Friday, June 25, 2010

Hot Days of Summer

How many things can you squeeze into one day?... Well, when it's the long days of summer and there's no agenda and no school, Alot!  Today we started out without much of a plan, but it developed quickly. We went to the YMCA to exercise, mailed off a care package to Nara Josette in China, picked berries at the  Barber Berry Farm  - while running into our good friends the Pope's in cool sun hats, sipped on fresh lemonade, swam with our friends the Roy's (Mosby jumped off the diving board for the first time and many more; all of the boys are swimming so great ;-) ) enjoyed a pizza / sushi party, finally we ended the day with ice cream, and bedtime prayers. Rob, was even able to join us late in the afternoon at the pool. (Thanks, Nana & Papa) Whew! What a fun day, aside from the slight heat stroke I had after the berry picking. 

The berry farm was fun, but hot in the heat of the day. We recommend going in the morning, sunscreen, and taking a drink with you. It takes a lot longer to pick a bucket of berries than you may imagine... but we'll be enjoying some sweet smoothies, ice cream, and hand-fulls of just plain berries, Yum, Yum!

We are so blessed to be able to just pick up and enjoy a fun-filled day, especially with some of our family and dear friends - the boys just Love, Maddie, Julianna, Mosby, Jeb, and Mary Mac. Thanks to you all, for helping us to have such an amazingly blessed day! This really feels like what summer should be all about - Fun!

Colossians 3:15-17 

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Creations All Around

Everyday is an adventure when you're in the country. One day does not go by that we do not see one or more of God's creations. Some we enjoy a lot, and well others we really do not want to see.  We have been enjoying the outdoors more since I'm now on three allergies meds to keep my allergies under control with so many natural allergens surroundings us. We're near an outdoor nature center, so it stands to measure that many if not more of those beautiful, pollen filled creations are all around us. 

I'm glad that I can finally enjoy the outdoors and breath easy. The boys Love finding, researching, and capturing any of God's creations, with the exception of flying stingers. The boy's bug house has seen many guests, most of which have made it out alive. Whit's young, so he still needs help with gently handling the guests and we always hope they make it out safely after their visit. The boys have hosted frogs, crickets, grasshoppers, fireflies, lightening bugs, centipedes, dirt dobbers, and a few other little things. We've also caught a skink, a turtle, seen a chicken snake, and of course Love the resident peacocks. 

The peacocks have become 'members of the family', we all love to watch them and enjoy the true wonder of God's creations. The colors of their feathers are amazing, more beautiful than could be imagined. They are protective of the house and property, and like to hang out when we're around.  But, they also alert us of of things that unsettle them and sleep in the trees over the house. The boys, love to say "Goodnight" to them in the tree high above their windows each night. It's been a blessing to be able to talk with the boys about how Percy watches over them each night, but even more so God watches over us each day/night. Reinforcing to them of God's unconditional, highest love for us all, protecting us and guiding us each day, when we open our hearts and lives to Him.

We're enjoying the time we have here at the river house, so graciously from our friend's the J's. We cannot fathom their generosity and humble spirits. God is using them in mighty ways to strength and minister to our family during this time of transition and growth for our family. We pray to find our new home very soon and to be able to settle our family. Doing so, will also enable us to continue forward in our adoption process of Nara Josette. Thank you for your prayers, we appreciate them more than you know.

Acres of Beauty

Mr. HardShell

Making a Run for it

Mr. Froggie

Mr. Centipede

Alpha, Percy

Wow, a 7 foot spread

Off Road Adventure


Graham, swinging for it

Ford, our leader

Whit loves the clown around, he's full of surprises

The whole crew, rocking on a hot afternoon

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tubing the Chattahoochee

Guten Tag!  We enjoyed a wonderful family respite this week in Helen, Georgia. It was a long, fun road trip to the Great Smokey Mountains and back. We pushed our way through Atlanta 'rush hour' traffic coming and going, but it was all worth it. We had such a great time just being a family and taking our minds off of all the many things of our everyday life. I must truly THANK my sweet husband for insisting on the trip, I really didn't want to go with everything we have on our plate right now. THANK YOU, Babe!

The German village was genuine and slow paced, just what the doctor ordered. We enjoyed our fill of German food - Yum!  Red cabbage, brats galore, homemade pretzels, and the best strudel we've ever tasted. O' and not to forget, Spatzle! Two state parks within 5 minutes, a wooden toy store, and confections/pastries beyond imagination.

It was nice to walk everywhere. Many of the restaurants are on the Chattahoochee River, so it's beautiful and scenic. The highlight of our trip was tubing down the Chattahoochee and stopping along the way so the boys could explore and zipping down the 5-story flume water slides half-way down the river.  Here are their sites, in case you're looking for a fun short trip.  Helen, GA or  Cool River Tubing

Auf Wiedersehen ~
Helen Chapel


Mommy & her Boys

river watching

looking for arrowheads

Mountain climbing with Dad

Whit loves to clown around

Giant Pretzel!

A glimpse of Hofer's treats

a fierce game of tic tac toe

really, people are still tubing at 7pm...

Happy Boy!


Ford was Ready!

No thanks, I've got it myself!

Graham loved the rapids

Cutie, Whit

Ahoy there -

Smooth sailing


Lazy river

Yeah, we made it!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Maoming City


Chinese Name:茂名市 (mào míng shì)

Population: 6,793,300

Area: 11,459 square kilometers (4,424 square miles)

Nationalities: Han

Location: Located in southeastern Guangdong Province, Maoming City neighbors Zhanjiang in the west and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in the north. The South China Sea is just to the south of the city. It is 362 kilometers (225 miles) from Guangzhou and 121 kilometers (75 miles) from Zhanjiang.

History: In remote ages, aboriginal people were living in this region, and those aboriginal ethnics in Xia (21st - 16th century BC) and Shang (16th - 11th century BC) dynasties were called Baiyue ethnic group, an integration of the ancient Yue minority and many other minorities. According to historical records, Maoming belonged to two shires in the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC). The Maoming County was established in the Sui Dynasty (581-618).

Physical Features: Mountains and hills constitute the general landform of the city, concurrently including plains and coastal beach. It also has a coastline of more than 220 kilometers (137 miles). On the whole, the terrain of Maoming is higher in the north and lower in the south.

Climatic Features:Enjoying a subtropical monsoon season, the weather of Maoming is moderate with an annual average temperature of no less than 22℃ (72℉). Maoming is a green city all the year round. The rainfall of a year lies between 1530-1770 millimeters (60-70 inches).

When to Go: During the whole year

Special Local Products: In late 2005, Maoming earned the title of largest fruit producing base in China. Lichee (litchi), banana and longan are the most famous and high-yield fruits. In addition, the fruit pit (of Afzelia xylocarpa) carvings are special souvenirs in local markets.

The 1st Shoal of China Vacation Area: The 'first shoal of China' is 25 kilometers (16 miles) from the downtown Maoming, in the Maogang District. The resort has miles of fine and smooth beach outside the shelter belt, and it is definitely an ideal place for swimming and sunbathing. In addition, the resort has many sports to enjoy, including parachute gliding and sailboarding. It is also a national training center for beach volleyball, and often hosts national and international competitions.

Chicken (Fang Ji) Island: The island is the largest in Maoming covering an area of 1.9 square kilometers (0.7 square miles). This tourist resort is a fascinating diving center boasting clear and unruffled sea waters, famous for its coral reefs and recreational scuba diving. Skin and deep diving, diving of exploration are all available here.

Tianmashan Eco-Tourist Area: The scenic area is situated in Xinyi City. On the 1,080 meters (3,543 feet) tall Tianma Mountain, emerald forest, clear springs, deep and serene valleys, waterfalls of all shapes and size, strange rocks and lingering prairies, can all be found in this nature-gifted landscape.

Travel Tips: 
Thanks to the construction of the expressways around Maoming, the city is a one hour drive to Zhanjiang Airport and three hour drive to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport. 

Hello There :-)

Hi Everyone! Yes, we're still here. We have been wire less, with no internet service since we returned from China - the line was out at the road box. We're at the 'river house' and have been enjoying very slow paced,  simple family time. Since our return, the TV and internet have not worked, boards games, etc., school is out, we've been looking for a house, and Rob has been putting in more hours at work to make up for being away and co-workers being on vacation. So that's what we've been up to...

We also received a new referral for our daughter! A precious little girl, Nan Yun Lin (her nickname is LinLin). She lives in Maoming City, Guangdong, PRC. She is 17 months old and is at a Half the Sky orphanage, her SN is cleft lip. We are very excited about her, she has bright lively eyes and a sweet smile. We're uncertain about when we will travel to bring her home, hopefully before her 2nd birthday in December.  

Please pray for us to find our new home, that everything will go well with the contract and we'll be able to move into it as soon as possible, and for our continued adoption journey. We continue to pray for JiHong and now we're praying for  LinLin, too! 

The boys are enjoying all of our free time and finding Lots of bugs, lightening bugs, and hoppers, to capture nightly in their 'bug house'. They are also looking forward to us finally moving into our new home and expanding upon their imaginary adventures. :-)

Also, the peacocks at the river house are expecting. They have been nesting 4 eggs for about a month. We'll see if they hatch... They chose an interesting place for their nest, the bed of the Gator ATV.

Many thanks to you for your prayers; for continuing to call us. We look forward to seeing you.

Love ~

Our China Food Diary

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