Monday, September 27, 2010

A normal day

In some ways our days here look a lot like what they did in China. We eat meals and snacks, we read, some of us sleep, we play with dirty pond water, visit neighbors, have room time, etc. But there are other ways in which our days are very different. EG goes to preschool now, and for the most part doesn't take naps. I have to remember things like having her wear a blue shirt for blue day. I am so not good at this school thing. I pack lunches everyday. We have a dishwasher. We check mail in our van, we drive to get our milk, and we drive to fun places like parks and Chuck E Cheese IN A MINIVAN!

Today was for the most part a day just like a day in China, a day that felt normal. I had my kids with me all day. I did laundry all day-so China. No grocery store, no school today so I wasn't stressed out by the grocery store or forgetting EG's school folder. We visited neighbors in our complex, picked up treasures of sticks and leaves and berries for an hour this morning. Had naps and snacks and baths and roomtime. It was one of the first days that I've felt normal here. I know eventually all the new will feel normal as well, but for now our low key life in China is still my norm.
Here a few pictures from our normal day. Jack playing with cars. He is crazy about cars and any mode of transportation these days. He makes car noises all the time and pretends his fork is a train heading into his mouth. Here's EG organizing her kitchen. This girl is a great organizer! I am pretty sure she will gain the title of Huffman family laundry sorter in the near future. She is very into sorting and having things in order.

Great job Emma Grace!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

But Oh, Those Summer Niiiiiiiiiiights


I just noticed that our friends in North Dakota are wearing mittens in the pictures on their blog. I've heard the weather in our home states is starting to cool down. And when I called Xiao Li today to wish her a happy Mid Autumn Festival, she told me that it's starting to feel like fall there-that it's cool in the mornings and she dresses in layers. She is Chinese, so she is probably wearing more layers than I would think is necessary for the cool weather, but the point still stands-it's starting to get cooler there too.
For the most part we are still pretty far from anything resembling fall weather. Our evenings feel more like mild summer weather, but not really like fall. Tonight for dinner we went to a park with our new Chinese friend and gazed at the full moon but didn't eat any mooncakes-she said the ones you can get here are pretty bad. That's really different from the ones you get in China. HEHE. Our kids swam in a lake, played on a splash pad (our city really has neat stuff for families) We've been to the pool two times two times already this week. The water is starting to cool down, but it's pretty much perfect when the temperature reaches the low-mid 90's during the day.
Though the fall is by far my favorite season, I'm really enjoying the weather here. I'm looking forward to getting outside with my kids throughout the year, even in winter. We're going to check out Disney's Animal Kingdom pretty soon, as the parks feel more bearable now that we're dipping into the 80's on some days!
Andy actually took our kids to the Magic Kingdom BY HIMSELF last weekend. I was away on a women's retreat and he decided brave Disney on his own. It went great, which seems to be the way it goes with Dads. If it had been me, it would have been a total bomb! Jack, who is saying so much these days told me after I got home. "Mickey Mouse, Mommy, that's fun!"
Grapes is saying lots of fun things as well. She is totally enamored with the whole Princess thing and regularly changes her name to one of the Princesses (or a friend from China, or a friend from here, or Mary, mother of Jesus, and occasionally Jesus himself). There is rarely a night that I pray for Emma Grace during our bedtime prayers. I pray for Mandy, and Julianna, and Mary, and Snow White, and Jasmine, but rarely Emma Grace.
When I picked her up from preschool last week she told me, "Me and Anna Rose were having conversation." I then asked her what they were having conversation about. "Apples. She said the peel is really good for your tummy."
There you go, Mom-hope that was enough of a Jack and EG fix for you. Sorry I haven't taken more pictures lately! (this post is in response to some slight nagging from my mom to blog. hehe)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

Back in Asia, I would often ask Andy this question: If you could choose anywhere in the world to be right now, where would you choose?

Andy would almost always respond with a list of a few of his favorites and then we'd have to get about the task of debating each one-carefully listing the pros and cons of each of his favorite options, including a football game in cool NC fall weather, drinking lime shakes in Koh Samui with some of our favorite friends in the world, or Charleston, West Virginia, where his family is. Each of these places is wonderful. But there is one that he and I would almost always agree on after our lengthy discussion of each option: Cherry Grove, North Carolina.





Andy's parents bought the house in Cherry Grove back when he was in high school. They have made the 8 hour drive from West Virginia on more weekends than they can count. They've put hours upon hours of painting, building, lawnscaping, decorating, and cleaning to make this spot a haven for their family. It is that for them, and for all who get the chance to visit. This spot has become one of my favorite spots in all the world. (This is the spot where I began to see Andy with new eyes our senior year in college!) We've spent time there as friends, engaged, married with a newborn, married with number two on the way, and now again, with our toe heads running around delighting their grandparents! Their beach home with it's tiny pool is an adult retreat and a child's dream come true. This weekend we made the LOOOOOOOONG drive up to spend a few days there with Tim and Kathi. It was all I remembered it being. Great food by chef Tim, fun conversations, catching crabs, finding "like a gazillion butterfly seashells (EG), " running and splashing with my kids and 2 of their favorite dogs in the world. Thanks Lord, for Cherry Grove.














Skipping

Saturday, September 4, 2010

PRESCHOOL!

On Thursday and Friday mornings, it's just me and this little guy!

Because Emma Grace has started Preschool! We are excited for her to have the opportunity to attend preschool two mornings a week! So far, she's really liked it! We gave her several gifts to get ready for her big day! Hair bows, her first lunchbox, and a new pair of tennis shoes!


They are required to wear tennis shoes to school-I feel like they make her feet look huge, which makes me sad that my first born is so big already! We had a "trial run" last Thursday. She had an orientation and spent an hour with her classmates! These poses were totally EG's idea! On Friday she had her first real day! She did great! We are so thankful for a fun, safe, loving environment for our little girl to start school in. What a blessing. We love you EG and we look forward to seeing where God takes you!
For some reason blogger is making some of my writing look like links and I can't figure out how to change it. Oh Well!