Monday, February 29, 2016

Birthday Time

 So, one of my friends was going through pics on her old phone and found these of my girls.  I can't believe how fast they have grown!

 We went on a "hike" up the mountain so that we could see the peach blossoms on the other side in the valley.  It was apparently the thing to do.  We had a good time with our friends and it was nice to take Daniel out as well (in the wheel chair)  The kids enjoyed taking turns pushing him.
 I was told that my children "walk funny" and "not like the other children"  I asked what they meant by that and she said, "see they are not on the path and are jumping around"  I told her it was called playing :)  
Benjamin ALWAYS finds a stick wherever we go and ALWAYS wants to bring it home!
 A guy selling snacks outside the park/mountain.

 This is what we walked 4 hours to see :)
 And so did all the other people :)
 Regan practicing the art of taking selfies :)
 Allen and Bonnie with "their kids" :)
 Allen bought some sugar cane for everyone as a was actually the first time I had had it.  I am not a fan, but Lauren loves it.  It tasted fine.  I just don't like that you have to take a big bite with your back teeth and chew it up to get all the sweet juice out and then spit out the "tree" in your mouth.
 The kids posing under a giant lantern
 My friend gave me this bird's nest drink.  This teeny tiny little bottle costs about $15.00!  I really didn't want to drink it, but it cost so much and was supposed to "make me more beautiful" and I didn't want to offend anyone, so I drank it as best as I could.  Normally, I give those things to Jonathan to finish and he saves the day, but since I have been so sick and this drink is only for girls, it was up to me.  It was really sweet, like honey almost...too sweet really.
 We enjoyed some good weather, too.  Katherine actually got hot and rolled her pant legs up while she was playing.

I took Katherine to get new shoes.  She was complaining that her toes hurt, so we went on a shoe hunt.  Turns out that my 8 year old 2nd grader wears a women's size 6.  Looks like I have another tall, big footed child on the loose ;)
 We snuck in a miniature mommy daughter date before coming back home...french fries from Burger King and a drink....oh, and a donut just because.
Hudson was so proud of his purchase.  He got some money for Chinese New Year from different people, and he went and bought some Dora dvds.
 Gracie didn't want me to leave, so she sat on my backpack ;)
 Took these three out for a little Chinese food for lunch.  Katherine LOVES the noodles at this place!
 I had a wonderful birthday!  It started off by Benjamin (the night before) wanting to be the first to give me a present.  He presented me with this super cute birthday card.
 When I woke up the next morning, Katherine gave me my "birthday jacket" to wear.  I put it on briefly, but it was a little fragile to wear for too long.
 The kids could not wait for me to open my presents....and everyone was so curious about Jonathan's round I had to open it first...
 ...Dr. Pepper!!! 8 of them!!  I am one happy camper :)
 Lauren gave me a hand made card with 10 kuai in it. I was so surprised to have money drop in my lap and she was so excited to have it in the card.  She then told me, "I asked dad for 10 kuai, so you can give it back to him if you want."  I don't think I will :)

Sweet Katherine used her own money and bought me a stuffed monkey, and two bars of chocolate.  She also made several things and wrapped them up.  But I think one of my favorites had to be this card.  She had snuck into Lauren's card box and found this birthday card to Lauren from last year.  She took it into our room, scanned it, printed it, folded it, and wrote "Happy Birthday, Mommy" inside...and all without anyone knowing!  It was too funny!

 "Just don't take the white string off or it will explode!"  That is what I was told when I opened this one.

 Group picture with my favorite kiddos and many of my favorite things...chocolate, Bath and Body Works, and Dr. Pepper :)
 After that, I went out with my good friend Xiao Jun for a birthday lunch.
 Everything was so fancy!If you know anything about my eating habits growing up, you will not believe this birthday meal, but I actually enjoyed every bit of it!  We had spinach soup, kimchi fried rice, avocado salad, and...
 ...steak!  When the bill came I realized why we have never eaten at this restaurant before....expensive!!

 When I got home, Jonathan and the kids had made me a red velvet cake.
 Mmmmmmm :)
 Jonathan said, "Who says you have to put the candles on top?"
 37 candles brought quite a heat wave...but still no fire alarms went off (cough cough ummm...DAD) but the icing did start to melt...AHHH!
 And you have to give me a break.  It is hard to blow out all the candles in one breath when you keep having to spin the plate to get to them.  There should be a rule about that.
 THIS little guy was so excited that he FINALLY got to start taekwondo!  They had him stretching at the bar before class....he is so flexible!!
 Learning some moves... He is actually switching next week to a different class.  They only had 2 signed up for this time slot, so he is moving to a different slot with other kids his age.
Lauren said bye to her red remote control car yesterday.  The wired in the battery pack broke and the windshield got just didn't work anymore.  She was fine getting rid of it, but wanted a sad frowny face picture before she did because her teachers gave it to her for her 4th birthday.  She looks so sad, right? :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Valentine's Day

So, the tradition here is that you go home for CNY and when you return to your work city, you bring traditional foods from your hometown to share with your friends.  Well, it seems that this year is the year for FRESH poultry!  Yes, those ducks are just enjoying their ride in the back of the car and I just LOVE the saran wrapped chicken/hen to the hood.  Too funny!

Here are a couple more from my friend who was traveling on the roads...and yes, they are always alive.
but I think this one was a little overkill...are they going to start their own farm? ;) I guess they just have lots of friends.
I think it's funny that My husband who is not a cat fan has 2 cats that like him :)  Gracie loves to watch what computer and tv screens.
Lauren's little friend asked her to come do fireworks the other night.  They had already had showers and getting ready for bed, but I didn't want her to miss out on that. SO, I took Lauren and Katherine down to watch.  This picture makes it look bigger than it was.  It was just a couple that went in circles for a few seconds.
I was trying to get a picture of the rest of our crew trying to watch from the balcony.  Our family has been really sick still so I wouldn't let them all go out.  I probably shouldn't have gone out, but was ready for some fresh air.
The boys got flowers for the girls on Valentine's Day.  So glad they can smile even when they are sick
Hudson gave some to Lauren.
And Jonathan gave some to Katherine.
These were mine ( pictures of a sick Mom)
This was what we gave to the kids....sweet tarts and oreos.  They were so happy!
Even this little guy was super happy. He was trying to hide because he had a tear rolling down his cheek because he didn't get any flowers.  He was fine once he realized he got something, too. :)
This just made me happy.
I love playing ball and was glad that she wanted to for a bit.
Benjamin designed a new house for us on paper and then started building it with Legos.  He's like his daddy!
L loved the living room...guy watching Star Wars on the couch
and the creative...even has a little guy on the toilet....haha!
The little ones got to do their first poster project.  I really left it wide ope for them.  They needed to choose one kind of flower to do it about and I gave them free reign over the craft box!
Lauren did a Dahlia flower.  She told us all about how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly and then it lands on a flower and the pollen sticks to the butterfly and is taken to another flower to make more beautiful flowers.  :)
Katherine chose fox glove.  She made her flowers 3D and even had a scale (on the left) to show how tall the flower would be compared to herself.  I was quite impressed.  We did not give them any ideas...just let them go with it.
Hudson chose a pansy (and maybe some palm tree?) :)  He said that it was a flower.  It is called a pansy and it's small.  :)  They did so good.