After our visit to the Terracotta Warriors, we had a great night out in Xi'An. Xi'An is quite beautiful and given the fact that it is so hot during the day, the city really comes alive at night (don't get me wrong though, it is ALWAYS crowded here!).
Winnie and the girls in front of our hotel before heading out for dinner.
Matt and Alex waiting for dinner to arrive.
Wherever we go to eat, Winnie always tries to order something off the menu that is local to the area that we visiting. Don't you love how the waitress is pouring our tea?
Alex pouring beer in cool little bowls.
Nice ceiling in the restaurant:
I got bubble tea for dessert. I just love that stuff!!
We made our way to the city square to see the locals sell their items on the street (I like how you can cross a busy intersection underground instead of fighting traffic...
There are a lot of old, pretty buildings in Xi'An that light up at night. It's gorgeous!
On our way back to the hotel we walked through a night market, lined with various restaurants and stalls. It was almost midnight and it was still so crowded!
We visited the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'An today. What an amazing historical site...
The farmer who orginally discovered the statues in 1974 is here this week signing autographs.
To listen to how they were discovered, why they were originally made and to see how many there are is amazing. And to think there are even more!! They are confident that there are more warriors that have yet to be discovered and they continue looking for them in the surrounding area's. My mind is officially blown.
Today we made our way from Changsha, Hunan to Xi'An, Shaanxi. We took another train and we are quite the spectacle here! People stare at us and are constantly talking to the girls (in Chinese of course and when Winnie tells them they don't speak Chinese, we often get a disapproving look from the locals). I was waiting with our luggage and at one point a couple came running over, frantically talking to me in Chinese. The womon stood next to me and forced me to put my arm around her and just like that her husband took a picture of us. Hilarious!
The man in this picture apparently wanted to know how our family fits together. I was quite impressed with Alex who was able to explain to him (with his limited Mandarin) how we are all related.
Tahlia has been so sweet with the kids around here. She is always smiling at them, waving at them, asking them for hugs and taking selfies with them :-)
Once on the train we settled in for the five hour long ride. In typical fashion, Tahlia put on her mask and her earbuds and was out for about two hours.
Jazzie and I played some games:
The rest of us napped and played a various electronic devices.
This little girl sat in front of me and kept staring at me; she was so cute!
And now we are checked in at our hotel in Xi'An. I'm off to bed since I'm so tired and another busy day is waiting for us tomorrow. Goodnight!!
Today was the day that Jazzie had been waiting for. After being picked up at our hotel by our local guide and driver, we took a two hour drive to Youxian SWI...
Dirt road leading up to the SWI:
Director Ding and his vice-president were waiting for us and welcomed us warmly. The vice-director immediately took Jazzie's hand started to lead us into the office where we were served tea and fruit.
It was surreal to see my first real glimpse of the place where our daughter spent the first 10 months of her life. A place I had only seen in pictures before...
I had to smile when I noticed a picture of Holland on Director Ding's office door...
Once in the office, we were given Jazzie's file to look over and they showed as a scrapbook that another family brought several years ago when they visited. The thing is that I had completely forgotten putting together a page until I came across it ;-)
After speaking with the director for a while, we were given a tour of the building. The orphanage houses only five children now!! There is only one room with babies left. We passed several others room with empty cribs just piled on top of each other or lined up in a row.
The one question Jazzie had was if there were still people that worked at the SWI who were there when she lived there. Turns out that there were two nannies still!! They both remembered Jazzie when we showed them a baby picture.
Jazzie and her caregiver:
We immediately recognized this nanny, beause she was the one who carried Jazzie into the hotel and had her on her lap while we were waiting to receive the babies... We were amazed that she was still there.
Looking a bit pensive...
A few pictures in front of Youxian SWI:
Then the director and vice-director took us to a local restaurant for lunch:
After lunch we went to look at Jazzie's finding spot, but were surprised to find out that we stopped at a local jewelry store first so that the director could buy the girls a necklace with their Chinese zodiac charm. Such a sweet and lovely gesture!
With the vice-director...
Tahlia was treated just as warm and kindly as Jazzie was.
Next and final stop: Jazzie's finding spot.
We put up a poster...
And it wasn't long before we had people coming to check it out ;-)
Getting hugs goodbye:
So, so grateful we got to do this as a family...
Tomorrow we leave Hunan and will make our way to Xi'An where we will see the Terracotta Warriors.
