Friday, November 23, 2007

Our Thoughtful Ayi

I really wanted to take a minute to talk about Wan, our housekeeper, this week. I have been very touched by her actions after I came home from surgery. She has always had such a jovial countenance, and is a hard worker. This week she has taken such good care of me. She has brought me water, and when my friend brought me lunch, Wan really took the "hostess" role and was very helpful. On Wednesday, she made me many dumplings for lunch. She also brought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Two lilies, which are expensive, and several carnations. I was so touched by this, as I know how much she has to work to get money for the flowers. This morning, she came upstairs and asked if I had eaten breakfast. I told her I hadn't, and she wanted to bring me something. I was going to ask for a banana, but forgot the word. So I said I would just come down and get something. I had told her earlier how Rachel, Nicole, and Caitlin had made so much food yesterday for Thanksgiving. She really wanted to bring me some food, and said," I can bring you something that Rachel made." I didn't want to offend her, so I agreed, having no idea what part of Thanksgiving dinner I would get for breakfast. She came back with the pumpkin pie leftovers and a paper plate and knife. She cut it up in squares (Pie isn't something she would know how to cut)and I asked for a very small piece, of course worrying about getting in trouble with the family for eating the pie! I'm glad there is still an extra pie! Well, I was just glad she didn't bring up stuffing, or mashed potatoes!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

November 20, 2007

A lot of things have gone on this last couple of weeks. First, Rachel's birthday was on November 9th, a Friday. She was very busy that day, playing with friends and there was also a school Halloween Party that night. We all went to that, and then celebrated her birthday for lunch on Saturday. We had a tricky time finding a time the whole family could be there, because Mike had a lot of work things going on that week, and Rachel had important friend celebrations to attend to. Mike left Sunday morning to go to Thailand for business, so the birthday lunch was Saturday. She wanted lasagna and a home-made chocolate cake. She had a fun birthday. And, of course, I can't believe I have a 15 year old daughter!!!!

Also, on November 9th, I went to another cooking class. We learned to make Chinese dumplings. Ok, let me just say....HARD! I felt like butter fingers. Those dumpling makers have talent! After practicing a lot, I sort-of got the idea. The thing is, they make hundreds and they all look the same! Increadible. I don't think I'll really be making those at home in the near or far future. But it was a great experience learning how. I'm gaining a huge appreciation for their talent!

Here are some pictures of the Halloween party costumes,some from Rachel's birthday, and my dumpling cooking class.

Nicole and her friend Simone dressed like Barbies:

Here comes Wizard Caitlin:

Rachel's birthday lunch:

Here, you can see Jay in the corner, after his pretend guitar birthday song.

My first dumpling, and last dumpling. Notice I don't show you the demo-dumpling :-)

Working hard at dumpling-design.

Here is the special wedding meal waiting to be served at the fancy hotel that night...Want some????

Last Wednesday, Michael met me in Hong Kong to go to the Matilda Hospital for hip surgery. I was scheduled for a CT scan Wednesday afternoon, and the surgery on Thursday. I had a wonderful evening with Micheal, and then went to the hospital on Thursday. Great news, they didn't have to do everything they planned on doing. They just repaired a labrim tear, and then cleaned up some swelling and freying. The recovery is much less and I'm thrilled about that. I came back on Sunday afternoon, and I'm trying to do a couple of productive things while I'm not quite ready to get out and tackle the world, so here is the blog. Here are a couple of pictures...

Isn't it a cute hospital? It's right on Victoria peak. Very old, but nice.

How can you not have a speedy recovery with a view from your hospital room like this one?

