Monday, June 27, 2011

Skype, Recitals, and Graduation

TLC K5 Graduation...Recitals...and Skype calls with 5 different families!!! So much fun to see all the results of all the hard work the kids have done this year and to get to talk to so many of our family and friends!!!

Benjamin had the main part in the graduation program. He was the Master of Ceremony with another little girl, Celina. They did GREAT!! He was so excited and had memorized sereral pages of lines (short ones but still impressive). He wanted to dress up for the occasion and was so proud of his outfit.

His sisters were so excited for their brother to be graduating. He has been a dolphin all year and is about to be a frog (class mascots at the school).

Receiving his diploma from Dr. Kempf, the principal of the school.

Besides the ceremony, the class also showed us several things they have learned throughout the year, including reading, math, singing, and dance. I have put a link to the dance that they did. It definately will make you smile!
I hope this one works this time!! Let me know if you still cannot view it. I think I fixed it though. Enjoy the show :)

These are two of Benjamin's very best friends in his class. They came to see him play the guitar. They are so sweet. I just love hearing the one on the right (his left) call his name when she sees him out. They always run to see each other and have such a good time together.

You can see Regan playing the piano at Both Regan and Benjamin did a great job at their very first recital. Regan is learning piano and Benjamin is learning to play the guitar. Pretty soon we will have our own little choir ensemble :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Well, the order of this blog is not exactly how I intended, but you will have to bear with me. It's either leave it this way or wait and try to reload pictures tomorrow. SO, we are just going to leave it. We had several little surprises this week...and this was one of them. A friend sent Lauren tons of Little Swimmers! I think she is set for the entire summer :) Hooray! It was so funny. She knew that they were all for her, too. She was very proud of them.

Here's the work they have been doing outside our apartment. We did find out that is will not be a high rise, but instead will be some type of gymnasium. That's about all the info we have gathered so far. The kids have really enjoyed watching what all goes on in the process of building a building (and we have a bird's eys view...literally).

This was an older picture that one of my friends just gave me. It was from her daughter's birthday party and ALL these girls were INSIDE the elevator. I'm sure it doesn't seem like a lot, but to see them all pile out was quite the site.

Another surprise this week...FRUIT LOOPS! I think it was the quietest breakfast I have ever had. The ate every single bite and drank the milk and scraped every single little crumb into their mouths. Someone asked them what their favorite serial was and none of them had an answer. I think it is because they only have 2 choices here, so when they hear about all these different "kid" cereals, they don't know what to think. But they sure did enjoy every bite. :) Oh, in case you were wondering what cereal we eat here...Corn Flakes or Raisin Bran.

Yet another surprise. Saturday morning roles around and the kids actually slept in! It was wonderful! We woke up at 730am and walked into the kitchen to find that only 3 of the kids had slept in. The can see a stool, climbed onto the counter, got a box of corn flakes, found the sugar and mixed it with the flour, got paint and painted her lips pink, her hands, and her feet, and a little bit in her hair. Then, she decided to clean up her mess and used hand soap AND dish soap and created an even bigger mess. She wasn't sure if she was in trouble, but she got very excited when she found out that she "had to have a bath."

After her bath, she and Katherine played most of the morning together. And yes, that is a fuzzy blanket on her bed, and I'm not sure why. The temperature today was 100 and the temp tomorrow is supposed to be the same with a heat index of 122. And I wonder why we sweat as we are drying off in the shower. Every night I think to myself..."I never would have dream that I would purposefully take a really cold shower and enjoy it so much"

Katherine went to her best friend's birthday party. It was a gily girl party and you had to wear a dress. They had fun. It was really funny to wacth them try to play the telephone game.

Jonthan had a class that he was helping to teach one night, so the kids and I had pizza, ate popcorn, and watched Super Friends. It was a fun and relaxing.

Father's Day! We celebrated by taking Dad out for lunch (and Lauren was helping him catch a taxi). The kids all made him cards and drew pictures. So, where did we take him for lunch?...

McDonald's :) I know. So fancy. But we all enjoyed the Mcflurry or Icecream Sunday.

Another surprise in the mail...the kids got postcards from some friends in London! They knew how excited Regan got about the Royal Wedding and how she was trying to take pictures with the phone of the computer which we were trying to see the wedding. Anyways. They sent her collectors addition stamps from London of the Royal Couple.

Just a random picture of this little guy. I saw him on the way to class today. We now know the local name for him because I asked my teacher. Now the question is: in English, is he a gecko or a lizzard. You decide. :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dragon Boat Races

Well, once again, we have had another holiday :) It was dragon boat festival. My friend invited us to go with her to see some of the dragon boat races. We had not planned on going, but she had tickets to be able to see the races from a good spot. We thought it sounded like fun. She took a family picture for us and it makes me shows all the personalities...Benjamin looks like he can't hold the smile any longer, Katherine is pouting because she doesn't want to be in the family picture, Regan is happy to be wearing the fun hat, and Lauren is smiling with her "wa wa's"

So, when we got to the races, we were actually taken to a house boat for breakfast. They served us breakfast (we had already eaten, but that's ok) and it was really good. It was the food that the participants in the race will eat and it is supposed to be very special. It tasted just like shrimp fried rice in the States. It is the first time I have actually had food here that taste like what they serve in the little restaurants in the States. Anyways, these two girls found the tv and the owners hats quickly.

Lauren loved all the boats and the paragliders. She had a lot of fun.

Just as the races were about to start (and we were about to leave the house boat) it started to pour down rain. It was the hardest rain we have had in a while. So, we camped out for a few minutes to see if it would ease up a little but. Lauren and our friend watched the rain. It finally eased up and we all left the house boat and headed closer to the race sight.