Currently it is Monday evening, July 8 and we are in Changsha!! We left Guangzhou this morning and took the speed train to get here. It took about three hours and it was not bad at all. We are all checked in at the Longhua International Hotel and if you are going to be traveling to Changsha any time soon, I highly recommend this hotel.
We had a great time in Guangdong and we are so grateful to Winnie's parents for opening up their homes to us. It was wonderful to take Tahlia back to where she came from and I really believe she left her province with a sense of peace. It was especially wonderful to experience her seeing herself in other people on the streets. Every time she saw a person that looked like her, so pointed it out and several times she went up to a little gitl, just because she thought that they looked like her :-)
We spent yesterday morning on Shamian Island. We stayed there during our adoption trips and even though a lot has changed since we were there, it was still nice to walk around the island and see all the familiar sights.
The medical exam is where we offcially found out that Jazzie was deaf (even though we already knew it in our hearts, but kept it quiet in fear of us not being able to keep Jazzie). We were asked three times if we wanted a different baby and the entire experience was so emotional for me that I blocked a lot of it out. I just remember crying and crying because I was SO afraid that we were not going to be able to keep Jazzie because we were not approved for a special needs child. Thank goodness our wonderful agency worked overnight to get our paperwork in order and we were able to take Jazzie home. A special shout-out to our travelmates who consoled and supported us during that time. It was almost surreal to have Jazzie stand in front of the building 11 years later.
The White Swan Hotel was closed for remodeling so we could not get in :-(
One more swim in the pool at Winnie's family's apartment building. I'm on the 29th floor and Matt and Tahlia are down there swimming!
Finally an update!! I am having a hard time posting pictures due to very slow internet. On 4th of July we visited Yangchun SWI. It was an emotional day for all of us, but I am so glad we got to this for Tahlia. We will visit Jazzie's orphanage on the 9th, but for now here are some pictures of our Yangchun visit.
Picture taken before we got into the car to head to the SWI, right across the street from our hotel.
Matt and Alex talking to director Yu:
The director handed us Tahlia's file and we were able to look over everything and take pictures of it.
We even got to see am early picture of Tahlia that we had never seen before. It was at this point tht Tahlia started to cry. She was just so sad and I can't even imagine what was going through her little head.
Tahlia and her official Yangchun file:
Tahia received a gift from director Yu. Winnie's dad is holding it up for her. He came along and served as our driver. So cool...
This little baby is going home to her American parents in a few weeks. I got to snuggle her and whisper that her mommy and daddy were coming soon. I also got to send a few pictures to her mom :-)
The girls had a good time playing with some of the other children. We brought beach balls and hair clips for them....
Winnie enjoyed some cuddles as well:
This little girl was fascinated by the girls iTouches and really enjoyed taking some selfies with Jazzie and Tahlia:
Alex talking to a boy who kept following us around...
Jazzie gave him a lollipop and he had no idea what to do with it. She showed him how to eat it and it was just so sweet.
Tahlia in her old room:
Tahlia really enjoyed seeing director Yu. Tahlia made a point of sitting next to her at lunch and gave her several hugs. She definitely felt a connection and I think it must be because director Yu is the only direct link to her past. Miss Yu told us that she defintely feels that Tahlia has the Yangchun look ("short and cheeky") and has no doubt she is from the area.
Putting up a poster at her finding spot:
I am SO glad we were able to do this. Even though it was emotional and hard to see the kids that are still there, in the end it was a very positive experience for all of us.
We are here!!! After a looooong flight, we finally made it to Hong Kong. I am so proud of the girls who did very well on the plane. Right now we are in Yangchun where we will visit Tahlia's orphanage tomorrow. This is a special visit for many reasons, one of them being that it was exactly 9 years ago to the day that we adopted Tahlia. I'm hoping to be posting pictures soon!!!
I just wanted to let everyone know that we will be traveling to China in three weeks. We are very excited to visit the girls' SWI's, but it has also come with some nerves and fears on their part. I am sure this trip will bring up emotional issues, but I am confident that in the end, this will be a great and amazing trip for our family. Alex and Winnie will be joining us and I plan on blogging from China.
I've been struggling for a long time with which direction to take this blog in. I might start another blog about cooking or running with possibly some motherhood experiences mixed in, but right now I'm just not sure. What I do know is that my girls are getting older and Jazzie has expressed that she does not want certain things or pictures posted on the blog. I have to resepct that.
With that said, I have 7 years worth of blog posts that I'd like to preserve somehow. I would appreciate any suggestions on how to do that. The blog will stay open for another week or so, but after that I'm done. Thanks to all who have read and commented over the years. It's been fun!
