Sunday, March 19, 2017

Here and There

 I have a TON to catch up on.  The week before we left to come back to the States, we had a nice day and decided to do a little "science walk" outside.  The kids were supposed to find cool things that God made and point it out of take a picture of it.
 Hudson loves to watch the boats.
 I do, too. I am still fascinated by how well the people on the boats use these little foam mattresses to get across to land.  The one on your far left has an entire family on it, mom, dad, baby, and grandma.
 Regan took this picture on our walk. So sweet. Little hands.
 Group selfie from our walk....most of the following "walk pictures" were taken by the kids.
 This is one of Katherine's favorite flowers from the walk.
 The kids love the roots of this tree.

 Katherine brought home one of those red poof ball flowers and then brought it to me like this!  It is so her!
 Charlie getting some love before we leave.
 The weekend before we left, Benjamin and I needed to see our doctor's before being gone for so long, so we headed to the airport.  They put new seats in the terminals and apparently they are great for sleeping.  There was no where to sit. Crazy.
 Our mandatory tuktuk selfie.
 The kids said many goodbyes.  They were full of mixed emotions.  They love where we live and have started making some good friends, but at the same time, they were so excited to be headed to America to see our family and friends there.  This is their taekwondo coach.
 Lauren's taekwondo sparing partner :)
 Lauren is officially level 4 now in ballet.  She got moved to a new building, but the teacher and kids are all the same.
 Her friends were all sad to see her leave.
 This little friend on the left even gave us a ride home that night so that they could have a few extra minutes with us.
The journey begins! oh, the long journey...Lauren was throwing up before we even go on the the bus, at the airport, and then throughout the flight.  I thought for sure i would be able to get some dramamine at the airport (I had run out) but they did not have it until we reached Detroit, MI, 24 hours into our trip.  Needless to say, after the medicine, she was fine. I will make sure I have enough on the return trip!

 It's not often I get to sit sit Regan on the plane.  She was a fun flying partner :)
 We arrived in Atlanta and on Katherine's first full day here she finds a four leaf clover!
 They saw their first baseball game.  Which is good since the three little ones are all signed up for Upward baseball/softball!
 Aunt Kim had this awesome park next to her house.
 That's Lauren at the top.

 Regan and Grandad.
 "Can I drive you back to the house, Aunt Kelly?" Yes, Josh. I'm only slightly frightened that you are already driving! ;) Fifteen already?!
 Proof that we made it back safe and sound :)
 Hudson and Uncle Jay.  They were best buds.  Hudson talked his ear off the entire time. HA!
 Cousins. Paige and Lauren. It was like not a day had gone by.  They were still best buddies.
 Katherine and Paige had the same jacket...just in reverse :)
 Tyler, Peyton, and Hudson
 Peyton and Katherine
 My first time to see this cutie since he was a baby.  Ryan just turned three.
 Shelby and Caleb
 We barely missed his birthday, so we brought some Happy Birthday Oreos to Ryan.
 The girls' table...
 The teen/almost teen table...
 and the everyone else table...
 We took the picture from both ends because the table was so long.
 Me and my brother, Michael
 Me and my sister, Kim
 Brett, Hudson, Josh.  Hudson is a little short for being seven (about 3'6) and The twins are a little tall for being 15 (about 6'7) but it makes for a fantastic picture :)
 Granddad and Hudson
 It's also hard to believe that Ashley is a Freshman in college this year.
 We went to my brother's for dinner. So fun.
 Then we finally made it up to Tennessee to our home.  We hadn't even made it into the house yet when Katherine found a pine cone :)
 Emily is here! Hugs all around! The kids have grown grown grown.

 (yes, Emily is on her tip toes to hug Regan)  :)

