May 17th

May 17th, besides being my 17th birthday, was the seven-day mark of my coming back from almost three months in China.  This trip was amazing in so many ways, a time of learning, serving, a time of growing closer to God, to the many old friends I met up with again, and new friends I met for the first time while I was there.  In addition, it was the first time I’ve ever lived away from my family.  (And consequently the first time I ever had to learn Beijing street names, call a driver, hail a taxi, order food, do my own grocery shopping, and so much more!)

Goodbye dinner at the Muslim barbecue restaurant on one of my last nights there. Yes, that’s Daddy in the back, he came to pick me up!

One of the most encouraging, definitely-God things that happened to me while I was there occurred right after getting off the plane in Beijing.  Despite daily study in the US, I wasn’t at all sure I would remember how to speak Chinese, at least not well.  However, I found myself able to say anything and everything I needed to say, including words I’m not sure I even reviewed!  Add to that the fact that I hadn’t slept for about 20 hours, and all I can say is “God is good!”.

Since coming back from China, the questions I get asked most are, “What’s next?” and “Will you be going back?”.  In answer to the first question, this August I will be going to Grove City College, where I will be majoring in Special Education.  Will I be going back to China?  Yes, definitely.  God has taught and shown me so many things during the time I was there, one of which is that after college, I am going back (permanently, I think) as a Special Ed teacher.  I hope to go back again sometime between now and then, but I don’t know when.  For now, although it was hard to leave, I’m just glad to be back home.

John’s Birthday

Was yesterday, February 7th.  So this post is just to tell you all about how it went!

First of all, we went to the theater with Uncle Paul to watch THE LEGO MOVIE!  Peter had found out quite a while ago that the film’s premier would be on John’s birthday, so Daddy got tickets and we all went to see it!  It was very fun, and exactly what John wanted.

After the movie, we went home much-inspired to play with Legos and create all sorts of awesome things.  The result?  The boy’s room floor was promptly covered with Lego bricks.  Fun?  Definitely.  Messy?  Obviously, but that’s okay.

After we had been building for a while, Aunt Anna came over and we had dinner.  Fish n’ Chips, which is quite possibly John’s favorite food.  And, of course, followed by cake and ice cream.  (Picture included because I feel like teasing my China friends)

It was so tasty...

It was so tasty…

After dinner it was present time!  He got lots of fun stuff like Legos and chocolate, and John and Daniel enjoyed putting the sets together.  It was a great birthday, even though John is now fourteen, which somehow makes me feel older than just fifteen.  The important thing is that he had a great day, and everyone else had fun, too.  Happy Birthday, John!

By the way, let’s see if you can figure out how many times the words ‘Lego’ or ‘Legos’ were used in this post!

Lots of chocolate for John!