It's so nice to have a pool in our neighborhood! There are times when it seems like the entire neighborhood is there (especially on the weekends), but there are also times when nobody is there (like right around dinner time). Last night I took the girls down after dinner and nobody was there; we had the pool to ourselves!
While we were spending the day at Sea World we got news that Matt's 98 year old grandmother was in the hospital and that she wasn't doing well. We were told she only had a couple of days left to live. At the end of the day we called her hospital room from the Sea World parking lot, and while her daughter held the phone to Grandma's ear, we were able to tell her how much we loved her. We heard her say that she loved us and she told us goodbye. There were lots of tears in the car that evening :-(
Matt and I talked and we decided that we would cut our vacation short and drive back home in the hopes of seeing grandma one more time. The weather had been bad all week anyway and we were pretty much done. We packed up our stuff after our day at Discovery Cove and started driving home. We left at 7 PM and drove all night. When we were two hours from home we got the word that grandma had passed away...
The girls are so lucky to have known their great grandmother. She lived a full life, had 5 children, 15 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren and 10 great-great grandchildren. Grandma was a spunky lady with a big sense of humor. She was a little firecracker and it seems somehow fitting that she passed away on the Fourth of July.
The thing we had been looking forward to the most on our trip was a visit to Discovery Cove to swim with te dolphins. It was a nice sunny morning, so we finally got to swim! The afternoon brought some more thunderstorms, but we got to have our dolphin encounter, which is why we came!
We went to Sea World and met up with my friend Debby and her girls. Debby's oldest daughter has a cochlear implant and all four girls get along so well. It was great to meet up with them and spend the day together.
Feeding the stingrays...
Inside the penguin exhibit. It was so cold inside!!!
Waiting for the Shamu Show...
Time for some rides!
The girls made Debby and I go on this water ride ;-)
Once again, the weather wasn't too good. We ecountered a LOT of rain on this trip to Florida. It wasn't one of those typical Florida storms where it rains for 45 minutes or so and then the sun is back out. No; it was just rain, rain and rain with a few breaks in between. I think we picked the worst time to go to Florida! Harry Potter World also wasn't on the original agenda. We had planned to go to Aquatica, but the weather just wouldn't allow it. So since Jazzie is so into Harry Potter, we went to Universal Studio's instead.
Matt and the girls rode the watercoaster several times!
We hadn't initially planned on visiting Epcot, but since the weather was rather rainy we decided to go. There are so many indoor things you can do there, so the weather really doesn't matter. I am SO glad we went. I think it is my favorite of all the Disney parks. We rode "Soarin" (my very favorite ride in all of Disney World) several times. We saw more characters, walked around the World Showcase and rode more rides.
The first day of our trip we visited the Magic Kingdom. We were there three years ago and the girls were REALLY into the princesses then. They still enjoyed seeing the princesses, but this time around they enjoyed the rides much more. They were introduced to Space Mountain and loved it. We rode it multiple times! At one point Jazzie said: "Mom, now I know all the secrets about Disney World, and I am enjoying it in a different way". Good observation from my girl!
Merida was new, so the girls were excited to meet her. Tahlia even learned how to shoot a bow and arrow :-)
You cannot visit the Magic Kingdom and NOT ride the teacups!
We stayed at the Magic Kingdom for the entire day. We saw the light up parade and the light and fireworks show at the castle, which is always great. The light show on the castle is relatively new and it was absolutely amazing!
One of Jazzie's favorite craft activities is creating things with Perler Beads. A couple of weeks ago we bought two new buckets of mixed colored beads. Jazzie spent days sorting the beads by color. I would have given up after half an hour, but not Jazzie. She didn't stop until all the colors were sorted.
When Matt was out of town a couple of weeks ago, the girls wanted to have a sleepover in our room. So one night we set up two area's for the girls to sleep on the floor, brought up games and snacks and had a fun time...
When I woke up in the morning, I looked to my right and saw this:
When I became a mother, I had no idea the guilt that would come along with it. It took me years to learn that guilt wasn't necessary. For instance, it's okay to leave the girls for a day to go and spend it with a friend so that I can remember that there is more to me than "just" a mom. It's okay to spend more on food that is whole and healthy and will nourish our family. It's okay to leave the girls overnight so that I can go out on a date with Matt or even leave them for a few days so we can have some time together as a couple. It's okay to not spend every.single.moment doing something with or for the girls. They need to be able to entertain themselves. It's okay to not be perfect 100% of the time. At the end of a bad day you just remember that tomorrow is another day and that it will be a better one. It's okay to take time for running. Running has made me a much healthier and happier person.
