Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Small Blessings

John has been invited to play ping pong at a friend's complex a bunch of time however today the whole family was invited this week to join in the fun.  When we got there we discovered that there was a pool (thankfully we brought out swimming stuff), a play area for kids and a game area for adults!  The little boys and I had fun in the playground and then also in the pool area.  It was a fun way to spend a Wednesday.  Also it was a fun way to get the kids good and tired.....let me tell you they slept good that night and slept for a long time the next morning!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Co-workers Retreat (Day 3)

Our hotel was connected to both a nice spa area and also kind of like a Busch Gardens (without the big rides) type amusement park.  We could have stayed there all day just looking at all the animals and trying out all the different things that they had to offer (an ice cream place, a fruit stand, a kiddie park area).  To get around the park we had to use a golf cart....guess who got to drive?  Yup --- me (Caristy), because I just so happened to have my international driver's license in my bag!  It was a big deal because I haven't driven a car or anything since coming to Taiwan.  So it was kind of fun to drive again.  We only were able to stay at the park for 2 or 3 hours before we had to leave -- the time just flew and it was time to give up the little golf cart and start our journey back home!   We got home late that night -- with both boys fast asleep it was a shock to their system to be jolted awake and then begin to walk back to our house from church.  We had a good time and were so thankful that we could meet and spend time with our co-workers here in Taiwan. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Co-workers Retreat (Day 2)

We started Day 2 with a hike -- it was a very fast hike...we had a boy who was very excited to go hiking and what was gonna be a leisurely hike turned into a very brisk hike.  We had fun and after our hike we were able to wander around some and have some ice cream. 
After our hike we took a drive to another hiking area to see a waterfall with a temple right onto of the waterfall.  The scenery was absolutely gorgeous with the mountains and the the water.  The boys got to go into the water which they were so happy to get to play in the water. 
we finally drove to our hotel and where we stayed was absolutely gorgeous....we were surrounded by mountains and we stayed in little houses.  At the hotel was a spa....oh my goodness was this the most amazing spa I have ever seen -- there were 5 or 6 pools.  One pool was a freezing cold pool, the second pool was the temperature of a lukewarm bath, then there were 3 hot tubs each was different temperature -- a lukewarm pool, a medium warm pool and then a hot tub!!  It was wonderful to rest and relax after a long day of hiking and exploring!
We saw this water the day before and it was a gorgeous blue green color...sadly because of the rain storm the water changed to this murky gray color.
 A spider made his web high above our hiking path....it's amazing to see just how spiders are able to build their webs.
Almost everyone who was with us on the co-workers retreat!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Co-workers Retreat (first day)

We decided to get to know our co-workers from the Chinese LB by going to the co-workers retreat.  We got up early on Monday morning and made the walk with all our stuff to church (we seriously need to find a medium size suitcase -- we have small carry on size suitcase & then giant travel to the states suitcases but nothing in the medium size for the let's travel for three days and put everything in one suitcase). It was so quiet and a lot of older people were up walking (it was like 5:00 or 6:00 am) so strange to be in our city and not have the hustle and bustle of city life. Also learned if I wanted to enjoy the quiet and semi-coolness before the heat comes -- to walk early in the morning.  Will I do that......nope! But it's good to know.
Got on the bus and started our retreat......it was a good trip.  We had tour guides (which we couldn't understand, but the tour guides & our co-workers were very gracious with us, some interpreted for us, and most everyone tried to speak some English with us and if they couldn't speak English then they used hand gestures which is seriously a universal language to communicate with us) who were amazing....we played games, saw the most amazing scenery and went on a hike which we got rained on!  Went to our hotel and just rest before dinner!  It was a busy first day....but we are glad that we had the opportunity to go!
 One of the games we played similar to hot potato -- Little M lost so he had to get two stripes on his face!
 Normally Little M falls fast asleep on me....sadly today he needed to take a nap on John!
 The giant spider was something we saw in the bathroom -- needless to say  Little N was unable to go use the bathroom after seeing the giant spider! 
 Having fun at the hotel!!
 Little M just so badly wanted to play with the big kids.....sadly he just wasn't old enough!
 This is a sample of the food that we ate -- we had something similar to this every day!!  This is a Chinese meal!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Testimonies from the Japan relief trip

This Sunday we had lots of sharing -- two people sharing their thoughts about the mission trip.  It was so interesting to hear what they thought.  One guy, shared that this was one of best ways that he spent his vacation.  He said it was hard work but so rewarding to watch everyone help out.  A slide show of the work that the team did over in Japan was shared.  The church was able to get a small glimpse of what is going on over in Japan and also how we are able to serve others around the world. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Barbecue at the Ocean

We invited some friends to join us for a barbecue meal.  That's one thing I miss the most about not living in North Dakota....is the ease and ability to go outside and cook outside.  Also I miss sitting outside around the fire pit cooking marshmallows and talking about the day. 

