Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Congratulations, you are Blue"

I took the color personality quiz today. Winter break boredom might be getting to me. After so many questions (that I was suppose to answer with my first thought, not analyzing the question at all)the test told me my color is Blue. I'm pretty happy with that. Blue is a good color, it's always been a favorite. I like a lot of things that are blue. Like blueberries, bluebells,smurfs,cookie monster etc.... Do I have to agree with everything it says if your color is Blue? I agree with some of it. Here are the things I agree with.
1. "Blues" seem to genuinely connect with others
2.Everything "Blues" do is quality-based
3.We are loyal friends, Employees and Employers
4.They pay close attention to life's special events
5."Blues" are dependable and thoughtful(I like to think I'm both of these, I try to be)

I don't agree with these things but then maybe I don't agree because they are true.
1. It said that "Blues" are sainted pit bulls. Nice.
2. They never let go of something or someone once they've committed.
3. We can be self-righteous and moody(ok, the moody part might be true)

I like this last part on the definition of what it means if you are the color "Blue".
It says "Stacey, your personality profile indicates that you have significant portions of other colors in your overall makeup that help shape your unique personality style."

Not that I'm telling anyone else what to do but if you take the color personality test, let me know what your color is. I'm curious if I have any other "Blue" friends out there. If not, no worries because I love all colors. Well puke green has never been a favorite.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My cutie Mom!

My mom and dad are visiting for Christmas, they are both 78. They can't do like they use to which is part of life but also sad at times to see. They can't drive for long periods, my mom can't see very well and they both can't hear the greatest. Again, it's part of life. What I'm getting at is that we have to improvise and think of other ways to entertain them or things to do while they are here. Last night I started asking my mom about some of her favorite memories as a kid at Christmas time. She can remember tons of stuff from when she was little. My Mom said that one thing she loved at Christmas time was that her mom would cook and bake yummy foods. Her mom was a great cook, my mom is a great cook and unfortunately it was not passed on to me. Sigh! I think I have it in me if I would just care enough to bake as much as my Mom did. My mom had two sisters. Nin(Virginia) and Toots(Ruby). My Aunt Nin was 10 years older than my mom and was out of the house going to school and then going on a mission and my mom and Toots were the only ones at home. My Mom has brothers but they were also gone off doing their own thing. My aunt Toots was 8 years older than my Mom but they were close. The memory she told me was so sweet and cute and I can just picture it in my head.
She said that one Christmas Eve her and Toots (given the name because my mom said that's what Toots did a lot, ahem.... if you know what I mean)were jumping on their beds too excited to go to sleep. She said that when they were jumping they were singing "Jump in bed and cover up your head because Santa is coming tonight." Then they went to jump under their covers and smacked heads. She said they were laughing to hard to even cry but that the next day they both had big bumps on their foreheads. I love that this was her favorite memory because Toots was my favorite Aunt and she was spunky (despite her MS) and I can just see those two laughing and laughing. Toots had a very contagious laugh and so does my mom. In this photo, My mom is on the right and Toots is on the left.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Traditions make me happy!

"Traditions" is not just a song sung by Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. It means "passing on, handing over." We have two Traditions that happen every Christmas come rain/snow/sleet or hail. They are from the Griffith/Scott tradition book. There really isn't a book but if there were, these two would forever be in it.
The first we did this morning(or I should say Mark did with Miles and Sofi while I took Kiah to the doctor). I think I've mentioned before the famous potato donuts from Mark's Grandma? If not you can look it up at www.niffgurd.com . The recipe is even on there if you'd like to start making it be your family tradition, if you do please credit Mern Lindquist. She was Marks sweet Grandma who passed away this year. I have been eating potato donuts since I was a little girl though when my Mom and Dad would take us to Pete's spudnuts in Logan,Utah. Good ol' Pete had a hamburger place on Main street in logan, but they also sold potato donuts which were big and so yummy. I have met people that didn't grow up in Logan but had family there and remembers eating those donuts as a kid. That's bringing in a memory and this is about traditions, sorry.
The kids love making potato donuts though, and I'm not sure if that's because of the mess and playing with the dough or because they get to eat as much as they want while making them. I hope this is one that my kids pass on to their kids and so on.
The second tradition is from my side of the family. It is from my Mom and it was her Mom's recipe. It's called Green death and I have had it every Thanksgiving and Christmas since I can remember. It's a drink and so easy to make and kids love it. It's one large can of pineapple juice, 1 cup of sugar, 2 cups of water,1 packet of lemon/lime kool-aid (not always easy to find) and 1/4 cup of lemon juice. You mix it all up and freeze(I usually use a cake pan 9X13).
When you are ready to serve it, put in a cup, about half of the cup and then fill up the rest with 7-up. The kids don't usually help make this one because we usually make it the night before we have our big dinner and the kids are in bed. I've loved it, my brothers love it and we now have it at our houses for the holidays because our kids ask for it. Traditions make me think of the Holidays, families together, new families being formed. It's important to create new traditions but at the same time you have to hold on to things that your families have been doing forever, passing them on, handing them over. Here's to you and yours. Wishing you all a Happy Holiday and praying for peace and joy in your lives.

Friday, December 19, 2008

No fun in the sun, just some fun in the Snow!

We played in the snow yesterday with the kids. We had a great time, despite the cold and despite the fact that we have lost our Utah blood! A good time was had by all.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


This is another journal entry of mine. Instead of picking one from when I was little like before I chose one from when Sofia was a baby. I chose it because I had been looking at Sofia's baby book this weekend and I found a copy of this journal entry that I had stuck in with a photo. It took me back to a special time in my life, still a special time in my life.
March 2000
" I've believed for a long time that the meaning of Epiphany was a thunderous enlightenment, a revelation to those that were worthy to receive it. Then a friend reminded me of it's true meaning. Epiphany= a revealing scene or moment,an illuminating discovery. I had forgotten that Epiphanies could be small moments in our lives, loving, enduring and special times. As a mother we sometimes feel our lives are so mundane and unappreciated. Because of this I suppose I had begun to believe that an Epiphany couldn't possibly work it's way into my boring life. Yet I've had so many, some related to being a mom, some not. I need to remember that they happen everyday, to everyone. This photo of Sofia reminds me of one very important illuminating discovery. When this photo was taken it was definitely a moment for me. We had just bathed Sofia in our little hotel room in Florida(about three days after picking up Sofia at the hospital)and she cried through the whole bath. It was very warm outside, being that it was August in Miami. We opened the curtains, and laid her down on her stomach. She must have felt the sun shinning through the window, that feeling of being inside and out of the heat, yet you are aware that the sun is on you. It's very soothing and obviously it calmed her down. Her eyes were so alert and open to the world around her. Another Epiphany was later that night. I had gotten up at some awful hour of the night to feed Sofia and it was dark, the only light was from the moon peeking through the blinds. I was in a sleepy state, not even coherent of whether Sofia was drinking from her bottle or not. I looked down at her and those eyes of hers were wide open like they had been earlier in the day. She was peaceful and looking all around the room and at me. It sounds cliche' but our eyes met and we bonded in that moment. I fell head over heels in love with her then. I think we were both aware of how much we needed each other. I felt and continue to feel truly blessed. At times she will be laying in my arms, almost asleep and I look into her eyes and see what I saw that night in Florida when she was just a few days old. We are bonded through that moment, connected."
Think of the big and small Epiphanies you have had. I guarantee you've had more than you can count.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Montana vs. Oregon and hanging out with family

