Friday, August 31, 2007

Blogging in China

Just a few quick things about blogging in China. I am able to blog and to read other's blog but there are a few things that I can't do. I can't leave comments on anyone's blog and I can't read comments on anyone's blog. So, don't feel bad if I don't comment. I do receive my comments because they are emailed to me. So, continue to comment, I love it.
Also, if you have a private blog (where a password is required), I can no longer view it. So, Wendi, you will have to send me email updates every so often because I really miss reading your blog and knowing what you guys are up to. And I hope nobody else decides to go private because I love being able to keep in touch this way.

Vacation Day Dreams

***WARNING: There are quite a few new posts that I posted in the last couple of days. Make sure you scroll down so that you don't miss any.***

I’m sitting at work, trying to make myself focus on planning my year and all I keep thinking about is where I want to go on our vacations. We get several big breaks throughout the year and there are so many places to see.
These are my tentative thoughts. For October break (the first week in October), I want to go to Hong Kong and go to Disneyland. I don’t know if we’ll stay the whole week because Hong Kong is really expensive but it will be fun to do 3 or 4 days there. And it’s pretty close to where we live.
Then, for Christmas, I think it would be fun to go to the Philippines. It sounds great to have a nice, island, beach Christmas.
For winter vacation, I would like to go to Vietnam and Thailand. And in May, I want to go to Beijing and do all the traditional Chinese sites.
Of course, a lot will depend on when/if people are coming to visit us and working these trips around visits. If people are coming to visit, we’ll definitely go see things that they want to see with them.

My Adventurous Husband

I have to admit, I was a little bit worried about coming here and about Jason getting bored. I wasn’t sure how he would adjust to living in a different country and not having anything to do the first little while and not knowing anyone. But, I had no need to worry. He’s been figuring everything out and exploring and talking to people. I’m impressed. I forget sometimes that he’s not nearly as shy as I am.
He’s determined to get our internet working faster so we can watch TV from home better. It works just fine at times when not a lot of people are online (like 5 in the morning), but then as more people get online, it gets pretty choppy.
No one seems to understand him when he asks around about faster internet. One day, I got home from work and he was in the lobby with about 9 or 10 people (including the apartment technician) all who were trying to help him figure out a way to get faster internet. I thought it was pretty funny. I would have given up long ago, but he keeps calling people, visiting stores, buying new things for the computer, etc. He’s been all over by himself on buses, taxis, bikes, etc. He even took a motorcycle taxi the other day. He just takes our little "Survival Chinese" phrasebook and does the best he can with the language.
He has figured out a way to get it faster, but it’s quite the process. We have to first have a Bank of China account, then get a new phone line with ChinaTelecom, then they will hook us up. The school is setting up our bank accounts, but we won’t have them for a few more weeks. So, we’re just waiting and in the mean time Jason is researching other ways to get faster internet. We’re not even sure that it will be that much faster anyway.
He’s really been trying to get everything working so that we will be able to watch BYU football. The first game is on Saturday. Luckily, for us, it’s at 3:00pm MST which is 5:00 am for us, right at a time when the picture comes in really well. So, we’ll be able to watch the first game at least without any problems.

