When I was growing up, if I wanted to build something in the 7th grade, my options were so limited. But the students I teach these days have laser printers, laptops, 3D printers, laser cutters, milling machines, band saws, workshops stacked with tools, and so much more! It’s amazing! Here are some USB powered night lights my kids are creating.

Swimming!! Sorta…. :)

Tingting found another of those great baby swim places near our home. So, today we took Leo for a half hour float. It was really rough at first as he cried and cried, but 10 minutes in, he finally chilled and then seemed to actually enjoy it. He even met a girl!! Haha

Is it too early? Lol

No, the headphones were not on! Lol

Cuter and cuter every day!

Leo tried out his new-ish playpen For the first time today. He was a bit unsure what to do for a long time.


Leo took a selfie today, not sure if it’s his first…. kids these days! Lol

Look what I made….

In my grade 7 Design classes, my students are designing and building LED USB night lights. Last year was the first time I taught this unit and I thought they made some great products, but this year I am pushing them to achieve something much greater. As a model to inspire them, I built this night light using Illustrator, CAM, 3mm plywood and acrylic, along with an LED light strip. It’s really quite nice actually, and I can’t wait to see what this year’s students produce!

Chinese New Year!

It’s quiet. Oh so quiet in Shanghai during the New Year, unless you go to the mega tourist spots. No, our neighborhood of Hongqiao was silent and deserted! The family got together a few times though and we all over ate too many times. The cold sucks, Feb in Shanghai is nasty. Not amazingly cold, but close to 0 Celsius almost every day and lots of rain. I’m eager for March and the gradual warming of spring!

So today is New Year’s eve in China, and I decided to go out and play tourist. It was drizzly with a lot of overcast and a bit chilly, but a beautiful day nonetheless. These are photos from the YuYuan Gardens in Shanghai.

A few years ago, I read this article “17 THINGS THAT CHANGE FOREVER WHEN YOU LIVE ABROAD” at masedimburgo.com. The first time I read it, I cried. I’m not afraid to admit it. Last night I was cleaning up some stuff on my laptop and I stumbled across the article again and I re-read it. It seems, that after eight years in China, the truths in Angie’s post are still just as relevant now as they were then. I didn’t cry this time, but the impact was still very strong. I especially love and agree with point #12 that says, as we live in a foreign country, we come measure time in tiny little moments that are not measured by days or weeks, but by places and people. #7 though, even more true, is the heart breaker for many. As an ex-pat living abroad, we know better any most, that most things and people in our life are just passing through. I don’t know how many times I’ve said goodbye to great friends and even family. Living abroad is not for everyone. It’s a difficult adventure, one that I feel is worth it, though it can be terribly hard.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this great post. Thanks Angie!



It’s amazing, but her 6 month maternity leave ended today. To make her feel better, I had flowers delivered and later, I personally took her Starbucks. 🙂