Saturday, December 28, 2013

Movie Stars

Our babies may be little, but they're big stars at heart. Last week, we had two amazing filmmakers, David and Chris, visiting the school and the baby home.

They've volunteered to work on some special video projects for Little Flower, which we'll hopefully be able to share with everyone soon.
Visiting the baby home for the first time on a scouting visit, they already started to capture some moments on camera. The babies, of course, are used to fun photo shoots, but they were extremely curious about these larger cameras and microphones.

You was the first celebrity of the day.

She walked up to the camera with confidence and peered right into the lens. Hello? Hello, anyone in there?

Min was also a little movie star. She looked right into the camera and waved.

She even tried to help Chris adjust the lens.

Others were a bit more hesitant. Wan tottered over to the curtains and hid behind them!

But she popped out eventually.

Outgoing or shy, all the kids had fun with our videographers that day.

That’s a wrap!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Letter from the Founders

Dear Friends,

As the year comes to a close, we're all thinking a little more about time and meaning--about what we've done this year, what we hope to do with our time in the coming year, and about what's really important.

This year marks 19 years of doing our bit to care for abandoned children in China. We feel incredibly thankful and blessed for all of those children and for all of you friends and supporters. More than ever, I'm so grateful for the chance to share our gifts, talents, and time with these kids.

By year end, we will have helped about 160 new children this year and around 650 children since we re-started the Little Flower care efforts in the spring of 2009. January 1 of this upcoming year will also mark the end of our first year as "Chunmiao Little Flower," and I feel such a deep affection for all of our colleagues at the Beijing Chunmiao Children's Aid Foundation. For the first time since we started this effort so many years ago, I feel like we are finally having an effect on the issue of child abandonment at the source--poor families who feel like they have no options. Our Chunmiao medical team and social workers are changing that attitude in local Chinese villages and really engaging people in the countryside.

I read recently that 70% of all donations to charitable causes happen between Thanksgiving and the end of the year. We need your support to continue our work, and you still have a week to help us if you feel inspired to do so! 

Thank you all, and blessings for 2014!

- Brent, Serena and the Little Flower Family

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Holiday Fun at School

The holidays have been in full swing here at the Little Flower school, with decorations, greeting card making, and even Christmas cookies.
The big Christmas tree, covered in tons of ornaments and tinsel, is the first thing to greet all the kids when they walk into the classroom.

This little electronic toy sings Christmas carols, and the kids have a healthy obsession with this thing. Any time it's on, everyone's gathered around it singing and dancing along.

The little students also had fun getting creative and making Christmas cards. They're real pros, aren't they? Look at that workmanship!

They even had the chance to bake gingerbread cookies! Maria, our Curriculum Director and a great teacher, prepared the dough beforehand and the kids loved rolling it out and cutting out gingerbread men and Christmas tree shapes.

Christmas isn't often celebrated in China, and Chinese New Year is definitely the biggest holiday of the year, but nevertheless, everyone's loved learning about and sharing these Christmas traditions in our classroom.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Little Musicians

Music time is one of our happiest times here at the Baby Home. The toddlers get out all their musical instruments, including a tiny piano, drum set, xylophones, and little voices to burst out in their favorite tunes. Maria, one of our education specialists, came today and sang with the toddlers.

Can you guess what their favorite song is? Whenever Maria visits, she makes sure to sing it: The Wheels on the Bus. They love it so much that she must have sang it ten times in one sitting!

We love seeing the children interacting with music in this way, as music can help babies and toddlers improve cognitive skills, memory and body awareness. Here are some of our most promising musicians:

Little Jie at the piano: Piano seems to be her favorite instrument. But the question is, which is the little Jie’s favorite way to play.
Sitting or standing? One or two handed? Solo, or with an accompanist?

They all sound great. Little Min claps her hands. BRAVO!

Chen at the drums:  Chen especially loves to beat the drum.  With or without sticks.

He really gets into it with two hands, letting us know he’s got the beat.

Xin the Maestro leads a group of five little ones in song. You can tell they’re excited to play all together in their impromptu band.

The dueling xylophones:
You can see our little girls love playing xylophones. Xin has her Hello Kitty xylophone:

…and Yu uses the tiger xylophone.

And lastly we have Yang showing us the famous Chinese twirling drum. His expression is priceless.