Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Little N's not so good day!

Little N had been taking naps in my bedroom -- he had some incidents that just left me nervous to have him take naps in his room.  Well usually I take naps with Little N but I had a deadline for a project I was working on so I skipped my nap.  When I came in to get Little M from "baby sister's room" after he woke up there was a funny smell in my bedroom but with Little N sleeping I didn't want to find out what was going on.  Cuddled with Little M for a while until Little N woke up and I discovered what had happened.
On John's side of the bed Little N found a black permanent marker which he proceeded to draw smiley faces and scribbles on the wall, then took the marker and drew on his face and hand.  Once John got home we discovered that Little N had also colored on John's doggie (each of us have a dog -- both John and I got our almost 8 years ago.  Little N and Little M got their doggies when they were first born and are very attached to them!)   Needless to say we are not happy with Little N -- it will be a hilarious moment later on in life but at the time weren't happy.  Mostly because I had no idea how I was gonna get the permanent marker off Little N's face, off the wall and off John's Dog. Did some quick Internet searches and everything that was advised for cleaning we didn't have and I wasn't sure how to find it either.  I saw something about how toothpaste will take marker off so I first I tried toothpaste on Little N -- John has a body scrubber that I put the toothpaste and started to scrub away.  Pretty sure Little N will not be writing on himself anytime soon -- I didn't try to hurt him but to get off the marker I had to do some gentle scrubbing.  I was surprised at how quickly the marker came off his skin which I was thankful for.  The next job was to see if the toothpaste would take the marker off John's dog, which I think it did.  After that I tackled the job of trying to get the marker off the walls.  With lots of scrubbing and toothpaste I was thankfully able to get the marker off the walls.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The 45 anniversary of the Chinese Lutheran Seminary

We were invited to a banquet and auction to celebrate the 45 anniversary of the Chinese Lutheran Seminary.  There was food, music and entertainment.  We had a nice time!
 The lighting was a little funky so everyone greenish skin and blue lips, which you can kind of see in the picture of Little M. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Glimpse into our world: VEF Thanksgiving

VEF has done a Thanksgiving potluck in the past but this was our (John and I's) first time to be a part of the festivities.  We had it on Sunday evening and made it a big deal about it advertising at the colleges  in town and to people that we saw. We had a small little program -- we had singing, some scripture, the older sunday school kids sang some songs for us and we had a drawing just because we had so many people that either were new or we didn't have their names -- we offered up some cds -- Christmas music and some other Christian artists.
Someone cooked two 10 pound turkeys, with stuffing, and other people brought cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, a mixture of Chinese dishes and desserts.  There was SO much food to try and eat...sometimes people get worried that there isn't going to be enough food to feed everyone at a potluck but there are always leftovers and things for people to take home.  I was thankful that they had pumpkin pie that I could eat and that they had whip cream. Yummy!!   Lots of fun visiting with everyone and eating food.  Glad that we were able to join in the festivities with our church family. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

When you live in a foreign country, holidays that you are used to celebrating aren't really celebrated, but there are other holidays that you get the opportunity to learn about and celebrate.  The nice thing is that we have Costco, so we were able to find a frozen turkey to cook, and they had pumpkin pie.  Because it's not an official holiday I had a doctor's appointment in the morning then we celebrated Thanksgiving with our friends.

Dr. Appointment -- Went in for my 35ish weeks visit.  My doctor did an in depth ultrasound with me and because it was a later appointment I had to bring the boys with.  So both Little N and M got to see the baby.  Unfortunately baby girl is breech and if she is that at the next visit the doctor will schedule my c-section, which I would like to avoid at all costs.  Praying that she turns and I can do a VBAC.  Baby is doing well and the doctor told me that I gained too much weight in between the last appointment and this one.  (Not a horrible amount but the Doctor said to just not eat too much before the baby comes.) 

Thanksgiving....we joined our friends to celebrate Thanksgiving. It was a great time - eating, chatting and playing.  The turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie was absolutely delicious.  We brought broccoli and cheese, buns and apple crisp.  It was a nice way to celebrate the holiday and not feel horribly homesick.  Thank you so much for including us in your family's Thanksgiving celebration!  

