Monday, January 25, 2010

It is high time I post an update of what we are all up to. I'll start with the head of our household.

Niu Zhong Sheng

My hubby is hard at work on his PhD. He has started getting some things down in writing, but it is in the roughest of forms. The amount of information that he has to research can be daunting at times, but he thrives in this environment. As I'm writing this, he is in Israel working on a project with the university called Bibledex. Basically the theology department in coordination with a documentary film maker are producing 5-10 minute videos clips introducing each book of the Bible. It gives an average layperson an idea of what each Book contains (though this is colored by each commentator's personal beliefs). Right now, they are trying to do some filming on-site for these videos. Here is my now-on-Youtube husband telling us about Job:

Pan Jia Le

My life is full with the routines of homemaking and the joys and struggles of motherhood. Some days are good and others are challenging. Some days I feel on top of the game and others like a failure. Thank goodness for God grace and mercy new every morning. I'm so thankful for the opportunities I have through our church to meet up with other women either for Bible study or play groups. I love the "village" life-style here that puts everything we need, including friendships and church, within walking distance. We were able to renew our housing contract for another year, and this, too, is something I praise God for because I am just starting to feel like opportunities are opening up to get to know our neighbors. It would be just wonderful if we could live here for our whole time in the UK.

Niu De Sheng

I can't believe how big this kid is now. He's 2 1/2 and amazing me all the time with what he is able to grasp and express, not to mention the antics that toddlers get up to (I think in this picture he was covering up his ears and trying to see if he could hear himself on the airplane). A few days ago I listened to this one-sided conversation with his sister while trying to help her drink from a sippy cup: "Here you go, Mir-um. Hold it with two hands. Like dis. One dare and one dare. Good job!" *loud bang* "Oh, no, Mir-um! It fall down." We try to do a little "school" together in the mornings for 15-20 minutes and I can see how this has helped him to grasp new concepts, but most importantly, it gives him focused "mommy time". As his sister gets older, "sharing" becomes more necessary in his little world. Sometimes I struggle with him trying to vie for my attention when I'm needing to help her. It can be challenging knowing how much to push him towards being independent and how much to just let him be "mommy's little boy".

Niu Mei Li

This little girl is growing like crazy. It's hard to believe that she is 7 months old already. I'm completely in love with her and all those fantastic, chubby rolls on her body. It looks like I'm going to have a crawler on my hands with this kid. She is sitting very well; she can stand holding on to things for a period of time and she's pushing around the living room with her head planted on the floor and her bum up in the air. I've recently started her on solids and she hasn't taken to it like her brother did. She isn't keen on bananas, avocados, pumpkin and carrots. She will grudgingly allow herself to be force-fed pears, applesauce and sweet potato, but she absolutely loves and devours broccoli (and bread, if I let her). Go figure!

Here's one last shot of the kids in sweaters that an old lady we've never met made for them for Christmas.

When I step back and look at my life, I can't help but see that truly God has blessed us above and beyond what we had hoped for in our move here. May we never grow too comfortable or complacent to recognize that all we have comes from Him.

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