Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Afternoon

Our church small group "family" gathered to celebrate with pizza, a gift exchange, and lots of time to play games, watch movies, laugh, and hang out together.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Church Membership Transfer Ceremony

We are officially members of 台北真理堂 (Taipei Truth Church), as of Saturday afternoon.

Giving testimonies during the ceremony...

Being welcomed by pastor Moses...

Celebrating with church family...

We are so thankful for this community of believers in Taiwan.

Monday, December 19, 2011

2011 Taipei Fubon Half-Marathon

On Sunday, I completed my 3rd half marathon. Caty was my running buddy. :) More than 120,000 runners participated in the race, which set off early from the square in front of Taipei City Hall.

Pre-race excitement...

Running through the streets of Taipei...


We even got medals and towels...

My biggest fans were waiting to greet me at the finish line...

We did it!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Just for Fun

Here's our pastor with Kalan at the ALPHA celebration. Pastor Moses is really fun. In this picture, he is dressed up for a skit based on a movie recently released in Taiwan called Seediq Bale.

The movie portrays a 1930 Seediq uprising against the Japanese when Taiwan was a colony under Japanese rule.

Can you see a resemblance?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tiny Spaces for Tiny People

When we started taking care of Micah, I googled "how to care for a baby in a small apartment." I really needed some ideas for how to make it work.

The best results gave me ideas for 400 square foot apartments. That was okay, except that our apartment is half that size.

So, here are five things we've learned about having a baby in a really small apartment. I hope this helps someone out there.

1. Buy a baby tent instead of a crib. It's portable and easily folds away when you're not using it.

2. Use your stroller as a high chair during meal times, then fold it away. Just make sure to wipe it clean.

3. Use an inflatable bathtub (or the kitchen sink.) Ours hangs from a suction cup above the washing machine.

4. Only keep a few toys (sometimes non-toys are more fun plastic containers filled with beans.)

5. Use foam mats that can easily slide into storage. We keep ours behind the couch.

Tiny spaces for tiny people can work with a little creativity.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Eyes

Almost two weeks ago I had laser eye surgery. At 8:30 PM, I lined up in an operating room with 12 other patients. We took turns laying down for the 15-minute surgery. "Next," the doctor kept calling, snapping his fingers. So this is why LASIK in Taiwan is a fraction of the cost of the same operation in America, I thought.

A few minutes before it was my turn, a nurse gave me some numbing eye drops. The only pain I felt during the procedure was when they ripped some tape off my eyebrow. Kalan viewed the whole operation through a glass wall, and watched the actual operation via a television connected to a camera inside the laser machine.

I could see immediately following the surgery, although my vision was a bit blurry. The day after the surgery, my vision was crystal clear. Now it is better than 20/20 without glasses or contacts! Amazing.

For the first week I got to wear these cool goggles when I slept:

Now I am mostly recovered, though I still need to use eye drops and wear sunglasses outside for another week or so. I am very thankful for my new eyes!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sushi with Homemade Mayonnaise

In Taiwan, people rarely cook. Meals are cheap and easy to buy, and many people don't have kitchens.

Many of our friends are surprised and curious when they find out that we cook at home every day. Some have asked me to share meal ideas that don't require expensive Western ingredients or normal kitchen equipment. (We have 1 electric hot plate, 1 pan, 1 pot, a rice cooker, and a mini-oven. That's all you really need.)

So, here's meal idea #1: Sushi Rolls

Seaweed sheets
Meat (optional)

1. Cook rice in the rice cooker.
2. Meanwhile, chop up some veggies you like in long strips (carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, etc.)
3. Cook a scrambled egg or two in a pan. Cut it into strips.
4. If you want meat, you could cook and chicken breast, shred it, and add salt/pepper.
5. Assemble your sushi roll (see picture above).
6. Add mayonnaise (Kalan made his own gluten-free mayo using an egg yolk, oil, and seasoning. He's amazing.)
7. Roll it up, and enjoy as a big roll or cut into pieces.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Deck the Halls

Here's a little holiday apartment tour for our moms. :)

Walking in the door...

Mini tree and nativity on our dresser...

Lights strung on the banister...

Stockings hung over the couch...

Gazing out the window...'s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Monday, December 5, 2011

ALPHA Celebration

Our ten-week ALPHA course at church concluded with a big celebration last week, including a turkey dinner...

...songs and games...

...skits, sharing, and lots of laughter!

We're thankful we got to be involved with ALPHA this season, and excited for new friends who have joined small groups and started coming to church.

Thanks for your prayers. God is good!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Bazaar

Last Saturday, we went to a Christmas Bazaar held at Taipei European School with Caty and Dillon.

I have never seen so many foreigners in one place since arriving in Taiwan! It was cool to be surrounded by people speaking German, French, English, and Chinese (and hearing kids easily switch from one language to another).

We also enjoyed listening to live Christmas music (in English!) and eating some western food that we haven't had for a while (including German brats and Italian gelato). Mmm...a taste of home.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Yingge Day Trip

Yingge is a small ceramics town about 30 minutes from Taipei by train .

First we walked down the Old Street and explored some pottery shops.

Watch out for the dragons!

Next we headed to the Ceramics Museum, which included an outdoor sculpture garden.

We ended our Thanksgiving day adventure by counting our blessings over coffee at a nearby 7-11. :)