Thursday, October 27, 2016

Our Big "Backyard"

Do you have a backyard? When people ask me what I miss most about America, having a backyard is top of my list. Not that it's necessarily just a China thing. I know if I lived in an apartment in America I wouldn't have one either. But based on housing costs here and the scarcity of normal-size houses (literally almost everyone lives in an apartment in the city!), it's something I really miss. Just being able to step outside and let the kids play without having to make sure you have keys, shoes, diapers and wipes in case, water, and more if you're going to prevent having to make the long trip back to your building and up the elevator.

But, enough complaining. We have been blessed with many many beautiful places close enough to bike to.

 So on good days, when the weather is nice, we head out to the closest to a backyard we've found here.

We meet Ryan for supper sometimes. There's just something about outside air that makes even PB&J taste great. :)

 And you never know who will stop by, like this policeman one day...

 ...who handed Ellie a balloon! I'm guessing he found it on the ground and decided to give it to someone who would enjoy it! :)

 It was a beautiful day for a bright yellow balloon. :)

 And for a big girl trying new things... I discovered with all of her teeth, Ellie can chew green peppers and even a little lettuce!

 And when the almost-3-year-old finishes first, as she almost always does, she can go and dance in a field instead of being cooped up inside. :)

 While the baby stays and keeps begging for bites of mommy's food. ;)

 The clouds darken, and the sun starts to fade...

 But there's big, open, soft grass for the baby to practice her steps. These were taken the end of September (this post has been sitting in drafts for way too long!) so Ellie was only just starting to walk a few solo steps.

 Yeah... it's hard to get too much of this cuteness!

 It does the soul good to drink in the beauty of the sky. I think that's another reason we like this spot so much... there aren't too many tall buildings, so you can actually see big sky all around!

 Pussy willows are the perfect, natural baby toy...

 Until she starts eating them, of course. ;)

 But tickling her with them distracts her from trying to bite them!

 And there's space. Space to let Hadassah roam without worry. Space to follow after her and fly the baby on the shoulders until they start to ache.

 It always seems like a lot of work to pack up supper and make a picnic of it, but we never regret doing so.

 These memories are too precious to miss.

 One day, Lord willing, we'll be in our own home with our own backyard. Getting out won't be so hard to do. But I have a feeling we'll miss these times when we had to make more effort.

Because when these sights are more rare, they're definitely more greatly appreciated.

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