Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dia del Nino

Kid's Day (I don't know how to do "tildas" on my computer).  It actually exists in Chile.  Parents give big bags of candy to their children and have special activities planned for the big day.  It was the day after Kate's party.  "What are we doing for Kid's Day?!!!!"  The kids exclaimed after church as I was sprawled out on the couch with my mouth wide open in a much needed nap.  Nothing.  At. All.  Frankly, I hadn't really paid attention to the advertisements. We celebrated plenty the day before for the party.  Kate was OK with that, but Jake was a little bummed.  Lo and behold, my phone rings and Karen Whitt is on the other end.  She seems to just know when I need her.  Always.  "I already have dessert and games planned...wanna come over to celebrate Dia de Los Ninos with us for an hour or so?"  PERFECT.  

So in the end, we were great parents upholding the Chilean tradition...thanks to Karen :)

Let's Zumba!!!!

After the girls made their guesses at the candy jar, they donned their dance apparel and went downstairs to the dance floor.  They were greeted by Raquel, their Zumba instructor for the day.  They were PUMPED.  She was SO CUTE with the girls.  They were loving it!

 The birthday girl was loving the special attention too!
 THANK YOU Raquel, for doing such a fantastic job with the girls.  They loved you!!!

After 45 minutes of dancing, they were wiped out and ready to eat.  We went outside for a pizza picnic and then got ready for some games.  We blared the music and did a little musical chairs...

Mummy Wrapping...

Balloon Racing and a little celebrating at the end.  Even Luke and Sandra were having a ball :)

 I had only planned 3 games, figuring that they would get tired of them, but when we finished, the girls were yelling, "What else are we going to play?!!"   
So it was time for cupcakes :)
After everyone had their fill, we opened presents and then headed back downstairs.  Raquel had taken video of the girls learning their dance moves and then loaded it up on my computer right away.  It was perfect!  They couldn't wait to see themselves on the big screen. Surprisingly, the 3 hours flew by and even Joe and I had a great time!  Kate has found some pretty great friends in Chile.

And apparently her wish came true:  

She got an ipod for practicing her own moves :)

Happy Birthday, Kate!  We love you more than you'll ever know!  It's great to be 8, isn't it?!!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Kate is 8!!! Isn't that Great?!

On August 12th Kate turned 8.  Eight years old is an important birthday in our family.  It's when you can decide for yourself if you'd like to become baptized into our church.  Kate decided that she wanted to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  So I was completely consumed in planning her special day.  About a week before her birthday, she came to me and said, "So what are we going to do for my birthday party?"  Oh!  I hadn't given any thought to that!  Kate wanted to do something different from the other parties she had been to since we've been here...We decided on a dance party theme.  PERFECT for Miss Kate.  6 days later, 15 girls were coming to our home ready to boogie.  
Here's a little of the decor:

 Party Favors:  A CD of Kate's favorite music played during the party...jingle bracelets, hair bling, necklaces and those hip sash things you wear around your waist that jingle when you move.  

 The main excitement was having my ZUMBA instructor friend, Raquel, come, to teach the girls some moves.  (We are in South America!)  We decided to turn the basement into a dance floor.  Cleared out the furniture, hung balloons from the ceiling, put up a disco ball and covered most of the walls in black trash bags to give the room a bit of excitement.  
  Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes among other tasty treats
 The guessing game when the girls first came to the party.  This cracked me up.  They didn't quite understand the concept of the game until I explained it a bit better :)
 Everything was set.  We were ready.  Bring them on :)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The First Week

Jake seemed to be happy at school, but I had the usual worries a mother has for her child.  At the end of the first week, his teacher sent out the first newsletter of the year.  Informing all of the parents of what the kids were working on, important info we needed to be aware of, and a few pictures!  As I read the letter, I thought, "Oh how nice!  I wonder if Jake will be in any of the pictures!"  I scrolled down to start reading, and  the picture that "headed" the letter was this one:
 The class.  Does anyone look like they are enjoying themselves?  Oh wait!  The one in the middle!  That'd be mine.  Do you think he's destined to bring a little energy to the class?  I was in hysterics :)  Here are a few others.  So thrilled that Miss Laura takes so many pictures!

I don't think I have to worry :)  Love love love Jake.

Monday, August 12, 2013

She's DIVING!!!!

We put Kate on a swim team when she was 4 and swimming looked more like drowning.  She got the hang of it pretty quickly, but the starting block always made me smile.  She'd do this cute, dainty, jump into the water and then start swimming.  I'm sure in her mind, she was diving, but it was no where close to fingers, head, shoulders, hips and toes...Kate started playing around in the pool with her cousins when we were home visiting, and she totally nailed the diving thing.  At Time Trials this week, she rocked the block.  
WAY TO GO, Kate!!!   I was so proud of her!!!
It must have helped because we found out today that she made the "A" team.  No wonder there was a little extra hop in her step today.  She was feeling pretty darn good.

Funicular Fun

"What is a funicular" you might ask?  This:
 An old time, rickety, elevator, type contraption that takes you up steep hills.  Karen Whitt, her friend Melanie who was visiting from the states, and I decided to give it a run one morning at San Cristobal.   

 You'd never guess what we saw when we got to the top:  
 Oh look!  Another dog!!!  This guy picked a pretty nice spot for his morning snooze.  

We walked around the gardens a bit and then hiked down the mountain.  Great way for Luke and me to start our morning together!!  The company was grand and it's always a good day if the lungs get filled with fresh air :)  

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Love Love Love Our View

Can't get enough of those backyard vistas

What Should We Do?!!!

After Luke and I returned home from dropping the kids off from their first day of school, we both looked at each other and wondered how we were going to spend our alone time!  It has been soooooo long since I've just had one babe at home for a good chunk of the day!  It was chillly in Chile, but the sun was shining and the sky was blue--not the icky smog-grey hue that is oh so common.  
So we took advantage and went for a walk.   
Our view of the Andes as we leave our condominio

I promised Luke a little play time

We had so much fun together, it's become a daily routine :)  And the best part?  When we went to pick the kiddos up from their first day...  Kate was smiling and so was our big kindergartener!!!  He wanted to pose for a picture with his Nido hat to make sure we all knew he was official.  

In Preparation For...

Their first day of school!  The weekend before school started, we decided to hit the Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Santiago to bring our "summer" to a close.  The kids first time.  I have to admit, I wasn't afraid to belt out a few of those American hits we were listening to while we ate dinner :)

Sunday Night:
 Jake was more than ready for his first day of kindergarten.  
(Yes, he does have an amazing bunk bed to the left of him, but chooses to still sleep in his toddler bed more days than not.  Maybe it's easier for him to get up in the middle of the night to get everything ready for the next day :) )