Saturday, November 24, 2012


What a difference a year makes!  This time last year, Miss Thang was on major food overload from her first thang's giving.  Click Here to remind yourself about how amazing she thought Thanksgiving really was.
This year was equally as fun.  We got to share it with Jinming.  Since Thanksgiving is an American holiday, this was her first one.  While we cooked American favorites like ham, sweet potatoes, and corn bread dressing; Jinming made some yummy Chinese dishes.  She made a wonderful eggplant with tomatoes and egg as well as carrots.  I think the carrots were a crowd favorite because there weren't many left at the end of the meal.

Brady acted as the event photographer.  He loved taking "creative" pictures of all of the food.
Our table was beautifully decorated by the one and only Kaden Pillstrom!  And yes, that is a bacon wrapped turkey in the picture above!
Thanksgiving came and went with hardly any drama!  I think it was because we were at my house and the family members that usually cause drama don't know where I live.  I'm sure several people went to my aunt's house expecting to find us, though!
Yesterday, mom and I went on our yearly shopping adventure.  As you know, almost all of the stores opened Thursday night.  I did end up going to the Old Navy outlet with a friend at 10pm for a few bargains.  The real shopping happened Thursday morning.  Surprisingly, mom and I got everything we wanted from the sale ads even though we went hours after they opened!  I couldn't believe it.  I figured it was because we went with no expectations and ended up super excited!
Last night, we went to the Peabody to watch the ducks and for the tree lighting.  This was JM's first trip to the historic hotel and it did not disappoint!
We got to the Peabody a little early so we went up top for the "bird's eye" view!  Lame pun...sorry!  It was really windy up there but my kids love it so I just knew JM would too!
Of course, the smaller kids were super excited to see the man of the hour, however, I did also notice a certain 16 year old hold her hand out and smile really big when he shook her hand! 
And finally, a family picture to remind us all of the Christmas we shared with Jinming!  I have loved having her here the past couple of weeks.  She is such an amazing girl and just fits right in with out family.  She and Kaden have become the best of friends and she has been spending a lot of time with him.  That makes me so happy because he has really been struggling with being the middle child! 
As for Jinming, my desire for her (while she is with our family) is to experience as much of American life as possible.  We may not be the most exciting people in the world but we try to have as much fun in life as possible!  I think she really likes it here and I know we will all be sad when it's time for her to go home. 
So, if you're wondering what I'm thankful for this is this sweet family God has allowed me to be a part of!  This has really been one of the best Thanksgiving's I have ever had!
Stay tuned, as we will be decorating the tree this weekend!  I think the Christmas spirit is starting to wear off on our international guest. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Zoo Time!

Today, I took four...that's right...four kids to the zoo!  Tony and I had planned on taking Jinming to the zoo today and as always, he got called in right before we left.  Oh well, we didn't let that hurt our fun filled day. 
The kids and I love going to the zoo.  My dad buys us a membership each spring and we always get his money worth.  The temps were in the upper 70's today and I figured this might be our last warm day for a while.
As soon as we got to the zoo, the three kids had to throw some pennies into the reflecting pool.  We do it every time. 
Then it was off to the cat country.  Today, many of the animals were out lounging in the warm sun.  It was a great day at the zoo and most of Memphis would probably agree.  It was very busy today. 
Jinming got her first taste of peanut butter and jelly today. I was making lunches and when she saw what I was making for Brady she decided she would try one. I'm so impressed with her! I'm not sure I could go to another country, get shuffled around to three different houses, and be brave enough to try new foods.
If you haven't been to the zoo in a while, you will be as surprised as we were to learn there is now a farris wheel!  Of course, as soon as we saw it, the three Pillstrom's were sreaming to get on.  Jinming had never ridden one and said her parents were always afraid of them.  I told her it was ok that she didn't have to ride but this girl is brave, remember?  She hopped right up there and I asked her if she was scared and she said, "No...YES!"  It was pretty awesome to see all four kids expressions.  The boys have ridden them before but the girls got their first experience!  Lynleigh looks a little scared, but in reality she loved it!  I think this is just her fake smile.
However, this was my favorite moment of the day.  If you're my friend on Facebook, they you know that I have talked about how good Jinming is with the kids.  She is so concerned about Lynleigh and I even catch her just watching Lynleigh when we are sitting at home.  Here, she is helping her and showing her the polar bear.  Who know's what they were talking about.  I couldn't help but take a picture because it's so sweet!
And last but not least...we took Jinming to fake China!  Our favorite thing to see is the Pande Exibit.  I have been taking pictures of the kids in front of the pandas since Brady was a year old.  Of course I had to take one of Jinming too!  She seemed to really enjoy going to the zoo with us today.  She told me that she saw many animals today that she would never get to see in China.  The boys also enjoyed asking her to read the Chinese symbols in the panda exibit.  And they also loved taking her to their favorite things and sharing information they have learned over the years!