Friday, December 28, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
On holidays, my students are always really sweet and want to say "Happy . . . " whatever holiday it is. I knew Christmas would be overwhelming when it came to the phone. I was right. They started on Christmas Eve and from about noon on Christmas Eve until about 9:00 p.m. Christmas Day, I kept my phone on silent otherwise I would have gone insane. My inbox holds 40 messages and by Christmas morning my phone was flashing a message that said: "No room for incoming messages!" I think I received about 50 - 60 text messages, maybe more. Lots of students told me to "Marry Christmas" and so if I ever come across some guy named Christmas, I'll keep that in mind. I also had a message that said, "Merry Christmas. Hope this year you will be nicer." My students often say things like that, for example, "I wish you were more beautiful." They mean it is as a compliment, but I finally pointed out in class one day that it doesn't always come across so well.
I decided not to write back to everyone but have been making group thank-yous in class for all the thoughtful text messages.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Katie, Brad, Amy, Beth - Love you guys and thank you more times than I can say. We are bonded for life and this definitely was . . . "the best day ever."
Mom, Dad, Kara, and John - I miss you all so much (and the dogs). I love you all and although I've said it so many times, I know I have the most incredible family anyone could ask for.
To my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins - I miss all of you too. I love all the Christmas memories that I have of Christmas Eve's and Christmas Day. The food, all the people, the presents, the games . . . I'll see you all again soon and am looking forward to having a "Christmas in July" gathering with everyone. Grandma, can we make cut-out cookies this summer?!
To others who sent boxes and cards - everything was much appreciated! Thank you so much.
I'll have some pictures soon and some other fun posts about Christmas gifts. Merry Christmas and goodnight as Christmas closes on this side of the world.
O come, Desire of nations, bind
All peoples in one heart and mind;
Bid envy, strife, and quarrels cease,
Fill all the world with heaven's peace.
Yang won this lovely muff. I think (and hope) he donated it to Daisy, his wife.
Katie and me with Ally. Ally volunteers her time to tutor Katie and me in Chinese every week. She's a great teacher and a ton of fun and she has the cutest giggle. Katie and I have learned so much from her and we have so much fun in class every week.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I always love inviting the students over to my house to share Christmas with them. But of course, if I'm going to invite one class or one group then I really can't get away with not inviting them all. With more than 150 students and an apartment that, at most, can hold about 25 students at one time, that equals six student parties. Katie also has about that many students and has been having them all over too. We've had a party at our house or had other friends over almost every day, sometimes twice a day. I figured out that between my students, and Katie's students, and all of our friends we will have had about 300 people in and out of our house in the last two weeks!!!
For my student parties we've done a gift exchange. The students have usually never done something like that before and have a great time with it. Here's my favorite gift this year. It's a "you zi" (in English it's a "pomelo" - a large fruit that's like a cross between a grapefruit and an orange, they're really common here in the fall and winter). The student who brought this drew a face on it and then stuck two lollipops in it to make ears! So funny. And it was the biggest and heaviest present which made all the students curious.
The students always tell me how much they enjoy coming over and I'm glad that they can see our Christmas tree and get to do something fun. I also get to share the true Christmas story with them while they're over.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
P.S. I think Bob and Debbie's box has the new China Post record. It was post-marked the 5th and I got in on the 12th! That's super fast to get a box shipped half-way around the world.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Here I am enjoying (apparently a little too much) my "over the bridge noodles." Please, keep in mind that Brian is the one taking this video and is therefore the closest one to the camera :-)