Monday, July 30, 2012

Beijing Buddies

We were so excited to be able to meet up with some of our old Beijing friends.

Though Andy had already gone back to Beijing, we were able to see Katie and their two daughters.
Katie's parents live in Colorado Springs so we were able to easily meet in the middle, and talk over old times.

We hadn't seen them since we lived in Houston, and the kids had changed so much.
Of course, Katie and I look exactly the same as we did when we first started running around Beijing 7 years ago. (When we were but mere teens ourselves!)

Madeline and JR

Just look how they've grown.

This group of kids came after we left Beijing.
Kyle, Ella, Reed

And no need for before and after pictures of us...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fashion Fabulous Friday

Shades are cool.
Even at the dentist.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Just in Time for London!

Kyle invented this version of a (I'm going to go with) 'back handspring' the other night.

Which, of course, now means these two are putting on round-the-clock performances.

I think I might have to watch Olympic gymnastics in secret.
I'm sacred of what they'll try next!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Driving Miss Daisy

And by "driving" I, of course, mean getting lugged around, dropped, and even having to go down the slide at the park.

I think she might be getting sore from all this "love".

Monday, July 23, 2012

Who's That Dog?

Granny Sherry is here visiting this week and she brought Miss Daisy with her.
The kids love having another dog in the house, but we hardly recognized her when she got out of the car.

Just look how much she's changed in 4 months!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Rush Out and Get This Right Now

When we were in Texas and on the Blue Bell Ice Cream tour, we learned that Blue Bell will sell some of their seasonal ice creams during the month of July.

Our guide specifically mentioned that Christmas Cookies was such a popular flavor it was one of the ones coming out.

JR and I literally did a happy dance since we were convinced it would be one of the flavors we could choose from at the end of the tour.

To our disappointment, it was not one of the flavors.

But, then, walking through the frozen food aisle here in suburban Denver, the heavens parted and the hallelujah chorus began.

What did our eyes behold?

Praise the Lord...Christmas Cookies in July!

All Blue Bell flavors are good, but I'd say Christmas Cookies is in their top three.
I know; It's a bold statement.

It's that good.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fashion Fabulous Friday

Today, I'll be starring in Fashion Fabulous Friday, and it's all about my new favorite fabulous accessories.

The other day Cassidy texted me a picture of a folding chair with an umbrella attached. 
She dubbed it a "Jan Chair", and I couldn't rest until I found it. 

Luckily, it was waiting on me to take it home from Costco. 
(Cause if Costco doesn't have it, you probably don't need it anyway, right?)
And if you think just because I have a chair with a built in umbrella that I'll forgo a sun hat...then, yeah, we've probably never met.

My other new favoritey favorite purchase was for my bike. 
I've known for awhile that my front basket just wasn't cutting it, but after our ride to the pool where I had 3 beach towels stuffed in it, I knew it was time to bring in the reinforcements.

Look how nicely our library books, drinks, and my purse fit. 
My inner Chinese is all aglow...although a true Beijinger could fit all that plus a family of three.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Back to the 4th

Not only did all the kids get their pictures in the paper for their 4th of July "floats", but they spelled our name right all 3 times...which I'm pretty sure is a record for any printed material.

The first thing JR said when he saw it wasn't "Wow, I got my picture in the paper."
It was "Look! They spelled our name right!" 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Better Than Pigs!

The other day we got a stack-full of Namibia pictures from Grandpa Gary in the mail.
Most of them were the same as Jason had taken.

But two really caught my eye.

Seems in the excitement of all the hunting, they forgot to tell me about the baby owls.
I thought they looked pretty big to be babies, and Jason agreed, saying they were almost big enough to leave their nest.

Just look how cute!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Another "TV Star" Sighting

JR wasn't the only one taking the stage this week.
On Friday we went to see the Top Hogs. They're billed as stunt pigs with a very impressive resume, including appearances on: David Letterman, Jay Leno, and Animal Planet.

(That's some pretty A-list gigs for pigs performing for free at the Broomfield Library.)

