Monday, April 25, 2011


We had a very wonderful and eventful Easter week. This is our first Easter away from the States and it was definately different than all of our others. The kids were very excited to color eggs and it gave us lots of great memories with our local friends and started lots of conversations.

Regan was very proud of her self portrait :) I liked it, too! We had 6 kids (not including my 4) and their parents over to participate in the fun. We had managed to keep everyone's clothes dye free until the last egg...then an entire cup got tipped over right into Regan's lap. She was very upset thinking that her new outfit was ruined, but we were very fortunate that it was a light pink color and it ALL came out!

They all had so much fun. Mostly the kids did the egg dying and the parents took the pictures. It was too tempting though...most of the parents found a way to do an egg for themselves.

I think this is the most we have colored at one time. I enjoyed seeing the personalities of the kids come out in their egg dying.

And here is the group displaying their masterpieces.

And of coarse, you must have an Easter egg hunt. We hid plastic eggs around the house while the real eggs were drying. The kids were running so fast trying to find them all. It was a first for all of them!

Yes, we saw the sunrise on Easter Sunday morning. It was neat. The kids saw their baskets, we read a book called Benjamin's Box, we hid (and found) 12 Resurrection eggs and talked about the meaning of this special holiday. I really enjoyed the time as a family talking about Easter. It was so different being here during this time because their are none of the commercial reminders leading up to the day. But what a sweet day it was. Later in the day we sang songs and read some more...

It was Katherine's turn to hid all of our plastic eggs...she was so proud of herself.

It just about caused a fight, but they resolved the situation peacefully :)

After naps, we headed outside for the "real" egg hunt. I scouted out our complex to try and find the most out of the way place as possible. I wanted the kids to be able to have fun and not have 50 million people watching them.

We still had a few onlookers, but managed to stay off our normal route. They just could not figure out why in the world we were putting eggs in the grass!

More of the egg hunt...

Katherine did a good job finding eggs :)

Regan was on a mission...

This week, we got some good snapshots of Lauren....none of Benjamin yet because he was not feeling so good. I discovered that I have 1 more poser in the family. Lauren actually posed herself in ALL of the pictures you are about to see (including the one above) Oh, and she is wearing pigtail. I know it's hard to tell because of all the curls, but they are there! We hope you all had a wonderful Easter!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Return to Summer

Summer has have the beautiful lilypads, the heat, and the mosquitoes! We have really enjoyed getting to wear our summer clothes again without being told by others that we are too cold. The nice weather has brought many more people outside with their little ones and has lead to many new conversations.
We had plans to go out with a family at 10am Saturday moning, but a note was left on our door cancelling. So, we decided to take it slow and not rush the morning when our friend and her son showed up to take us fishing for tadpoles! Half of the kids (and myself) were still in pj's, so needless to say...we started to rush. The kids had an absolute blast! We never let them play in the water because the neighborhood kids (little AND big) go to the bathroom in the water, but what are you going to do when catching tadpoles is the activity of the day?

Katherine had quite the skill of catching them. She caught a couple by using a lid to a bottle. She loved it (oh, by the way....we didn't have time to fix hair or anything...just ran out the door....I'm surprised Katherine could see to catch anything...she is growing her bangs out).

Lauren got in on the action to...well, kindof. She actually did catch one, but I think it was a fluke. She would just put her net in the water and then pull it back out to see if she had anything. Jonathan stood close by to make sure she didn't fall in. The only kid that fell in was Katherine. :) She was really into it.

Thanks to some friends back home for the art supplies...the twins came over and painted. We had read the Very Hungry Caterpillar book the week before with them. This week, we read it again and then I asked them to paint pictures from the story. They all did a very good job.

Even the little ones got in on the action. They had to take a break from playing dress up, but that didn't seem to bother them any.

Here is Regan's version of the story. I was surprised at all the detail, but I shouldn't have been. She has always been my detail/perfectionist :) Great job!

Our neighbor owns a piano and has been letting Regan come over to practice every night. Regan takes piano at school and Benjamin takes guitar. I am so glad that she is able to get a little practice time in. She enjoys playing.

We went to the store and the lady there gave Lauren this little army man. She gave it to Benjamin and he named him Zacheus because he is so small. He then taped him to this piece of paper and tape it all to the wall next to his door. I guess he is the guard of the room now.

The next several pictures are of Katherine and Regan. The weather was so nice that we had to take some pictures. I hope to get all the kids pictures outside as time and weather permits. Hopefully, I can have some of Benjamin and Lauren next week.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Benjamin Turns 6

Benjamin was so excited about it being his birthday! It happened to be Tomb Sweeping Day here, so all the kids were out of school. He got up early and got dressed in his birthday attire. He came up to our room to wake us up and I see "Buzz LightYear" wearing a crown. He wore it all day and changed his mind last minute and put on normal clothes for his party.
Our neighbors were just as excited as he was when it came to opening the gifts. The girl made him a card and it is still in his room.

