Happy Birthday, Dong and Yan!

Happy Birthday, Dong and Yan!
Are they making a wish?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

2 years?

Was it really two years since we last picked up a keyboard? No, of course not. But it has been 2 years since we brought Yani and Tad home with us.
Tad, the cutie pie, has been the inspiration for a list of things that are different about boys and girls, each sentence airing to something like: Girl decorates Christmas Tree, Boy climbs Christmas Tree. And so on and so forth. It's really rather hilarious. He is legally a seven year old, and pretty much on track for his age! He can do addition up to ten (for the most part), and is actually better at some things (art and number conservation) than his older sister.
Yani, the darling, is a total girlie-girl. Her life is comprised of Justin Beiber, the color pink, Hannah Montana, iCarly, and so on and so forth. And she is a real home body. She wants almost NOTHING to do with China, save for the occasional spark of interest in the language (we tell her she has to learn English before she learns Mandarin!), and is totally addicted to Daddy. Our conversations go like such: "Hey Yani, do you want me to roast a perfect marshmallow for you?"...."No." A few seconds (or no seconds) later, "I want Daddy to!" But we love her all the same.
Addy, the tomboy, just had 10 baby hamsters delivered by her female, Skippy. Anyone want one? :) We can't believe that she is going into middle school next year, but she is ready. However, she needs to learn to do more than just 'get by with average grades' and really exceed. This is the kid who in fourth grade, when questioned why she didn't try harder said, "Well Mom, it's fourth grade, they don't expect anything of us."
Mary, the artist, (is typing this!) is going into private school next year. In Pennsylvania. You might imagine how Nancy/Mom took that. "Ohhhh! My bbaaabbbyyy is llleeaaavvviinnng!!" Proud, yes. Ready, not necessarily. But she just bought me a Fox Model One Bassoon, so no complaints on my end.
As for Mom and Dad/Nancy and Lon, well, the Inn is in a tighter place right now, but we pray to God, and hope you will too. On the bright side, we got a fantastic new chef who is ready to try a lot of stuff with a limited budget. We call him Little Chef.

Maybe we will update more often...


Friday, July 3, 2009

Back at Home

We made it. after a 35 hour flight home with four kids (one barfing with air sickness, one barfing with a migraine) and a 2 hour delay in chicago, we are happily at home.

the kids - Yani and Taddy - are fantastic. Tad is like a 5 year old, but already after only a week he is giving us eyecontact, responding to his name and our instructions (turn off the tv etc) and not wearing ALL his breakfast...

Yani is a peach - smart as a whip and with a silly sense of humor. she will be a handful. And a fashionista. has discovered marys high heels, my jewellery, and is entralled by my makeup...Loves dresses.

both love the swimming pool which is where we will be later this afternoon.

i'll post photos and details later, but wanted to let you all know we are ok.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


