Thursday, July 8, 2010

Welcome Home

Just wanted to let you all know - they are home! They arrived home 7/7/10 and were welcomed by many happy grandchildren!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Last Letter From a Student

my dear teacher:tomorrow you will far away from Qingdao university.I feel sad .because i can not see your face and listen your voice in the near future.but I am happy at the same time,for you can accompany with family again.good luck and farewell.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Only 13 days left...

Dear Family:

As we made preparations and began teaching "last classes" this past week, I have been reflecting on the past two years and the changes that have occurred in my students. It is with a full heart I see them reach out to hug me and kiss my cheek, when two years ago, they were so shy and frightened to show any emotion, let alone look at, or embrace a foreigner!
It is with a heavy heart that I go to my classes and face these dear people which have become family to me. As I enter the classroom, I feel sad, knowing that it will be the last time I will see many of them! I look in their eyes and see the hope of youth, with all the expectations and dreams which youth posses. What a blessed person I am, having known each one of them, yet so aware of the responsibility which is mine - to be the example my Father in heaven expects of me. The spirit here in China is very real and we have felt our Father's hand in everything we have done. It has truly been an experience of a lifetime and we are so thankful to have been a part of the BYU China Teachers Program.
As our students say, "I hope you have a happy everyday and I'm very miss you!"
With much love,
Mom and Dad
P.S. I am also sending a few "last class photo's."

Roger and Jane (a different Jane)

This is Jane the massage therapist/acupuncturist/acupressurist - AMAZING lady! We love her... and wish we could bring her back to the states with us.

Last Days in Class

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

James Yang

This is James Yang - Love this kid...
Here is a sweet email from him:
Subject: Thank you very much!!
To: Jane Halladay

Dear Mrs Halladay,
Thank you for that you have been my teacher for two years . We have a lot of sweet memories . There is one saying "Only you have lost it ,then you know how you love it.".It's just like you . Now we know how we like you . We will never forget you . You teach me think ,sing and write . You use your own method to effect us . Thank you .
Today in the class I want to ask you ,if you don't mind if I say your age ,like you ,in such an old age , how can you come to China to teach us with enthusiasm. I always think if I was in such an age ,what would I do . I think your life just is a legend . Sometimes when you tell us your experience,your famliy and your children . You never know how I admire you . I would like follow your step to taste the life .However ,I know I have my own life . Thank you for teaching me you should smile to your life , others and yourself.
Thank you !
Much love ,
James Yang

Saturday, June 19, 2010


I just had to write and tell you about Jordan, one of my Post Graduates from last year... I haven't seen her for about 6 months, due to the fact that her class is now studying in a hospital as well as working with the Doctors in that same hospital.
She usually comes to visit with Ronnie (a girl) Simon, Edward and Never. I can't even remember the last time they all came together to see us.

I need to give a little background on Jordan, so I will remember her and you will have an idea about her and her personality. She comes from a poor family. Her father is a "worker" and her mother has a shop which sells fresh flowers. Jordan is a very serious girl and looks very serious at all times. Her determination to be the best student in her class comes because she is very aware that females traditionally do not make good doctors and academically they usually are not as smart or serious about their studies as their male counterparts. She is not one to smile often or laugh and giggle. She is in school to achieve and be the best in the class! Whenever I would hug her goodbye she always "held back."

Yesterday Doris called us and ask if she could drop in and see us for a little while
and we were delighted. She said that Jordan was with her and we were especially
happy. I was not prepared for the welcome we both received from our dear little Jordan. As she entered the apartment she walked immediately to me and put her arms around me and kissed me repeatedly. She held my face in her hands and looked very closely into my eyes, almost as if she couldn't believe she was seeing me. She just kept looking in my eyes and kissing me repeatedly. Then she kissed my neck and held my hand, as if I might escape. Needless to say, I was astonished. Then, she hugged and kissed Dad and kept touching him and looking in his eyes. She then ask him if she could rub his head, something she has always wanted to do! The look on her face is something I will never forget and it touched us both. Tears came to my eyes and she kept telling me that she didn't want me to be sad and ask me to promise her I wouldn't cry. As we sat on the sofa, she whispered to me and told me that I understood her like no one else ever has. She said there is not a Chinese person or family member who understands her like I do! Needless to say, I was flattered. And then she told me something that really made the tears come to my eyes! She said, "Mrs. Halladay, you have changed me for the better and I will never be the same because of you and no one has had a bigger effect on my life than you."
She went on to say that I had told her something once that changed her life...
It was: "don't ever take yourself too seriously, no one else does."
I sat close to her on the sofa and she held my hand as if I might escape. I could hardly believe that this was the same Jordan I taught a year ago... She has matured and she is at the top of her class! She told me that someday she would come to the U.S.A. to see me AND I know she will. She kept rubbing my hand and holding it and looking at it. I mentioned that my hand is an "old" hand and she just smiled and kept rubbing it and looking at me and smiling.

