Monday, June 30, 2008

Silver Dollar City

Since we have season tickets, we took the kiddos to Silver Dollar City today. We got there early before the rides opened, but only had to wait a few minutes before being allowed in. Randy and the kids were able to walk right in to the first water ride...but they looked like a family of drowned rats afterwards. lol We then headed to several other water rides before getting in line for the magic show. While we waited in line, Randy and two of the girls made a quick run to a nearby ride, but they hadn't made it back by the time the doors opened to the theatre so Allyson and I had to go in and find seats. I was a bit nervous because the staff kept making announcements that there was to be "NO saving of seats!". Allyson and I were trying to save seats (w/o getting in trouble) for the rest of our gang, while trying to watch for Randy and the girls. :-) We had great 2nd row center seats, and the people behind us noticed that we were looking for someone, so they offered to watch Allyson while I went to look for Randy. (I declined and just waited it out.)

After a short conversation with the people behind us, we found that they live in a town near us (where my dad and brother live now). When I told the lady that I had lived in that town for awhile and about my dad's quilt shop, she asked if I was J's sister. We were both surprised to find that she knows both my dad and bro - in fact, she goes to church with my bro. Small world.....

Re: the magic show.....I'm still amazed at how those girls squish their bodies in those boxes in order to make the tricks work (that *is* how the magic works right???? LOL).

We didn't spend as much time at S$C as we normally do, but it was still a good time.
We ALWAYS have to get a refill of the frozen lemonade for the ride home!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Weekend Activities

Still trying to keep the kiddos busy this summer. :-)

The local international families group met at the bowling alley this morning for a little fun group activity. Actually, it felt more like humiliation for some of the parents (us in particular) since our bowling skills are rusty. ha ha

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I guess it was good to show the kids we could laugh at ourselves when we sent a lovely gutter ball (or two or twelve!) down the lane. LOL I admit there were times I secretly wished those little rails would pop up for me like they did for the kids. ;-) Everyone had a good time, and we were able to meet several new adoptive families that we hadn't met at previous socials.

We met friends Chun and Ravi for dinner at Lin's Garden. It was good to see them again (due to work schedules, we don't get to see them as often as we would like). Chun gave the girls lots of cute Beijing Olympics stickers, keychains, pens, etc., as well as a red poster for their bedroom doors.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Braces Be Gone!!

Today was a BIG day for Emily. She has been counting down to this day for a long time. Today her braces were removed!! Emily has worn braces for 22 months, and she was so excited about having them removed.

This is Emily on the day her braces were put on in 2006:
Once her braces were removed, the tech installed a permanent retainer on her lower teeth, and made a mold for her top retainer (which will only be worn when sleeping). We'll pick up the top retainer next week.

The dental staff presented Emily with balloons and a large cup filled with sticky, chewy candy (the kind that was on the "no-no" list during braces). Emily also decided to spend all of her nickels (wooden tokens) today. She has been saving these little tokens since her braces were installed, but she had never spent any, so today was the day. She "bought" a CD stereo, two $10 movie booklets, and a $10 Claire's gift card.

I love Emily's "post-braces" smile!! :-)

Little Monkeys

Just a cute pic of two of our little monkeys - taken at a birthday party earlier this week.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Terrific Tuesday

Our church has a summer program called Terrific Tuesdays, where the kids go on outings, have play dates, etc. On the first Tuesday, the girls went to a local lake for a picnic and hike. Today, the group went to a local play center, where they did bumper boats and mini golf (with a picnic lunch in between). I went along to take a few photos, and ended up staying the entire time (I have just a little sunburn). :-) We're all looking forward to the next outing -- climbing a rock wall!!

Vacation Bible School

Our church had VBS last week....this year's theme was "Outrigger Island". The kids really enjoyed the theme because they were able to dress Hawaiian style. Randy and I worked in crafts. where we helped the kids make flower leis, paper plate turtles, coffee filter jellyfish, pinwheels, and friendship bracelets. The kids brought in pennies for a mission trip. The boys and girls competed to see who could bring in the most pennies...the grand total was well over 500 pounds of pennies (which was over $900 worth). The boys lagged behind in penny count all week until the final day of VBS, when they brought in over 200 pounds to win. All of the money donated will be used for an upcoming mission trip to the Ukraine in August.
On Sunday, we topped off the week of VBS with a carnival. We had lots of free food and games, and it was a fun way to end the week.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Father's Day

A dad with his three girls...nothing sweeter. :-) I am so thankful for Randy. He is a great husband and father. He works hard all day to provide for his family, but still takes time to play with the kids when he comes home. It helps that he's still a kid at heart, and loves to have fun.

For Father's Day, we collectively bought Randy a small tv for his office last month...but of course we needed to give him something else on the actual day. He's hard to buy for, so we asked him to pick out a few things, and this is what he came up with. Claire gave him some new house shoes, Ally gave him a bunch of supplies to clean the car, and Emily gave him a new Wii game. After church on Sunday, he chose Lin's Garden for lunch...and then Red Lobster as a bonus yesterday. Spoiled rotten!! LOL

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Tooth and A Treat

A pic of C with her new smile (minus the tooth pulled by the anesthesiologist). Love those toothless kid smiles! '-)

We came home today to find a sweet treat at our front door. Some good friends sent C a candy/cookie bouquet and a 'get well' balloon. C was SO excited and immediately called our friends to say thank you.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Eye Surgery 101

With all of the surgeries our family has experienced in the last year, I almost feel like we could teach a class in surgery...not a good thing!

