Monday, July 4, 2016

Our 2016 homeschooling video

I'm going to pause my updates on our trip to the US to say...We are on the other side of end of year homeschool reporting!! Yay!

I don't know why I get so nervous about it; the government officials that oversee all Taitung County homeschooling families are very supportive and accommodating. But somewhere deep inside, I wonder: "Will this year be different? Will they suddenly decide to look very closely and discover that we didn't accomplish even half of what we so foolishly aspired to do? Will they close their folders and announce, 'I'm sorry, but your kids must enter the school system this year. You, as parents/teachers, have failed.'?"

Well, for this year's reporting, we did get our video to work. But no matter. We still had a slideshow. And they didn't seem to mind. They are so nice!  We finally got it working, though. I'll post it here for the record (since this is a homeschooling blog after all).

Saturday, May 21, 2016


We spent the first few days in New York with Sara and Emmanuel. I haven't felt culture shock for years, but I think that's what I was experiencing in this magical, mysterious land.

But first, I need to mention a part of the journey that the kids and I anticipated almost, ALMOST as much as the destination. Do all MK's love flying? My memories are of KLM Airlines. Many hours of yummy food, a movie!, and fun little toys for kids. The glow of my fond memories rubbed off onto J,A and L, so now they love it too. 

All the girl cousins squished in a corner, enjoying togetherness.

I think we had just come back from taking Evelyn to school. We are right outside S and E's apt in Brooklyn. This corner is the best corner in NY, in my humble opinion. It's so alive with sunlight, space, cute shops, and fascinating people.

Emmanuel took us up to the roof to see the skyline. I think he's showing Joseph the Statue of Liberty.

Of course!

Anna delighted in being a mom to Andrew...

...and Lenore. She loves to nurture.

Joseph wanted to try taking Evelyn to school (about two blocks away) by himself. I think Ken kept a healthy distance of a few meters.

Sara actually let us take the two youngest cousins out and about with us while she went to the dentist! We went to the library, and then back home. We did it!

We went to see Ground Zero. Beautiful. We took the subway. Scary.

Even Ken fell under Andrew's spell. That grimace is a grimace of affection.

Those few days were so cozy, exciting, strange, relaxing, exhilarating, and fun!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Good times in NY and Lanky

We spent a glorious month in the States with family in November (sans tour group. But I'm still holding onto that dream...)  I need to record as many memories as possible before they fade. But not tonight. I need to go to sleep.

We love you, family!!

Monday, September 7, 2015

To my friends in Taiwan


What inspires millions of tourists to travel to Lancaster County every year?
到底是甚麼? 每年吸引了上百萬的觀光客到蘭卡斯特郡?
 One word: Amish
一個字: 阿米希

The Amish, a people group whose ways of living incite fascination in all who have the opportunity of seeing them, first settled in Lancaster in the 1720’s. In an effort to escape religious persecution in Europe, and separate themselves from the modern world, they immigrated to the United States. Finding a home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, they slowly began to establish a way of life that still continues today.
阿米希人,他們的生活方式如此令世人所嚮往,當時為了避宗教的迫害而由歐洲輾轉移居至美國蘭卡斯特郡, 從此他們以賓州的蘭卡斯特郡為他們真正的家,並且遠離外面現代化的世界,他們深度化的純樸生活一直不斷的延續至今.

It is this way of life that baffles many. The Amish believe in a life of simplicity and hard work. They use neither electricity nor modern machinery in their daily living. Horse drawn buggies are sufficient for most of their transportation needs.  Families work side by side on farms, and in shops – continuing steadily to live out a heritage passed on through countless generations.
阿米希人主張生活簡單以及努力工作,他們的日常生活不使用任何電力及現代化的機器設備. 馬車就足應付平日的交通運輸需求了.
阿米希家庭一挨一的耕作,他們的有機收穫直接在商店裡原始的呈現,代代相傳 ,一路走來, 始終如一!

While the Amish are the main attraction of tourists to Lancaster, a close second is the myriad of retail and entertainment choices that this county has to offer. Lancaster is home to countless shopping malls and outlets. It boasts of a variety of restaurants, museums, outdoor markets, theaters, amusement parks and much more. The juxtaposition of Lancaster’s rich heritage and booming commercial sector guarantees that every personality will find fun and adventure in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.


Having spent several years of my childhood in Lancaster, I have experienced firsthand, the charm of this culturally diverse land. My parents currently live in Lancaster, and every time my family visits, we feel that we never want to leave this paradise. My hope is that more people from Taiwan can get a taste of my beautiful home, and to return to their homes inspired and changed.
我的童年有好幾年是在蘭卡斯特度過的,我體驗了這裡多元文化的魅力, 每一次我們回去看我父母,我都有個感覺我真的不想離開那裏!!我希望能有更

Now we are offering an opportunity to experience Lancaster as it ought to be experienced – with all five senses engaged, and absorbing the beauty. For five days in mid October, we will take you on an adventure that ushers you into the very heart of Amish living. You will see them at work and at play. You will participate in some of their daily activities. You will taste their delicious, nourishing cuisine. You will hear story upon story of the adventures of simple living. (Don’t forget to bring old sneakers for milking cows!)


