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It seems like we haven’t had any fun Chinese adventures in a while… that is if you don’t count driving in the torrential rain on the 4th of July coming home from the most ‘american’ thing we could think of: pizza at Kro’s Nest! It rained out any chance of fireworks, or cook-outs… I have to admit being very depressed on the 4th… feeling further away from home than usual. So I took a nap, that seemed to ease my mood a bit! smile.
Today (Sunday) was easily the most beautiful day that we have had in months. It was crystal clear…we could see blue sky and everything. And it wasn’t even deathly hot… it was a nice, bearable temp! when you live with poor air quality, it seems like you just notice IMMEDIATELY when it’s improved. So today after church, what would normally be ‘quiet time’… (naps for mom and dad), we just couldn’t waste the beautiful sunshine. I have been wanting to venture out to this place called ‘Yinshan Taling’ or ‘Silver mountain pagoda forest’. We have this book called ‘the insiders guide: Beijing’, and it’s an awesome book that has almost everywhere you can go in there! the photo in the book looks really cool. so we set out this afternoon. we wound up pulling it up on the GPS, but the roads were all changed and different.. so we had qutie an advneture trying to trust the GPS.  It’s way up a canyon, and the greenery is just beautiful, lush and full. We have had 2 weeks of straight rain, so the plants are so happy.
One thing we always laugh at there are the translations on signs. Here, you aren’t supposed to walk on the grass.. but I got a kick out of this sign… and what is considered ‘luxuriant’!
The ‘pagoda forest’ was about 10 minute walk from the parking lot, and situated in such a beautiful clearning. It was used by Buddist monks, and has some kung fu history- so of course the kids were drawing from all the moves they have learned from ‘kung fu panda’. I thought it was spectacular. Each pagoda was wrapped in these brightly colored prayer flags. I couldn’t read what they said, but I thought they were so pretty and interesting. I wished that I could read them! after we got a good look at all the pagodas, and it was becoming too great of a temptation to climb on the ‘cultural relics’, we decided to follow a stone trail on up the mountain. We came across various worship sites, and other ‘tranquil spots’… as well as tons of places to sit down and look out to contemplate the views. Again, we felt SO lucky that it was such a clear, beautiful day. we wound up hiking for about an hour, up to the top where there was a bell tower. Don’t worry, we managed to do a lot of bell ringing… and I am sure it was completely inappropriate…but again, it was too great a temptation… I mean: huge bell, top of a mountain, no one around! The babies love to be carried along and be part of the action. It was such a fun outing. Img_7505


We were starving when we got home, and never fear.. I was having a ‘mother-of-the-year’ moment today… and this morning I put a roast in the crock pot. Now this was my first attempt here in china… I wasn’t really sure what cut of meat I should ask for, or what I would even want. So I just selected something, and figured we’d have a back up plan if it was no good. it turned out fabulous! So tender and delish! And get this, Colton even ate potatoes, gravy and carrots. (he is SUCH a lame eater) it was a huge accomplishment, and I vowed that I would make it more often! After dinner I introduced everyone to Yatzee.. that is a fun game! And the kids loved it. eric won.
I am loving our photos… I will need to make a little book..
Connor is one tomorrow. It’s amazing. we are having a ‘fiesta’, so that will be fun… hoping to get some cute pics to share.

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