Sunday, February 20, 2011

Random Things from This Week

Here is a quick list of a few (17 to be exact) random things I've done this week ---be careful, this is pretty exciting stuff!

1. Went to fabric market / flea market with Stan and spent $15 on fabric followed by a lunch that cost $7 and was more food than we could eat.

2.  Grieved for a former teacher/friend who lost her husband of 24+ years this week in a horrible, tragic accident that left her a single mom with 3 teenage/young adult children.

3.  Ran 6.4 miles in 1 hour and 8 minutes and it was 30 degrees.

4.  Continued a 4 month long fight with AT&T wireless.

5.  Really enjoyed some incredible croissants from a German bakery in Shanghai that delivers to Suzhou (totally negated #3)

6.  Cried and laughed both, uncontrollably at times. (no reason......just because I'm a girl)

7.  Sang praises to an absolutely amazing GOD with a very off key Korean woman behind me doing the same thing.  (the man in front of me could be blogging a similar stmt about me right now)

8.  Made 15 sippy cups of warm chocolate milk

9.  Watched a sinful number of The Office episodes after obtaining a new VPN for our computer and doing the happy dance with Stan for at least 45 minutes. (this was seriously life changing for us...woohoo)

10.  Paid almost $5 for a can of Rotel because I craved a good mexican casserole after explaining it to a friend from Pennsylvania (*gasp*- she had never heard of Rotel)

11.  Had a very interesting conversation with my 5 yo daughter about death after reading the story of Abraham and Isaac.....yeah-didn't see that one coming.

12. Attended a recipe exchange / luncheon with women from all over the world...very cool.

13.  Made princess cupcakes that took 4 hours and a ton of supplies but made one special little Asian girl really smile.

14.  Missed my sister .......a lot.  (direct relation to #6)

15.  Changed my mind at least 37 times about whether to cut my hair short or let it grow.

16.  Downloaded 4 new books from the Kindle "free" list......I love my kindle and so love the freebies!

17.  Made heart shaped toast and spread nutella (chocolate wonderfulness) on it---called it breakfast ---and sent my little one to school.

Chat with ya later.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Yet another birthday post

So.....Xan wanted a birthday party with her China friends but since her birthday was at the beginning of a 2 week school holiday we had to wait until her friends returned to actually host her party.  She invited 5 little girls and 4 were able to make it....we had princess games, princess dresses, princess cupcakes and all things princessy......(can you guess the theme?) are the pics.

The Royal Table

The Princess and her Prince waiting for the party to begin.

Princess Tori entering the Ball

Princess Xan making her announced entrance.  

The princesses (less a few shy ones) were dancing and twirling away as one of the moms cheered from the balcony.  

Princess Elizabeth did enjoy her twirly ribbon wand.  

Many, many kisses were planted on the Frog amidst giggles galore.  

We passed the poison apple.  

Princess Alessia and Princess Elizabeth were often caught laughing.

Princess Tori thought it quite funny to mix the games and act like a frog while passing the poison apple.

Princess Xan really wanted to eat the apple but alas her request was denied.  

Cupcake Goal:  Princess Xan selected these for her party.  Her mother was quite nervous about completing such a daunting task.
But......they turned out pretty darn cute (if I do say so myself).
Princess Kallie's castle is right next door to Princess Xan's and they can each often be found at the
other's if not at their own.  

Princess Alessia was quite beautiful in her Aurora dress.....the envy of one Princess in particular.  
What a sweet group of little was a blessing to have them in our home and celebrate these beautiful princesses.  
Chat with you later.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, celebrations officially began last night with incredible fireworks and an international televised "gala" displaying the best of China's talent.  We enjoyed both from the warm, cozy home we have here in Suzhou on the 11th floor of a high rise apartment building with 3 sides of windows.....perfect for watching a bazillion fireworks.  Unfortunately, I did not get my camera out to take any photos of all the wonderful displays but rest assured that we thoroughly enjoyed them. 
 The Chinese have a very old custom (ok....they are all really old and they have a lot of customs but.....) that loud noises and the color red will scare off any bad spirits that may be hanging around so that is how they begin the new year-lots and lots of fireworks and red decorations everywhere.  There were fireworks and firecrackers going off pretty much all day yesterday but they really got going full blast at about 11 and went strong until about 1am.  Midnight was the pinnacle for sure.  Today there have been sporadic bursts of loud noises as well but not near yesterday's levels.  
The Chinese also place red banners or signs on their doors to express what they hope for in the new year.  These are placed not only on private homes but also onto entrances into businesses, apartment complexes, and even cities and villages.  We tried our hand at this last year while we were still in Aiken but this year we have a better understanding and friends to help us with our calligraphy.   We made our signs earlier this week and placed them on our door.  They will remain until the end of the Spring Festival celebrations in 2 weeks which culminates with the Lantern Festival.  (another blog post for sure).
Here's a little peak into our home.
The bottom 3 are some traditional Chinese wishes and the top 2 are just a few we wanted to include.  

This was pretty sweet-Xan's wish card was a picture of Caed, her cousin in Texas.  Maybe, just maybe, he will come to China this year for a visit.