Differences about Clifford School

I’m sure I’ll be adding to this list all year long, but here are some of the interesting differences that I’ve noticed so far
*The students wear uniforms—this isn’t different than all U.S. schools, but it is different from the ones I’ve taught at.
*Getting supplies is quite a hassle. We send in supply lists monthly, but we don’t get our supplies for about 6 weeks. So, yesterday I filled out a form for supplies I’ll need in October. It takes some planning and I’m not a big planner. Plus, for new teachers, we just have to hope we can scrounge up enough stuff for our first few months. Also, there are certain supplies that have to be exchanged in order to get new ones—like staplers, white board markers, rulers, scissors, and the list goes on and on. So, basically, you can’t order more of anything unless you have an old, defective one to turn in. I guess it’s probably good so there’s no waste, but, again, it poses a problem for new teachers.
*We have to supply the students with everything. Since it’s a boarding school, we give the students all the paper, pencils, notebooks, folders, etc. that they will need for our class. After reading my last point, you’ll see how this might be a bit frustrating.
*Mid-morning, the students have a 25 minute break for stretches. They line up outside by class (very orderly) and the Chinese teachers lead them in some stretches. Mid-afternoon they have a 15 minute break where they have to sit in their desks as music plays over the intercom and they do eye exercises (???).
*In the courtyard, there are badminton nets set up. All the students have racquets and in between classes they play. Apparently, there are some students that are really good and the others will gather around watching. I haven’t had the time to sit and watch yet, but I think it would be fun.
*There are no bells, just music that comes on over the intercom indicating the beginning and ending of each class. If you’re in the middle of saying something, there’s no way the students will hear it over the music.
*They don’t have any drinking fountains, but they have water spout things throughout the building with 4 different spouts with filtered water of varying degrees of water temperature. There’s the very hot water and the very cold water and then 2 in between. At each water faucet, there is a sign reminding you to be frugal and not waste water. At least I think that’s what it’s trying to say. It’s in Chinese and underneath it has the English translation that says, "Have a frugal mind of limited energies". That brings me to my next thing…
*All around the school, there are pictures on the wall with inspirational sayings. They are all in Chinese with the English translation underneath. The English on almost all of them just makes me laugh. It’s not that they’re not translated right, but the wording is just off. It’s just not anything that we would ever really say. I just find it a bit ironic at a bilingual school where they have so many native English speakers available to them. There are even some with words misspelled. In the school’s defense though, they probably order them from some company rather than making them here at the school.
*On the doors of the stalls in the school bathrooms there are signs reminding the students not to squat on the toilets (they are "real" toilets, yeah!), not to waste toilet paper, not to smoke, not to litter used toilet paper (yuck!), and to flush.
*I don’t have my own classroom, I just rotate around to the student’s home room Chinese class. The desks are arranged in straight rows and there is a seating chart. The Chinese classes are very structured and very disciplined. So, when I go in there, it’s a bit different for the students. The very beginning of the first day, I made them choose a partner and move their desks together with their partner. It was like a completely foreign concept to them. It’s fun for me to shake things up a bit. I plan on doing a lot of group work and games and activities where we’ll have to move the desks around a lot. It’s a bit hard for me to not have my own room. I love decorating and hanging up student’s work and creating the environment that I’m comfortable in for teaching. The classrooms feel so sterile to me. I think my favorite part of teaching is seeing the students working in groups, talking and interacting and creating together. It’s a bit chaotic at times, but I love it. I guess as a plus though, it’s a lot less work not having to maintain a classroom.
*The two hour lunch break is something that is different too. I thought this would be a really positive difference, but I'm not sure yet. One thing I loved about being a teacher was getting done at 2:30 or 3:00. I think I'd still prefer that to a two hour lunch break and then working until 5. Maybe once the school year gets a bit crazier and busier I'll really appreciate a break midday. But, for now, I wish I could just work straight through and get home earlier.

Annoyances and Peculiarities about China

Shane mentioned on his blog that he can’t wait to hear some negative things about China because my blog is always so positive. So, I don’t know if these things are necessarily negative, but they are things that I find different or peculiar. But, I have to mention also that I find amusement in all the different peculiarities of living in a new place, so it isn’t really a negative thing to me.
First, I’ll talk about the annoyances of our apartment (all of which have been fixed somehow)
*The first few days we were here, I kept running into all the door knobs. All our doors have the straight sharp knobs that you just push down on kind of like the ones you would find on French doors at home. Anyway, they kept jabbing into me and it would really hurt. I don’t know if the doorways are slightly skinnier here or what, but it happened so many times that it was driving me crazy. Finally, we took off our kitchen door (that was where it happened most frequently). And I guess I have adjusted to the other doors because it hasn’t happened for a long time now.

