up in China, as you can see from these two photos (taken in
Hong Kong, and wrongly labeled--it was really
Aug 1999). He and Michael spent the summer of
1999 in Tianjin, and then the family moved from the USA
to Shanghai in 2000 (Andrew was six in
1999, and 15 when with 2009 photo was taken.)
In 2010/11, we
lived in Ohio, allowing Andrew to graduate from Michael's old high school:
Hoover High. In 2011 he enrolled as a freshman at the
University of Akron. We're very proud of him!
(Left, 2011) By Christmas of Andrew's freshmen year, we had endured months
of separation (for the first time in our lives), so it was a great relief
to be together again for a few wonderful weeks in Xiamen. (This is
actually on Gulangyu, and we also visited Volcano
National Park.) We wouldn't get the chance to see him again
until summer of 2013.
(Below, 2012) Andrew is studying Design, and one class project required him to "creatively use"
the "stitch" feature in Photoshop. He shot photos of his many tasks on the
college newspaper staff, and Vivian and I love the result! If there really
were this many of Andrew (or of me), then maybe we could actually get the
sleep our bodies need!
When I put these
two photos side-by-side I was amazed how easy it is to see the family
resemblance! When I was 19 (1979), I worked at a large amusement park in
Ohio called Cedar Point. It is a good job for college students, so Andrew
applied and got to work there too, when he was 19. His
sister, however, trumped both of us, working at Disney World while she
was in college!
Andrew (bottom left) takes football photos for the high
school newspaper, with cheerleaders, yelling fans and football players providing plenty of distraction
(August 2010). He excelled as a Viking Views journalist, which
(with high grades) helped him get into the Graphic Design program/Honors
College at Akron U. During his sophomore year at AU he also joined the
college newspaper staff.
this montage, and paid for it to run in the last edition of his high
school newspaper to "congratulate" Andrew just before his graduation. The
photos were taken in Columbia, Xiamen, Kunming, the Smoky Mountains,
Beijing, and at Akron University.
of more than twelve years of education was Andrew's high school graduation
in June 2011.
began with a wonderful ceremony at church, wherein the leaders prayed for
each graduating senior.
The main ceremony
took place in the Canton Civic Center, which was big enough to accommodate
all 300 graduates and their cheering relatives/friends.
Philip graduated a few weeks after Andrew. He too excelled in high
school, and is looking forward to college (in Virginia). (Michael's sister
is on the right, between his parents.)
June 2010 photo,
you see Andrew delivering crates of water to an elementary school affected
by the worst drought in Yunnan for decades. (The bus couldn't navigate on the narrow
country lane, so we had to carry the crates a few hundred meters to the
was "home schooled" in 2009-2010 because the Kunming International Academy
drastically raised its fees (higher than Michael's salary!). Here, he
takes a test at Vivian's computer. He did exceptionally well on his US
College Entrance Exam, which helped him get a tuition reduction when he
enrolled at the University of Akron in 2011.
This photo is in Hong
Kong (Feb 2009). I call it "Mount Hood." (Andrew likes to wear a hood all
winter.) Vivian was in meetings, so "the boys" spent a day enjoying
sunshine and games in and near the International Airport. "Terminal 2" has
an interesting (though expensive) array of things for visitors to do.
In 2008, Andrew said he wanted to help teach the little kids at our church
(for foreigners), so for over two years (about every other month) Michael taught and
Andrew helped. One thing the kids seemed to really like was our puppet shows.
Andrew was the wise dog Shou-Ou and Michael was Denali, a playful beaver.
April is birthday month for both
Andrew and Beth, so this next section
photos from several of Andrew's birthday parties.
2010. Andrew was being Home Schooled
his last year in China, so this BD was a quiet affair with only his good
friend Nolan there to share the cupcakes. One of Gimli's peculiarities was
an extreme dislike for leather--and she could smell it through packaging!
As I recall, we went to Pizza Hut as usual, but found that they no longer
sold pepperoni pizzas! Fortunately, Papa John's had recently opened a
store in Kunming, and we found America's favorite topping there.
2011. In America,
someone's 18th birthday is a "big deal" because now you are "an adult."
Thus, you're old enough to vote, work full time, and be legally
independent in every way. Some friends gathered during Spring Break to
celebrate this momentous occasion (in Michael's parents' home in Ohio--the last birthday we would get to spend together since he soon
went off to college). We also went out and played laser tag.
2009. (Left) Andrew and
Michael enjoy a father-son dinner at Pizza Hut to celebrate Andrew's 16th
birthday. (center) At dinner, Michael surprised Andrew with this "Promise
Ring," specially made to feature a logo Andrew had designed for himself.
The things in the photo include a pose-able "guy" Andrew has been using to
refine his artistic skills, and a book cover he helped to design. Two
friends from school also spent Friday night at our place, watching movies
and playing games to the wee hours of Saturday (this has become a birthday
2008. This year's party
theme was "Pirates of the Caribbean," and Vivian's sister had kindly sent
a party pack from the States to make it special. The guys watched the
Pirates movies until they all fell asleep. The next morning, they
enjoyed a "digital treasure hunt" Michael had created for them. (You can
see the rules and photos for the contest by clicking
here.) After the "hunt" we had pizza and played foosball at Teresa's
2007. Four guys could
make it this year. They started by devouring the Tacos Vivian had
prepared. The theme was "Star Wars," but they ended up watching all three
Lord of the Rings films before everyone was asleep.
