I almost didn't remember what my log-in was in order to jump back on and blog. I've been missing it and wanted to get back to it to instill a sense of normalcy in life. I've missed giving you guys the latest in the life of my kids AND catching up on what's going on your world via your blogs! Some of you know why life has been 'not normal' lately and some of you don't. I won't be talking about that story here...this is the place to catch up on our three favorite Colombian-Americans! They've been busy these past couple months! I'll give you a few highlights and leave you with some fun photos too!
**John & Laura started YMCA Day Camp 3 days a week in June and they've gotten to participate in some GREAT field trips like going to the Water Park, the Twins game, Fort Snelling, Grand Slam, to a movie (Wall-E) and more! They love it! John is such the giver - every time they do a craft, he does his best to do at least 3 crafts - one for him, one for Angie and one for his parents...such a good boy!
**Angie has been able to develop some friends through some 'play-date days' that she often has - usually on a weekly basis. Her favorite friends are Claire & Ivy, Maddie and Rachel & Jake - she often says "Mami, we go to friends house today?"
**John & Laura are doing summer school during the month of July - 4 days a week for 3 hours in the morning. They get to ride the bus to and from their summer school and are both enrolled in the ESL program. Their English ability is improving by leaps and bounds - they can understand nearly everything and surprise me on a daily basis on the excellent English sentence structure and growing vocabulary that they have! We do still do English & Spanish at home.
**We did a "Mini-Vacation" to Iowa to visit my family in late June. My little brother auditioned for and was selected to be a member of 'Voices of Liberty' - a very select DisneyWorld choir. They are an a capella group singing patriotic songs and known for their wonderful Christmas shows as well. In addition to singing daily at Epcot Center, the group has performed around the world - including for several Presidents! So we wanted to visit Tio Jon before he left for Florida for his first BIG gig after graduating from college. We also got to survey the intense flood damage Iowa City sustained. The homes of my parents and sister were spared, but the home church I grew up in was nearly drowned in the flood - at one point is had over 5 feet of water inside of the building! The waters have receded and major demolition happened inside the church, but by all accounts it looks like the building as a shell can be spared!
**My 18 year old nephew Ryan was flooded out of his summer job and decided to move up to MN for the summer to live with us and help out with the kids - he's been a joy to have around...and he is GREAT with the kids - they love him!
These are just a few things...I'll be telling you stories of fun adventures we've had in some of the posts to come...
OK - here's a few pics...
We celebrated 6 months of being a family in early May by going to Los Andes - a Colombian/Ecuadorian restaurant in the Uptown area of Minneapolis. In this pic you see Laura sipping a 'Colombina' - a popular soda in Colombia. Both her and Juancho were so excited to order 'La Banda Paisa' a traditional plate of Colombian food. It was a special day!
I unexpectedly got FREE tickets to take the kids to the MN Children's Theater to see "The Magic of Mrs. Piggle Wiggle" one night. The kids LOVED it! Even Angie was riveted throughout the entire 2.5 hour play! The MN Children's Theater is one of the best in the nation! I was so thankful to get free tickets - they would have cost us well over $100 for all of us to go otherwise. The kids are STILL talking about that fun night!
I LOVE this pic of Angie - it was taken when the kids were playing with the sprinkler out in my parent's yard in Iowa. This pic just shows the pure joy and carefree-ness of being a kid - she is still such a peanut with her slight frame, but she makes up for that in personality, that is for sure! :)
This is the classic 'stair-step' picture of the cousins on the Meadows' side. From L to R it is: Heather - age 13 (my sister Jenni's oldest), Joel - age 12 (my sister Debbie's youngest), Juancho (what a character), Sarah - age 11 (sister Jenni's middle child), Max - age 9 (sister Jenni's youngest), Laura and Angie (who was a little tired by this point...). Our 3 have a GREAT time playing with their Iowa cousins AND their MN cousins!
Here is John & Laura standing in front of my home church in Iowa where my mom works and my family are active members. By the time this pic was taken, the floodwaters had receding significantly. Previously the floodwaters had completely covered the 6 foot tall sandbag wall you can see in the background and over 5 feet of water stood for several days INSIDE the church!
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