Friday, October 21, 2016

Golden Week 2016

During the first week of October, the nation of China takes a break to celebrate their country. They call it Golden Week. At first we were a little down, because you really don't want to travel because everyone else is - and besides travel is expensive! - and we have a whole week off but not the means to see family as we would prefer. But at the end of it, we were very thankful for our "stay-cation." I highly recommend it to families with small children. We didn't go anywhere so the girls slept well the whole week for naps and night times, which allowed us to get some good breaks too. Ryan caught up on sleep and spent extra time with the girls. I got to craft. We went out to eat more often to save on chores and just enjoyed being a family, as well as taking turns with child duty to let the other have a little extra relaxation. It was great. :)

 Miss Ellie practiced more of her super walking skills!

 Ryan went with Dassah and friends out on an overcast morning, to a place about 30 minutes away by taxi. It was amazing the number of Chinese lanterns they had out!

 Fisherman's Wharf was the place, complete with rides and food and a kind of beach!

 Chinese :)

 Dassah loves to climb up on anything she can!

 There were horse rides...

 And about an inch of water covering the beach, just perfect for a little girl to have a blast running barefoot in!

 There were also a ton of crabs crawling in and out of holes all over, but no toes got pinched!

 The ferris wheel definitely got ridden, as well as a roller coaster braved by Ryan and Hadassah. Bad idea: here there are not as many regulations for things, and the roller coaster shook so bad, Ryan had whiplash for weeks afterwards!
While Ryan and Dassah were out, Ellie had a great, long nap catching up from the exhaustion of Sunday... Isn't her sleepy chub adorable?

 Then she was my sewing helper as I put the finishing touches on some skirts for her. :)

 We went out with friends to a Muslim restaurant. We've decided we really like the Muslim (XinJiang) version of Chinese food. Thick yogurt with honey to mix in takes the edge off the slightly spicy grilled lamb skewers, and they had some great potato dishes as well as delicious honey-fried bananas... Yum! It always takes a long time to order with a large crowd, but it was great being out with these good friends.

 The kids loved the stage to dance on at the end! We went back on a Saturday recently and they had a lady dancing that evening, with a beautiful long sparkly dress, with lots of twirling and even dancing with bowls of water on her head. Hadassah was enthralled. :)

 We've been enjoying the freedom to bike, even if it does take 20 minutes. And I feel safer now that Ellie is finally big enough to fit the smallest helmet I could find!

 We took a break from typical "preschool" (more for my sake in not having to plan - Dassah loves the extra activities!) but did a few fun crafty things here and there, like this one. If you color leaves that aren't too dry with marker, then roll them onto paper with a rolling pin, you get some fun fall prints!

 On another morning, Ryan took Hadassah ot the Minhang GongYuan - it's been closed since the spring, but recently reopened complete with new rides.

 Her smile says it all! I sometimes complain about the lack of free outdoor (or even indoor!) parks around here. But Ryan reminded me that we will likely never again live within a ten minute drive of a perpetual amusement park!

 A trip to Zoo Coffee to finish out left this girl extremely happy - what a fun daddy-daughter date!

 A crafted mommy and rested baby then joined on a taxi ride to Burger King. We hardly eat there in the states but when it's one of very few Western restaurants close by, ever now and then we give it a go here. ;)

 I bring some veggies for the girls to cut down on the grease. I've got to love that Dassah prefers salad to chicken nuggets! ;) And even Burger King makes for cute baby pictures!

 Ellie got an early birthday present... A swing of her own! Having a place to contain her when I need to sweep or whatever is quite nice, and she absolutely loves it. It's something Hadassah can push her in too - I love anything that gets the girls playing nicely together!

Truth be told, though: one day I hear "Can I flip Ellie over in the swing?" and before I can say "NOO!" she's done it. Thankfully the buckle held the terrified Ellie in, and Dassah got a stern warning not to do that again. I think she's been watching too many extreme sport GoPro videos with Daddy. ;)

 Ellie is at such a let's-have-fun giggly stage!

 Ryan also affectionately deemed her our goat. She's always climbing on whatever high surface she can get to!

There you have it... catching up on pictures, grateful for the "stay-cation" a few weeks ago, enjoying our home and the surroundings God has given us here.

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