Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Birthday!

This year for my birthday Joel threw a BBQ bash at the park for me!  It was great, friends food and beer, what more could a girl ask for?
Joel bought a portable grill for the occasion and I bought a rolling cart to bring all the stuff to the park.  We luckily had helpers because it really was a lot of stuff!

The boys were in charge of the grill, they made pork and ham sandwhiches... so delish!

We set up tables and even decorated, everyone brought food and drinks.  We also bought some yard games and blankets to lay on in the grass.  It was a little cloudy that day but the rain held out and we were able to enjoy some nice temps.

Me with Kay

Lounging in the grass.

My cake Joel got for me!

Blowing out my candles!

We had an after party at our house when it got dark at the park that included more beer and games.  We also had vodka soaked watermelon that was punishment for losing the card game.  It was a little rough when you had to eat one!

Kings cup!

The gang playing games.

The watermelon was a little strong!

Trying to eat it!
Oh, and there may have been some stick on mustaches involved...


Joel even got a gotee!

Mine was an angry mustache.

Pretty sure Kelly's was a silent film star's!

Who doesn't love Duff beer and a mustache on your b-day? 

Even Lily joined in on the festivities!
I am so grateful for my wonderful husband, planning and putting this party together for me.  Thanks babe!

Monday, May 21, 2012

CJ had his surgery!

Our Healing Home baby CJ that we sponsored for my mom for Christmas (for a reminder click here and here!) had his corrective surgery!  He is still a little swollen but looks great!
Here is reminder of what he looked like before:
The first time I met him at just a few months old!

This was a few months later.

Joel got to meet him!

ANNDD here he is now!!!

Look at that handsome man!

Still a bit swollen but such a change!

Tummy time!
And I thought I would share a few other pics from our play time today... someone brought some glasses frames and the babies loved them!  So cute!

Monday, May 14, 2012


A while back I joined the Arts and Gallery group (through the American Women's Club) on a day trip to a small village called Fengjing.  It is an ancient water town built in the Yuan Dynasty (around 1271), about a two hour drive from Shanghai city center.  It is well known because of the many handicrafts that are made here and because of the famous farmer's paintings that come from there.  Jinshan Peasant Paintings as they are known are a special technique of painting, they look very cartoonish but the art form is actually difficult to achieve and the artists spend many years perfecting it.
Our first stop was the peasant village where the artists live and sell their work.  You walk into each "gallery" which is someone's home and get to see their work and also some of the artists actually at work!
The center of the village, with examples of peasant paintings blown up.

I think this cat got into the paint  before his nap.

Inside one of the galleries.

Example of the Jinshan style of painting.

Ater we viewed all the art work and made our purchases we headed into the town of Fengjing, about 15 minute drive from the village.  We wondered around the cute town and had lunch at a local restaurant.  We each had an order of potstickers, a big bowl of noodles and a soda and shared a huge plate of veggies for a total of 40rmb, or about 6 dollars.  Crazy, and it was so good!

View of the canal.

Cute dog someone dyed pink.

These geese were eating rice for lunch, lol.

Pick your veggie for lunch!

Drying ginger.

Even the buildings were painted in the Jinshan peasant style!

Friday, May 4, 2012


A few weekends ago, the weather was nice so we took the subway out of Shanghai city center with the Divins to a part of town called Qibao.  It is an ancient water town that really could be beautiful if it hadn't been over run with Chinese tourists throwing liter and spitting everywhere and tons of cheap touristy crap to buy.  We had a good time though despite all of these things.
We tried to enjoy some street food, jiaozi (pot stickers) but they were terrible!  So we had a few noodles and moved on.  I later had a street pork bun and it was so delish so that made up for it.

We ran into this street vendor pet store.  I thought it was really funny.  You could buy a rabbit or some frogs just right there on the street!  I thought about buying a goldfish but didn't know if it would make it home with me.

You could even buy a squirrel or maybe it was a chipmunk, not sure.

The ancient canals were still really beautiful, with their graceful bridges and small boats.  You could hire a boat driver to drive you through but we skipped it.

Josh buying a coconut drink on the street.

Kelly and I 

Joel and Josh

Joel and I
 We went to the museum that is famous there, it is a museum for miniatures.  It wasn't very big (which I guess is fitting) but it was actually pretty cool.  There were tons of mini chinese items, tea pot and little furniture.  It was totally worth the 5 rmb to get in.
After the miniatures museum we hit up the cricket museum.  It was weird.  It had little dead crickets who had been champion fighters.  I guess I should mention that in China, crickets are raised and trained to be fighters.  Strange.  Anyway, the museum was sort of a flop, but the boys were happy at this point because we had bought them some beer to carry around.
Joel in front of the crickets.
We bought some really good sichuan peanuts and peppers that are dried and the soaked in spicy oil.  Not for the faint of heart but we loved them.
We really enjoyed our day in Qibao but mostly it was just nice to get out and explore.  Shanghai has so many wonderful things to see and do, which is the main reason we love this city so much!