How do we compare?

If any of you follow me on Facebook you should have seen a post here recently about school food in America verses other countries. I am hoping that it was a wake up call for some people but but at the same time I pray that it isn’t taken poorly. I know that a lot of Americans look at the health in our country as an issue that should be handled by the family, which is true, but it is also something that the school system should handle.

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In other countries, students are taught to clean, cook, exercise, and much more. Due to this being a staple in their schooling, the students tend to come out more respectful and thankful for what they are given and even thankful for what they have to work for.

students-in-Japan-cleaning-their-own-classroom

My husband and I are planning on moving out of the country so he can teach English and this is something we look forward to. When the time come, we will enroll our children in school and depending on where we live our children will either go to school in that country or back home in America. We have discussed how great these disciplines will be for our kids and how they will most likely be bilingual by then end of the grade school phase of life. We wish this for our kids: to be happy, healthy, faithful, respectful, caring, and much more but only time and God will tell. We want to raise our kinds outside of America if possible just because of the entitlement that many Americans have and lack of respect, health, etc. Now don’t think that I am a health freak or anything. Both myself and my hubby are over weight and are not happy about it and do not wish this for our kinds. Living in another country will help with that! 🙂

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Please feel free to comment with anything you have to say and I will try to respond with any answers if the are questions. 🙂  Love y’all!

Surviving a Long Flight

Throughout my travels I have been on flights that only last about 30 mins and flights which were about 18 hours, a huge difference! Some of the people who read this I know are well traveled as well but many of you have been on shorter flights or none at all and I thought this could be some food for thought when it comes to future travel.

There are many elements on a flight that one can take advantage of, and please do so!

Water: When flying, one gets dehydrated which can cause he or she to experience even more jet lag. So basically what I am saying is DRINK WATER!!!!! During a flight you are offered a drink at least once, but take it every chance that you have the chance!

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The airline typically also offers other beverages and if you don’t like water then i guess soda or adult beverages are better then nothing but honestly they will not help you!

Food: Ya ya, airline food is kind of gross but not too bad. I have had wonderful food and I have had awful food and all in between. On our way home from China my husband and I both misses our lunch meal on the plane so my husband (Daniel) went and requested something small for us to eat since we missed the meal. They obliged and gave him two chicken salad sandwiches. They were descent but oddly enough, after eating authentic Chinese food for 3 weeks these sandwiches were what made me sick. I mean throwing up on a plane in a tiny bathroom sick and having other people n the plane getting mad at me because I was hogging the bathroom. The lesson in this story is that you should eat the food for health and nutrition benefits but be mindful of what you are eating. The chicken salad smelled odd so we should of realized but sadly we didn’t.

Rest: While in flight or on land proper rest is extremely important! On longer flights, airlines tend to have lights on and lights off times during flight so that the passengers will be more adapted to the time change that they are about to face. (At least that is how it was on our trip to and from China.) While in a different time zone it is wiser to have a rather busy schedule for the first week or so that way the adapting will not be as hard because the options for nap taking are taken away from you and you have to be awake during the day time and only sleep for a limited time at night because you have a busy day the next day too! (Wow that was a really long sentence!) I always try to sleep the whole time on the way to and from but that doesn’t always work due to the happenings around me on a flight/length of said flight.

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Stretch: If you are not able to sleep on the plane then you should for sure stretch! Get up and walk around, stand up, do anything. Being cramped up in the small spaces that most people can “afford” really does cramp your style. You will need to move and stretch to try to avoid pain that will follow from becoming too stiff. On the China flights, every so often they would lead you in stretches and honestly it was hilarious because there was no room to do the things they wanted us to do! I am 5’9″ and my hubby is 6’4″, imagine us in coach trying to do stretches with at least one other person practically sitting on top of us, not possible!

