Monday, January 28, 2008

Quick Trips, Visitors, Parties

It's been a fun few weeks with overnight visitors, a couple birthday parties and a quick trip to southern Oregon to ring in Sarah's 2nd birthday. We have been having super crazy weather with lots of snow and school cancellations. Very unusual for these parts. Aidan started a Tiny Tumblers gymnastics class over at the university (right by our house) and recently completed a sticker chart (our first ever) for trying nine new foods. Pretty good work for our difficult eater. Lauren is her wild and crazy self, and her current favorite hobby is standing on the counter (with us standing right there, of course) and picking five or six different things to snack on. I am sneaking off on a little weekend getaway in a couple of weeks for some fun in CA with an incredible group of old friends--most of them from as far back as Happy Valley elementary school, some from junior high and some from high school. I feel like a real stinker for leaving but I know it's good to get away from time to time and this group of women was too great to resist.

Landscaping progress: paver walkway is done; lawn and plants on hold until warmer weather, probably about six more weeks.

Oh, how I love this picture of Lauren in her new rainboots, and only her new rainboots. The spot on her back/bottom is a birthmark.

Aidan and his friend Madeline from school enjoying ice cream cake after swimming at a joint birthday party for preschool classmates Naomi and Maddy. (Both turned three and both are from China.)

Our friend Colin at the party. Look how he wrote his own nametag--so cute!

Lauren woke up from a nap and wanted to sit with Aidan, who was watching (what else?) Mary Poppins.

Aidan shares his cars with Lauren for the first time (even saying "Lauren, come share my cars" in his sweet talking-to-a-baby voice). They were pretending the cars were chimney sweeps (a la Mary Poppins) and putting them through the trapdoor in the castle Santa brought them for Christmas.

It's always fun to bust out our hats from Snake Alley in Taiwan. It's almost a year already that Lauren has been home. I can't believe it. I am feeling so nostalgic reading blogs of people who are there right now (like Drew's parents) or about to travel and remembering our trip.

Our college friend Jennifer visited with her sweet dog, Denali. The kids loved feeding him individual pieces of his kibble.

Ryan and Lauren meet the goats at our friends' house in southern Oregon.

Sarah blows out her candle. I think Aidan was kind enough to wait for her to blow it out before getting started on his cupcake. He was probably so excited to eat a cupcake that didn't have spinach and blueberries snuck into it! (I've still been making a lot of recipes from Deceptively Delicious and The Sneaky Chef, mostly with great success.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Little Astronauts

Our best friends from southern Oregon visited the weekend after Christmas. Besides poor Hannah getting a stomach bug late Saturday night, we had such a wonderful time, full of laughing and chaos. Jessica and I were even able to leave the kids with the dads on Saturday morning, and she came with me to my aerobics class and then we did some quick, super-fun shopping downtown. On Saturday afternoon, we visited the Science Factory in Eugene. Here are all the kids posing as astronauts. (Hannah is 4 3/4, Aidan is 4 1/2, Sarah is almost 2 and Lauren is almost 18 months in these pictures).

The kids loved running around this duck and banging on it...hope that was OK. :-)

Two Binkies & New Look

Thanks to digital scrapboooker extraordinaire Sarah from Journey to Taiwan for Hannah Claire for the lovely new look for our blog! Sarah worked very hard to create a fun, colorful design that we love, and, through her Blogovers with Love project, accepts donations for her blog designs and uses the proceeds to support two orphanages in Taiwan. Isn't she awesome?

Since we're not "Waiting for Lauren Ling" any more (thank goodness!), I changed the title.

Here is a picture of Lauren (18 months now!) putting two binkies in her mouth. She loves making us laugh. More pictures to come soon!