Friday, September 26, 2014

Happy 7th Birthday, Katherine!

 This girl was up at 6 AM ready for the day!  She dressed herself (and her bunny) and fixed her hair.  Then she had to wait a whole 12 hours for her party!  We so love our sweet, shy, giggly, quiet, and loud girl...yes she can be both ;)
 Here is a picture of the party crew.  Poor Benjamin is the only one not in pink.  He wasn't thrilled to be in the picture, but obliged his mama and even gave a quick smile.
 Jonathan made pizza and spaghetti for the party.  It was a huge hit with everyone.
 Benjamin is so good with the little ones.
 Katherine was so excited that her teachers from last year came to her party!!
 This was the PRICELESS look on Katherine's face when she realized that the cake in front of her was not the only cake for her party...
 She had said she wanted a ballerina party and a 3D cake.  So was one happy girl :)
 We had a ice cream sundae station as well....nothing like giving a gazillion kids loads of sugar before bedtime on a school night ;)
 Benjamin found this game and wanted to buy it for Katherine for her birthday.  They have had fun watching the monkeys fall.
 This I think has to be one of the favorite presents.  She actually bought it herself with some birthday money.  She is my child that LOVES those claw games at an arcade.  Now she has her very own.
 It has been a hit with everyone :)
 She got this gift from Ayi.  I think it's one of her favorites.  She has been pushing it around the house saying "beep beep"

This was the picture Jonathan took of the cake.  I had fun making this one for her!  Happy Birthday, Katherine!  I'm glad you had such a wonderful day!  Love you!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mid-Autumn Festival 2014

Today, I am finally able to sit down for a minute and write this blog.  All the schools have been cancelled today because of the typhoon coming.  This year, Lauren's teacher has been sending many pictures to me via an app on the phone.  I'm loving it :)  This year Lauren is officially kindergarten so they are required to eat with chopsticks at school.  Before kindergarten, they are allowed to use a spoon.  She loves her class.
I had a friend come over to learn to sew.  Actually, she was coming over to have me sew something for her, but I told her she could do it.  She was very happy to sew a body pillow.  It looked decent until she got home and decided to wash it in her washing, not so pretty ;)
This is Lauren's class at school.  No, not the whole grade just her class.  There are 39 kids in her class.  It's only a couple extra kids from last year, but it seems huge to me.
This is a new friend of Lauren's.  It is really funny how they met.  This little girl is half Irish, but doesn't speak much English because her dad works outside of the country and only visits every 6 months.  She was in Lauren's school this year, but a different class.  They started playing after school one day and were instant friends.  The mom told me the little girl had not been happy in a long time and hated school.  That night she was drawing pictures to give to Lauren and up early ready to go to school.  When she was dropped off, she did not go to her class.  She went straight to the principal's office.  She told the principal that she wanted to switch classes because she likes Meimei and she would be happy in her class.  So the principal said, "We want you to be happy so I will call your mom to make sure it is ok with her."  So, now they are in the same class together :)  Too funny.  I think she felt a connection with Lauren because they look different from the other kids but speak the language.
It's getting close to Katherine's birthday and she has started getting some packages in the mail.  She told me that she was going to save all her presents until her actual birthday, but when they came she changed her mind.  It was too exciting :)
I now have a new scrapbooking buddy :)
Regan had a fun weekend.  It was a holiday weekend and one of her American friends in another city (about 2 hours away) rode a bus to come stay the weekend with us.  They had so much fun together.  They had not seen each other in nearly 2 years.  So glad they are living closer to us now.  It is possible to have occasional get togethers for the girls.
There is something in this country that is similar to Facebook, but different.  I was at the market with Lauren when this lady tells me "hey I recognize you!"  I had no idea who she was.  She pulls out her phone and says, "See! This is your daughter!"  Yep.  The dance teacher had apparently posted MANY pictures of Lauren on her site.  So, the lady sent them all to my phone :)
Here is another picture of Regan and Ruthee.  Yes, both are 5th grade.
During the holiday we went out to eat with friends.  The kids table sang lots of songs together.
Lauren has gotten hooked on American Girl stuff like her big sister.  She wanted to watch the McKenna movie (about gymnastics) so that her doll could do all the same moves.
Jonathan tried to make homemade moon cakes.  They tasted really good, but were different from the ones we buy here.  Our friends called them the American moon cakes.  I was sure to clarify that we o not eat them in America.
showing off the matching braids and clothes :)
Lauren went for a ride with her daddy.
Sorry, these are not in is another one from the holiday weekend.  It is tradition that you go out at night with your lanterns, eat fruit, talk with friends and family, and enjoy looking at the moon.
We were glad the moon peaked out a few times that night.  Lauren is looking at the moon and Katherine is telling us that she sees another flying lantern.  The flying lanterns are really neat, but we did not do one ourselves this year.
We got this shot on our walk home.  This particular road is usually lit up with lights at night.
Katherine has enjoyed home school.  Her favorite part is science....or really science experiments.  She is making her butterfly fly on it's own.  She concentrates so hard.  We actually have a video that shows many different science experiments, so if we cannot get the stuff they can at least watch it being done.  The video goes along with what she is learning in science and is supposed to last all year....she loves it so much that she has already watched it 3 times after school and does the experiments on her own :)

