Thursday, August 27, 2015

Back to School, Ring the Bell

My three big kids off to school this week!  Delia is in second grade, Miles is in kindergarten, and Isaac is in fourth grade.  They all have great teachers this year, all having a great first week.


 Last weekend was Matt's 20 year high school reunion, so we loaded everyone up for a little trip to Monument.  We cut things pretty close getting home the afternoon before school started- we won't do that again!!  But it was a great trip- we got to see a bunch of old friends that we really miss and had fun in Denver, Monument, and the Springs!
For the reunion we took a tour of Matt's high school and were finally able to visit his dad's memorial stone.  It's located up above the stadium at the high school where Robb coached track for many years.  

It was really sunny, hot, and windy so the kids look less than thrilled in the pictures, but they all loved seeing where Pop and Grandpa Robb spent time together!
Isaac asked to see Mile High Stadium while we were up in Denver.  We stopped briefly and all he saw was the parking lot and the team store, but now he can tell everyone he's been to Mile High!

Check out this awesome park the kids went to with Pop and Grandma!
Fun bowling at Bass Pro.

On the way there Avika threw up in the car.  A LOT.  Looks like she is a car sick kid, especially on winding mountain roads (so the whole trip from Durango to Monument.)  Thank God for Dramamine- here she is on the way back.  She didn't get sick once!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

If God doesn't Live in Colorado...

We got to go to the Bar-D to celebrate Oma's birthday this week!  This is one of my very favorite things to do in Durango, and we haven't been in several years.  It was a perfect way to send off our Durango summer.
Riding the train with cousins and Grandpa...

This was Avika's inaugural trip to the Bar-D.  I think she loved it!

They have added a playground set up against the ridge where the kids played until dinner.

The kids discovered the terrifying joys of an old school merry-go-round.  For some reason these are not found on elementary playgrounds anymore.

 Here we are waiting for dinner (hands down best in Dgo) and the show.  It was a small crowd that night and a great show!  We got to hear Cy sing "I'm my own Grandpa" like I did when I was a kid, and Avika was head banging to everyone singing "God Bless America."  A great night!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Avika at One Year

One year home!  We can't believe it! 

This summer Avika and I took a gymnastics class.  She loved it!  Her favorites are jumping on the trampoline, forward rolls, and swinging on the rings. She had a hard time sitting still to listen to the teacher and waiting her turn in line, so there is a lot to work on there!

Swinging with the siblings!
The kids were waiting for a program to start at the library and decided to give each other back rubs.  It made my heart melt!  Avika loves to have her back rubbed and always asks for more!

Skateboarding fun with Pop.

We got rid of the high chair and Avika now sits at the table with the rest of us.  Our table is full!  She loves milk and drinks it from her special cup from India.

She has changed so much in the last 12 months, she is quite the young lady now!  She's still delayed in some ways, mostly with speech, but has grown leaps and bounds.    

She seems very at home with all things American and fits perfectly into our family of six.  I'm trying to help her hang on to as much Indian culture as possible- here she is "doing" Namaste for me.  She's wearing her new Gotcha Day dress full of bright colors- just like India and her personality!
We are so grateful to have this beautiful girl as our daughter!  We are all doing better than I expected at one year in this journey.  We love her to pieces and love that adoption made our family complete.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I Got You

Yay! Yay! Yay!  This week we celebrated Avika's Gotcha Day!

Look how much she's grown in just one year!  This picture was taken the day we met her at the orphanage. 
We were trying to pick which day to celebrate as her Gotcha Day as there were lots of milestones to choose from- the day we met her, the day she arrived in Durango, the day the adoption was finalized, etc.  We picked the day we took possession of her (I hate that phrase!)- the day we GOT her!  On the left is her first Gotcha Day at the ceremony they held for us at the orphanage and on the right is this year, her second Gotcha Day.
We celebrated at the Himalayan Kitchen with delicious Indian food (cheese naan, chicken pakoda, chicken tikka masala, malai kofta, and gulab jamun.)  Avika loved everything and Isaac and Delia were more adventurous eaters than the last time we went there.  I vowed to try to cook more Indian at home.
More attempts at a family picture.  Four is impossible!

And sibling pictures.  Surely these will get better as they get older, right?  I meant to do mendhi on me and the girls, but I forgot all about it the day of.  Maybe next year!

We LOVE our sweet Avika Ruby Priya.  We are so grateful that we GOT YA!

We Came to Smash

The kids have been asking to go to the Demolition Derby for years- for some reason cars crashing holds huge appeal for Bong children.  This year Grampa generously took these crazies to the Demo Derby at our County Fair.  The kids are still talking about it!

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Bongs Outdoors

We promised the kids we would go camping this summer, so I was secretly hoping they would totally forget all about my promise!  With summer almost over I decided I could act like a grown up and take my kids camping.  This was Avika's first time camping, and she did great (better than Mommy!)

Helping Pop set up the tent...

These kids love their camp chairs!

Cooking dinner...