Sunday, December 25, 2016

2016 in Review

Here's the annual video summary!  Thanks for all the love and friendship this year!  It is great to be "home" in Minnesota!

Thanks for watching and all the best for the New Year:

And the Link for the Previous 9 Years:

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Tennessee Wedding!

We made it back to Tennessee for a dear friend's wedding!  We felt so fortunate to be back and part of the celebration!  The girls had a blast at their first wedding!
The Anderson's Silly Girls Untitled

China Summary

After spending a total of 4 weeks in China, there were several things that struck me.  First off, it was an amazing and challenging cultural experience.  It was hard to be away from the family for so long, and an unforgettable experience.

My colleague and I had the chance to sight see over the weekends and made it to four of China's capital cities: Beijing (current capital), Nanjing (previous south capital), Xi'an (ancient capital), and Shanghai (financial capital).  If I could do it all over again - I would do it exactly the same.

Second, the smells of China are indescribable.  The best summary I can come up with is that it is a combination of 4 smells: Ginger, Smoke, Sewer, and Moth Balls.  Basically differing levels of gross.

Third, the pollution and smog is simply shocking.  At one point, we were travelling on a high speed train.  We looked out the window and literally thought we were in a tunnel, but it turns out that it was only smog.  I was careful not to post photos while in China - we had heard reports of people being thrown in jail for 3 years for posting "propaganda" about the smog.  This is a water truck that acts as a wet-scrubber to knock down the smog in busy intersections.  Some people believe that they intentionally park these trucks in areas close to monitoring points to artificially show lower smog results.
The sun set at about 4:30pm - approximately 1.5hrs before true sunset (due to the smog).
A view out the train window.  It was the same view for 2hrs (at 300 km/hr).

Fourth, the cultural experiences were interesting.  I don't speak mandarin, but was able to sense quite a bit of what was happening based on tone and body language.  Anytime we got them excited, they would stand up out of their chairs.
They also offered incredible hospitality by taking us to dinner most evenings.  It was common to have a family style dinner with a lazy susan in the middle of the table to rotate dishes around:

Fifth, there is no way to describe the traffic.  Scary and ridiculous.  There are scooters everywhere.  Most are overloaded, several have small children on them, and no one wears a helmet.  If they actually followed a traffic rule, it might be ok.  In reality, not so much.

Finally, the size.  I couldn't believe the size of cities and the population.  At one point, we rode in a car for an hour, and the only thing to see was high rises as far as you could see.  Nanjing has over 7 million people in the metro area, Xi'an similar, and Shanghai has more people than the state of Texas!  The size of buildings was amazing.  This is the Shanghai Tower and is the world's 2nd highest building.  The second is a view of the world's 6th tallest building from the world's highest observation deck.  Incredible:
Shanghai highlights

A view of the world's 2nd tallest building (Shanghai Tower in the middle).  It has the world's tallest observation deck and the world's fastest elevator at over 40mph!
Shanghai highlights

This a skyline view of Shanghai from the Vue Bar:

Here's my selfie boarding the ferry across the Huangpu River in Shanghai:
Shanghai highlights

Fall Activities: Gymnastics, Family Time, China, Thanksgiving, and New York

Since our last post, we've been busy with lots of activities!

Jeryn's been hard at it with gymnastics.  She's had 5 competitions, and been progressively more consistent and stable - making steady progress on the beam and floor.

We have been fortunate to have lots of family time with Auntie J, Auntie Kirk, and Grandma - all were able to join us for Thanksgiving.

I've been to China for a two-week work trip.  It was a long stretch, but super interesting.  I was fortunate enough to make the most of it with a weekend trip to the Great Wall of China, and Beijing.  I found it interesting that people would stare regularly at me, and often approach to have our picture taken.

We capped it all with a 3-day trip to New York City.  Neither Christina nor I have ever been, so it was a great opportunity to explore.  We made the most of the experience with ice skating at Rockafeller Plaza, a day at the Statue of Liberty, loads of window display viewing, and the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall.

Hope all is well where you are.  Thanks for staying up on what's new with the excitement at the Anderson's.  We're blessed and fortunate, and hoping to talk or see many of you soon!

Anderson's at the Statue of Liberty Manhattan Skyline NYC street dogs! The girls at Times Square:) Jeryn and Jasmine Avery and Jeryn

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Fall in Minnesota: Aamodts Apple Farm

It's not officially fall for a few more days, but that didn't stop a cousin-filled trip to Aamodts Apple Farm east of the cities!  Thanks for a great idea and great idea sisters!

Kirk and the girls

Janessa and Josh

Apple Picking

Apple Farm



Thursday, September 15, 2016

Back in Time: 15 years of Happy Marriage

Wedding Day:

1st Anniversary:

2nd Anniversary:

3rd Anniversary:

4th Anniversary:

5th Anniversary:

6th Anniversary:

7th Anniversary:

8th Anniversary:
Scott's and Smokies

9th Anniversary:
Happy Family

10th Anniversary:

11th Anniversary:

12th Anniversary:
Family Blah

13th Anniversary:
Andersons in the Lake District

14th Anniversary:
Mara's 5th Birthday

15th Anniversary:
San Fran Segway

15 Years!!

So this happened 15 years ago:
Gosh we were young!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Early Anniversary

What an amazing trip to San Fran as an early Anniversary celebration!  We even bumped into an old friend:)  Here are a few picture highlights!


Sutro Baths

San Fran Segway

Outing on a Segway

Outing and Josh Half Moon Bay

Friday, August 26, 2016

Annual State Fair Trip

Ahh...the wonderfulness of the Minnesota State Fair!  It is hard to believe that any other fair could outdo this (although Texas claims they can).

Today we hit up the state fair with 150,000 of our closest friends!  What a blast with some great company and all sorts of foods on a stick!

We even ran into this friendly State Fair employee...
Happy State Fair Company Corn! Annual Brick Picture Cream puff Yummm...Meat!