An early birthday for Patricia- belated for Matt

Mark, Laura (2  week visit) and I are leaving this week to go back to China, so we celebrated Patricia’s birthday a couple weeks early.

Patricia was my biggest baby coming in at 9lbs. 1 oz, but was my easiest delivery.

Patricia at a year old.

looking out front door 024Patricia was my most determined child and would not budge on certain things. She refused to drink from a bottle and to crawl. She had Laura and Matt to run around for her and get things done, so why bother moving.

Patricia at 3 years old.  She always loved pink and still does today.

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Patricia loved the Powerpuff Girls and had one painted on the side of her Camaro.

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Patricia receiving her white coat for pharmacy school which she will finish in another year. From an early age she always knew that she wanted to be in the medical field. She also wanted to be a princess and live in a castle (still waiting on that one).  I remember one visit to the doctor’s office when she was asked are you going to be a nurse to which she responded, “No, I am going to be a doctor”. Go Trish!

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So now Trish has met the man of her dreams and will marry Tom in August. I am guessing that we will see lots of pink.

Christmas gifts 005Happy Birthday Trish, We LOVE you.

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Trish and Matt

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I also want to wish Matt a happy belated birthday. His birthday was in February when I was not in the birthday mode in China. Certainly don’t want to play favorites with his sisters.

Matt was my “easy” baby and after being a couple weeks late was forced to join the world.  He was so happy with everything he did  and was always  content to watch and play all the “girly” games with his sisters.

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Up until Laura turned 5, Matt was 4, everyone thought they were twins as they were about the same size.

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Matt enjoys working for Disney and LOVES his Dallas Cowboys.

Matt at 14 years old.

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Matt has great taste and picks out the best gifts for his mom.

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Thanks Matt for all the wonderful years you have given us. A bunch of thanks for being my blog adviser. We LOVE You.

Looking out my front door

Today was a beautiful spring day so I took some pictures looking out my front door. So much of my blog is life in China so I would like to share some photos of my neighborhood in Utah.

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This is my view, every morning when I leave the house.

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Spring is in the air when the crocus peaks threw the dirt.

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It was such a great day that Mark and I decided to go for a walk down by the river in Spanish Fork.

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I absolutely love to look at the snow capped mountains and the wondrous blue sky.

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I thought I would be artistic and take a couple photos  at dusk, and you are not going to believe what I captured on film.

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looking out front door 015Look at those “auras”. The moon was not out.  Is my house surrounded by spiritual beings?

Belated Happy 80th Birthday to my Mom

Anna, my mom turned 80 years old on March 8th when I was returning from China so I put this off until I was home.

My mom an American has spent her whole married life in Canada.

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She did a wonderful job raising 6 children and has been a true example of generosity for me to learn from.

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My mother is a very wise women so I would like to share some of her ideas.

Anna’s Advice

1. My mom came and stayed with me when Laura was born which was 9 months after Mark and I got married. When she left she said now take some time before the next one comes.( Matt arrived 11 months later.)

2. Don’t dye your hair or you might get cancer. (So far so good)

3. Don’t eat just a plain piece of meat or it will lie  in a ball in your stomach. (To this day I have to eat it with a cracker)

4. Don’t go out in the snow with paper shoes on, meaning regular shoes. (I always wear boots when it snows)

5. Always cover your body including your arms with a blanket when you sleep to keep your bones from aching no matter how hot it is. ( I have to do this and so far no achy bones)

6. Take care of that man “Mark” of yours. (I do, mom)

7. Save half the money you make. (I did this when I lived at home. I taught this to my kids and they are all doing well)

As you can see, some of the advice I follow and some my children and I smile at when we talk about them.

I think my mom is most famous for the “stories” she writes on the back of pictures.

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Notice she writes the exact ages of people down to 1/2 or 3/4. I will always have great records to look back on.

trip to Canada 062This is my most recent picture which was taken at Christmas when I made a trip to Canada.

Thanks for being a great MOM, “the wind beneath my wings”. I LOVE YOU, MOM

(PS. my mom is my biggest blogger fan even though she does not have a computer. Her dear friend who lives across the street prints them out and brings them over to my mom, who  reads and rereads my stories and then puts them in a binder to share with anyone who walks in her door.)