I have a photo of the bandages, but I didn't want to shock anyone with too much leg. Nice of Mike to take those "after surgery" shots. (it's actually the next morning)

Ok, so Mike insists it isn't too much leg. Just be glad I'm not in a swimsuit :-) and I think you should know that the breakfast is for me AND Mike. I couldn't even eat it cause they beat up my throat so bad.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Rachel's trip to Jing De Zhen

Hey Everyone!
This is Rachel.. My mom told me to come on here and say a few things about my trip I went on last week with all of the kids in my grade.
I went to a little village in the middle of China, called Jing De Zhen. It is a pretty random location, and you would think that it had no historical relevance, due to the lack of people, but actually it is the Pottery/Porcelain capital of the world.
We stayed at a hotel, that warmly welcomed us with a large sign that read "Warmly welcomed international teen friendly sorts". They don't get a lot of foreigners there. We were in the hotel for about 4 nights, and we stayed in rooms of 2 Each room had its own computer and TV! We spent most of our days walking around the city though, looking at various museums and historically significant places.
Mostly all of the people who live there take part of the pottery industry.
I saw a lot of cool things, mostly pottery related, like people making the pottery, the kilns they are cooked in, the carving and painting of the pieces and even a first-hand look at the selling of the pottery =]
I had a great time looking at the different pieces, as art is one of my favorite things, but i did find out the hard way that pottery spinning is not my BEST talent. ;-)
The pottery there was very cheap, i bought three beautiful hand crafted vases for my mom for about $12.00, and i payed about double than the price i should have. so it was fun shopping =]

I had a lot of fun there, and am very glad i went!

Here are some pictures from my trip:

This is the "Millenium Wall". It was created by a bunch of foreign students.

This is a picture of a baby's Split-pants. Yes, they actually wear them (:

This is a sign that was at the buffet of our hotel. I thought it was pretty dang funny.

Thats me opening a locked door. haha.

And this is me, knocking on an ancient chinese door =].

This is a house in a small village I took a picture of. I really liked it.. it shows how alot of people really live.

Happy Halloween!

Last week was a busy week. I guess they all are. The girls all kept busy on their trips. Halloween was Wednesday night. It was fun. I found an ugly old pumpkin (which I thought worked extra well...being a little more scary) to carve. Mike came home and helped the boys carve their pumpkin. It was a rainy day. All of the kids met out in front of our house. With all of the older children gone on trip-week, there were less than 30 kids. The person who planned it decided that they would all go together. So our house was the first one. Then, we all went together to each house. One of the ladies had sent a note around a few days before, telling people there would be children coming to trick-or-treat, so most of the people participated. It was fun. They did get some interesting stuff. I think this was because of the available candy here, and because several Chinese homes participated. Jay and Eli received several "haw" candies. They are like crab-apples dipped in hard tack. MMMM.... Yummy! Jay was a pirate skeleton, and Eli was a skeleton. Nice and easy costumes I picked up when we were in Hong Kong.

Eli's birthday was fun. He took cupcakes to school. He came home with chocolate frosting all over him! The neighborhood usually has cake out in front of the houses on the kid's birthdays. We had a little neighborhood party right after school. Eli was very excited about his gifts. Some of his favorites were a Ratatouille game, a remote control car, and a little pretend fish tank. He was very tired by the end of the day!

On Saturday, all of the Elders' Quorum came over to play football, eat pizza, and watch the Priesthood session of General Conference. I hid out in my room with the kids, but it sounded like they had a great time. There were about 25 of them.

I have been very involved lately with the charity that I work with. We are putting together an Auction to raise money for heart surgeries. I have been extremely busy with it. If all goes well, we should make enough for 3 or 4 children to have heart surgery! That will definitely make all of this work worth it! Here is the hyper-link if anyone wants to see the sweet children who have had surgeries!

I want to try to get the girls to write about their trip weeks on the blog. I'll see. It's hard to get them when they aren't too busy!

Here are a few photos of Halloween, and Eli's birthday.

Oh- One last thing. I was invited to a Melbourne Cup luncheon yesterday. I'm told that nobody in Australia works on this day (it's a big horse race), they have parties and watch the race. We were to all dress up and wear hats, and we all watched the race on the Australian channel. My friends and I wore funny hats. I think they are trying to make me an Aussie! It was a fun afternoon. I'm loving getting to know so many different cultures.

Carving the pumpkin.

Rainy Trick-or-treat.

Jay and Eli and friends (Jay is in the pirate mask)


Eli and his cake (it's better than it looks...that's coconut-pecan frosting)

Yeah! Presents!

Getting ready for the Melbourne Cup Luncheon.

Ginelle, Julie, Deb, and I. Don't we look lovely?

Here are the ladies watching the race...