Sunday, May 30, 2010

Busicut Night

I am so behind on my blog. These pictures have been uploaded to the blog since May, but I have just not written about them or posted. I have lots of other things to post soon. I hope to get to that in the next few days.

We are in America now and have been for about 4 weeks. We are enjoying ourselves, spending time with loved ones, and eating lots of yummy "American" food. We are also anxious to get back to China in about two weeks.

This post is about a party that we hosted at our house. Jon had been talking to his English corner group about biscuits. He told them he would teach them to make them. One Saturday before school was finished they all came over.

Shirley is greasing the pan with a butter wrapper.

Then she cut out the biscuits.

After they were all cooked, they ate the biscuits. They were all gone in five minutes.

Carol liked them.

They also brought stuff for jaozi (dumplings)

Eryn loves to make jaozi

They eventually got enough to eat.

After we ate, Eve picked up a Bible.

I just Love, love, love to see people reading the Bible. I think this was the first time she had ever read any from the Bible.

Friday, May 28, 2010

This summer

Well, we ended up buying all the Dr Pepper that Wal-Mart had! A manager told Jon that they would have more next week. So far none. However, I found some more at Trust Mart. Trust Mart is another hyper market in town. It is some kind of branch of Wal-mart. I bought some more and we had pizza and Dr Pepper for supper last night. It was great! Maybe Trust Mart will continue to carry it. We will see.

In other news, we will be flying home in 3 weeks! We fly out of Shanghai Saturday June 19. We arrive in Detroit a mere 2 hours after we left! Funny, it sure seems longer than that! (Actually the flight is about 14 hours!) We have a 3or 4 hour layover but that is ok, because we have to clear customs and try to get lunch. I have already looked up to see what kind of things are available in the Detroit airport. There is a Taco Bell and Chilis, plus hot dogs and Subs. Yummm, I can't wait.

We will be in the US until August 3. We will spend time mostly in Henderson and Hixon, TN. The last two weeks in July we will be in Hixon. The kids are excited to be able to attend VBS at Henderson and Summer Jam at Clear Creek. As well, Hallie will go to Mid-South camp. She is really excited.

Hallie has a list of some things that she wants to do this summer:

My Summer:
1) Swimming
2) Play with my cousin
3) Eat hot dogs, Dr Pepper, tacos and cereal with family and friends.

We can't wait to see you all.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Look what I found!

I was just going to get a couple of bottles of water...and all of a sudden Hallie yelled out "Dr Pepper!!"
I stood there with my mouth open staring in disbelief, then I did a little happy dance. I bought 5 cans that day, and then we bought 7 a few days later. We asked and the store said that they would get some more next week. We will see... For now I am happy.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Tea village

Jon does not have any classes on Thursday. This makes an ideal time to get out with the kids and do a few things. We like to go to the store, shopping, or other places, but it is more enjoyable when we do not go on the weekend. Anyway, the weather has been lovely, so we decided to take advantage of this and spend some time outdoors. We packed a picnic lunch and headed out. Of course it ended up being one of those days that we just could not get going as quick as we wanted. For several reasons we did not really get going until around 11:00. As we were leaving, Jon and I were still deciding exactly where we were going....

We decided to go to an area called something tea village. We saw it in the Hangzhou magazine. We just showed the taxi driver the page that had the address in Chinese. We did not exactly know where we were going, but I knew that it would be one of those days that we would be glad we went. I told everyone that. It was a frustrating beginning and we were really wondering if we should still go... the trip was worth it!
We drove though an area of town that had many tea houses along the road. There were tea farms or plantations on both sides of the road, before and after the "village". We got the taxi to let us off. Our plan was to find a nice spot for our picnic. I could tell the driver did not get it. He drove us into some area that was a restaurant or something (we did not go in). He drove away very slowly...
Anyway we walked along the road and watched people pick tea and other things from their gardens. We found a quiet place almost in a tea field and ate our lunch. Then we walked back to the "village" area. I don't know how many people asked us if we wanted to eat. The next time we go, I think I will just eat at one of those places. When the tour buses are not going by, it is very quiet. You can hear birds, and the running water in the creeks.
This was the wall of one of the tea houses.
I am fascinated by old houses. I wonder if this was really an old house, or just built to look like one.
Some of the views that we saw...
What are they looking at?
Oh, that is what it is. These guys must like tea plants because we saw several of them.

If any of you come to visit us in the spring, we will take you out to this area. It was gorgeous!
At the end of the trip we were waiting at the bus stop to go home. A few cars came by and slowed down to get a better look at us and the kids. One guy stopped and asked us where we were going. Jon told him where we lived and he offered us a ride. We were a little leery at first, but when we asked him how much it would cost, he said, "no money!". He was just a really nice guy. He said he was going by our place on the way to work. He had a really nice car. I was really proud of the kids, because they behaved super! Jon and this guy conversed some almost all in Chinese. At the end of the ride, they exchanged numbers. I don't know if he will call or what, but it was really really nice. See, I was right we were glad that we went! Very glad.

Our secret

I am so behind on this blog. I have been meaning to type up this entry for some time. It almost seems silly now. The weather has finally turned warm. Actually a few times I have thought that it was hot! I know it is nothing like it will be in just a few weeks. I did wonder when it was going to get warm. I was getting jealous of folks back home wearing t-shirts and shorts, and we were still wearing long-johns! But those times are behind us for a few months now.

Anyway, do you remember the post I had about how cold it got here? I will share with you one of our secrets to how we deal with the cold.

You know in the winter time, when it is chilly and you are tired and you climb into bed, and it is cold? I hate that feeling. Those minutes that you are trying to warm up the bed can be agony. Sometimes it seems as if your feet will never get warm. Well, that doesn't happen in our house!
This is why. This is our secret:

We call it a bed warmer. It is like an electric blanket, but it goes under the sheet. In the winter time, we make it a habit to turn on the bed heater about 30 minutes before we go to bed. With the bed made, or at least all the covers pulled up, it will pre-heat the bed. It is wonderful!
We can now climb into a warm bed. I think it feels like climbing into a hot bath, to soak, only I don't get wet.
We inherited one of these bed warmers from the short term team. It only lasted a few weeks before it burned out, but that was long enough to get us hooked! We bought another one (the one in the picture) but it eventually burned out too. We have another one now. I am not sure if they are supposed to last more than one season or not. This year, we made sure the kids each had one too. We watch very carefully, and don't let the turn it on too high or leave it on when they should not. On the few occasions when we have forgotten to "turn on the bed" we have REALLY missed it!
Well, I took the bed warmer off the bed today. I will put it away until the fall, but you can be sure that it will be back on the bed when the nights start getting cold! This is one of our secrets.