Thursday, June 25, 2009

Total Consumption

I am really enjoying the challenge of teaching English to adults. I am grateful that the hours are part-time because I could find myself becoming completely consumed by it. I love creating class curriculum, adapting to the progress of the students. Sometimes we have in mind an entire plan of action but may only have two students show up and have to change on the spur of the moment. There is a little thrill that comes with the challenge of holding their attention and pushing their limits. Our students are all making fine progress and we are proud of all of them. Teaching adults also means you can get to know them better than you can little kids. This helps us know how best to reach them and we can discuss real issues that affect them. Most of them have at least a basic hold on English. I have always enjoyed teaching and this new opportunity has not disappointed.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Isn't it Ironic? Don't You Think?

Isn't it ironic that we come all the way back to America, with all its conveniences, only to have trouble finding internet access and more trouble getting Blogger to open. Funny. The way we stress over having access in China, you might think all Americans have wireless. The truth is, some still don't have computers and more still use dial-up or plug in the phone jack. So, here we sit in the McDonalds or the local mall food court, catching up. Frank is back in his world of electronics, Wii, Rock Band, and Sportscenter on the radio and TV. He is a happy clam. I am enjoying swimming and just being with family and friends. We started work this week too. Teaching English! We had four students show up Monday and five today. Who knows how many we may have by the end of the week. One is from Russia, one from Turkey and three from Mexico. They are all adults. I am enjoying it very much. But the best part is the time spent with my niece and nephew. Because of work, we are two hours away from them. Its as if we are still a world apart. But this weekend we will be together for a huge three day party. I can't wait! They have grown so much and Noah is talking up a storm. He barely said hello before we left. I will treasure every moment spent with them. It will have to hold me over until our next visit.
"Want to enjoy the beauty and wonder of children without the cost? --Become an Aunt!"- Aunt Mandy

Friday, June 12, 2009

Country Wedding

Many of our international friends have not experienced life in the country. This is how I was raised. On a farm, around hay and barefoot most of the time. My sister carried this idea as the background for her wedding. I will allow the pictures to speak for themselves. We enjoyed homemade barbeque, coleslaw, baked beans and cake soaked in Jack Daniels Whiskey. Delicious!! Frank utilized his Chinese trained karaoke skills and serenaded the couple with a few classics. Apparently a goat was invited because he could not be chased away. It was all very quaint and a lot of fun. I got the chance to see many of my family from out of town as well as friends from far away. Hey Ya’ll! Welcome to the Country!

“Country Roads, Take Me Home”- John Denver

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Smiles All Around

We enjoyed our first real steak! Grilled by a master to the perfect temperature and seasoned just right. Afterward, we shared Chinese moonshine. Bai Jiu carries a serious kick but our friend Mike liked it anyway. Our niece and nephew liked their gifts and aren't they adorable! I am enjoying being with them so much. I miss their hugs and smiles so I am eating them up and taking as many pictures as possible. Wouldn't you?

Home At Last!

We arrived at 10 am Thursday to a beautiful sight. Our family was there with open arms and I ran down the ramp to fill them. We set some alarms off going back across the line but the lady was very nice about it. They took us to Shoney's, a family restaurant with an all American breakfast buffet. It is so good to see my family again!!! My nephew remembered us. He grabbed us and held on. So did I. I was not a basket case but tears were present. We got settled in at our friend's home and started fighting jet lag. Still fighting it. It takes up to a week supposedly. Five days in and I might have it licked. I slept throught the whole night for the first time. Yeah!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


We are in SanFrancisco! My first meal ended up being a plate of fries with a bottle of water. Not exactly what I had planned but cheap and that is way more important right now. I am a little overwhelmed with all the english floating around. I feel compelled to answer in Chinese. When will that wear off? In the customs line, we were able to help several Chinese who were in the wrong line because they couldn't read the signs. That felt really good since so many of them helped us through the same process in China. We understand not understanding! I only have a little bit of time left on my battery because, dummy me did not keep the western plug when I replaced my power cord. I can't find slanted outlets anywhere! This stinks!