The last while has found us extremely busy. There has been much traveling, much work, much learning new piano music for church, and much school. What we have had less time for is, blogging, grocery shopping, and resting.
Last weekend we were in Xi'an. With a few breaks in between, Xi'an was the capital of China from 1046 BC until 907 AD. It is also the well known home of the home of the Terra-cotta Warriers. This army of 6000 warriers, are life sized, individualized statues of warriors made of fired clay. They were made for the Emperor Qin 2300 years ago so that when he enter the afterlife, he would be already have an army with him and could also dominate in the next life. It includes horses, chariots, sword bearers, archers (actually crossbows), and much more. When they were made, they were even painted bright colors. It is a truly fascinating sight, and is the eighth wonder of the world.
We also spent Saturday night dragging the boys through the loud and crowded Muslim Market. James and the boys came home on Sunday evening, but I had to travel to Chengdu from Xi'an the next morning. Thus, I and and two other MCCers were able to do some more walking around the city.
We walked to the Forest of Steles, where there are many huge metal slabs contain writing from hundreds and thousands of years ago. They proclaim edicts, write histories, and record social exhortations. Here in this "forest" is a stele declaring the history of the first Christians (Nestorians) that come to China in about 650 AD. They set up a church and did well for 150 years, after which point, the Emperor had them driven out/killed. The church also still exists a three hour drive away from Xi'an. This stele was carved in remembrance of the Christians shortly after they were driven out. All of the steles are mounted on the backs of giant turtles (which are a symbol of wisdom). It was truly fascinating. See the picture at the top. We were also fortunate enough to watch the workers make rubbings of the steles (picture). One of the other MCCers bought a rubbing of the Nestorian Stele. Knowing many people who would be interested in such a rubbing (James and his Mom!), I briefly considered buying one as well, but did not have enough money.
Also in Xi'an we saw the Big Goose Pagoda (built to house the Buddhist Scriptures in 649 AD).
Before I end, here is a story. Today Ari casually told me "Today at school I threw up in the garbage can again." I wondered to myself why his teacher would not have thought to tell us about this. Then he said, "I had paper in my mouth from my food. My teacher had to squeeze my throat in order to get it out". WHAT!!! My mind started racing, wondering what on earth could have happened. However, a few simple questions it came out that "squeezing" was actually the teacher putting her finger in his mouth to pull out the paper, and "throwing up" was actually spitting it in the garbage. Moral of the story: Readily recall at all times that your child's vocabulary is new and untried!