Saturday, 26 November 2016


Today we headed downtown to Austin's annual Chuy's Children Giving to Children parade. This is the second time we've had the chance to go, and we enjoyed it just as much as the first time. One thing I really love about this parade is the fact that it actually has balloons, which are always impressive to see.

 The kids' favorite was seeing Darth Vader and the Storm Troopers marching down the road. And then we got lucky and it turns out that most of them were parked in our parking garage, so on the way back to our car we were walking among them. After about 4 blocks, Oscar worked up enough courage to ask Darth Vader for a photo.

Thanksgiving with Family!

We're coming off of a fantastic Thanksgiving week here in P-ville. My brother and his family came down for a visit! The kids had a blast with their cousins. We kicked it off with a trip into Austin to see the Nature and Science Museum and the capitol building. They got to dig for fossils and see some birds of prey. 

 On Monday we drove over to NASA for some space fun. Although we'd been there a few times over the year, they had a lot of new things this time, and I think this was definitely one of our best trips.

 We kicked off Thanksgiving Day with a brisk 2 mile Turkey Trot. This was my family's first time doing it, but I'm pretty sure it'll become a tradition for us. Maybe with a little planning, in future years we can even manage the 5 mile trot! (in my dreams)
We had a delicious Thanksgiving meal with rotissery chicken (we're not turkey fans), potatoes, stuffing, squash, and some pumpkin pie to finish it off. All in all, it was a really exciting week for us, and we were so happy to have our family to share the holidays with!

Saturday, 19 November 2016

November Swim Meets

 The kids have had back-to-back swim meets this November. Last weekend they swam at UT, and they all did awesome! They are shaving time off their races left and right. Johan has even gotten his 50 free below 1 minute! Oscar swam the 50 butterfly for the first time (and aced it!) and Irene took about 15 seconds off of her 50 butterfly. Above you can see some of the pro shots of Johan's 50 back stroke in last week's meet. Below are some videos from today's meet.
Oscar's 50 fly. He's the one at the top:
Irene's 50 fly. She's the one at the bottom of the screen:

And Johan's pre-race routine:


Friday, 18 November 2016

School Pictures 2016

Here are this year's batch of school photos. I think they came out pretty well! They each got to choose their own outfits this year to reflect their style. Johan went "Texas." Oscar went all out with a button-down shirt and necktie, and Irene chose her only non-Tshirt top but drew the line at wearing her hair any way but a pony tail. I'm not surprised by any of them. 
 Johan 1st grade
 Oscar 3rd grade
Irene 3rd grade

Happy Day!

Today was such a happy day for us! Almost 8 years to the day after Irene and Oscar became Jins, they received their certificate of US citizenship in the mail. Basically, this works as a US birth certificate for them. Although they already have US passports to prove citizenship, passports can expire, so this is the document to have. After we moved to this house, I applied for the certificate and waited patiently because I'd heard it takes a while. About a week ago I realized just how long we've been waiting. We applied in September 2015, so it's been over a year. A quick call into USCIS and (surprise, surprise) the woman had no idea why it's taken so long. A Facebook friend of mine in a group for people who adopt from Korea suggested I call my state representative. I did, and here they are!

One small note that frustrates me a bit (just a little). On the certificate it states that they became citizens in July 2012. This is the time we entered, celebrated, and then were told they were not citizens after all. I try not to think of it. And now I never have to again! I may never have to talk to USCIS again!

Tuesday, 15 November 2016


It seems that I've been neglecting my blog lately. Partly because we're in a never-ending cycle of school, swimming, homework, and sleep. I've been substituting at the kids' school a lot more this year, so any free time I do have is spent trying to catch up on the household stuff. And of course, on the weekends we've been either at swim meets or working in the yard. Nothing too exciting happening here. But looking back over my blog recently, I noticed that I haven't had a lot of posts about the kids individually. Today I thought I'd do Oscar. 
 He's doing great! All A honor roll, lots of friends, still building amazing things with the Legos (though he has much less time since school started). He is loving swimming and is doing fantastic (more on that coming soon.) He's also in the running club at school which meets twice/week. He' still really into airplanes and history, and most of the books he checks out from the library are either about airplanes, history or historical fiction. As always, he's ever the comedian. I'll admit it, I don't think I always appreciate his sense of humor as much as I should, mostly because he's "on" all the time, but I hear from the teachers at his school that he's "hilarious." Basically, I couldn't ask for a better kid! Well, maybe one who manages to put his dirty clothes in the laundry. Below is a Halloween story he came home with the other day.
"Peeking through the window my curiosity turned to horror. I saw a skeleton walk right in front of me. I hear a noise from behind me. I turn around to see that very same skeleton. I run for my life...but he follows me. I, mad scientist, try to punch him but if your a scientist your not skilled for kung-fu. So he picks me up and throws me! I get up and find him. (P.S. scientists are good at chemistry, not that much on kung-fu). I spot a weak spot and try to get a sword threw him. I did not succeed. I offered some fruity chemicals to a skeleton restaurant. He bought one fruity chemical drink and...gave out. Mad scientist succeeds. He is gone. I win. Yes, awesome! Boo! The End"

Oscar Jin
3rd grade
October 28, 2016

Monday, 31 October 2016

Halloween 2016

 Happy Halloween! It was a pretty good one here in P-ville. This year we passed on most of the pre-Halloween festivities since we were busy, I was a little late getting their costumes ready, and we really don't need the extra candy. On Hallween Eve we finally got around to carving the pumpkins.

Today at school, they didn't have an official Hallween party, but the kids were allowed to dress up as their favorite story book character. It worked out really well this year because all of the kids had decided to be the Grim Reaper. While that's more of a character passed down through culture, Irene happens to be reading Harry Potter at the moment, and their costumes doubled as dementors. I was on campus substituting and saw no fewer than 15 Harry Potters walking around, but Irene and Oscar were the only 2 dementors. It made me happy. And Johan decided to go as Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

 We hit the streets around 6:30 and they surprised me by staying out for over an hour - well past dark! Last year I think they barely made it up ad down one road and they were begging to go home, so this was an improvement. Now I have even more selection in their candy bags! ;)