engagment party in taiwan

Carolyn's Double Heart Cake

Before I left Taiwan, the mission team I work with threw Lawrance and me an engagement party. 

Carolyn made this really fun (and yummy) double heart cake in our honor. :)

We also played a game similar to "The Newlywed Game."  It was a lot of fun.

We are so blessed!!

glimpses from my journal: feb 3-7, 2008

Lawrance and AmandaFeb. 3, 2008
"Since Lawrance came back from the conference, we've gone out twice.  On Friday, we went to eat hotpot and then to look at sunflowers, pink flowers, and his mom's work place.  It was so much fun!! 

" . . .

"He is so kind and patient.  He is also very tenderhearted.  And . . . he protects me--making sure he walks on the outside . . . ahhh a man! :)  It's great!"


Feb. 7, 2008
Our other date was the very next day.  We went to Corrina's house.  I made spaghetti and we played games with Corrina's girls while Corrina and Kevin went out on a date.  I was tired actually, but we still had fun.

"Father, please guide him and direct him and allow me to follow his lead.  . . .   I want to please you and bring you glory.  I want to honor you and him.

"Please give us both discernment and wisdom.  Help him to be a man and me a woman.  Give us self-control and patience.  Help us to do things right in the matters of the heart.  Teach us how to serve each other, support each other, and love each other too.  Teach us hot to be self-sacrificing and delight in pleasing the other. 

"I thank you so much for giving him to me.  You are such a good, kind, God.  You've given me more than I could ever have asked for or imagined!  . . . Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!  Praise your holy name!"

Note from Amanda:
During this time I read the books Doing Things Right in the Matters of the Heart by John Ensor and Let Me be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot (essentially a long letter Elliot writes to her newly engaged daughter).  And, he read Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship by Joshua Harris in Chinese (I reread it also, but in English). 

These three books were so helpful to helping us lay a good foundation for the beginning of our relationship.  I highly recommend Boy Meets Girl and Let Me Be a Woman to others who are in the beginning stages a love relationship.  Doing Things Right in the Matters of the Heart is also highly recommend, but it is a book that can and should be read by singles everywhere.

glimpses from my journal: jan 25-26, 08

Jan. 25, 2008
"I feel like I am living a dream.  Walking in the land of 'I don't deserve this.'  You, my loving Heavenly Father, surely do know how to give GOOD gifts.  You are most kind and very generous. 

"Please forgive my lack of faith and distrust.  I am sorry I ever doubted you.

"I place my life in your hands and eagerly await the future."


Jan 26, 2008
". . . I think I am in love.  And, I know I WANT him to be 'the one.' 

"Oh yeah, and today when he called on the phone, he spoke only in Chinese and I spoke only in English.  So fun!!  I loved it!  Yea!!!!!"

glimpses from my journal: jan 24, 2008

"Lawrance is away at a conference in KH . . . how is it possible to miss someone I only recently started hanging out with?  My thoughts somehow seem to always come back to him.  And the only thing I can do is pray.  At times I wonder if the Lord will ever tire of my love sick prayers.

"Corrina suggested tonight that Lawrance go back with me to America this summer.  That way he could meet my whole family and see me in America.  I think that is a wonderful idea.  . . . but is it too premature to be planning that far ahead?  Corrina also mentioned that she thinks we should just go ahead and get married.  Ha!  I had to remind her we've only had one date! :)


"I think . . . . I really, really think . . . . I am falling in love. . . . oh my!  All I can think of is God is so good, so kind. . . . and how much longer must I wait?  I can't wait to see what happens. . . . can't wait, too excited. . . .so excited . . .can't wait!!!  oh my!  oh my!  oh my!!"

glimpses from my journal: jan 20-22, 08

Jan. 20, 2008
"In just a few moments I will be leaving to go on my first date with Lawrance.  I am excited, nervous, happy.

"Father, you be in control.  Help me to reign in my emotions.  Please be glorified in our relationship where it leads.  Be Lord of it all.

"Help me to trust you as the author of my love life.  Help me to handle his heart with care.  Give me wisdom and discernment--and him too.  Give him the guts to lead and give him the wisdom and strength to do what is right and good and pure.

"Thank you so much for this chance.  Thank you for how you've changed in the past year.  I look forward to growing closer to you than ever before.  Be glorified!!"


first dateJan. 22, 2008
"Well, our first date went well.  I really like Lawrance.  I want
the whole process of dating him to go well--smoothly.  I want him to be
'the one.'  He was so nervous, but that just made it all the more
sweet, cute. 

. . .

"Father, I relinquish this
relationship to you.  I want it to honor you and bring you glory.  Even
though waiting will be hard for me . . . I trust completely your
timing.  You truly are a good God . . . a kind God.  I ask that you
give Lawrance wisdom and discernment.  I pray you speak right to his
heart.  . . . let him have ears that hear you.  . . . Grow us closer to
both each other and you.  And most of all . . . please be glorified in
our lives and in our relationship. 