Late on the
first night of this BD gathering, the guys played a game Andrew and Michael
created for the party. We called it Farse Wars; there are three levels, and
we created farcical photos and a bizarre story as the backdrop of the
game. The Lego pieces go with each warrior's identity, including "Yo-dog"--a
combination of our puppy and Yoda. Everyone had a lot of fun!
2006. A big crowd was on hand for Star
Wars Risk this year's birthday party. Compare this photo to his 14th-16th
birthdays and you'll see few consistent faces (only one, to be precise). Such
coming and going is common among the international community, which can
make it difficult for kids to enjoy the long-term friendships they would
have in the country of their birth. Of course, they also have lots of
experiences (like climbing the Great Wall,
visiting Hong Kong Disneyland/Scotland/etc)
that most kids could never dream of!
2004. Andrew got to spend half of 2004
in an American school (the only time he did that, other than first grade).
(Left) Classmates and friends-of-the-family went to a Kids' Pizza
restaurant for his 12th birthday party. (Center) His sister Beth
made a cool cake for the event. (Right) Friends from our home church (yes,
they are American-Chinese) gave Andrew "the coolest bike he ever
owned"--making this birthday extra memorable.
2005. I can't find a photo of his 12th
birthday party, but this was taken about two weeks later (April 15, with
Vivian at a park in Xi'an).
2003. Andrew and
friends, bowling at his 10th birthday party (in Xi'an).
The annual Jian
Hua conference (this one was in Hong Kong,
2005) gives Andrew the chance to be with other kids
his age who are also experiencing the challenges of growing up in a second
culture. Some of these kids live in Kunming, so he already knew some
people when we moved there.
Here is the teen group in Hong Kong, 2009.
Yes, a few of the faces appear in both photos, but many ex-pat kids come
and go over the years. (There's a 2007 photo on the
Andrew has skipped stones in the South China Sea (here we are on Gulangyu
island with Xiamen in the background--Feb. 2005), the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic
Ocean, the Yangtze River and the Yellow River, not to mention assorted
lakes and rivers around the world.
During our 2004 stay
in the USA, Andrew went swimming a lot, mostly under the watchful eye of
his Grandma Krigline (who took these photos).
Virtual twins. (Left--2002) This may have been the first time Andrew
met the Elner's kids, but he and Pierce (a fellow JHF kid) were destined
to become "best friends." For the three years that we lived in Xi'an, they enjoyed spending
as much time together as their parents allowed (we didn't live nearby).
(Center--2005) Here they use linked Gameboys while their parents did
"boring" things. Great friends are worth keeping, so they've
even gotten together a few times since we moved to Kunming (Right--2009
the Country. A highlight of 2004 was the chance to share Christmas
with this school in Weinan, a village near Xi'an. The school had been
damaged in a recent flood. The boxes and
bags in this first
picture contain a new backpack for each
student, along with school supplies, balls, rackets, paddles and other
sports equipment. In the middle picture, a grateful school principal is carrying one of the boxes inside. On the right, Andrew is in
the middle as his schoolmates and teachers sing some Christmas carols to
the gathered crowd. Andrew's headmaster also presented candy
canes to all of the local students, and explained the symbolism behind
this American holiday treat.
School Days. (Left) This is Andrew's whole
class (2004-05) at the Xi'an International School on "Culture Day"--they represented Canada. The teacher is
dressed as a judge, while Andrew, Micah and Hope (far left) are the "Three
Musketeers of the Sea." (Center) Andrew and John
won first prize for their grade at the school science fair (May 2003).
They were studying how the NASA rover will land on Mars. Andrew's entry on Tsunamis took second place in 2005.
(Right) Even back in 2002, Andrew also had quite a collection of dogs (and
other Beanie Babies/animals), though now they simply reside in plastic
sleeves behind his door. Hobbies change as you grow up. We shipped Lego from the US in 2000, and that was Andrew's
favorite toy for years (as it was Michael's). He used to read a lot, but
in his teen years Andrew's hobbies switched to computer games and graphic
art software, and taking care of
One of the things that attracted us to Kunming was Kunming International
Academy (KIA), where Andrew went to school from 2005 to 2009 (until a
price increase pushed us to Home School). (Click here
for photos of a 2006 field trip to the Teng Chong volcano
Andrew got an
award for being the "hardest worker" on the backstage crew for KIA's
spring 2007 drama night, called A Window on Comedy and Tragedy. It
included three one-act plays that all had a window in them.
He was also
active "back stage" in his high school's plays.
can I do next?"
Taking bows with a teacher and other students in the 2009
"embarrassing" photos of his early childhood, that I like too much to
delete from this page. (Left-2000) Andrew had a great First Christmas in China. The tree was a gift from a British teacher who left soon after we
arrived in Shanghai. (click here for other
Christmas photos). The next photo shows a
Greek warrior who showed up in our kitchen one spring morning (2001). He
said something about a school project, but frankly it was all Greek to me!
The next year he was trying to convince Pharaoh to let his people go!
Unfortunately, Pharaoh wouldn't listen, even with "Flat Aaron-Stanley"
there to help! His drama career continued the next year (2003) in Xi'an,
when he was Christopher Columbus. I think it was the next year that his
teacher convinced him to be "Uncle Yule" in a Christmas play, and he hated
it so much that he never acted again. In high school,
however, he played a "leading role" in the back-stage crew for several
When Andrew was little, Chinese people loved watching
him and having a photo taken together. That is one thing Andrew
certainly didn't miss as he grew older!