After about a year of not blogging, I’m going to try and get this going again. Apologies to my mother, family, and friends who read this and still check out our blog with hope that maybe just maybe Tyler’s taken some time to blog. Let’s see where to start? I guess I’ll start with the year we missed blogging about:
- We moved to Nanshan District in Shenzhen (right on the main subway line that we needed to use because both of our work were accessible by the metro)
- My sweet college friend, Ashley Tuten, came to China to work for California Kids Club, as a long-term sub (for lack of a better word). She arrived the end of Aug. 2009 and stayed until Feb. 2010. She got an apartment in our same complex which was a lot of fun to have a friend from home here! I miss her lots!
- I worked for Quality Schools International as a kindergarten teacher. Loved every minute of it! QUOTES galore out of 5 year olds mouths! Favorite: It was right before Chinese New Year and we were talking about how it was going to be the year of the rabbit…we had a new student from England who had only been in our class about a week. All the kids (most were of Asian descent) were saying things like “My mom’s a Dog…My dad’s a Cow…talking about what YEAR on the Chinese calendar they were…when JR raises his hand and says “My mum’s (have to make sure his accent is noted) woman.” :) oh I laughed and laughed for days after about this one. Of course I explained to him what the other kids were talking about too…teachable moment?
- Jordan got a job as a sub-contractor with IBM as assistant project manager. He got the job through a good friend from church, Ki.
- Jordan and I had different calendar schedules (Jordan was on the Chinese calendar and I was on my school calendar which was made long before China decides what days off they will have…another fun fact about the way the calendar works is that no one really knows what OFFICIAL days will be given off until about 1-2 weeks before the day which only makes things a bit tricky when you want to travel. So we didn't travel during the October festival due to calendar conflicts :( .
- Jordan joined the worship team at our church (because his wonderful wife volunteered him :) …oooops! )
- Christmas 2010 in AMERICA! It was absolutely wonderful! We were so happy to see all of our family and see some of our friends too. It was long overdue and we enjoyed EVERY minute we were home. Chick-fil-a, target, a white Christmas, driving, non-smelly grocery stores, no pollution, meeting new family members- Jordan had 3 cousins who had babies, and just hanging out with family…wonderful! I, however, had a hard time adjusting back to life China and eventually got my attitude adjusted and got back into the swing of things here.
- We taught high school Sunday school together along with Ki and his wife Jenni.
- We took the youth back Cambodia for a mission trip. It was great to see God’s glory and love shown through our youth!
- We went back to the Philippines during Chinese New Year for more scuba diving! We’ve really enjoyed the ability to travel and the access to great dive sites in SE Asia!
Ok around May 2011 our life starts picking up. I’ll stop bulleting and just start writing from here. :)
For the next story you need some background information: The worship team leader is Heidi. She works for the school at the orphanage where I volunteered Summer 2010. In Jan. after a fun game night with our friends, Heidi tells me that she’s going to start praying for Jordan and I to move in next door. I just laugh because 2 things: 1. She has neighbors who live next door and no sign of them moving. 2. We were under our contract of our apartment until mid July…remember this is January. At the end of February, Jordan and I receive a call from our land lady that she’s trying to sell our apartment, which shouldn’t mean anything really if you were in the US, but here it basically meant that if they sold and the new people wanted to move in, they could. (It would be viewed though like our Land Lady broke the lease so we’d get all our deposit back…). Hmmmm strange…we could possibly not have an apartment. .. Well in China if you look for a place too far in advance it really works against you. Jordan and I decided we’d just pray and start looking whenever we were told she sold the apartment. Fast forward to the last week of April (numerous people have come to see our apartment…but no buyer yet) and Heidi sends me a text at 10:30 at night on Thursday. “CALL ME ASAP.” Of course I did and she tells me that her neighbors came to her and asked her if she knew anyone who wanted to move in next door BUT in MAY…hinting at wanting foreigners. Of course she said yes. So she calls all excited because her prayers over the past few months had gotten really specific about us- she didn’t even know why