Just a Normal Thursday

Our menu tonight, on this fabulous Thursday, 
was Gluten Free Corn Bread
and a delicious Shrimp Stew {?} soup.
Not really sure what to call this goodness but you should try it! 
It was awesome! 
We'll call it,
Southwestern Corn and Shrimp Soup
2 lbs of shrimp
2 chicken breast shredded
1 can of corn
1 red bell pepper chopped
2 green bell pepper chopped
1 yellow bell pepper chopped
5 cups water
3 Tbs of Lime Juice
[sent to me from my bff Juliette-thank you sista!!} 
1/2 a package of Southwest Chicken Skillet seasoning
1 cup shredded cheese
Bring to a boil and let simmer! 
Serve with more cheese and cornbread! 
Love this photo my sweet friend April took today!
 We commissioned our student, Justin, to paint us this Chinese painting.
His grandfather is an awarded Chinese paint brush artist, 
and Justin studies every Saturday to improve his skill,
 to carry on the family tradition.
He is only 8 years old! Pretty impressive, right?! 
All our Chinese friends who have seen it are blown away at how well he did.
We asked him to paint, 
"Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the light." from John 14:6
He practiced over and over and over before finally painting it on this paper.
Then his father graciously paid to have it mounted for us. 
We loved Justin's work, were so proud of him and were so pleased to give him his first job! 
My after school kids are loving Zachary's magnetic dart board! 
They use it more than he's even looked at it I think.
Glimpses of our bookshelf. 
Zachary ordered these off of Tao bao, similar to Amazon but for China, a month or so ago.
They're awesome and exactly what he needed for his morning workouts.
The weight can be adjusted by turning the knob on each side,
 making things much easier for him while doing P90X, where you have to change weights a lot. 

You can order ANYTHING on Tao bao. 
It's super convenient for Chinese people. 
Less convenient for us since we don't read Chinese but through our awesome co-workers we can order just about anything and what we order always arrives 2 to 3 days later. 

 Saturday is Children's Day so our school is only having a half day tomorrow and canceled my classes! 
Which means...... I get to sleep in tomorrow! Hallelujah! 

It's almost Friday friends!
Enjoy it!



So remember how yesterday I said I was jumping back on the Revolt wagon? 
Well. I changed my mind.

It's not that I don't want to get stronger, eat healthier, loose weight and have some sort of system that keeps me accountable to those things because, I do.

It's just that I lacked peace about it.
And I don't think you should do anything without His perfect peace.

I went to a meeting last night with a group of amazing woman, to talk about some amazing things that God is doing & that we will be doing over the next few months and there, I felt

such peace.

I feel such peace talking about Him & dreaming His dreams.
In the midst of that, I feel like, THIS, this is what my life is sold to. 
I am sold out. I'm completely satisfied in Him.

Sure, while staring at my fat in the mirror, I sometimes forget that,
but deep in my heart, in my spirit, I know, it, as in life, has nothing, NOTHING to do with my reflection in the mirror.

And that's what I want to live for. 
And that's what I want to blog about.
I know I don't usually post about very "Jesus-y" things, where I'm sharing all the ends and outs of my heart and God's heart and all that He's doing and teaching me.
But I think Jesus is in all things. Even in posts about Fedoras or a tour of our home. 

He permeates all of life & 
He's teaching me that through this blog.
This blog has become a place where He's changing me, 
to take my eyes off of myself {though it's a blog mostly about me, ha} and 
open my eyes to the beauty that's all around me,
in pictures, 
in our day to day life,
in our family,
in our friends,
in our readers. 
He's changing me into a person that has 
more fun, 
smiles more, 
sees the sunny side
& fears less. 
And He's using this blog as a tool for that. 

One day I might explain more why, 
but for now I'll just say
that at this point in my life,
a strict weight-loss system doesn't fit into the above.
And I don't want to do anything to ruin this. 
I want to feel alive & inspired 
& write out of desire 
when I push that "compose new" button,
and not because I must. 

And before you ask,
I DO think that Jesus permeates 
all aspects of life, 
even work out plans & eating plans, & weight loss systems,
if you let Him.

But for me, until work out plans, eating plans & weight loss systems
lead me to Him,
and are for His glory in my life,
I won't be including them in this blog. 

That doesn't mean I won't post things about living or striving to be healthy. 
That doesn't mean I won't start running & cut down the sugar because all that for mentioned mush,
but it DOES mean I will not let weight loss consume my life.
And right now, Revolt would. 

