Tag Archives: life

Making room for #3!!! It’s a girl!

4 Mar

It’s official! We are adding to our brood! This time is different, though. No more “snips and snails and puppy dog tails!”—-We are bringing home a “sugar and spice and everything nice” kinda girl!

BabyGirl2016

BabyGirl

She is already making her mark in our lives. All the boys are nervous in our home. Big brother #1 is planning how he will keep the boys at bay, brother #2 is contemplating whether or not he should share his toys since she’s already pushed him out of his room.

Daddyinaction

Daddy? Well, daddy is in a frenzy getting things prepared for the “great coming!” 87 days and counting!

Hard to believe, I am going to be pushing a double stroller, thinking about bows and dollhouses. My dream as a mother has finally come true! The question is, once this dream has been accomplished…what next? I certainly don’t think I could take another 9-month physical blow. Babygirl really did a number on me.

This has been my most painful pregnancy out of all three. Some people (namely my mom) keep telling me it is because it is a girl this time. I tend to believe them as everything has been the total opposite of my experience with my two boys. This baby, whom we shall call “Hannah-Marie,” made her presence known through an almost violent bout of morning sickness, which lasted way too long and an inability to eat nor gain weight. In my 7th month now, I have gained a total of 2 pounds…yes, 2! Mind you, I am not complaining…ok, I am a bit. Only because I am afraid she is not gaining the necessary body weight she needs. I am, however, also rejoicing in the fact that she is making me look good! Right now, I am feeling content. Come what may, I am thankful for this experience and can’t wait to hold my little princess Hannah-Marie!20160201_185626

Study Abroad…dare to dream!

4 Mar

During my time living in China, I encountered so many students dreaming of studying abroad…specifically, gaining admission into a university in the good ole’ U.S of A. Countless times I was tempted to ask them, “What do you really know about the U.S. educational system? Why is it so important for you to study there?” But I didn’t. I didn’t ask because who was I to trample on someone’s dream? Who was I?

I was a dreamer too. I once dreamed of studying abroad as well. I wanted to broaden my horizon and see what life had to offer outside of the United States. Alas, I couldn’t. You see, my parents were poor immigrants from the poorest country in the western hemisphere. My dad had a second-grade education and my mom, well, my mom probably had less. I was the first in my family to go to college and graduate. At a steep price. I guess the thought of that steep price is what made me want to question those students about their burning desire to study abroad. Clearly, studies have shown that it is in fact worth the “steep price” to attend college in the United States, but first, let’s look at what students in China have to look forward to in order to continue their education in their homeland.

In China, students are given an exam during their senior year that will determine what they should be in life. Their whole future hinges on this one test called the Gaokao. Those who score high will attend university, but in a field that the test determines matches their aptitude and personality, while the unfortunate ones who score low, will never see the bland walls of a college classroom. In fact, they just might be lucky enough to pick up trash on the streets or if their parents can afford, they will go into trading, opening up a small shop selling clothes or nicknacks. Many cannot even get hired to work in the fast food industry without a college degree.

Studying abroad can provide many opportunities for global competition and personal growth. That’s why so many want to break out and have the experience. Not only does their future depend on it, but the future of their aging parents as well.  According to a study survey published in 2012 by IES Abroad, a company dedicated to providing study abroad services for students worldwide, “97% of study abroad students found employment within 12 months of graduation when only 49% of college graduates found employment in the same period.” More than half of their graduate counterparts and at a higher salary. The survey of IES Study Abroad Alumni went on to show that, 84%  of alumni felt that studying abroad “helped them build valuable job skills, such as language proficiency, cultural training, tolerance for ambiguity, adaptability, and communication.”

55f19c2dc3e01-imageClearly there is something to be had with studying abroad. In the summer of 2015, a year after leaving China and returning back to America, I received no less than 5 correspondences from former students eager to find out more information on how to qualify for studying abroad in America. So, I became an independent consultant on the matter. I started providing oral English tutoring online as well as guiding their research on schools and their policies for applying as an international student. There are many steps that students must take and many hurdles to get over before the process can be completed. One of which is passing the TOEFL or TESOL exam.

Those 2 exams have proven to be quite a hurdle for my students. A few of them had to take and re-take these exams more than once before contacting me. Others, tired of trying have given up. All I can say to those who wish to study abroad is not to give up. Obtaining a college degree in America may not hold all the prestige that it once did…for an American national, but as an international student, taking back that degree to your country will still prove invaluable! Happy studying!

 

Chongqing or BUST!!!!!!

6 Aug

ImageSo it seems I will be leaving Hangzhou after all. This city has been my hiding place, my haven, my prison, my fish tank…my home for the last 2 and a half years. This is where I escaped to when life in America became something I couldn’t bear, the place where I learned how to explore this vast, beautiful world God created for us. It is also the place I met my heart, sitting cozily on a bus stop bench. I brought over my first born to experience this amazing adventure with us. Not long to wait, and since everything is made in China, we eventually “made” our second son in Hangzhou, China.

Now, instead of making the “GREAT MIGRATION” back to America, I have accepted a new experience in Chongqing. This experience will open up a whole new chapter of teaching in an International school, teaching English Composition and prepping young minds for college. This is a leap. It is a leap of faith, that God will help me be just as successful as I was teaching ESL to adults, that I will eventually find a school to enroll my eldest in and that I will fit in with my new co-workers and our work environment.

