Friday, January 13, 2017

An afternoon up in Yingge with Pottery.

Sometimes your life gets so crazy that you forget to breathe or your life is so busy and crazy that when you have a moment to rest you realize how stressful life was at that moment.  That was our life this past week.  Thankfully on Friday after our morning stress, Little H and I joined our dear sweet friends along with their son, daughter-in-law and granddaughters for an adventure up in Yingge.

Yingge is a pottery town.  It's not really a place that you want to take kids because as John would say it's just stressful watching kids walk into a place that has a whole bunch of beautiful pottery and remind kids that they can't run around and touch everything.  Even though they watch adults pick up and touch all those pretty things.   The only thing that is nice about Yingge is that they have shops where you can make your own pottery.  You sit at the wheel and then you create your design - a bowl, a cup, a plate, or something completely unique.  Then once you are finished then you can decorate it with designs and swirls.

It's when you are at the wheel that you realize how much skill and talent the people who make these bowls, plates, and cups actually have.  Because you start touching the clay and you think that you are making something beautiful and then once the wheel stops you realize that your creation is lopsided, not even and needs work.  You then have the professional potter come over and she looks at your creation and knows just what you wanted to do and so she loving, gently and quickly (in your eyes) transforms your work into the masterpiece that you were hoping to do by yourself.  It's quite humbling to realize but then also points your eyes to Jesus.  He also loving and carefully takes the time to shape us and sometimes it's not gonna be the easiest things but he is creating us to be beautiful pottery.  After molding the clay to what he wants me to be, he designs me,  and then here comes the painful part....he sets me in the fire which helps to shape me and keep my shape.  I am praying that I never forget the imagery of Jesus being the master potter.
So thankful for the fun opportunity to watch my daughter make her cup and play with new sweet friends.   

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Little H's Bible Verse for the Year - I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Happy 5th Birthday my sweet Little H!  I can't believe that you are 5 years old.  You are growing up so quickly.  I can't believe how quickly you are picking up Chinese and how many little friends you have at your Chinese Kindergarten.  You are growing up to be such a sweet and kind little girl.  Pretty soon you will no longer be the baby in the family and I can't wait to see how you are with your little brother.  You play so great with your older brothers and it's funny to watch you be both a very girly girl (wanting to wear dresses and skirts and play with barbies and dolls) and then a tomboy playing the different games that your brothers come up and being a rough and tumble sweetie.  You are perfect just the way you are.  I can't wait to see what is in store for you this coming year. Happy Birthday my darling! 
Little H turns 5 years old this year.  I can't believe that it's been five years since she was born and that she has blessed our lives in so many wonderful ways that I can't imagine life without her.  Her bible verse is one that we will sing and talk about throughout the year because it's always a good reminder to rejoice always, pray continually and giving thanks in all circumstances.  Because there will be hard times, bad times and then there will be good times; in each of those circumstances God gives us the grace and the ability to rejoice in the little things and big things!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The afternoon at the train park

We had a picnic with friends at the train park near our house.  We like the train park because it's semi quiet, there is lots of green space, trains go by very regularly.  Plus John just discovered that he can set up his hammock there and it is a place to relax and have fun. The kids had fun running around, playing in the trees, riding bikes, climbing trees, swinging on trees and playing on exercise equipment. Our friends brought their dog so Little H had a blast walking Mater around the area and surprisingly wasn't terrified of him.  (She's always been very skittish around dogs.) Happy we got to go there and happy we got to visit with sweet dear friends too.
 N was having a blast climbing trees and swings on the roots hanging from the trees.  He felt like Tarzan!
 Little H borrowed our friends' bike to try to see if she could ride a bike.  She did pretty good and I think she will pick it up quickly once she gets one her size.  She's only used a balance bike so far and is itching to get a bike with pedals.

 Little H was so proud of the fact that she walked Mater that she wanted a picture to show how much she liked him.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Oranges from the orange grove

John went hiking today with a friend and went to an orange grove and got TONS of oranges.  Here are some of the oranges that he got. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Baby Olson - 25 weeks

So for most people this might come as a shock.  John announced the news on facebook through a picture but otherwise we were pretty quiet on social media. We are expecting a new little one in the Spring of 2017.  We have found out that we are having a little boy.  Little H was a little sad when she first heard the news - she was hoping for a baby sister but all the kids are super excited to meet their new little brother.  The sky was so pretty that I knew that I wanted to try to take some maternity pictures.  I only have a couple of pictures and most of those are phone pictures.  So I figured today was the day to get some cute pictures done.  I set up the camera and focused on John then handed him the camera and went to where he had stood.  I think they turned out pretty good. Enjoy the pictures and hopefully I can get a couple of more pictures taken and shared.   

