Count of Chicks for Children

God's Plan For Us

This is our journey - God's incredible plan for our lives. When we followed the moving of the Holy Spirit, He opened the windows of Heaven and poured out upon us blessings we never dreamed of! Indescribable joy!

" For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, May 27, 2011

Xiaoyun's 14th birthday - May 15, 2011

Welcome home!!!! May 14

Yes, I know this is out of order and it should have been posted last week - sorry! I'll let the pictures speak for themselves :-)

Monday, May 23, 2011

First week of our 'new normal'

It is hard to believe we have been home over a week now. It some ways it seems like we've been home forever, and in others, it feels as if we just got back. The girls are adjusting well. Xiaoyun has started doing some online English practice and she knows more English than I first thought. We don't pull the translator out nearly as often as when we first met. She's been reading the English/Mandarin Bible I bought while in China. She went to church Sunday with Virgil and he said she held his hand almost the entire service - so sweet!
Enya found one of Elli's birthday cards from last year - the type that plays a song when opened - and listened to 'Happy Birthday To You' about a million times (only a slight exaggeration!). She now does a pretty good job singing it. Tonight, for the first time, she said amen when I finished saying prayers with her. I'm pretty sure that, except when she is asleep, she does not stop going. There is way too much for her to see and do and she doesn't want to miss a thing.
Elli is struggling with our 'new normal', and though we know she and Enya will eventually work out their positions as sisters, it is difficult to see her feeling insecure. I suppose that has been the hardest thing for me since we got home - trying to make sure that each child feels loved and important. It is especially challenging when both 7 year olds are clamoring for your attention and neither wants to share it.
Enya believes in getting up sometime between 6 and 7 am. I had the bright idea to have Emily pick up some black out curtains for their bedroom and eagerly anticipated the girls all waking up around 9:30 (in my dreams!!!). Enya was up before 7:00 yet again this morning. I might have to give up the idea of ever having any quiet time for the next 5- 10 years!
I am continually grateful for all the prayers that are prayed on our behalf and ask that you please continue to do so.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

quick update

I know Virgil sent out a note saying we had arrived home safely (I just finally started looking at the blog and comments yesterday - Virgil posted all while we were in China), and I wanted to give a quick update of how things are going. The girls are adjusting well. Virgil and Emily have all the energy that I no longer have. I realized that none of us had taken pictures of the homecoming, so I'll get some on the blog once I get family and friends to send me theirs. Somehow, the same is true of Xiaoyun's birthday party. The girls met some family and friends at the airport, and more at the birthday. I must confess, the thought of a party only hours after returning home was something I wasn't too sure about, but it worked out well, because it kept me and the girls awake during what had been our night time in China. Virgil,Emily, and Elli had decorated the house inside and out, and had everything ready for the party. Xiaoyun LOVED the birthday party. She showed a bit of her spunk by putting frosting on several family member's faces before they realized what was happening (her brothers got her back for us all ;-)!) Enya Li was Miss Personality and enjoyed meeting and saying 'Hello!' to everyone. Virgil has been off this week and I'm so glad for that. The girls have had a blast getting to know their Baba and sisters. It is incredible how loving they have both been to those they have only just met.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Alive and well

I'm still trying to get my brain to function, but did want everyone to know all is going well. These pictures were taken at the White Swan the day before we left. We didn't stay there this time, but wanted to get the girls a picture on the 'Red Couch' at that hotel. The photos by the waterfall are also at that hotel. I promise to post soon!!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I wanted to let everyone know that the girls did make it home safely. As you would guess, very tired and Enya Li, energetic. They arrived to the Louisville Airport about 11:30 pm. We made it home about 1:00 am. We finally turned out the lights at 4:50, Enya Li was up at 5:20. However, she is taking a nap that's going on two hours. I thank the Lord for providing Cindy with wisdom and safety for everyone. I appreciate all the prayers for our family. Please continue to pray for unity and patience for each of us as we all make adjustments. Cindy will update in the next day or so. Again, thanks to all!

