Wednesday, October 21, 2009

all about october

I love October in Beijing. The weather's been so pleasant and it's been big on holidays with Chinese national days and the mid-autumn moon cake festival that fell in October this year. I was grateful that Rob was also home for Columbus day too.
We don't like to travel during Chinese festivals. It's too crowded. I was happy to spend most of our week off at home organizing the garage. The kids were happy to play with friends at River Garden. We planned short outings for two days.
On Monday October 5th, we took all the kids to the plant market not far from us. They have a variety of houseplants and cut flowers and little creatures like fish, turtles, frogs, worms, even some scorpions. We bought Ben's turtle a new companion, since our replacement turtle passed away.
I've been trying to begin my morning pages with a scripture each day. It is always interesting to how the verse fits into my day. Monday I copied down Doctrine and Covenants 59:18
"Yea all things which come of the earth in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart."

I wish we had brought Rob's camera. I love seeing the children peer into the tanks at all the varieties of fish. The girls helped me pick out an assortment of flowers to make a mid-autumn bouquet for our kitchen. Here's a picture. William is peeking out behind it.

So the next day I read from Mosiah chapter 2 and recorded verse 32 in my morning pages.
"But, O my people, beware lest there shall arise contentions among you...."
It was a verse well suited for a day of travel into Beijing with a van full of children.
We were headed for the Beijing Zoo. We've been there before. The kids can't remember. It was back in 2004 when we accompanied Rob to Beijing on a TDY. I took the kids by myself. Our favorite part that day was the tropical bird collection. It's nice if you're expecting more floral than fauna, more people than animal watching, and, if you don't mind being "the watched." I knew that would be a challenge on a Chinese holiday.
As it turned out we didn't make it to past the parking. The gates were overflowing with people and the traffic surrounding the zoo was so dense, it was clear that parking would be very limited. Some profiteer motioned for us to come park with him, "just 100 kuai, same price for everyone."
To "avoid contention" we just changed our plans and headed for the Blue Zoo.
I wrote about the Blue Zoo last April. Here are few pictures from this visit.

The kids love riding the moving passageway through the aquarium tunnel. Kyle is feeding the fish through the hole in the glass. They nibble on the kids' hands.
We stopped to buy candied hawthorn on our way to van.

Everyone was ready for Kro's Nest pizza, just like last time. Only this time, since the weather was so beautiful, we sat outside. That's the best pizza in Beijing.
I was grateful to have Rob's company on Columbus Day. The big kids were all in school, of course. Rob helped me with Grant and William so I could dig my way through the mess in the girls' room. I've almost finished (two weeks later) just the puzzles left to sort through. I should take an "after" picture, since the "after" is sure to be brief.

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