Preparing to Live in China (1986)

Teaching English listening and speaking skills in China circa 1986

I was 23 and selling everything I had.

About this time, 31 years ago, I was preparing to live and teach in China. I really didn’t know exactly where, yet, just somewhere in the Mainland.

But, I almost didn’t go.

I got scared.

Midway into the interviewing process, I found out I would be teaching adults.

Most likely it would be professors at a university. Say whaaaaa?!!!

Yeah, I started re-thinking this E N T I R E thing.

A lot of unique things happened up to this point, and I really felt I was to go to China, but then I heard this little tidbit. 🙂

Not only was I going to a third world country, didn’t know a bit of Chinese, nor any Asians, at all, but now felt this was really stretching it for me.

I had just graduated with an elementary education degree and knew nothing of teaching adults. Much less professors…YIKES!

But, I believed God had called me to do this.

That’s part of the fascinating, unfolding story I will probably share later.

So, I had to trust that He knew what he was doing.

I had always believed the saying, “Where He calls, He will equip.”

And now was my time to step out into the deep and

“DO IT AFRAID”.

Let faith be bigger than your fear vignette.

TO BE CONTINUED…
PS Oh, and I might add, my boyfriend at the time had just proposed to me…
but I would be gone for a YEAR!

Read about our long distance courtship here:

 https://thentherestwo.com/2016/10/23/29-years-ago-i-married/

Do it afraid poster

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Tornado Season

We’ve had some stormy weather here lately with a mix of cold and warm air. And you know what that means, tornado season is upon us. 🌪😮 

As scary as that is, I have always loved a good storm. The power of the wind coming through the trees, the sounds from the rustling leaves, and the colors in the sky make for a beautiful atmosphere. 💗

Pretty sunset in Midwest.

Storm clouds.
Storms in Indiana
Storm in Indiana
A stormy day and Indiana.

Easter Decorations

I LOVE Easter and all the spring colors.

I bought a lot of Easter decor this year; probably more than I’ve ever purchased before.

My mother painted this little chick many decades ago, and I decided to use all the wild violets in the yard as a backdrop. I’ve never seen this many. It looks like faint, purple blankets laying all over the yard.spring chickI’ve been playing with flatlays on Instagram.

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I just thought these bunny plates were so cute and vibrant!

bunny plates

bunny flatlaypinkbasket decorrabbit and blossom decorwooden eggs

Did anyone else decorate?

Are you having a big Easter dinner with family?

What yummy things do you cook/bake?

Born Today, 23 Years Ago…My New, Lil’ Tax Deduction

Today is the day my daughter was born, 23 years ago.

So please bear with me as I brag on her. 😉

This blogging is kind of like a life’s journal, right?

Anyway, I was scheduled to be induced as I was past my due date and had grown very, very LARGE.

And, as usual, (I had done this before. 😉 ).    I couldn’t sleep at all!!

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That morning was stormy and a tornado warning had just been issued. We joked about naming her Stormy. We had names swirling around in our head, but hadn’t chosen one, just yet. (Ha, I realized I used “swirling” around; that really was  coincidence.)

She was born at 5:35 on April 15th, and we named her Morgan.

Yep, she was our new, little, tax deduction. 😉

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Well, not so little.
She weighed 9lbs!!!! :/

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She was a joy from the minute she arrived; an easy baby.
AND SOOOO cute, I must say. 🙂

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Everyone always wanted to hold her. I got comments everywhere I took her.

As she grew, her eyes became so expressive. She had/has large, pretty eyes with super long eyelashes, just like her Daddy.

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She’s always been more quiet.  She’d just sit back and observe everything. So, at first, she seemed a little shy and rarely talked. (I used to be that way all through grade school…hard to believe now. ) But, she was also quiet due in part to her ACTIVE, TALKATIVE, big brother.

One day, she was caught talking to her little “boyfriend” (in first grade) and the teacher scolded her and said, “Morgan I always catch you talking to Quinn; do you ever stop talking?” And the teacher told me Morgan then put her little hands on her hips and emphatically exclaimed, “Well, I can’t get a word in edgewise at home because of my brother!”

Morgan never really gave us any trouble.

She used to be a cheerleader, violin player, volleyball and basketball player.

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She enjoyed helping in church by leading worship during the adult and teen services. She loves to sing and can sing harmony.

She’s always been quite the fashionista, since she was young. She would rather get jewelry and pretty shoes for her birthday presents, than toys. Every time we went shopping, I’d turn around to find her on the floor trying on shoes, even adult ladies’ shoes. HA

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Her kindergarten teacher told me Morgan would often notice what she was wearing and would even compliment her.

Later on, Morgan graduated early from high school (she couldn’t wait to get out of there) and sadly moved far away from us to Georgia. She had met a cute boy while visiting her cousins, through the years, and I think that was a big draw to leave Indiana.

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Plus, she said she always hated the overcast weather here in Indiana. I also think it was fun driving around on golf carts in that golf cart community down there.

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She attended college and graduated with a 4.0 then went on to be a dental assistant.
She married that wonderful guy, bought a house and now has become quite the carpenter and decorator after watching all these shows on HGTV where they flip homes. (We’ve even decided to start our own blog together detailing some of her, and my work. I’ll let you know when it’s up and running. 😉 )

One, neat memory we share was when I entered her in a SUBWAY restaurant contest hoping to win a 529K college scholarship for her. She was 11. She ended up winning, and was one of ten national winners. They featured kids hoping to promote healthy eating.

subway

Maybe some of you younger bloggers saw those commercials.

Does the phrase “Play Hard Eat Fresh” ring a bell? She was featured as the ice skater. She had been a figure skater competing since she was five, so her sport was spotlighted in the commercials.

