4.30.2013

Greek Salads & Beach feet

Can you guys believe that it's already April 30th? 
My oh my time flies. 
I'm excited about that. 
May's a good month, I think.
For one, my mother and father were born in May.
May 25th to be exact.
Yep. The same day.
That was pretty fun growing up.
Until they got divorced.
And then that just got awkward.
Just sayin'.

Also, in May is that great day to celebrate how wonderfully awesome our mother's are!
Also, May is one month closer to June. 
Which is one month closer to July.
Which is the month that we start summer vacation.
Holla!
Maybe I am holla-ing too far in advance. 
It's so very sunny today.
It feels nice to have some sun on my skin.
My ghost like appearance and incredibly dark roots will appreciate all of this sun shine coming to Qingdao!

Alright. 
On to what this post is really about.
It's really about what we did yesterday. 
The first Sabbath I have had in what feels like ages.
Monday our day started around noon :) at De Ja Vu with a Greek Salad for me and a burger for Z. 
Justin & Catherine came to join us, so while we were waiting Zachary 
put his art skills to use. :)
He drew a willow tree. 
I put mine to use, too. :) 
When I saw we put our "art skills" to use, I mean we put our non existent art skills to use.
I acted like a 5 year old girl and wanted to show everyone my beautiful picture.
Catherine was sweet enough to endulge me. 
 Check out those bulging arm muscles on Z.
After dinner we walked down the street to the beach. 
Catherine stopped to smell the flowers. haha. 
 I did, too.
But upon discovering at lunch how much "my nose flares" I decided to opt out of the flower sniffing pics. ;)
We stopped by to see my horse friends, next to the beach.
 For the record, this one is NOT my friend.
This was his general opinion of us.
Hind quarters in our faces ready to kick.
But that black one, now he was my friend.
A few weeks ago I spent some time petting him while he was laying down in the grass.
Today, he only ate some hay from my hand and then stayed pretty distant.
He would.  Jerk. 
Right when I'm showing my horse whispering skills to the hubbs & friends, he let me down.
Sweet potato cart on the beach.
Hanging goat carcasses for bar b Que.. At least you know it's fresh.
Shi Lao Ren Beach. Only 3k from our apartment.
Catherine & I. 
Some H&M model, modeling on the beach. ;)

Happy baby at the beach.
Flowers at sunset in our apartment complex. 
Zachary & Justin after our beach outing. :)

Hope you guys are having an awesome last day of April!

I'm sipping on a green tea latte, with the hubbs, in Starbucks.
So, I'd say ours is going pretty good.

4.28.2013

Trusting Him.

My immediate response to the Boston Marathon bombs
was fear.
Fear of war.
Fear of the future.
Fear of the unknown.
Fear of bombs.
Fear of death.

I had all my usual tendencies upon hearing the news.
The searching for more details, more news, more info.
The fear plots & plans 
of how wars were going to break out 
or more bombs would start going off.
All those rabbit trails of fear.

But then.

I took all that fear
I punched it in the face.
Okay.
Let me rephrase.
I was reminded by the sweet Spirit, 
that

He is Lord.

And to that I proclaim,
I trust Him.

I trust Him with His plans for my life. 
For Zachary's life. 
For all those I love lives'. 
I trust Him

I trust the purposes He's created me for & the steps ahead of me that He's prepared for me to walk in. 
I trust Him with the number of breaths I have remaining. 
I trust Him with the trials we will face. The despair, the pain and the suffering.

I trust Him with the means of how I will die.
How Zachary will die. 
I trust Him.

And
This is HUGE for me.
The proclamation of trust that comes from my lips but has invaded my heart is huge.
It's monumental.
It's rebirth.

In the midst of all this anxiety & life filled with fear, 
I've realized that 
I spoke trust in my lips 
but felt none in my heart
and saw none in my actions.

But now,
today, 
I mean it.
I trust Him.

And I used to fear saying  and Proclaiming that.
Even now the tendency to fear what I have typed rises in me.
Because I used to think that I was writing for myself some tragic, yet beautiful, tragedy.
Like I was a muse to The PlayRite. 
That my proclamation of trust would evoke
God to include me in one of those ironic, tragedy filled, films.
I dreamed that days later, after I'd been dead, someone would find my journal or read my blog,
& find peace & solace.
They would feel content at my death.
Because, after all, I had just wrote how I accepted it. Trusted God with it.
They would question if somehow I knew I was about to die.

All of that fear, the fear of not truly trusting God with my fear, stemmed from a lie.
A lie of who God is.

In that lie, I failed to recognize who God was.
Jesus came, and in His death & resurrection
gave us confidence.
He showed us how trustworthy the Father was.
And how good and loving He always is.
And He defeated death, removing all barriers between Him & us.
God longs that we come before Him,
and surrender all fears.

"But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord,
I say, 'You are my God.' 
My times are in Your hand.
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies & those who persecute me.
Make your face to shine upon Your servant;
Save me in Your lovingkindness."
Psalm 31:14-16

Also,
one day when I die,
hell,
I hope my family and friends and grandchildren, God willing,
read this and do find peace & solace.
Not because I wrote it
but because
it's a reminder {I pray} that God is good.
And trustworthy.
And I hope, one day, they'll all trust Him,
 even with my death.


Readers,
I love you.
I hope you have a good day today! 

