Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The cutest thing EVER. Really. Read on:

This is what we found on an order form inside of a LEGO magazine:

Name: Nathaniel

Street/Route: tiechung, it is near morason academy I don't know how to spell that word. Look at the arrow

City: it is a town

State: tiawan

Gift message: can you make it be the castel accessories and the cummunity workers, large wheels, mini head gear?

Big Dad said, "You just want to tell him to get anything he wants in the magazine because he's SO FRIGGIN' CUTE!"

***edit*** Em thinks it was a plant, and he was writing like that on purpose. Kind of like Dewey on "Malcolm in the Middle."

Sunday, May 27, 2007

T and Ace's Big Adventure

Well, in response to winning Carmi's "caption this" contest for this week, I thought I should clean things up a bit and post some new stuff. By the way, Carmi, two things: 1. I knew you'd get that caption (ha) and 2. I have to give credit to my daughter for that one. I threw a few out there, and she thought the one I submitted sounded the most genuine. :) So credit officially goes to Em.

T (My husband, also known as Big Dad) and I had to make a quick trip to Taipei this weekend, and decided to take the bullet train. So, in the next two posts, I chronicled our events as they unfolded. Enjoy.

It all began with the magical golden ticket....

(Now to find a song that captures the spirit of the moment....)

T and Ace's Big Train Adventure...cont.

Anticipation builds as we await the bullet train. What will it be like, I wonder? Will the speed shove me back in my seat? (No. It was very smooth.) Will it be crowded? (Nope. Nice, roomy seats.) Will people be standing in the aisles on THIS train? (No way. They wouldn't dare. But it was a nice, smooth ride.)

Here I try to get my best "Carmi-esque" picture with my point and shoot camera. ha! It was a good view of Taipei 101, the tallest building in the world...for now.

Took in some scenery at 200 mph. I never thought I would say I have traveled that fast on the ground. :)

We picked up our car at the Kiss and Ride

In the end, we made it home in time to watch little man swim the afternoon away. All in all it was a fun day.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


My friend, Carmi has been posting some face pictures on his site from his recent trip to ShangHai. I understand your policy in the western world on face pictures, but really, these faces have so much character it's hard not to take pictures!

So I'm posting two of my favorite face pictures. I have more, just not on this computer. I have some great face pictures of older people. The lines on their faces add so much character. I love it. Here are some kids, though. The little boy with the red cap is a friend. His name is Asi. My husband took the picture of the girls.


Monday, May 14, 2007

Angel Entertained: Andrea Rusk

A good friend of mine passed away this last weekend. She worked with MK's...those with learning disabilities. She had a passion for the job, and took it very seriously. She would fight tooth and nail with anyone who disregarded or mistreated any of these kids, and she worked hard to educate those who worked with them. She didn't, however, take herself too seriously. She was always good for a laugh, and it was infectious. She was also a realist, like me. Whenever things seemed too serious, she had a way of putting them in perspective, and it lightened things up.

My daughter and I were sitting and crying last weekend after we heard the news. We were taking in the shock of someone dying in their prime, and just the fact that she is no longer here. But suddenly, we were struck with her realistic nature and we started thinking about what she would be saying to us right now. Over the past few days I've imagined the following scenerio:

Andrea comes to, her eyes slowly opening. She's noticing she can breathe freely again. What a relief. She sits up and begins to take in her surroundings.

"Huh?" she says, as she notices she is in unfamiliar territory. "Oh," she exclaims as she looks around, "Wow." The realization hits her that she no longer has an earthly body, and neither does the boy standing beside her.

"Hi. I'm Chris," he says.

"Hi," she says. "You're Stacy's brother. I've heard so much about you."

"Stand up," Chris says. "Wait till you see what it feels like to walk around in this body!"

Andrea laughs. She stands up, a little wobbly at first, mainly because she was expecting it to be a lot harder.

"Look there," he points in the distance. She looks at the spot, and magically it pulls in closer. She can see her friends, and they're crying. She can look in any direction, and her friends, family and loved ones appear. They are all sad. Andrea watches them. She's concerned for them, but she's not sad. She's not crying. She can see things she's never seen before. She knows they will be OK. She knows how this plan that has played out in her life and death will affect her loved ones, and it gives her peace, perspective. Then, curiosity sets in.

"What can we do with these bodies?" She asks.

"Watch this." says Chris, and with that he jumps onto a 10 foot wall surrounding their new golden home.

"Cool. Let me try." And with that she jumps on the wall, too, taking time to catch her balance. "I'm new at this," she says, and gives Chris a sheepish glance. They sit on the wall, their feet dangling, Andrea taking in the view of her loved ones.

She hears their cries, their sadness. She can only take it so long. "Oh, stop it!" she yells. She's hoping they can hear her at some subconscious level. "Really. You guys need to get a grip! You know where I am."

Chris looks at her and reassures her. "They'll be like this for a day or two, then they'll laugh again. They'll remember the good stuff, not your death. Just give them time."

"Yeah, I guess you're right," she says.

A light shines on them from behind. It's brighter than anything she's ever known, yet she can see. Her new eyes can behold this light.

"Look over there," whispers Chris. "It's Him."

Andrea turns and looks, a wide smile crossing her face. "Hi."

The best of men are at best just men.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Christopher's t-shirt

Mom and Dad Hughes sent the following t-shirt:

I saw it on TV
I'm pretty sure I can do it.

They know him well.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Craver tagged me

This songs' for you Big Dad. ;)
(18,000 ft, with cheap cramp-ons to boot!)

