Tuesday, April 29, 2014

New Additions

We had a day of sunshine, so I took the opportunity to take a few shots of the kids.  They all looked so nice and even coordinated.  That is a rare feet with this crew (unless I specify what they are going to wear).
 The kids have been asking for stories at night before bed.  "No, not the stories that you READ!  The stories like Auntie Em tells!"  This is beyond my talent scope....you must dig deep into the Sheddan gene pool for this request ;)  So, Jonathan has gotten to tell stories every night.  He even made this map to go along with it.  
After the kids dance, piano, and taekwondo classes, we made sugar cookies and decorated them.  It was a lot of fun and made a big mess.

 Well, we finally were able to get Katherine some new shoes.  Her poor little dress shoes literally had holes in the soles and toes of both shoes.  She picked out these and little sister fell in love with them, too.  Lauren is my shoe girl, so she decided it was worth spending the rest of her birthday money on a pair for herself.  This is actually the second pair of shoes that she bought with her birthday money. They were so excited.  I can hardly get them to take them off to go to bed at night.
Regan took this picture for us.  We needed a picture of the to of us standing in front of our home, showing the entire home.  This is a little more difficult when you are talking about a 12 story building.  We tried a couple different spots and this one worked best. 
 This is a sweet picture that Katherine drew of our family.  And for those who do not know yet, she drew the family correctly....Mommy, Daddy, Regan, Benjamin, Katherine, Lauren, and the "new brother." Ayi is the one that looks like an Angel looking out for us :)  I thought it was so sweet that she already has her new brother in the picture even though he is not here yet.  He is already a big part of our family.  We have been in the process of adopting for several months now.  For those who have adopted before, you know it is a long process with many delays along the way. I am really hoping that we can bring our son home sometime before the end of the year, but we will have to wait and see.  In the mean time, please remember our family as we prepare for this new addition! We are busy swapping rooms around right now.  Once the house is back in order, I will try to get a picture or two, but it might be awhile. ;)
Last bit of good news...Jonathan has a bike!!  Now he can get around the city more easily and save a little money in the process :)  I told him that I wanted a picture of him with the bike and he said, "Funny, the guy I bought it from said the same thing."  So, this was actually the second picture that he had posed for since buying the bike a few minutes earlier.  He was also glad to be able to find a little Tennessee orange on the bike!  I see a family ride coming up soon!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter and More

Yet again, it has been two weeks since my last post...not from lack of trying.  I have been saying that the internet is just too slow, which I believe to be the case last week, but this week Jonathan has had no problems.  It turns out that my computer is having problems and won't get on the internet.  Thankfully, I was able to get the pictures transferred onto Jonathan's computer and post this today.  We have been super busy that last little bit.  From homeschooling, to teaching English, to extra curricular classes for each of the kids that allows us to meet more people, to new friends and old friends, and everything in between.  Regan was able to complete her puzzle.  She did a great job and it didn't take her as long as I thought it would.  She enjoys a challenge :)
Lauren had gotten a "toy" for her birthday that helps kids make jaozi.  There is an art form to making them and the younger kids have not gotten the hang of it yet.  This is Lauren's all time favorite meal, so it was one of her favorite gifts.  She was so excited when we were having the dumplings for dinner  so that she could help out.
In science, we have been learning a lot about the microscope, bacteria, viruses, and much more.  The kids have enjoyed looking at everyday items and how they look different under the microscope.
We had a wonderful surprise!  The "high school girls" from our last city came to visit us.  They are no longer high school and all attend different universities in a large city nearby.  It was good to visit with them and talk about what is going on in their lives.  They wanted to know where the baby was.  I pointed to the little girl in the yellow dress.  They couldn't believe how much she had grown :)
We took the girls to a famous park nearby and spent some time.  The kids decided it was a good day for funny faces.
Lauren is in the middle of this picture.  The little girls' classes were having dance competition at their school.  Each class of each grade competed against each other.  I tried to get video, but ran out of battery.  They both did very good.
I absolutely loved the way Katherine's class did their hair for the competition.  It actually took me a minute to find her, but today she blended in a little more than usual.

