Play Dough Fun

For stocking stuffers, I found play dough at the Toys R Us during our shopping in Hong Kong. The kids has lots of fun making crazy and easy designs.


The designer of the containers conveniently made the lids a mold for various animal creations, which Rachel found amusing.


Gingerbread House

On Christmas me and Jessie made a Gingerbread house. Mom bought a kit on a shopping trip to Beijing. Although it didn’t have any frosting or candy included we had some. Jessie and I spent a good amount of time on it. Part of the reason it took so long was that the first attempt fell apart after trying to move it. It was a fun way to spend Christmas afternoon.


Christmas Breakfast Stratta

On Christmas Eve, when I was making my dash to the markets with Rachel on our electric bike (at 14 degrees outside), I found Swiss Cheese at one of the nearby stores.  I was so excited, knowing that this find would mean I could make one our most favorite egg casseroles.  This strata recipe I was given to me by one of my close friends in Virginia, Suzanne.  

Here it is coming out of the oven…recipe below:

Egg Strata

Sliced french bread
1/4 pound Prosciutto (chopped) could also use fresh bacon bits
sliced fresh tomatoes (about 2)
1/2 cup fresh basil (chopped)
3 cups shredded cheese (half swiss and half cheddar)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
12 beaten eggs
2 cups half n half
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons melted butter

The night before:  Slice bread and place in two greased 9 X 13 casserole dishes.  Drizzle evenl with melted butter.  Layer proscuitto, basil, tomatoes and top with cheese.  cover and refrigerate over night.  Mix eggs, cream, spices in a bowl.  Cover and refrigerate over night.

The next morning:  Pour egg mixture over prepared casserole dishes.  Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 – 40 minutes

Christmas pictures

The kids played a sneaky joke on Megan. Here is what she got for her first gift! She was VERY sad and almost in tears.


More pictures


She is much happier now with a barbie and poodle


Michael dressed in gifts from Hong Kong


Maddie is happy with her gifts


Jessie with new backpack, scarf and jumper


Rachel with new purse, hand painted teacup from Michael and other goodies


Megan with her tea party Kelly girl dolls and tiara



Christmas Cookies!

A few days ago I made Christmas Cookies with Megan while everyone else was out and about. Well lets just say the cookies weren't exactly the best. So mom and I made a plan to decorate them to make them taste better. We made the icing, got out the sprinkles, and turned on the Christmas music 🙂 I had so much fun just spending time with family and eating what turned out to be yummy cookies.


Sharing Christmas with College Students

On Sunday nights one local university has an English Club. Students come and gather in groups of 12 – 15 and discuss a topic to practice their English. This is a great way to build new friendships. During the Christmas season, the club has a Christmas party where students perform short skits or song, play games to get to know one another and eat Christmas goodies. It’s nice to be able to share our family traditions at Christmas. Megan, as always, was very sweet to take pictures with students.


TIS Christmas Bazaar

On Saturday we attended our school’s annual Christmas Bazaar. During holiday seasons living in China, I sometimes feel lonely for home and familiar Christmas sights and sounds, like hearing Christmas music playing as one walks into any store or driving through a neighborhood of houses all alight with Christmas decorations and lights. Walking into the school lobby on Saturday brought a small taste of those familiar senses. Maddie and Megan pose for a picture as we walked in.


Choir from our international fellowship and a flute trio brought us sounds of the season.


Megan gets some yummy cotton candy and Maddie poses with her Korean friends


Headache Fever Epidemic

This magazine article styled blog will relate the symptoms and sufferings I experienced on Thanksgiving day and after:

The Headache Fever Epidemic has struck again!   The sickness has plagued the small community of TIS students in Tianjin China.  The Headache Fever Epidemic's symptoms are as follows:  First, slight headaches and achy joints will plague the victim.  Guessing it's only a slight passing headache, they might take ibuprofen and go on as usual.  Then, a sudden wave of nausea might sweep over the victim; at this point the patient should sit down and drink water until feeling better.  Soon after, the sickly victim will go into spasms of shivers and shaking, and their body temperature will start to fluctuate.  Then the victim will become sleepy and energy zapped.  Headaches and achy joints, especially the knees, will plague the victim for the rest of the day.  They might experience difficulty sleeping when their body temperature is always changing.  The next day their energy will be zapped and headaches will keep them in bed for at least half of the day or more. 

The Headache Fever Epidemic has been thought to be spread by air and it is expected to be spread to the rest of the world in the next year!  Both adults and children are highly encouraged to stay well sanitized at all times and keep away from anyone with The Headache Fever Epidemic.          

Even though I was sick on Thanksgiving night, I was still thankful that I wasn't always sick.

Christmas Spirit

Sometimes living in China is very hard especially when Christmas comes around. There is no Christmas music playing in the stores or lights and decorations hung up in every shop window. I realized that sometimes you need to think about the things you do have instead of what you did or could have. I realized that even though things can come hard you can always make the best of it! This weekend we put up our tree and decorations. I had so much fun spending time with my family and eating some of our stash of American food, I didn’t think about any of the differences I just thought about God’s blessings and His amazing plans for us being in China. I don’t think God wants us to dwell on what could be but on what we are blessed with. It’s so amazing how He is working in my life.