Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Halloween Party

We got together with some of our friends to have a "Halloween Party".  We got to play games outside, play wii and eat lots of food -- pizza, pumpkin dip, pumpkin bars & apple crisp!  We had SO much fun!! 
 Little M loves the attention from our friends...both the two younger kids have taken a liking to him.
 You see lots of people when they take pictures do the peace sign...I think this picture is hilarious because Little N is trying to so hard to do the peace sign but just can't get it!
 The princess of the group! 
 Our crazy guys!!  They put up with us wanting to dress them up and take pictures of them! 
As we were driving home from our friends house, we saw the craziest things.  First we saw a brush fire, John had to drive on the other side of the road to avoid the flames.  We took pictures of the moon and the city skyline.  Then we drove home and met up with 8 firetrucks, 4 police cars & at least 2 ambulances.  No clue what was going on but hoping everyone was okay!  We parked our car and then as we were walking to our apartment we saw a police car and ambulance parked at the next apartment building with people outside the building chatting so we thought it was curious but thought nothing of it until we got into our building and a guy was in a wheel chair (restrained) with at least two or three police officers and 4 ambulance guys.  No clue what was going on but it was definitely an interesting night!  

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Glimpse into our lives -- The combination of city life & seeing the country

We live in the city however it doesn't take long for us to be able to see a country landscape (if we take a car).   I love walking around the city and being able to very conveniently find stuff -- traditional market, convenient store, restaurants, stores, grocery stores, etc.  Something I find very nice about being in the city our apartment is located on a side street so we don't get as much traffic and you don't hear as much traffic noise (or maybe not as much as I was expecting).  Love living in the city because you are just surrounded by people and I can get most everything that I need. 
However sometimes I just want to escape the city life....get away from the hustle and bustle to just enjoy the quiet and peace of the country side.  Today was one such day...we took a drive around the outer edge of Hsinchu & Jhubei and just enjoyed the mixture of city life and country life.  In Taiwan they know how to use EVERY single space....you can be driving on the road and they will have planted gardens on the side of the road.  Very resourceful!
  As we were driving John said that he wouldn't mind living out that far, but so far I living in the city.  I like being able to walk up to church to say hello or being able to walk 5 minutes to go in for a doctor's appointment.  Maybe eventually I'll want to move and have a bigger place (especially with another baby on the way) but right now I love our location and unless the place was an amazing deal and in a great location I don't know if I'm willing to move quite yet.  I'd lose my independence (I haven't driven a car yet since coming to Taiwan) and it's so much easier to walk with the boys everywhere then take them to the parking garage, buckle them up, get out of the parking garage drive through the traffic and then attempt to find a parking spot to do what I need to do. 
Here is the unique beauty of Taiwan (at least in our area) I think the combination of rice fields and the city skyline are beautiful. So thankful for a car that we are able to take to get us out of the city when we need to just go for a drive and feel like we are all alone.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Kids Project - Painting Squash

This week we have been slowly getting ready for painting our squashes.  Earlier in the week we went to the traditional market to buy orange squash (which they wouldn't sell to me because they were "bad" -- hey at least they were nice to us and were trying to sell the best to us).  Then we went to the stationary store to buy three paint brushes and paint. 
Today was all about painting our "pumpkins" for Halloween.  I remember as a kid craving pumpkins and setting them out on our front steps for "all" to see.  I like having traditions that carry on and that are just fun.  I grew up doing Halloween and dressing up, but John on the other hand didn't not so it's a fine balance figuring out what our traditions will be as a family.  I think we've decided that we will let them do it but it's really not that big of a holiday over in Taiwan, so it's sort of a moot point.
Anyways back to painting our "pumpkins".  The kids have come to realize that every week do a different project and they were so excited to do our project.  Little N has painted before and it's just interesting to see how he's progressed with his "elaborate" designs and creations.  Little M on the other hand I'm pretty sure this was the first time he's touched a paintbrush and oh my goodness was he excited to try it all out. They both had a blast decorating and painting.  The painting kept them busy for at least an hour.  We had talked about doing this project with a friend and I have since decided that I'm glad that I did it just with the boys because the boys were in desperate need of a shower to get all the paint that landed on all over their bodies!  
They had a blast and I'm sure I'll attempt to do something like it again.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The countdown is on