We were on our way to May 4th Square and they escorted us down to the front gate
of Qingdao University, and she held my hand, with our fingers entwined.
I felt very cherished and special yesterday and as Dad and I talked about her visit, we both felt the the profound change in Jordan. All day I have reflected on her visit and I still feel the "magic" of Jordan...
It made me think, with reverence and humility, that the things I have been teaching and everything I have said and done for the past two years possibly DO make a difference..

Much Love,

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Last Week of Teaching

Dear Family:

Well this is the last week of teaching school for us and I have been very melancholy and sad. When I look in their eyes and see the trust and love they have for me, it is very humbling. They totally trust me and they have given their love to me with no restraint.
Last Thursday night Dan's class invited us to a class party. It was a humid, rainy night and we had to climb four flights of stairs BUT my dear Rocke and Habby met us at the door and escorted us up the steps. I baked peanut butter cookies and put a big Hershey's kiss candy on each cookie for them. They were so excited when they saw that we had brought a treat and as we walked into the room, they were singing a song for us - "My Love" by Westlife. I stood there with tears running down my cheeks and it was hard to get a grip on my emotions. We played two games and we both participated! I played the "apple" game and Dad played the "drawing" game. I had to stand behind my partner - Dan, close my eyes and hold an apple for him to eat. The twosome who finished their apple first was the winner. Needless to say, we were not the winners! As punishment we had to sing for the audience. Dad's game was for him to draw a face on the blackboard blindfolded, with a girl telling him where to draw what. They were not the losers, therefore they did not have to perform. Dad and I had copied the words to some American songs, and we all sang together. We even sang a duet for them and they cheered and clapped for us. Your old Dad has turned out to be a real singer for the Chinese. Somehow, I can't imagine either of us singing for anyone in the USA like we do for these special people who appreciate every little thing we do! As we left the building, walking down the black steps WITH NO LIGHTING, my sweet Dan and Rocke held my arms so I wouldn't fall. It was like walking down steps blindfolded! They all stood on the steps telling us goodnight as we walked away and my heart felt full.

Today I taught my last class! It was something I have dreaded since I started teaching in China... As I looked in those dear faces - faces I have grown to love so dearly - I thought my heart would break. I kept telling myself not to think about leaving and I managed to do it! Our lesson was on "choices" as they are preparing for the CET4 test.
Oh my, my old heart may just break this time...... As I walked up the street, away from building #2, I tried to remember the first day I walked down the street to building #1, room 509 for my first class as a BYU China Teacher. I recalled all the fears I felt. I remember the feeling of walking into that classroom and seeing 30 Chinese students glancing at me with wonder in their eyes but never really allowing me to "catch" their eye. When I spoke, they all bowed their heads. I sang a song and I will never forget the looks in their eyes as I sang. They looked at me as if I was TOTALLY crazy and I loved it!!!! As I walked out of the classroom that day, I realized that this is what I have been searching for, all my life! This fulfillment, this total trust, this adoration, this reaction, this joy! I knew that day the Lord had been preparing me for this for a long time and I knew that it would be a life changing experience for me. Every day in China has been a joy and I can honestly say that I have never regretted going to class to be with my students.

I have taken up a new hobby! I am learning, in the last two weeks in China, how to play the Chinese flute! Am I crazy or what? I have wanted to do this for a long time and the opportunity presented itself to me, and I took it! My friend, Tang ( pronounced Tong) is an expert flute player and I ask him about teaching me and he jumped at the chance to try teaching this old gal! I don't think he realized what he was getting himself in for!!! May I say that it is definitely hard to teach an old dog new tricks! Enough said... But, I will continue to try my best. Merlene said that she fully expects to be invited to Cedar City for a concert, presented by me as the soloist, playing my Chinese flute. I told her that I would have Barbara Shakespear accompany me on the ukulele!!!! ha ha ha

Life is good. We have SO much to be thankful for and the Lord loves us very much. We realize our many blessings every day in this country which is so different from ours. We do not take our freedoms for granted and we are grateful for our freedom of choice as well. We realize how precious our family is and they are the reason we are here on the earth - they are our joy.

We look forward to returning home, even if our parting here will be so difficult. It is absence that makes the heart grow fonder.
Until we see you all again...
All our love,
Mom and Dad

Monday, May 24, 2010

Airport SUPRISE!

