A real highlight of what we do here is visiting families in their homes. Also, I was able to visit two children in the hospital. Both children have attended our family retreat in the past.
Friday, January 17, 2014
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
One Saturday in November, I received a phone call out of the blue from my friend Linda. We met Linda in 2001 while we were teaching at a college in Changchun. She also taught at the school and became one of our closest friends. We had seen Linda twice since moving back to China last March but hadn't been in touch recently, so I was surprised to hear her say she had traveled to our city that weekend. And then I was even more surprised when she announced that she had traveled that day with her boyfriend, as they were doing some shopping in preparation for their upcoming wedding!
The short clip above gives you an idea of the processional. The guests aren't asked to stand as the bride walks down the aisle, but many people were talking and trying to get pictures of Linda. Kevin and I loved reconnecting with friends we hadn't seen in years and introducing Molly and Hudson to them.
Chessie, Caleb and their nearly 2-year-old son
Wang Ying, the foreign affairs liaison at our former college. She has been promoted but still works in the foreign affair department, and she wasted no time trying to recruit us back to teaching!
Abbie and Nikki from New Zealand. Abbie was 7 when we first met this sweet family, and now she is 20.
Linda changed into a beautiful red dress for the reception.
We rode Changchun's light-rail system on the way back to Randy and Jessica's, which was fun since it was under construction when we moved away in 2003. We packed our bags, caught a bus to the train station and made it in plenty of time for the two-hour ride home. Such a happy weekend!
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
One project Kevin initiated this year was Heart to Heart English, a weekly series of classes for children and adults affected by disabilities. We worked in conjunction with our city's Handicapped & Rehab Association, which is housed in a 20-story building not too far from where we live.
The video above is a 30-second clip of Molly & Hudson bouncing on the trampoline.
Thursday, January 2, 2014
We get the most questions about our Little People nativity set. (Hudson's t-shirt says "Jesus loves you.") Christmas decorations are becoming more common all over town but it is always trees, wreaths, bells, Santas, gifts and lights.
Molly was so excited when her preschool started decorating for Christmas. She gave me a daily progress update on how many trees there were in the classrooms and hallways, and talked about making ornaments during craft time in class. One day as we were walking home, she announced: "Mom, my teacher doesn't know that Christmas is Jesus' birthday!"
I made sweet potato casserole as a side dish for lunch, which was hawaiian pizza. (It is possible to order turkey from an import store, but it is something like $5 a pound. Our Chinese friends have no idea what it's like to eat turkey.) We waited until Sunday, Dec 29 to share more of a traditional holiday meal at the home of our Canadian friends: baked chicken, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, corn, meatballs and gravy. We have been spoiled these past few months with many delicious, homemade meals with them.