* Second, our shower—our shower spout was hung at about my shoulder level. I know that Chinese people are short, but that seemed even a little too short for them. It was really annoying trying to take a shower. So, Jason bought a new little hanging thing and the nice maintenance people in our apartment came and installed it higher for us. So, now we have two hangers.
*Lastly, and probably the worst thing—our bed. A King size bed here is just two single mattresses put together. They put them together going sideways, so there was a big crease down our bed right about where our lower backs were. I already have a bad lower back so my sleeping the first few nights was miserable. Plus the mattresses are a lot harder than I like. We remedied this problem as soon as possible. We bought a foam pad from IKEA and then flipped the mattresses so that the crease was down the middle the other way. With the foam pad on top, you can’t even feel the crease anymore. We’ve slept well ever since.
*I guess since I’m already complaining about my apartment, I’ll throw this in too. I love how nice everything in our apartment is, but it’s also hard. We’ve never had any nice furniture and there’s probably a good reason for that—our children. I’m constantly on edge that they are going to destroy everything. I feel like they can’t really play in their own house. They’ve already colored on the walls and floors a bit. And Britton, using his toy hammer, beat up one of the corners of our hallway. I guess one day while the Aiee was watching them, Britton just hammered away on the wall. (That’s another whole complaint, too, I have no control on what my kids do when we’re away and I have no way to communicate any sort of rules or anything to our Aiee. She’s really great, but I don’t think Britton would have even dared hammer on the wall if we were home and if he did start, we would have stopped him right away.) A few days later though, there were maintenance men up there patching up the wall. I don’t know how they knew about it and I dread finding out how much they’re going to charge us for it. Anyway, we’ve never lived in an apartment, so I’ve always been able to just be kick-back and let them have fun. Now, I feel really uptight with them and that’s not really me. I guess it’s a good thing though because I’ve been dying to get nice furniture and I had planned to when we get home, but now I might think twice. So, it’s nice to have kind of a trial run with nice things and see how they do and how I feel after being here and what I want the atmosphere of my home to be.

Okay, that’s just stuff about my apartment, and we have REALLY nice apartments. There are so many other things about China that are peculiar, but I’ll save that for another post since I feel like I’ve already complained enough.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Britton's First Day of School

My little boy is growing up! He looks so cute in his uniform. Britton wrote on his blog about his first day, so check it out.

First Day Reflections

Today (Wednesday) was my first day with students. I was kind of dreading it just because I'm still not used to the idea that I am working now. But, I had so much fun today. I only had my 8th grade classes because the 7th graders are doing military training the rest of this week. So, it was a pretty low key day--I only taught 3 40-minute periods.
The students are great. They are just a lot of fun. I love hearing them speak English. The boys are really funny and the girls are really cute. It's a fun age. I just did Get-to-Know you things, but I did it a bit different than everyone else and I think they liked that. I made a list of questions and they had to pair up and interview each other. Then, they had to introduce their classmate that they interviewed to the rest of the class. It gave me a chance to get to know them, but also see how they work together and how well they speak English.
I think I'm really lucky with my job. Probably the hardest part for me is going to be learning their names. I have about 210 students to figure out and if Chinese people aren't hard enough to tell apart, they're all wearing the exact same uniform! Plus some of the girls have the really boy-looking haircuts. I've always been good with names, but this is going to be harder. At least I just have to learn their English names and not their Chinese ones.


Last night we went out to celebrate the last night before we start teaching. We went to Guangzhou to a really big mall. First, we went to McDonald's for dinner, then we went up to the top floor to this amusement park/arcade. We went on the log ride, the bumper cars, the carousel, Indiana Jones, and then played a few games. We ended the evening with a trip to Starbucks and Dairy Queen for chocolate frappacinos and ice cream.

