Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Wesley

Today my big boy turns 9

He was born 8 weeks early weighing a whopping 4 pounds 9 ounces and 17 inches long He is now one of the tallest boys in the 3rd grade (He only drinks milk, he doesn't like soda!)

When he was born Kendell wanted them to take him to the NICU immediately - he was worried about a lack of oxygen to his brain cells. He spent a week on a ventilator, a month in the NICU, and 5 weeks on oxygen and an apnea monitor. This little boy who had to work to hard to breathe and move oxygen to those brain cells is now one very smart little boy!

When Wesley was a few months old we took him to Washington DC - Thereby starting his love affair with history and geography. He is a walking, talking globe and I am confident he knows more history than I do.

He just finished reading all 7 Harry Potter books over the last couple of weeks and has now started on the Series of Unfortunate Events books. He likes to play basketball - but his love for reading affects his athletic prowess - but I anticipate that will improve with time.

This weekend for his birthday we traveled to the City Museum in St. Louis. This is the world's most cool children's museum. If you have not taken your kids there - you must. It is so much fun. We stayed for about 6 hours and didn't even have to stop to feed the kids! I am excited to take the kids back in the summer so they can try out MonstroCity - It is outdoors and was closed since the temperature was only in the 30's. The kids had such a good time - Happy Happy Birthday Wesley!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Chinese New Year (a little late)

A few weeks ago we had our annual Chinese New Year get together with the 2 other families in town with Chinese daughters. We ate at a Chinese restaurant (midwest style of course - there's nothing like fried chicken and rice!) Anyway, I digress - The kids had a great time - Claire and one of the other girls are finally getting old enough to really have fun together - The other girl will be old enough next year to join in. Benjamin and the older kids had fun also - and they especially like the New Year's gifts that they recieved - I don't think Benjamin had ever celebrated Chinese New Year before - but it is hard to tell - he doesn't really know - If he had it would have been the only holiday he had ever experienced prior to coming home to the US. So it is about 3 weeks late - but - Happy Chinese New Year.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Dominican Mission Trip

Typical home - note there are bars on every window of every home - we did however feel very safe everywhere we were.

Gorgeous beaches (I wish we had more beach time - but I guess that wasn't the point of the trip)

Pathways between the homes were very narrow - very densely populated area

Our group - everyone got along great!

Bridge where the river meets the ocean - the cruise ships dock on the other side of the bridge I was standing on - It is odd to see such opulence next to such poverty - This view was really beautiful!

Our church just returned from a mission trip to La Romana, Dominican Republic. We were gone for a week. While we were gone we missed a large ice storm which in our town involved at least 8 inches of sleet - Unfortunately, the day the storm hit - was our day off and we were at the beach - It was beautiful. On the days we actually had to work we visited homes of people who wanted or needed to see a doctor - I tried to set them up with some of their medicines if they couldn't afford them, we gave the children we saw vitamins, and we treated some minor infections. We also saw several patients who had conditions which required specialty care - which we were unable to provide. The opportunity we had was amazing - we went to so many homes during our stay in the country and got a feel for how the people really lived and the problems they struggled with on a daily basis. The most important problems are the lack of clean water (it is availible if you can afford to buy it), the lack of good quality education for the children, and the lack of public services (there is trash and stray dogs everywhere, the roads are terrible, the electricity is unreliable, the government is corrupt and lack motivation to fix the previously listed problems.) It is so nice to visit another country and see how life really is - not just how nice the resorts are - I also picked up several new words in Spanish. I think I have already forgotten them. The church our group worked with was wonderful - their love for Christ was evident and we felt completely at home while we were there. The rest of the group did some painting and a lot of hard labor cleaning up the back of the church lot, and some electrical work. They looked tired and hot at the end of the day. My friend and I enjoyed the white collar missions (doctor/nurse) work - although I think we worked pretty hard also - we didn't get quite as dirty! I can't wait for my next opportunity to serve others. I told my husband that he needed to go on the next mission trip and I would stay home with the kids (I think it will be good for him!). The Dominican people welcomed us with open arms and we have now seen that our "family" is global.
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