Sunday, November 19, 2017

8th Referral Day Anniversary

Better late than never…

August 21st is a special day to Hannah and I as it commemorates the day I received Hannah’s referral call on Aug 21, 2009!  She was just 5 1/2 months old at referral!!

A photo montage of referral day memories followed by our referral day videos at the end.

2017 (8.5yo)2017---8.5yo

2016 (7.5yo)2016---7.5yo

2015 (6.5yo)2015---6.5yo

2014 (5.5yo)2014---5.5yo

2013 (4.5yo)2013a---4.5-yo

2012 (3.5yo)2012---3.5-yo

2011 (2.5yo)2011---2.5-yo

2010 (10mos)2010---18-months

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Halloween 2017–No Surprises Here!

Big surprise….this is my pumpkin…with our pumpkin


and her chosen costume…Mulan!  She even did her own make up.


Which I will say is far more subtle than the first time she did her makeup at 4yo  in 2014!  Winking smileIMG_2410

We are Disney fans through and through as I’m sure you know so it was an easy decision of a costume and pumpkin pattern.  Secretly I’m SO thankful she’s still into a princess phase as sadly I know these days are numbered. When we found this costume at the Disney Store in the summer and she mentioned wearing it for Halloween I couldn’t say ‘yes’ fast enough!  *sign* I’m pretty sure it will be the last princess dress I buy for her.  Time passes far too quickly!

Back to last week’s activities!

Sunday afternoon we cleaned and carved our pumpkins.  Well, Hannah cleaned it


but then I kinda lost her when she got to the pumpkin guts.  She wanted nothing to do with carving and only wanted to squish and squash the pumpkin guts.  LOL – she even added sparkles to them!  Must say I’ve never thought of adding sparkles to pumpkin guts!


She’s come a looong way since this video taken in 2011 when she was 2 1/2.  Oh my heart!

Tuesday night we followed tradition and went trick-or-treating with her friends Noah, Grayson and Owen.


Upon returning home it was an adventure in sorting and recording her candy tally.  It was late but far be it from me to turn down the opportunity for some spontaneous math time!


Another Halloween is in the books and I can say with confidence that we were both happy to say goodbye to the scary decorations in the stores and welcome the beginning of the Christmas season with open arms!  We bought Christmas bows on Saturday and our home will be decorated (at least on the outside) shortly!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Hannah’s First Cross Country Meet

Hannah is able to start competing in some school sports this year and she was excited to give cross country running a try.  She has always been a good runner so I was happy that she wanted to give this a try.  She only had one meet this year and unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend.  Thankfully a couple of other moms cheered Hannah on along with their girls and even snapped a few pictures for me.  Thanks Melanie and Elizabeth!

We’ve had an extremely hot fall so her team only had a few practices as a few were cancelled due to the heat.  It was over 40oC/104oF for most days over a 2 week period so it was just too hot for the kids to practice as their practices were mid-afternoon.

In spite of this, Hannah and the kids at her school did great!  Waiting for her team shirt.


Ready to run!


And she’s off!  They tell me she was in there somewhere! Smile


The next time they caught sight of the girls my girl was leading the heat of over 150 girls!



Unfortunately her strong start came back to cause her trouble when she got a cramp so stopped to walk it out.  She fell well back in the group but still enjoyed her run.  Strong finish!


I’m hoping she give cross country a try again next year.  Time will tell.  What I am excited for her to try is some track & field events but unfortunately that will need to wait until next year as they don’t start track & field until Grade 4.

Great run Hannah!  Mommy is so proud of you and you did great!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Apple Picking 2017

This weekend we enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with family and friends.  Saturday we enjoyed a turkey dinner with family at my parents.

Sunday afternoon we met up with friends to enjoy apple picking.  This is an annual tradition that Hannah and I look forward to each fall and the weather this year was absolutely amazing! 


Hannah with her friend R and her little brother K.  The girls were in grade 1 together and are excited to be in grade 3 together now. 


The kids’ mom Melanie and I enjoy hanging out together too, especially when we’re at the gym each week while the girls are at their gymnastics class. 


Hannah lost her final front tooth earlier that morning.  It changes her smile so much and suddenly she’s looking so much more grown up. *sigh!*  Too fast!!


At home we made our traditional apple crisp.  A yummy treat each year.  I enjoy spending special times with my little baking buddy!


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival with Friends

We celebrated and early Mid-Autumn Moon Festival/TET with friends last night.  It’s been unseasonably hot here  so rather than the parents shivering as the kids played at the park when we first gathered together, we hung out on lawn chairs while the kids ran through the splash pad!  I’ll take 35o/90o weather in September every single time!!

Splash pad

We returned to the house to share a delicious Asian pot-luck dinner.  Oh my – so much delicious food!

Thanks to one of the dads not only did we get pictures of our amazing kids, IMG_5612

we also got a picture of the parents!  We have been getting together for the past 7 years to celebrate both Mid-Autumn Moon/TET and CNY so these families share a special bond and friendships.  Some of the mom’s met over 10 years ago when we used to get together at our bi-monthly Waiting Moms dinners!


