The Bu Ke Qi Incident, by Samuel H. Simmons

>> Sunday, January 23, 2011

When me and my family first got to China, we had a little Chinese incident. It started out like a regular trip to a restaurant, but as we were walking out, Dad bumped into a waitress and stepped on her toe. What he had meant to say was “Dui bu qi” which means “I’m sorry,”, but it came out as “Bu ke qi” which means “You’re welcome”. All the waitress’s burst out laughing. It was really quite a scene. Even now I still laugh at him. (sigh) I miss the good old days.

(that’s the end of this post,)

(This post was written by Sam with no editing or prompting from his parents. He even came up with the name on his own. He loves to tell this story and watch his dad blush and squirm. I love to see the twinkle in his eyes as he tells it.)


O Tannenbaum!

>> Sunday, January 9, 2011

This year we decided to be adventurous and cut down our own tree. There is a wildlife refuge nearby that has some non-native trees they want to get rid of so they invite the public out to harvest them. We drive around the refuge, find a tree we want, and cut it down. All for only a small donation to the wildlife refuge. It's a win all around.

The snow was pretty deep and it was pretty cold. But we were bundled up and ready for the fun.

The first cut

My handsome hubby with the wildlife refuge in the background.

Cutting down the tree but missing the "Timber!" moment.

Sam with the felled tree.

This picture is a bit skiwampus (and, really, how do you spell that word?!) but it's because we tied the camera to another tree and let it dangle on timer mode. We wanted a picture of all of us with the tree but there wasn't else anyone near. It turned out perfect, in my opinion.

Oh yeah, and check out that coat I'm wearing! Matt bought it for me and it is so puffy and warm and long that I don't feel much of the cold. It's a Christmas miracle! Oh yeah, and there are multiple hat layers along with other clothes. It works, even if it looks puffy and maybe a little silly. I, the cold averse, stay warm... enough. That's what really counts.

Ready to head home with the tree tied on top.

Have I ever mentioned that I love our old Honda? I have decided that I would much rather have an old, dependable car than a nice, shiny new car payment. Sometime we'll need a new car but not now. This one works great.

And here is the finished product.

Merry Christmas everyone!


Happy Birthday, Sam!

Sam had his birthday party at the swimming pool this year.

I cannot believe there are 10 candles on that cake!


Fall Fishin'

Matt and Sam love to go fishing. L.O.V.E. Being the land of 10K lakes, Minnesota is, perhaps the perfect place for them to live. Here they are all ready to start their scaly, slimy quest

You have to walk a while to get to the good spot on the river that's tree-lined and has lots of little hiding places for those fishies. Here's Sam on the walk.

Truthfully, I used to enjoy fishing, but my interest has waned over the past few years. I prefer to read a good book while the boys fish. I don't really like the cold and wet. The rubber boots? My preferred footwear.

But it's really pretty!

The leaves were gorgeous!


Sam's first day of U.S. public school

Sam's first day of school in the U.S. was pretty nerve-wracking... for me, at least. He was excited and ready. I was also pretty grateful, in spite of being nervous. I have waited a long time to be able to see Sam go to a school where he has friends who live nearby and who speak English so that he can really communicate with them. I was also happy to be able to speak to the teacher and not have to rely on Sam as a translator.

Sam before going in to school on his first day.


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