Entertainment: It is wise, young grasshopper, to have things in your carry-on to keep you happy during the flight. Most planes now a days have individual tv screens in the back of the seat in front of you that you can choose what to watch, some have community tvs and some have no tvs at all. Our trip to Europe all had the personal tvs but to China NO TV AT ALL, and from China there were community tvs that were ONLY IN CHINESE, except an X-Men movie that they shut off right before the end. It was easy to tell who the English speaking Americans were because we all grunted, sighed, yelled, etc when they turned it off and then switched to another Chinese movie…  Bring something that is not an electronic to keep you happy because on some planes they still wont let you use a laptop, tablet, phone, or any electronic what so ever.

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Clothing: This seems like something silly to add to this list but no, really, it is important! In your carry-on you should always pact at least one change of clothes. You never know what might happen on the plane and you never know if your luggage will land with you or not. I recommend bringing a light jacket on the plane with you because they are typically cold and they also make a great pillow!

If you are able to keep these basic ideas in mind then your future flights will be so much more smooth and enjoyable flight no matter the length!

Happy Flying!

#billbrewer

I am pretty sure that a few months ago I shared with all of you the loss I went through with many of my friends for my Choir Director’s passing. It is still hard to think of him being gone due to how much he touched the hearts of people all over the world! He is how I met my husband and I will never be able to forget that!

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The choir of past, present, and future have been such a wonderful family to lean on and laugh with when thinking of all the wonderful memories of him. Music is the language that all people can understand even when they can’t hear it, they can still feel the emotion in the vibrations. Here is a poem that my friend post on Facebook today in honor of MR. B and I though you might like it! Love you Mr. Brewer!!!!!!

“Going on six months now, I still feel your presence in every note I sing, play, or hear. The wondrous words I vow, these hearts around me give me strength, when I fear.
You touched us all, each and every one. You made us stronger, in the longest run.
The Sun is brighter, my sorrows a little lighter, all because you were here. The world is better, troubled times a little lesser, especially if you were near.
Never would we think of, your pain not be enough.
The children, how they would smile, listen, and stare, all the while, our songs filled their halls for miles.
You had the beast inside, your love for music has defined, you’re ever in our minds.
From Budapest to Madrid, oh, the things that we did, sing your heart out, kid.”

-Travis Clifton

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Catching Up

The past few weeks have been a crazy roller coaster ride! I was in a wreck (as most of you already know), I went to Portugal with my choir, Started a new job, Left my old job, My choir director died, and much much more. For my family that reads this they all know what has bee happening and the stress and sadness that I have faced. I am steal dealing with insurance companies and police from the wreck and dealing with the fact that my choir director is no longer with us anymore.

The day I found out about his passing I cried pretty much nonstop for 6 hours or so. I partially did that on purpose because I had to go to work that night and I didn’t want to risk breaking down in a sobbing mess at my new job. You know, I still have to look professional and all. 🙂 Well just a few days later my husband and I had the honor of singing at his funeral along with our fellow choir members. We only sang one song in the funeral but after there was a concert in which we sang in two different groups.

This whole month has been crazy, full of ups and downs (mostly downs), but I know that God only puts on you what you can handle and what will make you a better person in the long run. I don’t understand all of the stuff I have had to go through this month, but I still love and follow God and His will! even though I am still in the mess of everything I know that there is still hope and that there is still a bright future for me. He’s not finished with me yet!

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Winter Weather

Last night it snowed. It snowed and we wrecked. We are okay, as far as we know, and the car is ,probably, dead. There were five cars total and 6 people. all were fine and all had insurance except the girl that started the chain reaction.

We were on our way home from church choir practice and this happened. Oh well, better  luck next time. This is something that Daniel and I will have the chance to work through together and with the support of friends and family all shall be well. With God on our side anything is possible!

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This is kind of what our car looks like now…

Around the World and Back

China:

As I have mentioned before in some of my previous posts, I am in a choir that once a year travels abroad and sings for a week or so. The last trip that the group went on was to China but not for just one week but for a Month!! We stayed in Shanghai, Beijing, and even went to Taiwan and stayed in Taipei. Some of the trip was dedicated to school work and study abroad and the rest was full of singing and sight seeing.