The log ride was my favorite. It goes up out of the top of the mall so you are outside for most of the ride. It's fun to see the night lights outside. They make you wear ponchos so that you don't get all wet, but I still got pretty drenched on my pant legs and feet. Haley didn't know what to think of it, but she wasn't too scared of it. Britton loved it!

About an hour into the evening, Haley had to go to the bathroom. When I took her, she refused to use the squatter toilets. She said that she'd just hold it all night. About every hour, I would take her back into the bathroom. She would look at the squatter toilets and then say nevermind. Right before we left, she decided she couldn't hold it any longer and I took her outside to go in the street. (A lot of people do that here). She went, but I still can't figure out how that was a better alternative to going on a squatter toilet. I don't like the squatters either, but it's probably a little bit easier than going outside. I'll get a picture of a squatter toilet next time I'm in a public restroom.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Our Aiee

Our Aiee is great! She cooks, cleans, and watches our kids when we need her to. She doesn't speak any English, so that has been a bit tough at times, but I think it will be good in the long run to help motivate us to learn Chinese. It's probably really comical to her as we're trying to tell her things using a small phrase book. Usually we can communicate decently. It's probably hardest on my kids when they are left alone with her. But, Melanie has one Aiee that speaks very good English so the kids use her a lot to act as translator. And they are getting really good at pointing at things that they want. Luckily, they really like her, so it hasn't been too hard on them.
I really enjoy coming home at lunch to a nice, cooked meal. That way I can enjoy the time I have hanging out with my family instead of rushing home and spending all my time cooking and eating. It's also so nice not to have to clean. I haven't done laundry since we got here. I don't even know how to use the washer (and I don't think that I'm even going to learn :) ) We bought a small dryer when we got here, but our Aiee still hasn't really used it. She just hangs our clothes up. I think she's afraid of the dryer. I don't mind really as long as it's not me that has to hang the clothes up. She's really nice and a hard worker. She's even done some mending of Haley's clothes and the other day she took Haley's flipflop home to fix it. (Haley broke it the second day we were here). Because we can't communicate very well, she just jumps in and does whatever she thinks needs to be done. I'm really impressed with how well she keeps herself busy.
She also buys groceries and other things for us when we want her to. It's really nice especially since I'm still getting used to what everything is.

Last Weekend

I'm so far behind on blogging, that I'm just going to start writing about recent things and hopefully I'll fit in the things I wanted to write about from before.

Last Saturday was a really fun day. In the morning, Melanie and I took Britton, Haley, and Jonas to the playroom at the Resort Center. Shane had to stay back so Ezra could take a nap and he "needed" Jason to stay with him. In other words, they played Xbox all morning.

The kids loved the playroom. It's kind of like a McDonald's playland, but on a larger scale. It's a huge room full of tunnels, slides, ropes to swing on, and a little bouncy thing. It was fun to just let the kids run around and play for a few hours while I could sit and talk to Melanie.

For lunch, we went over to a new little sandwich shop in Clifford called Jessica's. She was having a free lunch buffet for all the teachers. She has really great food and is really trying hard to get the Westerners in there to eat. She had tons of things out for us to try. Her baguette sandwiches are really yummy with good meat and fresh vegetables. She had good salads, egg rolls, quiche, cheesecake, and brownies. I think we'll definitely be eating there quite often. (Actually, we've already been there 3 different times--once for dinner, and twice for her free lunch buffet.)

In the afternoon, Melanie and I went shopping and the boys took the kids swimming at the clubhouse. I hadn't been grocery shopping inside Clifford yet. We went to the wet market first for fruits, vegetables, and meat. They have so many different kinds of fruits and vegetables that I've never seen before. And tons of different meats (a lot that I don't even want to what they are). It's fun picking out different things to try and it's so cheap. I feel like I'm getting so many groceries, and then it ends up being less than $10. I love it!

