Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Some Recent Photos...

On Monday, I came home from running, and Mike was here! I was a bit shocked! That morning at about 6:30am (Mike gets to work about 7:30) there was a gas explosion directly across from his office building. They say nobody got hurt, but I'm not sure about those details. The hole goes at least a couple of stories deep. They sent everyone home, for safety reasons. When I came home, he was watching the second half of the Super-Bowl live. I wondered if he and his buddies at work didn't have something to do with it! Just kidding! When I saw the pictures, I was in shock! It was a much bigger thing than I imagined!

I sent Rachel and Nicole to the local grocery store to get a couple of things for me, and look what they came home with! I guess they were about to cut off the poor ugly bull-frog's head, and they couldn't stand for that! They wanted to keep him in their tub, but I told them to set him free. They did in a small pond here in Dong Jiao Guesthouse. I'm sure that the workers that saw them put him there, have already taken him home for dinner, but don't tell Rachel and Nicole!

We went Bowling at the little bowling ally in our complex for family night. We aren't good, but we had fun! Way to go Cailtin and Jay!

These are the hostess and waiters and our special meal put on by Caitlin, Jay, and Eli complete with mood music, menus, and after-dinner entertainment

Big Thumbs up! We recommend Papa Russon's Grub Rub on all of your grilling meats! If you can get past the picture of Papa eating the duck brains on the front of the jar, it's pretty great stuff!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

We've arrived!

We are now in our new temporary house! OK, almost all of the way unpacked. The apartments aren't bad, and the girls think they are awesome to get their own rooms in the apartment downstairs. Don't worry, there is no TV or Internet down there, and the security is really good. It's great to be able to store many of our boxes in the living-room, and still have plenty of space. I don't want to have to do EVERYTHING again in April. I have to say, that in all of the frustration of having to move, we have been blessed. I love being up here on Purple Mountain! It is so beautiful, and peaceful, and the area is great for the kids. Although we didn't want to move, it has turned out for the best, I believe. Besides, how cool is it to live on a World Heritage sight!

So, I thought I'd share just a couple of things...

On moving day, we had to swerve around a car parked in the middle of the road. There were two men. One was down in a scuzzy pond filling up buckets to wash the car with, and the other one was directing him on how to do it.

The moving company that helped load the boxes in a truck and move them here, were these very small men. The company was called "Ants Moving Company". They were amazing! They would stick these huge boxes on their backs, bend over half, and walk down the stairs. One man would strap two huge 1 meter boxes (and they were heavy) together, and carry both on his back!

My friend Ginnelle is going back to Australia to have her baby. She asked her Ayi (housekeeper) if she could please stay for 4 hours two times a week while she is gone, to help out her husband. The ayi said, " How about if I come for 3 hours, and do 4 hours worth of work!" ????? (Can I ask how you can do 4 hours of work in 3 hours????)

Here are some repair stories...In China, the plumbing system is very much in the developing stage. Let's just say, it's easy for the pipes to plug. My friend Diane's sink kept plugging. She asked them to come and fix it, and they told her that the problem was that she needed to stop putting food down her food disposal. ?? My other friend, Julie has water dripping from her ceiling. There are also paint bubbles, and when you push on them, water comes out. Plumbers have come over and over just to tell her it is condensation. ?? Our friend Steve has a washing machine. It kept braking. He called the repair man who came to fix it, but the next day it didn't work again. He called the guy back, and he was very annoyed. He told Steve that it was fixed, and if he would stop using it, it wouldn't break any more! ??

Rachel and Nicole were both on school trips this Friday. Nicole just got back from the Model United Nations conference in Beijing. She had a great time. I think she learned a lot. She was on the Security Council representing Denmark. She met some great people. Rachel went to a Basketball tournament, and played really well. She has really enjoyed playing sports this year. I think she is going to take a break now to start training for the cycling trip in Tibet. She and Nicole will be training every weekend from now on.