Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Our ZhongShan

Our ZhongShan

Check out a quick video showing a little bit of our life in China. See some of the sights around ZhongShan, and our new apartment (made possible by you all).  Thanks again to all who help make it possible for us to continue our work in China!  We are truly blessed to be able to be where God has called us.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Tiny Master Bedroom Transformation

We've recently moved into a new apartment in China and I am in the throughs of my favorite season...... the design and decorating of a new space.  I prefer to live in a space for a short while before making any design commitments, in order to get the overall feel of the space and who we, as a family of 7, are in this new space.  And how to make it our Home, our oasis in the midst of our life here. 

My first challenge was my Master.  It is approximately 8'x9' with the only storage being 3 drawers built into the deep window sill.

Well, I chose the simpliest of color palettes I could.  Navy & stark white.  I'll let the photos do the rest of the talking.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Little Stab-y With the Choclate Cake

I don't often pick on the Wife when I blog...
I may point out some of the things my children do which I find funny and humorious...
But not the Wife.
Because, well, because I'm not an idiot!
That's why.

Buuuuuut, she is VERY far away right now, on the other side of the freaking planet... SOOOOO, I've got a little bit of opportunity to pick on her, and hope she forgets about it by the time we see each other again (which at this rate, may be in the fall of 2019).

My wife has currently been posting things like this on Facebook.

Or, others post these kinds of things...

 Now, what's funny, is that most of y'alls just think these are funny little Facebook posts... but they are true!  SO TRUE!

This is a photo someone sent me of my wife eating Chocolate cake...

There was also a video of it, where Kole was gone, I'm assuming chased away by the Wife, and the Wife was trying to stab Miss G with her fork to keep her away from the cake.  Fortunately, Miss G is feistier than she looks (I think in no small part due to the influence of Miss P - which should be another good blog post) and she will go fork to fork for that chocolate cake!

But hey, when she isn't trying to stab her children over chocolate cake, she's a pretty good Mom.

Yeah.  Shes.  Pretty great.  Special, some would say.  Really... special.  :-)

But she's my special girl.  Maybe a little crazy.  Maybe a little stab-y when it comes to chocolate cake.  But I knew what I was getting myself into when we got married almost 20 years ago.  And it's been a fun ride so far.  Wife, you keep it interesting!

... I have chocolate in the fridge for you.

... and wine.

... I'm sorry.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Really, THAT'S what's making you Upset?!

As many of you guys may know, the Wife and 4 little people who live in my place and eat my food, are currently in Canada.  This leaves me, and Mr D at home in China taking care of some other stuff... like, oh, I donno, moving apartments.

Moving is stressful... even when you can communicate effectively with Realtors, Landlords, Truck Drivers, small woodland creatures, etc.  When you're trying to do it in Chinese (provided you are not proficient in Chinese, I mean, if you were fluent in Chinese then you know, whatever... but) and your vocabulary is limited to "Where is the coffee", "I need coffee", "You don't understand, I need coffee!", "Get me coffee and no one has to get hurt!" and "Yes, that is the number I want to call for my 1-phone call" it gets even MORE stressful.

But we all hit our stress breaking points at different times and over different things.

Me for example, I'm fiiiiine, I mean, really, I'm fine so long as I have coffee.  If I have coffee, then nothing is going to cause me to snap.  This has taken, like 39 years to reach this coffee-induced-zen-state.  For others though... people can snap over different things...

Mr D:  I want my computer back!
Me:  Why?  Your Mom took your laptop, but left you her's instead.  What's the big deal?!
Mr D:  Mrrraaaauuughhhh...
Me:  Can it not play your video games?
Mr D:  Noooooo, it plays them fine.
Me:  Is the screen broken again?
Mr D:  Nooo, the screen is fixed.
Me:  Oh, is it over heating?
Mr D:  No.
Me:  Huh, uh, so... what's the problem then?  I can probably fix it.
Mr D:  This! 
*whack* *whack* *thud* *thump* *whack*
Me:  Stop hitting the keyboard like that!
Mr D:  But that's the problem...  the keystroke is too short!  It feels funny.
Me:  ... what?
Mr D:  Meeeeergh, the keys are funny.  I don't like them.  I want my computer back.

The breaking point...
Me:  Really.  You're crying because you don't like the keys on your mothers laptop?
Mr D:  (looks thoughtfully off into the distance)  And the track-pad sucks.
Me:  So... the keyboard and the track-pad... that's why you're upset?
Mr D:  Meeeerrrgahhhhh... yeah.
Me:  Sooooooo... NOT the fact that we have to move from our old apartment?
Leaving beautiful KaiYin

Me:  And it's not all the stuff we have to move ourselves?
5 small moving vans of stuff!  We came with 7 suitcases!
Me:  And it's not the fact the new the apartment's toilet is missing it's seat?
Buying a toilet seat online (how else do you buy toilet seats in China?)

Me:  And it's not the fact that the new apartments 2nd toilet is really just a squatty?
Don't laugh - it's great for your core strength!

