life with a 12 year old

samwell . . . let's just say its different than living alone. Very different.  ;)

The things that I used to spend time on--blogging, surfing the internet, reading, listening to music--they have fallen to the wasteside.  Not because the 12 year old is demanding or time consuming, but because I am choosing to spend time with him.  It is great to have someone to talk to and share my day with.  It is nice having someone to watch TV with and then talk about what we saw.  It is fun having someone to eat with, and lay on the floor laughing with.  It is nice having him here.

Sam is actually an extremely patient and understanding young man.  We have yet to do any real sightseeing.  But, he has remained cheerful and not complained at all. 

I have been so very, very impressed with how he is doing here.  He is really taking to the combination of freedom and responsibility.  Having his own set of keys to my apartment delighted him to no end.  It is now his duty to lock up when we leave and let us back in when we return.  He decided he needed a trash can for his room (my guest room), so he went to the store and got on by himself.  To my surprise, this made him extremely happy . . . or should I say proud. 

I have also been very impressed with his bravery in the language.  Although it does bother him when people try to engage him in full conversation in a language he does not know, he does not let not knowing Chinese stop him from going and doing.  His first week here, when we were visiting the local McDonalds, he asked me "how do you say 'ice cream' in Chinese?"  I told him; then he got up and went to the counter to get two of them. 

And . . . he has even been brave with the food too.  He has tried so many new foods.  He even tried and liked tofu and dried peas!!  There are even some of the foods that he has tried that he now requests when I ask him, "so what would you like to have for dinner tonight?"  And, last Saturday we went to a banquet with some of my former students.  He tried so many new things that one meal alone!  I was so super impressed!!  He is one amazing guy.

Life with a 12 year old is well . . . well, its full of fun and laughter . . . it's different than life alon, but it's good, real good.  Having my brother here is such a blessing to me. 

However, what this means to you, my dear blog reader, is less systematic blogging for the next two months.  There will be some posts about what's going on over here on our little island and what we are up to, but that is about it.  Just wanted to let you know what is going on.  Thanks for stopping by!! 

welcome to taiwan

welcome to taiwan

Sam, my 12 year old brother, is here with me in Taiwan now. 

Feel free to check out some of his photos:

my taiwanese mom

My best friend's mother, who I call my Taiwanese mother, passed away this afternoon.

She will be missed greatly.

My Taiwanese mother loved teasing me.  She had a wonderful toothy smile and could always make me laugh.  She welcomed me unconditionally when I first arrived here in 1999, and continued to make me feel like I truly was one of her daughters every time I entered her home.   Like her real daughters, I never moved fast enough for her though--I will forever hear her telling me "qui di-en"  ("come on," or literally, "go faster").  Many of my speical memories of life in Taiwan--my first day here, my
first Chinese New Year, my first Taiwanese wedding, my first all
seafood meal, my first Christmas away from family, crossing from 1999 to 2000, and most of my sight-seeing in this country--all involve her.  She holds a very special place in my heart.

She will be missed greatly.

Please continue to pray for her family as they prepare for her funeral on the 27th of this month.  May the God of comfort and peace be so real to them right now. 

Below is a picture of Lin MaMa, with her husband, her twin daughters, and me taken last year.


urgent prayer request

My Taiwanese Mom (my best friend's mother) is in the ICU in Taipei.  On
Thursday, she attempted sucide again by drinking a very strong toliet cleaner.  Her son found her
20-30 minutes later. 

Right now she is in critical condition.  Her esophogus and stomach
lining are very damaged.  According to her daughter, Ellen, when her mom reaches
excruiting pain they are going to take her in for immediate surgery to
remove the damaged parts.  The doctors have told her family that there
is less than a 50/50 chance for surrival.  If she does surrive they
have prepared the family for the worst--tube fed, soft voice, and so on . 

The good news in all of this is that God has used this situation to
bring Ellen's mother and brother into his saving gace.  Thank the Lord
for their belief, and ask for Him to draw them individually and as a
family closer unto Himself. 

Please pray for God's mercy and grace on this family.  Yes, she drank
the poison herself, but God has spared her life so far.  He could use
this story and my Taiwanese Mom to bring Himself more glory and
praise.  It would be awesome to see him restore Lin MaMa to health--not
only spiritually, but physically and emotionally as well. 

Please also pray specifically for my dear friend Ellen.  She
needs prayer for direction in how to handle the last two months
of her job--she really wants to just quit and be with her family. 
Pray also as she ministers to her whole family during this time of

over the ocean

My brother and I are leaving here in a little bit to go back to Taiwan.  Well, I am going back, and he is coming to visit me!!

He is so excited.  And, I am too.  It is going to be so fun to show him my other home and just to be able to spend time with him.

We should arrive late Saturday night Taiwan time (which means Saturday afternoon in Texas time).

I'll let you know when we arrive and plan on blogging more consistantly when I am back on my own routine in my own place!

Have a great weekend!!

Special note to LBY Ladies: my post is coming soon . . . sorry for the delay once again.

my sister is now a wife.

Well . . . we made it!  My baby sister got married.  Sarah is now a wife.

She was a beautiful bride, and I think she really had a great time Friday. 

After the wedding, I kept hearing people say that my dad really "socked it to them."  He does not take lightly the covenant of marriage and spoke straight from the heart to them.  Their vows were amazing, and his charge to the couple will be impossible for them to keep.  In fact, my dad even said that before he started.  He said (something to the effect of), "What I am about to charge you with will be impossible for you to accomplish.  You won't be able to do it." 

But that is kind of the point, right?  We (none of us) can do things apart from Christ in us.  Without the Holy Spirit working in and through us it is impossible for us to be patient, kind, not envy, not boast, not be rude, not be self-seeking, not be easily angered, not keep a record of wrongs, not delight in evil, rejoice with the truth, protect, trust, hope, and preserver.  Yep, i-m-p-o-s-s-i-b-l-e.

Another thing I am really proud of is the way that Sarah and Chad choose to handle themselves before their wedding day.  Even though they have owned a house together for a few months, they have choosen not to live in it until after the wedding.  One lady when hearing this said "oh, what a waste."  Whatever!!  I am so proud of them both for waiting . . . how special!  Way to go guys! 

Last week was filled with errands, decisions, problem-solving, and mini-crisises as we tried to put all the finishing touches on the wedding and the wedding reception.  But . . . we made it!!  I am so very glad I was able to spend a few days with my sister before her wedding, not only to help her prepare for the "big day," but to spend time with her and make a few more memories.

I have added a whole slew of pictures to my flicker account . . . . check them out if you want to. There are random photos below both from "wedding week" and from the wedding itself.

Perhaps if I feel led and I get the time to do so . . . more wedding reflections might follow.  Or, maybe they won't.  We'll see.  Just wanted to get a post up that said essentially, "all went well, and she was breathtaking as she glowed all night." :)

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