Monday, December 17, 2007

December 17, 2006

“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” Isaiah 40:11

What a fun day we had in good ol’ Guangzhou! AnnaClaire slept well last night, as always. We played in the room some this morning before heading down for breakfast. Almost all the other families were down there. AnnaClaire wore her bib, yesssssss! She hates it and usually yanks it off meaning the meal ends with food all down her, but not this morning! The only food on her was from the banana Dad dropped on her! We tried her in a high chair but I don’t think she liked it very much. The breakfast was amazing, again. I am loving these American breakfasts. They aren’t quite like ours, but close enough! We got on the bus promptly and headed to Shamian Island for shopping! We walked through the White Swan Hotel… ugh, I am so mad we aren’t staying there! It is beautiful, big, right on the island, has tons of adopting families, etc. PLUS they get “Going Home Barbie”! Anyway, we walked through and admired it. Our first stop was “A Home of Love” right outside of the White Swan. Tons of us went in and stayed for over an hour! That is my favorite store we have gone in this entire trip. It is awesome. One of the sweet workers, Stella, helped us. We found 3 beautiful traditional Chinese outfits for AnnaClaire. We also got her a few more pairs of squeaky shoes. Who can go wrong at $3 a piece? In the US, they are $30! We are getting bigger sizes for later times as well. We got tons more stuff and had 2 huge bags of stuff. Stella let us leave our bags there and come get them later. Mrs. Bryne, we gave Stella the pictures and she was SO excited. She couldn’t believe how beautiful the girls were and said she really missed you guys. There was a rattle AnnaClaire was attached to and Stella gave it to her. She also gave AnnaClaire and me bracelets before we left. Yesterday, Mrs. Martin (Claire’s mom) showed me a beautiful blanket she had gotten for Claire. I was in love. I had wanted to get a silk comforter while we were here, so I thought this would be perfect. Today after the first shop, Mrs. Martin brought me to the blanket store. It is the coolest thing. You pick the fabrics and they make it for you. You can get blankets, pillows, dresses, and more made. Mrs. Martin and mom helped me decided what fabrics to get. I am so pleased with what I ended up with. It will be ready tomorrow and I bargained the price down pretty low, so I was happy. We walked out and I found a beautiful hand painted beaded necklace. I got that and bargained it down a lot too. I LOVE to bargain. It is so much fun and funny! We went into “Jordon” and a few other shops before going to Lucy’s for lunch again. It is just so nice sitting outside in the park area and the food is good. Today AnnaClaire was awake for lunch and we got her chicken congee. She loved it!!! Did I say that both the Taylor’s and another family I don’t know (not in our TG) were at Lucy’s both today and yesterday? We aren’t the only ones… Oh and BTW, you have to have tickets to use the Lucy’s bathrooms and they are gross! I would recommend walking the extra few feet and going at the White Swan! Anyway, AnnaClaire was leaking through the huge and thin Chinese diapers so we went to the White Swan to change her. We got a great look at the beautiful hotel. I SOOOOOOO wish we were staying there! We walked around a little. AC loved looking at the waterfall! We went back downstairs and there was a Chinese woman with her daughter. She saw AnnaClaire and pointed to her. Then she pointed to her daughter, talked in Chinese, and pulled out her camera. Her little girl grabbed AnnaClaire’s hand to pose for a picture! HOW SWEET! It is the cutest picture even though both girls look terrified! We decided we better go find the guys. They were nowhere to be found. On the way, we saw a wedding car. It was so cutely decorated with roses tapped on! Anyway, we saw the Dagenbachs so ran over to see if they had seen Dad and Will. They hadn’t. They showed us all their purchases and AnnaClaire and Rebekah played around a little. All of a sudden, I saw Dad and Will! I screamed to them and they heard me and came over. Turns out they had seen us in the White Swan! The Dagenbach’s were about to pick up Rebekah’s name painting. We had wanted to get one so went with and got one for AnnaClaire. I’m excited! They are doing it in her room colors so it will be really cute! It should be ready tomorrow. We planned to try Danny’s Bagels with the Dagenbachs for dinner and then left. We picked up our bags at the first store and bought 2 more gotcha day presents. We caught a taxi back to the hotel because the bus left at 1 and that was way too early for us shopoholics! I guess it was early for everyone because we saw quite a few of our TG families still there after 1! We got back just before 4 and put AnnaClaire down for a nap. We went through and condensed all our purchases. We are going to get another suitcase for all our purchases… AnnaClaire woke up just before 6 and we changed her into one of her Chinese outfits to see if it fit. It fit great and boy was she a doll in it?! She is SOOOOOOOOOO cute. I got some great pictures of her in her outfit with her little Chinese drum. We had like a photo shoot. I must say, our little thing is so cute and looks especially darling in her Chinese outfit! The Dagenbach’s called shortly after seeing if we were ready to order dinner. They ordered and then came to our room. The girls played awhile and then food came. The girls had so much fun and we all did as well. The Dagenbachs left to get Bekah a bottle and put her to sleep. We smelled a poopy diaper so I changed the sweet one, put her in the bathtub, and put her in her pjs. We played a little more before Mama gave her a bottle and put her to sleep. We are really enjoying our sweet AnnaClaire and just are so in love with her. We can’t wait for you to meet her! She is just the sweetest thing EVER. Can I brag on her a little more? Mom was putting her to bed, and she brought AnnaClaire to say goodnight to everyone. We all stayed in one room so Mom could be alone with AC. Well, AnnaClaire starting waving right when Mom said, "say goodnight, AnnaClaire". And then I blew AnnaClaire a kiss and AnnaClaire put her hand to her mouth, said "BA!", and blew me a kiss too! ("ba" means "flying kiss".) She is SO smart, cute, sweet, lovable, huggable, and kissable! I love her SO much!

Tomorrow is our Consulate Appt. We have to stay in our room all morning in case the guides have questions (they go, not us). Then our group is going to a museum and a group dinner. That should be fun.

AnnaClaire and I are starting to feel better but now Dad is coming down with something… the hairbrush is still gone! Uh-oh! AC is temporarily using mine!

Love to all,
Mom, Dad, Will, and AnnaClaire

P.S. I still have more pictures from yesterday to add. (The squeaky shoe party). There are on Dad's camera and I haven't had a chance to get them off of it yet. There are also some good ones from tonight on Dad's camera so I will add tonights and last nights (that are on Dad's camera) tomorrow morning while we sit in the room. Sorry about that.

P.S.S. some of the pictures are sorta blurry because AnnaClaire got a hold of my camera and smudged the lens... whoopsies! It is all fixed now though :)!
December 17 was another amazing day in China. Most of the day was spent shopping, as usual. Guangzhou really is an amazing place. I loved it there! Shopping was so fun. AnnaClaire was so good whenever we shopped. She was so content in her Ergo. My favorite place was called A Gift of Love. Stella works there and she is so nice! She is the sweetest store person. It was basically just another day spent shopping. I still can't believe it's been a year... time flies... I remember AnnaClaire woke up from her nap and we sang for the longest time. She had the biggest smiles as we sang all kinds of nursery songs. her love for music began then! I love her so much.... God is SO good!

AnnaClaire, I cannot believe a whole year has passed. A year ago, we were preparing to leave China. We had just a few more days until we were to leave. I remember the feeling I started getting then. I was not ready to go. I could've stayed there much longer. I can't believe it's been a while year. God has brought us so far in this year. He is so good. I love you so much, precious girl. You mean so much to me. I can't believe how you have grown and changed in this year. You don't notice until you compare the pictures to you now... you have changed so much. I love watching you grow. You are such a special girl, and are so special to me. I love you forever!

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