Tuesday, July 31, 2007


My grandmother, Mimi, passed away yesterday. In honor of her, I am reposted this, which was written earlier this year. While we can't attend the funeral, please know that our thoughts and prayers are with the Ledbetters in the next few days.

"You know you lost that pearl ring I gave you, don't you?"

Mimi gave me a real pearl ring when I was 10. 10!! I kept it for a long time, probably longer than many 10 year old girls. I also didn't know it was a real pearl ring until after I lost it, and she asked to see it. Once she found out I lost the pearl ring, she never let me forget it. No matter where I tried to steer the conversation,it always came back to that blasted pearl ring.

But that was Mimi. (We didn't call her grandma. One, because we didn't want a smack on the behind and two, she didn't like it. Said it made her feel old.) She was direct and to the point. She didn't take much off of anyone. She raised seven kids, six of which are serving in a ministry somewhere. Her discipline is legendary. Dad speaks of the time he hid from her so as not to get a spanking, only to be drawn out from under the bed by a passing fire truck. Said he didn't sit comfortably for a week. My aunt speaks of church: Papa preaching hell-fire and brimstone, Mimi with her brood sitting along side her in the pew (three on one side and three on the other), and a switch in her hand. According to my aunt, if one spoke, they all got the switch.

Mimi took down a cousin once because he challenged her. My dad was old enough to remember it. The cousin walked up to her in her kitchen and said, "Yeah, I could take you," to which she promptly put him in a headlock, rolled him across her hip to the floor, then turned to finish making her biscuits. He never tried that again.

That toughness served Mimi well in Sunday School. She taught Junior High for as long as I can remember, and the kids LOVED her. They also called her Mimi, and she saw each of them as part of her extended family. She taught that class well into her 80's.

In recent years, Mimi had been slipping a bit: Not remembering who people were, forgetting to put her teeth in, but she never missed church. She was there every time the doors opened. And if there was a mix up as to who picked her up, she was on the phone making sure somebody did!

One Sunday, while I was visiting, a missionary was in the pulpit, and looked over and saw Mimi. With tears in his eyes, he told her how proud he was of her and her late husband's ministry, how there are scores of people going to heaven as a result of their faithfulness. He ended it all with a tearful thank you, and said he was so happy to see her there on this Sunday. She leaned over to me and said with a not so quiet voice, "Well, I'm here every Sunday!" That's Mimi.

Mimi had a stroke two weeks ago, and we're all sad. Her feistiness isn't as pronounced as it was. She still recognizes some people, but this strong, vibrant woman now has to have others feed her and clothe her. It's heartbreaking to see, but it also speaks to the will and determination of a woman from her time. Our family has many Mimi stories to pass down to our kids. I sure wish I had that pearl ring to pass down, too!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hmmmm. What can we say about Big Dad,

on this, his 43rd birthday?

He's an adventurer

Who takes the time to fill our house with beautiful things.

He teaches our kids about honoring their loved ones.

He doesn't let little things

get in the way

of taking the Gospel

to those who need to hear.

He teaches our boys

how to be


And lets our girl be a lady.

He's a good friend.

He will go to extremes

to follow with drive and passion

the path of Christ to the uttermost parts of the earth.

Because it is what he's been called to do.

T, you're loved! We are so proud of you. Thanks for being such a wonderful husband, father, friend, son.... We love you very much.

Blessings on your 43rd birthday!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Moaning Meme

