Friday, August 15, 2014

China Sisters Reunion

Hannah and I are blessed to have been welcomed into the travel group from our agency that travelled to China the summer after us.  As they were preparing to travel in the summer of 2010 I was invited to share our experiences with them and sweet friendships were formed that very day.  Since then we have been welcomed into their group and I am thankful for these friendships.  I am also thankful that two of the little girls in this group came from the same Social Welfare Institute as Hannah, 1 of which even overlapped with her there by a couple of days.  These are precious gifts for this mama to have and hopefully in time Hannah will appreciate this too. Another neat thing is that all of the girls were born within 9 months of each other and are all entering Senior Kindergarten in September.

Hannah put on her serious face when we stopped the girls long enough to snap a few pics.

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After that she asked me to take a picture of her alone.  Looking so grown up!IMG_4398

The girls jumped in the jumping castle for literally hours!  None of them stopped for more than a couple bites of lunch but ice cream was offered, that was another story!

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The girls serenaded us with a song I’m sure you’ve never heard before!  (I love Hannah’s little arm swoop later in the song.  She loves to act out this song!)

Our amazing girls and their mama’s!  We are all blessed beyond measure!!IMG_4411

It was wonderful to join you for your 4th Family Day Celebration friends!  We are so thankful for the friendships our group share!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wow!!! What a Difference Just 4 Days of Private Swimming Lessons Made!

Hannah has been a fish since she was a baby and has always loved the water!  Here’s her first set of swimming lessons when she was just 11 months old.

I normally put Hannah in swimming lessons during the spring session and did again this year.  I was excited when her teacher was a gal from our church.  Hannah swam really well with Rachel so I decided to sign her up for a week of private lessons during the summer, hoping she’d be able to pass the level that she’s been in twice so far and needed to repeat again.

Within minutes….MINUTES last Tuesday things changed and I could tell that this was going to be a great time of learning and growing Hannah’s swimming skills!  Two days before her first lesson we were at my parents and she could swim about 4-5 feet in the shallow end but then would need to put her feet down.  The month before at a friend’s pool she’d begged me to take her water wings off so I did so standing right beside her.  The entire pool was over her head and she quickly slipped a couple of inches the water.  I could see her looking up at me and she wasn’t at all concerned….but she was under water!  LOL!!  I pulled her up and she said, ‘Told you I could do it Mommy!’  Heh….not quite yet my love!

So, I was excited to see what would happen when she had 4, 1/2 hour lessons with Rachel.  They spent the majority of the time at the opposite end of the pool that was often blocked from view by a wall so I couldn’t really see her progress.  I was SHOCKED on Friday when I was able to go down and see her SWIM!  Way to go Hannah!  This is the same little girl who 4 days earlier couldn’t swim more than 4 or 5 feet!

After her big swims back and forth a few times, Rachel took Hannah for a ride in the canoe.IMG_4385

One of the other neat things that happened this session was that the pool was almost empty!  Normally during lessons there are a number of groups in the pool.  This time there were only 6 kids in the entire pool!  That was a neat surprise!

Hannah jumping into the deep end and then swimming to Rachel.  Amazed once again!

I am so thankful to Rachel for all that she taught her.  Unfortunately for us she is moving away in a couple of weeks so we won’t be able to plan any more lessons.  That being said, I’ll sign her up for private lessons again for sure!

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In the end Hannah not only passed the level she’d been trying to for 2 sessions but the entire next level too!  Way to go Hannah XiaoFen!!! 

Crocodile – here we come!IMG_4391

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sun, Fun and Sandcastles

Last Saturday Hannah and I joined Auntie K, Uncle J, K & G at a beach less than an hour away and oh my….why haven’t we been before?  They go often and yet last Saturday was a first for Hannah and I.  It’s a beautiful beach and we shared a great day together!!  IMG_4344

The kids played in the sand and water for hours and hours!IMG_4350

At times I think they were seeing if they could coat their bodies with every grain of sand on the beach!

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Time out for lunch.IMG_4347

Our cartwheelin’ girls!IMG_4342

There was also a sandcastle building contest the day we were there and it was amazing what some of these people built, especially the ‘amateurs!’  WOW!  Check out Dusty!

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Thanks so much for the invite Auntie K!  We had a GREAT time with you at the beach and cannot wait to join your family there again!

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Annual Pool Party

Hannah and I are blessed to have a group of friends who are very much like a second family to us.  We get together almost monthly and the friendships we share are cherished both by the adults and the kiddos alike.  Some of us live closer together and others as far away as a whole other province…but our friendships are deep.

I can’t normally host the group but each summer my parents open their home to us and we enjoy a wonderful day of sun, swimming, Cheezies and BBQ together!  It’s not a party with our group until each child attempts to eat their body weight in Cheezies!   (Thanks for the awesome pic Auntie K!  Hannah was impressed with how you captured her Cheezie photo bomb!)Cheezies

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Hanging out with great friends!IMG_4312

Uncle J showing off his style with Jedi Hannah in the forefrontIMG_4290

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Thanks for the surfing lesson Uncle J!

Some of the family weren’t able to make it and we missed them greatly!  Hopefully we can all be together next year for Pool Party IV!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Summer of Fun and Games!

This summer I purposely slowed us down and it’s been wonderful!!  Hannah did not want to play soccer and we took a break from gymnastics and piano too.  Other than 4 nights of swimming lessons next week, that’s it for our activity commitments this summer.  What a treat this has been!!

We’re normally home for the night sometime between 5:30 and 6:00 and the evening is ours.  Summer meals are normally light and fairly quick to put together so we have time after supper to spend some quality time together.  Sometimes it’s a bike or scooter ride, reading together, watching a TV show or, games.   All of a sudden Hannah is able to play ‘grown up’ games and oh how we’re enjoying this time together!

The first new game she learned was ‘Uno.’IMG_1429

The box indicated the game was for children age 7+ so I wasn’t  sure if it would be a bit difficult for her.  She caught on within minutes and quickly began beating Mommy fair and square.  When she played this series of cards I quickly realized my fears were for naught.  Hannah knew exactly how to play Uno – and win! IMG_1431

Hannah’s little friends K & G told her about a card game that they play called ‘Trash.’  I looked it up on YouTube and it became an instant hit with both of us!IMG_4190 (2)

Here is a video of m sweet girl playing.  Trash is a great game that she has already taught to one of her friends!

Our newest game is Skip-Bo and we just learned it Tuesday night.  It’s more challenging than the others but she’s doing well and only 2 nights in she’s playing with strategy!  Tonight she chose not to play one of her cards because she knew it would help me out.  Little stinker!!IMG_4333

Hannah’s victory pose.  (LOL!  Yes, her legs really are that long!)Skip Bo success

Are there any other card games you would like to recommend to us? 

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