Hi again:

Just wanted to tell about our weekend in Korea with our dear friends the Kang's. We left Qingdao on Thursday, May 20 to go to Seoul Korea and upon arriving at the airport - we noticed something unusual - several Americans! They all had red t-shirts on and they were all so happy. I looked closer and saw De'l Beatty!!!!!!! He is employed at Dixie State University now and he had been touring China with a group of students, doing a talent show. What a surprise!!!!! They were on their way home after 3 weeks on the road.
As we talked, we discovered that the President of Dixie State and his wife were there as well as a "Howard Spitzenberger" who served a mission in Cedar City in 2005. It just so happened that "elder" Spitzenberger was one of the elders I had agreed to do mending for and his temple pants were so damaged that I went and bought him a new pair. He goes on to tell me that I had given him and his companion goodies ( imagine that?) and I also made him a "Snoopy" pillowcase - which he still uses!!!!!!! SMALL WORLD...
We EVEN met two young men who ask if we were related to an "Erik Halladay." One of them - Reece Jacobsen, lived by Erik and Michelle when they lived on the east side of St. George. The other one - Mark Whitehead, lived near to Erik and Michelle in Santa Clara!
When we arrived in Seoul, the friends from Dixie flew on to LAX and we met our friend, Harrison Kang. He dropped us off at our hotel and agreed to take us to the Korean "folk village" on Friday morning. Saturday Dad went to the DMZ for a tour which he has been looking forward to and I went shopping with Brother and Sister Kang, their children, as well as Merlene Ellington. Saturday night, the Kang's treated us to an authentic Korean dinner, which was wonderful! But, the highlight of the trip, at least for me, was the chance to attend church with the Kang's on Sunday morning.
Those Korean Saints are spectacular! There was such a feeling of love in that chapel and of course the missionaries were there, as it was Ward conference. The music was all in Korean and such a spiritual feast. After the meetings - the Koreans had a big, tasty lunch prepared for us, before we left for the airport. I must explain about the Kang/Kim/Yeom family - they are the perfect example of Christ-like love for others. They give everything they have, willingly, to others! They treat company as family and consider you as an honored guest. How we love them! We NEVER witnessed an unkind word between them. They never talked about others unkindly. They are the kindest,dearest,most Christ-like,most pleasant, genuine, people I have ever met. It is a joy to be associated with such people.
It was a great weekend and as we told them good-bye, there were tears in my eyes and my heart was heavy, knowing that it could be the last time I would see them. We consider it a privilege to be their friends.


China Update!‏

Dear Family:

We have been busy!!!!!! I just thought that I should update you on a few more ideas plus what has been happening in our lives!
Last week was a busy one.... Monday night we went over to the "Yellow River" for dinner and as we walked in the door I couldn't
believe my eyes! A man was waiting for a "take-out" order and as all the food was being put in the take-out plastic bags I saw
the waitress go over to the Tsingtao Beer ( 15 gallon keg containe and fill a plastic bag with beer! "Take-out" beer
"to go" in a single layer PLASTIC BAG..... I really had a good laugh over that!ea

It won't be long, and we will be home to stay! I have such mixed emotions just knowing that I won't be returning to China for another year to teach English. I have a hard time not looking at my students and crying. They are the dearest people and I love them so much. I feel like a young mother - afraid to let her children stay alone for
the first time. I have taught the same students oral English since they first came to Qingdao as Freshmen and I
can't imagine my life without them!
I must say that they are not frightened of "foreigners" anymore and they look me in the eye when they speak now BUT I will miss seeing their faces light up when I walk in the classroom. I will miss them just waiting for me - only me - on the days we have class! I will miss the calls on my cell phone from them. I will miss reading about their families. I will miss walking to class in the mornings and seeing all the Chinese "Ni Ni's" and "Ya Ya's" with their grandchildren. I will miss all the sights and smells and emotions in China. But mostly - my dear Chinese family - my beloved students........
I am SURE that there will be days - when I return - that will be pretty lonely and I am sure that I will shed many tears of loneliness for China and my little apartment here. Even my hard bed and the hot water for the 2 hours every morning and the 2 hours every evening!!!! Even my crude little kitchen and hot plate AND my washing machine that causes me so much grief.

We both feel very blessed that we have had the privilege of living and loving China. We thank Heavenly Father
daily for our MANY blessings. We are so lucky to have such good health and each other. We have grown very close and we really rely on each other for everything.

We are most anxious to see all of you - family and friends. We have our return trip travel plans now - so it seems like a reality that we will be leaving China.
We look forward for the chance to be with all of you and spend some time with each of you. We have missed you - from the oldest to the youngest and we know there are many changes in all of us. Hopefully those changes are all for the best!

