Monday, July 22, 2013

Jet Lag Rebound

 Our 21 hour flight turned into 36 hours.  When we landed, we picked up our luggage, picked up our car, and headed to my sisters house.  Aunt Kim wanted to take us to the grocery store.  She told everyone that they could pick out 2 cereals and 2 bags of chips!  The kids were so excited and at times a little overwhelmed with all the choices!
 This was the damage :) 
 The kids loved riding with Aunt Kim in her car.  The little ones are still getting used to seat belts and Lauren has been confused because we have two here and one in Asia.
Getting gas....Katherine (and Grandmommy) is so serious trying to figure out what her daddy is doing.
 All the cousins (my brother, sister-in-law and his 5 kids and my sister and her 3 kids) went to eat at Chic-fil-A.  Yum!  My favorite!  It was delicious!
 We all went to see Monsters U together.  Lots of fun! 
 I went out to refill the popcorn.  My dad also saved the day by buying me a long sleeved shirt.  America is COLD indoors!  We have not gotten used to the AC yet.
 The was so good to catch up with everyone!
 Benjamin and his cousin Peyton
 Lauren and cousin Paige
 My brother, Michael and his wife, Shelby. 
 Benjamin was beside himself when he realized that his Uncle Mikey was a police officer.  His uncle talked to him about all his gadgets.
 Aunt Kim took us all to Six Flags over Georgia. 
 The kids rode their first roller coaster.  Katherine was the most excited, but didn't really like it too much.  Lauren got off and was so excited to do it again.
 Aunt Kim took the little ones to ride a boat ride while Jonathan and I took the big kids to an "adult" roller coaster.
 Aunt Kim said that she would buy super hero capes for all the kids who road a roller coaster (big ones or small ones)  I think it's the only thing that got Benjamin on one.  He really wanted Batman cape :)
 They had a big day and a fun day. 
 My and my big sis
 I was so proud of this girl.  She wanted to ride an "adult" roller coaster so bad, but she was scared.  She waited in line with us and decided to do it.  I screamed the entire ride and she just sat there like she was watching a movie or something.  She was so serious.  She got off and said, "That was AWESOME!!" I now have a riding partner.  As we were leaving the park, we got this picture .  The coaster behind us is the one she road.
 I told Jonathan that is was the scariest roller coaster I have ridden so far.  This was the first drop on Goliath.  Still can't believe that this was Regan's first one.  She picked a doozie to start with.  I guess it's all or nothing :)
My sister had a cookout at her house and my brother's family came and so did my cousin, Rob.  Again, a lot of fun.
 We finally made it to Knoxville and got into our home.  It was such a sweet surprise to find that many people had helped fill our pantry and made sure we had essentials to start off with.  It was nice not having to worry about going to the grocery store as soon as we walked in the door.
Granddad and Regan
 Best friends made a surprise visit! 
 It has been a long time coming to see these two girls together again.  After we snapped the picture they disappeared into Regan's bedroom and just talked and talked.
 The kids have been waiting for this moment....Build-A-Bear.  They each made one animal that they are all sleeping with every night :)
 Lauren adding her heart
 Benjamin's police dog/
 Regan and her stylin' bear.
 More best friend reunions!
 Auntie Em getting a massage? Not sure ;)
 The kids are loving the front yard.
 Our little house has a Tennessee orange rocker on the front porch.  The girls love it.
 Auntie Em is here!
 visiting Ma (Jonathan's grandmother)
 Swinging out front of Ma's house
 Benjamin and Emily in the swing....and Lauren in the background trying to steal the show
 One of the cultural things the kids are loving....sidewalk chalk!
 The kids discovered lightning bugs when we went to a friends house for dinner.  It was the funniest thing I have seen.  They wee so excited.
 A trip to Market Square in downtown Knoxville.
Water fountains....another cultural hit!  I couldn't keep these girls away from them.  So as you can see, we arrived and hit the ground running.  The kids are just so excited about every little thing.  It's fun to see them experience (and sometimes remember things that they had forgotten) every day.  We are finally over jet lag and settling in.  Lauren is still wondering why their are no Asian people in America.  I told her we just haven't found them yet :)  I  look forward to seeing what new things they see tomorrow!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Final Dance

Well, I finally was able to get one of the dances uploaded!  This was Lauren's final dance of the year.  Katherine did not have another dance because she took art this semester.  The kids are allowed to choose an "elective" each semester.  Dance is Lauren's thing.  She is always dancing around the house and performing for us, so I was glad she chose the dance class at school.  She was very focused on her routine :)
 They did a very good job.  Too cute...if you look closely, you can see the fake black hair that she is wearing in her hair!  I guess the uniform store didn't have any blonde ;)
 Katherine's teacher asked me to send a camera in her bag for the last day of school.  Katherine and some of her classmates got an award for different things and then they had a class party.  She was so excited!  She chose her dress to wear and everything.
She brought home all of her artwork from school.  She did very good on all of her projects, but she was especially fond of her totem pole drawing.
 This was all of Lauren's artwork that came home.  From top left: baskets, mushrooms, cats and her name, her house, more cats on a hill, four different animals, apples, mushrooms, porcupines, tomatoes, a bus with people, and strawberries.
 One happy girl because her Ayi made her a scarf to take to America because "America is REALLY cold and she needs to stay warm!" :) 
 On the road with some friends to go pick pineapple and dragon fruit. Regan was telling on her daddy that he fell asleep in the car.  Daddy says he wasn't sleeping...hmmmm.
Here is where we went to pick fruit. 
We split in two groups because of time (we got lost finding the place)  So, I took Regan and Katherine to pick dragon fruit and Jonathan took Lauren and Benjamin to pick pineapple.  I had no idea how they grow.  It is basically a big cactus plant.  We actually picked out the fruit and had one of the farmers cut it down for us.
We each got one. 
Here is Benjamin with his pick of the day.  He actually picked out 3.  I am really glad.  They were excellent!  A friend got two for us also, which was a good thing because we ended up eating two before we ever left the place.
Benjamin was also dodging prickles.  I was surprised at how poky the pineapples were.  When we buy them at the market, they already have the green tops cut off.  
His two favorites...he doesn't want us to eat them.  He is so proud of them. :)

So what do you do if you are a kid on a hot summer day, living in a city of 3 million?  Just go onto your own balcony and fill up the mop bucket with water and plop yourself into it....clothes and all.  She had so much fun and spent a couple hours just entertaining herself with a bucket of water. 
Her own personal swimming pool :)