Sunday, January 22, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Well I haven't been doing very well at keeping this updated but I shall try harder to do such from now on. I am home from China and living in a new apartment in Provo, UT! I absolutely love it! Great ward and Awesome room mates! Meeting lots of new people and enjoying school. I am still teaching at home a few times a week. Anywho, I am still deciding on my next big adventure, Peru? The Philippines again? Australia? I have yet to decide :) A great happening this past week was we FINALLY got some snow here in Utah! Yeah! We already planned a trip to go snowboarding/skiing this Saturday and it is going to be a blast.

A new favorite thing of mine is working out at Gold's Gym. I do enjoy working out but this place has the coolest thing ever and I may have to build one in my future house :) Cardio Cinema! Lots of cardio machines and one big movie screen on the front wall! Let me tell ya, running is so much easier while watching things like Lord of the Rings :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Single Digits!

I am down to 9 days left of my China life. I am very excited to go home to my normal life and my family and friends! I will however miss my little kids :( I got quite a few kisses on the cheek today and they were adorable. Going to miss those cute little faces everyday! Good thing I still get to teach kids again when I get home in swim lessons! If this trip has done anything it has made me so extremely grateful for everything I have back at home. I have also affirmed to myself that I really want to be a 1st grade teacher, I just love these little kids. Yes, they are frustrating at times and horrid at others, but the sweet little things they do makes them all worth it. We have had a change in schedule for parents day tomorrow (Friday), we are teaching in the afternoon for only an hour instead of the morning SO Kailey, Cami, Kate and I had a girls night and watch a movie and chatted most of the evening about things we are excited for back at home...mostly food...haha. I think every person here is excited for real food. Word of advice to those planning to visit China, bring lots of snacks. I don't know who came to america and decided that Chinese food at places like Panda Express was considered is not even close to legit Chinese food. Well today the weather dropped to about 15 degrees with an icy wind that is blowing so hard right now the building is whistling! No snow yet, but we had flurries all day today, not wet enough to stick. Oh well, it'll make the home coming even better if the first snow I see is at home :) We get to sleep in tomorrow morning! Yeah!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Last of my Thankfulls!

23rd- Hot showers. We only had about 1 minutes worth of hot water at our hostel this week and showering in cold water in the winter is not my favorite!

24th- Vitamin C! Everyone in my group has been getting sick and I am very thankful my mom sent me two bottles of vitamin C, it has thus far kept me from catching the ILP cold!

25th- I am thankful for skype! I have been able to keep in touch with my family and friends back at home while I have been living in China.

26th- My car! I have been riding in taxi's and on public buses for 3 months and it is just so much easier to drive yourself places, I'm very happy to have my own car!

27th- I am thankful for my head teachers. They have been our mothers here for the past 3 months and have had to put up with a lot of stuff from everyone and yet they are still around, thanks Cami and Marie!

28th- It has been bitterly cold here as of late and I am very grateful that I have a winter coat and gloves! I would probably freeze without them! Thank you mom for sending them!

29th- I am thankful for oatmeal. Strange thing to be thankful for, I know, but seeing as I very much dislike rice, this has been a life saver that I could even purchase it here in China!

30th- I am thankful for the opportunity I have had to come and live in another country. It has been the most challenging thing I have ever gone through thus far in my life, but I have learned a lot and I am more grateful than ever for all the things I have back at home.

Well that wraps up November! Onto December! Only 15 days to go :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


We have left and returned from Qingdao already and I wasn't able to get blogger to work in our hoste so I will fill you all in on the happenings of our final vacation!

Qingdao was an old German settled Chinese town. We went and visited the old part of the town...or what is left of it, it is pretty small now and beaten up. Also were able to take a tour of the old German prison! It was way neat and super creepy! In the main building there are tons of pictures of the prison from back in the day and even some really graphic ones of those on death row. The creepiest part was the actual jail area. Most of the doors were closed but a few were open and had very realistic looking wax people in them! It was so creepy! Then we reached this spiral staircase that went down into this tomb looking area with very small ceilings. It was there version of torture chambers! They had all the devices used still down there and even had blood on the floor still...sorry if that's a little too graphic, but it's true! Next we went and wandered around the boardwalk by the ocean and met lots of interesting people and walked out on the pier. We found this really neat shopping market by accident on a search for breakfast one morning and loved every minute of it! There was a small bakery about a mile or two from our hostel that we went to for breakfast "danish's" each morning. We had a fun adventure one day in search of the Wal-Mart..which we never did find...we just kept hoping on random buses and had some very funny moments on them. The bus drivers in Qingdao are insane! How could I describe this to you...For any of you who have ridden the Indiana Jones ride at was EXACTLY like being on that. We all thought we were going to get thrown to the back of the bus multiple times! The weather there was quite chilly and very foggy/smoggy for most of the trip. It was neat at our hostel though, because we had the 10-bed room (5 sets of bunk beds) which was not attached to the rest of the hostel, we had our own little cabin so to speak which was way nice. I think my calf muscles grew about and inch in that 4 days. Our hostel was on the top of a hill and everything to do was at the bottom...we hiked up and down these steep hills all day long! Never thought good would come of climbing 300+ stairs everyday at school but it certainly helped here! We hopped onto a bus to come home earlier this afternoon, about a 4 hour drive and our bus looked like a space ship! Instead of walking in the door and finding a seat you had to climb this big stair case and the seats were like in the upper deck of a double decker bus. We sat right in the front, over top of the driver, reminded me of our old motor home we used to have with the bed above the drivers seats. When we got home to Weihai it was way cold, but alas, still no snow. 19 More days!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Catching up!

