Sunday, March 30, 2008

Easter Pictures!

Forewarning: There are lots of pictures here...but that's what you are looking for, right? :)
We went to Grandma & Grandpa Meadows' house in Iowa City for Easter - we were able to make a long weekend of it and were there from Thursday night to Sunday afternoon. It was a lot of fun...the kids thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with the four cousins that are in their age group (ages 9 to 12) and the rest of my big family too - older cousins, aunts & uncles and of course their abuelos!

The night before Easter day the cousins (and aunts) had fun dying Easter Eggs!

Here are all the cousins (plus a couple aunts) having fun dying eggs. We had quite a few creative designs come out of this artistic group!

Holly's older sister, Tia Jenni with her oldest daughter Heather (age 12). Heather comments on our blog from time to time and even keeps a blog of her own!

Tia Michelle helps Angie dye eggs so that Mami can snap pictures and record videos! Angie loved dying eggs!

Laura loved it too - she is one creative little girl!

Good thing you can't really read the "creativity" that John put into this egg! Turns out he wrote 'pupus' (poo poos) on this egg with white crayon before dying it. He thought that was absolutely hilarious. Can you tell he's a 10 year old boy?!?

After dying eggs we did Resurrection Rolls (an idea given to me by my co-worker...thanks Amanda!). It basically tells the resurrection story through it's ingredients and culminates in the rolls coming out of the oven (tomb) empty (when it had been filled when it went in). Leave a comment if you'd like me to post this turned out pretty cool and had a tasty treat at the end too!

Here's the kids with their completed 'Resurrection Rolls'

Easter morning began with an Easter Basket hunt. Laura found hers in the laundry room!

Juancho found his in the sun room (can you tell the sun was already shining in?!)

The morning also had a fun Easter Egg Hunt in the front yard. All these festivities were very new to the kids...and they loved them! Though we indulged in many of the 'secular' Easter traditions, we definitely focused on hitting home the message of what Easter is all about. At an experiential Good Friday service it was cool to have the opportunity to discuss in depth with our kids the story of Easter and have them experience it a bit for themselves.

The eggs could have been empty and Angie still would have been thrilled with the Easter Egg Hunt adventure!

Before you guys think that our kids are always smiling, cute and never misbehave, I have to post our fabulous Easter Family Photo! As you can see, our two oldest are not at all happy in this photo. I like Laura's look of dissatisfaction the best. Now it is funny, at the time I was not so happy. Long story short, while we were determining where to take the photo in the foyer of the church, the kiddos spotted a tray of donuts and wanted to take one immediately, fearing they'd all be snatched up before they got there. Having all the family in the same spot and ready to go, I wanted to get the photo taken first. They obviously were less than thrilled with that idea! :) We tried photos again at home post-donuts and got a much better result...see below

Angie calls herself a 'princesa' while wearing this dress and we can see why! She was quite thrilled with being dressed up and was very reluctant to wear the cute white sweater Mami paired with this sleeveless dress...she wanted nothing to cover up her princesa outfit!

Have I said before how much I love Laura's smile and laugh? It is so contagious too! She's is quite a happy girl.

Juancho really thought he was styling with his new tie. He wanted to wear this exact outfit to church again today. And spike his hair again too. He definitely enjoys "lookin' good"! And he carries it off so well...

The trio - what a good lookin' bunch!

You know that song, "We are family...I got all my sistahs and me?" Well, it always makes me think of my family...and here I am with 2 of my 3 sisters. Jenni (3 years older than me) is in the blue...she has 3 kiddos too - Heather (12), Sarah (11), and Max (9). Michelle in black in the middle is 5.5 years younger than me and she and her hubby Chris live in Chicago-land with their 2 kitties Kenny and Susie. Not pictured is my sister Debbie whose oldest daughter Ashley (age 19) just moved to MN! She also has two sons - Ryan (age 18) and Joel (age 12). Not included in "The Sistahs" but equally as important is my little bro Jon (age 23) who just recently graduated from college and is immensely talented in singing, acting and dance! He just recently auditioned for some Disney production groups...I'll let ya'll know if he gets a role!


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Tubing at Buck Hill

I've been meaning to post these pics for a while now! Back in early March the cousins came over to spend a weekend. Abby, Olivia and Isabel had a great time playing with our three all weekend. We did a lot of fun things during the weekend, including going swimming at the Lifetime pool and spending several hours tubing at Buck Hill (thanks for getting that going Chris & Amy!). The kids LOVED tubing...and so did the adults! Here are a few photos from that event...

After arriving at the bottom of the hill...what a rush!

Laura says: "That was great Mami! Let's do it again!"

