Posts Tagged ‘tender mercies’

Our week: Daddy Dates, Mommy Moments, and Bounteous Blessings

Jill Posted in Uncategorized,Tags:

I am feeling so incredibly blessed.  More than once this week I felt the need to pinch myself and make sure my life is real.  My life isn’t perfect, but it is GOOD and HAPPY and I am so grateful for that!  What made this week so special?

First, I have THE BEST husband in the world!  (Ladies, I don’t mind if you feel the same way about your husband.  I won’t argue. :))  This week was China’s National Holiday–a major holiday–and everyone was off work.  Except Todd.  We decided that he would work this week and then take off next week so that we could do some family vacationing without fighting off hordes of people.  (As you might imagine, tourist places get INSANELY crowded when 1.3 billion people are on holiday at the same time!)  So, his manager allowed him to switch his vacation time which meant he would be mostly alone at work all week.  Well, fortuitously, Todd forgot his badge on Monday morning.  So, instead of taking over an hour to travel home and back, he had the brilliant idea to send Michael on the subway.  Michael was STOKED.  He took his first solo subway ride on Monday to bring Todd’s badge.  I sent him with his homework and he got to “work” with daddy for the day.

Well, once Michael came home and told all the kids how AWESOME it was to go to work with daddy, of course, they all wanted to go!  So each day this week Todd took one of the kids to work with him.  It was such a great week!  Each one of our kids had the privilege of spending an entire day with daddy all to themselves.  They did their school work with him, and then got to do fun things at his work when they finished.  They also did McDonald’s for lunch!  Kids said, “Yea!!!”  (Mom thinks, “Ewww!!!” But oh well.  The memories matter more.  And I didn’t have to eat it 5 times this week like Todd did. :))

Second thing that struck me this week: I have 5 amazing children.  The blessing of motherhood really sunk in this week.  I can’t tell you how many times I found myself thinking, “Wow.  I must be the luckiest mom in the world!  What did I ever do do deserve these awesome kids?”  I love each of them so much!  They are so unique, with their own strengths and talents, weaknesses and challenges.  I don’t feel like I could ever love them more than I do right now.  If you’re a normal, imperfect mother like me, maybe you’ve also experienced times when you wanted to yank all your hair out?  (I’m not the only one, right?)  There have been times I was tempted to put a child in the front yard with a “free to good home” sign around their neck!  (Obviously, I didn’t.)  So that is why this week was so special.  I don’t think I felt anything but love, and awe and a deep gratitude for the five little blessings who have been placed in my care.  At this moment, I LOVE my life. I am so happy I can teach them at home and see them all day every day.  (I couldn’t have always said that!)  Honestly, it would be hard to get much better than this week.  Although I know there will be challenges ahead, I want to continue to bask in the beauty of this nearly-perfect week, or I should say, my nearly-perfect feelings of this week.  Yes, this really was a good week, but I think it was my own feelings toward my children that made it so sweet.  I need to remember that.

Third: answers to prayers.  I wish I could share everything, but a public blog is probably not the place to “cast my pearls.” :)  (I trust my friends and family…but not the weirdos that leave their spam comments on here!)  I will say that there are things that have been in our hearts and on our minds lately, questions about the direction our family should be taking.  After much thought and prayer, and finally fasting, we we have been able to receive some answers.  We still can’t see the whole picture, but we have more pieces of the puzzle in place–big pieces.  We both feel really good about it and it has brought a lot of peace to my soul.

Fourth: preparing for our first vacation in China!!!  Money is pretty tight right now, but we decided that this was important.  If something is important enough that I’m going to spend money on it, you know it must be REALLY important!  (I’m frugal, a saver, a cheapskate–whatever you like to call it.)  I’m so happy we’ve been able to make this fit into our little budget.  We promised Jasmine that we would visit Puyang this year, so this is the week!  We leave for Zhengzhou this afternoon (Sunday).  We will spend a few days touring in and around Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province.  Then later in the week we will meet  up with friends (who are here in China adopting their daughter from Puyang) and travel to visit Jasmine’s friends and ayis (nannies) from the orphanage!  She is so excited, and so are we!  Kaylee Ann has been there before (for our first visit), but the boys haven’t.  We will try to blog about our trip this week!



- Jill

Small Miracles

Todd Posted in Uncategorized,Tags: ,

Stock photo of me in China ;)

Our journey is about to become very real very soon.  It is hard to explain all the thoughts, emotions, feelings, etc… associated with moving our family across the world to take a job in a foreign land, knowing that EVERYTHING we encounter in this journey will be a new experience for each of us in our family.  On paper, there are many things that would make most sensible people never take the plunge that we are about to take (who in their right mind uproots their family of 7 with children ranging from age 4 to 10 and moves them to the other side of the world???), or at least to second guess themselves throughout the process.  While I am keenly aware of such concerns, I have known from early on in this process that this journey is something that our family is supposed to be doing, and therefore feel at peace with our decision to accept this job in China.

Over time, perhaps Jill and I will be able to share some of the myriad miracles (tender mercies) we’ve become a part of as we have made the choice to follow the promptings that have led us to this current point in our lives – that of moving to Beijing, China.  Let me whet your appetite with one that occurred just yesterday.

I’ll have to give you a bit of background first.  A few years ago we purchased a four-plex apartment as an investment.  Jill managed the apartment, while I was the “fixer-upper dude.”  When we made the decision to move from Albuquerque, of course we’d both have to give up these roles and find some other way to handle our four-plex while we are overseas.  Selling the property is not an option, mainly due to the drop in value of the property over the past three years – it just wouldn’t make financial sense.  That leaves us with the option of hiring out an apartment management firm to take over for us, at the cost of 10% of the rental income each month.  This was really the only option that seemed to make sense to us, so Jill found a management firm she liked, and got it all setup.  The downside?  Well, we’re barely making about $200 above our costs each month on the apartment during good months when all units are rented, so the 10% fee completely eats that up, making us actually lose a bit of money each month (even in the good ones).  We figured this is just something we’d have to ride out.

Yesterday we were going through some financial clean-up before heading overseas, closing some bank accounts, etc…  While I was on the phone with a banker, at the end of our phone call she asked me if I’d be interested in talking with their mortgage personnel about our mortgage with them.  I figured sure, why not?  I thought we already had pretty much the best rate we could get on our investment property, and didn’t think this would go anywhere, but was proved wrong.  The mortgage banker told us that they could get a rate at approximately 1.5% lower than our current rate.  The net result in monthly payment?  A $200 lower payment.  Suffice it to say, I said sure – let’s do it, and we are now in the process of refinancing the mortgage on our four-plex to save us precisely the amount of money it is going to cost us to have an external company take over management.

This type of experience has become the norm for us as we’ve decided to follow in faith the promptings we’ve received to move our family to Beijing.  I am thrilled and excited to begin this new chapter of our lives, and yes – a bit nervous as well, but the overriding feeling I have is peace, knowing that we are doing what our Father in Heaven wants us to be doing at this point in our lives.

Stay tuned as Jill and I blog about our adventures as we transition to life in Beijing, China!  We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

- Todd