Da Sha Gu - and a CAR!!

Some exciting news:  We bought a car -- a used Mitsubishi BK6450 something-or-other: not a brand I have ever heard of before.  We really love having the freedom to get around town, and get OUT of town too - its so nice to get some fresh air in the many mountains and valleys beyond the city.  It was really inexpensive, and Justin already had his license from the Ice Cream Delivery.  He is such a great international driver, which takes SERIOUS skills.  He manages to follow all the rules, even when there aren't any, while paying attention to all the crazies too, and read signs in Chinese.  I could never do it.    

Anyhow, this past weekend we decided to take a drive/adventure with the girls - and explore a new valley that we hadn't been to before.  We went to Da Sha Gu -- about 90 minutes away, with a small fee to enter the "park."  It was really mellow and quiet, which is so refreshing when you are in a city of 4+ million.  I loved the entrance sign that warns you of the wild mushrooms.  I hope you can read the sign, it says = Warm prompt : does not pick, does not buy, does not eat the wild mushroom. 

The park was full of completely man-made rocks (cement formations) and the entire "river" had a cemented bottom.  There were even tree-trunks that were made of cement.  It was so strange.  I don't think the kids noticed really, so we didn't tell them.  This was supposed to be our "escape into nature" adventure.  Only the mountains were real.  Oh, and the crisp mountain air!!...so I shouldn't complain.  

Our favorite part of the day was when we strayed off the normal path to eat our picnic snacks in this huge field, while we watched Kazakh herders galloping nearby, or the tourists (Chinese) riding their horses, while bundling up in our sweatshirts.  We hadn't planned for cold weather!  The girls began a game of spitting their dried garbanzo beans at daddy, which turned into a hilarious war back and forth with beans flying everywhere, and lots of laughter.  I love my little family. 

Here we are....somewhere in the middle of the TianShan mountain range...in NW China.  It still blows my mind sometimes.  I am so very grateful for this opportunity to BE here and share our lives with so many different people groups, and for our girls to see the world this way.

Off we go!!  Its a very cute little car -- and yes!! -- there are seatbelts!!

thankful for:
10+ years of marriage to this neat guy
3 amazing, joyful little girls
God's faithful provision in every way
the adventure continues....