Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Few Last Things

We're gonna be out of pocket for a couple of weeks, so updating might be scarce. But I leave you with 1 arbitrary parent rule and 1 Malachi-ism.

Malachi's Chinese name is Fan Yong Qiang. It means 'brave' and 'strong'. He very often says "I'm brave and strong because I'm Fan Yong Qiang" (in chinese, the word 'qiang' rythms with the english word 'strong') Brad and I joke that his Chinese name is also his super hero name because he uses it when trying to achieve super human things, like getting up onto the counter. Well, we left the house at 5 am this morning. He was pulling a suitcase and told Brad "I'm brave and strong, I'm Fan Yong Qiang....but this is too heavy. The brave doesn't help me very much right now." It added some much needed humor to our mornings activities.

My arbitrary parent rule that I found coming out of my mouth the other day was..."No, Charis, you can't put glue on your French toast."

Kids are a beautiful reminder to not take ourselves too seriously.

We'll do our best to give some updates while we're away, but no promises as to the internet availability.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I Promise We Love our Kids

Ok, so here it goes...Spring Festival Children's Performance.  I promise that my camera is not just filled with wedding day blackmail pictures.  And I also promise that we do indeed love our children, despite what we subject them to once every semester at kindergarten.  

This one went much better than the last.  Malachi actually danced as if he was enjoying himself.  He even showed me "his moves" at home once or twice.  I'm not sure why he's 2/2 in having to strip down to his skyvies for his performaces, but he is.  This time it was a towel and underwear (as opposed to his plastic see thru bag from last time) and of course a good slathering of make-up.  Not too sure about Selah's costume here.  Little Bo Peep heads East.

It was crowded and smokey and exhausting and wonderful.  Malachi danced around like a champ and Selah was on cloud 9.  She absolutely loves the whole dress up, put bright make-up on and strut your stuff on stage type of events.  She actually had 3 costume changes throughout the performance.  

She's become quite the animated girl.  Full of emotion and enthusiasm.  Most of the time it's a wonderful trait. :)   So I'm not sure why my font is now blue, but we'll just enjoy the quirk for now.  I've got more to worry about at this stage in life than font colors.
Then they had some of the parents play a game where the mother tried to keep a feather in the air by blowing on it, while the father tried to button a shirt that was put on over her clothes.  We had a great time.  I've had a few conversations with friends about the fact that if a teacher put make up on their boy students in the states, most fathers would have some choice words for those teachers.  Not so much here....obviously.

This last picture is of her solo.  She and a boy sang a solo together.  Her Chinese has gotten stellar and she did a fantastic job.  Malachi's Chinese has also gotten really, really good.  It's fun to see them on their own turf. I was proud of both of them.  These are the character building events we all talk about when they are older, right?!  

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Difficult to love

I was 30 seconds from getting the kids into rest time and getting a little devo and rest time myself, when the bell rang to let someone in.  It was my friend from a local store.  She only gets an hour rest all day and works 15 hours, sleeps in the store, only to wake up and start the day over.  So any time with her is much coveted.  My first reaction is, "ugh, it's almost rest time.  I don't have time for this today."  Even worse is that I've been praying for my relationship with her.  So now that I have the opportunity to hang out with her, I am disgruntled and put out.  

She had to go back to work and I've spent the last little bit reading Proverbs 3:27 "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it."  For her, a relationship is the 'good' that she is in need of.  She is far from home and works horrific hours at a really tough job.  She needs friends.  I've been convicted of just how easily I love those that are easy to love.  It's not all that difficult for me to love my  husband or kids.  It's not difficult to love my friends in the States.  It is however, difficult to love a lot of the people around me.  They mock us, scold us, ignore us and try to get us to leave their country.  And yet I am supposed to love them extravagantly??!!

And I have to confess, that there are many a day that I want to just look them in the eye and say something incredibly rude or offensive.  But then I am reminded that it is not our friends who need to be loved as much as it is our enemies.  Friends are easy.  

But that takes time, inconvenience, forethought, and much prayer.  I have to choose to be bothered in love.  If I'm not, then I'm not loving the hard to love.  The people that are hardest to love take much perseverance.  I am reminded how many times Jesus was confronted with the hard to love and yet he gave them his time, his ear, his healing, his touch, his food, and his words.  I don't have as much to offer, but what I do have, I am to give to them in abundance.  

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Big 4!

Today is Malachi's 4th birthday!! He woke up this morning mesmorized because he told us "now I can reach the sink. Last night I had to use my tippy toes, but this morning I can reach it all by myself!! Because I'm 4!

We had pancakes and had our normal birthday tradition. We go around the table and we all tell the birthday person a few things that we love about them. Then we left and fellowshipped with some friends. We had a birthday lunch of pizza, American brownies, ice cream and "The Jungle Book." We found some legitimate Transformers for him.  We had to ask the lady at the store downtown "which ones are the real ones and which are the illegal, fake ones?"  She told us the real ones where the real ones were :).  

