Saturday, February 28, 2009

Our 1st Saturday

We have made it through the first week (half a week) in China. We are really liking it here thus far, I hope it continues after we begin school next week. lol Reentry could be dangerous!

Today, we had a few kids over. They are children of a couple of Matt's business associates. They loved the Smarties candy we had (we had to hide it, or we'd be out), and loved the grilled cheese sandwiches we fixed. They have been in our media room ALL DAY playing Play Station 2. I think they watched a movie for a little while. Two of them can understand and speak English, which makes it fun. Matt's printer was delivered today - interesting... Thankfully, the kids were still here, so I had my own mini interpreters! It was hilarious, because they kept laughing at me, saying, "You don't speak Chinese?!" lol... They interpreted what the delivery guy was telling me. They weren't too happy, because they had to pause their game and wanted to get back to it. After he set the printer up, Shelby walked him to the door. He said something to her, and all she could say in Chinese back was, "I don't understand." We will survive! ha!

We have been invited to dinner at the home of an American family, which lives in our neighborhood. He is another one of Matt's business associates. It will be nice to sit with a family who has been here a while, yet understands where we are in this whole transition. Being that we don't have a car, we will walk to their house. It's just a couple of blocks. I've got my parka ready to go.

We are very tired, as we have been going and doing every day, from morning till evening that we have been here. Since we arrived, I am usually ready to go to bed about 6-7, but haven't made it earlier than 9:30 - 10... The jet lag hasn't been too bad, but it's catching up. Sydni asked if she could stay home tonight, which tells me she is VERY tired - she doesn't like being home along.

Tomorrow, we are going to visit a church here close to our neighborhood. We live hear 2 of the largest International Schools and there is a feel of "small town" to the area. We will catch a shuttle there, from the club house at the front of our neighborhood. We are excited about attending. I will get back to you on how it goes. They seem to have quite a bit going on within our community - men's prayer, women's Bible study, youth, worship, etc.

I sent Matt back to Wal-Mart today with a list of things to purchase. He called me and told me he would NOT be going - the traffic is 100 times worse than a week day - and there are a million more people than on a week day. I can only imagine, as it was packed the other day when I was there. Guess the girls and I will take another "field trip" next week. lol

We watched "Snow Buddies" in Chinese, and watched "Becoming Jane" in English earlier today. We have cable, which enables us to get ESPN, Hallmark, HBO, Cinemax, and other stations. There is also "The Price is Right" in Chinese!!! lol There is also a Disney station in Chinese. We definitely aren't bored!

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wal - Mart China style

Today, Matt had a meeting downtown and wanted to show us girls his new office. He dropped all 4 of us girls off at the Wal-Mart in downtown Beijing. Please remember none of us speak the language here. Well, the girls have learned a few words which proved very handy today, like hello, excuse me, thank you, and where's the bathroom. We grabbed 2 buggies and off we went. We had quite a long list and a few hours to kill, so we used the time to explore the store. Interestingly, most things have the English words on the product and the signs where things are. We found just about everything we needed, from laundry detergent, comforter, vases, to a dust mop. After killing a couple of hours, we were ready to check out. In China, you must pay for the plastic bags, if you want to use those and not reusable bags. We decided to buy about 10 reusable bags, so we pointed to the bags and held up 10 fingers. The checker lady understood. We paid for our items and loaded them back into the buggies only to get to the door and realize you can't take the buggy outside. So, we began to gather our things, and I hear Samantha say, "Get your stuff and let's go." I look up and she has put 3-4 bags, including the comforter bag on the dust mop and has it flung over her shoulder. I guess it was exhaustion or jet lag, but I got tickled and began crying laughing. This poor young boy came over and was trying to help me put the vases in a bag to carry. Now, you must know - Chinese people stare at blonde blue eyed people insufferably as it is, it is even worse when they are standing in the middle of Wal-Mart crying. Ha! We made our way out to the street and had to sit and wait on Matt to pick us up. I was still crying when we sat down on the bench and put our bags down. It was a fun time shopping with the girls. I guess it's safe to say that Wal-Mart is Wal-Mart, wherever you go. Afterwards, we went to Matt's office building and up to his floor (46th). Samantha and Shelby were up against the glass wall looking down at the ground and over the city - it's quite a view. Sydni wouldn't go closer than 3 feet from the window. They had a good time taking pictures. For dinner, we ate dinner at a great restaurant around the corner from our house.

We are having a great time - miss you all.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

We're Here!!

Well, after checking 13 bags, only 1 was rummaged through. We made it through security without a hitch and sat for a couple of hours at our gate, waiting for the largest plane I've ever seen.

The girls befriended the cutest little boy, who was about 6. He drew them a picture and they had great fun with photo booth. It helped pass the morning time. The flight was good and the food was surprisingly very good. Samantha slept about 13 of the 14 hours we were on the plane. Sydni stayed awake until about 4am (CAL time), and Shelby slept a good portion of the flight.

When we landed it was 28* and still dark - it was dark all 14 hours of our flight. After piling all our luggage (18 suitcases and our backpacks) on the little carts, we made our way to the people picking us up.

I was met with what is quite possibly the largest bouquit of yellow roses I've ever seen. One of the men Matt is working with brought them - have to be 3 dozen. I will post a picture soon. (I haven't made it to my camera yet) We ate breakfast (very Western) and came back to start unpacking. All the girls claimed their rooms and began putting things away.