I used to be consumed by guilt, but over the past couple of years I've learned to deal with it. It hasn't reared it's head in my life for a while, but today a new kind of guilt made an appearance...
Today was just a lovely, beautiful day. The humidity was down and the temperature was in the upper 70's. Perfect as far as I'm concerned! So I packed a picnic and took the girls to my favorite park in the city. As we were driving down I thought about my wonderful husband and how I would have loved for him to come with us. But instead Matt was stuck; working hard in his home office. Matt's job has been extremely stressful lately and has left him very unhappy.
But yet here I was, enjoying a beautiful day with the kids; not having to worry about much at all. I have been so fortunate to have been able to be a stay-at-home mom for the past 10 years. Matt's job allows me to not have to work and I am able to be here for the kids at all times. But when I hear Matt up in his office sighing heavily in frustration and even letting out an expletive every now and again, when I see the frustration, anger, stress and exhaustion on his face, I feel guilty.
I'm so grateful for Matt for giving us a wonderful and comfortable life. I'm also grateful that I can be with the girls and make all these memories with them. At times I just feel that it's at his expense. I feel that Matt has sacrificed a lot in order for me to stay home with the girls. I know that it seems even more so now because of the situation at work not being a positive one. So when I sat in the park with the girls, enjoying the sun and our picnic lunch, my mind went to Matt being stuck behind his computer and so wishing that he could be with us. I know he would have rather been with us than behind that computer screen as well :-(
I'm so lucky to have married into a very close knit family. Every year we have a family reunion with lots of food, games, laughter and love...
Jazzie and her cousin. They both have such gorgeous long hair!
Time for games!
Matt's grandmother is 98 years old. She is fabulous! Matt gave her a ride from the car to the park shelter and she loved it :-)
Tahlia caught her first fish!
I love that all of the bigger cousins in the family like to play with the little kids.
The girls are lucky to have a great grandmother. She has 5 children, countless grandchildren, great grand children and even 6 great-great grandchildren! Jazzie keeps saying she is hoping grandma will make it to 100 so that we can have a 100th birthday party for her. At the rate she is going now, I'm sure grandma will be here for it!
Jazzie only recently read all the Harry Potter books. The last few weeks she and Matt have been making their way through the movies. It's been a lot of fun to watch them share this together, but what will they do now that it's over???
Jazzie usually doesn't like to do anything to her hair. She actually let me braid it the other day and it looked so nice. I wish she would let me do it more often!
We sent this picture to Alex and he responded back: "A leopard print fedora with a pink ribbon. Now I've seen it all". Haha - I love my sassy girl!
I'm back in marathon training! I'm planning on running the FULL marathon in Columbus, OH this fall. I said I would never run another full, but here I am training for one. I'm only doing it as a favor to my friend and running buddy Julie who asked me to train with her. I went ahead and agreed thinking that it would be nice to do one more to try and better my last time and to have a goal to work on over the summer. What was I thinking?? Training in summer means HOT weather! I took this picture one morning after a 4 mile run. It was so hot and humid and plain miserable. I was sprawled on the floor under an air conditioning vent for a few minutes before I felt somewhat normal again. Since then, my runs have been in the wee hours of the morning before it has a chance to warm up too much.
Every year, the people on our street do something fun for the kids when they get off the school bus. It's to the point where the kids expect something to happen when they get off the bus on the last day of school ;-). This year we had water balloons, silly string and confetti guns.
After we bombarded the kids with silly string and confetti, we told them we wanted a group picture. Little did they know one of our neighbors was behind them ready to hit them with water balloons!
Then the kids found the water balloons and it became a free for all...
When the girls got back to our house, this was waiting for them:
And off they went to look for Matt (he was hiding behind the rock wall of the playset).
Matt brought out the big guns (the hose)!
Jazzie wanted to dump the bucket of water on Matt so badly, but it was almost too heavy for her to carry...
Tahlia's class put on a small play yesterday. It was all but 6 minutes long and Tahlia had one line, but she sure did make for a cute giraffe!
Two days before the play she decided she really wanted a costume, so we bought a very inexpensive yellow t-shirt, glued spots cut from brown felt on it and wrapped brown and yellow pipecleaners around some reindeer antlers that we found in the dress-up box...
For the past several weeks Tahlia has been begging me to change around the furniture in her room. I kept telling her that I didn't think that how she wanted to put things was going to work. Her room is not that big and I just thought the layout would be wrong on many levels. Then the other day she came down with a piece of paper. She had drawn a layout of her room with the furniture placed where she wanted it.
