Friday, January 28, 2011

Warm, warmer ... HOT

Today we're heading to the Philippines for our Chinese New Year school break!  Woo-hoo!  Going from 33 degrees to 85 degrees is going to be very nice!  Jason found an awesome place called Apo Island for us to spend our vacation.  There is limited electricity and running water which probably doesn't sound like a vacation to a lot of people, but it's right up our alley. 
Image from here

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Welcome Olivia Daisy

My wonderful friend Natalie gave birth to this lovely lady on Tuesday morning.  We were thrilled to meet her on Wednesday afternoon. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Living here means we don't get too many visitors, so we were really excited to have Jason's aunt & uncle from Japan come visit us for the past few days before heading on to Xi'an to see the amazing Terracotta Warriors.

Yesterday, we wandered with them through Old Shanghai -- we had a surprise snow day that made everything seem prettier.  (And, I was able to revive an old cameras for the day-yahoo) 

Can you count the legs under this rain poncho?

Old town always has some of the most interesting things to see ... Doug & Sharon even brought their grandson's 'Flat Stanley' out for a photo.

Not sure what was on the road first, the car or the vegetable market? 

Don't you always hang sausage out to dry with your laundry?

After old town, we made a quick trip to Qibao water village which was really beautiful in the snow (but very cold!).

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My life without a camera

Of course, I keep seeing fun things that I wish I could photograph to share and find myself reaching for the small pocket in my purse where my camera used to be, only to find emptiness.  Jason's aunt & uncle from Japan come to visit tomorrow, perhaps I can resurrect one of our retired camera's for their visit? Let's hope so!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A White After-Christmas

Jason's Christmas wish was that we'd get to be in the snow for a bit while we were home ... He got it!  Within 2 - 3 days of being back in Spokane, a storm came through coating everything in beautiful white splendor.  We spent an afternoon driving around enjoying it all (and sliding through red lights).

When Jason's parents mentioned we'd be going to a friend's house to snowmobile (AT NIGHT) ... I panicked a bit.  I had never been snowmobiling before and as usual, the thought of an unknown activity terrified me.  Jason's nieces on the other hand, had no problem hopping into a small sled that was going to be dragged behind the snowmobile!

Jason with his Mom before we headed off to my first snowshoeing experience ... Isn't there home setting lovely??!!?

Of course, I broke the snowshoe on the way back - typical Carrie.

Saying goodbye to Jason's sister and nieces.
Jason's Mom captured this great photo of the whole family, celebrating a belated Christmas together.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Not a great start

I realized today that the New Year isn't really off to a very nice start. 

Jason and I had stopped for a quick lunch and when we came back to the bicycle rack, my bike had been stolen :(  It's not a huge surprise necessarily since we live in a city of over 15 million people ... but it was disheartening nonetheless. 

This was in addition to a growing list of unplanned expenses in the past two weeks.  It started with needing to buy a second set of air tickets from Spokane to LAX ($400), then I left our wireless card on the plane back to Shanghai ($50), when I went to use my camera on Friday (which I've had for one year and two weeks and hadn't dropped recently) it wouldn't work ($200) and today my bicycle disappears while locked ($100).  Boo!

These things leave me wondering what exactly is next for us??  Obviously, I realize that in the grand scheme this is not a lot of money, but it feels like an awful lot at the moment.  I do not forget Job 1:21 "the Lord gives and the Lord takes away."  None of what I have is really mine, it's all His and so I will try not to shed too many tears :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Our first movie theater in 3 years ...

The last movie Jason & I saw in a theater was back when we lived in NYC -- it seems a few things have changed since then.  Most noticeably, the mandatory Buddy Holly glasses!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Cowboy's Christmas Eve

My parents attend a small country church located about 20 minutes from their home which they loving refer to as "Cowboy Church."  Come Sunday morning it's difficult to find a man in the building not wearing cowboy boots.  We are always thrilled to be able to join them when we are home as the people in this place are some of the most genuine I have come across. 
This year we got to join the local community for Santa's arrival on their main street Christmas Eve morning ... what a treat!

Six kinds of cobbler were being cooked in dutch ovens with coals piled above and below. 

My nephew Seth was pretty excited to see the cobbler!

Coffee was cooked "coyboy style" over the coals.
Breakfast burritos and sausage cooked on the grill were available to those wanting for something more hearty.
A parting shot.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Tail of a Whirlwind

We're back in Shanghai and slowly recovering from our trip home.  We had an absolutely wonderful trip, but it seems that no matter how long our time at home is, it always feels like a complete whirlwind.  We had our share of travel snafus this time around ... from Jason nearly getting left in Shanghai (we didn't take his expired passport to the airport which has his Chinese visa in it!) ... to having to purchase a new set of domestic tickets and leave Spokane a day earlier than planned to catch our Shanghai bound flight back ... and everything in between (yes, we even got to experience the 'naked' scanners first hand, well Jason did anyhow).  We were so so happy to be able to be home with family again this year and even if the time went by too quickly, we're just glad to be part of the fun.  I have a few pictures to post, but they will have to wait for another day. In the meantime, here's one out my parents backdoor (the only day that the skies cleared while were were there) and one of an adorable fence in Spokane.  Happy New Year!