Saturday, August 31, 2013

Watching the L kids

I'm not sure if we are crazy or not...most likely crazy but we sure did have fun!  We have been talking for a while about having the L kids overnight without their parents, to give the parents a date day and night.  We've also been missing our nieces and nephews alot and have wanted to do some Aunt and Uncle type stuff so we decided to take the L kids and just treat them to a fun day and night of things we would do with our nieces and nephews if they were around.  So we let them play at the playground, go swimming in the rain (we were the only ones in the pool and had lots of people staring at us!) we played some games, fed them food and watched a movie.  Then we let all the kids sleep in the living room with sleeping bags.  It was a lateish night and very early morning but we had a good time.  Happy that we could do and feel like Aunt's and Uncle's to our kids' friends.
 Being one of the only girls is tough but E does great both being a girl and hanging with the guys.  I like watching her to see if this is how Little H will be.  
 It's tough being the oldest in the group especially when everyone is younger then you but I think "I" had a good time and played lots of games with John.  He also enjoyed scaring me with his balancing acts. 
 J...it's fun to watch him...being the youngest he doesn't have alot of opportunity to boss other people around or look out for people.  But he loves to look after both Little M and H.  It's really fun to watch.
 Little M loves to jump and be my wild man!  I love him! 
Little N, everything since turning 6 is an adventure and a big deal!  Here is my little superman! 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Swimming Fun

Today was our last day with our wonderful lifeguard.  He didn't speak a lot of English but was always nice to us and almost anticipated our needs.  He was very curious where we lived and what we did.  He was just a really great guy and we were thankful that we could get to know him! 
 Crazy hyper little guy!  I can't wait to see how far he comes with swimming once he starts school. 
 My little fish!  She just loves to go swimming and be in the water more so then her brothers did at her age.  
 Good bye lifeguard! 
 Someone found a marker and decided to write all over themselves!  So annoying!!  At least it washes off!!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Thailand Mission Trip Sharing at VEF

Victory English Fellowship had the privilege of hearing from two of people who went on the Thailand Mission trip this summer.  They shared their experiences and how it affected them.  It's been a joy to get to know them more because John went on the trip with them. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Co-workers Retreat Matsu Island - Day 5

Our 5th day we were told that we were going to go home.  So we were very thankful because living life not knowing what is going on with three kids is not very easy.  Thankfully the place we stayed at had internet and we were able to wash and hang clothes so we had clothes to wear.  We had breakfast as a group and then we were told to be ready at a certain time so we ate breakfast and then John took the kids to the park and gave me permission to go and take pictures.  Which is always a dangerous thing because I just was taking to many pictures of interesting things.  
 We got a ride to the airport and our poor tour guide was hard at work, trying to get tickets on an already full airplane and then tried to work it out so that we as a family were together which sadly they couldn't do at the counter.  So Little N was in one seat, Little M was in another seat further away from us and John was in a different seat far away from the kids and I was by myself.  Thankfully the stewardesses and our co-workers made sure all of us were together...although the stewardess had no clue that we were with the group.  I was just thankful that we were able to fly home and get home!
Once we got to Taipei we to the MRT to the bus and took the bus back to Hsinchu.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Co-workers Retreat Matsu Island - Day 4

Last night was a very quiet night and we really didn't see many people around.  We had people in our hotel room but everyone basically stayed in their rooms, doing what I have no clue.  The rain came late that night and was very heavy during the night.  It was still raining some when we woke up and we were told be ready just incase we were able to get our flight - we were told to be ready at 10 am, 1 pm and 3 pm.  Finally be 2 pm we decided that we had enough inside our room time and decided to venture out to explore our area.  We had given our phone number to one of our co-workers who was to call if we were taking a flight.  We got a phone call at 3 pm saying that we should come back because we were going to eat because our flight had been canceled.  What was amusing was the village and area that we had walked around at 2 pm was the area that we ate our dinner at 5 pm.
Dog in the middle of the street. 
 I saw this lonely screwdriver on the side of the road and Little N was convinced that I was taking a picture of poop and couldn't understand why I would do that.
 The huge mussel that we had for dinner.  By this point in the trip I was a little sick and tired of seafood and I'm pretty sure that all of us (our family of 5) got food poisoning! The food was good but I'm not very good at eating meat and I'm really not good about eating seafood and four days of constant seafood for every single meal is a little overkill.
 By this point we had run out of clothes for all of us so John had washed clothes so that we could wear them the next day.  I was just hoping that we wouldn't run out of diapers before we had to leave.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Co-workers Retreat Matsu Island - Day 3

