Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chinese Restaurant

We have many, many restaurants in our area of Shanghai that cater to foreigners. Lots of places with English menus, even places to get good burgers and milkshakes. But every now and then, we eat at a real Chinese restaurant. My friend Carol recently made a reservation for a group of us to have dinner at a big, popular Chinese place. Can you find her name among the list of many other names on the reservation board? Don't look too hard. :-)

Friday, August 26, 2011

At Horse Camp with Meredyth

Two summers ago Madelyn attended horse camp at a stable near my parents' home. She had an awesome week learning the basics of riding and caring for horses. Last summer, her cousin Meredyth was old enough to go to the camp, but the timing didn't work out for Madelyn to do it with her. This summer, M and M had the week of horse camp together! So fun. :-)
Leading Tally back to the barn after an afternoon of hard work for him!
Meredyth and Tally exchange some sweet words~
Cooling off! Tally and Madelyn both take the shower spray in the face.
Madelyn and Meredyth work together to get Tally clean and cooled off.
Seems to be something special between girls and horses....

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011


We said good-bye to dear friends on Sunday night, friends that have been with us here in Shanghai since we first arrived. We met the Allens at church literally the first weeks we were here in China, all a little shell shocked together. We've shared so many of our China experiences with the Allen family, among them men's bike rides, women's Bible study, family small group, travel, school sports, mission trips, kids' sleepovers, and even the adoption of their 5th child. We had a wonderful, emotional prayer time with all the kids, and then posed for this photo right after... thus the red noses. We didn't want to say good-bye, so we are planning already for a reunion in Michigan next summer. Maybe our senior boys will even end up at the same college!
No one can replace Sue and Rich, Stacia, Lucas, Lance, Elise and Wade for us.

We are grateful, however, for the open and friendly community of expats we live in here. New friends arrive in Shanghai, ready to plug into relationships. God has even given me a new upstairs neighbor with a daughter Gwen's age. We walk to school together, run up and down the stairs between our apartments... so good. Another new friend came home with me after school assembly yesterday and we promptly had a 90 minute conversation about life issues, as if we had known each other for years.

It is amazing to me how God has provided me with kindred spirits at different times in my life, often in unexpected places. Even sleeping on the floor in a room in the girls' dorm at Grove City College when I visited Scott for the weekend, twenty something years ago... dear Rebecca, I am so glad we found each other!

Friends... what a precious gift. Godspeed, Rich and Sue! You are loved, from the other side of the world.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

First Day, Last Day

Our crew this morning... it's the first day of 2nd grade for Gwen, first day of 6th grade for Madelyn, first day of high school for Seth, and the last first day of high school for our senior, Caleb. It's also the last first day of school all of our kids will have at Concordia International School Shanghai.

How many other "last firsts" are left?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

One more beach photo...

What are we going to do with that guy in the background? Sheez. :-)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Seen on the Street

Just arrived back in Shanghai yesterday afternoon, and already today I came across this fun Chinglish advertisement. Anyone have a need for this service? Only 99 RMB....

Tuesday, August 09, 2011


Seth's ingenious idea for cleaning the paint rollers we used in Aunt Sarah's apartment went slightly differently than he'd planned.

Monday, August 08, 2011

The Song In My Head

It's been a wonderful summer~ lots of blue sky, cousins, card games, lawn mowing, days at the beach and pool, conversation. But as it draws to a close, these lyrics are rolling around my brain as I pack suitcases, anticipating the plane ride on Wednesday morning that will take us back to Shanghai where Scott is waiting. Do you know it?

Boy I hear you in my dreams

I feel your whisper across the sea

I keep you with me in my heart

You make it easier when life gets hard

I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend

Lucky to have been where I have been

Lucky to be coming home again

Ooh ooh ooh

Anxious to be home again with him! :-)

Lyrics from Lucky, Jason Mraz

Friday, August 05, 2011

Sunset Toss

Caleb and Caden, Huntington Beach, August 2011 Photo credit to Seth

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Guys' Backpacking Trip

So thankful to my brother Mark for putting together an awesome wilderness weekend of backpacking in West Virginia with Caleb and Seth! They had so much fun on their 27 mile trek, carrying all their food and supplies for the three day, two night trip on their backs. Below are a collection of photos from Caleb's camera, but if you want the full story, you'll need to ask the guys about their adventure! :-)
The trail was marked by a sign only at the very beginning. The rest of the 27 miles was noted only by piles of rocks, both on land....
... and in the water.
Sounds like one of the highlights was the several swimming holes the guys discovered. Looks real safe, huh? Mark told me he did nix the suggestion of back flips into the stream. So glad. :-)

Cooking breakfast on a tiny camp stove...
...and marshmallows at the campfire.

The guys were surrounded by lush forests and running streams the whole weekend... so glad their reservoir of natural beauty was filled before we leave for Shanghai. Thank you so much, Mark! Seems like it was a weekend none of you will soon forget. :-)

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Summer's End

One week from tonight, the kids and I will be only a sleep away from going back to Shanghai for our last year in China. Scott's been back in our China home for a week already. Always feels good to get back to our regular life after a summer's worth of visits and fun. This year's return will be a bit different than the previous four, with the end to our time in China in sight. We want to make the most of it. We have time to think of how to do that.

But for now, we're just looking forward to being in our own place and having all six of us around the dinner table together again.