Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Package Arrived!

I mailed a package to Andrew the day after Thanksgiving.  You've got to be careful what you send--if a package is too valuable it might not make it all the way there.  :-)  Also, mailing is very expensive.  This package was worth about $30-$35 max, and it cost $26 to mail first class.  (Any mailing method less than first class takes so long and is so erratic it's just not worth it.)  And we found out the hard way that you can't mail used clothing--all his winter things were here (by design) for us to mail--and we couldn't mail them due to postal rules.  

This box contained a scarf I crocheted out of camo yarn, a "gator" that Mike bought him to go around a person's neck and can be pulled up (that's what's over his face in the picture below--I'd never heard of one), a USC knit hat, and a blue knit hat given by one of my students: "My mom knitted it because your son is cold in China."  (Needless to say, I was deeply touched by that gesture.)  He is going to send another picture with him wearing that hat.  He also said he is very glad for the gator because the one he had freezes if he is outside more than about fifteen minutes, and this one is much warmer.

All the mail for the English team apparently goes to one postal box.  One of the other teachers saw this box, took it home, and wrapped the whole thing in Christmas paper so that Andrew would have something to unwrap at Christmas.  (Which I also thought was very kind!)  So--this morning he sent this picture to my phone. My Christmas was made.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas 2013

I have not done much posting this month--for a combined number of reasons, not the least of which is that it is so busy with things to go to, plus exams.  I graded over 16,000 exam questions last week.

It's been a little difficult to get into Christmas, knowing that Andrew is on the other side of the world.  It is where he is supposed to be, but I will miss his not being here for the festivities in a couple of days.  

Mike and ML bought, set up, and decorated the tree one day while I was at school.  They also hung all the outside wreaths and got up other decorations as well, so it was a very, very nice surprise to come home to.  They put the tree in the kitchen so that it would be visible from outside when the lights are on.  It is a nice change.  The only time I don't like it is late night or early morning, when it's nice to sit in the living room with the room lights off and just the Christmas tree lights on.  But--they did the work; they can choose where to put it!
It also is not critical where it is placed because we won't have a lot of gifts to open this year.  My children are past the opening presents stage, and Mike and I combined birthdays and Christmas this year by giving each other jackets that both of us needed.  Plus, we'd rather save "presents" by taking trips at other times of the year when possible.

ML also set up our long-time nativity set.  She and Andrew played often with this stuffed set when they were younger.  Sometimes I would come out in the morning to discover that their dinosaur toys, or whatever, had joined the manger scene as well.

If you look closely, you can see that, in her usual creative way, she has "protected" the holy family in a rather unique way.

I tried a few arty close-ups while taking pictures.  They didn't work great, but are kind of nice for a change.
I have much to do in the next couple of days.  That's the downside of getting out so close to Christmas. The upside--we do not go back until January 6!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

"In The Sweet Bye and Bye"

Because I miss hearing my son sing. :-)  Used with permission from the Calvary Quartet, "Singing Around the Piano" CD.  Picture is taken of him singing in China last week.  All the voices are good - their blend is great - but I love that tenor voice at the beginning and the end.  :-)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Playing Basketball

Andrew sent this picture this morning of himself playing basketball at the gym at the school where he teaches.  I think he's looking good!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

One-sentence Summary of Obamacare

Quotation from a commenter on a Washington Post article.  

"In short 85% of America will have worse coverage while paying on average 41% more, so the other 15% can receive some form of free or nearly free healthcare."