At one point we thought the drive from Spokane,Wa to Menan,Idaho (don’t feel bad if you don’t know where it is, nobody really does)was going to be 8 hrs. We already knew the drive from Issaquah to Spokane was 4 hrs. Marks sister Sara asked why we didn’t just drive down to their place in Boise and then up and around to Menan with them, thinking it would be the same amount of time. Later we found out it was 6 hrs to Menan from Spokane, plus the 4 from Issaquah. It’s only two hours shorter but hey, two hours less when driving with kids for a long time means everything. It means sanity vs. insanity. Even if the drive were the same amount of distance in driving I still would pick the Spokane through Montana, down through Idaho route any day. I have three reasons which I will list in order of importance.

1. In Montana the speed limit is 75 vs. the 60 in Oregon. That is a huge difference.

2. Montana and the part of Idaho that we drive through are very pretty. The part of Oregon that we would have to drive through after crossing the Columbia River going to Boise is UGLY. In my opinion.That's just my opinion.

3. You can pump your own gas in Montana. That drives Mark and I crazy that you can’t pump your own gas in Oregon. I understand that they are giving jobs to people by doing that but it’s annoying. I like getting my own gas thank you very much.

After all that our drive wasn’t so bad. We drove to Spokane on Tuesday night and spent the night and then left Wednesday from Spokane around 10:30 and got into Menan (to Marks Aunt and Uncle Doug’s house) around 6:30. Kiah drove for 3 ½ hrs, which was a nice break for Mark. I didn’t drive because my head is too fuzzy due to the sinus infection. We made one stop for lunch in Missoula for about an hour and other than that we sailed on through. It wasn’t too bad. The kids watched movies, they didn’t really fight and some took naps.
It has been a lot of fun watching the kids play with their cousins. Each one of our kids have one or more cousins that they are really close to. Kiah’s cousin Garrett and her are very close and are cute together, they are like two peas in a pod. Today we had everyone tell something they were Thankful for and Garrett (who is almost 17) said "Kiah." They are cute cousins, nice to each other, supportive and funny. Miles has his cousin Cory that is one month older than him. Those two run all over with transformers, making up all kinds of stories that involve bad guys dying at the hands of their transformers. They are cute. Sofi has her cousin Tanner who is a few months older than her. Whenever we get together they act a little shy at first like they have forgotten each other and then within a little bit of time they have both disappeared and they are off playing a board game or outside jumping on the trampoline. Those two are cute because they know when they need a break from each other. They don’t fight; they just stop playing for a bit. Then you see them running off to play again. I love watching the kids play with their cousins. I never really had this type of experience growing up. My cousins are all older than me; they teased me more than anything else. Menan is very beautiful if you ever want visit this area. If you go to Rexburg and then look west you will see Menan. Marks Uncle lives up on a crater. From their balcony you can see the winding of the Snake River, the Rexburg Temple and the tips of the Tetons. It’s flat and dry, which I’m not use to. I think I’m a bit spoiled living up in Washington. Yet, this is another kind of beauty. It’s breathtaking actually. So far, despite being sick it’s been a good trip.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

I haven't been sick for the Thanksgiving Holiday for a long, long time. I can't knock on wood this time though because I am in the middle of a snotty nosed snotfest. It came on fast and hard. Ask Amy about it, she has it too. I hope none of the other Twilight gals get it. If so, blame not just me, but Amy as well. I will say "sorry" now and get it over with. We are driving to Menan,Idaho on Tuesday. Menan is near Rexburg if you are wondering. I had never heard of it until Marks aunt and uncle moved there a few years ago. I'm not excited about the drive, I wasn't before the sickness and now I am even less excited. My head feels huge and there is this area around me with waded up tissues from the day that I just don't feel like throwing away. This is not a pity party post, I promise.
It is meant more as a wish that you and yours have a wonderful, relaxing and fulfilling Thanksgiving. I hope all of you stuff yourselves completely full, you should. I'm tired of hearing people say they are worried about eating pie or too much turkey or whatever during the holidays. We should be good to ourselves, don't over do it but be happy, savor the tastes, all the sauces and breath in the smells. Breath it in for me, because right now I can't smell a thing! Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

La La Shan

I really don't have anything to say but I wanted to put up another photo that Mark found from our first trip to Taiwan. We met this funny, very nice Chinese man in the city we lived in and him and his family ended up becoming good friends. He has two daughters and it was amazing to watch how he interacted with them. He adored them and put them on a pedal stool. The way he treated them (them being girls) is something you don't see in the Asian culture very often. Maybe it's changing some, I hope. Sydney took us with his friend Mr. White up to La La Shan in the mountains (shan means mountain in Mandarin). We took this long winding road up to see old huge trees, that's what La La Shan was and is. Funny because now I live in an area with tons of large and old trees and I don't have to take a long winding road to see them. It was beautiful and the countryside in Taiwan is worth getting out to see. Plus it's much cooler up in the mountains and it was a treat to get away from the city and the heat.
I love this photo of Mark and I. My legs look long, which I love. Also this was when I was a few pounds lighter, dang weight gaining! I also had long hair and had it pulled back in a ponytail, the only time I've had long hair in my adult life. Anyhoo, thought I would post the photo. I guess I did have a few things to say.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

flashback Monday with Mark and Stacey

Mark tonight had a dire need to find his old yearbooks. Nostalgia I guess. He didn't find the yearbook but he did find a bunch of photos. I love this photo that he uploaded and I'm stealing it from him.
It's one of my favorites of us and I had forgotten all about it. Mark and I went to Taiwan the summer after we got married. We were married June 16th,1989 and we went when school got out for BYU Provo the spring of 90'. We were in Taiwan teaching English from I think May to the end of August. We made around 20$ and hour and the minimum wage at that time was around 5$. We made a nice amount of money (we bought a car with it) and had a fun experience together. This photo was taken on a Sunday and I know that because I wouldn't have worn a skirt any other day and Mark wouldn't have worn long pants any other day. By the time we walked, took a train and walked a bit more, it took us about 90 minutes to get to the English branch from our house each Sunday. It was well worth it though because it was a nice social day and our only time to be with a bunch of foreigners. Mark taught the Gospel Doctrine class and the people in the class were the elder missionary couples. They were really funny. If you want to hear something funny, talk to a woman or man from Idaho trying to speak Mandarin. It's hilarious. Not that I can speak the language much better, but put a rural accent with it and it's funny. This photo brings back great memories though. Skinnier, funny, free, new, exciting and adventurous memories.

quotes and more quotes

Mark tonight was looking for his old yearbooks and found a couple journals of mine in one of the boxes he brought up from the basement. I started leafing through them and had forgotten that I use to love writing down some of my favorite quotes. Or if I heard a new one, I would write it down on the side of the paper or at the bottom, just about anywhere in my journals. I thought I would post a few of my favorites that I had forgotten about and have been rejuvenated by.

