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4/21

Princess Sparkley noticed today that I’m one of the top Goodreads readers, users and reviewers in China! 🙂

4/24

Success of the day: President Grumpington (aka Squidgems) ate a homemade Larabar ball. Downside, he refuses to eat anymore because they made him too thirsty.

4/24

A favorite author of mine (Laurie Halse Anderson) is in Beijing either this week or next week, but just for fun, no appearances. I sort of feel like just stalking around the major sights and hoping I run into her. #booknerd

 4/26

 'Organizing our last weeks in China and our summer in America. 8+ weeks and counting.'

Organizing our last weeks in China and our summer in America. 8+ weeks and counting.

4/28

'And a happy happy birthday to this sweet young man who made his appearance on our three year anniversary! #twelve #theWilliversary'

And a happy happy birthday to this sweet young man who made his appearance on our three year anniversary! #twelve #theWilliversary

Birthday celebrations! Jiaozi and apple Fanta for dinner, cream filled donuts for dessert.

gph.is

media.giphy.com

I felt like this SO many times today.

Buddy‘s birthday is ending here in China, but if we’re being technical, he was born in the afternoon in California… so 7-8 more hours to go.  

4/30

😉

4/30

Today’s food. I know people complain about people who post pictures of their food… but I figure I get a pass because I’m in China.

4/30

 'Going home just in time because this bed only has about another inch to offer him. #MinstersinChina'

 Going home just in time because this bed only has about another inch to offer him.

 5/4

Our Chinese grocery store has been playing a song (they tend to only play 1-4 songs on rotation for weeks/months) that is familiar to me. But it’s been playing for more than a month at the store so I wasn’t sure if it’s only familiar to me because I hear it at the grocery store several times a week. Today I told PS I thought it might be Hannah Montana. I was right! “Rockstar” by Hannah Montana. (I blame my knowing any Hannah Montana songs on PS’s short-lived obsession with Hannah Montana almost a decade ago.)

 5/4

'A horse. In Beijing!  #MinstersinChina'

A horse. In Beijing

  

'Will was ordained a deacon today. #LDS #Mormon'

5/8

Buddy was ordained a deacon today. #LDS #Mormon

'Brandon junior?... Will drew this free hand only looking at a map for a little help. Pretty good, right? (USA in light pencil, train lines in green.)'

5/9

B junior?… Buddy drew this free hand only looking at a map for a little help. Pretty good, right? (USA in light pencil, train lines in green.)

 5/11

 B has always been opposed to owning a cat but he told us yesterday that he’d be okay with getting a cat (back in America) if we could name it Chairman Meow. We’ve struck a deal. #futurecatowners

 5/11

 'I finished Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery) and Food: A Love Story (Jim Gaffigan), and went searching online for some new books to read. I quickly finished Rain, Reign (Ann M. Martin) and I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives. But then things got a bit out of control because I checked out 4-5 other books, put some on hold and then today, two old holds and a new hold came available. Better get reading... #Kindle #bookworm'

 I finished Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery) and Food: A Love Story (Jim Gaffigan), and went searching online for some new books to read. I quickly finished Rain, Reign (Ann M. Martin) and I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives. But then things got a bit out of control because I checked out 4-5 other books, put some on hold and then today, two old holds and a new hold came available. Better get reading… #Kindle #bookworm

5/11

It’s fun when I do use some Chinese and the store clerks are super impressed. All I said was twenty (in Chinese) and PS translated how impressed they were and that they kept asking if Squidgems spoke Chinese too.

5/11

One suitcase packed. Nine to go. #lessthan7weeks

 5/16

'Some days this sums up my life (or the life of any mom)... on a boat at the Old Summer Palace in Beijing, on the phone for my church calling while a kid tries to get my attention.'

Some days this sums up my life (or the life of any mom)… on a boat at the Old Summer Palace in Beijing, on the phone for my church calling while a kid tries to get my attention.

5/15

'As a new Deacon at church, Will helped pass the sacrament on Sunday. Here he is on the subway on the way to church. #LDS #Mormon'

As a new Deacon at church, Buddy helped pass the sacrament on Sunday. Here he is on the subway on the way to church. #LDS #Mormon

 5/21

 At the rate my kids are getting sick and recovering, we should be healthy again mid June. Little Guy last week (spent 3 days throwing up). Squidgems this week (fever and throwing up). And I have a cold.

5/24

  3 suitcases packed. 36 days to go. I still think we’ll be able to fit everything in 12 suitcases, but I am starting to worry.

5/29

One month! We fly out in one month. Ahh! So much to do still!

 6/8

 6 bags packed. Plane takes off in 21 days.

6/9

Nancy Minster's photo.

At the Chinese grocery store half a block away from me!! They opened in December and about a month ago, the import section went away. Then it came back like this! First time I’ve seen some of these items outside a specialty import store and on my side of town. Although they failed to bring back the cinnamon chocolate bar which I hadn’t tried yet!

6/12

 8 suitcases packed. 16 days to take-off. #TheyreComingtoAmerica

6/15

 'That's a chicken...just walking around Beijing. #MinstersinChina'

That’s a chicken…just walking around Beijing.

