Friday, December 28, 2007

Quizzin it up

What better to fill some time than a few holiday quizzes... You're welcome to leave your results in the comments if you take any of these quizzes.

What The Holidays Mean to You

For you, the holidays are a very spiritual time. You have as much holiday fun as everyone else - but you never forget what you're celebrating.

You celebrate the holidays in a offbeat style. You believe the holidays are for doing whatever you feel like - and some of your "traditions" are pretty wacky.

During the holidays, you feel magical. You love all of the decorations and how happy people are. You like to sit back and take it all in.

You think the holidays should be decadent and indulgent. You never mind gaining a few holiday pounds... it's worth it!

Your best holiday memories are of childhood foods and traditions. You secretly still wish you believed in Santa Claus.

I think this one is pretty accurate. A mix of traditional, spiritual and my own random unique style.

You Are a Tree

You love every part of the holidays, down to the candy canes and stockings. And you're goofy enough to put a Christmas tree ornament on your tree!

Who knows...

You Had a Fantastic Year!

Compared to most years, last year was definitely great.
Overall, you're living a much better life than you were twelve months ago.
And nothing is a better mark of a good year.
Here's to hoping next year is even better!

I DID have a fantastic year! This quiz made me quite thankful to be where I am now!

Your New Year's Resolutions

1) Get a pet chinchilla

2) Eat more nuts

3) Travel to Brazil

4) Study forensics

5) Get in shape with dodgeball

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A little Christmas slideshow

Mouse over pictures for captions. More pics coming soon!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to all....

I hope you have a great holiday this year! Mine so far has been lovely, and activity-filled.
In honor of the holiday, I wanted to share my top 5 Christmas memories.

Christmas Eve My parents always have a huge party on Christmas Eve, complete with food, music, etc. They invite friends of the family and people who have no family around so they have something to do on Christmas Eve. It usually starts right after church and goes until midnight or later! Us kids started inviting friends out too. I remember one when I was in high school when there must have been 30 people in our house! Some traditions were created as certain guests brought the same things every year. Later I found out that one of the reasons they started doing it was to keep the kids occupied so they wouldn't be begging to open gifts all night.

Christmas Tree
I've had a lot of different types of Christmas trees, including my tiny one here that was mailed to me. Tammy and I used to drive out into the bush and load some trees into the back of her truck. One I remember clearly was the year we were going to be having Christmas at my grandparents' home, so there was no need for us to buy a tree (and we wouldn't be there to maintain it), so my mom cut a tree out of paper and taped it to the wall. We drew on the decorations, and put our presents beside it until it was time to load everything in the car to go to Camrose.

First Christmas in Taiwan
If you want to read the original posts, you can look here. It was my first Christmas away from home, and I was a little homesick, but had fun spending it was Hope and Amy. We had gifts from Taipei, church parties and performances, and an inordinate amount of stress over saying "Christmas is our favorite holiday" in Chinese. It was interesting to see how Taiwan does and doesn't celebrate Christmas.

Coming home for Christmas
One of my years of college, it must have been my first year, I was flying home for Christmas. I was excited because I would make it home for the annual youth progressive dinner AND I would be taking the second part of the flight with with Shelly, who was going to school in Calgary. We met up at the airport and had some bad news... the weather was bad and our flight had been cancelled!! Oh, and that was the last flight of the day..... well we were disappointed that we would miss the party, but the airline put us up in a hotel and gave us dinner coupons (not sure if they would do that anymore!), and we had a great time together. We did make it home safely the next day.

Christmas Breakfast
After my grandparents moved to Castlegar, we started the tradition of going to their place for brunch after we'd opened our presents at home. Grandpa makes the most amazing crepes filled with peaches, cottage cheese and other yummy stuff and baked. After he made them one year he was doomed to make them forever since we all loved them so much. I still miss those crepes!

Speaking of Christmas brunch... I'm heading over to one myself now, so I should go buy some bacon! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Santa drove me to Taipei!

