Monday, May 30, 2005

Our Forever Family

Now that both our children are home, we will be continuing our story in a new blog. Please join us at Our Forever Family.

After Church Posted by Hello

Father and Daughter after Church Posted by Hello

The Haircut! Posted by Hello

The Fun Begins! Posted by Hello

Hey Look at Me! Posted by Hello

It Takes Time to Get Pretty! Posted by Hello

Beautiful Girl! Posted by Hello

Sunday After Church Posted by Hello

Look at Her Arm! Posted by Hello

Our Newest Brave! Posted by Hello

Home and Lovin' It! Posted by Hello

Monday, May 16, 2005

First Meal in America (Vienna Sausages!) Posted by Hello

Together Forever! Posted by Hello

We're Finally Home! Posted by Hello

Friday, May 13, 2005

Our Last Day!

Today we are saying farewell to Kazakhstan, our second home. This morning was our interview at the US Embassy. It went off without a hitch. If you don't count the fact that I left the credit card in the van, and Tom had to go back to fetch it. We were in and out in just minutes.

Then it was back to the Sisters for our exit meeting with Gulbanu. Gulzhan was out of town with her daughter, who was in a tennis tournament. She had one her first match, which meant extra time for them there.

After the meeting, we met Rhonda & Ian at Mad Murphy's for lunch. The it was to the candy store, where we bought bars of delicious Kazakhstan chocolate.

We are spending the rest of this rainy afternoon and evening getting ready for our departure.


Mama's Magnet and Keychain
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Katya's Camel (Like Cameron's)
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Mama's Doll
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Katya's Doll
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At Mad Murphy's for our Last Lunch in Kazakhstan!
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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Take Two Aspirin....

Today was Katya's medical exam. The US government requires that she be given a clean bill of health and be current on her vaccinations before they'll approve her being brought into the US as our adopted daughter. Katya is now 4'2" and weighs 66 lbs. She did great, although she had to have THREE shots! Her reward was a popscicle at the Ramstore.

After the medical, we met the Tumblesons and the Hicks for lunch at Stetsons. It looks like a western tavern, but the food has a decidly Kazakh flair. I think I would have been happier at Mad Murphy's. ;-)

When lunch was over, we joined Rhonda & Ian at the Tsum store for some shopping. The Tsum consists of three levels. The first level is all electronics. There are individual vendors, each with their own counter selling their wares. I have never seen so many cell phones for sale in one place before.

The third level holds booth after booth of traditonal Kazakh items. Everything from a horse saddle, leather pouch for the fermented horse milk they like to drink to t-shirts that say Kazakhstan to miniature yurts. We bought a doll for Katya, a doll for me, two magnets, post cards and a key chain.

We came home after that and spent the rest of the eveing relaxing.

Tomorrow morning at 11:00 is our US Embassy interview. We will receive Katya's visa then, the last hurdle before getting on the plane for home.

We hope to share one last meeting with the Tumbleson's and the Hicks today. And also perhaps a quick to the Kazakhstan chocolate factory. We had some in the mountains and it is "f'kusna", tasty!

Lunch at the Stetsons, Rhonda & Ian, The Tumblesons, and the Williams
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Ian and Blake
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Happy Ian with Mama Rhonda
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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Ahhh the Mountains!

Today was our trip to the mountains. We woke up to a beautiful sunny day, just right for an outing. Vitali picked us up at 10:30 a.m. and then we picked up Rhonda and Ian.

Our first stop was at the Medeo Ice Skating Rink. It's a huge rink, and they had amusement rides on the outside. We then drove a little further up, so we could have a view of both the rink and Almaty. What amazing, beautiful views. I had someone tell me there was nothing to see up in the mountains. That person couldn't have been MORE wrong! It was breathtaking!

At our second stop, we ran into the Tumbleson's with their son Blake. We drove on up to the ski resort. I think we were at least 9,000 feet up. We had lunch there at an outdoor cafe. I had a delicous bowl of borsch, and Tom had pork kabobs.

After lunch, we took the ski lift up the mountain. Oh my! It was much longer than what I thought it would be. I was a little scared! But Katya wasn't. She giggled the whole way! We got off and took some more photos before taking the lift back down.

The wind was in our face on the way back, so it was very cold! I closed my eyes part of the way, and that helped!

A stop at the Ramstore, and then it was back to our apartment for the rest of the day.

On the ski lift
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On the ski lift
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At the top of ski lift
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At the top of ski lift, looking toward Almaty
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The Ski Resort
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Eating at the Cafe at Ski Resort
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Chi Bulak Ski Resort
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View from Cafe
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A Happy Mama and Papa
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The Mountains
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Bicycle Race Up the Mountain
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The Twins! They have the SAME birthday! Baby Tumbleson and Baby Hicks
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View of Medeo
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Father and Daughter
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