Two Weeks

You know that scene in “Frozen” where the king and queen are packing, and Anna comes skipping in and is like “See you in two weeks!” all bouncy and cheery?

Well, two weeks is seriously a LONG time, Anna!  Don’t be so chipper about it!

We ordered Jimmy John’s like weeks after we got home from China or something, and there was a piece of lettuce stuck to my sandwich and I had this wait-can-I-eat-this? moment, before I realized: I’m in America, I can eat anything!

And after we got home I didn’t want say thank-you to people: I wanted to say xie xie–which seriously would have made me look crazy back here! 🙂

Two weeks is truly an awfully long time–but even after two weeks things wear off fast.  I’m honestly glad we have pictures so I can’t forget how things were!

China at its fullest
China at its fullest

Yes, those are eggs! 🙂


P.S. And no pressure, but seriously if there’s something I’ve posted about that you want to hear more on, comment.  Any time, any post; if there’s a tag or just a subject you like the best, by all means tell me.  I write because I like to, but this blog is for you.  There’s no point in it, if you guys are bored.  I want your in-put!

Happy Wednesday! 🙂

In Case You Were Wondering…

it just so happens that today (Jan. 27)…


Is Chocolate Cake Day.


How do I know this?

I got it off my Calico Critter calender.  So it’s accurate.  🙂

But you probably weren’t wondering.  This is probably the randomest thing you’ve heard all week.  But I thought I’d mention it.

Actually this was all just a ploy to post that adorable picture of little brother pointing at the candle on Mom’s birthday cake.  I wasn’t even trying to get his hand; I was trying to take a picture of Mama’s cake, and he happened to point at it.

If you don’t know me, I say random things all. the. time. so I thought I may as well post something random.  Someone should seriously start Chocolate Cake Day traditions.

Happy Tuesday!

P.S.  Check out the tag-cloud on my side-bar that I installed yesterday (sorry, tech-savvy people, if “installed” is the wrong word).  I’ve spent a lot of time going back to previous posts and tagging them today and yesterday.

What is your favorite thing I’ve posted about so far?

It’s a wonderful, wonderful life!

I’ve got a double-helping of sweetness in my life (literallydouble) and I thought I’d let it overflow a little here!

It was really warm today, and Mom and the littles went outside.  I posted this on here and then joined them.  As soon as I came outside Lucy grabbed my hand and took me around back to swing with her.  While we were walking L asked me to sing a song I’d played on the piano that morning with her.

Walking calmly in the sun hand ‘n hand, singing together–the sisteriest thing in the WORLD!!!  Sweet.  Beautiful.

“Lucy is a sister.   She belongs; as much as I do. And someday I’ll probably forget sometimes that we had to do without her for eight years. Someday she’ll just there. The seven of us. And it will be the most natural thing in the world.” -Yours Truly, “Broken”

(always “Broken”)


And after Mom and Lu went in, Michael and I stayed outside and played Hide ‘n Seek–little brother’s new Thing.

M would cover his eyes, move his hands just enough to see me hide, then count to ten, and wander around saying, “Hmm, where’s Hanna?” while he went right to me.  Okay, okay, fine: I’ll allow it. 🙂

And when I was It he would make me wait to count until he hid… I think you’re missin’ the point, Michael-boy.  Maybe he didn’t like the pressure of being timed.  🙂

My favorite was when he hid  in (pretty plain sight) and I looked up from “searching” and made eye-contact to say, “Have you seen Michael?”  He laughed pretty hard about that one. 🙂

P.S.  Do you feel out-smiley-faced?

Me neither! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂


Another Quote

“Once, long years ago, I thought I could set a canoe-load of my people free by breaking the bands at my wrists and killing the white man who held the weapon.  I had the strength in my hands to do such a deed and I had the fire within, but I didn’t do it.”  “What held you back?”  Amos shook his head.  “My hand was restrained and I’m glad that it was, for the years between have shown me that it does a man no good to be free until he knows how to live, how to walk in step with God” (161, 162).

