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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Things We See in Tianjin

These past weeks we have experienced many firsts as a family here in our new city.

Since everything we’re seeing is rather new to us, I thought it would be fun to share a few of the things that we see around us.

Our landlord is fond of floral print.


Our housing complex has some play areas between the buildings.


The bus ride to a grocery store – the girls.


The bus ride to a grocery store – the boys.


Yogurt sampling at a grocery store. They love their yogurt here!


Playing video games.


Movie night.


Getting on the school bus!


Eloise getting some attention at the school.


Micah getting ready for class!


“China Day” at the kids’ school.


Eloise getting some attention at “China Day”.


More silliness at “China Day”.


Eating “Longyan”


Eating at a local Korean Restaurant.


Eloise in a box.


Cute girls with their pollution masks.


It’s a bit staticky in Tianjin.


Our first team meeting.


Our first fellowship meeting.


Kids connecting on FaceTime with family.


Our first trip to China McDonalds!


Jeremy, The Police & The News

The other day some friends and I were invited to hear the local police explain how they can help us foreigners in case of a dispute. A local news crew was there ready with their cameras. We all sat down at the table while the police woman explained that if we have a dispute we can call the police and have a “sit-down” with the other party to resolve the problem. It is actually quite nice knowing that we can do that. After I volunteered to translate for English-speaking foreigners, the news team asked me why I volunteered.

Now, I’ve never been interviewed by the news before. I had no idea who to look at. To make things more confusing, it wasn’t the reporter that asked me the question, it was the cameraman. Should I look at the camera, the reporter, or the cameraman? In the end I looked at the cameraman. Is there a standard protocol when being interviewed?

The Last Day of School

It’s official – we are finished home schooling Matt & Alicia. Today, June 1st, was our last day of school. To celebrate we took the kids on a field trip to a nearby water park. Jeremy, Anna, Francis (our Chinese teacher), Alicia, our neighbor friend’s two grandchildren, visiting from America, and myself all went together. (Due to an eye infection Matt was unable to go – sorry Matt, we missed you!!) It was very nice, clean and loads of fun. Most of the park is inside, so even though today was cold and overcast we were still able to have a nice time. The park has a number of different things to do. There was a castle with lots of slides and “toys” to play with while it “rained” on you. They had a lazy river with row boats, a couple different pools, hot springs and at least 4 different huge water slides. My favorite was the “Flying Boat” where you sit in a boat with a partner, fall down a drop that is only a little under 90°, fly up a wall that is also a little over 90° and then over a bridge (pictures shown below). The other favorite was the Space bowl (AKA the Latrine) featured in the next blog.
Although there was not a lot geared towards Anna’s age, she had a blast. I have never seen her so excited. The first part of the day she was acting like she was on a sugar rush, running around with a huge smile on her face squealing with delight. The second half she still had a good time but she was a bit worn out without a nap and from all the excitement earlier.
We made it through the day with fun stories, 8 worn out people and only one bruised elbow (mine). What a great way to end the school year!

The Latrine

You remember the first time you thought about flushing your brother or sister (nephew in my case) down the toilet? You wondered: where they would end up? would it be a fun trip down? And what a big splash it would make as you reached the end of the tunnel. Today I actually got to experience it (except without all the human waste). At the water park that we went to there was a water slide we nick-named “The Toilet Bowl.” You start at the top going through a tunnel slide then shoot out of a tunnel and into the toilet bowl. After spinning around the bowl a few times you would be flushed out into a swimming pool. (click on image to see larger view) It was a lot of fun – except for when I banged my elbow on the side because I wasn’t lying properly.

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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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Happy Day!

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Morning Star (aka ChenXing) is a Chinese school down the road from where we live that Jeremy & I taught at last year. Because our schedule is a bit busy this year we do not have time to teach there this year. The Bassetts and Vosslers are still very involved there, however. On Monday, April 30, the school put on a festival called “Happy Day”. There was a lot going on there. The kids put on performances for their parents, there were activities, games and food for all. People were selling things. (I believe all the proceeds went to the school.) Matt & Alicia headed up some games for the kids and I just got to enjoy everything! I love watching the kids – they are so adorable – as long as I’m not responsible for them (hehe)!

Happy Easter!

This Friday at school we had an egg decorating activity. It was a lot of fun to just sit with the kids and talk about anything (other than school work of course). We learned that Alicia’s favorite Veggie Tales character is Jr. Asparagus and Matt likes to destroy things. (He kept saying he wanted to throw the eggs off the roof.) Alicia left one egg in the yellow for so long that the shell got eaten away by the vinegar.

At the end of the day we had a contest in two categories: creativity and best color. Jeremy won in the most creative egg category with his egg named “Asylum” (the pink faced egg). Matt won the best color with his half blue-green & pink egg. The prize was a handful of black jelly beans. Since Jeremy doesn’t like black jelly beans, I (Jacquelyn) ate his. Anna didn’t get to color any eggs but she did enjoy holding them up and dropping them. She also really likes eating them.

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