Thursday, February 21, 2013

odds and ends

This is getting embarrassing. Just because I can't post pictures doesn't mean I can't post.  It's been three months since we have moved to Taidong. I'm going to see how many moments I can list:

- I'm sure every homeschooling mom has felt this: a few hours, minutes or moments when everything is working perfectly, when your heart cries, "Taiwanese School Board, Skeptical friends and aquaintances, Concerned Mom, LOOK NOW!" I had one of those moments over a month ago. I was working in the garden when Joseph, so excited by what he was reading in an abridged verson of Moby Dick, that he brought a stool out to the garden and read to me. In the background, I heard the twittering little sounds of Anna and Lydia, and looked up to see them skipping down the driveway with a basket in their hands - off to collect eggs that our new chickens had started to reluctantly lay. All was well with the world. My six year old son was reading big words smoothly, and confidently; my two girls were happily doing chores and soaking up vitamin D on the side. Everyone was in the right place, doing the right thing.

- This just in: I succeeded at a new recipe! I love Anna and I have been dreaming of chocolate souffle cupcakes with mint cream (and white chocolate, yum) for weeks. When I finally managed to buy all the ingredients, we simply followed the instructions, and succeeded! That's what I like about Deb at smitten kitchen. She explains things so well, that things tend to turn out as they should. I even bought her cookbook.

(oops, forgot to rotate it)

- We visited a bunch of families that were having a potluck. One of the fathers was chopping wood for the big pot of noodle soup they were cooking. The kids got to line up and try their hand at chopping wood. Joseph loved it so much, that after all the others lost interest, he continued chopping. Easily over half an hour. The next day, Ken bought him an ax. Now all he needs is a nice block of wood, and a reason the chop. I was the first one to use it, actually. What usually took twenty hacks with a large knife, I settled with two swipes of the ax. Coconut. Not just the water; I was after the meat.

- I'm amazed at how many people have been able to visit in the past three months. We confirmed that moving was a good move (haha), because friends who don't have a good enough reason to visit in Taipei, now have a perfect one here in Taidong. Especially during Chinese New Year. Everyone comes down South for the New Year. Everyone. We actually had traffic jams on the road going through our village. In three months, the count is reaching up toward twenty different visits.

- We sold cookies and bread for six days over the New Year. Joseph, Anna and Lydia stood faithfully beside me for the first two days, and welcomed all to come try our samples. We sold out almost every day. I love the feeling of selling something that I made! Joseph and Anna sold a few paper airplanes and boats! Their piggy banks are that much heavier.

- Another phm (perfect homeschooling moment). Acting on a spur-of-the-moment decision, I told Joseph to review the world map with his sisters, because we would soon be having a chocolate test (identify 12 countries for a piece of chocolate). As I was cleaning up the kitchen, I heard him actually reviewing with his sisters, like I had asked! Lydia was asking, "Joseph, Joseph, which one is this?" Joseph was responding very matter-of-factly, "Oh, that's Madagascar.", enjoying being the one dispensing knowledge. Both Anna and Lydia were repeating after Joseph. I love when I don't have to push too hard to get the wheel turning.

- Ken put up a screen along the side of our porch to keep snakes out come summer. I am impressed every time I look at it. It is sturdy and tidy. I can't believe my husband, who has lived in the city all his life, and is not - by nature - a handyman, was able to whip up such a structure!

- Today was the first day of ballet class for Anna and Lydia in Taidong! I couldn't take my eyes off those two pink confections hopping around the studio. I can't believe we've come this far.

- We love Taidong. How perfect to be able to do meaningful things for God here. That would be absolutely perfect. We will wait and see and try this and that.

Ok, that's all I can think of for now. Another attempt at pictures... It's working! But rather slow, so ballet pictures will have to wait.


  1. Deeeee-lightful! :) Thanks for sharing your remembered moments, and some photos to boot!