At the other supermarket, things are starting to look recognizable to me. It's so weird at first because it's hard to tell what everything is when it's packaged differently than in the States and has Chinese writing all over it. It just looks strange even if it's the same things as we have. I finally found some fake Legos for Britton, too, so I got Haley and him a few surprises. (They still don't have very many toys, so they don't have much to do during the day.)

In the evening, the Aiee's came over to babysit and we went out to dinner with Melanie, Shane, Rina, and Brad. All the kids and the Aiee's played together rotating from each apartment. We live on the 6th floor, Mel and Shane on the 9th, and Rina and Brad on the 17th. The kids all have a blast playing together. Our Aiee also brought her 10 year old son and Britton was so excited about that.
We went to a neighboring city to a hotpot restaurant called the Little Fat Sheep or something like that. You sit at round tables and there is a big pot of boiling broth in the center. Then you order different things and throw them in the pot to cook them. We got the pot split with half spicy broth and half not-spicy broth (mostly for us). We ordered lamb, beef, different mushrooms, different tofus, potatoes, cabbage, sprouts, rice noodles and then egg rolls and these little bread scone-type things. I'm glad that we were with other people because we wouldn't have ordered half that stuff. But, it was fun trying new things. It's a really fun place to go because you are there for several hours and you can just sit and talk while you throw different things into the pot.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Resort Center

The resort center here is so much fun. There is a big water park called WaterWorld, a bowling alley, a kid's play room, and lots of other fun things to do. Last Monday we went to WaterWorld with Jonas and Shane.
In the last two pictures, when Britton is riding on Jason's back, the Chinese people at the park thought it was the funniest thing. Everytime they would do it, everyone would gather around to watch and then the would laugh and clap. It was hilarious.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

More Apartment Pictures

Britton's Room
Our room
Our room again
Haley's room
View into the courtyard

Our Apartment

We live in a community within Clifford Estates that is called Dyanamic Garden. It's a brand new high rise building with 18 floors. We live on the 6th floor. Our apartment is 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom. It has a living room, dining room, small kitchen, and laundry room. I'm really happy with our apartment. It's much nicer than anything I expected.

In Dynamic Garden, there is a clubhouse right next to our building with a pool, gym, and play room. There is a lake outside in the courtyard. There is a man who opens the door for us everytime we walk in the building and the front desk people are very helpful and they speak English. Melanie and Shane live on the 9th floor and the kids are constantly going up and down the elevator back and forth between apartments.
Here are some pictures of our apartment.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Clifford Estates

Clifford Estates is located in Panyu, one of the 10 districts in Guangzhou. Clifford is much bigger than I imagined. Jim told us that there are 45,000 apartments in Clifford Estates. So, there are hundreds of thousands of people here. There are lots of different small, gated communities within Clifford. There are houses, townhouses, high rise apartments, etc. They have a hosptial, restaurants, resort centers, a farm, the school, hotels, and tons of stores. You could probably live here and never have to leave for anything.

