Last Thursday I hosted a gathering for the moms of this year’s Senior class. I was really blessed to get to know the mothers of Michael’s classmates a little better. We are a diverse group of ladies from Japan, Holland, Taiwan, Korea and the US, all going through this season of preparing our kids for the next season of their lives. As an ice breaker I asked each mom to hold up a picture of their student and tell us the favorite food item they would prepare for their son/daughter on their first trip home from college.
The week, that I had been sort of dreading, because the kids and Sean are away on spring trips, turned out to be a huge blessing to me. I had been struggling with some emotional ups and downs as the long cold winter dragged on. We didn’t get spring-like temperatures until the first week of May! And knowing that the kids and Sean would be away for an entire week didn’t help my emotions. So I set to work on my knees and in my mind with organizing things to keep me busy. To my surprise this week has gone by so quickly and has been a refreshing break away from the daily duties of cooking dinner for 7, helping with homework, laundry, being a listening ear, and the list goes on for us moms.Here’s a tidbit of my week:Friday – Picnic dinner at back yard playground with Tami, Megan and other friendsSaturday – Baking Party with Chinese teachers from TIS, pick up package from grandma and grandpa Headrick, dinner out at White Market Muslim restaurant with other moms who are home aloneSunday – Church, helping Maddie pack and getting her ready to leave, indoor picnic at Stacia and Susan’s house in Jiu Hua Li due to rain (so nice to get in touch with others who I don’t see as often), Maddie left at 9 pm for her overnight trainMonday – Taxi on enclosed three-wheeler motorcycle to E-Mart to meet Audrey O. for hair appointment, quick shopping trip to E-mart, to TIS for a couple of hours of work, bus home with Megan at 3 pm, quiet rainy evening at home, watched Beth Moore introduction to Esther studyTuesday – US shopping list exchange get together at Kids and Moms Cafe play place, taxi back with Daniel W. (catching up), unexpected visit with Lauren, met at Trash Mountain playground to play with Kim and Isaac, ate Ice Cream at Aaron’s Kitchen, hiked up to Pagoda at top of Trash Mountain, walk back to Kim’s for dinner, arrive at home 8 pm, exhaustedWednesday – Baked scones for Beth (new baby arrival), met with Angie F. and Ayi to discuss summer duties, to work at TIS for my cooking club, and dinner over at our Chinese teacher’s home with he and his parentsThursday – Shopping for gifts at Ancient Culture Street, pick up Megan at school at noon, shower and prepare for my Baking Party with Malysian and Chinese sisters, dinner with MelindaFriday – Bus to school with Megan, Maddie arrives home in early morning!! Back to work for Admission’s luncheon, Jessie arrives home!! Night with my two sweet middle girlsSaturday – Sean, Michael and Rachel arrive home a varying times. I know Michael is scheduled for 1 pm, not sure about Rachel, and I think Sean will arrive after 6 pm (his trip is pretty far West) Whew!! I am so blessed to have had such rich fellowship each day. Thanks be to HIM!
Mom’s date to the White Market. (Maddie’s 6th grade class will leave Sunday night at 9 pm to catch their midnight train). This weekend a group of us moms met at the White Market to eat what some would call “street” food. This type of meal is very cheap and some would say unhealthy to eat because the lack of sanitation. But after living here for two years, we’re sort of used to eating all sorts of things.
The restaurant where we chose to eat is Muslim Chinese. They serve roasted chicken, lamb and beef on a kabob…cooked right out in the open on an outdoor grilling trough. They also served us fried rice and a yummy noodle dish with shredded cucumbers, carrots, and a tasty sauce.
So far I’m staying busy while everyone is away. I was very worried a few weeks ago that I would not handle being alone very well. I’m thankful that HE is sustaining me with His grace.
Here’s Maddie and some 5th and 6th grade friends
Maddie and her friend, Josie, get a new suitcase for their trip.
Within and beyond our apartment complex many individuals who live on the first floor units, turn the front room of their apartment into a little retail store, and then live in the remaining rooms. As I have walked along the streets I guess I never paid too much attention to the fact that many of these store fronts are actually apartments for residence. Well, this week I suppose the zoning law for residential and commercial restrictions began to be enforced.
I frequent a little store called the DIY store (Do it Yourself). They sell many useful products like muffin papers, baking pans, hand mixers, cookie cutters and the item I most frequent this store for…butter. Well, today when I walked over the store to make my weekly purchase of butter, I found that I could not enter the store, unless I climbed through the newly created window in the place where the door used to be. The sales lady told me she would bring the items I wanted to the window for purchase.
New sidewalk in the distance behind Jessie. Baracade wall on the right
As Jessie and I continued our walk, we found the old dirt walking road turned back into a paved sidewalk. Before we arrived in China, this temporary wall was put up as a baracade to the subway construction. There is a subway line that will eventually run a few streets behind our apartment complex.
A recycle man rides his bike down the old dirt road, you can see the crumbling temporary wall that acted as a baracade and the continuing construction on the new road.
In the distance across the street you can see the bricking up of more store fronts, and the man preparing the area for new sidewalk pavers.
Jessie walks on the new sidewalk
A game store where the kids sometimes buy Wii games
We were all happy to have Sean back from his trip, and also especially happy to see the sunshine, and a tad bit warmer temperatures. We took a walk to easiest choice for a meal for lunch—Mc Donald’s. Although it’s not our favorite, it’s nice to have the choice of familiar french fries. The girls took Megan out ahead of Sean and me. We found them in the courtyard playing tag.
On our walk we found many of our Chinese neighbors out enjoying the day. Along the way we saw an interesting sight…split pants hanging on a clothesline. Here in China, the babies are very overdressed in winter, sometimes with two and three layers of clothes. But the funny thing is that, for toddlers down to infants, all the pants have a split in the crotch of the pants. This is for easy “potty” times. Chinese babies are toilet (or ground) trained at the very young age of 2 or 3 months. Very few people use diapers for babies.
The girls enjoy their walk with daddy.
Chicken strips are on sale, down from 7 rmb to 5 rmb.