Friday, February 29, 2008

200 days with Annie.

Annie has now been with us for 200 days now so she only has about 100 more before she has to say good bye for the summer and make the trip back home to see her family that must miss her terribly. We hope she gets to see the opening ceremonies of the Olympics on the 8th of august before she has to jump on a plain back to here. She has report go to collage on the 10th or 11th I can’t remember right now. Looking forward to her being reunited with her parents, and glad she will be come back after the summer.

Friday, February 22, 2008

How to bargain in Beijing?

Bargaining seem to be a big thing to the Chinese people if you plan a trip to China, here are some tips from the Chinese government’s website. They are for Beijing but they will work all over china. If it is not inside a department store with a fixed price on it, or a
grocery store it can be and is expected to be haggled over.

Bargaining is the rule here in Beijing. At least, at the many markets and back-street clothes stalls. Bargaining is an art and if you are unfamiliar with it we'd like to offer you some advice. The tips here are Beijing specific but may help you at any place in the world where bargaining is practiced. DO NOT say how much you want to pay for an item unless its near the end of the process. Always try and drop the seller's offering price as much as possible before opening your mouth with a price. DO throw out really low prices like 10 RMB as long as you have a big smile. DO keep smiling throughout. The seller is much more likely to continue bargaining with a happy smiling face. Getting angry rarely gets you the price you want. BE AWARE the initial price offered by the seller is usually at least 40% over the general price acceptable. It can be up to 500% over. DO have an idea of what the item is worth. You can ask Chinese friends, hotel staff, ex-pats or look at our rough guide below. This is very general and is based on a market like Xiu Shui. You may not be able to get the lowest prices stated at Xiu Shui, especially on a weekend when there are lots of tourists around. DO walk away once you've given them your final price, even before. If you get called back, you know you are close. If you do not get called back, go to a similar stall and try again with a slightly higher price.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The year of hair.

This has defiantly been the year of the hair. We had to put the kibosh on it though, I woke-boo up a couple of weeks ago to find he had dyed his hair blue. He is lucky the stuff doesn’t fall out. I will be so glad when this faze of his life has passed like the all encompassing Poke-mon years. Yaha we were "blessed" with that too.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Chinese New Year

We had a good time at the FCC, Families with children from china Chinese New Year Celebration.
The girl in the top photo I have had the pleasure of knowing for about 4 years now. By the way according to Jen-Jen we are best-ist friends, as you can see she was a big help to me in hanging up the umbrellas and lanterns from the ceiling. I don’t know if it makes it harder to wait for our referral going to the events or easer being able to interact with the kids every few months. I do know I have loved watching the kids that have come home over the last 4 years grow-up and thrive with there new families. Plus I do now have a best-ist friend.

Oh our Annie, She looked so pretty in her dress we had family photos taken at the FCC I hope they turn out. Our first Family photo ever!
Annie just got done sending in her form for AYUSA’s Community Service Challenge Contest, out of all her volunteer work she choose to right about the her work with the FCC. I hope she wins if her dues win she gets to go to San Francisco for a weekend that would be cool, I and Lori use to drive to San Francisco when we were 16; yes we have been together that long now well over hafe our lives have been spent together.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Extra! Extra!

Annie has become a published author! She was asked by someone at U Power magazine in China to write about her experiences here in the U.S. She received the magazine with the first installment of her articles in the mail today. She included pictures from different activites and celebrations that we have attended as well as photos of her school and friends. We are very happy for her and proud of her accomplishment. It is a select few teenagers that can say they are published.

Photos around the our city.

Lori painting Annie room Befroe she for she arivel


Annie's first Cake.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Annie AKA "Connoisseur of the Cream".

Annie loves her I ice cream she finds great joy when we go to the grocery store and we get what she calls the family size ice cream. For though of you who wonder what family size Ice cream is see photo below.
She is such a joy to have in our home; she has a way of putting a smile on your face with the way she cheers when we have some thing for dinner that she is found of. We are looking forward to Chinese New year next week. I am in charge of set up and tare down of the event this year so it will be a long day but still fun. We usually have a big group of people that show-up to help.

Annie's family size Ice cream bucket!