Thursday, February 28, 2013

My sweet little nephew

I went out to eat with my grandma and we went over towards Barkhamsted and the reservoir is one of my favorite areas.  I remember driving past it for sports, for school.  It was great being able to take a couple pictures of it.  Such a pretty area. 
My mom picked up Little Wy and I got to spend the evening with my sweet little nephew.  I loved seeing my nephew and daughter play together.  I love him!!
 Love my Little Wy! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Happy Birthday Alexi

We celebrated Alexi's birthday early!  She had a busy week getting ready for the Home Show & had things going on her actual birthday.  So we went out on Wednesday to celebrate.  I was excited to be able to celebrate her birthday, pretty sure it was the first time in a long time I was around on her actual day.  We left the day before her actual birthday when we first left for Taiwan.  So I was happy to be able to celebrate her last birthday before she becomes a mom.  Happy Birthday Alexi!  I love you and am so proud of you!
  We enjoyed amazing food and drinks for her birthday. 
The birthday girl!  Happy Birthday!  I love Dave look playing with Little H - he's going to be a great dad! 
 While we were in CT, Little H was just learning how to give kisses to everyone.  So she was giving big sloppy kisses to dad!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Errand Day

Living overseas there are always things that you miss from the states.  Going to Michaels, JoAnne's house of Fabric, Target, etc are just a few places I wanted to go to while I was home.  I wanted to get most of the things that John wanted me to pick up soon while I was home so I wouldn't have to worry about picking it up later on during the end of my time in the states because the end seems to pick up with frantic gatherings and you just forget things.  I drove with mom to work and then took her car to go shopping.  My mom has a fancy car that doesn't need a car key in the ignition however in order to start it you need to have the key in the car with you.  Well after dropping her off to work...I made it all the way to Cabella's and parked the car before I realized that I didn't have a key and once I left the car it was going to lock and I wouldn't be able to get in the car or drive it.  I was stuck!  Thankfully I borrowed my mom's car and so we talked and she told me she would bring the keys to me.  So I did my shopping and then she met me and gave me the keys.  Checked out and went on with the rest of my errands.  Then while it was lunch time we met up at Moe's (one of those restaurants that when I'm back in the states I like to go to it.) and had lunch.  Little H was very happy to see her grandma and have lunch at Moe's.  So thankful that my mom let me run errands with her car.  Made for a fun day. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Happy 85th Birthday Grandma!

Happy Birthday Grandma!  We were so excited that we were able to celebrate Grandma's birthday with her.  I think from our group picture we were missing 5 family members (my three and two others).  We had a wonderful time and Grandma was wonderfully surprised.  It's kind of strange being back home and I'm not exactly sure how I fit in at times because I don't live in CT and don't see everyone all the time.  So trying to figure how how to relate to everyone is kind of tricky. Thankfully everyone is so gracious and just willing to pick up from where we left and social media definitely helps in feeling like you aren't missing out on as much! So thankful that we were able to celebrate Grandma's 85th year of life with great food, drink, great conversations and lots of fun.  Happy birthday Grandma!  We love you!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A surprise trip to the states

 My aunt contacted me on Tuesday (her morning and my night) to see if I would be able to fly home for my grandma's 85th birthday.  John and I talked and we weren't exactly sure because our ARC (alien registration cards) were going to expire while I was going to be in the states if I went.  So we just wanted to make sure that we could travel.   So on Wednesday morning we went to the immigration and told them we had to travel home and they just gave us a stamp and told us to come back to pick up our ARC when we got back.  So I called my aunt (first time I had ever called my phone overseas) to tell them she could book my ticket.  We waited and had company over and I checked my iPad to see what was going on periodically and see what was going to happen.  Found out at 5:30 pm that I was flying out at 9:30 am that next morning so we frantically got our meal ready and I started to pack and write everything down that I had to remember for Little N's school.  Got everything packed and we started the journey (Little H and I).
We've started our journey at 9:30 am with three plane rides and arrived in CT at 4:30 pm on Thursday. It's probably strangest feeling when you fly for 24 hours and you are only 7 hours from when you left.  
No one knew that we were flying in except for my aunts.  They came into the airport and picked me and Little H up.  It was so nice to everyone but I had butterflies in my stomach at everyone's reaction.  We got to my grandma's house and she wouldn't look to see who was at the door.  When she finally realized that it was me and she was so surprised and excited.  The next person who saw me was my sister and my brother-in-law.  They greeted everyone glanced over us and then went back to look at us and was so surprised.  I was so excited to see my sister with her cute little pregnant belly.  Then my mom came and did the same thing as my sister.  Once she realized that it was Little H and I here she had tears in her eyes.  We had a wonderful time surprising family and just being together.  I loved seeing my baby nephew and it was fun watching Little H and Little Wy sit together and give each other kisses.
I can't believe how big this guys has gotten since I saw him last!  He is such a sweetie! 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Our first day at the beach

Today was the first day that we went to the beach!  It wasn't the hottest day to go but the boys wanted to go play in the sand and jump in the waves.  (Oh to be young and not be cold when jumping in the water!) It was Little H's first time actually playing and exploring around the beach.  She had a blast, she played in the sand, she tried eating mud, she explored the water as it came in the canal that daddy made.  She walked into the ocean, that scared her a little bit just the fact that the water lapped her legs made her nervous.  All in all everyone had a great time at the beach.  Not ready for it to be beach weather but it was fun to go there again.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Riding bikes and playing!

We got together with the Larsen's during Chinese New Year just to let our kids ride their bikes and so that our kids could have some time to play with one another.  John had fun shooting off fire crackers and some fireworks.  We had lots of fun. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hanging out at Little N's best friend's house

We were invited to Little N's best friend house to play during the Chinese New Year break.  The boys had a blast playing together in the house and then in the yard.  They have a nice backyard with trees to climb and have fun.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Breakfast and Playtime

We went to a friends house for breakfast and to let our kids play together.  It was lots of fun.  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dodgeball fun!

