Hintons 2015

Hintons 2015

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011

We had a whirlwind of activity over the Christmas weekend which started with an overnight at Grandma & Grandpa's house on Thursday. We enjoyed breakfast on Christmas Eve there & spent time with the family opening gifts, eating, talking & watch the kids run around excited by their new toys. One of the best scenes to watch was a couple of the boys (which usually included Zeke) playing light saber fights.

We headed out for Christmas Eve Service at church then home for a quiet immediate family night. Christmas Day brought a few surprises for the kids along with a nasty cold for poor Zeke. The kids really enjoyed getting the various items in their stockings. We took a fairly minimalist approach to gifts this year to really focus on the reason for the season- Jesus. All during the month of December we did a nightly Advent calendar door opening along with telling some element of the Christmas Story. I think this will continue to be our tradition as the kids really look forward to seeing what was in their door (sometimes small items like stickers or a piece of candy & others a clue for something bigger they had to find).

On Christmas Day we hosted my family & it was great to have all of my brothers come along with my mom. We had a day in our jammies for most of Monday to let everyone recoup. All in all it was a great holiday & Zeke is starting to feel a little better. Here is a flashback to last year on Christmas Day (yes, Maddy still fits the same jammies). The rest of the photos are from this year.

Christmas 2010, one day off the long trip home from China

Zeke & his cousin Creed

The older cousins attempted to let the littles sleep in Grandma's living room (failure- they both ended up in the guest bedroom w/mom & dad)

Maddy & cousin Tori in dresses from Grandma

Zeke's new bathrobe- as he opened it he said 'Mom, take a picture of me'

Opening the final Advent calendar door

Photo opp with Grandma Mommy

A less than thrilled cousin River with the kids

Nativity Story 2011- this has been the same book we have used since Maddy's first Christmas

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve 2010 - journey home & airport welcome

What a difference a year makes! Last for Christmas Eve we started 12/24 in Hong Kong & ended our day at our house, exhausted from the travel. None the less we were so happy to finally be at the end of one chapter with our son & the beginning of a new one.

We were warmly welcomed at the airport by 2 families that are adoption friends and know what a huge milestone it is to finally be coming home with your new child. In looking back, I noticed that I didn't post any pictures of that joyful event.

Our Christmas last year was low key since we were very tired & jet lagged. This year we are trying to really make up for our 'lost Christmas' and give our kids the full experience as possible.

Eating fries at Tokyo airport during the layover

On the plane

Our sleeping Hubei Prince in the car on our way home

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Guangzhou Dec 18-23 2010

We loved our time in Guangzhou! After being couped up in the Wuhan hotel, it was great to be able to walk around in the balmy weather. It was fun to see all of the parents with their newly adopted babies & kids. While there we hired Ann from Red Thread to help us navigate the shopping scene & scored some great deals.

It was especially fun being in Guangzhou right after the Asia Games as there were many decorations left from that time. The citizenship ceremony was wonderful. We also discovered a few great restaurants during our time there.

One of the large pedestrian walk ways in Guangzhou- we walked here from our hotel

Visiting the Zoo

Christmas program & church service on the island

Medical appointment on Saturday 12/18- yeah no shots thanks to legislation passed just days before!

Can I scribble on your paper?

Shopping for jewelry

US citizenship ceremony on 12/21

Sitting with Nai Nai on the ride to the consulate

Celebration dinner after the citizenship swearing in (at the French Restaurant on the Island )

Last minute shopping before leaving to Hong Kong & our flight home

Monday, December 19, 2011

Train Ride Wuhan to GZ

As we reflect back on our train ride from Wuhan to Guangzhou last year we still agree that this was one of the best parts of our trip. For our first trip to China we took the intra country airlines which are mainly made up of aging Russian airplanes that rattle at take off & landing to the point of making you feel you need to 'duck & cover.'

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wuhan Look back

Last year we spent Saturday- Friday the week prior to Christmas in Wuhan before taking the train into Guangzhou. I remember spending a lot of time in the hotel because it was cold in Wuhan & very few places had heat. We visited a museum that showed the history of the region but I swear I could se my breath almost the whole time we were in the place.

Thankfully our hotel had a good swimming pool & a little area that was deisgned for kids (w/a few ride on toys & floor mats). I remember Zeke wanting to go for endless rides in the stroller since this was obviously a new experience for him. I think one of the memories that still makes me chuckle is coming back to the Civil Affairs Office the day after we met Zeke & as I had predicted (& almost on queue), the orphanage staff started to inspect Zeke's clothes to ensure we had the permissible # of layers on him.