Same photo....different effects. I couldn't pick a favorite so here they are.
Almost B&W....left some color
The school bus picks Lauren up right in front of our house so I can keep a good eye on her (from the window) while she waits. Just for insurance sake, I send Katy with Lauren to wait for the bus with her. Katy and I waited with Lauren every day last year so Katy knows what to do....her job is to keep an eye on my girl.
The thing about Katy is that she is a huge baby. She is about 8 years old and is a very sensitive dog. She is good with kids and loves everyone. She is also very smart and very protective of us. She acts sweet and goofy most of the time but she loses that appearance very quickly when she feels protective. I have seen her in action a couple of times....she puffs up, barks very loudly and shows teeth that would make anyone back up and think twice about approaching. I have only seen her look like that a couple of times but I like the idea she stands next to my girl.
Lauren was super excited about Halloween this year and wanted to be a fairy. She absolutely loves the whole thing.....the costume, the trick-or-treating and the party at school. It's really more of a harvest party but it's all the same to her. The kids get to dress up, decorate cookies, play games and get some candy. Lauren won most memorable costume and she liked that. It might have been the first time she won something!!!
I have been spending Friday in Lauren's classroom grading papers, etc. but I got to help with the party last Friday. It was really fun to be there and it was the first time that I actually was there for a party. I intended to help last year but looking back, things were still so overwhelming. Larry and I are much more settled into the parent routine this year and are able to take on more activities.
Since we don't live in a neighborhood with nearby houses, we had dinner and my sisters and then Julie happily took Lauren trick-0r-treating. They were out for about 1 1/2 hours and came home with a bag full. Truthfully, Lauren will eat some of the candy but the doesn't have an overwhelming interest in candy. She likes getting it and sorting it. I think her favorites are the Hershey chocolate bars and those will be the ones that she eats for sure.
Here's a few pictures taken before they headed out to trick-or-treat. By the way, no rain this year. Lauren has had two Halloween's....no wind or rain either year. It used to pour rain when I was a kid!
We headed to the Oregon Coast a couple of weeks ago to do a little crabbing. Larry and I had been crabbing the weekend before and we did pretty good and had a great time. The weather and tides were good the following weekend so we gave it another try, this time with Lauren. We camped for the weekend with Larry's mom, his sister Annetter and her husband, Donald. We didn't get as many crabs as the week before but we had a lot of fun.
I love this picture. I took it early morning on a dock on bay. It was really cold outside and she was drinking hot chocolate. I had her bundled up in her coat, a life jacket on top and my coat on top of that. It looks like she is going skiing instead of crabbing.
The summer went by too fast! We managed to squeeze in a couple of camping trips and several boating trips. Lauren spent the majority of her summer at various sports camps. She did enjoy them but I can really tell the difference in her maturity from last summer. She will need to have a more challenging summer next year as she will be just too old for "sports camps".
Lauren's friend from her orphanage came for a visit and stayed for 5 days. I really can't describe how great it was to see the girls together. The had so much fun! We had professional photos taken and I will post them soon. Arianna lives about 5 hours away and we are so grateful that the schedules worked out so they could to see each other again. They did not speak any Chinese with each other and both girls claim to have forgotten how. We doubt that. Arianna's family, as well as us, have encouraged the girls to maintain their language but they could not be less interested. Unfortunately, it is low on the priority list after English, reading and math. I am sure they will remember enough to pick it up quickly at some point down the road.
We are looking forward to a Caribbean cruise in November. We are leaving from Miami and have a couple of nights in Florida before we actually sail. Lauren is extremely excited and knows that we will have "lots of time to play" together.
School has started and is off to a good start. She got the teacher that she really wanted. I was happy for her because it was one the first things she has had a strong opinion about and involved something that I could not control. In addition, Lauren is enjoying a little independence after school. We felt that Lauren was mature enough to stay home for an hour and a half by herself so we are skipping after school care this year. She was all for the idea and is more than willing to follow all of the rules. We think it is going to work out just fine.
Here's a few pictures from our summer...............
Lauren and Arianna. Could Arianna be any cuter? Believe me, she is an absolute sweetie!