Shelly over at This Eclectic Life has tagged me with a Moaning Meme (click the link to see the origins of this meme at Freelance Cynic). While she tagged me as someone she thinks would be irritated at being tagged, I have to say this one caught my fancy. (Shelly thinks I'm too nice to rant. I told her my kids would get a kick out of that.) Before I get started, though, I want to tell you about what Shelly is up to. If you notice the "Share a Square" icon on the left of my site, that is from Shelly. It's a project she started in order to help the kids of Camp Sanguinity. Camp Sanguinity is a camp for kids with cancer and blood diseases. Every year, the campers are given comfort quilts to help them through their various treatments. This year, Shelly had the wonderful idea of making this a community project by gathering donated crochet shares, and then enlisted a local crochet club to put them together to make aphgans to give to the kids next year when they attend camp again. The fun thing is that she included her blogging community as well. So, here in Taiwan, a few people are busy making squares to send in for the project. I've sent a few already to make it on the first few aphgans. SO....any of you who crochet and would like to get in on this project...please click here and you will find instructions on how to make the squares. She still needs 5500 squares, so join in and have some fun with your girlfriends! Besides that, you need to check out her Story Telling skills. She has some videos you can watch. She's REALLY good!

OK. On to the meme.

List 5 people that will be irritated by being tagged: Let's just say my entire blogroll. If you want to participate, let me know so I can see what you have to moan about though!

List 4 things that should go into room 101 and be removed from the face of the earth.
-Cars with huge speakers that thump music instead of listen to it.
-Those plastic security things on CD's and tapes. You end up just wanting to throw the whole thing out!
-Mosquitoes. Really.
-Those little kid squeaky shoes. Whoever thought of that does not have kids at home.

List 3 things that people do that make me want to shake them violently.
-Act fake. Wear masks. I just want to tell them they are OK the way they are.
-Brag and put others down. I don't like arrogance in any form. I just want to tell them to get real!
-Drive like a maniac. If it just involved them I'd be OK, but someone else's stupidity can cause a lot of damage to others.

List 2 things I find myself moaning about:
-Hmmm. I can't think off hand. I'll have to add later

What 1 thing do the above answers tell me about myself.
-Little things get to me. I need to loosen up and let my hair down! ha!

Thanks for the tag, Shelly! I'll be sending more squares soon!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

More pictures of Kenting

We had to stop to get this picture. The sea was just beautiful this day.

The structure on the right is called a "pillbox." It was built by the Japanese during their occupation of Taiwan. My husband has been in this one, and he was struck by how much a person could see while inside.

This was some fun I had with the macro setting. My daughter caught glimpse of this little starfish on the seahorse exhibit. I have a ton of pictures of the seahorses, because they are just fascinating, but this was too cute.

A man-made barrier to help prevent erosion.

Barrier closeup.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Finally. Some photos

I promised earlier some of my best tries at Anna/Carmi/Mike-type photos. While I don't have a fancy camera (I just have a Canon point and shoot), I'm still having some fun. We just returned from a trip around the island (which is a whole other story!) but I thought I'd post some pictures from the trip. We enjoyed just playing around with the camera:

Nixon Rock

The boys were fascinated by the Baluga Whales

My new toe ring. I know you all were just waiting to see that! But I love it.

Starbucks. They've got me, hook, line and sinker.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

To the beach

My sister-in-law and niece are here from the states. We are so happy to have them here. I've known Kay since 4th grade. I thought she looked like Kate Jackson when I first met her. We have been friends all this time. She's the sister I never had and a best friend to boot. I love the fact that we always just pick up where we left off. She feels comfortable enough to help herself to a snack at my house and I feel comfortable enough to allow her to do dishes. Our kids are the same way with each other. It's great fun.

So we're off for a few days of adventure. I intend to show them some great sites in Taiwan. First stop, Kenting. The Hawaii of Asia. Kay loves the beach, so the beach it is.

Old friends. What do you do to foster those relationships?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

San likes girls

San has always liked girls. When he was little, he gravitated to them. He's even had a little following of girlfriends of many ages.

In this picture, we were at the Science Museum in Singapore and San was three. We had lost sight of him, and we were expecting him to be with his brothers. They were busy running around trying out the exhibits, which included pushing, turning and lifting things. These were all right up his alley. We had those natural moments of temporary panic, until we finally spotted him sitting with these girls from a school tour group. They hardly even notice he's there, as the are busy eating their Mickey D's, but he doesn't seem to mind. He's happy sitting there with his Blue's Clues shoes, next to a bunch of girls.

