Thursday, October 30, 2008

The mystery of Air Conditioners is solved...

Where we got our first electric bill after moving back to Taiwan, Chris took one look and started issuing edicts. Our relatively comfortable life of not sweating had come to an end. One of the ways to off-set the cost was and still is to turn off the a/c in the middle of the night after the room has cooled down. Also, right after we moved in, the a/c in the kids room broke. It started out sounding like a B-52 bomber was flying by their window. In the final death throes, it sounded like the B-52 bomber had landed outside of their window. Our most kind landlady replaced it with a new one. We didn't tell the kids that we were turning off their a/c in the middle of the night, we just did it. So, Abbey started to notice that there was a problem. She came and told us that her a/c was broken again. When I ask what was wrong, she said that it kept turning off and making her hot! I let her in on the secret and told her that it wasn't broken, but that BaBa had been sneaking in at night and turning it off. A couple of nights later I was in their room tucking them in when the a/c clicked off (It is set to turn off when it reaches the desired temp and turn on when the room heats back up.). Keep in mind that the lights were still on. Abbey heard her a/c turn off and said, "See! BaBa already sneaked again!". Yep, BaBa and his cloak of invisibility strikes again!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Holy Ghost is for everyone... almost

Last Sunday, in Sunday School, our lesson was about receiving the Holy Ghost and how is it for everyone. Evita (one of the best Sunday School teachers in the whole wide world! Check out her blog of our Sunday School here -> ) had made a big tree and put it on the wall. Then she had apples with faces of different people on them. The object was to ask the children if "grandmas with curly hair could get the Holy Ghost" or "girls with green eyes could get the Holy Ghost". Then the students would take turns putting the apples on the tree. A great visual lesson! Well, remember that everything in our class is bilingual. She is talking in Chinese and I am repeating after her in English. So, Evita excitedly says, "Can Aunts get the Holy Ghost?" and I say it in English. All the kids are shouting "YES!" except one. Ethan turned around and with an incredulous look said, "Ants can't get the Holy Ghost!" To which I replied, "Little ants can't, but aunts like Aunt Anna or Aunt Charlene can."
"Oh, okay. YES! Aunts can get the Holy Ghost!" Ethan then shouted to Teacher Evita. Maybe in the English language, we need to come up with or steal a few new words to make everything a little more clearer!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

English Bible Study

There is something really great going on that I want to tell you all about. For about 4+ years now, we have been having an English Cell Group meeting. We have had good attendance at times, enough to keep the meeting going, but never more than 13 on a regular basis. We stopped having it consistently while I was in the States on deputation because it is just too hard for one person to do everything involved in a home meeting alone. Also, if you are going to call it an "English" cell group and you live in a foreign country, it is best to have a native speaker of English at the meeting. Everyone here wants to practice speaking English, especially with a native speaker, so this has been a selling point for the meeting. Anyways, enough history. We restarted this meeting in September. We meet in my home and I teach a bible story disguised as an English lesson. Free English and free food at the end. At our last meeting, we had 30(!!) people attend! We started with 25 and have been increasing each time. Praise God!! Of this group that we have coming right now, over half of them are not Christian nor do we have any other contact with them other than the English cell group! They are so open and want to know more about the bible. We just finished the story of Ruth. At the end, it mentions King David. Now they want to know why David is special and hear all about his story! Below is a picture from the last meeting. We could only get about half of the people in this picture.

It is really awesome that God provided us with a house that has a large living room/ dining room! Please help me pray for these young people. It is an incredible opportunity!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

First Big Overnighter!

This past Monday Abigail and Ethan passed a major milestone in their lives! It was their first time to stay overnight somewhere. And of course, Ye-ye and Nai-nai were the host. Every Monday morning, Chris and his dad have a meeting. At the same time, but a different location, his mom and I also have a meeting. It seems that the kids got tired of never getting a word in edgewise at our meeting, so they started asking Nai-Nai if they could have a meeting with her. Alone. Because "momma talks too much". So, off they went to Tainan for the night for many meetings and trips to the park and splashing in the pool and trips to the toy store and trips to 7-11 and gum and coke and loads of story time whenever they wanted it! Just like a trip to your grandparents should be! Chris and I stayed home wandering around in circles, delirious with our free time. They did really good, albeit Abbey did better than Ethan. It seems that he did great until it was time to go to bed. Before leaving, he was so excited about "sleeping in Ye-ye and Nai-nai's room on my little bed with the rainbow blanket". But at bedtime, he wanted to "call my momma. I want to sleep in my own bed. I don't want to sleep in this bed. I don't like this bed. I like my bed at home." They eventually talked him into giving the bed a chance. The next day when we went to get them, the responses was so typical of their personalities. Ethan ran to see us and told us that he had missed us! Abbey cried because she didn't want to go home. I can't blame her though, I can remember crying several times as a child because I didn't want to leave Grandma's house either.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Would you hate me?

