Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Our week has been full of meetings and we have not had much time for other things. The kids did go on a few outings to a water park and the science center. J didn't take his camera so I don't have any photos.

We decided this afternoon to go out for a very local snack -- ice cream sandwiches. I know you might be wondering what makes that local and different.

First of all the flavors of ice cream, make it a bit of a local treat.

Some of the flavors include yam, red bean, sweet corn, and durian as well as flavors we know chocolate, mint chocolate chip, raspberry ripple.

Second having it on bread and not a cookie wafer is different. You can then decide if you want the sandwich in bread or in wafers which are like the wafers in wafer cookies. When you order, they dig the ice cream flavor out of the cooler and cut off a piece for you.

Another things that makes it local is that these people just sell on the sidewalk. They have a cooler cart with an umbrella and just make them and sell them to people walking along the sidewalk.  It was a busy place this afternoon and I think there were four people working there. Three of us got ours on bread. I decided that the bread helped to soak up some of the melting ice cream especially as Miss K is not always the fastest eater.

J had raspberry ripple. He said it was the best ice cream ever and even asked for a 2nd one. 

The bread is colored. It does take a bit to get used to the idea of eating pink and green bread.

Miss K enjoyed hers.

Daddy enjoyed his durian ice cream. He likes durian but I can smell it even when it is in the freezer so he doesn't get it often.

It was a fun afternoon outing and a delicious treat.

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Going to the beach

This afternoon had a fun time planned. We went to the beach as a group. We had some time to play in the sand and water.

When Miss K got up this morning she brought her swimsuit and t-shirt to me wanting to get dressed. She knew we were going to the beach. Miss K had talked all morning about wanting to build a sandcastle.

She did sit and dig for quit a bit.

J was in the water and swam to a little island out there. It was all part of the beach that was created there. The area was empty except for our group.

The water was warm almost too warm to be in. It felt like a bathtub. I am surprised how much Miss K enjoyed it. She wandered out quite a bit but then got attached to daddy.

J dug and dug a hole. Then he climbed in.

It was a fun afternoon. We then went to a food court for dinner. We had noodles that were hand cut and lime juice.

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Marina Bay

The kids had an outing today while we were in meetings. We were learning all kinds of useful things that we need to know -- don't ask me right now because I can't remember the morning sessions. The kids went to Marina Bay. I have never been there but learned why. It has been five years since I was last here and Marina Bay is a new area built within the last five years.

I asked Miss K about her outing. She went on an outing and listed all her friends that went with her. She told me she rode the bus to the city and the Ferris wheel. These three buildings have a boat like structure on the top.

Here is the Ferris wheel. This is one of the world's biggest Ferris Wheels. I am wondering if this is the latest thing for big cities to have a Ferris wheel.

Here is the city that she was talking about. She is a city girl who gets excited when she sees the tall buildings.

Here is Miss K. I did not get a good description of what she was standing in front of. Some artificial rock made from stainless steel and it was made in Beijing.

They also saw the Merlion which is a symbol of here.

The photos are some of what J took. The text primarily came from Miss K with some input from J. So that is what the kids did this morning.

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Monday, July 15, 2013


Yesterday we had a bit of time to explore some parts of the city. We decided to join the group going to Chinatown.

The name Chinatown was used by the British while the locals went by these names. In Chinese it was known as niu chi shui literally bull-cart water as result of the fact that because of its location, chinatown's water supply was principally transported by animal-driven carts in the 19th century. (Wikipedia)

We wondered around amid the shops. Some shops sold traditional Chinese food and medicine and there were quite a number of souvenirs. We just bought a few post cards.

The traditional buildings tend to be three stories and have a shop on the ground floor and then two floors for living.

On Sundays this is a busy place.

We went to one of the local food hawker centre for dinner. There are over 100 hawker stands where are just small shops that make and sell food there. Since it was Sunday not all of them were open but we did find enough for dinner. The kids enjoyed noodles. I bought some carrot cake which is nothing like carrot cake that you would think of from a bakery it is actually make from radishes but not the kind you put in a salad.  I tried something new sweet potato dumplings. They had the consistency of glutinous rice. They were fried in oil so maybe not the most healthy but they did taste good.

Hawker centres are a name given to open-air complexes in Asia housing many stalls that sell a variety of inexpensive food.

J found a man along the way and had a staring contest. He lost.

It was a fun outing and we enjoyed seeing that part of the city.

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Miss K

"Taipei, I born" - Miss K quote. The above photo was taken there during our layover.

Happy birthday, Miss K. Today you are 9. Back in Asia where you were born.

Her birthday is always a time when we remember various details from her birth and first few months so allow me to remember a bit and tell about those first few days.

We didn't have a car and I wanted to take a taxi before I was too far in labor. I didn't want to deliver in the taxi or be screaming in pain. As it turns out, we had plenty of time in the hospital. We got there around 10:00 in the morning and she was born at 2:10 the next day.

Miss K weighed 6 pounds 1 ounce at birth. She was so tiny. Her fingers were blue and her ears were tiny. I just thought she needed to warm up. It wasn't long after her birth that they wanted to move her from the nursery to the NICU because of her breathing. Moving her to NICU also meant various tests. One of the first things they noticed was her stomach. The opening between her stomach and small intestine was just .5mm think of a .5mm pencil and you will know the size of the opening. At 72 hours she had surgery to repair that. I remember sitting on the plastic aqua chairs in surgery waiting while she was in surgery. It was hours and hours of waiting. Finally the doctor told us she was out and everything was fine. That doctor did not speak any English. Then we had to wait 7-10 days for that to heal and before we could feed her.