There were many races. Each village had it's own team. My friend told me that they have to save up a lot of money to buy one of these boats and then, after the races/festival, they will bury the boat in their village. Then the following year, they will dig it up and get it ready for the races again.

It was a lot of fun to see and hear the activities. Even though it rained, it did not deter them from having fun. Each boat had a guy that stands at the front (reminde me of a conductor of sorts), then there are two men in the middle (spread out) one with a drum and one with a gong. They are the ones that let the rowers know when to row.

As you can see, it was wet and muddy and you stood wearever you could to watch. I was surprised at how many people were actually standing in the water watching. This was one of the teams watching their competition. As each race started, the people watching woul dlight firecrackers and throw them in the air out over the water. So,, it was very noisey. I liked it, but I had one that was afraid. So, between that and the heat we left.

So, of coarse, as is the custom here. Our friends took us our to eat. Katherine claimed the chicken's head. She was fascinated by it. Our friend's daughter showed her wherer to bite to eat the brain. She tried to bite, but didn't bite hard enough. She really just played with it most of the time.

As we were leaving the restaurant, it was still raining. The guy at the door of the restautant had a great idea...he was using a "picnic table umbrella" to walk people to their cars. What a great idea. None of us got wet.

The other news for the week is that they are building a new apartment complex right next door. This is when they just started and it looks much different even today. It has been very sad to watch all the farm land plowed over. The workers have been working so hard to try and save what they can, but I feel that they are unable to save much. They plowed down all the banana trees first. I don't think you can tell here because the picture is so small, but you can see the workers trying to harvest what they can and the tractors are right there in front of them. We will keep you updated on the progress of the new buildings going up. It's been pretty noisey so far, but has provided hours of entertainment for Lauren. She just sits and watches them all day long (and they work all night long, too).

Monday, June 6, 2011

National Children's Day

Yes, you saw it correctly. We have had ANOTHER holiday (and we have one next week, too). This one was National Children's Day and it's a day all about kids. We did not know until the day before that we were supposed to come to Katherine's school again for some games and prizes. We did not know until that day that the entire morning was games and then they go home with their parents/ grandparents. So, After the fun, Katherine came to class with me. :) The older two kids had a swim day at school. The local kids also get to go shopping on this day and their parents will by them just about anything they want. Our kids get Christmas presents, so we just tried to make it a fun week.

She had so much fun playing all of the little games. It reminded me of a fall festival in the States. If you won the game, they gave you these little pink tickets. You could then go to the little prize store to pick out your prize...that part was similar to ChuckECheese.

Katherine was really smart. She tried all the games, but then she went back to the ones that she knew she would win/beat the other kids at so that she could win more tickets. She only got to play this game once, was very good at it. She had to throw balls into the trashcan that I was holding. She got 5 in very quickly :)

Here is one of her prizes that she got...this one was the most cost her 6 tickets :) She also got a party blower and a monkey mask and these hand clapper things.

This is Katherine's best friend in her class. Well, there is another little girl that is a foreigner also, so they stay pretty close, but the other foriegn girl was gone for several weeks and it forced Katherine to make new friends. It was really good for her and now she has many friends, but this little girl is her favorite. I think it is funny because they are both so shy...I guess that's why they hit it off so well.

The kids got new swimsuits and got to go swimming again. I guess it has been hot enough for the local people now because the pool has been crowded. Although this week, we were trying to figure out how to shield the little ones a bit. There were SEVERAL boys swimming in the nude or in only underwear. We tried to stay in a different part of the pool, but these boys kept running from one section of the pool to another section of the pool and playing chase and jumping in. Oh well. I really think only one of my kids noticed (or at least only one of them asked about it) Maybe they will come with swimsuits next time :)

In honor of Children's Day, we thought it would be appropriate to make cupcakes and let the kids decorate them however they wanted to. So they all had lots of sprinkles!

Our neighbor came over after she ate dinner and decorated some to take back to her house. I think she likes the sprinkles the best! She always uses tons of them.

The other adventure this week...Lauren cut her own hair! Let me just say that it is not fun waking up at 6AM to "Mom! Lauren cut her hair!!" It really wasn't as bad as I had imagined and it actually forced me to even up some of those curls in the back. I was going to take her in somewhere to get it done but chikened out...I saw all these cute little gilrs getting their heads shaved because it is hot outside and I could just picture them doing that to my little culey locks. So, instead, I tried my best to cut off as little as possible :)

Also, later in the week, we got a phone call that Katherine was not feeling well at school and we needed to come and pick her up. You can always tell when a kid has a fever around here because they always put these little things on their forheads to cool them down. It was really high (103.5F) We still don't know what caused it, but we gave her some Motrin, she slept, and was 100% herself afterwards.

This week, Kung Fu Panda 2 came out at the theaters. We have never been to a theater here and thought it would be a fun family English! We had to wait a few minutes to get in....we were doing it American know, go by popcorn and drinks and get there about 30 minutes early to watch the previews. Nope. Not that way here! You can not go in until 10 minutes befor ethe movie and you have assigned seats (and there were no previews)

We had a lot of fun and was in 3D. I'm not sur eLauren knew what to think at first, but she laughed with everyone else.

Katherine holding the popcorn...which by the way is also NOT the same as the States. This popcorn was more sweet.

Enjoying the show!
Oh, and I forgot to tell everyone last week that Regan and Benjamin has Spirit Week at school. They had a lot of fun with it but I think crazy hair day was my favorite. They also had: When I Grow up day, My country day, PJ day, and school colors day. So enjoy their crazy hair....we postponed Benjamin's haircut by a week just so he could have a mohawk for this day!