Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Taiwan Tuesday #3

Welcome to Kenting! It is pronounced cun (as in cunning)-ding. When we want to get away and relax, this is where we go. It is located on the southern most tip of Taiwan and so much fun! What do we do first? The beach of course! Because we normally go down when the kids are on fall or spring break, and the American school they attend isn't on the same schedule as local school, we normally get the whole beach to ourselves! This is the western side of Taiwan and the best place to get your feet wet!

Oh, man, look at that water! Kenting is a beautiful place and the water is incredibly clear, that is, unless a typhoon has just came through. Then, it is all sandy and brown.

Then we grab some food. Squid on a stick anyone? I am just kidding, I have never eaten this! But it is quite popular to see it being sold and eaten in Kenting or really at any night market here in Taiwan.

At night, the main road through Kenting city turns into a night market. You can throw darts at balloons, buy anything from t-shirts to sunglasses, or get something to eat at the many restaurants. Abbey and Ethan love the ice cream vendors, of course. Chris and I like the Starbucks. Yes, even Kenting has a Starbucks.

Venture a little bit off the beaten path and you can go to this place. Gas is naturally seeping out of the ground, but the quality is too law to make it worth anyone's trouble. So, what did they do? They set it on fire and it burns continually. People love to go there and roast hot dogs, marshmallows, jiffy pop popcorn and of course, squid on a stick!

This platform is the southern most point of Taiwan. From here, you can see the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea collide. The Pacific is blue and the South China Sea is green. There is a distinct line going from the point of Taiwan down through the ocean because the waves do not crash into the shore, but into each other! It is so weird to see the waves crashing parallel with the shore. If you ever make it to Kenting, do not leave without seeing this.

This is Sail Rock. It is a natural formation completely formed of coral. It is about 18 meters or 59 feet tall. See that tiny little ledge about halfway up? I have watch Chris and his brothers climb up to it and jump off into the ocean.

The main attractions of Kenting are on the western side of the island, but if you drive around the tip and up the cliffs, you can get a great picture of the east coast. Most of Taiwan's East coast is just like this, mountains that drop straight into the ocean. Beautiful, but mostly uninhabited. This is a perfect place for a picnic during the day or to watch the stars at night.

I am sorry, but none of these pictures are mine. I haven't been down there since I got my new camera and I can't get the pictures I have on my old camera off because the usb cord ran off of its own accord. BUT, I do have pictures just like these! I hope you enjoyed a little sunshine here in the middle of fall!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Oh, That Flirting Fellow

Ethan is such a cutie pie that I dread the teen years. As for Abbey, well, that problem is already solved. We are forming a Pentecostal Convent and she will be residing there from age 12 until 30. Focusing on God and only God. At 30, she can marry the guy that her father chooses. If he finds one that is good enough. Do I think that we are being overprotective? Overprotective? What is this word? I am unfamiliar with it.

But Ethan, he is quickly working his way into the Convent. Last Sunday night, during pre-service prayer, he was smiling and flirting with Amber. Theirs is a relationship that I have been trying to figure out how to write about for many years. They are two months apart in age. From the time they could sit up, they have been sharing toys and fighting over toys and one day loving each other to death and the next day hating each other with a hate that normally only happens in siblings. You never know how it is going to go. But, there is one thing for sure, they know how to push each others buttons. Once, Amber sat down beside Ethan and he immediately started crying. When David (Amber's dad) ask Ethan what was wrong, he replied, "I don't want her sitting beside me because she talks too much!" Yeah... like I said, a love hate relationship.

Anyway, last Sunday night was a "love" day. Ethan was flirting up a storm and Amber was loving it. When I ask Ethan if he was flirting, he ask me what flirting was. I told him that it was when you "smile and make pretty eyes at a girl". He promptly looked at me and started smiling and batting his eyelashes! Ahh, a flirt and a quick learner. Yeah, he is definitely joining his sister in the convent!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Taiwan Tuesday #2

Welcome to Taipei 101! It is the second largest building in the world and gives you a great, if somewhat foggy (read pollution!) view of the sprawling city of Taipei. In June, for our 9th anniversary, Chris surprised me with a 3 day trip to Taipei. Because of everything I had heard about Taipei 101, I was dying to go up for a look-see. Well, we waited in line for about 30 minutes to go up, looked around and took these pictures for about 15 minutes and then waited in another line for 15 minutes to get to come back down. The elevator does travel at 37 miles per hour, so it is a quick ride. So, to save you the wait, here are pictures taken from the four directions (N,S,E,W). I do not have the pictures in order because I honestly have no clue. Sorry! They were taken from the 89th floor, which is the indoor observatory. I later heard that there was an outdoor observatory on the 91st floor.

Fun Fact: Chris and I lived in Taipei for almost two years when we first got married and came back to Taiwan. Being there, just the two of us, felt like I was on my honeymoon again.

