Looks like the latest thing is card games and card tricks. All the kids walk around the house practicing their shuffling, card tricks, and alternating between several different games.
Yes, here is the proof that our family took up the ENTIRE bike rack at the beach. The kids wanted to go for a ride, so we thought we would see how long it would take to get to the beach. It wasn't too bad.
But since you are at the beach, you might as well play for a bit :)
One of these days we might actually bring some shovels and buckets and try to build a sand castle, but I think they did a good job with just their hands.
We got some test results back from the doctor about Hudson's allergies...looks like his main allergy is dust/dust mites. They said that his sheets need to be washed in HOT water every week. That's a little difficult since hot water is not used here for many things (including laundry)...so I am very THANKFUL that our new house has a bath tub! (a hard find in most apartments and the first we have had since we moved overseas) We turned on the hot water and and filled the tub. We are on week two dust alert Sheddans and I can already see a huge difference. I hope we can keep as much dust at bay as possible.
I know you are probably tired of these pictures, but the kids keep asking me to take more. Benjamin said that he like the sky this day because it was yellow, blue, white, and grey.
The kids watching Hudson's new favorite...Finding Nemo. Notice the eyes in Benjamin's toes. Funny kid.
We found a nice outdoor "mall" last week. The kids like the elephants and the surprise find...Dairy Queen!
There were several little restaurants there that I would like to try out some day.
Our friend, Soey, came to visit us. The kids snatched her up for much of the day and taught her many games and sang songs for her.
Then we all went for a bike ride around the island.
The kids wanted to stop about half way around to look for "ocean bugs" I think it's a good name for them. I have no idea what they are. They look like a mix of a silver fish, centipede, and a cockroach. Ugh. I'm not a fan. At least they are fast little critters and don't really like people.
These two hopped off their bikes on the way home because they saw a sprinkler watering grass. Haha. They had so much fun!
On a different day, two other friends came to visit us in our new city. Unfortunately, Benjamin was in bed most of the time they were here because he was not feeling well. So that is why you won't see him in the group pictures.
We took a long walk to the beach. Yes, again.
It's one of the few things that Hudson really likes doing outside.
Regan wrote his name for him in the sand.
Here's everyone trying to save fish. There was a really big one that was in here (we caught it and threw it back in the ocean) and then several minnow type fish swimming around.
A full happy table :)
Our friends spent the night so Jonathan slept with the boys and I slept with this little girl. I couldn't help but take her picture. She looked so sweet.
So, all of the kids have new chores to help keep up with the amount of every day cleaning for dust. Hudson has the job this week of "clearing the table after meals" He made me laugh when I came back in and he was scooting all around the top of the table to clean it :)
So proud of these kiddos. They are learning about budgeting their money wisely. They each have "give" money. This week they put all their give money together to buy a case of water and a few snacks. They made cards and loaded up their backpacks to go hand out water to people on the streets. The first 2 people refused to take the water. The kids looked a little disappointed, but they kept trying. It ended up being a matter of presentation. When they heard that the kids bought it with their own money and they wanted to bless others on a really hot day, it brought only smiles and a sincere thank you.
This little girl lives near Ayi. She's been asking when the kids were coming back to play again. Lauren happened to be out with me when we ran into her. So Lauren spent the morning with her playing.
This is Benjamin trying to make a mean face because he wasn't going to let me take his picture. That's the cutest mean face I have ever seen :)
The girls were trying to do planks on top of each other in their room. I think Lauren missed out on the point. She is bear hugging Regan..haha!
I was hoping to get some pictures of the boys together for a frame I have. This ended up being one of my favorites because they were having so much fun together and both had real smiles.
Hudson and Regan
This was cute. Katherine got down to his level for a picture and then they started comparing heights :)
Here's the cute picture afterwards. Katherine and Hudson
Here he is Captain America (aka Hudson). With some help and coaching from his big brother, he made one cute super hero!
We sat around the computer to watch Kung Fu Panda 3...let family night begin!
I think he got a little too comfortable watching the movie. Poor guy. He didn't even make it half way through it!
Katherine asked if I would take her outside for a walk so that she could see the palm trees up close and draw them.
Here we are...getting checked in at the airport and ready to start our vacation!
Day 1...everyone walks along the canal towards the hospital for a day of doctor visits. YEAH! :)
The kids were amused at the boat taxis. I haven't been brave enough to ride one because 1) I'm not sure where they take you, 2) the people surely get sprayed with the water and the canal doesn't smell very nice at all, and 3) they only stop for a second and you have to be ready to jump off at the right spot...not sure how well that would work with five kids in tow.
All checked in a ready for day one of FOUR at the hospital :) Just FYI, EVERYTHING is checked at the hospital...from surgery to dental to health checks to X-rays and more.
This beautiful girl got her first pair of glasses!!! It was actually a last minute decision to make her an eye appointment and I'm so glad we did. She was near sighted and had an astigmatism in both eyes. She was not happy at first about having to get glasses, but she likes them now. It took about an hour for her pick them out and about 40 minutes for them to make her glasses.
What else do we do? Go to the English book store!!! Yeah! Truthfully, I think this was probably one of their favorite things to do. So many choices!
They were each allowed to choose one book. I thought they all chose wisely and it really shows their personality. Katherine chose a cake decorating book (really cute and I can't wait to get some ideas from it), Lauren chose a fiction chapter book about ponies, Benjamin chose a book about training puppies, Hudson chose Finding Dory learn to read book, and Regan chose a really complicated step by step book about making ornate and detailed pop-up cards.