We went to the ocean -- this ocean you can't go swimming at -- there are rocks and pavers to make swimming or even touching the water impossible. But we enjoyed walking around and watching the sunset!  So thankful for good friends who we can share a meal and go for a walk with! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Brotherly Love

Thank you Grandpa and Grandma Olson for our matching outfits....don't we look cute?
                                                                    Love - Little N & Little M

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More Birthday FUN!!

I love getting cards, letters or even packages in the mail.  There is something magical and special about getting something in the mail besides the predictable bills and junk mail that inevitable everyone gets (we get a lot of it here -- mostly because I can't read what they are advertising so it goes immediately into the trash pile!!).  But anyways back to getting mail it means so much to me....I mean you can send an e-mail, a facebook comment or message, you could even make a comment on the blog and it is still really special because you took the time to make a comment showing that you care but still there is something special about getting physical stuff from the mailbox.  Just makes me feel extra special and gives me the warm fuzzies.

Today Little N & M got a package in the mail from Grandma and Grandpa O.  They sent a huge package filled with stuff to give them.  We let Little N open up his card and then we let them open up two things. Little N loved his card....it sang to him and do you know that in a 4 year old (and even 2 year old) mind that is extra special.  They just would listen to the card sing happy birthday.  (Side note -- Whoever thought of the singing card is genius and also sort of got a mean streak to them....they should invent a card that is able to count how many times it's been opened and after being opened 10 times in a 24 hour period it should automatically stop singing until another day!)  They enjoyed their presents -- matching THOMAS the train outfits and a Thomas the train.  Grandpa and Grandma sent a present for everyone to play with (Daddy, Mommy, Little N, Little M & Baby O) which was water guns.  We had fun shooting at each other and thankfully Baby O is very generous and is willing to share toys with anyone.  Thank you Grandpa and Grandma Olson for thinking of us and sending us presents!!  We love you!!
 After a much needed nap and we had to wait for John to get back home.....John had a surprise for the boys.  At least 50 balloons blown up and ready to be tossed over their heads and played with.  The boys were told to go to the extra bedroom and to wait because Daddy had a surprise for them.  They loved having all the balloon come down around them and then they loved the fact that daddy had them lay down and put all the balloons on tops of them and then let them kick the balloons out of the way.  I never knew you could have hours of fun just with 50 balloons.....but John did!!  The boys hid in the balloons, laid on the balloons, tossed the balloons in the air, played catch, etc.  They had a blast -- great idea John!!  You truly have a child like spirit and come up with the best ideas for playing with our boys!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A birthday boy's day!

    Little N turned 4 today!  He was so excited and this year he actually understood that it was his birthday and a special day for him.  It was actually fun because he actually got it that today was his birthday and was all about him.  He came out of his room so excited because he knew that he had turned 4....and made a point to tell everyone that he was 4.  We tried to do things to make his day special.
    He got to pick out all the meals for the day -- he chose apple muffins for breakfast, and tacos for dinner.  We got to talk with grandma so she sang to him as he blew out a candle on his apple muffin.  We opened up presents and just had a fun day of not doing much but we made sure the day was special.
    That night we had some friends over to help celebrate his birthday.  We had tacos, homemade guacamole (I'm proud of that) and brownie cupcakes in the shape of train tracks.  I'm not a good cake decorator and not very creative either....so when Little N told me that he wanted a Thomas cake I tried to come up with something that would work in his mind!
    Happy 4th birthday Little N, we love you and hope you have a great year! I honestly don't know where the time went and how it is that you turned 4.....it doesn't seem like 4 years have passed....when did my little baby turn into such a big boy!
 Apple birthday muffin
Thomas train track brownie cupcakes with monster cookie crumbles
 Group Hug with "Uncle" Mike!
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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