I thought it was so cute, so I agreed to change her furniture around really expecting it not to fit right, but wouldn't you know it - it actually did and looks good! Tahlia was thrilled.
Who knows? Maybe she'll have a future in interior design ;-)
This past Friday we celebrated the fact that Jazzie and her friend K. have been home for 10 years. The girls have been friends ever since we came home from China and every year our families get together to celebrate.
And from years past (I'm missing a couple of years):
10 years ago on this date in China, a very quiet and curious little girl was placed in our arms...
It's hard to believe that it has been that long, but I remember like it was yesterday. SARS was in full swing, but we did not care! We had our little girl...
10 years later we have a beautiful daughter who is still curious, but also bright, funny, determined and SUPER focused.
I always try to make the girls' Forever Family Days special for them. Jazzie asked me if I could bring her Panera Bread for lunch at school and of course I was happy to oblige!
Then after a visit to the dentist (no cavities!), Jazzie chose to have Chipotle for dinner. Earlier in the week Jazzie mentioned she wanted to make a rainbow cake for her Forever Family Day. And why not? Jazzie did it all by herself. She was so proud ;-)
Happy Forever Family Day, Jazzie. We love you so much!
The other day Jazzie and I were sending silly texts back and forth. I was at gymnastics with Tahlia and she was at home with Matt. At one point I sent her a picture of myself with the caption "Smokin' Mother". I misspelled it, however. So being the smartie pants that she is, Jazzie sent this back:
Yesterday I participated in the 15th annual Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon. It is always such a fun event. The course is challenging with some major hills, but the spectators are AWESOME and I am proud to have been a part of my hometown race once again.
Matt was out there on the course cheering me and 34,000 other runners on with these signs:
At the start of the race, a rainbow appeared in the sky behind us. And how appropriate that it was pink!
One of my training buddies and I at the start:
I felt strong during the entire race. The first 5 miles were flat, but the next 3 miles were all uphill. I was never so happy to have done all that hill training, since I made it to the top without any struggles. Seeing Matt halfway up the hill was awesome and encouraging :-)
You may have seen pictures of the custodian at Jazzie and Tahlia's school (who happens to be an Elvis impersonator) singing during lunch, but he was also one of the many entertainers along the marathon course.
(Flying Pig Photograph)
Here I am at mile 7, smiling towards my cheerleader Matt...
The weather was good and it didn't start raining until I got to mile 10. I finished strong and beat my own personal time. A successful race and I cannot wait to do it again!
My neighbor trained with me and finished her first half marathon. I am super proud of her!
Next on my radar: The Columbus Full Marathon in October.
And just because I think this picture is cute, here are Tahlia, my grand baby and I at a local pizza place the night before the race.
Matt and I took a trip to New York City last week for our 15th wedding anniversary. The girls stayed with my wonderful friend Katie and were well taken care off while Matt and I enjoyed four fabulous days in the city...
We spent hours upon hours just walking around all the different neighborhoods and took in all the sights. I think my favorite day was Thursday when we took the subway to lower Manhattan. We visited the 911 Memorial, Wall Street and then made our way back to our hotel in Midtown by way of Chinatown (we had a wonderful lunch there!), Soho, Tribeca, Greenwich Village and Chelsea (my favorite!). I think we walked about 10 hours that day...
We strolled in Central Park, people watched in Times Square, saw Wicked on Broadway, took a cruise around Manhattan and just enjoyed being together and all that the city has to offer. It was a fabulous, wonderful trip...
The Today Show. I saw Hoda and Kathie Lee :-)
St. Patrick's Cathedral. Beautiful...
All the flowering trees were in bloom in Central Park and it was just beautiful!
911 Memorial. It was so overwhelming to be there. Just seeing all the names of those that died inscribed in the fountains, seeing and hearing all the construction that's going on to rebuild the buildings that got destroyed, seeing the beauty of the city around this place where such horrible things happened, was almost numbing and all the emotions from that day came back: Why did this happen? Why, why, why? The memorial itself is beautiful and very nicely done. I am so glad I got to see it.
View from the top of the Empire State Building:
Our hotel was close to the garment district and as a Project Runway fan, I simply had to visit Mood. Thank you, Mood!
And as a Sex and the City fan, I was excited to walk by Carrie's apartment :-)
The USS Intrepid. My father-in-law served on this ship.
