Thursday, March 31, 2011

Feeding the fish

We went to a friends house for brunch this morning.  They live in Holland Village....we got there a little bit early.  So we saw a little courtyard that the boys could run around and play in while we waited for it to be close to the time we were supposed to meet each other.  Once we got into the courtyard both Little N & M were excited because there were fish in the pond.  Then they were even more excited because I found fish food that they could feed the fish.  We watched fascinated as the fish would fight over each little morsel of food.  I was thankful that the kids were entertained by something so simple as fish.  The fish were gorgeous with flecks of metallic in their skin.  We could have watched for hours!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A very, very busy day!!

We had a very busy day....I loved every minute of it BUT I'm not sure I could throw so much into a day and not have a break.  We started the day with going to church.  We had to walk to church in the rain so I was trying to avoid getting wet along with bring everything that I needed for the day (I didn't know if we could go back home or not) on my back, along with wheeling the kids in the rain and trying to be quick about it all while GOING UP HILL (see milking it for all it's worth) and by the time I got to church I was tired.  Walked carefully down the stairs (afraid of falling which I had already done once) got down the stairs and John scared the crap out of me (figuratively) trying to scare Little N.  Had church....lots of good praise songs and John had a good message.  Talked with people (which is terrifying to me....not good at going out and talking to be people....better when people come to me to chat but I want to get to know everyone so I'm putting myself out there!) and then took the little boys with me to the adult Sunday School....it was raining so the room I was planning on having them be in was a little wet so I had to have them at the table with us.  They were a little disruptive but not horrible!  Got done with church and went to the 10 NT shop (similar to the dollar store) and got an umbrella (or two) and then quick ran into the bakery to get lunch (don't ask what I had for lunch....slightly ashamed).....ran home with the kids and when we got to our apartment we couldn't get into the front door....which frazzled us.  I mean we have a little button that we have to use....used it and the door wouldn't open....got nervous and scared like how are we going to get back into our house. Thankfully we got into our house and quick ate our food and then got picked up to go to a birthday party.  So thankful for wonderful people who are able to pick us up and take us places.  We went to the birthday party where there was lots of fun chatting, visiting and playing.  We had delicious cake and the boys were VERY upset when it was time to leave.  We broke up the party and basically caused EVERYONE to leave.(Probably not but it sure felt like it)  We had to leave so we could get back to church because we planned a family potluck/game night.  We weren't sure how many people were going to come....especially with the rain.  But thankfully we had like 30 people there.  A nice mixture we played games (getting to know you game, fruit basket upset & the who am I)  The who am I game was different bible characters.  I think I had a hard person -- Jeremiah!!  My questions were Am I a boy? yes! Am I in the Old Testament? yes! The person who was talking with me gave me the hint of being a J letter....so I guess Joshua, Jonah and then I completely forgot who else started with J!! I asked if I was a book of the bible? yes! Can you guess who I was?  Finally got it (check in the comments if you really want to know)! After the games we ate our food and then visited.  The younger kids and young adults quick ate and then played Wii, musical instruments or just played in the nursery while the adults chatted (segregated a men's table and a woman's table -- not planned just happened) just getting to know more about each other.  We had a great time.....soon it was time to clean up and go home.  I was SO thankful that we could get a ride back home and not have to worry about walking home in the rain.  It had been a long day with no naps and we all were exhausted!  But it was a good day!!  Love spending time with people and so thankful for the people we got to visit with!
 Fruit basket upset.....let's just say Little N got up and ran even when his fruit wasn't called! :-)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Little M & N's new bikes

We got them their bikes on Monday they hadn't been able to use them because it had been so chilly and rainy outside everyday since we got them.  We decided today that we would just let them go out and ride them.  So they excitedly got their shoes on and grabbed their bikes and took them down the elevator.  Then rode the bikes to the courtyard.  Where we met up with the sweet lady and her kids that we talked to one of the first times we went to the courtyard. She was excited to see us and at the time only saw Little M so asked about where Little N was. He had been coming around the corner from taking out the trash with John so I pointed to where he was and she was just happy.  She got to introduce her husband to us and they left to go on a walk.  Her daughter is right around the same age as Little M so they were a little smitten with each other!  I guess it was a good time to go down to the courtyard.  I was happy that she wanted to talk with us and was excited to see us! Also here are what the boys bikes look like!!  REALLY wish that Little N's bike had a handle on it but I'm hoping he will get the hang of it sooner than later and we won't have to help him at all!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thank you Tante B, Tante & Great Grandma