We arrive in Las Vegas on July 7 at 4:10 p.m. and will drive a rental car directly to Cedar City. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Much Love,

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I Love You So Much

My Dear Sweet Little Susan... she is so sweet and kind. How I love her!

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Dear Jane,
I was very happy taday,and I will never forgert this memerable day in my life. I feel that we are a whole family, making me think of my parents.I promise I will go back to my family in Qingdao University in weeks and Utah in several years.
It is told that if you love somebody, then you must let them know. Otherwise, you will be regreting for not doing it forever.So i must tell that I love you both so much from my deep heart.
Yours sinserely,

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Wonderful Week!

Dear Family:

What a wonderful week we have had with Lesa and Kimber here to stay! It was great to show them our students and
our beautiful city of Qingdao. We enjoyed every minute they were here and it was a tearful day when they left us.
We both felt like we were in mourning.

Yesterday we had my Post Graduate girls over to visit - Doris, Vicky, Karen, Fern Heather and Susan. They are always
a joy to us and they took us to lunch to celebrate Mother's Day. We really hated them to spend their precious
money on lunch - but they were insistent. They are so concerned and loving to both of us and I am sure that our
friendship with them will last a lifetime.

Then, yesterday afternoon we went to watch my Sophomores do a dance competition! It was lucky for us - because
all the dancers were my students!!!! It is great to see them outside of the classroom and the learning environment.
They were all so happy to see us there and I took many pictures. As soon as we arrived at the arena, , they took us
right to the front of the area and sat us among the judges. They also asked us to help give out the awards to the
winners. By the way Lesa, I took pictures of Daniel and Henry for you. Daniel had a new haircut and he wore some
elaborate eye make-up!

I feel very emotional lately, knowing these are my last few months in Qingdao! I love these dear people and this
gorgeous city. I love the little girl at the "Yellow River", I love the sweet people on the buses and I love my dear
students best of all! They have been my proxy family for the past two years and I will miss them. I will miss
walking into the classroom and seeing 65-70 smiling faces waiting just for me. I will miss my dear little Li Yang
watching for me every morning, with a big smile on his face, waiting to carry my suitcase to class.
I will miss the friendly doorman in our building with his "Nin hou". I will miss my sweet little cleaning lady, who
rushes to me every day and gives me a big hug and kiss on the cheek. I will miss walking everywhere I go or
taking a bus, loaded with Chinese faces. I will miss the delicious fruits and vegetables and the authentic
Chinese food we have grown to love. I will miss my trips to "RT". I will especially miss my visits to my beloved
Jimo Liu market and the dear friends I have made there.

Many of the the people I have met and associated with, do not speak a word of English and you all know that I
do not speak Chinese! BUT we talk with our eyes, hands and a nod of our heads. I have learned that gestures
are an essential thing in a foreign country! And I have learned that we are ALL children of our Heavenly Father.
I never dreamed that I would fall hopelessly in love with the country and the people. I love the traditions and
the display of respect. I feel as if the students idolize us and revere us because we are Americans and especially
because we are old enough to be like grandparents to them.

From the moment I walked into my first class as a teacher of English in China I fell in love totally and forever. I had not planned for this to happen quite so instantaneously, like a mother seeing her new baby for the first time, only my “babies” came in hundreds and ranged in age from 18 to 25. Looking back I realize I had been preparing for this moment many years before it happened and it will be with me forever.

I love all of you and I am anxious to be home BUT I am sure that in August I will get real sad and think of China. Be patient with me - PLEASE.

Much Love,


Sunday, April 11, 2010


Dear Mrs Halladay,
It's a long time since we met last time. Now I have been in the new place for three months,but I'm still unfit for the life here. I usually feel unhappy about the sad things. I even can't find any other things to do except studying. I went back to the campus alone yesterday, to think of the good memories there,the studying room, the library,the playground I ofen jog in the evening.
I remember the nice smile on you face and your young heart. How could you do that? Why I usually feel sad? I like quiet and don't like people talking and laughing together. What I can do? I need your help.

