Saturday, October 14, 2006


We're taking part in a weekly photo contest started by Donna from Donna is mom to Gwen & Maddy, who have the same age difference as Esther & Emma, only they're a year younger. Gwen and Esther are from the same orphanage, and Donna was able to meet Esther in September 2005 when she was in Shenzhen picking up Gwen.

This week's theme is Anticipation. So I dug through our photo library to see what we could use for anticipation, and this is what I came up with:

Oh the anticipation of the first bite of your popsicle...
What bliss!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Outside in October

The weather has been so pretty the last few days and we've really enjoyed playing outside in the afternoon. With six kids, there's always someone to play with, so you don't really get bored! We're blessed to have a large backyard, pool, trampoline and a dock that connects to the lake, so there's always something fun to do.

Some Emma & Esther funnies:
On Saturday, Emma spewed her first four letter word. Thankfully, it wasn't anything bad at all. She dropped something and said "oh crap!" Yikes.. I can claim responsibility for that one! Let's hope thats the LAST word of that kind to come out of her mouth!
In the car today, I heard Esther tell Emma, "I hate you." I turned around and both girls had their arms crossed, facing away from each other. Emma returned with another "I hate you." So, we had a little lesson in being nice to each other and not using those kinds of words. And this time, it wasn't my fault!!
Esther just cracks up at the funniest things. I love to tease her and say "Esther, you're crazy" and she just laughs her head off and says, "No, Sera you're crazy!" It quickly becomes a contest to see who's crazier, and who can say it the loudest.. longest, etc. She's really funny and continues to blossom. She's sort of taken over the big sister role to Emma, and likes to help and especially loves to tell Emma when she's wrong. Whenever they get into something, and we confront them, Esther is the first to say, "It's Emma's fault!!!" She can get out of her carseat, which isn't good sometimes since she likes to take the straps off and turn on the lights while we're driving. But she can get herself out, and Emma out too.
Emma continues to be a little tornado! But she's a sweet tornado. Any room she's in quickly turns into a disaster after she's left. She's so fast! Her latest obsession has been a pink purse that has gone everywhere with her! Then, we found out that she uses the purse to steal food from the pantry and eat it later! So that didn't go over too well. I'd love to know where her secret stash is since she hides everything! Last week I had just bought a new pack of gum and put it in my purse. The next day I went to grab a piece and it was GONE!! Either she had eaten the whole package (which she has done before) or she's hidden it somewhere!! She's constantley on the go, which is why she is so skinny. I put a pair of 18 month size jeans on her today and they fell right off. Despite all this, she really is sweet and she loves to help you do anything.
The girls are always laughing at one another and are inseperable. You'd really never know they weren't *biologically* twins if you looked at them, because they act like sisters. We get asked all the time if they're twins and we just say nope, they're five weeks apart. That gets some pretty strange looks from people, but usually we'll go into detail. Most people assume they are just twins and always say how cute they are. And they are pretty cute!


This might be hard to see, but here's what naptime looks like at our house! That's Emma sleeping, along with all three dogs; Sofie is at the bottom, closer to Emma is Gizmo and in the back is Ivy.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Look At the Kids Rooms

For the past 6 months or so, we've had an artist working in our home painting murals in each of the kids' rooms. She has pretty much become part of the family, and we see her several times a week. So far, Jenny has painted a beautiful mural in the downstairs bathroom (I'll post pictures of that later), and in Ian, Elena and Kayla's room. Each room has a different "theme" and the murals are just beautiful!!

Kayla & Emma's room is a mix of Africa & Asia. On Kayla's side is a beautiful mural of Africa, shown below. It's completed, and Jenny's going to start working on Emma's wall, which will be Asia. I've been working with her on the layout of different elements from China, and it's going to be BEAUTFUL!!
'Kayla's wall.. an African safari
Jenny painted some monkeys, since they are Emma's favorite animal.
Emma with the cheetah cubs
Emma's wall.. where Asia will be.

