Monday, May 31, 2010


Hi I'm Andrew Joseph bruner and my middle name Joseph comes from my Great Grandma and Grandpa and I got my first name Andrew because thats what my perent liked and my brother Jason his middle name Thomas comes from my mom's grandma and my sister Sarah we were deciding wich middle she shoud have either Michelle or Elisibeth and then we decided it would be elisabeth.

and I was born in luiville Kentuky and so was my big brother and little sister we were born there because that's where my parents worked and they were born there too.  then we moved to Shanghi because we had to come here for my dad's work. and we all know eglish.

and are familys favorite food is pizza.  favorite wii game family game night.  favorite sport bowling.  special song Let there be peace on earth and special tradition opening stockings one day at a time.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


It's hard to believe we'll be coming home in less than 10 weeks.  And while we're all very happy to be coming home, we're also all a little sad.  This year has been an AMAZING year for all of us.  We've seen sites that we NEVER would have seen.  We've made new friends that live all over the WORLD.  Not just Kentucky, and not just the US.  THE WORLD!  How great is that?
We've seen Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Xi'an.  We've LIVED in another country!  How many people get to say that?  (Actually, a lot more people than you'd think.  But among OUR friends, so far we are the only ones)!  

And while it was very hard to come here, I am SO glad we did.  It was definitely the right decision for our family.  I think it has brought us all closer together.  Because we are living in an apartment and not a house with 3 different floors, we spend a lot of time together.  We only have 1 TV with cable and 1 regular DVD player for all of us to watch movies on.  And because movies are so cheap here, we watch A LOT of movies together.  We also play a lot of Wii together.  Everything we do, we pretty much do together.  We don't have a car, so we walk to the grocery store and the movie store and the Wii store.  (At least we do now that it's warming up)!  Sunday we were out for almost 5 hours.  Just the 5 of us.  And we walked everywhere we went.  And we talked.  We "talk" to each other more. 

While we were walking on Sunday, I asked the boys what they would miss the most about China, and what they were looking forward to the most about going home.  They both said they would miss the Ayi and their friends.  They both are looking forward to going to the lake and seeing their friends back home. I thought it was funny that they both said Ayi, because they still have ME to take care of things at home.  I told them *I* would be the one to miss Ayi, because at home, *I'M* the Ayi!  I am most looking forward to seeing my family and friends.  They were surprised that I didn't say Diet Coke.  I told them as much as I love my Diet Coke, I actually DO love my family and friends more!  I think they were a little surprised by that.  MAN, how sad is that?  They actually think I want Diet Coke more than I want my family and friends.  There's definitely something wrong with that picture!

Anyway, I'm really glad we had this year.  After this year, I know there's nothing we can't handle. 

Sunday, May 16, 2010


You send your child down to the neighborhood market to buy beer.

That's right!  We had someone over and we were out of beer, so the boys picked some up when they went to get their soda.  ONLY in China!

They didn't DRINK it mind you, but they did BUY it!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

XI'AN . . . PART 2 . . . .

Xi'an is one of the most important cities in Chinese history.  It is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China and was the capital during 13 dynasties.  Xi'an is over 3100 years old.  It was known as Chang'an in ancient times, which means eternal city.  

Emperor Qinshihuangdi became King of the state of Qin at the age of 13.  By the age of 38 he had conquered the 6 neighboring states to unify China for the first time. Shortly after ascending the throne, he began work on his mausoleum.  It took 11 years to finish.  While digging for a well in 1974, some local peasants uncovered some pottery near the royal tomb.  

It caught the attention of archeologists immediately. They came to Xi'an in droves to study and to extend the digs. They had established beyond doubt that these artifacts were associated with the Qin Dynasty (211-206 BC).
The State Council authorized to build a museum on site in 1975. When completed, people from far and near came to visit. Xian and the Museum of Qin Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses have become landmarks on all travelers' itinerary.

Life size terracotta figures of warriors and horses arranged in battle formations are the star features at the museum. They are replicas of what the imperial guard should look like in those days of pomp and vigor.

The museum covers an area of 16,300 square meters, divided into three sections: No. 1 Pit, No. 2 Pit, and No. 3 Pit respectively. They were tagged in the order of their discoveries. No. 1 Pit is the largest, first opened to the public on China's National Day, 1979. There are columns of soldiers at the front, followed by war chariots at the back.

No. 2 Pit, found in 1976, is 20 meters northeast of No. 1 Pit. It contained over a thousand warriors and 90 chariots of wood. It was unveiled to the public in 1994.  Archeologists came upon No. 3 Pit also in 1976, 25 meters northwest of No. 1 Pit. It looked like to be the command center of the armed forces.  It went on display in 1989, with 68 warriors, a war chariot and four horses.

Altogether over 7,000 pottery soldiers, horses, chariots, and even weapons have been unearthed from these pits. Most of them have been restored to their former grandeur.

The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses is a sensational archeological find of all times. It has put Xian on the map for tourists. It was listed by UNESCO in 1987 as one of the world cultural heritages.  

