Sunny Simple Sundays 3/28/15 Life Letters

–     It has been an amazing few weeks; Seeing China, preparing and enjoying our Speech and Debate Regional competition, surviving tornadoes and a BIG birthday celebration.  I really like this edition of my blog because it serves as a reflection of the on-goings of my chaotic but truly amazing life.

A Bucket List Check-Off. At the Great Wall in China.

Dear China Crew:  I cannot even begin to express in words how much our trip to Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai have meant to me.  I made so many new friends, went on so many new adventures, and really now recognize how important cultural competency is for all of us.  Being a life long learner means going beyond your normal boundaries so that you have more understanding.  A communist country with a capitalist economy, so interesting.  Even more mind blowing was learning about over two thousand years of structures, empires and traditions.  I know we all left China feeling its beauty, and hoping that the new President will take care of environmental concerns and truly hear the needs and wishes of its people.

Our Zoe ❤

Dear Zoe: The most amazing tour guide I know.  I already miss your optimism and companionship. The day you bought me lunch and went over the dynasties with me will be forever a monumental moment in my life.   You went so beyond our expectations that I am not sure we can thank you enough.  China does not have Google or Facebook so I don’t know if you will ever see this, but I hope you know we all love you and wish you and your family great happiness.

My students were forever changed. The goodbyes were hard.

Dear OSSAA, NSDA, and everyone that supports Speech and Debate through the country:  I have had the privilege of watching my students from Freshman year to Senior year become amazing speakers, researchers and performers.  It has been a lot of work, but looking back I would do it all over again.  This is how skills are learned, life lessons are taught, and how friendships are solidified.  Thank you to all who are involved; I can tell so many of you do not nearly get the credit you deserve.

Dear my hard working, amazingly talented, Speech and Debate Team:   You all drive me crazy, especially those of you who are beyond stubborn (no names here, lol), but I could not be more proud.  Three Regional Champions, Runner-up team Champions, and nine qualifying State Competitors.  Looking forward to states in two weeks and now we need to get to work.

Please consider donating to our team.  We have to raise a lot of money quickly to get these kids to the State competition:

Grandma and her name sake saying goodbye.

Dear Mom, Dad, Chuck and Hubby:  What a gift you have given me.  I knew the little ones were safe and secure with mom and Raimon at the helm.  It was hard for me to leave you both but I am glad I was able to achieve a life-long dream.  Talk about a great birthday present.  Husband, I have no idea how you are getting through this period of our life intact.  You get so little sleep sometimes.  I hope one day I can help you achieve your dreams.  Love you all so much.

Dear my beautiful kids that give their mother so much pride:  In two months my third child Kev will graduate high school.  We have been through so many bumpy patches but you all are turning in to such amazing adults.  I hope you will always stay close and humor your very adventurous mother. Love you to infinity and beyond …and then some.

“Through travel we are born again, and if we are lucky we arrive just a little bit  more wiser.”  Jennifer H. 

Our group bike riding on the Xi’an city wall.
Keeping old traditions alive.
New Friends at a local High School in Beijiing.

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