family picture

family picture
We "want our very lives...to serve as HIS signature to all mankind so that all may know His work," Job 37:7

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

House keeping

I know many of you are wanting to know how we are doing and I promise I will get there.  I first had to do a little house keeping.  I have gone back and added pictures and some "reflections" to the posts that we wrote while in China.  Blogging was a little difficult for us especially in Changsha so I had to cut a lot of the pictures that I wanted to post. 
I have also had time to stop and reflect and remember key things that I have gone back and added.
These will be in italics and usually in noted as a Reflection.  So make sure you go back and take a look at the added stuff.
I hate to leave you with out a few pictures since we have been home so here ya go.
I love watching them play together.

He can be a picky eater but Doughnuts are a favorite

This is what it looks like in our car.  That's a bunch of kids!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sweet Home Alabama

This will be short.
video
(Reflecting: I took Joel a change of clothes.  The purpose was for me to be able to change him in the Detroit airport.  Well before we left the tarmac Joel decided to pee through his clothes and all over me.  It was a bit of a nightmare.  E washed out Joel's pants in the bathroom and we hung them up to dry on the magazine pocket.  I  used a wipe on my dress.  More to make it smell better than getting anything off.  I also put a blanket under my dress on my lap so that I wouldn't have to feel the wet fabric on me.  I also never put him back in my lap with out another blankent on my lap.)
It took a 2 hour van ride, a 14 hour flight, another 1 hour 26 minute flight and then a 1 hour drive to get us home.  Joel did fabulous he only slept a total of 4 hours they whole time but never really cried.  He was very content and snacked a lot.  We arrived yesterday at 4:30 in Birmingham with lots of great friends there to meet us
.
 
The ride home was a little interesting since everyone was upset because they didn't get to sit next to Joel.  Well Korinna didn't cry because she did get to sit by Joel.  That is the rule Korinna is the oldest so she gets to be the baby buddy. 
When we returned home the three of us were exhausted and it was all we could do to stay awake until the other guys got into bed.  Finally at 9:45 I climbed into my own bed.  E and Joel had already fallen to sleep and frankly I had as well, I had fallen asleep with Leila in her bed.  Elaina woke me up to help her get a drink.  After that I left her reading in her bed.  I don't know what time she feel asleep. 
Thankfully we are home and all of my chicks are in my nest.  I couldn't be happier.  Now if I could just get rid of the jet lag.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Our Last 2 days in China

This will probably be my last post in China. Yesterday we had our Consulate appointment and then went to Shemain Island. It was so much fun and I wish we could have stayed longer and Ethan wishes he would've have spent less money. It was fun picking out a few little things for each of the kiddos. It just means we are one step closer to going home. We then ate at the famous Lucy's restaurant. It was fun and we have loved getting to know the other couple from our Agency.  
Joel in traditional Chinese clothing

Having tea at the Chen Family Academy


(The only really awkward moment we had in China.  These older couples approached us talking noticing our babies.  Then they discussed Joel.  The only reason I knew is they pointed at him and made a gesture to his face. Our guide was on the phone working on our paperwork so I have zero clue what they were saying.  Did they think Joel was extra cute or did they notice that his coloring is a little off and suspected him to be a sick baby? I don't know but the other mom and I just smiled nicely.)

We then headed back to the hotel and I have to admit that my stomach was a little queezy the rest of the evening. We took a late nap and then got up and went for a walk around the mall and the surrounding area. We let Joel play pretty late and he is a smart cookie. He has started mimicking almost anything we do. He is also taking better to Ethan. He is figuring out that E will play rougher than me and let him get away with a few more things. E did a little work and then we headed to bed.

Today we slept late and lazily rolled out of bed at 6:30. Down for breakfast then we skyped with the kids. Today was July 3rd in China so we went on and sang happy birthday to Korinna. I have to think she enjoyed it though she was acting like she was too cool for all of this nonsense. After we skyped we took a nap. Yep a nap at 9:00 am and we slept til 11:30. It was kinda funny but since we are headed back tomorrow, we figured it was okay to start getting ready to get back on Central time.
(being lazy and snacking in bed)


(And this is just the begining of our packing. I know, we can really trash a hotel room.)


(Yummy, Ruben at Patty Fields)

Since we slept so late we decided to just piddle and start packing. We went for a walk and then ate at Patty Fields, an Irish Pub. Who would have guessed that you could get one of the best Ruben Sandwhiches half way across the world. By the end of lunch Joel was DONE. He is at that age where long leisurely lunches where he has to sit in a high chair or in your lap is not really fun for him. He is ready to get down and walk around or crawl- just something besides sitting. So we headed back to the hotel. It was time for his meds anyway. We played the rest of the day in the floor of the hotel room. We played so hard that at one point I looked down and he was leaning on my lap munching on a cookie and then literally 2 minutes later he was asleep. Sweet baby boy. So we are back to packing and getting ready to leave. We will leave at 5:30 in the morning (4:30 July 3rd Central standard time) and take a private van to Hong Kong. We will board a plane to Detroit 10:30 (9:30 CST) for the 15 hour flight. Once in Detroit we will board our last flight to Birmingham. We would appreciate your prayers during this time and we look forward to seeing you State Side.