Virgil, Cindy, Emily, Xiaoyun, Elli, & Enya

Friday, May 13, 2011

Today marks the end of a chapter in our lives and tomorrow begins a new one. These last three weeks were a culmination of months of paperwork and endless prayers prayed for us and by us. We have seen God's hand through out this process - from the whisper to adopt again last July, to the stirring in our hearts in February, when we saw a picture of a girl soon to lose the chance at ever having a family. So many things fell into place to make this possible, that there is no way to deny God's hand in it all. His blessings have flowed in unimaginable ways. Truly we serve a mighty God! You will never know how much your prayers and gifts have meant to us. So many have helped in so many ways… truly we are blessed and so very thankful for each of you! Our final leg of this trip will take 25 hours from the time we leave the hotel at 5:30 am tomorrow to the time we are in the arms of our loved ones. We covet all prayers for the flights and for the girl's adjustment back home. We praise God for all He has done and continues to do in our lives! God bless you all richly!!!

We met our guide bright and early this morning to go to the US consulate for the interview and taking of the oath. I signed the final two pieces of paper here in China. Hopefully we will have all paperwork tomorrow, for our return trip. I say hopefully, because their visa system was down this morning and we cannot leave without the issuing of the visa - PLEASE say a prayer that our guide is able to pick them up as scheduled tomorrow at 3:30. We went to the mall this afternoon, and also walked through the open air markets. The sights and smells were unlike any we have at home. It would be difficult to describe - everything from pets, to dried seahorse, to scorpions and everything in between. We learned this afternoon that the hotel had overbooked their rooms and they told us we would have to move to another room tomorrow (for one night!) They were moving us to a room with one king size bed. I pointed out there were four of us and that we had a reservation until Saturday and had already paid weeks ago. They finally relented and said we could move to the room next door (also a king size bed and for $30
we could rent a roll away bed!) Our guide tried to reason with them, but they wouldn't budge - I wouldn't either. So our guide suggested we go ahead and go to the mall and he would call his agency. Within about 5 minutes he had a call back that all was taken care of and we wouldn't have to move rooms after all. I am grateful it was taken care of, because tomorrow is our day to get everything together for the trip home, and moving the girls to a new room would disrupt them even more. That was about our excitement for the day. One more day to get through before we can get on that plane!!!!!

Other thoughts:

You know how, when you have your first child, if the pacifier falls on the floor, you boil it before giving back to the child? With the second child, if it's dropped, you stick it under some warm water and give it back to them. By your third child, when it falls, you pick it up, stick it in your own mouth, and then give it back. Well, with our first adoption, we probably used three bottles (or more) of hand sanitizer and no telling how many diaper wipes. Before we got Elli, we wouldn't even walk on the hotel floor in our bare feet. After we got her, we were rolling all over the floor - forget house shoes!!! This time, however, we skipped all three of those 'stages' and went straight to the 6th stage - eating off the airport floor, skipping the hand sanitizer, using stir sticks for our tea that we don't have a clue where they have been (surely the hot tea will kill the germs - right?), eating unknown foods, and I won't even get into the subject of the condition of some of the bathrooms we have used! The things is, we've survived them all, and only a few stomach aches to show for all our lack of cleanliness. God has kept us healthy and safe, and we are so grateful for His answer to all of your prayers!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

For anyone that would like to welcome the girls home, they arrive May 14, 9:52 pm. I know it's late when they arrive, please feel welcome but no pressure or disappointment on our parts if you're not there! Thanks for all the prayers. Much love, Virgil, Cindy, Emily, Elli, Enya, Evelyn, & Wanda! Also, Zeb & Zak!

This morning we went to have the TB test checked and I'm so thankful to say that both girls were given the OK!!!!! Praise the Lord!!!! After wards we went to visit the site of the 2010 Asian games. It was amazing to see what was built in a 4 year time span. There were replicas of famous buildings that were made of flowers, the seventh tallest building in the world, and the Guangzhou Opera House. It was very hot (our guide thought perhaps around 100*) and the girls didn't enjoy the tour very much because of that. We cut the tour short since they were a bit miserable. Their favorite part of the tour was the water misters that you could walk through ;-). We came on back to the room and they've been content to just stay in the air conditioning. Tomorrow we go to have the girls take the oath for US citizenship, and then on to the mall. The mall is what Xiaoyun has been waiting for! We are inching closer to Saturday, and the time seems to be standing still for me. I can't wait to see the girls with their new family!!!! Thank you all for the prayers for the TB test!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Today started on a good note. We got to sleep in a bit and not rush breakfast, so that was nice(though the table got kicked part way over twice, signaling the end of breakfast!) After wards we went for a walk and took some photos of the girls. They really enjoyed that, and, from a mama's perspective, I thought the pictures turned out beautifully! We found a store we had been looking for - Jenny's Place- and were able to purchase an English/ Chinese Bible. We also bought the girl's Christmas ornaments there. Xiaoyun picked out a small jewelry box with a cross on the top - so glad to see that. We met some more families who are here adopting, and that is always so pleasant. Our guide came to the hotel to do a bit of paperwork, and once we pass the TB test tomorrow we'll only have the interview and oath to be complete. Our guide looked at the girl's arms and said Enya Li's TB site looked good, but he wasn't as sure about Xiaoyun's. We're just praying that tomorrow it looks like it should. Enya Li got into some of Xiaoyun's things this afternoon, and when I took them away from her, she threw quite the fit. It lasted for what seemed like 3 or 4 days, though I'm sure it wasn't ;-) . Xiaoyun talked with her after a while and got her to calm down. After she was fine again, Xiaoyun talked to her some more (though I couldn't understand what she was saying) and Enya Li came over and told me she was sorry!!!! Xiaoyun is such a huge help and so sweet to even tell Enya Li she should apologize. Just a few more days!!!!!!!! Keep the prayers coming!!!!

