Monday, December 31, 2012

Michaella's Birthday in C,h/n.a

My birthday cake!!

By far, my 28th Birthday has been the most interesting of all!  My birthday was held on a Friday and almost all of my students were soooo excited to celebrate their A,meri,ca.n  teachers' first Birthday in C,hin.a!  For starters, my wonderful and loving husband sent me the largest bouquet of flowers I have ever seen...

THREE DOZEN roses... and other wonderful smelling flowers.  And then I sneezed like crazy for three days..
Oh well, it was worth it ;)

Tee Hee  Like I would question him... (Rolls Eyes) <3 <3 <3 <3 

I received many fun gifts from my students and some very nice ones too!  Lots of body and hand cream, an (expensive looking) body beauty set with lotions, hand treatment, face cream and cleanser, and soap bar.  The scent is a delicious olive oil smell.  He likes it too!  One student remembers me saying I had a button fetish...(Really?  I said that?)  And made me a scrapbook page with sewn button on it, all ready for removal and usage... Now let me stop here and say, if anyone knows me, you can probably see my reaction when I saw so many buttons... I have this terrible love, affection and adoration of buttons... its so bad... i think up crafts to do with buttons...  I search the ground when I go out to hope on a popped button from some rich lady's purse...  Oh wow... This is truth people.. I gasped and my heart beat elevated when I saw this fantastic treasure in my hands.  I pulled myself from my glued gaze and said with out sounding as desperate as I felt "Where did you find these buttons??????????"  LOL that took composure... then, she answered what I feared.... "West Market"  I politely said thanks and bit my tongue because West Market is huge with hidden stairs and levels and around dark corners... sigh... oh well, I will probably never find this place.

In the mean time, I will carefully extract my awesome buttons, play with them, attach them to ANYTHING I WANT and..... only dream of finding these "deep bins of buttons" my student speaketh of!!  AAHH... Okay  the secret has been let out of the bag...........
I'M IN LOVE WITH BUTTONS HAHAHAHA

I will have to post a picture of the buttons later, I thought I had a picture of it, but I do not and it is still in my classroom.  Later this week, I should make it up there and post it then :)

After that incredibly exhilarating two minutes and 38 seconds of my day, I was given cards, earrings  more hand cream and an awesome water color painting by one student.  So talented!  I could never paint more than puddles of mud and a sun with a smiley face in the middle... nope I was not given the Van Goh painting gene.

Later on, the head PTO parent dropped off a cake and I felt like crying... I secretly wanted a real Ch.in,e-se cake complete with the singing flower candle!  I successfully fed the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th grade students and myself all of the cake, then a huge chocolate shaving mess was left to clean up and everyone was happy!

The cake was served and cleaned then class began, and my students broke out in the English version of Happy Birthday.  I fought tears of joy from the wonderful love of the day, then they sang it in Kor3a,n,  Ch,in.ese and Bangla (from Bangladesh).  Really, how cool was my 28th birthday??


School ended that Friday, then I had to chaperon one of my students birthday ice skating party... Yep, my days just kept getting better and better.  The parents are actually good friends of ours, they also teach at my school so I have gotten to know them pretty well!  They rented a big van to take the 23... yes twenty-three children ice skating  AAHHH my back was sooo sore the next day!

And so... Saturday came and I went with three of my girl-friends to get an hour long full body massage.  It was wonderful and hurt so bad but wow, it was amazing!  My three friends paid for me as my gift.  If I remember right it was 70 minutes for about $25 US dollars.... I think... or $23.  

Then my sweet husband met us for lunch at a pizza place, the lady who owns it is a C,h r-is tian and donates 100% of her profits to the orphanage the college (Doziers school) is involved in building.  I have briefly talked about this place; with out giving too much detail, it will help some VERY needy children who have been abandoned from the culture just below us geographically.  This.. is about all I can say on here...

