There are so many “little things” amidst the “big things” that happened in November.  I have already written about most of the big stuff (Beijing, Lucy’s baptism, my brother’s visit, Kevin’s home town, Thanksgiving, Dave’s birthday and Japan).
The little things filled in the gaps between those highlights.  But sometimes I think the “little things” are the best highlights of all.
Like how I finally found Fall in Shanghai:

Or how my kids like to point out Chinese characters they know in newspapers and it melts my heart.

Lu has begun her rite-of-eight-year-old-passage dish-doing responsibilities (although it’s her day today and the dishes are still stacked in the sink…)
We have loved watching Max play basketball.  I have to do another post about that because there’s too much to say.  

I don’t know how the house next door is even still standing.  They have gutted it down to the bones.

…and then started on the house across the street.  It is a jack-hammer fest around here I tell you.

Smoothie mania:

…which makes me miss our Vitamix at home.

 This picture just reminds me of all the funny things we see driving around at night.  Someone just decided to have a little bonfire on the sidewalk.

People also ride scooters and bikes around wearing black clothing and don’t ever turn on headlights.  Still trying to figure out why.

We have been out of town a lot of weekend, but when we’re here the kids love to facetime cousins and friends.

Loved that those two cousins happened to be wearing matching sweatshirts…

Love these sweet ladies in our branch:

…and my little cooking helper in the kitchen (always her…love it).

Makes me happy and sad at the same time:

Happy that we are here seeing so much.  Sad that it’s happening.

It was Saturday school again.  But this time it was kind of cool because parents got to attend too.

Dave and I were like chickens with our heads cut off trying to get to as many different classes at the same time as we could, but we divided and conquered pretty well.

 Loved spying Lu reading in the library:

Dave and I both happened to get to go to Claire’s Chinese class.  I loved it.

Dave went to Lucy’s class by himself.  He confirmed that every other kid in the class has spoken Chinese before and there is not one word of English spoken there.  She is catching on better but man it is rough!

The “wet market” I frequent by our house that I love:

 The meat they slapped on a board nearby that I DON’T buy:

 More Fall:

 My walking buddies:

This kid and I worked so dang hard on college applications every other child felt completely neglected by the time we finally hit that “send” button and broke out the Martinelli sparkling apple cider.

Much more on that later but for now I will say that was no cakewalk!  And also, I liked having “date night” with my boy practically every night…even if it was in front of a computer.  Love him.

The girls spoke and sang at church in the Primary program:

I have to talk more about that later because Dave and I got to be in it too and there’s some good material there.

Good friends I love at a new restaurant we tried out after going to the “Painters Street.”

Love when my kids do my hair when I read to them:

Tammy took us for manicures…do you think these girls were excited about that??

Afterwards Claire and I went on a little date downtown for a little quality time.

Love that sweetie.

How our house looked when we got home:

I love houses all lit up.

These three have been working their little hearts out for school.  Boy oh boy I’m still hoping we can make it out of here alive if we can make it through finals this week.  I had to capture this picture though because I loved how they were all in a tight little row just working away.

Darlings all three.

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