 Sorry that John riled up all the kids!  It's his gift! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving meal with Victory Co-workers

This week has been a busy week for us, the retreat over the weekend and then Thanksgiving.  Over in Taiwan it's not a recognized holiday but Victory church has done a meal for all the co-workers (and families) right around Thanksgiving time.   So we went to a Japanese restaurant to celebrate and also get to know some more of our Chinese co-workers.
Before we left to go Little N and M decided that they needed their socks on their ears. I thought they looked hilarious.
Just because it's hilarious.....and I know that my family will think it's hilarious.  A camera should not be around me when I am making silly faces at babies.  SIGH....sometimes life should not taken in pictures but in video.

Monday, November 21, 2011

34 weeks

34 weeks pregnant now.  Thankful that we are getting down to the time where we can meet this little girl.  Feel kind of tiny still but when I look at the pictures John took I do have a belly so who knows.  She moves a bunch lately which is fun because both Little N and M can feel her kick and punch.  We have started a count down until we meet baby sister -- a paper chain that we cut off every night before we go to bed.  

No name yet for this little one.  We need to find something we agree on soon.  I like unique names and John well he hasn't liked anything I've suggested.  Hoping to come up with something both of us like!  

Saturday, November 19, 2011

VEF retreat - Part 2

So you know how when it rains you sometimes get puddles.  Do you know what attracts little boys really quickly? If you guessed puddles, you would be correct.  Let's just say my two little boys had a blast SPLASHING in the puddles today.  They would run up the stairs and down the ramp and then splash in the puddles.  I didn't take any pictures of it because I was too busy rolling up their pants, taking off their socks and shoes plus making sure they didn't hurt themselves or splash other people.  But needless to say they had a blast!
Our second day of the retreat was nice -- it wasn't really a long day -- more wake up, eat breakfast, session, lunch and then go home.  The session time was great -- John asked one of the families if they would play some songs as our worship time (they did a great job) and then we had the session time.  OH my goodness....remember how I said that my kids are really spoiled....I think they had 8 bags of cheese pretzels, at least 30 pieces of candy (each day) and they were spoiled with attention. I got a little annoyed because I wanted them to eat real food, but they have a hard time eating the Chinese dishes and that's all that was offered at the retreat.  But it was a good day and I was thankful to get away, spend time getting to know people and seeing some place I had never been before.
I'm pretty sure if the weather had been nicer we would have stayed the afternoon and explored but with not pleasant weather we just decided to leave.


VEF retreat - part 1

This weekend VEF (Victory English Fellowship) sponsored a retreat and the retreat was about spiritual gifts and just a time to get to know one another.  I think we had like 22 people attend....a nice size group.  We went to and stayed at Xitou Youth Center.  It's a really pretty area -- with a variety of rooms you can stay in.  Unfortunately it was raining most of the time we were there and I sadly didn't bring enough clothes for the little boys.   But we had fun.

It's was a little tricky getting to where we were staying....all the signs were in Chinese and we just didn't have enough Chinese ability to ask for directions.  Thankfully we had people who looked out for us and came looking for us and then had us follow them so that we could get to the place we were staying.

Where we stayed was absolutely gorgeous, the buildings were pretty and really didn't interfere with the scenery.  The buildings were all separate buildings so if you wanted to a different area you would have to go outside and with the rain it made it a little tricky.
The weather cleared up some so  we decided to go for a walk up to this sky walk.  John took Little N and was off.  Another couple took Little M and off they went. (I have to say that we are pretty blessed with how people from church just love our kids are willing to help out with them! My kids are VERY spoiled at our church -- with candy, treats and lots of attention!)  So on the way up I was all by myself just free to take pictures and just enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Caught up to Little M and the people that were with him.  One of the ladies told me that everyone had been talking to them and making comments about both Little M and N.  Saying that they looked like little foreign dolls and were so cute.  It's kind of amusing because while I have no idea what people are saying to both me and my kids -- when we are out in public my kids and I (because I'm pregnant) get a lot of attention.  So it was kind of interesting to finally know what people could possibly be saying to me as we are walking.