The food was amazing and some of their ingredients are imported from the States like their powdered sugar!  It can not be found here!  Oh well, we had a great meal and my husband bought me a new scarf and some chocolates.  After we left the restaurant, a C-h,in-ese man was holding a small handmade-looking string instrument; it resembled a large ukulele.  He came near us and motioned for money, it seemed and so we gave him one yuan (that's about $0.16 US cents) and he played for us a fun song that had us smiling and loving the moment LOL  We have no idea what he sang but he just smiled the whole time he was singing and just fully enjoyed himself   We applauded, then jumped in a taxi and headed for home  :D




All of my 6th grade girls.  They all ooh'd and awe'd over the flowers sent by my husband.  I think they are in love LOL

My Ch,in-e se Cake!!  Look very closely at the candle....


TA DA!!!!  I lit one fuse and it pops open lighting the other candles and sings happy birthday.  sooo fun





Taken in front of my school.  Look at the snow on the ground!  Not much at this point but it was sure cold!

I am holding my gift and paper rose from my husband <3
Oh I am wearing the scarf!



Thank you everyone for my birthday wishes!  It was most definitely memorable!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pictures of Thanksgiving in Ch-in.a

Okay a month late on blogging about Thanksgiving, but at least I have something to blog about!  Our English service held a Thanksgiving pot luck and whoa that was very interesting!!  I made about 6 different dishes and homemade lemonade ... Hmm I wonder why I did not have time to blog?  Not to mention deeply cutting my thumb on the vegetable tray in the middle of it all.. Eeekk.  It was a little scary but thankfully I had PLENTY of disposable gloves on hand to continue with speed.  

So where was my wonderful husband in all of this?  He went early to help gather tables from everyone's home, set up the room and practice with our B-b le study group.  They performed during dinner, along with many other acts and performances.  It was kind of like an open mic night.  It was very fun!! 




This was placed at each seat <3
My homemade banana bread

Our feast!!!

My good friend from the Philippines! 


Many friendly faces of our English service each Sunday


My Thanksgiving meal eaten with chopsticks and Kor3a,n  juice... Rice was involved but browned with mushrooms at least.


Dozier playing his 6 string with some good friends in
our weekly B-bl,e study.  Check out the 'picture' in the background made out of wood...  ;)





There is just something about a man on his guitar .....   <3







I just can not get enough pictures of this handsome guy!!








Many different culture's shown here: USA, Austrian, Germany, New Zealand... I think.  That guy only visited about a week.  And I can not remember who this is from the back, on the right, probably someone form the German department.

Some dudes talking after the meal.  Look his eyes are sparkling.  Taken with my camera phone.

The guy on the left, he is a a riot!  He is from Austria and speaks German as his first language, English as his 2nd, Ch in es. e and Kor3a,n  as his last.  You can imagine a conversation with him is flavorful LOL   He teaches math at my school.



I hope you all enjoyed the pictures!!  Cooking was definitely fun with an easy bake oven and 9 & 1/2 fingers HAHA  We had great food, and wonderful fellowship!   This was held the day after Thanksgiving.  

The night of, we went to a friends house and had fried chicken, real mashed potatoes, gravy from a packet from the States YUM!  Fruit salad, Kor3a,n  juice, red bean rolls, its just bread rolls with mushed red beans hidden inside as a 'surprise'... yech, he and I do not like them, but wow are they popular!

We love and missed having Thanksgiving with our family, but we were in the fellowship of the L. O R.-D and HIS people!!!  Our hearts, spirits and bellies were satisfied!  PTL!

D  +  M

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Playing catch up!

Hey friends!  What a hard time its been with the internet down so much.  We have felt so disconnected from our friends and family without Facebook, our blog and the ease of checking our e-mail.  Our Gmail e-mail is not blo,cked but we must be careful when opening any e-mail.  I promise to devote the next few days catching ya'll (that felt good to say that!) up to what has been happening in this part of the world!  

