Monday, June 30, 2014

Oliver & Company (Wu Ping)

This is Oliver who just learned to crawl today. He is a sweet boy, probably around 8 or 9 months old now. The other boy is Wu Ping, who was just brand new here last summer. He may have Down Syndrome, but he is smart as a whip.  He has the most hilarious crawling style, and loves to be in the lime light.

Choayang Post #1

For the first time we did some of our "official" touring in Chaoyang instead of in Beijing. Yesterday morning we toured the fossil park, which was actually quite impressive. Chaoyang claims to have had the first bird and the first flower, so we are now referring to it as the Garden of Eden!  Actually the fossils and petrified wood were very interesting and the museum was very well done. It was a little toasty when we walked around the outside displays though.  Angela, if you are reading this, we randomly met Patrick, who says he was a good friend of yours here in Chaoyang! It truly is a small world. Before we headed to the orphanage, we crashed a beautiful wedding in our hotel! They were so sweet to us and insisted we get in on some photos with them.

We spent the afternoon with the kids again.  Ed was mobbed by his boys as we walked through the door. I painted Min Yer's nails for the fourth time, and some of he girls painted toenails for some of the crib bound kids.  We have been taking those kids out of the cribs as much as possible. It breaks my heart when they do not want out.

Last night we attended the local church. I feel guilty admitting I struggled to stay awake since I did not understand what was being said, plus it was hot and humid inside. The message was from Ephesians on unity, which is always good for a team to hear. We did enjoy the music and taking communion. Juan, a tutor we hired in the past to work with an orphan, was there, so was good to see her.

We will be heading back to the orphanage in just a bit. We are making tissue paper kites this morning and hanging them around to brighten the place up.  I have been unable to post photos or even download them to my computer, so hopefully I can get some through someone's iPhone today for mike to post.

Friday, June 27, 2014


Exhausted and camera died, but great day today. We got to see kids today, and three new babies. Two adorable ones we've decided to name Nick and Oliver, and one miserable little girl we call Claire. Unfortunately my battery died and the spare was in the luggage. Want to share moe but the last 48 hrs has worn me out!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Happy Anniversary???

Two quick items tonight. First, I'm off to China in the early morning. Can't wait to see my Chaoyang kiddos again! We won't be there until Friday, so check back this this weekend for more posts.

Second, Happy Anniversary tomorrow to my wonderful husband!  Thanks for tolerating me being in China most anniversaries. This one won't be as memorable as our 25th, but that doesn't mean I love you any less! We will celebrate when I get home.  You've got the routine down by now. And kids, be good to Dad!

Did I say two quick items? I meant three. For all you techie people, one of my team mates will be keeping an instagram while we are there. Look for changeforchaoyang.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Father's Night...

Since Kaia and I were on our way home from Spokane, it was up to the other three children to make Father's Day all about Dad. Um, let's just say it was more like Father's Night.  Dad woke up before the three, so no early breakfast prepared for him. They did all attend church together, but Josh worked in the afternoon, and Mike did not want to see any of the movies showing at our local theater.  Kellen worked the evening shift, so thankfully Kaia and I got home to save the day...

Dad has become quite the Seattle Sounders fan lately, so Josh came up with the idea to get him some gear.  Now he is all set for the game the entire family is going to in July.

He and Josh will be waving their scarves against the Timbers! For now though, we are gearing up to watch tomorrow's World Cup game against Portugal.  Did someone say GOAL!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Now Where Was I???

Now where did I leave off? Oh yes, after graduation came Kaia's National T & T gymnastics competition.  Kaia qualified in her favorite event, tumbling, and since it was practically in our own back yard, we went for it. We really enjoyed our time together. Kaia didn't perform until Sunday, but we were able to watch two of her team mates perform (both those girls placed second nationally in their age/level categories), as well as take in the Elite tumblers. Kaia was in awe watching the Elite level, and it really inspired her.  Saturday evening was also the march in of all the 900+ athletes from across the country, and we were annoyed when they forgot to announce "Island Flyers." We were missing one of the four on our team who attended, as she had finished her events and headed home.

First off Sunday morning: hair! Of course, I don't do it well enough, so Kaia relied on her team mate. Hair must be all off the face and in a bun, not easy for someone with fine layered hair. And on top of that, stay in place while one does all sorts of flips and turns.

Did I mention the use of a ton of hairspray???

Presenting before the judges for her flight.
Kaia's first tumbling run, a roundoff and two back handsprings, scored her a 27.70, which put her in the top twelve. Her second run scored her 25.90 on her 3-step round off, followed by four back handsprings.  That put her tied for 19th, but they don't do ties. Since the other girl scored higher on her second run, she takes the higher place, so Kaia took 20th. I say out of 43 participants at her age and level, not bad!

Following her second run.
Following some photos with her team mates, we hit the road for our 6.5 hour drive home. We wanted to get back home to spend time with Dad for Father's Day! More on that for the next post...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Speed Post Two...

So here is a recap for Speed Post Two.  We were happy to celebrate graduation with Josh's girlfriend of nearly two years.  First she was a speaker at baccalaureate (she spoke on Joshua, the biblical guy, not my son!).

And graduation night the whole family was able to honor her hard work and next step.

Rebecca, we are very proud of you! Remember...

Proverbs 16:3  “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”

Speed Posts....

This happens every year this season of transition between spring and gets crazy in the home of two teachers +4 kids!  So now I am "speed posting" to try and catch up.  This one goes back to Memorial Weekend...

Last year this time we were at Children's Hospital for Kaia's surgery, so we were unable to cheer Jaelyn on in her 3 v. 3 soccer tourney. Fortunately this year the weather cooperated, so we were able to watch the Super Six finish with a 1-1-1 record.  I love how their bright uniforms complemented the beautifully green grass!  And don't you just love the duct taped numbers? The girls wanted to be able to wear the shirts later. She was happy to be on the pitch again, and now practice has started back up for her Islanders team.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Spokane Here We Come...

Remember this post titled To Nationals or Not?  Well the official answer is "YES!"  School ended for me today (which is why you haven't heard from me in awhile; end of the school year is always crazy), so Kaia and I are heading off for Spokane tomorrow. Her event and age group doesn't compete until Sunday, but we're going early to watch some of her older team mates, as well as to participate in the march in and to watch the high level kids that are competing for a postion on the Junior Olympic team.  Looking forward to sharing the experience with Kaia. 

A couple weekends ago Kaia landed her first back flip before an audience, at her recital. It was amazing to watch this little bundle get so much height. Josh's girlfriend videotaped it for me, with intentions of posting it here, but we haven't figured out how to get it off her phone. I haven't given up on it yet though.

The only downside to going is we miss most of Father's Day with Mike on Sunday. The rest of the kids have to play it up, but I am leaving it all for them to figure out. Kids, if you're reading this, don't let your dad down!  I will follow up next week with how things went, both for Kaia and for Father's Day!