Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Week

The kids finally got to see a Santa! They were soooo excited! Benjamin spotted him from far away and wanted to go get a picture with him. I don't even think they noticed that Santa was Asian and wearing a fake beard. HA! I think this was Lauren's first Santa picture.

The younger two warmed up to Santa after we waited around for everyone to finish their last minute Christmas shopping. They wanted to get one more picture.

My little cow making Christmas cookies.

We went a playground and had a picnic. The kids loved the swings that went really high.

I just love all these dress up pictures. They are too cute...especially all the girls wearing the spiderman suit. :)

The kids got to go swimming twice and to the beach once. Regan and Benjamin spent most of their time looking for sea shells while Lauren and Katherine played in the sand.

Papaw was hard at work on the kids' names in the sand.

The kids all stood buy their names and the other random little girl thought she was part of our family. She was too cute. She saw the kids posing and came running saying, "Wait for me!"

Regan and Auntie Em on Christmas Eve

"Dear Santa, It wasn't me!" The napkin just seemed so appropriate :) Ha! Santa enjoyed the cookies and milk and left the kids several presents. I couln't believe that the kids slept in on Christmas morning... 8:00am!! Come to find out, they really woke up at 5:30, but Auntie Em told them that they weren't allowed to get up because Santa left a present and had to go back and get it....I think we need to bring Emily home with us...maybe the kids will start sleeping later :)

Christmas morning...Regan's new blanket and frog...

Benjamin and his new DS games...

Katherine watching a movie on her "new computer"...

Lauren and her new suitcase... She was super excited about this gift. Can you tell? After all the presents, we got ready for church and had a great service. Then we went and ate at an Indian resteraunt and then headed home to relax and play with new toys. It has been a great week with family all around us.


Monday, December 19, 2011

A BIG Week

December 15 Jonathan and I celebrated our 10 year Anniversary. We went to our language class then to McDnoald's with Lauren for lunch and then that evening went to Regan and Benjamin's school Christmas musical. It was a good day and the kids did great at their school musical.

Benjamin is right in the middle of this photo. You could see him better when the picture was big on my computer. Oh well. Regan was to the left of the stage.

After the musical we went home, got the kids in bed and started packing. On Saturday, we got on the plane to Malaysia! Two whole weeks of vacation with family and warm weather!

Auntien Em arrived on Sunday and we have already had so much fun.

Benjamin is VERY excited that we get to ride in a van/car everywhere that we go. That has been the thing that he has missed the most since we moved...who knew.

We had a WONDERFUL lunch at Chili's. Yum yum!

Then all the girls went to get pedicures. This was Katherine's first time, so she was very excited to be counted as one of the "big kids." Lauren stayed at home with Joanthan, Benjamin, and Papaw.

Katherine is playing Angy Birds while waiting for her nails to dry. After the salon, we came home and all watched a Christmas movie. We thought that the little ones would fall asleep, but they were too into the movie :) oh well. Maybe next time.

We have already hit the swimming pool. I say "we" because I took pictures. The water is too cold for my tastes. But the kids had a lot of fun.

I just love these "in flight" pictures of Benjamin. He is all boy and all fun! I'm sure I will have PLENTY more to blog about next week. Have a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Lots of Change

This past week and a half has had many changes to our schedule. The biggest being that the school that our kids attend has had to temporarily move. There was some construction going on ver close to the school and many harmful fumes were getting into the school, so they picked up everything and left! I am very thankful that they did, but it has been a hard transition. The kids now ride a bus to school in the mornings instead of riding their bikes. Going it takes about 40 minutes to get there, but coming home (especially on Fridays) it can take over an hour. So the kids have lost play time outside because they still have to do homework, eat, showers, sleep, etc.

They have, however, enjoyed riding the bus. And it is the nicest school bus I have seen. They are hoping to be back in their normal location sometime in February.
The other big change is that our Ayi went home for a month because her husband died. She will be back in January. Lauren is missing her very much right now. She has become part of our family. Please remember Ayi this month!

