Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Okay, so one of the worst parts of being here is that I don't get to see my shows from home.  They won't broadcast out of the states.  I got a VPN so I can access Facebook, this site for the blog, and to watch my shows.  It works, but it's very slow.  However, one of my FAVORITE shows, is not on the network site.  I LOVE Criminal Minds, and for some stupid reason, they refuse to play the whole show on their site.  I've looked EVERYWHERE and can't seem to find it.  So if anyone wants to start DVRing it for me and sending me a digital copy through the computer, I'll be your best friend!  

Anyway, that's my rant for the day.  I'm sure I'll have another one tomorrow.

TURTLE . . .

This was on the buffet that Ryan ate at while he was traveling for work.  NO, he did not eat them!


Since I've been posting Jason's blog, I asked Andrew's teacher to send home something that he's written at school so that I can post something from him as well. Keep in mind I am posting this with all of his misspellings and grammar. Good luck!

One day when me and brather were haveing contest to see who could make the best tents. Then are frinds carter and haliy told us to go in the hall to see who won! first Carter said it was a tie. so then we made one more thing they cecht are ohter one then we went went in the hall agen and then we herd fanil results. I HAVE WON! we herd thunder go boom boom then we saw a flash of lightning and then it sarted to rain. faster faster faster then it got wers then then the TV went out and a few minites later ... the INTERNET went out we were all so scard so my mom told Carter do you think yer mom would ever spec to me agen if I let somethig hapen to you and then my brother yaeh the last time there was tornodo when she was 3 wo wy sould there be one now then carter and Haliy left and a little bit letter the sorm stoped but the werdist is that my sister slept thre the hole storm.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I have finally finished The Lightning Thief, and I thought it was a great book.  I'm only going to tell you one thing about the end, and that's this:  It wasn't Percy, Poseidon, or Hades that stole the bolt.  So who did?  And someone turns bad.  Who is it?  You'll have to read it to find out more. 
I really liked this book because I thought it was cool and I liked all of the mythological stuff in the book.  It makes me want to learn more about Mythology.  I'd never heard of it before I read this book, and now I want to learn more.  I liked it so much I've already started reading the next book in the series, The Sea of Monsters.  I'll tell you about that next week. 
My favorite part of this section of the book was when Percy got to Mount Olympus and gave the bolt back to Zeus.  I liked this part because all of the trouble he went through, he finally finished his quest and gave Zeus back his bolt.
A connection I have is that one of the main characters did something bad and I also sometimes want to do bad things.  The question I have is why did this person turn bad?  I don't know the answer yet.  I guess I'll find out in the next book.  Maybe.

FALL . . .

I guess you've noticed by now that I changed the look of the blog. Fall is my favorite time of the year. The leaves change colors.  The weather is cooler but not COLD.  Anyone who knows me knows that I HATE cold weather.  But I love the cool weather.  When you walk outside and the wind is blowing.  And you can drive down the road, (or in our case walk or take a taxi!), and see the leaves changing on the trees.  Red, yellow, orange.  Everything so bright. 

So I decided to change the blog to reflect that.  I found this great site that has backgrounds for everything you can imagine.  I'll get to have a new one for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, you name it, it's there.  Even Groundhog Day!  How sad is it that I'm excited about getting to change the look of the blog?  See, I told you I was a boring person.  If you didn't know it before, you have to know it now!  Sorry if I burst your bubble!

I guess I should be glad I'm not home.  From what I hear you guys are having a major cold front.  I'd hate to see what the winter is going to bring.  Here, the weather is great.  It's finally cooling off so it's not so muggy anymore.  We have a muggy day here and there, but for the most part it's really nice; especially in the mornings and evenings.  The wind is blowing; it's not so stifling hot; you can walk outside without feeling like you need to take a shower, JUST BECAUSE YOU WALKED OUTSIDE!  I hope it stays like this for awhile before it gets cold.  We are in line with Houston on the equator, so our Winter shouldn't be as cold as what we're used to at home.  For that, I'm very grateful!

