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.

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!

Walking next to the light rail on the way to the robotics competition – its rainy!
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!

Last stretch before the Reunion!

Sisters! I can’t wait to be reunited in December. Hopefully all is well with you three. I am working hard for the final review next week. I know you are all busy doing your work but I just wanted to say that I am so excited for this winter break and can’t wait to create together.

I myself am working on this final project-doing a lot of drawing and modelling. Pray for me-I am just not good at creating physical models.

Rachel: I pray that this Thanksgiving Break will give you the strength you need to knock out this first semester! You are doing so well and I’m so proud of you!! Your work was just too good to not share here. I love the movement and the ink is really great on this one!

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Jessie: I know you are doing so much-Vex, Uni applications, SAT, AP preparation, and Art- Just remember to rest and know that you aren’t defined by the outcomes of any of these things. And congratulations for all that you have done so far! AMAZING AWARD FOR YOU! I had to share this image because-Jessie- I really is amazing. Proud of you and your dedication to your work!

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Maddie: Hope that 10th grade isn’t killing you. I know that Computer Science can be hard, but don’t forget your fun loving spirit in all the work ūüôā Just know that you will be taking a break very soon and get all that work out of the way before hand. I wish I could be in Guangzhou with you and the Gohs!

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Jessie is Awarded Design Trophy for Robotics Engineering Notebook

Upon Sean and Jessie’s return from Tokyo I found out that although Jessie’s robot came in dead last in the robotics field competition, God blessed her with a big boost of confidence as she received an amazing award based on her design and engineering notebook.¬† I am so proud of her and her team!

DSC_0004Below here are a few exerts from Jessie’s notebook.

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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!

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!

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!

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

I’ll miss you, Tokyo!

Outings with Maddie and Megan

This weekend Sean and Jessie were in Tokyo for the VEX Robotics Challenge.¬† So Maddie, Megan and I had some fun of our own.¬† Friday night we ate at a new Vietnamese restaurant in Tianjin…yum, then walked through the park adjoining the restaurant to watch night-time Chinese line dancers.¬† Then Saturday we had an afternoon of shopping and errands.¬† All our running around lead to three hungry gals, so we tried a new cafe that Jessie told us about.¬† It’s a Korean cafe which is typical of most coffee cafes here in Tianjin; the menu has more than 6 pages of special drinks and one page of food.¬† This particular cafe serves hamburgers as one of their three food choices.¬† Surprisingly, it was one of the better burgers that I’ve had in China.¬† Sunday we spent the morning chatting with Rachel over skype and having devotion time; ¬† then the afternoon cooking and watching American football.¬† Rested and ready to start another week at school!

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Jessie Ready for the VEX Robotics Competition in Japan

DSC_0180Jessie and Sean are in Tokyo this weekend for the VEX Robotics Competition.¬†¬† This will be Sean’s first time to take his robotics team to compete.¬† They have worked very hard since the beginning of school designing, building, and programming their robots.¬†¬† Mostly this will be a learning trip, since other teams at the competition are well experienced teams.¬† Sean was blessed to have our school’s Japanese family liaison accompany them to Japan to help with logistics and translation.¬† Jessie designed a t-shirt for the team, using her graphic skills.¬† Can you find the hidden words, “TIS Robotics?”

Lunch date with my favorite Senior at TIS

Amidst college applications, AP classes, social engagements, and her rigorous competitive robotics class demands, it’s hard to get a few minutes with Jessie this year.¬† I’m so proud of her diligent and determined spirit, but have to admit I’m a little sad that my time is slipping away.¬† Today we had a nice lunch date, then a walk home on this gorgeous fall day.¬†¬† I must take each moment I can to enjoy her.

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College Applications, Again

This past month I haven spent time reading and re-reading college applications, yet again — this time for Jessie.¬†¬† But the time I have spent is nothing in comparison to the hours of work Jessie has put into her first college application.¬† She is applying in the early decision phase to Carnegie Mellon University, in hopes that God is leading her to join Rachel there next fall.¬†¬† She has poured over her art pieces; having them photographed in high quality images in order to be uploaded to the online portfolio, writing unique descriptions for each and creating PDF files of sketchbooks and other design-related pieces she has created.¬† I am so proud of the artist that she is, multi-talented both on paper/handheld mediums and on software applications like PhotoShop and Adobe Illustrator.

Here are Sean and I pictured with Jessie at last spring’s art exhibition at TIS.¬† Also pictured, Jessie with the wall of her artwork behind and “The Flying Parrot”, one of my favorite pieces. ¬† This piece involved drawing¬† the parrot in colored pens, then cutting it out and placing it on a new background.¬† Next, Jessie glued crayola crayons to each tip of the wings and used a heat gun to melt the crayons and give the appearance of flight!

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Butterfly Memories

On Saturday while Maddie was at the TIAN-MUN conference and Jessie and Sean were working on robotics, Megan and I spent some time outdoors at the school’s early childhood playground.¬†¬† Megan has fond memories of playing here in kindergarten.¬†¬† Hers was the first kindergarten class to use this outdoor classroom after our school’s move in 2012.¬† That¬† spring her class helped create a garden which has grown to provide a home for caterpillars, who have metamorphed into beautiful butterflies.¬† It reminds me of the summer we spent¬† in South Dakota (2003); the girls raising swallowtail butterflies from caterpillars they found eating dill weed in Grandpa Larry’s garden.

Here’s a view of the garden from a 2nd story balcony.


A walk down memory lane with Jessie (same age as Megan is now) and her caterpillar eating dill on her lap.
Jessie caterpillar

On Site: Guangzhou Factories

Hey guys!

Last week was my Reading Week and we went to China to check out some factories in Guangzhou. I really enjoyed getting to see how stuff actually works and how we can use those things in our designs.

The first factory was a wood lamination factory, this machine (below) took the wood planks and laminated them together to make a full load bearing wall.

This is the view of the control room of a concrete factory we got to visit. They mentioned that they actually add ice to the mix to better bond the concrete mixture.

This is a model of one of the container ships at the Guangzhou International Shipyard. It was really cool to see the model and then go outside to see the gigantic ship being built!

We had to wear our hard hats.. good times.

These apocalyptic cranes are actually out of use and just sit at the concrete factory site. They reminded me of an alien infrastructure invading the Chinese countryside (maybe too much Falling Skies, eh Jessie?)..