I’ve been an elementary school teacher, an English lecturer, a youth ministry worker and a writer, but my job as the mother to five children aged 4 to 13 is by far the most fulfilling and challenging I’ve ever had. There are many seasons in life and the season I have been in during the past three years was to be caregiver to my children and my in-laws. My in-laws moved to our city three years ago, and it quickly became evident that they both suffered from Alzheimer’s. My father-in-law passed away a month ago, but we are still caring for my husband’s mother.
By training, I am a writer and teacher; by choice, I am a cook, musician, photographer, scrapbooker and artist. However, because I don’t have training in those fields, I am often more of an amateur in practice than I am in vision. Still, I just helped my oldest daughter paint a sea life mural on my younger daughter’s walls and I have a sketch on my cork board I keep on meaning to turn into a painting some day. I like to read and my favorite novels used to be fantasy and Victorian fiction. For mother’s day this year, I treated my self to a very satisfying re-reading of Dicken’s Bleak House, which is one of my favorite novels. Most of the time, however, I do not read fiction anymore. I crave knowing more about things and so I read history, archeology, science and theology. I just finished reading several books about buildings in ancient civilizations.
One of my reading interests is China. Two of my children are adopted from China. I traveled there twice for the adoptions (while my husband stayed home with the other children). Before I went the first time, I did not read anything at all about the history or culture. When I came back, I poured through the library at the University looking for books about Chinese history and Christianity in China. We hope to go back to stay for about 9 months in about five years. My husband will do research, I will teach English and hopefully volunteer at an orphanage. We have dreamed about traveling abroad as a family for the fifteen years of our marriage. So far, I’ve been to China twice, and my husband has traveled to China, Sweden, Israel, France and Mexico for conferences, but we’ve never traveled together
I have taken classes in German, French, Spanish, Sign Language and New Testament Greek. I got A’s in all of those classes. I studied all of those languages (except French) for over a year. We even spent three years in a Spanish Speaking church where my husband and I were the praise team. Still, I really can’t speak any of those languages. I did have one success when I was in China. A couple speaking Spanish came up to me to admire my baby. I managed to have a very short conversation with them. Their CHINESE guide complimented me on my Spanish! I hardly knew how to react. I’ve spent almost my entire life within a few hours of the Mexican border. How in the world did HE learn Spanish?
So–did I go back to the books in one of my previous languages, attempting to finally make it a go? No, I’m starting a new language-Mandarin.I’m also trying to learn to read and speak Mandarin. On the advice of a professor friend of my husband’s, we’ve been listening to tapes over the past year to build up some sense of the sound of the language (my Spanish teacher did something like this, making us listen to songs while we tried to write down what we heard). Now we are adding learning to read characters and pinyin.
There, I’ve written something about me. Next, I will talk about my blog and what I hope to accomplish by writing in this forum.