Sunday, September 27, 2009

moving day

After more than 3 months of living out of our suitcases, that moving van was a welcome sight! I thought that finally today we would have all of our stuff back! If I had really thought it through, I would have realized that just because the boxes get here doesn't mean I'll be able to find ANYTHING! There's no way we could possibly go through all those boxes in a day...or two...or twelve...why do we need all this stuff anyways?

So now we have a warehouse of boxes in our basement. They are all marked with Chinese characters and some awesome chinglish, most of which say 'ornaments'.

The haircut

I have been dying to do my hair since we got back! My last haircut was more than 8 months ago! It is really hard to find someone to cut my hair even here, because it's so thick and it chunks up easily and I'm picky. And in Taiwan, they mostly all have the same hair type, so it's really hard to find someone who is good with other hair textures. I was ready for a change, and I debated cutting it above my shoulders, but I decided to go halfway first. I chopped about 6 inches off, and I'm glad I didn't cut it any shorter because it is so thick, I'm sure I would have ended up looking like a human Q-tip! But I really like it, and more importantly so does Nate!

I hate camping

As soon as we got back in the states, we decided to go camping. We actually haven't all been camping as a family before. In fact, the last time I had gone camping was about 10 years ago, shortly after we were married. I guess it takes 9 years to forget...

When we drove up to the campground, it looked so pretty from the car. Then we opened the car doors to get out and got swarmed by mosquitoes. The only bug repellent we had was some Chinese concoction we bought in Taiwan, which apparently only repels Chinese mosquitoes because the American mosquitoes loved it!

No sooner had Nate got the tent up than a bee flew inside. The kids and I were inside the tent when the bee came in, so it was up to me to save their lives. I threw a blanket over the bee and went to toss him outside, which turned out to be a bad idea because a bee can still sting you through a blanket, you know. Right on my thumb. I'd never been stung by a bee before, and they are mean! My hand was on FIRE, and it throbbed all the way up my arm clear into my teeth! Luckily there were some snowy patches on the ground, and the kids had fun bringing me little snowballs to hold on the sting. That was just the fun of the first day!

No, that doesn't mean "thumbs up-we're having so much fun", it means "This is where the bee stung me, and camping stinks!"

The boys had a ball playing in the dirt, rolling in the dirt, throwing dirt in the fire, throwing dirt at each other, and Ashton even tasted some dirt. Did I mention the dirt? Dirt's everywhere when you're camping, and some people say "It's so great that you don't have to worry about being clean!" Well, call me crazy, but I sort of enjoy being clean!

We did have some really good dutch oven food, and I got to make banana boats which I hadn't had since girl's camp (the year I burned my tent down. Yes, really.) And I got a great picture of the fire. We'll try it again next year because I have boys, and boys like this kind of thing, and I can endure a little misery for one night every year so that they can have fun childhood memories. So it really doesn't matter if I enjoy it, the important thing is that they do!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Back in the good old USA!!

So here we are, back in America!! For a year, I've lived in a bubble. With only chinese television and radio, I've had no idea what was going on back home, and I'll admit it was kinda nice. I didn't have to worry about the economy, or politics, or the price of gas. In fact, I was a little nervous coming back, mainly because I heard that high-waisted pants were making a comeback. But so far so good!

As we walked through the San Francisco airport, it felt really weird to NOT be stared at, and then when we arrived in Utah, I couldn't believe how pretty the mountains were. Did they look like that when we left?!? And the sky is so blue! And the air is so clean! And you can see so much without huge buildings standing in the way! And then we came to Maryland and I only have one thing to say about that: Chesecake factory! I'll take that over the cream puffs at Shih Lin night market any day!

I've noticed that I unintentionally ignore people. I'm just not used to being able to communicate with anyone. Every time I go into a store and the sales clerk says something to me, it takes me a minute to realize that it's ME they are talking to. It's the greatest thing to be able to have an actual conversation with someone on the street with absolutely no charades whatsoever!

I seriously think my blogs from now on are going to be so boring!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Our miss list

Soon we will be back in America, and then our blog entries will be so uneventful... What am I going to write about when I don't see funny chinglish signs or grown men wearing teddy bear print pajama bottoms at the grocery store? What am I going to laugh at? My life will be so boring! We made a list of all the things we will miss about Taiwan: friends, chinese food, night markets, MANGOS!!!, watermelon juice, tall buildings, scooters (not me!), school, C.C. Lemon (it's like sprite, only grosser), our apartment, those short fat bananas, dumb chinese signs, CHINESE FOOTRUBS!!!, taxis, chinese girls (very funny, Nate!), the beach, our security guards, dumplings, crazy people at the church (speak for yourself, Nate!), stupid chinese commercials, tall buildings, overly exciting taxi rides (that means bad drivers), Taipei 101, the grand hotel...and the kids said they would miss the cockroaches when they chase mom.