they’d gotten so strong. Jordan and I had talked some- briefly about moving there, but it was a lot more $$ than we wanted to pay, but it was still on the metro line and the complex itself was FAR better as far as security and appearance (hers has a pool) than our place. Of course I get all excited (forget about all my husbands worries) and tell the land lady we’ll be over tomorrow night (Friday) to look at the apartment. I’m ecstatic and Jordan is just trying to be level headed and remind me that we are still under a contract until July unless she sells it, blah blah blah. Friday we go and check out the place…it needs some initial work, but it’s got a great layout and I’m sold…still Jordan is trying to keep me level and we want to see if the new land lady will come down at all in price. Saturday morning we wake up and call our Taiwanese-Canadian friend Anita who knows the potential new land lady to give her a call and tell her what our concerns and thoughts were. While we are waiting to hear back from Anita, Jordan gets a call from our current land lady telling us she has SOLD our apartment!!! WHAT?!?!?! NO WAY!!!!!! I couldn’t believe it! WOAH!!!!!! So fast forward 2 weeks…we have the apartment painted and a few things fixed here and there and we MOVED! I absolutely love our new place! Finally feels like a home…the layout is good, without a lot of wasted space-which is very common in apartment floor plans here. It’s cozy and I’ll post pics of it (before and after) soon! We have a good size balcony and we’ve bought a grill to enjoy!!!! J
Also, at the end of April I had a decision I had been wrestling with for over a year finally come to an end. I resigned from my job at QSI after the year was over, to go to work for California Sunshine Academy as Director of the school in the Bao’An orphanage. It was such a relief after lots of prayer and back and forth/pros and cons to be able to have made the decision. Check out the link here. My job is to help educate the children and love on them daily. It’s wonderful! :) I started this new position on July 1st. I am excited to see what God has in store here! I know that we are here in China for a reason and the opportunities and doors that have been opened are truly blessings from our Father.
In July, Jordan got the news that he is to be brought on completely by IBM. This was great news for us! Of course it’s not an easy process, with work visas and all the paperwork that comes with it and the slow pace-China speed, but it’s all in the works!
4th of July we had a Balcony BBQ at our house! It was a lot of fun…swimming, games, and GREAT food! Jordan grilled a beef tenderloin, chicken, jello, homemade apple pie (or pingguo -means apple in Chinese- pie)We had about 15 friends come over to our humble abode J It was a great day spent with friends and thinking about America and all its greatness… Chick-fil-a… can you tell I miss the ORIGINAL Chicken Sandwich!??! :)
July 29th, Jordan’s mom and aunt came! We had a great 10 days with them! Mitzi and Mel helped me during summer camp at the orphanage during “farm week” where we made pig snouts out of egg cartons, milked a cow (used a rubber glove and attached it to a big cut out of a cow I drew), made “Haystacks” snacks and played with parachutes. It was a fun filled week and the kids were blessed by their presence and love they shared. Jordan and I were also able to take them to a few great touristy places in Hong Kong (which we hadn’t done yet) so that was a lot of fun too. It was just so nice being with family!
While I do have my days where I struggle being in a country so far away from our family and friends, we have made this our home for now. We know it’s not the typical way most start out their marriages, but it truly has been a blessing and a wonderful experience for us. We've made some wonderful friends, have a great fellowship, involved in a small group, good jobs, and lots of love for each other. I have signed a 2 year agreement with Sunshine Academy which will most likely keep us here in Shenzhen until at least August 2013, but of course we’ll come home for visits. We are so grateful for your love and support and I am going to do my best to get back in the habit of writing!
Lots of love from Shenzhen, China,
Lots of love from Shenzhen, China,
Getting ready to tour Hong Kong!
On top of Vicotira's Peak, HK...Ignore my crazy hair! :)
Yumm! Ducks...found in a hallway outside of a restaurant at Luohu Commercial City.
Showing off our new Ray Ban's(SURE they're real...yeah right!)
This is our new apartment building! We're the only stand-alone building in our complex. Building E
Quick picture stop at Coco Park in Futian with Aunt Mel.
Mother and son :)
Scenic stop in the Philippines...we rented bikes for the day... :)
Me and Ash in Hong Kong...She was leaving the next day :(