6/23

Countdown: my last Thursday in China. One thing I’m going to miss: being able to walk to a grocery store, convenience store, restaurant, etc. in just five minutes. One thing I’m looking forward to…driving my car (to the grocery store… any where, really).

6/24

Countdown: my last Friday in China. I’m going to miss some of the yummy food we’ve had here… jiaozi, xiao long bao, kao leng mian, jian bing…to name a few. I can’t wait to eat cheese! And Mexican food. And Italian food. And In N Out burger!

6/25

Last Saturday in Beijing: I’m not going to miss the lack of lines and the lack of respect for lines and sometimes the lines. Ha! I’m excited to cook and bake to my heart’s delight.

6/26

Last Sunday in Beijing: I’m going to miss easy access to imported chocolate (although, not Cadbury chocolate). I’m looking forward to eating billions of Peanut Butter M&Ms, Twixes, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

6/27 

Last Monday in Beijing: I’m going to miss sightseeing. And I’m not sure how this didn’t make the list earlier but I CAN NOT wait to have a dishwasher and a clothes dryer again.

6/27

Accidentally archived a bunch of the stuff I put on my kindle fire for the plane trip. 

6/27

Thirty six hours to go. 9.75 suitcases packed. Our allotment is ten. (B gets two more when he flies, but one of his is already almost at maximum weight. How did we acquire so. much. stuff!?!!? And will I be able to squish the rest in?! Carry-ons are mostly ready. This is getting real.

6/27

I downloaded nine books, four standby books, and a short story to my #kindlefire for my upcoming PEK>SFO>LAX flight, when in reality, my three year old is going to use my Kindle the entire time. #booknerd #flights #theyrecomingtoamerica

'Simon drew a treasure map, folded it up and then wrote Chinese characters and told me, it says, "middle person big worker."'

Squidgems drew a treasure map, folded it up and then wrote Chinese characters and told me, it says, “middle person big worker.”

6/28

Our driver (to get to the airport) shows up in 24 hours!!!!

Northern Utah friends heading to southern Utah in the early part of July. I may need a favor. We have a box of books flying home with some friends tomorrow (because we can’t fit them). Would someone be able to pick them up in Provo and bring them down?

Countdown: Last full day in China. We’re going to miss all the fabulous people we have met here. And we’re super excited to see our friends and family in the States.

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Facebook Posts

3/5  For the first time in 36 hours, the VPN on my computer is working long enough for me to check my email and Facebook. China’s gov’t is in session, which means there’s a crackdown on blocking websites. Our VPN company credited everyone two weeks for free rather than try to fight it.

3/20

We’re only in China for one more season, and 8 days of official summer.

3/21

I made a pecan pie yesterday with the pecans I had leftover from our Pi Day pecan pie. I also had a bag of peeled, cut and drenched in lemon juice apples in the fridge that I forgot to take on our Friday field trip and leftover pie crust. Will and I fashioned an apple pie in a bread pan with the leftover crust, the apples, sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. It turned out quite yummy!

3/22
It’s never comforting to be riding on the subway while the subway tvs are broadcasting news about bombs on another city’s subway. #Brussels

3/26
I just got the VPN to work on my phone for the first time in a couple weeks and my phone went NUTS with notification noises from all the emails and Facebook notices that it has missed.

3/30  Just as I’m leaving Asia, Weezer announces an Asia tour.

4/6
I read an article titled “Potty Revolution,” about how much China plans to spend on fixing up their public restrooms. I read the article title to the kids and explained the Cultural Revolution reference but had to explain this wasn’t a Chinese news source. Buddy said, “The Chinese newspaper would call it ‘The People’s War on Toilets.'” Ha!

4/7

  This is on our elevator door. Squidgems’s translation, “no stickin’ your fingers between the doors or blood will come out.” He’s had better translations of it, but this is the only one I can remember right now.

4/15
I miss driving around in a car and blasting the music so loud it blocks out all other noise. ‪#‎mykidstalknonstop‬

4/16
There was a guy smoking IN our subway train on the way home tonight.

4/18
I made Princess Sparkley read Romeo and Juliet so we could watch the Baz Luhrmann version of Romeo + Juliet. Now that she’s finished, stinkin’ China and Netflix and the internet and our vpn aren’t cooperating so we can’t even watch it. frown emoticon

4/19
China’s a bit on my nerves this week. No one knows how to drive. I had to wait in line for more than 5 minutes yesterday in order to purchase a roll of tape (less than 30 cents) from the stationary section of my grocery store because stuff from that section has to be purchased separately from your normal groceries. They just spent last week putting new asphalt tiling in front of our neighborhood grocery store (the whole parking lot) and today it’s all being torn up by an excavator. The internet. There’s nothing yummy to get when you go to the grocery store and have the munchies. My kids are normally on the shy side, but China has made Squidgems especially shy because everyone is always looking at him, touching his hair, trying to make him talk to them, handing him random food, etc. ‪#‎RantOver‬ ‪#‎IThink‬‪#‎IllProbablyHaveToGoOutsideAgainBeforetheDayIsOver‬