Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

We have so much to be thankful for this year! Lat year half of our family was sick at Thanksgiving and the other half celebrated with another foreign family in town. This year, we are so thankful for all the wonderful friends God has given us and wanted to celebrate with our "family" away from family. This is the crew we had over for lunch. We had such a wonderful day! I loved being able to share what the holiday was about and we made all kinds of American food for them to eat. It was a first for all of them...including eating turkey!

Here is one of the tables of half eaten food (I had one before everyone dug in, but I accidentally deleted ALL of my pictures, so the ones I have came from the different people that were there with us). We fixed turkey, gravy, roasted potatoes, carrots, rolls, mashed potatoes, broccoli casserole, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole,corn, cranberry sauce, macaroni and cheese, pumpkin pie, sugar cookies, brownies, apple squares, lemonade, and COLD SWEET TEA! I was telling one of my teachers the list of what we were having, and he said it was not enough food. He was not kidding either. He said that I needed to fix rice :) Everyone enjoyed the food and went back for seconds!

This little boy always loves telling me what English he learned in school. He talks a mile a minute, so I sometimes have trouble understanding him in both languages. He learns all kinds of rhymes and songs. He is wearing his school uniform. His mom had to go get him from school since it was a lunch. This is uniform for ALL kids here. They vary slightly in the color of blue and the scarf disappears for the high schoolers.

Enjoying talking and eating

Lauren and Nai Nai...Lauren likes to go over to her house sometimes to eat. She knows that they will feed her whatever she wants and treat her like a little princess :)

One of the highschool girls picking up Regan for a picture in front of the Christmas tree (and yes, we set it up early because we knew what the rest of our weekends looked like and wanted to get to enjoy it some) We explained to our friends that normally you do not decorate until after Thanksgiving.

Another thing we were so thankful for was to get to see our little girl make a special commitment this week. She actually became a Sister earlier, but has a fear of water getting in her face. She decided to face her fears. It was a special time for all of us to give thanks and celebrate with her.

We are also so thankful for all the family and friends who have been so generous to us over this past year. We have been so blessed by your thoughts, emails, and packages. The kids got to open some early Christmas presents this weekend. We made them wait until after Thanksgiving. Lauren got a little zoo lego set. She and Regan played together for quite a while. Lauren really loves her big sister!

My sister sent me some white cheddar can clearly see that I DID share a LITTLE :)

All the kids got to open a very special gift...they got a Wii !! Benjamin couldn't stop jumping around, laughing, and saying, "We got a Wii. It's a Wii..., etc." Regan was in shock and just stared at it for what seemd like hours. The younger two had a blast just opening it, but Katherine has quickly learned how fun it can be :)

Katherine got this ADORABLE cooking hat, apron, and gloves. I just couldn't stand it! She was too cute! Cooking is her most favorite thing to do! She immediately asked if she could make cookies.

my little chef

This was her first time to get to put anything in the oven. She was so excited and so careful! :)

You may remember a LONG time ago I took pictures of the girls. Well, I finally got to take Benjamin's picture!

We are so thankful for each and every one of you! We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ke Yuan

We found a new park (well new to us) that we love! It's called Ke Yuan and it's actually not a park at all, but used to be a guys home. They have just turned it into a "park" for visitors. The kids had so much fun feeding the fish, dressing up in traditional clothes, and finding new secret least that's what we called them.

Joanthan and Benjamin ended up way up there in a matter of seconds after finding one of the hidden stairways.

I like this shot because you can see the old architecture right in the middle of the big city all around it.

We really did enjoy it...and Jonathan especially like all the architecture withing the place.

The kids feeding more fish (and me talking with my friend).

Here's Benjamin showing off some of his 1st grade school work. I was impressed with the characters. He used the traditional brush to write them (and his name...which he found to be more difficult to do with a brush) :)

Benjamin was sooooo excited that he got the Stat Student this week! Good job, Benjamin!!!

How cute is she holding her two best buddies. Mamaw sent us a back up in case she ever lost her "wah wah" but as you can see, she is attatched to them both.

We are busy this week trying to track down as many ingredients as possible to have our very own AMERICAN Thanksgiving meal! We have done pretty good throughout the month finding odds and ends here and for the last minute finds to complete the least we hope!

Monday, November 14, 2011

We wanted to give you faces to 3 of the most helpful people we have had in learning language over here! They help us nearly every day....learning new things and just being available to help us when we have cultural questions or just need to practice talking. We would not be as far along in our language if it were not for these 3 friends!

This weekend we ran into a man who was making balloon animals. The kids really wanted to get one. I had already said no (thinking that they would be too much) but when we asked how much it was so cheap for such cool little balloons. It cost about 75 cents per animal. Benjamin got a spider, but we later decided it looked more like a crab, and Regan got a starfish (you can see it in the background).

Katherine got a person and Lauren got a mouse. They were so happy and I have been surprised that they have not yet popped!

This is my poser. She wants me to take her picture at every statue we can find. She will have fun with her facebook profile one day :)

And Lauren took this picture of herself. I thought it was cute.

Also, this week. My son opened a store. He put a sign on our front door that said "Benjamin's Store" He has been selling stuff to his sisters (mostly junk). My neighbor saw the sign and came over to see what he had to sell. He was quite the sales man and made some money...she even bought a stick that he brought in from outside because it was a one of a kind. :) He thinks he can save up enough money to buy a cat for me for Christmas...I don't think so. I did see the cat and it was adorable, but it would not work here. He's having fun trying though. He wants to go door to door, but we told him that he is not allowed. If we were in the States, he would love selling all those fundraising items for his school! :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

City Harbour

We just got back from a long weekend in Hong Kong. The kids had dentist appointments and Jonathan and Benjamin had eye appointments. All went cavities and Benjamin's eyes were just fine (and Jonathan's prescription had not changed). We were also able to get a little birthday and Christmas shopping done while we were there and have a western meal. We enjoyed our time, but we are very glad to be home! The picture above was one of my favorites.

They were already decorationg the city for Christmas, so it was lots of fun to see. The kids enjoyed the mall by the harbor because it was decked out with Toy Story things. Here are all the kids standing in front of an alien Christmas tree. I think Katherine was pretending to be an alien or something :) I'm not sure.

Outside the mall, Regan was trying to be like T-Rex. I thought she did a pretty good job. She actually posed by everything they had set up.

We saw a guy feeding birds outside the mall. It was a good distraction while I ran in real quick to try and get a gift for one of the kids. So, Jonathan was repositioning himself to try and get a photo of the kids watching the birds when one of the friendly birds decided to poop on Jonathan's head. I told him that I would have taken his picture if I had been there, but since I missed it, I just got this picture and the kids telling me all about it. Thank goodness we had baby wipes packed and hand sanitizer! :)

Lauren craxks me up right now. When she knows you are about to take her picture, she poses. It's the same every time...hip to one side, head tilted, and a grin. Sometimes we get a hand on the hip, too. And don't worry, that is glass behind her. She is not going to fall in.

Another picture of Regan having fun.

We had a picnic on our way home. Well, it's at least a picnic table. It would have been great if it were in a park, but this is what I call a "big city picnic" (no grass anywhere) We always have a great time in Hong Kong, but I really am glad that we don't live there all the time. One: it is pretty expensive. Two: I think it would be hard for kids to have fun just by playing around. You are not supposed to be loud, climb on things, walk on the grass, or do anything that kids like to naturally do. I guess if we did live there, we would have found groups or activities somewhere for their outlet. I like being where we are and where the kids can just run and play. The kids really do enjoy visiting Hong Kong - there is so much to see and do!