Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Great Wall

Today we went to The Great Wall. I don't even know how to describe it. It was so amazing. It was pretty foggy today (or smoggy, depending on who you want to believe), so the pictures are pretty terrible. However, I just want you all to know that if you can see it, I climbed it! Yea! Go me! Anyway, the people that I am with are amazing. They have been so friendly. We started to talk about teaching next week, and I am getting excited for that as well. I have been truly blessed by this experience already.
P.S. Everything is apparently fine at home, although Daddy is getting a little tired!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Day One

Okay, so I know that it's Friday, but we didn't get in until really late last night and today was the first day we had to do things. We went to this really cool place called The Summer Garden where the Emperor used to hang out and have various performances put on for him and select others. There's not much to say about it, but I'll put up some pics. They don't really do it justice, but do pictures ever?

This was the emperor's garden before we climbed all the stairs.

This is the entry gate to the garden

This was the view from the top of the emperor's garden.

This was the view the other way.

This was a boat carved out of marble. It doesn't go anywhere, but it was impressive nonetheless.

It was fun to meet and start to get to know the others in my group. Some of them speak Chinese, so we can all help each other. I'm doing okay with food. You all know that I'm a little picky, but I am trying to be adventurous. Fortunately there is a little grocery store behind the hotel with lots of American chips and crackers. I guess that's it for now. I'm still feeling a little jet-lagged and it's 8:30 pm here. Hopefully I'll get on a few more times and let you know what it going on.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Off to China

Okay, so I'm off to Beijing, China for 3 weeks. Not too sure exactly what I'll be doing, but I'm looking forward to it. I'm going to try to update the blog, but I'm not sure I'll be able to find a computer. Ask me for pictures when I get back though. For now, bye! Would have loved to say that in Mandarin, but I don't know how! Guess I have a lot to learn!

What Kind of Car is That?

This is the question that I get from Jacob every time we are in the car. Most days, multiple times. He is so fascinated with cars that he has now learned many of the cars he sees on the roads. He knows the symbols for just about all the car companies and has learned many of the models of cars as well. These are some of the cars he knows:

Honda Odyssey
Toyota Sienna
Buick Enclave
Cadillac Escalade
Hyundai Santa Fe
Lexus (the numbers are too hard still)
Chevy Malibu
Chevy Corvette
Ford Escape (Can't tell the difference between the regular and the hybrid :))
Honda Pilot

He's now working on the cars. I'm sure he'll know those soon too. He's even taught Kyle a thing or two!

Sun Bat

We have a bat in our car. He only seems to come out in the morning when we are driving east. The kids just think he is the coolest thing. Zachary especially giggles and kicks his feet he is so delighted with this thing. Jacob and Kyle love it when the bat "moves" and maybe even lands on them for a time. I almost laugh when I hear all the commmotion over this bat in the back seat.

What is this creature you ask? Well, it's our sun bat. If I leave a CD case on the console between the two front seats, the sun will shine on it in the morning and reflect onto the ceiling in the back of the car. If I pick up the case a shimmy it around then the bat will move. It's actually pretty cool. Zachary asks all day, "When will the sun bat come out?" They can't wait for Daddy to see the sun bat.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Thlngs I Shouldn't Do

Oh, there are so many things that I shouldn't do, but I made a big boo boo today. I was out all by myself this afternoon and decided to pick up some Taco Bell for lunch to eat on the way home. I'm a sucker for their hard shell tacos.

I'm driving along all happy and munching on my tacos when SPLAT! Down goes a big hunk of meat and sour cream right on the seat. This wouldn't be such a big deal except that I was in my hubby's car who had just had his car cleaned out, vaccuumed, the whole works. Hopefully I did a good enough job cleaning up, but you all know that I was just asking for it--eating tacos in the car!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Melting Heart

Okay, so Kyle has been giving me a lot of attitude lately. I have been trying to keep a handle on it, but I feel we are constantly locked in battle. He is forever pushing his brothers, "flicking" them (you all know what I'm talking about), outright hitting them (today he even proudly stated that he "punched Jacob"), and just generally bullying them.
So, today, my heart melted. I forever carry around these huge cups of water--almost a quart of water will fit in one. I always have them when we are playing outside and the kids love to come over and ask for drinks from the cup. Today, Kyle asked for a drink and then Zachary asked for one right as I was handing the cup to Kyle. Zachary says, "Don't drink it all Kyle!" I reassure him (for like the 100th time) that it's just water and we can get some more, plus the cup was pretty much full.
Anyway, Kyle stops drinking, turns to Zachary and helps him get a drink from the cup. Then he looks at me with a huge grin on his face and says, "Mom, I helped Zachary get a drink!"
It was hard for me to remember why I am always locking horns with him at that moment. It so warmed me to see him act brotherly towards his brother. Now, how do I harness this and use it for good?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Ever decide to punish a child and have it backfire on you? The other day we were all in the car. Lately our car seems to have many bags of dry cereal in it. We tend to eat breakfast in the car every once in awhile, but lately it has seemed like more than that.

So Kyle found a bag and started eating it. We had just eaten lunch and I hate when they ask for food right after I have provided them with a, ahem, nutritious meal (I think we had gone to McDonald's that day). So I told him to put the bag away. Well, he proceeded to throw it toward the front of the car.

We were almost home, so I held off on the punishment until we got there. I then put Zachary down for a nap and handed Kyle bowl. I told him that I wanted every cheerio picked up and that for every one that I found in the van when he was finished, I was going to add one extra minute of quiet time. My van needed some cleaning out of the cheerios that we had spilled over the last few weeks anyway. I then put Jacob in his room for his quiet time.

After about 20 minutes, I went back out to check on Kyle's progress. Well, there were just a few cheerios that I found and I was even willing to let those go and just start his quiet time. I decided to check in the trunk, behind their seats in the van.

As I opened the trunk, I found that he had taken the rest of the bag of cheerios and dumped it all over the back of the van. I put him straight to work picking all of them up.

Anyway, about another 20 minutes passed and I went back out to check on him. I found that he had thrown a bunch of the cheerios on the driveway and grass and then was standing in the van grinding the rest of the cheerios into the carpet.

At that point in time, I just sent him to quiet time. Jacob was already coming down. Kyle didn't come down until dinner time. And I spent about 10 minutes vaccuuming out the van.

So, I guess this punishment backfired on me. I was the one who ended up doing the cleaning and Kyle doesn't seem fazed by the whole experience. I guess we'll try again!