I love the mountains! They surround the city so that Taipei sits in the middle of a "bowl". However, as you can imagine, the pollution has no where to go.

Yes! Taipei is huge. I should know, I walked all over it in those three days.

This last picture is of the damper that hangs from the 91st floor to the 88th floor. We finally figured out that its function is to keep the top of the tower from swaying in the wind. As far as I know, it is just a huge steel ball. Hey! This is a blog, not a science class!

If you want to read more about Taipei 101 or that huge steel damper, click here

Find the Difference Answer

If you were wondering what you should be looking at, it is the CRUTCHES!!! I found it hilarious that Chris was driving his motorcycle with his crutches looped through the handle of his backpack. For those who do not know, he has an accident about 6 weeks ago and tore a tendon in his knee halfway. Poor hubby is waiting for it to heal, but determined to have his freedom.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Find the Difference

Do you remember when you were a kid playing the "Find the Difference" game? There would be two pictures and you would have to find 5 differences in the second picture. I always thought they were great fun, but I wasn't above turning the paqe around and looking for the answers at the bottom. (The answers were always written upside down.) Well, here is a picture for you. Just one picture, just one big problem. Can you find it?

I will give you the answer tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Taiwan Tuesdays

Taiwan is such a beautiful and interesting place and since some of you may never have the time or money to visit, I thought that I might dedicate Tuesdays to Taiwan. I have been here for over 9 years and when people ask me what I think about it, the only word that comes to mind is "home". Sure, some things are different and may seem weird, but I view those things just as I would a bag of Pork Rinds in Alabama. It is weird, I wouldn't eat it, but it belongs there and without it, something would be missing. (If you have no idea what pork rinds are, well, I don't think I can explain it, but they are definitely a southern thing!)

Anyways, back to Taiwan! Here is a shot of Kaohsiung, the city I live in, from the freeway. Ahh, home!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

And the Winner is...

The winner of my "Follow this Blog Contest is...........


Please contact me at tebracken@yahoo.com and tell me if you prefer a gift card to Amazon.com, iTunes, or Walmart. You have until October 31st to contact me. After that, I will select a new winner if I haven't heard from you. Congratulations!!

A BIG thank you to everyone who follows the blog and also to those of you who may be a little shy to follow, but still read it faithfully.

(Winner was chosen using random.org. The random number generated was 16.)

My Sunday

As some of you are just beginning your Sunday, mine has almost ended. But it was a wonderful Sunday. Anytime three people get baptized, it is a good Sunday.

The first to get baptized was a 5 year old little girl named Rebekah. Chris doesn't routinely baptize children, but after talking with her, he felt that she really understood what was going on and did indeed want to get baptized. Abbey was baptized when she was 4, but she had received the Holy Ghost earlier that night.

The next to get baptized was Rebekah's grandmother, Huang Mama. Today was her birthday and she is 65. Talk about going from one end to the other of the age spectrum! (I am particularly proud of the underwater shot I got!)

The next young lady is from our new work in LiGang. She is the first to be baptized from the church we started there in April of this year.

Finally, how do you know if you had good church?

If you look like this afterwards!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Who says English is Easy?

I read this on another website and had to post it. The Author is unknown. It is an excerpt from, "The Kingfisher Book of Children’s Poetry" selected by Michael Rosen. If English isn't your first language, I hope this isn't too confusing.

I take it you already know

Of tough and bough and cough and dough?

Others may stumble, but not you

On hiccough, thorough, laugh and through?

I write in case you wish perhaps

To learn of less familiar traps:

Beware of heard, a dreadful word

That looks like beard and sounds like bird.

And dead: it’s said like bed, not bead;

For goodness’ sake, don’t call it “deed”!

Watch out for meat and great and threat

(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt).

A moth is not a moth in mother

Nor both in bother, broth in brother.

And here is not a match for there,

Nor dear for bear, or fear for pear.

There’s a dose and rose, there’s also lose

(Just look them up), and goose, and choose,

And cork and work, and card and ward,

And font and front, and word and sword,

And do and go and thwart and cart -

Come come, I’ve barely made a start!

A dreadful language? Man alive,

I’d mastered it when I was five!

This is makes me glad that English is my first language!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Song Scramble

Abbey and Ethan have been providing me with so many "Confused Words Songs" that I think I could make Song Scramble a weekly thing! Here is the latest installment:

1. Ethan and Abbey were listening to one of my old cds. Does anyone out there remember Anointed and their song "For the Sake of the Call"? Well, there is a line that says, "No turning back, looking straight ahead...". Ethan chose to sing it as, "No turning back, I'm gonna shave my head." I guess that is a big thing to him.

2. Another old cd of 4-Him has a song where they are singing either "Hey God, Hey God" or "Yea God, Yea God". Abbey was singing it as "Hey girl, Hey girl" when Ethan quickly corrected her. His corrected version? "Make up, Make up". Needless to say, I was giggling it up around the corner!