Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Park

We were invited to go to a park with two different families this week. They actually took us to the same park, but the park was so big that we ended up seeing completely different things. We had a lot of fun with both families and now have a new place that we can go.

There were lots of statues there. There were descriptions about who these people were, but my character knowledge is not good enough to figure it out. There was one that seemed very out of place to me because he looked more British than Asian. Our friends informed us that it was of Isaac Newton. We climbed to the top of the pagoda and had a great view of the entire park. We even saw a golf coarse...who knew! Regan had fun doing cartwheels at the park. All my kids and the other kids had fun trying to do cartwheels, too. It was really cute to see so many kids flipping all over the place :)

One of the families rented this bike to ride around the park. The kids had a lot of fun on it. It was the first time I have ridden a boke like that. It was fun, but it was harder to ride than I expected...mostly because I am used to riding a taller bike and when the kids ride with me they are closer to me. I thought it made for a cute picture though. My favorite bike pic is the one of the girls riding with Jonathan (below)

Also at the park, there were many couple there getting their wedding picture taken.

We found some bumper cars. The older two LOVED this. The man running the attraction had to go get Katherine. She started crying after they got sandwiched in between two cars. So, they brought her to me and we went next door to let ehr ride the airplanes.

She had a good time...can you tell?

One of the fun things for the kids about living overseas is that they get to celelbrate their birthday for about a month or at least it seems that way! :) Lauren and Benjamin got to open some more bday presents this week. Lauren was so serious the entire time.

She enjoyed reading her new book.

Can you guess what these two are excited about?? Fruit Stripes bubble gum.

Lauren helped her daddy make homemaid pizza this week. I see another chef in the making! :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Sweat Zone

We have now entered the sweat zone. It is like nothing I have ever seen before. It turned warm and humid very quickly. We were warned that this would happen, but never imagined how it would actually be. Just picture in the middle of the summer. It's hot. It's humid. And then you get a big, heavy rain storm, but it only lasts for about 30 minutes. Ok. Now picture going outside and walking through all the standing water and the hot air all around. That's what it was like INSIDE our home! There is just no way to describe all the water all over the buildings. I guess if you can picture taking a coke can out of the freezer on a 100 degree summer day and the instant condensation you get....that is pretty close. The buildings have no insulation, so they are cold. Everything is made with concrete and tile. So when the hot, humid air rolled in, we got this...a mess! :) The kids slipped all over the floor. We tried very hard to dry it off, but it came back within seconds. We have been told that this will happen many times this spring as we transition from the colder days to the very hot and humid ones.
We got a package in the mail the other day with Lauren's birthday presents in in, so our AYi found out that it was Lauren's bday coming up. Ayi bought her this gong ji (chicken) and it queaks as it walks. We quickly made it an outdoor toy. It has attracted several little ones while we are out and has given me the chance to practice my new language with lots of new people.

This week we also had a family night. We had a great time together as we played board games, watched a movie and ate popcorn! Regan has been playing this one computer game with her daddy. She has gotten really good at it and Daddy has to work hard to keep up.

Benjamin has also started to love reading. He has worked really hard and is doing a great job!

So good, in fact, that he got Star Student this week! He has been working hard for this award for a long time. I cannot tell you how excited he was to get it and how proud of him we are.

And guess who else got Star Student?! Yep! Regan also got the award. She got it for her grade for loving her friends. This week, one of the girls in her class brought something for show and tell and another little boy told everyone what it was. Regan comforted this little girl and tried to make her feel better. She even offered to let her show something that was Regan's instead. We are so proud of both of the kids for this big award!

I know you have seen this before (or at least one like it) but it still amazes me all the laundry that shows up on all the bushes when it is a pretty day! :) It always makes me smile!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Benjamin has a new ball to play with Doggy Bones. It is the perfect size and the dog loves it. He's getting pretty good at playing fetch. Now, if we can just teach him not to jump up on the kitchen table!! He has a super smeller and knows if there is bread around and he will go crazy trying to get it. Recently, we have had to keep him locked up while we eat...never new such a little dog could jump so high :)

We had some friends from Canada that happened to be in our neck of the woods for a couple days this week. We met up and went to a few places around town. A market is always a good place to go to see some culture and we always find something new. I asked this man what he was selling because most everythin in this section was to eat and I didn't think you would eat the tree. He said it was good for aches and pains and for your eyes. Then, he gave us a little demonstration. He took a big puff of his cigarrette an blew on one end of the tree and the smoke came out the other end. It was pretty neat. I still don't know how that would help my aches and pains, but I enjoyed the presentation.