Quote 1)
I am not afraid of the storm, for I am learning to sail my ship
Louisa May Alcott
Quote 2)
Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instructions
Anne Sullivan (Helen Kellers Teacher)
Quote 3)
Follow your bliss
Joseph Campbell
Quote 4)
It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves
In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer
Albert Camus

That last one is one of my favorites. Especially after moving to Washington. In the winter with all the rain and dark skies I have to remember that within me is light and the power to have a positive attitude and that summer WILL come.
What are your favorite quotes?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thanksgivings of Yore

My friend Denese posted photo's of her kids Halloween costumes through the years. I loved looking back at her kids when they were wee ones and now seeing them getting older but still wearing costumes was fun. I decided to post our Thanksgiving photo's instead. I have to be different, what can I say? Plus a lot of Kiah's Halloween photo's are in frilly,scary photo albums that I don't want to take photo's out of to scan. I say frilly because they were gifts and that was a while ago. I'll have to take a pic of one sometime just so you can see how gaggy they are. Most likely you have some of your own. The photo's don't start until Sofi was a baby because other Thanksgiving photo's are also in albums somewhere. Oh well. You can see the change of our family from 1999 to present. There are a few photo's so sit back and have fun. Oh, some of Mark with his big burly beard are going to be a shock to those that have only known him in Washington. They are funny.

I should have more but that's all I've got right now. I'm not sure now if Thanksgivings of Yore is such a great idea. Halloween would've been a lot funner. Ooh or Christmas. That will be next month.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Trendy Wendy and Spacey Stacey

Today is my flashback Monday. Last night we went into Seattle and picked up a friend from Logan that is here for a Convention and took her around the city. Wendy and I have known each other since Middle school. We went to the same school's since Kindergarten but didn't really know each other until Middle school. What is it lately with me getting together with friends from my past? Anyhow Wendy is here from Denver for her work and I'm so happy we got to see her.
I haven't seen Wendy in probably 15 years but that was just a quick "hello" thing. After High School we stopped hanging out and didn't hang out in the same group anymore. I think I saw Wendy in Logan at a Fair 15 years ago and we said Hello and that was it. Kind of sad. It was until lately with the wonderful "Facebook" that we reconnected. Go Facebook. Believe it or not I was small in middle school and High school. Wendy and I were the same height, dressed the same, both short and tiny. At school they called her Trendy Wendy and I was Spacey Stacey. We were inseparable. We both were pretty trendy. We wore our penny loafers with a dime in them, not a penny (we were trying to be different ;D). Then our knee high argyle socks, our long khaki shorts, then a sweater with a long sleeved button down shirt underneath. We wore this in Logan, in the winter, in freezing temperatures. I just have to say that we never had the big Utah hair. Nothing against those of you that did. We still love you! Wendy and I had short hair (I know for me that's a big surprise). We thought we were pretty cool. That was the look though. Preppy but trendy. We would also wear our IZOD shirts but put a safety pin through the alligator. I don't know why we thought that was cool. My memory that I wanted to share today though and is one that Wendy brought up last night and is about an incident with a car....
We had an old car of my Grandma's that she wanted us to sell and it had been sitting in our driveway for awhile. I didn't have my license yet, Wendy was over, My parents were going out for the night and I was a bit tempted. My parents left, we waited a bit and then decided that we wanted to go downtown to get a soda. In our immature teenage minds thought up a plan that would allow us to take the car but not get caught. We would mark with pencils the exact place that the tires were in so that when we came back we could line them back up into the same spot. How stupid is that? I mean really, only crazy teenagers think of that kind of stuff. We went outside got down on our knees and marked in pencil (so that we could erase after) where the tires were. We took the car downtown and got a soda at the old Smith's grocery store on 4th. I don't even think I enjoyed it because I was so nervous that I would run into someone, see my parents, get caught, crash the car. It was not enjoyable. When we got back home it took us forever to get the car back where the marks were. I hadn't even taken drivers ed yet. We were down on our knees again erasing the pencil marks when my parents pulled up. We told them we had dropped something on the ground and that we were trying to find it. How lame were we? I was not a good liar. A few days later my mom asked me if we took the car out while they were gone. Like I said I was not a good liar and I had to tell the truth. I got into a bit of trouble for that. Wendy and I had some fun times together. Both goofy and crazy. In High School if Wendy wasn't with me people would ask me where she was and vise versa. She was a good friend and I'm happy that facebook is around so that people like us can reconnect and get to know each other again. I have more funny Wendy stories that will have to be for another time.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Prayers in my Heart

I have some prayers in my heart today and if it's not too corny I thought I would share them. If you in turn want to include them in your prayers, the more the better. Today Miles turns 5. We met his Birth Mother the day after he was born and he was placed with us the following day. The night we met her she cried the whole time. I was at a loss for words but I had prayed that I would know what to do for her. I could only sit by her and rub her back. What else do you do in that situation? She was giving us this wonderful gift of life, there is no other gift that equals it's value. She is in my prayers today, as she is every day.
Yet today when I look at Miles I keep seeing her face. I send out a prayer today for Lillian that she has happiness and peace in her life. That she knows that Miles is doing good. She told me in a letter a few years ago that she didn't like the name Miles and wouldn't have chosen it herself. I thought that was funny. Sofia's Birth Mother is also in my heart and prayers today. Her name is Neeco. She is older than Miles Birth Mother and had more stability and support in her life, I pray she still does today. I find it only fitting that on November 1st I found myself in a Wendy's and Sofi, Kiah and I looked at photo's on the wall of Dave Thomas. This month is National Adoption month. While we ate there we talked about him and how much he cared about adoption having a positive image. I have a prayer in my heart today for friends that are waiting to adopt. They are on such a wonderful and blessed path. I have a prayer in my heart for all the Birth Mother's and Birth Father's that are either in the process of making the decision to place their child for adoption, or are feeling sadness today because they wonder if their Birth child is doing ok. Can you tell I feel a bit emotional? Those are my prayers.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Baby Mama