Monday, September 28, 2009


Yesterday we went to pick up our Resident Visas.  We are now official residents of Pudong.  At least until 7/31/10!  After we picked them up we went to lunch at a German restaurant.  It was pretty good, but it was also very expensive.  Needless to say we won't be going back there!

After that we went to the train station.  Underground is where they have all of the great shopping.  It's amazing the number of stores they have there.  We were only there for about 20 minutes.  We had the kids with us and it was just too much to try to check it all out with them in tow.  We did buy a few things however.  The kids got a new Wii game, which doesn't work.  However, someone told us we can take the Wii somewhere by our apartment and they can fix it so that it will work with our games from home as well as the ones we buy from here.  So I guess we'll figure out how that works later.  I also bought some dress shoes for Sarah Beth.  The ones I brought with us, she's already outgrown!  So I had to get her a new pair.  She can only wear her Crocs and tennis shoes with so many things!  I also bought her a traditional Chinese dress.  It's very pretty.  I'll take a picture of it and post it so you can see it.  

That's all we got though.  It's no fun to go there with Ryan and the kids.  The next time I go I'm going with a friend of mine.  I can't wait to go back.  I'll try to remember to take my camera the next time so you can see all of the stores.  It's unbelievable the number of stores they have there.  And they sell EVERYTHING!  Clothes, shoes, DVD's, CD's, games, cameras, purses.  You name it, they probably sell it!  Did I mention that I can't wait to go back!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

POSTS . . .

I haven't posted in awhile.  I really don't have much to say.  Like I said before, writing this has made me realize just how boring I really am!  I've been reading other people's blogs, and let me tell you, some of them are HYSTERICAL!!!!  The insight behind them is unbelievable.  I wish I could write like that.  I wish I was that interesting and funny and insightful.  But alas, I'm not.  I'm still the same boring person I've always been, it's just that now I'm that same person a half a world a way!  

If you get a chance, check out some of the blogs I've been following.  My favorite is my cousin's, of course, because I'm kind of biased!  She's in New York, and will hopefully soon be a famous actress!  I'm pulling for you Steph.  I know you can do anything you put your mind to.  Finally, her mind is set to where it should be.  She's been side tracked for awhile, but I think she's getting focused again.  I can't wait to see what she's going to be doing next.  The other ones I've been following are funny.  And the comments they get are great too.  One of them gets comments on EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HER POSTS.  That's amazing.  It's because everything she says touches someone in some way.  

Anyway, that's my insight for the day.  Sorry moving half a world a way didn't make me more interesting.  Guess I need to work on that!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


The Lightning Thief is about a boy named Percy Jackson from New York.  He is accused of stealing Zeus’ master lightning bolt.  Now he and his friends Grover and Annabeth must travel to the Underworld.  They need to find the bolt and take it back to New York before Summer Solstice so they can stop the soon to be World War III between the gods of Mount Olympus. 
I think Percy and Annabeth are alike because they are both very smart and they each think of good plans.  They are also good fighters because they each have a good weapon and they have good fighting skills.  But they are also different because Annabeth came to camp when she was seven and Percy came when he was twelve.  And Percy has a bronze sword and Annabeth has a knife. 
I had a few questions while I was reading this.  How did Percy survive when he jumped out of the Saint Louis arch into the Mississippi River and how did the lightning bolt end up in his backpack?  My favorite part was when Percy was fighting the Chimera in the Arch and jumped out into the Mississippi River.  I thought it was cool that Percy was fighting a big lion with a serpent tail that was on fire.  I also thought it was cool that he jumped off the Arch and lived. 
Rick Riordan is an author from Texas.  He wrote adult books before he started writing childrens books.  The idea for the Percy Jackson series came from a bedtime story he was telling his son.  After 3 nights of telling the story, his son told him he should write a book about it.  So he did.  He also wrote the first book in the 39 Clues series of books.   

