Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Vast Extremes

Today we were up really early and ready to go.  It was a day of extremes. Extreme vastness, extreme excessiveness, extreme humidity, extreme traffic, extremely small...
Our first visit was Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.  Very interesting places but waaaayyy too many people and waaayyyy too humid to spend 4 hours at a snails pace.  (Sorry that sounds a bit complaining and ungrateful - definitely not intended, just keeping it real.). It was hard on Megan but she was a trooper.  It for sure is an amazing place and so vast it's hard to truly capture its size and the grandeur it once held within China.  One fact ...there are 9,999 1/2 rooms within the Forbidden City (that 1/2 a room really would have made this palace a little too big) (lol).
We enjoyed a rickshaw ride through the Hutong region of Beijing.  This is the ancient city where more than a million people still live.  A local family prepared an amazing meal for us.  Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures as it was raining quite hard.  The afternoon consisted of a visit to CCCWA (China Center for Child Welfare and Adoption).  This is where all adoption paperwork is processed.  I really thought it would be much larger than it was, but it's only a few dozen people.  We were able to see Megan's file but Nat's file has advanced to the archives. The girls participated in a Chinese painting class and then it was on to Peking Duck dinner.  Good, but the local family meal was much better.  It was an extremely busy, interesting, hot, great day!

Want pics?  You'll have to see my FB page.  For whatever reason, all the devices I got to make this easy has turned into a pain!!  Sorry.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Made it to China

We were greeted by warm smiles, Nihao's, some strange looks and the stifling heat and smog of Beijing.  Smiles were on everyone's face as our adventure begins.  Flights getting here were great, no problems.  M's anxiety slowed way down and she enjoyed flying.  N is pretty tired because she watched 12 hours of movies, stopping only for necessary things like food.  K & I are so happy that we're able to give this learning experience to our girls and see things through their eyes a bit.  One of the things I was worried about was having 2 hotel rooms, but they are adjoining and quite large, so I'm happy about that.  Sorry no pics just yet, I'll figure that out next.  I'm just really glad all the headaches with techy stuff at home have all worked (so far).  Until later.... Kristin

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Techy Stuff - not my thing

Megan 6th China Camp
We got all this new techy stuff for our trip and I'm trying to figure out how to use it.  Bluetooth keyboards, SD reader for an iPad, multi unit plug converters... It's not very intuitive and I'm not very knowledgeable.  Ugh, hope it gets easier to add pics from camera to iPad via this thingy-ma-jiggy.  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

It's been a L.O.N.G. time

Hey friends... it's time to resurrect our blog.  We used this as a tool back in 2008-09 to communicate and share with family and friends about our journey to bringing our second daughter home from ChIna.  Well, as time went on we started using FB more often and this blog was forgotten.  I'm hoping this works for us in ChIna again as we'll be going in about 3 weeks.  We're taking a Heritage Tour with CCAI.  So, this is just a test.  More later! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Where have we been? A much needed update #1

Well, for those of you that might have checked our blog from time to time over this past year, thank you

As I sit here thinking back to my last post which was last April, there are so many things that go thru my mind it's hard to sort it all out.  So,  I'll try.  But, it may end up kinda all jumbled and in mulitple posts.

Last May Natalee performed at Tulip Time in the new Kinder Dutch Dance program.  She was a "boy" and they have their own costumes and dance different than the high school/alumni dancers.  She had a lot of fun, and we did too as we watched her and the Calvary group perform.  Her first performance was cold, in fact we were in winter coats, hats, gloves.... everything.... it was brisk!  By the end of her performances a week and half later, we were worried about the girls getting heat stroke and being dehydrated it was so hot.  That's Michigan weather for ya. 

We enjoyed a vacation to Gulf Shores at the end of May.  It was a much needed break and a beautiful get-away!!! 

June brought Megan's 6th birthday!  I know everyone says, "how can she be 6 already"?  We wonder the same thing.  The past couple years have gone so fast.  She has grown and changed so much it's really astonishing.  She chose a Toy Story theme for her birthday party and instead of cake, which isn't her favorite, she wanted root beer floats. 

June was also busy with Natalee's dance recital and the Dad/Daughter dance (which is a family highlight to see Daddy dance).  :)   Nat's dance was beautiful!  She really has a gift and it's so fun to watch her dance.   The dad/daughter dance was to the song "Hello Goodbye" by the Beatles (the whole recital was Beatles songs by various artists, it was neat).  Dad did great and maybe I can upload the video again. ---- I tried but it won't upload.  Maybe later. 

July we went to Nashville for our China reunion with Natalee's adoption group.  We always have such a fun time!  We all just pick up where we left off from the last time and we laugh and reminisce, it really is a special bond we have together.  Life long friends! 

