I found a windmill in Holland!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


We cannot fathom heartbreak, until our heart is broken. We cannot fathom betrayal, until we are betrayed. We cannot fathom what it is to identify in HIS sufferings, until HE allows us to walk a mile in HIS shoes. And when HE does, we begin to understand the tears HE cries, the LOVE that drives them, and the reason HE asks us for ALL.

Please join me in prayer for my sweet friend who is struggling to figure out how to follow God's call. My heart longs to see people fulfill their destiny in Christ. When they cannot embrace it, my heart breaks. Please pray with me.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


A man found a cocoon of the emperor moth and took it home to watch it emerge. One day a small opening appeared, and for several hours the moth struggled but couldn't seem to force its body past a certain point.

Deciding something was wrong, the man took scissors and snipped the remaining bit of cocoon. The moth emerged easily, its body large and swollen, the wings small and shriveled.

He expected that in a few hours the wings would spread out in their natural beauty, but they did not. Instead of developing into a creature free to fly, the moth spent its life dragging around a swollen body and shriveled wings.

The constricting cocoon and the struggle necessary to pass through the tiny opening are God's way of forcing fluid from the body into the wings. The "merciful" snip was, in reality, cruel. Sometimes the struggle is exactly what we need.

"Quote" Magazine

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

10th Anniversary Gala

Sunday evening we Celebrated 10 years of God's faithfulness to Crossover International! We had a great turn out with many people getting to see the ministry of Crossover for the first time! We learned a lot about hosting an event of that magnitude and plan to have an annual Gala to celebrate what God does each year on the overseas tours.
Below are some pictures of the Gala: (You can see more pictures on my Facebook page)

Our Staff: Zo Azubuike (President), Me (Director of Operations), Kirby Beneventi (Discipleship and Community Development), and Troy Cohen (Director of Recruiting).

Me with our good friend John Johnson. He gave us great advice and helped us pull the event together at the last minute. Thank you John!

Colorado State Representative Ken Summers, NBA Player Kelenna Azubuike and our good friend TJ Doyle during the opening Prayer.

A few of our alumni enjoying the event. (Lauren Labat, Jenny Vieira, Adaeze Azubuike, Amanda Sanders and Susan Beardslee)

Alumnus, Jimmie Maggette with Troy

The Crowd at the Gala

Crossover Board Member and Master's College Women's Head Coach, Dan Waldeck speaking.

Gala Emcee Kyle Speller (Voice of the Denver Nuggets) with his lovely wife.

Keynote Speaker, Pastor Chad Bruegmann (Teaching Pastor at Red Rocks Church) addressing the crowd.

Monday, October 10, 2011

For my Benefit

"The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, “Go down to the potter’s shop, and I will speak to you there.” So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over.

Then the Lord gave me this message: “O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand. If I announce that a certain nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down, and destroyed, but then that nation renounces its evil ways, I will not destroy it as I had planned. And if I announce that I will plant and build up a certain nation or kingdom, but then that nation turns to evil and refuses to obey me, I will not bless it as I said I would." - Jeremiah 18:1-9

It is my desire to be a vessel that God is pleased with. You and I can attempt many things for God, but it is HIM and HIM alone that is the source and shaper of our destinies. When we are torn down....it is for our good. Not to destroy us, but rather to shape us into people that HE is pleased with. He shapes us so that we can stand before HIM one day to hear HIM say "Well Done". That's what I live for.

Today, I choose to believe that Brokenness is for my benefit.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"One Time"

My Boss, Zo and I met this weekend and we prayed a lot! God moved in an amazing way!!! I got really fired up about some of the things God is speaking. I talked with my team this summer a lot about how the enemy tries to steal, kill and destroy us. We talked about how to guard the seed that God has planted in us and give it a good environment to grow in.
One of our guys would always say "One Time" after everything! "Can I get a coke, one time?", "Where is my shirt, one time?", "Let's go get ice cream, one time."...you get the picture! He got all of us sayin, “One time” and it cracks me up!
I was reminded yesterday of the ULTIMATE “One Time”…..“Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.” – I Peter 3:18
I don’t know about you, but that humbles me. We deserve death and he took it for us ONCE and that was enough. One thing that I have been seeing a lot lately is that as sinful creatures, we slap Him in the face a lot by the way we live our days. He asks us to do something and we have the nerve to say “No” or “Later”. He asks us to be Righteous and Holy and we say “It’s too hard.”, or “I can do this and still be a Christian.”
Don’t slap Him in the face by compromising. He Died for you….it is not too much for you to LIVE for Him. It REQUIRES sacrifice, but the joy of HIS journey and the lightweight of HIS burden is Worth it!!! “Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me’.” – Luke 9:23
This Life is NOT about YOU!
Let that sink in ONE TIME!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Beautiful People

Late night thoughts are sometimes dangerous. But, I am going to take a risk....

