June 18, 2005
| July 19, 2005
| October 16,
January 6, 2006
January 14, 2006
March 16, 2006
April 19, 2006
June 22, 2006
30, 2006 |
October 11, 2006
26, 2006 |
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Well, we left Guangzhou,
China on the 9th of June and headed for Tokyo (initial leg).
Before we got on the plane in Guangzhou we did get a bit of a
scare -- we arrived at the airport and were promptly greeted by
two things that scare the seasoned traveler: first the
line for our flight was about 10 miles long (may be a slight
exaggeration) and then the Northwest rep started passing
out NWA stickers and I thought that's nice but I don't need a
sticker. Once she got to us we realized why she was giving
out the stickers when she gleefully pointed out that our NWA
flight was cancelled. I, in my usual calm manner, took it
all in stride and queried the attendant by saying, "What, you
have got to be kidding me. Now what are we supposed to do,
you have got to be kidding me!" She responded to my quiet
tones by gently telling me there was a flight on Air China that
would get us to Tokyo so we could, maybe, meet our connecting
flight. We received divine providence, which we had the
entire trip, when we were standing in the longest line to get on
the China Air flight and an attendant pointed us to a newly
opened counter and we were now first in line. We headed
for the gate and were stopped by the luggage police who checked
our carry-ons. Despite their 'excessive' weight we
were able to keep them and move on to the gate. Once on
board, Isabelle was in a good mood but that didn't last long as
the 4.5 hour flight soured her to airplanes and that was prior
to the 11 hour and 40 minute trip from Tokyo to Detroit.
She slept on the initial leg to Tokyo but only about 1 hour.
That one hour would serve as the "long" nap of the flying day.
Isabelle had a tough time sleeping on the airplane and that
meant that we did as well. One time when she was crying
and we were about 1 hour and 20 minutes from landing in Detroit,
Tori, who had by now slept about 8 hours of the 10.2 hours,
looked over at us perturbed and offered some timely, sage
advice, "why don't you guys try walking her around?" We
responded with a word or two and then it was back to dreamland
for our zombie. We landed in Detroit and Isabelle became a
US citizen at 3:26 p.m. We went to clear customs and
immigration and the people were awesome -- very kind,
considerate, and friendly. We trotted off and were stopped
by an airline employee who informed us that we had to get our
luggage. So, we turned around and found our two bags that
we had checked. The "Polo" bag purchased in Guangzhou (I'm
sure Ralph Lauren got his cut -- yeah right!) was fine but the
pink suitcase has sustained a mortar round (not really) and we
had to pronounce it DOA. Thankfully there was room for
more stuff in the Polo so we transloaded it and pitched the pink
bag in the trash.
We checked in and there was time to wait so Stefanie fed
Isabelle and then I held Isabelle as she slept while Tori and
Stefanie went for
Chinese food -- no way, they went straight to Quizno's and
polished off a
foot long sub. I got some chicken noodle soup and then it
was time to
board. But wait, another chance for the vaunted airline
system to slow
our progress. The plane that landed that was to take us to
a compressor stall while in flight and the NWA attendant
that we would be delayed an hour because of maintenance. Now
times when being a pilot is helpful and this was one of them as
putting on my "I know the answer" Superman persona, informed my
there was no way that maintenance was going to check an engine
compressor stall in one hour. Sure enough, the attendant
told us there was
a gate change and off we went -- me with chest puffed out from
brilliant -- what a cad! We got on the plane and a little
over 1.5 hours later were touching down in Atlanta. We got off the plane
and headed for our luggage. As we turned the corner, we
were bum rushed
by Dalton and Asher -- they looked so big and had easily grown
each. WOW! What a feeling, we were getting our family back
and it was just testimony to what blessings God has given us!
brought the boys and so we jumped in our Honda Odyssey (seems an
appropriate name because of our adventure) and drove to Bob and
Isabelle screamed in her car seat before falling asleep 5 minutes
their house, where we were reunited with our Atlanta family.
got a kick out of Isabelle and then we tumbled into bed
We celebrated Asher's birthday with the family and Asher got
gifts and a Spiderman cake that Aunt Angie got especially for
Isabelle continued to be cuddled, touched, oohed and aahed by
family as Stefanie's mom G.G., step mom (Archer) and half-sisters (Hannah
Elizabeth), as well as Melissa (Stefanie's sister), Paul
our nieces and nephew, Jordan, Taylor, Avery and Steven, joined
growing number of people in Angie and Bob's house. After
pizza and ice
cream we hit the bed in anticipation of heading for St Louis.
Time for home. We departed at 9:30 a.m. after saying
goodbye and hit
the road. Isabelle did well in the car seat and actually
about 5 hours of the 9 hour trip. We made it home and
another milestone in
our trip was complete. The house looked great because our
mowed and our friends from Ohio, Iowa and here in Illinois had
and left us some groceries in the fridge. More importantly
little notes all over the house that just lifted our spirits.
left pictures and presents for all the kids (an exersaucer for
Isabelle!) -- sometimes it is difficult to express what true
mean but we know that our friends bless our lives continuously!
We went to church and I think the congregation was a little
to see us because they kept coming up and saying things like,
surprised to see you." I'm quick like that you know.
Can't get one by
me. Everyone was enamored with our new bundle of joy.
She did well in
church. She made a couple of disruptive noises but nothing
have caused any consternation on the other parishioners parts.
case I gathered her up and went to the back and after playing
couple of minutes she crashed on me and I tell you that is one
feeling when your daughter snuggles under your chin and feels
enough to fall asleep.
We went grocery shopping, got our dog, Velvet, from our
and Terri and then we were off to get Zach who was flying in
Oklahoma City. He had stayed with his dad during the trip.
It was great
seeing him and then the family was complete again. Zach
spent some time outside as he was tanned and ready for some big
June 13 - 18
Isabelle is growing emotionally and physically. She
has slept through
the night, can sit up well and has even tried to crawl.
girl will be walking and talking before we know it.
Stefanie has been
awesome and is running our house like a well-oiled machine.
Saturday was special because we took the family to get
don't want to miss the opportunity to capture the moment.
Then, it was
time for Tori and Zach to return to Texas with their dad and
We'll see them again in about six weeks. Isabelle will
have changed a
lot by then, I suspect. We are very much looking forward to
Isabelle's first birthday on June 26th. We feel incredibly
blessed to be
able to celebrate this milestone in our daughter's life.
Next update will be after her birthday so check again before
and thank you all for the prayers, encouragement, and love!
Tori breaks down at seeing her brothers
Isabelle's extended Atlanta family
Our kids were welcomed home by their friends.
Asher, Isabelle and Dalton
Isabelle fascinated by her favorite food
The story continues...
Web site by