Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Melanie's Halloween Party






Melanie had a really fun Halloween party on Halloween night. We ate chili, decorated cupcakes, and watched "Monster House". Then we all went trick-or-treating. About half way through the trick-or-treating, both my kids wanted to go home. Strange. Haley wanted to "go take a nap" and Britton said he already had "too much candy". I thought it was hilarious. Where did these kids come from? So, we went home early. They still got TONS of candy and they were both really tired and ready for bed.

Halloween!





Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Belated Jetlag

Can you get jetlag after being somewhere for 2 1/2 months?

The last 3 or 4 days I have been waking up between 3:30 and 4:00 am. And I can't get back to sleep at all. Usually I stay in bed until at least 5, but this morning I got up about 4:45. I just couldn't lay there any longer. What's wrong with me? I get a lot done in the mornings, but then by about 8:30 pm, I'm ready for bed. I've been falling asleep before my kids the last few days. I have to somehow break this cycle.

I didn't really have jetlag when we first arrived. At least not bad at all. So, maybe it's just catching up to me. :)

Thoughts of Home

I'm having a hard time being here right now. I've been getting ready for Halloween and thinking about things to do with my classes and with my kids. It makes me wish I was home. I have never really gotten that much into holidays, but there are still always certain things that we do. We take our kids to the Vineyard pumpkin patch and corn maze. We go to Gardener Village to see all the witches on display. And then there's all the other ward activities and neighborhood things. And I just love the fall weather. I love seeing the leaves change color and breathing the crisp air. I miss that. Plus, with Halloween coming, it also reminds me of the other upcoming holidays--Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is such a fun time of the year. And it's kind of making me sad that I'm in a country that doesn't celebrate any of these holidays. Of course, I can still do things with friends and family and I will. But, it's still not the same. It's not even the actual day itself that is fun, but the whole holiday season. There is just a feeling in the air from the end of October thru the end of December. There are so many parties and activities, so many reasons to get together with family and friends, so many opportunities to celebrate and rejoice. It's making me homesick just thinking about it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hong Kong Temple Trip









On Saturday, we went with our branch on a temple trip to Hong Kong. Our Aiee watched the kids all day. We arrived in Hong Kong about an hour before we needed to be in the temple, so we went to eat lunch at the Festival Mall. It is a HUGE mall with tons of really good stores. We ate at the Food Court so everyone could get whatever they wanted. The food court overlooked an ice skating rink that's inside the mall. So, as we ate, we got to watch all the kids ice skating. Some of the them were really good.


It was so wonderful being at the temple! As soon as we walked through the temple gates off of the street, there was a completely different feeling. It was so peaceful and calm. I felt like I was home. There were a lot of people that were able to come from our branch, so that made it really nice.


After the temple, Jason and I went back to the mall and ate dinner at Dan Ryan's. It's nice to be able to get some American food every once in a while--one of the benefits of going to Hong Kong. They also had the World Series on, so Jason was happy to be able to watch part of that.


It was so nice to be able to spend the whole day with Jason, even if most of it (7 hours) was spent on a bus.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Latest Find


I went shopping on Saturday for some new shoes and to look at toys and things. I picked up a map puzzle because I really want to teach my kids some geography and help them learn the countries. I found this puzzle and bought it for the map, but I'm thrilled with the cute animals that go along with it. It shows some of the different animals that live in different parts of the world. I love it. And the kids have fun finding where each animal goes.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cauliflower

Yesterday we had cauliflower for lunch, and Haley came in and said, "Look, we have white broccoli!" Too cute. You can tell she's never had cauliflower before and that's my fault. I don't really like cauliflower. But, yesterday it tasted really good. My Aiee really is a good cook and she cooks things (especially vegetables) just right. She adds good seasonings and spices and then stirfrys it just the right amount. I find myself just loving all the different vegetables she cooks. And I've never really been a vegetable person before. Yesterday we also had a chicken dish that had chicken stir-fried with cucumber. I didn't know anyone ever cooked cucumber, I've just always eaten it raw. But, it's good.

Our New Beanbag Chairs

Britton and Haley got beanbag chairs. They are really nice and big. Britton's has cars on it and Haley's has Winnie the Pooh. They are perfect for playing Xbox or just relaxing.

Soccer--Week 2

Britton got to play goalie for the first game on Saturday. I was a bit nervous about it because I didn't want him to get mad or sad if he didn't stop the ball. But, he did great! He did a good job stopping it and luckily, the other team wasn't so good and he didn't have see a whole lot of action. He was so happy and had a lot of fun. In the second game, he got right in there and played. He seemed to really enjoy it.






Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Politics

I have to start this out by saying that I have never been very political. I don't know why this is. It's just not something that I have ever put very much time into. But, it seems bad to admit that. It seems like I should care more than I do. It seems like I should have more of an opinion than I do. It seems like I should at least stay current on the issues and know who is running for office and the effects it will have on the country and the world if they win. But, sadly, I don't know these things. (I'm exaggerating a little bit--I do know who is running and some of their views, but I should know so much more.) I consider myself a fairly intelligent person and a fairly good person, so it seems like I should be doing more than I am doing.
Since I have been in China, I have found myself in several different political conversations--about our upcoming elections, about the war, and about our country in general. I work with mostly non-Americans, with the majority of them being Canadians. It has been interesting to hear their views on things and to be in a place where I really am the minority in a lot of ways (religiously, politically, racially, etc.) I think it has really made me think about things differently. And really evaluate what my feelings are. One of the things that has really struck me is how much the r est of the world looks to our country and what is going on and how much our decisions affect the rest of the world. I find that most of the people I have talked to here are far more interested and concerned in the outcome of our election than most Americans I know. And they are far more informed too. It's made me feel like I should definitely learn a lot more about what is going on. And take things more seriously. The choices of a few really do affect the whole world. And, sadly, I think the rest of the world feels the impact of our choices more than we do.
So, I want to open up a political conversation with whoever is up for it. I would love to hear everyone's views, opinions, etc. I would love to learn from you and have things to think about whether I agree with them or not. I would love to here things in general about our country and the direction it's going or also specifics about the presidential candidates. Anything goes. So, please comment.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Our Sunday Walk

We went on an afternoon walk to the "big" park. I had never been there before but my kids had. There are so many fun things to see and do. We had a good time.



















The View from a Ride at Ocean Park






Saturday, October 13, 2007