Friday, August 31, 2012

Photo Fun

I guess it's better late than never...I had some problems getting all these uploaded, but they were too fun to skip.  Benjamin had gone outside to play with a friend when the girls decided they were in a silly and fun picture taking mood.  So here they are...


I did manage to get a few of Benjamin doing his favorite thing...catching bugs!  He has a frog in his left hand and a grasshopper in his right hand.
He also has a studious apprentice taking mental notes.
This is an attempt to pick starfruit from a tree....they couldn't climb high enough and the stick wasn't working...
...and this was the final result on how to get it down from the tree....get Daddy to lift you up as high as he can. 
 After playing outside everyone was in need of a bath.  Katherine has always been the little hairdresser.  I think this may be one of my favorites.  I can't believe she was able to get it to stand straight up.  Her hair has gotten pretty long.
They all love trying to catch a taxi.  This one makes me laugh though because the cars are so far off in the distance that you can hardly see them.  The kids just KNEW they saw a taxi coming. :) 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Friends

 I am so excited that Benjamin has made several little friends this week.  It is usually a little harder for him to make friends because he usually waits for the boys to approach him.  Typically, the local boys are not brave enough until they reach 10, 11, 12 years old.  So, I was so happy and excited when these three boys came over to play with Benjamin (ages 7, 8,and 9)  They have spent all week outside together...and of coarse, some time inside, too.
 We went to meet another family.  Their son played his violin for us (and he was really good).  I wanted to get a video of him solving a Rubik's Cube also.  I have never seen anyone work one so quickly!  It was the most amazing thing I have seen a little kid do.  He must be super smart :)
 They showed us around a local park and took us for a paddle boat ride.  The "boy boat" decided to try and turn it into bumper boats, so we all got quite the work out....the "girl" boat trying to get away and the boy boat trying to catch us.
The same park also sold little turtle in these containers.  The kids were begging to get one.  They were cute, but I can't imagine they would live very long. 
 Well, here's half of the "girl" boat.  Katherine and Lauren even took a turn peddling.  They could hold the rails and just "run" as fast as they could.   Regan was steering the boat when she wasn't peddling.
 The day the little ones have been waiting for....they got to go to their school to pick up their bedding and their uniforms.  They tried them on at home and are soooo cute.  I did take pictures, but I'm trying to wait until the first day of school to post them in their uniforms :)  2 more weeks.  I think I can, I think I can.
 I can't believe how big they look with their bags.
 They tried really hard to carry their own bags, but they were just too bulky....especially when we added the uniforms inside the bags.  They have a different uniform for each season.  It's probably a good thing that they do it this way at this particular kindergarten because last year they always told me that Katherine should be wearing warmer clothes.  Now I will just send them in their uniforms.
 Somebody is SO excited to FINALLY have her school backpack.  She has been waiting for this day for a long time.  Every morning she wakes up, gets dressed, comes into our bedroom and says, "Do I get to go to school today?"
Oh, I almost forgot.  We also had several visitors this week.  This girl is a recent college graduate.  We met her one time in line at a KFC.  She called me and ended up coming to spend the weekend with our family.  (I thought it was funny that she and Regan were almost the same size.  I guess that's why people are always surprised at how young Regan is.)  We also had another family over for lunch one day and anther girl that I met came and spent several hours at our home with us.  We are so glad to be meeting so many new people and look forward to those relationships growing and look forward to meeting new people next week!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


