Friday, December 21, 2007

Winter Break Sleep Overs

Another evolving family tradition is that each child gets to have a sleepover during school breaks. Many parents think that we are nuts to invite kids over 4 at a time but when you already have 4 kiddos at home, 4 more don't seem like too big of a deal. Plus, I'd rather get it all over with in one crazy night than stretch it out for 4...

A and T are really good about including their younger brothers in their activities. I'm really proud of them for that. One day soon, we'll be having their friends over, too. Eek!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Bullet Test

  • There should be a bullet here.
  • and here
  • and here
  • and here

but there's not. Ugh.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Back in Business

Well, I guess when the complaints about not blogging for a while start coming in from Australia, then it's time to start seriously thinking about putting together an update! ;o) We have been busy, busy, busy with friends, family, more family and fun in general. I'll try to bullet post the highlights here and then work on catching up with pics as I am able. From most recent:

  • Christmas Cards are DONE!!!
  • Christmas shopping is DONE!!!
  • Took a ride on The Polar Express with the kids and close buddies this past weekend.
  • Had 13 houseguests (Jenn's Family) for 5 days for Thanksgiving and it was a blast!
  • Had 5 houseguests (Matt's Family) for 4 days just prior to that.
  • "Snow" in Tucson and I was wearing flip flops, of course.
  • Jackson graduated and had a birthday.
  • Halloween-Two Spidermen, a girl in a bathtub, and a skeleton-type thing.
  • Carving pumpkins with power tools-gotta love that husband of mine...
  • Sorry excuse for a trip to the pumpkin patch
  • Busy with work-mostly post placement services and adoption finalizations, which I love.

Stay tuned for pictures.

***Why is it that I can see the bullets when I'm typing up the post, but they don't show on my blog? What am I doing wrong??

Monday, November 26, 2007

All Aboard!

Just a day after the last of our houseguests left, we loaded the kids in the car for a surprise trip. It was so fun to torture them with clues and leave them wondering what we were up to. Eventually, we ended up checked into a hotel in Williams, AZ, near Flagstaff. The kids played at a park and enjoyed the holiday decorations. Then we ate dinner-more turkey!

After dinner, the kids (and adults!) changed into our pjs and headed over to the train depot to meet Mrs. Claus. We were lucky enough to have Xander's best church and preschool buddy, Evan and his mom join us on our trip. Xander felt pretty special to be the one with a friend along for an event!
How cute is this picture? They are on the lookout for the north pole.
Xander meeting the conductor.The boys' side of the train.
Once we reached the north pole, Santa boarded the train and gave each child a bell.
Needless to say, the kids slept quite well that night and the little boys played with toy trains for the duration of the 4 1/2 hr. drive home. the next morning. So glad that you could join us S and E!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Full House, Full Stomachs and Happy Hearts

We had 10 of Jenn's family members join us for Thanksgiving this year! Jenn's brother, James, his wife, Faith and their kids, Emilie and Rebecca came on the Tuesday before (just in time to babysit for us so we could go to Chinese class-are we great hosts, or what?) On Wednesday, Jenn's Mom and Grandma showed up along with sister Julie and brother, Jared. Later that night, Jenn's sister, Janine and her husband Brice finally made it. We ate lots of food and laughed hard enough to make room for dessert.

Janine had feeding a giraffe on her 'things to do before I die' list so on Thanksgiving Day, we all headed out to the zoo to make her dream a reality. Here's the proof:

Proof that the rest of us were there too:
Me and Matt
Noah and Uncle JaredLove this pic of cute little neice, Rebecca.
And here she is with the rest of her family.
Aunt Nini and Uncle Brice
The Sisters Clowning Around

Grandma Johnson loves to bowl so that's what we did on the day after Thanksgiving. Here's almost all of us. (Faith and Rebecca were MIA and Matt was behind the camera)
We had a great time with everyone. We went shopping several times and went out to dinner, played card games, etc. It was fun just to visit and spend time with one another. We are blessed to have such a wonderful family. As you can see below, Matt was a little emotional when it was time for James to leave and wanted to make sure that he gave him a proper send-off. (Actually, he was just being a great BIL and trying to crack his back.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Matt's Family in Town

We had a great weekend with Matt's mom, Debbie, sister, Jennie and her three kids. There was lots of food and lots of shopping! Our kids were in cousin heaven! We need to get them together more often!