Alison and I met at Edith Bowen Elementary School in 5th grade. That would have made us about 10 and the year was 1978. Freaky! Her family had moved from Alaska and we hit it off instantly. We've been good friends ever since. Alison was always tall, has blond hair and lots of freckles. I've always been short, brown hair and freckles. We thought we looked like LaVerne and Shirley and if you don't know who that is then you aren't cool enough to read this post! I could write post after post about funny times spent with Alison. Here are a few.
1. She still teases me to this day about Bill Petzel who spun me around from the loop of my painter pants in middle school.
2. We watched Grease so many times together that we knew it by heart.
3. I called her from Logan when she was visiting her grandma up in Vancouver,WA crying that this guy I liked (my first real boyfriend)dumped me. I cried and cried and she just listened.
4. Alison and our friend Ned shared a locker in Middle school and had mice in the locker named Sid and Nancy(also if you don't know who that is, you aren't cool enough;D). The vice principal,mr. maughn found out and made them get rid of them, which now makes total sense.
5. Jump to when Mark and I got married. She couldn't understand why she couldn't go into the Temple with us(not a member)and threatened to dig a tunnel into the Temple. Kidding of course. She was waiting outside when we came out, in tears.
6. We have talked to each other on each of our birthday's no matter where we are, ever since we've known each other.

I'm writing about Alison because she is expecting her first child this month. She is having a girl. She met her husband while living in India. His name is Suresh and he is the nicest man. They are going to have one beautiful baby girl. This past weekend Kiah, Sofi and I went down to Vancouver where her and Suresh live. They actually live in her grandmother's house that I called so long ago crying about a stupid boy. Kiah and I put on a shower for Alison. Her mom and dad live in Salmon River and she came to the shower as well. Alison and Suresh haven't lived in Vancouver very long so she doesn't know very many people. I think there were about 11 of us there and it was the perfect amount. She got a lot of nice things and it was fun to watch her open up her gifts. It was a long and at times stressful weekend but I was very happy that I spent time with Alison and her mom. It felt like old times. She of course teased me about Bill Petzel and my painter pants. She had to bring that up in front of Kiah, anything to embarrass me. Here's to old friends and new friends. Next time you see one of them (or talk to them), let them know how much they mean to you.

Duped by a 9 year old

One last post about Halloween and just because I think it's too funny and totally shows Sofi's personality to a "T." Each Halloween Mark has the kids pick a big pile of their favorite candies and the rest he takes to work. Yes he is the grinch of Halloween. That and we both have had bad teeth as kids and don't want the same for the kids. This year was no exception. He let Sofi have her stash a few days longer than most. Last night he told her to pick out 30 of her favorite(this is after she had already eaten tons and tons) candies and give the rest of the bag to him. He called me from work today and told me about the sneaky little trick that she pulled. She had taken out the bag and replaced it with a big towel. He got to work, went to give candy to his friends and pulled out the towel. No candy. We both had to laugh. We could totally see Sofi in all her sneakiness creeping up to the bag knowing she was pulling it off, with a big grin on her face nonetheless. I just confronted her (with a smile on my face). Her cute smile came out, she tried not to, her nose scrunched up,big grin and laughed that real laugh. You've got to love it. Kids are too darn funny and innocent. What a cutie.

Friday, October 31, 2008

"Every party has a pooper and that's why we invited you"

This Halloween brings back a memory of Mark and I's first Halloween together. We lived in Wymount in Provo and our church was having a Halloween party, the party I don't even remember. It's what came before the party that is the memory. I had been to a few Halloween parties in my day and knew what parties were suppose to be like and that one dresses up for parties. I did what any person in Utah does when trying to find a costume and is a bit stumped. I went to the D.I. I bought clothes for me, some polyester 70's dress and for Mark polyester pants and jacket. There were accessories as well. We were going to look good together.
I had long hair then, past my shoulders. I know that might be a surprise to a lot of people that have only known me with short hair. It's true though.
I will try to find some good long hair photo's for you. I found this lovely photo. Not me of course but my hair was ratted that big. I went home, got dressed, ratted my hair up like no other and set off to pick Mark up at BYU. I pulled up to our normal pick up spot. I picked him up after work and classes. I sat in the car and watched him walk towards the car not really paying attention to me (which he should have)but only seeing the car. Mark opened the door, stuck one leg in looked at me and said "oh, I'm so sorry. wrong car." He then went to step out and shut the door. We had an old Toyota corolla, no power windows in that car (we didn't even have heat much less power windows). I had to reach over and roll down the window to let him know it was me. The look on his face was priceless. I so wish I'd had a camera then. The party ended up being boring. What was I thinking, it was Wymount. I would do it all again though to see Mark's face. He was embarrassed and that hasn't happened much in our marriage. The embarrassing moments are left up to me. Tease Mark next time you see him. Ask him if he's gotten into a car with a strange woman on Halloween night recently!!! Oh, sorry my party pooper reference is because Mark wouldn't dress up with me for the party. He never has and never will. It's not his thing. Big party pooper!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Blue light specials and first time bra's

A friend posted a while back about her Grandma and mentioned KMART'S blue light special in the blog. It brought back a fond (not really fond, embarrassing is more like it)memory and I am all about posting things that could embarrass myself.
I can talk about bra's here, right?
I unfortunately started wearing bra's a lot earlier than most of my friends. I had some friends (no lie and you probably know people like this yourself)that didn't start wearing bra's until High School. I wont mention any names. My mom had my dad drive us out to KMART (she didn't get her license until she was 65)to go shopping for my first bra. What do we find while shopping for that first training bra? A blue light special. Just to let you know, I did not want to be there, I didn't want to get my bra at KMART and I didn't want my dad to have to drive us to the store so that I could get a bra. It didn't start out great I should have known. My mom saw the blue light in all it's glory and we had to hurry over to it. Bra's on sale, yeah. All shapes and colors. My mom found the training bra's and proceeded to take them out of the boxes and one by one try them on me over my clothes. That was the icing on the cake. Horrified is not even close to how I felt. In the end I did walk away with a bra. I wore it to school the next day and hated it so badly that I went into the bathroom and took it off. I stuck it in my backpack and didn't wear it again for a while. Not until it was very apparent that I needed to wear one.