New Kids Pictures

We took a bike ride to the train park (okay the kids did).  John and I walked and I walked really really slow!  But while we were at the train park we got new pictures taken for the kids because it's a new year and I wanted to use my new lens and I wanted new pictures.   Thankfully the kids were cooperative and did a great job.  I think they turned out great!  I can't believe how big they are getting! 
Little H, who is almost 5 years old! 

 Little M, who is 7 years old! 
N, who is 9 years old!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year's Day Beach Day!

So today after church and lunch with friends we decided to go down to the beach for the afternoon.  We started off trying to dig holes (John loves digging holes in the beach).  But after awhile the kids slow disappeared into the dunes area, so that they could run up the dunes and just have all sorts of adventures.  I guarded our camp but thankfully we moved our camp closer to the dunes so that I could be apart of the action.  While they were off exploring, I was coloring, taking pictures and laughing at the mischief they got into.  We had fun and I'm glad that we went! 
Climbing the dunes, jumping in the waves, climbing the creation they made. 
 Jumping in the waves! 
 We also attempted a family picture!  Not the greatest picture but I like how it turned out.  Yes, it's whited out but I wanted us to be more in focus and not in the shadow.  I was experimenting and my friend did a good job getting the shots.  Yes, this is basically the first family picture where you can actually see my belly and see that we are expecting another baby in 2017. 
We saw fishermen preparing their nets for when high tide came up.  I'm not sure what they were catching but they were all very diligent in their work.  Then we saw a guy parasailing or para surfing. I'm still not exactly sure what is the right answer to that.  If you have an answer comment in the comment section and I'll change it. 
 Gorgeous Sunset silhouettes. 
 The first sunset for 2017 was so gorgeous and a beautiful start to the new year. Happy New Year! 

Our Family Bible Verse for 2017

I promise this year will be better about sharing our bible verses for the year.  I'm trying to get ahead so that they automatically post and I don't have to worry about posting them.  All our bible verses were also decided upon because they had a music so that we can listen to the bible verses and hide them in our heart in a variety of different ways.  All the bible verses come from the cds by Seeds Family Worship and we usually listen to them in the car.  The kids really enjoy the songs and I appreciate the fact that the more they listen to the songs, the more they memorize and hide scripture in their heart.

Every year I choose a bible verse that I feel will help us throughout the coming year.  Each year we have needed different promises that you can find in God's book.  Every year God provides and helps to remind us of the promises he has given to us.  This year will be a year of changes -- some of them are great changes and some of them are just burdens that we will have to handle and deal with as they come.  So I am praying this bible verse will be a verse that we can turn to and cling to to be reminded that God's compassions never fail and they are new every morning.  We are not always faithful but God is faithful to us and I think that is the most important reminder that I need through out this year.

Happy New Year and I pray that I will be able to post more on this blog!  Thank you for your patiences.  Do you have have a bible verse, a word or resolutions for 2017?  What are they?

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year 2017

We had friends over for a little bit on New Year's Eve!  We enjoyed a time of talking and visiting with them.  We also enjoyed wild rice soup.  We played a game of Splendor with them before they left to go to the movies.  After they left, as a family we enjoyed two games of Splendor and celebrated the New Year with Sparkling Grape Juice.  Most of the members of our family did not make it to midnight to see the new year, but we had a good night. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

An evening near the water

 Little H came home with face paint and she wanted to share with everyone how she looked.  As soon as I took her pictures she washed her face. 

