Saturday, December 31, 2011

B's Ski Lesson {Sunday Snapshot}

B got three ski lessons for Christmas from his aunt and uncle.  So we took him up to White Pass today for his first lesson.  He did a pretty good job.  B is a natural at waterskiing, so I figured he would catch on to snowskiing quickly.

 I love the look of concentration on his face.
 He enjoyed himself quite a bit.

 Before he started his lesson he thought he might be able to do two lessons in one day.  After about an hour into his first lesson he decided that one lesson a day was enough.  Skiing is hard work!
 Cara played in the snow while B had his lesson.
 So many people take such beautiful pictures of where they live.  These are some of the beautiful views we get in Washington State.  This is Rimrock Lake:
 This is the Tieton River:
B had a good time.  We will take him back up to White Pass next Saturday for lesson number two.

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Guess who...?

Has grown over 4 inches in one year?  Cara! :)  Cara's Gotcha Day was 10/11/10, but we didn't start measuring her until right after Christmas last year.  We measure her on the wall in the laundry room.  It's not fancy, but it does the trick.  I haven't gotten her weight lately, but she hovers around 33 1/2 lbs.  Every time I turn around she's taller.  I can't wait for capri and short weather, because Cara is at the top end of a size 4 in length, but still a 3T in the waist!

I know this pic looks a little orange, but trust me, my laundry room isn't orange.  It's a light khaki color but the light fixture has an amber cast to it.  I had to take this picture with no flash to get the writing to show up, so the wall looks a little more orange than it actually is.

This is why she's getting so tall!  She eats like a trucker! :)  Tonight she had a hamburger patty with cheese, part of a tomato, and part of an avacado.  Then after she finished eating she wanted a bowl of pasta.  She eats several meals a day.

There's been a recent thread on the Shanghai SWI Yahoo group about the kids being really small there.  Cara wore a 2T when we got her and she was 3 yrs and 4 months.  She quickly grew into a 3T and now wears a solid 4T or 4.  She was in the 10% for height when we got her and 25% for weight.  She appeared well-fed when we got her, but did eat the entire family under the table for the entire time we were in China.  In June at her 4 year well child appointment she was in the 25% for both height and weight.  I'm not sure what percentile she's at now.
We keep telling her that we're going to put a brick on her head to keep her little.  She thinks that's pretty funny.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I'm not a good home decorator.  I want to be...but I'm just not.  My yard (the landscaped part) looks awesome.  I'm good at that, but interior "making things cute" is not my strength.  I aspire to be better in 2012.  So I'm starting now. 

When we built, we put a towel bar in the kids bathroom.  The bar barely holds anything and falls constantly.  I knocked it down again tonight, in fact, while taking the pics of A and B.  I'm scared it's going to crack the tile, so it's coming down.  My plan is to buy 3 hooks in the same style as the bar so the kids can just hang their towels on hooks.  I bought 3 frames today and plan to frame these 3 photos; one above each hook.  That should "pretty up" the bare wall and get rid of the uncooperative towel bar.

I took this picture of Cara last week.  It inspired the idea for the black and white framed photos above the hooks.

I took this one of A after she finished her shower this evening.  I think it kind of looks like a sketch drawing.  All I did was convert it to black and white.

B was the hardest to photograph.  I had to do his shots twice because he wasn't happy with the first ones.  This one he tolerates.  I think it's cool.

I hope this idea turns out as good in reality as it does in my imagination.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Morning {Sunday Snapshot}

One of the many things I love about having two teenagers and a pre-schooler that loves her sleep is the fact that we don't get up at dawn on Christmas morning anymore.  More like 8:30.  A much better time, in my opinion.  They wait patiently for Mom to get out the camera and Dad to get out the flip video camera.

Cara can barely contain herself as she waits to open her present from Santa.

Yay!  It's the bitty baby she asked for!  And she named her Ao Huan (her Chinese name).

And B got the laptop he wanted.  A is totally jealous.  She had to wait until she was almost 17 to get hers and B got his at 14.

A got gray Bailey Button Uggs and Sirius sattelite radio for her car.

The action shot of Cara tossing paper.  Last year she unwrapped by carefully tearing open the seams at the tape, taking care to not leave one scrap of wrapping paper on the gift.  Yeah.  She over that now.

B got the book Warhorse.  Let's hope he actually reads it.

And A got a dress coat that she already knew she was getting.  She picked it out during her birthday shopping trip a couple of weeks ago when we went to Seattle for Cara's doctor appointment.
I think all of us had a really nice Christmas.  I hope you did, too!

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Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa's house

Here are Cara and B posing in front of the Christmas tree before we left for mass.  A was still primping in the bathroom. ;)  I LOVE this picture of the two of them.

After mass we went over to Grandma and Grandpa's house to open presents with the cousins.  I got 8 out of 10 cousins in this shot.  Baby J is too little and T was refusing to have his picture taken.
These two love posing for the camera.  I'm happy to oblige them since they're so stinkin' cute!

And here is baby J!  Born on 12/21/11; just in time for Christmas.  He will get his own post later.
The living room looked like a tornado hit it about 5 minutes after these pictures were taken.  The kids loved everything they received and had a great time playing together.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Someone's excited for Christmas

Last year for Christmas Cara had only been home 2 months.  She wasn't quite sure about what was going on.  Every time she was given a present she would say, "Mine?  Ao Huan?"  She was so shocked and surprised.

Ths year she is in the full swing of things.  Last night she wanted her picture taken in front of the tree in her Fa la la shirt.