Xander and cousin Thorin have similar wardrobes and were coincidental twins
for most of the weekend.
Audrey loved spending time with cousin Sydney.
Our girl isn't desperate for a little sister or anything...
Cousin Sandwich: Our boys with Robert and ThorinTucson Snow
The kids gearing up for a snowball fight.
Nothing worse that showing up with the wrong shoes...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Our Graduate

If it helps, I am rolling my eyes at myself as I type this-can't believe that I am blogging about my dog. I guess I have become one of 'those people.' ;o) ...just wait till you see the family Christmas letter.

So, Jackson passed his 8 week dog obedience class. He has come a long way but whoever told us that he would calm down by the time he reached one year old was full of you-know-what. We have already signed him up for the next class and have our sights set on his second year!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Hopefully, you can tell what this is supposed to be. To put it here would invite 'the pervs' to the blog. Anyway, it was a fun costume to put together. The only problem was that after wearing this for several parties previously, we were low on bubbles!
The three kiddos who will still participate in the event.
Taylor designated himself as candy-passer-outer.
Trick-or-Treating with neighborhood pals

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sorry Excuse for a Pumpkin Patch

For some reason, we have been just crazy busy this year and didn't make it out
to the pumpkin patch for our annual event. Wally World had to do. I'd should start planning for Thanksgiving dinner now so we don't end up at Mc D's...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rocky Point 2007

What a weekend we have had! It was a bear to pack up and get out of town but so worth it. Here are a few pics:

Audrey hoped to get her hair braided this year and I hoped that we would have the opportunity to have it done before it turned into a ratted, sandy, salt-watery mess. Lucky for us, Maria arrived just as we pulled up to the condo. So, for 4 days I didn't have to worry about Audrey's hair. It was great!

Here's a view of the back.

Here's a shot of Noah mid-air jumping in the waves. This was a perfect vacation for the kids. They slept like rocks every night.
Here's Noah and his buddy Camden. We had such a great time with Cam and his parents, Shannon and Doug. Here's hoping that we spend some time with one another outside of the U.S. again sometime very soon. ;o) (Our LIDs are 3 days apart so we are hoping to travel to China at the same time...)
This is the second time that we have made the trip to Mexico with neighbors, friends and friends of friends. I think there were about 50 of us this year and about half were children. All of the kids had a blast and enjoyed the usual sand and water fun and other adventures like night time sand dollar hunts along the beach with flashlights and glow sticks. Here's Xander with some boating buddies.
Daddy's boy Audrey made a new pal, Ava, and they were inseparable for the four days of the trip.
I wouldn't trade this guy for anything!
Okay, let's play 'what is wrong with this picture?' Do you see it??? The title of this photo is My Four Children...and four of my toes. Ugh.

The Whole Brood on the beach.
Some observations from this trip were how nice it was to travel without a baby-although we would gladly have it the other way, and how nice it was to see the kids play with each other when they didn't have tv/video games, etc. to distract them. Here's a rare shot of A and T proving that they can in fact get along...
After almost eight hours in the car (4+ in line to cross the border) we made it home last night safe and sound. The kids are already asking to go back!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


We're headed to Mexico with a bunch of friends including Shannon and her family. Despite this mountain of stuff in my living room and the challenge of fitting it into the car still ahead of us, I can't wait for 4 relaxing days on the beach!!! Will return with pictures, none of which will feature my blog-affected behind in a swimsuit...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Momentous Occasion

We just returned from a three day camping trip but that's not the momentous occasion. What is??? Well, this is the first time posting from the new laptop! It's our first and another one of those purchases where after a few days you can't remember what life was like without it. I find myself daydreaming about using it to blog from China with Meili sitting on my lap...Anyway on to the camping report: I had a home study appt. 3 hours away and the kids were out of school and Matt was off of work so we decided to make a vacation out of it. Matt dropped me off at the clients' home while he set up camp and then we stopped by again on the way home. Good deal. We hung out at a lake and had a blast.

Here's a picture of the kids in the natural hot spring/hot tub.
On the 10th, we 'celebrated' our 19 month LID-versary by
hiking the Ladybug Trail on Mt. Graham.

Water and dirt is about all that is needed to entertain these boys for days on end.
Xander, whose joy at playing in the dirt can only be surpassed by the joy he finds in being free to pee in bushes.

It was scary, but we let the dog off the leash in public for the first time so he could fetch a stick from the water. He loves to swim! And yes, he is now also a canoeing enthusiast but no matter how nicely we asked, he refused to help paddle.