I have contemplated life more this year than I EVER remember. Just stopping to take in the mountain view or to THINK about what is actually going on around me. I don't know if we do that enough.

This summer, I was challenged in more ways than I can adequately describe in words. ALL of my dreams, hopes and wishes were challenged. I examined my heart in ways that I never thought was possible. I asked myself HARD questions, and I made some BIG mistakes with my attitude and the way I perceived my circumstances.

As fall approaches, I am coming to my 4 year anniversary with Crossover, and Crossover is celebrating it's 10th Birthday. I am standing on the brink of our "New" year in ministry and I ponder the depth of God's promises and the shallowness of my belief.

I am inspired by friends of mine who are living a portion of my dream by pursuing adoption of a Chinese orphan.

I am curious about God's timing and the fact that His biggest promise to me still lays unfulfilled in my heart after 14 years of waiting. (That's longer than Joseph waited....just sayin'! ) Haha!

I am dust. I am reduced to a pile of dirt in the hand of my Father God. My hope is exasperated. My needs seem ignored. My hurts are unrecognized or scoffed at. Yet.....HE remains STEADFAST.

One of the girls on my tour sent me this quote. I feel that it describes our lives so beautifully.
‎"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen." — Elizabeth Kubler Ross

My heart aches for the Tree of Life as described in Proverbs 13:12. May it not tarry as it has in the past. For HIS Glory and HIS renown.

Friday, August 19, 2011


I can count on one hand the number of times that I have been scared on a plane. Nervous, yes....jittery...sometimes....but almost never scared.

Last night, I was afraid. I was so excited to come home from South Africa. We had a really productive and FUN time in Durban with new friends Merieke, Mary and others. However, after traveling for a month, I was just excited to get back home and be in cell phone range again. I confess that much of that is because I want to be back in contact with my team members from TOUR A. Anyway, once on the plane, they told us that the flight would be 15 hours and 45 minutes. I was shocked! That is by far that longest flight I have ever been on.

Once we were in the air, it became very clear that it was not going to be a restful flight. We were in the last row and there was so much turbulence that we were literally shaking for about 14 hours. There were moments where the jolting was so strong that I would wake up from a shallow sleep and pray until I could drift back off. They changed altitude several times, but apparently the Atlantic Skies were not happy to have us.

I am SO happy to be back in the states. When we landed in Atlanta, I said "THANK YOU JESUS"...out loud. Troy just nodded. I don't think he was able to doze very much. I know for certain that God is not finished with us yet! We could have been fishy food in the middle of the ocean, but God brought us back to earth. ;-)

Perhaps it is so that I will still be around when my Cub (Amanda Sanders) moves to Denver in January?! There is a plan...I know it!

Blessed to be alive!!! ;-)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

South Africa

No matter how much I travel, I find delights wherever I go! We arrived in Durban, South Africa on Monday afternoon and we were greeted by Edmund and Preethiek. They were HILARIOUS!! They took us to our favorite place in SA....Kauai!!!! OH MAN!!! This place has the BEST smoothies!! We were SO excited to have our African favorites! (We discovered this place when we were stuck in the Johannesburg airport in February. We decided that Tambo International Airport has the best food court in the world.) ;-)

We arrived at the Church complex and were greeted by Mary, Jasmine, Merieke, and Auntie. They have taken care of us so well, and Troy has been in constant banter with Mary since we arrived.

Yesterday, we visited the primary school on the edge of Bottlebrush. This is the slum that most of the feedings and outreach take place in. We met with the Principal of the school who invited us to do whatever we wanted. Then, we went to the University to check out the gym. We reserved the gym for the camp next summer.

