Monday, April 28, 2008

My Birthday~ Friday, April 25th

Well, another birthday rolled around and I celebrated all weekend. First I had lunch in the school cafeteria (for the elementary kids) with al ot of little people, including my "birthday buddy" Amelia Kiepke who has the same birthday. Since the cafeteria rule is "no talking" for the first 15 minutes, so they will actually eat...I tried really hard not to chat with Amelia and her friend Anna. It's been fun watching Amelia grow in the four years she and her family have been here. This year she was 5 and I was 59. NEXT year we will both have a SIX in our birthday age !!!!

Then, after playing a song for the 5th grade choir during the elementary music night, I headed over to the Harvest Coffee Shop where Mark was waiting with a surprise birthday cake and a whole lot of people wishing me a happy birthday ! THAT was fun !

The Annual School Carnival was on Saturday and one of the coolest parts was watching Mark get hit with water balloons. He loves it, of course. There weren't too many accurate balloon throwers, but he did get wet.

Sunday afternoon we had a picnic at a local park with six of our Chinese friends. It was a beautiful day and we sat in a grassy area and ate our lunch. Afterward we rode the bumper cars...first time for most of them. Mark said it was his 2nd time he'd ever done it.

So, I had a great birthday celebration..and I don't feel too old yet. Maybe next year I will !

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What are little boys made of ?

Yesterday at the village school we noticed this little Kindergartner with his pet snail. I guess little boys all over the world like frogs and snails and puppy dog's tails.
Our theme for this week was about farm animals, so I guess it was his "show and tell".
Did you know that cows in China say something like "Muhhhhhrrrr"... and pigs don't say "oink oink" but rather you have to make that grunting sound, AND I am not sure what the chicken says..but it doesn't sound like they "say" it in English. I do know that animals speak Spanish in Spain. More on that later.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Grandkid's E-mails

I'm entering into a whole new chapter of "Grandmahood"-receiving e-mails from my precious grandkids. Here are two samples. I also get to chat online through SKYPE with Samuel ~ it takes a long time for him to type a few words...but before I know it he will type faster than me. Cycle of life. Circle of love. Needless to say..I'm LOVING being a Grandma. Fewer greater joys.

Dear Grandma,

Thank you for your letter. I liked the pictures ... all three of them.

Dad is typing for me and I can see everything he writes ! :) I am a great reader, you know. I wanted daddy to make a big long line for me like this one.

Well, it's time to go to bed now.

I love you !



(I signed my name up there)

Then this one is from Hannah who is four !

YaYa,Hannah typed the
below message for you all by
herself, except for some help
with spelling from me.
You are loved!
Dear yaya
Thank you for coming in September
I love you

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The story behind my blog title

When my youngest son, John, was little he would lean forward from the back seat and kiss me on the cheek when we were on long road trips and say he would keep on "til we get there".....that phrase has stuck with me and reminds me of the journey we are on in life. I am SO glad that God blessed me with kids...and grandkids. Treasures. Rewards. Blessings.

Happy Birthday, Allyson !

Our daughter-in-law Allyson, wife of Tim Reed has an April birthday, too. She is mother to Hannah, Lauren, and Timmy and has one on the way! Thanks for being our loving and special daughter. We love you and appreciate you so much !

Happy Birthday, Craig !

Craig Prescott~ married to Leah, daddy to Scarlet and Sophia, 18 months. Thanks for being our awesome son. We love you !

Happy Birthday, Tim !

Tim was born 31 years ago, April 20th in Madrid, Spain. My 3rd son. Now husband to beautiful Allyson, and Papa to Hannah, Lauren and Timmy. Among many special qualities he is a great soccer player and singer. Felicidades, hijo ! Te queremos mucho !

Some of my favorite kids in China

My Awesome Husband Mark

Today I feel especially thankful for Mark, my wonderful husband who loves me and puts up with me throughout all of life's changes and ups and downs. He is kind, gentle, understanding and so much fun. We keep each other laughing a lot, which is a good thing !! I'm extremely blessed to be his wife these past eleven years, and love to see how much he loves his extended family, his sons, daughters-in-law, grandkids and his workmates and Chinese friends. He loves his Creator-Redeemer MOST of all and fully enjoys his job of teaching middle school kids what's MOST important and what they need to know. Life is good. God is good.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Teaching English in a Village School

Every week I get to go to a local Chinese school in a village whose name I can't pronounce very well. With two friends I help teach these precious kids. They are enthusiastic, happy, and very quick to learn English. This is definitely the highlight of my week and even though it takes two hours to get there and we arrive home exhausted it is worth it ! These kids have the song "Head and Shoulders Knees and Toes" down...and love to sing "I like to eat apples and bananas". We've gotten to know the teachers, and also a young family who lost their daughter to cancer in January (who was in our class for awhile until she got too sick). Each week we drop by to visit and encourage them and usually they feed us a bowl of noodles or jiaozi (steamed dumplings).

Cute Grandkids who live Far Far Away

Here are just two of the many pictures we have of our visit to South Carolina, USA last February during Chinese New Year. Our eleven grandkids bring much JOY to our hearts and we were so happy to be able to get to know them more, and for them to get to know us more when we were there. Some of them have even started sending simple emails to us !!

Tongue Twister Contest for Chinese students

Judging a tongue twister contest at Harvest last Friday evening at the English Corner was great fun ! The contestants were local students who had a chance to participate in saying "Peter Pepper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers" and other difficult ones. Pictured here are the judges and Masters of Ceremony.

Waiting for a fresh pineapple

Last week I was waiting for the vendor to prepare my pineapple...(cut off the peel,etc)
right outside of the gate of our apartments and my friend, Bobbie walked by to take this picture.
In season now are pineapples and strawberries. The weather is great and everyone is a lot happier.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Lauren !

Lauren is our 7th grandchild, and was three years old on April 1st. She is Hannah's little sister and daughter of Tim and Allyson Reed. Her little brother Timmy was born on Sept. 20, 2007.

She is very agile, restless, intelligent, verbal, fun-loving and a joy to be around. She loves to run, jump and build things.