Monday, September 21, 2009


We got a package from home today from Mom and Dad.  We were all so excited, even Ryan came out to see what was in it!  We got Skittles, and microwave popcorn, and fruit chews, and rice krispy treats, and granola bars.  Oh, and Christmas earrings for Sarah Beth!  And our router from home.  The kids have already dug into everything!  It's funny how when you're away from home, it's the little things that become so important and bring so much joy.  And I do mean joy.  The kids were ecstatic!  They've already eaten a bag of Skittles, and they're talking about what they're going to take to school tomorrow for snack.

I got a letter from home last week, and I was thrilled to get something besides a bill or an ad that I can't even read because it's in Chinese!  The WHOLE THING was in English!  Even just the small connections to home make the days so much brighter.  

I've been able to access Facebook most days, and almost every day I've been talking to my friend from college, Sandy.  You know, we used to text each other all of the time and we'd pick up the phone and call every once in awhile.  But now we talk to each other almost everyday, which we never did when I was at home.  How funny is that?  Thousands of miles apart, and NOW we talk to each other every day.  Man, we have this backwards!

Anyway, thanks for the package Mom and Dad, we all loved it.   And we'll think about you every time we fix a bag of popcorn or eat a granola bar.  We love you!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Today we went to a place called Nanjing Road.  There are literally 1000's of shops there.  Every type of shop you could want.  There's one store that's nothing but children's stuff.  It's 5 floors and each floor is different.  There's clothes, shoes, toys, you name it, it's there.  There is a whole street of book stores.  Another one of music stores.  Clothing stores, shoe stores, restaurants, department stores.  It's unbelievable the number of stores that are there.  Then there are also people that approach you to buy stuff "cheap."  That's where you get all of the knock-off stuff.  But these stores aren't out in the open.  We didn't go to any of these stores because we had all 3 kids with us.  But I definitely want to go there soon.  They sell watches, wallets, purses, cds and dvds, toys, all sorts of stuff.  I can't wait to check it out! 

Again, the number of people that are here is absolutely amazing.  You can't believe the number of people there are, unless you see it for yourself.  Everyone kept stopping and looking at Sarah.  One girl asked me if she could have her picture taken with her, so I let her.  It's so funny.  At home, that would really freak you out.  But here, it's because they don't see Americans, especially American babies, very often, so they're totally fascinated by them.  I had read about that before it happened the first time, so it doesn't really faze me anymore. 

I feel really safe here.  Even when you're in a crowd with thousands of people, you don't feel "un"safe.  You feel a little claustrophobic!  But you don't feel unsafe.  We walk pretty much everywhere we go, and I've never felt nervous about it. 

Friday, September 18, 2009


I always thought DC was the craziest place to drive.  I remember the few times we were visiting, I always felt like DC drivers were wild drivers.  Well let me tell you -- they have NOTHING on Chinese drivers!  At home, the pedestrian has the right of way.  Not here.  They feel like the car is bigger and worth more, so you'd better watch out!  Being in a taxi is an experience also.  Sometimes, you just have to close your eyes.  There's horns honking, people cutting in front of each other, people running red lights.  It's really wild.  I read in one of my information books, that everyone that drives in China will be involved in at least 2 minor car accidents a year, because of the way everyone drives.  Man, at home, if you were in 2 car accidents every year, you wouldn't be able to get insurance!  Ryan said he's used to it by now.  I'm still not.  Maybe by the end of the year, I will be.  But right now it's nothing for me to get in the taxi and just close my eyes.  It's easier that way!

