Saturday, December 27, 2014

December Happenings

December is always a busy month for us, but this year seemed to be busier than ever before.  It was a good busy.  It was filled with classes, parties with a purpose, packages, adoption stuff, anniversaries, birthdays, school, Christmas plays, baking, and more.

One of the best looks ever while opening a gift from a package!  This was Lauren's favorite movie and we must have left it in the States last year.  She was so surprised and excited!
Here are the kids in the Christmas play.  They did such a good job!  Regan was obviously the angel and Benjamin and Lauren were shepherds.

Katherine was a wise man.
The kids did a song with motions as part of the performance.  Lauren had a solo and did fantastic.
Here are some of the other cuties that performed songs (or just looked cute on stage) ;)
Cutest performers ever
We celebrated Regan's eleventh birthday!
This has been one of the best tasting cakes yet.  I really liked this rainbow cake!  Too bad it didn't last longer than one night.  It was fun to make!
Party time!! :)

Regan had a wonderful party!  I was so glad to see so many of her friends come and celebrate with her!

Regan with all her party going friends :)  Love that they all have Elsa and Anna crowns on!
Lauren made her big sister the happiest girl ever!  She has been wanting skates to skate with her siblings for awhile.  We have no reason not to buy her any except that she has big feet and we haven't been able to find her size.  My friend drove me to a German athletic store and they had her size! She has already gotten a lot of use out of them.
Jonathan and I opened all of our gifts on one day.  The little girls had fun distributing the gifts.  Jonathan got this winter scarf from the kids.
Santa came to visit and brought Benjamin the helicopter that he has been wanting.  He's getting pretty good at it.
Santa also left a couple gifts for Hudson in a bag under the tree.  The kids got to open it and put his things in his room/on his bed/on his bookshelf.
The younger two both got jackets and scooters.
Charlie got a mouse toy....which was completely destroyed by the next day.  Katherine informed me that Santa left the price tag on it!  oops :)
We played a game at one of the Christmas parties for some of our college students.  Somehow, my kids ended up the Christmas trees on each of the teams.  Benjamin's team won the prize :)

We did find some time to celebrate our anniversary!  Ayi watched the kids for us while we went to Starbucks and split a blueberry cheesecake.  A Perfect Evening!

So, this did not have anything to do with Christmas, but had to make the blog.  It reminds me of some of Benjamin's Hot Wheel cars. I didn't know they actually made cars that looked like that :) Jonathan says...for the's a Porsche.
Snazzy guys about to sing at the Christmas performance.

So, I took this off of the local version of Facebook.  The caption under it said...Meimei (Lauren) told this friend of ours that "even if you didn't make up, you don't look so pretty, you are still my friend!" Haha.

My angel and her friend after the program

Benjamin, the cat, and the dog reading a book...hmmm, how long can this last?
Stockings are ready
Christmas morning 2014
I got these sweet gifts all on the same day.  So much fun.
ALL of the kids made this cake together for their daddy.
Happy Birthday, Jonathan!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

That Time of Year :)

 Well, I finally got these back.  I was a little late this year in getting their updated pictures.  I didn't think any of the group shots had turned out when we were at the studio, but they actually got a couple cute ones.
 Katherine, age 7
It was had to choose which ones to get.  Every single one of hers turned out great.  She actually had her hair pulled back in a pony tail.  They really wanted her hair down, so they took her hair bow out and kept blowing her with a hair dryer or having her spin around.  We got some of both (she likes the pony tail pictures).
 Regan, age 10
She had many good ones as well, but this one is her personality!  It won't be long before she is taller than me.  She really loves that people here think she is between 16 and 20. 
 Lauren, age 5
She is a little ham.  She had many good pictures and all of them she is playing with the photographer's helper.  When it was time to take someone elses picture, she didn't want to get up.  She was having too much fun.
 Benjamin, age 9
I was getting a little concerned that my silly guy was not going to give us any real smiles for pictures.  At the beginning, everything was his "fake smile."  Then the photographer asked him to make silly faces.  He made a couple with his eyes that were really scared the photographer's helper.  Of course, he thought that was great and couldn't stop laughing.  Success!  A real smile!
 We put up our Christmas tree after Thanksgiving.  The kids were really funny about it, especially Benjamin.  I was pulling out the ornaments when I see Benjamin on his knees looking up at the tree and he says, "That's better! This is how I remember our tree looking!"  Yes. They have all grown taller.  They all think our tree looks smaller than they remember :)
 They got the first Christmas gifts in the mail.  They have the gifts under the tree, but just couldn't wait.  They all chose something to open early (and I'm sure will choose again).  They had said that they wanted to save everything this year for Christmas day, but it's just too tempting :)
 Katherine was soooo excited when she realized that her present was a Frozen cup. 
 Lauren loved her Frozen coloring book!!
 Regan is my American Girl fanatic.  The only thing she loves as much is Taekwondo....a perfect gift!  I never even knew that they had a taekwondo outfit for American Girl dolls. She is very excited that she is supposed to test for her green belt in 2 weeks!
 It's that time of year!  We are super busy with parties to share what Christmas is!  We had our first one last week and have several more coming up soon! 
 Mommy, Regan, Hillary
 At the party, we had several homemade snacks, drinks (tea, water, sprite, juice, and apple cider), a story, and crafts for the kids.  It was a lot of fun.
 Charlie was a big hit!  By the time this little girl was leaving her mom was asking me where she could get a cat like that and what you need to take care of a cat.  We may have started something...haha!
 The top bunk is always a popular place to hang out!  Here they are singing songs in the local language.
 Poor Charlie.  He was so patient with all the kids yelling, screaming, squealing, clapping hands and chasing him.  Annie wanted to carry him around everywhere.
 Well, all the kids wanted to put the star on top.  We ended up having to go back and look at ALL the past Christmas pictures to see whose turn it was.  Turns out that Lauren hasn't gotten to put the star on ever.  Needless to say that she was super excited that it was her turn.
 The finished tree :)
 The kids also went to a birthday party. 
Winter, the birthday girl!  I cannot believe she is four already.  Check out the mango cake!