***If you don't struggle with what I struggle with and would love to include a more disciplined weight training, eating & weight loss plan in your life I highly recommend Revolt. I think it's a great system & I hope one day I'll be in a place to try it! And I feel so honored that I was asked to be apart of the bloggers to participate in it. ***


Monday mush

Mush because that seems to be what's going on around these parts lately. No really, I'm pretty sure I saw a chunk of fat along the hips last night that  I haven't seen before and while erasing the board today I saw my freaking arm jiggle. Awesome. 
Good thing I'm jumping back on the Revolt wagon tomorrow. I'm even going to post before pictures..gulp.. I'm so excited to share with you all the awesome-ness that's happening with revolt and even more excited to share with you my journey along the way!
Today's a rainy day Monday in Qingdao. One of those days you wish you could stayed wrapped in your blanket and have snuggling with your dog and husband the whole day. 

Starbucks after work will have to do.
Speaking of which, here I am, in Starbucks, after work. 

Check out Starbucks China summer drink.
A red bean green tea frap. Red bean is a popular dessert topping/ filing in China. Have you tried res bean before?What did you think?

 Guess what I'm blogging on?!? My phone on the fantabulous BlogGo app! 
If you need to blog on the go, I highly recommend it! It's so easy to use! 

What did you do his weekend?
Little friends are the best! 
We had lunch with friends after church yesterday. We love being apart of a community with so many kids here. 
Saw a beautiful sun set from our window...
I took Zachary's suggestion and got my nails done...

We noshed on the famous Sitting Bull ribs.

And bought a new ring for $1.50
The rest of the weekend we pretty much slept as much as possible. 
It was great! 

Hope you had a nice weekend and a  sunny Monday!!!

Also, I finally joined Instagram! Whoop. It will for sure inspire
 photo upon photo of our uber interesting life ;). 


Why You Should Judge Me

I took this picture of my self while laying on the floor.
My forehead is boasting some nice pimples in this picture.
But I still like it.
I have a golden retriever, roll around with her, and still wear black almost every day.
I rarely use a lint brush.
My roots are like 6 inches long.
I let my dog lick my face.
I have to do double takes for "your" and "you're" to figure out which one is right in a post.
I recently posted about my dead fish, and referred to his bowl as his "bowel" about 12 times.
I watch The Office reruns almost every day.
I have a mug on my desk that says "My Mom My Friend" 
I pick my split ends & sometimes want to keep the hairs with 15+ splits.
I have split ends.
My arms are much jigglier these past 6 months.
I've felt less self hate this past year, despite the statement above.
I still struggle with self hate.
I'm blogging while on the clock.
I do blog posts with a gazillion pictures of my dog.
I make in appropriate comments all the time.
I love, love, love Jesus.
I quite literally think my husband is the best husband in the world.
I want to read L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad real bad.
I look up "sea creatures" and the "strangest animals in the world" quite regularly. 
I used to look up & check out books about crop circles & the Loch ness Monster.
I'm pretty much obsessed with Harry Potter.
I get obsessed with things easily.
I love change.
I have an anxiety disorder.
I live in China but complain about never traveling.
I could sleep everyday for 12+ hours if I didn't have a job.
I love running.
I stopped labeling my posts a long, long time ago.
 I really want to go to this Island, Socotra, and will probably blog about it in the near future.
I shamelessly stole this idea from one of my favorite blogs Living in Yellow

What can I judge love you for today?

Because really that's what all this is, right?
All those little quirks that make you "you," make life with you more interesting, 
or are just part of your story & how God is molding you.
I'd rather love those things than judge them. 
But that's just me. Go ahead and judge me for all the things above. 
Okay. okay. Please love me. ;)

Hall of Fame

I was, once again, am lacking ideas for today's post.
{I'm lacking brain cells lately... not because I'm doing drugs or something,
just from the general lack of sleep by night & being a Primary School Teacher by day.}

But the oh so lovely Malorie 
pointed me in the right direction.
There's a gazillion,
okay not a gazillion,
but 31 days of fabulous blogging ideas.
I want to respond to all of them in one sitting!
It's like I'm in school again and have writing assignments, 
except way more fun. :)
Keeping up with the Jones',
i.e. all the beautiful bloggers taking on this challenge, 
finds me at today's topic,
The Best of...
or all my FAVORITE posts on this little ole' blog of mine.

This is perfect, 
because I've never really done one of these,
and every one needs a blogging hall of fame, right?