Personally, I'm really going to miss those dummies they put in front of all the road construction sites, especially when they accessorize!

Mmmm, and we'll really miss that yummy-looking bread that reminds me of moldy eggs!

I'm going to miss seeing what kinds of things you can carry on a just don't see bikes put to such good use back home. You know, we moved a mattress once and we borrowed a truck, silly us! All we really needed was a bike and a dolly!

We'll miss seeing whole families on scooters. We saw 6 on a scooter once...there was one more kid squished between mom & dad, and then mom had a baby strapped to her back with a bedsheet. It makes me cringe every time!

I'll miss seeing the sweet old lady who pedals the recycling away every Thursday, not to mention the garbage smell that lingers every day...okay I won't miss that!

None of us will miss this!

I will really miss the educational signs about poo in the bathrooms at the zoo!

And this sign always makes me smile when I take the metro

This is one of my's sideways and kinda fuzzy, but it says 'no hubbub' and there's a picture crossed out of a guy who's apparently 'hubbubing' (?????) It's become our new favorite saying at home.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Taiwan's northern tip

In January, we took a trip to the very southern tip of the island, so this weekend we took a very short trip to the northern point of the island. This is marked by a big lighthouse just like the southern tip. It is very beautiful, but it was so hot and muggy that day! Just after we left it started pouring down rain.

Goodbye, Taiwan!

Evan's baptism

June 14, 2009
Congratulations, Evan!

Nate baptised Evan at the church. The temple is right there, which made for some great pictures. His best friend from school, Rei, came with his parents. Evan took the opportunity to give Rei a copy of the Book of Mormon. Rei was so excited he started reading it as they left the church. What a great little missionary!

Evan is 8!

Since school didn't get out until June 5th, Evan got to celebrate his birthday at school this year. He wanted a pokemon cake, so I ordered one from the school cafeteria, and he was so excited!

He cut the cake himself...

Everyone had to wait for Evan to take the first bite...

And of course, he got another party after school!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

humidity hair

It's that time of year again. I call it the 'wet season' because we are wet all day long. I shower in the morning after my run, and put my hair in a bun while it is wet. Then at night when I take it out it is still wet, and I shower again because I've been wet from sweat and humidity all day, so my hair is wet when I go to sleep, and when I wake up in the morning, my hair is still wet. I wonder sometimes if it is possible for my hair to get moldy from never being dry. I remember I used to like my hair, back in Utah when I used to style it and it would actually stay styled longer than 10 minutes or so. But here, the minute I step out into the humidity, (which feels like stepping into a hot steamy shower) you can practically watch the curl wilt and grow huge and fuzzy. It's amazing how big my hair can get with the humidity working it's magic...

This is no trick photography, that's actually my hair. Maybe I should wear it like this to make my body look smaller.

Snake Alley

One of the night markets here is called 'snake alley' because of the restaurants that serve snake. Some of them have snakes sitting out to pet like this one, and one shop even have a cobra sitting out (see the picture below) They drug it, so it just sits there with it's neck flat, staring at everyone walking by. Just as I went to take a picture, the guy pushed it's head down with a stick and put it away. (They don't like you to take pictures) We don't go there often, and we've never eaten the snake. The main reason I have gone is because it's the best place to get cheap chinese clothing for kids.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dragonboat Festival

I was really excited to watch the dragonboat races, but Nate's work had a co-ed team that needed more women, so I actually got to participate. Our team won the first race, so we raced again the next day-against 3 high school teams. Needless to say, that was our last race.

We practiced all month, and my arms are in great shape now. I challenged Nate to an arm-wrestling contest, but he's too afraid.

The flag-catcher has the funnest job...

There's nothing like a good victory squid-on-a-stick! (Yes, I ate it)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

blah blah blah

I haven't written in a while, it just doesn't seem like there's anything to write about. I think all the things that used to seem noteworthy are now just normal everyday life. I almost died in a taxi, and I stepped over a ginormous cockroach on my way to the fruit stand. Nothing new.

I wanted to make chili yesterday, so I went to Wellman's (the local import store) and bought 2 cans of black beans, 2 cans of red beans, a few packets of taco seasoning mix, and a bag of mini-marshmallows (which Ashton had to have) and I spent a total of 545NT, which is a little over $16 U.S. dollars. (sigh) Nate just inhaled a $5 bag of sun chips I was saving for after the kids go to bed...(Grrr...)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Young Women

Last week for a young woman activity we went for a bike ride, but when we got to the bike rental store, we had to wait for our bikes to be assembled because the store had just opened and we were the first customers. So we took jumping pictures of everyone to kill the time while we waited.

Quinn, Sydney, Kasumi, Jelica, and Caitlin

Evan and Reed


Mackenzie (you make it look so effortless!)