Claire joined the ranks of patients this week by having surgery on her eyes. We've been patching and trying to encourage a very lazy eye to cooperate for the last year or so. Her eye muscle was just too strong though, so we finally gave in to surgery.

Claire was pretty scared the night before, so we prayed together. Our prayers were answered because she was so brave on surgery day. When they called her name, Claire marched into the pre-op area (armed with her polar bear Blizzard, and her blankie). She charmed the OR staff - especially the anesthesiologist. The nurse gave Claire a little stuffed dolphin, which was quickly given the name of Flippy (both stuffed animals accompanied Claire into the OR).

The anesthesiologist asked us several questions prior to question being about any loose teeth he needed to be aware of. Claire showed him her very loose, front tooth. The man just smiled knowingly and said that the tooth might come out when he removed the air tube.

After the surgery, we were taken to the recovery room to wait for Claire. The anesthesiologist paid us a post-op visit, and handed me a small lidded cup. Yes was the tooth! He pulled it while Claire was sweet!! The tooth fairy was pretty generous since the tooth came out during surgery. '-)

Kung Fu Panda

At the advice of friends and an online adoption group, we took the girls to see "Kung Fu Panda" early this week. It was a cute movie, and we all enjoyed it. In the photo, Claire and Ally are practicing their kung fu skills in front of the movie sign.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Concerts and a New Car

This week has been a whirlwind of activities! This is shareholder's week at dh's company, so there are lots of people in town for that. One of the little perks we get as employees is being able to attend a free concert or two during the week.

Tuesday night, the entertainment was Lifehouse and Taylor Swift. The girls really wanted to watch Taylor perform, so we braved the crowds and long lines. The wait was worth it though, as both Taylor and Lifehouse put on a great show. We were running late and didn't have time to stop at the ATM (& we only had $13 cash), but the company came through in another way for us. All of the food at the concession stands was $1, so we were able to feed the whole family with hot dogs and sodas (yes, very healthy stuff! LOL).
The Wednesday night concerts were by the American Rejects (know nothing about them), and Journey. I would have loved to have seen Journey, but we just didn't have the time to go (nor the energy).
On Thursday night, the performers were Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban. Our girls LOVE Carrie, so once again we agreed to brave the crowds...and crowds there were! Since the concerts are free, there were tons of people wanting in (the public can get in after all of the employees). We had to pass through security and show an employee badge before entering...I thought we would be crushed before we made it through. This evening's concert was outdoors in the Razorback stadium, so it wasn't quite as comfortable as the previous night (which was held indoors at Bud Walton Arena). We enjoyed Carrie's performance, but were really impressed with Keith Urban. Neither dh nor I were big fans previously, but we both admitted he put on a great show (and he can really play the guitar). He even climbed into the audience and gave his guitar to a fan.

Our final bit of news for this week is that we bought a new auto. Our girls are SO's almost a little embarrassing! :-) We've been driving one of our cars since '94 and the other since '00. We just don't like having a car payment, so we always try to just wait until we can save enough to buy a vehicle outright. I really dislike the color of our new car, but this was the only one we could find within a 120 mile radius that had the features we wanted. Claire suggested that maybe we could paint it with a can of spray paint! lol Ummm, that's ok dear, mom will put up with it the way it is. :-)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Whew! So busy that I haven't had time to post. We've been busy with end of the year school activities and getting prepared for another round of surgery.

Randy's eye surgery (vitrectomy) was Friday. We had to leave for the hospital at 4:30 a.m., so mom came to wake the kids up and get them off to school. I took along a few scrapbook supplies, thinking I could keep myself entertained in the waiting room. Didn't work out as I had planned. I ended up just sitting there, people watching, and talking to a few other "loners" (note to time bring along a companion for the waiting room!). After being there for 5-1/2 hours, the doctor came out, plopped down into a chair next to me and began drawing a picture of Randy's eye. (This doctor always brings along his colored pencils and is always drawing.) We are thankful that the surgery went well, and the doctor thinks the Randy's retina will flatten back down with time.

Monday was our last day of school...yippee!!!!!! We are SO proud of the girls. Em made the A honor roll again. Unfortunately, we missed the awards ceremony as we were at the hospital. Ally's award ceremony was in the afternoon, so I was able to make it there in time for that. She made the A/B honor roll (was only 2 points from all A's). I know she worked hard for those grades, so we're very happy for her. Ally also received a "president's award". She cracked us up though when she rushed home to tell daddy that her certificate was signed by George Washington!!! (Instead, it was George W. Bush) Claire made all A's...but they didn't have any type of program for her grade. She was disappointed, and told us that we shouldn't have made her work so hard since it wasn't "necessary" (meaning since she didn't get an award). :-)

In other school news, Emily was nominated by all four of her core teachers to participate in pre-AP classes for next year....way to go Emily!!!

Emily also tried out for next year's band. The band director told the students that there are only 5 flute chairs, but there seems to be at least 50 kids who want to play flute so he HIGHLY suggested they play a different instrument. That was challenge enough for Emily, so she immediately signed up for flute tryouts. The director required a written report from the students stating why they wanted to play the flute, and what their approach to practicing would be. On tryout day, Emily blew into the flute, but didn't make a sound....disappointed, she returned to her classroom thinking she'd play the clarinet instead. When the announcement was made over the intercom, she received the good news that she had nabbed one of the 5 flute seats! WOOHOO kiddo!!

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