Went to the doctors today....today was my last monthly check up, from now on I will be going every two weeks.  Passed my diabetes test, gaining weight the way I should, and baby is already head down (which is a VERY, VERY good thing).  Baby girl will not cooperate with having her picture taken.  She is just a wiggly little thing and keeps hiding her face.  I don't know what that means for the future because she better get used to a camera in her face because I have all sorts of plans for her!  HAHAHA....I haven't been able to get a good picture in an ultrasound forever now!  All I have from today is a picture of her spine...sigh oh well!
The hospital is just an interesting place.  You get a number to see the doctor but that number doesn't matter because you also have to get another number to get through sign in and the ultrasound first.  I think I have finally figured out the system of how to get out of the doctors in the least amount of time.  I have to get there earlier then the reception office is open and get my number and then I'll be able to get out of there in maybe an hour and 1/2 instead of 3 hours!  We'll see how my theory works out because this time I was number 2 to see the doctor next time I'll be lucky number 13. :-)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kids Cooking

A friend of ours was wondering if we could come over to teach them how to make cookies and I thought about it and said no...you guys haven't been to our house why don't you come over and we'll make a morning/afternoon of it.  So she came over. 
We (and when I say we I mean the kids and I) made cookies.  They helped put the ingredients in the bowl, and helped stir the batter and then did the most important job -- eat the cookies. We had a good time and I was so thankful that they came over to play with my boys.  The cookies actually turned out this time too.  Every single time I've tried to make cookies over in Taiwan they just haven't turned out as well as they did in the states.  So I was super excited when they turned out to be my best cookies EVER made (especially when I was cooking with friends!) 
I sadly didn't take out my camera while the kids were cooking so I was SO thankful that my friend had her camera and was taking pictures of the various cute things the kids did!! (Sometimes it's okay not to be the one behind the camera -- even though you are dying to take pictures of everything!)
 My little bakers all waiting to help cook!!
 These cute cooking trays actually worked and were really cute to use!  They were perfect bite size cookie size.
 We also made pizzas to eat -- pepperoni pizza for the boys to share and ham, pineapple & corn for the girls to share! 
 Why is it that boxes are so much fun to climb and play in?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Adventure -- Food

Today we decided to go downtown to explore.  There are so many shops and places to go that we just don't know about.  We took the free bus downtown and then just started walking around and exploring.  After a while we got hungry so we made a stop at basically a Chinese food court to eat some food.  John looked at me and asked if we were feeling adventurous and just pointing at food and ordering blindly (sort of like Russian roulette) I guess I really didn't care and both of us were feeling slightly adventurous.  I left quick to go get drinks and some food for the boys.  When I got back I realized that nope I wasn't as adventurous as I thought I was....we had a pork meatball wrapped in almost something similar to a wonton in a soup, then another soup -  si shen tang (四神湯) which is just interesting pig intestine, and lots of other parts of animal parts that I don't necessarily think would be good to eat.  John ate it and Little M absolutely loved it!  We also got some pork fried rice and some sort of green veggies which was most likely fried with garlic and other stuff. 
Little N wouldn't touch any of the food....he ate the yogurt drink, 3 things of what he calls "healthy" crackers (green onion soda crackers) and then I think some triangle crackers (veggie flavored).  Little M ate si shen tang, fried rice and some triangle crackers and also drank his yogurt drink & water!  We were shocked at how much he ate -- he ate almost 1/2 the bowl of fried rice and 1/2 the bowl of si shen tang.   John tried it all and actually thought most of it tasted good, until we got home and found out what was in the si shen tang...then kind of felt sick to his stomach.  I ate the broth from the pork "meatballs" and then ate most of the veggies, still kind of careful with what I eat because I don't want to get sick and I still have the wonderful gag reflex in place due to pregnancy. 
We have made the decision that while we will try to be adventurous in our eating out most likely we will not be just randomly pointing on a menu only written in Chinese.  We will experiment but make sure we have at least a couple of items that we know and like to eat.  Plus it's more fun to try new things and foods with people who take you places and laugh at you while you do it.  Plus it builds a relationship and a story to share about the time your friend took you and made you try...."whatever".
After our food adventure we went searching for a couple of maternity stores....I've seen them around and I just want to get a couple of shirts (or dresses) that I can use as tunics for winter time that aren't too expensive.  We could not find them anywhere!  I've only seen them while we are driving and just wasn't able to find or remember where they were when we were on foot.  We wore the kids out with the amount of walking that we did.  John ended up carrying Little M for a little bit and he fell fast asleep until we realized that might be a bad idea and woke him up and made him walk -- boy was Little M furious at us! 
It was a good day and we need to do it again....just so we know where things are downtown!!  Needless to say we all slept good that night from all the "fresh" air and all the walking we did.  (John kept on making fun of me as I walked because I kept walking funny once we got home and I had relaxed some!)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Toddler Sunday School