Okay, one more post for today. I am trying to catch up!

Would you hate me if I added ads to this site? Or a link to Amazon? I signed into my home page of Yahoo this morning and there was an article about bloggers making money from their sites. I guess that some are making a cool couple thousand a month from people clicking ads or buying from Amazon via a link on their blog. Amazon pays the "associate" 15% if someone uses their link to go to Amazon and buys something. Sure I would love to be paid to do something I love doing and already do for free. But the struggle is, would I be "pimping" out my site? Would my friends and family hate me for the helpful ads? And since the ads are suppose to be relevant to the blog, what would they advertise beside my "Potty Post"? Get your potty at Home depot? Charmin for all your potty needs?

Everyone, can you give me some feed back on this? (Would a comment like that invite an ad for your local co-op?) The comment section is open to everyone without needed to sign in, so tell me what you think!

News about my Mom

Hello everyone! I haven't posted anything about my mom in ages. So, here's the 411. She finished her chemo treatments over a month ago. Less than a week after her last treatment, she got to go back on her MS meds. She said that she has never felt this good since her first MS attack over 14 years ago. There is an experimental treatment right now for MS. The patients actually take a short regiment of chemo treatments to treat their MS symptoms. From what I understand, they feel that the lack in quality of life during the treatments is worth the extreme benefits afterwards. Okay, well, that is pretty much how cancer patients feel. She has started her radiation treatments, but feels that they are a breeze. She is driving herself everywhere and according to my step dad, giving the teenage boys in the house a run for their money at the table.

Can you excuse me while I make a plug for Aflac? No, they aren't paying me, but I wouldn't be opposed! My mom has this insurance in addition to her other insurances. If you aren't familiar with Aflac, it is an insurance that pays directly to the family set amounts for different treatments. The theory behind it is that it will help you cover all of the out of pocket expenses involved with being sick. When you sign up, they encourage you to go get a mammogram and if it comes back okay, they pay for the mammogram and give you $70. If you do get a cancer report, they pay you $5000- 10000. Then they start paying you set amounts for the operation, chemo, and radiation treatments. My mom has other insurance that cover her medical bills, so she has been using this money to do some much needed repairs and renovation to her house. This has been a great distraction during everything. It has given her something else to think about and dream about and plan for while she has been sick. Almost like a reward for making it through everything. If everything goes as planned, I think they will be done with her house at about the same time she will finished her last treatment. It is going to look and feel like a whole new house! And hopefully, she will feel like a whole new person. Isn't God so amazingly thoughtful?

Little Mr. Distraction

Ethan is only three, but don't be fooled into thinking that he doesn't know exactly what is going on. The first time I really got to hold him in the hospital, I looked down into his newborn eyes and he looked straight back at me as if he were saying, "Oh, there you are. Finally. You should check out the nursery downstairs. I've been working on my Chinese while you were in recovery." He never had that dazed look that a lot of babies have for the first month or so. In fact, I often thought that he was possible recording info and planning to remember it later. This is also the baby that would nod his head yes or no at six months and surpassed his sister in language skills at about 18 months. So, believe it or not, I was surprised when he tried this little trick the other day. We're still potty training and yet again, he didn't take his business to the right bank. Since I believe that he understands the theory, but just doesn't want to stop playing and "make a transaction", I was fussing.

"Ethan, you have to go to the potty! You are three years old and I know you know how to use the potty. Why didn't you get up and go?"

E: "What street is our church on? Jhong Jheng?"

T: "Ethan, don't change the subject."

E: "Well, don't change the area."

T: "The area? What are you talking about?"

E: "Not the area, the ariel."

T: "The ariel? What is that?"

Abbey: "Momma, that's the yucky princess without enough clothes on."

T: "Wait, Ethan, this isn't important. What we were talking about was important. You have to use the potty in the potty."

At this point, he is milling around the room and totally unfocused on what I am saying. And 3 points go to the three year old team! He wins!

Some days, you just have to let it go.

Oh, he's so in trouble!

We were headed out to Costco the other night to do a little shopping. As soon as we got into the elevator, Abbey asked her Baba if we were going to eat. (I don't know about your kids, but when we leave, they want to immediately go eat. When we get back home, they come in the door looking for food.) Anyways, their little dialogue went like this:

A: "Are we going to eat?"

B: "We are going to Costco to get groceries."

A: "And we are going to eat."

B: "We're going to Costco."

A: "To eat!"

B: "To Costco!"

A: "Well, we can eat at Costco toooooo!"

B: "Nah."

Since this was all in fun and Abbey knew it, She looked up at her Baba out of the corner of her eyes and said:

" I know you're my sweetie boy." Translation: "You're wrapped and I know it and you know it!" Like I said, He is so in trouble!