Friday, July 12, 2013

to Lijiang with Papa and Granna

In June, my parents made that long trek across the Pacific Ocean. They are pros at traveling over here now! And despite their entire luggage getting left at the LA airport, despite Mom getting sick her first night here, despite water outages and a power outage, this was still one of their best visits yet. (At least that's what they told us!) The beauty of moving to YN province 2 years ago is that when they come visit in the summer, we no longer have to sweat ever single minute like we have in the past. The weather here is gorgeous. I might just have to live in the mountains for the rest of my life.
Since Lijiang is one of the most touristy areas in the country and we'd never been, we decided to make the trip with Mom and Dad. We got the 411 on hotels and sites from friends and set out on the train. We'd heard the train was the best way to get there since the highway can be pretty treacherous. I had NO idea the train would be treacherous for my dad's back! The "seats" we bought for tickets were actually sleeper cars converted into seating, and the overhead bunk sat a little low for my dad. Bless his heart, he was in need of a massage by the time we got there. (Fortunately, massages here are cheap and he was able to get one to work out the pain!)

My girls passed the time on the train by being super goofy their normal happy selves. Actually, they are good little travelers these days.
Our hotel had a beautiful courtyard.
Lijiang is gorgeous. It's my new favorite city in China. 

  We found plenty of places to take pictures.

The old and the new collide in Old Town. 

Banyan Tree is an extremely expensive but beautiful resort just outside of town. Seeing as how we couldn't afford to stay there, we decided to venture out and at least take a look.

This was by far the most hoity-toity place we have visited on the mainland. I felt a little out of place! I couldn't believe how quiet it was. In a country of constant noise, the absence of it was almost unbelievable.

Correction: it was super quiet and serene until WE showed up. :) My girls must have loved all the grass and beauty because they were wired and loved running around. We did a little kung fu and tried not to get asked to leave. Success.

Love this picture. Love these people.


On another day we trekked half-way up a mountain. Only Kevin made it to the top. The girls did a little posing at a rest point. 

Family pic with Snow Mountain in the background. 
This is one of my favorite pictures of my parents. I loved our time in Lijiang.
The day after we returned home, my big girl turned seven years old! Part 2 of Mom and Dad's visit to come...

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Field Trip

Perhaps I should call my blog "Holidays and Vacations" rather than Eggs Over Asia because it seems I only blog when we celebrate a special event. The truth is I seldom blog about daily life, and I hardly ever take my camera with me when we are around town. But the other day, the homeschoolers in our city decided to have a field trip to celebrate the end of the school year. And since we were walking to the museum, I thought I'd take a few pictures around where we live. 

Construction is the name of the game all over the country, and our town is no different. They are finishing up the sidewalk on a newly opened street behind our apartment complex. It makes for fun times of playing the "don't fall into that pot hole" game!

And there are plenty of random dogs running around our city. (On a side note, I hardly ever remember seeing dogs running around in our previous province. They ATE dogs in our previous province but that is not often done where we currently live. Coincidence? I think not.)

Breakfast vendors are faithfully out each morning offering steamed buns or noodles for sale.

Another street view...

Somehow we've managed to live in CX for almost 2 years without going to the local museum...shame on us! In my defense, they have very limited opening hours and close for lunch at around 11 am. When we have tried to go in the past they have been closed.

But today, they were open! I was surprised to learn they don't charge an entry fee anymore; apparently our host country is pushing to make more museums across the country free of charge.

I loved the Yi minority architecture.

The claim to fame around these parts is a dinosaur excavation site around 1 hour from our city. They had several  legit dinosaur fossils and the lady at the museum told me this replica was 80% real dinosaur bones.

Overall, since I had truly zero expectations of this museum before I went, I was pleasantly surprised with how well it was done! The kids had a blast. Trinity cracked me up however; of all the neat things to see she got most excited about some ancient tea cup. "Mommy, there's an old tea cup! Can you believe they have a tea cup?!"

The museum steps offer a great view from our city. We do have some of the bluest skies this country has to offer.

Another street view...

On the walk home, we saw mules. Honestly, I love it that you never quite know what you will see walking down the street.

At times it feels like our entire life is one field trip followed by another, but today it was fun to do something that truly felt like a school field trip. We are thankful for our buddies here.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter 2013

This year, my friend asked for help in throwing an Easter Party for her early English learners. I was more than happy to help. As usual, more kids showed up than were invited. Word of a party travels fast! Fortunately, there was plenty of supplies for everyone to decorate and hunt eggs.

Aaaaand, they're off to hunt!