Sofia is telling me now that her friends are wearing bra's. She keeps asking Kiah and I if we think she needs to wear one. There's nothing there. She will be like my friends that started everything later. She has plenty of years to wear one, she will hate them like the rest of us. Why start now if you don't have to? I for sure will never try them over her clothes at a blue light special or any special for that matter.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Flashback Mondays

I am copying a friend of mine, hopefully she wont mind. She shouldn't she got the idea from someone else herself. The idea is to post something each Friday of something you have thought about from your past during the week.I'm going to change mine and post on Monday. Just to be a little crazy and live on the wild side. My friend had posted about her Grandma's and a photo of them where they have their arms around each other. I found that so sweet. It got me thinking of my Grandma Scott. I was 16 when she passed away and I have a lot of great memories of her. I was 3 when my Grandma Parrish passed away and she lived in West Virginia so I never lived by her to even try to form the tiniest of memory with her. My Grandma Donna Scott was fun though. Flaming red hair, great smile, tons of energy and amazing cook. Oh, and did I mention funny. As my friend posted about her Grandmas I too am going to list five tangible things that made me "flashback" and think about my Grandma. This is fun.

1.Horlicks Malties(which are chocolate flavored malt type lozenges, kind of hard to explain). My Grandma had these up in a cupboard in her kitchen. They were always too high for me to reach but if I were good she would get it down and let me get some. I loved them and this was the beginning of my addiction to Malt. I still love malt balls and malt shakes( caramel cashew shakes make the best malts,in my opinion).
It was our little secret though and my brother's didn't get them. I'm sure they got something else but this was my treat with Grandma and that's all the mattered to me.

2. Fresca. My Grandma was not big on Carbonation. She rarely had soda's in her house, it was mostly milk, juice or water. If we went up in the mountains for a picnic or had a family reunion at their house or somewhere else she would buy soda's and her soda was always Fresca. I would always ask my Grandma for a sip of her drink. I probably could've had my own but I loved to ask my Grandma for some of hers. They only had one flavor then, none of these extra ones like blackberry fresca or orange fresca. It was more simple. What I loved about my Grandma though was her having a Fresca was her living on the edge, when she pulled out the Fresca she was relaxing and chillin'. She was too cute.

3. Peanut and Butter Sandwiches. One year my Grandma stayed at our house while my parents when on their anniversary trip(and I will never ever forget this). I remember having a great time with my Grandma. My Grandpa stayed at home because he had to take care of the farm. They had a wheat farm and also some cattle. I must have asked my Grandma to make me a peanut butter and jam sandwich for school because she gave me one to take with my lunch. I can still remember biting into that sandwich and getting not just peanut butter and jam but peanut butter, butter and jam. It stuck so bad to the roof of my mouth. I asked her when I got home why she did that and she said "well you asked for a peanut butter sandwich." I've never forgotten that. I don't think I ever will. It made me laugh so hard. I started noticing that older people did that, put butter on their sandwiches. Now my own parents do that but they didn't do it when I was younger. It's only been in the past 10 years. That was a good one though. She said it so seriously.

4. HUGS! I'm sure all Grandma's give great hugs, how could they not. My Grandma's hugs have been on my mind this past week. Her hugs always came with a big smile and she had a warm and welcoming one. I know a lot of people who still have their Grandparents around. My own kids had their Great-Grandparents around up until last year. That's pretty lucky. I'm trying to pull on memories back from when I was 16, which I know isn't forever ago but I'm not a youngster anymore either. I miss my Grandma. She was sweet. I'm sad that she passed away when I was at that age in my life when you don't want to visit "those old people." I was going through my selfish stage. I didn't visit her as much. I can't do the what if game though. I just hope she knew how much I loved her and how much I loved her hugs. Oh and her hugs came with a smell that every once in a while I will get a whiff of, just out of the blue. I will be somewhere and take a deep breath and there it is, my Grandma and then I sigh and have a memory of Grandma Donna Scott. I put this photo up of my mom and Miles because I can't find one of my Grandma hugging me. Plus it's Miles Birthday next week and I can't believe 5 years have gone by that fast.

5. Deer Hunting weekend (though I'm anti hunting). Now they call this time in Utah UEA weekend. When I was younger I think they actually gave it a name that had to do with deer hunting. I could be wrong. What this weekend meant to me though was fun, fun, fun. I stayed far away from the boys and my dad if they shot a deer. My parents would come pick me up at school, in the car with the trailer behind. The trailer would be loaded with all the fixin's and things you need to keep you happy and warm while camping. It was an old camper. It had a table that folded out into a bed, a tiny kitchen, a closet, a couch that folded out into a bed and then a bunk bed above it. My Grandparents would go with us in their trailer and our neighbors the Wrights (which I've mentioned before)would go as well. The next day (after getting up to our favorite spot up Logan Canyon)the guys would leave really early and it would be just us gals left back at camp. My mom and I would sleep in, eat some breakfast and then go to join the other gals. I would run over to my Grandma's trailer as soon as I could.Her trailer was always warm and toasty. We would play card games, go on walks, find treasures, take naps, eat goodies. The guys would come back (hopefully without shooting a deer)and then it would be more fun with everyone all together. The best though and what my best memories are of are the daytimes with my Grandma and my mom. I will always associate fall and the mountains with my Grandma. She is probably the first one that taught me to appreciate and love the mountains, then my dad(her son). BTW this trailer looks exactly like my Grandparents.

My Grandma passed away in her sleep with a smile on her face. She smiled all the time while alive it seems right she would pass away smiling. I'm never sad when I think about her. Only good memories and happiness. I have to smile myself when thinking about her. I will also put up a pic of my Grandma later today. I've got to find this really cute one of her with her flaming red hair(most likely clariol) and her funky 70's shirt. It's great.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dear Diary!!

Today I found my journal from when I was 8 years old. There were parts that made me laugh and other entries (because I was a sensitive and kind of deep kid for an 8 year old)made me want to cry for that little girl I once was. The laughing is what prevailed. I thought I would include a few entries to give you some insight into my 8 year old mind. Enjoy, laugh, think I'm crazy, go find your old Diaries and if you don't have any, START one now!I'm going to write it in my awesome grammar and spelling from when I was 8, it makes it so much better.

February 18,1976:
"Well so far I've had a happy day. I saw a flock of birds. They were so pretty. All those birds flying back and forth, it was buitefull. I think Lucky (my neighbors dog and little yeller is my dog) likes little yeller cause one is a girl and lucky is a boy. the note my mom gave me is nice. I love my Mom more than any body ells but I love my Dad too and my brothers too and my Heavenly Father very much. The end."

I'm not sure why I always wrote The End at the end of my entries? Funny. In reading my entries I've also noticed that I was an awful speller, seriously.

March 7,1976:
"Today I went to see the Freaky Friday and it sure was Freaky but it would have been better if I had seen it on Friday."

Yes that was my humor,such slapstick humor. Ok, last entry.

November 27,1976:
"Today I read page 9 in my Holy Bible. I guess I don't read too much in my Holy Bible but I do as much as I can. Now I am on chapter 2. I will try to do better."