Day 3 found us exploring in a bus instead of scooters and we were faced with the uncertainty of are we or aren't we going back to Taiwan.  I know that our tour guides were constantly on the phone asking questions and trying to find out information.  We explored a little around the island of Beigan.  Driving around the see the scenic areas. For a while it was get out of the bus, go look at an area, and take pictures.  So we would get out and only take our cameras.  When all of a sudden we reached another area.  The Qinbi Village which looks like a small Mediterranean village, we got out and we had just started putting sunscreen on the kids when we stopped.  We figured it was another stop that was come in and go out.  But we were wrong....the difficulties of traveling with a Chinese tour is that they speak Chinese and if you aren't paying attention or listening you don't hear that you should bring all your bags and water bottles because we will be walking around the area for a while.  Thankfully we were okay and everything worked out.
 I absolutely loved the stone work of the wall and the blue window and thought it was neat that it almost looked like a cross had been scratched into the blue window. 
 This lady was so talented and it was so much fun to watch her paint the Qinbi village.  She was able to capture the beauty of the village that I longed to capture on my camera. 
 For lunch we did a quick tour of the Qiaozai Village and we were noticing signs going up that we should go into the water due to the fact that a typhoon was coming and just to be careful.  We also noticed that the wind was picking up and clouds were coming in.
 Watching the waves and just sitting enjoying the scenery! 
 Our co-workers group! We ate our meal at this really nice restaurant.  Everything was seafood and it was surprisingly good.  Sadly the boys didn't want to eat any of it!
 We had to take a boat quick back to the island Nangan. Where we were told that we should get our food from 7 11 because we were sure what was going to happen because of the typhoon coming.  It started to sprinkle on our boat ride over and we took a car ride over to the place we were staying.  It was very interesting and a little intense just with the uncertainty of not knowing how long we were going to be stuck up in Matsu.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Co-workers retreat to Matsu Island - Day 2

Day two again we had an early morning and we got to enjoy the pretty sunrise and see Ganen Pavilion.  The sky was so pretty and I was so happy to watch the beautiful pink skies before the sun changed.

We watched as the prepared the boat to be docked and after this picture we boarded the ferry to take us to the next island.  We didn't take many pictures on the ferry because all 5 of us decided to take a nap in one of the bunks. Surprisingly all of us slept.   The next island we went to was Nangan.  The kids and I got into a car so that we could get to our next spot.  We were thankfully right near a playground for breakfast and there was a flurry of conversations all in Chinese (which we didn't understand) all talking about the oncoming typhoon that was going to hit Taiwan.  We need to decide if we were going to cut our trip short or if we were okay possibly getting stuck on Matsu for a couple of days.  All of us decided that we were okay if we ended up not being able to make our flights that third day.  We still drove around Nangen to see the sites but a lot of my pictures sadly didn't turn out because they were SO blurry! (my lens somehow had gotten turned onto manual instead of automatic focus.) 
The kids enjoying the park while everyone was eating breakfast. 
Very close to some of the shops and where we left our bags, while we traveled around Nangan.
We went to the cute and quiet little restaurant and I ordered the noodles dish for the boys.  The boys made tried and ate 1/2 of one plate meanwhile Little H polished off both their plates and then a 1/4 of my plate.  She really liked the food. 
I believe that we went to the Beihai Tunnel (Nangan).  It was a very long tunnel that was blasted out by hand by soldiers as a place to hide supply boats and retreat if need be.  You could also canoe or paddleboat around the water way for a different view of the tunnel. 
 I love this picture of all of them walking together! 
 We were given a certain amount of time to go and explore the tunnel and then we would meet the back at our scooters so that we could go to our next place.  We of course so the beach and decided that the kids would really enjoy playing in the rocks and throwing rocks in the ocean.  John also enjoyed exploring and climbing the rocks.
 We took a boat over to Beigan for where we were going to sleep for our second night.  We got a chance to walk the beach take pictures of some boats.  I believe that these boats were located by the Tanghoudao Beach.
The kids enjoyed our hotel because they had toys for the kids to play with like two rocking horses and some other toys.  We ate our food and then went quickly to bed.  While John listened and joined in listening as the co-workers shared some about each other and just talked.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Co-workers retreat to Matsu Island - Day 1

