Thursday, December 27, 2012

Two Weeks In December II

Mele Kalikimaka from the sunny and warm Hawaiian island of Kauai! If you were excited to see some sun and surf pictures they are coming up soon...For now, let's check in with what we were doing in Beijing right before we came to paradise.


We live on a famous street in Beijing called Ya Bao Lu. It is famous because it is where Russians come to shop for fur and other things. Here is Ya Bao Lu in the snow.

Din Tai Fung is a well-known restaurant that is now worldwide. They have the yummiest dumplings I've ever had. Each and every employee wore a Santa hat. Remind us to tell you about the great story about hubby and a rich Chinese guy.

These dumplings are filled with not only meat and veggies, but a hot yummy broth.
Eating them from a soup spoon is best.

Each and every dumpling maker goes to Taiwan to be trained in the special method of wrapping these delicious works of art.

Chinglish runs ramped in China. Here is just another example.

A luxurious window display made out of cakes.

The Legendale Hotel in Beijing is my favorite hotel. It is french and ornate looking. Here is the Christmas tree and lobby. No, Chinese do not celebrate Christmas.

With the kiddos out of school a whole week before our trip I thought it was sure time for them to see the Temple of Heaven.
 It is a complete coincidence that every time I've been there it has been a blue sky day.

I never tire of seeing this up close.

We went on a double date to the Golden Five Star Market to get pictures framed. Can you believe for custom framing, including matts, it runs about $12? We found this stall that has wonderful striped bed covers. I picked up a set for $22.

A must do in Beijing is a Chinese Acrobat show. We went with some friends to the Chaoyang Theater and paid $15 per ticket. It is a great show and lots of fun.

The gang all ready to see some acrobats!

About 17 girls on one bike was just one of the amazing acts that we saw. Some of our favorites were the guys running on the "hamster wheels" and the motorcycle cage. These people do amazing tricks!

Jupiter sure knew something was going on. We found him in our luggage wanting to stow away.
I can't begin to say how blessed I feel to be sitting on my balcony, looking at the ocean while I type, and waving down to my brother and mom who just walked by below my room. Beijing feels very, very far away right now.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Two Weeks in December

Ahhhhh, to be stateside and enjoying all the comforts of the land of the free (mainly unobstructed FAST internet)! Here is the first of a few "catch up" posts.

December has been a long few weeks so far.
Emma missed crucial school days just before exams with a horrible strand of the flu.
Jupiter was along her side every step of the way.

Dayton's first ever Baritone concert!
His favorite song to play was "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang".

Dayton has been inspired to live a "missionary schedule" and created this schedule.
Every day he had school he stuck to it. Good job buddy!

Emma went to an overnight scripture reading party. They made gingerbread houses to help keep them motivated to keep reading throughout the night.

Nope, this isn't Costco! But it is Carrefour and samples being handed out of ramen.

The Bird's Nest at night...a very cold night!

We got tickets to a snowboarding event.

Despite Shaun White not performing (even though his name was on the event) we still had a great time! Dayton's buddy, Freddy, met us there. It was 8 degrees inside the bird's nest...brrrrr.

Death By Chocolate Cake for scripture study.

Emma wanted to lighten and brighten her locks for you know how hard it is to find blonde in China? didn't turn out quite the way we had hoped! Disaster!

The "new"color. She handled it so well!

The "newer" color which made it absolutely perfect. From now on, her golden locks will only be enhanced by professionals.
Stay tuned for snow, 
sand and 
flying over tree tops!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Merry Christmas

Boy do I have a load of pictures to share with you! But you guessed it, no Chinese access to blogger again! I am on my iPad and cannot post pictures. Do not fret. In just a few short days we will be out of China and I will catch y'all up with the excitement we've had the last few weeks.

I want to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas! 
Wishing you safe, healthy and happy holidays and  in the new year to come. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My Dream Life~ I'm Living It

Ever since I was little I  pretended my life was a movie. Do with it what you may, but sometimes a thought will still cross my mind like, "if I were a movie character right now, what emotion would they see?" or "what type of soundtrack music would be playing right now if this were a movie?" or "who would play me in this movie?"  

