visitors from Armenia!!! (or Ohio, Kentucky, DC, Santa Cruz? they aren't sure!)

Just in case you don't know where ARMENIA might be - its the small yellow country on the map below, bottom left - south of Georgia, and north of Iran. Its in the Central Caucasus Mountains, where Mt. Ararat is located. We hear it's beautiful (but we might just need to go there ourselves to make sure)!! Our family is stationed there for the next 2 years, serving with US Aid - and they are taking some vacation time to come here! Wahoo!!

This is a dream come true: to have Justin's brother, Krissy & the girls come to China to visit! We've been pinching ourselves to make sure this is REAL - but here they are!! Such a collision of two worlds! They have 2 precious little girls: Jordan (4yrs old) and Madi (1yr old) - and they are so incredible and full of life! I love getting to be an auntie in real life! We cherish this time with them - as life can move along so fast, and we are all in such different places & careers. Its hard to predict when we will all be together again...so this is a gift! (and it just so happens to be right around my birthday, so I consider it a birthday gift! thanks guys!)

We only had 8 full days ~ but we filled it with lots of adventure and sweet times together as a fam! We made homemade noodles called Laghman (a Uyghur style spicy noodle dish), ate lots with chopsticks, and visited our favorite restaurants - so they could sample our cultural cuisine!

We took them on the local bus - though I wish they could have experienced riding a bus during rush hour - being squeezed into a bus without any space to move is quite the cultural experience. Oh well....next visit, right??

And we gave them the grand tour of all things ICE CREAM!! This picture is outside our tiny shop downtown - where it all began almost 3 years ago! The cousins had fun choosing their favorite flavors of ice cream too!

Most days we just went to a nearby park and let the kids run free. It was so wonderful for the cousins to be together again....and for ME to become Jordan & Madi's best friend (again). I love getting to love on my nieces - for 8 days straight!

more to come....