Wednesday, September 29, 2010

14 Years

Emily is 14 today! SO hard to believe that my baby is growing up. I am so blessed to be called "mom" by this sweet girl.
Emily wasn't really sure she wanted to have a party, but decided on going bowling at the last minute on Saturday. I was happy that so many of her friends could make it on such short notice. She basically sent a text telling them about her party. :-)
Emily requested a cake with zebra stripes from our friend Dylan. He came through with flying spots and stripes! If anyone in our area needs a cake, let me know. The King of Cakes is in business and does a great job...did I mention he's only 16 years old!


Field Trip

Claire's class took a field trip to a local old mansion. By today's standards it's probably not considered a huge place, but back in the "old days" it was quite grand. We love the place because we know that Randy's grandma lived there for a short while when her family first moved to this area. I'm not sure how impressed the kiddos are with the mansion and all of it's (ghost) stories, but the 4th graders always seem to look forward to their visit each year.
During the visit, the kids are taught all about the lifestyle of long ago...the food, the games, the homes, the people. One of the things the kids end the day with is an old-fashioned apple bob. Some of the kids plunge their head to the bottom of the barrel; some tentatively pluck at a stem. Claire was sort of in-between. She tried first for a stem, then went to the side for a big bite. Max got in on the apple fun too, but he didn't have to bob for it. :-)
Not the mansion...just a little store behind it.

Hog Wild For God

Our church has a Stewardship Banquet every few years, and it's always a different theme. This year's theme was "Hog Wild For God" since we happen to live in Razorback country! One of our Sunday School teachers is a former Arkansas Razorback cheerleader, so he got the current junior high cheerleaders together to perform a routine (to the AR fight song of course!). Randy sang a couple of songs as part of the entertainment. The fellowship hall was decked out in razorback red, and the church members came dressed in their razorback attire. It was such a fun evening!

Our cheerleaders

Even Max got in on the act!

Allyson's "Gotcha Day" #11

Two gotcha days in a row...whew! Allyson's gotcha day was the weekend following Claire's, so we've had our fair share of partying lately! lol
We were the host family for the Hubei girls this year. We were so blessed that all 5 families were able to attend this year, and were thrilled that everyone was healthy! (Last year, one of the dads in our group was hospitalized due to a stroke. Happy to report that he is doing great!)

Allyson just wanted to hang out with her travel group friends, so we didn't plan many activities. The kids swam in the pool, while the parents visited inside (with view of the pool of course). We did take the kids for a short outing for some neon bowling though, before our traditional Chinese dinner. It was such a nice, relaxing weekend!

Our 5 Hubei Beauties...our blessing Miss Allyson in the middle

Swimmin' and bowlin'

Allyson requested a fortune cookie cake. Our friend Dylan did a great job!
(he's only 16 years old)

Claire's "Gotcha Day" #8

We recently celebrated our sweet Claire's 8th "Gotcha Day"! We are so blessed to call this child our daughter!
This year's gotcha day weekend was hosted by Michelle D.'s family in OK. We were so happy that all five NanPing families were able to attend this year! The party began on Friday evening with dinner, and continued on through breakfast on Sunday. There was lots of playing, lots of photos taken, and lots of fun had by all. The group also went to a pottery store where the kids all chose a figurine to paint. The 5 NanPing girls chose cute little puppy dogs...they did a great job on them! I decided to make a memory plate using each of the girls' thumbprints. (picture to come as soon as I pick my plate up this weekend!) Thanks to the D family for hosting our group this year!

The 5 NanPing girls and a couple of siblings

Even the big siblings got in on the action!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cross Country

Emily and Allyson are both on the school's cross-country team this year. During the team's first time-trial event (2 miles), both girls received medals for placing in the top ten! Way to run girls!

New Violin

When Allyson first began playing the violin in 6th grade, she had to start with a 1/2 size violin since she was so small. The other orchestra students all played full-sized violins. :-(
At the start of school this year, Allyson was THRILLED to have grown enough that she needed a new violin. Sooo, off to the music store we go to look at new musical instruments. After being measured, it was determined that she could graduate to a full-size instrument! We now have one very proud orchestra student! :-)

I didn't realize how small her first violin looked until seeing it next to the full-size unit.


A couple of newer pics of the kiddos. They weren't really in the mood for posing, but I convinced the kids to stay still long enough to take a few group photos. These aren't the greatest shots ever, but they'll end up in our scrapbooks at some point anyway. :-) Max is "THE" hardest child to get a good photo of...NOT a *poser* at all!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bring Home Kasidi

Dear Bloggie Readers,
If you have time, I would love it if you would hop on over to Connie's blog (I'll put the button on my sidebar). Connie's family is hosting a wonderful fundraiser to help bring home Kasidi Joy from China.

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