I'm sure you've heard there are A LOT of people in China.  But I don't think you can realize just how many people are here, until you experience it for yourself.  Take the malls for example.  Picture our malls at home, the week before Christmas.  Then take that times 5!  That's what the malls here look like ALL THE TIME!!!!  I've never seen so many people in my life.  And it's always like that!  You can never walk into a restaurant and there not be a lot of people there.  You can't shop at Carrefour, which is like Walmart, without there being people and lines everywhere.  Even at 8 in the morning, Carrefour is packed.  Makes me long for the week before Christmas at home!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Okay, so I told you a few days ago that Jason has to keep a blog for school.  I thought I'd post them here so you can see what's going through his 10 year old mind.  Lucky you!  Just to give you some background.  He has to write a small synopsis of the book that he is currently reading, and then he has to ask a few questions and tie it into his life.  So here you go:

In The Lightning Thief, strange things have been happening to Percy Jackson during his sixth grade year. They all started happening after his Math teacher was vaporized: He fought a Minotaur, he found out his best friend was a Satyr, and his mom disappeared. Now Percy has only 10 days to find Zeus’ master lightning bolt, save himself from being hurt, help the gods figure out who really stole the lightning bolt, and help them fight the all evil powerful Kronos.

I think that Percy is a caring kid because when he and his mom were in danger, he didn’t want to leave her just to save himself. I also think that he is brave because he fought a Minotaur and didn’t back down. And he wasn’t scared when his Math teacher turned into an animal and tried to attack him. I think Grover is a little scared because when his boss wanted to have a talk with him for not protecting Percy, he didn’t feel very comfortable about talking to him. He is also very dedicated to protecting Percy and not letting him out of his sight.

My favorite part of the book was when Percy was riding on the Minotaur’s back and he threw him off and his horn ripped off and Percy stabbed him. I liked this part because I think it’s cool that he can ride on his back and not fall off when he is running into trees. And I like how the horn ripped off when he was flown off, because it shows that he is very strong and that he is mad at him for making his mother disappear.

While I was reading this book, I got confused when the book said that Chiron was a Centaur. I thought he was just a regular Latin Teacher. It makes me wonder if any of my teachers are Centaurs!

When Percy got to Camp Half-Blood and thought everything was very new and amazing, it reminded me of when I first arrived in Shanghai and I had the same thoughts and feelings.

While I was reading, I wondered when Percy was being beaten up in the bathroom, how did all of the water shoot up out of the toilets and hit everyone except him? I now know the answer, but I’m not going to tell you, because you need to read the book to find out!

Rick Riordan is also the author of another book I like called The 39 Clues. He was born in Texas and was a teacher in San Antonio and California for 15 years. He currently lives in San Antonio with his wife and two sons.


The boys have been in school for 3 1/2 weeks now.  And they're both doing really well.  Andrew's teacher said he's doing a lot better.  At first he wasn't paying attention during group talks, but then she assigned rug spaces, and his is right in front of her.  He's doing a lot better now.  She said he participates a lot in large group and he makes really funny comments that add to the class' personality.  THAT part didn't surprise me.  He's always full of funny comments and anecdotes.  But what IS funny to me is that she is seeing a side of him at school, that we haven't seen much of.  Andrew is VERY good at math.  He has loved numbers since he was very little.  (He gets that from his dad).  And he also loves to read.  But writing is something I've always thought was his weakest subject.  Evidently not.  She said his writing is amazing, and she can't wait for me to see what he's written.  How funny is that?  I would have never thought that in a million years.  She said at school he loves to write, and she has to make him stop and turn in his paper when they're finished.  He just wants to keep on writing.  That's so weird to me.  I can't wait to read what he's written.  I'll post it on here when he brings it home.  