We are settling into Beijing, where it has been foggy and cloudy and HUMID since our arrival. The heavens opened with rain yesterday for about 5 minutes - it sounded like a million trucks driving by. Then it stopped.We visited the summer palace yesterday and climbed longevity hill to the buddhist temple of incense (or somesuch), and saw the marble boat. It was amazing. The funniest thing though is the attention Addy especially attracts with her blue eyes and blonde hair. She had a bevy of grandmothers coming up to pinch her cheeks and kiss her and pat her. She was freaked out at first, but by the end of the day stood their stoically, smiled and said xie xie, which made them all smile.Today we have a meeting in the am, then are off to see the acrobats this afternoon. Sometime I will take mary shopping for some girl time. I got a manicure at the local supermarket/toystore/clothing/etc store - all of 20 RMB (or about $3.00). Fun. The need for a manicure transcends language.We had famous Beijing roast duck the day before yesterday - sliced and you roll it up on pancakes. Addy tried everthing and discovered she really likes chines pancakes and duck. Mary discovered duck soup broth (and noodles for breakfast). Right now it is 6:30 am and i am trying to get her to try seaweed salad for breakfast. Truly teh breakfastst here are wonderful with a full chinese buffet (veggies, corn, noodles, rice (corn on the cob seems to be the national treat!) tofu), plus assorted iced pickeled vegetables (beets, seaweed, beansprouts, radish, bean salad - some spicy, some not), plus pastries, an egg station, a congee and noodle soup station, fresh and canned fruit (always good watermelon), cereal (rice krispies and others) and their version of a western breakfast including bacon (after a fashion) sausage or meatballs (in soy...pretty good), bread pudding...sauteed potatoes. Toast and croissants. I enjoy every bit of it.Apparently Shiyan the senior representative of Bethany here has spoken at some point with Yan and she is very very excieted about getting a family of her own. Dong is happy if his sister is happy. Only three days to go.A big thank you to Fiona, Mary's good friend, who is doing these posts for us. All blog sites are blocked in China. There is NO free speech here.Our hotel - we have decided the beds are made of plywood. Harder than rocks. I have tripled a blanket under me. Mary has opted for the couch. Addy stole Mary's comforter and balled that up under her. And dad - well, he can sleep anywhere.Generally dining outside of the hotel is cheap. We all four feasted on duck for a total (including a beer) was $30.00. I've rambled on in no particular order. Will email more to dear Fiona tomorrow to post.You all can email us at wineanddiner@gmail.com.Love from BeijingNan, Lon, Mary and Addy-the-blonde otherwise known as shao pengyou (little friend).

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Addy is a Genius

Today I get an email from our social worker. I'm in high hover with stress 3o hours before we fly, and she send along a note saying congrats to Addy for being the published in the NH Troubadour magazine as the 4th grade poetry contest winner. This cannot be, I say. She is confused. My daughter has entered no poetry competition.

So we call addy over. Did you write a poem? No...oh...well, Mrs DeSteuben had us write something for a competition a few weeks ago!

Here is the NH Troubadour Magazine (a volume I had never even heard of !) 4th grade winning entry by Addy! Way to go, kiddo!!!

Student Poetry Contest Winners

Song of the Mountains

by Addy Henderson, age 9, Lafayette Regional School-Franconia

In the mountains
In the mist
A blue bird flies
A deer trots
A butterfly floats.

In the mountain a lake sits still
And echoes the song of a bird
Under that bird lupines grow.
Behind the lupines is a town
In that town peace blows in the breeze.

In that peace a mountains mist
All is still
All is well
Except the sun
Which rises
Then sets
With the beautiful song
Of the mountains.

Monday, May 18, 2009


WE received our Consular Appointment today, which by default means that our long awaited Travel Authorization is in the hands of our agency (which I've decided though excellent in agency stuff is not too hot on communications with parents!)

we will travel on 6/15 from Boston via Chicago to Beijing
spend through the 21st in Beijing, then fly to Chengdu
get the kids on the 22nd (I think)
Fly to Guangzhou on the 27th (or thereabouts)
Have our US consular appointment on the 29th
and fly home Guangzhou-Shanghai-Chicago-Boston, arriving at 11pm...then driving home. ugh.

Why via Boston? Cuz it was nearly $3000 cheaper than Manchester.

Anyway, more to follow, without a doubt. Yippeee....

Friday, May 15, 2009


7 weeks after LOA and we are still waiting for our travel authorization (the one that is supposed to take 2-4 weeks...). Our agency says "yep, its longer than normal" and "everything is in order, it is imminent" - and has said that for the past three weeks. This is driving me nuts. The fact that swine flu has hit mainland China, and of course it is is Sichuan province (!) is just icing on the cake.

Actually, I dont mind waiting. I want the kids now, of course, but I really am using the time to get ready a bit more. I just want to know when we'll travel so I can plan better. Right now, I'd say mid June maybe?

Oh well.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu?

I am so frustrated. We have been holding our breath for 4 weeks now for our TA. Now the rumor has it that either 1) the director of the CCAA which issues the TAs is out for another week and nothing will get done (that is the "good" rumor). or 2) CCAA has completely stopped issuing TAs for a period of 30 days, and will consider restarting at that point depending on the Swine Flu epidemic.


I just want our kids.