Friday, October 24, 2014

sports day

Sports Day is kind of a big deal here in China.  A big enough deal that they ordered fancy outfits for everyone in the school for the big day.  2014-10-16 sports and animals 15159

The day before the event the pollution count (not sure how they calculate that) was really high.  So high you could hardly see the skyscrapers downtown (I hear this gets way worse in the winter).  So they sent us an email that sports day may be canceled. 

But I think Lucy’s prayers worked (she and  Claire could hardly wait) and it turned out to be the most gorgeous blue-sky day in all the land.2014-10-16 sports and animals 15160

Max and Elle begged to skip the whole shebang.

Little did they know they would be the stars of the show!  Ha! 

Not really, but I think it was kind of fun for them to see how fast they could run.  They’ve never done any running races before.  Never really had the opportunity.  So after some serious pep-talking from me and Dave (they did NOT want to run), I think they surprised themselves that they could do it.

And they could do it pretty well. 

(Yes they have a little bit of an advantage in their stride, but let’s just pretend like this is all sheer skill, just for this post ok?)

First Elle ran the 100.  2014-10-17 iPhone 15833She was fast but there were two girls faster so she got the bronze.

2014-10-16 sports and animals 151642014-10-16 sports and animals 15168

Then she went ahead and ran the 400.
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And got the silver.2014-10-16 sports and animals 151842014-10-16 sports and animals 151892014-10-16 sports and animals 15191Go Elle!

Max needed a little pep talk from his Dad before his race.2014-10-16 sports and animals 15181

He wasn’t head-over-heels excited about it but he lined up on that 800 starting line and decided he was going to go for it.

The first lap he was dead last.  Then he pulled in and started passing people.  It was like Chariots of Fire I tell you! (Do they do a race like that in that show??)

He passed one guy and then another and another until he and the first guy were neck and neck.2014-10-16 sports and animals 15200

(Let’s pretend like the guy he was passing here was taking this super seriously and not wearing a hoodie and sweats to race in, and just keep imagining the Chariot’s of Fire music.)2014-10-16 sports and animals 15201

He came in second.  It was all hoopla all around, his classmates were so excited for him recounting that big comeback and how amazed they were.2014-10-16 sports and animals 15203

Heart-melter for sure.  Such nice kids.2014-10-16 sports and animals 152052014-10-16 sports and animals 152082014-10-16 sports and animals 15213

Grace was pleased as punch that her friend beat her in the one race she ran. 2014-10-16 sports and animals 15257

Love those cute girls.

The sports day for the elementary girls was on their own campus and was a lot more fun and games.  Loved watching those two in their element there.2014-10-16 sports and animals 152202014-10-16 sports and animals 152272014-10-16 sports and animals 152322014-10-16 sports and animals 152372014-10-16 sports and animals 152382014-10-16 sports and animals 15243

Back at the high school Max did the relay and won the gold with his team.2014-10-16 sports and animals 15256

Elle hung and watched with a friend (they both started at this school at the same time after leaving high school in the states which always helps the bond…so fun to get to know some of these kids).2014-10-16 sports and animals 15192

The graduating class this year.2014-10-16 sports and animals 152672014-10-16 sports and animals 15269

Lu with the sweeties that are so darn cute with her in the parent pick-up line.  Love them.2014-10-16 sports and animals 15270

We all came home on that gorgeous fall day totally invigorated.  The smiles that stretched across the kids faces all weekend long made me so grateful for things like this that help them gain new confidence by reaching out of the norm and trying new things.

…Or maybe the smiles were really due to the fact that they got to go to the wild animal park after that and hold a baby tiger and a parrot.  Hmmmm, I guess I’ll never know for sure :)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

bring light

Today I'm deep into the task of updating "I Love Lucy Project" information in preparation for the next annual Turkey Trot coming up (click here to see what happened last year).

Makes me excited that we can help from afar and that half of the funds will once again go to help kids with BBS.

I love what my friends with BBS kids have done to help raise funds to help in the cause.  Check it out HERE.
Makes me so excited to see the momentum going to get serious help for these kids.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Bayon

First of all, thanks for all the support yesterday.  Sometimes it's just good to know you're not alone and yes, we all have bad days, weeks and months for that matter.  The "soft answers" have been paying off and it sure makes a difference.  I have a few stories to share about that, but first, let's go back to Cambodia for a little bit....I fell asleep before I could post this last night.  

When I pictured going to Angkor Wat, I was most excited about visiting this temple (Ta Prohm).  
I was drawn to those mighty roots that have taken over so much stone.

I loved Ta Prohm just as much as I thought I would, but I was surprised that my very favorite temple turned out to be the Bayon.

I loved it so much I went three times.

This temple was built around 1190 AD and has big, huge peaceful faces everywhere you look.
I think there are 51 columns, each with four faces carved in the sides.

It was pretty impressive.

According to one account, the king (King Jayavarman VII) was hoping to be reincarnated as Buddha, so he had his face carved to look very similar to the Buddha ones you see.

Each one is a little bit different.  I can't even imagine how long it must have taken to carve all those monstrous things.

I posted a few of the entrance of this temple on Lucy's birthday.  This is the one she got to ride the elephant to (back here), and that's all she cared about.

But the rest of us were pretty mesmerized by that place!

I loved the entrance...

...lined with demons on one side and warriors on the other.
Let's get a closer look at one of the "restored" demon faces:
There we go.

I loved the carvings too that lined so many of the walls, telling their own stories.


Can you see all those faces?

The kids pretty much just loved that they could climb everywhere.


















The gates surrounding the whole temple complex have their own faces.

I loved that.

My second trip there was right after sunrise at Angkor Wat the last morning.  Most of my family had told me they were too tired to go again, so I snuck out and joined our friends.

It was just as gorgeous that time.

When I got home, all filled with wonder about this place, Claire's sad face greeted me telling me she thought I was going to wake her up.  Oh man, missing at "date" with that girl was hard on my heart.  So we made our own special date while the big kids tried to work on some homework before we left for the airport.

And we took Grace along too.

We forgot my ticket and had to go back to the hotel, much to our chagrin, but it left more time for Tuk Tuk talk with these two.


This time we hung otu with the monkeys a little.
This picture was taken before we realized they were a little mean and started hissing at Grace.  She got out of there speedy quick!


We had picked up these "elephant pants" for $2.50 the day before from one of the many women begging us to buy.
Let's get a better look at those cool and comfy things:
There we go.

Our friends brought fans which were life-savers in the heat.



Best Cambodian temple dates ever...
...to a pretty great place.


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