We made it back to China safe and reasonably sound. All our luggage made it as well, so we are thankful on all fronts.
It's cold! Well, that shouldn't be a surprise, it is January, and our latitude makes the weather fairly comparable to Kansas City and St. Louis. What is <still> surprising is how ccccccold it is INSIDE. The days have actually been fairly pleasant outdoors but the concrete buildings just trap the coldest air and won't let go. We have been running our room heaters nearly non-stop and have about got most rooms livable. We don't mind wearing sweatpants and sweaters indoors but I draw the line at parkas -- at that point I just stay in bed buried under layer after layer of blankets and quilts!
It is taking a bit to get reoriented and also to get the house back in order. We were gone for two months and for half of that time there were 8 people living here, so things got a little out of place, and we are certainly out of our routines. The kitchen needed to be scrubbed from top to bottom and all of our US treasures (boxes, packets and mixes) put away.
Stocking the refrigerator is the next priority, but first the freezer needed to be defrosted and that was an all day challenged tackled mostly by HongWei. I have to clean the refrigerator and shelves today and then I'll make a shopping trip. I have great hopes of doing some freezer cooking to *try* to get ahead of the cooking monkey that is always on my back. I will let you know how that goes. I brought quart size freezer bags but wish I had also brought gallon size with me. And while I mentioned it, let me detour for a moment and let you know I have started a "wish list" page in case anyone is coming this way and wants to throw something in for us, or if someone gets the urge to send us a package. (I will warn you shipping is expensive, so we don't expect it.)
We also had our "mini" Christmas this weekend so we could give HongWei all the Christmas gifts we brought from the US. He is well stocked on clothes and a new backpack which should not fall apart the first week. As much as we enjoyed (and we did!) having Christmas in the US with a real Christmas tree, carols, decorations and especially the Christmas services at church, we missed celebrating with HongWei. We are thankful that he had lots of visitors to celebrate with here in China, but it's not the same as your family.
Well, it will take a few more days to finish getting everything back to "normal", but we started back to homeschool today so that's a step in the right direction. Jetlag is still a factor...yesterday I slept for 10 hours, just not in sequence. :)
About This Blog
Part documentary, part family chronicle and part personal reflection as I try to sort through the ups and downs, the joys, heartaches and surprises of our life and work as we follow the path that God has set for us here in China!
Kristen to continue to adjust to college life and find good friends.
Donna to have wisdom in planning and implementing new programs for the youth and for financial provision to cover our expenses.