Our Arrival

We got off the plane and there was a nice man waiting with a luggage cart. I tried to ask him how much the luggage carts were but he didn't really understand me and he just followed us to the luggage carousel. When he heard how many bags we had, he went to get another cart as well. Then he lifted all our bags off for us and loaded them on the cart. We put bright fluorescent stickers on all our suitcases so they would be easier to spot. I'm so glad we did because everyone has black or dark blue suitcases that all look the same. When we got all our suitcases, this nice man helped us through customs (which was quick and easy) and then asked if we had someone to pick us up. We said yes, but not until 7:00. It was only 5:30 then because our flight was early. The man was really concerned about it, even though we weren't. So, he got out his cell phone and made us call the school. He spoke to them in Chinese and then told us they would be there at 7:00 (which we already knew--language barriers are so fun!) This whole time we were trying to figure out what was appropriate to tip this man because he had helped us so much. We only had US money and the smallest bill was a 20, so we just gave him one. He showed us where McDonalds was, parked our luggage carts for us, and told us to wait there but that the school would call him when they arrived and he would come load up our stuff for us. Sure enough, right at 7:00 he came back to check on us. The school hadn't arrived yet, so he called them again. Then he waited about 10 minutes until they pulled up and he loaded up all our stuff into the Clifford Van. I was amazed by what great service there is in China, but then later I realized that we had tipped him probably the equivalent of a few weeks salary, so that's probably why he was so helpful!
Zhangyi (Jim), the secretary to the director of the school, picked us up with a driver. He had to stop off in downtown Guangzhou, so we got a bit of a tour on our way to our apartment. The driving here is crazy! The are cars, motorcycles, bikes, pedestrians everywhere. And they just go wherever they want whenever they want. There doesn't seem to be any traffic rules or lanes or anything like that. I would be terrified to drive here.
Guanzhou is the 3rd largest city in China. There are 16 million people. It's definitely different than anywhere I've ever been.
On our way driving around, it was fun just to look around and see all the different things than we are used to. There was a truck with the back full of pigs driving down the highway. People on the streets use brooms that are just sticks tied together. There are people on bikes with huge loads of trash or cans or sticks on the back so their bike is as wide as a car. It was fun just taking it all in.

Our Flight

Our flight was actually quite uneventful, which is what you want for such a long flight with 2 young kids. We had 8 suitcases and 6 carryons so the hardest part was just getting checked in. Luckily, they checked our suitcases clear to China so we didn't have to deal with them at all until we arrived. Our flight left at 4:40 pm from SLC on Wednesday, August 15.
We flew to Phoenix and then LA then straight to Guangzhou. On our flight to Phoenix, none of our seats were together (even though I asked and the airport worker said they were). Luckily, no one our flight wanted to take care of our kids, so they gladly switched us so we could at least sit 2 and 2. That was a short flight--Haley slept the whole time and Britton just took everything in. He was by a window and he was just so happy to be flying. There was a short layover in Phoenix and then it was off to LA.
That was also a short flight. The kids had their own carry-ons full of crayons, coloring books, school work, games, etc. So, they were more than occupied. Britton did some math and Haley colored. We had a 3 hour layover in LA that flew by. In fact, we were planning on eating dinner and didn't even have time for that. We got off the plane and took a shuttle to the International section of the airport and found the gate for China Southern. At that point, we felt like we were already in China. Everyone was Asian and speaking Chinese. We checked in and then went through security. After security we only had a few minutes before boarding, so I found some Pringles and Nutrigrain bars for dinner (there were NO restaurants inside security). We boarded a bus and then onto the plane.
The kids were amazing on the plane ride. They slept for the first 8 hours then were up for about 3, then slept 2, then up for the last hour or so. I had little presents for them in my carry-on for when they got particularly antsy, but I only used one for each of them. They were really great. We arrived in Guangzhou about 5:00 am Friday morning (an hour earlier than scheduled).

Sunday, August 19, 2007

We Made It!

Well, we made it to China! We've been here three days now and we are already loving it. I feel like there is so much to write about already. I will sit down some time tomorrow and start writing about our experiences so far. But, I wanted everyone to know that we made it okay. There will be pictures soon as well.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Dream Big, but also Act

So, the other day I had a realization about myself. I was packing and cleaning and my friend Alice was over helping me. We opened my chest where I keep all my crocheting stuff and started packing it nicely into bins. She was amazed to see how much stuff I had. And she commented, "You have a lot of projects you are working on. " And I'm sure that she didn't even really mean anything by it, but it got me thinking. I am totally a project starter. But, not necessarily a finisher. And it's not just on crafty things, it's pretty much on everything. She didn't know that half of those projects I started over 7 years ago. And that really I don't have any intention on finishing some of them.
So, I started thinking of all the other things in my life that I have started but not finished. Or maybe haven't even started but have talked about doing for years and years. Why don't I follow through on my dreams? With some of them, it's that I have sincerely changed my mind and don't want to anymore. But, with a lot, they are still things that I want to do, but maybe I'm too afraid to actually act.
I'm the kind of person that really likes to make lists and goals and think of things that I would like to do or ways to better myself. But, sometimes, I think I stop with just thinking about it or talking about it. And I want to be better on the action end of things. I've always admired people who were doers instead of talkers. And maybe that's because it's something that is hard for me. So, now, I want to start DOING more. I think I need to be less of a project starter (or thinker upper) and more of a project finisher.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I can't sleep