So Little N & Little M got a Nook Color for Christmas.  It's a convenient way for us to get new books especially being overseas.  Little N has thouroughly enjoyed his Nook because he can have books read to him.  He especially loves the Thomas the Train books.  He just sits there usually really good just reading them and turning the pages when he's supposed to.  Thank you guys....they love it as you can see in these pictures!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday -- It's the little things

This week has been an exciting week!  We have got our cell phones (nice new smart phones which I am slowly getting used to) on Tuesday!  Woo hoo!!  Then we were able to borrow a gas dryer from one of our friends all we had to do was get the gas hooked up so we could use it!  So we had a guy come the week before to check out the situation and then THANKFULLY our friend knows mandarin and was able to get the details of what we wanted done and then the price amount for us....kind of as our go between.  Got it worked out that they were gonnna come today to get everything ready!  Got here and they looked stuff over and realized that the it was gonna cost double the quoted price which was a little shocking to us.  Our friend negotiated and talked to it out and we ended up paying a couple 100 NT more than we originally gonna spend but it was well worth it!  I now have a dryer that I can use to fluff my clothes and make sure that clothes are actually dry! It's just the small things in life that you never realized made you happy until you were without them and when you are able to get it back makes you happy!!  What are some of the things that you love which you would have a hard time living without?  For me it's a cell phone....walking around the city and the possibility of getting lost without a way to get in contact with John terrifies me.....I am so thankful that I have my phone back! I am also thankful for a dryer which can make hard stiff clothes hung on the line soft and wonderful to put on.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Stroll

We went on a long walk today....seems to be the trend as of late for Mondays.  Going exploring while walking has been interesting.  Today we decided to take the short cut to 18 peak mountain and walk around (because we couldn't do it near long enough when we went on Sunday) and also we wanted to have a picnic.  I have to get used to us being different and unique over in Taiwan.  Everywhere we went people would stop us and just remark (in Chinese of course) how cute our children are and wanted to know their ages and then on occasion if they could take our picture.  Of course there were other people who took pictures of us like we were an attraction at a zoo.  (Note to self....always make sure to check to make sure you don't have crumbs on you from eating your food or from holding the kids.....you wanna look good in those pictures).  Of course we had one lady who stopped John and was talking to him in Chinese (which of course being here almost a month we are fluent in (insert sarcasm here) asking about the kids and him.  Thankfully hand gestures seem to be a universal language. She wanted a picture of our family (reminds me that I need to get a family picture done!! Sigh....one of these days) and she wanted me to take a picture of her with my family (I don't know why but she did) but she made the mistake of picking up the wrong kid (Little N) who fell to pieces (in tears throwing a tempertantrum because some random stranger picked him up for a picture)  Sigh.....of course she felt awful about it and thankfully we were able to calm him down enough to get a good picture for her camera.  After that we decided we needed to go back in order to get Little N & M's bikes.  They have been BEGGING us for a bike to ride (ever since we were at Andy & Kris' the first week we arrived) so we had waited to see if anyone had a bike we could borrow and no one did so we found a bike shop the first long walk we went on so we attempted to get back to that bike shop.  Thankfully it's right across the street from TGI Fridays (a easy landmark to remember) so we just asked a guy on the street once we were on the road which way was it to Fridays.  Walked to our toy store....when I say our it usually means the place were we inevitable will buy more stuff because we liked the store (friendly helpful staff, good stuff & willing to work with us - non-mandarin speakers).  We found Little N's bike (which was a green tricycle which we will be able to take off the little wheels and he can use it as a two wheel bike later on) and then Little M's bike which is definitely a tricycle with two wheels in back and a wheel in front.  Both of them were SO excited about it.  I had to get a present for someone and as we were checking out the lady felt bad because I only got one set of bubbles (present) so she gave me another set of bubbles so each kid could have their own and then she gave them two really cheap cars (Little N broke his after a week) but it's the thought that counts and it kept them occupied as we walked back EXHAUSTED....we had to stop at the grocery store so while John dropped off the bikes we (the little boys & I) went to the park near our grocery store and played while we waited.....they loved playing with their cars and at the park!  I am SO thankful for our double stroller but man after awhile that thing is a work out!  We were out for over 3 hours today and I was so thankful to rest my legs and just relax.  It was a fun BUT tiring day!  I'll do it again (probably even for longer)......have you guys had an fun adventures lately?
 18 Peak Mountain.....you don't really see this much green around you so I was so happen to be walking around so much beautiful nature.  As you can see the city pretty much surrounds this nice walking area.
 Little N saying hi to the lizard that he saw on the walking path.  Both the boys were intrigued by the lizard and thankfully stayed far enough away that I was okay about them looking at it! 
 Little N walking up all these stairs so we could look at the plum blossom area.
 A lonely flower hanging from a spiderweb.....I was playing with my macro lens a bunch with the flowers!
 My sweet boys!!  I love them!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Sunday Stroll