Katherine's bunny had to have surgery this week. The bunny's ear came off. I tried to fix it, but all the thread that I had kept breaking, so I went to a friend's house who has some heavy duty thread and she played surgeon. Katherine was so excited to take her buny to the doctor :) and all is well with the ear!

This is Regan in her beautiful new dress and sparkly shoes! She was sooooo excited to get these in birthday/Christmas packages this week. She wears the shoes every day and wants to wear the dress every day :) Lauren told her that she looked like a princess!

Lauren got some building blocks that the entire family has enjoyed...including Jonathan :)

And then there is the pillow pet. I didn't know that is what it was, but somehow my 2 year old did! I'm still trying to figure out how she knew because they do not have them here. Anyways. She got rid of her pillow and replaced it with this. But, recently she has been using both.

The kids also opened gifts from each other this weekend. I know it's early, but we knew that they would not have time during the week and we are leaving out of the country on Saturday. Benjamin was super excited about his magnetic dart board from his sister.

The weather has is now consitantly cool. So, I took Lauren to buy gloves and a hat. She is also wearing a new jacket that she got for Christmas and some skates that Regan gave her. She has been wanting to skate with her big sis for a while now.

And how fun was two December birthdays got a package this week. Regan made Jonathan open his first :)

So, even in the middle of all the change and craziness. It has been a wonderful week. We will be sending an update soon about some more exciting things!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Early Birthday

We celebrated Regan's birthday a little early this year for several reasons. The biggest reason was that she really wanted to have some of her school friends come and since her birthday is so close to Christmas, she is always on Christmas break for her birthday. Another reason is that we will not be here on her birthday. Regardless, it is hard to believe that she is almost eight years old! She really wanted to have a giraffe party. I wasn't sure how we were going to do that, but with several months of looking at cake decorating ideas and hunting for the right ingredients, I made her a giraffe cake. It was a first for me and I had a lot of fun doing it!

Her special day started with lunch. (She was out of school due to some construction problems at the school.) She asked our Ayi if she would fix this meal...her favorites that our helper beans, onions, and wu gua (sorry I have no idea of the English translation for that veggie) She was a happy camper.

Then, several of her friends came form school and they sang a nd ate cake and ice cream. We bought all the icecream at 2 different stores for the party :) I'm sure they thought we were crazy since it has cooled off a little. She also wanted it to be just a girl party, so the only boys there were her dad and her brother :)

The party took place in her bedroom since it is painted to look like a giraffe. I think it is so neat that she has friends from all over the world. This was their attempt at a pyramid. Lauren was supposed to be on top, but she was scared most of the party. I think it was too loud and too many new faces for her.

One of her gifts! She sleeps with it every night now.

Two of her best buds...Catherine and Ruthee.

This was her gift from us. We have been planning it for a long time! She has been taking piano for a year, but has not been able to practice regularly. She has really been wanting a keyboard to practice with. We found a good deal on this one and have been hiding it for about 2 monhs (not in our house) She will have to teach me some things :)

The kids also got a long lost package (sent in Sept) from a friend this week. The kids loved the treats and goodies and have been loving the VBS video performance that was sent! Lots of fun!

Benjamin was excited about the Smoky dog Bobble head :) It was actually a good thing that it took so long for this package to get here. My friend had sent in the box a package of Double Stuffed Oreos (mmmm....very good). Well, when I was making Regan's cake for her party, I realized that I did not have any white icing left and was trying to figure out how to do the eyes on the cake. Benjamin had the idea of using the inside of the oreos. We had 3 left, so 2 became eyes. It worked great and Benjamin went around the rest of the day saying, "I'm a genius! I'm a genius!"

The kids also got several Christmas presents in the mail this week. We put them under the tree for a little bit, but then decided to go ahead and open them :)

Lauren smelling my new shower gel.

And my random culture pictures for the week...I guess no one will be playing basketball on this day since all FOUR goals had clothes hanging from the rim to dry.

And then of coarse, you have the meat drying right in the middle of all the laundry and the school bus in the background.