Saturday, March 5, 2011

Lion Dance

Just for fun, the girls got to take a whirlpool bath during "winter break". They LOVE the whirpool bathtub. Unfortunately, it takes about 100 gallons to fill (not really, but almost), so we only do that a few times a year. They really love all the bubbles.

Here is the dangerous bicycle trail we forced Olivia to risk her life riding. I know - what more could you ask for? It's flat, clean and beautiful... The first trip out went fairly well, but the second one was disasterous. (One step forward, two steps back?) What goes on in the mind of an overly cautious 6 yr old? Olivia peddles about as fast as a sleepy infant crawls. Brooke, on the other hand, is perfectly happy running right off the path, down the embankment and into the stream. (That didn't actually happen because Mark was able to grab the back of her shirt in time.) But, she'd laugh about it and do it all over again.

How's this for scenery while you ride?

Today was a fundraising carnival put on by the new China playgroup at Georgia Tech. The highlight was a Lion Dance!!

Several of the kids loved the lion, but...

some definitely did NOT. Poor Ella!!!

Brooke wasn't sure how she felt about the lion. As long as he kept his distance, she was fine. But when he got too close - she climbed up Daddy's leg! When the dance ended and the dancers took off the costume, she said loudly, "There's a man in there!!!!" Ah ha! She saw them before the dance, but somehow didn't make the connection. After that, she was happy to have her picture taken with the fearsome beast.

We got to try several boxed drinks they sell in China. One was sugar cane water, so you can guess what that tasted like. Another was "green gourd", which they said tasted like melon. Wrong! It tased like coffee. Ugh! (Of course, Mark and the girls loved that one.) My favorite was the green tea with jasmine.

Here's Brooke and Ella. Now that the lion is gone, Ella is happy again. The girls attend the same church and pre-school, plus - Ella and her mom, Laura, are our classmates in Chinese class! Ella is very good and pays better attention than Brooke. (She's 6 months older.)

After the carnival, we drove around the corner and had dessert at Ikea. We just love that place! Plus, we ran into the Perry's! We met Kim, Michael, and Sheridan during the wait for Brooke. Sheridan is from China and he's about Olivia's age. They had planned a cruise for "winter break", but Michael had to stay home, since he's a teacher and his county had to make up the snow days (week) lost in January. Argh!! Mother Nature strikes again! (Kim and Sheridan had fun, though!)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Winter Break

Grandma Sally went all-out and cooked another Thanksgiving Dinner! It was delicious!! Brooke really loves turkey, so Grandma Sally got a special hug for all her work.

One morning when Brooke had the sniffles, Olivia made breakfast (banana, cheerios, grapes and water) and left it on the floor outside Brooke's door before she left for school. (Brooke was sleeping late.) The note says, "Love you, Princiss!" One minute they are trying to kill each other, and the next minute they're in love...

Olivia's after-school art class presented the school with the winter mural they had made. First, they made an appearance on the school's morning TV show, and then they attended the actual presentation ceremony in the cafeteria.

The next week (last week) was Winter Break. It was a special treat when Aunt Carol called and invited the girls out to the horse farm to ride Phoenix. They were beside themselves. And the weather was great. What a nice break after all the ice and snow!

Daddy relaxing with the three mutts...

A playdate with Abby and her twin brothers! (We made it out to a park all but one day.)

There's a great hill at the park, so we always take along cardboard to slide on...

Maybe when Mark retires, he can open a doggie pedicure shop?

We also went to the zoo! It only cost $20 more than the regular family admission to buy a Family Pass for the rest of the year, so we went for that option. It was really nice going last week, because the Fulton County schools were NOT on vacation and we had the place to ourselves, plus the weather was still fantastic.
I love the little pink knees and feet on the flamingos.

These are meerkats. They are adorable. One guy (greyish) was totally zonked, catching some rays, when the other meerkat (brownish) came and laid down right on top of him. The one on the bottom didn't care at all. They are even lazier than the Bostons.

I have a pictuire of Olivia when she was about 18 months old, sitting on this very giraffe. One day I'll have to find it and post them together.

Olivia and Brooke with the Willie B. statue. Brooke was very nervous until she realized he was not real.

While we were in the gorilla observatory, the gorillas went crazy, literally running to the side of the observatory. Turns out the handlers were making a visit and had treats. There is just plexiglass between the handlers and the public, so we were able to get pictures of the gorillas interacting with the handlers. Neat-o!

I was happy to get this picture! Momma and baby...

My little monkeys!!

I just know this orangutan was saying, "Man, stupid tourists all day long..." Either that or he had a headache...

The tiger came all the way up to the window we were standing at, turned around and "marked" his territory. I would have gotten a good close-up picture of him, but Olivia had flung herself back from the window, right into me.

Can't forget the pandas! Daddy panda was in one area, just hanging around.

Momma panda was in the other area which leads into the panda house. She was banging to get inside, because she knew they were putting out all the fresh bamboo and treats. Baby was safe and sound inside that day.

Lazy kangaroos at the end of the day...

And then we got to what the girls had been whining for the entire time - the kid's playpark. Next time we'll do it first and have a happier tour of the zoo.

Riding the train. Olivia wanted to sit by herself and then got scared by the whistle.

But not Brooke...

Brooke, Olivia and Mark standing by the cannon Mark wants in the front yard. Yeah... maybe for Father's Day...

We forced the girls to ride their bikes a couple times during vacation, but I haven't had the chance to download the few pictures I got. There are only a few because I spent the entire time holding onto Olivia - who was conviced that the bicycle is simply a tool of death. If driving a bicycle is this hard for her, we'll never have to worry about her driving a car. We'll save a TON of insurance $$! Brooke on the other hand... daddy had to run after her more than once, frantically grabbing for the back of her shirt as she fearlessly wizzed down a hill... on the other hand, maybe we'll need Olivia's insurance money for Brooke...

Brooke got ahold of the hair-boo-boo bag and went to town. And then had a peanut butter sandwich.

Some of Olivia's recent artwork...