Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Guiping Sisters Reunited!

When you share a life-changing event with a group of strangers, you bond instantly.  The group of people we traveled with to China to pick up our kids were amazing people and we gelled so well.  Would we still connect the same way and enjoy each other's company after four and a half years?  I can happily report that the answer is a resounding "Yes"!  These wonderful people will always be a part of our lives and that makes me feel extremely blessed.  The only downside is that not all the families were able to make the reunion so we had to "make do" with five families.  Hopefully next time we can all go on a Disney cruise together (hint, hint, nudge, nudge).
The girls got along famously.  Our exuberant girl was running from the first second, and barely took time to rest.  The Kansas heat didn't stop the girls from enjoying some great indoor fun.  The P's were amazing hosts and let our girls make a "dam" mess in their basement.  Literally they build a dam of toys down there.  While the kids were occupied creating havoc and mayhem, the adults enjoyed some wonderful conversation and commiserating.  Neila fed us like royalty each and every day and planned great excursions for all of us.  I would go back to Kansas in a heartbeat, though unlike Esther I don't think I want to move there. I loves me some rain.  Esther had it all planned out that we could pick up Ollie and move to Kansas because according to E, "Kansas is the perfect place."
Of course our girl loved watching all the airport activity.

Esther loved her "first" plane ride (at lease that she has memory of).  We brought some new toys for the flight and she was busy the whole time.

Taking a much needed break, chilling in front of the TV.  (Allie and E)

Daddy joining in on the break.

Allie, Lydia, and Esther playing tug-of-war with Gene's arm.

Losing seemed to be more fun than winning.

The W's: Jeremy, Stephanie, Meilyn and Noah (and Christy D. in the background)

Noah and Meilyn cooking up a feast.

Lydia and Yazi were best buds.

Dinnertime for the girls and Noah.  Noah was a hit and hammed it up.  Esther thought he was hilarious.

Lydia and Yazi held hands most of the time.  So sweet.

Spencer was a fan favorite.  Poor guy!

We had great fun at a kids craft exhibit called "Kaleidoscope".  Esther could care less about the craft activities but loved the submarine that had lots of buttons which made fun noises.  Isaac was captivated by her excitement.

E loved Allie from the get-go.  

Meilyn (orange shirt, refusing to smile, Lydia (lite green shirt), Yazi (striped pink dress), Allie (in pink), and of course E

"Look at all that candy!"

Esther loved doing whatever Allie did.

Going over the sky bridge, Lydia would yell down to Esther and Allie to stay close.

L-R: Michelle, Yazi, Isaac (stroller) and Jeff G., Stephanie W.

Adorable Yazi

Sisters Lydia and Sydney

Esther became the photographer for a while. (Allie)

Spencer G. up close and personal.  Esther loved tormenting him.

"Look what Mrs. D. gave me:  a shark cookie!"  How did she know? hee hee

Allie got the tiara cookie

I don't know what cookie Lydia got, but it must have been good!

Not a "red couch" photo but we made do.  I love, love Yazi's funny face. (L-R: Meilyn, Lydia, Allie, Yazi and Esther)

All the kiddos. Front L-R: Sydney, Noah, Isaac and Spencer. Back L-R: Meilyn, Lydia, Allie, Yazi and E.

Spencer is a real gentleman and was great with all the girls.

Sweet Allie.

Neila P. taking a moment to say goodbye to Yazi.

Siblings Noah and Meilyn. 

Fun at Science City.  They had lots of cool hands-on exhibits that were right up Esther's alley.

Esther, Allie and Dan P. 

Esther was a little disappointed that she couldn't get this helicopter off the ground, her Daddy, however, was not.

This illusion contraption really freaked Esther out.  She wanted to figure out how it worked but wouldn't go near it.

Wind tunnell + scarves = brilliant.  Here you can see E's signature excited jump.

It "cooled" off a bit (ha!) one night, so the kids got to play outside in the P's backyard.  

More of our group: Sydney & Dean D., and Grandpa Charly

I was very impressed with Lydia's talents.  She was a daredevil acrobat, a fearless swimmer, and a budding piano player.

Sweet Meilyn.  Meilyn and Esther are very similar in their likes(tom boys) and once they warmed up to each other , they had a great time playing cars and teasing Noah.

Neila saying goodbye to Esther.  I think Esther was telling her that she didn't want to go back to Washington.

Swimming with Meilyn and Noah.


Jeremy got away with tossing Esther up out of the water.  Her face would get splashed and she would look a little panicked but always seemed to be willing for more. Now if her daddy or I had tried this, she would have thrown a fit!

Lydia, the little fish.

Noah looks a little unsure up there on his daddy's shoulders.

Meilyn made if very clear that she did not want her dad to throw her in the water.