Juancho loved going as FAST as he possibly could! He soon learned that riding double with Mami or Papi could really make him fly!

Most of the cousins at the end of the day! As you can see by Laura's face, most were freezing after a couple hours of tubing, though Olivia was the brave one and she stayed behind for a few more runs with 'Uncle Bert'. Angie didn't come along on this outing - she's a bit too little for tubing just yet! But she stayed home with Ashley, Grandpa Dressel and Great Grandma Dressel - she sure loved all that attention!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New Look?!

Hey all, I messed around a bit on the layout of my blog today - adding some pics and other things. I have more I want to do - like figure out how to add some wording next to our family picture at the top of the page - anyone know how to do that?

But other than that, what do you think? I've learned I can add a slideshow I may look into that a bit later...

That's all for now - hoping to get an Easter post up this evening or early tomorrow!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Geem Beems

We have a bedtime routine of saying prayers with the children...they are known as "Thank You Jesus" or "Gracias Dios" prayers because they start off with Mami saying 'Thank You Jesus' or 'Gracias Dios' and the child finishes the sentence with whatever they want to give thanks for. NOTE: I copied this idea from fellow adoptive mom Janine who prays this way with her kiddos (adopted 3 from Colombia also...and has a Juancho too!)...great idea Janine!

Anyway, here was the 'Thank You Jesus' prayer time with Mami and Angie tonight...

Mami: Thank You Jesus...
Angie: Por Comida (for food)...como pan (bread), ketchup y geem beems.
Mami: Geem Beems?
Angie: Si, Geem Beems...yummy
Mami: Oh...Green Beans
Angie: Si, Geem Beems
Mami: Thank You Jesus...
Angie: Por Comida (for food) y mi nose y mi mouse (she means 'mouth') y mi eyes
Mami: Thank You Jesus...
Angie: Por Comida...y Barbie Doll y Baby
Mami: Thank You Jesus...
Angie: Por Comida...y Mami, Papi, Juancho, La la y PJ! AMEN!!! YAY!!!

As you can see, she is quite thankful for food! :) I was surprised at the 'Green Beans' comment, since it is always a struggle to get her to eat them! Maybe she's having a change of heart? I was just relieved that she didn't thank Jesus for poo poo and pee pee tonight like she has been doing for the past week!

Aah the faith of a child - refreshing and a good reminder to be thankful for all the little things...including Geem Beems!

PS - Easter stories and pics coming soon...we had SO much fun and Grandpa & Grandma Meadows' house!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


First of all...Happy St. Paddy's Day! (a couple days late, I know...this blog has been in the works for a while...mostly because of posting video difficulties...) Hope you all have the luck 'o' the Irish! For those of you who know me will know that Ireland is near and dear to my heart. Not only did I spend a year living outside of Dublin in 1999-2000, I also have Irish blood running through my veins! I'm a descendent of King Bryan of County Cork, Ireland! So I guess that technically means you can call me royalty! :)

So in honor of St. Patricks Day, my Irish heritage and, well, the Muppets, click on this link and enjoy a Muppet rendition of "Oh Danny Boy":

Animal, Beeker and the Chef (?) sing "Oh Danny Boy"

I took the kids to the St. Patrick's Day parade in St. Paul on Saturday (held Saturday b/c this year St. Paddy's falls during Holy Week. Worked out well for us, we wouldn't have been able to go today!). It was interesting introducing the kids to the idea of St. Patrick's Day...I'm pretty sure they just think we are all kind of weird...but they loved catching candy at the parade and picking out green clothes to wear today! But more on that another day...I'm still in 'catch up mode'!

I'm going to try posting a couple of videos. One of Angie counting and one of the now infamous "Everybody Dance Now" dance party! :) Here goes...

This first one is of Angie counting. It was taken a while ago...Angie now easily counts to twelve...she counts everything in sight...last night it was my teeth...thankfully I have more than twelve teeth, but for now that is what she could count up to! Saying her ABC's is something she loves to do too - but I'll save that for another video!

Click Here for the Video:
Angie Counting!

This second one is mainly John breaking it down to "Everybody Dance Now" by late 90's group C & C Music Factory! :) Take note of the strikingly Michael Jackson-ish dance moves and multiple appearances of the 'White Man's Overbite' move. It's also tough to miss the fact that John easily loves the camera - as noted by multiple occasions of him clearly SHOVING Laura out of the way (this was dealt with off camera for those of you who may be wondering!). Very funny stuff!

Click Here: DANCE PARTY!!

We have a follow up dance movie set to the tune of the Jungle Book theme song that incorporates all 3 kiddos equally - and equally as funny! For another day...