John wanted to get out into nature!  So we made a quick evening trip to the area between Hsinchu and Jhubei!  I brought out our nature journals but the kids had a blast throwing rocks, collecting rocks and climbing the rocks.  So we colored and drew in our books when we got home. There was a beautiful sunset that we enjoyed before we left to go home.  
 Throwing rocks, and climbing the rocks! 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas 2016

I think my favorite day is Christmas Day.  The kids woke up early all excited with the idea that they could open their Christmas Stockings before church.  The kids were excited that they got to go to church on Christmas Day so that they could see their friends and celebrate Christmas at church.  I was a little sad that Christmas was on a Sunday because we would be so busy with church that we couldn't spend time as a family during Christmas doing what we usually do.  It was funny and a very humbling experience to realize that my kids had a better attitude than I did for celebrating Christmas.  
Once I got to church I had a better attitude for being at church.  John lighted all five candles so that we could celebrate Christmas and it just gave made me realize how special and important it was to be at church on Christmas day.  It also was helpful to realize that there was a young woman who wanted to be baptized on Christmas Day.  The baptism made Christmas Day so much more special. I always get teary eyed when I see someone who wants to dedicate their life to Jesus and it was just made more special realizing that she was doing it on the day we celebrate Jesus birthday. 
Little H being silly before Church
Little M smiling at me before church
Little N super excited about getting a gun from grandma! 
I think my favorite picture of the whole Advent/Christmas Season!  So proud of N for reading our bible story
After church and visiting with people, we did open a small amount of Christmas gifts.  This year we slowly started opening up presents.  Our friend gave us presents on Thursday so we opened that then, then on Christmas Eve we opened up presents from another friend before the Christmas Eve service and then we had the opportunity to talk to my mom and dad on Christmas Eve and the kids opened presents from Grandpa and Grandma.  It felt like it went smoother with presents being spread out.  After Little N read Luke, we made the decision that we would open up presents that the kids picked out for each other and mom and dad.  I decided that we would open up the presents from us on Monday.  It was perfect because the kids played with the toys they had already opened and appreciated everything that was given.

Then in the afternoon we got to join some friends for a Christmas meal and Christmas party at their house.  WE also had fun and I was thankful for a time spent with friends.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was a busy day for us!  Little H had a Christmas event at her school from 9-12 pm.  They had all sorts of different activities that could join and do.  They all sang songs, they made a gingerbread house, they made cards, played games and then afterwards we watched some of the teachers act out a great play. (Which was very confusing for non Chinese speakers) but the kids really enjoyed watching it. 
 After the program we did a few errands and then went home to play for a little while.  John left early and I was super frustrated because I discovered that my camera battery was dying and I really wanted to take pictures of the kids and of VEF Christmas Eve service.   So John told me to go to church early and then go to Nova to pick up a charge.  Got my camera charged enough to take pictures.  The Christmas Eve service was absolutely beautiful.  This year VEF had a Christmas Choir -- they sang at a variety of events and they sang the songs at the Christmas Eve service.  It was beautiful.  We also had a men's group who also sang Christmas songs.  Plus a variety of people who read different scripture verses preparing our hearts for Jesus birth. It was a beautiful time to get your hearts ready for baby Jesus arrival. The kids were excited because they could sit by themselves during the Christmas Eve service (minus when we lighted our candles then I sat behind them and touched them to remind them that they had to be careful with fire.) This is one of my favorite Christmas traditions preparing our hearts for Jesus birth.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Ole & Kim visit - Taipei travels, the Taipei zoo, Taipei 101 and the Modern Toilet

On our last full day together before Ole and Kim left, we started our adventure by taking a train and high-speed train up to Taipei.  Once we got to Taipei we took the MRT.  I was constantly on the kids to stay close and to stay with us as we rushed around trying to get to the zoo and various places. 
 Kids enjoying the train ride! 
 Cousin Snuggles
 Cousin Snuggles
 Pretty Flowers all around! 
 G and the kids climbing rocks! 
Little H with the elephants

After the zoo and lunch, we took the MRT to Taipei 101.  
Silly Faces together! 
 Sunbeams over Taipei
 After Taipei 101, we made the decision to go to the Modern Toilet restaurant.  It's a very interesting restaurant where the seating is toilet seats, the food is served in various bed pans, urinals, toilets, etc. The kids thought it was great.  Kim and I weren't really a fan and kind of lost our appetites as we ate just because of the thoughts of eating out of bathroom stuff.  I think the funniest thing was taking our drinks back home in a toilet themed take out container.  For the most part, everyone had fun and lots of memories were created.  I know the kids will not forget going to the restaurant. 
Welcome to our blog! We try to keep this current for family and friends. We moved to Taiwan in February 2011 and are trying to keep in contact with loved ones through this blog. We love comments and will respond back if you have questions or comments!! Thanks for checking us out!!


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