Finally caught up to John and Little N by the sky walk area.  Little N ran up to me and told me that he was going on the sky walk with me and that it wasn't scary.  But he was coming with me because he knew I would be scared  (I'm slightly afraid of heights and bridges -- bridges because of a certain husband who will remain nameless.) and wanted to protect me.  Walked around the sky walk and it wasn't that bad until someone in the group shook a tree and it gave the illusion that I was moving.  It was beautiful to see everything from way up high.
  After the sky walk we switched kids and started walking back.  Little N had SO much to tell me from his walk with his daddy and everything that he saw.  It was kind of funny, the family that was walking with me was just so surprised that he didn't really stop talking the entire time we walked back.  As we were walking back it started to POUR down on us.  So hard that my umbrella wasn't protecting me but actually raining on me.  Thankfully we got back and dried off and it was a fun story to tell.
 Ate dinner and then had our first session.  The interesting thing about being at a retreat where your husband is leading is that while you can get visit with people and get to know people.  It's really not that relaxing for you and while the kids can see their daddy, they can't spend time with their daddy, so it was a good weekend it just wasn't a relaxing weekend.

The sessions were great -- John did a great job talking about spiritual gifts and having activities that made everyone interact with one another.  It was a good retreat.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A busy Friday

Today was a busy day!  I had to get stuff ready for Toddler Sunday School and also get everything ready to go because we are going on a retreat this weekend. Thankfully I had all the laundry already done and I had a friend come over to help me with the Toddler class.  But it wasn't the best time for Little M to get all clingy and cuddly.  I was surprised because he is a cuddle bug but just not for long periods of time.  He wants to get in for a quick cuddle and get out.

Here he was wanting to sit on my lap and wanting me to stroke his hair just things that aren't normal for him.  The other thing that isn't normal for him is him volunteering to lay on the couch and close his eyes during the daytime or nighttime.  He is on the go from the time he wakes up to the time I force him to take a nap.  Turns out he has a slight fever....nothing to bad but I'm wondering if he didn't get enough sleep last night.  Last night was the first night in probably 2 weeks that I let the boys sleep in the same room together.  They were in bed at 8:30 pm but not a sleep until probably 11 pm.  They were up at the crack of dawn at 7 am.  So I'm guessing it's a slight fever and not enough sleep.



Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday 3 - Our babysitter

So back when John went over to Japan the first time a lady from church came up to me and told me that she was going to come over to our house and watch our kids for a couple hours and I was to leave the house.  I was fine with the idea in theory but when it came time for her to come over and I left the house I was at a loss of what to do....I had never had that free time to just walk around.  I walked to the traditional market and explored some but with the groceries already bought for the week and at the time nothing really needed to buy I came back after an hour and a half.  I was refreshed and thankful for the time to just be by myself without needing to be mommy.

Since then it's become a regular thing.  John and I usually go out for a meal (our date afternoon) and then get some shopping done or browse for stuff. The kids love when Stephanie comes over and she loves our kids.  She wants to keeping watching the kids because she knows if we have time as a couple we are more likely to stay longer term over in Taiwan and feel more comfortable here.  She has also helped with other things -- she took me and the boys shopping to help me find some tops for "winter" and she has just taken us to different places and forced us to try different foods (the little boys and I).  Some of the foods we liked and others we didn't care for but at least know we know that.

So thankful for for our babysitter.  I am so thankful that she loves us and loves our kids.  Also thankful that she speaks Chinese to our kids so that they are learning more and more.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Playgroup - Little D's 1st Birthday party

We had a birthday party for Little D.  It was his 1st birthday and it's been fun to watch how he has changed since we first moved here in March until now.  It was a fun birthday party with tons of food and lots of fun.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Glimpse into our world -- Landscaping

We live in an apartment so we don't have a yard that we have to worry about maintaining.  It's wonderful not having to worry about mowing the lawn or trimming bushes and trees but I do miss our garden and having an area for the boys to run around freely without worrying about them.

