Evening walk to buy street food

 Mom and  I were out for a walk and decided to pick up street food for dinner. There are local vendors just outside our apartment gate that come each evening, set up their food stand, and sell their items. Some sell bing (a local flat bread, sort of like a fat, thick, flour tortilla). Others sell yang ruo chaur (grilled lamb or chicken on a kabob) along with other vegetable kabobs. We like the cabbage, zucchini, eggplant and mushroom kabobs.


To order your food you walk up to the counter, which is a table attached to a three-wheeled bike. The seller hands you a tin platter, lined with a plastic bag so the platter doesn’t get dirty. Next, you pick the kabobs you want and place them on the platter.


] Then hand your platter to the seller. He places the kabobs on a small grill shaped in a trough, which is burning charcoal. He grills the food, basting it with a cumin-based sauce.

Seller grilling yang rou


When the kabobs are ready, he places them in a clear plastic bag, and hands them to you. Some choose to eat right near the food stand, sitting on stools very low to the ground. We just prefer to take ours home and eat with rice.

The red arrow points to the Food Seller’s bike stand


[/caption] Right beside the food seller is a fruit vendor.  While we were waiting for our food to cook, his little girls woke up from her nap (she was sleeping in the front seat of his truck).  She was so cute, waking up and looking at us.  We watched her get out of the truck and snuggle up in her dad’s lap (she was probably about the same age as Megan).

Fruit seller and his daughter


Middle School Drama

For our Middle School Drama we decided to do School House Rock! It was a great experience for me to do this activity. we did many fun songs together and all my best friends were in this play. I certainly will never forget this fun time of my life! I will treasure it forever!


My solo “noun”


The whole cast!


” Lolly Lolly Lolly”






Jessie’s solo “Interjections”

Happy Birthday Maddie!

April 6th was my birthday! Since  Tuesday was very busy we decided to change it to Wensday. I had so much fun on my Birthday night! We ate Sour dough sandwiches with Potato salad! It was very yummy! Thank you to all my grandparents for the neat gifts!


My lovely dinner!


my yummy ice cream cake!!!


Vendors All Bricked In

Within and beyond our apartment complex many individuals who live on the first floor units, turn the front room of their apartment into a little retail store, and then live in the remaining rooms.  As I have walked along the streets I guess I never paid too much attention to the fact that many of these store fronts are actually apartments for residence.  Well, this week I suppose the zoning law for residential and commercial restrictions began to be enforced.


I frequent a little store called the DIY store (Do it Yourself).  They sell many useful products like muffin papers, baking pans, hand mixers, cookie cutters and the item I most frequent this store for…butter.  Well, today when I walked over the store to make my weekly purchase of butter, I found that I could not enter the store, unless I climbed through the newly created window in the place where the door used to be.  The sales lady told me she would bring the items I wanted to the window for purchase.

New sidewalk in the distance behind Jessie. Baracade wall on the right


As Jessie and I continued our walk, we found the old dirt walking road turned back into a paved sidewalk.  Before we arrived in China, this temporary wall was put up as a baracade to the subway construction.  There is a subway line that will eventually run a few streets behind our apartment complex.


A recycle man rides his bike down the old dirt road, you can see the crumbling temporary wall that acted as a baracade and the continuing construction on the new road.


In the distance across the street you can see the bricking up of more store fronts, and the man preparing the area for new sidewalk pavers. 

Jessie walks on the new sidewalk


A game store where the kids sometimes buy Wii games


Passover Memories 2010

Last spring when Sean preached at our fellowship, some new friends from Malaysia (who also have students in Jessie and Maddie’s classes) were very interested in the references Sean made to celebrating Passover.  As a family we have enjoyed the Passover celebration as an annual tradition during the Easter season.  So this year we decided to invite the Chins to celebrate with us.


Some of you may know that Passover is a week-long celebration with the first two nights and the last night being the highlighted evenings for Seder meals.  Sean did an outstanding job as leader of the meal.  There is lots of responsive reading, directing of eating certain foods and drink and answering of questions.


The kids also wanted to share this tradition with some of their favorite teachers, so we chose to have a second Seder meal the evening of Easter Sunday.


Rachel and her science teacher, Ms. Forney


Jessie and her history teacher, Ms. Neumann


Michael and his English teacher, Ms. Luginbuhl

One highlight in the preparation of the second meal, for me was the obtaining of a beef brisket!!  Meat choice and cuts here in China are quite a bit different.  Meats just hang from huge meat hooks in open markets.   To get a particular cut of meat is challenging.  My friend, Kim, was out shopping at one of the frequented retailers by us foreigners and found a brisket in heavy shrink-wrap packaging!  This is a pretty amazing find.  She phoned me and asked if I wanted her to pick one up for me.  I was so blessed all afternoon Sunday, smelling the familiar scent of oven-roasted brisket.The kids enjoyed sharing the experience with both their classmates and individual teachers.