Today, we had to the honor of preparing and then taking meals to the children in Bottlebrush. I have seen a lot of poor in my time, and this place is definitely a slum. We gave the children a meal and then walked around a bit to get a feel for the place. I was so taken with the way that they live life. You cannot walk into a place like this and NOT be touched. We have SOOOO much! I left feeling truly blessed.

The Kids waiting to receive their small meal.

The mall overlooks the slum. Kind of ironic.... There are government housing dwellings that are pretty structurally sound. However, mixed in among them are shacks that are crudely built and pretty unstable. If you look in the background of this picture, you can see some of the shacks.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Guebwiller, France

God is so good. We arrived in the quiet little town of Guebwiller on Saturday night and just finished our camp today. The guys finished tour with a 3-1 record in games and the girls went 4-0. So proud of all of them and their GREAT attitudes. I TRULY have never led a better team!!!

Sunset above the mountains

One of the Side Streets in Guebwiller

Ball Handling Station

Rebounding Station

Sharing our Stories

The camp in France

Our girls team after the game that they scored 100 points in!!!

There it is Folks!!! In living color!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


"My GRACE is sufficient for you. For MY power is made perfect in weakness."

Over the last few months, I have recognized my weakness more than ever. No one is perfect. NO matter how many years you have been a Christian, no matter how long you have been in ministry. We all NEED God. We ALL have moments of weakness when our flesh takes over and we make mistakes that feel unforgivable.

Our response is the catalyst that sends us deeper into despair OR catapults us into the wonder of Grace.

I have recently been thrust into the chasm of God's grace. I do NOT deserve it because I was a BRAT all summer. I responded to my circumstances out of woundedness and selfishness and found myself in need of repentance and a swift kick of correction. I repented, and GRACE came in....Literally.....Like a FLOOD. I am overwhelmed by all that God has responded with.

Our tour team is a BLESSING beyond my ability to describe. Their respect for their leaders is unsurpassed. Their love for each other is like I have never seen, and their willingness to be teachable and CHOOSE the right thing is a wonder. I have never led a team like this in all of my years of being in ministry. They are a GIFT from the LORD. There is no other explanation.

Our week in Romania was great!! We had 88 kids overall. About 3/4 of them indicated that they wanted to receive Christ at the end of camp. We are BLESSED!!!! The YWAM Cluj staff were amazing once again, and we enjoyed our time there immensely!!!! Troy and Amanda did AMAZING as the commissioners for the gyms, and the team gave all they had to make the week amazing!!

We were able to relax on Friday in Budapest, and then traveled for 14 hours yesterday to arrive in France. This morning we participated in a church service here and look forward to our second camp starting tomorrow.

Here are some pictures to give you an overview:

(The camp in Romania)

(Crossover Champion Angie Al-Shaar- NBA Gym)
(Crossover Champion Raul- NCAA Gym)

(Signing Autographs....Haha!!! Who would've thought??)

(Julia LOVED Spradley!!! The little ones called him "Sparkley" ;-) )

Saturday, July 30, 2011


It's nearly 2am, and I can't sleep. We arrived in Cluj-Napoca tonight and everyone is exhausted. 36 hours of travel is more than most people can handle, yet this team did so with Grace, Humility and FUN!!!

I am contemplating the grace that has been extended to me. This year has been one of great emotional difficulty. My heart has grieved for many that I love as they have experienced loss, caused train wrecks in their lives, experienced numerous transitions and inflicted pain on others (me included).

I have also experienced a great amount of failure of my own. My ability to love has been challenged and I have found myself lacking. My ability to minister and give endlessly has been sapped. I had to repent because I stopped turning to God for my strength and tried to do it myself. My pride told me to trust NO ONE, and as I believed that lie, I grew more and more frustrated.

The humility that comes with repentance is hard to contain. I FEEL like I deserve nothing but punishment, yet God has given me an incredible gift in this team. They are fun. They are encouraging. They are cooperative. They are gracious. They are loving. I don't deserve them.

I don't deserve.....and that is the point. We don't deserve Grace, and that is why it is what it is. Grace...... Grace brings us to humility. It is your Kindness Lord, that leads me to repentance. It is your kindness that causes me to remember that I need you. Without you, I am nothing.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


There are many words that I do not want to be called. Many things in life that I never want to have attributed to my character. There are things that you could say to me and they would wound deeply. Not because of the manner in which they are said, or the heart behind them, but because of the way that they are perceived in my mind.