It was a good day.  John was able to sit with us during church...we had a special guest speaker (someone who was preaching at the Chinese Lutheran Seminary for a month)!  Then we (the little boys & I) attended Sunday school.  After Sunday school we went to lunch with a bunch of people.  It was a buffet style lunch and we could decide what we wanted to eat it was a great meal because we could pick and chose what we wanted to get (so John could pick all the meat he wanted and I could pick all the veggies and meat that I wanted!).  After our meal we left took a quick nap and then decided to go hiking up Eighteen peak Mountain.  We got directions from people from church which was a 45 minute walk which didn't leave much time for us to walk around the hiking area.  Plus lots of people are walking around the area on the weekend.  We couldn't stay long because it was getting dark and John wanted to try a different way back home and wanted to walk in the light.  Thankfully the way we walked home was only a 15 minute walk.....so quick & convenient! (This is the way we will be taking from now on!!)  18 peak mountain is not really a mountain it's more of a hill.  It's not really mountain climbing because there are paved paths to walk on.  So it's a nice walking area that has plenty of nature (which we really don't see where we live).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A girls trip to Ikea

So I was blessed this Saturday to take off.....leave the little boys with John and just go to Taipei (more specifically IKEA) for a girls day and just to check out prices and find out about buying some stuff for our place here.  I started off the day on not the best note......over sleeping when people are to pick you up at a certain time is not the best way to handle things.   (Everyone slept in until past 8 am -- a first since we flew over here) Thankfully I got ready and was downstairs before the person picking me up came.  Drove up to Taipei in drizzle (we had talked about taking a train up -- so thankful we decided not to) and made it in around 45 minutes.  Walked around trying to figure out what we wanted and what we liked (I was on a mission....looking at chairs, table, organizers, a couch -- writing stuff I liked and then taking pictures so I could show John later on) then before we went into the section where we could buy stuff we sat down and ate.  It was wonderful to sit down and not have to worry about my kids and just having a conversation that didn't deal with poop, or children (if we didn't want to).  Mostly we talked about history, Christianity and education.  (The other three ladies are teachers in one way or another -- English, History, English as a foreign language/homeschooling mama) Then we got down to the business of shopping & chatting!  So wonderful to shop and talk!  We had a blast and I am so blessed to have spent time getting to know these ladies!!  Thank you!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

We aren't Irish but it's always fun to be creative with kids.  Since Little N was little (when he could start eating food) on Saint Patrick's Day the craziest things would happen!  His milk would turn green, his food would turn green and we would always wonder what happened.  Today Mommy didn't have green food coloring at their house.  Thankfully she went shopping at a bakery supply store and was able to get some food coloring and shortening (they don't have shortening in the stores here in Taiwan....you have to get it at a Bakery Supply Store).  Because yesterday we got a Magic Bullet.....I also cooked some carrots and then ground them up to put them in buns which took longer than expected so we ate green colored pancakes (with the rest of the purreed carrots).  The kids loved the green meal & I loved the fact that they ate basically 3 huge pancakes together! Happy Saint Patrick's Day!  I hope you have a fun day!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fruit - Wax Apple (Java Apple or Bell Fruit)

We had a friend over to play Settlers yesterday and he brought Wax Apples.  The kids loved them and they were actually delicious!  :-) The outside of the apple has a waxy coating that's edible.  The only thing that you shouldn't eat (or at least I was told) is the part that looks like a wick - think that's where the seeds are and stuff)!  They are a texture of a pear & apple combined.  Can't describe the taste but it's really good! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I wasn't quite ready for this day!!