Shanghai was were we spent a majority of our trip. This was when we worked mainly on our schooling and that way it was more or less done and out of the way. While there we saw the official black market, secrete back rooms and all. We also went to the tailor’s market where my husband got a custom made tux in 2 days for $200 US dollars, it would have cost him in the US at least $400. I have to admit that it was a lot of fun to see my husband who is 6’4″ talk to the people of China and just see the random people on the street’s reactions to his height! There were a few times when our friends got a good laughs out of those interactions and reactions. There were many different buildings being made that we would drive past and each one had a completely different design unless it was part of a set. We counted close to 200 new apartment building being build in this city alone each with at least 20 floors. Another cool thing that we saw in Shanghai is the interstate system. You may think that roads are a boring topic but when you are on the 10th floor of a building and you open you curtains, the last thing you expect to see is the interstate right beside you.

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Beijing was the next city that we went to. We traveled there by air train and it was an absolute blast! If you ever want to go see all the sights that people talk about seeing in China, you would want to go here! The hotel we stayed in was very fancy but not a 5 star in an American’s standards. The lobby was to die for but there wasn’t a pool or spa of any sorts which for some people, I guess, would be a deal breaker. I don;t know how much it cost to stay there, but I do know that we had to fit in all the sights that we could possibly fit, just into those 3 days. The hotel was apparently very expensive… While in Beijing we saw The Great Wall of China and had a chance to actually walk/stand on it, The Forbidden City, The Summer Palace, and a few other places along with fitting in choir concerts and classes here and there along the way.

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The next place we went on our trip  was to the country of Taiwan, to the city of Taipei. I’ll be honest, if I were to choose a place to go back to again I would choose Taiwan! The air is purer, the people are nicer, the food taste better, the beds are softer, Taiwan just has a lot of pluses to it if you ask me. Both China and Taiwan were extremely humid, but you can adapt to that after just a little while. We visited a College there in which we sang and learned how to cook a couple of dishes. The culinary students helped us through the process but sadly we did not get any recipes to bring home with us. With their help we made spring rolls and lettuce wraps.

taiwan beach spring rolls lettuce wraps

This trip was most defiantly a trip of a life time and I will never forget it but I don’t know if I would ever go back. Partly for safety and partly because I like Europe better… oh well! I wish everyone had the chance the go to China and travel the world in general because it is such a wonderful world and we should all go see it!!!

Shy

Well my idea for the list for Christmas was obviously a bust, I was hoping that others might post their lists too but oh well. So this time instead I thought I would switch to the more normal blog. Its okay that my followers are a bit shy, I am too and this whole thing is me trying to break out of my shell and get things out of my mind or off of my chest. Another way that I have been trying to grow and better myself through out the years is by joining my college’s choir and getting to travel the world.

With my choir I have had the joy of traveling to Germany, Spain, China, and here soon we are going to Portugal also! The reason I have been able to do these trips is one because they have been cheap and too because if I have needed any help from family there has always been someone there to help me out. The ability to see all of the different cultures and be a part of the places that my family hasn’t been before is so wonderful!

Germany way my first experience outside of the good old US of A if you don’t include cruses to Mexico. It was the best trip thus far and the coldest too! I was warned ahead of time that it was gonna be extremely cold the whole time but I still wasn’t ready. At any given moment I had on about 12 items of clothes on and was still freezing and going numb all over. Even though I despise the cold it was such a blessing to go on this trip. We were able to sing in the church that Martin Luther was buried in and also the church that he nailed the 95 Theses to. We also got to go to a Holocaust camp and a castle and much much more! So many door were opened up to us and it was a huge blessing!

Rebuilt This building was in Weimar, Germany and was rebuilt, I believe, 4 times. All four were due to fires! Wow how history repeats itself. 

Maybe next time I will share other experiences with you but for now, enjoy a little bit of Germany! 🙂