Yours sincerely
Post Graduate class

Thank you for the beautiful picture you sent to me. You are so very beautiful, my friend. :)
Much Love,
Mrs. Halladay

2010/4/11 Jane Halladay

My Dear Sweet Karen:

It was wonderful to hear from you! I am sad that you must study all the time and that you are so busy.
I really wish that you would come to see me and we could talk.
I think of you often and wonder how you are doing and if you are happy. It sounds like you are not so happy and that makes me sad. I wish all the good things that life has to offer for you. You are very special to me and I would love to help you in any way that I can.
I have learned the secret to a happy life and it lies within each of us. We MUST decide that we will be happy and put a smile on our face and try to make other people happy. I have found that when I am sad, it helps to try to help other people and make them happy. When I do that, I seem to forget my troubles because I am only thinking of other people.
Please call me on the phone when you are sad or e-mail or chat with me. You should not feel sad all the time. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating well? Please phone me so we can talk....
I love you very much and I hope that you will try to help others, as I suggested.
I will wait for your return e-mail or a phone call....
Much Love,
Mrs. Halladay

Dear jane:

Thank you very much fou your e-mail! As you said, I didn't have a good sleep for about a week, I often weak up in the night because my nerve is tense. I am very concerned about my study so I feel nervous. And I don't even know very well about how to make friends with other peple.So I feel lonely even can't find a true friend to talk about my happiness and sadness, beause everyone seems to have his/her world. So I remerber you, the smile I really admire.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

hello, Mrs Halladay‏

Dear Mrs Halladay,
It's my pleasure to write a letter to you. Long time no see, and I miss you very much.
You are the best teacher that teach me English practice, and I learned a lot from your class. You love us, and do a lot to us. I remember the happy time in your house. We really enjoyed it and thanks for your delicious food. I t's wonderful.
Now we are studying in the affiliated hospital of medical colleage of Qingdao University. As a medical student, I find time is so limited that I have a lot of things to deal with everyday. I'm sorry that I didn't write to you in time.
Best wishes.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Qing Ming weekend - April 2,3,4,5, 2010‏

Just thought that I would drop a short message for you to add to the Blog site regarding our Qing Ming weekend with our friends, the Henderson's. We had such a great time. Attached you will see Nancy and I at the pearl market, with Rita - the gal we buy the pearls from. Nancy bought a load of pearls and so did I. My list of pearls to buy for everyone is dwindling - slowly, but surely.

Also, you will see the fresh fish "catch" we saw that night - just hanging out on the busy street to dry!!! It looks kinda distorted and odd colored because it was taken at night! This was the second batch of fish outside drying - must be the season!

The Qing Ming festival is celebrated every year on the 106th day after the winter solstice. Actually in English, it is the "grave sweeping" or "grave cleaning" holiday. Sort of like our Memorial day. On this day, the family gathers to eat the food the matriarch of the family has cooked the day before, as they do not cook food on that day. The left-overs are taken to the grave site of loved ones and left for the deceased spirits to eat, along with wine. They also take large sticks of incense and "play money" to burn so the deceased can have spend the money in the afterlife.... They also clean the grave site sometime within a 10 day period.
Everywhere we went, we saw yellow "pretend money" which could be purchased to take to the graves. This is one celebration when the Chinese DO NOT use fireworks. Heaven knows - they light fireworks for EVERY other occasion.

We continue to sporadically have the use of the Internet and we continue to wait for the hot water every morning from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and every evening from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. But - life is good and we feel very blessed to live among these dear people. I guess, as frustrating as it is, there are big "pay offs" in the time spent with our students and dear Li Yang. It is all worth it because of the cherished memories we will have of Qingdao and our time spent living here.

We are planning on Lesa coming at the end of the month and we can hardly wait to show her our "life" here in China. We pray that she will have the same feelings that we have for these dear people. I really do not know how anyone could live among them and not see their many virtues and their kind, gentle ways.

Much Love to everyone,

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Days in China

Dear Family:

Been busy here and it seems that the weeks just fly by lately. Yesterday I saw some things that I do not want to forget, so I thought that I would write to you to post on the Blog.

We went to Jimo Market with the Blakes yesterday afternoon and had a good time helping Sister Blake shop for pearls for her family. Well, I will say that I had a good time pearl shopping, Dad was nervously pacing!!!!
The Blakes invited us to their apartment over by Oceans University after the shopping and as we prepared to return home, we noticed it was "rush hour" for the buses! All the school kids were at the bus stop, as we approached our bus stop and we looked at each other and wondered why we decided to leave at that particular time of the day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When our bus - the "202" arrived, I noticed a cute junior high age girl board the bus at the same time we did. She sat by a much older gentleman and as I was sitting directly across from them, I couldn't help but notice them. He smiled at her and handed her a plastic container filled with sliced apples, which she ate. What made me notice them in the first place, was the love and concern the "Yah Yah" or Grandpa had for the young granddaughter! He was so patient and loving with her in a very Chinese way. I noted the pride in his eyes as he looked at her and spoke with her and especially the detail he took as he handed her each food item to eat. He watched her eat with such love. He had a newspaper that he kept reading to her and they would look at each other and smile. He did this for at least one hour, as the bus kept stopping at each stop - people coming and going constantly. I wondered if they lived together or if he had just "gone to pick her up" at her stop???.. I will never know. How sad for me! Finally, he got off the bus, smiling at her as he exited the bus. She then moved to a seat by herself and then she got off the bus three stops later.