She first won a trip to Dallas where she shot in front of a green screen and met some phenomenal kid athletes from around the country. Then, later we were asked if we would like to travel to Hawaii to shoot commercials with Bethany Hamilton. She was presently working with SUBWAY and they offered to fly us to her home in Kaua’i.

Anyhow, it was all a fabulous blessing for our whole family to vacation on the gorgeous island of Kaua’i.

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Well, we vacationed while Morgan worked AND ate a lot of SUBWAY sandwiches. 🙂

 

I’ll end by saying my Morgan is a caring, compassionate person who can read people well and is good at tuning into peoples’ feelings. (I hope I had a part in training her that way.)

But, it makes my heart soar to see her reaching out to all types of people, from all walks of life, and going out of her way to think about them and finding ways to meet their needs. That makes me more proud of her than anything else.

Throughout her life, when people would compliment her beauty, I would always be quick to point out to her (and them) that a “pretty heart” was so much more important. I just didn’t want all the compliments to make her vain, and I do now believe my daughter, although so beautiful on the outside, is just as beautiful on the inside.

And that makes my heart happy and proud. 🙂

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Daddy and I celebrate the person you’ve become today!
We love you Morgie.

My Parents Married 55 Years Ago

The Wrong Place at the Right Time

My Dad entered the Marine Corps as a young kid from a small town in Indiana.

dad at bootcamp

Boot camp was in California.

He was one of three brothers who went into the Marine Corps.

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On leave, one weekend, he and some other Marines went looking for a church service and ended up in the wrong church.

Wrong, because he was looking for The Church of God based out of Anderson, Indiana, and the church he visited that day was a totally different denomination, The Church of God out of Cleveland.

Now, you may not think that is a big deal, but those two denominations are WORLDS APART and you would quickly know upon entering the doors.

A person might even be a little overwhelmed by it all; especially, back in the 1960s.

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But, Dad saw a cute girl singing in the choir and ended up coming back. 😉

My Grandma then felt sorry for the young Marines (so far from home) and invited them over for lunch after church.

And, the story unfolds….

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Two Kids Got Married

They were married April 13, on a Friday.

They’ve always joked about it being Friday the 13th….the reference being bad luck. (for all my overseas friends/blog followers. 🙂 )

Mom wasn’t even finished with high school yet.

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Mom’s brother Donnie was the best man and her sister Mary, the Maid of honor.

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Mom’s colors were turquoise with yellow accents. And dad wore a sharp, white tux he had made, to perfect proportions, in Okinawa. (Interestingly, where my brother is now deployed as a Colonel with the Marine Corps.)

Dad said he had been paneling the reception area the day before the wedding. 🙂

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And another little tidbit Mom has always shared…her organ player got upset about being put behind some drapes and ruined the music on this day. HA

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Then they headed back to Indiana where my Mom met her in-laws. She would always relay the story of how she was so nervous; a timid, young girl meeting an entire family at the airport for the first time, and on her honeymoon none the less!

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Life Moves On

Dad was still in the Corps and Mom was now pregnant with me, the first child. She was carrying me while Dad was on board ship during the Cuban Crisis. Mom said she was so worried as she watched the news and heard talk of America possibly going to war with Russia. It was a very serious threat at the time.

Later, Dad returned to do some construction work and then became a policeman. He attended college, at night, majoring in criminal justice to earn an AA degree.

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Mom would go back to finish her GED and then become a stay at home mom. Later on, she attended night classes for secretarial work where she worked for a temporary agency from time to time. (I remember her taking notes, in shorthand, during church. Does anyone remember that? I always thought it looked so cool!)

Later, in 1966, my little brother would be born (the Col) and we would move back to Indiana in 1974 where dad had been raised. (He being the outdoorsman from a small town…yeah, he was SO OVER California by then.)

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There’s so much more to the story….

To be continued..

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to MOM AND DAD!

The Newness of Spring


Spring is my FAVORITE time of year.

New.

Everything is new!

After experiencing cold, bleak days with no sunshine nor sign of color.

There’s now visible life!

Spring signals Easter is around the corner…bright colors, cute rabbits, and chicks.

Bringing a resurrection story detailing the ultimate sacrifice for a dark world.

It, too, brings change.

phlox flowers springing up in April

Newness.
HOPE.


Warmth is on its way!

I love how it feels on my face.

Oh, I don’t usually go out to enjoy spring as my allergies and asthma have kept me indoors, since childhood, but I still enjoy it from inside unless I get a rare day where the pollen count drops drastically. (That’s usually if a storm has rolled through like today.)

Thunderstorm in April in Indiana

Some years, I miss catching the bluebells in the woods, but here they are!

Bluebells growing in the woods in Indiana.

Bluebell flowers in the woods of Indiana

And I just got an early birthday present from my sweet hubby.  A larger iPhone…the 7! (I think he was surprised at how poorly I saw things, too…like his messages to me. 😉 )

So, I just had to test it out!

Physically it’s been a really rough couple of weeks, so I bolted out the door like a puppy that had been cooped up all day!
Enjoy the pictures.

Look! Even the weeds look pretty.

 

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4buds on a plum treebluebells of Indiana

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Little White Chapel (Tie Dyed)

I thought it appropriate to add a little tie dye to this cute chapel in Nashville, Indiana, being that this is right in the heart of a small town where local artisans live and create.

They sculpt, paint, sew, weave, bake, brew, work leather…you name it.

People come from all over the world to visit all the shops and take in the local beauty. (I hope to write more about it and share some photos.)

Meanwhile, enjoy your Sunday!An 1800 church in Nashville, Indiana.