As mentioned above, you will also have the opportunity to enjoy the modern side of Lancaster. You will stay at the newly renovated Hotel Lancaster in the heart of the city. Artsy coffee shops, farmers’ markets brimming with fresh produce, theaters, plays, shopping malls, and more will be at your disposal.
除了上述以外,您也可以看到另一面,也就是都會化的蘭卡斯特.您將會入住在地點極佳,生活機能十足位於市中心的蘭卡斯特大酒店,附近有藝術咖啡館,充滿手工食品的農夫市場,電影院購物中心,吃喝玩樂 任君選擇!(拍謝 沒有_7-11.....)

On this tour, we encourage you to set all inhibitions aside, and test your English skills in all the different settings in which you find yourselves. We will arrange three classes of “survival” English to help you make your experience in Lancaster richer. Though our schedule will be brimming full of activity, we have also set aside some free time for you to venture out on your own, and surprise yourselves with your adaptability. We will be present, but in the background.
回歸正題 在這趟旅程中我們希望您能夠拋開束縛,盡量用您所能去展現您的美語能力.同時我們也安拍了三次的"生存"美語課程在旅程中,事前強化生活中在蘭卡斯特閒逛,採買,哈啦,講價時所需要的單字或是片語或是禮節.......

當然了 雖然我們的活動行程是排得滿滿的啦 可是 仍然安排了一些自由活動的時間給您 讓您自己勇敢的去外面闖闖 使盡渾身解數用美語去表達 去聽 去看 讓您在一天結束後不由得自己佩服自己........
(我們會在 在很後面或是很裡面....不到非不得已 我們不輕易出手.......)

All who are eager to learn about new cultures, and are not afraid to practice English in a foreign land, consider embarking on this adventure with us!

If you are interested in joining this adventure, here are a few pertinent details:
     -The cost of the tour is NT 89,000   團費新台幣$89,000
     -We are accepting a minimum of 12, and a maximum of 20 guests.  12人出團,最多20
     -To secure a place, send a NT 20,000 deposit to:
  國泰世華(代號013) 世貿分行 活儲065506021299 黃德建帳戶
     Ken 黃德建/0910-034-581 
    Terry 王臺瑞/ 0933-768-583
     -Bookings close on September 15.
But first, who are we?   您可能很好奇我們是誰
My name is Lillian Brubaker Huang. I was born in Tanzania, East Africa, where my parents were missionaries for over 20 years. My mother is Tanzanian, and my father comes from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I spent most of my childhood in Tanzania, but would return to the Lancaster with my family every few years. After graduating from University in Virginia, I came to Taiwan to teach English for a year. I fell in love with this country. I also fell in love with a Taiwanese man, and was married a year later. We lived in Taipei for several years, but after our three children were born, we decided to move south to give them a childhood experience that they would treasure for the rest of their lives. We now live in Chenggong, Taitung, and love it.  Though living in Chenggong is like living in paradise, I also want my children to build memories in the other paradise – Lancaster. I want them to spend as much time with their grandparents as possible, while there is still time. By arranging this tour, I can both introduce Taiwanese to this wonderful little paradise, and bring my children back to their grandparents.
    談起Amish他們是23百年前從德國移民來美國的清教徒,至今仍過著開馬車、不用電的古老農村生活,哈里遜福特(Harrison Ford)主演的電影「目擊者」(The witness)曾出現過Amish的蹤影。


Please find the tour schedule below:

Thursday, Oct 15*    十月15 星期四*
Arrive early morning - check everyone in at hotel   清晨到達酒店   
Rest and freshen up   稍作休息
Meet for orientation in conference room.  會議室集合注意事項 午餐
Short English survival course   上生存美語課
Lunch in an Amish home     午餐(在阿米西人家吃 不要拍照) 
Amish tour at 3:00 pm         阿米希文化團                                      
Supper at Rockvale Outlet Stores          晚餐     

Friday, Oct 16    十月16 星期五
Short English class     上課了
Go to the Central Market        去中央市場市
Lunch at Central Market    午餐在中央市
English class     上課了
Roam around the city自己亂逛
*Dates and schedule details are subject to minor changes due to hotel and airline reservation considerations.               實際出發日期及行程時間將可能依照機票及酒店預訂情況而有些微調動或是更      

Go to a play at the Sight and Sound Theater at 6:30     音影院

Saturday, Oct 17     十月17 星期六
English class     上英文課了
Go to a farm to feed animals and milk cows    擠牛奶!!
Lunch at Miller’s Smorgasbord   讚午餐
Shopping at Tanger outlets        瞎拼於世界知名的暢貨中心    
Continue shopping at Park City     繼續瞎拼                                                                                                                                    
Supper at Park City food court     美食廣場吃晚餐 秀英文

