Philippians 4 Song

Hey everyone, the Lord gave me a song during a rough time when Heather and I were waiting on the Lord to align our next steps. I hope it will encourage you to rejoice in the Lord. Be blessed.

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Our Apartment In Dongying

Well, it is finally here. The long awaited post of our apartment. We hope you enjoy. Tell us what you think? Leave your comments. 

Zachary's Sing-Along

My students are awesome. They helped me write and sing this song. It is called "friends."I thought you would like to hear it and see my kids sing.

Yangtian Mountain

Mike, my student, took me to this mountain. It was a fun journey that started at 6:00am :P
We started the morning off eating at a fancy hotel cafe. I believe that it must be Chinese culture to give your best to your guest. I offered that we should grab something quick to eat on the way. I was told that it would be a 4 hour car drive to the mountain. It turned out to be only 45 minutes.
SO here is some photos to describe our hike up this relatively new tourist attraction from the locals perspective. I hope you enjoy the journey.

Fancy Hotel Cafe. They had some western food there. 

Mike enjoying his cereal, noodle,toast, butter, eggs, bread, juice, coffee, etc.

Sheep we saw crossing the street on the way to the mountain.

Mike, I am thankful for the opportunity to know his family.

Yangtian Mountain

Local Trade and Souvenirs 

"Do you want to eat now? or to go?"

Antique furniture in a brick cottage.

The slide is the best way to go down the mountain. Where was this when we walked Taishan:)

Reminds me of the catachisims

Mikes Parents

What??? Ox Daughter??

Stacking stones bring good fortune and is seen to be a worshipful practice to the buddhist.

Buddhist Temple 3000 years old

Fresh Blackberrys, but not as good as my grandmas.

An interesting cave in the mountain.

Buddha, one form of the buddha

We are lost...I don't understand.

Mike's Parents


SOme delicious pine nuts. We are not really sure what they are.

They bought this for me to eat. I thought it was paper..
Nope, it is a form of bread. 


Mosby Alert: Sheep Crossing


Just A short clip. The SHEEP ARE CROSSING....



The Chinese Village

Hey I just wanted to show you a video of a rural Chinese village. The video is not great, but its a look at life simply lived. Enjoy:)

What do you think?


Bathroom Rant

Brace yourself. This gets ugly.

Sewage in Dongying has been a source of constant frustration and disgust for us. Being a woman, where you can't just stand up and pee anywhere, I find it especially frustrating. 
The public restrooms are just.... repulsive. And the store bathrooms aren't much better.
Sooooo gross. Beyond imagination. I could describe to you all the little details but I won't. 

I could get used to using a squatty, a toilet in the floor, where you squat over it (Which I guess, since nothing touches, is actually more clean than western toilets) but I can't get used to all the disgusting stuff around and in it. I mean imagine the WORST gas station bathroom and I might have seen worse than that.

And to make it worse, most people put their rubbish in the trashcan next to the toilet, not into the toilet. 
Everything. In the trash can.

So, going to the bathroom requires several steps. You must roll up your pants,  DEFINITELY put your hair in a pony tail and tuck in any clothes that hang, and squat very strategically, so that NOTHING touches anything around you.

And you must bring paper. Because there is never toilet paper in the stalls. 
And anti-bacterial. 
Because there is also never soap.
(I mean I get it, though. That's really expensive. Especially for all the people in China.)

Even at the school bathroom. No paper. And no doors.
I think, most people carry around tissue... but even still, I don't think everyone does.

Our friend Catherine says on a bus stop there were 3 woman pooping, in front of each other, and just stood up. Didn't wipe. Strange.

Working at the kindergarten Thursday mornings has shed some more light on the toilet paper situation.
In the whole classroom, I have seen one roll of toilet paper and not even near the toilet.
The whole class uses an open trough type thing to pee in, no doors, and none of them wipe when they pee. 

Literally, they just run in, squat, and run out.
I guess since their hands don't get near anything, it's okay they don't wash their hands? 
But still. They need to wipe.
It's just strange.
So from a young age they're learning not to wipe?

