Saturday, April 27, 2013

We're going on a bear hunt.
We're going to find a bear.
What a beautiful day,
We're not scared!
Nani's visit was so nice. We did so many fun things, explored new places, had lots of good walks, and lovely dinners around the dining room table.  The kids were in such good spirits having her. And, with all of that fresh air we had healthy appetites making mealtime very relaxing.

One afternoon Annela, Georgie, and I headed north of the city to find a place to lunch.  Suddenly I was drawn to the little cafe where my wedding shower was held thirteen years ago.  I had not been since.  It was a sunny day and with all of the recent rain, the Milwaukee River that runs behind the cafe was near flooding and flowing rapidly.  It made for a very pretty setting.
It's just as sweet as I remember it.
My shower was very small and quaint and Annela and I tried to remember the gifts I received.

 After our lunch of veggie sandwiches, we splurged on dessert and ate them on the patio and watching the river.

 Nani shows George raccoon footprints on the bank of the river.

After lunch we headed to a park nearby to see a dam that was put in over 150 years ago to power the local grain mill.  Annela spotted 5-6 bald eagles in the sky and Georgie threw rocks in the river.

Friday, April 26, 2013

During Nani's visit we became tourists in our own city and looked hard to find new things to explore.  This little gem may have been the highlight of the visit.  It is the St. Joan of Arc Chapel on Marquette University's campus.  It has a wonderful little story of being rescued in France and eventually brought to the States.  It is over 500 years old and holds the famous Joan of Arc stone on which she stood and prayed.  Ever since the stone is cold, much colder than the other stones that surround it.  The chapel is situated right in the heart of campus with sweet little gardens surrounding it.  It was a very cold and windy day and by looking at the kids in the stroller they are both cold and exhausted!

George's preschool is a co-op so I get a lot of chances to volunteer in his classroom.  On this particular day we were celebrating Georgie's birthday and George was off of work so we all got to go to school with him.  This was the first time ever that George saw his preschool.  He really enjoyed it!
George does his Show and Share bag.  Being the day after his birthday it was filled with mostly shark stuff and the bug vacuum.

 We brought in a birthday treat.  I made carrot cake sandwich cookies with shark fins on top.
George has grown to love his school.  The first semester was a bit rough with a lot of tearful good byes.  Now he cheerfully marches up to school, gives me our secret handshake/hug/kiss goodbye, and goes right into his class.  I was worried about him going to Magnolia's school next year for the pre-kindergarten program but I think he'll do just fine!

Star of the Week
 Magnolia waited all year to be Star of the Week.  She got to do a show and tell every day.  Some of her items included a real deer antler and pink luggage tag with her picture in it that we put on our suitcase when we went to China.  The kids are allowed to ask questions about the item she was showing and that one stumped her.  There were a lot of questions she didn't know the answers to.  So, on Friday when we all came in, we answered lots of questions about her adoption which I think was wonderful.  :)
 She also had a poster all about herself that we worked on before her star of the week started.  We filled it with pictures and she did most of the writing.  Nani had just arrived from St. Louis and joined us in visiting on Friday.  Magnolia asked Nani to help her explain her poster to her class.
She wore a Star of the Week pin all week long and was very proud of it.  George came on Thursday to take her out to lunch.  And on Friday she proudly declared that her outfit was perfect for that day...lots of yellow.   It had certainly been a cheerful week for her!

Here is our George the last night being three!  He was one excited little boy.  We, on the other hand, were feeling a little bittersweet that he's growing up so fast.
When he wakes up Magnolia reminds him that he's now four!!!

Love this hug, he was so happy.
 We get ready for the party all morning.  His shark party!  George loves sharks and he knew for a long time that he wanted a shark party.  I made these super scary shark invites.

 I wasn't really prepared to make a serious shark cake so I hoped the blue icing and big shark on top would suffice.  George helped me frost it and put all of the little goldfish on, he loved it!

 These two pose right before the party in front of the huge "mystery gift" (a Big Wheel)

I monogrammed towels for favors.

Hot Dogs, coleslaw, and seaweed (spinach) dip.  And everyone had a shark at their place filled with shark blood (cherry juice) to squirt in their drink.

Aunt Mary hit it big with a huge airplane and a bug vacuum.  The sun barely warmed us as we tried out the plane outside.
Happy 4th Birthday George!  
It is such a joy and privilege to be your mom.  I love you SOOOOOOO much!