Monday, April 26, 2010

Tegan and Jack

This is Tegan and Jack. Jack is a zebra. Tegan loves his zebra, and the story behind it is very interesting. Today, we had a service at a local community, and afterwards we went to lunch with the community leader. This pizza place has some video games, and the machine with a claw that can grab stuffed animals. Now, because they are the cutest boys in the world, people want to give them quarters and such, and that happened here. One of the kids who came to lunch with us, told Tegan he would help him and Preston win a stuffed animal. On the first try, he managed to snag a "Baby Shrek" for Preston, but he was unable to get the zebra that Tegan insisted he needed. Mom and Dad disagree, but that is a different story.
Tegan of course, began to cry and we told him sorry, but there is nothing we can do about it. So the community leaders wife pulls out a dollar, remember they are cute; so people give them things, and the boy tried again. He actually hooked it both times, but it slipped out. Now Tegan is sad again, and he knows he is not getting it.

Meanwhile...there is another girl there. You can tell she is an expert in this machine, as she has an arm full of stuffed animals, and she is reeling them in like its easy. She hears the cries, runs out to her car, comes back in and in 2 tries, has the zebra hooked and headed toward the chute. Tegan had a look of joy on his face, while saying its not mine....I dont get it. Suddenly..she hands it to Preston, who passes it off to Tegan; and she runs out the door. I grab Tegan and we run out, shouting "thank you"
As we come in, Tegan has a huge smile on his face, and says one thing.." I asked God to give me the zebra."
So thats the story of Tegan and Jake, and how Father answered a somewhat selfish request, while at the same time showing a young boy just how awesome He is.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Whats Next?

If you have paid any attention to our blog or facebook posts, you know that we are finally headed back to China. We leave Portland on June 7th, and on June 8th at 9:30 PM we arrive in our new home in Chang Sha! We are humbled and excited to be able to do this, and are so grateful for the life we are able to live!
Our next question is why June? Why now tomorrow? Well, we need to close up our life here. To have time to move out, and pack up. To prepare the boys for the move. They seem to be excited about it, but reality is hitting them, and they need the time.
So we will use the next 7 weeks to do that. To sort through our stuff, to pack on the basic necessities. We are determined to only bring 2 bags each...To say good bye to our life and new friends here.
We also have to shop. We have a HUGE list of things we need to buy before we go. As modern as China is becoming, there are many things we can't buy there. Things like deodorant, vanilla, baking powder, and jelly beans! Clothes for us, and pants without orange designs on them for Tegan. Birthday candles, and children's motrin. The list goes on and on. We are having fun just buying, and not really worrying about the final total! We never do anything like that, and its nice to be able to do that!
So thanks for your support and help, we cant do this without all of you!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Preston!

Dear Preston,
Last night, as I helped you put on your shirt, your Mom and I realized that this is the last time we were putting our two year old to bed. When you wake up, you will be a three year old, and I know you are excited about that. But I am not sure that we are!
The difference between 2 and 3, is simply a day..but to us an eternity. We said good night to our baby; and good morning to our big boy! I know its impossible, but we wish we could order you to stop growing!

Our precious Preston, it has been such a privilege to watch you these past 6 months, as you became your own person. A little man who can stand up for himself, and settle the score when needed. Who's not afraid to tattle on his brother when its for his benefit, who is learning to do so many things "self" To see you develop your own interests, and ways of doing things. To see how stubborn you are, and how you are willing to stand your ground. To see your creativity, and how your smile effects everyone around you. My precious baby, its incredible how the problems of the world disappear when you smile and your dimples peek out. How you can make us all laugh for hours, just by rolling your eyes. You can be ornery, and annoying at times; but thats what makes you; you!

I know that you are to young to remember how it was before, and know how much your life has changed this past year; but it has, and we are so proud of how you have weathered the storms. In just a few weeks, your life will change again; but we know you will come through and you will be able to say you changed peoples lives on three different contents; in just three years!

Your brother, Mom and I, love you so much. You have brought so much joy and excitement to our life; its hard to imagine how we survived without you. We are so proud of the person you are becoming, Happy Birthday to our big boy. Remember our that you are three; you feed yourself and make your own bed. No more, " you, help you" I know you can do it my darling boy. 
Mommy and Daddy

Friday, April 9, 2010

Its The Small Things!

If you are like Renee and I, which no one wants to admit I realize that, we still get amazed by what Father does for us. We probably should not be, after all He is just doing what He promised; but we are.
There were several things this past few weeks that remind of this.
First of all, we saw some more monthly support come in. We did not know where the last little bit was coming from, but it's coming. We are so close, and soooo ready for China.

Then, yesterday we decided we needed a stroller that can stand up to the Chinese streets and sidewalks, but was still small enough to fold up and carry on the bus. One of our friends, a self-described stroller geek, told us we needed a maclaren. But they are very expensive. We went to try one out, and then decided to go into a consignment store, just to see. We walked in, and there was the very one we were looking at. A $260 stroller for only $25.00.
Its the small things, that we see once again Father is in charge. He cares about every area of our life, even things are silly and inconsequential as strollers.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

This week we talked to our boss, and he gave us permission to go ahead and get our Chinese visa's, and decide on a return date. As soon as he said that, there was such a relief that came over me. And for the first time in a long time, I allowed myself to truly believe that we are going home.
We will leave the first week of June, and begin teaching at Chang Sha Medical University the first of September. We are so excited to have several months in which to get settled, before the demands of school and other things take up all our time.
We are going home! People sometimes have a hard time understanding that concept, how we see China as more of a home than the United States but its true. We are going home!

Renee and I began talking about some of the things we have missed, and are looking forward to:
Real Chinese food, in a corner out of the way restaurant
People staring at us wherever we go
The crowded buses and streets
The people
Honestly, the list could be endless.

We are going home! We still need a little bit of support, but we are almost there. Close enough to know, that we are going home!

We have two months to pack our apartment, prepare the boys (they are already excited though) load our stuff on the plane, and begin the next phase of our life. We are so ready, and so excited! We are going home!