The summer went by too fast! We managed to squeeze in a couple of camping trips and several boating trips. Lauren spent the majority of her summer at various sports camps. She did enjoy them but I can really tell the difference in her maturity from last summer. She will need to have a more challenging summer next year as she will be just too old for "sports camps".
Lauren's friend from her orphanage came for a visit and stayed for 5 days. I really can't describe how great it was to see the girls together. The had so much fun! We had professional photos taken and I will post them soon. Arianna lives about 5 hours away and we are so grateful that the schedules worked out so they could to see each other again. They did not speak any Chinese with each other and both girls claim to have forgotten how. We doubt that. Arianna's family, as well as us, have encouraged the girls to maintain their language but they could not be less interested. Unfortunately, it is low on the priority list after English, reading and math. I am sure they will remember enough to pick it up quickly at some point down the road.
We are looking forward to a Caribbean cruise in November. We are leaving from Miami and have a couple of nights in Florida before we actually sail. Lauren is extremely excited and knows that we will have "lots of time to play" together.
School has started and is off to a good start. She got the teacher that she really wanted. I was happy for her because it was one the first things she has had a strong opinion about and involved something that I could not control. In addition, Lauren is enjoying a little independence after school. We felt that Lauren was mature enough to stay home for an hour and a half by herself so we are skipping after school care this year. She was all for the idea and is more than willing to follow all of the rules. We think it is going to work out just fine.
Here's a few pictures from our summer...............
Lauren and Arianna. Could Arianna be any cuter? Believe me, she is an absolute sweetie!
Owyhee Reservoir in Eastern Oregon. It's 53 miles long and a fabulous waterskiing lake. The area is desert and desolate but really beautiful. We camped for 4 days with my brother, his girlfriend and Julie. We should have stayed longer! Next Year!
Playing in the hot springs near where we camped. The water felt really, really good! I had never been in a natural hot springs before. The water that actually came out of the ground was so hot that you couldn't put your foot in it. The area we were in was near a river so there was cold river water mixing with the hot water. Perfect.