The first night sleep was not the best sleep.  The kids slept kind of okay but I heard everyone walking around to go to the bathroom or snoring as they slept.  I woke up early in the morning and saw the first sights of the pink sun rise.  But we couldn't see the sun rising because the fog and clouds were in the way.  I quick ran upstairs to take some pictures and then quickly got ready.  I ruined our bag because somehow the zipper broke off our luggage and unfortunately we weren't able fix it right away. I woke up the two younger kids so that we could watch the sunrise.
We started hearing music which was the clue that we were supposed to be up and getting our stuff ready to leave to get off the island.   As were getting to the first island, which was called Dongyin, we saw the Ganen Pavilion in a shade of pink and haze because of the combination of sunrise and the fog.  It was absolutely stunning and I have a bunch of beautiful pictures during this time.  After we got off the boat we got onto buses so that we could put our luggage at our first hotel.  Then we went and got scooters because that was our means of transportation for most of our time on the islands. Thankfully traffic on these islands aren't very heavy so I wasn't as concerned about taking a scooter everywhere like I would be if we were back in Hsinchu.
We needed to wait some so that everyone could get a scooter.  Little N and Little M were able to drive around on the scooters with a couple from our church (actually it was the pastor and his wife that John went with on the Thailand mission trip) and John took Caristy and Little H.  It was a little nerve wracking but we all did a fine and the boys were so excited that they could ride on a scooter.  
 We started our scooter trip around the island looking at various sites.  We had fun checking out all the wonderful spots that our tour guides had to show us.
 We saw two rocks that made a crevice that the ocean water came into.  This area is called A Thread of Sky.  We were able to just take pictures by it but there is more to this area but in order to go further in the area you needed to have a special permit and have military security.  We just enjoyed the walk and the view.   
  We went to see a gorgeous lighthouse and the kids had fun running and climbing up the stairs to see the lighthouse. I was reminded of family as I stared at the lighthouse. It was so beautiful.  The lighthouse is located on the island of Dongyong so it is know as the Dongyong Lighthouse.  It reminds me of a Greek village with the white square buildings behind the lighthouse where people used to live.
 Some beautiful sites around Dongyin Island!
We went to the Dongyin Distillery and had the chance to see their products.  They call it "wine" even though it's not really wine and it's made from sorghum (which is a type of grass that they can make into flour, and also fermented to make a liquor). The bottle on left was worth over $33,000 US dollars.   Because Matsu is a small cluster of islands they don't have a lot of land for growing vegetables so we ate alot of seafood.  We ate more seafood then I have ever eaten.  I have no clue what type of seafood that was but I tried it and I succeeded in eating it!   
 We went into Andong Tunnel which was an underground bunker.  It was just interesting to see the history of what actually went on at Matsu Island.  Stuff that was still happening not to long ago.  As you can tell Little H was not a fan of the fake guard who was just there "telling us to be careful!"
 Tried to take a family picture but didn't go over very well with our oldest so we took a picture as a family of four instead.
 The gorgeous sunset at the northernmost tip of the Matsu Islands and ROC.  It was so pretty just to watch and taken in the sky!  The boys had fun taking pictures by the statue that declared we were at the northernmost frontier. (I had more fun taking pictures of the sky!)
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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