Monday, November 30, 2009

november harvest

Thursday, November 4, Olivia invited me on her class fieldtrip. We took the school bus to two local farms. One for picking apples and digging sweet potatoes, and the second for picking carrots and cabbage.

Olivia and her teacher, Ms. Chapman

Olivia and her sweet potatoes

Everyone was excited about tasting the apple slices.

Snack on the bus

Lunch at the carrot farm

Thursday, November 26, 2009

november snowing

Sunday, November 1 we woke up to snow. Rob and I decided not to drive the family in to church. We made a fire in the fireplace and the children prepared talks about the scriptures. Then we went out to play.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

princesses pirates and politicians

It seems that although we start to anticipate Halloween as quickly as we turn the calendar to October, we can't avoid the last-minute, frantic rushing, panicky feeling on the evening of. It always comes down to diapering the Pirates and dabbing eye-shadow on little Princesses and to wear -coats -or -not, while watching the sun go down and the neighborhood get lively, and worrying that we might miss out on the whole thing.

But, we managed again, even before dark this time, and walked up to the festivities together, a colorful brood of characters. (Better than last year when the toilet overflowed and flooded the basement, just as we were leaving to trick-or-treat.)
The Embassy was hosting a potluck and the Marines put on a haunted house on the usually forbidden third floor of the River garden clubhouse. It was child friendly before six, so we took Grant through. He seemed to think we were a bit strange for subjecting him to it. Of course, Sam and the others enjoyed the late-night scarrier version.

Little Elmo

Our friends, the Carrillos

It was trick-or-treating as usual, even here in Beijing. River Garden draws ex-pats and locals from all over the area who are looking to enjoy a traditional Halloween. And we did!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

before the haunting

Saturday, October 31 was a busy day for us, even before the pumpkins were lit. We started out early, on the bright and cold morning. Bethany and Olivia went to their first soccer tournament. (Mary didn't feel like going.) Both girls played hard and it was fun to watch them play together. Sam came along and enjoyed being the family photographer.

The tournament ended around ten thirty. We drove home, where Rob had been tidying up the much in need of tidying house. We all dove in to party preparation. Mary's birthday party at the Ice Zone at River Garden was starting at twelve thirty. We rolled little hot dogs into dough and chopped veggies and fruit, and gathered chips and drinks and cupcakes and kids and left rather frantically, hoping to get to the rink before the guests. Mary had a great time with her brothers and sisters and friends. Here are a couple of pictures from the party.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

olivia and caitlin

Thursday, October 29, I went to see Olivia's class
perform at ISB. She did a great job on the xylophone.

Two pictures from Caitlin's preschool...
a couple of weeks ago they painted with fish. Caitlin is showing her prints and standing next to the fish and squid that she used to make them. Miss Bri learned the technique when she taught in Hawaii.

This is the best picture I could get of Caitlin's class on the Friday before Halloween. They were eating their homemade pizzas, in costume, of course.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

international day

Wednesday, October 28, Caitlin, Grant, William and I left the house early to catch the International Day parade at ISB. Before classes began, the school kids lined up on the playground then paraded the halls, many in the traditional costumes from their countries. It was fun for the little kids to wave at their brothers and sisters and the kids they know from church.

I took the little kids home, then Xiao Chen came and I went back to ISB. I got to take two groups around the International Day exhibits. First I took Bethany and her friend. When they were done, I met the three girls in the cafeteria for lunch, then I took Mary and her friend to see the exhibits.

This coconut pudding was delicious!

The Canadians are competitive types. They had a hockey challenge for older kids and trivia questions too. Ben won a scarf because he could name a state that bordered Canada. Of course he said Maine.

This Nativity set is from the Philippines. They had the children write their Christmas wishes on paper stars and place them on a Christmas tree. Then the children received a Philippine coin. They passed out a kind of corn bread to eat.

They gave the children (and adults) jeweled stickers to wear on their foreheads at the Indian exhibit. Bethany was so excited.

Olivia is by her good friend from Japan.

This Finnish exhibit was one of my favorites. They had delicious chocolate samples and passed out little pieces of paper with Santa's e-mail address.

Bethany said International Day was the best day ever.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

fine with five

Mary is quite happy about her birthday breakfast!

Tuesday morning, Grant, Caitlin, William, and I took cupcakes in to Mary's class. Her classmates sang to her in English and Chinese.

We played with Mary during her break time. After her class went back inside, Grant and Caitlin wanted to swing on the bigger kids playground. There is so much to do outside at ISB.

William enjoyed the sand and the kids' size chess pieces. The trees were almost looking like fall. We don't expect much color here. Maybe it's too dry or too polluted. I don't understand why. But this year I see a little more color.

Mary was unhappy with me when she got home from school because she had understood that her iceskating party was that day. Sam was trying to help me out so he said,"Mary, we're not iceskating today but we do have some pumpkin seeds to eat."

Sam and I laughed at that, because, of course, Mary was not impressed. I was grateful that Sam was trying to rescue me. Later in the evening, when we were heading out to dinner, Sam was trying to put Grant in his carseat and he said, "Mom, How do you do this everyday?" I told him I hoped he would forgive me for the torture tactics I had to use to get him in his carseat when he was two.
We met the Sevy family at the Hungry Horse for dinner. Then we went home for present opening and cake. Happy Birthday Mary!

roasting seeds

When we lived in Guangzhou we really missed Halloween pumpkins. We only found them too round, too pink, and too small. I found these at Jenny Lou's the first week in October. We enjoyed them all month. The clubhouse gave us three more to carve and return to add to their decorations on Halloween. Carving pumpkins was our Monday night activity.