Wednesday, August 31, 2011

raingutter regatta

We had pack meeting last night and tried something new.  The boys raced boats!  It was fun. Brian found this design online and helped Mason make it.  Mason really did most of the work.  During painting, the boat stuck to some newspaper.  I asked Mason if we wanted to repaint it?  He asked me if it would make the boat faster?  I told him no.  So he left it alone. :)

Mason came in first place!!!  He was so excited.  The whole family was.  Way to go Mason!!  I guess we'll have to keep the design of this boat for another time. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

train ride to Beijing

People were everywhere.  Many sitting around or sleeping on the streets.

Were waiting for Vincent to find out where to go to catch our train. 
We were very grateful that he walked us to the train.  It was like a cattle call.

Kind of narrow hallways.
And cabins.  Not sure we'll fit.

We did!  Wahoo!!  The cabins sleep four people.  Since we used our Marriott points in Hong Kong for both rooms, Brenda and Dave bought the other two beds for us so we wouldn't have to share.  It was a nice surprise. :)
Enjoying some farmland has we head out of Xian. 

muslim street

More street shopping.  Yippee!!!

We went to the market for drinks and snacks for our train ride to Beijing.
Since we weren't going to be able to keep our water cold Brenda decided to at least cool down another way.

Shaanxi Provincial Museum

We learned that when a lion has a ball under his paw a man lives in the house and a cub under the paw means a woman.  A ball/pearl in the mouth of a lion/dragon means power.

These are some of the faces of the Terracotta Warriors.  I wonder if they were self portraits. 
I guess I shouldn't complain too loudly about the current accommodations.  At least it's an improvement. :)
When I was looking at my Dad's coin collection when I visited him last, he had coins similar to these.
Such a relief to come across one of these during the day. ;)

Xian Day 2 ~ Ancient City Wall

This is the Ancient City Wall of Xian.  It started being built in 1370, during the Ming Dynasty.


We rode on the city wall on double bikes.  It was so much easier when I was young.  These bikes had wimpy tires that were flat which didn't help.

This is the moat around the wall. Kinda cool!

This is the city inside the city wall.  They don't build any tall buildings inside the city wall.  A big difference than the rest of the city.

These two boys kept riding past us like it was a piece of cake!  Of course Jon, in front, is 19 and rides his bike over 20 miles daily.  And Jake is 21 and is as fit as a missionary. ;)
This is yet another buffet.  I really don't like buffets, btw.  I had to laugh, they try and make American food.  By this time we were all wanting anything American.  They had some hamburger patties.  I didn't try them, they didn't look right.  They also had some fries.  They were pretty good.


I love shopping.  Almost everything about it.  I love new clothes.  (Who doesn't?)  I love coupons or a % off deal.  I love going through the clearance racks using a $10 off coupon and buying a great shirt for $2.  :)

When McKinzie was 4 we had fun shopping together.  She LOVED to shop.  She would look at each article of clothing as she would slide it down the rack.  When she found something she liked she would then hold it up to herself and take another look.  Very cute!

Then she became a teenager.  Shopping became a chore for both of us.  I don't think she liked the size she wore so she basically refused to get into it.  There were tears and meltdowns (for me) then we would give up.  Prom dress shopping was even worse, because I had this crazy idea about modesty.  I refused to buy anything too short.  I always made sure she left the house wearing something to cover her bare shoulders.  I'm not naive.  I'm confident that the jacket didn't stay on.  :/  But she left the house looking beautiful and modest. 

I was not looking forward to going shopping for a wedding dress.  In fact...I didn't really want to go.  Sad, I know.  Kinz told me she wasn't looking forward to it either.   Prom dress shopping gave us both nightmares.

Saturday we headed out the door with a little hesitation.  First we went and checked out tux rentals, I think I was trying to postpone the inevitable.  Finally we arrived at David's Bridal.  The whole experience was smooth.  First they reserved a dressing room and wrote her name on the mirror.  Gave us a catalog and asked her to dog ear the pages she liked.  She went into a dressing room while I sat comfortable in a cushioned chair. She came out.  WOW!!!  She looked beautiful! I got a little choked up.  She's all grown up.    She's no longer playing dress up. 

She tried on 4 dresses and each one looked great.  We didn't buy any of theirs.  She has her eye on a dress online.  The whole purpose was to find out her dress size.  But the entire experience was amazing.  I asked her why this was different.  Her first response was because she had accepted that the dress will be modest.  That definitely took away most of the fight.  She loved not having to go pick off the rack.  She had a "personal shopper" bring her dress after dress.  She liked not having a mirror in the dressing room as she changed.  She would put on a gown, walk out and I would almost gasp and have a huge smile because she truly looked amazing.  Then she would look in the mirror.  WE had a great time.  The dress she wants will arrive in a few weeks at a store in Mansfield.  I hope she loves it.  Cross your fingers. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

in the paper

At school today, Bailee found out that she was in the paper.  Kinda cool!!

"At the new Hollenstein Career and Technology Center in the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw district, juniors starting in the cosmetology program set up mannequin heads and practiced braiding hair. Others sat on the salon floor, unpacking supplies such as nail polish and pink pedicure flip-flops.

"It looks like a real salon. This will help me get used to the real salon environment," said Boswell High senior Tiera White, 17, who is in her second year in the program.

The two-year program has a classroom and a working salon, with stations for hairstyling, facials, manicures and pedicures. It is among several career-oriented programs the center offers."

Read more:

Big news!!!

Tuesday Geoff proposed to Kinzie, at the house with all of us around.  It was sweet...and a little crazy.  But definitely a moment to remember.  ALL of us are very excited.  They are planning for November 4th at the Las Vegas Temple.  Crazy kids!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

first day

All of these kids were very excited for the day.  Most of them were a little nervous.

This is Bailee's school for her first three hours.  She was very nervous when I dropped her off.  But when I got her text around 11 she was having a great day!  Then she found out she had lunch with some of her best friends.  Woot! Woot! (as Bailee would say) 

It's amazing to me that Carson's graduating year is 2024.  It seems forever away.  At the same time I'm sure it will fly by.  My baby is getting so big!  As I walked out to my car I started to get a little choked up.  When I arrived at my car Adam was screaming at Karlee to drive.   The feeling quickly passed.  :)
Mason was also a little nervous.  Mostly because his teacher is new to our school.  When he got home he said his day was great!  Everything was great!
As I was leaving this cute class came walking by.  I had to take a snapshot.  Too cute!!!
Karlee's day started a little hairy.  While I walked the boys into their school she stayed in the car with Adam.  He about pulled her braid out.  She was a trooper though and didn't try and change it.  Then during the day she found out that another 8th grader had on the same shirt....NOT COOL!!!  Then she realized that she forgot to take a pencil.  :(  With all her minor struggles she came home in a great mood and enjoyed her first day as an 8th grader.  Dang!! My kids are getting old.