Sunday, Oct 18    十月18 星期日
Free day      放牛吃草 如魚得水
Optional - join Lillian for church service 今天星期天您也可以跟著力蓮去教堂
Find lunch in the city       市區吃午餐
Barbeque at Lillian’s parents’ home     在麗蓮家BBQ

Monday, Oct 19     十月19 星期一
Miesse Candy Tour 10 am     美國老牌"蜜西"製糖廠參觀
Lunch in the city individually      市區午餐
Lancaster City walking tour 1:00 pm       蘭卡斯特老城步行之旅
Free time  放牛吃草 如魚得水
Evening meal together, farewells, and departure instructions     順便再見

Tuesday, Oct 20         十月20 星期一
Departure     出發 

More details about the trip below: 詳情如下

Our group size will be between 12 and 20 guests.
我們不是市場觀光團 所以希望人數能控制在12~20人以並且會盡速開票

 -The cost of the entire tour, including flight, hotel, most meals, and all activities will come to:
NT 89,900 per guest    NT 89,900 per guest團費89,900 包含來回機票 酒店 絕大部份三餐 以及所有參 觀行程之門票入場券

-To ensure smooth processing of reservations, we require a NT 20,000 deposit before September 15. Please wire deposits to
國泰世華(代號013世貿分行 活儲065506021299 黃德建帳戶

-You are required to purchase insurance before embarking on this tour.       請務必為您自己購買全程交通醫療意外保

-If you have not already applied for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), you may do so at the following website:    若您還沒有申請 美國入境電子落地簽證 請上美國在台協會官網連結之ESTA申請 費用14元美 金 可線上刷卡

-We suggest that you acquire American currency from your bank here in Taiwan before departure. You may also exchange money at the airport, but at a higher cost.  **REMEMBER the amount of money you take to the U.S. should not exceed $10,000.     建議您出發前在您的銀行完成美鈔兌換 當然也可以在機場 換 只是您知道匯率不會好 **重要注意事項 入境美國現金不可超過一萬美 元!!**

-Our flight itinerary will take us from Taoyuan International Airport to San Francisco to Philadelphia. We will then take a charter bus to the hotel in Lancaster City.   本行程由桃園中正國際機場出發,到達舊金山,再轉機到費城機場,接著轉乘接駁巴士到蘭卡斯特郡.

-As the departure date nears, we will be in touch with you what time to meet at the Taoyuan International Airport. It is imperative that you arrive on time so we will be able to process documents as efficiently as possible.       出發前我們會通知 您幾點到桃園機場集合 請盡量準時到達 好讓我們進行必要作業  

Suggested items to bring on the trip:         建議攜帶物:

1.      Enough money for shopping, and for several meals帶夠現金 信用卡以利 瞎拼及吃飯
2.      A pair of boots or old sneakers for farm-related activities   舊球鞋或是好穿 的靴
3.      A jacket/hat/gloves and warm clothes. October temperatures in Pennsylvania range from 10 to 20 degrees Celsius.   夾克帽子手套等保暖衣物賓州在十月份溫度在1020度左
4.      A small pocket notebook and pen for English class.  上英文課要記筆記小鈔 用的筆記本和

Please be aware:     請了解以下:

1.  A continental breakfast will be served every morning at the hotel, consisting of bread, muffins, cereal, yogurt and fruit. If you prefer other choices, there are several eateries within blocks of the hotel.    酒店每天早上會為各位準備大陸式早餐 內容是麵包瑪芬喜瑞爾優格及水果 如果您 喜歡別的 酒店外面有很多店可以選

2.  Tipping as a custom can be confusing. Here are general guidelines to keep in mind:                  我們常會對於美國收小費的標準有點搞不清楚 請參考以下:
   -tip 15 -20% of pre-tax bill at restaurants      在餐廳買單時約加上1520
   -tip $1 per bag to doormen at the hotel     酒店搬行李一件1
   -tip $2 per night to housekeepers at the hotel       一個房間一天2
   -Four meals (2 lunches, and 2 suppers) will not be included in the tour package.  There will be      a wide variety of restaurants for you to choose from with prices ranging from $7 to $30 per  meal.       此行將有兩次午餐兩次 晚餐您自己買單 不在團費裡面 因為要讓您自己體驗自己決定市區內每 一家"都看起來不能不試試看"的不錯餐廳 價格上大約在730元之間 (稅外加喔!)
-Along with payment, please send an email to Terry at, listing your name, ID number, choice of in-flight meal (vegetarian or standard), and any other information we need to be made aware of.       團費繳交後請電郵至minawang9744@gmail.com寫下您的護照全名飛機餐飲指定葷素 及您需要我們知道的其他事項 我們會開立收據給您以資證明.

For more information, contact Terry at 0933768583.
詳細情形請聯絡王臺瑞 0933768583

We hope you can join us!


Terry and  Lillian