Very briefly, there has been a new go.ve,rnm`ent in place this past month and that is why the more difficult restrictions have been in place.  Do subscribe to our blog to make sure you get our updates!  I do send our link to my e-mail list to make sure we don't leave anyone out!

~~~~~  :D    ~~~~~

Our health is well!  Dozier did get over his skin irritation mess he was in; it took about two weeks.  We did get our box of medicine and wow has it come in handy!!  I (Michaella) have been suffering some of the worst allergy attacks in the last month.  It was pretty bad when I got here, and thought for sure it could not get worse, but wow was I wrong.  The benadryl (SP?) and Sudaphed (SP?) with hot showers, netti pot (again SP?) and steamed wash cloth has been my only relief in the evenings.  Sorry, its late and I can't remember how to spell the meds :)  Some good nights are around, but for the most part, the last few weeks have proven its difficulty.  Tonight is a good night so I can blog and the VPN is working!!  Hooray!!

The last Thursday before school let out, for me, I began losing my voice and got full laryngitis the day after school was out.  That Friday, I was very hoarse, and one of my 5th grade boys, looked at me with big eyes and said in front of the whole class"Umm... Mrs. Michaella?  You sound like a boy"  Right then all of my 6th grade boys smacked him and muttered "dont say that"  "No!!"  "Shhhh"  HAHAH  I love my students.  I taught them what laryngitis was and that I get it every fall when the weather turns cold and is induced by my allergy attacks and its not contagious to them...  Oh well.  I made it the whole last day with my voice intact then Saturday, it was gone and I expected it to be gone for at least 3 -7 days, but that night my neighbor gave me an AM.ERI,CAN economy pack of my favorite cough drops, halls citrus flavor... Yeah I probably ate half the bag over the next 18 hours.  My voice was very high pitched Sunday and a bit scraggly till on Monday.  A minor cough this week, but I am pretty much back to normal today, a week later!!

We have both really needed rest, and have been worn down from the demands of deadlines and such... Oh it has been wonderful the rest and much needed cleaning and relaxation we have gotten this past week.

I have lots and LOTS of pictures to put up since this last month of being away from blogger and FB.  I will try to space them out to not overload the website!

Thank you all for the phone calls and love sent across the world!  It was a little sad for us on Christmas day, we can not lie... he had staff meetings on Christmas day and I still felt completely exhausted from this past semester the we decide to celebrate our Christmas on Saturday (today).  It snowed on the 25th here and today when we celebrated!  I will tell more with the pictures.  We had a wonderful day with each other playing in the snow!!  It snowed so much today!!  I made my first snow angel and I think it looked pretty good!  Then... my legs started to freeze because I am not acquainted with snow and did not wipe off the snow hard enough so, the freezing temps began freezing my legs but oh it was sooo fun!!

After our snow angels, he took me to an area I had never seen before on campus that was a small pond with beautiful rocks all around.  It is a few inches deep and totally frozen with fresh untouched snow.  Hmmm... what do you think we did????  Looked at it adoringly and walked away... NOT!  I must say, he did it first, the boy in him HAHA  he took off and slid across the snow and it uncovered the frozen pond.  I widened my eyes and breathed out frosty air and said ""AAHHH COOOL!!!"  And.... ran and slid too  :D

We laughed so hard and stomped on the ice and was reassured it was completely frozen.  This pond is literally 2-5 inches deep and that was it.  So we scooted and tried throwing snow balls at people but the snow was so loose and dry that it would not pack together no matter how hard we tried to pack it in our hands.  

I have never experienced such a day as this!!!!!!!!!  It was soooo much fun :D

Then, we clomped around the quiet campus, because, almost, all of the students have gone home and went to play in the playground near the family dorm.  So, the first thing we do, well, the first thing he does, is go up the steep tire wall to reach the top as I walk up the steps, carefully and meet at the top and he said "WHAT?  there are stairs???"  I laughed at his inner child as he crouched down and slid down the slide that was caked in snow.  I said "I am not doing that" as he slid down so fast he flew off and landed in a thud as his hood fell off.  It was quite hilarious.  Needless to say, I did not slide down that death trap with the fence like three feet from the bottom of the slide HAHAHA.

