We celebrated Serena's and Bea's birthday in September, and we officially become a household with TWO TEENAGERS (and a baby)! I'm so proud of how well these girls have adjusted to all the changes they've experienced! They are so grown up now and have adapted superbly to life back in America.
The North Carolina State Fair takes place every October, and we couldn't wait to go! As a kid I spent every summer at the county fair - my siblings and I were all in 4H, and we entered our woodworking projects and even showed pigs! Luckily for us, the state fair here is in Raleigh, so it wasn't far to go. We were pretty shocked at how crowded it was, though, even during the week. Kevin and I went with Ian one day and we took the girls another day. We didn't get pictures from the day the girls went - we were too busy with food and rides, I guess! :)
While Kevin and the girls were at school last fall, Ian and I enrolled in a Kindermusic class and a Baby and Me French class. Mom came to visit and was able to go with us. We only did the Kindermusic for awhile, but we did the French one all year, and it was so fun! Ian got so excited as soon as he saw the building each week. He absolutely loved his teacher, and he had so much fun with his little friends. We'll miss being able to go to the class during the summer break, but he'll be going back for the immersion preschool in September.
Our tiny little baby turned one year old in November! I baked a pumpkin cake for the family to share, and a little one for him to play with. I think he liked it ;)
Serena was Tiger Lily in her school's fall production of Peter Pan. She made some really good friends in her theatre class and in the play, and before long, it felt like we'd been in Raleigh for ages!
We always put out our shoes when we go to bed on December 5th, and in the morning we find that St. Nicolas has filled them with goodies! When I was a kid, we always had an orange in the shoe, along with chocolates, an ornament and a book...St. Nick must be branching out, because this year we found a couple of mangos and an avocado!
In January, winter came to Raleigh! It was nice to have a little snow, and the kids even had a snow day! Ian thought it was pretty cool.
For Spring Break, Bea went down to Florida to stay with her grandma, while the rest of us went to the North Carolina coast. We toured UNC Wilmington (I can't believe my first baby will be going off to college in just one more year!) and then spent a few days on Wrightsville Beach. We tried a good Mexican restaurant, and Ian decided he's ready to try surfing.
Back at home we've been doing a lot of work on the yard. My mom came for another visit, and my dad sent along some strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry plants for us. We got them all in the ground, and we're starting to see berries! Now, I just have to figure out what to do about the birds that want to poach them. If anyone has any ideas, please share!
The girls were busy this spring too. Bea was on the Middle School track team and ran the 100 meter dash,, and Serena was in another play - this one was called Honk and was the story of the ugly duckling.
Kevin's birthday rolled around (as birthdays always do) in May. I made him tiramsu, and we gave him a hammock for the yard and a Sky chair. I see lots of relaxing going on in his future.
There's a festival at the fairgrounds every spring called "Got to be NC." It's just like the state fair, only not as crowded. YES! We took Ian and Bea, and it was a lot of fun. Bea went on plenty of rides, and Ian tried the merry-go-round. I'm not sure he was too keen on it, though!
Another cool place we found here is the Aloha Safari Zoo. They rescue unwanted, injured, or mistreated animals, and people can visit and walk around with Peacocks wandering past. Ian LOVED feeding the giraffe!