Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What We've Been Up To

...counseling of course.  Went so well with Ana he cancelled her last appointment.  That means we have two full days of pool sitting ahead!! we had to be "off campus" because they were spraying for termites.  We ended up just going to the Big C, walking around the store, studying in the food court area, and walking around some more. 
...we walked to the night market--it's been quite hot here--so we stopped for pizza along the way.  We were able to pick up a few things and enjoy some ice cream at Burger King.
...listening to other people's stories.  Right now it's tempting to wallow in self pity, but when I hear how other people had less than 24 hrs. to leave with one suitcase, it really puts my situation in perspective!

More pictures tomorrow! 

The Best Part...

about the Juniper tree is that you drop off your dirty laundry at breakfast and pick up your clean, freshly ironed clothes after dinner.  No frantic time of washing for me on Saturday (before we leave for Singapore!) Love it!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

True Greatness

Today I had the opportunity to talk with two older ladies named Gerry (short for Geraldine) and Mary.  They weren't much to look at-- older, stout, frumpily dressed BUT I caught the whisper of the Spirit saying, "Here are two GREAT servants of mine." Mary, who is slightly younger, takes care of the e-mails. They work with a minority group in Northern India.  To get there they take a 12 hour bus ride out of Delhi.  They smiled sweetly as they said, "It's rather remote."  Here sat before me two women willing to spend their golden years GIVING in a sacrificial way.  One walked with a cane.  I can only imagine how stiff she gets on the bus.  Have they seen much fruit?  Nope.  They are mainly working with one girl--ONE!  I'm inspired.  I love that the Juniper Tree allows you to interact with people of such caliber.  Looking forward to talking with others tomorrow!

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Juniper Tree--Love It

 We arrived at 11:30 at night--so really didn't see much, BUT today we've enjoyed the beauty of the grounds.  Everything is in bloom (and Ana is taking allergy medicine!!).  It's really spectacular and smells great! This is the building we're staying in.
I love how the buildings are built in the traditional manner.  More to come... Wait 'till you see the pool!

Back in Thailand--Our Very Interesting Trip.

 Qingdao's airport is quite a ways out of town.  It can be an interesting ride.  The mountains are very unusual shapes.  Ana like this bridge because it looks like an A.
Our taxi arrived a little late, but we had no problems getting checked in at the airport.  Our flight though, left 35 minutes late.  This stressed me out big time as we only had an hour and twenty minute layover in Seoul.  I was prepping Ana as we landed--no bathroom and walk quickly without whining!!  Lucky for us Koreans still think of 5 year olds as babies and let us cut the whole immigration line.  Our gate was not close but we still managed to arrive just as they were boarding.  We had a great flight to Thailand having a total of 6 seats for the three of us.  It helped the girls rest a little.  My next panic moment was when the Thai immigration officer asked for Mitike's adoption certificate.  I'd never been asked for that and I obviously didn't have it!  He grilled for a good 10 minutes on what I was going to do in Thailand, where my husband was, why I came alone, etc.  NOT. PLEASANT.  He finally let us go through admonishing me to bring the certificate next time!  Glad that trip is over!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Just Being Honest...

...the first two weeks of home schooling have stunk.  I've gone back and had her review.  She doesn't remember most of it.  There will be a lot of reteaching ahead.  PLUS she obviously isn't a happy little extrovert--since she's having to sit quietly and complete her work WELL.  A lot of times at school she just slopped something down.  I wish I had gotten to observe her in class, because she seems to know every excuse in the book for getting out of her seat.
...really still struggling most days with having to move back to the States, making another house a home (just got finished with our apartment here), and selling a lot of our things.  It's hard to give up everything for a child that isn't making any effort. looking forward to our time in Singapore--a bright spot on my radar!!
...not too excited about going down to Thailand alone with two kids--although I think it will be good to have a trained person to help sort through my current situation

Not the most uplifting post, but if Father brings me to mind pr@y!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Introducing... Hannah

 This is Hannah.  Lashi-Tashi (Ana's first doll) is starting to fall apart.  When she saw this tutorial on Make It Love It, she asked for a new one.  The tutorial was straight forward and leaves lots of room for customization.  (For example I made Ana's doll "naked" so that the shirt could be changed out. For the shirt tutorial please go here.)
I'm in love with how the shoes turned out!  These would make great gifts and don't take too long to make (esp. if you're sitting at home homeschooling!!)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Proud Moment

So usually parents are proud of their kids, but here's a chance for a kid to be proud of their parent.  He won a national award!  (Of course this is not a magazine I would usually read and don't even understand, but still very cool!)

Here's the online magazine if you want to read the article. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

What to do with all my free time?

I bought the Pristine Swing Dress by Blank Slate Patterns.  Now that I'm sitting at home everyday watching Mitike do homework I have a lot more time for sewing!