Family Love is the same in any language or culture. It made me stop and think of my own grandchildren and how much I love each one and how proud I am of each one of them. I am sure that foreigners in our country can see the same thing I saw yesterday in my eyes - as I look at my grandchildren - at least I hope so...

Something else I wanted to comment on, is how strange the school system is in China! For the past week, as I arrive to teach my classes, there are two girls standing outside the classroom waiting until the bell rings, signifying that it is time to start class.
Just before I start the class, the two girls enter the classroom and ask if they can talk to the students. Then, they call names of the students in the class, at random. I was curious as to why they are doing this and I ask Li Yang and he told me that they were checking to see if the students are attending class. So interesting. And, why do they do this??? I don't think I will ever know.

As I taught my Easter lesson today and looked in those faces which I have grown to love, I wondered what they would be doing a year from today and how their lives will have changed. I know that I will no longer be a part of their lives in a year and it really makes me sad.
They have such a child-like innocence that is so refreshing and I will miss. They speak and act with such respect and admiration-I will never forget them and the things they have taught me. I can honestly say that I love every one of them.

We are looking forward to Lesa and her planned visit to China. It will be so exciting for us to have her here and see the things we see and experience the things we experience. We just wish that every member of our family could come as well.

Hope your Easter weekend is a great one. We will relax and stay here in Qingdao with the Henderson's from St. George. Do a little or a lot of shopping, sight seeing and preparing for next weeks classes. Our thoughts will be with all of you, as we remember the Savior's resurrection and the celebration that He lives. We strive daily to exemplify His life as we live among these dear people, hoping that someday they will be able to have the gospel in their lives. We know that our example is the only way to spread His love for each of His children here on the earth.

All our love,
Mom and Dad

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Life in China!

Dear Family:

It has been SO long since I wrote to you, I am embarrassed and thought I had better send an update.

Life here in China is wonderful and busy! Dad's schedule stayed the same as last semester with classes 14 hours per week. He has Mondays off and teaches two, two- hour classes Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with one class on Thursdays.
My schedule is very different! I should expect that I would have an crazy schedule, as I always have... I also have Mondays off BUT now I also have Fridays off, as well !!!!!! I teach the "odd" and "even" week schedule, with four, two-hour classes one week and three two-hour classes the next week!
A lot less hours than Dad, BUT all my classes are writing classes. I have mountains of paperwork every week because I have papers to read and grade. I am learning so many things about my students and I am starting to love it. What started as something that I dreaded, I am now loving...
I still have predominately the same students I started teaching in Fall 1908, therefore I am VERY emotionally attached to each one of them.
They are all like family and I know so many of the little things about each one that endears them to me with each passing week. Such precious, kind, thoughtful, loving people. HOW WILL I EVER BE ABLE TO LEAVE THEM - knowing that I will NEVER see them again in this life????????

We are so excited that Lesa is coming to visit us the first of May. The students are so anxious to meet her and become acquainted with her. They are all hoping that she is here on the week I teach their class. I have talked so much about my family - they all know our family members by name. This will be such an opportunity for them. I only wish that the entire family could see and experience what Lesa will see and experience in the time she is here. It is a "once in a lifetime" chance.

It has been a real adjustment for us this semester, with the new hot water schedule. We have to plan our morning showers between 6:00 and 8:00 a.m.daily. And the hot water is on nightly from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Then weather is still cold here, but the heat in our building will be turned off in two weeks. I guess we shouldn't put our thermal underwear away yet!

We hear that Google is going to be discontinued in China soon, so we will have new e-mail addresses soon. The government here is doing some very strange things lately and we feel the effect.
We have not been able to update or view our Blog spot or the Facebook sites.
Now, we are not able to send any of our pictures on Picasa. . .
Even the computers are not dependable.

Three of Dad's students; Snow, Meili and Natalie came to our apartment the day after my birthday and brought a birthday cake and candles to celebrate. They are so thoughtful. Last year I made them spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, cabbage salad and apple crisp - they want the same meal again! It was amazing - those three little gals ate an entire loaf of bread and the entire batch of spaghetti. They love American food. But, they thought the apple crisp was too sweet!!! The Chinese do not like things that are too sweet. They LOVE meat.

