Monday, October 29, 2012


Living in an expat neighborhood has is benefits, especially somewhere so far and so different from home!  Last Saturday, Green City, the area we live, hosted a Haunted Carnival for families.  It was not at all like the carnivals back home, but the kids had a good time all the same.  There was a gauntlet of local vendors set up in booths with candy and pamphlets to hand out as soon as you walked in.  The only one that interested me was a local farm that was selling small pumpkins for the kids to draw a face on.  Lily drew a very nice jack-o-lantern face on hers but since the markers didn't show up well I promised her we would paint the pumpkin later. 
A local hair salon was spraying colored hairspray in the kids hair.  Lily wasn't too sure about it, but after watching Charlie sit and get his done she decided she couldn't let him out do her so they both had green hair for the rest of the day!  The big attraction though was the different bounce houses and slides that were set up.  Lily was only too ready to toss off her shoes and jump in.  Charlie decided that it was too crowded with big kids and opted to hang with mom and dad.  We ran into a few of Lily's classmates at the carnival too.  She's always gets so excited when she sees one of her classmates.  She genuinely likes everyone in her class, I've never heard her say a bad word about anyone.  As a mom this make me incredibly proud, although, I think it is her nature more than my wonderful parenting skills.  
There were several craft table set up for the kids, some were free, while others cost a few RMB.  The kids seemed to like the cup spiders and after picking out pipe cleaners Lily used all of her concentration to make her spider's legs.  Charlie seemed happy to watch daddy make his while he picked out what color maker to use for the face. 
Unlike most carnivals in the US there were no rides and very little in the was of "fair" food.  Instead there were about a half dozen local restaurants that were set up under tents selling a limited version of their menus.  I got a very yummy grilled chicken plate from a Turkish place and Lucas got a burger and fries from Hooters of all things.  The kids didn't seem to be too hungry so they both just picked out our food.  Before leaving we picked up some popcorn and silly string for Lily.  Both were long gone before we got home.  

To complete our Halloween weekend we invited Johnny and Christine, co-workers of Lucas's, over to carve pumpkins with us.  The pumpkins here are a light orange color and have green streaks.  They are also usually squat instead of round but the odd pumpkins were not going to stop Lucas who loves Halloween most of all the holidays.  By the time we picked out our pumpkins from the local grocery store, sigh, and had lunch Charlie was ready for his nap so he missed the carving.  Lily came in at the tail end and helped Johnny with his pumpkin. 
While Lily waited with the patience of a five year old for her brother to wake up, Lucas put on a football game for him and Christine.  Christine is here for six months as part of BASF's Professional Development Program, and is missing football so Lucas told her she was welcome to watch with him since he knows I'm not going to.
Charlie finally woke up and the kids painted their pumpkins using every color paint I have.  It's not like our Halloween's back in the US, but it is close enough so that the kids aren't totally missing out.  

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