Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Happy Year of the Sheep/Ram/Goat! (Freebie)

Guo Nian Hao! aka Happy New Year!  Chinese New Year is the biggest holiday celebrated in China!  Many local schools take a whole month off to celebrate, visit family, or go on vacation.  Because my school already had 2 weeks off for the Christmas holiday in December, we get another 2 weeks off for Chinese New Year.  I love having this break!  Currently I'm on my second week off from school.  Last week I traveled to Chengdu, the city famous for the nation's beloved iconic animal, the Giant Panda.

Aren't they adorable?!

Couldn't resist only sharing one photo with you!

Every year, my school organizes an event at our school to celebrate our host country-- China.  We call it China day and set up the gymnasium with many different activities students and families can participate in.  We also let the kids dress up in traditional Chinese clothes or wear red.

Here's me and my class with a Sheep mascot. :)
I did many of the same activities I used last year with my current class.  Read my last year's post (CLICK HERE) of different ideas on what I did!

If you're still looking for an easy writing activity for your kids, I have a freebie for this year's Year of the Sheep.  Click on the picture below!
Now I'm heading off to see more fireworks go off in my neighborhood!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

New Year, New Chapters of Life

I'm back out of the dark and ready to start sharing what has been happening in the middle kingdom!  With a new class this year, I ran into much higher demands from my students which set me back on the world of blogging.  I'll definitely need to find time to share all of the things I have been doing inside my classroom and living in China. 

Over Christmas break, I went back to the US to visit my family, boyfriend, and friends.  Literally as I landed in the O'Hare airport in Chicago, I saw my boyfriend and he immediately proposed to me!  When I replay that night, I kept thinking to myself it's just like in the movie Love Actually.  I was shocked since I thought he wouldn't propose until I came back to the states during the summer.  It was an awesome surprised since we were able to spend the rest of my Christmas break celebrating our newly engagement with family and friends. 

 I still can't believe I'm engaged to my new fiance!  I find myself staring at the new bling on my finger!  The long distance is hard but we are thankful and blessed our love is stronger than ever (We've been together for over 7 years!).  Because life is full of transitions, I'm now entering the zone of leaving my life in China well.  When looking at the calendar, I just realized I have about 5 more months living and working in China before I head back into the US to get ready to get married to a WONDERFUL man! 

It's hard to come to realization that from the moment I step onto that plane back to America, I'll always have a piece of me in China, a foot in my old life and another in my new life.  This verse (Genesis 2:24) resonated with me as I'm not only leaving my family to start a new one, I'm leaving my China family and China home as well.

Earlier this week, as I was doing calendar time with my students, it dawned on me that I need to break the ice and tell my current and former students that this is my last year at Tianjin International School.  That I won't be able to see them next year.  Even though it is not the first time I had to say good-bye to a school, students, or teacher friends, it is still painful and sad to say goodbye. 

All the time we make decisions, big ones and small ones.  As I'm getting used to my new BIG decision on leaving my China life and entering a new life of marriage, it's always tough to say goodbye to what was comfortable to me. 

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LOrd, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."   -Jeremiah 29:11