Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shanghai Pictures and Chris's Family Letter

Chris travelled to Shanghai last week and entertained us with daily photos. He also found time to write a family letter... the door to door travel time is about 24 hours.

Dear Family,

You probably guessed it already. I’m on another flight to China, so a good time to write a letter. This is my 4th trip in four months, and there is a good chance that I will go two more times in the next two months as well. The good news is that the contracts are close to being finished. First, we got one signed last week for a new plant in China (license only, no investment). I wasn’t involved in that project, but it frees up resources in our group to finish the remaining 3-4 projects that I am involved with. We should have another contract ready for signature after this week’s meeting in Shanghai, and next week’s meeting in Houston (they are coming for a plant tour plus technical discussions). At that point, we will be down to the last 3 contracts (or less if one falls by the wayside). We don’t have enough legal services to handle all these contracts, so our clients are getting rather anxious and/or ticked off at us. This trip is a short one at 4 days – two days of travel and two days of meetings. In the past 6 years, I probably spent 25% of my time working to license this technology, and it is finally paying off. I will be able to say more when the deal is announced publicly.

We had Lia’s 3rd birthday party last weekend. Lia was really excited about it since she remembers Emily’s and David’s birthdays last Fall, and wanted to experience the same. She helped Michelle make a pink cake with a heart on it. She also helped Michelle pick out the party favors and table decorations (mostly pink and/or heart themed).

Both Emily and David have enjoyed their kid cameras that they got as Christmas gifts. Last week, I downloaded the software that allows them to upload their pictures onto our family laptop. On top of that, Michelle helped set up blogs for both Emily and David. Pretty amazing to see David already learn how to make a new blog entry, write the title, insert a picture with a caption, and then write about it. Of course, most of it is gibberish (which he thinks is funny). Emily, on other hand, composes grammatically correct sentences. The odd thing is that David is reading at a 2nd grade level, but can’t write a sentence. To give you an example, David can read out loud 90% of this letter without assistance, but likes to write, “jkdghghghghghhhhhhhhhhhglhsdlfhlkd” in his blog. David turned 5 in October, so doesn’t start kindergarten till next year.

Emily is still on track for 1st communion. Because there are so many kids involved, the 1st communion masses are spread out over May and June. Emily wanted to do hers in June.

By the way, we did NOT get the 2-3 inches of snow that the forecasters promised us two weeks ago. Instead, we got freezing rain, which played havoc on all of the flyover interchanges in Houston. I stayed home until the temperature got above freezing, which was about 11 am. Oh well, maybe next year for snow accumulation. If you saw the Super Bowl, you would have seen that Dallas had quite a bit of snow (on two separate occasions I believe during Super Bowl week).

Even though it did not snow, it has been mostly cold and wet since the start of the year. This has caused a fair amount of stir-craziness at the Nelli household. It’s much better when the kids can play outside. They are not used to playing in parkas, gloves, and hats. The winters in the Houston area are usually milder than this. The last two years have been very cold, with hard freezes (low in the teens) that have killed a lot of the above-ground vegetation in our garden beds. Fortunately, the roots typically survive (though we lost some plants last year). It typically warms up in early March. In fact, most of the trees start budding in mid-March.

That’s it for now. I’m hoping for a break in May so we can visit Michelle’s parents at their condo in Hawaii.


Chris and Michelle

1 comment:

  1. Dad is so proud....I guess Uncle Tetee and I need to get on the ball!