Sunday, July 24, 2016

Exploring and Stuff

 There's really nothing much to say about this picture except that I thought she looked so cute.  She got herself ready, wanted braids, and was WELL RESTED (slept until 10:00!)  Her eyes just seemed sparkly so I took a picture :)
 Here's my two social-lites.  We have moved, but since we had already paid for the classes, we let them finish up this last week.  They have enjoyed ending well and Regan finally spent all of her point cards from taekwondo and got a remote control car!  The other kids in her class were a little jealous.
Just after we moved, our final order of school books for next year arrived!  We had asked my dad to send them to a friend in our old city because with the mail you never really know when it will arrive. I warned my friend that the boxes would be heavy because they were all books, so she came prepared :)
 So, what happens when you open the box of books and find a surprise of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms?  Well, you have cereal for dinner!  The kids were so excited about the treat that they ate them all at dinner!
 Lauren a TangKeXing blowing bubbles on a balcony.
 I walked in to the girls room and found Katherine just painting away.  I love that she is enjoying her new room so much!
 This little guy was a trooper!  I took him along with Katherine and Benjamin for our first official bike ride in the city.  We rode about 4 blocks down to a bridge that connects to an island that is just for bike riding or walking.  We rode around the island (stopping halfway for a play break for 2 and a sit down break for 1) and then rode all the way back home.  He was so tired when we got back.  As we were approaching our complex he told me that his bike was out of gas. I told him I thought that HE was out of gas ;)
 While he rested, Benjamin and Katherine explored on the rocks.
 Hudson decided that he would stand after he saw a bug crawling toward him.
 And then off again around the other half of the island.  It was really nice to not have to worry about cars, etc there.
 So, no pictures of Jonathan this week, but I have a picture of his awesome fajita lunch!
 Hudson.  Well, let's just say he needs a little fashion help.  It feels like 120 degrees outside and he puts on long sleeves, a tie, a vest, and...camouflage shorts?  Once he realized that we thought it was funny, he tried to not let me get a picture, but I had some help ;)
 We had some close friends come visit us in our new place!  The little girls ate on the balcony.
 I'm going to miss being so close to Xiao Jun, but I am glad it's just a day trip if we want to get together.

 Lauren got one last chance to say goodbye to Chloe. We ate lunch together because Marissa had come back from Ireland for a couple of weeks before they all move there in August.
 Katherine was so glad to see Marissa again!
 Ok, so I thought that she looked like one of those crazy greeting cards with the big eyed animals.  I have never seen her look like this, but it made us laugh.  She was so playful.
 We finally got the drain fixed!  The girls bathroom did not have a drain to let the water drain out.  For some reason they had cemented over it so puddles of water just sat in the floor after every shower.  It took about 10 minutes to fix and works great now!  YEAH!

 Benjamin has enjoyed getting to use his telescope.  Actually ALL of the kids have enjoyed seeing the moon and a few stars, too!
 A girls only lunch :)

 Katherine got some new glasses!
 Regan had a blast in taekwondo because they got to spar.  She always had to fight the red and black belts (she's a red belt) and did well.  She even had to fight 2 at the same time.  The coach just reminded her not to hurt anyone because she is so strong...haha!
 Another city view!  I got this one when I was searching for Gracie.  She disappeared for an entire day, so I set my alarm early to go hunting for her.  Jonathan and I walked up and down both sets of stairwells (32 floors...hence the picture) searched the garage, the lobby, and outside. Nothing.  She randomly showed up later that day when I was helping the kids make  a "LOST" poster.  We still have no clue where she had been.  We just know that she was really hungry and thirsty and we were all glad to see her again!
 The boys playing cards on Hudson's bed.
 Sorry.  We are just enjoying the sky here :)
 Here's one of the sidewalks near our place.  They have many pig treed that line the roads and plenty of room for walking or riding bikes.
 These two are growing up so fast!  So much so that when we were coming back into the country that they almost didn't let Benjamin in!!!  I was through with 2 of the kids.  I went back (something your not really supposed to do) and they asked me if I was his mom.  They said he doesn't look like his picture and they wanted to see another ID!  I had to tell him to smile like his picture and then move all of his hair so they could study his ears!  They finally let him through!  So funny!
 We took a walk by the boats.
 The kids were fascinated watching the 4 guys come ashore on a styrofoam mattress.
 A wall that moves and makes your silhouette.  I guess a video would show it better. It kept them occupied for awhile though.
This was probably the biggest crystal ball hanging from the ceiling that I have ever seen.  The picture doesn't do it justice (although it's a great picture of Regan).  So, that's been some of our life recently.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

We've Moved!

