There isn't much news except to say that we are in Texas...again (our 3rd trip!). Other than that, the kids are doing well, and the "routine" (if there is such a thing) is back to normal for the time being.
After our Christmas in Texas, we went to Kentucky for the week of New Year's to stay with my family. My brother Tripp had never met the kids up to that point and was really looking forward to putting some faces with the names he had been hearing! We got to stay at my parents' house for a week with the kids. In typical mother fashion, my mom had planned out our days full of activities for everyone! It's hard to say who had more fun- my mom or the kids!
My dad, who is used to cooking amazing meals for our massive family, was amazed by how much food the kids could put away. I had warned him and tried to help him out with the grocery shopping when we got there, saying, "Dad, I promise that's not going to be enough." To which he would respond, "Taylor, that's ridiculous. There's no way they could consume that much." After the first night (when the kids had licked the pots clean), he understood exactly what I was talking about, and immediately began to scramble around to get more food for the rest of the meals he had planned!
The biggest highlight of the week was taking the kids to the Newport Aquarium outside Cincinnati. They have been to zoos before with their host families, but none of them had visited an aquarium! They loved every minute of it...every couple of seconds I would be beckoned again, "Auntie! Auntie! Come look at this one!" "Auntie! Auntie! Take my picture with the shark!" Their delight and wonder was apparant. There was also a tropical bird exhibit, where Jay proceeded to lure a few of the birds onto his arm. The kids got as close as they could and then Suresh was able to hold one himself! The kids also got to pet sharks in a shallow tank. I'd say "fascination" is the right word in describing their reaction to the jelly fish tanks. Zurufah called them "Umbrellums," which was her way of saying "umbrellas" even after practicing the correct pronunciation over and over again. They were very thorough as they looked into all the tanks, making sure they spotted each and every specimen before they moved on to the next display. My parents' church choir helped us to be able to have that wonderful day, so thank you to the CBC choir!
After that week, Nikki and Stephen (former COTW team leaders and now our supervisor) came to take the team to Missouri while Jay and I got a week off. We slept until at least 11:00 every day, spent a lot of time laying on couches, and generally relaxing and catching up with family. It was heaven on earth for us!
My mom with some of the kiddos:
Playing their favorite sport at an indoor soccer field:
Our chaperones, Ashley and Prava
Our other favorite thing to do- swimming at the YMCA:
My love and me on our week off...looking very relaxed, huh?