Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bug Hunting

At 7:30 this morning, Katherine decided that it was time for she and Rachel to go on a bug hunt. Never mind that it was 29 degrees out and they were still in their pajamas. Kate got a new bug jar in school yesterday and she was just dying to try it out. So, the girls pulled on coats and snow boots (shoes don't fit over footie pajamas) and clomped out to the backyard. They took the bug jar, a magnifying glass, and a flashlight "just in case". I watched from the window as they roamed the yard poking at dead plants and digging holes in the flower beds with toy shovels. Rachel leaned a bit too far on the sand toy box and fell in head first, so Kate puled her out. They had a ball! 45 minutes later they finally came in cold, bugless, and more than a little grubby but grinning from ear to ear. Who says you can't hunt bugs in February?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Worms











After what seems like years of cold, gray winter we finally had a nice day. Okay, it was only 50 degrees, but that's warmer than we've seen in quite a while AND it was sunny! There was at least a glimpse of spring's coming. I even have crocuses blooming!




Katherine's kindergarten class has been talking about spring and plants and bugs. Her teacher brought in worms for the kids to play with. Kate was scared at first (and no, I have no idea where her fear of creepy crawlies comes from, because I LIKE bugs and worms), but got over her initial fear and was quite enthusiastic about worms. The worms visited my classroom today, and became improvised bracelets, rings, and in one case, earrings. We brought the surviving worms home and introduced them to Rachel. Rachel was more than happy to handle them. After we played, we dug a hole in the garden, tossed the worms in, and hoped for the best. Katherine wants to dig them up tomorrow to see how they're doing...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chinese New Year, one more time







We met this evening to celebrate the lunar new year with friends from our adoption agency. We have known some of these families since before Katherine came home and we always love getting together with them. It is always fun to be with other families who "get" adoption and all its quirks. We ate (Chinese, Korean, and American food), chatted, made crafts, and watched the kids run around.



Rachel greeted everyone there and ran around like she'd known people for years. She was totally fascinated by the host family's pet hamster and their dog.



Katherine got to see her good friend Amy again. Amy and Katherine are the same age and from the same orphanage. They lived together as little babies and then K. came home to us at 9 months. A year and a half later and half a world away, they were reunited as 2 year olds. They have loved seeing each other ever since. Amy's mom and I love watching them together and thinking of all the small miracles that have led them back to each other.



The girls and I wore our matching clothes tonight. I had a jacket made for me in Guangzhou. I looked through the bolts of silk in a tiny shop and chose a beautful red pattern with red and gold flowers in it. Later that day I walked into another store and found a darling outfit made of the same fabric in Rachel's size. I bought it. Two days after that I was digging through a pile of dresses in yet another shop when I spotted a dress Katherine's size in the same red silk. So, we have matching outfits and we all feel beautiful in them!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Chinese New Year, Kindergarten Style




I didn't have students today (one of my twice-monthly work days), so I volunteered to teach Katherine's class about Chinese New Year. We had so much fun! We read books about CNY, made "lucky money" red envelopes, tigers, and lanterns. We also looked at Chinese clothing, money, papercuts, lion puppets, and CNY decorations. We finished the afternoon off with a snack of oranges and noodles for good luck and long life. The kids were fascinated by it all. Katherine wore one of her Chinese outfits and was SO proud to show off her Chinese things and to share this holiday with her friends.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chinese New Year







Xin Nian Kuai Le! Happy New Year! Yup, Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year are the same day this year! Today is the first day of the Year of the Tiger. We celebrated last night with friends from our Families with Children from China group. We put on our silk finest and met at a Chinese restaurant to eat and chat and just enjoy being together. Katherine was SO excited about the party. She had a great time talking to other girls and directing a coloring activity. She also lost a tooth in the middle of the party! Rachel worked the crowd and charmed everyone. She is such a little social butterfly! There were 5 girls there from our town and they were happy to see each other. We don't get together often, but we should since they love being with each other. Katherine wanted to wear Chinese clothes again to church this morning, so we did.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Making Cookies











I got brave tonight and made sugar cookies with the girls. I did make it easier by working with only one girl at a time, though! It was Rachel's first experience with making cookies. She liked pressing out the cookies, although she was a bit over enthusiastic so we have lots of hearts with parts missing. Katherine has always loved making cookies and can pretty much do the whole process by herself. Now we have cookies for Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Making Valentines







The girls made some valentines this evening. They have cards ready for their school/daycare parties tomorrow, so these were just extras for their favorite people. Rachel loves standing on a chair and doing anything "big". Katherine just loves doing art projects. Rae was able to peel the backs off the stickers if I pulled up a tiny corner - she uses her little hand to hold the sticker down, peels the back off, presses the sticker onto her little hand or nubbins, and then uses her right hand to pull it off and stick it on the paper. We finished the evening up with a pot of tea - the girls' big request!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Terrible Twos







I have not posted much about Rachel lately, but she still keeps us hopping! Rae is relishing being two. Her favorite words are "no" and "mine". She is learning to throw temper tantrums (and spit and pull hair). She is in to EVERYTHING. She doesn't want to go to sleep. Ever. In other words, just very 2.



But she is also just incredibly cute. She imitates everything we do. (The folding her arms look is new today). She wants to be just like Katherine and is often very funny in her attempts to be "big". She is obssessed with books and has begged for her I Spy books so many times that no one will read them anymore. She can strip naked in about 30 seconds. She puts on her own shoes and socks repeatedly (she'll try on 4 or 5 pairs of shoes an evening). Her hair has grown and is finally laying down, so now she can wear a bow or little piggy tails that Katherine refers to as "antennae". She eats a LOT (as is evident in her diaper-only picture) and can out-eat me on fried chicken. She freely gives out hugs and kisses and has a world-class pucker to show you she wants to smooch. She is exhausting sometimes, but such a hoot!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Birthday Party #3











Katherine finally had her "family" party with the out-of-town relatives today. This makes the 3rd party this birthday! She had yet another buttefly cake, pink this time. Granny and Poppy were in New Mexico, but loaned their house for the event. Grandma and Grandpa Kiss (Kate named him that at 2, because he was always asking for a kiss!), all the aunts and uncles, and the younger cousins came and we had a good time. Katherine got more horses and art supplies, a panda, and a butterfly habitat. Her favorite gift was a real guitar, painted pink with flowers. She has no idea of what to do with it, but she loves it!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bird friends


Every Monday, Katherine's kindergarten class reads with Miss Jennifer and her pets. Jennifer's sweet old dog died in December, so now she brings her parrot and the kids read to him. They love it! Yesterday, I heard squawking in the hall and looked out to see this. Katherine was so proud!

I love birthdays!

the ladybug cake

The Ladybug Sisters

Sisters

Sisters
Jie Jie and Mei Mei

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
Peeking through the windows

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
Katherine and her toothless smile

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
The little one leads the way