Sunday, January 31, 2010

Learning from Kids

This week was pretty easy, fun, warm but not too warm, I got to do a couple small creative projects and help with the Junior High and Senior High Saturday night.

The youth are quite similar in Kaohsiung as Lakeview although there is a distinct behavioural difference between the kids that are from North American homes, many attend Morrison Academy Kaohsiung, those with mixed heritage and those from Chinese homes. Some of that is language based and some is culture. I LOVE IT. Oh I hope the Sunday morning change for Zou goes well. PLEASE ENCOURAGE MY KIDS......and their LEADERS

We can have fun with games as a distraction but then the reality of these devastating events in young lives SCREAMS BACK TO LIFE. One of the youth has been fighting cancer for a couple years and recently discovered the cancer was misdiagnosed and so he,and his family, has endured treatment for a cancer that is considered untreatable. There is always room for God's miracles but medically he has about 1 year remaining. To see the response and extended prayer initiated by the youth was heartwarming and amazing. It also brought memories surrounding my sister's and others death process. Very sobering and almost brings tears. God meets each of us as we need to be met. Where and how we need Him. Last week I prayed with one youth whose mother and brother are dealing with cancer. This weeks news compounds for him.

Please partner with me to pray for Kevin's strength and encouragement. And for Ian and his family as they deal with this new reality.

Monday, January 25, 2010

IKEA for Arilee

A Taiwanese shot MUST have a scooter in it!


and here's MY preferred shot

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kaohsiung daily life

Hmm, if I was in Saskatoon I wouldn't likely take note but here it seems so much more appropriate.

Up late get out of bed late.............breakfast of eggs, ham, chinese sausage, no not made out of chinese, toast and coffee. Not so unusal but when cooked over a 2 burner gas stove IT IS. It's so different than electric that I dare not ask a question or something is burned!

Then a few tasks before Melissa heads off to teach, 2-6 today, her other 6:30-8 lesson cancelled. Hang a cupboard in her bathroom that we bought at B&Q a few days ago. It didn't take long to assemble but a few days to coordinate hanging it! I WAS NOT GOING TO MOVE HER TOILETRIES....... Reorganizing the second floor common area, changing four lamps to some new lamp shades that ,of course, mount differently and the adapter is just a BIT to small, get out the knife, trim the opening bigger, ALWAYS KEEPING FINGERS, ARMS AND BELLY out of the knife's path. I didn't think it needed that much trimming, so we are meeting Melissa at SHAOU BAE to see about other adapters, a coat tree, and a toilet seat cover (I am NOT telling that story, tee hee) SHAO BAE is a 24 hour cross between Canadian Tire, Walmart and Dollarama!

We contiune to do our part to maintain IKEA profitability. A kitchen cart, 3 new stools for our last year table which will become the IFH kitchen table. IKEA sure engineers their stuff so all you have to do is follow the pictures. And BELIEVE ME it is a lot simpler to follow their flow than to take stuff apart to get the shelves in place!!! They even show a picture of the 2 lengths of screws with a BIG X across the wrong length! I don't want the pointy screw sticking up through my chair!!! or the table top either!

I have a couple IKEA pictures for Arilee that will follow another day.

Well 5 o'clock better grab a nap before meeting Melissa in an hour to get parts for the evening activty!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Alexander is our TV star!!

Jay and Julie took Alex and Gaby to Spectrum at the University and besides having a fantastic time Alex was interviewed by Global TV. It's about 3 seconds of what I'm sure was a 10 minute discussion with Alex... Oh he's the second boy since many of you won't recognize him. He was 4 in September. No camera jitters or brain freeze for that boy!

I'm glad I found this because it also lets me get a different view on Sasakatoon news while we are away. The SP is a bit slanted for my taste.........

On a different note, even though Melissa's visa has been approved but she's still waiting to have the REAL DEAL in her hands! red tape takes time..........

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The pressure releases, VISA APPROVED

It will take a few more days to have documents in hand but Melissa got word midafternoon that her visa renewal has been approved!

The questions and delay have created major stress and strain for her. Now a few days for sighing relief and contemplating plans.

