Christmas 09'

Hello, Merry Christmas!
Some cool things going right now:

- We have both taken some new classes in addition to our current ones. In addition to kindergarten classes, we will both be teaching a couple of classes for 8-10 year olds. We've also been working tonnns lately, subbing for a friend who went to America for the holidays.

- Our church is beginning a series of prayer-walks in an area about 30 minutes from our house, which we're both going to be a part of. I'm excited because I've never done this type of ministry before, although Brian has done prayer-walking in Italy. Soon, there will be some opportunities for mission trips to some neighboring countries, like Malaysia or the Phillipines, which we're really excited about.

-Yesterday, we went to a museum in Taipei to see a new Dinosaur exhibit- it was wicked- I've never seen a life-size Tyrannosaurus skeleton! They also had huge dinosaur models that moved, which were really cool.

-Christmas Day was good this year- we most definitely missed our family at home, but we had some cool traditions of our own together. We also got to spend some great time with our friends, both at a Christmas party and TGI Fridays, on Christmas Eve and day. We can't wait to see friends and family in America again, but Taiwan is really feeling like home.

Christmas Eve party food

and Jenny's cute little gift table

a little jade ring Brian bought me at the night market for 2 dollars- i love it

shoes, anyone?

choc etc. covered strawberries and cherries

mmm these are good

our favorite night market

Merry Christmas!!!
These photos were loaded in a hurry. We are going to the city's Dinosaur Museum and will be back to add more photos and put them in order.
Cheers!!! Brian

hahaha trying to get the corniest Christmas card pic- this one wins

me and my friend Katannya ran a 5k in the pretty city of Banciao 


Starbucks i miss you and love you

today, one thing i miss about america: gingerbread lattes from starbucks mmmmm...
one thing i love about taiwan.... i got a tan yesterday on december 15
oh yeaaah! rach


"No milk tea... cannot life!"

This weekend, Rachel and I took a couple of trips up to the mountains. Saturday we went to Yamingshan National Park and Sunday we went to Keelung. Here are some pictures from our trip:

Making a pit stop for some tea on our way up the mountain.  Rachel's favorite is milk tea minus the "pearls" or "bubbles" of jelly, but I really like the bubbles in mine.

My wife Rachel... lovely girl

Rachel is addicted to City Cafe coffee, which you can find at almost any 7-11 store in the city.

Me enjoying some bacon egg and cheese dan bing on top of Yamingshan National Park.

Me and my wife on the top

This was our first time back to the coast in over a month- way too long.

Checking out the fish at a local seafood market

Some cool fishing boats we discovered

Rachel thinking of becoming a fisherman

enormous shrimp

We were offered a fried rooster with his head and feet still intact
This is where we stopped for lunch on Sunday

I love Taiwan.


Taiwanese T-Giving

I think we've become accustomed to the traffic in Taipei by now, but it truly is like rush hour 24/7.  Busy streets filled with buses, taxis, cars, and especially scooters.

Steps on a hiking trail in Pinxi that Brian and his friend Tim hiked recently.

Extreme hiking

Pretty Taiwan from the view in Pinxi.

The bus we got super lost on one day and rode for about an hour till we came to the very end of the line.

Happy to see the sun after 2 weeks of clouds or rain. Taiwan has had really wierd weather lately... and lots of little earthquakes, too, that wake us up in the middle of the night and sometimes shake the books off of our shelves.

Brian cut his finger pretty bad while trying to make spagetti in...
our kitchen! yep, there it is...

We have a propane tank and hot plate on our back porch that we make all of our meals with. But we usually eat all of our meals out, since you can eat for so cheap in most restaurants.  It is usually more expensive to cook Western food at home than it is to eat local food at a nearby restauarant.

mini pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving

Our second mode of transportation of choice, the MRT.

Our Thanksgiving dinner was so good- all the food traditional Thanksgiving food from home that we were missing so much!

Brian, Alan, and Emlin at our Thanksgiving party


Ni Hao, ya'll

Bringing Texas to Taiwan

Gettin' a kiss from my little lady!
Here is a scary group of Hsin Hu teachers at Rachel's school.
Dodging traffic on Rachel's birthday!
Rachels HRT's surprised her with a birthday cake while she was teaching.

Checking out our neighborhood while waiting for a train.

Mucking around on the MR

Taking pictures of my wife on our street.
Here is a street just outside our apartment. Notice the 7-11. Life in Taiwan would stop if there were no 7-11's. We do everything at 7-11 even pay our bills and parking tickets. =)

Rachel and her friends at a cookout we went to last weekend in Taoyuan.
Rachel at her favorite shopping destination, Ximen

I was greeted by Buddha when I reached the top of one of the mountains I climbed this weekend.