We have had people in our house all day, from meeting, to the landlord. None of us has gone to bed since our sleep on the plane. I am hoping this will put us on Beijing time quickly. Samantha and I went and took a tour of the Club House - WOW! It is amazing. Can't wait to utilize it!

Well, that's about it for today. We are going to get cleaned up and go eat and shop for necessary items.

Oh, I almost forgot. It snowed last week 3 days, and there is still snow on the ground. Also, the rivers are frozen and the ducks are walking on them. Looks funny. I am thankful for the heat inside the house, that is for sure!

Be Blessed!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Last Days

Well, I have just spent my last night in my home, and woke up to rain (how befitting?). We have a total of about 22 bags including carry-ons- you'd think we didn't ship anything beforehand. 2 men who work with Matt are going to drive us down to LAX, and I will be interested to see how just 5 of us wrangle 22 bags, ha!

We have a few things to take to storage today, and tidy up around the house. I will miss my house, but am excited for my house in China. Home, to me, is where the Lord dwells - and my family. So, I have no doubt it will be "home" in no time.

We all have our computers, ipods, books, ds game, sewing, crocheting, etc. ready to do on the plane. I have made sure everone has a neck pillow, ear plugs, and eye patches. We are hoping to stay awake for at least the first few hours of the flight. I am sleepy just thinking it! Not sure it will happen. We leave at 12:30 am, and I usually go to sleep about 9.

We will completely lose Tuesday. We land 5:30 am China time, which will be Tuesday afternoon in the States. Once we get to the house, I am sure all computers will be up and running first thing. We are going to try to stay awake all day, to adjust to the time.

I will be posting a blog when we arrive. Hopefully, I'll put a few pics up too.

Be blessed -Talk Soon.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The "Why's" to it all

I received an email from my Aunt, telling me she had looked all through my blog and couldn't find the reason why we were moving to China. Well, I decided many may not know the "whys" and "how longs" to this whole crazy adventure.

Matt's company, which is based out of Houston, is opening an office in Beijing. We will probably be there 5-7 years, so the girls can finish school there and not have to move back their Jr. or Sr. years. Shelby is wanting to go to college in Oklahoma, and Sydni wants to return to the Central Coast. Samantha is taking this Spring semester off from school and going with us. We will be returning to the States in June. We will spend a few weeks on the Central Coast and then head to Texas for the month of July.

Having said all that, we will be there long enough to have friends and family come visit. More than once, if you like! We are excited about this adventure, and anticipate life lasting memories to be experienced.

We have our address in Beijing, so if you'd like it, please email me! We would love to get Texas & California care packages! In return, we will send some to the States!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Movers Come Today!

Well, today is the day the movers come pick up everything going on what we call the "slow boat to China." Actually, it is going by plane and we will get it in about 10 days. Yeah! That so much better than 60-90 days. We would already be back in the states for summer!

I have been asked to take the girls and go "do something," while the movers are here. I can't figure out exactly why Matt feels we need to vacate the premises ~ha!

There is so much still to be crammed in these last few days before we leave.I have come to the conclusion that whatever we need to take that didn't make the "slow boat," can either go into storage or we can ship it UPS or something. I am over it.

I will truly miss the Central Coast - the weather, view, and friends. Thanks for being so wonderful!

I can't wait to get there and start getting settled - and get into a school routine.

The invitation is open to family and friends who'd like to experience China. We'd love to have you!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day. Matt chauffeured my grandmother, Don Nell, and myself around the Paso Robles vineyards today. We had a wonderful time together and had some great wine! It was great fun just spending time with them before we leave.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Our New House

While Matt was in Beijing last, he leased a home for us. Here are a few pictures of what a few of the rooms look like. We will be living in a suburb of Beijing, near the school the girls will attend in the fall. =o)

I am not sure what we are going to do with all the room - oh wait! We will have our famiy and friends come visit - for only the price of the airline ticket!

Rainy Days

It is raining... has been for several days, and is supposed to rain through the weekend. I love rain, but it sure puts a damper on moving things to storage. I have grand plans for when my grandmother and sister come in, so I hope the rain doesn't damper those.

Anyone who knows the Jackson 5, knows we're a fun, rowdy bunch. I wanted to experiment with adding pictures, so here are pictures of my family. This is really how we are most of the time.

Love much!

Christmas 2008

Guess what our "Love Language" is?

the girls Spring 2008

Fall Festival at The City Church 2008

Sydni & I playing with the new web cam.

Shelby, well... being Shelby!

Samantha and her lil friend at the tide pools.

Matt's thoughts about it all!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Well, this is my trial run for what I am wanting to do, while in China. Keep up a Blog weekly. Right now, we are neck deep in boxes and packing material. Fun, Fun! It's like Spring cleaning on Steroids! We have already made 2 trips to Goodwill, and several to storage.

We leave in 2 weeks. I honestly don't know how I'm going to get everything packed or sorted though, but I know it will happen. It always does.

We spent last weekend in Anaheim, for the girls last volleyball tournaments, before we leave. They played well and had lots of fun. Now we are trying to get school work done while packing, and staying focused is somewhat of a challenge.

Well, Matt will be back soon, and I need to finish boxing up Shelby's room and move on to Sydni's.

I am looking forward to my sister and grandmother coming to visit this week. Hopefully, I will have most things packed, so we can go have fun!

This sounds like boring reading, but hopefully I will get the hang of this.