Goodbye Carmans BBQ

Today our friends had a BBQ in our honor. Not everyone was able to attend b/c many are on their home leave, but the people that showed up were super cool people.

We’ve sure enjoyed our time getting to know each and every one of you. We look forward to seeing you again someday!

Sent from my Windows Mobile® phone.

“We Love the Greenes”

About 3 years ago we met the Greenes. We were selected to be their host family for their arrival to Qingdao. I still remember seeing the stress in their faces as they got off the final mode of transportation from their long ride from the US. I tried to comfort them by telling them that staff housing was quite adequate here in Qingdao. We were all surprised when we walked in to their closet of an apartment to discover quite a few problems with the furniture and what-not. We still joke today about my spot on their carpet where I would lay down because there really wasn’t any other place to sit.

We’ve come a long way from that point together. We’ve added three children between the both of us, and spent lots of time together playing Madden and board games, and eating lots of meals together. They no longer need us to function (and haven’t for a while now) in China. They’ve pursued the language and the culture with open arms. We’ve really appreciated their love of China.

There is so much more to say about the Greenes and the blessing they have been in our lives. But to put it consicely, they have been true friends to us in Qingdao. Greenes, we will miss you terribly. I look forward to hanging with you again and finding a special place on your carpet where I can sit.

Notice in the picture Anna is wearing a shirt with the word “Love” on it. She purposely picked out this shirt. When she picked it out, she said, “I want to wear this shirt because I love the Greenes”. Very well put, Anna. Very well put.

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Big Waves at Ruyi

This is one thing that we will really miss about our home in Qingdao. It’s been super cool to live by the sea. From going down to the beach and playing with the kids, to watching the occassional big waves smash against the retaining walls (as videoed below).

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The Movers are Here!

The movers have arrived! Not sure how they do it in other countries, but here it is full service. We’ve got a big pile of stuff completely n packed and mostly uncategorized and the movers are do it all! I’m pretty sure in the states you have to pack it all up yourself.

I remember when we moved from Dongguan to Beijing we decided to mail about 7 boxes. JK packed them really nicely. We got to the post office and they proceeded to unpack and examine every single item. Then they packed it in their own boxes. It was a 2 hour affair.

Anyway, as far as moving such a large amount of stuff, I definitely prefer the Chinese way.

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“Good Bye”

Thursday, May 17, our company had a surprise goodbye picnic for us. Unfortunately it was extremely windy so we were unable to have our picnic outside. We still enjoyed eating hot dogs (I actually didn’t eat any of those because they don’t sit well in my stomach), potato salad, fruit salad, chips and delicious chocolate cake inside. The company gave us a beautiful tray as a going away gift. We are excited to move on with what He has next for us in our lives but we will everyone in our company. We will miss Matt & Alicia the most since they have been such a big part of our lives these past 2 years.

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Sad Good Byes!

After 7 weeks we had to say good bye to our new friends the Clays. Lisa Clay came and lived in the vacant apartment at the beginning of February to wait for her baby’s arrival. After a week alone her husband Aaron was able to join her. We really enjoyed their company. We had a lot of fun together watching Heroes, eating, playing games and talking.

March 14 handsome Ethan Ezra Clay was born. We were glad to finally meet him, although it meant that our friend’s stay would be quickly coming to an end. A week and a half after Ethan was born the Clays returned to their home in Wuhan, China (it is about a 2 1/2 hour flight away – 1052km/654miles).