We LOVE vegetables. Really we do. We can't get enough of them! No matter what country, I always make dishes with tons of veggies thrown in. We have been so excited to have such a great variety of vegetables in China. There are markets and fruit stands everywhere. And they are so cheap!

We bought all of these vegetables for 32 yuan. Which is $5.08!
 The price of one coffee in China!
Super cheap! And delicious!

Tai Shan Part 3

The morning, at the top of the mountain, was beautiful. 

Tai Shan Part 2

 The stairs just kept going and going.

Tai Shan Part 1

 Our 4 hour bus ride to Ti'an was pretty empty, so Catherine and I decided to stretch out in the back. We had just enough room. It pays to be short sometimes.

Pictures from Dalian

We hopped on over to Dalian for the weekend! You can read about our first night and what the heck Dalian is, here.
We had to stop by Subway to pick up a sandwich to enjoy at the beach! Tastes just like home.
Seaside at Xinhai park.


The Chicken Slaughter!(Video)

This afternoon, I went to the local bike man to repair my flat tire. He sets up shop right out side of our school grounds. He works across from the key maker, who's on the other side of the road. As I was waiting for him to finish replacing my tube, I see this....


Half Marathon Training..Running

Heather and I are training for a Half Marathon on January 29th. We are both excited and have already been training for seven weeks.


New Oven

We, especially I, am super excited to now have an oven!
We didn't have one and weren't going to buy one since we are coming home for Christmas, which is pretty pricey. I will say that I was feeling a little sad not baking during the holidays.
But the Mosby's were sooooo thoughtful and gave us money to get one! They are the best in-laws ever! And now I can bake!
Thank you guys so much! We are so thankful and blessed to have you!

I have already made chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, turtle brownies, pumpkin bread (with real pumpkins!), baked butternut squash, stuffed bell peppers, enchiladas and quiche! Don't worry we are training for a half marathon! (SO hopefully we are running off all this delicious baked food!)

Thank you!!!!!

Dalian Museum of Natural Science

We had some spare time, so we got to check out the Natural History Museum of Dalian. It was free and a great use of two hours. Lots to see.:) This is my favorite kind of museum! You know, the kind with lots of life sized things to look at and more interactive. I loved studying Archaeology in University but there's only so many pot shards you can look at before loosing your mind. I was happy this was not that kind of museum! Though it's a lot of fake, cheesy looking stuff, it was still really interesting and we had fun!


News Flash: The Massacre

Chara our 11 month old puppy massacred her favorite toy dog as of last night. We are sad to see it go, but it was about time....sooo dirty.


My Reflections On Mount Tai

We  live in the Shandong province of China. We have been looking for things to see and we stumbled across a jewel. This mountain was a great time. Mount Tai is one of the "Five Sacred Mountains" of China. It is visited by millions of Chinese people every year. The mountain is famous for being a symbol of Chinese spirit and unity. A dozen emperors have paid homage to this great mountain before us.

Heather's Birthday

I felt so very loved this birthday. It was just such a good day. I was full of joy and thankful to be alive! I felt so loved by all my friends and family.

Zachary had lots of surprises planned for me through out the day. He got me breakfast, had presents for me to open throughout the day, and took me out to eat at a romantic, western style cafe. I love him.
Presents from the Mosby's. 

"Ventilation Table"

Last week a lady at our school messaged Zachary to tell him some workers were coming over to install a ventilation table.
We were a little unsure what that was but soon found out, it's drilling a hole through our wall. Interesting.

It wouldn't be China, if the workers didn't clean up their mess after.

I had to scrub all the way to the ceiling with a wire brush to get all this stuff off.


Snow Day! Chara Happy!

Now, Chara is way cuter than me! I will have to stop my self from posting ten thousand pictures of her!
She was also probably ten times more excited than me. Absolutely adorable.

We always think there is no way we could fall more in love with her, and then she does something even more precious.

Chara was in heaven! She was running around eating snow and jumping in the air to catch snow flakes! We will post a video later. Well, when the techie genius, Zachary, uploads it. :)

Zachary watching Chara. He's happy, too.

Snow Day! Heather Happy!

December 7th, 2011 
Dongying: First Snow Day!!!