Happy Easter!  I was awakened very early in the morning and thought to myself "Surely not.  My kids would SURELY not be getting into their baskets before I got a picture."  I managed to get up and go check on the kids and found that they had completely emptied their baskets and planned on eating candy for breakfast.  They quickly tried to reassemble the baskets so I could get a picture ;)
I found out from my little ones that the they always get Peeps for Easter (and Robin Eggs).  I'm so glad we got a special package with some Easter goodies for their baskets.  We added a couple things form here, too.  They are happy happy kiddos.
Our annual Easter eggs hunt....and yes, we drew lots of curious onlookers.
They enjoyed running around the complex hiding and hunting them.  The gardener was really confused why we were putting hard boiled eggs in his trees :)
Love this one!  This is the look when you have to watch everyone find the eggs that you have hidden and mom and dad won't let you tell.
Warmer. Warmer. Warmer.  Your Hot!  The green egg is in the tree.
I am glad they are fans of eating hard boiled eggs, but didn't really expect them to put the whole thin gin their mouth :)  At least we aren't waisting them!
Ok, so I have gotten used to seeing men carrying a purse or a "man bag" and many other things, but this was a little much.  I'm really hoping that he was borrowing his wife's leopard print motor bike.  At least he will always be able to pick it out of the parking lot ;)
With the summer heat, the pineapples have arrived!  It's one of our favorite treats in the summer heat.
Lauren's pink helmet broke and we still had the blue one that came with her skates.  She did not think it was beautiful like her pink one, so I told her she could paint it to make it beautiful.  She is now one happy girl and skating with an interesting  rainbow helmet.
Benjamin and I had a haircut date.  I was a little worried when the guy came out to do Benjamin's hair.  He had bright red streaks and long bangs.  I can't really describe him well....just think Asian punk rock.  Anyways.  It turns out that he was just the hair DRYER.  The hair cutter came out later.  We both enjoyed the 30 min head and neck massage that goes with it!  Benjamin said it's his favorite part of getting his hair cut.
Easter Sunday.
This was also a nice surprise.  Lauren's teacher gave these to me from last school year before we went back to America.  So cute.  I'm so glad she sent them to me!
Lauren's class last year.  There are 33 in her class this year!  She absolutely amazed me today when she went around and read all the kids' names to me.  I don't believe it will be too long before she can read more than I can!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

9 Already?

 This birthday package came right in between Benjamin and Lauren's birthday.  What good timing.  Lauren got so many pretty dresses and has been wearing them everyday!  Benjamin has been enjoying the Legos and cars that he got!

 Benjamin got some camouflage fabric.  He was really wanting some so that he could play around on my sewing machine and make some dog clothes.  He may make something else with it.  Who knows.  He is very creative.
 He thinks the Lego police ones are so cool.  He has been playing with them for a while now.  I have to agree that they are pretty cool.  They even have little handcuffs for the prisoners.
 The cake in the making!  I am glad that I had some extra cake because when I started icing it I thought the dog looked  a little funny.  I realized that I did not give him ears!

 This was the finished product.  I am so glad Jonathan helped me!  I was running out of time, so he helped me make all the little dog food pieces and the bone.  He saved the day.  You should have seen the look on all the kids' faces when I asked them if anyone was brave enough to eat dog food.  It looked so real.  Once they tried it, they wanted more.
 The difference between a girl party group picture and a boy party group picture.  I am lucky that I got them all in the picture.  The boys did not want to stop playing :)
 Happy 9th Birthday!
 He requested to eat the dog's head.  It looked so funny on his plate.  Now he can say that he has eaten dog when people ask ;)
 Regan bought a puzzle this week.  She has been saving her money and decided that this would be a good way to spend her money.  I will put a completed puzzle picture up next week.  She is really good at them! Oh, and little sisters wanted to help.  They got all dressed up for because it was their brother's birthday.

Lauren did a fashion show for us of all of her dresses.  They all fit perfectly and are perfect.  They were all of her favorite color, yellow, and had such cute patterns.  Thanks Judy for making such cute little dresses!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy 5th Birthday, Lauren!

Happy birthday to my sweet girl, Lauren.  She is now five years old!  She got up on her birthday and wanted to know where her new shoes were because now she is five and none of her stuff will fit her because she is so much older :)  Love her!  Her class at school threw her a party and she got to wear a crown all day.  Granddad asked her if she was a princess and she said, "no, I am the queen." Ha! 
 I got to see her for part of her skating class at school.
 Regan and Benjamin having been working on their science projects this week.  We will watch the volcanoes erupt next week :)  more pictures to come
 Regan and Benjamin are doing great in their Taekwando class!  Their teacher let them make up the classes that they missed while we were gone.  So, this past Saturday they had a 3 hour class.  I thought they would come home exhausted.  They were tired, but they had so much fun!  They were just hungry.
 Lauren is preparing all the candy bags for her classmates.  Her teachers said she could bring wrapped candy to celebrate her birthday....33 kids!  That's a lot of 4 and 5 year olds!
 This is one of Lauren's new friends.  Her grandmother got the day mixed up for the birthday party and came a day early.  We were ALL in our pj's and reading bedtime stories when she arrived with her parents (party hat and all).  She came in and played for about an hour and then went home.  The kids love late night surprise guests...it means they get to stay up late!
 These three made a birthday banner for Lauren and hung it up.  It was completely their idea and they all contributed.

 The birthday girl and the first wave of party goers.  I thought the others just couldn't come but people kept showing up after the party was "over" so they had yet another late night! :)
 Lauren really wanted a Hello Kitty party.  The main cake was chocolate and the cupcakes were yellow cake with cherry icing.
 And this is what the boys do while she is opening her presents. Feng Xu Xian is Lauren's best friend from school.  He came home with her and they had so much fun playing together...he also had fun playing with Benjamin ;)
 The last of the party visitors :)  I had managed to get half the kids into pj's
Ayi giving good night hugs before she goes home.