Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Favorite Gluten-Free Recipe


Quinoa Tabouli

(serves 4-6)

2 C water
1 C quinoa
3 medium-ripe tomatoes
1 1/2 C parsley
1 C scallions
1/2 C lemon juice
1/3 C olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh mint
salt to taste

Directions:
1. Place quinoa in a colander and rinse several times rubbing the grains together to remove the bitter outer layer.
2. Place water and quinoa into a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed.
3. While the quinoa is cooking, finely chop the tomatoes, parsley, and scallions. Add lemon juice, olive oil and fresh mint to the tomato mixture.
4. Stir in cooked quinoa and salt. Mix well.
5. Let tabouli sit in the refrigerator for a day to blend flavors.
6. Serve at room temperature. Enjoy!

Friday, September 23, 2011

ALPHA Introduction

Last Friday was the first night of ALPHA, a bilingual 10-week course held at our church that introduces Christianity. Over one hundred people attended!

The night began with dinner...


Then, it was time for some group games and singing...



Next Kalan gave a talk entitled, "Is There More to Life Than This?" A friend translated for him.


After the lecture, everyone broke into small discussion groups (led by Taiwanese believers).


Meanwhile, I took the baby home and Kalan joined the dish-washing crew. :)

It was a fun night and we are privileged to be part ALPHA this year!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy Moon Festival

A couple of weekends ago, we celebrated the moon festival with a rooftop barbecue...


The view from our roof


Kalan made his own gluten-free BBQ sauce for the event...delicious!


The guys at the party


The girls at the party (I was putting Micah to bed, so I missed this one!)


Happy Moon Festival!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Passion Fruit 百香果

It took me a whole year to figure out what this mysterious fruit is. Finally, I saw a street vendor eating one, and realized it was a passion fruit!


很好吃. Delicious.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Maokong


These mountain tea houses on the outskirts of Taipei are still my favorite place to relax on a Saturday afternoon.


Dear friends: Michelle and Joshua


Overlooking our city...do you see Taipei 101?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Exchange Rate vs. Change Rate


One small complication of living in Taiwan is I have to account for the relationship between the US Dollar and the Taiwanese Dollar. We try to save while we are in Taiwan but a small change in the relationship between currencies will dramatically affect how much we have actually saved when we go back to the states.


This is an excerpt from my journal from August 8, 2011-The day the USA was to financially downgraded to an AA+ rating:

"Today, the [world] economy might have huge fallout. The dollar is going down.
Yet, the urgency of knowing what will happen or how things will play out is somewhat distant from me. My life will continue according to God's plan regardless of the state of the [global] economy. Who I am and how I live [my life] are not directly concerned with any of this."

I need to continually remind myself that how I live my life and what kind of person I am is more important than what I do with my life or what happens to me.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Philippians and Feeding Time


In a recent lecture on anxiety and Philippians 4:4-9, my professor asked us "Where do you park your mind?” The question stuck with me.

We all have those “free moments” when our minds aren’t fully engaged in a certain activity. Pausing to ask where I “park my mind” during those times has been so convicting!

For me, those “free moments” frequently occur when I feed Micah. I spend hours of my weekend making bottles, burping him, and changing clothes.

During these times, my mind easily turns to grumbling or worrying. The grumbling sounds like this: This is a waste of time. There are a million better things I could be doing! The worrying usually masquerades as “planning,” or mentally reviewing my to-do list again and again. Both grumbling and worrying are wrong. They reveal my lack of contentment (Phil. 4:11).


Recently, I’ve tried to remember Philippians 4:8 whenever I settle onto the couch with the baby and a warm bottle. God is teaching me that feeding Micah can actually be an act of worship. He’s showing me how to fully engage in the present instead of always thinking about what’s next. What does that look like? In place of complaining, I create a mental “thankfulness list.” Rather than grumble about the wasted time, I sing. Instead of going over my to-do list, I pray for different people and situations in my life.

It’s so hard. I naturally slip into grumbling or worrying, but engaging my mind and heart in worship takes effort! I’m so glad that Paul immediately follows up his command to “practice these things” with a reminder that God is with us (Phil. 4:9). I need His help.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Micah's New Bed


Why I prefer this baby tent to a crib:

1. It's portable and easy to travel with.
2. It has built-in mosquito protection.
3. It's small and doesn't take up lots of space.

Thanks, Hannah and Niall, for letting us borrow it!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Feeding the Fish with Chen-Yu


Chen-Yu is my brother Daniel's good friend. They met while she was studying abroad at UW-Madison. We connected when she returned home to Taipei.


Last Saturday we fed the fish at C.K.S. Memorial Park. What a relaxing afternoon!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ghost Month in our Neighborhood


A noisy temple celebration across the street


Burning offerings to the spirits

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Getting Off the Gold Standard

In Consolations of Philosophy, the protagonist (talking about wealth )says, "such things do in the end take on them more beauty from their Maker's care...still they in no wise merit your admiration since their excellence is set at a lower grade than your own soul."

Boethius was on the gold standard, so his money was actually beautiful to look at. But he is saying that no matter how much work a craftsman puts into gold it is always infinitely less valuable than a human soul. Something with a soul doesn't even deserved to be compared with an inanimate object.

I haven't spent too much time in my life admiring good-old George W's. I do think the time I spend thinking about, planning with and considering money is too similar to the amount I spend thinking about and considering people. Maybe I value money too much; I know I value people too little. I hope to feel the weight of each person's immortal soul when I encounter them. I am interacting the most beautiful and amazing thing on this side of heaven.