Signing Off!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dress Up with the Cousins!

A few weeks ago (this was a February happening also...) we had quite a gathering at our house. Robert was playing CPA and doing taxes for his father and sister. The cousins (Emily's girls - Abby, Olivia & Isabel) came over and our 3 absolutely LOVE playing with them. As usual, the dress up box came out (our girls have a fabulous dress up box, thanks to the gifts and donations from friends and grandparents!) and they all got dolled up. John even got in on the action, putting on his full Colombian futbol (soccer) uniform. Fun was had by all...see below!

John in his Colombian team futbol uniform

Cousin Isabel (age 6) made a beautiful princess...Angie is admiring in the background...

Abby thought the 'Pink Devil' costume suited her - even though she is as sweet as can be!

Here are all 6 dressed in their's hard to see Laura's sequined leotard and purple skirt or Olivia's princess outfit...but they all had a GREAT time dressing up!

The cousins came over more recently again to have a slumber party! We were suddenly the busy 'parents' of 6! We survived! We went tubing at Buck Hill and swimming at the gym that to come in another post for that one...I'm still working on catching you up on a few February happenings!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

You all are well-deserving of photos! So here are a few from our Valentine's Day breakfast! Mami made heart shaped pancakes with red sprinkles and we made special little cards for each of the kids telling them how special they are to us and how much we loved them. They LOVED Valentine's and receiving cards at school. And the candy! They get WAY more candy on Valentine's Day now than we used to when I was in school! Laura told me when she came home from school on Valentine's Day that she thought it was going to be like Halloween where they take their little boxes from class to class to get cards and candy! Even though that didn't happen, her little card box was stuffed full! They enjoyed giving and receiving LOVE that day! :) Here's some photos...

Laura was very excited to have a 'mariposa' (butterfly) in her card - can you tell by the huge grin? :)

We think Juancho liked his card too!

This pic of Angie cracks me up...she looks so smug and sly...

Laura & her heart shaped pancake. John in the background cracks me up with his 'loco' (crazy) hair!

John takes a little while to wake up in the mornings! He did like his pancake, though he wanted his WITHOUT sprinkles. I guess sprinkles were a bit too girly for this macho man! :)

Angie and her pancake...loaded with sprinkles as you can see!

Hope you all had a fun and LOVING Valentine's Day as well!
(More pics to come from other February happenings!)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I'm Feeling the Heat!

Okay, this will be a short one (postscript: Okay, not so short...what can I say, I like to write!)...and no pics...YET!

I've been feeling the heat from our faithful blog readers about my failure to keep to my 'once a week' blog update over the last month! Sorry Lisa, Heather, and all you other blog faithful's out there...if I haven't lost you already! :)

I do have some WONDERFUL pics of the kids to post on here that I've been saving for weeks...some highlights include playing dress-up with the cousins, tubing at Buck Hill, Valentine's Day and more! There are also a couple of hilarious dance party videos to link you to as well! I really will get these things up here soon!

English acquisition is coming along...though slowly at times it seems. Sometimes I wonder if we are doing them a disservice to learning English by continuing to speak predominantly Spanish in our home. We don't want the children to lose their Spanish language roots, and we find that communicating in Spanish is especially helpful during cuddle/bonding times as well as explanation of consequences and expectations.

That being said, I think John is quite our linguist. He really understands so much more than we know...and he keeps us laughing when he suddenly and unexpectedly busts out in an English phrase! The above named dance party videos came about after John came home from school one day and did some of his classic Michael Jackson-ish moves while singing "Everybody Dance Now..." :) We happened to have the C&C Music Factory CD (a throwback to our college years) and we got it out and there have been dance parties regularly since! It is definitely John's new favorite song! Yesterday, Angie was saying something in 3 year old Spanish to my niece Ashley and Ashley was asking me, "Holly, what does 'Mami posa' mean?" and I kept thinking Mami posa...what could she be getting at...when John piped up and said "Mariposa...Butterfly"! He not only translated 3 year old Spanish, but translated it into English too!

Robert and I have found "English Dinners" to be fun at times too...this is when we declare a dinner hour "English only" for Mami & Papi. That means that we as parents only speak in English, but we tell the kids that if they aren't sure what we said that they can help each other figure it out. Sometimes Laura translates for Angie or John translates for both girls or all together they figure it out. We've been surprised when we've done English Dinners in the past as to how much they really do know.

I think we'll reach a tipping point soon where all of a sudden we'll see much more English acquisition and understanding flooding in!

In the meantime, keep checking for the pics and videos...I promise they will be worth the wait!