4.26.2013

Our New House Mates & Aloha

The last few months we've been eagerly waiting for visas to be sorted for our sweet friends,
 Justin & Catherine, 
{also our new house mates!}
to arrive in China.
This past weekend, they finally did!
We met Justin & Catherine in Korea a few years ago and
the 4 of us moved to Dongying together.
At the end of our Dongying school year last summer, they swore they'd never move back to China,
but alas, 
God had other plans & we're so glad He did!
In Korea & Donying, Justin & Catherine were dating & engaged, 
but this time, back in China, 
they're married!
We love calling them Mr. & Mrs. Esser. :)

We've been busy preparing & praying for them to get here the last few months! 
They will be working at our school & living with us through the summer.
We wanted our guest bedroom to feel like home for them, since it will be their first "married home" for the next 5 months or so. We decorated it with pictures of them & little 'likes' they share between each other, like penguins & their travel pics.

Once they got here last Saturday afternoon we were all so excited,
so, of course,
we had to bust out the champagne and celebrate!
Little things celebrating them finally getting here!
First "family"meal together.
Pecan crusted chicken.
We already feel like they're apart of our family.
We are loving spending evenings chatting over dinner, talking about "real" stuff, laughing & having fun together. 
We are blessed to have such good friends.
Of course Chara is loving it. 
She has four new hands to pet & snuggle her.
Saturday night we took them to the infamous Sitting Bull & to meet our good friends, Denny & April.
The guys.
Cider. Gluten free!
Sitting Bull was out of ribs! I was super disappointed, since the whole reason we took them there was to eat ribs! 
We ordered the chef special, a sirloin steak with mushroom sauce, instead, and it was delicious. 
It made the 'out of ribs' thing more bearable for me. ;)
Sunday at church we had a delicious German meal with the church fam.
Afternoon naps after church.
Zachary now has a couch nap buddy. ;)
Sunday night we showed them how hot pot is done.
Thankfully these two like to eat. :) 
If they didn't, I don't know how we'd stay friends. 
Just kidding.
But it is nice to share so many meals together.
Veggies & Meat for hot pot.

And that was Justin & Catherine's arrival weekend!
You'll be seeing a lot of them on this blog now!
Be sure to check out their travel blog, here.
They've been to so many countries, you'll for sure want to read about all they've done!

And now, it's time to link up! 
This is the last week I'll be co hosting the Hop!
I've loved being apart of it this April! 
Link Up & don't forget to enter the giveaway! 
Last chance!
Love you guys! Have a good weekend! 
You can also share any blog hops you are hosting by linking your blog hop post in our linky below! I love to join new blog hops, so please share them!  We had over 432 link ups!! Each name gets clicked on average 5-50 times so link up, get some followers!!  
To ensure a follow back from me, leave a comment with a link to your blog!
An easy, quick way to follow each of the hosts is by clicking on buttons labeled "GFC" or "Bloglovin'" under each picture! 
Welcome to WEEK 53 of the Aloha Friday Blog Hop!

Here's the extra special addition to our lovely hop. It's an oh-so-easy opportunity for you lovely participants of the Aloha Friday Blog hop to get some exposure to your blogs!!  What do  you have to do to enter?  Just link up to the Aloha Friday Blog Hop Below!! It's that easy!!  No extra forms or hassle, just link up!  Each week we will pick a linker to featured at random and invite you all to say ...
  Aloha Hoapili
<div align="center"><a href="http://acatlikecuriosity.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Aloha" title="Aloha Hoapili" target="_blank"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-U4bM2HwNLY8/UKnx1zTR7aI/AAAAAAAAI1I/jrflm1VMyzw/s1600/Aloha+Friend+button.jpg" alt="Aloha Hoapili" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Aloha Hoapili translates as Hello Close Friend. So, without further ado let me introduce you to this week's featured friend

Amy
Amy at Sews N Bows
Amy blogs all about sewing, repurposing things and does some pattern reviews too.  Want a little taste of her blog? Check out these posts to find out what you've been missing: 


If you're interested in co-hosting future month's Aloha Friday Blog Hop, please email jean@whatjeanlikes.com for more info.  More info on becoming a sponsor {here}
There are still 2 days left to enter!! Do it now! Who wouldn't want $200 and tons of ad space & handmade gifts? :)  Enter after the "read more" link 

To guarantee a follow back from What Jean Likes, please leave a comment.  Makes it easier and faster! :)  [Still working on following everyone back from last week so don't worry, I will follow you back if I haven't already!]

Other exciting giveaways I'm hosting can be found here : What Jean Likes Giveaways.
Share the Aloha Hop on YOUR site!
get the InLinkz code
GIVEAWAY TIME!
CLICK THE "READ MORE LINK" IF YOU DON'T SEE THE GIVEAWAYS.

4.25.2013

Spring has Sprung


I'm obsessed. 
It seems that every branch & every plant is filling with flowers.
And I love it.
We have an amazing creator don't we?
I just imagine these flowers singing to His glory.
I have seen yellow bush upon yellow bush in our apartment complex. 
From far away I thought they were just yellow leaves, 
but after a few weeks I got a little closer and realized they were flowers. 
The flowers are beautiful but I still think she's the most beautiful. 
The flowers bring out her beauty I think. ;)
Happy Spring Friends.
I hope there are some flowers in bloom where you are. :) 
If not, buy some flowers! 
Flowers seem to make things so much brighter!
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