I was BEYOND excited to see it snowing on Thursday! I even started jumping up and down! Zachary was much more mature about it, but I know he was excited, too. ;) 

I felt so very thankful for the boost of joy I received when I saw those beautiful white clumps coming down, as Zachary and I were on our way to a Kinder open class. (Where all the parents come to watch. Kind of nerve racking sometimes.)
Thank you, Jesus!!! 

After class we got to come home and take Chara out to play! 

If you know me, you know, I LOVE snow! I LOVE the cold, probably for it's association with snow. Oh, and turtlenecks. And scarves. And leggings. And Uggs I don't have. Okay. I just love the cold, too! 
Why was  I born in Texas? Texas people! Did you know, that when the weather is cold enough, you can actually see the little snowflakes? You can see all the individual, unique sparkling little flakes and see their whole shape! They are so beautiful! Miraculous, actually. We never get to see that in Texas, since the snow is always melty. :) (That is a very accurate and technical piece of information. It's too melty. ;) ) 

Now, contrary to what those might think who saw my bedroom all through middle school, I don't usually like posting a million photos of myself (now). 
But I'll make an exception. :) Because, it's pure joy.

Right outside our apartment building.

Making Goat Cheese

One of our new obsessions is making goat cheese!

We had goat cheese for the first memorable time while in Korea.
A Korean guy made goat cheese as a hobby and sold it online.
We ordered some with our co workers and, man o' man, we went crazy for it!

Goat milk is readily available here in China. 
We can buy it at any grocery store so we decided to give making cheese a try! 
Especially since, cheese is not readily available in China.
Except the thin slices, which if you know me at all, you know I don't enjoy them. I

 have nightmares of white bread and flimsy, unmelted Kraft singles, 
getting stuck to the roof of my mouth while eating.
It's giving me the chills just thinking about having to pry that mush off with my tongue.
In my adult life, I have come to appreciate those flimsy slices melted, 
on grilled cheese with tomato, though, but NEVER alone.

I had read online and heard from a friend that making crumbly cheese was super easy! And it's true!
Have a try!
Homemade Goat Cheese
Supplies needed: Cheese cloth, milk, pot, lime, lemon or vinegar,and technically you should also have a candy thermometer. We did not have a thermometer so we just eyed it and it worked fine for us.

First, get your milk of choice. (You can also make it with cow milk.)
This is how most milk comes in China- in a bag.

Also, most of it is UHT milk, so it can sit on a shelf for months without being refrigerated.
Not the best choice in making cheese, so I have read online, but it was our only choice. :(
Actually not the best choice in anything, in my opinion.

Pour 2 quarts of milk into your pot.
Turn the burner on medium low and slowly heat the milk.
If you are using a candy thermometer you should slowly heat the milk to 180 degrees. Since we weren't using one, we read to heat it to the point just before it forms a milk film.

We actually just kept sticking our fingers in it. We were both baristas and the standard for making drinks is to heat the milk to 160, so we knew that if we could still stick our finger in comfortably, it wasn't ready. We also knew that once we pulled it out and screamed some garble of words, than it was heated too long. So, we shot for a feeling in between.
We heated it to a very small boil, but then turned it off immediately.

Once you reach your desired temperature add your acid. 
We used lemon our first time (1/4 c juice) and vinegar other times. I have heard that lime is also very tasty.
Add the juice or vinegar slowly until you start seeing the milk curdle. We stirred the milk around, slowly, to make sure the rest was forming curdles, though some people advice against this online. We did it anyways. :)

Spoon the milk into layered cheese cloths. We used two cheese cloths but our cheese dripped and was finished in 5 minutes, which still worked well for us. Online, most people say their cheese takes almost an hour. So probably, to form a drier and firm cheese, you should add more cheese cloth to get a slower drip. 
Hang the cheesecloth over a bowel to catch the drippings. 

After your cheese cloth stops dripping, you can untie your cloth and scoop out your cheese! 
Mix in garlic, salt and other spices of choice! 
Top soups, crackers, chips or whatever strikes your tastes! 

 For a more detailed explanation on making goat cheese, you can look here.

For those allergic to dairy, like my grandma, here's a recipe for making soy cheese. Also, here.
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