Saturday, July 30, 2011


I am sitting in the Golden's basement .  It is a little loud right now.  No, the kids are quiet.  Hallie is playing a game with Jon (Dungeons and Dragons), Eryn is watching a movie (Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles) and Liam is in the bathtub.  But the dishwasher is finishing our supper dishes, the washing machine is washing a load of clothes, and the dryer is drying a load I washed a few minutes ago.
I am thinking about how nice it is to have machines that do the washing for you.  This post is about laundry, so I will skip talking about the dishwasher.  We have to do laundry a little different in China.
This is a picture of our washing machine in China.
Don't worry those wires are not always hanging out, this was when it was broken and we finally got a repairman to come and fix it.

This was also before it was fixed.  Our washer machine is much smaller
 than standard US washing machines.   We just wash smaller loads.  We are very thankful that we have a working washing machine.  This winter, our washing machine broke just before Chinese New Year holiday. We had to wait two weeks before anyone could come and fix it.  

Our washer only washes in cold water.

We do NOT have a clothes dryer.  Once our clothes are washed, we hang them out to dry on our back balcony.  In the summer they dry pretty quickly, but on wet cold days, it takes a long time for clothes to dry.  We usually bring some inside to finish drying during the winter.

Especially in the winter, we wear our clothes for more than one day.(just not undies)  Everyone does.

Since washing machines are so small, it is pretty hard to wash comforters and blankets.  On sunny days you will see blankets put out to "sun".  Sunning clothes and blankets not only freshens them, but it also kills germs. When there is a sunny day, we also sun our blankets and pillows.

This is not all bad.  Many of these habits could carry over to the US.  It could save a lot of money.  If you washed your clothes in cold water at least most of the time. You could save a bunch.  You could wear your clothes more than one time before washing them.  How many times do we wear something for just a few hours and then throw them in the laundry?  You could hang your clothes to dry.  Dryers use a lot of electricity.  It is also healthy to let your bedding sun occasionally.  Just something to think about.
Right now, I am thankful for the luxury of having a large washer and a dryer.

Friday, July 22, 2011

culture shock

Sometimes when people return from overseas they have reverse culture shock.  Reverse culture shock is just culture shock that you experience when returning to your own culture.  We have not had it that bad this summer, but I have noticed some aspects of American culture that the kids do not understand.

Church culture is a little different here than in China.
Liam and Eryn were a little confused as to why we had another  worship service on Sunday night.  In China we only meet once on Sunday.
In the past, my kids were pretty well behaved in Church.  We usually sat near the front and they were expected to be quiet and well behaved.  When they were little, we had times when we had to take them out, but for the most part they were pretty good.  I think they have forgotten how to act.  In China, we "have church" in our home.  We sit on our couch and the kid are allowed to play quietly in their room during the adult Bible class.  They are expected to participate in worship, but the atmosphere is more relaxed than here. So if you see my kids doing something strange or not acting like they should, please remember that it is really different here.

We have gone to the movies a couple of times here.  We had to see Cars 2 and there was a movie shown the last night of Summer Jam at Clear Creek (VBS).  My kids kept forgetting to be quiet and whisper if they needed to talk.  It was  a little funny, but I had to keep shushing them.
In China, it is more common for people to talk (and not necessarily whisper) during movies, speeches, etc.

Going to the bathroom is different here too.  Eryn was very excited to see that the toilets were "western" and not squatty at  the airport.  I get a little embarrassed because  I know that people can understand what Eryn says in the bathroom here.  In China, if she comments on sounds, smells, or what I am wearing, I know that probably no one understands what she says.  Here, they understand.  Jon took her to the bathroom  at a restaurant and she had a guy cracking up with her comments.

When we were waiting to board a plane in the  San Francisco airport on the way home, Liam wanted to go to the bathroom.  Jon was not with us, because he was getting us something to eat.  I told Liam he would have to wait a couple of minutes.  He told me that he knew where the bathroom was.  He had no concept on the fact that he could get lost and he really has very little concept of "stranger danger".  In China there are very few white kids.  He really can't get that lost in a crowd.  Also, no one is going to take him (probably).  The criminal justice system is such that there is a deterrent for that sort of thing and because my kids look so different than everyone around us.  I am not saying that we let our kids run around anywhere, but they do have a little more freedom than here.  They do not understand when we suddenly shrink their boundaries.  Even if we explain it to them, it is still an adjustment.

On another note, the kids love water fountains!  They do not exist in China.  They are much fun.

We went to eat Mexican food the other day.  When we finished our meal, Jon went to pay the check.  The kids and I were finishing our drinks and getting our things together.  Then Liam noticed the tip that Jon put on the table.  He grabbed it and started to bring it to Jon, he said,"Daddy you left your money on the table!"  We put it back and then tried to explain why we did that.

Funny!  Overall, the kids are doing very well.  They have jumped back with their friends and are enjoying English television, time with grandparents, and eating "american" food.

Monday, July 18, 2011

We are Here.

I am so far behind on the blog.  I am sorry.
Well, we made it home to the US.  We can't say that our trip was uneventful but it could have been a lot worse.  We made all of our connections, and we have all of our luggage.  We thought that we might have lost one piece, but we did not.  The worst part of the trip was on the last leg.  We flew through some weather as we were coming into Memphis.  We were in a small plane, and it got a little rough.  Liam did not do very well.  But that is why they have those bags available on airplanes.  Everyone around us was very sympathetic and sweet.

We spent the night in a hotel in Memphis.  Most of us were tired enough from traveling to go to sleep right away.  I think that helped our bodies adjust quicker to the new time and jet lag was not that terrible this time.
I spent several days in Milan with my family.  Hallie went to MSYC for a week, and now we are in Hixson with our wonderful church family here.

We will be here for about 2 weeks (3 Sundays).  Then we will be back in Henderson for about 9 days and then we head back to China early morning August 11.

(This is how Hallie waited for our flight to Chicago.  I think all the kids slept most of that flight.)