Here are the rules if you are tagged:

1. Post the rules of the game.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I'm married to a real-live mountain man. See pictures above
2. I went caving once and found out I hated it. I never went again. Death in the dark is not my idea of fun.
3. My husband put me in a really awkward situation once so that I had to eat pig heart. He told our host, "It's my wife's favorite part!"
4. I love seeing new places, but I hate to fly. It's the last minute frantic stuff I hate. Once I'm in the air, and once I have my luggage, I'm OK.
5. Since Craver brought it up in another blog, I have been studying about people with ADD and visual spatial learners. It's fascinating. (Craver, you should google it.)
6. I'm extremely loyal. Unless I get crossed too many times.
7. I think those Veggie Tales people have got to be fun to hang out with.
8. I admire people who do a job and do it well, no matter what their job is. It's fascinating to watch.

I'll have to add people as think of them! Give me a day... :)

amanda,Lindsey, Mike over at Ozark photo has some inspirational shots. Since Katey-D commented on this post, I considered it Divine Appointment so she got tagged. Besides, she's got some neat art and jewelry on her site.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Another favorite picture

I like this picture so much I think I'll write about it.

I took this picture in Thailand, and it was the type of picture I had been looking for for awhile. I happened to have my camera at hand, so I took the opportunity. Technology just doesn't seem to fit with the monk world. I believe, if I'm not mistaken, that they take a vow of poverty. They aren't supposed to own anything. So to see a monk using the ATM or a cell phone is comical in some ways.

Thailand is a great place to visit. We enjoy it very much. It is a beautiful place with flowers everywhere, and the people are always kind and helpful. I would highly recommend a visit to Thailand.

*Edit* Here's a link to the site for my son's 7th grade culture trip to Kaohsiung. It was an overnight trip, and they saw some pretty neat stuff. I believe the first picture is of the kids standing on the tropic of cancer. Great trip.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Language Faux.......Whatever.

I just love this picture. It has nothing to do with the story.

My mom and I were on the phone laughing yesterday, because we were talking about various mistakes we have made when trying to speak another language. Sometimes, when trying to get out the right words, the wrong things come out. It's almost like our brain has a mind of it's to speak.

Mom tells about the time she went to Mexico, and was trying to buy something in the local market. In her effort to try to say a certain word, she resorted to sign language. It's not like she was fluent in sign language, but somewhere in her brain the message came in "other language" and sign language came out.

A few years after hearing that story, I had my own experience. I was in a market in China, trying to buy some vegetables, and Spanish came out. It's not like I knew Spanish. I never even took a class. But I did live in a small Texas town where there were many spanish speakers, so the few words I knew are the words that came out of my mouth when I was searching for a chinese word instead.

I would be willing to throw the possibility of genetics being an issue, but since living overseas I've heard of too many people in a similar circumstance. I think it's more about keeping us humble. We think we're doing great, we're being adventurous, trying new things, wait till our friends back home hear about this...then "BAM", we get a brain freeze, locals look at us like we're crazy, and we remember we're in a huge learning curve and we better settle down a bit.

Life learning. Isn't it grand?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Entertaining Angels

This child of mine is an adventurous soul. We've always said he doesn't have a stitch of fear in him, whatsoever. Once, when he was three, I looked out of my kitchen window and saw him dangling from his knees from the TOP BAR of the swingset. I slowly walked toward him, telling him to be still, I would be right there to get him down.

"No, mom. Watch." he said. And with that, he grabbed onto the chains, let go with his legs and swung down to about a foot from the ground and let go. "See?" he said. "It's easy."

So with that history, it's not surprising that he would be in a bicycle accident. This one was bad, though. He ran straight into a brick wall after going down a steep hill. Didn't use brakes. He was learning to use handbrakes, and was afraid he would flip. It was better to hit the brick wall, full force, or so he thought.

To make matters worse, it was our first few months in a new city. We didn't know the area well. It was also another country, and I didn't know the language well. I had some every day language, but I wasn't versed in Emergency Room vocabulary. The capper was that my husband had just left to go to a conference in another country. It was me and the four kiddos, and one was hurt pretty bad: he had a broken tooth, a huge knot on his forehead, his pupils were different sizes, and he was bleeding from his left eye.

After a flurry of phonecalls from the security guard, an ambulance was called. My son was put in it. My other kids went with a friend. I got in the ambulance. Another woman appeared and said, "I go with you."

We went to the hospital with me trying to keep my son awake, furious that drivers weren't pulling over for the siren. At the hospital, this woman went to the doctor, told him what happened, set me up in a room, walked with me to the CAT scan room, the XRay room...interpreting the whole way, buying me Starbucks because she knew foreigners like it, letting me use her phone to call my husband back home. It's a blur in many ways.

Around midnight, she dismissed herself. I thanked her profusely, asking her for her name, number. She refused. Suddenly they were moving Christopher, getting him to a private room. He was in bad shape and I needed to be there. I said good-bye.

Christopher turned out fine. He had a skull fracture. We thought there might be some broken vertebrae in there, too, but it turned out there wasn't. He spent a few painful days in the hospital, a few months of no recess or PE (which was probably the most painful thing of all) and has had no problems since then.

But through it all, I have never heard of or seen the "angel" that came to our rescue that night. I asked the building manager, but she didn't know anything about her. I thanked her that night, but that doesn't seem to be enough. I'm hoping at some point we will meet, but for now I'm content with having entertained an angel unaware.