We must not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. - T.S. Eliot


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Moving to China: Phase 2

Not everyone embraces our move in quite the same manner. While many of our closest friends and family support our decision, others make comments like “I wouldn’t visit China if someone gave me an all-expense paid trip.” After excitedly calling one of my closest friends with our news and announcing “We are moving to China.” Her response was “I know. I heard. I’m so worried about you!” Not exactly the response I was hoping for. I’m not waiting on a lifesaving organ or about to take a position in the secret service. I was expecting “Congratulations!” or “How exciting!” Although some of our friends and family are admittedly “worried”, others are enthusiastic!
It’s fun to assess peoples’ facial expressions when you tell them you’re moving to China. During our 2nd garage sale today someone asked “Are you moving?” Casey responded by saying “Yes… to China.” They immediately laughed as if responding to a joke. When they noticed we weren’t laughing they whispered “Seriously!?”
Yep, we are really moving to China.
China, China!
Not China, Tennessee!
… the real China.
For some reason, our junk suddenly became more valuable. Who knew the sales pitch "We are moving to China" would be so successful?
We have officially moved into PHASE 2 of the moving process. We had a second garage sale today (our house is beginning to seem very empty), and we dropped Chester off at his new home.
Saying goodbye to Chester, Phillip’s cat, was difficult for the children today. It broke my heart. They all 3 sat in the van and cried while we handed him over to his new owner. We found a great home for him, but that offers little comfort to children losing their pet. They all expressed that they were still excited about our move, but would miss Chester. However, our evening ended on a good note, and they seemed much better after the brownies and ice cream their Aunt Desiree made them.

We are always getting ready to live but never living. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ballet School in China?

I am happy to announce, we have found a ballet school for Grayce in Chengdu! Her last recital was Tuesday night. I promised her we would find a ballet school. Mission accomplished! The Chengdu Arts’ Center offers many different classes.
…on to volleyball for Emma and Motocross for Phillip. Something tells me the latter will be a little more difficult! Phillip may have to settle for a rickshaw ride to volleyball practice and ballet class!

Monday, May 23, 2011


While making an effort to separate Must-Haves from Must-Do-Withouts, I have caught myself panicking about future internet withdraw. You may have read in earlier postings about my quirky compulsions, you may have also read that my twitter days have come and gone. Well, they have come, gone, and come back with a vengeance. Twitter should come with a disclaimer. WARNING: Twitter is likely to become addictive and has been known to be bad for a marriage! #twitterfreak
Yes, advanced statistics has concluded, leaving me time to pick up a new obsession… Twitter! Now, I have been told that I will have access to the internet in China … FULL ACCESS! However, I am having some doubts. I recently read that Bob Dylan was prohibited from giving a performance in China. According to Time magazine, jasmine (the plant), time travel, gaming systems, Avatar, unnatural hairstyles, and tons of websites have also been banned in China. …kind of makes me want to die my hair purple, buy a DeLorean, and rent sci-fi movies. Go figure! I take it all with a grain of salt. The very first piece of advice I received from my new principal was not to believe everything I read or heard about China because 90% of it wasn’t true. With that being said, I have later found that Bob Dylan was never forbidden from playing in China. He simply decided not to include China in his tour. While much of what I read may be embellished a bit, I am aware that the Chinese government strictly oversees internet use.
I can’t imagine life without internet access!
I have come to terms with the fact that I am a total geek. I caught myself saying to my husband, “I would love to take a computer programming course this summer to learn to write program code.” Uhg! Did that really come from my mouth. Of course it did! I am a complete and total geek! My supervisor, Julie, even confirmed my suspicions one day when meeting with her to help set up a wiki!
I often sleep with at least one of my computers and am known to carry my Ipad in my purse, along with a hard-drive, a set of around 7 flash drives, a portable computer speaker, and a wireless mouse. My lipstick is in there somewhere!
The thought of going anywhere without my Iphone frightens me and my husband often counts the ways I am connected! While I question Bill Gates’s knowledge of public education, I am humbled by his knowledge of computer programming. PC or Mac? Both please! What will I do without the freedom to browse the internet, to write in my blog, to develop websites, to TWEET???

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Made In China

It seems as if we have been mentally preparing ourselves for this move in small increments at a time. For example, driving in the car we’ll ask the kids questions such as, “What toys and books MUST you have?” “What can’t you live without?”
Seem a little dramatic? Ever told a 4 and 7 year old that they can only choose a couple of things to bring with them to a foreign country, in order to make room for clothes and essentials? Goodbye winter coat, Hello dolls!! Trust me, even the Barbie purse lodged in the back corner of a closet becomes a prized possession.
In all honesty, Grayce was more cooperative than I imagined. She decided she must have her Junie B. Jones collection. The books are relatively small and thin so I, hesitantly, gave in. After purchasing a Nook color and an Ipad, books must be extra special to go in the “China Bound” pile. I also agreed to a half a gallon sized baggy of tiny dolls with plastic dresses in exchange for a huge box of Barbie Dolls. We decided to take a few pictures of her friends, to later frame for her bedroom, and her favorite painting.
Phillip…. Well, he’ll likely be a different story. Parting from his 4-wheeler, tractor collection, and hot-wheels will be difficult!
Originally, I was under the impression that most toys could be purchased in China. Let’s face it, nearly everything we use in our household originated in some part of China! However, I have recently learned that many of the items we purchase in the US, made in China, are only produced for export (Those stupid Americans will waste their money on anything!), but something tells me we will locate plenty of useless items Made in China to replace the useless items we own now that were Made in China.
I have been surprised at the items, others have suggested, we bring. Items such as feminine products, toothpaste, deodorant, over-the-counter medications, an alarm clock, salt & pepper, spices, baking pans and utensils, have all found their way on our TO BRING list. I can only imagine airport security breaking open a large box filled with a year’s supply of tampons and maxi-pads. I guess it might scare some men to death! Apparently, not everything is made in China!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Moving to China: Phase 1

I often randomly announce “I love Tennessee summers!” Spring is always a comforting warning that summer is on its way. Tennessee summers are filled with early mornings running through the garden in pajamas, picking the wild blackberries that grow along the wood line behind our house, long, steamy days in the kitchen canning the rewards of our backyard garden, late night movies, swimming, vine-ripened, tomato-butter biscuits, and ice cream. I LOVE TENNESSEE SUMMERS!

I realize we will spend summers in Tennessee, but I must admit reality is setting in. As I stared at the blank walls in my kitchen and the bare mattresses in the children’s bedrooms, my heart skipped a beat. Selling most of your worldly belongings and moving abroad seems quite romantic, until you see your prized possessions being auctioned off for a quarter a piece in a garage sale! We had a garage sale Friday and Saturday in an effort to begin purging our belongings. Casey calls it “phase 1” of the moving process. We have to be out of our house before July 1, so “phase 2” won’t be too far away.

I will be honest, I am holding my heart in my hand and having faith that Chinese autumns, winters and springs will be wonderful! I do feel as if we will gain much more than we are leaving behind, but some type of reassurance would nice. Anyone?

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. ~St. Augustine