It was getting so cold that we finally decided to go home; it was a ghost town and getting dark anyway.  Home we went for hot lemon tea and leftover apple pancakes all to snuggle to keep warm.  Fun times in the Lee home in Ch,in.a  I am sorting pictures now, but here is one to peak your interest to get you back here in the next day :D 


Hangin with the dudes on the YUST campus


Have a great Saturday friends.  I am going to sort through the pictures and get some up soon!  And blog about my awesome birthday in Ch.in,a!!  Come back soon!!


Love to all and Merry Christmas!
D  +  M

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Preparing for thanksgiving in C hi.n a!

As I sit here eyes glued to my computer making multiple tests for tomorrow, I smell the wonderful smell of homemade banana bread!!  Oh yah!  Success!!  This is for my B Study group Thanksgiving meal on Thursday.  They have chickens and mashed potatoes provided.  Not sure what else, but so far those two things sound AMAAAAZING right about now!  Our English Ch.ur ch service is having a gathering on Saturday night with entertainment for the evening.  Its mostly any talent will be accepted, they just sign up and perform during dinner.  This could get interesting!  Dozier and I will be singing a few lovely songs with our B study.

So... for the last two weeks I have been searching for marshmallows  and to little avail, I have only heard of some flavored kinds around here... oh well.  I really wanted to make sweet potato casserole and have been secretly pining for a bag to complete a traditional AMERICAN!!!  sweet potato casserole... Well, I thought all hope was lost and then.. my coworker called me a few minutes ago just to say that her family sent her a care package in which it contained.........
A BAG OF MARSHMALLOWS!!   Oh YEAH!!  And she wants me to make it for Saturday!!

Ok... So I was just a little excited! 

I will also make sweet carrots, a baked veggie dish which will probably only have zucchini and carrots and cinnamon apple bread.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!  Enjoy a picture of my homemade banana bread here:

Whats this?  A missing piece?    :D


Thursday, November 15, 2012

A little FB flirt HAHA

I put this on Facebook earlier today on Dozier's wall.  I thought this was (too cute and) a perfect look into our lives right now :)  This is to share with our many NON-Facebook friends, because we love ya'll too

That felt so good to say YA'LL!!!

Enjoy!


"
Your cute.  Lets facebook flirt ;)   Wanna take a loud and obnoxious bus downtown, fish our way through a thousand people we can not speak with, take the never ending staring and pointing with a smile, share a candy covered rotten apple ( LOL ), do our best to not buy every item the sales clerk shoves in our hands as they are "talking loudly" to us (YELLING!), only to walk a mile uphill in the freezing cold back to our teeny but cozy dorm room and look at our one back pack full of food we just spent 3 hours trying to purchase?

Yep... that sound glorious to me.  You know why?  Because that is OUR life <3
"

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Best times to call D + M in Chin.a

Hey friends!!

Some have been asking when is a good time to call so... I created a list of our available times to take calls for your convenience!  It is a house phone so obviously... we must be home to answer!  First, our number is a local number and works as if you are calling us in Birmingham AL.  

You can call us on Michaella's old cell phone number,     205-332-9865    Our calls are made through Magic Jack and works through the internet.  We bought a dinky little house phone that buzzes in our ears like a bumble bee, but its ok because we only spent about $5.50 USD on it so if it goes out then oh well.... have to get  one that's a bit better.  It was the cheapest one we could find, some range up to $120 USD!!

Anyway!!  Here are our available times that we are home; I will write the times forhe t Central time zone to make it the most clear:

(PS This is while in daylight savings time, when the US falls back; that means we are 14 hours ahead in time here)

Sunday:         5 am to 9 am
Monday:        5 am to 9 am