In Taiwan I have yet to see a lawn mower, if there are grass areas they (whoever does the yard work) wait till the grass gets really long and then take a weed whacker to the grass.  It's just so different from what I am used to, having to mow the lawn and then weed whack the edges.  Okay I really haven't done much mowing but I have done lots of weed whacking. 

Another thing that is just different is that they trim the trees.  Some people have told me that the reason why they cut down the tree limbs is because they don't want the leaves to fall down. They don't have a "fall" season over here, where the leaves change color and fall from the trees because of the sub tropical climate that Taiwan has.  Which could explain why they trim the tree limbs.  Another reason could be that they don't want the trees to get too big so they keep them a certain size for shade.  Who knows the reasons, all I know is that it's different from what I am used to, so I thought I would share with you guys just some of the differences that I have noticed.

This past week they have been cutting down the tree limbs and this morning we heard lots of beeps and trucks outside our apartment window.  So we looked outside and saw 6 to 8 trucks all ready to take the tree limbs that were on the sidewalk.  It was just interesting to watch how many trucks there were and just how it all got done.  It was fun to watch, mostly because Little N and Little M were enthralled with the trucks and the the bobcat.

Our New Couch

Today our new couch arrived, unassembled.  So thankfully the delivery people from Ikea came early enough so that we had time to assemble today.  I think it took John maybe an 1 1/2 hours to assemble (what with distractions from kids and such).  We've realized that white is probably not the best color for us to own but at this point we are stuck with what we got, eventually we will probably order another couch cover for us to use and see about dying this one a different color so that way we would have two covers to use. 

Thankfully the couch wasn't that difficult to assemble and we have a new couch to sit on....now we just have to figure out what we are gonna do with the rest of our furniture that we have.  Tons of seating room right now so if anyone wants to come over to play games, chat or just hang out you are more than welcome to do so!  I'm just thankful that we finally have a couch where I can lay out and take a nap if I wanted to -- like I did with my two boys. I am so happy to have a couch where I can sit comfortably (for now) and we have a enough space for all of us to be on the couch and not be cramped.

Thank you John for taking the time to assemble the couch and break down all the cardboard all in one night!  You are amazing and I am so thankful for you!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Adventure - Ikea style

We have been talking about getting a new couch for our family room for a while.  We have a love seat and two chairs (one of them being one that both boys can sit in comfortably).  But when we sit to read a book or watch TV we all have to sit on the love seat which is getting more and more cramped.  My belly is getting bigger and the little boys end up either sitting on my lap or John's lap.  So we talked about the possibility of getting a new couch.  I had gone up to Ikea with a friend back in September and checked out the couches but John wanted to check out the couches before purchasing them to make sure it was what he wanted also. 

So after we talked to my mom and tried to get in contact with some other people via Skype we left to go on our Monday Adventure.  John's biggest frustration is that we aren't able to get out of the house early enough.  Sometimes our Monday adventures are fly by the seat of our pants adventures -- like this one.  I had no clue we were gonna go to Ikea but I was willing and excited to go up there. 

Got to Ikea and I saw the play area for the boys to go into while we went shopping so I offered it up to John as a suggestion.  He decided they were being good and decided to take them along with us.  Then got really frustrated with them when they behaved like kids.  (They weren't horrible but they weren't angels either!) Checked out the couches and sat on all the different couches, which then the boys had to sit on all the couches too.  We also looked at the "rocking chair" type chairs which will be necessary in a month or so.

Super excited because we decided to order our couch and it will be delivered tomorrow!  Then it's a matter of putting it together, hoping it comes early tomorrow evening so that we can start working on assembling it otherwise our week will be too busy and it won't get done until next week.

That was our adventure for the day! It was a fun day filled with couch sitting, chair sitting, playing with the toys, looking at beds and eating yummy food! Shopping is lots of fun to do for a girl but I'm pretty sure by the end of the shopping trip John was done!  I think the boys had fun mostly because there were toys all around for them to touch and look at. Plus we got a shopping cart and placed them in it and got "stuck" going down the merchandise aisles while waiting for John to order the couch!
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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