Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year 2017

We had friends over for a little bit on New Year's Eve!  We enjoyed a time of talking and visiting with them.  We also enjoyed wild rice soup.  We played a game of Splendor with them before they left to go to the movies.  After they left, as a family we enjoyed two games of Splendor and celebrated the New Year with Sparkling Grape Juice.  Most of the members of our family did not make it to midnight to see the new year, but we had a good night. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

An evening near the water

 Little H came home with face paint and she wanted to share with everyone how she looked.  As soon as I took her pictures she washed her face. 

John wanted to get out into nature!  So we made a quick evening trip to the area between Hsinchu and Jhubei!  I brought out our nature journals but the kids had a blast throwing rocks, collecting rocks and climbing the rocks.  So we colored and drew in our books when we got home. There was a beautiful sunset that we enjoyed before we left to go home.  
 Throwing rocks, and climbing the rocks! 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas 2016

I think my favorite day is Christmas Day.  The kids woke up early all excited with the idea that they could open their Christmas Stockings before church.  The kids were excited that they got to go to church on Christmas Day so that they could see their friends and celebrate Christmas at church.  I was a little sad that Christmas was on a Sunday because we would be so busy with church that we couldn't spend time as a family during Christmas doing what we usually do.  It was funny and a very humbling experience to realize that my kids had a better attitude than I did for celebrating Christmas.  
Once I got to church I had a better attitude for being at church.  John lighted all five candles so that we could celebrate Christmas and it just gave made me realize how special and important it was to be at church on Christmas day.  It also was helpful to realize that there was a young woman who wanted to be baptized on Christmas Day.  The baptism made Christmas Day so much more special. I always get teary eyed when I see someone who wants to dedicate their life to Jesus and it was just made more special realizing that she was doing it on the day we celebrate Jesus birthday. 
Little H being silly before Church
Little M smiling at me before church
Little N super excited about getting a gun from grandma! 
I think my favorite picture of the whole Advent/Christmas Season!  So proud of N for reading our bible story
After church and visiting with people, we did open a small amount of Christmas gifts.  This year we slowly started opening up presents.  Our friend gave us presents on Thursday so we opened that then, then on Christmas Eve we opened up presents from another friend before the Christmas Eve service and then we had the opportunity to talk to my mom and dad on Christmas Eve and the kids opened presents from Grandpa and Grandma.  It felt like it went smoother with presents being spread out.  After Little N read Luke, we made the decision that we would open up presents that the kids picked out for each other and mom and dad.  I decided that we would open up the presents from us on Monday.  It was perfect because the kids played with the toys they had already opened and appreciated everything that was given.

Then in the afternoon we got to join some friends for a Christmas meal and Christmas party at their house.  WE also had fun and I was thankful for a time spent with friends.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was a busy day for us!  Little H had a Christmas event at her school from 9-12 pm.  They had all sorts of different activities that could join and do.  They all sang songs, they made a gingerbread house, they made cards, played games and then afterwards we watched some of the teachers act out a great play. (Which was very confusing for non Chinese speakers) but the kids really enjoyed watching it. 
 After the program we did a few errands and then went home to play for a little while.  John left early and I was super frustrated because I discovered that my camera battery was dying and I really wanted to take pictures of the kids and of VEF Christmas Eve service.   So John told me to go to church early and then go to Nova to pick up a charge.  Got my camera charged enough to take pictures.  The Christmas Eve service was absolutely beautiful.  This year VEF had a Christmas Choir -- they sang at a variety of events and they sang the songs at the Christmas Eve service.  It was beautiful.  We also had a men's group who also sang Christmas songs.  Plus a variety of people who read different scripture verses preparing our hearts for Jesus birth. It was a beautiful time to get your hearts ready for baby Jesus arrival. The kids were excited because they could sit by themselves during the Christmas Eve service (minus when we lighted our candles then I sat behind them and touched them to remind them that they had to be careful with fire.) This is one of my favorite Christmas traditions preparing our hearts for Jesus birth.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Ole & Kim visit - Taipei travels, the Taipei zoo, Taipei 101 and the Modern Toilet

On our last full day together before Ole and Kim left, we started our adventure by taking a train and high-speed train up to Taipei.  Once we got to Taipei we took the MRT.  I was constantly on the kids to stay close and to stay with us as we rushed around trying to get to the zoo and various places. 
 Kids enjoying the train ride! 
 Cousin Snuggles
 Cousin Snuggles
 Pretty Flowers all around! 
 G and the kids climbing rocks! 
Little H with the elephants

After the zoo and lunch, we took the MRT to Taipei 101.  
Silly Faces together! 
 Sunbeams over Taipei
 After Taipei 101, we made the decision to go to the Modern Toilet restaurant.  It's a very interesting restaurant where the seating is toilet seats, the food is served in various bed pans, urinals, toilets, etc. The kids thought it was great.  Kim and I weren't really a fan and kind of lost our appetites as we ate just because of the thoughts of eating out of bathroom stuff.  I think the funniest thing was taking our drinks back home in a toilet themed take out container.  For the most part, everyone had fun and lots of memories were created.  I know the kids will not forget going to the restaurant. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

VEF Thanksgiving and Christmas Decorating

Today was the first Sunday in Advent.  So John started our worship time with lighting the first candle.  Then later on in the afternoon we played and then went back to church for the VEF Thanksgiving and Christmas Decorating.  

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A walk around Hsinchu

It was a pretty decent day out so we decided that we would take a walk around Hsinchu.  Walk to the various playgrounds and make our way down to FE21 where the restaurant for Din Tai Fung was.  Din Tai Fung is a restaurant that sells soup dumplings.  The soup broth is inside the dumplings.  I'm sure that there are other places that sell these type dumpling but I have no idea how to order what I want and get what I want so we went to check out Din Tai Fung.  There we had soup dumplings, rice, noodles, and then we had chocolate steam buns and chocolate soup dumplings.  All a very unique experience.  After our meal we checked out Poya (a beauty store) and had fun looking at the various masks and hair things that were there. 
 Tire Swings at the first park
 Slides and spinning tops at the second playground. 
Enjoying the Chocolate Soup Dumpling at Din Tai Fung
Kids staring at a performance downtown Hsinchu. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Ole & Kim visit - Tai'an hiking trip

We took the crew to visit one of John's favorite places.  Over in Tai'an there is a hiking area where there are beautiful water areas and places to play.  We've gone camping in this area, we've gone to see the waterfall, and we've played in the water.  We thought it would be fun to show them one of our favorite places.  I think these pictures are my favorite pictures! 
 Kids have no fear.  G just sitting on the rocks looking at the water below! 
 John on his camera has a group picture with all of us. 
 It was a gorgeous clear day!  Perfect for a hike. 
Having fun on the rocks and water.  So much imagination between all the kids. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Kenting - The lighthouse and a hike

So today wasn't the best day.  We had adventures to be had but it was raining a little bit.  We decided to check out the lighthouse and thankfully it stopped raining.  Lots of fun stuff!  Then we started our journey back to Hsinchu. 
Reminds me of the shape of Taiwan! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hiking Adventure in Kenting

We went hiking down in Kenting.  All sorts of fun adventures today! 
 Family picture - Little M not happy!
 Kids climbing the rocks 
 Climbing the stairs
 Brothers hiking together
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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