Saturday, January 25, 2014

Happy Christmas

It is always a happy occasion for children at Christmas time. When we were growing up in China or Taiwan, we did not celebrate at Christmas time. But I do remember our exciting and happy times during the Chinese New Year. We usually received a few red-envelopes with some money in them, mostly from our parents but sometimes from older relatives or from our parents' friends. We were allowed to join the gambling games once a year, to threw dice and possibly win some more money. Every culture has some way to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of a new one!

Our children enjoyed their gifts, special foods, and, of course, visitors during these times. Both Janice and I clearly remember even today how we enjoyed the happiness beaming on their faces and the appreciation  expressed with their body-language. The pictures I took can give you  glimpses of what we experienced.xmas-cookies-74cxmas-giftsxmas-gifts-2xmas-happy-3   xmas-happy2

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Christmas Visitors

Yes, every Christmas we had many visitors. This was true throughout the years when our children were growing up. Of course, we had relatives every year. Janice’s parents usually came to Johnson City for about one week either before or shortly after Christmas. And my brothers and sister also came for several days, depending on their holiday schedule. in 1974, we had both sets of relatives. As shown in the following pictures, my brother Ed and sister Kai came before Christmas, while Janice’s parents came afterwards.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Christmas Cookies

Another favorite thing to do with our two kids before Christmas was to make Christmas cookies. When I say Christmas cookies, I mean not just cookies to eat during Christmas time, but cookies with special shapes, colors, and decorations for the Christmas season.  So the kids made cookies with Christmas tree shapes, lanterns, and Santa’s hats etc. and with green, red and white colors on the top! They were fun to make and fun to eat!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Christmas Cards

We have prepared Christmas Cards every year since Panpan was born. Before then, we sent out holiday greetings to our friends, using available commercial cards. Clearly, it was a very important turning point in our lives when Panpan and later Steven came to join us to form our family unit. Until the time when both of them went to college, their activities dominated our family. Our center of life focused totally on them and the Christmas cards just reflected those periods. I have collected the first four Christmas cards which have pictures of both of them in the centerfolds,  showing how they grew and changed. Janice usually wrote something about the important events which had occurred during the year. Please remember that these cards were in different sizes and had different pictures on the front. xmas-card003xmas-card004xmas-card002xmas-card001

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Pictures for Christmas Cards

Every year, around Thanksgiving time, before our children went to college, I always set up a special time to take pictures for the coming Christmas cards. It was generally a very time consuming project. The kids did not mind much when they were young. However, as time went by, they became more and more impatient and we tried to take the pictures more quickly. In 1974, we took the pictures below:

Notice that there was a fire in the fire place and the books were well stacked in the bookcases. Certainly our children were smiling and happy to take these pictures. Which one do you think was our choice for the card? It was not an easy decision, as you can see. You are correct if you say that we chose the last one!


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

More Pictures at Panpan’s School

As Panpan was growing older, she became more active in school. We heard about her daily activities in more detail. Even Steven was impressed! Our dinner time was also our sharing time. Both Panpan and Steven gave us a list of what they had done for the day. When I got a chance, I tried to go to her school to watch what she was doing there at the Child Study Center. The following pictures were taken one beautiful day when I had the opportunity to visit her. Of course, she was delighted to show how active she was. panpan-school3panpan-school2panpan-school4panpan-school5panpan-school-6panpan-school-7

Monday, January 6, 2014

Departmental Picnics

One of the regular activities of the Chemistry Department for faculty, students, staff, and their families was picnics. Generally, they made use of public parks, such as the Rotary Club Park,  Boone Lake City Park, Roan Mountain State Park, Warrior State Park, and the Watauga Lake Swimming Area. It was a picnic where everyone contributed, bringing favorite foods to share. The department would furnish one main dish and/or drinks for everyone. While we were at the park, we would have some sports activities, such as baseball or soccer, for fun. The pictures below were taken at one of those gatherings:


Saturday, January 4, 2014

More Camping

As Panpan and Steven were growing older, we went out camping nearby more and more. Some times we went with our friends, such as the Sanzones who lived in Blacksburg, VA. We would meet them somewhere halfway between our homes, such as Hungry Mothers State Park or the White Top Mountain area or somewhere on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We certainly enjoyed the outdoors! Of course, our dog Princess was with us every time. The following pictures(slides) were taken in the fall of 1974. You can see how Panpan and Steven had already grown up quite a bit by then. They were developing their own personalities already. camping-74camping-74acamping-74bcamping-74ccamping-74dcamping-74ecamping-74f

Friday, January 3, 2014

Homecoming Decorations!

Each Fall, most universities in the US have a home- coming week end. It usually includes a football game and a dance party, etc. to welcome back the alums. Chemistry majors often do not participate in those kinds of activities. Professors in the Science Departments seldom see many celebrations of this type in their departments. In my thirty some years of teaching, I can count the number of such activities in my department on a single hand. In 1974, the Chemistry students built a big decoration outside our department. As far as I know, that was the only time we did something for this kind of competition. I tried to take some pictures for the students involved, and they turned out to be the only ones in my experience! Take a look, we did not win much of anything! But we did have a lot of fun! Even Panpan got involved!