I am quite a bit behind in my Thankfuls!! Here comes my catch up :)

17th- I am thankful for my religion. It has been a great asset to me being far away from my comfort zone and I am lucky to be a part of it!

18th- I am ever so thankful for my health! I see so many people in China with these horrible coughs or illness' and I have friends back at home battling some hard health issues and I am so grateful that I have been able to be pretty healthy for most of my life!

19th- For my little sister :) I know I drive her crazy and probably annoy her the rest of the time, but I do it out of LOVE. And even though we don't hang out a super ton here in China, I do not think I could of done this trip to China without her. Just knowing part of my family is down the hall is comfort enough most days when I feel homesick. Love you Abs!

20th- Only fair seeing as I mentioned the sister...My Awesome little brothers. I am so thankful I have them around. They are both the comic relief in life as well as an inspiration. They are both amazing athletes in running, as well as Matty's swimming and I am so proud to go to their meets and races and scream ever so loudly (I am sure it embarrasses them both) for them both. I love being able to go around and say "Yeah, THAT's my brother :)" Love you Kenz and Matty!

21st- WE GOT OUR HEATERS TURN ON TONIGHT! And I can honestly say I am so thankful for the furnace in my house! We have small radiator looking things on the wall that are heated by hot water so unless you are touching it the heat doesn't get much farther. So thankful I have a furnace that blows hot air through out my house!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

30 day countdown!

Well it has finally come, we are in our final month of our China experience. 30 more days and we will all be on flights home to our families and friends, just in time for Christmas! The song "I'll be home for Christmas" has a whole new meaning this year...and yes Kate and I have been listening to Christmas music, probably since like halloween :)

We woke up this fine Sunday morning and to MY amazement, it was snowing outside! I LOVE the snow! Many of our other teachers were not so excited. It was pretty wet snow...more like slush...and didn't stick on the ground, but it looked pretty coming down anyways!

Today Kate and I were bored so we went through our suit cases and checked through all the stuff we had bought to see what else we needed to get this coming weekend. Afterwards, I decided to put away all my summer/fall clothes that I new I wasn't going to wear again and packed them all up, along with things I am not ever going to use. I have found I am going to actually have tons of room going home, I am pretty sure this is due to all the food I brought with me here that is not making the return trip :)

As I was going through my drawer of stuff I came upon my swim cap and goggles...You know I think this is the longest I have ever gone without being in a pool, in my life! I have not seen, been near, or swam in a pool in 3 months! That has NEVER happened to me before! I actually miss swimming and being around pools, I even miss the smell. So for about an hour this afternoon I wandered around with my cap and goggles on my head, everyone got a kick out of it...except my sister she didn't find it very strange haha.

This Friday we are heading out to Qingdao for our final 4 day vacation. We are gone Friday till Tuesday night. Qingdao is an old German settled town in China, we are all really excited for the fun stuff they have there and our final big shopping trip!

We have had a count going for teaching and we are down to our last 18 days of teaching. I went through this afternoon and planned out all my lessons for the rest of those 18 days and I am excited to make these fun crafts and activities with my kids. We have also decided to have kind of a "picture day" with the kids when we get home from Qingdao, so we can have a picture of us with each of our kids. It'll be nice to put in my China scrapbook when I get home.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I am thankful for...

13th- I am thankful to have such easy access to church buildings and temples! In China, we have to attend church in someones bedroom over skype. I have been so used to living down the street from like 5 different meeting houses and I am thankful to have both them, and temples, so close to where I live.

14th- Hand Sanitizer....I know it may be an odd thing to be thankful for but pretty sure I could not of survived the last 3 months without it!

15th- My job. My family can attest to you that I have not always enjoyed my job but after being away from it for so long I am very thankful to have it and I can honestly say I miss my lesson kids!

16th- Warm clothes! We have not had any heat turned on in our school yet so we've been having to layer up on all our clothes to keep warm and I am so thankful that I have warm clothes to do so with!