Monday, September 24, 2012

the men in my life

Joseph got glasses about four weeks ago.

...the cool kind that grow dark in the sun.

Attached to his pocket it his MRT card (subway pass). Now that he is six years old, he gets to swipe his very own card. Yet he still offers to let Anna or Lydia swipe it for him. (Now that I've started, I can't stop...) He has gotten so many "helping others" stickers recently for putting Lydia's seatbelt on, or her sandles, etc. Anna is more commonly the cute clucking hen who enjoys busying herself getting Lydia ready to go outside or for bed. What a treat to see Joseph join in. Just tonight, he helped Lydia get dressed for bed. I'm so proud of this little gentleman!

Ken got his glasses about four...ty years ago. I am so proud of myself for capturing this moment. It's one of my favorite expressions of his. His mind is packed full of history, current world issues, and insights about future trends and possible improvements. He is carefully and precisely unraveling it all in bite sized pieces for me to digest. Taiwan better watch out, because Charles Spurgeon Huang is just warming up.

On another note: We are heading to Taitung tomorrow!! We are in search of a new home.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Garden

I put all sorts of fun stuff on Joseph's homeschooling application. They requested a list of courses, texts, and teachers. So I decided to put agriculture class taught by Glen and Ellin Brubaker. It would be a two month, hands on course, wrote I. I'm happy to say Joseph passed the course! A huge thank you to the teachers.

June 26, 2012:

June 26:  They each had their own plot.

July 5:

July 24:

August 25:  Unfortunately, we did not have a chance to enjoy the harvest, so Dad sent us pictures. Sunflower, purple bean, mung bean, and a few other things. 

Monday, September 17, 2012


 - I'm so proud of my little assistants. Since I wrote down "errands with Mom" as a part of Joseph's curriculum in the homeschooling application (which was accepted! How did I neglect to write that on this blog, of all places?), I felt the need to make our morning bike rides around the community more meaningful. As we parked (I carry Lydia in the front and Anna in the back of my bike; Joseph rides by himself! He was a chubby baby in my arms a short while ago) at the post office to mail a letter, a thought entered my head. "Joseph and Anna, you guys are going to mail the letter by yourselves, ok? Just go in there, stand in line, and say ' 到美國, 卡片' [which means 'to the US, mailing a card'] to the lady." They walked in a bit timidly, glancing back now and then and waited in line. They ran out a few times to recite what they were supposed to say. Lydia and I waited on the bike outside. When they almost reached the counter, Lydia asked to go in too. I have to admit, a feeling of pride welled up in my soul watching the descending staircase of children standing at the counter - Joseph's head flush with the counter, Anna's head well below, although her wrist just made it over the top to present the letter, and Lydia's sphere of curls bobbing along near the ground. I wish I had the camera.
They did it! Anna did the talking, Joseph reported later, and then he herded them to the side table to glue the stamp on the letter. Of course, a helpful grandmother swooped in to make sure all was performed to perfection. All this, I had the pleasure of watching from my front row seat on my bike, just outside the big glass windows. Then out they came in contained triumph, wide-eyed with success. Anna got to place the letter in the mailbox since it was her letter.  Joseph felt sad that he didn't get to, so I said that if he writes a letter, he'll get a chance to mail one as well. He thought of someone to write to, but soon forgot about the whole thing. 慢慢

- I envy Anna and Lydia's freedom with language. They dare to try all kinds of grammar constructions without a hint of hesitation. I wish I could be that way with Chinese. Lydia's latest: "Mommy, don't ouch your fingers!" She cautioned me as she was shutting the sun roof of our car. I had placed my hand inside to scare them.
Anna, over a year ago: "Mommy, I said it whisperingly!" She told me with triumph. I forget the exact context, but she was pleased with the loophole she had found in one of my commands, so she had to share with me how she had dodged my orders. I think I had told her that she wasn't aloud say something.

- On Saturday, we went to the library across the street, where Anna and Lydia joined the story and crafts activity that they provide every weekend. While Joseph was sitting at the table, doing homework (I accompany him to Chinese class two days a week), he looked at me and declared, "Mom, I am not a homework man; I am not a school man; I am not a crafts man...I'm a sports man." So there you have it. Joseph will pursue a career in tennis. Yup, when I pursued the topic, I found out, he had no interest in soccer, and diminishing interest in basketball. As of a few days ago, it is tennis.

- We were sewing travel pillows yesterday, when a simple object lesson emerged from the measuring and snipping. I cut out one perfectly measured pattern for the pillows, then made sure to use that one to cut the others. I didn't want to use the second pillow that I cut, lest I had not cut it exactly right. The further removed from the original, the more potential for error. It occured to me that the same holds true for the Bible. Measure everything according to its truths. Be careful about relying too heavily on other sources of wisdom which might be copied from a copy of a copy.

- There are tons more tidbits that I wish I could remember. They will have to wait until the next tidbits entry. For now, a few random pictures:

Thanks, Laura! This was the best haircut she has ever had.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Playing with Fire a must when it comes to homeschooling. This is Joseph's first exposure to the flame at such close proximity. He is doing a Science project showing how tin foil draws heat away from the flame, thus extinguishing it. It worked the first time, at least.  Good times. It has been years since I've played with matches.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Anna and Lydia love to draw. They draw every day. Joseph does occasionally, but isn't as captivated by it.  Here is Lydia deviating from her favorite shape - circles.

Anna wrote a letter to her (second?) cousin, Ella. I'm impressed with the way she figured in gravity's effect on hair.