Monday, March 31, 2008
Everybody here is still a bit tired. Andrew's teacher called at lunch; he was claiming to be "miserable" but couldn't quite put his finger on any body part that was actually giving him trouble. He ended up eating lunch with his teacher and staying for the rest of the day...I later found out three kids called mommies from that one class alone. I guess we're not the only tired ones.
I went to Alex's class today and read with some of the students - they have a parent come in each week to listen to a student read aloud, one on one. It's nice to be in his classroom and listen to the kids reading.
Ella was excited to go back to school, though she did ask to go to the beach instead. She was tired today but not tired enough for a nap. We laid down together and watched a Little People video this afternoon, but she didn't fall asleep (I nearly did). So at dinner tonight she fell asleep eating her gingered carrots.
It's nice to be back into our routine but I sure could go for another iced coffee with spicy crackers, with a cool ocean breeze blowing through my hair.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Can you see the ocean in the background? The beautiful, blue ocean? We took a kayak out this morning with Ella and saw some cool fishies.
Tim went snorkeling today, too, and saw more cool rainbow fish.
We had WESTERN lunch outside in our bathing suits listening to Jimmy Buffet (and the Pina Colada song).
The boys have long sleeved shirts on because they are at the Adventure Zone, which is outdoor games, swimming, lunch, crafts and indoor play on the huge climbing playground. They were pretty jazzed to go this morning.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
The Shangi-La is BEAUTIFUL and we were upgraded to a lovely, large executive suite. The food here is WESTERN-influenced and delicious - salads (!!!) pasta, vegetables, and - I know, it's not really Western - curries. I've been obsessed with curries and Indian food lately, much to the chagrin of my children. At dinner we ran into our old neighbors from China who moved back to Germany last summer. They had just been visiting in China (we saw them throughout the week at our school) and then came here.
We took a lovely evening swim, had a great sleep, and are ready for our adventure to begin!
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Andrew's grade "hosted" the awards assembly, and my boy had a little speaking part. He did great! I would have photos but my camera was missing for a few days. Luckily, I complained to my dear friend Kelly that it was missing and she said "Oh! It's at my house!" because we had thrown a baby shower there last week. I was SO relieved because I thought it had been stolen! Yay, Kelly!
This weekend kicks off spring break for us, and on Tuesday we will be heading to Cebu, Philippines. It's supposed to be a lovely beach resort, adn I'm looking forward to just sitting on the beach and relaxing! I WILL be posting photos of our trip because Kelly found my camera!
It is Easter weekend and I sure wish I could have attended Good Friday services today. I did, however, go out for fish n' chips which is as close as I can get to a Friday Nite Fish Fry, for all you Wisconsinites (go, Badgers!). And I will be going to church somewhere on Sunday, not sure if it will be here or in Hong Kong. Apparently there is a bit of a flu crisis going on in Hong Kong - not sure it's a good idea to head over there to mingle with a bunch of other people in a room...probably we'll stay here and worship.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Have a nice day.
Monday, March 17, 2008
About 5 minutes later, one of them turned to me and asked if she could order a cheesecake THIS WEEK for her family! It was really funny, to me, because she was completely serious. So, what did I say? I said YES! I admit it - I am addicted to baking!
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Many U.S. Christians grow up going to church with Mom and Dad and just sort of assume it or take it for granted. That's what you do on Sundays. Many businesses close (though not as many as it used to be).
In China and Hong Kong, however, Sunday is just another opportunity for business. Everything is open on Sunday mornings. It would be very easy to choose not to go to church, to get shopping done or go out and do just about anything else. That's what a giant majority of the people do. It is just another business day.
But my church is packed full of people who are joyful and exuberant about their faith - it's fresh, new, chosen faith. When we sing, many people raise their arms in physical worship, along with their voices. It is a very inspiring place to be on Sundays. We make a joyful noise as well as a joyful picture.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I had my first knitting class today. I have started to knit a spa washcloth out of wonderfully soft cotton and bamboo yarn. I'm so excited! I've always wanted to be one of the crafty people! Can I be in the club now? Do I have the right to shop at the craft stores and look like I know what I'm doing?
We also had student-led conferences at the kids' school today. Each child took us through their classroom on a tour and showed us what they've been working on this year. They each read to us from a "just-right" book and showed us their portfolio. It was really impressive to hear from them how and what they're doing.
