Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Life is Good

I need to apologize for not posting anything for the past few weeks. The excitement of living in China is wearing off and it's just becoming a way of life for us here. Even though it seems like just a normal day or week for us, I forget that there are people that are interested in what we are doing. Sorry for leaving you out in the dark.

Gavin has been busy with basketball for the past few months. He was the coach for the Secondary (High School) boys basketball team. They went to Beijing a few weeks ago to compete in a tournament. Gavin was gone for four days and came home a little discouraged. The team had been undefeated for the season prior to the tournament but a few of their players were hurt and couldn't play. This was really discouraging for the team but they played hard and had a lot of fun. Gavin came home with a hoarse voice though from yelling at the refs. The refs were probably people who had never really played the game so they really didn't understand the rules. Imagine how frustrating this would be to someone who has played his entire life and knows the game inside and out. The team had worked hard and did their best and he was proud of their effort.

Last weekend we all went to Hong Kong but in two different directions. Gavin and Jonny left Friday night for a scout camp out in Hong Kong. Gavin is the scout leader in our branch and has done a great job with the boys. They have been on three different camp outs and each one was a success. It's neat that they can still do Boy Scouts of America here in China. Jonny has been working hard on completing his second class requirements before he goes to scout camp this summer in Utah. We are hoping and pushing for him to complete his Eagle before he is 14 and gets distracted with other things, like girls and sports.

I decided that since the boys were playing, I would take the girls to see Disney Princess on Ice in Hong Kong. Rachel, Nicole, Vika, and I went with another teacher and her daughter on Saturday. It was really fun. Disney can't do anything wrong in my eyes and the performance was right up to Disney standards. It was fun to watch Vika and she got to see all her favorite princesses there. She is still talking about it and wants to go see her "princesses" again. Her birthday is coming up in a few weeks so we are thinking of taking her to Disneyland in Hong Kong.











I had to find pictures of the show on the internet. We were told not to take a camera into the Arena so I followed directions and left it at home. Of course, there were people all around me taking pictures though and the security were walking around trying to stop them all.
School has been great. We are busy but seem to always find time to spend together as a family. Rachel is starting soccer and Jonny will be starting basketball in a few weeks. Nicole is playing basketball and is busy with all her after school activities such as drama, Tai Kwan Do, and Chinese. She is quite the social butterfly. Vika is growing and is as cute as ever. She has become very talkative lately and loves to dance. Hmmmm wonder where she gets that from.
Time is going quickly. We can't believe that we will be back in Utah in about 3 1/2 months.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Tortillas!!!!!!!!!

We have been craving Mexican food so bad and the tortillas that are imported here are expensive and not real good. I remembered my Mom making tortillas from scratch when we were kids and thought I would give it a try.

I found a recipe on line and just went for it. They turned out ok but not like the ones that I remember as a kid or the ones that my Mom would get from Sierra Vista in Arizona. My favorite tortillas are the ones from Cafe Rio. If anyone has that recipe, I would love to have it. My family was pretty happy though to have warm soft tortillas.

I served them with a version of Spanish Rice that I just through together. Rice is easy to come by here and the other ingredients aren't too expensive. It was a pretty good meal.

I found a different recipe and made them again tonight. This time they were pretty close to the best ever. They really aren't that hard but do take some time. I'm adding a tortilla press to my list of things to bring back next summer. I've decided that I may never go back to buying tortillas from the store if I can just make it a little easier.

They were YUMMY!!!!!!!
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The Black Eye


Gavin and I came home from a date out and was greeted by Nicole at the door with this eye. Rachel had been babysitting and said that Nicole got hit in the eye with a football. The entryway was dark so we couldn't see it clearly. We believed it at first but realized that they were trying to pull a fast on on us.

Rachel had done good job on the makeup job. Little did the realize that it wouldn't have been that dark until the next day. Good joke though.
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Shopping in Dongmen


Gavin and I went shopping at this place called Dongmen. It has some amazing deals if you can put up with all the people. It takes us about an hour and a half to get there. We first have to take a bus for 40 minutes to the Metro station then get on the Metro for about another 45 minutes. It's worth it because of the deals but it's not a place we go to very often.

video

The above video is of our shopping experience in Dongmen.

The video below is on the Metro or subway.

video

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Not a lot to say but here is something.....

We had the whole week of last week for Chinese New Year and did basically nothing. It was nice to just relax. I decided that they give us the whole week off so that we can sleep during the day since we were kept up all night with the fireworks. It was pretty crazy. They would light them off every night and all night long. They were just random people wanting to have fun. I woke up to fireworks every night and several of the times it was 3:00 in the morning. I'm such a dang light sleeper that any noise wakes me up, so I had several sleepless nights.

It was good we had the week off because we had some sick kids at home. Vika and Nicole both came down with some nasty flu or something. They had fevers for several days and were just wiped out. Now they each have colds. I've had one for over a month and it's getting pretty old.

We did get to Hong Kong one day. Gavin and I went to check out a campsite for his scouts. They will be going in a few weeks so we went to make sure he knew how to get there. It's not as easy and jumping in a car and driving up the canyon to a campsite. We started off by taking a taxi ride for about 40 minutes to the Futian border. There we had to cross the border and a bridge into Hong Kong. Once on the Hong Kong side we jumped on a metro for about 10 minutes then transferred to a bus that then drove us for another 20 minutes. I was surprised to see wilderness in Hong Kong. The campsite was pretty good and is free. I don't think I would want to camp though, too many bugs, but it was a nice little trip.

We decided to take a different route home so we could stop in Dong Men, a shopping district. It was on a train again to a different border, cross the border, jump on the metro and we finally reached Dong Men about an hour later. We decided this is the place to go shopping. It has everything imaginable and CHEAP. There were tons of people there. I'll post the video as soon as I can. Our computer at home has a virus and we can't fix it so until then we have to use the schools computers and I don't want to download my pictures here.

We are back in school this week. It is a long haul until our next break in May. Hope we survive.