We had a great night of sleep last night. Thanks to lots of prayers, Travis slept soundly all night without even stirring. (He's throwing a massive fit right now as I type, so I guess he's using all that energy he saved up with sleep.)
We had our usual breakfast buffet, then came back upstairs to pack up and prepare for an outing. Our guide came around 10am and we drove a short way to a mall. On our way over, Mackenzie asked me how many more days we had left in China. I told her we would be home in 9 days, but really, one week from today we'll be packing up to head home via Shanghai. With that, I started crying. Sobbing. The kids asked me what was wrong and I said (much like a small, whining child), "I just want to go home." I couldn't stop myself from crying. Just typing that makes me cry again! We truly enjoy our days for the most part, but are also homesick.
The 6-story mall had lots of neat stores as well as an indoor playground for young children.
The kids burned off some great energy. Tian was quickly ready to play. Travis took a little longer to warm up to the chaos, but he eventually ran all over the place along with the rest of the kids. His favorite thing was the little plastic car. He was frustrated that most of them didn't have a wheel, so he would go looking inside each one until he found one with an intact steering wheel.
The Brownies were amazing in their new job as older siblings. They were so sweet with their brothers, helping us keep an eye on them. Hannah and Ken left for a while to explore the mall while I stayed with our 4 younger ones. TJ and Kenzie were invaluable helping me keep up with Tian and Travis.
After we had played and played, we headed downstairs to eat. Our guide suggested we eat at a local favorite "buffet." When we walked in, a waitress, who was in the middle of waiting on a table, looked up, gasped, put her hand over her mouth, and started announcing our arrival to others. Oy vay! The boys were restless as we sat down. As usual, a huge fuss was made over setting up a table big enough to fit us all. Sigh. Then about 4 or 5 waiters and waitresses crowded our table, talking with each other and our guide. I don't even wanna know what they were saying. THIS is when we grow weary of the attention. When we're trying to accomplish a goal, such as feeding our family, and we just get bombarded with stares, giggles, and whispers. In the play area, we got a lot of attention, but it was a relaxed atmosphere where we could smile and gesture to communicate with them what we knew they were thinking. In the play area, an older woman examined Tian's ear, then began to look over Travis to try to figure out what was "wrong" with him. Ken just gestured that he couldn't hear. The lady was satisfied and gave us a big smile. The people here are kind. Their stares are never cruel or mocking, they are just curious and, it seems, happy to see us. Even so, when we are having a tough time with the boys, we just want to look up and yell, "Stop staring, please!"
We got back to the hotel around 1pm. Tian, after a short fit, went to sleep. Travis threw a fit or two of his own (while I was typing this) and is now happily playing with bubbles.
Tomorrow is our last full day in Fuzhou. Friday we will spend the morning packing, then in the afternoon head to the airport for an evening flight to Guangzhou. We would love prayers for the boys to fly well during that hour and half. If you're curious where we go next, remember you can click on the China Schedule tab up at the top of the page.