Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Updated Photo

Same photo....different effects. I couldn't pick a favorite so here they are.

Almost B&W....left some color


Lots of color!
I really like the texture in this one.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lauren and The Slobberpuss

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.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009

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' wind or rain either year. It used to pour rain when I was a kid!

Even Mom's dog, Schatzie, got into the Halloween spirit!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Crabbing Adventure

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.

Ready to head out and do some crabbing. It warmed up and she was able to lose one of the coats! She stayed out in the boat all day despite a pretty cool wind.

Larry, Lauren and Larry's Mom

Let me tell you, Lauren loves her Aunt Annette

Lauren wasn't too sure what she thought of crab the first time she saw them. This was her second crabbing trip...we took her last year as well. She has gotten over the appearance and has no problem enjoying dungeness crab

Learning to clean crab with Uncle Donald

I thought I should help her out but she didn't need any help. She knew what to do and did a really good job

After Lauren took over the crab cleaning.....Annette and I just watched.

It turns out that Lauren can clean crab with the best of them.
More power to her.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Summer Catch Up

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!

Hey! Are you both sleeping? Worn out from a day of fun.

First night of our camping trip

The secret handshake

Fascinated with the fire pit.....Lauren thought it was great fun to pour water on the fire.

Owyhee Reservoir in Eastern Oregon. It's 53 miles long and a fabulous waterskiing lake. The area is desert and desolate but really beautiful. We camped for 4 days with my brother, his girlfriend and Julie. We should have stayed longer! Next Year!

Lauren had extra sunscreen on her hands which she used to style Uncle Jeff's hair. He was not overly impressed but a good sport. BTW...this is a rare photo of my brother...he is generally camera shy!

Playing in the hot springs near where we camped. The water felt really, really good! I had never been in a natural hot springs before. The water that actually came out of the ground was so hot that you couldn't put your foot in it. The area we were in was near a river so there was cold river water mixing with the hot water. Perfect.

Out of the hot springs. It was fairly early in the morning a beautiful day.
Life is good.

Wishing she could drive the boat.

We had a thunder and lightning storm pass through while camping. We waited it out in the tent. I am very opposed to camping in the rain but this short burst of rain was actually kind of fun.
Larry managed to get up on the knee board with Lauren on his back. Brute strength I guess.

Lauren prefers the ski biscuit's my sister, Robin. Wait a minute, that's Julie. Actually, I'm not sure.
No, it's Julie. I'm sure now.
(Where did my little niece go?)

A little knee board action with Julie

Oh No! This doesn't look good!

She pulled out of it!

Caught a small mouth bass. Much to my surprise, Lauren really likes fishing.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Recent Picture

This is a very recent picture of Lauren. I have tons of pictures that I will be posting this week. I am behind but partially because we have been so busy. Lauren's friend from her orphanage, Arianna, stayed with us for a week. We have been camping and having lots of fun together. We are getting ready for school to start next week. Check back for pictures!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Random Photos

I have been so behind on my pictures! I don't take as many pictures as I used to and this drives me crazy! I love taking pictures of Lauren but I think our summer has been so busy that I haven't had the time to really think about bringing a camera along with us.

Lauren is attending sports and dance camps this summer and absolutely loves them. Every week is different and the camps are really good for her....she enjoys the socialization and the physical activity helps burn off her energy. I am constantly amazed that she never seems tired or run down. She is our Energizer Bunny....she keeps going and going!

I did schedule out about 3 weeks from camps and a young woman, Brittany, comes to our house in the morning and spends the day with Lauren. She works with Lauren on math and reading....basically trying to keep her skills up so she doesn't forget over the summer. She has taken Lauren to the zoo, parks and swimming when it's hot. It's been around 100 degrees lately so they have been in the pool alot!

Lauren has also been working with her reading tutor this summer as well. He has been one of our best investments. Lauren loves him and she has made progress in leaps and bounds. We are very happy with her progress.

Here's a few random pictures that I managed to take!

Trying to pose for a picture with Katy but Katy wasn't cooperating today.

Oops.....just got an unexpected kiss.

Asleep with Jodie. I don't think Jodie was having a restful sleep.

Lauren had a sleep over with her cousins. They had a great time.....Karaoke for a couple of hours, swimming followed by a facial mask and tons of snacks.

Singing in the car on our camping trip.

Very typical..... asleep in the car!

We went camping in southern Oregon. We stopped at a geological site...."Crack in the Ground". This area is a volcanic fissure over two miles long and up to 70 feet deep. We checked it out and it was actually pretty fun to walk through.

Heading down the rocks towards the bottom of the rock formation

Still likes to make a peace sign in pictures!

Larry told Lauren to lean against the wall with him and keep a serious expression on her face. She couldn't do it....she kept cracking up.

With Dad just before he left on a 3-hour motorcycle race