Thanks to taobao, I was able to order plastic eggs this year. I heard a child's parent telling him not to worry about the fake eggs; just find the real ones. The kids were pleasantly surprised to find out there was candy inside the "fake" eggs. :)
 One of the 200 group photos taken on Saturday; everyone had a great time! 
 I looked out my bathroom window on Easter morning and saw this gorgeous sunrise.
My dear husband does not, ahem, love taking pictures. But on major holidays he will put up with my antics and head outside for some family photos. It is a huge act of love on his part.


We hosted fellowship time for Easter this year. Everyone brought food and we had a big brunch as well as a very worshipful time of remembrance. I absolutely love everything about Easter. I think the Lord knows our souls need a major reminder/refocus each year of the price He paid for us.

Another fun memory from the day:
While we had our Easter morning celebration in Asia, my cousin Laura's beloved (also named Kevin) was proposing to her in Dallas. So after our Sunday morning meeting time was over we raced to the computer to see pictures of their engagement. We were all so excited for them! 
Hope you had a fabulous Easter weekend! He is Risen!!! 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Celebrating 4

We recently celebrated 4 years with Trinity. For both of my girls, age 4 has been the peak of their passion for princesses. So, princess-themed birthday party it was. We had a few friends come over for cake, playtime and a pinata. (Thanks to, we can order all kinds of random things online like pinatas!) We also started a new tradition of the birthday girl picking the mealtime menu for the day. Trinity picked Cheerios for breakfast (a real treat around here!), fried rice for lunch and homemade pizza for dinner. Unlike her sister who keeps a running countdown months in advance of her birthday, Trinity seemed pretty laid-back about it even the day before her birthday. But on the morning of her birthday Trinity made sure everyone she saw knew, "I AM FOUR TODAY!"  

Trinity, at four years old you are our own little resident comedianne and dance performer. You love to make us laugh. You have grown up so much in the last few months. You are now beginning to embrace being a "big girl" and often want to join big sister as she does home school. You are learning every day and lately have shown an interest in writing the letters of the alphabet and in coloring.

You adore your big sister, are still our resident night-owl, have stopped napping almost entirely, give the BIGGEST kisses on our cheeks, and tell me, "Mommy I'm melting!" when you have a runny nose. You ask to wear a dress or skirt every single day. You do not want to be bothered with boring old pants.

You love to enjoy life and laugh. And although an extrovert like your sister, I often find you in your room pretending with toys in your own little preschool world.
People still ask me almost every day where you get your curly hair. Local friends think I curl it.
We thank God for your life. You add so much joy to our family! Happy birthday, little one.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

from February, Chinese New Year

February 9 was New Year's Eve on the Lunar Calendar. I've mentioned it before so I won't belabor the point, but Chinese New Year is by far the biggest holiday in this country. We found it to be overall much quieter this year (read: less fireworks), but it was still a rip-roaring, loud few weeks. Since our girls aren't big fans of loud fireworks, we personally stick with sparklers. We had a neighbor join us on New Year's Eve as we lit our sparklers. You might be able to see he was carrying around a lighter. Most boys his age and older carry lighters everywhere at New Year time. It's a crazy idea to me! In fact, the other day I saw two 10 year old boys lighting grass outside our apartment building just for fun. I quickly asked them to put the fire out!

The big fireworks begin all over the country as the sun goes down, and at midnight the entire country is lit up in a loud crescendo. I took this photo right outside of our bedroom window around 10 pm.

Over the holiday, our friend asked us to visit her in her village. She is home from working in a factory in Shenzhen. The girls were excited about another trip to our friend's house. The mountains are not fun to drive in, but they are beautiful. We had to stop to catch our breath from the bumpy road take a minute and enjoy the view.

When we arrived,Trinity stopped to enjoy the appetizers (walnuts) the family set out.

The family cooked a feast for us. We ate outside with pine needles serving as a tablecloth. This is a very common way to eat in Y villages.

I love this picture of my friend's mother and grandmother. They were excited to have their picture made and asked me to send them a copy.

Cutie pie

Trinity was on a quest to see every animal in the village. She chased chicks, found all the cattle, and even found the donkey this family has owned for at least 15 years.

Our friend's dad is the assistant village leader and gave us a tour of their village's Y. minority culture center.

"Hello, goats!"

As we walked from one part of the village to another, we took a short cut with some small paths. Our friends laughed at how clumsy we were at trying to navigate the small path. They were pros and could probably cross up and down these roads with their eyes closed.

Sweet family in the village

The New Year holiday is over and tomorrow is the first day back at school for most students. Around these parts, March 4 is the beginning of the new school semester. So there you have it, our celebrations from the new Year of the Snake.