Sunday, April 29

White Girl In China - Architecture

My husband and I just took the most amazing trip to China on a 9-day tour with SNA Tours. (highly recommended!!)  Being a stay-at-homeschooling-mom of 3, I rarely get out for an afternoon, much less 9 days!! By the end of the 13-hour plane ride, I was already in heaven. We had been served 3 meals I didn't have to cook, and each seat had its own TV and headphones with hundreds of shows to choose from. I could have spent the remainder of vacation in the plane and done just fine! But there was so much more... this first post is an overview of our tour, then I'll write a few more about our experiences.

Admittedly, I was a little skeptical of the accommodations for our trip - after all, we had bought it on Groupon! But the entire time we stayed at Radisson hotels, which were much more elaborate than most any hotel we've been to in the States (but remember, we do have 3 kids...)

Lobby of our hotel - gorgeous!
  We spent the first few days in Shanghai, one of the largest cities in the world, with a population of around 23 million people! The skyline was overwhelming. Apartment buildings spread as far as you can see, many of them 20 stories high, and some without elevators - I quickly learned how the Chinese stay in such good shape!

Shanghai from our 21st-floor hotel suite (with elevators!)

Shanghai Skyline
Our first night we went on a cruise down the Huangpu river, which divides Shanghai in two. Beautiful!

These are two of the tallest buildings in China - left is the 88-story Jin Mao Tower which we toured, it's the only post office I've ever seen with its own hotel on top! Right is the World Financial Tower, which is the 3rd largest building in the world.

View from the top floor of Jin Mao Tower
We went to more museums than I can count, this one was definitely our favorite, the Shanghai Museum. I'll spare you all the museum pics, but it was amazing to learn about a culture with more than 4,000 years of history!

We also had the chance to visit Olympic park and the Olympic stadium - for tourist purposes, most of the area has been left just as it was in the 2008 Olympics.

We visited many classic tourist places, such as Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Great Wall (pics coming for that one!) Below is the City God Temple, which was built in the 15th century and is now a large tourist market.

And this is the Temple of Heaven, a beautiful temple used from 1400's- early1900's.

This concludes our portion of the TomLizLing Tour. Stay tuned for future posts on this exciting event! (Thanks for listening!!)

Disclaimer:  This is me - urban, white, and with a short attention span (above photos were taken during a tour of an amazing old building. I can't remember which building it was, just that it looked a lot like another one we had already seen...) All stories and uh... facts are told from my perspective only.

Wednesday, April 11

Girl Time = Bling Time

I love having girls. I love the giggles, I love the baby dolls and Barbies. I love fancy dresses with ruffles. I love getting out makeup and nail polish and doing facials, such as I wrote about here. I even love the hair accessories, to a lesser degree.

But more than any of those, today I love that, in homeschooling three little girls, any one of them is likely to walk out of their room at any point of the day looking like this:

It's great. Life with my crew is so entertaining, we don't even have television. We don't need it! There is ... bling everywhere we look. They say outrageous things, they do outrageous things - I LOVE raising girls! And laughing at with them. And blogging about them. The other day my oldest said something we found hilarious, and she cried in horror, "MOM!! Do NOT blog about this! Or Facebook it!!" Apparently, I've been found out :)

Thursday, April 5

Moments to Remember

As with any job, there are many parts to our school week I would like to remember, as well as a few I would like to forget. Moments to Remember was created by some bloggy homeschooling friends as a way to hang on to those moments worth hanging on to.

Lately I've been reminded of the perks of homeschooling, flexibility being a big one of those. Whether we are planning a vacation or just having "one of those days," I love that school can work around our family's needs. Linsey has been getting the spring break blues, and working outside has freshened her perspective a little. Not many kids can say they recite poetry from inside the family fireplace!

I also appreciate that often, we get to include our whole family on projects. Here the girls are making homemade play dough... we made a great mess and had even greater laughs. Oh the memories we will have from our kitchen days...  I absolutely love seeing these sister friendships develop firsthand!

 And since my in-laws moved into our area nearly two years ago, they have played a great part in our homeschooling as well. So much can be learned from the generation before us, if we just take the time to listen. I'm so glad Linsey can learn about quilting and patterns and baking and so much more from her grandma! Of course, Grandpa's quad is always a favorite too... I'm thinking it has merit as a couple PE points at least??

So there you have it! Some of my favorite moments from recent school days. Stay tuned for more great memories!

Sunday, April 1

Girl Time = Spa Days

People often ask me (or more often my husband!) what it's like raising a houseful of girls. So I thought it would be fun to do a few posts about our everyday adventures, called "Girl Time."

At the top of my list of fun "girly" things to do are Spa Days. We've been to a "real nail place" once or twice, but usually it's funner - and cheaper - to indulge ourselves at home.
Manicures and pedicures are a must, at least weekly around here.

 (Natalie got a little excited about "tainting" her nails while I was working at church...)

Our oldest is super creative and is really good at nails. She enjoys helping her sisters with theirs too.

 And the girls LOVE it when I let them do a facial mask with me! I love it too, but probably for a different reason. For me, it's a guaranteed 10 minutes of quiet... I tell them the mask only works if they don't talk :) 

 And that's our Spa Day! What kinds of things do you like to do with your girls?
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