Oh, in June the girls and I participated in our first ever China Heritage Camp sponsored by Families for International Children.  It was awesome!  I volunteered to teach the Kindergarten class, figured if I'm drivin' to GR everyday for a week and have to be there by 8am, I might as well help out.  They needed a teacher - I love to teach - win/win.  It was so much fun and so very well put together.  Not only is there a China camp but also a Latin America camp, Korea camp, Eastern European camp, preschool multi-cultural and teen camps.  I can't wait for this year!  I'll be teaching the 1st grade China camp.  The girls really enjoyed it too and are looking forward to this year again.  They made some great new friends. 

This spring/summer I began watching my two beautiful nieces (home from Ethiopia since Feb) a couple days a week.  It was such a blessing to be able to pour into their early beginnings at home and help them learn.  My girls loved being "little mommies" and helping me with them.  We got to do some fun stuff like going to Dutch Village, playing on the swings and wading pool, reading books and just laughing together.  It really was a neat opportunity. 

Although it's been two years since Megan has been home, this summer we have very much experienced the "post" honeymoon stage.  Do ya know what I mean?  That time when the person realizes "wow" this is for real, no turning back.  This stage has had a very "ugly" side to it and has presented several challenges.  Ya know, I'm going to save the rest of this for another post where I can devote more to it and share more about what we've learned. 

Right before school started (Megan Kdg & Nat 4th) the girls needed haircuts.  Natalee has been growing her hair out for almost two years, maybe even a bit longer, in order to donate it to Locks of Love.  So... finally the time came.  Here's the pics... aren't they just beautiful girls!

Well, for not having updated in the past year... that's a glimpse at the first half of our 2011.  I'll try to post update #2 soon so I can get to the more current events.  Thanks for joining us on our journey. 


Monday, April 4, 2011

Happy 18th Anniversary

April 3, 1993 – our wedding day!  Now, 18 years later we are still happily married, enjoying time with each other, learning to parent together, having fun doing ministry side-by-side and incredibly blessed! 


The girls desperately wanted to watch our wedding video, so on Friday night we had a “slumber party” and snuggled together watching the video.  It has been a long time since we’ve watched this and it was a little funny to see the styles and various people from 18 years ago.  During the video the girls kept asking, “when are you going to have the wedding?”  Not knowing exactly what they meant, I explained about the ceremony and such but that didn’t answer their question.  Finally, Nat said, “No, when are you going to KISS?”  Oh, so that’s all that really mattered to them was the kiss.

  Winking smileThen, the girls wanted to take a picture of the “happy couple” on our anniversary so this is the best snapshot they got.  Thanks girls! 

Friday, March 25, 2011

2nd Gotcha Day & More

Well, March is just about over and spring is hopefully right around the corner.  Thankfully it's been sunny the past couple of days but it's still really cold!  March has been a pretty "normal" month - if there is such a thing - with the exception of our 2nd Gotcha Day celebration with Megan.  Two years ago on the 18th we met Miss Megan and her foster family in Guiyang, China (see post here) and we received the second greatest blessing in our lives.  That day seems so long ago and yet just like yesterday.  This past year was a little more challenging in that Megan is grieving in such a different manner now.  We have learned a lot about trauma and parenting children from hard places.  It's not always easy, in fact at times it is very hard!  But, I can't imagine anything else!  This past year has also been filled with great blessings!  We love to see Megan learn and grow.  Megan, we love you to the moon and back!  Happy Forever Family Day!!

For Megan's Gotcha Day celebration, she decided she wanted to play at the famous fun place with the crazy mouse and greasy pizza.  You know that place.  Well, it was fun.  During the day there really aren't many people there so she was able to play lots of games.  As we were eating lunch, she noticed something fall onto the seat.  She picked it up, set it on the table and said, "look it's my tooth!"  Her first tooth fell out!  She was so excited!  She has had two loose teeth on the bottom since February.  Daddy has tried several times to get them out but she just wouldn't let him, she was too afraid.  So today, at the famous CEC, she lost her first tooth!  Way to go Megs!!

Natalee only had a 1/2 day of school so she joined us at CEC for some fun, pizza and games.  But then, she went to Gramma & Grampa's for the night and Megs had a slumber party with Daddy and I.  After she opened her gift (of which she had been bugging me all week to tell her what it was) we had a great night of snuggling, watching tv, snacking and coloring princess pictures. 

Just as it was time for bed, she second tooth was so terribly loose one good deep breath and she would swallow it.  So, as Daddy was helping brush her teeth, he kind of "helped" it out.  Megan was so excited!!! She lost her first two teeth on the same day and it was gotcha day - what happiness!! :)  Of course she was very eager to get to sleep that night so the tooth fairy would visit her, twice!  :)  What a great day making memories with our precious girl!