Seven and a half years ago, when I was largely pregnant with Lucy, our family had the opportunity to live in China for the summer.
And when I say we had the opportunity, I really mean we MADE the opportunity.  More importantly, Dave made that opportunity come to life after a lot of work (and a little nagging and begging from his dear wife:)
Have I mentioned how much I love that man?
While we were there we did many things we’ll never forget: We walked a large portion of the “Great Wall” on probably the hottest day in history (at least that’s what it felt like to us).  

We took an overnight train from Shanghai to Beijing with all our kids.  We used hole in the wall bathrooms with hole-in-the-floor facilities with bawling toddlers.  We ate crazy food, and we met some amazing people.

One person we met while there has become a life-long friend…and Dave’s business partner.

His name is Kevin and when we met him he was a single on-the-ball bachelor who took us to eat some of the best food we had while we were over there.

The next time we went to China (we lucked out with an opportunity to go to the Olympics…the first of a series of posts on that is back HERE), he was newly married to the greatest girl:

Now, all these years later he and his wife have two darling little girls.  They recently brought their youngest daughter to the states…and we lucked out that they came to stay with us in the desert for a couple days.

Honestly and truthfully, my girls thought they had died and gone to Heaven with that sweet little Olivia.

They could not get enough of her.

They need another little sister I think.  I wish!

Kevin and Tammy are some of the sweetest, most gracious people I know.

Dave and Kevin had a bunch of business meetings, so Tammy and I got to hang out a lot.

One day we took them to see our little corner of real desert life.

They came and watched Elle and Max’s first matches of the season.

And since it was Olivia’s birthday while they were here, we had a traditional American birthday celebration for her.

(At least the American way we do it in our house. 🙂

At dinner Kevin explained all about the Chinese zodiac stuff and what animals we all are.  The kids were enthralled.  I wish I had taken a picture of the little diagram he drew on a napkin for us.

Olivia opened some gifts.

And we had cake and ice cream.

We even had them do our traditional birthday pictures.

On their last day Claire raced home from school, red-faced and out of breath just dying to give Olivia one last hug before she left.

She was in tears because Olivia was already asleep in the car.

 So cute Kevin woke her up for some more good-byes.

 …which, as you can tell, overjoyed Olivia.


It sure really did overjoy these girls though!!

So grateful for those few days to share with such great friends.

We sure hope they come back soon.

…Or that we can go visit THEM soon!

Hmmmm…maybe I’d like that even better 🙂


  1. Oh, what a blessing good friends are. So precious that Claire raced home for one more hug good-bye. I love reading your family adventures and the goodness that comes from your blog posts. -Lisa

  2. How wonderful it is to have good friends from other places. I loved my short stay in China and I have some great Chinese friends I can't wait to see again. Lucky you!

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