The kids asked all morning, "When are we going to the pig show?!" and thankfully, the 'Pig Show' did not disappoint.

But really, can potbellied pigs jumping through hoops ever disappoint?

As soon as the show was over, Kyle turned to me and said, "I want to go give those pigs a high-five."

Luckily, they were all able to fight their way through the crowd to pet the pigs. 
Unfortunately, I was only able to fight my way through in time to get a picture of JR petting.

Oh, and the kids have also decided they want pigs so they can teach them tricks.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Royally Great Night

 JR spent all last week (everyday from 1:00-5:00!) in drama camp.
Last night was their performance of The Prince and the Pauper.
JR auditioned for three parts, and got his first choice (he was very excited) of Lance, one of the castle guards.

I couldn't believe these kids had only been working together for 5 days!
They put on a great production, and JR was so good!
(He was actually really good, not just 'he was so good because he's my kid' good.)

I was pretty much on the verge of tears the entire performance due to a combination of nervousness/excitement/joy/pride/living vicariously through my child. 

They wouldn't let us backstage before the show (not even to help with make-up and costumes) so I didn't know until after the show that JR had gotten a bloody nose (Yes, we're still dealing with those darn bloody noses!) and bled all over the top of his costume. 
The director had to run his costume to her house, wash out the blood, and run back with it just in time for the show.

Now, I don't know how he handled it backstage, but he was such a professional on stage.
 I literally couldn't believe all that had happened before he went on to perform!

Just look at mini Johnny Depp in his mascara and eyeliner!

I did a double take when I saw this picture.  Wow, he looks like me.

He says he wants to continue doing plays.  I can't wait to see what's next!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fashion Fabulous Friday

Blue Bell ice cream.
Even better with the hat.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


So I thought it would be a good idea to let Kyle and Reed ride their bikes to tennis lessons
(about 4 miles away).

The bike riding part was fine, but about half-way there Kyle screamed out, "Mommy! We forgot the tennis rackets!"
Oops, my basket was loaded down with sun visors, water, sunglasses...but no tennis rackets.

It took about 30 minutes to get there, so if I'd ridden home to get the rackets, the class would have been almost over by the time I got back.

I decided to ask the teachers (2 teenagers no older than 17) if they could borrow rackets using my "it's been one of those mornings, and I'm so frazzled, I don't know how I can possibly make it 5-more minutes" routine.

The guy teenager was not receptive to the woes of a mom with twin 4 year-olds who had just ridden their bikes 4 miles, and was actually trying to send me home with, "Well, there's just no way they can have tennis lessons without a racket, there's nothing we can do with them, and we just don't have any extra rackets."

Now, as a former teacher/drill team director/cheer coach/pep squad sponsor/cub scout leader, I have spent my adult life trying to "make the best of it" for kids who forgot whatever it was that they should have brought. 
You shouldn't punish the kid for their parents' mistakes. 
Was it my kids' fault they forgot their tennis rackets?
Of course not, they're 4!
It was my fault.  Don't punish my kids for something I forgot.

With all this in the back of my mind, I quickly changed my attitude and said,
"Um, this is a tennis club, and you're going to stand there and tell me there's not one extra racket in this whole place?!"

And with an eye-roll and exasperated sigh, off he went to see if the front office might have one.

I so wanted to tell that boy, "Dude, you think that eye-roll is going to make me feel bad?  You are eye-rolling at someone who has been genetically blessed with an eye-flutter to beat all eye-flutters (Except my cousin, Lu's, flutter). 
An eye-flutter that I have perfected into a flutter-roll combination that makes yours look like you're blinking at me." 

Of course I kept this to myself, but gave a secret sigh of satisfaction to see him walk out of the office with 2 tennis rackets.

And you can be sure, Kyle and Reed will always have their rackets from now on!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Little Better

Sure we love being back in the big city, but some things really are just better in the country.

"Holding" cats on Cousin Randi's porch


Making lemon pies with Paw-Paw

East Texas sunsets

And, of course, Blue Bell ice cream!