Jason is doing well too.  He has A LOT of homework every night.  Most nights it's because he doesn't focus really well so it takes him longer than it should.  But even still, it's more homework than he's ever had before.  His teacher told me he is doing really well and she sees him improving in class every day, so that's good.  He likes his teachers.  He has quite a few, but his homeroom teacher is the one he has the most.  He said he likes her because she's funny, she tells good stories, and she knows how to keep class interesting.  I guess that says a lot coming from a 10 year old!  I didn't think anything could keep his attention except Wii and Playstation!  One of the things he has to do every week is keep a blog for school based on his reading.  I thought I'd post them every week so you can see what he's reading and what he's thinking.  Which may, or may not, be a good thing!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I don't know if the Swine Flu is discussed much at home, but I'm sure it is.  I read the Courier-Journal, so I know there was a death in Oldham County.  But I haven't really seen a whole lot about it, unless I just missed it.  Here, they talk about it ALL the time.  We went to Jason's Back to School night, and his teacher told us that all of the kids will need a computer.  She said WHEN they close school, and it's not IF, but WHEN, they will have virtual school.  There have already been about 15-20 schools closed in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Taiwan.  Scary!

They started a new procedure at school last week.  Every morning we have to take the kids' temperature and put them on a card with our initials.  If they don't have the cards, then they have to have their temperature taken before they can walk in the building.  And when we go to pick them up, we have to either have our cards or have our temperature taken before we can go on campus.  It's kind of a pain, but it definitely makes sense.  The more careful you are, the better.  It's just weird to hear it talked about and worried about all of the time.  A lot of people walk around wearing masks.  That's a weird sight!  But it's something I'm getting used to, and it really doesn't faze me anymore.  I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not!

Anyway, I hope everyone is safe and sound at home.  We're all safe here, although I freaked out yesterday when Sarah was running a fever.  But she's not running one today, so that's good.  She still doesn't feel well, and she's crabby, but no fever.  THANK YOU GOD!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I didn't post this on 9/11.  Things have been pretty hectic around here and I've had connection issues with my computer.  Anyway, I thought a lot about it that day, as I'm sure we all did.  I remember exactly where I was when it happened.  I was taking Jason to preschool and listening to Bob and Tom.  They were talking about it on their show, and I remember thinking that it wasn't a very funny topic.  Then they came on and said it wasn't a joke and if you were at home you needed to turn off the radio and turn on the TV.  I walked into Jason's school and everyone was talking about it.  What a weird day that was.  What a sad day that was.

But I also remember the good things that came out of it.  I remember people being extra friendly to each other.  I remember people not honking when someone pulled out in front of them.  I remember people LETTING people pull out in front of them.  I remember people looking other people in the eye and saying HI.  I remember people holding hands and saying prayers for the non-survivors AND the survivors.  I remember watching the news and praying they would find more survivors.  I remember the bravery of the passengers on that fateful flight and how their courage saved many more people.  I remember the brave Firefighters, Police Officers, and EMT's risking their lives to save others.  I remember thanking God every day for my wonderful family and friends. 

And I remember being PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.  And I still am!

By the way, just because we're away from home, doesn't mean we didn't talk about it.  The kids even talked about it in school that day.  It's a tragedy that will be in our hearts and our minds for many years to come, no matter where we are, or what we're doing.


Today we took the kids to the Wild Animal Park in Shanghai.  We had a really great time.  We saw lots of different animals that we don't get to see at home, and also some that we do get to see at home.

We saw a baby tiger, and the boys got their picture taken with him.  We tried to get Sarah Beth to have her picture taken with him, but she was TERRIFIED!  I guess she only likes the animals if they're far away.  While she was looking at him, she was thrilled, but didn't want to get to close.  She only likes them if they're behind glass or behind a fence.

The kids had their pictures taken while riding some animals.  And an ostrich tried to eat Ryan's hat!  We saw Panda bears, but it was hard to get good pictures because they were behind glass.  We also saw a Liger, which is a cross between a Lion and Tiger.  It has the face of a lion, minus the mane, and the body of a tiger.  According to what we read, there are only about 8-10 in the world, and 2 of them are at the Wild Animal Park!  I didn't even know they existed.  They are man made, of course.  And the males are sterile, but the females can have a baby, although I think it said they can only have one.  So it's possible to have a Lion-Liger or a Tiger-Liger.  It was pretty cool actually, to see something I'd never seen before, or even HEARD of!