Tuesday:       5 am to 9 am
Wednesday: 5 am to 9 am
Thursday:      5 am to 9 am
Friday:           5 am to 10 am   ALSO 5 pm to 12 am
Saturday:      12 am to 9 am   ALSO 10 pm to Sunday at 9 am

Our Eastern coast crew, just add one hour because we are 13 hours ahead.  I hope this was not to confusing... We are home around 5 or 6 pm each night and its hit or miss on the weekends.  

We love you all!  Please eat some turkey for us!

D + M






School dayz in C.hin.a November 2012

Hello everyone!  Just a quick update on the life of the Lee family:  Life is going well, and we are just swamped with so many wonderful new and exciting experiences everyday!  Life is still hard and think it will stay a bit difficult here and there.  We are very excited about the new things taking place here for example, Doziers school is building an orphanage here that will house over 300 children.  It will be on the outskirts of the town, but on the other side of the town that we are not living on.

We take an offering every Sunday for the building of this place.  What a humbling moment, doing M work and STILL GIVING to the work of the Almighty FATHER!!!!  Last I heard we may be about a third into what we need to raise here to begin buying supplies!!  I am unable to go into much detail on the exact kinds of children, for certain censo,re.d  reasons of course.  Please join me in CONVERSATION the the FATHER that funds will come in and the bill will be filled for them!  I do know MANY in the school are ready to go build but we need supplies to build it!

I (Michaella) am very excited about this new work lined up and can not wait to see it finished!

Our classes are going well; it is very tough for so many reasons: language, culture, different ways of thinking and just learning how to respect their culture while still maintaining our own, respectively.  My 5th and 6th graders are a handful because of glorious young teen puberty... yaaay.. LOL

Last week, I had first report cards go out, family night and parent teacher conferences. WOW what a whirlwind the last two weeks have been!!  So I apologize for not blogging more!  Many nights we both have wanted to but with so many events and school we have just tried to maintain!

On Monday, my class is giving a small presentation, as every class will do in the school year.  Our skit is on Rindercella slopped her dripper.  It has been very tough and grueling trying to direct my, at times, chatty and giggly young teens to cooperate in the very minor "romantic"scenes- that is, as much as Cinderella is romantic with the prince.  I can not wait to put up some pictures and hopefully get a video AND download it!

Well, its Thursday night here and we are sitting in the campus coffee shop freezing thinking on the results of yesterdays polling results...  May the results all bring us into a deeper understanding of our FATHER and deepen our fai.th in HIM :)

So this evening we ate cafeteria dinner and the spicy Lomein warmed our bones for a time but ooh!  Its below freezing each night and my once hot tea is icy cold now!!!  He is drinking coffee and I am drinking citron tea with a little honey.   OH SO TASTY!

Last night, we were invited to a parents house for dinner, and the family spaghetti, that is a common thing to serve your child's American teacher LOL.  We had Ko.r3an cookies and home prepared Sycamore tee.  WOW it was sooo good!  We shared great laughs and a time of serious bl3ssing from the father of the house.  How great it is to be among people who truly care about what is going on in our lives, because we have our hands in their children's lives!!

Gotta run, I have many papers to grade, slow internet to attempt browsing and plus my fingers are cramping from typing and the cold in the coffee shop.  I added this picture onto facebook from instagram so I hope you enjoy!  We took this as we left Chu.ch last Sunday 11/4/12.  This is our walk in the long hallway that we all call "The great wall"  From the outside, it was built to look like the real thing.

LOVE TO ALL!!!  Please eat some turkey and some authentic southern dressin for us will ya!!


(PS... That brown BOOK is the new Bi.ble that was sent to us by some good friends of ours.  Thanks to all those who contributed to our care package!)


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Snow dayzzz in Ch. i.na

What is this crunchy white stuff under my feet?  Why, its SNOW!! 


If you cannot read what I wrote it says:
"FIRST SNOW IN CHINA
10-22-12"