I know it sounds pretty 
I chalk it up to all my wasted time, after school, watching HBO...
I was a latch key kid.

I also think that somewhere inside of me I have a story to tell. I love to write and I am just waiting for my story to come out. That is one of the reasons why I love this blog so much!

Today I had a movie moment
E has been home sick with the flu. What better way to nurse a sickness than to watch movies all day long? We had just finished watching New Years Eve. I am a total and complete sucker for NYC movies. Serendipity, Miracle of 34th Street, Something Borrowed, How To Lose A Guy in Ten Days, Breakfast at Tiffany's...the list goes on and on. If there is a scene with Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge or Time Square I am absolutely giddy. I yearn to be the lead, living life in the big city, riding the subway and ordering take out from the corner restaurant. 

After the movie was over I bundled up in my full length down jacket (for all of you visual people like me) to take the dog out. It was then that I realized I am already living in my own movie dream. I do live in a big city, though it is not New York. In some ways it is even better than New York. For example, my fear of being mugged or murdered is considerably lower.  I have a small area of the city where the corner store owner knows me and waves when I pass. I do take the subway with ease,  just like the leading lady in a movie. I can hail a taxi just like the best of them. I even strut along the busy streets with my headphones in, looking like I have someplace important to go. Although, instead of a high power exec job, it is usually a lunch date or school event I am going to. Nevertheless, my life could totally be a movie...maybe a very low budget, not-very-exciting movie...but my movie.

I have another confession though (different than the one where I am a grown woman playing make believe in movies) is not just big city flicks I have a place in my heart for. I also really love the ones in small, quaint towns where everyone knows each other (and their business) and there is always a charming town carnival or 4th of July celebration with white twinkling lights. Some of my favorites that fall into this category are Sleeping With The Enemy (freaky movie but love the town), Doc Hollywood, Kindergarten Cop, A Walk To Remember (actually any Nicholas Sparks inspired movie). This movie dream life is me living in a cottage with a front porch, in one of these quaint towns (probably in the South), with a neighbor that comes to my kitchen door to chat while I am making really yummy baked goods. 

Since we don't quite know where we will end up after this "movie wraps", it makes me wonder if my next movie dream will come true. Only time will tell...
What movie would you like to be the lead in, of your real life?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Weeks in Pictures

Charlie Brown Christmas tree in Beijing!

Thanksgiving 2012- Dad was on a business trip. The three of us went to Grandma's Kitchen for "traditional" and expensive dinner. Even more fun was our church friends gathered the Saturday after. I am sad I didn't get a pic, and the food was so much better!

A long line of Chinese senior citizens playing games in the early afternoon.

Sometimes hubby has calls late into the night with colleagues in America. On this day, he decided to take the afternoon off and we had a weekday date to the Temple of Heaven. Great perk of living near his work and in a historical city.

A tree that is hundreds and hundreds of years old.
What Jupiter looks like when I groom him.
What Jupiter looks like when the vet grooms him.

Last year I did not even attempt to make my Christmas peanut butter balls. This year with a few substitutions and a few different stores I was able to make them. It is truly Christmas now!

One of the places I've been wanting to go is the Panjiayuan Market (the dirt market). It is the flea market of Beijing. A friend and I went on Friday and I've never, ever been so cold! Weekends are a better time to go, as there are more vendors, but we found it to be great!

Furniture stalls at Panjiayuan.

A sweet little granddaughter of one of the stall owners.

Some of my treasures from Panjiayuan.

With the weather there has been a lot of static in the air. Jupiter 's hair often sports the static look.
The temperature in Beijing.
The temperature of where we will be for Christmas.

Galaxy Soho- a step into the future.

A new piece to bring home!
I missed out on pictures at a few great events this past week. We had a Relief Society activity where we made Christmas garlands. I made homemade almond biscotti (they were gone so quick I couldn't take a picture). We had Sunday dinner with a few friends.