Those are just a few of the truthful,sweet things I wrote as a kid. I noticed that at the end of almost every entry I stated who I loved, which was pretty much everyone. Sometimes I just wrote at the end that I love everybody or as I wrote it every body. Through the eyes of a child. So at the end of this post I'd like to say I love everybody. I'm grateful for family and friends and I love you all. The End!

Monday, October 20, 2008

DejaVU not VujaDE

When I was younger and this one friend of mine and I would be doing something together one of us would say "VujaDe, I have the strangest feeling this has never happened before." That was a long standing joke. Now Mark and I break out in that joke for fun. Oh, the humor. I had a major DejaVu yesterday and I did not act the way my friend Vicky Wright did. I will explain. When I was 16 and had my driver's license a friend of the family Vicky (who was also a neighbor and had been a babysitter) said she would teach me how to drive a stick car. I lived in an area in Logan called the Island and one of the ways to get out of the island and downtown or up to the University is by going up the steep dugway, which is a steep, steep hill. You can ask anyone in Logan(that is from Logan) where the steep dugway is and they can tell you. It's been called that for as long as I can remember. Vicky decided in her old Volkswagen station wagon to have me drive up the steep dugway on my first time driving stick. Not smart. This is the same family that when my older brother was maybe around 12 was told by Vicky's mom to pull their car into the garage for her. My brother pulled it in and went right through the back wall of the garage. My mom was furious. Other things we've done to this family.I picked up a BB gun that my brothers and Vicky's brother's were playing with(I was 3)aimed it at Vaughn and shot him in between his eyebrow's. He still has a scar. I also shut their cats leg in the door and broke it. It had this little cast thing on for awhile. They still love us though. Back to my driving lesson with Vicky. I didn't hurt their car thank goodness. I did however get stuck in the middle of the steep dugway and had to put it in park and have Vicky drive it up the rest of the way. There was a long line of cars behind me honking and losing patience with me when I was trying to shift into 2nd. Vicky on the other hand was just laughing and not losing any patience at all. She never once got mad or said we should just go home. Maybe it's going with someone other than family that's the trick.
Jump ahead to yesterday to Kiah in the drivers seat of a used Volkswagen bug and me in the passenger's seat teaching her to drive stick. We live in a development that has hills, we live up on a hill so to get going anywhere you have to go up the hill and then go down the hill. Like me she got stuck in the middle of the hill when she went to shift into 2nd. Unfortunately there were all these neighborhood boys around, all about 9 years old and some we knew. They just stood there and watched and the crowd grew and grew. My nerves got more and more stressed and Kiah got more and more upset. I told her what to do but she started rolling backwards so I told her to put her foot on the break and she was yelling "I am putting my foot on the break" and then I was yelling "if you were putting your foot on the break, we wouldn't be rolling backwards." Again, the crowd of boys is still growing and Sofia and Miles are sitting in the back. Sofia was laughing and Miles was playing with a transformer and in his own little world. I was not like my friend Vicky. I was not calm, cool and collected. I did not act the way I wanted to or had pictured myself acting. It's funny now, but it wasn't so funny then. She put on the break and got out, we switched places and I drove up the hill. Just like Vicky had done for me 24 years ago yet in a much happier way. Kiah went on to tell me that she didn't want to learn how to drive stick from either Mark or I because we just get upset with her.
I do have to say that I'm the one that took her out driving in the expedition though for the first time on the roads and on the highway. She is a good driver, very safe, very cautious. It's just that whole clutch,break,gas thing. Mark came home later from meetings at church and took her out driving. She came back later feeling much better and she actually drove her car to school today. She's been driving my expedition to seminary and then to school and I've had her bug. I'm proud of her, I wasn't so proud of myself. Too bad Vicky doesn't live around here. She could teach all of my kids to drive.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

One Meme to another!

Deb W. tagged me with a Meme, which to be honest I had to look up to see what that even meant. Duh. It's been a long week! A meme can be a catchphrase or concept that spreads quickly from one person to another. You've got to love the internet and blogs. I love blogs because it gives me a chance to read peoples thoughts that maybe they don't share all the time in a conversation in person. It can be quick thoughts we jot down in a hurry, or even thoughts we take a lot of time pondering about. What I love is that what might be jibberish or something boring to the person writing it, can be uplifting, funny and touching to the one reading it. I love blogs. I can catch up on friends lives, see photo's and feel closer to family that live far away. I am suppose to post the fourth photo in the fourth folder in my pictures file. This is the fourth photo in my folder.
It's not current and it's really out of place but I'm kind of glad it's the one that popped up because I love it. Miles and Sofi are asleep in our bed. Miles is so chunky here, I miss that. He has to be around 2, which makes Sofi about 6. Miles still sleeps like this. On his back, but he usually has his hands tucked behind his head. I love that Sofi is snuggled up to him. In the day they don't always get along. It's nice to see this photo and see how peaceful they look by each other, that's not always the case. When is it always that way with siblings though? I love this photo. It brings back sweet memories. Thanks Deb. I tag Mark, Amanda and Amy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

32 degrees ain't cold!

Mark took last Friday off work and Miles and I went with him to Mt. Rainier for the day. Friends like Jeanie helped with Sofi, and Kiah took care of Sofi after school, which allowed us to go. We were very appreciative. I was not appreciative that we had to leave around 7am but once we got up to visitor center and found out it was the opening ceremony for the new center I was glad to beat the crowd. I'm not one to wear a lot of layers. I'm normally a few degrees hotter than most people but I have to say that I was very grateful that Mark talked me into wearing layers that day. Miles had on the most layers and he still got cold. We parked at the visitor center and started on our hike up around Paradise. It's called that, I'm not just saying it's paradise(which it is, but without the warmth). We hiked a 2.7 round trip hike and were able to get up close to a glacier. It was beautiful.
Things not fun about it.
1. Miles slipped and fell really hard on a patch of ice(even though Mark told him to go around the ice)
2. It was straight uphill the whole way(no switchbacks), which meant steep downhill coming back (ouch on the knees)
3. A Ranger got mad at Miles when he stepped off the path onto the meadow, which he did to avoid the same patch of ice (that they should've chipped off or put rock salt on before people started hiking on)
4. Wished that Kiah and Sofia could have gone
Things wonderful about it.
1. Spent the day with Mark and Miles
2. Surrounded by beauty the whole day
3. Ate huckleberries while hiking
4. Threw rocks in a river for a long time with Miles and watched him have a huge grin on his face
5. Had a yummy dinner in Enumclaw on the way home

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Ride on the Peace Train

"Ride on the Peace Train" is a song by Cat Stevens. One I've loved for a long time, anything from the old Cat is good. This weekend at the Salmon Days fair I bought Sofi and Kiah a nice sterling silver peace sign (very small and dainty) necklace. The guy that sold it to us reminded me of something that I had forgotten, that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the peace sign. The peace sign surprisingly started in England. On an Easter Sunday a group of people marched from London to a factory in the countryside where Britain built its atomic bombs. Gerald Holtom was the artist and textile designer who created it. An international brand that became as familiar as a stop sign - from grim and gritty, to groovy, like a universal trademark, according to design consultant Richard Williams.
"The clever thing about it is, it's a mark we can all remember," Williams said. "Because we can all draw it. You have to see it once to be able to draw it and there are very few marks that work that way. That's why it can grow so quickly, why so many people can adopt it, because they can just scribble it. So when people were making placards they didn't get it wrong, they knew what it was." Williams also said "I think it's a good symbol because it is actually quite simple." Simple, as simple as the three lines and a circle, etched on the headstone of Gerald Holtom's grave. The Peace sign was not introduced to the US until the 60's. I guess we were a bit late to jump on the peace train.

