We enjoyed getting pictures from family reunion of our children, grandsons…and realized we ‘attended’ our 2nd family function courtesy of Skype

07 May

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Our university is going through an accreditation process, and are taking the opportunity to “put their best foot forward,” which pleases us immensely. It means they are putting in some decorative plants and flowers and cleaning up some areas around our teacher’s building #1 that have been in need for some time. The students are noticing, also. Let’s hope it will continue after the government officials are gone.

What they see and hear will affect the standing of our university in this country. It will affect future student enrollment, so it’s important. Of course, accreditation processes are also part of the “American way.”

The rumor mill continues…seems we will move to the West campus sometime in the future…some are saying next semester is a good possibility.

We enjoyed getting pictures from the family reunion of our children and our grandsons…and realized we ‘attended’ our second family function courtesy of Skype. We participated in Bo’s wedding last November in Atlanta and now a Florida vacation. We really get around, huh?

After 12 years as a part-time and full-time sportswriter, in 1979 I left that profession to work in more important ways, and now begin my 34th year in that service. It has brought a few ‘roller coaster rides’ along the way, but I have no regrets and “love my crazy job.” (I have a coffer mug in California storage that proclaims that fact, which is a metaphor for our recent years).

I missed watching the Kentucky Derby for the second straight year. Born in Louisville, I take pride in this annual event, and have not missed it since being run yearly on television. For those years as a sportswriter, it meant holding the first edition on Saturday afternoon for several minutes so a picture and story could go on the front page of the sports section.

One of the great privileges we have is the opportunity to offer counsel to these young people…I am excited for the challenge to spend time with a young man to help him “get light into the darkness.” He’s had some difficult times, with anger issues in his family, but he responds well to our kindness, constant smiles and ‘being friends.’ Keep him in your thoughts! We want to change his way of thinking, so his actions will follow…and want to help him begin to break the cycle that seems to be part of the family structure.

We have a new Sister in the Family. And two of our Thursday evening teachers came to our Sunday Assembly for the initial time.

We’ve watched some more of our men and women play what we would call in the States intramural games. They play hard, but are not winning many matches. It is still a privilege to support their efforts, and I have become the team photographer, providing many pictures for their future scrapbooks. 🙂

Greetings from Terry: I have thoroughly enjoyed reading The Blue Window by Temple Bailey again. It is a treasure that is now out of print.

When we went to watch our central boys intramural basketball game I discovered my West girls were playing on the adjacent court. It was fun to see them in a different setting. I could tell they felt that way about me too. They were excited to have us there. It was like having a part of their family cheering for them. Gary took lots of pictures.

Later that same night four of my girls from West were in a “Hostess” competition where they were judged on deportment, speaking skills and talent. They were surprised and pleased that we had come. Gary took photos and later put them on a CD for each girl to keep and share with her friends and family (he also made one for the basket ball teams) It was so thoughtful of Gary. He is always using his many writing, photography and computer skills in ways to help others.

Several of the girls said that when they saw us in the audience it gave them confidence as if their grandparents were there watching. We also enjoyed being there for them. It was like getting to watch my own children and grandchildren; which is one of my favorite pastimes.

Sunday evening Gary and I took advantage of the pleasant weather by taking a walk around the pond, small forest and “old ruins” on campus where Aiden played when he was here in August. (good memories) The bower of roses at the nursery gate was in full bloom, lending its sweet fragrance to the evening air. Personally, I think they need to set out a sweet smelling bush every few feet around the city.

The other day at lunch one of the students said she could not use chop sticks and always used a spoon.

I have now switched to my summer hair style; tucking it behind my ears. It is much cooler.

Today we had my last class visitation in our apartment. While they were here, they asked me to sing a song so I sang I Am Lovable.

Then Gary and I sang Qing, Qing, Ting in Chinese (English title is Listen Quietly) and Light The Fire in English. Then they sang a song for us.

Today I made chocolate milk from the large tin of powdered coacoa Lisa Taylor left me when she moved. It was soooo good.

I have rediscovered how effective a paste of baking soda and hot water is on the grease that builds up on the kitchen exhaust vent and fan. With just a little rubbing it cleans it off completely. – Love, Terry.

 Gary: I have found the book 10 Simple Solutions for Building Self-Esteem by Glenn R. Schiraldi helpful in our discussions. I would like to share some of his main ideas, knowing many of us can benefit from the information and perhaps share with others as we seek to build up one another according to their needs:

  • Self-esteem is a realistic, appreciative opinion of oneself. Realistic means we are dealing in the truth, being accurately and honestly aware of our strengths, weaknesses, and everything in between. Appreciative, however, suggests that we have good feelings overall about the person we see. Think of a friend who knows you well and cherishes you, recognizing that there is more to you than your faults, and you’ll get a sense of what appreciative means.
  • Wholesome self-esteem is the conviction that one is as worthwhile as anyone else, but not more so.
  • Self-esteem rests upon three important factors, or building blocks. The first two blocks, un-(see next page)conditional worth and unconditional love, comprise the secure foundation for the third building block, growth. Generally, growth proceeds more effectively once the first two blocks are securely in place.
  • A basic premise is that all people have equal, immeasurable, unchanging intrinsic worth as a person. Worth as a person is neither earned nor increased or diminished by external factors, such as the way people treat you, bad decisions, or fluctuations in your bank account balance.

Psychological health is not possible without love for the essential core. Children with self-esteem tend to have parents who love them. These parents show interest in the children’s lives, treat them with respect, encourage and support them as they strive to attain high stand-  ards, and care about them enough to set reasonable limits. The good news is that even those who did not experience this type of parental love can learn to become good parents to themselves.

What is love? I suggest that love is (1) a feeling that we experience, (2) the attitude that wants what is best for the beloved at each and every moment, (3) a decision and commitment made each day (even if we don’t feel like it), and (4) a skill that we learn. If the core is like a seed, then love is the nourishment that helps the seed grow. Love does not create worth (it already exists). However, love helps us experience our worth and enjoy the process of growing. Even though we might not always have the love of others, we can always choose to love ourselves.

We tend to feel better about ourselves when we are living constructively—making reasonable decisions, developing desirable attributes, and polishing the rough edges around the core. Thus, we might think of building block 3 as the process of completing, coming to flower, or putting love into action. Growing is a direction and a process, not reaching a destination. Growing does not change our core worth, but it helps us to experience it with greater satisfaction. The inner core can grow even as the body ages or becomes infirm. As the concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl noted, people can attain inner freedom even though their bodies are imprisoned. We grow as we try to lift others along with ourselves, as we develop in character and personality, and as we discover ways to enjoy wholesome pleasures. (I have needed many of these points in recent years, with friends and family!)

1 Comment

Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Jingzhou


One response to “We enjoyed getting pictures from family reunion of our children, grandsons…and realized we ‘attended’ our 2nd family function courtesy of Skype

  1. Gayle Owensby Farmer

    May 7, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I remember so well when you were born in Ky.My Mom,Grandma (Baba to you) Eston and I think,Walter Earl took the long trip to see you.Of course you were a good looking baby even While there Eston and I both had asthma attacks.Must have been the change in weather conditions or something. Anyway it was a fun trip all in all. You and Terry are in my prayers almost daily..Love to read your blogs and see the pictures of your family and your students.



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