First few days in Qingdao.

Hello family and friends!
I thought I'd give you an update on our first few days in Qingdao.
We have been very busy moving in and buying start up dong xi (stuff) for our apartment.
We have had a lot of fun though, dreaming up each room and shopping.
We have also been busy with setting up our internet, water service, maid service, gas payments, and looking for furniture.

Our landlord's daughter's boyfriend (haha) speaks pretty good English and has been helping us a lot. Our landlord is turning out to be a great one! He has helped us with all the little details. His family took Zachary out to eat and took us shopping for furniture. We haven't quite found what we are looking for yet but have lots of ideas for our office. :)

Here is a few pictures of the things that we have purchased for our home thus far and a few peeks at our new casa.

Glimpses of our Apartment complex.

Our apartment complex is called Spring Garden, or in Chinese, Lu Xin Chang Chuen. It is supposedly the biggest apartment complex in Qingdo. It is over a kilometer long. 

We absolutely love it! It was one of the reasons we choose our apartment. It has tons of greenery and little trails everywhere you turn. We loved this resort-like feel. We also knew Chara would love exploring and running here. 

In our gated community we have discovered small little shops, a bakery, a movie theatre (with English movies!), an ATM, a nail salon, a tea shop, a pharmacy, a florist, a dry cleaner, and big grocery store. So fun and convienent.

There are tons of walkways like this, winding up hill.


Little Puppy

3 weeks ago we found a little puppy on the side of the road in our apartment complex. Someone had left him in a shoe box. He was crying and dragging himself out of the box. It was so pitiful to see. We felt so bad for the little guy. We asked the people who were standing around looking at him who's dog he was but they told us he was no one's dog, that nobody wanted him.
Our hearts went out to the helpless creature so we picked him up and rode to the vet.
The veterinarian told us that he was about 1 week old and that it was hopeless.
Any time someone says something is hopeless, I feel something rise in me, maybe my spirit which has been rescued from many hopeless situations by my sweet God, and so we took him home, proclaiming it was not hopeless!
Chara checking out the box. Chara never quite knew what to do with him. She would look at it like it was something very odd, just ignore it completely, like a jealous teen or be super playful trying to get our attention away from the puppy.

We had no idea what we were getting into.

We now know that he must have only been a day, maybe even hours old. His umbilical chord was still attached when we found him and his eyes and ears still closed.

Moving Day

I know we have said it before, but we'll say it again, Mike's family have been such amazing friends to us. They have taken care of us and are constantly giving to us. We feel that we have done little in return. We always say thank you tons of times but they always say "No. No. The thanks is ours. We should thank you." Or "No. No. No thanks."

They surprised us again with their hospitality by paying for our moving trucks to Qingdao!
Not only did they pay for our trucks but brought us gifts, too! And rode with us all the way to Qingdao to help us move in.

So thankful for this family. We praise God for them.

Zachary, taping boxes.
Tons of boxes!

Dinner with Friends

Mike's family took us out for a good bye dinner on Tuesday. 
We have such a good time with Jack and his family and Mike's family. They just continuously bless us. They have been such great friends to us in Dongying. We hope to stay in touch with them. They all say they are going to come visit us in Qingdao!

They took us a great restaurant in middle-Dongying. And look! A ferris wheel in the distance! Just when we leave Dongying, too! They are about to open this ferris wheel and park. So fuN! 

 Mary and Jack's baby eating popcorn. :)
He's so cute.
 He seems to really like us, too.

My New Bike

We have had lots of laugh and fun practicing biking this way. (see below)

We always see Chinese people riding bikes with ease like this.
 We have practiced a few times just for fun and gotten so-so at it with Zachary driving and me on back. Last week Zachary left his bike at the house and so we rode back from school on my bike. We were riding pretty smoothly when all of the sudden my bike started wobbling back and forth and before we knew it we we were skidding out of control. We quickly jumped off before the bike fell. We then saw that my tire was completely torqued. 
So we surveyed the damage and decided it would be very difficult for us to take the bike to the bike street to get a new tire and so we gave it to an old guy who had been watching. He was absolutely thrilled! He put it on top of his wagon and rode away smiling. 

And so,  I had to get a new bike. 
Here she is. 



April into May, Dongying started really coming alive. Things started turning green and plants we were for sure were dead from the winter started sprouting life. 

I started pretending I was biking in Bali on our bike to work (Can't you tell I need a vacation?!). 
The sun has been out, beaming down, my arms are tan and the trees and grass are bright green, so why not pretend!  
Finally, some color in Dongying! It was a looooong winter.

There are tons of rose bushes in front of our apartment complex, so Zachary snuck some scissors from the apartment and cut some to surprise me. 

The bushes only lasted a month but I loved coming home to the surprise of fresh flowers in the kitchen and living room each week.
At the window seal. Nice view while washing dishes. Reminds me to be joyful.


Pictures from our phone the last Month

This is the highly disgusting meat stick that is very popular here! We heard that these are very unhealthy and many factories have been found to have ground up all different kinds of meat, including cats and dogs, to make it. Sick-O.

 A usual sight for us in China. Hanging chickens and chicken parts.


New Apartment!!!

New Apartment!!

SO we went to Qingdao and picked out our new apartment. Here are some pictures. It was quite an experience. Thankfully God surrounded us with people to help us work out all the details and logistics. We will be moving in on the 22 of June. 

The apartment has:
3 bedrooms(1 will be an office/sitting room)
2 bathrooms w/ enclosed showers
washing machine
big refrigerator
big T.V.
Dining room table
instant hot water
heated floors
central A/C
An outdoor patio that is only accessible via window. It is going to be awesome to have friends over and have a nice sitting area.

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