Saturday, August 1, we attended the Beijing branch reunion at Rock Canyon park. It was fun to remember that place. Rob and I had been there during winter months when we were students at BYU. It's an enormous bowl of grass that the community uses for sledding. I hadn't been there for years. The kids played all night with their friends from Beijing. It was great to see our friends there.
Sunday we went to church and had dessert in the evening with Grandad and Judith and Jennifer and Shannon.
It kills me that I don't have the pictures from the kids' Monday adventure. I lost my little Canon camera somewhere. Whoever finds it will find some very cute pictures! Sam, Ben,Kyle, Bethany, and Olivia went crawfishing with Grandpa Bob and Grandma Julia and their cousin Kayla. Jeremy and Judy drove down to Provo with their little ones and we all had a crawfish boil, at our park when they returned. In the evening we went to see Wolverine with Grandad and Shannon.
Tuesday night we ate at Diego's with grandad and Shannon. Wednesday we met Grandad at BYU for lunch and a bookstore visit. We also visited his office and explored the science museum and art museum.
Thursday we drove to Centerville for my voice lesson with Katie Hill. We went back to Provo for more packing and cleaning. In the evening we went to Burger Supreme with Grandad and Shannon. Then the kids came back to play in Grandad and Judith's backyard for a while. We exchanged gifts with Judith and Jennifer.
Friday we got up early to finish cleaning. Jennifer and Judith and Grandad came by to say goodbye. We left Provo before noon. We headed up to Judy's house with the last of our food. We fixed lunch then Grandma Julia arrived. Rob and I headed off to the South Jordan temple. Then we did some shopping. While we were away the kids had pizza and the boys went over to Grandma and Grandpa's house to make dream catchers with a couple from their ward. When we returned we took the girls back to Grandma's house to get ready for bed and to do the final organization of all our suitcases.
Sam had been sick Thursday. Olivia became sick Friday night. So we spent some time wondering if we should postpone our trip. All of us Beijing Americans back in the states shared concerns about passing through the quarentine screening at the airport. Rob called the embassy and they told him that the H1N1 screenings had relaxed a bit, so we decided it was better to go than to stay, not knowing when we would ever have nine perfectly healthy children to travel with.
Olivia was better Saturday morning but Ben was sick. No one had a fever, just vomiting. Ben threw up walking down the aisle to his seat. The stewardess reminded me about the health screening in China. I just said, "well we don't really have a choice, we're in San Fransisco now, and China is our home." Ben started to cry. He was worried that he would be put in quarentine. I couldn't promise him that he wouldn't so I just told him that we would pay him 300 USD if he had to be quarentined. The tears stopped and the wheels started turning. I think he spent the whole eleven hour flight planning how to spend 300 USD. Fortunately, the screeners looked more interested in playing with William than reading our health cards or our temperatures, and we walked right past and out to the luggage. What a blessing! And what a savings for us! We could have been out 300 USD.
We met the embassy driver who loaded our fifteen plus bags on to the coaster, a small bus of sorts, cheerfully. We rode home in the rain. Later we found out that the rain was part of a typhoon. Our plane had landed just in time. Others travelling to Beijing that evening had had to be diverted to other cities. We felt so grateful to be home safely, and on to the new school year.