Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I am back from China, and it was an amazing trip! However, I am very grateful for the home I have, the job I do, and the country I live in. We started in Beijing and then flew two hours north to Heilonjiang province to the city of Harbin to visit schools. Russia is the north border of Heilonjiang and Mongolia is the west. You can see the Russian influence in many of the building and even in the cuisine. One of our best meals was in a Russian restaurant.

I climbed the Great Wall of China, visited Tiananmen Square, walked through the Forbidden City and visited the Llama temple and the Confucius temple. I even held a baby Siberian Tiger. (Fully grown those things are huge and dangerous.) We even visited some amazing schools, although they were way larger than I would ever want to be in charge of. (5,000 students and 200 teachers) The best part of the trip by far was the people.

For now, I will let some of my pictures tell the rest of the story.

The Great Wall of China was one of the highlights of my trip. Some of the steps were two inches high and others were over 12 inches high, and it was steep. They told us that over 1/3 of the people that helped build the wall died and they burried them in the wall--that's a lot of people! All I could think about were all the bodies I was probably walking over. If you climbed even one step of the great wall they called you a hero. I wear that title with honor because we climbed way more than one step. See the square guard tower at the top of the photo. We made it there and back down in the 45 minutes they gave us.
Our hotel in Beijing...

Our visit to the elementary school. We helped paint in art class, and listened to some wonderful
songs in music class (in English).

Tianenman Square...

The four star toilet in the Forbidden City. No toilet paper, and all the toilets were squatters. It could have been a billion star toilet and you wouldn't have been able to get me to use it. It was cool inside, which helped in the 104 degree weather.

Part of the Forbidden City. Home only to the Emperors. The brick was 15 layers deep so that tunnels couldn't be made to get the emperor, and no trees so Kung Fu fighters would have no place to hide.

Harbin, with all of our Chinese guides. All but Alvin were going to school to be educators. Alvin is studying statistics.

Our gang from the back of the bus...

A 30 day old Siberian tiger cub. Those claws were sharp and he was grumpier than you might think.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Queen Chicken

See, that stinkin' hill is really, really steep!

I had this grand idea. I wanted to be more active over the Christmas holiday. Sounds good so far--right? Well I told my sister that we should go sledding while school was out. M being the ever great sister, and always willing to go along with my grand plans, agreed. We invited all the nieces and nephews that were interested to come along and even gathered a few neighborhood friends. Well all was well until I was at the top of a really steep hill. Then I chickened out. Really good of me, I know. I even pushed a few unwilling people kicking and screaming on thier way, but I wouldn't go down myself. I could just imagine this big body taking out a few kids and small adults along the way. The pictures in my mind were not pretty. Finally all conditions worked to my advantage and I kicked off for ONE run down the hill. I would have gone another time, but luck wasn't with me, and I fell on some ice on the way back up the hill and bruised up my knee. Now I know two things--I'm still a kid at heart and sledding is fun but scarier the older and bigger you get, and two C is a very patient man. He stood at the bottom of the hill and made sure he got pictures of everybody's run down the hill. And let me tell you--he waited a long time for me to get my brave on. What a brother in law! M and the kids were great too. They gave me a lot of encouragement.

By the way, I usually try not to set too many new years resolutions, but this year I will be trying to update the blog a little more regularly.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fun Fourth of July

I have put off posting pictures of our 4th of July celebration until I get the scrapbooks off to those that couldn't make it, but every time I look at how long it has been since I updated the blog, I think of all the things I could be putting on there. So sorry Lexi and Ryan and Jed and Rachel. However, now you know you can look forward to some fun mail in the next week. I'll just post a few of the favorite pictures.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Memories

As a little girl I remember visiting the cemetary on Memorial Day. I remember standing by the headstones and my mom would tell me stories of the people buried there. We were keeping the connection from the past to the present going strong. I remember looking at the arrangements and all the different ways people honored those that had gone on. The flowers were my favorite part. I still love the flowers dotting the grass adding bright splashes of color to an otherwise somber setting. I still love standing by the headstones and thinking of the people I once knew and the stories of others I never knew. For most people Memorial Day is about the veterans, and I too honor those that have given their time, energy, and even their life. However, Memorial Day is much more to me. It is a way to honor my heritage and remember those that I have laughed and cried with, lived for and loved.

Today we went early to the cemetary. I took my camera along to capture some of the things I love about Memorial Day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


"D" at work gave me this yummy soup recipe that instantly became a favorite. I have tried it with and without the cayenne and it is good either way. So since we are on to a colder week, enjoy. It comes together quickly and makes just enough for me to freeze a serving, and only have to have leftovers once or twice. For those of you with families, you will want to double or triple it.

Yum-O Potato Cheese Soup
2 cups diced potatoes
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 cup diced carrots
1cup chopped celery
2 1/2 cup water
5 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 cup margarine (I use butter)
2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1 cup grated cheese (I use sharp)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dry mustard

Cook potatoes, onion, carrots, celery, water and bouillon together until tender (about 12 minutes). Add margarine. Add milk mixed with flour. Add cheese, cayenne pepper, adn mustard. Heat and serve.

On a personal note...

My computer got a virus shortly after my last post, and I have yet to get it fixed. I have debated about getting a new one, but since I have access at work and am rarely at home, I have done nothing about it yet. So thanks M for letting me use yours to uddate my blog so that everyone that checks in occaisionally will finally have something to read.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Half isn't bad!!

I saw this on a blog I read occaisionally. I was amazed at how many of these random things I have done in my short life. However, I hope to do most of them before I die. I had better get busy!! I would be interested in seeing how many from this list of 99 that each of you who read my blog have done. The challenge is on. Just copy and paste my list, then highlight and bold the ones you have done. Then comment so I know who to check out.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo (Be so glad that I haven't. The world is better off without my singing voice.)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child (I wish)
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (Does riding the boat really close count? There was something wrong that day and we didn't get off the ferry.)
18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (Too hard in my profession)

24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (At least a few phrases)

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke (One of those wish I hadn't moments)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted (caricature count?)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (Not really, just volunteered for the Red cross in a blood donation center, but that has to count for something!)

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Saturday, January 3, 2009


I am making an effort to eat healthier. That means cooking more. I ran across this webiste that should make things easier. There are all kinds of tips and sections to look through. My favorite is the "healthified" section. They have taken normal recipes and made them healthier. After looking through a few I realized you could download the tips to make your recipes healthier. In the long run, those little changes will pay off.

I think the turkey and wild rice casserole looks yummy, and also the cashew chicken and broccoli. It will be one of these two that I try first.

Check it out for yourself...

No cards yet, because I need to charge the battery in my camera. I'll get them up soon.