Thursday, March 16th

by Kristi Van Dyk

Wednesday morning dawned and we woke around 7:00 am after a long and fantastic night of sleep! Ben woke ready to show us the musical and his skills, but all of my texts from back home said it wouldn't be live streamed. I had planned to just let them all sleep when I saw it pop up on Facebook as live after all. So, the room woke up and Daddy rigged up his computer so that it was now on the big tv. Ben was able to do the entire musical for a sleepy Joshua and I right along with his classmates. What a gift to this big brother. 


After the musical was over we trouped upstairs for breakfas. Everyone ate to their heart's content ;) which was a fair amount of food for 4 people! 

After breakfast we met our guide and went on a tour of the Shanxi museum. We learned lots of deep history - further back than any museum has taken so far. Our favorite exhibit was by another famous calligraphy artist. The work was amazing!  


During the tour, Ben was pushing J in the stroller and we heard some of our first giggles. It was two boys being a little too wild in a very delicate space but honestly we were thankful for the laughter. So very thankful. J continued laughing and giggling when tickled and throughout the day! Gah! What a gift!  (he still refused to let me take a picture of his smile though). This one gives you a good indicator of the mischief within though. It's there ... 


After lunch and another great nap (I am NOT complaining about this sleep schedule... ahhh!) we adventured to dinner. We are trying to rotate between Western style dinners and local dinners so that each boy has a chance to have what he likes (don't tell Ben but I think J would eat anything)! Tonight was Western style night so Pizza Hut it was. It was not Pizza that we were used to and so it wasn't as big of a hit with the bigger boys but I found it quite satisfying ;)  


You'll notice J changed his coat! He discovered where I keep all of his clothes, the ones I brought from home for him. When I gave him this as a choice he grinned from ear to ear and dropped his old coat. When we came back he dutifully placed the new coat right back in the suitcase with a sad expression. Ben told him it was his to keep and then he began to search through the entire suitcase with glee - looking at all that was his. This resulted in him finding the Spider-Man crocs we got from a friend. They are far too big but J didn't care. He was going to wear them with his too big Paw Patrol suit as well! 


After a little swimming we came back and hunkered down. We got through more of Cars, which J is really enjoying watching ;) And then it was bedtime. Both boys are enjoying the fact that we snuggle them until they are asleep ;) we will deal with the consequences of that transition later, I'm sure, but for now it works and we will enjoy the closeness.   

Today is our last full day in Shanxi. We received word that J's Visa is ready and we can pick it up, so we will be getting that Visa today before we go play at the park. 

I'm looking forward to some good old fashioned outside time today for the boys. It's been cold (50's or so) but sunny and bright.  

A few things coming up could use prayer. We are going to fly out on Friday afternoon (Thursday 1:00 am at home) for Guangzhou, please pray with us that all of that goes smoothly. We will be sad to leave the Kempinski because it's been so nice and comfortable here but hopefully we make a smooth transition to Guangzhou (knowing that it's our last new city will help). Additionally, arrival in Guangzhou means medical appointments. J has been making good bonding progress. Help us to be able to fair well through this potentially hard appointment.  

Thanks friends for following us and for being so so faithful in prayer.