Saturday, March 24, 2007

Caption Contest

You know you can come up with SOMETHING. If we get a few posted, I'll summarize them in a later post and award prizes.
Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Sanya Vacation pictures

They call Sanya the "Hawaii of Asia". I have never been to Hawaii. This place was more tropical than famed Tunnel Park of Holland, Michigan. And we all know that Tunnel Park is more tropical than Hawaii. And, thus, given a little bit of algebra, we can deduce that:

Sanya > Hawaii.

Well, maybe there is a flaw somewhere in our assumptions. I'll try and figure it out later. Here are some photographs of the digital variety.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Vacation Top Ten and mo' photographs

In no particular order with the main contributor(s) in parentheses.

1. Swimming in the different pools in Sanya. (Anna)

2. Watching the fireworks show above Sleeping Beauty Castle...twice (Elijah & family)

3. Watching Anna's reactions on 2 different occasions in particular. One, seeing the Disney the parade, ie, yelling "ARIEL!!!!" when the mermaid came into view. Two, Anna literally prancing and skipping down main street as we entered the park on day 1. (Aimee)

4. Watching the Lion King Performance.....twice (Anna)

5. Riding Space Mountain with Anna, her first real roller coaster multiple times. (Ryan & Anna)

6. Zipping down waterslides at the Sanya resort. (Anna & Ryan)

7. The Winnie the Pooh Ride (Elijah)

8. Meandering on the Lazy River at the Sanya resort. (Aimee)

9. Riding the "Cinderella Carousel" with the "HeeHee's" (Elijah's word for horses, named after the sound they make). (Elijah)

10. Making some special memories for our family (Ryan & Aimee)

These are some Disney pictures.
Pic 1: Putting the move on Daisy. Aimee slapped me later for this.
2: On the bus back to the hotel
3: Anna kicking it 3D glasses waiting for the "Mickey's Philharmagic" show to start.
4: Elijah doing some recovery time in the airport before departing for Sanya.
5: Pluto and Anna
6: Elijah doing what he did most often at the character breakfast.
7: Anna and Momma on the set of the Lion King after the show
8: Elijah, high in the sky, on the Dumbo ride
9: Elijah and Daddy on the carousel
10: Anna and Daddy goofing off on Main Street waiting for the fireworks to start.
11: Buzz Lightyear and Elijah's Arch Nemesis, Zurg. (Elijah had some "freak outs" during our visit to Disney.....because Disney does things really well for life-likeness. Zurg brought on a freak out.)
We'll post some Sanya pictures later dude.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Some vacation pictures....

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Check these out. More on the way.

The park was practically empty so we did not have to wait in any lines and getting character pictures was really long as Elijah wasn't freaked out. At the character breakfast on Monday, he had had enough of gigantic Mickey and a Goofy that was like 9 feet tall. (I did warn the kids that the characters were GI-NORMOUS) He ate with one eye on his food and the other on the Disney monsters. He eventually just started yelling "BYE BYE" when one of them got close.

Tune in later for the Bowman "Top Ten Vacation Memories" and more pictures.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

These people are not waving to you.

We visited a park in downtown Puxi (Shanghai's west side) a couple of weekends ago and enjoyed watching some people practicing Tai Chi. Imagine a martial artist doing his best "Mr. Roboto" impersonation in a pool of molasses. Now, you've got a crude impression of Tai Chi.

The Chinese people practice Tai Chi for the exercise, relaxation, meditation, spirtuality or any combination of the aforementioned. Tai Chi is rooted philosophically in Taoism.

I grabbed some pictures for you to check out. And here is a video of some women wielding very sharp fans. Aimee was thankful that they were not numchuks.

Pictures 1 and 2: Tai Chi

Picture 3: Sidewalk hieroglyphics

Picture 4: Our new friend in Puxi

Picture 5: Anna set a world record for "most hairdo paraphenalia on a single head". She'd love to help you with your hair when you come visit.....for free, no less!

We depart Saturday AM for vacation. The weather forecast looks great for both Hong Kong (mid-70's, sunny) and Sanya (mid-80's, sunny). If I can access the internet without much trouble, I'll post some pictures and video. Otherwise, look for updates in a week.

