Monday, October 16, 2017

One Night at a Concert


If you've ever been in high school then you have probably heard the "One night at Band Camp..." joke. Usually the punch line is cheesy and moderately inappropriate. However, this story really does start "One night at a concert...", and it's not a joke at all.

I don't know if you have ever heard of the Big Church Night Out concert tour or not, but it came through Amarillo, Texas, at the beginning of October. If you know anything about us, you probably know that we are almost always relying on the grace of God to pay our bills. So although I had planned to go, the funds were low...again...and it didn't look like it was going to happen. That's when my friend called and asked if I would like to go with her because she had received two tickets for er birthday and didn't want to go alone. That was the first act of God.

So the big night came. We enjoyed an amazing dinner at the local Indian place and headed off to enjoy Blanca, Seventh Time Down, Adam Agee, Sidewalk Prophets, Derek Minor, and the Newsboys (of course). The night also encompassed a fair amount of praise and worship and was truly an amazing experience. Toward the end of the night, Adam Agee introduced the mission trip which God had called him to start three years ago called God's Not Dead Missions (GNDM).They specialize in taking teams to the Baja region of Mexico and building houses.

My friend (Tiffany) and I were both excited by Adam's presentation of the trip, and we talked about it throughout the rest of the night and on the ride home. Once I got out of her car and bid her goodnight, I didn't really think much more of the trip until I casually mentioned it to Jimmy. Surprisingly, he was all about it! Evidently, Jimmy had been praying about the desire to go on an international mission trip next summer, and he either hadn't told me about it or I had forgotten (both being equally possible).

So we started praying...

Long story short-er, we decided that after about a week of prayer that God was calling us to take part in the 2018 GNDM trip. So stay tuned for more information, and in the meantime, check out our FUNDRAISING PAGE on GoFundMe.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Apple Pie and Other Fall Fun

Last week, the Wizards (my class) learned about Fall. Most of them had no clue what Fall was/is or even what a season is so I thought I needed to break them in right ;)

September 22nd was the first official day of Fall. We briefly talked about the four seasons and the holidays celebrated during fall. We talked about harvesting crops including pumpkins and apples. We also watched videos of the leaves changing in North America (I haven't seen as much color variety here).

But what could say "Fall" better than APPLE PIE! So I decided that as a class, we should make our very own apple pies.

One of my co-teachers helped me film a video of making the pie filling. This video served the triple purpose of being educational, saving time, and allowing my students to have something to occupy them while I cleaned the classroom and the pies baked. If your interested in watching the video, you can do so below. Otherwise just skip right along to the pictures!



So I made the pie crust and the pie filling at home, but my students really did assemble the hand pies by themselves (ok they had some minor help but mostly by themselves). Then we baked the pies right in the classroom! I hope you enjoy all of our pictures.

The other teachers kept saying how good the classroom and hallway smelled while we were baking :)

This is the pie I made earlier in the day so they could see what a full size apple pie looks like.



I made paper with circles printed on them and covered them with plastic wrap so the students could use them as a guide for shaping their pie crust.




Demonstrating how much filling to put into the pie and how to fold it over.





I helped the students seal the pies--mostly because I didn't have enough forks at home for everyone to use one.



This is the finished pie. My kids love taking their treats home and sharing with their families.
Here are the recipes for the pie crust and pie filling if you are interested in trying them:


*I only used this recipe for temperature and time information.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mustions Go to the Cultural Creativity Tourism Night Market

On Saturday night, Jimmy and I went and visited the new night market in town. We had heard this night market was supposed to be big, clean, and full of fun games and foods to try.

The claims were NOT exaggerated! It was much like a large carnival. There were all kinds of games, prizes, food, and drinks (but bring your own water!). There was something for every age group.

What you won't find at this night market includes: small, dark alleys crammed with shops, shoulder to shoulder crowds, scads of phone cover stalls, or the like.

We enjoyed ourselves immensely! We played a few games. Jimmy won a BIG prize with one win (you can keep your dinky Six Flags prizes) and I won three bottles of soda in one game of ring toss. I ate snails. Jimmy had popcorn chicken and a giant corn dog. Noelle...fell asleep ;) Oh well, so much for something for everyone.

Anyway, we will definitely go there again! I hope you enjoy our pics and maybe you can have your own fun experience soon!

The night market is near the intersection of Zhongqing and Jing Mao 5th Roads in the Beitun District.






YES! That is alligator!

These are the snails I tried.




They were yummy!







Jimmy channeling his inner Katniss.



This is the giant ring toss. The rings are about the size of a child's bracelet and you win what you ring.





Monday, September 15, 2014

Nothing Cures the Blues Like Cotton Candy!

Noelle all decked out for our walk in her new
giraffe outfit and giraffe hat. Looking so cute!
Today is Monday. The Taiwanese people are super into the idea of the “Monday Blues” – I guess they really don’t like their jobs or they just really love their weekends… Anyway, today I had a rough day. I was running behind, Jimmy’s scooter broke, the electric bill was worse than I feared, and my cell phone (which I paid to have fixed on Saturday) started messing up AGAIN! Needless to say, I needed a pick me up!

So after work Noelle and I decided to go for a walk. We walked to the cell phone repair shop…which was CLOSED. **sigh** (Evidently he is always closed on Mondays there just wasn't a sign -- in English that mentioned that fact. **grumble**grumble** Another reason why we have to start learning Chinese--FAST!)

HOWEVER, I was SUPER excited to see that the cotton candy artist was still there! I ordered a giant cotton candy mushroom for 60NT (approx. $2USD) and filmed him making this yummy creation. Not only was it fun to watch and looked great, it also tasted delicious! Yum. Yum! It was just what I needed to make me feel better!

Here's a picture of the guy's cotton candy stand. The man was nice, but didn't seem to speak much English. So if you venture out in this direction be prepared to point and do charades (hopefully that won't be necessary!). Also, as promised the video is also posted below.

This is the cotton candy guy's stand. He has a variety of different designs he can make. It's really, really cool!

I hope you enjoy!




I am including a map that shows approximately where the cotton candy man is. Please keep in mind that these stands change frequently so I cannot guarantee he will be there if you go. He is inside the New City shopping area near the first escalator on the left (next to the Mexican restaurant).

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Walk Around the Neighborhood

After I got home from work and picked up the baby on Friday, Noelle and I went for a walk around our neighborhood. We thought it might be fun for everyone to be able to see a candid look at what life is like where we live. So we gave the stroller a "Bill Miller Special" (after a few attempts and failed ended up using a bungee to strap the iPad to the stroller at Noelle's level) and headed out on our adventure!

The video is shown at 8x actual speed. It's still a little long and I apologize in advance if some of the amateur camera work makes you dizzy and/or seasick (Be forewarned!). Some of the sights you can glimpse in the video include our nanny's apartment building, my favorite tea shop, the food street next to us, the discount movie theater, and the local baby store. I hope you enjoy #NoelleCam!