Monster Movie Marathon

Rachel,

I’m dedicating this post to you because you inspired me to make this movie marathon weekend. I still remember coming home from a tiring day of school to the most adorable card with a sombrero and a sparkly piñata saying “Mexican Themed Weekend!”. Last week, while I was missing you, I was inspired to host a Monster’s Inc. Marathon for Maddie and Megan with “monster pretzels” and “monster tea”. To be honest, I was pretty proud of myself for pulling it off just like I imagined! Friday, when we got home from school, Mom and Dad had already left for their Valentines stay at the Astor hotel. So I whipped up the giant soft pretzels while we watched ‘The Road to Eldorado’ in the kitchen. While the pretzel dough was rising we ate a quick dinner of ramen and fried rice. After the whirlwind of baking the pretzels we carried our warm crispy pretzels and giant Arizona tea upstairs to watch ‘Emperor’s New Groove’ and ‘Monster’s University’.

To be honest, I have just watched too many serious romance and action films lately, so it was really refreshing to see some light-hearted Disney movies! I know you have been having a difficult week, but I would encourage you to take a break, and just like you suggested to me – give yourself the chance to relax. I would totally recommend one of the following movies: ‘Frozen’ (adorable like ‘Tangled’), ‘Emperor’s New Groove’ (the oldy), or ‘Monster’s University’ (if you want to laugh).

Our Monster Movie Marathon was not complete without you – we all miss you so much!
Thanks for teaching me how to be a better older sister!
xoxo, Jessie

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From the Studio: Practice Makes Perfect

Rachel!
I haven’t forgotten all the important homework and practice you assigned me over the break. (It seems like its been such a long time since we chatted in Starbucks about cubes!) I’m sorry that I have not been as diligent as you in working on our first theme for our sketching goal, Moose, but at least I am improving my form! I’m excited to continue our little goal and I would like to suggest that we go with plants or shoes for our next theme, (something a bit more simple for the beginner ;).

I miss you so much already and I really appreciate the opportunity I had to call you before you left China while I was at the TCK Seminar. Let me know when you have time to chat!

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On Site: Tokyo P2

I have finally found time to finish up my post about Tokyo! The highlight of my trip was the Japanese garden we visited. We couldn’t go all the way to Japan without properly seeing a Japanese garden! The day was cloudy and cool, but I still really enjoyed the whole experience. I often miss nature when in Tianjin; so coming to this garden reminded me again of the beauty of our God’s creation.

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While we were at the Japanese garden we enjoyed a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. The tea was strong, but very flavorful, and the desert was rice cake with red bean filling – delicious!

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Walking next to the light rail on the way to the robotics competition – its rainy!
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Snapped this while we were waiting at the bus stop. Turned out to look more like a modeling crew then a robotics shot – I’m so blessed to have these guys as my teammates!

On Site: Tokyo P1

As you all know Dad and I just returned from out VEX Robotics competition in Tokyo, Japan. Let me just start by saying, I think Tokyo just jumped to the top of my list of favorite cities. It was almost exactly what I expected, which was strangely surprising for a city! The city was clean and modern, yet it retained so much personality and culture! The people were friendly, though I couldn’t understand one word they were saying! I learned so much from the competition itself as well. As “first years” we definitely lacked the experience to rank highly in the competition. We were so blessed, however, to be awarded the Amaze trophy for our design process and extensive iterations!

To give a quick outline of the trip: our first evening we stayed in a popular shopping area and ate ramen, the next day we switched hotel, went to a Japanese garden, and attended the practice matches for our robotics competition. The following day was filled with the official vex competition; which included the opening ceremony, games, alliance choosing, final matches, and award ceremony. The last day we took a bus tour of tokyo – my first – and shopped. Monday we had a bit of shopping time, then dragged our feet to the airport!
Here are some photos of highlights in my trip!

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Of course the food was a highlight of my trip. The first picture is authentic Japanese Ramen. It was so delicious! We also had Japanese tempura, another food highlight. I was also thrilled to find a Krispy Kreme, delish!

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Not trying to make excuses, but look at those robots! The Hawaiian one was like a flowery tank! The school provided great coverage of the competition, they had a birds eye view of the field and they interchanged it with close ups occasionally – so professional!

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Our views from the tour bus! It was so amazing!

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I’ll miss you, Tokyo!

Robotics: New Update Avaliable

Michael and Rachel:

Today I was shocked to hear that Rachel didn’t know where the robotics class was going for their first competition: Tokyo Japan! Japanese sushi, BBQ, fashion, and robot fighting, here we come.
It is due time for an update on our progress: Michael, I’m sure you will find these robot designs interesting – try to guess which one is mine!

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We still have some serious progress to make before our competition in November, so we decided to pull an “all-nighter” at school to finish our work (a.k.a. Robotics Sleepover!). We ordered out Korean Fried Chicken and watched Pacific Rim (the perfect movie for a robotics party). I may have only slept one hour, but after the SAT and college application packed vacation I just had, I needed some relaxation.

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Rachel, don’t be horrified by this primitive manner of espresso making. We have to do what we have to do to get some caffine!

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Michael, tomorrow we start the main construction on the Vex Toss-Up field and I’ll be thinking of you! I will suppliment this post soon with pictures of our finished field!
I miss you both so much!

Porch Camping

fireRachael,
You know, perhaps best, that Tianjin has yet to offer the autumn festivities we were accustomed too in America. It requires a lot of effort to get in the mood, but I was certainly bot going to waste the season! I decided to invite Maddie and Megan to a small camp out on the porch. We awkwardly gathered some sticks from around the neighborhood (along with some stares). On our little red grill we built a fire that barely lasted long enough to roast a few s’mores. It was so fun though; we had our indie rock music going and a pile of pillows to lounge on. Everything was there but you! We all miss you so much!

Love Jessie

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