Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My last Chinese class!!

     Two weeks after we first arrived in Taiwan some people told me that there was a free Chinese class at the Foreigners assistance building!  We looked into and decided to sign me up for classes.  It was an 8 weeks class meeting for 1 1/2 hours.  The first two weeks I brought my little boys....the people that worked in the building and my teacher loved them....however it was slightly distracting so John volunteered to watch the kids on Tuesday while I went to Chinese class.  I kept on getting questions of where the kids were so I figured on my last class I would bring the boys with me. 
     I told my teacher that I'd be bringing them but then SHE surprised me telling me that we were gonna go out to eat because she wanted me to order a meal.  Now the thing about learning a language is that there is SO much to learn so I just wanted to learn how to speak.  I figured later on I can learn how to read and write.  However what she wanted me to do was very difficult because she wanted me to read a menu....so many choices and so many different characters to figure out.  So we walked to a restaurant and I ordered food that I thought Little N, Little M and myself would eat.
     However sadly we got hit with the foreigners tax.  A foreigner's tax is what one of our friends says is when something sounds good but when you get it turns out that it's not that good.  I was told that it was beef noodle stir fry.  However when we got it Little N and Little M ate some of it and then had to stop because it was SO spicy!!  I had a hard time with it also because it was so spicy!!  I was slightly annoyed because I spent money and just couldn't finish the meal!!  My teacher was annoyed because I didn't do anything -- no speaking, no reading or writing.  So I told her that we would go to another restaurant and I would order a mango ice.....which was great however she had to teach me how to say two seconds before I placed my order.....so really not helpful and very stressful because I had to keep track of my kids plus try to remember how to order what I wanted it just wasn't a helpful lesson.
    8 weeks of lesson doesn't make a person fluent especially when you have so much to learn -- tones, new sounds, & not being able to read easily......makes for an overwhelming time!!  I'm glad that I spent 8 weeks learning Chinese and I look forward to learning more Chinese later on.  For now I'm learning Chinese with Little N & Little M through Dora, Diego and Super Why!  I'll start again with formal language learning in the fall!!
 My Chinese Teacher with Little N!!
 Mango Ice (with pineapple & I think coconut milk) HUGE portion and no one to share it with -- both Little N & M were gun shy from the spicy noodles!!
My cuties!!  It was a stressful day but I love these guys!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday Adventure - Beach day!

We went on our Monday adventure.  It was kind of a hard day what with it being Memorial weekend.  Being away from family on holidays was really hard on both John & I.  The thing that frustrated John was that he tried to talk to his family and Little N acted up so we couldn't hear anyone!!  We figured we would try to make a day out of....by going to the beach!!  So we drove to the beach -- a new beach area which sadly didn't have any sand but it was such a pretty view.  After walking around the "beach" we went to the playground and discovered that it had sand to play in!!  Little N & M loved playing with their new sand toys and just digging in the sand!!  I enjoyed taking pictures of the rice fields & all the pretty flowers around the area.  It helped make the day better being outside and having a fun family day!! 
 Little M figured out (sort of) how to jump off the ledge and had so much fun doing it!! 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Fun

Today was a fun day!!  Church....then it was a fight for Little N to go to the first part of Sunday school.  John told him (just to get him upstairs and to class) that he could stay for just the first part and then go home.  So in Little N's head that's just how things played out!  Sigh.....he likes Sunday school but I think it stresses him out also.  Mostly because he's the only kid that doesn't speak Chinese and it's all new stuff.....learning new songs in Chinese and everything being in Chinese.  The Sunday School teachers have been very accommodating for us.....they have a helper in his class who speaks English and gives explanations to him in English (the important things.) He has a friend in the class from our Friday Women's group (more a mom's group -- so little kids come) but I think for a while it will always be a struggle of me bringing him to class and him not always wanting to stay. 
Anyways we were okay with him not wanting to stay because we wanted to get the kids down for nap because we had a double birthday party to go to.  So the kids took a nap and then we all headed over for the birthday and pizza party.  Little N and Little M had a blast playing with their friends.  John & I had a great time chatting with our friends!!  Plus the pizza was delicious!!
 Little N wanting to help open presents!!  He just got to watch!! :-)
 John finds all these interesting bugs and calls me over to take picture.  He's told me a couple times that he needs to start charging for finding all these interesting things to take pictures of!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A train ride to Neiwan