 Yep, we have officially moved.  We still live in the same country just moved to a different city...and this is our new place.  We live half way up :)  The move has been tiring, but we are glad to be here!
 So, moving unfortunately means eating out a little more (mostly because it takes a little while to find all of our kitchen supplies)  Hudson liked the Happy Meal toy...Mr. Mario :)
 Before leaving it meant finishing up some classes and saying by to so many friends.  We have been so blessed to have so many friends and look forward to the many more to come!
 Lauren taking her belt test
 She is officially a blue and green belt!  That was a thick board for such a tiny little foot to break! ;)
 During class throughout the year the kids earn point cards.  Lauren spent hers on the last day and then one of her teachers gave her a ton of points after the test so that she could buy this car.
 Regan is now a red belt!!!  This picture cracked me up though...that little kid slept through all of it!
 The only picture Benjamin would kind of pose for...he is officially a blue and red belt!  Great job guys!!! They worked hard for those belts!
 Everyone new that we were about to move, so all of the coaches (well, most of the coaches) got together for a group photo with the kids.
 This was Hudson's teacher.  She told him to keep practicing and maybe next time he will get to test.
 These two were on their way out the door for a sleepover with their friends Winter and Yoyo.

 We just love this group of friends!
 We found this little guy crawling on the sidewalk...thought he was pretty
 Poor Regan....helping take everything off the walls before the movers come.  That's a lot of tacky to take down :)
 The little girls wanted to say bye to their kindergarten teachers, so we went back to the you er yuan to see them all.  美美's teachers were all their and so happy to see her!
 凯婷 was almost as tall as her teachers!  They told her to please come back and visit sometime soon.
 This was actually Katherine's main teacher during kindergarten, but then the year after she graduated she switched to being the English teacher for the school so she had Lauren once a week.
 These two were super excited about eating at their favorite Japanese Noodle Restaurant.

 The six of us went for last minute hair cuts.
 Gracie was a little nervous that she would get left.
 Regan had outgrown the giraffe charts I needed to take a picture of how tall she was/is so that I could recreate it after we move :)
 Lauren's best friend took us out to eat.
 a special group of ladies
 On our last day in our city, our doorbell rings at 7:00am.  It was the girls' friend, TangKeXing, wanting to say goodbye before she went to school (hence Katherine in pj's still)
 Winter and Yoyo also came to play, but the house full of boxes made that difficult... we went outside...
 ...and ate at our favorite restaurant AGAIN :)
 and afterwards got green apple icees at 7-11

 moving day!  Almost everything made it in one piece.  Regan's electronic piano got broken (well, the stand) So, we are waiting to here back from the insurance we paid for...hopefully, they will replace it without too much hassle.
 The van ride with 5 kids and 2 cats (and 1 very nice driver) ;)
 The view from outside one of our windows!  I love all of the boats!
 The movers literally put ALL of the boxes in one room!!  And now you understand why it has taken a bit to find everything...haha!
 Our first night in the new house and I wake up to see this.
 Gracie is happy and no longer scared
 Poor Katherine had a really bad migraine.  She slept half the day.
 The boys' room had no AC so that was number 1 on the priority list.  We haven't made it to the hottest days yet either.  I'm still amazed at how they get these units installed....especially when we live 17 floors up!  They just tied a rope around the unit, lifted it out the window, and swung it to the guy waiting on the ledge.  Oh, and just FYI, we were required to pay the guy an "aerial fee" since we live high up....a whole 5 USD!  Really?!?!  I think I would charge 500!
 the boats
 The view out the other window.

 I found a new favorite snack!  I hope they stay around!  They remind me of chocolate covered raisins.  So Good!
 Yes, we live in a coastal town now.  Here is the proof...
 ...I just want to find some chicken!  Please...where is the chicken?  We are still hunting.
 This little girl got her first pair of tippy toe shoes! She was so excited.  We also found a ballet teacher here and she will start in September.  Now to find taekwondo, art, and hopefully soccer (Katherine's request...but I'm afraid this one will be a hard one to find)
 All of the kids have really enjoyed the balcony.  They look at the view, talk, play games, etc
 Here We are looking at city lights in the distance.
 Benjamin had fun unpacking....and Big Monkey was ready to help :)
 I went house hunting with Ayi and met some really nice people.  I liked the community of this particular apartment.
 Ayi bought me breakfast.  It looks gross, but tasted good.  It was my first time to have this and it's apparently a local specialty.  Now I know.  Next time, I will try to get a picture of how they make it.
 I caught Katherine sitting in her window drawing the view.  Love it!  All three girls are sharing a far so good!  We have 3 strong personalities in there ;)
People selling vegetables and things on the street
 Regan being the fun (and strong) big sister :)
 Here they are playing spoons on the balcony.

And finally, a new dance studio was opened in our old city....look who is on the door of the studio!!!! One of my friend's posted this online and I saved it...I just might have to go see it in person.  Haha!  Lauren was thrilled to say the least ;)