The Crew

The Crew
Christina, Matthew, Joshua and Katie Grace XiHua

Sunday, July 29, 2012


So every time we travel home to Colorado to visit my family, we always do a couple days in the mountains.   Estes Park is one of our favorites!  

I believe I failed to mention earlier that Jacob did not go with us on this trip, sadly.  I know he was disappointed about that but he stayed behind to work as many hours as he could.  

Thanks to my sister, Marcie and Uncle Lance, we stayed at the YMCA of the Rockies where they treated us to the fun and rooms!  It was such a wonderful experience!  We are so grateful!  Not the whole family came up, but many of us did.  

Estes Park is just about an hour drive up into the mountains.  It is a gem of a town nestled into the valley and has become quite trendy so there are some beautiful homes and lovely "cabin resorts", but still earthy enough for even a backpacker to find a place to stay.  

View of beautiful f Estes Park, Colorado (photo courtesy google images) 


The Stanley Hotel where the movie The Shining took place!!  Spooky!!  (photo courtesy google images) 

YMCA of the Rockies, where we stayed!   (photo courtesy of google images)

Our family name, Luthjohn, on the welcome sign!! 

The view from our back patio where we had nice rocking chairs!  There is a playground right across the path and a swimming pool too.  Down to the right, many more activities for families.  My kids and I shared a room with my sister, Polly, and her son, Aaron.

Another pretty view

My sister, Polly, with Katie Grace Hua Hua.  Look at all the pretty wildflowers too!  

Our room.  Simple cabin type rooms with no TV!  Matthew (13) said, "where is the TV??"  I said,  go sit on the back patio and look at that view!  That's your TV."  Then Joshua (6) said, "yeah, there is no bigger screen or sharper picture than that!"
Hehe!  Cute!  

Just a really cool wasp on my car 

Colorado is overrun with prairie dogs.  They are cute little critters who make holes in the ground everywhere.  There are bazillions.  The funny thing is, Coloradans are known for there love of nature and love of protesting.  I grew up in Boulder, a super "granola" town as I like to call it, lovingly.  :-)  So, the prairie dogs have  now been completely protected and it is impossible to walk through any natural area without them scurrying around!!  lol!

Uncle Lance bonding with Hua Hua at lunch in town!  They had a great time together and he taught her their secret "fist bump."  Uncle Lance is the best!  

Cousin Tyler (22) is in graduate school at CU studying music, a talented musician/bassist and just an awesome kid, Joshua and Aunty Marcie (my sister and Tyler's mom) were enjoying working on coloring and activities.  

Everyone went out to play basketball and we all joined in!  Lance took time to teach Joshua and Hua Hua for quite awhile and they had a lot of fun!

Even Mimi, My MOM went out and played!!  So did my dad but I was out on the other court at the same time, so I didn't get a pic of him.  My dad loves to play basketball, tennis, and bike ride.

Just another view.  OH HOW I WISH my camera could capture how beautiful this actually looked.  You see, the sun was shining on the high peaks in the background and they were magnificent.  This picture doesn't show it at all... :(

Swim time for Matthew, cousin Aaron, Hua Hua and Joshua.


Late that evening, my sister and I took the boys down to the game room and they played until they were tired.

Matthew playing pool with his cousin

Cousin Aaron taking a shot

The next morning we went to the craft building and decided to paint creations!  

Sometimes you forget how therapeutic crafts can be.  Matthew getting started and choosing his colors.

Christina with her cousin, Alyssa, by her side working diligently

Hua Hua with her smock on and loving her colors!  

My sister, Marcie, completed her doll.  Isn't it wonderful?  She has always  been one of the most artistic of the girls.  

I painted a pretty cross with flowers on it to hang in Hua Hua's room to match her room colors.  

Joshua took so much time and put so much detail into this snake.  He painted each ring and kept the pattern going.   He was so proud of his work and so was I!  

Matthew (13) was the last one left wanting to get his little traveling gnome just right!  I loved how the kids got into these crafts!  

This is totally random, but a trip to Colorado, especially Estes Park, is not complete without getting a cute pair of moccasins for someone!  Katie Grace Hua Hua loved these cute little pink, fringed moccasins!  I got each child a little momento from the shops in town.  Joshua picked out a little box of fools gold, Matthew got a pocket knife, Christina some earrings, and Hua Hua these beauties.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012


My sister, Kristy, has a creek near her house where we took the kids out crawdad fishing.  

They had the best time fishing and catching lots of those little creatures!  

