My (Carrie's) Mom is actually on the airplane as I write. We had an amazing time with her. She stayed at a hotel really close by, so we squeezed every minute out of everyday. The kids spent many nights with her, reading, chatting and making the most of the 2 x 4's they slept on. I'll try and keep the commentary short because I have a bazillion pictures. But know that our time with Mimi was fun, relaxing, encouraging, memorable and truly blessed.
Monday was relatively warm, so we headed to a local park. It was beautiful and a ton of fun to walk around. We immediately found the pigeon square. My little 'bird whisperer' started his time like this:
then they came,
and perched and fortuntely did not leave any presents on his head.
There was a working Buddhist temple inside. On the steps leading down, the inside lane was worn down and kids proceeded to slide down them. I don't know if this was purposely done, or just from wear and tear. But nonetheless, we slid and slid.
We celebrated Selah's 8th birthday with my Mom here. She wanted to wait until Mimi came so that she could bring her to a Chinese Pizza Hut. So, here we are. My kids get much pleasure from making the most dramatic faces possible in the pictures. And I don't know if you can tell here, but Makaria's got some kind of liquid running down her forehead. Lovely.
We headed over to another special restaraunt one night. Outside the eating area are a few amusement rides. So my mom bought the kids a card and let them ride a few rides. Selah and Malachi got on their first ride and the attendant vaulted up the stairs and started to push this big ride. The electricity wasn't working, so he pushed it instead. But they did get a much longer ride out of the deal. Brad pushed too and it made us wonder if we could get a working visa out of that job.
This is the 'train hot pot place'. There's a train that wraps around the restaraunt and you grab your veggies, potatoes, noodles and whatever else you want to throw in. It's one of the only kid friendly places we've been to here. They give the kids toys and fruit before the meal comes. And there's a guy who dances around while pulling noodles and then he puts them in your hot pot. It's amazing. As I read this description, this place sounds weird. But it really is fun, promise. Kesed spent the entire meal squealing, with his hands slapped to his face while screaming "Another Choo Choo!!"
Back outside, our 'push the roller coaster' friend picked Makaria up to give her a spin on the Merry Go Round. All was going ok until he let go of her. She's 16 months old and riding on a horse that bobs up and down. Not sure that's the wisest of decisions, but she did well and was so petrified that her hands never left the pole.
I think they gave us about 4 free rides on different things. Sometimes it pays to be a foreigner.
I really do have a cute mom. Everywhere we went we heard "oh, your mom is so young!" "She's really beautiful!" "Is she your sister?"
Here's the German, Chinese, Catholic church that sits right outside our apartment.
Kesed's deep in thought on his own 95 thesis to nail on the door.
We headed over to a local university one day. The kids rolled around in the blanket of leaves for about an hour. It was a blast.
I realize that I have no Thanksgiving pictures or commentary. That's for tomorrow. When we dropped of Mimi at the airport, many tears were shed. You'd think that after saying good-bye to loved ones so many times, we'd get over the pain involved, but it only seems to get harder. By the end of the week, it started to feel normal to have my Mom around. But until next time...