One such concept is that of "Neediness". No one likes a needy girl. No one likes to see someone sucking the life out of others and leaning co-dependently on people who are magnets for said characters. I don't know anyone who would revel in being referred to as "Needy", least of all me.

Yet, this morning as I got ready for the day, I had a revelation. I am needy. I was shocked. I stood and looked in the mirror in horror. I started to make excuses. I wanted to justify how I can handle myself. However, I had to face the truth. The last few weeks of my life have been tough. Tougher than I have been able to handle. My patience has worn thin. My resolve to be nice has gotten holes in it. My ability to be objective has waned. What has happened to me?

Today, looking in that mirror, I realized that I had reached the end of me again. My times with God have been sparse. I was working so hard FOR Him that I forgot to be WITH Him. I have been frustrated with my performance in almost every area of life. Relationships have been wounded. My leadership has been challenged. My heart has been hurt. My physical strength has been sapped. My family has broken. Tour plans have failed at every turn and I feel like nothing is getting done. These circumstances feel like sheer failure to a perfectionist. I had let God down.

Then, the words to this blog began to formulate in my mind. I realized, AGAIN, that I am nothing without Him. I cannot do it on my own.

God, I've got nothing. I am needy. I need love. I need hope. I need intervention. I need....I need....I need. And it all comes from you. Please fill the void. Amen.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Basketball Maui

I know that a lot of people scoff at how often I go to Hawaii for Recruiting and ministry. I would too if I were them, but I have to say that God is truly using Crossover in Hawaii in ways that astound us!
Last year, we were invited to join Basketball Maui and NBC camps to run a 5 day camp on the island of Maui. (Basketball Maui is a non-profit basketball ministry of Hope Chapel, Kihei.) We decided that we would invite all of our alumni to join us and 14 of them came! We helped facilitate a 5 day camp for 270 kids in two different cities on Maui using 5 different gyms. It was an incredibly crazy week, but it was amazing to see the kids and community respond. Several NBA players came out for a "Night of Shooting Stars" charity exhibition game. Several of our alumni were allowed to play in the game as well. The week and the surrounding events provided dreams come true for many people. We were thrilled to be part of the ministry with Basketball Maui and Hope Chapel.

As a bonus, Hope Chapel provided with us with housing so that we could stay a few extra days following the camp to enjoy the Island. We used this time as an Alumni Retreat. We had a blast re-connecting with past tour participants, worshipping together, and seeing the sights on the Island.

Here are a few pictures from our adventures:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Leadership Boot Camp

Every year, we have a weekend before tour where we have all of our tour leaders come to Denver for a training weekend. We go over logistics, rosters and do a lot of bonding so that we are all on the same page when we get to training camp with the players.
This year, we had 6 leaders and coincidentally, we all live in Denver! We did a day camp at a local Juvenile Corrections facility to model what a day of camp overseas would look like. It was cool to hang out with the kids and get to know them a little bit. We have received letters from a couple of them, and hope to go back to do more camps in the near future.
All in all, it was a great weekend, and we are excited to see how God uses these leaders on the trips this summer!
L-R: Zo Azubuike, Heather Anthony, Troy Cohen, Kirby Beneventi, Me and Susan Beardslee.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Leadership Boot Camp

This past weekend, we held our annual Leadership Boot Camp for the summer tour leaders. We had 6 people attending and did everything from discussing rules, tour members and protocol, to laughing so hard we couldn't breathe. We have a great group of leaders this year and we are really excited for the summer tours to come!!

One of the things that we do on this Leadership Boot Camp is a day camp at a local Juvenile Correctional Facility. This was our 3rd year and they invited us to stay for the entire day! We did camp like we would overseas and got to eat lunch with the kids and share the gospel. It was an amazing time for our leaders to serve, learn how to do a Crossover camp, but also make an eternal impact on the lives of kids who are caught up in gang lifestyles and other crimes. When we left, they asked us if we would consider coming more frequently!!! How exciting!!! :-)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

NCCAA Tournaments

Our recruiting season is from September through April each year!!! Every March, we travel to Indiana to advertise and recruit at the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCAA) Tournaments. This year, I went to the Women's Tourney and Troy took Amber to the Men's Tourney.

