Thursday, October 30, 2008

Calendar for a cause

Our agency, FTIA, produces a wonderful wall calendar every year featuring the kiddos that they helped bring home to their forever families. One hundred percent of the calendar proceeds will support FTIA’s humanitarian aid projects, helping children in need overseas.

Kamryn is going to be in the calendar! This is her third year in a row. Mary Grace will be in next year's calendar too and hopefully some of Kamryn's travel buddies and Indy playgroup friends as well. Needless to say, I've placed my order! (& the order for extended family that has expressed an interest.)

If you are at all interested too, please visit FTIA's website. Tomorrow, Oct. 31st is the last day for pre-orders and then calendars will be available for as long as they have them.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Shopping, haircut, and carving a pumpkin

Kamryn and I were shopping one day at Children's place and she picked out this outfit all by herself. Even the headband. Which she wore to school on her head but when I picked her up, it was hanging around her neck and looked more like a scarf.

Hmph. She does not like stuff in her hair. I struggle to keep any bows, clips or anything on her head. Luckily I've trained her to now at least hand them to me when she takes them off so that they do not get lost.

I stopped by my hair salon last Thursday after I picked Kamryn up from school just for a free quick bang trim for me. As we were sitting there waiting for my stylist, out bee-bops this adorable little Chinese girl with the cutest hair cut ever. After exchanging phone numbers with her mom (we love to make new friends!), I made an appointment for Kamryn for that next Saturday with my stylist.

So goodbye long hair . . .

We didn't go as short as the other girl we saw because Kamryn has a colic in the back of her head and Colette (my hair stylist) was afraid if we layered it too much, it would make a big hole in the back of her head.

I won't ever get her hair to look as good as Colette did. I think the trick is in the blow drying of the hair. I have such a hard time styling it while blowing drying it . . . I need three hands. Kamryn has never let me blow dry her hair either. But she sat okay for Colette. We'll see if we ever find the time or the patience to do this at home.

She was all stylin' and we stayed home that night. Brendan and Kamryn helped Kevin carve a pumpkin. Scary of course to go with our new wreath.

Not Scary Enough

For Brendan's liking . . . He told me he doesn't like Halloween cute.

I love my "fall" decoration for the front door, but I took it down to be more in the "Halloween spirit." These friendly ghosts are all I could find in my boxes of stuff.

So, I decided to make a new "scary" wreath for the front door.

It's still not scary enough for Brendan, but hey, I don't want to really scare people away;) Plus, it's a good compromise from the gross scary stuff that he really likes.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Check this out!


Click on the link above to see how Kamryn is one of the new stars for the day on My friend Chrissie's daughter, Carley, was the star of Day 2. Isn't she so cute?

Oh golly, then after reading this fun stuff and copying down the yummy recipes, for kicks go to the sidebar on my blog and click on "read about our time in China" to see one of the very first pictures we got of Kamryn! Oh my, how she has grown!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Amazing Panda Adventure

Last night we all went to Blockbuster to get some movies for "movie night." It was the perfect night to just hang out in front of the T.V. The boys picked out an oldie, Red Dawn. We all watched it with the exception of Kamryn who watched Cinderella.

Kamryn and I stayed up for a double feature. I happened to stumble on a movie called, "The Amazing Panda Adventure." Has anyone else ever seen this one? It was a very good movie with great footage of China and adorable pandas. A ten year old boy goes on a trip to China and ends up on a journey to rescue a baby panda taken by poachers. Kamryn and I really enjoyed it. I am thinking that it's one I want to keep in our movie library. I even learned something from it; the legend of how the panda got its colors.

The panda used to be all white. A panda and a girl were friends and she was the youngest of four sisters. The panda helped her herd her sheep and one day a tiger came. The tiger attacked the panda and the girl tried to save him but she was no match for the tiger. The tiger killed the girl. The pandas wore black ashes on their arms as a sign of mourning. They were so sad that the ashes got in their eyes because they cried so much. The sisters missed their youngest sister so much too so they jumped into the river. The next day a mountain appeared with four peaks. It is said that this mountain, called the Four Sisters, are there to stand guard to watch over the pandas.

I had to google this legend to see if it is true. I did find it out there and also found out that the Four Sisters Mountain is also called the Siguniang Mountain and is located in the Sichuan Province where the earthquake hit. There is even a book I stumbled upon called the Legend of the Panda by Linda Granfield. Amazon didn't have any copies available but did. So I bought it brand new. There are 6 brand new copies left. Hurry!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fair Oaks Farm

I'm sure I've mentioned Fair Oaks Farm before. Not only is it a fun place to go in Fair Oaks, Indiana - - but it is exactly halfway from our previous home in Indiana so it's a great place to meet up with our Indy friends!

