Wednesday, July 30, 2008

School Supplies!!

On Monday, we went on a very important shopping trip....for school supplies!! The girls were SO excited! They each grabbed a small basket so they could keep their supplies separated (would hate for E's glue to touch C's pencils ya know!). I brought along the most important of supplies...the camera! :-)

We spent less than $100 for supplies this year, however, we still need to buy backpacks and tote bags. I'm sure there will be a few additional supplies requested by the teachers as well.

Earthquakes, Movies and More

Just a quick catch-up....

Randy was in Asia last week, visiting Japan and China. He experienced his first (and hopefully last) earthquake while in Japan. The epicenter was 250 miles away, but he was awakened by the shaking. Pretty scary since he was on the 29th floor of the hotel. Randy also celebrated his birthday while in China. The staff surprised him with a nice birthday cake.

We've been keeping busy. Before leaving for Asia, Randy and I took the kids to see "Journey to the Center of the Earth". The movie was shown in 3-D and the girls thought it was fun....there was even a few screams as something appeared to jump through the screen. (Won't tell what *it* was in case you haven't watched it yet.)

The girls also watched the Hannah Montana 3-D concert/movie. Love the excitement shown on their faces in the photo! LOL
While Em was away at camp, Claire had a friend over to play. They became very quiet and I went in search of their "up to no good"-ness. I found them sitting in the kitchen floor playing with clay, so all was well.
The girls were invited to a "Bead-It!" birthday party, where they each made a bracelet. I loved the bead shop and hope to take the girls there for a mom/daughter date soon. Just what I need...another craft addiction! LOL

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What's in a Name?

I guess we're pretty boring when it comes to naming children. When we chose the name for our oldest daughter, it wasn't it tops the list. I'm ok with that because I know my child won't be ridiculed because of their unusual name - take "Apple" for example. We just wanted a name that would suit our child as an adult...because we all know they grow up quickly!
I'm writing this post because I just read an article where a couple named their daughter "Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii". Unbelievable! Thankfully, a judge has ordered a name change for little Talula. Here's the link to the story.

China Scrapbooks

For anyone who has China-related events to scrapbook, here's a site you might want to check out.
The items offered are FREE downloads and are great for digital scrapbooking. I LOVE the overlays on this post. I suppose one could use these items for traditional paper scrapbooking as well by simply printing onto cardstock.
Posted with permission from the blog owner/creator.

Let's Bake!

While big sis is away at camp, I'm working to keep the littles entertained indoors as much as possible (baby, it HOT outside!). We don't have as many activities this week, so staying in sounds good to me. I had a craving for chocolate one evening, and the girls were "bored", so I put them to work making cookies. OK, OK, so they're store-bought...but they're still toll house cookies!! ;-)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sewing Lessons

Since big sister made a quilt last year, Allyson decided she wanted to make one too. I promised to teach her how to sew during the summer break....problem is that we've been so busy and on the go. Things have finally slowed down a bit for us, so yesterday was the day! Before she can actually start sewing her quilt, Allyson has to learn to use the sewing machine. Yes, she is "sewing" on paper! :-) I wanted her to get the feel of the machine first, so I had her practice with paper. I also thought it best if we worked on something like this while she learned how hard (or in her case NOT too hard) to press on the foot pedal. ((Hope she doesn't drive a car as fast as she wants to drive the machine!!))
It took several sheets of paper before Allyson was able to sew a relatively straight line, but I think she's ready to move on. Today, we'll practice with some cheap fabric pieces. More to come....

Off to Camp...

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My dear Emily left Monday for her first church camp. She was SO excited that she had packed her clothing 2 weeks before! I finally had to tell her to unpack everything so it wouldn't be extremely wrinkled. :-)
We also had an issue with the luggage. Emily wanted to take the tiniest piece of luggage in the house, but the problem was that she had to take towels and bedding, not to mention her clothing. I *finally* convinced her to take a little larger piece of luggage, plus a small tote bag. What a funny kid she is!

We had doubts as to whether Em would be able to go to camp. Over the weekend, she got several splinters in her foot from a wooden pallet in a store. I removed all of the splinters I could see, but Em still complained of soreness. Within 24 hours her foot was swollen and had pus coming out (ewww). This pic was taken the first became much more swollen later! I tried and tried to remove the final splinter (which looks more like a wood chip), but couldn't. Since she was going to camp on Monday, we took her to the convenient care clinic on Sunday...hoping the doctor could remove the splinter. Instead, Emily was given antibiotics and a tetanus shot. The doctor thought it was best to just let it "fester" and come out on its own. I sure hope he was right!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Splishing and Splashing!

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Finally had time to get out the water slide this week. The girls really enjoyed it. We'll probably leave it up for awhile (one less patch of grass to mow! ha ha).