-“Amos Fortune, Free Man” by Elizabeth Yates

Forever Right

“…Once I heard His voice, I could not endure the thought of living without it.”  The king leaned forward.  “Now you truly interest us.  How do you know it is the Infinite [allegorical God-figure] who speaks?”  Did Tek An believe she was deluded?  Most likely.  “I know the Infinite’s voice because He tells me everything I don’t want to know, sends me where I don’t want to go, and asks me to fulfill tasks I consider impossible.  Above all, He is forever right” (101).

-“Prophet” by R. J. Larson

What we did and didn’t eat in China

A while back Dad did a post on the family blog of pictures of things we ate in China.  You can read it here.  And just for my own bragging-rights, I did eat one of the fermented shrimp chips.  In all honesty though, I didn’t know what it was.  I thought it was just some ordinary potato chip, so when Lucy offered me one I ate it–and then got a drink as fast as I could!  Though considering, it wasn’t that bad; as I realized when Dad read me the package! 🙂

And then last night Dad did a post of things we didn’t eat.  And (for some odd reason) it’s shorter! 🙂

P.S. The little pita-thing and the live seafood and amphibians (except the salamanders) are from the restaurant I said was our default.

Sweetest. thing. ever.

We were listening to A Little Mandarin last night with Lucy.  Most of the songs are traditional Chinese kid’s songs, and Lu had heard some of them before.  Several of them went along with little games or dances, and Lucy started trying to teach us the actions yesterday!  It was SO sweet!

For one of them she had Mom hold onto a chair and “pull” and then started pulling on her shirt; proceeding to tell me to pull on her dress, etc.  From the English lyrics we found, we were apparently pulling a radish.


Lucy loves dancing!  It’s beautiful.  She was dancing to Daddy’s guitar music the other day with a couple of ribbons hot-glued to wooden skewers.  She doesn’t appear to have a lot of depth-perception, and she was getting a little too close to her audience while waving sticks…

But go ahead.  Poke my eye out–just don’t stop dancing.

Never stop dancing.


There were lots of things, about China in general, that I wanted to post. And maybe I will sometime. I was going to now. But something happened. Lucy happened. She is everything now. Lucy is the world.  –Moi

My post “Broken” was featured on “We Are Grafted In”, which is The Sparrow Fund Ministry’s blog, this week!

And in the in the meantime, I decided I’d share some of the things about China in general that I  said I might.

First off, this being about China in general is not strictly true: China’s a big BIG country, and I was only in three cities.  I meant my experience in China in general.  Which, by the way, was a good one.  I like China.  Honestly.  The culture-shock was hard, but I liked it.  I want to go back someday.

Oh.  Now I’m getting hooked on countries before I can drive across town.  Delightful.

And I wasn’t going to post all this in the beginning, but here. we. are.

Moving on:

We were in two pretty western areas, but Guangzhou was more western.  Which is why I’ve been running around telling people I liked it better.  But I think that’s just because the western-ness was refreshing after spending a week overseas when I’d never been out of my country before.

But I really liked Xi’an.  The experience.  The people.  Even the waitresses at that restaurant next door that would start giggling every time us out-of-place Americans who spoke no chinese walked in… which was often, as it was our default after we figured out what we liked there.

Yes, Xi’an was wonderful.  It was beautiful.  Not like Guangzhou wasn’t, but it had a unique beauty about it.  An less-American beauty.  Where do I even start?

Lots of people walking around with face-masks on.  Lots of bikes.  Lots of buses… not to mention motorcycles, taxis, cars, and these weird bike-things with beds like a pick-up truck.  The traffic made me nervous! 🙂

Also, lots of unbelievably small shops and people who hung their laundry out to dry from their balconies.  And people selling food along the side of the street.  Usually roasted chestnuts and sweet potatoes, or something on a stick–sometimes you could tell what was on the stick, and sometimes… you couldn’t.

Also, they don’t appear to have play grounds: “park” in Xi’an meant a path through a truly gorgeous landscape, with pool tables and carnival games.  And sometimes it meant little tubs with goldfish in them that kids could catch fish in and take home.  Apparently.

And almost all the menu’s in the restaurants had pictures, which was SO nice for those of us who don’t read chinese! 🙂  Though our guide informed us that the locals like the pictures too, because in China they name dishes things like “Dancing Eggplant” (I’m not even kidding).

