My niece joined the family on July 12th, 2010. This special young lady's mother is my younger sister, which in classic Chinese culture makes me her Jiu Jiu (舅舅) -- thus the title of this blog. Here I intend to semi-regularly post reflections, thoughts, stories, and assorted whathaveyous pertaining to our trip to China, adoption in general, and (mostly) watching my niece grow up. Since the web is a very public place, I will attempt to maintain my family's privacy while telling the story... but I invite you to follow the blog and come along for the adventure!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Catching Up: Israel Festival at the Synagogue (2018_05_06)

As the Pipsqueak once said (in a very matter-of-fact voice), she goes to school seven days a week.

No, my sister's not a Tiger Mom; it's just a combination of regular (public) school Monday through Friday, Chinese school & dance on Saturday, and -- since AJ decided it would be nice for her daughter to have enough religious education to make an informed choice on personal beliefs when she got older -- Sunday school on, well, Sunday.

As I've mentioned previously, this has had the unforeseen effect of the rest of the family being in a synagogue almost as many times in the past four years as in the preceding decade, since Miri almost immediately signed herself up for the synagogue's Youth Choir (who knew?!?) and we don't like missing the events where the choir performs... plus we figured that the family darn well better participate along with the Pipsqueak instead of booting her out of the car with a hearty, "See ya later!" for any services or other events she's involved with.  (Dude, are you feeling sarcastic today, or what?)

Anyway, one of the events we attended with Miri back in early May was the synagogue's annual celebration of Israel's independence day.  There would be a performance by the Youth Choir, other music, arts & crafts sales, information booths, and Israeli dancing (the latter being an alternate phrasing of, "a loud, noisy, occasionally disorganized, tough rhythmic physical workout that's lots of fun").

First things first; AJ got Miri to the synagogue early for the choir's pre-event rehearsal, and I followed a while later with Mom & Dad.  The Youth Choir gave a spirited performance that turned out to be something of a family affair, since AJ ended up holding some of the cue cards the kids needed for a new song they'd just gotten that morning:

Afterwards, we wandered around the sales tables to see what was available (I think Mom & AJ both bought some jewelry, along with a couple of small things for Miri), taking a break to ease some sore joints halfway through.  Miri was a little bored by the music act, so she went off to visit the face painting booth while us oldsters just sat for a while.

"Hi, there!"
These sold out before I could get one... One can only hope...!

Finally, most of the booths were cleared out of the sanctuary to make room for the dancing, and it wasn't long before the family's two best dancers got in on the action.  Mom was sore & tired but after watching for a few minutes decided she didn't have enough chances to dance with her daughter & granddaughter, so the three of them tripped the light fantastic until things got moving a bit too fast for all but the youngest.

Shortly afterwards, the Hora got a bit out of hand...!
Three generations dancing hand-in-hand.  :-) 
Holy moly, the Pipsqueak's getting tall!
Things finally began winding down (not to mention most of those in attendance getting winded), so we gathered ourselves and headed out to the parking lot -- whereupon, true to form, the Pipsqueak decided she was STAAAARRRRVING! and needed something to eat immediately to avoid a fate worse than death.  (Dude, have you mentioned that your neice gets hangry?)  There was a short discussion over whether or not she could survive long enough for us to meet at a nearby restaurant for lunch -- during which Miri got bored and borrowed Mommy's phone to play a game while her grownups repeatedly bounced one case of indecisiveness off another until finally figuring out where to eat.  Of course that meant that the wait for food would leave the Pipqueak utterly and completely STARVED TO DEATH! so AJ dug out a bag of chips and all was once again good in the world...

We all headed out for lunch, from where we split up to our respective houses -- Miri for a well-deserved nap, AJ for a chance to do some laundry, Mom & Dad to take a breather, and yours truly to upload photos from his camera.

And thus another enjoyable day came to a tired but happy close!