We had it all worked out -- we would feed her and she would be home in about 10 days. Then there was talk about heart issues. The heart catheterization was on a Thursday we had sat and waited and waited for that procedure. I went home and then got a text that I needed to go back to the hospital. I got back and the best information that we had been given was she had a bleeding problem. That night the doctor told us that she would not make it. We called my parents on Thursday morning their time and asked if my mom would come. Both my parents were able to get tickets for Friday morning. We went home around 11:00pm. Our pastor was working late at the church and so he walked to our apartment as well as some other missionaries and together we sat and prayed. We went to bed and slept until 6:00 am. We called the hospital and she was still living. She is stubborn and that continues today.

Friday morning we got the results of the chromosome study -- it was confirmed that she had Down Syndrome. We then met with the heart surgeon and he was willing to do surgery even though she had a bleeding problem.

My parents arrived on Saturday evening thinking that they were coming for a funeral but instead they came to sit with us during heart surgery and then daily visits to the hospital.

She came home at 26 days old. My NHO insurance would cover 30 days of her in the hospital and then we would have to wait 3 months for her to get NHO insurance. We checked the bill a few days before she was to be released and it was about NT$90,000. When we went to pay, it was NT$9,000 about US$330.  We really do not know how the bill was reduced other than to say that God provided.

So in the past 9 years you have traveled the world, learned to read, began talking non-stop, make friends where ever we go, fallen in love with life, ballet, and everything pink, and keep us laughing.

Here she is 9 years ago.

 This was the night before the heart catheterization.

Happy birthday, Miss K, we love you.

Here are a few other memories that I have shared from other years.
Miss K memories
Part 2 
Part 3

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Have Faith in God

This has been a journey of faith. For 2013 I chose the word, faith. I knew as we began this year that I needed to stretch my faith and learn in new ways to depend on God.

This new phase in our journey began in 2011 as my husband was finishing his D.Min. We began to pray and seek how and where God wanted us to serve. We began looking at and talking with a number of organizations but the doors were closed. We thought we found the match for our calling and vision and an organization and that door closed. We felt then that God was going to work in a way that we were not expecting and it would be out our thinking. Two days after finishing the edits on his major project we met with an organization and as they shared the mission, vision, and values we knew we had found the place.

We spent the next 22 months finishing paperwork, interviews and then partnership development to be able to go. That has required time and again that we Have Faith in God.

The sign above is at the international headquarters and a reminder of both individually and organizationally where we put our faith.

Here is a quote from Hudson Taylor, "You do not need a great faith, but faith in a great God."  God had lead us and we continue to trust that he will provide.

Just one more Hudson Taylor quote, "God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply."

So we continue the journey with faith in God, who he is and what he will do.

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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Go ye . . .

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, low, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.  Matthew 28:19-20

We are some of those that Go. We leave tonight on a plane for the next part of our journey. We are heading to Asia and will be spending the next three weeks or so in orientation. Our organization has had their international headquarters in Asia since the founding so we will be there. Then we will be traveling visiting coworkers and meeting with others involved in what we will be doing.

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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Celebrating Miss K's 9th Birthday

Her actual birthday is the 12th but we decided that since we are here and with friends that we would celebrate on the 4th. She was so excited about her birthday. I think she was having a hard time going to sleep a few nights as she was waiting for that birthday.

We had presents after dinner. She was excited and said she wanted 100 presents. At times before her birthday she had told J, daddy and mama what we were each to give her for her birthday. If you would ask her what she wanted she would say, "toys".

Her gifts were wrapped individually so she had lots to open.

She opened it and said, "I love it." Miss K loves life.

She did have quite a bit to unwrap.

My friend where we are staying this week claimed that she had an ice cream cake recipe that you could make in 15 minutes. I didn't time her but did watch and it really is fast and so much cheaper than buying a cake. Miss K was spoiled. Her favorite kind of ice cream is chocolate chip and so the ice cream cake was two layers of chocolate chip ice cream.

Birthdays in Miss K's book include cake, party hats and balloons. We had some fireworks, pop-its at the house and she thought those were the games. That works for us.

She had a wonderful celebration. As I put her to bed she told me, "soon I will be 10." She knows that 10 comes after 9 but considering that technically she is not even 9 I think she has a ways to go before she turns 10.

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Fourth of July Parade

We had been house sitting in June and we were invited back for the 4th of July Parade. We decided it would be a fun way to celebrate. I am not sure the last time that I went to a 4th of July Parade. Maybe 1976 for the bicentennial celebration.

It was just a small town parade. It began with all kids and grandkids riding their bikes and scooters. They were throwing candy. There were not that many people there so my kids go plenty of candy which they won't eat. I did eat the Reese peanut butter cup.

Then there was a small band. This is an annual event which began in 1976 and continues every year.

Then came the old cars. It was fun to stand and watch the cars.

I am not sure if the cars are people that live on the points or if they come from other places.

Where the parade ended there were hot dogs, snow cones, and drinks for sale. As well as band playing there in the front yard. It is definitely a neighborhood parade. It was fun to join in the fun and sit on the front porch and listen to the band while enjoying our hot dogs.

Happy birthday America.

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