Thankful… by Samantha

It’s snowing outside and I’m thinking about how blessed I am…dsc05816Right now I am on the couch in our cozy living room in Yantai, China feeling kinda weak with a fever and sore throat. Grace is at the piano with headphones on and it sounds like jumbled yet rhythmic hail (with an occasional “screech!!!”¬†of the petal) THAT IS NEVER ENDING. (I admire Grace’s discipline and dedication to practice so long and so faithfully…)

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Lately, we’ve been preparing for Thanksgiving… I tried making a completely homemade pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving using homemade pumpkin puree from market bought little pumpkins and homemade crust. It was pretty yummy, but I have a few changes in mind that will make it better for our Thanksgiving day. ūüôā

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Also, we have been preparing for Christmas! We are all SUPER excited because the three older guys will be coming to visit us this Christmas! It will be the first time for our WHOLE family to be ALL together since we moved to China (that’s over a year!) It is so exciting to think that we will all be together and that we won’t have to do our Advent candles and sing Christmas carols over Wechat each Sunday night up until Christmas this year…¬†

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Sometimes I just want to sing and praise the Lord saying, “Oh Lord, My life is blessed! And I know that it’s because You love me! I have been given WAY more than I deserve!!!!” Yes, in life we have sickness, pain, sin and numerous trials; but through it all God is there. And, no matter what; He is so merciful, righteous, just, loving and everything else wonderful and good.¬† Our family really is so blessed, though at times we get to feeling discouraged, ¬†jealous or just plain ungrateful, ¬†just like any other human. So, I hope ¬†and pray that everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving this year, will remember that it is a special day just to celebrate all the bountiful blessings God has bestowed on us.

I hope this post encourages you to be thankful for what you have, and to look for the blessings instead of the shortcomings, for the place to serve instead of the place to be served, for the chance to give grace instead of condemnation, for the opportunity to give a smile instead of a frown.

It’s not just Thanksgiving or Christmas that you should celebrate and be joyful. But rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice! ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†

So, Happy Thanksgiving! God bless all of you and have a deliciously wonderful day!

~ With much love from the Williamson Family

Post created and written by: Samantha

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Mountain and Seaside Adventure!

A Friday walk and adventure outing…Andrew and Mom…in China…one Friday in August

So Mom and I (Andrew) decided to go on an adventure¬†to the mountain ¬†behind our apartment…we left¬†the girls at home because some of them had a stomach bug… So we started out from the apartment and stopped by the convenience store to buy some vitamin water and then we had to cross the street which is a pretty big ordeal in China and can be very dangerous, and is kind of like playing frogger! I was video taping and trying to watch the screen and the street at the same time which is not a very good idea… So we saw an opening and started across, I looked down to see my camera screen and then all of the sudden Mom yelled ANDREW and clutched¬†my arm as a car sped by right in front of me! It really scared me and I think I will not try to video tape crossing the street again! Thankfully we made it across safe and sound!!! We then had to walk a little bit to get to the trail head… Which I didn’t quite remember were it was, but that makes it more adventuresome! The weather outside was really nice and it was really clear!

We then made it to the trail and began the hike up which is mostly made up of uneven stone stairs, I knew I¬†was out of shape because I was panting after the first 20 steps (because of all of that fattening American food!) Mom was freaked out from all of the millipedes we saw, there were hundreds of them! We finally made it to the top which was a wonderful view of the city! There was also a place were people offered stuff for good luck…(See picture of Oreo! and pears) Mom then talked to Nic on Wechat for a minute, and then we made the trek down… In all, the trip up and down the mountain took about two hours…

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On the way to the mountain!

 

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Halfway there!

 

 

 

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Hundreds of millipedes!!

 

 

 

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View of fisherman’s wharf from the top of the mountain

 

 

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Mom Wechat talking to Nic on top of mountain!

 

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We think some sort of offerings for good luck? Hmmmm an Oreo!

 

 

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Great view!