 Malachi's not having a party because we're going to celebrate again with some friends next week. We'll be leaving for a few weeks and will be out of pocket, so we decided to postpone a party. He was okay with that, because the girl he has decided he is going to marry will now be able to attend his celebration.
Here's everyone flashing their "4's" in celebration of Malachi.  He's really turning into a wonderful young man.  He's really curious about life and how things work.  He spent most of the night trying to figure out how to manipulate the transformers.  He loves to read and run.  He loves his sibilings and loves to entertain them.  He's got a really sweet spirit that loves to tell us that he loves us, very consistently.  Malachi's also got a great dry sense of humor.  He's got a sense of adventure and intrigue that I love.  We love you, buddy and can't wait to see what this year has in store for you.  

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Providence over hair

Since there's a hair theme to our lives here of late, I will disclose our latest hair debacle. As most of you know, Charis goes to a baby sitter every morning while Brad and I are in language class. She's been wonderful. We've had her and her family over several times and had a great time with them all. We've only had to guide her on a few things such as don't feed Charis ice cream everyday and don't let her nap in the mornings. We've really been fairly loose with our instructions to her.

So Monday, Brad goes to pick up Charis and discovers this:

She has cut Charis' hair with no prior permission granted. Brad didn't say anything at the time, wanting to make sure I didn't cut it or something. I hadn't touched it. So we had a friend call her and tell her that we did not want her cutting Charis' hair. It was a breach of trust and this is something we need to give permission to, not done on her own volition. We weren't harsh with her, just clear. Our friend spoke to the girl who lives with her and then the message got passed along. Because we were not sure that the message got to her (because we were working through a friend talking to a friend, talking to her), we decided to call the girl that lives with her to make sure the message got to her.

In the end, that night she came over really upset and offended and said she quit. After an hour and a half of discussion and apologies, she didn't change her mind. She says that because we called twice, it showed that we didn't trust or appreciate her. There were lots of tears and no forgiveness from her whatsoever. We told her we have learned a cultural lesson (we really did want to understand what we did wrong) and still wanted her to watch Charis. She would have none of it. Her pride was hurt.

So that night, we went to bed, laying this out before our Father. The next day, a friend and I went to Selah and Malachi's school to ask about Charis starting. Previously we have been told that she had to be able to use the potty before attending. Well, the principal informed us that there's a class for small babies where they help them learn to use the potty. So after Chinese New Year, she will start to attend kindergarten. We are thrilled because now she can have more kid interaction and learn the discipline of being in a class structure along with more great language practice.

Again, we are rejoicing at the Providence of His will over ours. He works all for the good of those who love Him.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Roger Clemens and the lack of decency in our society

Honestly, something is beyond broken when people get such thrills in assuming a person is guilty rather than innocent when the person has been nothing but a class act throughout his career. Roger Clemens is right,… how in the world would he prove a negative anyway, that is, “That he did NOT take steroids”? It’s an impossible charge to defend. Yet, bored, gossip hungry people feed this story on the basis of an accuser with thus far no proof.


The media is so manipulative. They’re manipulating this story and the political campaign. Every time on person gets up in the polls, a week follows of negative stories in order that the field will be leveled to make a better news story.


It’s easy to chide “the media”, but how often do we not give others the benefit of the doubt simply because we hear this or that. How many of us say, “They say…” when really this phrase is a cover for “I think….”

Friday, January 04, 2008

My Perm

So I got a perm. I've only had one in my entire growing up, and that was in college. I just really like change, so this time my hair was the victim. Brad always gets really nervous when I decide to change my hair. The first picture is right after I got home. The second one is my first attempt at doing it myself.

Here's some of the fun things about getting a perm (a friend told me to call it a body wave, because perm is a throw-back -to -jr. high -word). I walked in having looked up the word for 'perm' in my dictionary. They wanted to cut my hair and I kindly told them not to. So then, she handed me a magazine to pick out that kind of perm to get.

Back to get the hair washed. At this point, everybody in the store is a buzz about the foreigner who is getting a perm. I told the guy I was nervous. He reassured me as he took the comb out of his nicely permed and teased hair, only to comb mine out with that same comb. This same comb went from his hair directly into mine the entire time. Convenient, I guess. At least I wasn't with the guy that picked up his comb in between puffs on his cigarette. I studied my flash cards as I sat and he worked. We chatted about counterfeiting, my vocabulary words, hair, Yao Ming, and tons of other fun things.

About half way through, most of the other customers had left and they decided to make me feel more comfortable by putting on an English CD. They wrapped plastic wrap around my curlers and stuck me under a revolving hot fan thing. All of the time enjoying "You Gotta Know When to Hold 'Em" and "Puff the Magic Dragon". 3 hours later, I was done. I'm pleased and even better, Brad likes it.

God is Serious about our joy IN HIM

If this verse doesn’t send us to our knees pleading in pray, making us examine our hearts, and sober us from lazy and apathetic Christianity, perhaps nothing will!


Deuteronomy 28:47-48  Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things,  48 therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness, and lacking everything. And he will put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you.


This begs the question: Do we spend more energy trying to enjoy LIFE or fighting to enjoy GOD?!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...