Some practical things to bring to China that you might not consider:

Bring clothes pins - many of the rooms have a clothes line so you can wash out any clothes you may need to.
Ditto for powdered laundry detergent - the kind that has no perfumes or dyes - two of my girls from China have sensitive skin.
The clothes pins are also a way to entertain your child (if they are 7 years old) -they find all kinds of creative ways to use them.

When you first get to a new city, go to Walmart or equivalent, and buy:
liquid soap (they enjoy washing their hands with that and it is much less messy on the sink), liquid dish washing detergent (for rinsing out the sippy cups and spoons)
the sippy cup (one with a strap you can hang on a stroller)
plenty of napkins or paper towels
ramen noodles
peanut butter (the jars you bring with you get confiscated going through security) and jelly (for when you need comfort food from home)
some picture books of food, animals, everyday items - to start practicing English words (this is even good for the older kids)
bottled water
creamer for your coffee or tea- some hotels don't have any
plenty of diaper wipes and individual tissue packets in case you get to a potty that doesn't have any
Mi YaYa DVD for your child to watch on your computer - trust me on this one - I know for a fact that 6 and 7 years old girls love this cartoon character (you may even get a chance to unpack a suitcase while they are watching!!!! )
-and of course the coveted stroller.

Also, bring from home: plastic fork, knives, spoons and paper plates/bowls (have had a hard time finding those here).
A thumb drive to use as a back up for your computer( when you download photos)
Bug spray - especially for Guangzhou this time of year
Locks for your suitcases - so when you're at the hotel you are able to lock up bags you don't want the kids in - medicine, etc.
Post it notes to write down what all the paperwork says (you may think you won't forget but after awhile the paperwork starts to run together in your brain) Also a novelty for the kids to play with.
Small scissors - you won't believe how often you need them.
MP3 player and camera for older child - have some American music already downloaded
Purse for older girls and backpack for younger (make sure backpack isn't too large - they will pack it full - I think Enya's weighs 10 lbs! )
Cargo pants and shorts - make sure pockets snap or button. I wish I had only brought this type of pants. The pockets are great for holding small pack of kleenex, small bills, small pack of diaper wipes, gum, etc., so your not digging in a backpack every time you need a little something.

The most important things are the prayers of many people and the grace and protection only God can provide!!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Today started early because we had to meet our guide for medical exams. Breakfast ended with a bang - Enya Li kicked the table and spilled coffee and noodles. Fortunately only a little got on Xiaoyun, but that pretty much signaled the end of breakfast. The medical exams went fairly well, except for the fact that Xiaoyun had to have four shots and the TB test. Enya Li only had to get the TB test because we filled out paperwork saying we'd get her vaccinated within 30 days of arriving home (this only applies to children under 10 yrs. old). Xiaoyun was a trooper and I think I flinched more than she did. We go back Wednesday morning to have the TB test read. Please pray for no raised mark on the arms. Enya had a reaction to mosquito bites yesterday and today, but the medicine is working - thank you, Lord! After the medicals we went to a provincial museum and while we were there some older people came up and started talking to the guide (John). He told us they were saying how much they appreciated the fact that we were adopting the girls. One lady was particularly vocal and said it was a shame that the wealthy people in China aren't doing this themselves. They kept giving us thumbs up and the one lady actually saluted us! It was so kind of them and we got a photo, though it came out a bit blurry. Xiaoyun was a bit tired - I suppose from the shots,- but she eventually perked up and tried to teach me some words in Mandarin. She thought I was so funny trying to say them correctly (I'm blaming this on my Alabama accent). Even Enya got in on the act and would try to correct my words. Mandarin has 4 tones, so you not only have to say the word, but also say it with the correct tone). Overall it was a good day for everyone, once we got past the shots. I'm even getting better helping Enya use the squatty potty, though I'm glad that is not a skill I'll need at home. Love to all! Cindy