Moving on to Ian's room, he has a camping/outdoors style. Jenny painted a large campfire, bears and racoons and made his room look like you're outdoors. On his other wall, he has a rockwall set up, so she painted it to make it look like a waterfall.
View of Ian's room
Camping Mural
Waterfall/ Rockwall

Elena and Esther share a room, and there's is a bit more simple. It combines some Chinese and old world elements. On two of their walls are painted the Chinese characters for "Mama Hao," which was Esther's favorite song when she came home. Then (it might be hard to see in the photos) but randomly on the four walls, it looks like brick is coming through the walls, to make it kind of feel "old worldish," I guess you could say, for lack of a better word!
View of Elena's bunkbed
Chinese characters for Mama Hao
Sleeping Esther & some of the brick

And my room is still a work in progress. It was (up until about two weeks ago) painted a bright pink color, but now just one wall is pink and the rest are tan. It's not finished yet, because we're going to put a wash on the walls to give it more character and make it blend more. The pink will also go darker!

I'll try to get some pictures of the bathroom up soon, because it too, is beautiful!!

Starting Early..

I put Emma down for a nap the other day but came back in to put something away, when I found her sitting up in her bed reading an encyclopedia. I guess she's starting to learn early!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Pool, Trampoline, Playing in the water and Sunset on the Lake

My parents are currently in San Francisco and will be back tomorrow night. (They just went for a weekend- My dad attended a medical conference, and my mom visited with my aunt & uncle.) So at the moment, we're home along with my mom's best friend "Aunt" Nanette and her three boys.

The kids were kinda cooped up in the house today and they were all getting irritated with one another. So, I took the younger six kiddo's to the park. Adjacent is a lake with a dock and the kids played and got DIRTY.

Enjoy more mayhem...

They went swimming and then played in the sand.. so they were filthy!!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Three Year Old's Hit the Tennis Courts

One of the funniest things ever has to be watching 3-year-old's learn to play tennis. Rackets, balls and confused little kids all running around the tennis courts, while coaches try to get them involved in games. But all they want to do is throw balls at one another. They could care less about hitting a ball over the net.

Really, their tennis class is just a bunch of fun games, preparing them for tennis in the future. They do practice hitting the balls so they can get a "feel" for it, but it doesn't really matter if they get it over the net or not. We're blessed to have an awesome tennis coach who loves the kids and they just adore him.

Esther is doing much better in the class than Emma. She's much more focused and driven. Emma, on the other hand, is all about having fun. She's happy to hit the ball with her racket, but she gets bored when she has to wait her turn in line. She's busy busy busy! Emma did actually play today which was nice since the last few weeks she hasn't wanted to play at all. When she found out that Esther was going to tennis, and she wasn't, she put up a pretty good fit. I gave her one last chance to prove herself today, and prove herself she did.

They both played well. Of course, we took our annual trip to the potty like every week. I made sure that they went potty before we left, but sure enough not 5 minutes after class had started, Emma had to go. So, go we did. Come back to the tennis courts and Esther is demonstrating the "I have to potty NOW" dance. So, back to the bathrooms we went. On our way back we ran into our beloved swim teacher Mr. Phil. Just a few months back the very mention of his name would send Esther into crying spells.. "Not the Mr. Phil who makes me swim!!" (See back to our June & July posts on that issue) But, Esther saw Mr. Phil and gave him a huge hug and proceeded to tell him all about her swimming and how much she loves it. She walked away happy, but the poor kid who had swimming lessons next, wasn't too excited.

The girls are SO different. Esther is much more athletic and sporty, while Emma's definitely prissy and girly. Ess loves to kick balls around. Em loves to dress up her baby dolls. So, maybe we'll start the girls in gymnastics soon.

Anyways, enjoy the mayhem....

Emma told me, "Sera, I need your sunglasses because the sun is hurting my eyes." And if I gave her a pair, I would need to give Esther a pair, so I conceded. Here's how they look. =)