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This is right by the entrance.  We had a tour guide that took our picture.
Again, outside the entrance. 
Inside Pit #1
That's rows and rows of the warriors that you see behind the boys.
Not sure what that face is all about!
Looks like he fits right in, doesn't he?!
They sell the life size warriors.  We bought a couple of smaller ones, but I don't really NEED a life size one!
Inside one of the new museums.
Again, looks like he belongs there!
This is one of the chariots.  There are 2 chariots on display.  One was for the emperor, and the other was for his servants.  (I think that's right).  Anyway, they have replicas in Shanghai for the World Expo.  So at Xi'an, the emperor's chariot was the real one, and the other one was a copy.  Here in Shanghai for the Expo, the emperor's is the copy, and the other one is the real one.
This is one of the ladies making the smaller warriors.  We bought 2 that are about 8-12 inches tall.  The detail work on them, including the small ones, is AMAZING!
Andrew and Sarah looking at some of the finished products.
Guess Sarah got bored already!
One of the chariots.
A life size warrior.
Another one, with my warriors in front!
Aren't they just the cutest things?!
Not sure what THAT'S all about either!
My handsome boy. 
I believe this was taken in Pit 2. They haven't uncovered all of it yet.
This is Pit 1.  These are some of the ones they are in the process of working on.
Pit 1.  The pictures don't do it justice.  It's an AMAZING site, that we are very lucky we were able to experience.
Can you tell my pictures are out of order?  Another picture of the entrance.
The entrance to Pit 1
Inside Pit 1.  Again, the view is unbelievable.  You have to see it to really experience it.  It's a really impressive site that just takes your breath away.
If it's this impressive in the pictures, can you imagine how impressive it is in person?
The detail on the warriors is amazing.  Everyone of them is different.
Again, an impressive sight.
A view of some of the horses.
 Another view of the horses.
 The columns in the middle were put there to hold up the mausoleum.
A view from the side.  AMAZING!!!
Notice the details.  Again, none of them are the same. 
Can you see the ones with the missing heads?  That's because the heads are either broken and can't be fixed, or they haven't figured out which head belongs there yet.  The heads are actually separate from the body.  It's not all one piece.  Useless Trivia #1!
More with missing heads.
Another section they haven't completely uncovered.
 This guy is from the North.  You can tell that because his mustache is pointed upward.  Useless Trivia #2.
 He's from the South.  That's why his mustache is pointed downward.  Useless Trivia #3!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


 Mom and Dad are here visiting, so that's why I haven't been posting much.  They've been keeping me busy!  We've been running practically everyday.  One day Dad said, "You don't have to entertain us every day."  To which Mom replied, "Yes you do!"  So . . . we've been doing something EVERYDAY!  Not sure what we're going to do today.  

So far we've been to Hangzhou, Tai Kang Lu, The Underground, YuYuan, the kids school, and other places around Shanghai.  I still have a week to entertain them, so I guess I'd better come up with some more things to do!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

XI'AN . . . PART 1 . . .

Ryan had to go to Xi'an for work a couple of weeks ago, so the kids and I flew out with him to spend a couple of days.  We flew out on Wednesday evening and came back on Saturday morning, because Ryan had a meeting for work.  He had to work on Thursday morning, so the kids and I hung out at the hotel and walked around outside for a little bit.  After he got back we did a little bit of sightseeing.  That afternoon we went to the Muslim Quarter and The City Wall.  I'm not sure if you like the history lessons, but I'm going to keep giving them!

Xi'an used to be the starting point of the silk road.  Horses, camels and carriages brought precious goods from one part of the world to the other.  But not only material things were transported.  Culture, religion and languages were also brought to China from what we today call Turkey.
These are some of the foods they were selling on the street.
I guess this is how they clean the nuts.  There is sand in there.  Not sure how that helps!
More food for sale along the road.
One of the buildings.
I think this is his idea of "posing"!
More architecture along the road.  This is part of the Muslim Quarter that we walked along. 
He's getting SO big!  Not sure how he grew up so fast!
Andrew DOES NOT know how to pose for pictures!
Drum Tower.  Ryan and the boys went up it.  Too many steps to cart the stroller, so Sarah and I just walked around in the street and shopping area while they were up there.
The Drum, of Drum Tower.
This was taken from up in the Tower, looking down over the rest of the area.
Another picture from up in the Tower.
The boys up in the Tower.
This is the Bell Tower, which is actually the most famous tower.  It's at the opposite end of the Drum Tower.
Bell Tower
This was taken up on the City Wall.  The wall surrounds the city.  You can walk the whole thing.  We only walked a small portion of it. 
Not sure what this is, but it looked important, so I took a picture of it!
Jason looking out over the City Wall.
Can you tell she has older brothers?!
My goofy little boy!
What a bunch of hams!
They're too funny!
My little poser!
I know I might be a little biased, but what a cutie!
My Motley Crew!
They actually look like they like each other, don't they?!
Looking down over the wall.
My Drew Drew!
Aren't they adorable?!
Isn't she lucky?!
They LOVE their little sister!
These are the steps we had to climb to get up to the City Wall!
The ONLY hotel name I recognized while we were there!
If you're not a Kremer, you won't "get" why I took this picture.  And if you are, you'll understand why I still have moments where I KNOW she is, and will always be, with me.