Our dear friend Laurel came to visit us from California for the past week and we were so happy to have her with us! Kivrin loved her, of course and we spent time catching up, doing crafts, hanging out with the baby, and visiting Laurel’s favorite spots around Topeka.

Laurel and Lissa were matched through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Topeka program back in November of 2001 (when Laurel was a spunky 8 year old and Lissa was a spry young 23 year old!) and Laurel will always be a special member of our family.


laurel and kivrin hanging out

laurel kivrin staredown

laurel and kivrin posing

Laurel and Kivrin hamming it up for the camera!

kivrin and the orangutan

Kivrin showing us the orangutan at the zoo.

kivrin at the zoo

kivrin loves target

Kivrin taking a ride in the cart at Target during an impromptu shopping spree.

kivrin's first bite of jimmy johns

This is Kivrin’s first bite of  a Jimmy John’s sandwich. She didn’t get much, but she liked trying. Jimmy John’s doesn’t have any booster seats or high chairs, so Kivrin got to sit on my lap at the booth while we ate.

laurel at the sk8away

lissa and kivrin at sk8away

Laurel had fond memories of hangin gout at the local roller skating rink, the Sk8away, so we went for an open skating session on Saturday afternoon. Laurel roller skated around and Kivrin and I watched from the little snack bar area. Kivrin was enthralled with the skaters and the flashing lights. (and I got nachos from the snack bar, so everyone was happy!)

laurel is passionate about rainbows

Laurel is passionate about rainbows. Enough said. 🙂 Her purple hair wasn’t much of a surprise – I remember the very first week I hung out with her 8 years ago. When I picked her up, parts of her hair were bright pink. When I asked about it, she said the babysitter had done it, and it was supposed to wash out but it didn’t! This purple isn’t supposed to wash out, but it does, and so Laurel has to redo the dye periodically.

laurel making kivrins tshirt

finished shirt by laurel

Laurel is becoming quite the artist and is sketching and drawing constantly. She used markers to make Kivrin a personalized shirt that says “I love unicorns.”

kivrin and laurel in a band

Kivrin and Laurel making music together — Kivrin on the rattle and Laurel on the Ocarina iPhone app!

laurel does homework while kivrin plays

Laurel brought homework along with her — she worked on it while Kivrin entertained herself in the living room.  

lissa and laurel 4x6

Lissa and Laurel posing for a nice “sisters” picture on Laurel’s last day in Topeka…and then being silly to entertain the baby….

lissa and laurel dancing

lissa and laurel jazz hands

kivrin watching the big girls be silly

We miss you already Laurel — we hope you can come visit again soon!