attracting a little attention

It's too bad really...I can't believe we didn't think of it at the time.

We totally should have charged all the people we didn't know a small fee to take pictures of my adorable little tribe.  In five minutes I'm pretty sure we could have made at least one night of our room fee here.

I guess I can't blame them really...between the adorable outfits (compliments of 2000 Tutus), silly faces from my hams,

and just plain cuteness, I probably would have wanted to take a picture too.

Once we managed to disperse the crowd, it was time to board our mini-bus and do a bit of shopping.  We visited a pearl shop where I had a necklace made.  While I was selecting the pearls to represent the kids, Kylie browsed all the options and the rest of my family played cars.  Right in the middle of the floor.  Yep, that's how we roll these days...

From the pearl store it was on to look at some jade.  The hairline crack on my jade bracelet finally gave way on Saturday afternoon here in GZ.  I had worn that bracelet without taking it off since we bought it in February 2007 and my arm felt naked without my bangle.  My hand was sore after trying on several,  but we finally found one in a style and color at a price Ian and I were comfortable paying.

Once we finished there, we visited the Chen Clan Ancestral Academy.  

The building was an academic temple built in the Qing Dynasty and now houses the Guangdong Folk Art Museum.  Ian and I had visited twice before, on our adoptions with America World.  It was amazingly hot and humid, but we still enjoyed seeing examples of traditional artwork.

an amazingly intricate boat carved out of ivory

showing the process of carving a "happy family" ball

colored processing etched glass
Well...most of us enjoyed it.  The little one didn't so much.  And she let everyone know.  Eventually Ian strapped her into the carrier to keep her moving along with us.  That served to make her even more mad in the moment.  Eventually she stopped struggling and seemed compliant, so Ian knelt down in the courtyard and made nice with her.

It's quite possible that little father/daughter moment attracted more attention than the photo shoot in the hotel lobby.  So by the time we got the kids in position in front of this statue to take their picture, there was an even bigger crowd than this morning.  Again, what was I thinking...we could have made enough to cover our cost of staying in this city by charging folks per picture they snapped.

Did I mention it was hot and humid?

It didn't take long for the kids ~ and we adults ~ to start melting and before long we were popping Mentos in their mouths and putting rice crackers in their hands faster than you can say Jiminy Cricket.

assuming the infamous chinese squat near a fan to enjoy her cracker
 Even though he was extremely hot, my amazingly handsome and crazy sweet big boy agreed to take a picture next to this elephant planter...

...just because I told him I remembered taking his picture there nearly five years ago on the trip when we met him.  (his older sister politely declined)

november 2008

While wondering the courtyards of this hall, it is easy to imagine what life would have been like for the wealthy folks in times gone by.  Slowly but surely more and more of the beautiful past of this country is being torn down and replaced with modern, glistening buildings.

When we returned to the hotel we made a quick stop at Subway, took naps, and then spent some time at the pool.  For dinner we gathered with the rest of the Lifeline folks here in GZ with us and headed to a great little Italian place to share a meal and fellowship together.  Wish you had seen the look in the hostesses eyes when I told her we needed a table for a party of 19!  Amazingly enough they were able to accommodate us outside and while it was still hot and humid, we enjoyed our time getting to know the other families and sharing the stories of how we found our children.

It was also awesome that we learned the little miss LOVES pizza...she polished off three pieces of a large Hawaiian.  

There *may* have been a melt down or two on the walk back to the hotel (just keepin' it real), but I'm glad we was nice to get to know our travel mates a little better.  

sunday, september 8


Gramma said...

The photo of Natalie squatting in front of the fan really grabs my heart. I look into her precious face and wonder at all the new things she is processing. Train rides,airplane rides, escalators, wonderful pop up straws in a thermos, strange westerners who really love her. The sounds of their foreign language. Children who look familiar but do not speak her language.Mexican and Italian food! Splashing n a big pool! Just the language/communication divide would be enough to challenge anyone! And there are so many new experiences yet to come!
Thank you for sharing it all with those of us who are strangers but have come to care and be amazed by your family and the love in it.

Joy said...

LOVE following your journey! Your family is just beautiful!

Heather said...

OH MY GOSH!!!!! I can't believe Caleb has grown so much. I remember that visit to the Chen Family Temple with you guys. ;) My my my ... time sure does fly. Love those outfits, so darn cute. Enjoy Guangzhou my friend.

Glenda said...

The outfits are fantastic! I'm sure there was a admiring crowd! Can't wait to see you all back home. Loved seeing the picture of babies Caleb and Darcy, seems like yesterday... Love you!

Traci said...

love the Chinese squat! So cute! So what do you guys want for dinner on Sat? Any requests?

anything but LoKEY said...

Oooh, we missed the Italian restaurant. You will have to tell me where it was. You case maybe, sometime in the near future, I'm-not-necessarily-saying-it's-a-possibility we go back. ;) Ummm, why have all my comments revolved around food. Clearly, we see where my priorities lie.