Sunday, January 29, 2017

Reflections on Diversity

I love Chinese New Year. It's such a fun holiday - great food, a focus on family time, fireworks - all the makings of a fantastic celebration!

This year we had the joy of hosting our local Chinese New Year's party at CenterPoint. I'm so grateful to have a church facility that's open to gatherings like this! It's a wonderful way to serve and connect with our community.

The party was a blast as always. The decorations were super festive. The food was amazing. The company was delightful. We learned about Chinese New Year traditions, exchanged red envelopes, made Year of the Rooster crafts, and clapped along with the dragon parade.

We also had the joy of welcoming a dozen people from our community who participate in the Conversation Cafe conversational English club at church. It was so fun to blend together our adoptive family friends and our learning-English friends together in one big party.

Chinese New Year has been a super special holiday to me for a while, and this year my reflections were filled with a special gratitude.

As our nation grapples with the threat of bigotry and prejudice becoming an accepted part of our national identity, I hold gatherings like this precious. We crossed cultural, racial, and religious boundaries. We welcomed folks born in the U.S., China, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, and Mexico. We learned from each other, ate together, laughed together, and just enjoyed each other. I don't want to over-spiritualize Panda Express takeout and $50 worth of fireworks, but I think there's something really special about crossing lines and coming together to celebrate like this.

We are a family of blended heritage. We have a daughter from a Muslim-majority country and one from a Socialist nation. We don't look the same, but are bonded by love and respect and devotion to each other.

And let's never forget that, like our relationship with God, our girls came to us with nothing to offer. We loved them and they responded to that love - we didn't ask that they prove their worthiness or their affiliation to our cause or their adherence to our religion.
We love because he first loved us.

Gathering together over takeout this weekend was, to me, a profound celebration of what is precious and how I want my life, my family, my church, my community, and my nation to be defined.

Also, kudos to Sam for finding something he actually wanted to eat at the party and for making it "Chinese" by eating with chopsticks.

Ski Team Race Blog

by Sasha

This is the sundance race blog. to be on the ski  it means that you race, have fun and try your best. ski team usually does races. Ive been on the ski team for three years and wanyings been on  it for two years.

some of the stuff we focus on is early turns, pole planting and edges. we also liked to drills to help us with these skills. like we practice in race courses to help us and we try to go as fast as we can cause at the races the time how fast we go and we do races at different resorts.

this picture is wanying racing
the gates shes putting
pressure on her ankle
 and pole planting and
is turning early and wanyings
time was 45.65

This picture is me on the
race course with me making
early turns pole planting
 switching edges fast and
my time was 40.92

This picture is me andwanying taking are sister
picture after are race
we stood in front of the
Sundance Ski Team 

this picture is me doing my pictureafter the race in my race suit i got
my race suit on my 8th birthday

this picture is me getting my medal i got 6th place and the
girl next to me by the
podium got fifth place
this picture is my mom taking
a picture of me with my medal
after we stood and was getting
are medals

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Powder-Perfect Staycation

Last weekend we enjoyed a powder-perfect staycation and got to experience the very best of Utah skiing!

The whole staycation thing started a few years ago when we were on vacation in Breckenridge, Colorado. Breck's base is at like 9,500 feet, was freezing, and the snow was dumping in Utah. We looked at each other and said, "why the heck did we ever leave Utah?!?" and since then we've taken time every year to stay at a different Utah resort and enjoy the best our home state has to offer.

This year we did the Alta/Snowbird ski in/ski out condo thing and it was perfect. The snow was amazing (got over 20" while we were there) and the condo had a hot tub. It was everything you need in a ski vacation.

We skied two days each at Alta and Snowbird and after chasing my kids down both mountains for four straight days I can testify: there are few greater joys than ripping the black diamonds with your kiddos. I freaking love how well these kids ski and their fearless attitudes toward the snow!

Daddy leads the way
Sasha shoots the chutes...
...and rips the groom

We also had plenty of condo time to play games, soak in the hot tub, eat tons of snacks, and do puzzles. It was nice to have a comfortable, convenient place to unwind after a big day on the slopes.

Puzzles with Grammy

Of course, the only reason to rest up is so that you can hit the pow afresh the next morning, right?!?

Don't worry, we saved a little powder for you, too. Come on out to Utah!

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017's Stellar Start

The year is still young, but judging by our new year's activities, 2017 is looking pretty darn great!

Our celebration started with a friend's wedding. We dress up well...

...but the true colors do eventually shine through! WanYing and Ben in particular had a wonderful time playing a very convincing World's Tallest Man using Daddy's winter coat.

And then it was off to party with some of our dearest friends! We greeted the new year with card games, tons of food, and a big old box of poppers. It was perfect.

We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends in our lives!
New Year's Day brought snuggle naps in the coordinating Mermaid Tail blankets Daddy got us for Christmas

And New Year's Day continued brought 10" of fresh snow and a day of skiing at Deer Valley! We skied every glade and tree run we could find and had a grand time doing it.

We wish you and yours peace, grace, joy, and truth this year. And snow, lots and lots of snow.


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