Sunday, May 8, 2011

We went to the Guangzhou zoo today. The animals are mush closer to you than the zoos in the US. The girls enjoyed themselves at first, but the heat and humidity was more than they are used to, so by the end we were rushing through. The panda was their favorite (just like Elli). The landscaping is very lush, making it a great setting. Enya Li got some sort of bug bite on both hands, which caused swelling and streaking. I gave her some medicine and it seems a bit better, but we're keeping a close watch on her hands. Last time we were here, I brought a lot of medicine and didn't use any of it, but this time I've had to use quite a bit- between, me, Mom and Enya Li. I'm thankful that I have had it to use. Note to anyone who will be doing this trip for the first time - bring a variety of medicines that you don't think you could possibly need because you never know. It has been a pleasant Mother's Day. The girls have both been in a good mood, and the hotel accommodations are so nice it puts us all in a better mood. Having room to spread out makes such a difference. We bought some playing cards, and I taught Xiaoyun how to play go-fish. Enya Li is just having fun playing with the cards ;-) . Tomorrow morning is our medical exams for the girls. Please pray that their TB test comes back negative (we will know in two days). If the TB test comes back positive, they do x-rays, and if that is positive, they will not be allowed to leave the country for at least 8 (I think) weeks. Also, Xiaoyun may have to have shots tomorrow, so pray her records are all up to date she can avoid that. Continued thanks for all your thoughts and prayers! God is so good!!!! Much Love, Cindy
Today is Mother's day - a most fitting holiday for me to be sharing with my new daughters and my mom, in China. While I am missing my other children horribly (and Virgil!), this is a worthy reason not to be together. This day represents so much to me. All my life I have desired to be a stay-at-home mother and I am so very grateful to have been given the opportunity to give birth to six kids - three biologically and three born in my heart. I've also been blessed with two wonderful daughter-in-laws and a precious granddaughter, and the opportunity to be a 'mom' to several beautiful girls. I am BLESSED indeed! Not only that, but I am fortunate to have been able to stay at home with all my kids ( thank you, sweetheart!!!!! ) God has indeed been good to me, and He's so richly blessed me. The love of a husband and children is a wonderful thing. I pray I never take it for granted. Also, the love of my mom and grandmother, as well as my mother- in-law (how I wish she could have lived to see her new grandchildren - she would have loved them so!) is a gift I am so grateful for. If you are a mother - enjoy your special day! I thank God for all those moms in the world, and those women, that though they are not mother's themselves, that have been like a mom to many. God's special blessings on you all! With love, Cindy

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I just finally got all unpacked and I am too tired to write much. Thank you all for the prayers for the flight and for my illness. The medicine is helping tremendously. We arrived safely in Guangzhou. We were delayed an hour on the tarmac in Guiyang, but the flight was fairly short - 1 1/2 hours, so that was good. From the time we boarded the plane,until we landed, Enya Li went to the bathroom SIX times. So much fun ;-( . It was Xiaoyun's first flight and she really enjoyed it (except for the hour delay). Guangzhou is beautiful, hot and humid. It is such a lush, tropical city. We got to the hotel, and they had ordered us the wrong type of room (1 queen bed size only). They changed us to a room that is unbelievable!!! I've never seen such a nice room (everything was just remodeled). I'm fairly confident this is quite an upgrade from the room we were supposed to get and we are grateful!!! Even the girls were excited about it - I'm pretty sure I saw a tear in Mom's eye ;-) ! They even have a private balcony. We're off to the zoo tomorrow morning, so I'd better get some rest. Love to all!!!