We thought it would be a fun time to take the kids on a train ride.  Little N loved riding on the train and decided that we were driving on the diesel train "Daisy".  He was so excited to be on the train and all the stops.  He just wouldn't stop looking out the window and talking to us about what was going on.  We made it to Neiwan and walked around....it was pouring out so we went for a quick walk on the suspension bridge close to the town & then walked around the traditional "market" road.  We got some beef noodle soup, some delicious tea and then some fruit bars (mango & pink flavored).  We had a great day in spite of the rain!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Young Adult trip to Bei Pu

John planned on taking a Young Adult trip to Neiwan -- they  have go carts that you can ride, a traditional market with all sorts of stuff that you can buy (food, purses, ice cream, fruit bars, etc), suspension bridges that you can go explore and then at night they were gonna go walk up the mountain to see the fireflies. 
They were gonna go by train so I figured it would be kind of neat if Little N and Little M could go on the train with the group and then maybe quick see the go carts and get some food and we would go back home.  Sadly things happened and our schedule was changed.

John had 4 young adults come on the trip today (including him) and then with me and the two little boys that brought it up to 7 people.  We had to take a bus to the train station and when we got to the train station it was starting to rain someone had a car so she just suggested that we all pile into her car and we just go to Neiwan by car.  As we got closer to Neiwan the harder the rain started to come down and we made an instant decision that we weren't gonna go to Neiwan but we could go to another place Bei Pu which had a traditional market where we could try different foods and drink.  Because I wasn't planning on staying with everyone for the whole time it added some more stress on John because instead of just enjoying the time with the group he had to help out with watching Little N & M which sort of frustrated him (and me -- although I was excited to go explore a new area) plus it didn't help that neither Little N or M were on their best behavior. It worked out and we had a great time getting to know each other.

I hope that John is able to do this type of event again because it was so much fun and it always fun to get together with people and explore! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday's Adventure

John wanted to go back to Neiwan -- he was thinking about taking a young adult group to Neiwan to explore the area and see the fireflies on Saturday.  So we got ready to go and drove up to Neiwan....driving around the town in the rain but not really stopping.  Drove past the town and explored further into the mountains.  On my of my favorite things about living over in Taiwan is that you are really not far from anything -- you want to go to the beach -- it's like a 20 to 30 minute drive, you want to go to the mountains -- it's like a 20 to 30 minute drive.  It's so nice especially when you lived in North Dakota for the last 4 1/2 years and everything took forever (okay NOT everything) to get to!!  Everywhere you go there are plus and minuses!!

Anyways.....moving on from my rambling.....because it was raining we really didn't go out much to explore.  We saw three suspension bridges....thankfully John made the right decision that we weren't going on one of them -- old with 6 boards missing from the beginning of it! But we walked on another one....which actually wasn't that bad.  It didn't move much (which disappointed John but pleased me) and such pretty views.  Because of the rain there were puddles all around and Little M and Little N were thrilled to stomp around in the puddles getting wet and having fun.  Little N got a little freaked out by one puddle.....it was a sand puddle which went into his sandals which just creeped him out a little bit!  We had fun and I love just looking at the scenery.  There was fog and it just clung to the mountains making them look beautiful & mysterious!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Another Birthday Party

Since moving to Taiwan we have been invited to more birthday parties and gone to more kids birthday parties.  Today we got to go celebrate the birthday's of two special girls that attend VEF.  We were supposed to have a beach party and got to this cool beach (another time I guess) but it was raining so we had an indoor picnic instead.  The kids played in their awesome playroom while the adults chatted & occasionally intervened.  We had picnic food -- sandwiches, chips, watermelon and of course cake.  They got the cake from Costco but here in Taiwan they do things a little differently.  (I'm not saying it's bad or good -- just different) You request your frosting, your cake flavor & then also your filling (which is a fruit filling -- we had blueberry filling this time).  We all liked the cake but it was just a slight surprise when you are eating chocolate cake to have a blueberry filling.  The girls got to open their presents and were generous enough to open and allow the rest of the kids to play with the toys (I'm not sure it was the parents idea but it just happened and we went with the flow).  We had a good time.....thank you S & E for letting us celebrate your birthday with us!!
One of the birthday girls with her mom!
 Little N enjoying some mango ice cream!!
 Mikah just playing by himself....he tried playing with others but just got frustrated!!
 A good aunt blowing bubbles for her birthday niece!
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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