Call me pompous since I wrote all the following, 
but here they are,
my own little Hall of Fame babies. 

That post about that time Zachary called us all jerks for shoving cookies 
in his mouth while he was sleeping.
Chinese Valentine's Day
Tuesday Tidbits
I actually love all of the Tuesday Tidbit Posts.
I just appreciate having posts that seem random but cover our past week. 
Here's a few:
Tuesday Tidbits 1
So long & pictureless {inviting, right?} but from the heart
That attempt I had at starting something weekly on the blog.
It still turned out to be a good compilation of photos from the last few years, though.
Because it's just funny.
Our 4 Year Wedding Anniversary
Take a Tour of our last 3 apartments overseas!

What's your favorite blog posts?
Leave me the link, so I can read it!! 


The Last Days of Porto

I came home the other day and saw Chara sniffing something on the floor
which I assumed was a leaf.
I assumed wrong.
It was not a leaf,
but in fact our gold fish, Porto.
First Day in his bowl

What's wrong with me that I didn't first assume it was our fish?
On the freaking floor!?

Sweet Chara only sniffed him, though.
I guess she's not really in to eating things while they're still moving.
Though, that might have been a better way for him to go.
That's quick.
He was just laying there, 
with one fin slowly flapping.
Seeing he was still alive,
 I quickly picked him up and gave him CPR.
Just kidding.
I threw him back in to his fish bowl,
which happens to be better than CPR for a fish
 in case you were curious.

Then, I called Zachary into the room and told him what happened.
As I was telling him,
suicidal Porto,
jumped out of his fish bowl AGAIN.
Right on to the table.
The fish went A-Wall.
But we quickly, put him back into his bowl, which apparently feels like a prison to him.
Because I think it's kind of....disrespectful taking pictures of a fish while he's dying, 
you'll have to settle with cartoon pics. 

We noticed his tail was missing quite a few chunks out of it.
Thinking Chara maybe did like eating dying fish,
we inspected the scene.
And found pieces of his tail
dried up and stuck to the side of the bowl!
Ya. I know, this story is getting crazy.
Then, through much investigation we came to a conclusion.
Try to keep up,.;)
jumped over the side of the bowl,
slid down the side, and his tail got stuck.
Then he flipped out, literally, and part of his tail tore off, leaving 3 flakes on his fish bowl.
Then as he was flipping out he
made his way off the table,
and flopped around a few more feet until,
at last,
his one little fin was all that could flop,
which is where Chara found him.

The first day back in the bowl,
we thought maybe he'd do okay.
But by day two, he looked
straight up Zombie fish.
All his scales were pealing off of him, even off his eyeballs.
Then he started turning over.
He'd try to fight it at first but eventually he just stopped fighting
& just swam around up-side-down or chilled out on the marbles.
You know when your fish is using the marbles at the bottom of his bowl as a pillow you have a problem.

Day 3 we found him up-side-down at the bottom of the bowl
with like a cloud of fish scales around him,
glazed over eyes and an open mouth.
He looked real Zombie then.

So, that was the end.
Good bye Porto.
Thanks for living longer than any other gold fish we've had.
You'll be missed.


Chara Shmara

It's no secret that we love Chara.
 I know I've talked about her tons on here 
Your probably rolling your eyes thinking, 
"Chara, Shmara! Enough about Chara." 
but I mean,
we can't get enough of her.
She's just amazing.

For tons of reasons;
Like how she reminds us to have joy, the meaning of her name, in Jesus.
How she's ALWAYS happy
And licks my face when I'm sad.
And chases her tail.

But all of those reasons weren't as conducive to picture collages as the following reasons.

