Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Visit Home

We are now back at our home in Shanghai after a visit home to the States. Finally a rainy-looking, foggy morning here in the city so I felt like catching up on our news. Jeremy's Grandpa passed away this month in Illinois and we were able to travel there for his funeral, see Jeremy's relatives and attend church on Easter Sunday. It was a last minute surprise visit. Our kids did great on this visit and were very happy. We travelled from there to Minnesota to stay with our families. The only people who knew we were coming was my sister and Jeremy's sister!

Wheelbarrel ride from Gandy


Returning to Shanghai was a much more difficult, sacrificial decision this time around. Last July when we first arrived it was a big adventure. This time we know what we are getting into and all the normal difficulties we face in every day life. We've learned to rely on God more for everything and to do hard things, because this is hard. On our visit we had the freedom and the luxury for two weeks of driving our family around in a vehicle, with everyone safely buckled into their own seats, and safety seats for the kids!

We all crammed into a taxi cab on the way back to our apartment from the airport, all five of us to four seats and only one working seatbelt in one seat. Taxi minivans don't exist here. Sayde's car seat was back in our apartment, never used here. Though we did have a nice chat with our taxi driver in Chinese. I wish we could take taxis more often. So when I say that it is a sacrifice to live daily life here overseas, I do not believe that it is to sacrifice our children. Big difference! God made it very clear about 4,000 years ago with Abraham that He does not approve of or call for that.

We still haven't figured out transportation, that is why we only take the Metro/Subway on a normal basis and we are comfortable with that. Thankfully we live right next door to a station. If you lived in Shanghai you would see me often carrying or strolling Sayde while holding onto both kids' hands as we go to the subway or walk to the park. If we live here longer, I would like to get bicycles - not motorized - with a baby seat and a wagon in the front. This is a European style and it can carry more than one child!

Now I will write about some positive, happy stories in our family. The jet-lag from our travels re-set the kids' bedtimes. Within the first week back in Shanghai, the kids were going to bed at 6:00 pm and waking at 6:00 am. They are now going to bed around 8:00 pm most nights and waking from 6:00 am and 7:00 am. Hudson's chapped mouth and chin is almost healed up now after we found a jelly contained in an orange tube, his favorite color. He applies it all by himself. Sayde has been running around at the children's playground giggling and going down the slides over and over again all by herself. She said hello in Chinese all by herself to the man in our hallway who smokes by the window. When eating, she can say "bao le" when she is full.

We like our new Chinese teacher and can sneak in some spiritual language with her. While we don't teach English, we do bring up words or language that we want to learn in Chinese and can chat in Chinese over things such as fear - how we have no fear when we are in Christ.

Sayde on the slide