This is our Ayi (househelper that takes care of Lauren during the day) whom we LOVE. This picture is very fitting. I don't think Lauren will know what to do when we come back to the States. She never has to feed herself (she is able...but not always given the chance) Even when we go out to eat, the workers at the restaurant will just stand around our table and watch us eat and then they will just start feeding Lauren.

Here is a picture of the twins that we play with every week. The kids had fun picking flowers and replanting them in the sand :)

Benjamin was very excited about his Ben 10 birthday cake. I found these little figurines online and was hoping that they would work for cake decorations. It was perfect.

Benjamin opening some of his presents. He got this red hat that just fits his personality.

But this was the best surprise. He got a guitar. You can see by his face how surprised and excited and happy he was. He has been taking guitar lessons at his school. We did not want to buy him something like that until we found out if he was really going to enjoy it. He loves it!

He plays/practices every day. He said one day he will play the guitar for our family on Sundays and we can all sing together instead of using the computer for music. I think that sounds like a wonderful idea! It is good for him. The other day he told me that he was upset and angry about something, so he decided to just got to his room and play music on his guitar to make him feel better.
These are Benjamin's teachers. He really wanted them to come to his party and it was so special for him that they came...even on their day off! They have been wonderful teachers and all the students love them. The teacher on the left (Benjamin's right) also plays the guitar, so after he opened it she played and he sang. Very Cute :)

We found yet another park. It was very loud seeing as they had music blaring and machinery working on a roller coaster all at the same time. It ended up beign very enjoyable once we got far enough in where there was no music.

There are these statues all over the city and they all hav ethis stone ball inside their mouth. Katherine finally got curious enough to try and figure out how to get it out. It is loose inside but not able to be removed :) I like watching her try though. I do not know if there is a meaning behing this or not...I guess that will be on my list of things to find out this week.

The park had little bumper boats (that were not really used for bumping) I did not ride, but stayed out talking to my friend. After a few minutes, Benjamin starts driving his back to the dock. He yells to me that he has to come in because he has a flat tire. My friend asked what was wrong. I was laughing because they were letting Benjamin get a new car, but I for the life of me could not think to tell her what he said, so I ended up saying that he thought is boat had a hole (not nearly as funny...but she was satisfied with the answer).

The park had a little miniature zoo-like place. It was more the size of a petting zoo, but all the animal were in cages. We even saw a chipmunk in a cage. I told my friend that we have those in America, but not in cages. She looked surprised and said, "They run around outside?" She just couldn't believe it. I then realized that either I have not learned yet or have forgotten how to say squirrel, so I opted NOT to try and explain that we have those, too.

We did feed the enormaous fish at the park. If they get as much food as we gave them everyday, then there is no telling how big they will be the next time we see them!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lauren Turns 2!

I can't believe my baby is 2! We spent her birthday in Hong Kong, so we decided to celebrate there.
We made her a cherry cake. She couldn't stop staring at the candles. We finally had to blow them out for her. I think she was just a little overwhelmed that the day was all about her.

She was ready to open her gifts. She got an umbrella, a shirt, kid-sized chopsticks, an elmo toy, and tickets to Hong Kong Disney! I am not sure who was more or the kids...but we did manage to get them in bed that night at a decent hour. They were up at the crack of dawn, dressed and ready to go.

We were about to enter the park, but I needed a picture first :)

The first ride was the carousel. Lauren was very excited and was havign so much fun just sitting on the horse. Then it started moving....she got a little scared at first, but ended up loving it. She actually liked all the rides, but I think the Winnie the Pooh ride was her favorite.

Jonathan and the kids in the "fast" tea cup. Lauren and I rode in the "slow" tea cup.

Here are my boys riding the Dumbo ride. They are just alike!

This was the expression that Lauren gave during each ride.

I could not believe that they had cotton candy! It was the BIGGEST cotton candy that I have ever seen! This is not an illusion. It really was bigger than Katherine's head :)

This was my favorite of all the character photos. They did an awesome job making the army man look plastic. He had a great personality for the part, too. Lauren decided to be bashful at Disney, so she is only in a couple character photos. The only one that she willing got a little close to was Rapunzel.

This was a kid's dream...Mickey Mouse ice cream for dinner! The park looked so much like the one in the States, but all the food was Asian style. We actually found a hot dog stand when they were closing. It was really good. We split 3 hot dogs.

Two dowm...they were such little troopers. They didn't want to miss anything! It was long before I had a third kid alseep on the subway.

We each got a souvenir. This was mine. I wanted something that looked Asian, but still had Mickey and Minnie. I found this pillow and decided that I liked it.

Oh, and I almost forgot. Everyone (except Lauren) rode Space Mountain...and a few people rode it twice!

What a fun vacation!