All in all, it was good day.  The kids can't wait to go back and take Poppy and Nanny or Grandpa with us. 

Jason and Andrew riding camels.

They both look so happy!

Andrew's having fun!

Jason and the camel.


Jason and Andrew petting a baby tiger.  We tried to get Sarah to sit next to him, but she wanted no part of it.  She just wanted to admire him from afar!
Jason and the elephant.
This was the best picture we could get of the panda bear,
 because he was behind glass.


Ryan being brave (or stupid)!
The ostrich trying to eat Ryan's hat!
Jason riding an elephant.
Andrew and the elephant!
I can't tell if he's smiling or grimacing!
Andrew and the zebra


 Here are some more pictures from the Wild Animal Park.
Daddy and Sarah Beth watching Drew Drew and Jay Jay ride the camels.
Man, she REALLY looks small next to the camel!
The kids looking at an ant eater.  I don't think they've ever seen one before.
These are called Squirrel Monkeys.  They were hysterical!  Sarah laughed and laughed at them.  She kept saying, "That's funny, isn't it?!"

Thursday, September 10, 2009

THE GOOD . . .

Okay, so I know it seems like all I've done is to complain about China.  But there are a lot of good things here as well, so I thought I should share those with you too. 

Being from the States, we're in a group known as "Ex-Pats."  It's the group of "westerners" that have been transplanted to Shanghai.  There are a lot of us.  More than I would have expected.  And we're all scared.  And yet, we're also a little excited.  And curious.  And scared.  (Did I mention, scared)?!  But there's a level of compassion that I've never seen anywhere else.  When you walk out the door and you see someone that looks "like" you, you notice right away.  And you talk to each other; something you probably wouldn't have done in the States.

If you meet someone that's just arrived, as you have, they understand what you're going through, because they're going through the same things. They share what they're learning, because they know you'll need to learn them too. They ask for advice and opinions on the things you've learned.

If you meet someone that's been here for awhile, you notice that they take you under their wing.  They become concerned about you.  They ask how you're doing.  They ask what you need.  They ask what they can do to help you.  They give you advice on what TO do, and what NOT to do.  They call or e-mail just to check on you.  They invite you to dinner, or down for a chat.  They really care.  

Friendships and relationships develop very quickly here.  You don't have anyone else to depend on, so you learn to depend on others.  You don't have anyone else to share your problems and fears with, so you learn to share with them.  You don't have anyone else to open up to, so you open up to them. 

Yes, being a way from home is very hard.  And I miss it every day.  But I'm also very thankful for the experience our family is having to live in another country.  Most people never have this opportunity.  And I think we need to embrace it, and learn from it, and enjoy it.  And yes, we're going to miss home, and we're going to miss our family and friends.  And that's okay.  But we're also going to make new friends that we never would have made if we'd stayed home.  And when we leave here next summer, I think it'll be hard to leave them behind.

Shanghai is a beautiful city.  And we've only got 1 year to experience it.  So I plan on learning as much as I can.  I plan on enjoying the sites.  I want to meet new people.  I want to experience a new culture.  I want to take it all in, and enjoy the opportunities we are going to have over the next year.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Here are some pictures that were taken right before we left.  I thought I'd post them, eventhough they aren't a part of our trip! 

This was from our last trip to the lake. 
I'm not sure what she's doing here.  But it looks like she's getting ready to fly!
Sarah driving the boat.  She thinks she's hot stuff!

The weekend before we left, we went to my cousin's wedding. 
Andrew and his goofy smile!
Andrew and Alex.  Not sure what Andrew's up to!
Sarah Beth and Uncle Scott.
Uncle Scott and Sarah Beth.  With some extra effects added by me!
I LOVE this picture and Sarah and Nanny!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


It's really funny being so far away from everything you're used to.  You walk out the door and everyone you see looks different than you.  No one can understand you, if you attempt to talk to them, which you usually don't because you know they won't understand you anyway.  There's not a McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, or Taco Bell in site.  You can't get in your car and go wherever you want, whenever you want.  You turn on the TV, and nothing really looks and sounds familiar, and if it does, it's from years ago.