What else made it unique?  The big signs covered in chinese characters.  The fog.  The incredibly tangled telephone wires.  The palm trees.  The tall buildings…

I could go on foreeeever!

I’m hooked.  Totally.

“Counted Worthy”

I recently read “Counted Worthy” by Leah E. Good.  It was a really good book!  It takes place in the future, in America… an America we’re probably heading towards if nothing changes.

Heather Stone’s mother was shot by a policeman when found delivering re-printed Bibles to other members of the underground church, and though no one blames her, Heather knows it’s her fault.

After Mom died, my books kept me grounded.  I had distanced myself from the people and activities that had once filled every free moment.  I cut as many ties to the underground network as I could.  I attended church because conscience compelled me.  I continued to smuggle Bibles because I couldn’t help myself.  Everything else, I   shoved into the past (6).

The trouble starts again when the Agency tracks a smuggled Bible to the Stones’ house–a Bible Heather brought there.  Her father tells her to run and stays to be arrested… so Heather can escape.

Having already lost her mom, she can’t handle the pain of losing her dad too.  Forced to leave the house she grew up in, Heather struggles to live without them; helped by her devoted, very protective, “brother-friend” (58) Bryce; an old friend of her parents, Miss Lucy; and other members of the underground church.

Bryce promised Heather’s father he would take care of her if anything happened, and encourages her to just stay safe and not try too hard to help her dad.

Laying low isn’t getting us anywhere (124).

Heather decides to act.  She starts with a simple attempt to bribe policemen into freeing her dad, and finally ends with deciding whether or not to execute a desperate plan that could save her father and make the people press the government to give them back their rights, or only hasten his sentence and send herself and everyone helping her to the same death.

Spencer and I had read Miss Good’s blog for a while when she self-published “Counted Worthy”, and I was afraid that having “talked” back and forth in the comments with her would keep me from getting “into” the story, especially being an author myself–it did not!  At least once while I was reading I stopped and reminded myself of that to calm myself down!  It’s very good, but very intense.

I usually read books that take place in an earlier time period, but I liked that this was more modern because I could relate to Heather so well.

This book took all the fear out of death for me.  I mean, I wasn’t just cowering around fretting about the day I die–but it really made me think about it and realize that death truly is only the beginning (228).

Another way this book inspired me is that it made me want to memorize more scripture.  I guess I’ve memorized a lot of long passages, but it made me want to learn shorter sections and keep them memorized.  Near the end of the book the main character gets in a conversation with a police office who starts asking her questions about her faith, and Heather just starts rattling off Bible-verses.  It makes a better argument somehow when you can actually quote God’s word and not just summarize.

“Let no man deceive himself,” I quoted.  “If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.”  The man squinted at me.  I smiled, glad for the many hours spent memorizing verses (209).

“Counted Worthy” is the first novel that Miss Good has published, but she is obviously ready: the plot is very mature (but not complicated), and the writing-style is enjoyable.  I especially loved the dialogue!

You can purchase your own copy from Miss Good’s blog, which I linked to above.

Miracles could still happen, right?  We served the same God as Daniel, David, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  We also served the same God Paul and Stephen did (188).


I started school this week for the first time after China.  The first week has gone well!  I mean, I didn’t get all my subjects done every day, but we usually start slow.  #ILoveHomeSchooling

And, thanks to all your great suggestions, my writing has picked back up: I scribbled out the one-hundredth page in “Searching For His Name” today! 🙂

“At least Mrs. Miller had given him mittens.  Rodden covered his hands and stepped forward.  He sank almost up to his knees.  He scowled at the elven-boots.  At least they kept his feet warm.” –“Searching For His Name,” page 100.


Michael isn’t even favoring his foot anymore, but some of us are still coughing pretty bad.  We would appreciate your prayers still.  Thank you all for responding so well!  You guys give great writing-tips and you’re wonderful prayer-warriors.

Lucy is learning English faster than you would believe!  We can communicate better every day.  We are still watching shows in Chinese though–“My Friends, Tigger and Pooh” to be precise.  We can’t understand what they’re saying of course (except for a few words we’re able to pick out) but you can still tell what’s going on from the visual.  I still enjoy watching it even though I’ve seen a certain five episodes something like a million times! 🙂

Hope you guys are all having a great week!