“Forgive me for being so ordinary while claiming to know so extraordinary a God.” -Jim Elliot

Eloise’s 3rd Birthday

Eloise had a great birthday! It started on Friday when JK and I brought in cupcakes to share with her class. 

She had fun handing them out to her classmates. 

A couple days later on her actual birthday she got to go to a water park. And then that night she had some friends over. 

It’s hard to believe our little girl is 3!

Dragon’s Head. Where the Wall Meets the Sea.

Recently, on a trip out of town for a training, we got the opportunity to go to the furthest point East of the Great Wall. It’s where the “dragon’s head meets the sea”. 

It’s not our favorite part of the wall that we’ve seen because there wasn’t much wall to walk on, but it was still pretty cool. 

Flower Face

Last week we had to end the work and school day early because we had imposed traffic regulations because of a major sporting event in our area. 

We took advantage of the time and got together with friends outside. One of our friends brought out the face paint. Each of the kids got something. The boys got fire drawn on their arms. 

But this was by far the cutest:


Don’t tell jokes while driving

Here in China, just like everywhere else, they place important messages on street signs to remind you of driving safely. These messages are about driving after drinking, talking on your cell phone, or driving while drowsy. But the message Jacquelyn and I recently came across made me double back to make sure I read it right. 

It says this, “Cracking jokes while driving endangers safety.”
While my kids might agree that listening to my jokes is dangerous, it’s not usually limited to the car. 

So, keep the roads safe, people! Don’t drive while joking. 

Ode to Brown Leather Belt

You have served me well, brown leather belt.
You’ve been hugging my hips for a long time.
You definitely hold a record for longest lasting belt – at least in my life.
Although you were distressed from the years of use, you matched almost everything.
You never got mad when I occasionally wore a black belt. And we won’t even speak of the time I tried to wear the fabric belt.
When you broke the other day I was heartbroken.
I can’t bear to part ways with you yet, though I’ll never use you again.


Ghost Festival


It’s quite common practice in China to burn fake money to appease or give money to ghosts or ancestors in the afterlife. Lately, I’ve noticed alot of people burning piles of stuff in the streets. It turns out we’re in the middle of holiday called the Ghost Festival.

Going to a market near our house, many people were selling decorations for the holiday.

Fixing a Bike

The nice thing about biking in China is that it’s very common. On the one hand there are a ton of obstacles to go around as hundreds of bikers maneuver around traffic, but on the other, it also means you’re never that far from a bike repair cart set up on the side of the road. When I blew up Jacquelyn’s bike tire today, I just walked it over to the old man at the cart and he hooked me up with a new inner tube and tire for only about $8, or ¥50.

Lunch at School

Having my office at the school building means I get to see my children periodically throughout the day. I don’t get to my oldest as much any more because, now that she’s in middle school, she’s on the other side of the building. But, now that my 3rd is in elementary, I do get to eat lunch with both him and my 2nd!

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Welcoming New Staff

On Saturday we held our annual Welcome Dinner. It’s a time that we kick of the year with a party and especially focus on getting to know our new staff.

This year we played a gameshow-like game and gave out lots of prizes. It was quite fun.

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Meanwhile, the children played on a bouncy castle and did crafts and other fun things.

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Helping Make Oatmeal

Micah really likes oatmeal. He would eat it everyday if I let him. Well, actually, he would eat cereal everyday, but he knows I won’t let him do THAT, so oatmeal is his secondary pick. So, he really wanted to learn how to make it, so that I can’t use the excuse of not being able to because I don’t want to cook it.

Afterword, Lucas also wanted to know how to make it. (Or maybe I just wanted him to learn to make it.)