Monday, March 19, 2012

Feast after famine

After such a long time of not posting in this blog (but reasonably consistent in my exchange student blog -- I can't seem to keep up on both at the same time), here are a bunch of photos showing some of the fun stuff we've been doing lately.  When they are all in a bunch like this, it looks like we have an amazing life (which, actually, we do).  But the ordinary days of cooking, doing the dishes, working, and keeping the house clean, those days just aren't so fascinating to photograph or write about, but those kind of days are by far in the majority.  With that said, here's a long post with lots of photos, not necessarily in chronological order.  
We had the opportunity to watch the New Shanghai Circus.  They were amazing! 

We climbed up Badger Mountain.  The view of the Tri-Cities was wonderful.  The sunset was glorious!  

Visiting Nina, Nathan, and the boys in Idaho.  So sweet memories.  Benny is pleased to show us the "worms" he is making from Mommy's bread dough.  (they tasted great!)

Two busy boys.  Snow just makes life more interesting!  

Cute!  Little boots for little feet!  

Wrestling with each other starts young!  Can anyone doubt that Ephraim has red hair?  

Two most beautiful and wonderful daughters!  Grand Teton Mountains in the background.  

It's a big world out there!  
It was lovely to see Asana over Winter Break. I am glad that we keep in touch!  

Seattle, seen from a distance.  Zixu's parents were visiting, preparatory to immigrating to Canada and I had a short opportunity to show them around while Zixu was at work.  

University of Washington Arboretum.  Zixu's mom and I had a nice time exploring gardens!  They will be even more lovely in the spring and summer.  

Kubota Japanese Garden.  It's hard to tell when they don't speak English, but I hope Zixu's parents both enjoyed this beautiful place.  Zixu's father seemed especially impressed with how tall the trees were.  Come to think of it, we saw very few tall trees when we visited China--at least not in the Beijing area.  

It's fun doing stuff with my students.  For them everything is new and exciting (usually) and I have fun with them.  I also had fun with this photo, which shows each of the students twice (Shadi also from Yemen, who lives in the Portland area, joined us for some of our adventures.  

More shenanigans from the boys.  Actually, the photo was my idea, but the sign showing how far it is to everywhere was fascinating.  

Visiting the Deals and hiking through the temperate rainforest that surrounds their remote, electricity-less home in Southwest Washington State.  The Deals are the parents of Julie's housemate while she lived in Sunnyside, and we have enjoyed getting to know them.  They caretake this little bit of forest and make marvelous pottery that they sell.   Wonderful hosts, and interesting life they live.  

A small part of the driveway leading to the Deal's home.  Be prepared for breathtakingly beautiful scenery while getting the bones rattled out of you as you drive over occasional rough spots.  

Multnomah Falls on the way home from Portland.  Always beautiful and worth visiting, although we also checked out a bunch of other waterfalls in this area.  What a beautiful world we live in.  

Overlooking the Columbia River from Vista House.  Gorgeous scenery once again, despite the gloomy clouds.  

Julie on silks.  Had an opportunity to see Julie "dance" in the sky.  It looked so effortless and graceful, but she informs me that you get a lot of bruises doing this.  

Zixu dropped his mom off at our home for two weeks.  She wanted to learn English, preparatory to immigrating to Canada, from us.  It wasn't easy but she did learn some.  Two weeks is not enough though.  We also had fun playing tennis, going on walks, making earrings, cooking (yes, I can cook some "real" chinese food now), and making a lot of jokes (about English and a lot of other things) despite difficulty in communication.  After two weeks, Zixu came back and picked her up and she will go back to China for a while.  They are not going to live in Canada full time for a while yet--there's business to tend to back in China.  

We had a lot of fun teaching Auntie June English.   The boys helped a lot too.  I'm sure Auntie June will never forget them, nor Julie, who, as a professional teacher, was the most helpful in teaching her English, and teaching us how to teach her.  We will miss her!  
Nordic skiing up at White Pass area.  Sooooo beautiful!  And by the end of several hours, we were able to stay upright most of the time.  Julie was with us, but as she was snow-shoeing, we didn't see her that much--she used different trails.  

Awesome skiers!   

Happily resting and warming up in the yurt at the trailhead.  Hot chocolate--there's nothing like it!  

The snow the boys had been waiting for finally arrived, in early January!  The only time of the year when we appreciate our steep driveway!  We got tired of the snow pretty quick, but the two boys have not yet had enough.  

What's the use of snow if you can't have a snow fight?  

While not an exhaustive record of the past 2-3 months, more photos would probably be exhausting!  I guess that's all for now.

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