Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy Father's Day!!

The boys in their tailor made PJ pants. I got a great deal on this Pillsbury Doughboy fabric!! No one in China has ever heard of him, but I miss all his yummy treats!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


June was full of end of school activities. Nick's class put on a show about the Roman Baths - very funny!! And then had a Roman Day parade with all the Year 3 classes.

Nick's Teacher Miss Parker

Ian participated in Sports Day, took a field trip to the Wild Animal Park, and had an end of the year party complete with a water fight!!

Miss Virginia and Miss Megan
I was the class Mom for Ian's class and had my very talented tailor make aprons with the kids hands and names all over them.

The kids love to play "Pass the Parcel" - British game that has you wrap 16 small gifts each in a different layer of wrapping paper. So you start with a large ball - the kids pass it around while the music is playing - when the music stops the person holding the big wrapping paper ball unwraps one layer to get a prize. Sounds like fun - unless you are the one (me) who has to wrap this huge ball!!

Wild Animal Park


What a Great School Year!!
Dulwich College Shanghai 2009-2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

1st Communion

Nicholas spent this year going to catechism classes on Monday's after school and the day finally arrived to take his 1st Communion. I have to say there were many days of practice - Ian handing Nick his Flinstone's Vitamin while saying "The Body of Christ"! I had a little custom fabric market suit made for his big day. Overall the day was very special and we were very proud of him!

This is a girl from Nick's class- the girls just look too cute!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rumble in the Jungle

School is SLOWLY coming to an end and with that comes all of the year end activities. So today was Ian's school show called "Rumble in the Jungle." All of the Nursery, Toddler and Receptions classes came together for the cutest school I have ever seen. The costume details are amazing for children age 2-5! One advantage of being in China - cheap fabrics and cheap tailors. I plan on coming home with a closet full of fun costumes!! Oh wait - our house has NO closets!! So plastic bins full!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sports Day 2010

So last year for Sports Day it was all about being silly and having fun. Three legged race, noodle between the legs, egg on a spoon, etc. This year at the Junior School the competition begins! Nicholas participated in the long jump, high jump, javelin throw, 200 meter race and many more. He walked away at the end of the day with 6 - 2nd and 3rd places ribbons!! He claims he is the 7th fastest runner in Year 3 (not sure how they figure this out, but OK)! WAY TO GO NICK!!! Unfortunately the WING house placed 4th out of 4, but fun was had by all.

Nicholas and his good buddy Dylan!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

First Haircut

So a few weekends ago we finally decided it was haircut time. I probably waited too long, but cutting the hair is like admitting he is not a baby anymore!! Goodbye Baby Kyle - Hello Big Boy! Yikes!

All 3 boys got haircuts that day! Here are the studs!

I like to call them my surfer guy, little man, and skateboard dude.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Where has the time gone?

Well - I am extremely disappointed in myself and this was my fear about starting a blog. Once I get behind - it gets overwhelming and the thought of catching up is so exhausting that I simply give up. But lately I have been wanting to get back into it. It is hard to not be frustrated some days with the different lifestyle and the language barrier (did anyone watch the last episode of The Amazing Race?? Telling taxi drivers where to go can almost lead you to a violent act!!!). Blogging was like my outlet for the frustration and so now I am missing my therapy. So I have decided to quickly paraphrase the last 6 months and then move on. I hope to someday come back and put in photos and more details, but for now--here goes.

My sister, her husband and my cousin Daniel (who lives in Taiwan) came for a Thanksgiving celebration. I actually cooked a frozen(thawed before baking of course) Butterball Turkey (that I had to store in a friends freezer because mine was not big enough) that cost me over $100 dollars!! Now at home I usually buy enough groceries at the Shoprite to receive 3 turkeys free!!! So to pay over $100 for a turkey seemed crazy, but necessary. Overall our Sunday (the kids had school on Thursday and Friday- no British Thanksgiving) Thanksgiving was pretty good - including the cheese grits - which had to be supplied from the US (thanks Kim!). Also during this visit Mark completed the Shanghai Half- Marathon - his first ever!! And he ran so fast we almost missed him!! We were trying to find a good spot to settle in and watch for him when Ian yelled "There goes Dad!!" So no pictures of the runner in action. We were all very proud of this amazing achievement!! (1 hour 46 minutes - top 20 of Americans).

In early December we took a long weekend trip to Hong Kong for a little Western style living. We did Hong Kong Disney one day and explored the city the other day. We enjoyed some American food at BLT steak and had a great laugh at the wax museum! This picture won Ian 1st prize in the "Read a book in a strange place" contest.

We did manage to get a real Christmas tree!!! Our friends had left us an artificial tree and I just could not do it. In the past 12 years of marriage we have never had a fake tree and I was determined to get a real one. SO - I think these were flown in from Holand, it only live one week, and cost us a fortune, but it made my Christmas!!! No tying to the top of your car here - bicycle carrier transport!

Also in December our wonderful driver Mr. Xu told us he had medical problems and could not work for us any more. We are not sure what his medical troubles were or if he had any (the Chinese are known to tell "stories" instead of the truth when it comes to things like this), but we were very sad to see him go. He had been with us for the past 11 months and we had all grown to love him. He would play soccer with the boys, he lived through all my last minute adventures -i.e.- Wal-mart, and he and Mark developed quite a friendship on the rides to and from work. We outfitted his entire family (he, his wife and daughter) in Yankees shirts last summer and always enjoyed our Chinese lessons with him. There were tears shed (only by me) and he will be greatly missed!

Our next round of visitors arrived on Christmas Eve - Grandma and Pop. And they looked like Santa Claus when they arrived! Suit cases stuffed to the brim and a few special carry-ons. It was really great to have family with us for Christmas- made us feel not so far away from home. We had a nice time showing them around Shanghai and they took a long trip around China exploring Harbin, Beijing, and a Yangtze River tour. Then back to us for a few more days of shopping, eating and photography. They were already planning their next trip before they left!

On January 29th we moved from House 158 in Vizcaya to House 2 - still in Vizcaya. Our old house was OK. Our visitors would say it was good, but our new house is GREAT! We were fed up with the difficult landlord and the mold growing up the walls in many rooms. So our lease was up and House 2 here we are. The new street is just nicer - I can't help but sing the Jefferson's theme song every time I come home - "Well were moving on up....". Anyway - life is better in House 2!!

In February we took advantage of the Chinese New Year holiday and headed South to the Phillipines. We had a great time in Cebu - snorkeling, boating, finding shells and coral, and just relaxing. WOW is the sun hot there!!

Our next visitors arrived just in time to celebrate Ian's 5th birthday. Uncle Tom and Aunt Vicky came to Shanghai after a work conference in Beijing for Uncle Tom. It was great to visit with them and show them our city - I should say it was great for me and the kids to visit with them since Mark was away on business. He did return just in time to share a dumpling lunch and Ian's birthday dinner with them. It was great to have them and I think they enjoyed our new 3 wheeled mini- van.

"Hold on Uncle Tom!!" Thanks for coming to visit us!!!

Our most recent visitors were Nana and Papa Jo. They came only because we live here - my Dad has said many times "Visiting China is not on my bucket list!" But I think in the end they enjoyed their visit and went home with a few fun souviners. Nana even said she might come back alone sometime. We all made the trip to Xi'an together to see the famous warriors and they headed to Beijing to see the magnificent wall. Overall - it was a great visit for all!!

So now it is May and we are on countdown to coming home for summer vacation!! School is out in 36 days and we are hoping to be on American soil for the 4th of July!! YIPEEE!