Friday, March 16, 2012

smog, the great wall, and poverty

The only thing about blogging from my iPad is that pictures are going to be a bit tougher to put up because I can't just put my SD card into the slot and drag them over. So, I will get around to it, but not in the 30 minutes I have before having to meet in the lobby for dinner.

Today we played tourist. We rode a giant tour bus with 12 other families with our agency and went to see and "hike" The Great Wall, which unfortunately was quite crowded and have I mentioned the smog factor here? Worst pollution I have ever seen.

Our tour guide told us not to go too far on The Wall, lest we get too tired to come back. Well, if you know my husband, you know that means that we went farther and faster than anyone else in our group. We mentioned more than once that our friends Doug and Deb would have been in their element, which is why we love to refer to them as "The Billy Goats".

Pictures to come of The Sweeneys on the wall.

We went to lunch at a restaurant in the jade factory in Beijing. Jade is important to the Chinese people and our tour guide told us how parents pass down a certain type of jade bracelet from mom to daughter or daughter in-law from generation to generation. The longer the bracelet is worn, the richer the color of the jade becomes. The bracelets are carved from one solid piece of jade and are made in many different sizes.

Because I didn't want to be guessing if an item from a street vendor was authentic or not at a later time, I had my wrist fitted for a bracelet and will wear it for the next 20+ years before I pass it on to Joya on her wedding day. Apparently, the value increases as the colors darken.

It is a great example of how precious time is.

I have to rally for dinner. More to come soon.


  1. I love the story about the Jade awesome. And I think it is one of your colors :))

  2. ditto amanda!! what a treasure to pass on to your daughter some day! so excited for you guys!!

  3. Yesyerday while running errands I asked Libby if she was okay, looking at her through the rear-view mirrow ... I realized she had been quiet for at least five minuets (not like her). She looked up at me and said, "yes, I'm just thinking about you think they have her yet?" No kidding...she honestly asked me that. She then finished with, "I can't wait until they bring her home to me." Lol...little minds...the world moves only for them! Can't wait to hear more about your adventures!

  4. Laur, just sent you email but thought would tag blog too. So exciting that you're picking up Joya! Don't want to crash your time with her and don't know if you'll still be in China, but random coincidence I'll be flying into Beijing Friday night to visit family. Email me if chance to meet up but zero pressure if not, know your hands will be full with bundle of Joya :-)
    xoxo, rae


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Messy and wonderful perfectly describes my life as a wife and mom of five. I'm passionate about advocating for orphans by telling their stories and encouraging adoption and orphan care. My schedule is messy and wonderful as I am charged with four sons and one daughter. We love living in our little mountain ski town. We do a little camping, a little skiing, a little hunting, and a lot of laughing and loving. Life is dirty and loud around here but we wouldn't want it any other way. Okay, maybe a little less dirty!

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