Saturday, August 16, 2008

We Have An Itinerary for China!!

Phew! It's finally done...except for a few details during the trip, here is our plan!

9/16: Leave for Beijing
9/17: Arrive in Beijing at 1:30 pm...we are staying in an apartment of a Chinese woman who helps adoptive families. She will take us to the tourist sites, shopping, and to yummy places to eat! This will be a really fun and different experience (rather than staying in a hotel).
9/20: Leave for Fuzhou, Fujian Province (capital city of the province where our son is)
9/21: Meet Xie Feng for the first time!!
9/22: Getting to know you day
9/23: Site-seeing
9/24: Take 2 1/2 hour drive south to Quanzhou to visit Xie Feng's orphanage
9/25: Site seeing or hanging out
9/26: Leave for Guangzhou (where U.S. Consulate is)
9/27 - 9/30: Medical exam, paperwork, site seeing
10/1: Leave for home
10/1: Arrive home after 16 hours of flying (2 legs of trip), not including transfers, airport time, etc. (ugh)!

Monday, August 11, 2008

More Adoption News...

In case you are curious, we are in the planning stages of our trip to China. We have received travel approval and are awaiting our consulate appointment. Once we receive that we can plan our trip. However, we did get word that because of the Moon Festival Holidays (9/15 and 9/16) we will not be able to leave like we originally planned (which was leaving here 9/9, meeting our son on 9/14, going to the consulate on 9/22, and coming home on 9/24). It looks like we'll have to wait one more week so everything will be shifted back by 7 days. While I am disappointed, one silver lining is that another family from our agency will be traveling at the same time (they had to adjust their trip a bit, too, due to the Moon Festival) so we will meet up with them in Guangzhou when we go to the U.S. Consulate. I'll post our itinerary as soon as we have it set in stone!

They Can Water Ski!!

We just returned from a vacation with Pete's parents and his sister and her family. We spent 4 days in MN at Pete's parents house and then traveled to CO for a week at a Dude Ranch. The kids really enjoyed spending time in MN at the house where their daddy grew up. For some reason, they loved seeing daddy's bedroom. Of course, Amelia immediately asked why daddy got the small room and her Aunt Amy got the big room. What was daddy's answer? Grandma likes Amy more! OK, you have to know Pete to know he was completely kidding, but Amelia quickly found me and asked me if I knew that Grandma liked Amy more than daddy. I have to remind Pete how literal kids are!

While in MN, we did what lots of Minnesotans do, we spent time on the lake. Pete's parents have a beautiful, big backyard right on the lake in town. We had a great time jet skiing, boating, swimming, and water skiing! It was a big year for the Schmidt kids...all three got up on skis!! Clara has skied a number of times, but CJ and Amelia never have tried. We borrowed a home-made ski board and CJ and Amelia just popped right up! Clara got up on regular skis. Here's a video of each kid!

Clara on Skis

CJ on the Ski Board

Amelia Can Ski, Too!

Other highlights of the MN part of the trip were hanging with cousins and going to the Vikings Training Camp and getting Adrian Peterson's autograph on a football! We left for the ranch after a few days...I'll post more pictures on the ranch later.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Under Construction

Well, with the impending arrival of "little boy Schmidt" (who still does not have a name from us), we are undergoing a pretty major construction project. We are adding a bedroom and bathroom above one side of our garage. CJ's current room will become "little boy Schmidt's" room and CJ will get the new room. The two boys will share a new bathroom. We were very concerned about how the outside would look...we didn't want it to look like an addition. A friend of ours has a construction business. He has done an amazing is a picture, although it doesn't do it justice...he is much farther along now...most of the siding is done, the windows are in, the brick is completed, and much of the trim. We are really excited. However, the timing couldn't be worse. Imagine a major addition, planning a trip to China to bring home a new family member, and a 10-day vacation in the middle of all that. Yikes!!

Here are two with the roof of the garage taken off and one with the new rooms framed in. The project is expected to be completed at the end of's that for cutting it close to our China departure date (which will probably be around 9/9)!