Lauren has been study about teeth at school and how they will be loosing teeth soon (she's got a head start on that one).  They had homework to make an animal with teeth using things from  around the house.  She insisted on making a hippo!  Love it!
This was my hungry and sweaty crew after P.E. on Friday.  I took them bike riding...rode 9 miles. They had a great time...I did too until Saturday...I was sore ;)
More early presents!! :)
She love all the presents, but thought the Happy Birthday button that songs to her was great!  Her bunny is wearing it until her birthday arrives.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

School Begins

We attended a wedding this weekend.  We all really enjoyed it.  This is our good friend who went with us.
This is the first time I have been asked to make cookies for a wedding.  I think maybe they had my chocolate chip cookies in mind, but I needed to make Mexican wedding cookies it became.  They were actually quite popular.  The kids were glad they there were a few left over so we could bring them home :)
I am so thankful for these girls that take Regan in.  The morning of the wedding they took Regan for a walk and made all kinds of great videos.  I'm so glad that she has a handful of young ladies that she can look up to and who provide a good example for her.
This little one was in awe over the ENTIRE wedding!  You would think that we were attending the wedding of Prince William and Princess Kate! She has been in planning mode ever since (and practicing...since she was asked to be a flower girl in a few weeks at another friend's wedding). 
Here is the bride throwing her flowers.  I have been to a couple weddings now and so far none have been the same.  This one seemed to be a little more "western" than others I have been to.
These two got to take another belt test!
So excited to have yellow and green belt kids :)  Katherine and Lauren will start taking in a few weeks.  They have all decided that it looks fun.
WE found a little pizza restaurant that just opened up.  We decided to try it out after the kids' had their taekwondo performance.  It was pretty good....just a little on the fancy side for pizza ;)

Here is the newly finished school room/ art room/ sewing room/ reading room/ whatever it needs to be room.  I really like it.  It has been a great place for the kids to do schoolwork and to read in the bean bag.  Sometimes I hear Lauren singing her ABC's and I find her in the bean bag looking at the alphabet near the ceiling.  I'm glad everyone can use it!
Here's our most recent family picture :)  It was a little hard to get one with everyone's eyes open and smiling because the sun was a little bright at the time.
Since school started on Monday and Lauren is the only one that is in local schools this year, I took her out for a Mommy/Daughter date.  She really wanted to have her nails done, so that's what we did.
She also finally spent her birthday money from March!  She has been saving her "special American monies" for "something special"  She just had not found the right thing.  Well, it appears that this stuffed kitty was the "special thing" because she finally spent her money :)
After getting our nails done we had lunch.  It was her choice...and yes, this girl is going to pick jaozi over McDonald's any day of the week.

And here it is!  The first day of school!  They can officially say they are 5th grade, 4th grade, 1st grade, and Kindergarten.  They sure have grown a lot over the summer!  We are looking forward to another great year of school.