Thursday, February 13, 2014

Celebrating the Winter Olympics

Things are going well in our celebration of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Here's the medal count at present (as of Wednesday, the 12th):

For those of you keeping track, that means that Daddy (a.k.a. Jonathan) is in the lead with his country of choice, Norway. Mommy takes a quick second with Canada. And oh, USA! COME ON! (You are welcome to beat us!)

This week we have mostly kept up with the Olympics via regular news sources although we did spent about 4 hours straight watching some snowboarding and some figure skating. Speaking of figure skating, if you missed 15-year old Julia Lipnitskaia's (Russia) gold winning performance (in the team competition) then you've got to watch the following video. It is her performance from the European Figure Skating Championships but it is the same routine she used in the Olympics.

Watching figure skating as revolutionized my two year old's life. She loves watching it. She calls it "finger skating". I asked her if she wanted to sit next to me on the couch and watch it. She looked at me askance. "No, I have to dance." So, while the athletes are twirling about on the ice, my daughter is twirling about the living room, perfecting her ability to stand on one foot. (It's so adorable I can hardly stand it.)

Of course, there are books we are reading in conjunction with the games. The children love the few books I have found at Goodwill from the Disney "Small World" library. I only purchased three titles even though I found what looked to be the complete collection. I'm kicking myself for not picking up a few additional titles because the kids are so eager to read them. Each book puts Mickey and Goofy in a different country having a specific set of adventures that relate to said country. For example, in Goofy and the Gondola Mickey and Goofy travel to the island of Venice. Goofy wants to buy Mickey a small toy gondola but he sees the price tag of several thousand lira, assumes he can't afford it, and tries taking up various odd jobs around the island to earn the money to afford it. He attempts selling gelato, driving a gondola and making pizza, all to no avail. Meanwhile, while Goofy is working, Mickey is touring both Venice and the neighboring islands of Murano and Burano, learning about lace making and glass-blowing. At the end of the story there is a page spread of information about notable sights to see in the country being featured as well as information about food and arts. It's a very entertaining way to learn a little something about other cultures. We've found them to be perfect for our kids (at ages 2, 5 and 7). Here are the other titles I picked up:

The reason I didn't pick up more in the series was because one of the titles I was looking through (I think the one on Scotland) featured a ghost in a castle and so I decided to leave it behind. Now I'm not sure that I wasn't being too picky. You can purchase all of the titles in this series used on Amazon though (for $0.01 a piece + $3.99 S&H!) or purchase as a whole: Disney's Small World Library: 15 Volume Set. Now that I know my kids love them so much, I think I'll keep my eyes peeled to add more titles to our collection.

Tomorrow we are having a bunch of friends over for an "Around the World in 80 Minutes" lunch wherein each guest is to bring a different ethnic dish of their choice to share with everyone. I'll post about that next week!

Any else out there enjoying the Olympics or doing something special to celebrate the games? I'd be curious to hear of it!


Mark Baker said...

I've been thinking of you guys as I watched the Olympics, hoping someone out there had picked Norway.

I'm not doing anything special for them, but I am watching every night after work. But week night plans have been canceled, so I've been able to enjoy every night. Won't happen next week, but I've enjoyed it while I could. That's my big plan for the weekend, too.

Sherry said...

I smile at your little girl because the scene is the same in my house! I've always loved how the Olympics inspire young and old in our household. I particularly favor figure skating because there is something there that speaks to how a girl is made, AND to the beauty of a man and woman working side by side on a complementary mission that speaks "beautiful." Just my theological discourse for the day! :)

Lest I forget the boys, it goes without saying that he is ready to conquer the world and try new adventures when watching such athletic feats!

We haven't done any big celebrations, but we did make an Olympic ring pizza and cookies and listen to John Piper's "Olympic Spirituality" sermons :)

*carrie* said...

We've been turning the Olympics on every night. Nathan in particular loves it! Eric picked up a couple library books about Russia from the library, and I should get the globe out to find countries when they are mentioned. Nathan loves seeing where people are from and how old they are! He's like me in that way--interested in those details.

Can't wait to hear more about your lunch--great idea!

Barbara H. said...

What a sweet little figure-skater-in-training you have there! That's my favorite part of the Olympics as well. Such highs and lows in the men's short program last night! I'm always disappointed when anyone falls and joyous when any of them do well. I've watched a few other events - we usually have the coverage on in the evenings (sad about Shaun White not getting a medal!).

BerlinerinPoet said...

"I have to dance" I love it!

I saw that Canada was in second and thought you might be pleased by that.

Shonya said...

My favorite part is your little ice skater. Simply too cute for words.

But I also still love your idea of following the Olympics, and also grin at the way you're tying books in. Fun times!

Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker said...

I'm so glad you shared your Disney Book find. I was stoked to hear of a series that I didn't have that I bought the whole series on ebay; we've had good luck with the older Disney learning libraries :). I got them today and we've already read two and I'm really happy we bought them.

Thanks again for sharing!

Carrie said...

@Jan - That's AWESOME!

We just went to our local friends of the library book sale last week and guess what I found!?!? We picked up 6 additional titles and everyone in the family was excited to find them.

Thanks for telling me about that! So cool!

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