Some of the things that are so easy and cheap to find at home, are very difficult and/or very expensive here.  One of my favorite snacks is pretzels and peanut butter.  And before you laugh at me, make sure you try them first!  Anyway, finding pretzels around here has been very difficult.  I've found some at Carrefour, but they were very small bags and not very good pretzels.  Today I went to The Pines, which is the international grocery.  It's one of those places that might have one thing one week, and then not have it the next week.  Well today, THEY HAD PRETZELS!!!!!  And Rold Gold Pretzels to boot!  WooHoo!!  I was so excited.  So I bought 2 bags.  And they are put up high where the boys can't get to them. 

Do you think that makes me a bad mom, that I won't share my pretzels with my kids?!?!  I wonder what that says about me?  Nevermind, I don't think I want to know!  I'm not sure I'll like the answer.

Monday, September 7, 2009


We were on our way home from school yesterday and I told the boys the Satellite was going to be installed after we got home.  Jason said, "Yeah, like that'll happen!"  I asked him what he meant, and he said, "remember how long it took for the internet to be set up?!"  Well guess what, he was wrong!  It actually was set up in like 10 minutes!  Of course there's nothing on here that's new from home, but at least I can watch TV and hear English instead of Chinese.  There's a Crime and Investigation Channel, which is right up my alley, so I'm sure I'll be watching that a lot.  It also has Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network for the kids.

BORING . . .

I think I've discovered I'm a pretty boring person!  Not really knowing anyone here, Sarah and I don't really do much during the day while the boys are at school, except watch Elmo, do flash cards, read, and I Facebook while she's sleeping or watching Elmo.  We don't go out much during the week.  It's kind of frustrating not being able to communicate with anyone when we DO leave, so sometimes it's just easier to stay home.  We go out everyday to pick up the boys from school, but other than that, we don't do much during the week. 

Starting tomorrow, I'll be working in Jason's class every Tuesday morning grading math papers.  (Luckily she's giving me the answer sheet)!  And this Wednesday is the first PSO Meeting, so I know I'll be going out tomorrow and Wednesday for sure.  Thursday night is Elementary School Back To School Night.  I'll probably be out more this week, than I have since we've been here! 


So heres' a picture of the boys in front of their new school.  As you can tell, Andrew still is, and probably always will be, a comedian!  So far they both seem to like their school.  I hope it stays that way, otherwise it'll be a long year! 


Okay, so I'm getting ready to point out to everyone just how sad I REALLY am!  And for those of you that know me really well, you already KNOW how sad I am, but for the rest of you, here goes. 

As I told you before, we don't have satellite.  They've been working on getting it set up, but it's a complicated process around here to get some things done.  So for 5 weeks we've had 2 English channels.  One is a news channel, which I've watched quite a bit, and the other is called ICS - International Channel Shanghai.  It broadcasts older shows from home.  Things like ER, Hell's Kitchen, Amazing Race.  We'd never watched Hell's Kitchen before.  But when that's the only thing on that's in English, sometimes you just like to have the noise.  And it's actually kind of a funny show.  Anyway, I just got a call today from Ryan's Office Manager to tell me that the Satellite is being installed tonight after we get home from school.  Can I just say, my heart is racing!  I'm SO excited!!!!!  All of the things around here that we could have, and I'm excited about satellite TV.  I don't even want to *know* what that says about me.  It either means that I'm happy with the little things, or it could mean that I'm even more boring than I thought I was.  You decide!