 The highlight of our week...Ayi came to visit for a day!!  We had some VERY HAPPY kiddos!  It's the first time since we have moved to our new city that Lauren has not had issues with having "accidents" in her panties...and she's been doing great even after Ayi went back.  You could not pull these two away from Ayi.  It meant a lot that she came to visit.  She only gets two days of a month and she spent one of them traveling to see us (on top of that, she gets extremely car sick, so the bus ride was not fun for her) 
 We had so much fun showing her around to a few places and just getting to spend some time together.  The kids couldn't wait to show her their new rooms!
 Regan posing for a picture in her new zebra shirt :) 
Lauren enjoyed playing tea set with her special baby.  She made sure they each had the same things.
 Katherine asked for homework this week.  She was so excited to get to practice writing her letters.  She did pretty good.  I found some pencil grips a few months ago and bought them anticipating her wanting to write more.  I wanted to correct her grip as soon as possible.  I have tried in the past, but she got so frustrated.  This way she always knows where her fingers go...they really were brilliant inventions for kids that needed them!
 Katherine on a creative streak.  The kids have been helping around the house more to get a little spending money.  Katherine bought a can of play dough with her money.  It's not exactly like the stuff you buy back home, but it's close enough.  It has provided hours of entertainment this week.
 I couldn't pass up the picture of Lauren helping with the laundry.  She loves getting the clothes out and cleaning the filter.
I couldn't decide which shot I liked better, back or side, so I put them both in here :)
Another exciting thing....we now have HOT water in the kitchen!!  YEAH!  We were told when we rented this apartment that we had hot water in the kitchen, but we found out after moving in that we didn't.  We asked about it and our landlord still said we had hot water.  He came over and showed turn the water on, fill a pot, boil it, then wash your dishes.  So that's what we have been doing for the past several weeks until this week.  They came and installed the water heater this week.  Two happy parents!! (the kids could care less)
 And poor Benjamin...we had our first trauma here.  He was playing at a friends house when his friend accidentally hit a glass picture frame.  It just happened to fly threw the air and hit him in the face just beside his eye.  This is us on the way to the hospital.  I was actually out with Katherine when it happened.  Jonathan did so good.  He managed to calm everyone down and he and our neighbor got the bleeding to stop and cleaned him up, changed his clothes, and cleaned up the house from him running home.  My neighbor took us to the ER as soon as I got back.
 I was very impressed with the hospital.  They did a great job.  I know know how to say "stitches" :)  I guess everything is a learning opportunity.  Hopefully, I never have to use my new vocab word.  The cut was pretty deep so they had to sew him up in two layers....they stitched the inside, then they did the stitches to hold the skin together.
 After it was over, he thought it was fun....but he was still numbed up and on motrin :)  Today his eye is a little swollen and bruised.  He did not want to go to Kung Fu class because he might get bumped.  He and Regan have decided that they want to train for running in the out Auntie Em!  They said their first real race will be against you! :)  They are running about 3 miles a day with their dad...not bad for just starting, huh? 
 I didn't want to end on Benjamin's cut, so here's a random picture of the bathroom in the little girls' kindergarten.  I just think it's funny to contrast this with a bathroom in a U.S. kindergarten.  The big trough on the right is the sink to wash your hands.
And finally, we saw a guy selling balloons on his bicycle.  Katherine could hardly contain herself and spent the rest of her money.  A "tu tu" is her favorite animal, so she just had to have the bunny balloon. :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Little American Culture

 We decided this week to give the kids a little taste of some American culture in honor of the Olympic games :)  Last time we were out of the country, we found this box of graham crackers.  We thought if we could find the other ingredients for S'mores then we would make some for the kids.  The younger two had no idea what one was so we decided that they needed this truly American tradition.
 We finally found all the key ingredients and had S'mores day. 
 The kids were fascinated to watch the marshmallows cook over a flame....sorry, it was as close as we could get to a campfire in a big city.
 The uncertain look..."How am I going to eat this thing?"  The verdict?  She said, "It's yuck."  Katherine didn't care for them either, but enjoyed all the parts individually.  I couldn't eat it either.  I enjoyed it still, but could only eat about two bites.  I remember when I was in the States and Jenny and I were teaching our CEC class (Conversational English Class).  We wanted to give them a little American culture and fixed S'mores for them.  None of them liked it very much and said it was just too I understand.  We have been away from "super sweet" things for so long that our taste buds have forgotten.  Not to say we can't get chocolate or candy, but it's different than eating a S'more :)
 Benjamin decided to draw a self portrait to hang in his room.  He said he wants to be a fireman when he grows up....we'll add it to the list :) 
 Katherine designed her own little city...complete with a zoo and an ice cream store.  What else do you need in a city??

So, not everything was American culture this week.  I guess we can introduce all the culture we want, but there will always be some part of this culture that cannot be replaced.  For example, my girl, Katherine, eating her "most favorite snack in the world"....seaweed!  Don't have an eating contest with her when it comes to seaweed.  She will beat you all! :)

Regan and Benjamin were invited to go swimming this week.  It was a great break from the heat and put their little hearts at ease that there are pools in this city...we just have to find them.
 Another fun thing...we got our package from Granddad with some of our home school supplies and a few other goodies thrown in :)
 Everyone enjoyed their gifts!
This was another thing that came in the package.  I actually knew it was coming because I ordered the free American Girl Magazine because I thought it would be fun.  It has been fun, but I have created little monsters :)  I think they have the entire magazine memorized and a complete wish list filled out :)  Regan has been really into the American Girl books recently.  It really is a cute magazine. She is already figuring out how she is going to spend birthday and Christmas money.  

And our last little bit of America for the week.  Jonathan made a Jell-O flag cake.  We have enjoyed watching the Olympics, even if they are in a different language.  Prime time here doesn't start until 11:30 and goes to about 2:00am.  So, we have had a few late nights watching our gymnasts win gold! The only thing we have not been able to see that we wanted to was the medal ceremonies.  They only show them here if they have someone on the I have not got to hear our national anthem. Go USA!