Got to room and are heading out to get girls supper - haven't even unpacked but they are hungry. The room is INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!! They are remodeling the rooms we would normally be staying in. We were placed in newly remodeled, gorgeous, huge room!!!!!!!! Even have private balcony. More later, going to eat!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cindy and the girls are preparing to travel this evening. They had a wonderful time at the monkey zoo. However, better than the zoo was their driver. Cindy said that he had a voice better than anyone she'd heard before. He was about 62 years of age and smiled all the time. Cindy mentioned that by far he the best driver that they have had this trip. She went on to say that he would be an internet sensation if he lived here in the states. It was a very good day for all them. Later that night as they were starting to pack for the upcoming flight, Cindy said she started experiencing stomachs spasms somewhat like contractions. Before long, she had to lay on the bed to ease the discomfort. From what we can gather, it appears if she may have a bladder infection. The good part if there is, she has plenty of antibiotics to fight this off. Cindy says she has drank alot of diet sodas for the caffeine to fend off any migraines. Cindy has been successful in migraine department but looks as if this could be part of her issue with the bladder infection. Please pray for Cindy as she wakes later this day that all these symptoms have passed. In addition, pray that the girls travel well as this will be Evelyn's first and Enya's second trip.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Today we went o visit the orphanage in Guiyang. We were not allowed to take photos, except for being given special permission for these two little fellas. They are both on the list to be adopted. The one on the right (we'll call him Luke) is 9 years old and the one on the left (James) is 11. I'm not sure what their special need is besides problems walking. I wasn't given any information about either. But, watching them walk I believe they both have cerebral palsy. Luke fell down while walking over for me to take his picture, but both can walk. I didn't get to interact with James. However, I did get to spend a few minutes with Luke. We took candy for the kids and he loved it, and we spent a few minutes playing with blocks with each other. He did not want me to leave and it broke my heart to see these children, longing for a family. I asked the director if I could help spread the word aboiut any choldren and these were the two she gave me. She said if anyone was interested in either I could email her and she would give the information about them (I think it would go through perhaps our agency or Love Without Boundaries). There are about 420 children in the orphanage and in foster care here. Everyone was very kind and the facilities were clean and bright. Still, there were so many that need a family. I am appealing to you all to please consider giving a home to one (or two!) of these children. I won't lie - it is difficult sometimes (sometimes very difficult!!!, but oh, so worth it! (Even biological children are difficult at times ;-) !!) To feel these little arms around you and to hear the word Mama from a child who has never been able to say that before is beyond my ability to describe. Please pray for these children - and children around the world - who have no arms to tuck them in at night, to sing them a lullaby, to teach them to ride a bike, to send of to their prom, or to walk them down the isle. Your child may be waiting for you!!!!!!!!

Annie, if you are reading this, if you can please put these little guys on your blog!!!!!!!

Much love, Cindy

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

First let me say - Happy Gotcha Day, Elli Chun Willoughby!!!!! One year ago today we met our beautiful 7 year old daughter. So much has happened in one short year. Who would have thought I'd be sitting in China typing up news of two more daughters on the one year anniversary of Elli's 'birth'? Elli has been such a blessing and I can't wait to have all the girls united!
Is has been a fairly quiet day. Enya had us up at 5:50 this morning. At breakfast we discovered just how much Enya Li likes tomatoes - she ate two bowls of grape tomatoes (along with her noodles and watermelon). We stayed in the room, which is always easier with our little dynamo. Our plans to visit the orphanage were delayed until tomorrow, because the guide had paperwork to do concerning the adoption. We had some fun with the beach ball and also looked at pictures of the extended family. We also found out Enya Li is a little ham. She will pose and make a face and then want her picture made. We braided Xiaoyun's hair today - she enjoys having it brushed.
In my effort to be a good mom ;-) I have been trying some of the food the girls got at the grocery yesterday. Sadly, I can't read the writing on the package and more than one thing has been less than desirable to me (I do not like tomato flavored potato chips). Xiaoyun wanted to share her ramen noodle with me, so I leaned down to her bowl and opened wide to try it. Fortunately, I sniffed before it reached my mouth. Unfortunately, I got a big whiff and started gagging and dry heaving. It was some type of seafood(which I really dislike!) The girls thought that was a hoot, and we all ended up having a good laugh (actually, even typing this is making my stomach roll!). I'm thankful for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches - though I may never eat another one after we get home!