I feel like I have so much to write about, so I don't write anything at all. I won't go back and bore you with all the details of the last few weeks especially because I can't download our pictures until we get to China anyway and it's just not as much fun reading stuff without having pictures to look at.

As it gets closer to us leaving, I've been having trouble sleeping and packing everything in that we want to do. Luckily we were smart enough to move out of our house last Wednesday and we're staying with my parents. So, all the packing and cleaning, etc. is already taken care of. Now we just get to play and see everyone.

Jason's been busily wrapping up all the jobs he needed to finish before we leave and also arranging everything so that we can watch BYU football while we're in China. He bought a Location Free Player from Sony that is hooked up to my parent's TV receiver and we can control their TV through our computer over the internet. So, we'll be able to watch basically anything we want. We set it up in a room that they don't watch TV in very often, so we won't interfere with anything that they are watching. I've been making fun of Jason for being so concerned about getting it to work and stuff, but secretly I'm happy that he did it so that I can watch BYU football too. I know I could live without it for a year, but I'm glad that I don't have to at the same time. It really is such a cool invention. Technology is really amazing.

We did get to see Bourne Ultimatum the other night and I absolutely loved it. I think it's my favorite one of all three.

I can't believe that we're actually going to China! I've been so focused on getting everything ready to go and now that we're ready, it's hit me that we're actually going to be there in a few days. I haven't thought about it much after the plane ride there. Everything so far has just been to plan to get there. I hope we're ready for this adventure. We're sure going to miss everyone at home. But, we're excited and can't wait to see what is in store for us.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Last Week

Last week was filled with so many fun things, but I didn't ever get a chance to write about any of them. So, here is a quick update.
*Tuesday we went to Chuck E. Cheese to use up some of the tokens I'd been stashing in my purse all summer long. We had a lot of tickets saved up too. Desiree and Wendi and their kids all came too. It was so fun just to sit and talk. So fun, in fact, that I stayed for 5 hours without even realizing it. :)
*That evening, my friend, Alice, threw me a little going away party with some friends in the ward. Alice is in Young Women with me and we really had a blast together at camp. It has been so much fun getting to know her. The party was really fun and she made some delicious food.
*Wednesday Desiree threw us a going away party at her house. (Actually at the park down the street from her house). It was so much fun to see people that I haven't seen in a long time, plus a lot of friends that I've been playing with all summer long. We played volleyball in the rain, ate yummy desserts including an assortment of Chinese treats, and just hung out and talked. It was such a nice evening. Desiree even arranged to have a babysitter for our kids at her house so that we could just enjoy chatting and being with everyone. How thoughtful.

Well, I only got to Wednesday, but I'm really tired, so I'll finish up the update tomorrow.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Our Fears

Saturday night, Jason and I were talking about what we were going to fast for on Fast Sunday. We were talking about how Melanie would be hiring our nanny and cook this week and that we should fast and pray that she can find someone who will be good for our family, especially for our kids. Then we were discussing that we needed to also pray that we will get everything taken care of here and have a safe journey to China. That we will be able to arrive without any problems.
I think Haley overheard the last part of our discussion because later on in the evening, she said, "We need to get to China safely. I will be very sad if I fall out of the airplane." It was so cute. Then she said, "Will you hold me the whole time?"
I forget that there might be things that our kids are getting nervous for too. And even if their fears are things that we think are a little silly, it's good for us to talk about it to help them have a good trip over there. If I really think about it, all fears are probably a little silly and very unlikely to actually happen.