Jeff - or "Outstanding Husband" (杰夫) as Google Translate tells us his Chinese name is - went to China for business for the first time. We knew there were some imperfections with Google Translate, but I didn't realize it was this off.
Eric was visiting from Colombia, and went with Jeff. Checking out the protesters' camp in Hong Kong:
Jeff's cousin lives with her family in Hong Kong, and hosted them on their way in and out of China.
being a tourist:
While Jeff was in China, we pulled out our dada replacements to "nuggle" with on the couch. It worked like a charm - they hardly knew the difference!
Sophie and Breanne started Kindergarten this year. Huzzah! We switched schools 2 months in, and they ended up getting their own classes. It was a bit of a struggle for Sophie the first week, but she seems to have adjusted to not being in the same class, doing the same thing as her twin 24/7. These girls have become very good friends, but it seems that there needs to be a balance with being individuals/having their own identity/making their own friends etc. Yeah...identical twin issues. So, hopefully this will be good for them? Have I already emotionally scarred them for life? Should I just give up? Probably. When they switched schools, Maya joined in and started preschool at the same school.
I love getting the report every day of new things learned, new friends made, and silly things that happen at school. I don't quite as much love the amount of shredded tires and sand that makes its way back to our house via their shoes:
I love the happy Halloween singing that we hear all October long. These people take their black widows, witch's brew, and pumpkin songs seriously.
Ready for a witch tea party:
This year we had a Breanne Zarina the Pirate Fairy, Sophie Crumbs Sugar Cookie, Maya Elsa, Eli Lion, and Soren Dragon.
Maya thought she was so original, being Elsa. We went to the elementary school Halloween parade that morning, and when the Kindergarten was together to sing, I did some counting. Half of the K girls were dressed as someone from Frozen - mostly Elsa.
It was a warm trick-or-treat this year. I didn't put clothes under the boys costumes, thinking they'd be too hot. Eli took off his Lion hoodie half way in to trick-or-treating, so his remaining costume was his naked chest with yellow pants. So festive.
We had some friends from Chile come visit for a month. Jeff has kept in touch with them since his mission. They got to be here during LDS General Conference, which was a highlight. Jose and Virginia walked my girls to and from school many days they were here -it was great! I hope we will be able to have them visit again some day. The boys learned how to yell, "hola!" every time they walked in the door. The girls loved having Spanish in the house, and trying to communicate with the language barrier.
I think for all of our 2 year old birthdays we've filled the toy room with balloons. It never disappoints.
Last year it snowed on the boys' birthday. This year the weather turned cold and rainy on their birthday again.
It was another busy day with soccer games x3, a primary party and Women's Conference. We threw some candles in some pumpkin bread at lunch time, and I sang to them alone.
Eli did his usual enthusiastic reaction, and Soren did his usual serious reaction. Soren cried when I tried to take the candles out for him to eat some.
The next day at grandma's house we tried the whole singing and blowing out candles routine again. Serious Soren and Enthusiastic Eli showed up once again. They growl-chanted back and forth, "birday, birday, birday!"
...and once again, Soren cried when the candles were taken out for him to eat his cake:
candles were put back in:
At age 2, these guys both love cars. They both love to be outside and scream when they see anyone go in and out the doors without them. Eli is still bigger and still likes to take away whatever Soren has. Eli can often be seen with a ridiculously over-enthusiastic for the situation smile. Soren is still a bit slow to warm up to people, and a serious boy. They both like to "nuggle" with anyone in the family on the couch.
They both are quite defiant when it comes to wearing clothes, just like their twin sisters were. They both get duck tape on their diapers, and Eli gets his pajamas put on backwards to make sure we don't have daily disaster cleanup. 20 minutes after dressing them in the morning, this is what I find in the kitchen:
Despite being nearly deaf from the noise levels in the house, I feel very blessed to have these little boys in my life.
The "Mayas," - as we have come to call them, following their little brothers' suit- turned 6. Their birthday was filled with soccer games (them, Maya and Jeff), a ward party, and an extended family get-together. In the middle of all that I squeezed in a chance to go wander the vast maze of treasures at Toys-R-Us for them to pick out one gift. They both ended up picking a dress-up - Breanne a pirate fairy dress, and Sophie a mermaid dress.
Maya, always in a twin sandwich:
Little brothers observed carefully, so that they were ready for their turn a couple weeks later.