Category Archives: Sophie

Last Day of School 2015!

Last day of Preschool for Violet and the last day of Year 3 for Sophie!  My girls are growing up!

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At the bus Lisette had a cute sign for the preschoolers… so I had to borrow it and take a picture of Violet with the bus!


And because comparisons are fun… here are their first and last day of school pictures side by side… Love these girls so much!

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Sports Day Spring 2015

Today was Sophie’s spring Sports Day.  They had tug of war, relay races, and 10 different activities… a lot of fun, and the weather stayed nice until the last couple events.  Hattie was great, and didn’t get in the way of the big kids, she played nicely by the stroller, and Violet even came out for recess at the time that Sophie was nearest her classroom… so we all got to say “Hi!”

Pictures of everything, they are pretty self explanatory, lots of activities, and relays…

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Edie the Penguin- Music Program 2015

The Year 3 and 4 students all joined together for a musical production of Edie the Penguin. It was cute, and nice and short.  A good bunch of adorable songs all about saving the planet.  Sophie was a chorus member and drove a car along in the section about reducing emissions.  My favorite part, besides Sophie looking so adorable, was when the played the British national anthem as the penguins travelled to England, but played America from West Side Story while they travelled to the US… because it is super funny to hear “12 to a room in America” as the main anthem fro your country!  Here are some pictures of Sophie during the performance, and me keeping the little girls busy before it all started.

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Another end of year program in the bag!

JRay Ultimate Goodbye 2015

Aggg… more goodbyes, for more good friends.  Man, I hate saying goodbye.  This goodbye was a lot of fun, though.  John planned an Ultimate Championship with teams and a variety of games.  Roxanne and I were excited to make medals for all the winners, and some ribbons for the kids.  Jeff and John were team captains and they randomly picked teammates.  Most of the couples were split up, and it made the competition more interesting!  We all sat and listened to John explain the games, rules and watched the draft.

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We set up games and an obstacle course on the tennis court for the kids, and they were pretty good about either watching the adults, or playing on their own.  It was a long night for them (I think we ended around midnight).

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The first event of the night was dodgeball… and my team (John’s team) got beat all three rounds… uggh.  We sure tried, but it just wasn’t our game.  We had a lot of fun though!

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The next game was Ultimate Frisbee.  We had a boys game, a girls game and a mixed game.  Can I say that that was tiring?  We didn’t think it was as much of a workout, but with only 3 people on each of the girls teams we never stopped running around!  We were pretty disgusting afterwards!  In addition, my team won all three games!

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The last game was corn hole (AKA beanbag toss.  The team captains split our team into pairs, and then we had a bracket tournament to get an ultimate winner.  Cobus and I played the first game versus Jeff and Jen.  We won handily… so pleased.  Our team won 3/4 rounds.  But the last game was Paul and Esmari (Jeff’s team) and Cobus and me (John’s team).  We could have won, but Paul was on fire and pulled out the win.

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Which meant that Jeff’s team won the team competition.  Esmari and Paul won the gold medals, Cobus and I won silver and John and Roxanne won bronze.  It was a pretty great night!  John’s idea worked out perfectly and everyone participated and had a good time.

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Until the end when Edgar bit Lina’s gold medal and snapped it in to pieces (as it wasn’t really gold, just baking soda and cornstarch).


Party Night in MB

Our buddy Jackson had his 5th birthday party (Big Hero) and we all just stayed afterwards for a night of park games and fun times with friends.  So here are some party pics, I made the BayMax 2.0 cake, and the cute decor that Jen put together.  And then pics from the night.  Sorry for the quality of some, but since I had my camera with me I couldn’t help but take some pictures even though it was dark and the picture quality isn’t fabulous.  I want to document some of the fun we have here in Monte Belo.

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May Random Fun

I have a good bunch of pictures with no other theme in common than they happened in May.  So here is a photo dump of the month!

Hattie had a lot of fun, wearing her Halloween costume, which she never actually wore for trick or treating, but now regularly wears.  I came home from my work out one day and Hattie had her baby wrapped on her back, Rosa had helped her tie the baby on, and it was so adorably cute!  We also have been having play group at the pool… Hattie LOVES it!

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I started my monster La Passacaglia quilt, and made a little bit of progress.

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My dear friend Catherine moved from Monte Belo and is going to Thailand for her next assignment.  While collecting pictures for her goodbye slideshow I found some great older pictures.  So here are some pictures from that night and a few others throughout the last little while!  Hattie is going to miss her buddy Lou… and I am going to miss Catherine something fierce!

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Jeff and I celebrated our 12th Anniversary.  We couldn’t get a baby sitter, so the kids came with us.  Luckily, Violet’s best friend, Isadora, was there with her family, so they all played and we actually got to chat and eat a little without all the kids being crazy.

