Friday, May 11, 2012

My New Gig

This is my second week at the new job and I love it!

I just wanted to quickly share info about my new job.

I am the new manager of a program called "Shoes for Orphan Souls" at Buckner Children and Family Services

Shoes for Orphan Souls is an amazing program that provides thousands of pairs of shoes each year to kids in need around the world.  It is a nationwide program that any individual, church, organization or community can be a part of.  Check out their website at and remember to "like" us on facebook shoesfororphansouls.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Signing Off

I started this blog almost five years ago to chronicle our overseas life. It was mostly updated pics of our kids and our travels and mainly for the benefit of the grandparents. 
We see the grandparents more often now and I understand that my trips to buy the groceries are only interesting to well, uh, no one (including me).

I dabbled a bit with expanding the blog into recipes or organization tips or crafts but time was usually elusive and blogging isn't my favorite activity.

In just a little over a week, I begin my first truly full-time calling since Chloe was born. I laugh at the irony of the word "full-time" as if learning Chinese, writing for the media department, participating whole-heartedly in ministry and taking care of two toddlers were only "part-time" work.  I say full-time in the sense that the girls will be going to (gulp) daycare.  There I said it and all the ugly connotations that come with it.  I am going to be a full-time working mom by choice.

I like to work and I found a job that was seemingly designed specifically for me.  It wraps all the things I love most- International focus, helping others in need and public relations- into one nice package.

In anticipation of embarking on this new challenge of being 100% good mom and 100% good employee, I am purging my life of a few things that are unnecessary and implementing a few things that are necessary.

1. I signed up for a service called emealz that has cut my food shopping, prep time and budget more than half.  I highly recommend it for any busy mom "full time" or not. (
2. This summer, we will be moving to a house that we hope will be our final destination until the girls are in college.  We are purposely looking for a house that is smaller than 2,000 sq. feet. so that a.) I don't have to clean more than two toilets; b.) we can hire someone to clean the toilets for me without dipping into our retirement funds and c.) so that we cannot accumulate a bunch of distracting junk that requires lots of time to maintain and fix when it breaks.

The third time-saver is that I am letting a few activities fall off the grid for awhile.  This blog is one of those activities. It has been fun while it lasted.  I plan on starting a new blog dedicated to my new job in a few weeks.  It promises to be work far more interesting than any trip to the grocery store.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Just thought I would take a moment to share this video of my Dad. He is demonstrating the art of the modern-day blacksmith. He creates all kinds of fences, gates and decorative ironwork- just in case you were in the market for metal or just curious what blacksmiths do in modern society.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Happy Birthday Ava

Happy birthday to my sweet, mischevious, stubborn, precious and beautiful three-year old girl. What a joy to my soul you are everyday.
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Saying goodbye to adventure

Today I got an email from a Chinese friend showing me the most efficient method for removing the skin from a radish.  My heart felt heavy and the emotion welled inside me because I knew that I would most likely never see this person again. 

Today, I sent our official letter of resignation to our current employer.  Over the last five years, I have lived in three countries, visited half a dozen more, walked the streets most Americans only see in the movies, learned two languages, birthed one baby in a foreign country and slept countless nights in foreign hospitals with another baby.  I have swum in the Southern Pacific, Eastern Pacific AND Indian oceans.  I have ridden on buses with live chickens, used a squatty potty at nine months pregnant, watched temple gods being taken out for their afternoon strolls and witnessed Buddhist and animistic rituals that would make your head spin. I hold driver’s licenses in three countries that entitle me to drive in almost 15 different ones.  I learned to drive a stick shift on the British side of the road in a city where lines on the streets were merely suggestions and pedestrians truly didn’t have the right of way.  I have witnessed some of the greatest beauty and some of the ugliest poverty.

Through all the glamour, adventure, and frustration there have been two overarching teachable moments.  I learned the value of relationships and the secret to happiness. The secret to happiness is gratefulness in all things and under all circumstances.  The value of a relationship cannot be measured.

I learned the value of a grateful heart watching Veggie Tales’ "Madam Blueberry" while melting onto a fake pleather couch in a sparsely decorated un-air conditioned apartment in Thailand.  I learned about relationships by watching all the amazing people I have met.

I learned how to be friendly from a Scottish lady that invited me to a playgroup. 
I learned how to be genuinely interested in other people from a couple who seemed to know everyone and be loved by all. 
I learned how to invest in people from a Canadian and Californian. 
 I learned how to lead people from a Montana transplant from Tennessee.  I learned how to listen to people from his wife.
I learned how to care for people in need from a lovely lady with four beautiful grown daughters.
I learned how to deal with adversity gracefully from a neighbor, young mom and dear friend who battled illnesses ranging from swine flu to mono to pneumonia.
I learned hospitality from a super mom with two toddlers and a charming young son. 
I learned southern charm from a lovely artist who has moved more times than I have.  I
 learned the value of a good play date from a mom with daughters the same ages as mine.
And I learned how to love from them all and many others just like them who have been shining examples of families, parents, leaders and friends.

We will miss you and thank you for your service to us.  You know who you are.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Beautiful Fall

Our short 3-week vacation to America has turned into an extended-stay trip during beautiful fall. We are well on our way to finishing all of our required medical appts for Chloe and are hopeful we will return home to Taiwan at the end of the month. In the meantime, here are a few pics of the wonderful weather we have been experiencing.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Little Update

Do you ever have a month or a few weeks where life just explodes?  Welcome to September for me.

September began with school starting for the girls and Chloe's 5th birthday. I actually did get pictures of the third day of school as well as her birthday but I got a new computer two weeks ago and the pictures have not been transferred yet.

We left for a "three-week vacation" in America on Sept. 12 and have since learned that we will probably be in the U.S. through at least the end of October maybe even into November. (More on that in a moment)

My youngest sister got married on Sept. 16 and we are proud to welcome Uncle Asa into our wild and crazy family.  Hang on Asa, you haven't seen nothin' yet. haha

Last friday we took our oldest daughter, Chloe to the pediatrician for an evaluation.  Chloe has always done things in her own way and in her own timing.  After a thorough exam by the doctor, she determined that Chloe is at least a full-year behind in her growth and development.  We will be seeing multiple doctors over the course of the next month to determine any underlying causes as well as to determine a course of action that will hopefully include our swift return to Taiwan in November.

This weekend we will be heading to Branson, MO for a fun day at Silver Dollar City with Jeff's family and next week we will start our string of doctor's appointments for Chloe.

Our internet connections are a little spotty so it is taking us longer than usual to respond to emails and check our voicemail. Sorry if you have tried to email us and we haven't responded.  We are hopeful things will slow down a bit after this week.  I'll send another update when I get a chance.

Until then- it's great to be in the US where everyone knows what I am saying.