First of all, it was so hot in Colorado!  Almost as hot as Central Florida, although not quite.  The temperatures were up to 100 degrees F daily!  No humidity though in Colorado.  We went down to the creek where it was slightly cooler under the trees.  

Matthew jumped in right away with the net and started searching for little creatures.  

Cute little cousin, Levi, was right at home and was showing us exactly the best spots to look!  

Sweet Cousin Aaron was in next cooling his feet in the water.  

Katie Grace Hua Hua got a hold of a fishing stick, put her piece of hot dog on it, and was  ready to fish for crawdads!  She was wanted to catch some quick!  

First she started off the side... 

Well, she wasn't the least bit apprehensive, and was ready to get in the water that was full of those crawdads!  

We have to admit, she had a little bit of a cousin crush on cute cousin, Christian.  ;-) 

Poor Joshua couldn't take it any longer, he was waiting for a pole, as they were all taking turns and her wanted a turn!!!  

Someone got him a pole right away and he was smiling immediately!  

The crawdad catches started happening and in the net they would go and transferred into the bucket.   

Look at that beauty!  

Looks like the cousins have found the best spot.  

Cousin Vanessa, was the only one who was not afraid to pick up the crawdads by hand!  Go girl!  No one was snapped by any claws by the way.  :-) 

At the end of the fishing spree, a grand total of 51 crawdads were caught!  The kids poured them out on the concrete and counted every last one.  Then the let them all go back into the creek!  

Thursday, July 26, 2012


So we actually just returned from a week and a half in Colorado visiting my family in Boulder/Longmont, Colorado.  It was a wonderful vacation!!!  Believe it or not, my mom did not have wi-fi in her new townhouse, so I did not spend my time blogging! 

 Well, I went through computer withdrawals at first and then I realized that maybe I was just supposed to set my computer aside and enjoy this valuable time with my parents.  I don't get to see them very often at all, and you know, time together is so so very precious.  

Anyway, with that in mind, I took plenty of pictures of our fantastic vacation, but haven't posted any yet.  So I will start now and post some favs.  This first post was of our first day arriving at my parents' townhouse with some of the cousins who stopped by. 

I have many more pictures to come of our fun activities!

Be prepared, I have a very large family!  I am one of 7 brothers and sisters.  Most of whom have children.  Some of us have many! So, when we all get together, it is quite a gathering!  

My Joshua has a fear of flying.  Actually, let me rephrase that, he has some slight sensory issues and hates to go upside down and is extremely apprehensive of the airplane banking for fear of it tipping upside down.  Since we had been saving for our adoption, and then Jacob and I flew to China alone, he has not had to fly for a few years.  So it has taken us quite awhile to convince him to even agree to go on this flight!  Well, he did it, and yes he was really shaking when the plane banked.  Wouldn't you know it, there was a lot of storms as we were flying out and the plane banked and banked, ugh!  Once we were up in the air, he was fine.  He did a great job and even better on the way home.  We also gave him dramamine - not sure if it helped much, but maybe it did a little.  

Hua Hua was great on the air plane and love the trip!  

Christina and Matthew sat across from us.

Once we arrived at Mimi's in Longmont, Joshua immediately started playing with his cousin, Levi, outside!  Last time we visited they were just 3, now they were stuck together and played and played!  

Cousin Vanessa, 11, just loved Hua Hua and took her around everytime they were together!  What a sweet girl she is and so good with little ones!  

Just had to snap a picture of my little sister, Kristy, and how cute she is! How does she have that model type body in her 40's after having 5 kids??  But that's not the best part, she is this sweetest natured of all of us sisters.   

My little sister, Kristy, and Christina.  

Hua Hua, 4, gets some help from cousin Levi, 6. 

Joshua playing with the boys, spitting spit balls at them as they run by in the yard!

Joshua in a tickle pile from the girls... ummm... do you think he is loving this??  ;) 

Cousin Alyssa (17) is letting Hua Hua play on her phone while Vanessa (11) braids hair.  

The tall girls brigade.  For some reason all these girl cousins are tall tall tall.  Three are 17 years old.  Alyssa is about  5'9", my Christina is about 5'8" and Tess is about 5'8".   Then Vanessa who is 11 is very tall too.

My big sister, Marcie, my Momma, and my little sister Polly.  

A bunch, not all mind you, but a bunch of the boys!  My daddy, Joshua (6), Aaron (12), Levi (6), my Matthew (13),  Christian (13),  Tyler (22), Nathan (19).  

Many hungry children near the boarder of Myanmar and Thailand-click on photo