Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 124

                                                            Preston with his teachers.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 123

Tegan with his teachers at our annual retreat. These teachers come from America and the TCK office. They have experience with kids who live overseas, and are wonderful for them!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Vacation
























Finally Home

The next few weeks are slow weeks for us China folk. Chinese New Year is upon us, and so most of the country shuts down during that time. What that means for us, is a lot of family time, and our annual retreat. We have an annual meeting, because its hard for us all to meet in China and be able to talk about the things we need to. So we head some place warm, and where we can stock up on the things we need to buy, but can not get here.
So this year we went to Thailand for a few days. After our annual meetings, we spent a few days on vacation and had a wonderful time as a family.
Then we came home....I dont know why, but it seems we have so much trouble when its time to come home, or when we are going someplace to do the work we do here. In a way, its exciting, because that means we are doing something right, and the enemy is scared about that. But this is our adventure home....

1. Guangzhou airport: We can not stand this airport. It is the most troublesome airport we have ever been to. Its huge, unmarked and not user friendly at all. Then we finally get through security, and the boys carry on gets searched. They find some stuffed animal snakes that the boys bought with their own money, and try to tell us we cant take it. That the snakes look real, and someone might be scared. We promise to keep them in the bag..but nothing. I tell them nicely that they are no going to take them, the boys used their own money to buy them. Finally we reach a compromise. I run back to check the bag, and then go through the whole process again with the security.

2. We finally land in Changsha, and we go get a taxi.  The driver decides, as soon as we pull out of the airport, we need to stop and wait for his sister.  We wait a long time for her to come join us, and then he detours to drop her off. It takes us a lot longer than it should to get back, but finally we are home.

I dont write this to complain, but to vent a little bit! But at the same time, we are excited because every struggle is pointing to the fact that we are accomplishing something. So the end result is this. We are home, our house is getting warmer, and we are resting secure in the knowledge that we are exactly where we are supposed to be.

Day 122


Some good tea we had in Guangzhou. Its called rose tea, and is literally some rose buds in water. It was very good!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 121

Renee playing tug of war with the other parents at Tegans school during their Christmas program.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 120

Renee and Preston, playing air hockey. There is an arcade not to far away, we have taken the boys occasionally. They have fun.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 118


Again, may have posted this one before But she is so cute...girl playing in our complex. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 117


Road construction. Everything is still done by hand. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 116

Some of the construction going on around our apartment complex. The thing next to the tall building will be a "Good Life" store. Basically a Chinese Wal Mart.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 115

Lunch today with some good friends of ours. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 114


Passed back by a little later...and the chickens were gone. Dinner?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 111


Not sure if we posted this before or not. This is in Hong Kong. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 110


Tegan at Thanksgiving. He loves this game, and is really good at it. You can see how hard he is concentrating. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 109

A wedding that we got to see. It was done at the church we work with, and as you can see it has a Western feel. Chinese weddings are becoming more and more Western, especially with Christians.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Day 107

Playing with the ice. Again, they had so much fun with their first ice experience. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Random Thoughts

It has been a while since I have blogged, other than a picture. But there are some thoughts running around in my head, and I want to get them out.

Today was the memorial service for those who had died, and were injured in Tucson last week. I was not able to watch President Obama deliver his speech, but I did find a transcript online and read it. I was blown away, that had to be one of the best speeches I have ever read. While I was moved emotionally, it also made me think. As an American who does not live in America, I have the unique ability to see things on the news with a level of objectivity. Meaning, the petty fights among politicians, and other groups are more of a curiosity to me, rather than something that impacts me on a daily basis.
Yet as I read that speech, I realized this may be what our country needs. I dont pretend to know all the problems that keep others from playing nice, but it seems to me that what President Obama is selling, is something that is needed. We do need to get back to the basics and remember who we are, and were we came from. We all look for answers in any kind of tragedy, maybe this is what we can find, people realizing whats important, and watch as we begin to heal and come together.

The second thing has to deal with China and its military. I am in no way a military expert, and can not even begin to claim that I know anything. But this last week, China unveiled its newest military plane, a stealth fighter. They did not keep it a secret, even letting people take pictures of it with their cell phone. That is so unlike China, its hard to imagine they did that. I got to thinking why...and came up with something.
The answer is this...they want the world to know. They want the world to be aware, and to be scared. The way China keeps control over 1.5 billion people is through fear and intimidation. They want us to know that we can be overwhelmed by their strength and might, so dont even try. We saw an example of this last week.
Renee and I were walking down "Bu Xing Jie" known as "Walking Street" Its called such because they are no cars, and lots of stores, its designed to be relaxing and a "one stop shopping" local. We saw a huge group of uniformed men walking together, and suddenly they pounced. There was a man selling some soy milk in a bucket (its illegal to sell any kind of street food or junk toys on walking street) and he was pounced on by 6 men initially ( two grabbed each bucket, and two grabbed him) then another 5 or 6 joined in quick succession. The man was trapped, he could not move. They overwhelmed him by force and brute strength. We followed these guys for a while, and this happened several more times. It got to the point where they did not have to grab anyone, all they had to do was move in a certain direction, and the illegal sellers would run! They did not have to arrest anyone, or shout, or yell. They did not need a gun, handcuffs, or a baton. Their mear presence was enough. People knew to leave them alone.
Thats why we all got to see their new plane. They are saying, dont even try it!

Day 106

Again..its cold so the boys amuse themselves in strange way! Here they are helping Daddy with his ipod. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 105


Boys trying to play with the ice in the lake at our complex. This is the first time they have seen anything freeze over, so they had a great time trying to break the ice with rocks. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 104


Boys playing "cow planting eggplant" Its to cold to go outside, so its fun to see their imagination run wild. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 103


China is becoming more and more dog friendly, not quite as much as Europe but getting there. This dog is one of the construction workers that live close to this place.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011