A few of my favourite things (and people too!)

It was a very good week – full of the best!

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Challenging Day

We ended up travelling with all 9 of us to and from Yinchuan.  Samuel works better with everyone at his disposal and it was great to have everyone there to support Garnet.  Unfortunately, this morning, both girls woke up with bad colds.  Grandma is still recovering from one she caught last week (all three were sharing a room this past week).  Samuel refused food and slept through breakfast.  After his impromtu nap, he rose to the challenge and downed 4 sausages though.  We rearranged some of our plans and had a slower morning, a Hot Pot luncheon including an interview with a local journalist (“Surprise!” our guide sprung on us as we drove into the restaurant parking lot with sick and tired and rumpled kiddos – Oh well!) and a tour of the Wetsern Xia Tomb site and museum in the afternoon. 

This evening, we arrived at the airport and attempted to check in only to find that some of our tickets had odd comments attached and so we almost missed out on our flight, but for the diligence of our facilitator and our guide.  Yay!  Then we cleared security (they let Samuel be carried through this time and thankfully didn’t confiscate our liquid cold medicine or “Grandma Soap”/hand sanitizer) only to find that our flight had been delayed two hours.  Many odd gift shop food iems later, Samuel took a long crawling tour of the departures area and we finally made it onto the plane intact.  Half the kids slept or dozed.  The other half caught a meal on the flight. 

After sending four of us in the first taxi at the Beijing airport and almost being charged highway robbery for a van-taxi, we found a regular cab driver who would take the remaining 5 of us in one cab (the cabs are only supposed to take 4 passengers).

Arriving at the hotel we found out that our gear was still in our rooms, but our key cards no longer worked.  The front desk quickly made new ones up and after picking up some gifts left for us at the Concierge desk courtesy of our dear facilitator and friend, we made our way upstairs.

Soft snoring is calling to me from the other side of the room. 

Off to Guangdong tomorrow afternoon. 

Good Night!


Please pray for health and rest for our bunch.

We received some information that we hope to persue for Grace, just this evening.  Pray that God would move clearly one way or the other on her behalf.

Pray for Jia Yi who I referenced in the other posts (Yinchuan).  She is a very special little girl who very much deserves a forever family.

Pray for my brother and his family who are holding down many forts with us all gone.  They are all very ill with strep and eye infections.  Healing, rest and encouragement for all of them. Love you guys.  Thank you for everything.  It had meant so much to all of us. 



Doing up CNY Flat-style

Have you all heard of the Flat Stanley series of books?  I highly recommend them for the early chapter book reader. 

My nephew Lane recently sent James and Garnet a “Flat Lane”.  He drew a small cut out picture of himself and sent it along with a letter.  The letter asked for James and Garnet to take Flat Lane on some adventures, document them and then send them back to him.  Lane then has to create a report and present it to his class. 

Here’s how it turned out:


Gung Hay Fat Choy!

(Gong Hay Fah Choy)

Xin Nian Kuai Le!

(Shin Nyin Kwhy Luh)

Happy Lunar New Year!

I travelled to James and Garnet’s family and was just in time to celebrate the holiday with them. 

 It was exciting and a little dangerous. 

You can follow along as you look at the pictures in order.


Lunar Calendar

Many people around the world follow a different calendar than the one we are used to.  It follows the movement of the moon and has a 12 year cycle, with each year representing a different animal.  Have you heard?  This year is the Year of the Rabbit.  If you are born this year or are 12 or 24 or 36 or 48 or…  this year, you are said to be  lucky, kind and peaceful!



Symbols of Blessings

There are many special foods and symbols that are eaten and used at this time of year.  Eating a whole fish is said to bring you more money.  Dining on long unbroken noodles will give you long life.  If you want happiness and good luck, then eating eggs and round fruits like pomelo and oranges are said to help you.  These oranges were delicious!



Celebrating Spring

Lunar New Year marks the coming of spring time.  Many families have fresh foods and flowers around to celebrate the return to warm weather and a new growing season.  It’s not too warm here, so this family bought some flowers to add to their spring holiday. 

Aren’t I beeeeeeautiful?


Getting Ready

To prepare for Chinese New Year there is lots to do!  I was there just as the family was getting ready.  They all got new haircuts, a new suit of fancy silk dress clothes, the house was cleaned from top to bottom and lots of food was bought and made, including jiaozi (yummy dumplings with all kinds of fillings!). 



Bringing in the New Year is LOUD!

There is a story that talks about how the Chinese people were saved from a large and hungry Dragon.  By using loud firecrackers they were able to save their people.  In some places at the New Year, there are LOTS of firecrackers and even a dragon dance with people acting out the story!  I hear the family is going to watch a dragon dance soon, but I had to head back to school before it began.  I’m kind of happy as the one on the book scared me enough!  Whew!




My favourite part!  People like to give gifts at Chinese New Year, but they are different than the ones we give at other holidays.  Children and unmarried young adults receive Hong Bao (Red Envelopes with money inside).  Adults give each other flowers or fruit.

The family gave me some to share with you and your classmates!  The money they used is really yummy!


Family and Friends

Lunar New Year is a time for family to come together.  People travel long distances to be together with their loved ones.  There is much laughing and chatter as families make the jiaozi or set off firecrackers.  I missed my friend Lane, so I asked them to mail me back to you.  Thanks for sending me on such an exciting adventure!

Xin Nian Kuai Le!