We are almost a month and 1/2 into our Toddler Sunday School program and I have finally been able to take pictures of the class. The class meets while John gives the sermon.  The kids sit with their parents through the worship and songs then are dismissed to their classrooms.  In some ways the Toddler class is about keep order in the chaos, but it's lots of fun too!!   I love this age for learning and watching them grow because they are SO curious about everything and so eager to explore the world.
 Today we got to take musical instruments to shake and sing to our songs.  We are growing every Sunday with more little kids joining us every Sunday.  They are so fun to watch and teach.  Today we learned that Adam named all the animals.  So we had lots of animals that the kids told me what the animal was on the picture.  It's pretty amazing to think that all of these animals didn't have a name and that they were all named. 

Baby Sister can talk

Baby sister is not even out of my tummy and she is already talking.  Little N today found his stethoscope (we've been holding toys back so that we don't have EVERY SINGLE toy out in our living room) and because yesterday we went to the doctor's to get the flu shot and a quick exam, Little N wanted to listen to his baby sister.  We asked him what he heard and he told us that baby sister said his name.  It was a cute and sweet moment!  I think that he will have fun being a older brother again!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Apple Project

So all this week have been getting ready to do our apple project.  On Wednesday before playgroup we went to the traditional market where Little N and Little M picked out the beans that they wanted to use.  Then I gave Little N money so that he could buy oranges for us (don't worry I was right there) and he was SO proud of himself that he could do it all by himself.
Then today I quick made the template for the apple and leaf that I wanted them to use. (I miss having a printer at home!!) Then we started on our project!  A couple of weeks back I bought them some scissors that I thought would work well for them and be safe, umm...yeah....NOPE!  I'll have to go and buy them different scissors.
I have different expectations for the boys but I did the same project with them.  For Little M, I cut out the apple and "helped" him cut out the leaf.  While I'm sure he would love to do the glue himself...I made the decision that I would put glue on his paper and then he could put the beans on both the red and green paper.  He had a blast! 
For Little N I had John help him cut out the apple and leaf out.  We are pretty certain that Little N is a leftie so it's just interesting to watch him do different things.  He got frustrated easily with his scissors so we let him use our sharp scary scissors.  But I let him use the glue and put the beans on the apple and the leaf anyway  he wanted to.  He had a blast doing it and was focused on doing a good job and not trying to mess up. 
Our apple project was a great way to spend our Friday afternoon before daddy left to go lead youth group.
 Mommy, I can't do it!  Help me.
 Little M putting green beans on his apple leaf and red beans on his apple.
 Little N decorating his apple

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fun with balls!

Yesterday, some friends of ours gifted us two bags of plastic balls.  (If you knew us in Cooperstown you would know how exciting this is for Little N & M).  Today, we put all the balls into a postal box and the boys climbed in to play.  Little N then had his dad close the box on him and said, "I'm going to Grandma & Grandpa's house now!"  After that Little M had to climb in the box and say the same thing, my little copycat!
 John took this picture of Little M! I love it!

Gorgeous Sunset Play

You know, it's really disappointing when you are just focused on your kids and seeing a beautiful picture of them playing together.  Then once you get the photos you realize that over half the pictures are unusable because there was a little boy peeing in the corner!  Sigh.....oh well live and learn!  Here is the only one I could salvage, I cropped the picture down so that the little boy had his privacy!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday Playgroup - Casa de Socrates

Playgroup was fun...we got to feed the fish and birds today.  We had fun!
 Good buddies!! 
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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