They are also learning to squat outside. We have seen countless children squatting to pee or poop and parents wiping kids or scraping poop off the side walk with a shovel. 
We often see kids pulling down their pants to go and quickly look away. It's just awkward. 

Zachary saw on two different occasions, a grandfather holding his granddaughters' legs in the air so the pee could fly out straight like a boy or something. Something strange.

I'm not saying all Chinese people in Dongying do this. I'm just saying these are our observations. It seems very common though, all this bathroom stuff.

Babies usually don't wear diapers. Some do. But most we have seen wear split bottom pants. Even in the winter, we have seen babies in very thick thermal suits with their little tushes peeping through. (To be fair,  I guess I can see how from a Chinese perspective,  it might be kind of sick that we let our babies sit in their waste.)

Most public bathrooms don't have doors either.
I have refused to use the school bathrooms because of this. My kids stare at me enough, I mean can you imagine if I was squatting! I mean, NO don't, imagine. But what I'm trying to say is that it would be incredibly demeaning.
So, I have to run to the foreigner rooms across campus just to use the bathroom.
But one time, when classes were in session (so I thought that there wouldn't be any kids) I just couldn't hold it, so I went to the school bathroom. 
It was soooooooo gross. Really. Just bad.
And no kids. Thankfully!
But I will never use it again!

Sewage also seems to be a problem. 
Our apartment constantly reeks of something disgusting coming from the drains. One time, I could have sworn I even saw fumes coming up from the sink. I'm not joking. 

We ride our bikes to school every day and had noticed that everyone always parked their bikes close to each other and left this huge empty space right in the middle.
So, lucky for us, we thought, we had all this room to put our bike.
Haha. Lucky for us. Not. Dumb foreigners park their bikes, everyday, without noticing until February, that we were parking them on over flowing sewage drains. 
I always wondered why there was water around there!

Ya. That's what you think it is,
Sick nasty.

Zachary took some pictures of the men's public bathroom.
This is, truly, relatively clean compared to the girls bathroom.
This doesn't even look that bad. I've never stuck around long enough to get a picture.
The girls bathroom has a ledge on each side of the hole to stand on.

 This is not a squatty. A squatty literally looks like a urinal in the ground. This is even more rugged. Sick, right?

Anyways! Can't wait for you all to visit us in China!! ;p

No, but really. The bathroom situation is nothing compared to all the gems China has to offer!

In Qingdao we have been in a few public bathrooms and they have been pretty nice.


KFC Hot Pot

One of our favorite, cheap and tasty, meals is hot pot.
We love this place!
We call it the KFC Hot Pot, since this old lady sign, kind of looks like the KFC sign.
When you enter, you grab a basket and tongs and fill it with all the good ness you want. There are tons of veggies, noodles and meats to choose from.

They charge you by stick and cook it up for you.

We love coming here!
I fill my basket ridiculously full with veggies.
Without meat or noodles it's almost a 0 point food in Weight Watchers.  And delicious.

Flying Kites

In April we went to the square in Dongying and flew kites with Shally and her mother.

We had lots of fun!

Shally and her mother insisted Chara come alone. She fulfilled the cute dog stereo type by veerrry happily sticking her head out the window the whole way. 

 They built a new sculpture at the square!
 Check out this guy. Cigarette hanging out of his mouth, all in black and flying a kite.
 Getting the kites ready.
 Old guys checkin' out Zach.
 Two little boys flying kites.

 This guy decided to help Zachary out.
 Check out that kite reel.

 Zachary was in to it.

 Cherry blossoms in Dongying! Ya!

 At the pet market.

 Thirsty girl.

 This little guy was thirsty, too.
 Shally and her momma.

 The kid on the back was serrrrrious about kites. He had tons! That white bag is filled with a huge kite. He says it's the biggest in Dongying. And that he makes his own kites. I don't know about that but he did, legit, know how to fly them.
That's the kite reel for his big kite. 

Spoiled Chara. Getting treats. 

 That's only half of it.

 Watching the kite.

So big! Not sure what it says but it looked really cool.
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