Our days are passing so rapidly and I feel panicky, knowing that the time in China is short for us. I must enjoy every minute here with these dear people. I do not want to ever forget them - each smile, each facial expression and the looks on their sweet faces. I love to see their reaction to the crazy things I do. This week I am teaching them about Easter and the Easter bunny and everything concerning Easter - non religious. I made an Easter Bonnet and really gobbed it up with artificial flowers, a feather and brightly colored ribbon and as I sang "In your Easter Bonnet" to them, I flipped that crazy hat on, and they all smiled and cheered. They are so loving and accepting of anything I do in the classroom - I love it...

I have been very lax in reporting on the Blog, but I promise to do better.
I am looking forward to using my newly re-modelled kitchen and bathroom and "being there" and near to all of you.
Our prayers are with Keith and Mary NaDean at this time and we look forward to seeing them soon.

All Our Loves,
Dad and Mom

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Back in China - at last!!!!‏

Dear Family:

Well, we FINALLY arrived back in our beloved China - without our luggage!
After a long flight from San Francisco, we discovered in Beijing that our luggage was NOT on the same flight we were on!

We arrived back at our apartment at 11:30 p.m. to find that there was NO hot water in our apartment and there was a huge
mess in our building... ceiling tiles all over the place, pipes on the floors, paint splattered and white plaster everywhere !!
Luckily our dear friends, the Stevens', came in our apartment and cleaned our floors and wiped the dust off for us...
We had moved everything out of our kitchen and bathroom before we left for the USA and put it in our bedroom. So, we had
to clean all that up before we could even move around in our bedroom. Therefore,we finally fell into bed at 2:00 a.m.
And we STILL do not have hot water today. And we still DO NOT have our luggage today!!!!!!

I don't mean to sound ungrateful and like a complainer BUT it is really so funny...... I want to remember all these humorous things so that is the reason I am telling you! I think of those poor people in Haiti that were in the earthquake. They have nothing, not even a place to lay their heads, and I am just inconvenienced for a few days without the luxuries I am so accustomed to! It is a humbling thought....

It is very cold here and the wind has been howling since we arrived. We haven't been able to stay warm and I am back to
wearing my thick thermals again. To think that 3 days ago, in San Francisco, we wished we had worn shorts because it
was so warm!

Everyone we see is so happy to see us and we feel so loved. Li Yang has called us and is coming to see us
and the cleaning ladies in our building rush to me and give me hugs. It makes us feel so good. They are dear people and we have
learned to love them so much. I dread having to leave them for the final time....

I have my new teaching schedule and I am teaching writing classes this semester instead of oral English! Very intimidating.
The good news is that I only teach Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and only 1-2 classes a day!
This really excites me, knowing that Lesa is coming to visit us in May and I will be able to tour with her!!!!

We are feeling lonesome for all of you and we want you to know of our love and appreciation for you. You are exceptional people
and we love you so very much. You are our reason for living and we have such great memories of our time spent with each of
you while we were in the states. Josh is the only one we didn't see and we are sad that he chose not to see us.

We want you to know that we are where we are supposed to be and that Satan knows we are here because he is doing everything he
can to discourage us. The Spirit is strong among these dear people and we are privileged to be here and feel of their love. We are
just a small part of the preparation for the gospel in China and we feel the responsibility to be a constant example of the Savior's love
for ALL of his children.

All our love,
Mom and Dad

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Chinese New Year - Dumplings and Student

Dear Jane and Roger,
I am so glad to hear from you. I checked my e-mail again and found that you are right. I think I forgot to send you the pictures. How forgetful I am. I will send them this time and some other pictures I took recently.
I am so happy that you have got the present ready. I am anxious to see it. I have a very good time here in my hometown. It is really great to have fun with your family and friends. So are you. I think you must have a very very good time with your daughter and grandchildren. I AM ANXIOUS TO SEE LESA,TOO.
I have had many big meals since the Spring Festival. It is customs. Your relatives will call on you and have lunch with your family. Genearlly,there will be more than fifteen people, and we will make two tables of food and drink. One is for the man relatives,and the other one is for women and children. In the ordinary course of events,women and children have temperance drinks and men have beer or white spirit. The food is the same in two tables. We talk a lot while eating. We talk about the life in the last year and our plan in the next year. Occationally, we tell jokes. And then, children will be the objects. It will bring lots of fun when we talk about children. They are always so cute, and we love them.
We will call on back out of pliteness. And then we will have another big meal again. So even it is very fun to have big meals and delicious food, I am very worried about my weight. Now I guess I am ten pounds weighter than last year. I am afraid I have to take some measures to limit it.
I am looking forward to see you now. Miss you and dear Roger. Love you.
PS: I will send you some pictures.I hope you will like them.
1:dough making
The way to make dough is very simple as you need only to mix flour with water.