So who do you think I resemble, mom or dad?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone who is Irish, and everyone who wishes they were Irish.

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This was a favorite holiday of mine at school as we pretended a leprechaun (top of my wall hanging) visited our room while we were out. He made a mess of the room, turned red jello green, shrunk their cups, but did leave gold coins (chocolate). All the children wore green because they did not want to get pinched.

The following information is for all my Chinese friends .

Just what does a mythical leprechaun look like and why are they so special? A leprechaun looks like a little old man and dresses like a shoemaker with a cocked hat and leather apron. A Leprechaun’s personality is described as aloof and unfriendly. They live alone and pass the time by mending the shoes of Irish fairies.

According to St. Patrick’s Day: Parades, Shamrocks, and Leprechauns by Elaine Landau, the legend is that the fairies pay the leprechauns for their work with golden coins, which the “little people” collect in large pots–the famous “pots of gold” often associated with leprechauns.

If you listen closely for the sound of their hammer you might be able to capture one. If you do you can force him (with the threat of bodily violence) to reveal where he’s hidden his treasure. Be careful! Do not take your eyes off him for if you do he will surely vanish and your hopes of finding his treasure will vanish with him.

So why do we all wear green?

Probably because you’ll be pinched if you don’t! School children started this tradition. Green is also the color of spring, the shamrock, and is connected with hope and nature. Historically, green has been a color used in the flags of several revolutionary groups in Ireland and as a result it appears in the official tri-color country flag, adopted in 1919.

In addition to that, Ireland is often called the “Emerald Isle” due to the lush natural greenery found on the island. Says Prof. Mahony, “One of the things that strikes people all the time is how Ireland is incredibly green–it’s very far north, but it doesn’t get frozen. When people say that ‘Ireland has 40 shades of green,’ they are right!”

The luck of the Irish
Want to be lucky this St. Patrick’s Day? Follow this advice:

1. Find a four-leaf clover. 2. Wear green (so you don’t get pinched). 3. Kiss the blarney stone. 4. Catch a Leprechaun if you can.

In honor of the festivities we leave you with this Irish blessing: May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow and may trouble avoid you wherever you go! (By Alecia Dixon)

Happy Birthday to my “little” Laura

Today (March 15th)  is Laura’s (my first born)  birthday.

December 051She loves penguins.

Christams 2008 Jan 5, 017She loves the color purple.

CIMG2168She loves her job.

Easter, Graduation 007She loves having graduated from college and being with Jonathan.

Christmas gifts 002She loves her family.

We love her.

Happy Birthday Laura, so glad that I am home to join in with the birthday celebration :)

Parade with little girls

This was the neatest thing I have ever seen. The little girls  are being balanced on one arm by the men below.

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The little girls looked like dolls floating and bouncing in the air.

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Lantern Festival Parade

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Mark and I were invited to a Lantern Day Parade in a small town Hobu which is about a 40minute drive from our apartment. Hobu is the home of the headquarters for the mine. Mark, Simon, and I were distinguished guests so we were given a seat on the stage so a perfect vantage point to view all the entertainment.

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It was great to see the lion up close.

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It was a very cold morning as it rained and then snowed. I have learned that even in the winter, China does everything outside so I am glad that I wore my warm coat. Simon’s hair looked great tinted with snow.

Lantern festival 031I made it home to Utah with all my flights being on time which was great. Parade videos to follow soon.

Lantern Festival Traditions

In Chinese, a lantern is called” deng”, which sounds similar to “ding”, meaning a family member, especially a man. For centuries, lanterns have been customary Spring Festival Gifts for the newly wed, the newly born, children below the age of 16 and new homes.

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The lanterns will be brought by the maternal grandparents as expressions of best wishes for their married daughter(s) and her children.

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“Taking a lantern to a newly wed couple conveys your wish for them to have a baby soon,” I guess I know what Patricia and Tom will be getting for a wedding gift. :)

I am packing up to go back to Utah for a few weeks to help Patricia with wedding preparations.

Mark and I were invited to a Lantern Festival Parade which was amazing. The flowers above were part of the table decorations. I will show pictures and videos of the parade for the next week as there were so many wonderful acts.