I don't like giving my kids haircuts.  They have so few hairs when they are a baby that I never want to give a haircut.  Plus I love the way babies hair has little curls when they are hot & sweaty or just have a bath.  While I was in CT I needed to give Little M his first hair cut but we never made the time and I wanted to do a before and after which I never had time for.  since we've been her we have been swamped....just with jet lag and figuring out life that I hadn't had time to do it either.  However I have gotten from LOTS of people oh how cute SHE is......now I don't know how to correct them but enough people have interpreted it for me that maybe I can SORT of understand it. So I decided enough was enough and Little M would get a trim.  I mean he really doesn't have enough hair for a full cut but just a trim in back and then around his ears.  As a bribe he got chocolate wafers (thanks Kris & Joey -- for leaving them) to hopefully help him not move around so I could get at least around the ears & the back without to many difficulties.  In the front of he doesn't look to different BUT in back he looks VERY different!!  So sad my baby is growing up!!  In other Little M news.....he's trying to talk -- he says DA, sometime Ma, Thank you, All Done (more intonation) and some other words.  It's so sweet figuring out what he is saying (at time annoying but eventually he gets his point across).  I love my sweet Little M!!
 Before Haircut -- Mostly cut in the back and just around the ears!
After Haircut - He was not happy to have it cut (and smeared all his chocolate wafer all over his face).  Do you like my helper for the last picture?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Going for a walk!

We decided today was the perfect day to get completely lost and explore our city. We started by our house and went towards downtown. (Didn't get pictures of downtown.....just the areas that were a little bit quieter)  We know where we went on a map but it was a long walk!  We started at 12 pm and got home around 4 pm.  It was a pretty successful day we went for a walk and got to see some of downtown and the shops down there (also found the movie theatre)!  It was a successful day for the boys because they found a couple new playgrounds to play on! On our way back home we found a quieter area to walk home and found some rice fields and just some nice scenic places that I'll be interested in going back to take more pictures of.  The last picture with the cross I believe is the Chinese Seminary.
A guy collecting the garbage on a motorcycle

Pretty sure someone lives here but there are plants growing on the roof!

Open to the street clothing store (they have a metal door that comes down when they are closed)

 Rice Field

Sunday, March 13, 2011

We found a nice grassy park area!

We have a park right outside our apartment (actually 2) one is sort of babyish & is kind of broken and the other one is a little bit to big for our kids to play on yet.  They still play on it but usually they need help getting onto or they get stuck on part of it.  If we walk 2 blocks from us there is a HUGE area where there is grass and then three sets of playground equipment that the boys can play on.  Also we don't have to worry as much about them running off onto the side street & being hit. (Still we have to watch them because we have streets on both sides of the park but it's bigger playground and the kids can freely play on it without to much help.  We bought balls at the 10 NT (the equivalent to our dollar store) shop and they were so excited to play with their watermelon balls with daddy.  So we played with the balls and then played on "their" playground while we waited for some friends to join us for dinner.  Our friends finally came and we walked back to our apartment and made nachos.  Do you know how hard it is to defrost and cook meat without a microwave.  (The apartment didn't come with a microwave.....it takes a lot to get used  not having the convenience of a microwave but we will be buying one.  I never realized how much I used my microwave for EVERYTHING until I didn't have one!!  I use it to reheat food, for defrosting, for cooking, for melting, basically everything!! Anyways sorry for going about the microwave!)   The taco meat was cooked and absolutely fantastic (even without a microwave) and we had a great time visiting and getting to know our new friends.  Learned a little about them & I'm excited to get to know them a lot more!  They brought some desserts.....some absolutely delicious and others not so much!  But they got them at the bakery and just sort of grabbed for a wonderful experiment.  Sort of like Russian Roulette.....you never know what you will get.  We had some delicious egg custard cookies, some delicious coconut cake, some mochi - ummm.....I'll explain with picture in another post!  But all in all most of the desserts were good minus the bean paste treat that no one really wanted to eat. 
See the fruit stand behind John, we live about two blocks up from here.
This is the first playground, there is one behind it and then another one behind the trees.  I like these ones!!  Lots of space to play and run around!
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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