt at playing a traditional musical instrument.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Jeju-do #4: Hallim Park

Hallim Park was a bonzai garden, mini-zoo, cave complex, miniature folk village, and botanical gardens -- all rolled into one. There was something for everyone to enjoy.

This was too funny. There were a pair of these stone elephants on either side of a bench. Claire kept running back and forth between them, kissing them. Check out those lips!

Sonya, Maeve and Claire in the greenhouse

As soon as she learned of our trip, Maeve kept asking when were we going to the island with the oranges. (Jeju-do is famous for its oranges and tangerines.) So I knew we'd never hear the end of it if she didn't see her oranges. Fortunately, they were everywhere. There were orange trees outside the airport. Groves and fruit stands were everywhere.

Jeju-do #3: Miniature Theme Park

We spent the next morning at the Miniature Theme Park. The park was built around miniatures of famous buildings and sites around the world. Everything from Buckingham Palace to the Great Wall of China to the Opera House in Syndey was represented. Claire seems to be indicating that this is more her size...

Claire spent a lot of time dancing at this park. She would stand under speakers and dance and dance. I wish I knew how to upload a short video of it to share! It was hard to pull her away to move on to the next exhibit (although there were speakers everywhere). Then when she saw the 7 Dwarfs displayed... well, weren't they the perfect size for dancing with!

These are pictures of the girls and their "fan clubs." It was difficult for them to go far without schoolgirls (usually, but as you can see, boys got in the act, too) asking to take their pictures or wanting to pose with them. Claire took this in stride. After all, everyone is supposed to be in her fan club. Maeve, on the other hand, wasn't too thrilled with the attention.