Now 50 years later I wonder what Gerald Holtom would think of his symbol and how people perceive others who support the peace sign. Because it seems that if you truly support the peace sign you are branded unpatriotic. A person in the US can have a confederate flag in the back of their truck window and people just look away. Whereas a person with a peace sticker instead of a flag sticker on their car is looked at as less patriotic. Does that make sense? I've lost Uncles in wars. One of my Uncles died after the war due to complications because his parachute didn't open up. I have patriotism in my family. I'm patriotic. I'm also for peace. What I love about the peace sign (sorry I went off there for a second, I'm back again to the peace sign now) is that the symbol has been used for so many things. It's been used as a symbol against tyranny in Greece, against apartheid in South Africa and by the US troops opposing the Vietnam War. Yes, US troops, not just the hippies back home. People always associate it with anti-war protesters but it didn't start out as that. Like I said above it started out as a symbol used by a group of people that didn't want just the British Atomic bombs, they didn't want any Atomic bombs. I know it's not a major anniversary but it's been a pretty big symbol for a long time. A symbol that most everyone recognizes and a symbol that one man started in hopes of stopping something that would destroy people not bring them together. I'm hopping on the Peace train. Anyone want to join me?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Donny Osmond,Purple socks and Issaquah High

First off, Donny Osmond has not made a surprise appearance at Issaquah High School. However today is game day and I'm being supportive and wearing my Issaquah sweatshirt(plus I'm freezing). I at one time was totally in love with Donny Osmond. Despite his Corny family and himself and that he has obviously had some work done on his face, I will forever have a crush on the young Donny. Again, that is the young Donny. I use to have purple socks,I had Donny and Marie barbie type dolls. They had purple outfits that they wore. I wore purple shirts with Donny's face plastered on the front. I watched the Osmond show every week. I sang in front of the mirror "I'm a little bit country, I'm a little bit rock-n-roll." Sad I know. I was a true fan.I have to say this was when I was around 9 or 10. Now I wear the Issaquah purple and I'm a fan of the football team and the drill team.
Mark and I have joined the ranks and are excited about the games(well I am, I can't speak for Mark)and watching kids we know play and perform. Like Kiah of course. I'm that mom now that wears the school sweatshirt. You wont find me in purple socks or anything else purple. If Donny were to show up at Kiah's school I might have to go down there to see him. Not that he would have a reason to go. But he does like purple!! Go Issaquah!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lovin' those Huckleberries

On Sunday we drove up 90 and picked Huckleberries. Mark as a kid would pick Huckleberries with his grandparents when his family would go visit them in Idaho. I had never had any until we moved to Washington but have heard him talk about them our whole marriage. I've heard about how they turn eggs green if you have them in pancakes and eat them with sunnyside up eggs and the Huckleberries get in the egg yolk. Or something gross like that. When we moved here and started hiking we realized that they grow all over in the wild. They are purple, juicy and yummy. From what I've heard from others, the Huckleberries you pick in lower elevations are more red. We found a place up 90 last year and picked a bunch and made jam and used a lot of them for shakes and also pancakes. We decided on Sunday to go back to our spot and pick again. When we got up there, there were others cars in our spot and people were picking berries. We were not happy. Our secret spot was taken. We drove up the road a bit more and pulled over. Kiah had taken homework and was too busy to pick with us. Sofi picked but they went straight to her mouth (none in the bowl), and Miles helped Mark and I. Miles was so cute. He sang a song for me about Huckleberries and how he loves them. He also told me that "Huckleberry picking season" is his favorite season. So cute. He lasted for a while with Mark and I. Sofi was in the car with Kiah and Miles worked his way back to the car as well. Mark and I picked quite a bit. My hands and nails were a deep purple by the time we were done. Sofi's tongue and teeth were purple as well. The area we go to has bush after bush full of berries. We had friends over Monday night and had Huckleberry pancakes and the fixin's for dinner. For dessert we had Huckleberry shakes. It was yummy and well worth the drive up the mountains. It's a good tradition even if in the end it's just Mark and I picking and the kids in the car staying warm. It just gives Mark and I more berries to eat.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

In Awe

The other night while sitting and watching the Issaquah High School football game I had a moment where I was in awe of our surroundings. I realize I was only in China for a short time but being in Beijing and experiencing a huge city like that was intense. I lived outside of Taipei(which is the capital of Taiwan)and Taipei is a fairly big city, but Beijing is like no other. It could be overwhelming at times, yet you could walk down a small alley and not hear the sound of the city and forget all about it for a minute. Back to the football game though.
As I sat there watching the sunset and looking at the crowd and the field and breathing in the crisp clean air I thought about what I had just come from not quite a week ago. That I really do take it for granted, the wide open spaces. The clean air, the trees and the fact that we really don't have traffic compared to theirs. I think I felt some culture shock coming back from China and again I know I was there for a short time but it's so intense and so different that it really effected me. In a good way. I went to Germany when I was 17 almost 18. This was before the wall came down in Berlin. I went over with my high school to live for just 2 months, it was an exchange program. For one week of the trip went took a train to Berlin. One of those days we spent in East Berlin. I will never forget the way it looked or the feeling it evoked. It was drab, grey and depressing. We met with a group of LDS teenagers in one of their homes. That part of the day was the best part. We had to meet in a home because they were not allowed to practice their/our faith. They had so many questions about America and about being LDS teens in America. When we left I remember all of us (about 19) gave them our left over money. The money you change from West Berlin money into East Berlin money has to be spent, you can't take it back across the boarder.I remember it only being a small amount that we gave them but they were so appreciative. The reason I write about this is because I think a part of me thought that China was going to look and feel like East Berlin did. Drab, sad, depressing, stifling. I was happy to see that it was clean, people are happy, they are active,and so friendly. I know that life isn't the best there for everyone. The majority of the people are poor. They seem to have something though that makes them smile all the time. Maybe they have an inner hope that those of us that haven't had to struggle like they have,have. Maybe it's years of determination,and trying to make the best of what they have. I loved that people were outside a lot. The older people, like grandparents were out a lot with their grandkids. They seem to take care of the grandkids quite a bit. They had them at parks, at the stores, walking around sites. People seemed to be enjoying what they have and using it as much as they could. I saw sadness and felt it. Yet I left being surprised more by the happiness that I saw and came home being extremely grateful for all that I have. Wide open spaces, clean air, safe neighborhoods,good schools, our church and our friends here. Most importantly my family who brings me happiness and gives me that inner hope.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I've been tagged