My weekly commute has taken an interesting turn with more travel options opening up all the time. There's a large tunnel that shortens the route from Yilan to Taipei and it has recently begun to allow buses to go through. Before I usually took the train (223 one way or 402 round trip), later I sometimes took a taxi (250 one way) which only takes about 50 minutes to the train's hour and forty minutes. Now not one, but two competing bus companies will get you there in an hour and a half for about 130NT. And FINALLY, they are allowing sleigh rides through the tunnel!
Did I get you there? Ok so Santa didn't really drive me to Taipei, but my thin, beardless, Taiwanese bus driver was dressed in a Santa suit, just for the fun of it I suppose!

In any case I'm here in Taipei now until Tuesday! I'm so thankful that I get a long weekend-ish and a chance to celebrate Christmas. I was told we're supposed to wear Christmas colors tomorrow! So it begins.... Oh and speaking of commutes I'll head back to Yilan on Tuesday night since I have class on the 26th but then right back to Taipei on Wednesday, fun fun!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Party!

Last Sunday we had an English Christmas party at church! It was fun but a little stressful as I was organizing/leading it! It reminded me of some of the things we used to do in youth group...except that I wasn't one of the students! It was the first of hopefully many English services. It went really well I think, we had a great time!
We sang Christmas songs, watched a movie, played games, and I gave a message! That was the scariest part perhaps, though it went well despite a few translation difficulties. After we finished there was a discussion time and then we had snacks! I made about 80 cookies and they didn't last that long... well I guess there were about 60 people who went! Someone 'confessed' to me that she had eaten 3!
You can see more pictures of the day here.

Christmas is coming fast, and I spent the morning doing songs and gift exchanges with my classes! I'm heading to Taipei as usual on Wednesday night after spending the afternoon judging a drama competition. I'll stay there over the weekend, attending our HUGE Christmas rallies on Saturday, gong to church somewhere on Sunday, having our staff Christmas party on Mon and taking it easy on Tues before I head back to Yilan for one day of class before I'm BACK to Taipei! I'll try to get a few more phone calls home in before then!

My little pile of Christmas presents is growing too! Thank you so much to my parents, Hope, and Melissa and Shelly who have sent me gifts so far! I haven't quite decided when I'll open them yet. Christmas morning HERE or THERE?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Here's a fun googling meme lifted from Amanda's blog!

1. age at next birthday

2. A place I'd like to travel
I've wanted to go to Thailand for a while now! someday...

3. Favorite Place

The good old Canadian rockies!

4. Favorite Thing

It was so hard to choose a favorite thing, so at the moment, let's say Christmas!

5. Favorite food

6. Favorite Color

blue! everyone knows this right?

7. Favorite flower

Orchids and Calla lilies both of which grow here in Taiwan!

8. Town you live in

Here's what looks like an aerial shot of Yilan

9. Name of a past pet

Our little puppy in Yuli, named for his color!

10. Nickname

With not quite the same pronunciation LOL

11. college major
I love this first graphc, which really did come up when I googled TESOL!

12. first job

Friday, December 14, 2007

On the 10th day of Christmas..

10 more days until Christmas!! I'm getting excited already, especially with the first Christmas activities happening this week. On Monday night there was a huge Christmas rally at my school (over 1000 people where there) and tomorrow I'll be having a smaller Christmas party at my church! I'll post pictures when I can!
So many things to say.. first I updated my links and added 3 more great blogs of awesome women in Taiwan.. you should definitely check them out!
I've been baking up a storm for my Christmas party (and for the parties I'll have with my students).
AND I actually get Christmas off this year! I'll be spending the weekend in Taipei, and hopefully doing lots of fun stuff!
I'll have more interesting things to report after tomorrow.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

New Pictures!

Courtesy of my cell phone!! I got a new cell phone recently, that's a little more high tech, it can play mp3's and take pictures, along with some other random things... so I've been snapping some random pictures..

of the Christmas tree and decorations at work!

Of nice sunsets at the MRT station.

Of fun and unusual things like these (delicious) tiny bananas I bought.

Of DaZhi bridge in Taipei
Of a rainbow!!

And of course of my dessert! mmm

This week has been quite eventful, including a murder mystery and a Christmas Bazaar, more on that when I get some pictures from my friends!