Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Vietnam Bound!


Chinese New Year is fast approaching us and we are getting ready to embark on our first trip to Vietnam. We have been dying to get to Vietnam since we moved here especially because it is the birthplace of our dear friend Thuong Ngyuen. We fly into Hanoi and spend two days there before driving to the UNESCO site Halong Bay. We will spend one night on the bay in a junk boat and one night on Cat Ba Island before driving back to Hanoi for a night. We will fly to Da Nang and spend three nights in Hoi An and two nights in Hue. I think the thing I am most excited about is eating the scrummy food of Vietnam especially since it will be authentic. Another great thing about Vietnam is that almost every place we are staying has free wireless access, so I will be able to share photos of our time there.

Xin Nian Kuai Le!

Happy New Year! The year of the Rat!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Liu Bing's New Baby


Our driver, Liu Bing and his wife Liu Ye had a baby girl last week. We had the pleasure of meeting her this past week. She is really adorable and has a full head of black hair. Here are some pictures from our visit.


Liu Ye with her new little bundle of joy! Isn't she so bright looking!


The kids were actually quite indifferent to the baby. Gemma has been begging for a little sister, so I assumed she would be all over the baby.


I thought I could get Jonny interested in doing this again, but even though his expression says 'Yes!', I got a big fat 'No'.


Auntie Xiao Yang taking baby talk. It is funny that the Chinese have their own baby talk language too! Xiao Yang was talking away to Xiao Liu and it was so sweet!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Xiling Xue Shan

Last Saturday we made a trek up to Xiling Xue Shan to check out the snow and the skiing in China. Xiling Xue Shan is about a two hour drive from Chengdu. We went up with the Zaleski family who had just moved to Chengdu this past fall. Here are some pictures of our trip.


In the parking lot before going up the mountain. Notice the kid’s new skiing apparel? They are from this great sporting store called Decathlon. There stuff is great quality and dirt cheap! I think I was able to outfit the two of them including boots, gloves, hats, snow suites for under $100 US dollars.


Here are the kids getting ready to go!


We had to ride a cable car up to the top of the mountain. Kate took some amazing pictures of the snow and ice. Here are some pictures going up in the cable car.


Angus really loved his snow suit.


Here we are going up.



We arrived at the top and had to get on a bus to get to the lodge. We checked out the prices for skiing and decided to get lunch before we made any decisions.


Jonny and Angus eating lunch! Yummy, mian tiao!!!


The girls decided to make some snow angels before we decided what to do for the day. I think they could have done this all day and been quite content.


My favorite picture!


Dashing through the snow, in a one horse piece of wood with two wooden benches nailed to it!


A little sledding!




After being out in the snow for about 3 hours we went into one of the lodges. Luckily it was the heated one! The kids played a little mah jong while Mommies and Daddies had a couple drinks to warm us up!


We decided to head back to town after our rest. We had a nice day and hope to go back after Chinese New Year to try skiing and maybe stay the night.


We went back down the mountain and in the parking lot the parking lot guards decided to make a guardman! We also enjoyed a snowball fight in the parking lot! I guess a trip to Nebraska in the winter is in order!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Angus and Fei Er


Angus has had a little girlfriend who has been our neighbor for the last year. They absolutely love each other! Xiao Yang has already promised Angus' hand in marriage when they are of legal age! She came over last week to have a little play date with Angus. Here are the two of them posing for some pictures.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Gemma!!!

Our baby girl turn 6 almost two weeks ago! I can't even believe that is possible for her to be that old! Of course we had to have a party! She asked if she could have a slumber party and we said 'Why not?'. So we invited every girl in her class which was a total of 11 girls and we had 6 spend the night.


Her friend Zoe came over right after school and they had a pre-party playdate and included Angus in on the fun!

Here are some photos of the crazy night!


Zoe close-up!


Systke close-up!


Julie close-up!


The girls and Angus after opening presents. Gemma was such a happy girl!


Our good friends Carin and Barry Jones came over to help with the party. Carin helped me give all the girls manicure and pedicures while Barry was literally the entertainment! He had two new girlfriends before he went home for the evening!


Here was one of the girlfriends!


After trying to get them to settle down for an hour. I tried to read them a book.


Systke really wanted to sleep! The other girls weren't very agreeable!

At 11:30 pm after musical beds and a lot of shhhhing! They finally fell asleep! Fortunately we made it through the night with no one waking up and wanting to go home. Pretty good as 3 of the girls had never slept over night at a friend's house before! Our sleep was short lived as they were up again at 6 am! I am sure there were some grumpy girls on Saturday afternoon!


Here the girls are eating blueberry pancakes, french toast and hot chocolate for breakfast.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

I actually thought I had posted pictures of our New Year's Eve, but here we are on the 18th and I just realized I hadn't posted anything about 2008 yet! We spent our New Year's Eve out for dinner with friends at our favorite Indian restaurant Tandoor. After that we headed to the Shamrock for their presentation of the "Sound of Music" in which Jonny was playing a small supporting role. Here are some of the pictures of the festivities.


Arnaud, Kieran and Mike preparing for the rugby clubs rendition of "My Favorite Things". I bet you can guess what these boys’ favorite things are!


Jussi in his liederhousen getting ready for "Action!".


Ivy, as one of the VonTrapp, I mean Wang family singers.


They had our doctor Sam dress up like a lion. Everyone thought he was the Lion from the "Wizard of Oz", but he was supposed to be the MGM Lion!


David, one of the sisters at the Abby.


The Wang Family Singers! These costumes were fantastic!


This was my favorite performance. Etienne's rendition of "Edelweiss ".


Frankie and Limit! Our favorite Shamrock waiters!


Isabel and Me! Doesn't she look so young!!!


Nabilla, Kelly, Jonny, Me and Arnaud getting ready to ring in the new year!


The rugby teams "Favorite Things". Number one of course: Guinness!!!!


Arnaud, Emily, and Kieran.

Just a note about this picture. Kieran told Emily two things at the beginning of the night: 1. He doesn't dance. 2. He would never take his shirt off in public. Emily has a way with convincing people to do things they say they would never do!!! Happy New Year!!!!