Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Break is Over

 We have two very happy girls!  They have been waiting a long time for this day to finally arrive.  Katherine is in the oldest grade of Kindergarten and Lauren is in the middle grade.  The first day back to school and Katherine was chosen to put the flag up on the flagpole.  She was so excited.  Only kids in the oldest grade are eligible.  When I asked Lauren what she did at school, her response was, "The whole school got to watch Katherine put the flag up."
 The annual "parade' was last week.  The kids wanted to go again.  Jonathan and I were not as enthusiastic about it, but decided to go.  We found a decent spot to watch...we were an hour earlier and only 3 rows of people back.  It did not take long for people to notice our kids and the 3 shorter ones (yes, that is Benjamin in the hoodie) ended up getting front row seats.
 This is a majority of what the parade consisted of...groups of people wearing matching jackets, waving little flags and carrying a banner describing who they are.
 We also had Valentine's Day...I think we were the only ones that celebrated it this year :)  Jonathan got me some beautiful flowers and some chocolate.
 One of the joys of having kids...you never know what you are going to find where and who put it there.  These little toy frogs have been my companions on my sink for the past week...and I know that Katherine put them there.  It just makes me smile every time I see them there.
We made one more blanket this week.  My friend really enjoyed getting to make it.  I'm sure she will get plenty of use out of it this week.  We had a false alarm of warmer weather...got up to 50,,,but the cold came right back the next day.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Weather Changes

 We are still in the midst of the longest holiday of the year, but our friends are slowly returning to the city and to their jobs.  Jonathan was sick for a few days last week, so the kids and I went out on the town.  We tried to find new places, met new friends, and ate at McDonald's once.  Only two of my kids actually like McDonald's, but it was the easiest thing at the time to do to feed some hungry bellies.  We sat down at the table and withing two minutes (literally) the store manager was approaching with two girls (ages 11 and 12).  It was one of the girl's birthday and she wanted my kids to come to her party, so we spent the next two hours at a birthday party.  We met several new people and swapped numbers for future play dates with several people.  Thankfully, the weather was nice, so we spent most of the day outside.
 Benjamin enjoyed making some Lego creations.  We broke out the short sleeved shirts and slept comfortably with windows open.
 Then the rain hit.  It rained for several days, but did not keep us from going out ....although I am sure we were a site with all those umbrellas.  :)
 The rain made it difficult to burn some energy off outside, but we found other ways.  We discovered that playing a Wii Dance Kids game really wears them out :)  They make Mommy join in (I think to have a good laugh).  Lauren is not too interested because she says it is too hard.
After the rain came the REALLY COLD weather.  I guess we were getting spoiled with the nice temperatures.  And yes, this is how she is dressed INSIDE our house!  It is so cold. It's not quite like the polar vortex that we had just before we left the States, but at least we had heat in our house.  Outside here is in the 30's, which means inside is too.  Everyone is wearing 3-5 layers of clothes, socks, and jackets.  It helps a little, but I can't wait for warmer weather!  We looked at the forecast.  If we can fight through another week, we should see temps in the 50's and 60's again.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Happy CNY 2014!

 I don't believe it!  Another new New Year!  Our internet has been sporadic to say the least, but that hasn't slowed us down, just made some things more difficult (like the blog).  So what have we been up to?  Well, my baby girl (4 yrs old) lost her first TWO teeth.   She was so excited that they were wiggly and that she would finally get a visit form the Tooth Fairy because she has just waited soooo long ;)  I wanted to snap a quick picture with her and Katherine together.  Katherine is missing her top two teeth and Lauren missing the bottom two.
 She was trying to show me her teeth and her lack thereof at the same time.  She actually dropped one of them.  We thought we found it, but it turned out to be a grain of rice.  No fear, big sister, Regan, came to the rescue.
 The kids have been so happy to see Ayi again.  Katherine was helping with the dishes after dinner.  You know she is happy because she just hums and sings while she is working or playing.
Ayi was about to go back to her hometown for a few days.  She asked me to teach her how to make one of the blankets like what I made for the kids.  It took under an hour between the four of us (Ayi, Regan, Katherine, and myself).  She was very glad to have a warm blanket to take home with her.  It can get very cold there.
 The kids thought it was great to help and Katherine loved that the fabric matched her blanket.  I'm not sure who missed who more, the kids or Ayi.
The kids were begging to go for a bike ride.  I was a little nervous about it because Lauren has only been riding for a short time.  I finally agreed, but made Lauren prove she could stop without her feet AND she had to put the training wheels back on.  We went on a 3 mile bike ride and they all did great.  I kept close to the younger two and every time I looked at Lauren she had a look of determination on her face.  She had something to prove....she IS a big kid ;)
All the parks and the entire city is decorated to bring in the new year.

 No, we have no idea who these kids are.  I do love how Lauren just put her arm around the little girl like they were best friends.
 Another random kid picture.  This boy is 8 just like Benjamin.  We were talking to this family in the park and they asked the ages of the kids.  They heard 8 and immediately thought it was Katherine and was trying to pose the picture.  Then they realized that our kids are bigger and traded Benjamin and Katherine.  I think it made B and K happy....she had already been grabbed for some pictures :)
On the bike ride back home, the kids wanted to stop and get a picture by some of the decorations.  They actually light up at night.  It is the year of the horse.  According to tradition all my kids are now a year older. HA!  Only one birthday a year for my kiddos, but they tried.  They have figured out the culture well enough that they wanted to spend almost all of Feb 1 outside playing because they knew it was likely some adults passing by would give them little red envelopes with money inside because it's new year!