Getting back into the swing of things after the holidays is not always easy, but after this week, I finally am starting to feel like we're back to normal. I don't know who's gone through Jeff/Jack withdrawals more, me or Jane! She's been asking for each of them several times during the day, although when I ask her where they are, she knows exactly where they are! I think we were a bit spoiled to have them all to ourselves for so long (it was wonderful!). So, back to real life where we have to say goodbye each morning and get on with our everyday things!
One things we really missed while we were in Hong Kong was Thai food. I took the kids down to our favorite chicken lady one night this week for our favorite grilled chicken, som tam, and sticky rice. She was super busy, so we waited a bit, but she gave the kids chicken wings to munch on while we waited, which they quickly polished off and moved onto milk from our friendly neighborhood 7-11 where we know all the employees! I took this picture because I love sitting here for some good people watching.
Jane's kind of in between her crib and big girl bed lately. This week she decided she wanted to sleep in the big bed a few times, which was fine. I went in to check on her after a bit and found her like this. She looks like she dropped off to sleep while she was trying to decide if she wanted to stay in bed or not! I love sleeping pictures.
Speaking of sleeping pictures... Jack has created a series of forts out of his couch cushions this week. This was his masterpiece today that he actually took a good Sunday nap in. He was so excited about it, and loved waking up to the missionaries peeking in on him!
Jane was invited to her first birthday party (that was just for her) this week. A little girl was turning 1 on the 32nd floor, and her mother invited us up for coffee and cakes, which for me, translates into fruit and juice! It was a fun visit, and she got to wear her party dress, high heels, and came home with a fantastic Hello Kitty balloon she hasn't let out of her sight!
Jack also had a party this weekend, held at his school. For the activities, Menamu's mother had a group come in and direct some games and activities for the kids. Apparently, they do a ton of parties, but since we have to miss so many (a lot are on Sundays or while we have been away), this was our first chance with them. They played dodge ball, another game where they pick up the balls (funny how they made this SO fun, when really it was just like cleaning up!), and just did silly activities all over the play area. It was great. The guys were so spazzy, the kids were loving it!
In this one, the kids were all trying to take the balls from the monster who was sleeping. They were all getting into it, squealing every time he flinched, and being super quiet and sneaky. Such a simple and silly game, but it just goes to show that kids don't need a lot of "stuff" to have fun, they just need ideas!
After Jack's birthday party, we headed over for the last part of the ward party. It was fun to visit and play Scripture Scategories for a bit. It was a very impromptu ward activity, but turned out great from what we saw. The kids had a blast, and the adults got to visit when we weren't in busy church hallways!
Part of the Spencer family (who we actually saw at Disneyland in Hong Kong, small world!), Sally, Kathrine, and Diana. I wish I would have taken more pictures of everyone, I was too busy enjoying the company!
Tonight we got to go visit Rikker and Kaw to see their new baby, Leslie, and visit with Lori (my cousin) who was in town for the week! It was fun to be with family, and see their darling daughter. We could hardly get Jack and Jane to keep their hands off of her. This week, Jack has been reminiscing about how tiny Jane's toes once were, so it was especially exciting for him to see a newborn again. We really don't see a lot of babies here! And, my goodness, this Leslie was about as sweet as they come!
Kaw was so sweet to let Jack sit as close as he could get to her and Leslie! It's quite a transition after having a baby, so we were so grateful they would let us come over for a visit!
I think Lori probably read Jack at least 15 different books while we were there! He was eating it up, and she was such a good sport! She was giving the kids horsey rides, taking them upstairs for different toys, and even treated us all to peanut M&Ms! Lori definitely won my kids' hearts!
If you haven't seen enough of Jack and Jeff's projects, here's another one. This is their zipline running from the closet to the top bunk. Let the air out of the balloon, and voila! It's zipping from one end of the room to the other!
There's a fabulous Lego exhibit at the Emporium this month. Jack and I were there picking out a book for his friend's birthday, and just had to stop for a look. They had displays of the Eiffel tower and a pretty impressive temple. Also, many tables where kids could just work and create as long as they wanted. I was sad we missed the Lego man character while we were in the book store, he was pretty cool. I think we'll head over there at least once more before it's gone!
I really wanted to have my Hong Kong video done for this week, but it just wasn't happening. It's been fun to organize all our favorite photos and remember why we loved that vacation so much. Some things you just can't get photos of though. One of my favorite things was watching my kids go to sleep each night, and waking up with them so close every morning. We all read Charlotte's Web again on this trip. Jane sang Jingle Bells, Twinkle, and many others while riding on Jeff's shoulders all through the city. I also loved the absence of the computer and a ringing phone. It was great to realize how creative we can get when we need to entertain ourselves everyday on the trains for so long! Who knew you could play "Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?" for 30 minutes between only 4 people? I loved being together 24/7. Can you tell, I'm not quite home yet? I'm getting there. Maybe one more week.