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We had Mother’s Day and I managed to snag a picture with the cuties who call me Momma!


We had our monthly international lunch date… always delicious, and always good company.  The kids even behaved themselves nicely.

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A lot of other fun things, crazy girls who are adorable, senior missionaries coming for dinner and FHE, and Mr. Paul playing with Hattie and Joey at the park.  May was a fun month!

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It’s Sew Great to be Eight!

When we arrived back in Luanda the first thing we started getting ready was Sophie’s birthday party.  This year we were having a sewing party.  WE made hair bows, cute embellished wall hangings and ate a lot of food, including button cookies!  The girls were super cute, and most of them were very into the craft and super serious about finishing.  I misjudged how hard it would be for them to thread the needles and spent a lot of time tying knots and threading needles, but it was fun for the kids, and I only had 2 hours of non-stop stress!  Their projects turned out adorable, though, even the ones that didn’t spend that much time decoration had cute end results!

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Those were some crazy little girls, so silly and goofy!


We love our cute 8 year old, and are so happy to have her in our lives!


Spring Break 2015- The End is Near

After the baptism Saturday everyone started leaving and getting back to real life.  On Sunday we all went to church and then people started the drives home.  Sean and Justin and their families left during the day Sunday, as did Andy, Kristy and Kylie.  Before Andy left on Sunday we took family pictures, as Jeff is rarely around when we are all together in the summer.  It was fun, my girls were goofy, but there are some good group shots.  In addition we had to say goodbye to all those cousins… Hattie got into all the goodbye hugs, whether the cousins liked it or not!

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That afternoon we took the kids to the new (to us) Heather Farms park and they all loved sliding down the hills and playing around all the equipment.

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The next day Kelly and Gerry went to work, so we had one last day with my parents, Daisy, the kids, Ike and Jan.  We started by meeting Winnie, David and Elsie for dim sum in Oakland.  The kids had a lot of fun throwing pennies, kwanzaas and anything else in our coin purses into the fountain outside.

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After that we headed to Tilden Park and the Little Farm with our China Town goodies of celery and lettuce.  Hattie was unsure of the process but the big girls were enjoying the hungry animals (spring is a far better time to try and feed them, in the summer they aren’t as ravenous).  It was far colder in Tilden Park than we had anticipated, so we raided OGO and Grandma’s suitcases and came up with some clever outfits (ps, Sophie is wearing my mom’s capris… not too shabby huh?).

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WE finished our Oakland tour with a visit to the temple and some Fenton’s ice cream.  Jeff and I split the banana split, as did my parents… totally fabulous and delicious.  BUT, only one cherry on top.  So we did what any reasonable couple would do and played a game of paper, rock, scissors for the rights to eat the cherry (we are very adult).  And then it was off to the airport to say goodbye until summer.

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Tuesday we had a fun lunch with Dave and then the girls and I headed to Hillary’s for a playdate.  Hillary took Sarah out of school at lunch so that the girls could play, and were they ever happy about it!  They had so much fun and were so sad when it was time to leave.  I had a great time as well, as Tara joined us for our own chat session while the kids played like maniacs.

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Jeff, the girls and I left for Houston on Wednesday morning and went house hunting Wednesday and Thursday and ex;pored some Houston neighborhoods.  More info later about that.  But we did make a visit to the urgent care clinic for a weird bug bite on Violet’s hand.  The girls all got otter pops and we drove by the Houston temple, which was nice.  We also got to have dinner with some friends from Angola, Philip and Erica, which was super fun!


After that it was back to reality, and what a ridiculous feeling that was!  There were all kinds of crazy happenings at the airport, including people walking us to our car and then demanding money and policemen yelling at Jeff for trying to get a bag that didn’t make it onto the conveyor belt.  But we were home again!

Spring Break 2015- The Main Event!

I know the amount of content and photos regarding our spring break has been LARGE, to say the least!  But the real reason we headed to the states for spring break was for Sophie’s baptism.  In our church you are baptized at the age of 8, we believe that before this time you don’t truly understand your actions, and aren’t accountable for the mistakes you have made.  So at 8 you are baptized and made clean from all past sins and start fresh, with knowledge of what it means to sin.  This is a decision that each person needs to make, to decide if they want to be baptized or not, and we are so proud that Sophie made the decision to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  With Sophie being the first grandchild on both sides and all the grandparents wanting to celebrate with her, we knew that the best way to make that possible would be to have Sophie be baptized in the US… there was no way everyone was going to make it to Angola, nor would that be logical or cost efficient!  So, despite the fun trip to Costa Rica and Disney, the real reason for our trip was happening this Saturday, April 18.

