We've been here in Taipei for one month now--anyone miss us yet? Shaun made a comment yesterday that the apartment finally feels like our home. We are slowly starting to shape our lives here. Starting over in a new country has always been an adventure in the past, but with the addition of two toddlers it has made things a bit more difficult. We worry about dangerous traffic, killing the cockroach running around on the restaurant highchair, finding friends for playdates, and where to buy Kraft mac and cheese! Yesterday our bishop made a comment in his lesson that resonated with me. He said that many members upon moving to this foreign land are removed from their comfort zone, humbled, and forced to think about their dedication to the gospel and relationship with Christ. In this way, these trials of starting over have been a blessing as we've reconnected with Heavenly Father through sincere prayer and grown closer as a family.
Shaun has developed great skills at skirting around people quietly to avoid confrontation. That, plus his brown-nosing and plain hard work have landed him the grudging respect of his boss, enough that he is basically left along during the day. Shaun says that even though they sit close enough to reach out and touch each other, they just send emails back and forth and sometimes won't exchange a word all day. That's fine with him!
Sophie is now a full-fledged big girl--she goes to school each day on a bus! It's a shuttle bus, so Shaun likes to comment that she rides the short bus (meaning "special needs" bus.) She's enjoying her little preschool and although she doesn't really remark on what she learns, she'll surprise us each day with a little tidbit of information. . . "this is the sign for rocket ship", or "I am a racoon and I live on the forest floor." It was hard to let her go at first, but she needed some interaction with other children her age and some time away from the apartment during the day.
Lucas is now toddling around the apartment with his big toothy grin. He has an obsession with shoes, which probably helped the walking along. Each morning, his first item of business is to get his shoes on. This must be followed by food. Dooby is the happiest, snuggliest little boy. I am sometimes surprised by how lovey he is, being a boy, but he absolutely thrives on snuggles. He loves to say hi and wave to every person he passes in the stroller, and always has his big smile on. He has become the goodwill ambassador to Taiwan. People are drawn to him because of his glasses and his smile. He's quite the spiffy little fellow!
There's not much to comment at this point on my life, as it feels I am just trying to get everyone else's life up and running here. Someone asked me the other day what my hobbies were, and I was embarrassed because I couldn't think of one. Cleaning, reading for a minute, and sleeping are what I do in my free time. This will hopefully change and expand as I become better accustomed to running a household in a foreign country. What I have enjoyed most in this new city are the blue skies and sunsets. Simple, but something we didn't experience for 4 years in Beijing.
We miss you all and are grateful for the time we had together this past summer. Happy birthday to Megan!!!!!!!
One week down, 35 to go
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