We invited our small group bible study over to play games and just have some fun.  Right before everyone left we decided to use the squash ball court to play a little game of dodge ball. We made the decision that it would be fun to do that again.
 I think the adults had more fun then the kids! 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chinese New Year meal with friends

We were invited to celebrate Chinese New Year with food and friends.  We had lots of fun and it was a nice way to celebrate the New Year.
 The hostess actually hosted the Asia '98 team.  She is such a sweet wonderful lady! 

At the park

We had the unique opportunity to take pictures of some new to us friends before their baby arrived.  They asked us to meet at this park and it was absolutely amazing how big the park was and it was a great place to explore and take pictures in.  So I took the kids and asked if they would take pictures for me.  Little N and Little M were really cooperative with taking pictures but Little H was not wanting to have her pictures taken, she just wanted to be held and cuddled.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friends and Games

We had a game night with some friends and thankfully the friends had some kids that my kids could hang out with.   It's fun when my kids have people who care about them and want to spend time with them. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The year of snake

Over in Taiwan, they are preparing for Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year).  This past year was the year of the dragon and we saw lots of pregnancies and babies be born.  We aren't sure what will happen this coming year with it being the year of the snake but I guess we will find out.  Downtown Hsinchu they have this display of two snakes.  It's really cool and while I was at a light I was able to quick take a picture of it.  I hope that it will be up a little bit longer so I can take more pictures of the display. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Trying to get back into the swing of Family Adventures

We went for a hike today.  I discovered that I am horribly out of shape and I need to figure how to get back into my walking shape. Before we moved to our new apartment I was walking everywhere and was feeling strong and really healthy. I guess I will have to figure out something that gets me out.  I know that we will need to go hiking more as a family because getting into nature and seeing all the various aspects of Taiwan is very relaxing and a great way to unwind and spend time as a family. 
The cherry blossoms are starting to bloom and it is absolutely gorgeous! 
We had lots of fun walking around the mountain.  I had lots of pictures that I had taken but I'm not sure where they all went....I had them on my computer and now like half of them are gone! Bummer!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Victory English Fellowship - Potluck

There are not many times where we can leisurely finish a church service and not have to rush out of our meeting room because there is a service right after ours.  However again with the Chinese New Year the Chinese Youth Service was not meets so we were able to have a potluck with whoever wanted to stay and just spend time in fellowship.  I don't have many pictures but we had a blast.  My two favorite pictures are of Little N.  He grabbed a very delicate egg roll crisp and started to eat it but he looked so cute with his little suit and dress shirt (that he picked out to wear) that I had to take pictures of him.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Game Night

In Taiwan some of the schools have some time off for what is called Chinese New Year.  A couple of our friends are teachers so they have been enjoying their little break from school and the routines of school life.  So for the previous two Saturdays they have invited us to come over for food and games.  It has bee so much fun a much need time of relaxing and laughter.  We again had a rematch of Settlers.  This time I can't remember who won.  It was a very close game -- all I know is that I did not win. I'm sure that someone can tell me who won. Thank you for inviting us over and being wonderful hosts. 

A New Year a New Challenge - Close Up Portraits

2013 is the year that I push myself out of my comfort zone and figure out who I am as a photographer, who I am as a person and just making lots of changes in my life.  Most of them will be internal and you won't be able to see them on the outside unless you spend lots of time with me. Last year I thought I would be able to handle having a new baby and try to take a 12 month challenge in photography.  I think I made it to March before I had to quit because I just had to much going on.  I am going to try again and I have a lovely group of ladies who will help me be accountable to this goal.   We have all sorts of themes for each month and if you would like to join along please feel free to look on the Photography Projects tab on my blog and it will give you some idea of what to try to do each month or week.

I belong to a wonderful forum called Clickin Moms, it has helped me these past years to dig in deeper and figure out my camera.  I went from not really understand manual to primarily shooting in manual and trying to push myself with my pictures.  Most of my pictures are snapshots because I want to make sure that I capture my kids in the various stages that they are in, so these themes will help me to grow as a photographer. 

This month's theme was Close up Portraits.  I like to take portraits of my kids for their first year of life and I like to take the quirky pictures of just their faces but close up portrait is so much more than that.  I keep staring at my husband's eyelashes and then my kids eyelashes.  My kids eyelashes are SO long, it is very ridiculous and I am jealous and so happy that my kids inherited their dad's eyelashes.  So I decided to take pictures of the eyelashes and then some other close up portraits.
Look at my husbands long eyelashes!!
Little N is my goofy kid. He isn't letting me take pictures as often as I would like to but he is my little goof ball.  He likes making silly face and his eyelashes are SO long.  I love Little N's blue eyes and hope that they stay blue and don't turn colors.  He has inherited his grandpa Olson's eye color. 
 Little M is always willing to smile and pose for my camera.  His brown eyes just sparkle with delight and light. He also is basically his daddy's little clone.  My mother in law usually tells me that Little M looks just like John when he was that age. His brown eye color just takes the light and makes the light sparkle. 
 Oh my baby!  I just want to remember her little finger, her sweet little lips and her sweet little lashes.  She doesn't have quite as long of lashes as her brothers (what is that about -- the boys it seems always get the really long lashes which is what the girls want) but they are still pretty long. She is just my sweetheart.  I adore her beautiful blue eyes.  I hope that she keeps those beautiful blue eyes. 

Please continue through this blog circle to see how others have looked at close up portraits from some of the most amazing women, I am excited to get to know on this year journey.  Starting with, Angela, I know that you will enjoy her post.

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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