Lauren was getting a little reading in before dinner :)
Bangkok Burger Company for dinner
We had not eaten there before. It was very good but the proportions were a little small (mostly because I was splitting this with Regan) but we really enjoyed every bite. No one had any leftovers!
When in Thailand you must ride a tuktuk. This was Hudson's first trip to Thailand so he was loving every second of the ride.
We happened to be headed back to the apartment during rush hour, so all SEVEN of us piled in a tuktuk that comfortably fits two or three people. haha! What a site!
Jonathan has never been a fan of the tutuk and he started singing amazing grace as we went down the wrong side of the street. The driver said, "OK OK no worry." and had a huge smile on his face.
I wanted a picture so that you could see us all inside. We were a little nervous that the thing was going to flip backwards when the driver hopped out :) Oh, and yes, they have Krispy Kreme!
So cute. How can you pass up a sleeping kid picture.
Day 2...Hudson needed to have some blood drawn. He wasn't screaming for crying, but I thought it was funny. He said, "Uhhhhh, what are they doing?" They ended up sending him to the peds floor where they stuck hime right away. He then asked them if they were going to give him a foot massage. What a funny guy! (especially since he wasn't trying to be funny)
Here is a picture of an empty tuktuk for reference ;)
Can you imagine driving THIS down a busy street? Crazy!
Now THIS is how you do breakfast! I do believe this is the best part about staying at a bed and breakfast...the breakfast....homemade cinnamon roles and fresh fruit. Yum!
We left that city and traveled on to meet up with Mamaw and Papaw by the beach. Mamaw came bearing gifts :) Benjamin loved his shirt that Papaw picked out for him.
We all went out for dinner. We got in the back of one of the truck taxis. They can get crowded so Lauren was sitting on a lap (I won't let the kids hang of the back) As the saying goes...there is always room for one more.
We got to the restaurant and ordered our food. Apparently big families don't come through often because they brought us a big plate of FREE fries with this sign on them (below) and of coarse wanted a picture.
Katherine loved all of the bear decorations around.
AH, the pool. It was soooooo nice and right next to the beach.
The kids had such a good time. They wanted to swim in the ocean but, there were tons of jellyfish! It was really fun to see all of the different ones wash up on shore though!
It's always fun to collect shells! Katherine found some really neat ones.
Me and my family
Mamaw and Papaw with the grandkids
Hudson loved stealing Papaw's clip on sunglasses!
One more by the fountain!
group selfie :)
Katherine making footprints in the sand
This was a really good dessert, but I could only ever eat 2 or 3 of them. Banana Fritters....deep fried bananas with toppings. I like the ones with powdered sugar, but you could also get it topped with honey or banana pudding.
Since this was Hudson's first trip to Thailand, he REALLY wanted to ride elephants. Before you ride, you can feed them some bananas. They eat 200 kg of food a day! (no pet elephants for the Sheddans)
Lauren feeding the elephant
So, a guy with a baby monkey was there, too. Katherine was beside herself with excitement. This baby monkey came right to her. It was hugging her and I think tickling her a little bit. This is a happy face not a sad one ;)
I think this was her favorite part of vacation.
Benjamin got to hop this sweet baby, too. Although Benjamin wouldn't ever look at me for a picture because he wanted to focus on the monkey. That's ok :)
Lauren also got a super fast turn. The monkey cried a little and they were telling us it was time to ride elephants, so we had to give the monkey back.
My super handsome riding partner
It was really hard to get photos of the ride because the elephants weren't always right together. Regan, Hudson, and Katherine are on the back elephant and Jonathan and Lauren are on the closer elephant.
Sometimes the journey took us down a road. The elephants wanted to search for food alone the side of the road. Lauren's elephant carried a whole branch with him.
Regan and Katherine made the mistake of feeding our elephant while on the trek, so my elephant kept sneaking up behind them and trying to tap them on the shoulder for more bananas. HAHA!
I love that smile :)
Lauren and Jonathan
We even saw some baby deer along the way.
This elephant just knew that my phone was food. Nooooo! :)
And then you have Benjamin that though he could hide a banana behind his back and the elephant wouldn't know....you can guess who won that fight ;)
They picked us up in a "jeep" of sorts to drive us back to the elephant camp.
We saw a lady making silk.
I really need to learn how to cut a pineapple this way. It was so easy to eat and the perfect size.
One last goodbye...
Well, hello Ronald.
The big kids liked this pool because it had a deep end that was REALLY deep. They enjoyed all jumping in together.
Hudson preferred the enormous "kiddie" pool
Climbing the rocks before the tide came all the way in.
Regan searching for a few more shells.
This just made me laugh. Katherine was literally digging in the sand like a dog and this dog comes up, sits down, and just watches her. I'm not sure what the dog was thinking. Was he thinking thank you for doing my work for me or was he trying to figure out what she was doing? Who know. :)
Last day to play in the sand.
We let the kids each get a popsicle and took them back to the beach to watch the sunset.
Jonathan getting his photos :)
Katherine ate her popsicle in record time so she drew a dolphin in the sand while she waited.
We needed to pack up all of our things. I told the kids they had to choose a few special shells to keep and the rest would stay. Apparently, some of them had critters living in them because they were stinky!
These were some of Katherine's favorites. She told me today that she has decided on an ocean birthday theme. (This is the 6th theme she has chosen....but I think she might stick with this one) She had so much fun
Last picture. Benjamin with a real tiger! AHHH! Look at those paws! I'm ok with the baby tigers, but this is a little scary. He spent his own money on this.