 

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Zai jian ¬†from the mountain… now to the beach…

We then got home and had lunch (leftovers from Grace’s 12th b-day, hmmm chocolate cake!) and then changed to beach clothing and went to the sea! As we walked we talked about how nice it will be to relax at the beach and wade into the cool water and even regretted not bringing a lawn chair! But something different than what we expected was happening… When we arrived the sea was raging! Huge waves were crashing and the tide was coming in fast! The waves were so high they crashed over the walls nearby! And tons of junk and seaweed were coming in to the beach! Nevertheless we still enjoyed it but we definitely weren’t getting in the water! As we walked along the beach back home we saw a Chinese boy and his mother coming up to the beach with a ring floaty!!! We were really surprised! That boy is going to his death we thought…. but sure enough as soon as the mother saw the killer waves she made up her mind! The little boy was not happy about that! We were afraid the mother would relent, but it was not to be! The little boy managed to take the ring floaty from his mother but his mother caught him before he could get in! A struggle then ensued in which the mother finally had to put the floaty around her waist so he couldn’t get it!… It was a pretty eventful day! That’s for sure!

-Andrew

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Big Waves!!

 

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Over the walls!

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Lots of seaweed!

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Killer Waves!!!

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Not A Day For Leisure In The Sea!!!

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Return to China

 

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Seattle to Seoul Korea to Yantai China…flying fears are beginning to fade for our family and jet lag is getting easier to recover from…Praise the Lord!

 

So, six of our nine family members have arrived back in China as of 9 days ago, on Friday July 22. The unpacking, work, music and adventures have begun and we are looking forward to all that the Lord has in store for us!

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Above photo, was from Friday July 22, 560 pounds of luggage(we brought a lot of school books and ‘good read’ books) plus carry on instruments and each personal carry on item! Mr. Williamson is a muscle man! Photo taken right after Randy and some of the kids lugged all of this in from quite a far away trek, while the rest of us stood outside guarding all our other items, where the 3 taxis dumped us off, near our apartment…

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TODAY, August 1, 2016 in our little house in China:

 

Mother daughter baking time…Jill and Samantha…J. made pancakes, S. made lemon blueberry bread- Delicious! ¬†Hao chi! ¬†(good eat-in Mandarin)

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TODAY…mostly food prep and the challenge is to prep breakfasts for 1 month so that our home school mornings can go smoother…WE’VE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE EITHER(the once a month food prep), NOT IN THE 16 plus years AS A HOME SCHOOL¬†FAMILY! ¬†ūüôā ¬†Not in America, and not in China!¬†

…sunglasses to protect Grace’s eyes while chopping onions…Chinese princess Elizabeth takes a break and dresses up for the occasion…Andrew takes a break from setting up our blog by eating blueberries…

 

It’s Monday, and we are due to begin our school year one week from today. ¬†So, today has been deemed a baking and prep day of foods… our challenge is to try to prep about 25 breakfasts ¬†for five individuals (Randy does not eat breakfast) that are healthy and can store in our small freezer. ¬†This will be so that we can get right to our academics by 7:30 a.m. each morning. ¬†Otherwise, we have found from our first seven months in China, that breakfast prep and clean up normally takes about 2 hours, resulting in not much school getting done before it is time to put the books away and get ready to do about 1-2 hours more to prep, eat and clean up our lunch! So, the prep has begun!

A favorite inspirational quote for our school year:

‘Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.’

(Whether Abraham Lincoln really said this or not, I like it very much!)  Wo xi huan! (I like- in Mandarin).

 

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(One of our very last fun, funny, altogether pictures…ALL NINE OF us…THE WILLIAMSON NINE, September of 2015 in good ole Surrey Hills)..those happy golden years!

God bless your day and stay in touch!

AND don’t forget to enjoy YOUR own life’s adventures!

Zai jian!

p.s. The city building photo credit to Andrew Williamson, taken from a mountain just a stone’s throw from our high-rise(we’re on the first floor btw!)

Stay tuned…next time, we hope to¬†share about our American summer! ¬†

p.p.s. We ended our afternoon today, August 1, 2016 with a walk to the seaside, then ran into Mr. W as he arrived home.  Now, the post supper clean up begins as does our favorite time: Williamson Orchestra session! You friends over there in America, are just waking up at 5ish a.m. Monday as our Monday evening ends.

 

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