Wednesday, April 27, 2011

2 Years Ago...

Two years ago on April 27th we first saw this little face:

Rachel Fu Shen's referral was long-awaited and unexpected.  It was also the happiest surprise of our lives.  I remember studying that sweet  face and wondering what this little girl was like.  Back then, we had no idea  of who she was.  We didn't know that, as a friend described it, "Rachel didn't slip into your life, she exploded!"  That's about right.  We didn't know then how much energy and excitement she would bring to us.  Or laughter - lots and lots of laughter.  We didn't know that our days of sleeping in were pretty much over.  Or that she would love kitties and the color pink so much (it makes her referral outfit even more fitting!).  Or that she would shower us with hugs and kisses and "I love lou" dozens of times a day.  We didn't know how amazing she was.  We didn't know that she would be perfect for us.  But we hoped.  And she is.  Happy Referral Day, Rachel!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Dresses

Granny made the girls Easter dresses.  Katherine requested that they "be the same but different colors" so Granny went to work.  I love the results!
On Friday we went to the beautiful backyard of some friends for a photo shoot.  Katherine is a wonderful model.  She likes having her picture taken and can strike a pose or flash a perfect smile on request.
Rachel, on the other hand, is something of a challenge to photograph.  Basically, we just chased her around and took shots wherever we could.  She would only pose for about two seconds, so we had exactly one chance to get the shot.  We moved a lot, but laughed a lot, too and ended up with some good pictures.

We even managed a few good pictures of both girls together!

And then Rachel found a snail.  That was pretty much the end of the photo shoot.  But the girls sure had fun watching that little snail!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter

Happy Easter!  We were up early this morning.  The Easter Bunny came and he brought outside toys!
We went to the early not-quite-sunrise service at our church.  It was supposed to be at a little nearby lake, but it rained.  So we gathered at the church.  By then the rain had quit, so we moved to the front steps of the building - at least it was outside.  Afterward there was a potluck breakfast -  we all enjoyed that.

By 8:30 we were back home playing with Easter toys.

We had luch at Granny and Poppy's and the girls stayed for a few hours to play (while Steve and I went home to nap).  It's been a fun day!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Party

We had a little Easter party this afternoon with our FCC (Families with Children from China) friends.  We met a park to hunt eggs.





Then the kids had to sample the candy.  Rachel can unwrap chocolate eggs in about 1 1/2 seconds.





Then we spent an hour playing.  It was such a neat playground!





We finished up the afternoon by going out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant.  We love hanging out with our FCC friends!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dying Eggs

The girls and I didn't have school today, so we spent the morning with Granny.  We had a photo shoot of the girls in their Easter dresses - more on that later.  Then we dyed eggs.  Rachel thought we were talking about "die" not "dye" and was rather confused at first!  But when she realized that we were painting eggs, she was all for it.  Both girls LOVE this activity.  And eating the results.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday

The girls wore new spring dresses to church - thanks Aunt Robie!  The iris in this picture came from Steve's grandma's yard.  She had a HUGE iris bed that was always beautiful in the spring.  Several years ago we dug some up and brought them home to our garden.  I like the iris and I love having botanical ties to the past.
It was Palm Sunday today, Katherine's favorite Sunday of the whole year.  She has always loved parading around the sanctuary waving palm branches.  Maybe because it's fun and maybe because it's the only time that little kids have an important part of the service.  The kids all gathered in the basement to pick up their palms - they were all so excited.

This year the kids added sashes and musical instruments to the parade.  It made it all the more festive.  I love the way Rachel has her tambourine slung over her shoulder!  The parade, by the way, was great.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Science Time

Katherine's class is having an egg drop next week.  You know, the kind where kids pack a raw egg inside some sort of protective container and drop it from the roof.  It seems like a rather complicated project for 1st graders and I doubt that most of them really "get" it, but Katherine has been excited about the whole idea.  As soon as Kate announced the upcoming event I delcared it a Daddy Project.  The two of them have been talking about various things that protect, including bike helmets and bubble wrap.  Tonight, they went shopping and brought home a dozen eggs and all sorts of packing material.  It was time to experiment.  The first step was to fill jars.
Katherine chose four different packing materials - marshmallows, popcorn, beans, and applesause.

Then it was time to drop the eggs.  Rachel got in on the fun and was allowed to make the first drops - from approximately 3 feet.
The beans didn't work. 
Katherine went next.

And then Steve.

Between each drop, Katherine kept track of the results.

One of the side effects of having a science teacher for a dad is you get to fill out official looking charts on your experiments.  (Kate loved that part.)

Then it was time for the BIG drop - Steve on the roof from two different heights.

Then the eggs had to be checked once again.

The winner?  Popcorn!

But Kate thinks the marshmallow packed egg cracked only because the jar landed weird.  And what if we got a bigger jar and more marshmallows and popcorn?  Can we try again tomorrow?  I think we may have a another scientist on our hands...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tulip Time

We to the Bartlett Arboretum this morning for the tulip festival - one of our annual traditions.  As always, it was beautiful!
I'd hoped to have a photo shoot, but no one was really in to posing.  At least not at the same time.

The girls tried out a couple of cool swings.

And got their faces painted.

We had a picnic in the shade.

We hung out with Granny and Robie and listened to live music.  It was a great morning!

And the flowers?  They were stunning.


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