Me: And it's not the fact that we've been living out of boxes for a month?
*Siiigh* So much unpacking to do

Me:  And it's not the fact that you missed the family photos in Winnipeg and I had to PhotoShop you in?
Ooops, foots in the way... re-shoot!

Ah, much better!

Me:  It's really that you just don't like that laptops keyboard?!
*awkward pause*
Mr D:  ... well... and the track-pad. 

Our kids are troopers!  I'm always so impressed with what they are able to handle without complaining or making a big fuss over.  And something I need to remind myself, is that when they do tend to over-react to (what I consider) a "small" thing, there probably really is a "larger" thing at play which I'm not seeing...

Now, with the Wife, it's almost always just that we've just run out of Chocolate.

Monday, April 18, 2016

But, I don't want to go back!

The Wife and 4 of our kiddos have recently traveled back to Canada for a vacat... work.  They traveled back for work.  Lets be honest here, anyone serving in a foreign country knows that when they return home, it is never for a "vacation".

Mr. Snuggles and some of his cousins!
Yes, true, the Wife and the kids are not in China trying to help orphans now, or help build up the local body, they are back in Canada in what many have been referring too (rather incorrectly) as a "vacation".

First off, let me say a HUGE Thank You to all our friends and family who helped host the Wife and kids, who took time out of their lives to sit with them, talk, play, eat, go bowling, etc.  This has been one of the best trips home we can remember - the kids have been loving the time with family and friends!  Thank you - Thank you- Thank you for loving on my family!

The Girls

But as always, there is never enough time to see everyone.  And to those we didn't get time to see, maybe next year.  

The Cousins... Mr D is missing... hmmm...
Oh good, there he is!
But getting back to why this ISN'T a vacation, and the title this blog... I don't want to go back!

And no, it's not because of the weather.
And no, it's not because of the mosquitoes.
It's definitely not because I'm trying to avoid family or fiends.

It's a much simpler reason.

It's hard... and I'm a suck.

First, there is the Travel.
  • My wife has had to travel (literally) half way around the world to get home.
    • That's hard.
  • That trip, was over 26 hours of straight traveling - that's 26 hours without your children in a bed.  26 hours with children who don't get to sleep or eat properly for over a full day.
    • That's really hard.
  • Now, do that with 4 children... alone.
    • That's really really hard.
  • And then, while you are by yourself and 4 children, deal with the 13 hour jet-lag.
    • That's really really really hard.
  • And then help all 4 children deal with their jet-lag, WHILE trying to keep them happy while visiting people.
    • That's really really really really harder.
Then there is the Visiting.
  • NOW, add onto that living out of a suitcase for 4 weeks.
    • That's harder.
  • Living and sleeping in other peoples houses and basements for 4 weeks (remember when your kids were young, just trying to put them down for a nap in an unfamiliar room was hard) .
    • That's really harder.
  • Having to fit in so many visits and all the pressures to visit all the family and friends that you can in a super crazy busy jet-lagged I'm a single parent with 4 children trip as you can...
    • That's really really harder. 
NOW, add onto the Travel and the Visiting, all the Medical/Logistical "stuff".
  • Add the 4 or 5 visits to the spinabifida doctors, the neurologists, urologists, mental development-ists, attachment disorder specialists et. al, and you've got yourself a very busy... very stressful trip home.  Not to mention expensive, stressful and time consuming.  Anyone ever have to wait 6 months to see a specialist?  Yeah, now imagine trying to get (no less than) 5 specialists (per child * 2) to agree to see your children all in a 2 or 3 month period. 
    •  That's hardest
  • OH, and then there is actually that whole "we're serving overseas" and all the logistical stuff we have to do for that. 
    • That's har... well, actually, the medical stuff is harder.
  • Ah, I also don't get to see my kids for like, I donno, 3, 4 or 5 months?  Depending on when/if I get to see them in Canada or have to wait until they can return to China.
    • That's... well, that just sucks.
 And the worst part?  The absolute hardest part?!?!
  • This is the yearly reminder for our children as to what they had to give up so that we could go overseas and try to help orphans in China. This is their trip home where they get to experience that loss all over again.  

This is the one trip home when they get to see all the places they grew up loving, and then have to say goodbye again.

This is the one trip home when they can eat all the yummy food they love and miss, and then have to say goodbye again and return to chicken feet and pigs blood tofu.

This is the one trip home when they can see all their friends and family whom they love deeply, and then have to say goodbye all over again.

This is the one trip home when all of that hurt, loss and goodbyes are remember and lived... again.

Did I mention they missed the Canadian food?
So on behalf of any missionaries who may return home for a "vacation" - let me just say...
When people come home, understand this is not an easy time for them.  This is hard.  We may not get to visit you all, or spend as much time with everyone as we would like, but we love you, miss you, and hope to see you again next time.  But this is not easy for anyone right now, not a vacation, and definitely NOT easy.  Did I mention it's NOT easy?

PS:  Wife, you're a Super Awesome Cool Wolf Squadron RockStar for managing a trip half way around the world by yourself and 4 kids!!! 

PPS:   I made toast... and it was burnt.  

PPPS:  Wife, how do I use the clothes washer?