Friday, April 18, 2008

My, How They've Grown!

(If you read this earlier, I was able to add the other pictures I mentioned)

When I first moved to Arizona in 1999, I got to live with an amazing family! Paul, Dori, and their kids are generous people who not only opened up their home to me, but welcomed me into their family as well. I lived with them for one year, and then was able to "house-sit" for them when Paul's job took them to Malaysia for the next year. Although it was great to live in the townhouse with six/seven roommates, I'll admit it was nice to have a quiet place to go if needed!

Well, I got to see them again tonight!

It was incredible to see how much everyone has grown, and the three kids in the family that I lived with are now older siblings to the brother that was born a year ago! It was so fun to meet N! And amazing to think that K was his age when I lived there!

I have a TON of great pictures of lots of fun times with this family, but those are all back in photo albums somewhere in storage. I wish I had them here to scan in a few for you to see! I do have a few on this computer, though, so I thought I'd share some of the before/after pictures with you!

Here's a picture taken the same year I lived with them.

Those smiles were seen all the time on this happy family, and little K usually was smiling as well! One fun fact is that her 3rd or 4th word was "Kari" and she used to look for me each morning when she came downstairs. It was great to feel the love!

Agghhhh!!! I was able to experience the trip of a lifetime when they invited me to visit them in Malaysia, and none of those pictures will upload to Blogger! It says it's the wrong format! What?? Well... I'll describe them for you. Better than nothing, right? :) In one picture, it's me with the whole family and what I wanted to point out is that the son, R, is still shorter than my shoulders and the older daughter, L, is at my waist height-wise. The youngest daughter, K, is still small enough that her dad is holding her! (Yeah! Andy helped me get these pictures to work! -Thanks, Andy!!)

The next picture that won't upload is one of my favorite pictures of all times. It's of me, L, and K hanging out on Orangutan Island! This is an island that is only inhabited by Orangutans and there are tour boats that visit daily. I'm HOLDING HANDS with an Orangutan, trying to show L and K that it's okay! They weren't so sure about it... It was SO much fun, and a truly memorable moment. I emailed that picture recently and it worked okay, so I wish that Blogger was able to read it! (Again, thanks Andy!)
Oh yeah... The curly hair I used to have was frizzy in the 100% humidity of Malaysia!

Here we are the last time I was able to visit Arizona, in 2004. Even that trip seems so long ago now!

Well, here's a picture from tonight!
At first I thought "maybe I was squatting down a little in the picture" but nope, not at all. That's just how much they've grown and changed! Wow! R was 5 years old when I lived with them, and now he's in 9th grade. And is 6'1". Wow! L was 3 when I moved in, and then she turned 4 on my 24th birthday! Yes, we share a 5/14 birthday! It's super fun, and I loved having a "Madeline" party for my 24th birthday! We've talked to each other many birthday morning's since then which is always a fun treat! And K was 7 months old when I moved in and I got to watch her learn how to crawl, walk, and talk. What a blessing! Now it's fun to see how much they dote on little N -he's a lucky little guy!

I can tell which house I'll end up at when I'm missing David! Little N is just slightly younger than David and has some of the same great expressions!

L took this picture for us. Nice shot, L!

Here are "the girls". I would love to have them over for a sleep-over sometime while I'm here!

Thanks, guys, for the fun evening! I am really looking forward to hanging out more while I'm here!


Anonymous said...


Great pictures! Thanks for sharing them.

I've had quite a bit of experience with "image formats" recently, so I might be able to see why those pictures didn't upload. If you'd like to email them to me, I can take a look.

Hope you continue to enjoy revisiting all our friends in AZ!

CJ Olson said...

Looks like you are having fun catching up with people you haven't seen in a long time! So happy that you are able to see so many people that you know when you are working. I think it's pretty neat that every place that you have traveled to you have been able to catch up or get together with people that you know from that area. What a cool thing.

Anonymous said...

Great info on your site, Kari Joy. We can keep up with you which is always fun. Wow those kids sure have grown. Sara use to make forts for them in the LR and even in her car.!! Now, they are taller and almost as tall as she is. How fun to see them grow. Am glad you are enjoying your time in Arizona. Love, Penny

Leingang Family said...

Thanks so much for the pictures! I can't believe how much they've changed! I didn't know they had a baby. OH, how time flies!

Be sure to say hi to them from us.

Have fun being in sunny AZ!

Jim and Marilyn said...

How fun for you to get back to AZ and renew your friendships there! God is so great!