Friday, September 4, 2009


Last night was Back to School Night for Middle School.  I'm very glad I went, although when I first got there I just kept thinking about how tired I was and that I wished I'd stayed home!  The way it works is you start out by meeting the Middle School Principal and he gives a little talk.  Then you follow your child's daily schedule.  We spent 15 minutes in every class that the kids have.  I started out in Band.  I could have gone to Band or Drama, and since I knew I was going to see Jason's Drama teacher for 4 other classes, I decided to attend the Band session.  Jason has decided to play the Oboe.  I am picking it up this afternoon, and he will actually start practicing next week.  According to his instructor, he's supposed to practice about 15-20 minutes everyday.  I just hope my ears, and my neighbors, can take it!  The 5th grade Band will be giving 2 concerts throughout the year.  He's really excited about it, so hopefully he'll learn something from it! 

Next I went to Math Class.  They are doing something called Everyday Math.  He will have homework every night.  She said it's the hardest Math program she's ever taught.  For those of you that know me really well, you know that math isn't exactly my subject, so I have a feeling it's going to be a long year!  From there we went to Theme.  Theme is Science and Social Studies.  They spend about 6 weeks on Social Studies, and then 6 weeks on Science, and vice versa.  Sounds like they're going to have some pretty interesting subjects and projects throughout the year.  From there I went to Mandarin; all of which went right over my head!  I've decided I have a hard enough time speaking the English language.  The chances of me learning Chinese are pretty much slim to none!  But at least I learned what to expect throughout the year.  I guess my kids will be able to communicate with others around us very soon. 

After that I went to Religion.  I could have chosen between Religion, Health, and PE.  In Religion they are reading portions of the book Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul.  I think I might look for it for Jason.  It sounds like there are some pretty interesting topics in there.  From there I went to Language Arts, and then Homeroom.  He has the same teacher for Math, Theme, Language Arts, and Homeroom.  Language Arts is going to be pretty interesting for him this year.  On Mondays he has a Poetry journal due, Tuesdays is a Blog, and I can't remember the rest of the week.  (I guess I should have paid better attention)!  :-)  The Blog I think is pretty cool.  Every week he has to write a piece on the Concordia Blog, based on what he's currently reading.  Then he also has to respond to 2 other people's Blog's.  She said that it becomes very interesting and very personal throughout the year.  I'm very anxious to see it.  Plus, people from home can see it too, so I'll let you know the web address whenever I get it. 

I asked Jason earlier this week if he liked his teacher, and he told me yes he did.  Then when I asked him why, he told me that she told good stories, she made class interesting, and that she was funny.  I saw during the night why he liked her.  She definitely is funny and knows how to keep things interesting.  It looks like he got pretty lucky this year with his teacher.  I was telling her that he likes to read like 2 or 3 books at the same time, and I asked her if that was typical.  She told me yes that it wasn't her fault, I had a boy, and I needed to talk to God about that.  I told her that I do, EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

HOME . . .

Okay, so I've been thinking about some of the things I miss about home; besides the people, of course!

I miss going to O'Connell's with my Dad and shopping with my Mom. I miss my daily talks with Laura. I'd forgotten how much I depend on them! I miss not having anyone to gossip with. Karen, I haven't found one of you over here yet! I miss not being able to make plans for Homecoming. By now we would have already had our room booked and the kids would have been asking me how much longer until they get to see Jessica and Austin. And I would have been looking forward to hanging out at the pool with Sandy, drinking beer, and talking about everyone that stood us up! (Just Kidding)!

I miss not being able to text anyone. And for those of you that really know me, you know how much I LOVE to text!!! I miss Once Upon A Child and all of the Consignment Sales that are going on right about now. I miss the yard sales. I miss turning on the TV and understanding what they're saying! I miss the PTA meetings that should take about 45 minutes but instead take 2 hours because we're all so busy talking and laughing at each other. I miss being able to get in the shower and have it be hot within 2 minutes instead of 10. I miss sitting out on the front porch watching the kids playing outside. I miss being able to get into my car and go wherever I want to, whenever I want to.

But most of all, I miss my family and my friends. I hope you're all doing well. And I REALLY hope you won't forget about me while I'm gone!!!!!!