The Year of the Horse galloped in wonderfully last week! But before all of the celebrations, Katie and I did our solid best to exhaust our girls last Thursday. With the schedule so off kilter from missed school because of this weather, it was crucial. We hit our science museum and braved the cold weather. We even had lunch with Ella's Daddy and Aunt Gretchen while we were downtown. It was a great diversion.
|This may be one of my top five favorite photos of them.|
The following morning, we got dressed in our prettiest red for good luck and packed our bags for school. For the second year, Ella's teachers welcomed me into the class to teach her classmates about the New Year traditions.
Larry and I even made a cake!
Ella goes to school with such ease and confidence now - something that never came easy to her last year in spite of her affection for her teachers and classmates. This year's changes blew me away. I mean just look at these five little women: confident, happy and affectionate. Ella has BOTH arms wrapped around her classmate Callie. The best part? They had to take a break from building forts and towers for this photo. I think they are all going places.
We made Chinese drums. We had a dance party to Chinese music. I read books. We learned Chinese words. Ella never really sought me out or 'needed' me. I left there and headed to work with the hugest grin on my face and really, really exhausted from those sweet kids.
|Mrs. K with our serious artist.|
We sent out New Year's cards this year of these two screwballs. Here's several from that photo shoot that were included on the card (and some that did not). Mama Katie and her hawk eyes found these adorable shirts that say, "I love you to the moon and back". If you're around us for any amount of time, you'll hear this as we say it all the time.
Such beauties and they look older here than I'm really comfortable with...
We headed to our FCC gathering on Sunday after church with Grandma and Grandpa in tow. It was a smaller crowd this year and it made it slightly easier to navigate and actually talk to just about everyone. I'm in heaven getting face time with some of the parents and kids that I usually only communicate with via social network! We saw very little of Ella at this luncheon. She was busy running with the Brat Pack. Again, what a difference a year makes. The joy and thankfulness we have for this group of families is beyond words. They are part of why Ella is so awesome.
|Ava and Emmett, with his pirate smile :)|
|Lana is amazing with these two. She was Ella's age when we first met her. Unbelievable.|
|I lived on the edge and piled my plate with a variety of dumplings that I'd never had. Pretty little thing, huh?|
This last picture from the celebration is, by far, my favorite. This is Ella's pediatrician. She also is the pediatrician to all of these children - including Roz. She is a mother of three great daughters and her youngest is adopted from China. She is our own personal doctor without borders and we adore her.
|Can you say much-needed nap after all that?!!|