Sunday, May 26

Tongxiao Beach

 We saw the ocean today. I learned how to really ride a saltwater wave. We said goodbye to soft peachy skin and hello to sunscreen missed lobster spots. It was a fabulous day of warm water, hot sand, and a cool breeze.

 Kim tutored me in the fine art of jumping into a wave instead of over it.
 Daniel babysat while we swam. Most babysitters would wish for an extra hand, he just started digging a hole with the two he had.

 Hugging the beach

Saturday, May 25


 Today our "dream team" joined us for a morning at the science museum. Ellie, Louis, and Mia have joined us for many adventures, often joined by Sally too. One night Ellie and Louis came to help scooter all of us to a night market. They know we are a little absurd, but they sure jump in with two feet. They have been beyond generous, arriving with food, drinks, small gifts, smiles, and patience. At their hands we have gotten to scooter, eat stinky tofu (does gagging before I swallow count as eating?), had original zhen-zhou-nai-cha (bubble tea, and the best glass of it you will find in the whole world at that...), and many other memories. It has been great to get to know each of them!


 Sometimes they create their own museum attractions out of things like spotlights.
 I have no way of blogging how perfectly content I am to be close to my sister. There are no words for the depth of love that runs with being known and understood and loved. Through all of the pictures I wish there were a way of explaining what this trip is giving me besides great experiences, yummy food, drinks, and kid-time. It is huge. And I don't honestly know how to brace myself for leaving. I thought coming now might be a bit of a "refuel" to help the time pass before we'll see each other again, but I feel like the tank I am trying to fill has holes, I just keep using all of this time and I think it will not make being apart seem much easier. In God's hands.
 Hyenas have made it to my "top three creepiest animals in the world" list. 

 Mia, Ellie, and giggly Blake
 Rockin' the baby-wearing dad look. I think I may have finally won him over to the convenience of hands free holding.
 This display moved. It was incredibly life-like. If it had taken a step, the room would have cleared. I have a video, I might post it sometime.

Josiah and Aliyah are the first little ones these 4 friends have hung out with. Tossing three more kids in the mix made enough to go around and was entertaining to watch. London really connected with Mia today.

Well, that's all, folks! Enjoy the Taichung Science Museum!

Friday, May 24


 The first year we were married we had a sunset view off our apartment balcony. Every night we are home, I love seeing the sunset over Taichung out the living room window here.
 Jon. What are you thinking?

I found a shirt with real English on it. It also happens to be very comfortable. It also makes my sister laugh. She says of every single acquaintance she has, I am the least expected to ever wear a shirt that says "Rock Star." I think I will wear it every day just for the walking contradiction. Oh, did I mention the back of it is covered in little stars? Bonus.

Thursday, May 23


 Today we figured out the very best mode of transportation. Give Jon the three oldest, aka heaviest, wear the babies and walk on the opposite side of the road. 
London was scooter shopping I think. Below is his "scooter" face. It means he is excited.

Wednesday, May 22


Unwinding, untangling, and finishing play in progress before bedtime. Sometimes I wonder how late they would stay up if we didn't stop them, and I wonder where they would end up sleeping if they put themselves to bed. Probably not in separate rooms. 

Tuesday, May 21


Tuesday we laid low, resting from our big outing, coddling and correcting children through their confused, overtired attitudes. Kim and I have been cooking up ideas for opening a sewing business with my mom and stayed up til midnight Tuesday night plotting and sewing. It seemed like such a good idea at the time.

Monday, May 20


On Monday, we had the biggest, most adventuring day of our trip. It was marvelous. So many memories. Daniel is incredibly brave to take on the logistics of moving our kid-majority crew anywhere, but this out did it all. I am only putting one picture up because my camera completely died after I took this picture of Uncle Louis and Aliyah. I can't find my charger anywhere and have not been able to locate a Nikon store yet to see about purchasing a new charger. Louis took pictures on this adventure after my camera died, hopefully I will be able to post some of them. Jon also took some on my phone that I can share after we get home and get the adapter. Basically, we were gone for 12 hours. We rode a train, car, taxi, and rented 3 scooters for the majority of the day. With 10 people perched on 3 scooters we rode through torrential rain an hour up the mountain to Sun Moon Lake. Wish you all could have been with us on that ride. Everyone should experience something like that in their lifetime. As I watched the foggy, green, mountainside whiz past I was stunned by the beauty of Taiwan over and over. All 5 kids slept during this ride and the peace of a growling engine and wind whipping our rain ponchos around felt exotic and exhilarating. Waterfalls, rice paddies, tunnels, tall spindly betel trees, and chirping cicadas. 

Sunday, May 19

Picnic time!

Saturday we walked to the botanical gardens for a picnic. It was great!

The shades of the trees make the path a cool retreat to walk. They also harbor mosquitos. I have 26 bites on one arm, and that was with bug spray!

Kim on stroller patrol
Toddlers on a leash
Natural AC

The picnic
The one. The only. My adorable sister.

Kim calls this the mismatched fish. It is huge, about 10 feet if I were to give it my best poor estimate. I just asked Jon, he guesses 6 feet.

Kim's double stroller. Josiah found the back door to poke his head out.
Little goose.

Blake thinks he lives in the wrap. It is the best guarantee he'll sleep.