My hippie son got a buzz cut today. Now he looks like a serious rock star. Alex...dude. He looks much more like a boy now, too!
And I had Chinese class. I ran into my teacher grabbing a treat at Starbucks ("Shim-ba-ke" in Chinese) so we gave her a ride to my house and I tried to have a lesson with three kids and a husband milling about. Not especially productive, but it did give us quite a bit of conversation material!
Sunday, March 09, 2008
After, we went out to lunch with some friends - a buddy of Alex's and his parents. They then took Alex home with them for the day and I took Andrew and Ella to the playground. It was a nice day. We had a very quiet supper without Daddy or Alex and then got snuggly on my bed, watching "Little People" videos. It was a nice Sunday - family, friends, fellowship, food. I feel full and at peace. Church sure makes a difference in my Sundays, regardless of how it get it!
I am ready for Tim to come back from the U.S. (tonight!) and for another busy week. God's peace to you!
Friday, March 07, 2008
Sadly, I looked in my pantry this morning to start my cake baking and decorating and found it to be lacking severely in icing ingredients (that's "FROSTING" for you yankees). And the import stores have been out of the icing sugar for a few weeks now. My supply was used up with the cupcakes and the first cake.
So, I had to call this woman and tell her - AGAIN - that I couldn't get her cake done. I'm thinking I'm not supposed to make a cake for her. I'm also thinking I need to learn how to say NO because I didn't really want to do these cakes in the first place!
The cupcakes are completed and delivered and have been devoured by 4-year-olds. The other cake is done but I'm really not happy with how it looks. At all. I had no ambition or creative juices this week - they were all sucked up by other stuff. I think it turned out waaaaaay too girlie for Todd...what do you think??
I think I need a break from cake-makin'!
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
I have been doing cakes, of course. Last week I finally finished my big catering job. It started out with me providing 7 courses of desserts for an art and jewelry exhibit. Oh, I was so nervous I wasn't sleeping! Then we went down to 5 because we were doing it at a restaurant and the owner of the restaurant needed to do a couple, too, just to keep her products visible. Then somebody goofed on the menu so I went down to 4, which was very manageable. It turned out really great; I was pretty proud of myself for getting everything done and delivered and tasted and enjoyed. So, that had been taking up a lot of my time and attention. So glad it's over!
Later that week I filled one order for 120 cupcakes and did another cake the following day. This week I only have two normal-size orders to fill, so far.
We have officially passed the year mark (Feb. 18)...I supposed I should have blogged then, too. Ah, well, we were too busy celebrating that year of living in China...not really. I must say, that in the past year I've become more used to living waaaaaay over here, not driving or listening to the radio, not seeing my especially loved ones, and not watching U.S. t.v. (which is actually quite refreshing). I have become more fluent in Chinese to the point where I think I could survive outside of my little expat bubble. I have become much more used to and appreciative of Chinese culture, and I sure have learned a lot about Asian culture and the rest of the world. I have met many good friends from all over the place, and some super-good-soulmate-type friends from the U.S. I have dived more deeply into my faith since I have to really claim it here and sift and winnow it a bit, and also I have had to rely on it much more than I have in the past. I have come to really appreciate so many things we take for granted. I have come to appreciate and rely on my family even more than before (didn't think that was even possible). And I've certainly grown, opened up, and learned a thing or two about priorities and needs in life.
I've been playing trains and babies with Ella, who is a joy and a riot and is learning so quickly; and the Wii with my boys, who are also a joy and a riot and sometimes really crabby and sassy and sometimes so loving it makes my heart hurt. We have been playing "Boogie" which is a dance Wii game. It has a bunch of good old songs (like Jackson Five "ABC" and the so-tired "YMCA") which my boys have discovered...again and again and again...and again.
I've been reading like a woman obsessed...or at least really in need of a good learning experience/escape. I've just finished "Eat.Love.Pray" which I enjoyed and which opened me up even more for further exploration. Now I want to start meditating. I'm sure that will happen since I am so reliable with other things in my life, like my blog. And I've read "The Last Chinese Chef" which is a good read and teaches you a bit (just a bit) about Chinese culture and food and guanxi.
I've been reading my friends Meredith's and Michelle's blogs daily, usually thinking "Boy, that woman is clever. I sure wish I had a blog. A clever one, at least" and laughing and crying with them virtually, and appreciating their honesty, openness and updates.
I hope things are well with you...thanks for keeping up with us! Peace.