Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Beijing ~ Day 1

We spent the afternoon learning about the Forbidden City.  The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty.  Built in 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings with 8,707 rooms.

This is the Gate of Divine Might, the northern gate. The inscription reads "The Palace Museum"
This is the same spot that the Emperor and his wife stood on their wedding day, so we were told. ;)  It is two trees that have grown together.
Only the Forbidden City has gold roofs.  Also, the Emperor only stayed in the buildings that has 12 animals on the roofs ridge.  He also never slept in the same room two nights in a row, for his safety. 

The lower roof is on the Hall of Supreme Harmony.

The throne in the Palace of Heavenly Purity.

There were three walkways/stairs in many places we went in the Forbidden City.  We never used the middle one.  It is for "The God of Heaven", only.
This 4 star restroom is western style toilets.  NOT 4 star!!  We waited.

The throne in the Hall of Preserving Harmony.

The Hall of Supreme Harmony.
Of course we had to get our picture taken with Chairman Mao.

After the Forbidden City we went to Tiananmen Square.  It is directly across the street, a very busy street, from the Forbidden City.  It is the largest city square in the world, occupying an area of about 109 acres, and able to accommodate 1,000,000 people at one time.

We asked out guide, Lisa, about the protests that were here.  She acted like there was no such thing.  We all knew better.

Monument to the People's Heros.

Great Hall of the People
We then went to a martial arts show at the Red Theatre.  Crazy name I know. ;)

It was a full day with more information that I can remember.  Good thing I took lots and lots of pictures to help jog my memory. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Another morning at the soccer fields.  Everyone was able to be there this time.  Brian had a COR baptism he needed to attend, then he came and watched the last half of Mason's and caught all of Carson's.

 Mason's team tied 1-1.  We were pleased with the score since this is the team that won the Championship game last season. 

Carson's team won 4-0.  This was Carson after our first goal.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


This morning I was able to help in Carson's class.  I helped the students cut up apples for applesauce.  YUM!  I loved how cute their cubbies looked.  His teacher admitted that she's a little OCD ;).  Such great organization.  I think she's going to be my second favorite Kindergarten teacher.  Mrs. McBride at EME, Karlee's, is my fav. She's also been teaching some um-teen years, maybe 20.  :D

Arrive in Beijing

The train ride to Beijing wasn't so bad.  Before bed I went over to Brenda and Dave's "cabin" and we played some cards until Jake beat us all and there was no point in continuing.  For a missionary he's pretty good at cards.  ;) 


I think people live here. 

These apartments were amazing.  We could see five wings and that's only one side.  They were huge!

We were shocked to see these cars driving where we were walking!  Insane!!
I thought these phone booths were soo cute.  We saw them everywhere.

The windows at our hotel were nasty.  A challenge to get a good picture.

After we freshened up at the hotel we headed to lunch.  In Beijing everywhere we went to eat this was the arrangement in the dinning halls.  I asked Lisa, our guide, why?  She said in ancient times Chinese people believed that heaven is round and earth is square.  All the chairs were placed perfectly in a square around round tables.  I love the look!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

soccer season

Saturday was the boys first game.  They did great!  Mason's team won 3-0. He played defensive and whenever the ball came in his area he kicked it back before the other team even made it down the field. 

 Carson's team also did great. But we lost 1-3.  Carson was in the middle of it all and occasionally he kicked the ball towards the goal.  :)

I was the only one that was able to be at the game.  Kinz and Geoff went rock climbing.  Karlee went to the airport with NJHS to greet troops coming home.  Brian attended a baptism.  And Bailee stayed home doing her chores.  I hope next week it can be a family affair. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

first choice

Out of 130 proofs this is their fav.  I agree, it's a keeper. :)

Today was suppose to be a terrible, no fun, unproductive day.  I had blocked out the entire day, after running of course, for dress shopping...for me.  I like to shop, but I also knew it would be a challenge to find something for the wedding.  I've spent many hours, since Sunday, online looking and looking and getting more and more discouraged.  I've looked at JcPenney, Sears, Macy's, Dillards, Nordstrom, Jones New York, and even ramdom sites that I found on Google. I gave in and went to David's Bridal.  I don't want matronly, or traditional.  I want to cordinate with the colors, and still look good.  I was feeling like that was too much to ask. 

Then I was on the last page of David's Bridal.  It was literally the last dress and I thought, "That's really cute."  I asked the two girls what they thought.  Then I asked Brian.  So far it was all good.  Yesterday morning I called the local store and the only stores that have that dress in my size are Houston, El Paso, and Mcallen.  Dang it!!  I decided to call Houston and make sure they really had it.  They did!  Online the price was already 50% off.  When I talked with the sales rep I found out it's another 50% off.  (I love sales!)  The price was so reasonable that I comtemplating ordering it without trying it on.  Non refundable mind you!  Long story short...really this is the short version.  I ordered the dress and it should be here in a week.  Hooray!!!

So, the Temple is reserved. The invitations are ordered, the wedding dress is ordered, the bridesmaids dresses are being made (We had a "fitting" for the girls yesterday.  The dresses are going to be great!  We can't wait.) with matching ties. The silk flowers have been purchased, hopefully we can start making those next week. Still working on where to have the family dinner after the wedding.  Then there's the open house.  That's my next focus. 

When I went to order the invitations it wouldn't take a horizontal picture.  So Kinz and Geoff quickly chose another and our amazing photographer, Three Hills Photography, doctored this up and sent it to me ASAP. 

It's turning out to be a great day!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

We did it!!!

Not many people share my excitement.  But it's a big deal.  We need to be recognized for the hot hot summer we have endured.  When we were one day short of tying for the consecutive days with triple digits I was disappointed.  When we were days away from tying the record for the most triple digits in a year I held my breath.  We were ONE day short of tying when it rained. We needed the rain desperately but it was such a disappointment.  Then I remembered that there have been many years that it's been super hot for the State Fair.  So I just had to sit back and wait.  Today is the lucky day.  70 days of triple digits!  I think tomorrow is supposed to be 102 so we've set a high standard.  Then rain is in the forecast.  I hope it comes.  My yard is crunchy, and brown.  We have three new trees that I water every few days, then I try and water a few beds. 

Now we can say, "Remember the summer of 2011?  It was the hottest, driest in the history of Texas."  Wahoo!!

Now I hope relief comes.


Monday, September 12, 2011


A new record!