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. 


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