Another man let us try all of his fruit an I just had to buy some of this one for the kids and some of our friends. It is called bolomi. The taste reminds me of a banana mixed with some other fruit...an orange maybe. I don't know. If you come visit, I will buy some for you to try. :)

This man is selling roots.

Since I watched Regan's class lead assembly, I went back this week to watch Benjamin's class lead it. Benjamin had one of the main parts...not a speaking part, but he had to take a raw egg on a sppon all the way across the room to show his friends gentleness. They also talked about having gentle words, play, etc. It was cute.

Sorry, you will have to look at this picture with you head turned. I have no idea why my computer will not cooperate, but it insists on turning the image like this. Anyways. We met some new friends this week and they took us out to eat for "morning tea" Don't let the name fool you. We did not eat lunch after having so much food for breakfast. This was just the start of all the things that came.

Every week, we go to the high school and play with the kids. This week I realized something about myself...I am old! I remember (when I was in my 20's) friends (in their 30's) saying that they were "old" and "you just wait, you can't do all the things like you could when you were 20" I always laughed and said, "yeah right, you're not old" Ok. After teaching the students how to play kickball, throwing baseballs, playing volleyball, playing 4 square, and chasing after Lauren, I was so sore. So, now I am consenting....my friends were right. I really had a lot of fun though! Let me just say that trying to teach kick ball to people who have no consept of the rules of baseball is no easy task :)

Some friends from back home sent Benjamin and Lauren a bday package. Benjamin was just beside himself with excitement. They loved their presents! Thanks guys!

This has been Lauren's favorite present. A wooden puzzle that makes the animal sounds. We lost the little kitten piece for a day or two (under the couch) and it was a little scarey....every time we would turn the lights out at night, the puzzle would start meowing :) Too funny.
We also ate dinner with our neighbors...homemade jaozi. They have been so helpful to us in helping us with the language when we need it and introducing us to new people.
We have been blessed by so many friends! We are so thankful for our friends in the States, our friends here, old friends, and new friends!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Yet again...another sight that was just too good to pass up. I guess you had better pay close attention when driving...you just might fall into a manhole. I guess that is why he left his hard hat on the road. At least, I hope he left it there on purpose. I guess I should have checked to make sure he didn't fall in and lose his hat. :) And, of coarse, I am the only crazy foreigner taking a picture of a manhole.
Jonathan and I took a short day trip to a nearby city this week while the kids were in school. We rode on a bus and saw many different parts of the area we live in. We managed not to get any mosquito bites on this bus that had many mosquitoes. We passed lots of countryside to get to this other city and I even met some new people along the way.

Celery anyone?? Seriously. I don't think I have ever seen celery as big as it is here. We passed so many of these bikes on our way home. I guess they were bringing it into town to sell at the market.

Every week at the kids' school, they have assembly. A different class will lead it. This week it was Regan's class and she was so excited because she was the narrator for the play they were doing. Normally, the parents do not come to this, but she asked if I could come. So I got to stand in the back and watch. She did such a good job.

We use many forms of transportation here...bikes, walking, taxi, bus, train, subway, etc. This is a picture of Lauren in the taxi. Most of the drivers have some sort of bars or cage around them for their safety. I think I have only been in one taxi since we have been here that did not have the cage. I'm not sure what Lauren is going to think when we come back to America and she has to sit in a car seat! She has become very accustomed to the way of life here.

This is a sight we see often, but I never have my camera handy...McDonald's Delivery. If you ask me, I would not really want this job. It just does not appeal to me to have to wear that huge thing on your back and then ride a bicycle to someone's home and deliver a "hot" meal to them. I have to give them bonus points for safety. These are the only guys I ever see wearing a bicycle helmet :) (well, besides my own kids)