Please continue to pray for smooth processing. AND PRAY FOR OTHERS WE KNOW AT HOME WITH MAJOR ISSUES THAT DRAW ON THEIR ENERGY. Those close know details others can pray in support and caring.

We made our first Costco trip today fortunately we had the cash in hand. Costco here only accepts Costco branded credit cards and foreigners CANNOT get a credit card. Hmm I wonder what would have happened if I had a Costco branded American reminds me of the days when Canadian Tire made more profit from their credit card than the retail sales.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Hello from home even though we are far from home.

Think of that place you have been or return to that puts a pleased, satisfied smile in your heart……we are there!

We are still waiting for news about Melissa’s visa renewal and we are NOT pushing red tape, as if a person actually could. Our plans will develop beyond day by day when Melissa gets word.

The smells, odours, fragrances, noises, sounds, sights, traffic and people are strangely familiar and comforting. Not even 3 days yet and we’ve made breakfast, gone out to a few previous places and a few new places. Supper last night was $195! We each had similar meals probably 2 cups of rice with a curry vegetable and meat including a soft drink. It would have been about $6.50 CDN and that was for ALL THREE meals.

This afternoon we went for a hair wash………about a 20 minute shoulder massage and another 20 minutes head wash and massage. Ahhh the life, it was about $7 cdn each! That’s no hair cutting though, just relaxation and pleasure!

Oh right, THE TRIP. Our flight from Saskatoon to Vancouver was delayed long enough that almost all connecting flights would be missed so we were rebooked and arrived in Vancouver 2 hours after our flight left for Taipei!

Westjet was very good though and provided a meal voucher in Saskatoon (not much available after 7 pm except Tim’s). We ended up buying a can of English Toffee Cappuccino to use the voucher value. Melissa’s favourite. We had a nice room in Vancouver at a Sandman about 5 minutes from the airport and $40 meal vouchers.

We went for breakfast at the attached Moxie’s but alas they don’t serve breakfast until noon during the week. Yeah noon’s a bit late BUT HEY, WE GOT IN AT 2AM which was Saskatoon 4 am. We are settled into our new time zone. We had decided to check out of the hotel late but not so late we had extra charges which left us with 4 hours before we could check in for our China Air flight. Then there were STILL 3 hours before departure! That’s when we really appreciated the delayed flight and the night in a bed.

We left YVR on time but I think we had tired seat butts before we got off the runway. The night’s rest was good but just didn’t offset narrow, firm airplane seats. The flight was uneventful, a regular flight. God provided protection, food, lodging and safety for those 2 days of travel. What more could we ask? Oh right, being greeted by Melissa……we were eventually………….it was funny she was delayed but then we got free parking instead of her waiting a long time.

We waited maybe 10 minutes. The familiarity with our surroundings and the comfort in our knowledge of how to get to her place from either Kaohsiung or Taipei are fantastic.

Oops too it’s late for the Jr. and Sr. High program tonight, maybe next week. Tomorrow is church. Melissa sings at both services so we are there for 8:45. We will reacquaint with many friends and have lunch with Larry & Michelle and their 3 children.

It has been great to spend some unscheduled time with Melissa yet a bit frustrating to need to wait on her ARC approval before any of us make substantial plans. We all ask for your prayers over these next few days as the anxiousness and uncertainty continue.

Oh and lest any of you think we aren’t missing you……we are and especially Jay, Julie, Alex and Gaby. There are SO MANY things a Grandpa wants to buy and send back!!!!!!! I’m surrounded by all kinds of candy and noisemakers which will stay in the stores……………. Toys, games, puzzles, paints and coloured pencils abound!

Friday, January 01, 2010

January 2010 Contrasts

Well I am about 40 degrees colder than last January.

We were around about 249,993 fewer people this year that last!

We are expecting a visit from our kids and grand kids tomorrow afternoon. last year we could not see our way to form even an expectation.

In THREE days we return to Kaohsiung where we were last year.

I am connected with MANY cousins and a year ago we hardly KNEW what Facebook was......

This past year I have had at least 2 friends lose BOTH mother and father!

I am going to miss Jay, Julie, Alex and Gabriella the next 4 months................but will rejoice in time with Melissa!

This is a year of renewal: relationships, discipline, adventure, uncertainty, love, family, plans, expectancy not expectations.