Once I was walking him to school, and every high school girl we passed called him by name and said hello. Finally I said, "San, do you like girls?" "Yes," he said. "I like big girls."

Advice anyone?

Monday, July 09, 2007


*Click for the bigger picture* Photo by Big Dad

It's hard to see, but if you look on the rock at the right of the picture you can see people sitting there. It gives the picture some perspective.

Living in China is always an adventure. We learned very quickly to be prepared for just about anything. This is particularly true when traveling. While we might have embarked on a trip to the land-o-plenty (LiJiang), planning on a 7 hour bus ride, it at times would turn into much more. Road blocks were plentiful, as well as landslides (our bus driver would speed up to get ahead of them!) and flat tires or transmission repairs were the norm. We tended to sit at the front of the bus, as you were less likely to get pecked by chickens, and the locals didn't travel well. Sometimes we would hand out dramamine, if we had enough on hand.

On one occasion I was making this trip, and we had a road block similar to the one pictured above. It's hard to tell from the picture, but we were up pretty high, and there are no guardrails to keep folks from driving off the road. Passing on these roads was always scary, and I think there were occasions in which our guardian angels were pinching drivers to keep them alert or holding up bus wheels as they ventured too far on the edge. On this particular trip, there was a large backhoe that was clearing the road of these large boulders and putting them on a flatbed truck. I had no camera, and could kick myself for not getting a picture of what followed.

The backhoe needed to turn around, so it hooked it's claw on a small man-made curb and backed to the edge of the road. It's back half hung precariously off of the cliff at a 45 degree angle, and at first I thought this was the norm for them. These road workers are able to do amazing things. That was not the case, however. I began to notice a frenzy of activity. People began running places, voices were raised, and I soon realized that this driver was in trouble. It dawned on me that the life of the man was reliant on this little curb, and taking into account the weight of the backhoe, I began to get nervous. I watched the driver closely, expecting him to jump at any time. He didn't. He sat firmly in his seat. He never even made an attempt to get out of the way. He was committed to the job. Never mind that a drop of a few thousand feet was a possibility.

Eventually, the flatbed truck pulled under the backhoe, it used that little curb to pull itself up, and disaster was averted. As soon as the backhoe was safely on the road, it continued with the job at hand, and soon we were on our way.

My thought is this: There are so many people in the world who work and are committed to doing a good job. They don't seek the spotlight, nor do they feel comfortable in that position. They just want to do a job and do it well. They are committed for that reason. They are in all types of jobs and classes. They are people of character, and can be counted on to see through whatever is asked of them. In contrast, many times there are those who are visible, who get a lot of credit, but are not willing to work for it. They take credit for other's work, and for whatever reason seek the praise for the work of others. They enjoy the spotlight, but don't enjoy the character that the behind the scenes person possesses: the follow through, the commitment, the attitude of "I said I would do it. I will see it through". They too are in all types of jobs and classes.

I always wonder if the latter person would do their work if there was no recognition. I think that would be a true test to their motives. As for this man, his motives, his character and his commitment were clear. I have no idea if he sat by the fire that night and discussed the day's events. I have the feeling that it was forgotten the next day, and became just another story in the life of a road worker. All I know is we were quickly on our way, because this worker did his job. It amazes me still to this day. Sometimes the world puts us to shame.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Dad's Blog

Hey all! Head on over to Hillcountry Wit and Wisdom and read some of my dad's stories. Dad's a preacher and has been as long as I've been alive, and longer. He's got some great family stories, and stories that have transpired along the way in his ministry. Some great life applications as well. He's new to the blogworld, so any good words you can send his way would be great.

Dad, you're in the blogroll now!

Love you!

Friday, July 06, 2007

A great cup of Joe

I've got a new favorite cup of coffee. Made at home (much cheaper). General Foods International Coffee, French Vanilla, with a little bit of sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top.

It's goooooood.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Night fire

Red, a good friend of ours, took this picture. I love it. He was in a barn and was playing with his time exposure setting. A person in the house came out carrying a torch. You end up not seeing the person, but you still see the path of the light.

Very cool