Wednesday, July 20, 2011

photos and I-800

This trip has been an adventure, for sure. I have loved so much about it, but it's odd to travel for this length of time without JD.

My mom said today that she asked Payton how she would grade this vacation and Payton gave it a B. My mom asked why a B and she said 'because my daddy's not here.' My sentiments exactly.

Here are some shots from our trip so far...

Lake Michigan

Pasties are a big hit in these parts. Everyone loves pasties. Pasties are like homemade Hot Pockets. I had to take this photo because we passed many restaurants that serve pasties, but this one is Gram's Pasties. And 'Gram' is what I've called my grandmother for years.

On our way through the UP (Upper Peninsula of Michigan), we came upon a chainsaw sculptor. Can you believe these pieces of art started out with a chainsaw and a tree!? Unbelievable.

My mom's cousins own this beautiful log home -- and don't live in it! They built it about ten years ago because they were in that line of work, but then couldn't bear to leave their life 'in town' and move out to 'the woods' (which is about 20 minutes outside of town). However, they occasionally rent it to folks and graciously let us stay in it. They were such dear hosts! Our kids ooh'd and ahh'd when we pulled up and didn't want to do anything but hang out at the house! If we went into town, the kids moaned about wanting to go back to the log house! Such a treat.

A few shots of the interior.

I don't know if you can tell but the staircase is made out of logs and the main central support log is shaped like a slingshot with a horizontal log through the center. Amazing attention to detail. A truly one-of-a-kind home.

This is a view from the family room into the kitchen. I can't tell you how much fun it was to stay in this home. And God knew exactly what I'd need to get through four days (without JD's reinforcements) in mosquito infested Minnesota where our kids couldn't play outside...a full basement with a ping pong table! Just like at home, I could send the kids to the basement to let off some steam when they were getting too rowdy! :)

I was born in Michigan. I spent much of my summers in Michigan. But I had no idea. I was a child the last time I traveled by road through northern Michigan and the UP. I have no recollection of the beauty -- or perhaps I simply just didn't notice it. Holy cow. It was gorgeous.
Lake Michigan just about 20 miles northeast of the Mackinac Bridge.

I'll post more photos from our time on Mackinac Island. It was unlike anywhere else I've been in the world. More on that later...

And onto the latest with James' adoption!...

While we were gone, our I-800 (immigration approval) came in! Yay! We now have approval from the US government to immigrate James! That feels very cool. It's nicely waiting at home for me to pounce on! Remember we're going to have to send it through all the channels that our dossier went through? Will probably take a couple of weeks.

But these were the perfect few weeks to have to 'wait' for that to come in. I wait really well when I'm roaming the Great Lakes region with my kiddos, mom and grandmother! What a rough, rough wait it's been. :)

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