Monday, June 30, 2014

Kindergarten Graduation Week

 It was graduation week at Katherine's school.  They were busy taking pictures, singing songs, doing skits, and preparing for many performances for the parents to watch.
These are two of Katherine's friends standing in front of the rock climbing wall inside her school.
 All of the kids were getting ready for the dances to show the parents.  They had a photographer take pictures of everything and then gave some to the parents.  I love the natural shots :)
 Outside with 2 other friends
 They had a Daddy daughter fashion show.  It was great.  Katherine said that she wanted them to both be in pink....can you believe we found a pink shirt for Jonathan? :)  They also made some accessories for the show.  They made a purse for Katherine with a pink pink flower on it and a matching flower for Jonathan's hat.  She got so nervous when it came time to do it.
 Singing one of the songs...I will try to post some videos later.  If I get them to upload, I will put the links here.

 After all the ceremonies, Katherine got her picture made with everyone outside.  She was a daddy's girl for sure on this day.
After graduation, the entire class and their families went out to eat at a restaurant.  Katherine and Jonathan went ahead of the rest of us because she wanted to make sure she got to sit at a table with her friends.

 This place had and ice cream station and a fondue machine and everything!  The kids were not very interested in eating "real" food with all the sweets around.
 For some reason, it seemed the favorite was tomatoes dipped in chocolate. (not me)
 The ENTIRE class started playing the crazy claw game that I never let my kids play because you NEVER win. Since it was a special day, we let Katherine play with her friends.
And guess who won!!!
 Besides graduation, Lauren's class had several activities for the parents to attend.  The most interesting was the "fruit architecture" competition.  That's my word for it anyways.  It was the entire zhongban grade.  Each table had 4 kids and their parents and a bunch of fruit.  They judged them all afterwards and Lauren's table won 1st prize.  We really didn't contribute to the idea for it just cut the fruit we were told to and passed it along :)
 Some college girls came over for a few hours to learn how to make chocolate chip cookies.  That is always fun :)
 Katherine had a dance performance and did very well.
 This was on the way down to the stage area before they have their hats on.  They were all given little diplomas, but it turns out that they were fake and just for pictures.  Katherine said that there was an apartment advertisement in them.
Here was a cool little craft that we tried.  We took salt, added a piece of colored chalk and it became colored salt for a craft project!  It was lots of fun!  We did it to go along with the story of :Lot's wife turning to salt.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Father's Day 2014

 It was a great Father's Day!  It kinda of took us by surprise this year.  I looked at the calendar and saw that it was just a few days away.  The little girls were already talking about it at school and had grand ideas for their daddy.  Lauren made a rainbow tie for Jonathan.  She was so proud when he put it on at her school and wore it all the way home!
 Katherine loves to shop.  She always wants to go with you wherever you go just because she likes to look at things when we are out.  Well, apparently, she had seen this shirt and knew that is what she was going to get her daddy.  She got her own wallet and asked me to take her out to buy something for Jonathan.  She knew just where to go.  She wanted to know if it was going to take all of her money to buy it (actually more than what she had) but she still wanted to buy it.  So, she paid for some and I paid for some.  She also made about 30 paper airplanes, and a card.  Sweet girl.
 It has been really, really, really hot and humid here.  We sure have been wishing for a swimming pool.  We are thankful for a balcony that drains well and cleaning buckets :)
I really cannot figure out how Katherine can still fit into this bucket!  
The kids are still working toward their reading goals to get an iPad.  It has done just what I hoped it would.  They are developing a love for reading :)  We added an element to the rewards this week and they can now get stars for reading books to their little sisters.  The two little girls were so excited about this and had STACKS of books for Regan and Benjamin to read to them.  

 And finally, one happy girl eating her favorite food! A whole plate full of shrimp.  I told her to please save some for the rest of the family ;)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Weekend Vacation

 This was the view from our hotel during our little weekend get away.  A nice change of scenery.
 We went walking around and there were little stands set up to buy just about everything (and for good prices, too)  The little girls really wanted to get some hats which came in handy in the heat.  Katherine also got this little rainbow dress.
 Rice fields and the mountains
 We rode bamboo rafts down the river.  This was very relaxing and fun for all.
 The rafts even went down these little waterfalls.
 This was the river we went down.
 The kids got to try real rock climbing.  They learned that it is much more difficult than the fake rock climbing walls.  I am so proud of them.  Regan, Benjamin, and Katherine all did it (none made it to the top).
 Regan made it the highest.  It helps that she is as competitive as she is.  I could tell that she was really afraid, but she was not going to give up.  Once the instructor climbed the wall next to her, she did really well.  He was able to give her instructions on where to try to get to next and which foot to move, etc.
 Although, this was our weekend to getaway, we were not able to get away from everything....we will remember to check the calendar next time to make sure there are no local holidays.  This night was so crowded with people out walking around, buying, selling, eating.  It was craziness.  We still had a good time though :)
 The kids all got to ride these horses outside of our hotel.
 They walked the kids around a loop a few times.  They all really enjoyed it.
 There was a cave nearby.  The kids thought it was really cool.
 Regan posing inside
 One of the coolest sections....and yes, they added colored lights for effect.
 Going down a different river on a PVC pipe boat with a lawn mower engine for the motor.  We were supposed to see a really famous spot this day, but they had to cancel because of storms the night before.  The river was beginning to flood and they had shut down all boat rides, but they were still allowing them for a few hours further down the river because the flooding had not reached down that far yet.
 These boats were bigger and we could all ride together.

 AND THIS....this I believe was their favorite part of the entire trip and it was absolutely free!  There was a dog that lived on the hotel grounds and it had puppies a few weeks before we arrived. The mother would feed the puppies and then let the kids play with them.  They gave them all names and were already scheming to figure out how to get them home.
 On our last day, Lauren was the last to put the puppy back with it's home.  I had to go look for her and she said it was taking her longer because the puppy was so sad and she had to sing it a song so that it would stop crying. pitiful.
Regan next to a slightly larger waterfall.

Love this one...

 and love this one :)

 A special ice cream treat!!
 We swapped seats around after about halfway through the boat ride so that everyone got a turn up front.
 When I asked each kid what their favorite part of the trip was, swinging in the swings made it at or near the top of their lists.  We don't see swings very often, so the kids spent many hours playing on them.
Saying goodbye to the puppies...I'm sure they could tell you all their names if you asked, but I can only remember Harold :)