The girls are asleep, and I am heading that way. Please know how much I appreciate ALL the prayers. I'm sorry I can't see the blog, or the comments left (it is blocked here), but I look forward to reading them when I get home. Also, I'm sorry for the many emails I haven't sent to friends and family. By the time I get the post done, I am bone weary. Every once in a while, during the day, Enya Li is occupied and I can type a few thoughts I want to remember, but that is about all I can manage. All my love and thanks!!!!!
I'd like to tell you a little about my girls:

Enya Li:
A little whirlwind
When she's awake - she's AWAKE - who said she takes a nap and goes to bed at 8:00?
Very affectionate
Shares everything (even some things you may not want in your mouth)
Quick to laugh and her smile lights up her face
Is strong willed (Dr.Dobson - could you write a special book just for me?!)
Likes the color red and every other bright color
Likes Mi YaYa (cartoon character)
Loves books, baby dolls, and clothes pins
Does not like to be told no (who does?)
LOVES to sing and has a beautiful voice
Quick to pick up on things - she's sees it one time and knows how to do it (this can be good or bad)
Likes taking a bath - doesn't even mind washing her hair
Panics if the water in the bathtub is more than lukewarm
Likes to brush her teeth -
Will eat a bowl full of grape tomatoes
Likes watermelon
LOVES,LOVES noodles - plain or lightly flavored - not spicy
Poses for pictures and loves to look at pics of herself after they're made
Doesn't like most vegetables
Wants to do everything her big sister is doing
Can mimic most words she hears you say
Can whistle

Loves blingy jewelry
Loves art
Picked out two books for me to buy her- one on ancient Chinese history/ the other on Greek mythology
Likes pink, purple, and blue
Loves to have her fingernails polished
Doesn't like most fruits (don't think she likes a lot of vegies either)
Is my spicy girl - loves hot foods
Has the most delicate hands
Loves to have me dry her hair
Is protective of me and Mom - will fuss at Enya Li if she gets too rowdy with us
Is free with her hugs and kisses
Has a beautiful smile
Likes music
Enjoys listening to the oldies on Mom's MP3
Is a junk food junkie
Likes the Chinese version of soap operas (at least, that is what I think they are)
Is excited to have an older sister to go shopping with
Is very intelligent
Wants a strawberry cake for her birthday
Loves animals
Knows the alphabet, and about a hundred English words
Likes to read
Excited to have a big family
I've been able to Skype with Cindy and the girls for an hour or better in the mornings and evenings. To say that things have improved greatly is an understatement! Body clocks are adjusting/ed, the girls are getting along and Wanda is feeling better. This has been such a marvelous journey and we're so excited to all be together soon. Thanks for those who've been praying for our family. God has really been at work in our lives these past 26 months. I'm so thankful we did NOT play it safe by staying warm inside by the hearth. That we were willing and sensitive to the Lord's movemnet on this path and how God has built a raging fire in our hearts for these children. We are truly blessed! Today marks the one year anniversary of our Gotcha day with Elli. I would like to share what Cindy has written to her on this very special day:

Happy Gotcha day! Mama is sorry I can't be with you on this special day, but we will have many more Gotcha Days to celebrate together. You are such a blessing to me and I thank God for giving me such a special daughter. The moment I first saw you was such a wonderful moment and one I will always treasure. I had waited so long to see your sweet face and many prayers were prayed for you over those months before we met. I am so thankful God sent you into our lives, and allowed me to be your mama. I love you so very much. I am sending hugs and kisses to you and can't wait to see you again soon!!! I love you honey bunny!!!! Love, Mama

The little things I'm thankful For:

Pepsi Max (couldn't get any Pepsi last tim e we were here)
Sippy cups - finally bought one today!!!!!
Cool rooms
Western style buffet breakfasts
Cold water
Fried potatoes on breakfast menu
Hotel room doors that have an alarm when you open door
Wonderful guides
Finding peanut butter at grocery store
BBC news
Good bakery
Fridge in room
Soft linens
Water bottles in abundance
Good hotel staff
Hearing ANYONE speak English (even if the only word they can say is hello!)
Someone calling  your room phone to check on you
Not having to drive in this traffic
Congee - either plain or pumpkin - mixed with steamed pumpkin and sugar (think soupy rice pudding) - the girls were both shocked when I added sugar ;-)
A cup of tea - while it is still at least lukewarm (means I got to sit down for a few minutes)
Splenda I brought from home
Singing along with John Denver on the computer
Coffee creamer in our room
Small pair of scissors bought at corner drug store

Tuesday, May 3, 2011