May 11, 2008

12:2 Times May 2008

Kanyon Enjoys a BBQ

Jumping Through Hoops

The process of returning to China is filled with many papers, forms, and hoops (legal documents, etc.). Each item is required to obtain a residence permit allowing us to live and work in China for the year. We went through this same process in 2005. Here are a few odds and ends from the process:

Visa Applications, Photos, and Other Forms: These are routine forms with basic information. The only odd thing is that we are required to send in 10 passport photos of each of us. 10 is a lot when most places sell 2 at a time.

Background Check: A routine event when hired by an American employer, but have you ever tried to get a background check on yourself? That’s what we were up to the middle of April. First we get fingerprinted, and then wait for the results to be sent. And what a surprise, our checks came back with no criminal record.

Health Records: Not much more than a routine physical, but it does include some additional tests (i.e., HIV/AIDS, syphilis, chest x-ray, EKG). All negative again. We then must get the doctor to sign and stamp each page (stamps are often more official than signatures in China).

Document Authentication: We did not do this in 2005 and it became the real beast of a process, but luckily it only has to be done once and never expires. The process involves the Secretary of State for Texas for certification and the Chinese Embassy for final authentication and filing.

We carefully seal the FedEx envelope and drop it in the mail hoping for better results than last time when one passport went missing.


Thank you to each of you who have been lifting up our specific requests. We have seen these answered time and again. We mailed our document packet to California with all of our forms, visa applications, passports, health records, foreign workers permits, etc. and it has arrived safely. All items safely arrived, including all three passports!

Happy Mother's Day (by M’Lynn)

Now that I’m a mom, I look around me and realize I’m surrounded by moms who constantly inspire me. There are moms in my life of every age and in every stage who encourage me with their example of what it is to be a mother.

Watching my friends from my Life Group with their toddlers gives me a glimpse into my immediate future. Most of them have several young children, and I am always impressed with their example of motherhood. Most of the ladies in my Bible Study are moms that have sent their children, now grown, into the world. They have given me countless insights as they look back on their years as moms. They are always telling me to be thankful for every single moment with Kanyon while he is growing up because kids grow up so fast! I’m surrounded by working moms at my job who constantly amaze me with their ability to take care of their families and do good work outside of the home. Some of them are single moms who somehow manage to keep it all going without the help of a spouse. I am always thankful for my husband, but when I see all the things a single mom has to do on her own, I am even more thankful that I have such a wonderful man named Jeremy in my life!!

Then, there are the moms who have been in my life for as long as I can remember. My own mother’s example urges me to be more generous, self-less, patient and kind. I look at the lives lived by my grandmothers and great-grandmothers and hope that like them, I will one day be able to look at my children and know I raised them right. They are mothers of children who were taught the way of the Father when they were young and have not departed from it now that they are grown. What an amazing family heritage to have!

Thank you to all the moms in my life for your amazing examples.

Stories of Note

King of Western Swing – We traveled home at the end of April to celebrate my dad’s 60th birthday and to return to Bob Wills Day in Turkey, TX. I had not been back to Bob Wills Day in 10 years and M’Lynn had never been. Read more.

Lemonade Stand – Walking around our neighborhood, we noticed some kids selling lemonade and we walked the other way, but the sales-kids would not let us get away. Read more.

Waffle Iron Burgers – We hosted a moving away party for our friends and our LifeGroup and asked everyone to bring food and we would bring burgers. Only one problem, how were we going to cook 40 burgers in our apartment kitchen? Read More.

Midland Rockhounds – Kanyon attends his first baseball game. We tucked ourselves in our seats safely behind the net, as not to be hit by any flying objects, baseballs... Read more.

China Update – We are 63% to our goal. The next deadline is 75% by July 15th to have our tickets purchased. Read More.

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