Finally I (michaella) has seen a thick blanketing of snow!  Dozier and I were in our dorm room, studying for the next days classes when one of my fellow teachers came banging on our door.  She was yelling COME SEE THE FIRST YA.NJI SNOW!  (There are three other faculty near our door).

Everyone poked our heads out and within a few minutes we were outside standing amazed under the lamp post.  I could not believe how dark it was, and how little our visibility was!  I was completely astonished.  My fellow teacher from North Dakota was laughing at me, just so enjoying,  a newbies first few minutes of REAL heavy snow. 

 I couldn't keep out of it as I tried to catch some on my tongue  more like was pelted in the whole face.  The flakes were HUGE!!  Such an exciting moment, then I began feeling very wet and soaked then said I think I need to go in now.  Thankfully, i stopped snowing somewhere just before dawn, then the ground was completely covered.  I would say in the highest parts, maybe 5 inches and low points maybe 4 inches.  It hard to tell, because the wind is so strong here.




A view from the second floor of our dorm building.

This is a view, from the second floor of the front
 entrance to our dorm.




This is overlooking an open area near the family dorms.




Family dorm area.





We took a walk to the coffee shop for coffee/hot cocoa and some awesome grading.  This is in between dorm 3 and dorm 2.
Just beautiful <3




This is the front side of our dorm, dorm four.  We were walking in the "great wall" on campus to the coffee shop.

A walking area where many sculptures are out on display;
art 
work that the students have made i.n the past



Snapped this right outside of the campus coffee shop.  The steps had frozen over so fast, that I almost slipped right off of the front steps leading outside.  I did an ultimate gravity check, and yes, my conclusions were correct: gravity is in perfect working condition.





Another view outside of the coffee shop.





Coffee shop




So thick!!  Check out the footprints!


This is a view from our campus over looking Y.an.ji. The ring and sculpture in the middle is one of the many pieces of artwork from the college campus.

I took this from inside the "great wall" on campus.  The next time im outside and not in such a hurry to get to school, I will take some pictures of our "great wall".  It was built to protect people from the weather, ease of getting to each building and for safety.  Some call it the "great hall"  because that is what it is, literally.  From the outside, it is built as a replica of
The Great Wall of C.hin.a


This is the view the next morning from my teeny tiny kitchen window.  We live on the ground floor.  The pink building in the picture is the campus Nursing building.

The rest of the pictures were taken on my way to school.  
I left early just so I could take pictures in the sunlight.  
This were taken about 6:45AM on October 23, 2012.
  Enjoy!!
This was written by the other middle school teacher.
She totally rocks!!


My walk to school each morning overlooks the city.  The snow is covering so many little crops from the locals.  Its all gone now...

My rain boots with a snow liner in my boots.  I hope they will keep me warm enough- this is my walk to school the next morning.  


Hello Ya.nj.i Chin/a!!


This area was once crops; the mounds are actually the dying piles of harvested corn stalks.

More covered crops; the stalks here are dying sun flowers.

The students soccer field goal.  I thought this was a pretty picture, and it shows how much it snowed last night.

Pretty scenery.  Just beyond these trees by about 50 yards are more crop areas from the locals.

DEEP FOOT PRINTS!!  I hear it will only get deeper! AAH

Pretty picture as I turn into the back part of my school.
So beautiful!!



Signing off for now; it is midnight and I need rest for Friday!  It is family night for the middle school, that is me and one other teacher lolololol  we combine 5th and 6th (me) and 7th and 8th (that is the girl who banged on our door to come see snow).

Much love to all.  Please reference our Pr.a.y/err tab, there are some pressing needs to be LIFTED up!

I do hope to blog on my schools family night after we have it on Friday!!

KEEP PR.A!S!NG THE FATHER IN H3AV.EN WHO SITS ON THE THRONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Set your gaze like a flint towards HIS SON; this may be established by intentional reading of the WORD and seeking HIS FACE!!  GLORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!