Monday, July 14, 2008

Berries and Bug Bites

After we returned home from China camp, we had to go pick up our dog from the sitter. Our dog sitter happens to be my mom, and mom just happens to live WAY out in the country in the middle of nowhere. Really...down a little dirt road, out in the woods, twisting, curving, squeeze through the trees and bushes, in the middle of nowhere. Mom likes it that's quiet and she knows that when someone comes down that little dirt road, they're more than likely family or really good friends. No door to door salesmen out there.

Well, on Saturday evening on our way down that little dirt road, I spotted a blackberry bush, then another, and another. All of a sudden a nice blackberry cobbler popped into my head and I stopped the van. We scoured the van for something to put our little berry treasures in...all we could find was an empty egg carton that we had brought along to return to mom (her hens supply us with fresh eggs). OK, so we wouldn't look like professional berry pickers using an egg carton, but we were out in the middle of nowhere right? Soooo, we got to work on filling our carton. I knew there were gazillions of little ticks and chiggers waiting in the brush, so I opted to stand at the side of the road and pick the berries I could reach from there. No little buggers for me thank you. Randy was the brave one...he walked off into the bushes and weeds to get the berries I couldn't reach from the road. We filled our carton and then headed to mom's, where we quickly washed our legs off. Upon arriving home, we also took a shower to make sure no bugs had come home with us.
Fast forward to Sunday and Monday....*I* am covered with HUNDREDS of chigger bites!!! I'm the one who stood in the road to AVOID getting bites. I am absolutely miserable with the itchiness. Randy...the brave one who walked in among the home of the little critters got NOTHING...NADA...ZILCH!! What's up with this?! It seems the bugs don't like diabetics he says. :-(

China Camp

Our family attended Dillon International's annual China Heritage Camp last week. For 3 days, the girls were immersed in learning about Chinese language, cooking, culture and crafts. I think the girls mostly enjoyed meeting up with friends and travel-mates. :-) It's a weekend they look forward to for months.

I took candid photos during the weekend of so many cute faces...but I can't post them here since I don't have permission from all of the parents. We all had a GREAT time. I wish we were closer because it would be so fun to help more with the camp planning.

Day one of camp also happened to be Allyson's actual birthday. We had promised to take her out for a birthday dinner, but we were pleasantly surprised that all of our first China travel group wanted to join us. After striking out at 2 restaurants (who couldn't seat our large group), we ended up at the Elephant Bar Restaurant. We had a wonderful dinner, and then the waitress surprised Ally with a strawberry shortcake and candle.

When the weekend was over, we drove home minus one child. Emily joined one of her travel-mates on a short trip to Branson and Silver Dollar City. I am so thankful that these girls are such good friends. We have been so blessed to have traveled with such wonderful people.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A "Terrific" Day of Skating

This week's Terrific Tuesday activity for our church group was roller skating. They had originally scheduled rock wall climbing, but the group had grown so large (a good thing!), that we had to change to an activity that would accommodate more kids.

The girls had a really good time. With encouragement, Allyson and Claire finally let go of the hand rail and moved to the center of the floor. They were both skating pretty well before our time was up. Emily, already a good skater, even helped little sis. ;-)


Allyson was so excited about receiving a gift card for the Build-A-Bear store. I took her to the store this week so she could choose her gifts. She chose to make a panda bear, which she promptly named "Bamboo". She still had money to spend, so she carefully shopped the clothing selection. Here is a happy girl with a new friend and some pretty outfits. :-)

How I wish *I* had been the person to dream up a concept of a store like this!!

"Almost" a Birthday Party

Our little Allyson will be 10 years old...tomorrow! We knew we couldn't have a party on the actual date since that is the first day of China we offered her either the weekend before or after for her party. Allyson chose the weekend before and said she wanted to "swim and invite only ONE person". Hmmmm. Being such creative parents (NOT!), we just rented a hotel room so she could have both the swimming and a sleepover.

The pool was unusually cold for an indoor pool, and the echo in the room (from other rowdy hotel guests) was almost unbearable....but the kids still swam for awhile. We then returned to the room where the kids played Twister while dh went to pick up pizzas for dinner. After pizza, we munched on a yummy chocolate chip cookie "cake" and opened gifts. Allyson was thrilled with her gifts of jewelry, 2 build-a-bear gift cards, a Justice gift card, Nintendo DS game and a Carrie Underwood CD.
I packed a couple of extra activities for the kids, just to make sure they weren't bored (& I was so glad I thought ahead). We originally thought they would just want to swim more before the party ended, but they decided the pool was just too cold. Instead, they decorated tote bags and did makeovers (with closed you can imagine what those makeup jobs looked like!).

Sunday, July 6, 2008

July 4th Fun

I hope everyone had a great holiday! We went to Kim and Robert's (the Crowderfour) for swimming and a cookout. Kim (sil) encouraged Claire to take off her floaties and try swimming on her own. It only took a few minutes before Claire got the hang of things and was swimming back and forth between Randy and Kim.

Later in the evening, we went to watch the town fireworks show...and by the looks of my legs, I fed the mosquitoes a little too!! lol

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