She took a couple of pics with her daddy, but her eyes were closed in half of them.  She rolled her eyes when daddy gave her a kiss. :)

Being goofy with daddy.
Today we will start cooking for Christmas Eve dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  We'll go to church, eat dinner, and open presents over there.

Tonight, Santa comes!  I have a VERY excited 4 year old waiting patiently; or as patiently as any 4 year old can wait.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cara's Christmas Program

Cara's Christmas program at preschool was yesterday morning.  The kids walked over to the elementary school to sing their songs.  Cara was excited to see us there to watch her sing.  She waved several times when she saw us, but stayed with her class like she was supposed to.

She was excited to sing.  I love how her little dimples show in this picture.

Excitement soon gave way to nervousness once the program started.  The kids were singing Jingle Bells in this picture and were supposed to be shaking the bells on their wrists as they sang.  Cara sang, but didn't shake her bells.  I asked her later why she didn't shake her bells.  She said she was afraid.

Once she got comfortable she started shaking her bells!
The kids sang 4 songs and then went home with their families.

Santa had come to the classroom earlier and brought each child a present.  The girls got Princess Tiana Barbies.  I asked Cara what the boys got and she replied, "Nun chucks."  I was a little surprised.  I was thinking, "Who gives preschoolers weapons for Christmas?"  So I asked Cara, "What do they do with Nun chucks?"  She said, "They drive in the dirt."  DUMP TRUCKS!  Dump trucks makes way more sense for a present for preschool boys. ;)  Remember, she's still learning English. :) 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Rub A Dub Dub

No one likes the tub as much as Cara.  Part of her Christmas present from Aunt P was Dora and Boots scrubbers and body wash.  Pretty exciting stuff.  She was very excited to take a bath and try out her new presents.  I was anxious to practice with my new lens, so I followed her into the bathroom with my camera.

She loves to lay back in the bubbles and close her eyes...but she doesn't like water in her ears and needs me to get them completely dry with Q-tips after her bath.  I don't quite understand it..

 Now that it's close to Christmas time, she likes to make a bubble beard and pretend she's Santa.  I think she missed on this one! ;)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Early Christmas in Spokane {Sunday Snapshot}

We spent the weekend in Spokane to celebrate Christmas early with J's side of the family.  It was a good time and I think everyone was really excited about their presents.  After unwrapping, the kids decided to play Wii.  Most of the time, A and B never let Cara play; they just hand her a remote and let her think she's playing.  This time, they really let her play.  In these frames, she's playing Wii boxing against her brother.  Pictures are blurry because I got a new lens this morning and these were some of my first shots with it.  I definately need more practice.

Here is Cara's face as she knocks her brother down:

Oh no, what's happening...

 Something has gone terribly wrong...


Cara gets knocked out! :)

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Monday, December 12, 2011

The Nutcracker

My niece L auditioned for and got 2 parts in the Nutcracker this year.  So of course, we were thrilled to go watch her dance.  The Capitol Theater in Yakima is very nice and the kids really like to go see shows there.  This February we will go see the Shanghai acrobat show and we already have front row seats! :)

We went all got dressed up and went to dinner before the show.  Here are the kids posing before we left.  There was no photography permitted at all during the show, so these are the only pics I have from the night.

My beautiful girls!

 Cara got to wear MAC lipgloss for the occasion.  She was so excited.
I wish I could say all three of my children were captivated by the Nutcracker.  Sadly, that is not the case.  I don't think I'll be able to drag B back.  He liked the fighting scene with the mice.  That's it.  I thought A would really like it since she is a pointe dancer and has danced since she was 5.  She's never been to see the Nutcracker (I know, bad mom).  I think she thought it was OK.  Cara, however, was practically hanging over the balcony.  Three of the principal dancers were Japanese, so she kept saying, "The princess (Clara) is Chinese!"  I wasn't going to correct her. ;)  She loved it!  Cara says she's going to audition next year.  We'll see.  Not sure they take 5-year-old ballerinas.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Visit to Santa Claus {Sunday Snapshot}

We took the kids to see Santa during our weekend trip to Seattle.  Cara has never sat on Santa's lap before, so we have been prepping her for the experience since Thanksgiving.  The night before this visit we were at Bellevue Square and the Nordstrom Santa was walking around near the children's shoe department.  He gave a little wave to Cara.  She freaked out, started to cry, and scrambled up into her Daddy's arms as fast as she possibly could.  My immediate thought was, great, she's never going to sit on Santa's lap.  But Daddy took her a little closer to Santa, he had her watch a few other kids sit on Santa's lap, and soon Cara was waving to Santa Claus.

The next morning we put on Cara's "visit to Santa Claus" dress and walked to the downtown Nordstrom to visit Santa.  The system there works pretty slick.  You leave your name and phone number and they call you when it's your turn to visit Santa.  This way kids don't have to stand in line for hours and get crabby before their visit.

Cara was still a little shy, but she told Santa her name.

Santa told her he wanted to see how high she could jump, so hopping up on Santa's lap was no big thing.  Sneaky Santa! ;)
My pics with the 3 kids and Santa weren't that great.  The professional photographer was off to my left, so all of their eyes are looking toward the photographer.  We should get our photo mailed from him some time this week.

In this picture, Cara was telling Santa she wanted a Bitty Baby for Christmas.

By the end of the visit, Cara even gave Santa a hug!  I was surprised.  Less than 24 hours earlier I wasn't even sure we would be able to pull this off.

After visiting Santa, Cara wanted to ride the carousel downtown.  Yes, that's a purple bruise over her left eye.  She dove to steal a chair from her sister and smacked her head on a table while I was shopping at Ann Taylor.  Why do these things always happen before pictures?

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