Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Hallie

I mentioned that Hallie was much happier in the thanksgiving list. I thought I would elaborate. She was not really unhappy to be in China, but sometimes she thought she was. When she was very tired and something happened, she would sometimes say “I wish we were back in America”. Sometimes she would complain and say she missed America. It was starting to rub off on the other kids too. She was not like that all the time, most of the time she was a normal 8 year old girl (that lives in a foreign country). We had to talk to her about her attitude and how important it was that she at least seem happy.
Thanksgiving Day was hard on her. She cried because she missed the Annual Hardin Thanksgiving breakfast (never mind that they did not do breakfast this year). We have had to talk to all of the kids about not dwelling on what we don’t have or are missing, but being thankful for what we DO have. Sometime after that she had a turning point. When we had our Thanksgiving celebration, she said that it was a “great Thanksgiving”, (it might have had something to do with the 5 rice crispy treats she ate).
She has two friends now. One I already told you about, and the other I will write about in another entry.
The other day on the bus, some students asked if she liked China, and she said yes! Before she would only say, it was ok. She says now she is used to China. We are very thankful that she (and the other kids) are adjusting and feeling “at home”.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A picture of Hallie and her friend

This is a picture of Hallie and her new friend. Her English name is Vanessa and even though she is a month younger than Hallie is is a good head taller than her. They had (or at least Hallie did) a good time this past Wed. during English corner. I hope they can spend even more time together.

Friday, December 5, 2008

An answer!

I have been asking all of you to remember several specific things. One is that Hallie wants a friend. There are times that she really does feel lonely. This past Wednesday night we went to the required weekly event, "English corner". Sometimes the kids really like this time, but lately Hallie has really dreaded it.
The teacher in charge of English corner was there that night and she had her daughter with her! Her daughter is only about a month or so younger than Hallie. She stayed and they played together. There were a few awkward moments, but they managed to find a few games that they could play without really talking. I tell you, it was so great to hear Hallie laughing and giggling with a friend!

They just moved to an apartment close to campus. Michelle said her daughter has been feeling a little lonely too because most of her friends are in the city. She invited Hallie to come and play with her sometime. I really hope this works out. It really seems like an answer to a prayer!

Also we will probably do something with a nearby school and our kids will be able to participate too. He is really REALLY good!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I got tagged! I am supposed to pick out the 4th folder of pics, the 4th pic. and then tell 4 things about it. Did you know that in China the number 4 is bad luck? Seriously...the word for 4 (su) sounds like the word for "death" (which I don't know). But I will do it anyway....

1. Hallie took this picture with her camera.

2. This is Piper Harris and Eryn

3. This was taken at a send off party in Milan before we left the US

4. Piper is the one person that Eryn keeps saying she misses!

I am not sure if I can tag anyone Steph I don't have that many folks on my list.

Sunday we had our church Thanksgiving meal. We planned it for Sunday because most of us have classes on Thursday and Friday. Saturday, we went with the ……on a trip down the Grand Canal. We did not even try to find a turkey this year. We figured that goose and Chicken would be much easier. We did need to find a place to cook the goose because our oven would NOT be big enough. Jon took a student and arranged for a restaurant to bake the goose. Sunday morning dawned and Jon went to the market to get the goose. Yes, it was alive when he picked it out, but they did butcher, pluck, and clean it for him. Then he took the goose (head and feet connected) to the restaurant. However, they said that it was too big to fit in their oven too! We got someone to help us and they ended up frying the goose for us. They did have to chop it in half first. We also ordered some chickens from that restaurant. The meat was really delicious. I made corn bread dressing, rice crispy treats (no leftovers) and chocolate oatmeal no-bake cookies. Cecily made red jello salad, sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin pies (yum yum). The Beamons ( a family that lives in the north of the city and worships with us) brought green beans, corn, and mashed potatoes. Josh and Yan brought the drinks and some Chinese short ribs. There were no left-overs there either! After the meal we sat around and drank some hot cider and nibbled on desserts before and after our regular Sunday meeting.
This all sounds normal and not that amazing, but to us a large real Western meal is a huge treat!
Hallie said that it was a great Thanksgiving! ( she did eat FIVE rice crispy treats!)

We are thankful that we are in China but we are also thankful for a taste of home.
The spread of food!
The meat, chicken and goose!
Pumpkin pie
chocolate oatmeal no bake cookies
rice crispy treats (covered)