We spent the weekend talking with possible recruits, coaches, chaplains and parents about our summer tours. We met with a lot of people who are interested in Crossover trips!

I had a blast staying with my Aunt and Uncle in Ft. Wayne, In. They came with me to a few games and that gave me time with my cousin, Victoria!

God is moving and we are really excited about who He will bring to us through these recruiting trips!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hilo and Honolulu

People often tease me about how often I travel to Hawai'i, but I can honestly say that God is opening doors of ministry for us on the Islands!

After Manila, we traveled to Hilo, Hawaii (that's on the Big Island for those of you who don't know). One of our alumni lives there and is a trainer for the University of Hawaii -Hilo. We did a little site seeing, and then went to a game to scout. We were able to talk to a total of 5 players who are believers and are interested in coming on the tours this summer. Troy got a sinus infection from the "Vog" (Volcano Pollution). Poor Guy!
The Volcano Glow at night.

Some of the coastline near Hilo. We took a drive one morning and it was beautiful!!

Akaka Falls on the Big Island
We went from Hilo to Honolulu to visit Shane ('09 and '10 Alumnus) and Rachel ('08 Alumni). Shane plays for Chaminade University and we got to see two of his games. We also went to the UH vs. New Mexico State game over the weekend.
Sunset in Honolulu from the 31st floor.

Troy and I with Shane and Kayla after a game.

One of the more exciting events was meeting with Rachel at the program where she is one of the top teachers. Kids are court-ordered to attend her program and the facility is in the middle of 3 major housing projects in Honolulu. She has a variety of students with various charges against them. The facility that she works for helps these kids in a number of areas from education to developmental activities. Her program is non-profit, so they have asked Crossover to come do a camp in the inner-city of Honolulu!!! This is such an exciting opportunity because when you get off the beach and out into the neighborhoods of Honolulu, you quickly realize that Hawaii is one of our neediest states in many ways.
Rachel on the grounds of her work complex.

The gym at Rachel's work

We also met with a girl that Rachel knows who is very interested in going on tour this summer. All in all, Hawaii was one of our more productive portions of the trip and we are excited for the opportunities we have there in the future!

Sunday, February 27, 2011


When we left China, we had to spend the night in the Guangzhou (Gwong-Joe) airport. We were offered a hotel, but we were nervous about getting back to the airport in time the next morning, and we weren’t sure we trusted the Chinese 3 star rating on the hotel, so we decided to sleep in the airport. It was not the most pleasant night of the trip
!!! Not only did we have to sleep on airport benches, dodging fixed armrests, but it was FREEZING!!! I was wearing my Crossover Warm Ups, Troy’s thermal shirt, and his Jordan Velour Pants and STILL froze all night long!! We had to laugh and just chalked it up to “experience”.

We arrived in the Philippines where we were welcomed by hot and muggy days! We were grateful to be warm!!!

Our contact here was not able to meet with us because he had to go to Guam for a conference and his “back up guy” had a family emergency and had to leave the country at the last minute, so we had more down time than we had expected. My friend Edee is on staff at YWAM Antipolo, so they allowed us to stay at the base and she showed us around town a bit.

This is the view of Manila from the roof of YWAM Antipolo.

Manila is a colorful place. We rode in a Jeepny, which is an old WWII Military SUV, converted into public transportation. These Jeepny’s are everywhere, and function like busses. Each one is decorated according to the owner’s taste. It is truly an experience to take one!! We also rode the sky train to one of the Malls that we visited. We ate our way through Manila trying Cocoa Rice (Philippine Oatmeal), Bibingka (Custard cakes), fruit shakes, whole wheat spaghetti, Philippine Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Dairy Queen, Pizza Hut, Fried Fish and Curried Cauliflower and finally…..Balot (Pronounced Ba-Loot).

