Saturday, November 29, 2014

感恩节快乐, Happy Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving dinner was a success! We had a wonderful, blessed time with our Chinese teacher and her husband over for dinner, and included was plenty of quiz time for the kiddos. The kids have learned some phrases in Chinese, "zhe ge hanyu zenme shuo?" and "ni zai zuo shenme?"..."how do you say this in Chinese?" and "what are you doing?" We are so proud of them! Our teacher tutors our whole family two evenings a week. Our children are usually bouncing up and down, jumping on and off furniture as she works with them.

After Thanksgiving we shopped for homeschooling supplies with black friday deals going on in the U.S. and we actually have Rosetta Stone now for the family. Jeremy is impressed with it and encourages everyone we know back home to try it, especially if they plan on visiting us :)

I discovered the other day that Annalise is now reading at a 1st grade level so we have had to think alot about what to get for next year...

We have also been getting to know our neighborhood better and found several outdoor/farmers style markets nearby that we love to frequent for most of our groceries now. We had 2 chickens, sweet potatoes, corn, and sichuan fried green beans for our Thanksgiving dinner and all came from our closest outdoor market. It was our first Thanksgiving away from home, in our new home, and prepared all by myself! It has been so much fun getting to meet and recognize all the sellers at these market places, practicing our Chinese with them and getting better each time. Last week we bought all the ingredients to make Chinese dumplings from the market and made them at home.

As we explore our neighborhood more and more, our eyes are also opened to many other business establishments we hadn't noticed before. There are also many modeling agencies here. It is very sobering, and to only just now start noticing this after living here for nearly four months now.

We have also had a difficult time as a family and as individuals (Jeremy and I) with knowing where to be involved, keeping commitments and getting to places on time as a family. We like to take the subway system and it truly is the best way for us to get around, other than on foot, it just may take up to an hour sometimes to get someplace! We need to figure out better ways as a family to be on time places...

Saturday, November 22, 2014

November in Shanghai

This month on the 11th we celebrated Annalise turning 6 years old. We went to the nearby park and brought cupcakes to share with some friends Annalise and Hudson’s ages. I am so thankful that our children have had so many opportunities to make friends.  I am also thankful for such a wonderful daughter, Annalise. She adds so much joy and humor to our lives. She is so thoughtful, kind, smart, and funny. We love her so much! I am so impressed with her sensitivity to the Lord. She has matured so much.

Life in this large city has been busy for our family. There are so many options available, so many groups and activities to be part of. There are homeschooling coops, field trips to museums, and parks to visit. It is hard to find time to sit down at our computer, when it is not being used already. The computer is not a normal part of my life here on a day -to -day basis! I am so unfamiliar with this thing and so out of practice. Since homeschool began with the kids, language lessons and practice, and with the now 15 month old Sayde so busy, sitting at a computer is very rare.  Bare minimum, I have 5 minutes before someone complains. 

Next week we celebrate Thanksgiving with our Chinese co-workers and friends. I want to be prepared for our dinner in many ways, being a blessing not only putting delicious food on the table but also being a blessing to hearts as well.  Be thinking about this for us next week! This is all I have time to write for now. I am obviously having trouble with computers, cameras, and anything technological, for many reasons. At the bottom of this post I will include photos if I have the time to upload them and it works!

God has been speaking to me about being faithful with the little things first, that is what I have been doing lately. So many people here are doing huge things. We are just starting and it’s very important to remind myself what God has called me to do right now. He’s given my three beautiful children to love and care for and invest in, and that is huge in it self. We are raising them to be a blessing. Chinese people are impressed when they see our three children, it is so rare for them, and we are to never take that for granted that we have three.

I cut bangs for Annalise :)
Beautiful Annalise
Another picnic with friends at the park
Hudson's new rainboots he is very proud of.

Our apartment building is the one in the background with a round saucer on top