Saturday, January 26, 2013

Our family on skis

For the past few years we've been spending one month a year on skis. It all started four years ago with Zosia going for a ski racing training camp in Nozawa, Japan. There were only 6 kids chosen to attend that camp. I joined the group as a helper. Back then Zosia was in 5th grade (11 years old), other kids were also around that age. Every day they trained going through gates from morning till evening. At night they trained with Japanese kids in bitter cold temperatures. Zosia did not enjoy the camp much, but she did learn quite a bit.

The following year we followed our long time friend, Nozomi, to Myoko. We stayed there only for a wee, but fell in live with the small Japanese village and the skiing conditions which it offered. That's why two years ago we spent a whole month in Myoko. We were lucky enough to have a whole pension all to ourselves. Of course this meant that we needed to shovel the snow twice a day just to get in and out of the house. Throughout the whole month we had only two days without snowfall! Thanks to the instructors from Myoko Snowsports, Zosia and Jas have improved their skiing skills greatly. We all had a wonderful time.

Last year was a bit different, we ended up skiing in Quebec, Canada instead of Japan. You can read about it here. In short - Zosia received her Level 1 ski instructors certificate and Jas ... broke his arm. Skiing at Mt. St. Anne was completely different to skiing in Myoko - not only the temperature was dropping way below -15C, but the snow was much harder and icy. In Myoko we get so much powder that one has to use completely different technique to ski efficiently.

This year we are back in Myoko. We will be staying here for 25 days (a week has passed already). Today we are taking it easy, meaning staying indoors as it's snowing really hard outside. (Zosia is still out and about.)
For the first time our friends, another homeschooling family from Taiwan, joined us for a week of skiing. In the mornings kids had skiing lessons according to their levels and in the afternoons they skied together. In the evenings they played cards together and the adults could chat. It was really nice to have friends over.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Kids and TV

Only in Taiwan (and maybe other small countries) can normal kids get a chance to appear on TV. I know that some of you may say that my kids have been on TV quite often and their faces are recognisable, but when they started their TV adventure they were ... just a couple of young homeschooled children, without any experience in front of the camera.

How did it all start? Few years ago, when Zosia was 9 and Jas 4 years old we met by chance the Public TV team filming a popular children's program 下課花路米 Follow me, go!. Tim talked for a few minutes to the director and gave him his contact number. Few days later TV called back asking some more questions about our homeschooling adventure. And that's how it all started ...

Later there were interviews, more interviews, never ending interviews ...

Two and a half years ago kids were asked to take part in another Public TV children's program:

In the beginning of 2012, after Zosia and her friends made a short documentary for International Children's Film Festival, the media started to pay attention to Zosia as an ice-skater and a ... future film maker. Again there were a few TV interviews:

Last year, after our book 我家就是國際學校 has been published, we started accepting invitations for TV talk shows. There were quite a few of them, but I am going to mention only the most popular one - 爸媽囧很大 also on Public TV.

Later in the year Zosia was asked to take part in the new TV travel program, 探索ING. In December she went to the mining town in Northern Taiwan to film one of the episodes. It was first time that she was one of the program's hosts.

Jas doesn't want to stay behind his sister and wants to appear more on TV too. That's why just two weeks ago he went for two days of filming of a children's program for Cartoon Network 食向小玩家.

Tim has had more TV appearances than the rest of the family put together. I try to stay out of the whole TV business, but it's not always possible. Just this week they will be showing a full blown 1-hour long documentary about me - a foreign wife and mom in Taiwan ... No comments ...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year 2013 is here!

We've never made any New Year's resolutions before, but this year I talked to the kids about it and here is what they came up with:

- Zosia wants to:
  • spend more time editing her films
  • learn how to snowboard better
  • learn to ski well in powder snow
  • spend less time searching Internet for silly stuff
  • write her blog more often
  • post more photos to Flickr
  • take one photo a week for the Flickr photo challenge
- Jas wants to:
  • read at least one book a week
  • write one postcard a month to the Grandparents
  • make dinner for the family at least twice a month
  •  learn how to type (in Chinese)
And how about me? I just hope to have more patience and time for the kids, play more board games with them, read more (by myself and to the kids) and do some more scrapbooking and cross-stitching.
I guess all this means I need to manage my TIME better (sleep less?).