Saturday, July 31, 2010

Youth Camp

Emily returned on Friday from church youth camp. In her words, camp week was "amazing" and "something we'll never forget". She took over 100 photos (good girl...trained her right!), and I'm posting some here. We heard that Chris Tomlin was performing during the evening worship services at camp, so we decided to surprise Emily with...our family! lol We drove to Branson on Thursday and first did a bit of shopping at the outlet mall. We hit a few good sales and made quite a haul for back-to-school. Randy had to practically drag me out of the Coach store (but in my defense, they *did* have a 20% off sale! LOL). Yeah, I know that isn't much of a discount in that store so I ended up being practical, put the purses down and walked out empty handed. :-) In the evening, I dropped Randy and Allyson off near the convention center so they could attend the camp worship service. The other two kiddos and I headed out for dinner and then back to the hotel and just vegged for awhile (with blizzards from DQ!). On Friday, we hit a couple more stores and then enjoyed a quick lunch @ Red Lobster before heading home (in time to meet the youth group buses). It was a quickie trip, but was still nice to get away for awhile.

The girls got matching airbrush tattoos! :-)

One way to remember the bible verses

Tie Dye

Here's the pic of the kids and their tie-dyed shirts. We were all pleasantly surprised that they turned out so well. This was such a fun and easy project, and we plan to make more shirts soon using other techniques.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Swim Parties R Us

Two more swim parties last week! Emily hosted five friends from school on Tuesday. The girls all seemed to have a great time. I was again honored to be able to photograph them (anyone with teenagers knows they aren't always willing subjects). ;-) When I began uploading pics, I had more than 50 pictures of them! Whew! I'm only posting a couple here though. ;-)


On Thursday, we had several girls from the church youth group over, as well as a younger sibling. The youth group is getting ready for camp, so the girls decided to make matching tie-dye shirts. Having never done tie-dye before, I watched a YouTube video and we then set out to make swirly shirts. I think they all turned out great, and the girls will look cute in them! (photos to come later since Emily has them on her camera).

Hard work calls for more swimming, so that's where everyone ended up while they waited for the dye to "set".

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Max's Gotcha Gifts

Just realized I missed posting the photo of Max and his gotcha day gifts on an earlier post.

One of the other moms made a super cute clipboard with a photo of the travel group. I made an ABC album modeled after one I saw on eBay, but with my own twist on it. I gave a set of the ABC transparencies to the other families so they can make a book for their kiddos. Max also received a couple of cute t-shirts, some fun toys, and an Asian ornament.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Allyson's 12th Birthday!

Our sweet Allyson celebrated her 12th birthday last week. As usual, her birthday fell during China Camp so we allowed her to choose a restaurant for a birthday dinner after camp. Her choice: The Cheesecake Factory. Smart girl. :-) She ordered pasta (no surprise), and a snickers cheesecake. Yummy!

Allyson also had a swim birthday party at home the day before we left for camp, and invited a few friends over. She received some really nice gifts from her friends, but the one thing she was truly hoping for came from mom and dad...a cell phone!! She also received a tiger phone case that she wanted. Apparently, she was the last child in the area to have a cell phone (or at least that is what has been reported). LOL

We ordered a flip-flop cake from a friend at church, but things don't always go as planned. Just hours before the party, we received a call stating that the friend was on his way to the ER with a collapsed lung. (We are happy to report that he is better now!)
The party must go on, so I headed to Wal-Mart and picked up a pre-decorated cake. It was cute and "girly" and tasted good. Claire was sad that Allyson didn't get the cake she wanted, so she begged to put some trick candles on the cake...sweet sister! lol I was so proud of Allyson for having a great attitude about the whole situation. She later told us it was "the best birthday ever"! :-)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Discovery Days & China Camp 2010

It's July, so that means it's time for camp! Our family has been attending China camp since 1998 when Emily was around 18 months old. It's always great to see our travel group families at camp, as well as meeting new families...and sometimes even putting faces to the people we've "met" on the internet. :-)

Since Emily is now a teenager, she attended Dillon International's "Discovery Days" camp this year. She was SO excited about attending since her China orphanage-mates were attending also. Emily had a wonderful time, made lots of new friends, and is already looking forward to attending next year.

Emily and her travel group buddies

Emily climbing the pole to get to the zip was way up there, but fun!


As soon as Discovery Days ended, Emily headed straight to China Camp for her counselor training. Again, more great photos with her travel group. :-)

Emily wasn't the only one having fun at camp though!

Dragon dance during opening ceremonies

Claire and Allyson with camp friends/travel buddies

Some of Claire's art from camp

And last, it looks like Max found a cute hat at the camp store! :-)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Max's Gotcha Day #1

In June, we celebrated our one year anniversary with Mr. Max. So much to say about the last year with this little guy, but WAY more than I have time to write now. Who knows, maybe someday I'll have time to write a book about it! lol It has been quite an adjustment for our entire family, but I think we're on the downhill slide now....a very good thing. :-)

We were so fortunate to be able to meet with 4 of the 5 other families in our '09 travel group to celebrate "gotcha day" this year. We missed the "B" family, and sincerely hope they will be able to make the event next year!

The "W" family hosted our group in KS this year. A few of the weekend events included: an interactive animal park, eating Chinese, swimming, a yummy dinner (prepared by the host family), and a gift exchange. Max also has a personal souvenir from the weekend...a massive scrape (now a scar) on the backside of his knee from falling off a concrete block step. :-)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Summer Fun

I have a new computer now, so I'm gonna do my best to catch up on the ol' bloggie! I'm sure there are lots of our activities I've forgotten, so this will be a "hit and miss" kind of post. :-) Away we go!

The kiddos attended a Terrific Tuesday skating event sponsored by our church. This was the first TT of the summer and they had a great time. Max tried to take giant steps with his skates and fell quite a few times...he only cried once when he fell in front of a group of moms and bruised his...ummm ego. :-)

We've done lots of swimming this summer and can't seem to resist new pool toys. We found a cute inflatable shark and the kids had to try it out immediately. They found that this is one shark they shouldn't mess with as it dumps them every time! lol

The girls have had quite a few friends over for swim parties this summer. They love jumping in near the pool house, and even request that I take photos of their antics (& I'm always happy to oblige). :-)
Emily and a couple of her school friends:

We also hosted a cookout and swim party for our church youth choir:

SO thankful for such a great group of kids!

And finally, just some swimming fun pics...

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