Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 29 of Thankfulness - Our Apartment

I was so worried before moving to China what our apartment might be like, but as always, I worry for nothing. Jeffrey did a GREAT job at picking our our place and I'm so thankful! It was a hassle to bring our own furniture, but I'm so glad we did. It makes it seem more like home. Enjoy a taste of our "Chinese Life."

Our kitchen

Pantry with the fridge, oven and microwave

Other side of the pantry
Dining Room
Master bedroom

Closet system in the Master bedroom
Master bath
Guest bath
Aiden's room

Other side of Aiden's room
Living Room

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Basement Room - there is another side as well, but not much there :)
Living Room in the basement / Reading Room

Downstairs bathroom
Our "garden" with our patio furniture

Laundry Room

Day 28 of Thankfulness - Smiles & Hugs

I must say that I am so thankful for this stage that Aiden is in right now. He comes up to me quite often just to give me a hug!!! And the boy smiles constantly. I love it!!!! Nothing better than a sweet hug from my little boy! Well…a hug from his daddy is always the best!!! But I do love an Aiden hug! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 27 of Thankfulness - New Experiences

New Experiences…there seem to be plenty of those here in Wuxi. I’m always learning something new…trying something new or seeing something new. Its been quite an interesting experience, but one I’m thankful for. These experiences are definitely stretching me way out of my comfort zone.
I’ll share some of my favorites/most shocking ones. 

Split Pants!!!! I can still vividly remember my first time seeing this and having NO idea what the reason was or if this little boy just had ripped his pants. Once I finally learned that this was their method of potty training and this started because they have just recently gotten diapers here in China. This makes me EXTREMELY thankful for diapers! I don’t think I’m QUITE ready to potty train Aiden…so grateful for Pampers! 

Constant Honking. Now I know we deal with this in the states as well…but not so much. Trying to figure out something to be thankful for in this area is a little (ok well A LOT) tough, but I guess it makes me thankful for the quiet times on the road. That and the fact that my heart is still pumping! There are days that I wonder if it will after being scared silly by a horn. O the joy!! 

New and Different Food. There are a lot of different things that you can get here that you can’t back home, or are just not very common. Jellyfish is one of them. That was not a pleasant experience trying that…but check it off the list. Red Bean flavored items is another. This one is just plain strange to me because it is more of a “dessert” item here. Beans and dessert just do not go together in my mind. But alas, I did try a red bean bun this week, thanks to Mabel. Not quite my choice of what to eat. The bun part wasn’t bad at all and I would love to try it again with custard, but no thank you on red bean. Things they do have here that I love is white zucchini. Now we may have this in the states and I just haven’t seen them, but I love it! I’ve found many different recipes that I’m going to be trying soon with the zucchini! Another favorite that I have had at a few different restaurants is strawberry, banana and pineapple bread. YUM!!! Its more of a pita like bread but man is it ever yummy. I do think the strawberry is my all time favorite. 

The Red Bean Bun

Baby Swimming Pools. This is just extremely new for me, especially because they put babies as young as 2 and 3 months in the water with a inner tube around their neck for flotation. Quite interesting. I went with a friend to take Aiden and her son swimming a few weeks ago but Aiden wasn’t a fan. I didn’t use the neck tube for him, but requested a waist one. He wanted NOTHING to do with the water…such a strange boy I have, but it was a neat experience. I did find that next door to the pool place is an indoor kids play area that Jeffrey and I are planning to take Aiden to this weekend. Should be fun! 

The pool looks like a giant bath tub.

Aiden would rather play with his socks than stay in the water.

All in all these experiences make me more appreciative of our lives back home and thankful too for the lessons we are learning here. I am learning more and more that I really am NOT in control at all and I’m learning daily to surrender that control to my Heavenly Father! I’m so thankful that HE is the one in control!

Day 26 of Thankfulness - Celebrations!

We had our big Thanksgiving celebration on Saturday instead of Thursday since it is not technically a holiday here. We had the Sager's, Mabel and her husband William, and Mina come and join us. What a great day it was, especially since this was Mabel, William and Mina’s first Thanksgiving. It is a year of firsts! 

Mina and Mabel

Mabel and William with Noah

Rob and Noah

Julie and Ashleigh Jane - missing Jenna and Kailyn

Turkey over here that I could find was super expensive so we substituted with chicken. I ordered a whole chicken and to my silly mind, I thought it was going to be like the ones we get in the states. I went to open the chicken to get it all prepared for the following day and discovered that it still had the head and feet attached!!!!! I almost panicked! That is not my area of expertise…but finally I got the head chopped off and the feet pulled out. What an experience!

Between Julie and I we had roasted chicken, sweet potato casserole, corn casserole, dressing, green beans and rolls! For dessert we had pumpkin pie and apple crumble! YUM!!!! Not bad for our first Thanksgiving in a foreign country and really small ovens! 

We just enjoyed great time together eating, chatting and playing with the kids! We definitely missed being with our families but are so thankful to have great friends here to celebrate with!  

Day 25 of Thankfulness - Taste Bistro

TASTE BISTRO! This is a newer restaurant here in Wuxi and we love it! We go there for date nights, special events, and just for great western style food with friends. Jeffrey and I went there earlier this month for his birthday, but we went again today for Thanksgiving. We are doing our big celebration on Saturday with friends, so we went out for dinner that night just as a family. Aiden LOVED the turkey. The meal was so yummy!!!! Here was the menu!
Roast squash soup with house made corn bread
Roast turkey with chestnut stuffing and cranberry relish
Three cheese baked pasta, Roasted sweet potatoes and yams
Garlic buttered assorted green beans
Pumpkin pie, Pecan pie and chocolate tart
Served with lashings of whipped cream!

We left there that night totally stuffed. We were so thankful to get to have a fun family celebration for Thanksgiving!!! It was a night of firsts, our first Thanksgiving in China and Aiden's first Thanksgiving ever. What a great night. Thanks Ella!!!!!