Friday, September 23, 2011


Ummm... So we don't live in China any more... I'll fill you in a little more on what life is like for us these days, but before we came home we did a little bit of traveling. First to Turkey to visit my cousin and her family as well as connect with some of the ISU students who volunteered there this summer. Here's a few highlights. It's old news, so I'll keep it short.

Visiting cousin Owen
and his mom and dad of course

Making friends
Checking out the rugs at the Grand Bazaar
Hajia Sophia
(if you don't know about this place check it out - the history is amazing)
Nora found it to be a very educational experience that she will remember forever
Mike and I got a day away to tour the ruins of Ephesus. So sweet to walk the same streets as apostle Paul and the gang. The other thing I like about overseas travel is that everything is so open. In America they'd have everything all blocked off but overseas - if you wanna climb on the oldest stuff ever - not a problem. Heck you could probably take a pillar home with you if you want.
Then we were off to Kiev, Ukraine to see my friend Lindsay and her family
Lindsay and Andre are committed to sports ministry in Ukraine with FCA.
That's right - puttin' out the vibe in the capitol city

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Foreigner No More

Everyday for two years we walked down the street where children and adults point and call us "foreigner." In just a few days we will be leaving the city that we have called home for the last two years and head back to Ames, where people still might laugh and point, but probably not because we are white. Our last few days have been filled with good-byes, packing, debriefing and rest.

Eating at one of our fav. restaurants
Nora takes a spin on the turn-table.
As we wrap up our time here we are feeling thankful and excited. Thankful for the things we have been able to see and the ways we have been used here. Excited as we look toward the next season of life that the Father has in store for us. Mike has accepted a job working with international students at our home church. I am going to be Nora's mom and hopefully a little part time social services work mixed in there somewhere.

In other news we were doing a little online shopping and bought a house!!!
We'll be around after mid-August so stop on by. Jello molds, casseroles, and gifts of manual labor will be accepted throughout the month of August. :)

And Just for fun -
Things we're looking forward to in America
  • Spending time with family - especially those Nora hasn't been able to meet yet
  • Frozen food - Seriously the thought of having the option of cooking dinner in 30 minutes makes me a little giddy.
  • Eating steak
  • Mt. Dew
  • Fixing up our house - oh, yeah and seeing it for the first time
  • Seeing the stars
  • Cornerstone
Things we'll miss about China
  • Cheap fruit and veggies
  • Riding our bikes
  • Talking to people who have never heard the name Jesus
  • FOOD
  • Our awesome friends who are so hospitable, loving, genuine and a little goofy.
  • Every day being an unpredictable adventure
Things we won't miss about China
  • Every day being an unpredictable adventure
  • Living on the 5th floor
  • Advice about how our baby is too cold
  • Pollution and traffic
  • Getting my feet moped with toilet water at the super market
  • squatty potties

If you didn't receive our final update summarizing our term overseas, send us an email and we can certainly get it to you.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Italy Noodle and Manliness

I wish that you all could meet this group of friends. Some have been brothers and sisters for a long time, some are still young, some are still making up their minds, but they all have amazing stories. And they are hilarious. They started the semester as strangers, but now they are starting to study together and laugh together like a family, and we're so glad to be a part of it. Here we are in one of the study rooms in the dormitory. Check out the decor in this room, it's especially special. Winnie the Pooh stickers, soccer posters, Christmas tinsel, and a still life portrait of fruit.

I don't think Nora learned much at this particular study
Last weekend we had them over for Italy Noodle aka spaghetti.
Everyone was very impressed with my cooking skills , even though they watched me dump the pre-made sauce into the pot. The garlic bread was especially interesting to them since they don't use butter. I explained that butter is like oil. They wanted to dip into the tub with a spoon to have a taste, but I convinced them to wait till it was on the bread.

Man picture

Belated Father's Day

A little bit late, but still fun. A big fat THANK YOU to Jeff Ritzman and Doug Easton for being awesome dads and awesome grandpas. We'll see you soon!!

5x7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Summer teams

We need a bigger place!
One of my favorite sights is a gigantic pile of shoes at the front door. This week we had ALL the summer volunteers come to our house and it was awesome! Look how much fun we're having... Makes you want to come to China doesn't it?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Wedded Bliss

This weekend our friends Pei Pei and Kiki got married! They are some of the first people that we met and we were so excited that they invited us to share this special day with them. They have been so faithful to the Father with their time and resources and I can't wait to see how the father will use their marriage.

Ode to Gu La Rou

As our time in China gets closer to an end, I'm realizing that there are still so many awesome things about this place that I still want to tell you! Mostly food. So this is my ode to gu la rou aka sweet and sour pork. I don't know what it is about this dish, but for whatever reason we just can't get enough of it. Chinese people don't eat it very often, but that's probably because it's mostly made of ketsup and sugar. I can't begin to tell you how many conversations we've had over a plate of gu la rou. Here are few more of the "the usual" dishes that we often eat.


Green Leafy Vegetable

Sugary corn pancake with sprinkles

And many many more

Disclaimer: These pictures were maliciously stolen from Micheal Anderson