If you don’t know what Balot is brace yourself for this. Balot is a chicken or duck egg that is between 16-19 days developed. Yes, there is a formed baby chick in the egg. You crack the egg open and drink the “soup”. Then, you peel the shell, dip it in vinegar and sprinkle salt on it, and then you take a bite. I’m not gonna lie….I was freaking out!! Troy was SUCH a good sport about it!! The staff guys at YWAM were encouraging him to try it, and he did!!! I was so proud of him. He talked me into eating one too. I couldn’t even look at what I was eating I just put it in my mouth and chewed as fast as I could!! After swallowing, they hand you a glass of Coca-Cola to chase it down. Troy liked it so much that he went with the guys to get MORE!!! When they came back, they also had “chocolate chicken” which was cooked chicken blood and grilled chicken intestines. I tried both of those dipped in vinegar, but refused to eat more Balot. I am proud of myself, and Troy for trying them, but I cannot say that I enjoyed any of it!! We videotaped the experience! Benji, one of the staff guys, said “Thank you for embracing our culture”. You’re welcome Benji! Please pass the coke!


The Pagoda and Water pools lit up for Chinese New Year and the Lantern Festival.

This is the leg of our “Around the World” adventure that I had anticipated the most. Not only would I get to see my friends Matt, Heather, Jeremy, Jenny, Sarah and Chris, but also I was going to meet Lily….the Chinese Foster Daughter.

Those of you who know me well are aware that I have wanted to adopt a little girl from China for many years. Lily is an orphan and was living with a Chinese family who wanted to adopt her. They were going through the process of adopting her when they discovered that she is HIV positive. In Chinese culture, there are many misconceptions about HIV, and children who are positive are often left to die. Literally. Orphanages will not take them, and many times their only hope is foreign foster families or Chinese families who are willing to risk everything to help them. Lily’s Chinese family had two older sons and if they kept her, the extended family would have cut them off and the sons would not have been allowed to marry etc. So, they made the difficult decision to give her up. Matt and Heather took her in and she has been a delightful addition to their family. The hope is that a loving family, in the United States, will adopt Lily. Adoption would give her more options for medical treatment as well as hope for a productive future. Lily’s story is heartbreaking. She was found at a train station, and her skin was cracked with a lot of sores. They think she was about 1 at the time, and was in very bad shape physically. She often wakes with night terrors. It breaks my heart to think of what she has experienced. I get tears in my eyes just thinking about all that she has already been through in just 3-1/2 short years of life.

Me with Lily

Our time in China was fun. We played with Matt and Heather’s FOUR children and laughed a lot. It was wonderful for me to reconnect with these sweet friends who are like family to me. We had great discussions, fun cultural experiences and a lot of rest. In addition, we were able to meet with some contacts that work with brothers and sisters in university settings. They invited us to come do camps in China. We are excited for that opportunity.

One very cool thing was that we were there at the end of Chinese New Year Celebrations. The last night of the celebrations is the Lantern Festival. Traditionally, the people will light lanterns and release them into the sky. As you may guess, lanterns with candles floating in the sky can be quite dangerous because they start fires. So, the city has banned the tradition, but there are still lanterns hanging everywhere, and they light fireworks THROUGHOUT the city. We went to Mall area where there is a Huge Pagoda and water show. We watched the spectacular water show and then walked back to our friend’s home. Along the way, there were fireworks going off all around us. We literally saw them on the sidewalk, street corners and some in the medians on the street. They were going into the wee hours of the morning. Our friends said, “this is nothing compared to the first night of the New Year celebration”. Holy Cow!! I cannot imagine how chaotic that must be!!!

Fireworks for sale!! They were lining the street corners a few nights before the Lantern Festival.
We walked past these fireworks going off on the sidewalk. There were big ones shooting from it.

It was super fun to experience a little bit of the Chinese customs.

Of course we had to eat some Chinese food! We tried Sweet Potatoes from street vendors, Chinese vegetables from a restaurant across the street and Calrow (Grilled meat and bread with insanely hot spices on them). Calrow tasted good, but after a few bites, you couldn’t taste anymore because your mouth was on fire!! Jeremy thought we were wimps. I guess we are!! J We took pieces of white bread and put them on our tongue between bites to cool it down.

Calrow (Meat and Grilled Bread)

The highlight of food in China was Beijing Roast Duck with Hoison sauce. We had that our last night in China, and it was Yum!!!!

I have learned that there are random "stalkers" lurking in places you might not expect!! What is that guy doing? Smelling my hair? HAHA!!!

There is much more that I could say. I have an INTENSE respect for my friends who have chosen to live there. They are TRUE heroes in the Kingdom.