(Do check out the website! It's a nice daytrip!)

Yesterday we met up with our friends Carol and Rob and their family. It was so nice to spend the day with them. The boys had so much fun bouncing outside and climbing the rock wall while the little ones rode the train and went for a tractor ride. Inside they watched a movie about cows and milk and enjoyed a cheesy dinner and homemade ice cream for dessert. We were so close to seeing twin cows being born, but we left the birthing barn about 5 minutes too soon. Oh well, we did see the babies after that. It's probably better that the kids didn't witness that. What an education!

We are so glad that our kids still get along so well even though they don't see each other very often. In fact, they didn't want the fun to end and even before the visit was close to being over, they started sweet talking us parents into the idea of a sleepover. Well lucky for them, and lucky for us, I remembered that Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt B. were driving down to Indy the next day (today) for a visit with Aunt B's daughter & family. So the boys won and had their overnight and an extra day together with their friends. Mommy was a bit jealous that she couldn't jump in their car and spend the night too! Kamryn and I are getting ready to go pick up the boys at Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt B's house soon.

Animals from afar (AKA ZOO)

Kamryn and I finally made it to the zoo this season. We went with some new neighborhood friends a few weeks ago on a school day. Yes, we went without the boys while they were in school and daddy was working from home. The boys aren't thrilled with the idea of walking around the zoo anymore so it worked out perfectly.

It was a tad bit chilly the day we went, but the animals were out and Kamryn enjoyed looking at them from afar!

Having Fun in the Sun

Look at those smiles! Aren't all of these girls just too cute? Kamryn and I love our Friday morning time with friends. It's been so nice out lately that we've been able to be outside whether it's to a park or to the St. Charles scarecrow fest!

Thanks Kerry for telling us about the Scarecrow Fest. What a fun time to walk around and look at all the creative scarecrows. The girls loved the Horton Hears a Who and the Little Mermaid display. I liked the mechanical scarecrow riding the bike and the "Chercrow" - yes a Scarecrow with metallic silver boots on and all decked out to look like Cher.

They even had a petting zoo but Kamryn was not thrilled to feed the hungry, aggressive goats. She seems to like animals better from afar.

My Little Helper

I cleaned out the fridge tonight. We save leftovers, but I don't know why we continue to do so because we are not a leftover family. Leftovers tend to sit in our fridge until they aren't so appetizing anymore. Honestly, to us, they are not even appetizing the very next day.

As I was washing the tupperware tonight, Kamryn chimed in, "Mommy, I want to help you!" So she grabbed a towel and dried every piece. Can I tell you how nice it is to have someone in the house who WANTS to help?! I won't ever tell her no to helping me with the dishes, even if it means I need to dry the floor afterwards.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Soccer Fun

A couple of Fridays ago we were invited to join our friends at an indoor soccer place for a soccer party. Everyone had a ball! (no pun intended!) Sophie and Kamryn had fun pretending they were playing soccer and the boys, well, they did have fun playing soccer. Brendan even scored a goal! The dads even got out there and although Kev didn't play soccer, he did throw around a football with one of Kris' nephews. Us moms did what we do best; chit chat and talk some more since the kids were all entertained.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Chinese language and more

Not only are we learning Chinese language, but we are also learning about the Chinese culture in class. Moon Festival was not too long ago and Helen LaoShi (teacher) brought in moon cakes for a snack. You will all be surprised to hear that I actually ate a sliver of a lotus seed paste flavored moon cake. It wasn't too bad but I prefer chocolate cake. Maybe those round ding dongs will be a nice substitution for my family next year since Kamryn didn't like the moon cake at all. (great idea Megan - check out what Megan did for her daughter's class!)

It's so nice that Helen mixes things up during class. We all get up and exercise and count in Chinese while we are doing that. She sings songs with the girls and lets them dance around. She offers a snack and makes them ask in Chinese, "May I please have 3 pieces of cracker." Then she'll count out the crackers in Chinese. Of course thank you is said in Chinese then by the girls. This past week Helen gave the girls a Dora DVD in Chinese to borrow. Kamryn loves to watch it.

We were given a book and CD of the lessons too so we can practice at home. The songs are catchy, and we hear Kamryn singing the Chinese songs often. The boys will often ask me, "Is Kamryn speaking Chinese?" Good thing I am taking the class with her so that I know it is not just toddler babble. I am glad to tell the boys, "yes, she is."