The hobbies that begin with the letter "I" that Sophia and Olivia have explored include: ice climbing, ice skating, and ink drawing.
On February 26, 2014, Sophia, Olivia, and I went ice climbing at Gooseberry Falls State Park thanks to a grant from the Ann Bancroft Foundation. Positive Energy Outdoors was the guide for the activity.
They helped us with getting on the appropriate equipment - like the harnesses - before we headed out to the frozen waterfall.
Sophia took a rather load of equipment on her back as we hiked to where we would climb.
Once we reached the location, our guide set up the ropes and line at the top of the frozen waterfall.
We made sure the lines were straight.
We wore crampons over our boots.
These helped us get a good grip on the snow and ice.
Our guide explained to Sophia how to belay.
He checked Olivia's equipment before she started ice climbing.
When the snow transitioned to ice, Olivia began using the ice picks.
Climbing required solid holds on the ice with the ice picks.
Pushing off with our feet helped us climb.
The crampons helped us get a firm hold on the ice.
Olivia is looking down to see how far she had climbed. She is almost at the top.
She was happy to reach the top and know that she tried something that she had never done before: ice climbing.
When the girls were younger, we would go ice skating at a nearby ice rink. I'm not sure why I didn't take more photos of them skating. I found some photos from an afternoon skating on January 14, 2010.
Sophia was practicing some hockey skills.
Sophia had the whole rink to herself to practice while Olivia was watching her.
Olivia was having a great time skating.
She enjoyed gliding around the rink.
Her snowsuit kept her warm and allowed her to move around easily...including waving to us as she skated on by.
The girls took breaks from skating and being the goalie...using the net as a little fort house.
After short breaks...they were back to skating and seeing if they could get the puck in the net.
What was so special about this photo is the fact that the skates were single-blades.
When the girls learned how to skate, they had double-blades. So the single-bladed skates were a major step up in skill development.
One of the gifts that we bought for Olivia in China in 2003 when she was adopted was an ink and pen set. On her 7th anniversary of her adoption day, she chose the ink and pen set to take out from the memory bin so she could use it.
November 17, 2010
On October 19, 2012, Olivia tried doing drawings using her ink set.
She created her own ink and used the different brushes to paint a cat.
Her finished ink drawing/painting is below.
Sophia also tried ink drawing and painting.
It was challenging for both of the girls to use the ink and brushes.
Sophia's finished picture is below.
One of the ink drawings that we purchased in China brings back memories of an artist painting it. He did not have a sketch of the image prior to starting to paint. He used only the sides of his hand and one fingernail to create the image below.
It continues to amaze me the level of detail, creativity, and imagination the artist had to create this painting and others he did.