Miracle Dress


It’s spring! And as the season of flowers, sun dresses, and cute Easter bunnies roles around so does spring banquet or prom. It seemed like most everyone had dresses ready for the banquet except for me.  I had absolutely nothing to wear (unless you consider blue jeans appropriate), until our trip to Qing Dao.  On our second day at the hotel Mom insisted that we at least try to find some place that sold dresses. So there we were Michael, Jessie, her friend Amelia, Mom, and I walking out of the hotel squishing into a taxi and taking off into an unknown city to find a dress.  Upon arrival, I have to admit I wasn’t a happy camper, or in this case shopper.  We came to a very Chinese, packed, overwhelming shopping center that sold bags, belts, shoes, and cute fluffy stuffed animals, but no dresses. After walking in and out of many different stores I thought for sure that we would never find anything until… we were walking around in a rundown mall where every other store was closed or vacant, but as we rounded the corner, there stood two to three manikins wearing some hideous party dresses (but dresses all the same). We entered the store, where I’m afraid to say we scared off a couple of love birds (probably looking for a wedding dress ), and there in front of us was a room full of wedding dresses, brides maid dresses, and last but definitely not least prom dresses! So it went, up went the zipper, down went the zipper as we tried on dress after dress (Jessie and Amelia for fun:). We tried on ugly ones filled to the brim with ruffles and bows, wedding ones (a little too old for us, I think), short ones, long ones, poofy ones, and some down right creepy ones.  P.S. never judge a dress before you try it on, some of the dresses that I thought to be nothing less than horrifying weren’t actually that bad once I was in them.  I’m afraid Michael was a little bored at the end, but finally I picked four that I really liked.  I’m usually very indecisive, however God blessed us by making the decision fairly easy. Two were extremely expensive, one was far too cheap, and one was just right… why does this remind me of porridge? All in all the Lord lead us to this random but wonderful dress shop in the middle of no where, and He blessed us with a very fun day! The banquet is in three days and with Michael taking me, we’ll be the cutest couple there!




Jessie and Amelia are preparing to walk down the isle 😉


The dress in the middle is the one I chose 🙂


Corset on the top, checkered print, and frills on the bottom… what was she thinking?


The entire time Amelia and Jessie tried on dresses that matched, no matter how ugly 🙂


Amelia wearing a gorgeous dress, Jessie wearing a hideous one 🙂



Beauty and the Beast 🙂



Wedding Gone Wrong!



“Here comes the bride, all dressed in white”


Um… Mom, I’m obviously in the middle of a conversation.



Cafe YUM

Finally, after several weeks we have Spring Break off of school!  On Tuesday we took a little vacation to Qing Dao, China, a city next to the beach.  The hotel we stayed at was nice and I definitely enjoyed the three day get-away.  At the hotel their breakfast area was named Cafe Yum.  It was appropriately named pertaining to the food selection.  They had a small variety of pastries, bread and cheese, cereal, Japaneses, Chinese, and Korean breakfast selections, as well as the given egg stations etc.  The presentation of the food was also very interesting.  The food was not the only exception aspect of Cafe Yum; the decoration and over all ambiance was excellent!  Several of the dividing walls were decorated with a certain object.  For example one of the walls (if you call it a wall) that separated two dining areas was simply shelves of water bottles without their tags.  In the main entrance area the whole wall was covered in green and blue glass bottles attached to the walls.  I was extremely impressed with Cafe Yum and enjoyed eating there.  I look forward to the next time I will have the chance to visit the hotel again 🙂 .




Here is a picture of the yogurt “station”



Here is a picture of the wall of the main entrance that I mentioned earlier


Megan is standing next to the wall of water bottles


Eating breakfast with Amelia and Josie! (There family also came to Qing Dao on vacation!)



Chinglish is a mix between English and basically gibberish. They are words that have either wrong spelling or just doesn’t make sense. The first day I was in Tianjin I saw a notebook that said “Pooh Winnie The.” It was so funny to me to see that, now when I see things like that I just walk past it. Recently I’ve noticed how funny they sound and mean! P.S. Most of these pictures were taken on the same day!


This was a bulletin board with all the names of Cold Stones workers here were two of them!