Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bye-Bye 2008!

During this last weekend of the year, we did a couple fitting activities. On Saturday, we saw the move The Tale of Desperaux. Since we are nearing the end of the Year of the Rat (Mouse) and the starring role was a mouse character, this was a good choice to seek out. On Sunday, we attended a really cool presentation at the Hurst Planetarium about the winter solstice and holidays. Afterwards we went for hot chocolate and coffee and later that evening, took out the telescope and looked at the winter sky with new appreciation. On Monday, it was a drive into the city to one of our favorite destinations - Detroit's Mexicantown. We shopped at the Honeybee Market and had lunch at our favorite - El Comal - Guatemalan dishes are their speciality. We now have delicious salsa, chips, tortillas and other "real" latino foods in the house again!

At the supermercado:

Lunch with friends: (clockwise)- C., Danny, Patty, Tracy, Jasen, Frank and E.

On the way home, we stopped to see our friends Linda and Yensi for some holiday cheer. Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at Karen and Gary's house. Everyone went to the 6:30 pm Mass, then had a delicious dinner. Anyone who knows my sister Karen knows what a wonderful cook she is! My brother Pat, sis-in-law Linda and their two girls, Stephanie with husband Cody (the kids' godparents), Elizabeth with her boyfriend Shaun and our Aunt Leone joined us in the celebration.

The beautiful tree:

One of many presents to open. Poor C - he wasn't feeling very well (ear infection) and had just woken up from a nap before this photo:

E. checking things out with Stephie, while Aunt Linda looks on:

We arrived back home about 1 pm Christmas Day. There were gifts under the tree - seems like Santa found our house the night before while C. and E. were away!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Kindergarten Holiday Concert

The Kindergarten classes held a holiday concert for parents on December 16. Since E. loves to sing, she was in her element. Everyone did a great job!

The two classes: one wore reindeer hats, the other was decked out in a Christmas tree shaped crowns:

Several songs included the actions of finger play:

Back in the classroom:

Enjoying her snack and showing off her crafts with Mom:

And then, on the way out, we stopped by C.'s class and snapped this shot:

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Day

We had the pleasure of spending Thanksgiving with our dear friends Sherry, Larry and their four daughters along with Mary and her daughter. And we were this close to traveling out-of-state! Sherry and Larry live just inside the Michigan-Ohio state line. Great food plus wonderful friends equaled a super holiday!

The "big kids''" table shared with little kid Katy:

The little kids' table:

From left to right: Ivy, Elizabeth, Elena, Carlos, Mya, Katy and Maylin. Who's having the most fun? The girls having the attention of a boy or the boy being surrounded by all these beauties?!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Treehouse

C. and E. had the day off from school, so we met some friends at The Treehouse - an indoor climbing space in Chelsea. The kids enjoy all the running and climbing and usually tire themselves out - and end up snoozing the 30 minute ride home. Today, a local author read her book and brought along the story's hero.

Yummy! The mac n' cheese here is delicious!

Meeting the author:

Merriweather Matthew Mouse and friends:

Time out from playing a game of catch with MMM:

Sunday, November 16, 2008

First Snowfall of the Season

came today and the kids couldn't wait to get out there. They missed seeing snow last year, so this was a special treat. We tried to convince them that there will be plenty more coming soon. Ahh... to be a kid again and to actually like snow!

Yesterday, November 15, we went to Jackson's Michigan Theatre to see "The Encounters at the End of the World - a documentary about the scientists in Antartica. Fascinating and the kids were in awe at the scenery. The Michigan is one of those majestic theatres from the 1920s that's currently under restoration. 1.5 million dollars has already been put into it and there is a lot more work to be done. But the grand lobby and the work that is done is simply beautiful. One can just imagine the crowds from the Thirties and Forties enjoying "the picture show" on the big screen.

A Saturday with Friends

On November 8, C. and E. met their friends at the Kids N Stuff Museum in Albion for some fun. Here are some highlights:

They had a blast with countless costume changes.

GuateTOTS no more...now GuateKIDS!! E. and C. with Yensi (just turned 6) and Nicolas (almost 7).

The little drummer boy!

The girls enjoying one of the quieter activities.

The water table is always a hit. That's Nicolas' brother Alex in the foreground.

"Trick or Treat!"

These little magicians had a wonderful, warm early evening for collecting a big ol' bagful of candy.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Our Future Spartans

On Sunday mornings, C. and E. attend the MSU Chinese School in East Lansing. It has been a smooth transition to Mandarin again. It's a very impressive program.

Before class - outside of Bessey Hall - alongside the banks of the Red Cedar. Maybe in 12 years or so more photos will be taken during dorm move-in day! (If not here, I'll settle for another Big 10 University!)

Waiting for class to begin: E. is in the K level and C. attends the first level.

Gymnastics and Soccer

are the two activites that keep us busy on Fall Saturdays:

Coach Gustavo preparing team Galaxy for the opening game:

The Big Day - September 2

We were all excited on this first day of school! (Although C. looks like he's not so sure about it.)

To the bus stop: (C. is still not quite sure...) and Elena couldn't stop smiling.

Waiting with Papi: The bus comes early - at 6:45 am and it's still dark.

Our baby happily going off into the big, bad world...alone!

Enjoying our first morning of freedom in a long time! It was almost as if we were at Salvador's in Kunming once again...

Final Days of Summer Vacation

On one of the remaining vacation days we visited Impression 5 Science Museum in Lansing:

Shortly after this picture was taken, I dropped the camera! Arrggh!! Turned out to be quite an expensive fieldtrip!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mail Call!

All four boxes from China arrived in great shape. Woo-hoo, more stuff!

Kids n' Stuff Museum

We are now members of this neat museum near us. There's a lot to do. Here are a few of the many activities offered:

A favorite: the "fishin' hole".

Cultivating artistic talents:

C. learned how to play checkers this summer and this giant version was a lot of fun to try:

Working on those pre-engineering skills:

Kiddie Kamp redux

The kids enjoyed it once again this year. Next summer, they'll be ready for "Kids Kamp" - a week long all-day experience. Here are some highlights:

Proud of all the crafts made: