Wednesday, December 29, 2010


We have our consulate appointment confirmed!
January 26th!
Now, we chat with the travel coordinator tonight to work out flights, hotels, etc.
That's Jamie's department...and I'll work on packing!
Jenna, here we come, baby girl!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Share, please

OK. For those who have recently traveled to China, I'm looking for some suggestions.
It has been five years since we were there, and I know things have changed, especially on the island. So, here are my questions regarding GZ...
1. Did any of you stay off the island? If so, where? Were you near the new consulate?
2. What did you see and do for fun?
3. What about shopping? Any "don't miss this" areas? Anything like the pearl market in Beijing?
4. Things you wish you would have taken?
Thanks for your suggestions!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Our Christmas 2010

We opened our gifts on Christmas Eve morning. That gives the kids a chance to play and just have a down day before the big excitement of Christmas Day!
HA! I'm up before my brothers!
Ready to open presents. Lovin' the Santa hats! Laura will have nothing to do with hats!

Mommy, I love my new toilet seat. Do I really have to learn to use it, too?

Amarin bought Jacob his most-wanted Star Wars action figure.

Jacob made a Star Wars tank for Amarin.

Can't get enough of Star Wars...or so they tell me...

Sleeping bags for the boys!

Daddy got a griddle so he can cook lots of pancakes at once for this growing family!

A Christmas ornament from Laura to Mommy and Daddy. Apparentlly, she let her teachers put a Santa hat on her. Why do I think she does more for them than for us? Spoiled a little, maybe?

A new game for his Leapster...Star Wars...shocker!

Charlie bought Laura some animal crackers. I think this was her favorite gift!

Daddy surprised us all with a Wii. Favorite game so far...sword fighting. Even Mommy can play this one without too much difficulty!

Christmas morning...

Get your stockings!

Have you ever seen a child so excited about a stapler? He keeps using mine to make "gifts" for all of us. Now maybe mine won't be MIA?

Nutella...memories of eating at the German guesthouses...

"I can help you, sweetheart."

Don't you eat my raisins, Charlie. You know how I love my food!

What is that? It does not look like snacks to me!

Silly putty for our silly boy!

Yeah for Christmas morning!

Veggie Tales! We love these movies!

What? Santa took off with the whole pop can? Where's the deposit?

Moose hats from Grandma and Papa. So, of course we have to fight like moose! See Laura's expression....not likin' the whole hat thing again.

Oh, I'll just snuggle up with Grandma.

A bunch of moose cousins!

Ready to eat Grandma's yummy breakfast!

Jamie and the kids bought me a new phone with texting and a camera. I guess they thought it was time I joined the rest of the texting world. Don't I look efficient at texting? my niece had to show me how to do it...I'm still not sure...

Lincoln logs!!

I'm so glad I have a girl cousin here!

A hatchet for our lumberjack. As of this moment, he wants to grow up to be a forest ranger. I don't know that that necessarily includes cutting down trees...

Cowboy who's gonna get lasoed first?

Our princess all dressed up in her new coat. Can you tell Grandma loves buying clothes for her? And, she didn't seem to mind this hat. I guess she knew how pretty she was!

A first Christmas for our first great nephew. He fell asleep in my arms Christmas night...I think he likes me best! (Hope his grandma's not reading this!) :)

My happy princess

Really? More Star Wars that you don't have? How much of this stuff do they actually make?

Tea for Grandma

And a Merry Christmas was had by all!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours!


Christmas Eve Eve.
Time to don our jammies (kids only...that would be too embarrassing if we broke down!), pile into the van, grab some hot chocolate, and drive around looking at Christmas lights.
OK, everybody. Find a seat!

I have no idea what takes these boys so long to buckle.
Wait, wait, wait...
Finally, here we go.


Hot chocolate in hand. Poor Amarin...he needs special hot chocolate that doesn't make him throw up! Who ever heard of chocolate making you throw up?

"I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus..." was ringing through the car. So, Jamie leaned over and gave me a quick kiss. This is the reaction from the boys. They're so silly....covering their eyes and squealing. Then they laugh and tell us to do it again!
And we see you peeking, Amarin!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

An Early Present

Finally we have TA!
Our agency just called. They hadn't planned on going into the office,
but decided to check the mail, and it was there.
So, now we have to wait until Monday to start booking travel and consulate appointments since everything is closed now for the holiday. Looks like January travel dates, and hopefully before she turns four on the 26th of January!
Merry Christmas to us...
Merry Christmas to us...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We're Done!

With school, that is. We had our last day of homeschool co-op on Monday, and then two more days of school at home. I know, I know...everyone else is finished. Don't tell my kids, OK?
I just feel the need to finish up projects before the holiday. It makes me feel more relaxed.Next week we'll be off, too. I think we're all ready for a break.
Of course, I'll have to do lesson planning...I'd rather do China travel planning...

Here's a science project that we all really enjoyed. We have been studying the human body, and we used this awesome curriculum that had all of the internal body parts to cut out and assemble as we learned about them. Let me tell you...I don't think either boy will be headed into the medical field. They got pretty grossed out talking about the organs and blood. Especially when I told them what the doctors had to do to their Papa during open-heart surgery...ya actually get to the heart.

Charlie's in on the act now. We decided to take him out of kindergarten at our local school, and teach him at home the rest of the year. He's happy to be working with his brothers...'cause he's a big boy now, too, since he gets to stay home. We have some math and ABC work for him to do, and he's eager to work.

Jacob told me to post this photo and tell you all how "blue" they were feeling today. We took our own fingerprints (a whole lot faster than waiting for an immigration appt.!) during our science study...and...well...I think we'll all have blue fingers for a few days.