Well, yesterday(Monday) started pretty normal. I went to school with the girls in the morning and then came back. Marianne and I take turns doing this. So I wake up about 6 and then we leave about 7 for school. It takes about 45 min. to get there and then on the way home we pick up the AYIs that live far away. We get back to our house about 8:45…depending on the HORRIBLE traffic that is in our city and surrounding areas! SO this week we are working on organizing the children’s clothes. I have been throwing away the thread bare clothes and recently we have purchased a few new things for them to have for school and also some clothes of their own. I like that the child will know that he or she has HIS or HER own outfit:-) Maybe that is the southern girl in me but I think it is fun to have clothes that don’t look like all the others and that they don’t wear each other’s clothes. But this gets tricky when you have many children the same size and age and mostly girls:-) Plus Chinese people think that ALL Small children look cute in pink and tedy bears…Gag ME NOW!!! So yesterday was a meeting of the minds:-) Momma Melodie got her strict voice out and layed down some rules!!! BOYS DON’T WEAR PINK WITH BEARS!!!! Not unless they are hunting the bears;-) Girls wear flowers…NOT BOYS!!!! I like that when we walk down the street it is clear which child is a boy and which is a girl!!! OH and the AYis have NO CLUE what matches:-( OH MY WORD!! I know this may seem tedious with the number of children we have but I am a stickler…southern girl…and my children will match:-) lol I taught them about matching:-) lol they think I am crazy already so what’s a few more reasons to make them believe this:-) Ok so my new system is that every child has a color ribbon and we have been sewing the ribbons in the Children’s clothes:-) It is quite time consuming but so rewarding…at least for me:-) HA! The children looked so cute today:-) But anyway, back to yesterday….So we were busily sewing and one of the AYis came in and spoke REALLY fast to Marianne…I didn’t understand it…Marianne got up immediately and I asked what was wrong…she didn’t understand the AYi either but she knew she should go. I didn’t think much about it and kept sewing with the other girls:-) A little while later I hear some man speaking. I knew it wasn’t our driver because he wasn’t here and it wasn’t his voice, so I went to look. We can see down to the second floor form the third floor so I saw a man dressing in regular clothes talking to the AYi. I didn’t know him so I went down. She looked a little scared…when I walked down the stairs and turned the corner I saw them…about 7 PSB officers…Public Security Bureau. Like the local police:-) I immediately wanted to run up stairs!!! But they saw me:-) and asked me to come over. They started taking pictures of me and telling me how beautiful I was…lol I said no, no, I am not but thank you. So then I saw some of the ladies were in the babies room and taking pictures and then asked to go up stairs. They took me in the kitchen and started asking me how long I had been here ad how long was i going to stay and do I have a passport and can I show them…etc! Many questions!!!! The head officer was the one not dressed in police clothes…I have learned this is normal. The second in command is the one looking the most official. He was not so kind looking and at that point I thought he was the top guy. So I introduced myself(in chinese) and told him my chinese name and english name and shook his hand. He never looked me in the eye but he smiled when I asked to shake his hand:-) That made my nerves a little better. So, I got my papers from my room and the AYi who had opened the door was in my room cleaning..hiding…she looked like she had seen a ghost! lol Poor thing! I answered all their questions that I understood and gave generic answers to the things I didn’t understand:-) I was shaking on the inside. We must registar in the area of the city we live in and they asked why I had not registered here in the village. Well, We always register in the city next to us because they are helpful and less trouble. We were told it was ok. But they didn’t know I was here so that is why they were asking me all the questions. i gave them my forms of registration and they were satisfied…I followed te law:-) PtL!!! So Marianne came back down with the women officers and they took a picture with me..lol very chinese. Then they said they will come often to check on us:-) We told them they are welcome any time and we are happy to have them. Then they left….it was the longest 20 minutes I have had in a while!!! I was just sewing…and then little did I know Was going to be questioned about everything. I am grateful they came…they liked the children:-) They knew we lived here, of course! They know everything…but it was still a little nerve racking for me..being my first time and all:-) So I went back in my room to put my papers away and the little AYi was still cleaning in the same spot I left her…HA She started looking at me and I told her it was fine and that the Gvnmt like to make sure the foreigners are following the law and all these things. She then said it’s not just the foreigners…they come to my house too and check my card(like they identity card) and ask questions(like about how many kids they have and if they are pregnant and if this is really their house…etc.) I didn’t realize this happened so often to native people also. I was grateful yesterday that even though the process is a little bit of trouble we follow all the rules:-) Today we heard about one of our friends who has lived here for MANY years and didn’t have his registration paper. The PSB came to his house today and asked about it and the man said he didn’t have it and thought he might have to be taken in. Thanks to the Father for protecting this man and his wife. They got everything worked out and our fine. This is a very political time here in China…they are getting a new president and everything is very controlled during that time. We are very closely watched and checked. But I am so grateful that i serve a Father who, at ALL times, Protects HIS people!!! My normal Monday turned into a day of gratefulness to HIM and ALL HE does for those that love HIM!! PLEASE keep us in your thoughts during this time…ALL of us here…It is a different time and just like we sand today…we don’t want to let satn blow out our flame:-) Love you ALL!
I am writing this post after one week of intense work around here:-) We normally have about 7 Chinese AYi’s(Chinese helper-Auntie) that help us around the house by week day, We have 2 in the night and 5 on the weekends by day. Well last week was the Chinese National Holiday…like our 4th of July. So we decided to let all our workers have 5 days/nights off work:-) It was exciting to me to have the children all to ourselves and know exactly what was happening all the time(sound controlling at all?) But I knew it would be a huge job. We have so much that we have to do during the week that doesn’t include the time spent with the children that we must have the help inorder to keep the work going. But for one week we could put everything aside and focus on the children ourselves!! Marianne decided she would be in the kitchen and I would be with the kids. Soooo, I planned the week and since we have 2 volunteers here form the Netherlands they helped me brain storm the week! Also I knew that some of my awesome friends from Wuhan were coming to help also! I was so excited about that. But unfortunately 4 of them couldn’t come at the last minute and there were only 3 coming at the beginning of the week and one coming at the end. Oh well…I was up for the challenge! Little did they know I was going to work them hard all week!!! We had such a great time and the kids didn’t know that was going on at first…constant boundaries and discipline were a new thing:-) But LOTS of fun at the same time. The week before I spent one whole day just cooking and putting things in the freezer for the next week. Cooking 4 meals for 20 ppl is quite a job! Especially in China!!! most chinese people don’t even have a refrigerator much less a freezer so they don’t have things that can be cooked that way. It was a very creative time to say the least but I managed to have Chicken Enchiladas, Pizza, Prita(a Dutch meal), and Roast with potatoes and carrots:-) It was an all day affair and i enjoyed getting to cook a little. I don’t normally have time to do that so it was refreshing:-) I put Sammy in the walker and he enjoyed being with Mommy all day and learning about cooking:-) I have put some pics to explain life recently:-) The first is kind of a discouraging pic…I have been studying for the chinese driving test…lets just say that chinglish doesn’t even begin to explain the complicated ways of this 100 question test. This is one of the questions….try it out for yourselves!! I have tried 4 times and failed all 4 times:-( You must make a 90 to pass….i am still working. There are 1500 practice questions….all just as complicated as this one:-( You can be lifting this up for me!!!!