My friend, Heather tagged me:

20 Years Ago:

1. Coming back from living in Taiwan for 4 months.
2. Attending USU in Logan,Utah
3. Studying German and Sociology at USU
4. Thinking about going on a Mission

10 Years Ago:

1. Moved from Utah to California
2. Looking into adoption after trying to get pregnant for a few years
3. Learned to quilt
4. Not aware that soon we would be adopting cutie Sofia

5 Years Ago:

1. Adopted Miles
2. Sent Kiah to Middle School (boo hoo)
3. Looking into moving to Washington
4. Trying to lose weight

3 Years Ago:

1. Getting use to the rain and living in Washington
2. Learned to Knit
3. Sofi started 1st grade and then it was just Miles and I all day
4. Broke my ankle backpacking and still had to hike out

1 Year Ago:

1. Sent Miles to pre-school (sad, but yeah also)
2. Kiah started High School
3. Was still in my 30's
4. learned to crochet

So Far This Year:

1. Turned 40
2. Mark and I have almost been married for 20 years
3. Went to China
4. family has been safe and healthy. such a blessing.


1. Ate dumplings at a yummy restaurant in Beijing,China
2. Took a taxi to the Beijing airport
3. Flew for 10 hrs from Beijing to Seattle
4. hugged the kids for the first time in 12 days, yeah


1. Woke up too early due to jet lag
2. Hanging out with Miles
3. Get to run tons of errands due to being gone for almost two weeks
4. get to take Kiah shopping to get her ready for Homecoming

In the Next Year I’ll:

1. work hard at getting in shape
2. read books from the new york times book review list(something my brother has been doing and he's read some really good books from it)
3. Reach out to my brother Kyle that I'm not so close to and try to form a better relationship with him (I only have two and need to try and be close to both)
4. Find somewhere to take a cooking class

I tag Mark,Shellee,Amy

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Last blog from China

Some last minute thoughts on China and my trip here. Since living in Asia before I've known how kind and loving and funny the Chinese people are. I had forgotten how many times one hears "Hello" out of the blue by kids and teenagers and sometimes even adults who love to say it to you. Or other times you will walk past someone and most likely the only English they know they say which is usually "hello how are you?" If I were to reply they wouldn't know what I was talking about. I usually say something back in Mandarin and they smile back. I love when an old man or old woman (like around 80 something)will smile or say "hello." I was saddened to find out that only 50 million people in all of China are in the middle class and the rest are either the poor or rich. 50 Million out of 1.3 Billion. That's staggering. It makes me very grateful for all that I have. I have loved all the historical sites I've seen. The people I've met like our guide Rosemary and some of the people that work at the Amazon office here in Beijing. I believe they would give you the shirt off their backs if you needed it. Beijing is huge and at times overwhelming. Yet you can get lost in a Hutong(the old alley's and area's of the city)and not hear the chaos of the city. That's where you feel peace and actually are able to walk a little slower and see the faces of the people.
I've loved the food we've eaten, well most of it. I've had hairy crab which I didn't think I'd like (only the shell is hairy not the crab meat)but I did. I've had duck hearts,little shrimps that you eat whole eyeballs, shell and all. I've eaten so much mutton I don't care to eat any again. China or maybe just Beijing seems to be big on Mutton. I've had dishes that look beautiful and dishes that don't. I burnt my hand on a hotpot so bad I wouldn't be surprised if it was a 2nd degree burn. I told Mark it will be my souvenir from China. I miss my kids like crazy. I can't wait to get back to them. It's funny because the day before coming to China I was so antsy and couldn't focus on anything because I was so excited,it's been the same today but instead it's because I can't wait to see my kids. I want to hug them all and talk to them. I want to have little hugs from Miles, Eskimo kisses from Sofi and hugs from Kiah followed by a long talk. It's been a great trip. One I will never forget. Traveling is wonderful and something everyone should do if possible but being with family is irreplaceable. Goodbye China, Hello Issaquah.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Steep StacThe guide that had taken Beth and I around the Forbidden city took some of us out to the Great Wall on Friday. We went to the Mutianyu section which is about 2 hrs east of Beijing. There is a section of the wall that most people go to here in the city named Badaling and during the Olympics the bike races went past it. We wanted something less touristy and farther out. I'm glad we chose Mutianyu. Rosemary was an awesome guide. She got us a Mercedes van(airconditioned, thank goodness), there were four of us, we were gone about 6 hrs and it cost us 53$ total. Though walking the Great Wall was no easy feat, and at times I thought I might die from pain and sweating so much, it's my second most amazing thing I saw here next to the Forbidden City. I'm glad we weren't here during the Olympics because Rosemary said that it was crowded and 90% of the visitors were westerners. We decided to get there when it opened at 8:30 and there were hardly anyone there. It was quiet and peaceful, well as peaceful as it can be when you are in pain. Let me explain the steps as best as I can. None of them are the same. Some are only 7 inches wide and 2 inches high, then you would go not very far to where they were about 2 1/2 feet tall and about 7 inches wide. This being The Way is Steepstraight up the whole time. Not flat until you got to the towers where you got a little break. I went about 1/2 a mile which doesn't sound like much at all but when you consider that in that in 1/2 mile I went about 500 feet straight up, steep the whole way, and then had to go back down, it was intense. Mark, Ankit and Kyle decided they wanted to go on farther and then go to this one section called the wild wall where technically you aren't suppose to walk on. I think they missed the sign that said danger, prohibited. Rosemary (who normally doesn't walk where I walked to, she usually just waits back at the open air tram that we took up)and I waited for them. She told them that we would wait and see them in an hour,Posing on the Wall they were back in 15 minutes. She didn't know that Mark and Kyle are avid hikers and that Ankit where go wherever they go. On the way back from the wall Rosemary took us to a Mongolian hotpot restaurant. It was so yummy. I burnt my hand on the hotpot which wasn't so great and later Rosemary bought me some medicine to put on it that smells like Soy Sauce but it helped. We ate tons of food, had our own private room and it came to 28$, for 5 people. The Wall 53$, the food 28$, the Soy Sauce cream for my hand 1.80$. Hanging out with Mark and some friends at the Great Wall, Priceless.