2: knead dough divide the big pice fo dough into seveal smaller pieces and then knead them.Anbout two minutes later the dough will be very pliable and tough.
3 4 5 Each piece of dough can make twenty or thirty dumplings.
6 mix meat and cabbige together,enfold a small ball into the dumpling wrapper,that is a dumpling then.
7 We put dates and coins or sweets into some of the dumplings, which means sweet and rich life.
the next two pictures are my dear young sister. She is very cute.I love kissing her. It is so sweet.
IMG 2004 2005 2006 2010 That is my uncle and his son. They are pateing the Spring Festival couplets.
IMG 2011 2013 I think it is beautiful.
IMG 2037 My mom and my aunt. The left one is my mom. They always wear quite similar clothe in that days.
IMG 2055 She is my best friend. We'v known each other since we were young. I am two months older than her. We are neighbours and we are close sisters. We love each other and treat each other like family member.
IMG 2062 This is my naughty sister. Though she makes us angry very often, we all love her so much. I hope she will find that soon. She is very smart. She plays cards very well.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Letter from a Student - Spring Festival

Dear Jane and Roger,
How is everything going there? The new year is coming, happy new year!
I have come home for five days already. Things are fine. I am long for coming back home. To be true, I didn't have a good time in the hospital for the first three weeks. Everything is new. For the department is smaller than before, people seem to be in a stew. Something changes, though not1 apparently.In the last few days before we came back home, everybody seems blundering and cannot wait to start off. I try to be calm and happy in those days. And so do they, I guess. Now, we are at home finally. I should and I do feel very happy.

Everybody is busy at preparing for the Spring Festival. We buy lots of canjdy,new dress and spring festival couplets. We buy plentiful vegetables and meets for the festival. That is traditional. We have lots of dishes during the Spring Festival. Generally, the first big meal begin at the night of the last day of the old year.let me see, we have tofu, it represents good fortune in the next year. We have fish, in Chinese, the pronunciation sounds like the meaning that things are enough and spare in this year as well as the next year. We have chicken, in the same way, it has the similarly pronunciation of another word which means everythings goes well. We also have many other dishes,they all have certain meanings. Now I cannot remember all of them, but I will tell you after that big meal.

In the last three or four days of this year, every family will make lots of steamed bread,usually two or three pots. Each pot can contain twenty or so steamed bread. We will have them during the festival. We treat our relatives and guests with them. We will make hundreds of dumplings in these days.Similarly, we eat part of them. The other part, we will treat our relatives and guests.

We will fry the fishes in advance. Then we can pick them out and re-heat them and fate our guests in short time. It is easy. Because we will have many relatives coming to our home and wish us happy new year. Generally, guests will come one by one from the first day of the new year to the fifth or seventh day. Traditionally, the second or the third day of the new year is the day for daughters coming home with their husbands and children. Relatives will pay a vist to each other in those days. For example, my relative A come to my home on the first day, then my father and my uncles will call on them on the forth or fifth day.That is funny and lovely.

Back to the theme.We will do spring-cleaning on the off year.Diferent places have diferent customes. I will show you some pictures.You will see the rich activities we do on that day. In my hometown, we do the spring-cleaning and sacrifice to the kitchen God.We have dumplings on that day,too. By the way, I think you must know that in China , on the night of Spring Festival, almost every family will see Spring Festival Gala together. It ends at 24:00. That means the first day of the new year.After the Spring Festival Party (Spring Festival Gala),we have dumplings for the fist meal of the new year. Do you still remember we have told you that we will put some special things in the dumplings. That is for this meal. We put some coins,sweets,jujubes in the dumplings. If you eat coins, it means you will make big money in the new year. If you have sweets or jujubes, it means you will feel sweet and happy in the new year,as like as having honey. We do this every year and we feel excited when somebody have them.

After the first meal, adult sons will wish their parents Happy New Year with their wife and children. The grandparents will give the young children some money,that is money given to children as a lunar New Year gift. Children like that part of the festival.

Well, in our village,we will call on our nearby relatives and good friends then. Generally, men and little kids do that for their family. The old and women will stay at home and wait for their guests. Then you will meet many people on the streets. That is funny.
Oh, another important thing. Everybody will put on their new dress before 24:00. Then we wish everybody happy new year.We will have them on for the next three or four days, and when we visit our relatives.
Well, I will tell you more thins next time. I think you will be very interested in them.
I miss you VERY MUCH. Wish both of you happy everyday.