It was a gorgeous day yesterday, so we packed up the family and headed to our much loved Cincinnati Nature Center. We are lucky to live very close and we throroughly enjoyed the sunshine and the daffodils which were in full bloom.
Arriving at the Nature Center. I love how they are all looking towards the left. I'm not sure what exactly they're looking out, though ;-)
Wow, already a week since my last blog post. After a great spring break, the girls are back in school and life has gone back to normal. Alex came over during spring break and it was great to see him again, although we missed Winnie :-(
Matt with son, son-in-law and grandson:
Easter at Mimi and Pappa's house:
I love these pictures of Alex helping Jazzie with her math homework.
Yesterday we dropped the girls off at Cera's house so that Matt and I could go to my brother-in-law's birthday party. The girls helped Cera in the garden, helped her with the kids, they went out to dinner and when we came and picked them up in the evening, they were sitting around the table playing a game. Cera even paid the girls for being "mother helpers". I told the girls how lucky they are to have older siblings who chose to play a big part in their lives. I hope they really appreciate it, because I certainly do...
Someone who traveled to Yangchun orphanage in Guangdong China in early 2005, took this picture of Tahlia.
Years later, after having been home with her for several years, I was able to get this picture from the Yangchun SWI adoption forum. I've posted it before, but I came across it again yesterday and was struck by how sad she looks. Such a difference from now:
It's interesting how she will still put that finger near/in her ear when she gets upset or insecure :-(
We are on spring break and wouldn't you know that it has snowed since Sunday? We knew this was coming and since Saturday was a relatively nice day, we decided to head to our favorite part in the city: Sawyer Point along the Ohio River. Some cellphone pictures:
On May 5th, I will be running my third half marathon and I will once again do it on behalf of Ohio Valley Voices. You all know how strongly I feel about this school and Matt and I will be forever grateful for what they have done for Jazzie. We will never be able to pay them back for changing our daughter's life. But what I can do is run. I have been in training since January.
I've ran in below zero temps...
I've ran in the rain...
I've ran by myself and with a group...
I've had a few days where I didn't want to go out there...
But I did and will continue doing so. I'll do it for me, I'll do it for Jazzie and I'll do it for Ohio Valley Voices. I'm hoping to once again raise a lot of money for a cause so dear to my heart. Jazzie is one of 130 graduates that are succeeding in many ways! The cost for a child to attend Ohio Valley Voices is equivalent to what some people pay for one year in college. As you can imagine, this is a huge financial strain on the family. Most of the families at Ohio Valley Voices have little to no funding to help their child with special needs. Jazzie and the other graduates are proof that deaf children can speak and listen AND be anything they want to be.
I am humbly asking for a donation to sponsor me in the Flying Pig Half Marathon. 100% of the money will go directly to Ohio Valley Voices so that other deaf children can have the same opportunities that Jazzie was given. No amount is too little and is much appreciated! You can make a donation online by following this link:
Last week we attended a breakfast at school for the S.T.A.R. Student Awards at school. Each month, one student from every 4th, 5th and 6th grade class is nominated by his/her teacher and is recognized for their attendance, quality of work, effort and/or attitude. So we made our way to school bright and early at 7 AM for the ceremony.
Jazzie eating breakfast and checking out the action:
We did not have one single snow day last year. We had not had a snow day this year. But a storm came through last night and school was canceled for the day. We were all so excited!
To start our day, the girls got to choose whatever they wanted for breakfast. Tahlia chose French Toast and Jazzie chose ice cream (I know, but it's a snow day!!!)...
After that the girls wanted to make a Snow Day Cake. They both knew they wanted to make a tie dye cake, so we got to work...
While the cake baked, the girls went out to play in the snow...
Our own sledding hill in the backyard:
Making snow cones with Garorade ;-)
And then after all the fun in the snow, it was time to eat some cake!
Jazzie did some painting...
And while Tahlia went back outside to play with a friend...
...Jazzie and I did some more baking.
We made my famous pumpkin bread, but instead of making two big loaves we made 6 mini ones. I'll freeze them and just have one out at a time. Hopefully since they are small, we won't feel tempted to eat the entire loaf for fear of it going bad, like the larger loaf.
Yes, we've been known to eat an entire loaf in a matter of a day, It's just that good ;-)
The recipe (in case you're interested):
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/3 cup flour
2/3 cup water
1 small can (15 oz) of pumpkin
Cream sugar, eggs and oil. Add pumpkin. Mix all dry ingredients and add alternately with water to the pumpkin mixture. Bake in two greased loaf pans at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes or in 6 mini pans for about 45 minutes.