I sewed a size up so that she can wear it longer.  I love how it turned out!  I'll definitely be trying this again--maybe in a shirt form!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Fish Bag

I've been working on this bag for a LONG time.  Things kept popping up that prevented me from getting it done.
My inspiration came from this Korean store.  I also learned a lot from Make It Love It's tutorial.
So here are some tips if you want to make your own:
Whether your scales be round or pointed, I found it helpful to sew them directly on the fish body.  I left a small open spot in the center of the scale to turn it right side out.  This allowed me to arrange the scales as I pleased.  Clipping corners and ironing helped to arrange them neatly. 
I sewed on two rows at a time.  This worked well--esp. in making sure all the "body" was hidden.
After all the scales were sewn on, I trimmed around the body and sewed my two sides together.  I also sewed on the eyes at this time.  I think if I was doing this again I would definitely make my scales bigger BUT I liked how they turned out in the end.
This is the lining.  I did not make it an exact match as I didn't want small items getting stuck in the tail.  I did stuff the tail, which gave it a nice 3-D effect. 
I made the strap a little long as Ana will grow.  She loves the bag and I'm pleased that it looks very fish like.  A lot of work, but gets noticed by everyone!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

What's Happening?

1.  Home schooling Mitike!  She has come to the realization in the first week that school is a lot more fun!  Only 12 more weeks to go.

2.  Returning to Thailand!  I am taking Ana and Mitike back.  We get to stay here.  Super excited about the pool and grounds where Ana can play AND three meals a day AND them washing our clothes.  I look forward to talking to a counselor about transitioning back.  These guys are experts in this area.

3.  We get to have one last fling in Singapore over our spring break.  (BIG thanks to the Wongs for hosting us all!!)  (April 1-5)  Yeah!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Most Difficult Announcement

It is with deep regret that we announce we have to leave China and head back to the States.  (We'll be leaving at the end of the school year in early June.) There have been many issues that have popped up since we adopted China and Mitike.  But two weeks ago a more serious occurrence happened.  Mitike needs consistent counseling which just is not available here.  It will be very helpful too to have more family support. 

We have LOVED serving overseas.  It has been a joy and a privilege.  Our twelve years in Asia have forever changed how we view the world, deepened our faith, and given us a clear view of the wonder of God.  We hope to return someday down the road when our family is healthier.

If you have questions, feel free to e-mail!  We hope to squeeze in a last trip to Singapore over Spring Break. 

Obviously there are a lot of changes coming and big decisions to be made.  We appreciate you remembering us!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ana's Big Purchase

Ana wiped the table and swept for two days to earn the 1.60 (10 kuai) to buy this umbrella.  She took it out the other day to keep the sun our of her eyes :)

For Real??

McDonald's ALL NEW sandwich--someone called it a meat lovers--Yummy!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Ana's New Duds

 Ana is all girl when it comes to clothes and shoes.  She was thrilled with her new outfits.  (She's wearing the blue one to church on Sunday even though the temperatures are supposed to dip.)
Thanks Grandma and Grandpa! (Her arm is in that weird Egyptian pose to show off her bracelet.)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sorry...It's been that kind of week!

We started off our week with a major family crisis which has involved a lot of people and trying to communicate with the counselor in Thailand whose Internet has been down periodically throughout the week.  Need I say more?
 Then Ana brought home "poisonous" seeds she had to plant immediately or the world was going to end.  Her beautiful hat lost it's pom pom in the wash and I picked every single piece of that pile of yarn off all the other clothes in that load--YIKES!!
Ana, our resident mold finder found some more (you can't say she's not observant).  Unfortunately it was behind a rather heavy piece of furniture.  And finally the air quality has been really bad, so I've been hacking my way through life. 

If our father brings us to mind please  PR@Y!!  We have a meeting on Saturday with leaders in our company.  Hopefully, we can see clearly what we need to do next. 

Thanks parents for the package--it was a much needed bright spot in this week! 

Monday, March 4, 2013

"Look mom! NO...

jacket,"  Ana excitedly reported as she got off the bus.  Indeed when we went out to get on the bus it was exactly 0 degrees (32 F), but it turned out to be a glorious day.  I think this is our first true taste of Spring.  Ana enjoyed doing some trick riding with no hands and generally speeding down the boardwalk.  (I told her if she was that good we'd try it without training wheels.)  We also spotted a mammoth boat--it's hard to tell how big it was in the picture, BUT trust me I don't think I ever saw a bigger one in Singapore.  All this week the weather is supposed to be super nice--so we're looking forward to being outside more. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

So Busy!!

This weekend has been crazy busy.  We got to attend about half of a marriage conference put on by our fellowship.  They brought in two speakers from "A Weekend to Remember" conferences.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time and would have liked to attend all of it, but how to get a babysitter for the whole weekend???
On Saturday night Matt chaperoned the Spring Banquet.  ALL the high school students can attend.  They have a fabulous dinner at Le Meridien hotel, play games, and generally goof off.  Sadly, wives weren't allowed to attend.  It's OK!! I was so tired I went to bed at 7:30!!
I think these pictures tell a lot about the school.  The top one is the 10th grade girls (whom Matt teaches in Chemistry.)  There is often only three or four non Korean students in the whole class!  Maybe we should be learning to speak Korean too :)