After dinner the children made lanterns, some donned their traditional dress and then the lantern parade began.  I couldn’t find Hannah but then realized she wanted to be the caboose of the parade.  LOL – that’s my girl!

Not sure if this is a lantern parade or a pose for the camera!


I sometimes get teased about carrying a ‘real camera’ instead of just my phone but it’s times like this when it was pretty dark out that I’m thankful.  (Hoping to upgrade my iPhone 5 soon and I’m confident my phone picture taking will improve)


When we returned home the final event of the evening was listening to a Tet book from Vietnam.  The kids were amazing and you could hear a pin drop when the book was being read.


Thank you for organizing and hosting this wonderful event again this year Julia and Danny!  Many of these friendships we share are thanks to you and we appreciate all you do to organize this event each year!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

First Day of Grade 3

It’s hard to believe that Hannah is already in Grade 3!  Wow….slow down time, slow down!!
Don’t you love that fancy sign!  Oye!!  I will admit to being a bit VERY distracted as the first day of school approached as we were preparing to go to Disney 3 days later – and Hurricane Irma was deciding to visit Disney too.   I was trying to pretend all was well when behind the scenes I had so much on my mind trying to make the best decisions for Hannah and I when at the time it was too early to decide anything.
Back to the first day of school…
Hannah and I were both excited when we’d found out the week before school started that Hannah would be back in the class with her same teacher from last year whom we both loved!   (And yes, along with forgetting the sign I also forgot to take a picture of Hannah with her teacher the first day.  Can you say
Hannah was also excited that one of her best friend’s from first grade was back in class with her!  Hannah and R.
Have a great year sweet girl!  You’re going to rock Grade 3!!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

New Disney Countdown–137 More Sleeps!!

Unfortunately I had to make the very difficult decision to cancel our Disney vacation last Thursday evening.  We were scheduled to leave for the airport in less than 12 hours and I’d held off making this decision as long as possible.  Hurricane Irma was still a frightening Category 5 and the word ‘catastrophic’ was in almost every newscasters vocabulary.  Nobody really knew where she would make land but since she was wider than the entire state of FL I knew it wouldn’t be a wise decision to continue with our trip.  While millions where trying to get out of FL, why would I take my daughter and willingly enter this frightening situation?

Sometimes doing the right thing isn’t the easy thing to do.  Poor Hannah cried and cried when I shared the news with her as I’d sheltered her from news and pictures of Irma so she was blindsided by my news.  Oh the tears….from both of us!


She was a trooper though and I know she handled the news better than Mommy!!  The following morning when we woke up and Irma had been downgraded to ‘only’ a Category 4 I was suddenly second guessing my decision.  (What was I thinking second guessing???  D’oh!!!)

When I took Hannah to school Friday morning and then continued on to work, over and over again teachers, friends and co-workers were thrilled to see us and expressed how thankful they were that we hadn’t gone.  Me too!

Anyway, Disney gave us a 100% refund for our trip and Southwest gave us a travel credit for 100% of our flight costs as they hadn’t actually cancelled our flight.

The great news is that Hannah and I have already rebooked our trip and will be heading to Disney late next January for an awesome Mommy-Daughter trip….without Irma!!

Thanks to all who have checked in after noticing our countdown in the sidebar.

I’ve never posted about our Disney Cruise from earlier this year so my new goal is to get a Disney fix by working on those posts soon.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Tea Party with Special Friends

Hannah and I have a treasured group of friends in our China Travel Group and we are blessed to have a second travel group from our agency that we met with as they were preparing to travel to China and they have invited us into their group too.

This summer to celebrate their Forever Family Day we were once again  invited to their gathering.  This year it was a precious Mother and Daughter tea!


Thank you so much for including us in your group get together Laura!  Hannah and I always enjoy the time we spend with you and the families in your group!  Such a treasured group of special friends!!

Summer Adventures

Hannah and I recently enjoyed a morning  of mini-golfing with Ange (Hannah’s wonderful daycare provider) and her boys.  We went to a new mini golf location and it was beautiful! 




After mini golfing we enjoyed lunch together then Hannah and I were off on the second part of our day of surprises – Tree Trekking!  The adventure started by getting all her gear on.


The place we went to had installed a kids course this year that was 3 – 6 feet off the ground and she loved it!!




Her favourite part (in spite of the look on her face) was the zip line that she got to do each time she went around the course.  In reality she was asking me to quickly take the picture so that she could go around the course again!


We’ve already decided that we’ll visit here again next year!  Hannah is hoping she’ll be 2” taller so that she can do the intermediate course.  Mommy’s not sure I’m ready for her to be 25’ up in the trees! Disappointed smile

There is a second play place at the same location so after the tree trekking Hannah and I enjoyed time running though nets and treehouses in the sky!IMG_5455

We both enjoyed this as I went up in the nets and treehouses with her some before watching from the safety of a bench below.

I’m so thankful these places were recommended to me by my friend Tammy.  Thanks Tammy!  New summer traditions have been born!

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