Before I start with the many pictures of the day I just wanted to journal a little about Sophie at 8.  First of all, I can’t believe I have an 8 year old, it feels like such a big age, and she really is such a big girl now, not a little kid.  She has opinions about what she wants to do, read, wear and everything else, regardless of if she should have opinions on the matter or not!  At this moment she loves comfy clothes (soccer shorts, comfy knit pants, t shirts and leggings0 and doesn’t care if it is the cutest/prettiest thing around.  She is such a smart girl, but takes a lot of motivation to get her to do her homework, or practice.  She loves being with friends and hates being left out of things.  She is a good big sister, but has her moments, but really plays so well with her little sisters, I love when they all play together nicely!  Sophie has been in the highest math and reading group at school and currently (though not at the time of the baptism) is reading the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe.  I love that she is finding her love of reading on her own terms, though I have a hard time letting her find her own way, why doesn’t she just listen to me in the first place?  She is not a humble person, but she is compassionate and caring and thinks so seriously about things- she likes to know how everything works together and why things are the way they are and I love that she asks those questions, I just don’t always know how to answer them!  She is brave so many times, though her shyness still comes out occasionally.  She had her baptismal interview with the branch president (President Jamba) here in Angola, and she walked right in there and answered all his questions.  She did all the adventurous things in Costa Rica and is not scared of doing school programs any more.

We really do love this girl, and we are so grateful for her in our lives, she is a great part of our family.  OK, time for the actual baptism.

We showed up Saturday morning to set up, fill the font and get things ready.  Jeff and his mom picked up the catering for lunch (El Molino, yummmm) and it wasn’t as stressful as I was expecting.  Holly did all the flower centerpieces, and Rachel had helped me put the frames together the night before.  Megan created the programs and I had several helpers with the cookies over the days beforehand.

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It was so nice how many people came to support Sophie and this life event.  We had so much family there, so many friends, Mrs. Perona (Sophie’s old preschool teacher), and even friends from Angola.  We are so blessed to have these amazing people in our lives.  For the records, my mom gave the talk on baptism and Kelly gave the talk on the Holy Ghost.  They both used cute visual aids and it was sweet and touching.  Also, Andy performed the musical number and Megan and Justin led/played the music.   Sophie wrote cute welcome signs on all the chalkboards where we had lunch, it was too cute!  Also, the food was delicious and I would have eaten more had there not been so many people to chat with!

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That night was spent relaxing and hanging out watching basketball games.  Andy gave me my birthday present of a selfie stick and I spent a good amount of time convincing people to take pictures with me!  It was a great day all around, and full of so much love and warm feelings.  I felt so blessed.

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Spring Break 2015- Bay Area Fun

We had a lot of fun playing with cousins, all our cousins, and family came to celebrate Sophie’s baptism with us.  It was so fun, and very hectic.  We arrived in the Bay Tuesday afternoon, our first stop was the In n Out next to the airport.  Then we started getting ready for the busy weekend ahead- cookies needed to be baked and frosted, frames put together and we also had medical exams for all of us, at the company approved location.  In addition we had my super talented friend, Liz, take baptism pictures of Sophie, had lunch with Lance, Vivian and the girls, watched the new Cinderella movie (in costume) and got some time to shop at the outlets (and eat at Fenton’s)- that was all before my family actually showed up!

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It was so fun to see everyone Friday morning.  Grammy and Gramps hosted Sean’s family and Justin’s family.  My parents, Andy’s family, Ike, Jan, Kristy and Kylie were in a nearby hotel.  Grandpa Miller stayed at GG’s house and that was just the out of town folks… luckily that was all we had to worry about most of the time!

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Friday we headed out to a Kid museum and zoo in Palo Alto.  It was great fun, the kids ran around like crazy folks and had the best time with each other.  We had an 8 year old, a 5 yr old, two 4 yr olds, two 3 yr olds and four 1 year olds… to say we were a crowd is an understatement!

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After the museum and zoo we headed to the American Girl Doll Store, which was the main reason we were in Palo Alto in the first place.  Sophie’s doll needed some outfits, and we thought it would be fun to pick them out herself.  She loved it!  Hattie tried to steal a baby doll and Violet was decently jealous of the whole affair.  We got Jamba Juice for everyone afterwards to make up for the super girly affair!

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In order to not drive home during rush hour we headed over to Stanford and walked around the campus until dinner time.  The kids ran around like crazy, Ike tried to orchestrate a pyramid for pictures, my Dad started having kids jump off tall pillars and we got one sort of successful picture of all 11 children!

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To say we were tired at the end of the night would not even be scratching the surface, but it was a fun day, everyone was busy and entertained, and we survived a day with all those itty-bitties!