 She's Loyal.
She loves Zachary. She is eager for his attention and approval. She's oh so loyal to him.
She loves to retrieve things. 
Even unretrievable things, like snowflakes.
And really, she just loves to play! Which brings tons more play time to our life.
We need more play time in our life. 
  She's athletic.
Which is great! Because she can be a motivator to get outside, enjoy the sunshine & move our bo-days.
 She just knows how to chill.
Which somehow is really inviting & makes you want to chill, too.
 She'll let you dress her.
Sweaters, shoes, unstuffed teddy bears, it's all a good.
She loves to do what you are doing.
She's a super, interested and loyal side kick.
 She really knows how to style a curtain.
 Who's perfect foot is that? 
I'll give you two guesses & a hint. 
My feet may or may not have had a "fund" by some really nice "friends," 
in high school to help transform my toes from E.T.s fingers to actual toes.
Ya. Not mine.
I really should have cropped that foot right out, 
but how else would you know how beautiful my feet are? 
So it's really a win win. 
You get to see Z's foot, get distracted completely from what this post is about, and learn about my feet. 
She loves to eat!
Even scorpions with her mommy and daddy. ;)
Okay, and also feces.
and dirt.
How is it not awesome to see your dog holding a carrot?
Or eating a huge dried squid, which we used to give her in Korea? 
It makes you smile. And it's just hilarious.
And so darn precious. 
 She loves to take pictures with her mom & dad.
 She reminds us to find joy in even the simplest of things.
Although this does remind me a little too much of Poop Face to Road Kill Lover!
 That cocked head melts our heart.
 She receives our love.
 She's an awesome photo bomber.
 She's super photogenic.
She knows how to make flowers look even better.
 Her puppy eyes melt our heart.
  She's obedient & has mastered 'sit.'
 She's the best snuggle buddy.
She loves to play!
And I'm sure I could come up with tons upon tons of more reasons why we love this golden fur ball but I'm sure this was enough for you today!
So, what do you love about your pet?
Thanks for letting me post a gazillion pictures of my dog on here 
and still coming back to read the next day.

If you're here for the first time,
I promise I write about more than just my dog.

If your now here for the last time,
I understand. I get it.
I've totally become one of those weird "obsessed with their pet" people, 
and before becoming one of those people, I was freaked out too. ;)

Love you friends! 
Oh and!
If you want to see Chara's virtual, wanna be boyfriend,
a 3 legged golden retriever,
you can see him at Chalayn's blog here.

Have a good weekend! 


I ate a Scorpion.

Actually not A scorpion but scorpionS.
2 to be exact. 
 Want to know the crazy part?!
I wanted to eat more.
Call me a freak, but they were good. 
I wanted to eat the 2 remaining in the bag, but I saved them 
for Zachary.
Because that's what good wives do.
They save the last two scorpions for their husband to eat. 
So, here's how it went down.
I got my fantastic, awesome I Phone, and was feeling pretty happy.
I saw a lady among the food vendors with 4 red buckets of scorpions.
1 with the big guys, 2 with the medium ones and 1 with the little baby scorpions.
I stared them down for awhile.
Asked the people around me if they were good,
just to make sure this wasn't a shady biz-nass going on.
But they all said they were good. 
And so, I said, 
"What the hey?! I'm young. Confident. All that. 
I can randomly eat a scorpion on the side of the road by myself. I'll do it!"
So I pointed to the big ones. 
The scorpion lady, {is that what you'd call someone in this business?}
 pulled out 4, and washed them off. 
They didn't seem to like water much. They were clawing around like crazy.

Right about this time Zachary called me.
Which I will say, made me very happy.

I mean, I was all about doing this in a very independent, "I'm awesome", kind of way,
but let's face it,
life is so much better with him
and I'm really not that awesome solo.
So, I excitingly told him what I was about to do, 
and being the ever-encouraing man he is, he said,
"Go for it!" 
So I did.
Frying them up in some very suspicious & dirty oil,
in a card board box.
I mean, they're scorpions.
So, how clean can you expect the cooking process?
This isn't P.F. Changs. 
Am I right?
If you're gonna eat scorpions,
have them fried in dirty oil, in a card board box,
on the side of the road.
Putting my snack in the bag, just before seasoning them.
Here we go.
In the taxi.
And oh look. May I point out that
I could document all this goodness because of my phone! 
 Let's also remember this was taken with my phone,
since they're such good quality and all.
And they're in.
Had to show you.
And my nostrils.
I thought you'd like to see those too.
Chewed up scorpion & nose hairs.
They truly were.
They tasted like crunchy pork grinds.
Or like chips.
Almost addicting.
I could have kept eating them.
But I didn't.
I brought some home to Z
and he ate them, too.
And he liked them, too.

We even gave one to Chara.
Of course, she loved them.

I guess we're a scorpion eating family.

If you move into a new house any time soon 
and find some walking around or in any crevices,
don't worry.
Just fry them up, 
sprinkle some cajun seasoning on top,
and walah.

No longer a household pest, 
but a delicious snack.

Would you eat a scorpion?!
{I mean, not one that was crawling around in your house, because I admit that would be weird,
but from the side of the road? Okay. That sounds no less weird.}
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