Moving to another city can be difficult  but moving to another province (which is the same as moving to another state) is even more problematic in China. The worst thing is that since it is summer, we cannot find an airline willing to allow us to travel with our beloved pup Coco. So now we must bribe (yes! I said bribe) the driver of the moving company to also take her with him. I jokingly told the hubby I would decline the position if Coco can’t come…never mind that I have already tendered my resignation at my current company!  Of course I would not do that. This move will mean everything for my family! We will finally have a chance to start saving for the “GREAT MIGRATION” back to the states and I will have 1 year of experience to add to my resume that will almost guarantee me a chance at a job in a private/boarding school or even as an adjunct professor in a college…I wouldn’t pass this up!

Now, I can’t say much about Chongqing just yet. All I know is that it is an extremely hot place with extremely hot and spicy food. I pray we will fare well, find a home church for the upcoming year and buckle down for the ride!

That’s all for now! Come back next time to read about my farewell/mixer party!!!!!

 

Ciao!

Waddle! Waddle!

6 May

I used to come home from work and my husband would exclaim, “Oh, my little duck is home!” It was so endearing! But that was all in the beginning of our pregnancy journey. I guess I should back track a bit and say sorry for not blogging this experience more often. A combination of things have kept me from doing so. First of all, dealing with all the yucky side effects of pregnancy can really through a girl off of her game. Like having a simple laugh and suddenly the flood gates have opened and you have to run to the ladies room. THEN, there’s the busy days at work where I could barely manage to teach one class without running out like a maniac just in time to make it to the garbage bin in an attempt, (I kid you not!) to throw up my lungs…or even the baby! I sooo looked forward to maternity leave! (I never got one during my first pregnancy).

Three months before I was to go on maternity leave, my husband suddenly announced that he was shipping me back to the States to give birth. Why? Well, let’s just say my medical experiences in the great and vast land of China was NOT a walk in the park! Everything was so different from what I was accustomed to for a pregnant woman. The language barrier kept me from expressing my concerns, the sanitary problems plaguing the hospitals and the crowds! Oh good God Almighty the crowds!! It’s enough to make me cringe now!

Anyway, back to my surprise, big, temporary migration to America. I was excited and depressed at the same time. How was I going to cope without my beloved husband? My Donald Duck to my Daisy! My Mork to my Mindy! Not feeling him hold my belly as I try to fall asleep at night. Not seeing the wonder in his eyes as he watches my tummy do the butterfly dance. Who will take me to my doctor’s appointments (None of which he ever missed). Who will put a steaming hot bucket for me to soak my feet in every night religiously, then rub my swollen legs down before putting me to bed? I lamented to myself, and to him every night. In the end, he still shipped me out!

_DSC0107Well, I have been in the great and sunny state of Florida for almost two months now. I get to spend time with my family and friends, but I have forgotten how busy life is in America. Work! Work! Work! Bills! Bills! Bills! So in essence no one really had the time to spend with slow and clumsy pregnant person. I sometimes feared I would go into labor and without a car at my disposal, I’d be like those girls in TLC’s “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant” screaming and hollering alone, giving birth in my sister’s toilet. Thank God this has not happened.

So far, things are progressing well. I miss my husband like crazy. I miss when I cook him an American meal that he loves, he and my son fight over who gets a 3rd helping. I miss how he looks at me and tell me how I have changed his life and given him life opportunities he never thought he would have just by loving him. I miss how he hats my cleaning habits and the way we always tag-team the laundry. I just, plain miss my suga-booga. We do communicate on Skype every day, but it’s not the same feeling as waddle waddling my way home to him every day and hearing him say, “Oh, my little duck is home!” Soon though…soon I will be back in his arms…hopefully sexy as ever, with not much baby fat left, as I hand him our bundle of joy and begin the next journey together into parenthood. Until then, I will waddle waddle my big belly around town in a perpetual haze of wonderment and occasionally stopping to breathe through my braxton hicks! More to come soon!

_DSC0251 _DSC0242 _DSC0093 _DSC0235 _DSC0188 _DSC0150 _DSC0126 _DSC0107

Not my words…but beautifully said and quite nourishing…ENJOY: A Different Kind of Bread

10 Jan

A Word for the Day: A DIFFERENT KIND OF BREAD
At the beginning of a new year there is much talk about losing weight and dieting.

Many diets stress the need to cut out carbs one of which is bread.

This has been shown to be beneficial in weight loss. They have also found that bread can gradually be reintroduced back in moderation after your goal has been reached.

There is a bread however that is quite beneficial to us.

Jesus used natural things to help us to understand some very important spiritual truths and laws.

Spiritual laws are often quite different from natural laws.

Bread in the Bible refers to Jesus and the living “Word of God” (John 1:1-5). It is the thing that sustains us and keeps us strong. As we eat it we grow spiritually. As we digest it and put it into practice it becomes what we live by.

Jesus addressed this very topic as he spoke of natural bread which perishes- comparing it to spiritual bread.

John 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveith you the true bread from heaven.

33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven and giveth life unto the world.

34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us THIS BREAD.35- And Jesus said unto them, I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

verse 48- I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE.

And so while we may need to slow down on natural bread, we need to get as much spiritual bread as possible.

While eating an abundance of natural bread may cause us to grow in the natural in a negative way; eating spiritual bread helps us to grow in a positive way which produces life.

We may need to say “No thank you” to natural bread, but we truly need to say “YES”, PLEASE PASS THE BREAD FROM HEAVEN.

Affirmation: Dear Lord, please continue to give us a heart to receive You as our Lord and Saviour. Help us to have a hunger for your bread- the Word of God. And as we digest your Spirit and your Word continue to help us to gain abundant life- in this world and in the world to come.