We hope you are doing well. Thanks to you who have been posting. We are encouraged when we hear from you.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I'm swallowing my pride

I have heard many requests to see the belly, so now you will regret asking, but here it is! I am 26 weeks. You can also see my new Chinese haircut (I thought I did my research well but still ended up at a salon where nobody spoke English, and my motion for asking for layers was going to give me 3in longer hair in the back than the front. I stopped the stylist and motioned for all straight, so that is what I have-- a bob very similar to when I was in first grade! I hope I can find a picture of my desired cut so I can have someone repair the damage soon. :) )

I can't believe that it has been over a month since I last wrote a posting!! There has been many answered prayers recently. Last week, I looked back at what I had written so that I could do an update and was surprised that all of the prayer requests that I had written in early Feb were still prayer requests for early March. Just this week though, God has given the answers to most of them. Anna went to a preschool program for the first time today and LOVED IT!!! She was 1 of 4 little girls, ages 3-5. The teacher is very sweet and does a Bible story, prayer time, craft, play time and then snack, for 1 1/2 hrs once a week. It is perfect-- a great opportunity for Anna to interact with other little girls her age in an environment that she feels very safe in. God is good!

The orphanage door has now been officially closed. I have been sending emails back and forth for the last month, asking about different orphanages, and today received an email saying that a new director has been put in charge of the orphanages and they are going to stop all outside help so that China does not look bad with the upcoming Olympics. In all of my researching, I have found other ways to help though so if you could pray with me that God will guide my steps to the perfect place that he has for me... even if it is only praying for these precious children.

I am continuing to meet more people and to adjust to life here... actually, the book that I mentioned that told of the common culture shock stages, said that by the sixth month, you are pretty much well adjusted. When I read that, I prayed that my adjustment would come sooner because in our sixth month, Ryan and I will become outnumbered by little munchkins and our world is going to turn upside down. I have really seen God answer that prayer as I now enjoy our adventures out, know where I like to shop, am slowly developing friendships-- just in general, I feel like I am handling everything much better, thanks to God's grace and provisions. I am working on starting a weekly play group for our compound. I have recently met a couple other moms who, like me, want an opportunity to develop relationships with other moms and have a time for the kids to play. Elijah will love it as all of the other children are 2 and most are little boys. Anna-- it will be a good opportunity for her to practice patience and love for others... :)

Baby is doing well. She is getting bigger and bigger-- at least I hope she is, because I sure am! She is moving all of the time. Overall, I feel pretty good. At the end of my pregnancies, I have a sharp pain in my ribcage and back. It has already started in the ribcage on a semi-regular basis, and just yesterday in my back. It came much sooner than it did for Anna or Elijah. A good night's sleep seems to help, and some days are better than others. Please continue to pray for God's guidance on where to have the baby. I now know the hospital where I would deliver if we are in Shanghai, but am again considering coming home to deliver because of the time table for building the vehicle Ryan is working on (he will need to be in the US for it, and I don't want to be by myself huge pregnant or with 3 kids) and also everyone that I have connected with is going to their home country for the full summer so there will be very few help options for when the baby is born and the difficult adjustment period after. From the research that I have done, both are good options and would allow for baby and I to travel relatively soon after the birth, so now it just depends on when Ryan needs to be in the US. Finding that answer is not as easy as it sounds.

We are going to be trying a different Ayi. Pray that the new one connects better with the kids and I. It was actually nice to clean my house by myself this week. I knew that cleaning products were being used. I had suspected that a water-wipe down was the cleaning method for even the bathrooms, but after cleaning them yesterday, my suspicions were verified as I enjoyed the nice clean sent for the first time in 6 weeks, and was able to see the places inside the toilet bowl that I had scrubbed, and those that I hadn't. Those of you who know me, know that I am by no means a clean freak, so that I was grossed out, you know it was bad. :) I tried to train our first Ayi as to the cleaning products to use and how I liked things cleaned, when she silenced me and took the cleaning supplies away, I thought she knew what she was doing and was offended that I thought I needed to show her. I will force the issue next time.

We head out to Hong Kong DisneyLand on Saturday. Pray for a safe and fun vacation for everyone. After Disney, we fly to Sanya, a famous beach on a tropical island in Southern China (Hainan). Everyone is very excited about a trip away together. Ryan has been working long hours so we will all enjoy having him around for the whole week. I am a bit of a worry wart so knowing that there are malaria and Dengue-carrying mosquitoes year round in Hainan has me a little concerned. :) You all know malaria but dengue was described by my Dr as a sickness that won't necessarily kill you, but through it, you wish that it would. Even in the heat, I think I am going to insist on everyone having all areas of skin completely covered and every 30 min, reapply the bug spray. :) Again, please pray that we will be safe and that we will all have fun (translated, that I will get over my fear of a mosquito bite and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience.) Until next time! Thank you all for your prayers!