 Group hug!
 IT didn't take long for the kids to crave some rice and veggies!  So, we went out with Emily for a little Japanese.  It was good.  The kids had a good time, but the jet lag was hitting them pretty hard. They were so ready for bed.
 This was the coolest idea for a gift!!  My sister-in-law, Shelby, made some laundry detergent for us as a welcome back gift.  It was perfect because we definitely had dirty clothes to wash and it kept us from having to search right away for a store to buy it at immediately.
 Our lovely home!  We are so thankful for this place!
 Regan proving her strength to Emily...haha!
 A midday movie next to the fire...perfect.
 Emily with the kids.  I don't know why it's sideways...grrr.
 Thankful for some people who brought over a box of games and puzzles.  Benjamin and I actually played  complete game of scrabble.  I was quite impressed.
 And it's here.  The best friends are together again!!  They have been counting down the days!
 Jenny made Hudson a happy camper when she brought over Monopoly.
 The current stash of's the simple things :)
 Yes, this is what happens to Hudson EVERY time we drive for 30 minutes or more.  He falls sound asleep.
 11 kiddos, the Moore kids and the Sheddan kids
 Hudson want sot buy Ramona.  He was told ok for a million dollars.  Take a wild guess at what he's saving up for now.  He got 2 dollars from the tooth fair last night and he started jumping up and down this morning because he was closer to a million dollars so that he could get the dog.
 This one is Elsa...and she was super sweet and everyone's favorite.
 She loved everybody.
 We made it to Ma's house.  This was the first time she has gotten to meet Hudson.  He went right to her and just talked and talked.  They both loved it! Here's a glimpse into their conversation...

 Hudson to Ma: You look so pretty! Our house is humongous. You should come enjoy it. Do you take a nap in your room? What time is your bedtime? Our bedtime is 8:00. When were you born? Do you have a bed? Ma, Maw, Mawl, Ma...look. You lost a tooth. Your like me. Your hair is gray. That means your old. Ok, I'll teach you spelling...Ma: say what? I don't know if I can or not. H: because your old. I know how to spell your name, m-o-l-l Ma: no, just M-A. H: well then your name is not maul it's Ma (like the phonics blend)
Lauren: there's sheepy things in the field. Me: There's sheep?
Lauren: No, sheepy. I said baah and nah to them.
Katherine: That's a chicken 
L:no! They have things coming out of their heads.
Me: oh, that's a goat!
In her defense, the word for goat and sheep are the same in Chinese.
 Everyone braved the cold to see the goats.
 While Jonathan stayed to help clean at his Grandmother's house, I took the kids to see Marsha and Judy and their 4 dogs.
 Judy talking with the kids
 Hudson getting some hugs from Marsha
 Benjamin with Sofie
 I even had a surprise St. Patrick's Day birthday cake!  How fun!
 No, this is not a puppy. She's full grown and so tiny!
 Out cold, again :)
 Jonathan and his sister, Emily at their grandmother's house
 Hudson lost tooth number FOUR! He now officially has no front teeth
 A kitchen full for roomie roomie wasn't able to make it and one was sick, but the kids between us had a great time with each other.
 They even got to go swimming at the hotel's indoor pool.
 Carrie's kids (plus the baby in may arms) warming up by the fire before a pizza dinner.
 These two trying to stay warm by the fire pit.
 trying to get four boys smiling, looking, anything...nearly impossible :)
 A great spot to hang out

 Yes, the hotel actually caught on fire.
 Here's the proof that we were actually there.
 The alarms went off for quite awhile, but they finally got everything under control and let everyone back in.

 Poor baby.  I wish so bad that she didn't get migraines.  She handles it well.
The final kid event was face painting by kids on kids.  Now, I am caught up and can hopefully give a few more details in future posts of our US Adventures. I'll leave you with a few more kid quotes form our first week here...
H: "We are driving into the house?!"  
Me: yes, it's called a garage 
H: well, that's interesting 

L: mom, listen. I here a "caw caw"

At the park playing...Brett leaves on his bike. 1 minutes later Josh is standing there with us. Hudson (with a look of complete shock and amazement) to Josh: huh? Didn't you just leave on your bike???? How did you get here? (We didn't realize that the twins hadn't been together yet since we arrived)
udson: what are they cooking in there? Me: oh, that's called a dishwasher. Isn't it nice?

Hudson (after eating at the hibachi grill): now I know how to make fire!
Me (a little nervous at this statement): oh yeah?
Hudson: you mix mustard and ketchup!

Me: Regan, go pick out a Gatorade. I will buy it for you.
Regan: mom, can you come here?
Me: Why?
Regan: there are so many to choose from. I don't know which one to choose?

First Wednesday night class...while we were waiting to pick up the kids, We were talking to the music teacher for kindergarten. She said: Well, Hudson wanted to learn everything about music in 15 minutes. .... Oh, that is so him