Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Week in Review Vol. 18

Last weekend we went on a church retreat.  It was really fun to get to know new people in our church.  On Sunday the kids did a special song for us.  It was Keira's first time being with the "big kids" and she really enjoyed it.

We're still really enjoying homeschool preschool.

Especially since it sometimes involves blueberry muffins...

...and playing at the park...

...and counting rocks!

(No matter what cool playground equipment or fun toys are around, my kids will always choose things like rocks or clothes hangers instead...anyone else notice this with their kids?!)

This past week we went walking in the area where we plan to church-plant.  We'll be making regular trips there during this coming year as we pray about where to move next summer.

We can get there easily by MRT (subway).

This week Keira had a modeling job.  It involved sparkly headbands and twirly dresses and flowers.  "Mama, I like this modeling!"

On the home front...remember how I had 100 eggs delivered to our apartment last week?  Well, this week I had 20 pounds of rice delivered (plus some buckwheat and millet to grind into gluten-free flour).  Yet another thing we don't have to haul home from the store--score!

And finally, a pregnancy update...this week began the 3rd trimester.  A friend came over and gave me this cookbook of traditional confinement foods.  I'm excited to try some!

Have a great weekend.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Autumn Sunshine, A Hundred Eggs, and Phubbing: The Week in Review Vol. 17

"The sun,--the bright sun, that brings back, not light alone, but new life, and hope, and freshness to man--burst upon the crowded city in clear and radiant glory.  Through costly-coloured glass and paper-mended window, through cathedral dome and rotten crevice, it shed its equal ray."
--Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

We experienced this sunshine, hope, and freshness over the past week.  Thank you, praying friends.

In other news, I have a hundred eggs in my refrigerator.  Yes, 100.  I have yet to find a cheaper (and still delicious) gluten-free breakfast, so our family goes through an average of 8 eggs per day.

Kalan: "If I order a lot of eggs, will you deliver them to my apartment?"
Gary (the egg vendor): "Well, how many do you want?"
Kalan: "A hundred."
Gary: "What?!  Do you own a school or something?"
Kalan: "No...we just really like eggs..."
Gary: "Well, if you order that many we will deliver them for free!"

So we received our first shipment this past week. Our meat and vegetable vendors have offered delivery services, too.  It's such a time-saver (and energy-saver...walking with two little people to the market and then making the trek back--laden with groceries--is quite the task when you're nearly seven months pregnant.)  ;)

Speaking of those sweet little people, Keira and Jude started sharing a room.  The bedtime monologues we overhear are hilarious.  

"Jude, you my BEST friend!"
"Jude, I sing you two songs, then time for sleep, ok?"
"Jude, why you crying?  You have a new tooth?  You want a nuk (pacifier)?  Don't worry, buddy."
"Jude, you too noisy, hurt my ears!"


In closing, I'll share a funny new English word I learned this week:

For the first time ever (and probably the last), I actually understood a Chinese sign better than the English translation.

Phubber = phone + snubbing = someone who looks at their phone and ignores real life around them.

Have a great rest of the week!


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

We're Back: The Week in Review Vol. 16

We're back in Taiwan after a wonderful visit in the US.  And we're back on the blog in order to stay in touch with all you far-away family and friends.

Our trip home was probably our worst travel experience yet.  Changed flight times, no in-seat entertainment on the trans-Pacific leg due to changed aircraft, and a vomiting child were some of the lowlights. About 20 hours into the 30+hour journey, by the grace of God, we regained our sense of humor and started laughing at our own exhaustion, and by the time we arrived home I wasn't even that surprised or upset that our building didn't have any running water due post-typhoon maintenance.  (It came back on just 24 hours later, which was especially good news for our overflowing laundry hamper.)

Jet lag was rough but we're all happy to be back in our Taiwan home.  Kalan started another semester of Chinese classes, and I've been setting aside time to study every day (though I'm not taking official classes anymore).  I've been working on learning spiritual vocabulary and some new Bible stories to share with friends.  I need lots of practice, so if you speak Chinese and would like to hear one, just let me know!  ;)

"Mom, we've heard this story a hundred times today..."
This past week had its share of excitement when I woke up one morning with a red, swollen, painful lump on my leg.  By late afternoon my whole leg was tingling so I went to the ER, where the doctor told me I had deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot) and was immediately put on bed rest in the hallway, and informed that I would need to stay the night for further testing and treatment.  As soon as possible I got in touch with our families and asked them to pray.  Around 10 PM my leg started feeling a bit better and the nurse agreed that the red, swollen lump seemed to be shrinking.  At 1 AM a doctor woke me up and said that he could do an ultrasound now instead of the following afternoon.  During the scan, he said, "Well, this is amazing, but it looks like the clot has simply disappeared on its own.  You can go home!"  After receiving medication I was in a taxi home just an hour later.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation...present your requests to God.  And the peace of God will guard your heart and mind..." Phil. 4:6-7

Other adventures this week have included my first attempt at freezer meals (shopping for and prepping a week's worth of meals at one time, freezing them, and cooking them in the crock pot).  So far it's been awesome.  Our market vendors even offered to deliver meat, eggs, and vegetables directly to our apartment when we buy in bulk.  Win!  I'm hoping this will help when we transition to three kids in just a few months (what?!)  

I'm still on the lookout for new recipes to add into the rotation, so send me your recommendations!

We also started preschool homeschooling this week.  We're only on day two, but it's been a blast.  Memory verses, singing, books from the library, hour of focused activities every morning has been good for all of us.  I love my job.

Thank you to everyone who's been praying for our transition back to Taiwan, and especially to everyone who prayed for me while I was in the ER.  We're continually thankful for our friends on all sides of the globe.

Have a great week!