"Thank you for placing us together in a way only you could.  You are so good!!"

glimpses from my journal: jan 1, 08

I've decided to let you inside my journal writings from the past few months.   Of course you are only getting the glimpses and snippets--full text viewing is strictly forbidden. :)

And, just a small warning  . . . I was utterly head over heels in love--you will see that in my writing.  It was a very, very fun and exciting time.  This first journal entry was just some of my "new year thoughts" that are fun to read now that we know there is going to be a wedding on the last day of August of this year. :)


Jan 1, 2008
". . . There is so much I long to do, want to do, would love to see happen this year.  Desire.  Longing.  Hope.  It would be amazing to end 2008 as a wife.  That seems too good to be true to actually happen.  Could it?  Can it?

. . .

Father, I entrust you with all that I am.  I have no clue what the future might hold . . . but because you are in charge, I am hopeful and excited.  You fulfill me and satisfy.  You surprise me with your generosity and kindness.  I don't deserve any of it and yet still you give and give and give.  What a wonderful God you are! . . ."

some posts to check out

Since I'm in the middle of enjoying family and getting ready for marriage and planning a wedding, writing about life in Taiwan is not on the forefront of my mind.  But, some bloggers I enjoy reading are still posting some great stuff . . and not just about Taiwan either. 

A new addition to my blogs to watch list is stevewebel.com.  Recently he's been posting about "third culture kids." 

What is a TCK?
You might be a TCK if . . .
Would this stress you out?
TIME Article on TCKs

Guy Muse has an excellent quote about what is ministry at Ministry is . . . .

The Desiring God Blog has been doing an excellent on going series on "Day to Day Observations in Asia" written by a 'Cross-cultural gospel spreader" (what a great term!).  So far the series includes:

Do You Believe in Djinn?
Praying For and Burying the Dead
Faithfulness and Fruitlessness
The Traffic Jam

Of course if you are interested in what life is like for places in the world where cell phones are not the norm check out this really cool video on Mobile Phones in Uganda.  Mobile as in big yellow phone travels around village by bike. :)

And, the Taiwan Prattler posted about idols in Taiwan recently: are they Cute? Solemn? Stately?.

Another site/blog I love to keep my eye on is the Missionary Blog Watch.  The author is always keeping us up to date with great things going in the "missionary blog world."  Recently he's featured Blogs You've Never Read.

asian themed wedding

Nope.  Just in case you were wondering, we are NOT having an "Asian themed wedding."  Not that there is anything wrong with one, but I want our American wedding to be American and our Taiwanese wedding to be Taiwanese . . . while at both of them still honoring both cultures.  Does that make sense?

So, we are not doing anything overtly "Asian" at our American wedding.  No chipows, no lanterns, no deep red decorations, no fortune cookies (which are American anyway) and no "Chinese take out boxes" (which are also American).  However, we will use Chinese during part of the ceremony, and the groom's cake will have some a fun Chinese inspired decoration.  But, beyond that we are doing things in a colorful blast of gerbera daisy fun. :) 

The church ceremony of our Taiwanese wedding will be much more bilingual than our American wedding.  My guess is that it will seem Taiwanese to the Americans and American to the Taiwanese . . . which is actually my desire.  Not that both groups find it foreign, but that we do things in a way that is totally us . . . a blend of both cultures. 

However, our banquet in Taiwan will be very Taiwanese all the way.  I'm not sure what all it will include, and I'm not sure that I will know until it is all said and done.  I have heard talk of karoke though.

Oh, and the part before the wedding, where the groom comes to get or take his bride will also be done in a Taiwanese way.  

So . . . that's what I know so far.

Perhaps if we weren't also having a wedding celebration in Taiwan later or perhaps if I wasn't moving back to Taiwan after the wedding or perhaps if I wasn't actually marrying a Taiwanese man I would consider doing an Asian inspired theme for our wedding.  But, as things stand now I've kinda been against the idea of a commercially done "asian" theme to the wedding here in Texas.  However, I'm not opposed to things like using Taiwanese candy as our favors or putting the character for "double hapiness" on our invitation envelopes.

pompoms and favor bags

Mom and I spent some time this week working on wedding stuff.

First, we started making things to hang at the wedding.

We will be hanging these tissue paper pompoms both in the tree and in the reception hall.  Have I mentioned we are having an outdoor wedding and are getting married under this great big, 200 year old tree:

View of Tree, Well, and New Annex

I've always dreamed of an outdoor wedding.  As a side note, I always told my family that I'd get married barefoot in someone's backyard--it almost happened till mom found the inn.  And, well, I'm going to wear sandals because Lawrance thinks it's safer.

Back to the pompoms.  Mine will be orange, teal, pink, and yellow.  We also have some pomanders made out of several different colors of gerberas to hang from the tree.  Mom made those.

please take some candyWe also bagged candy that Lawrance and I picked out in Taiwan.  Traditionally in Taiwan, a bride and groom will stand at "the exit door" to thank all the guests for coming to their wedding.  This also ensures that everyone at the wedding has one more chance to congratulate the new couple. 

They stand at the door with their parents and pass out candy and cigarettes.  I'm not sure what the cigarettes symbolize; however, I do know about the candy.  :)  The giving of candy at the wedding symbolizes the guests sharing in the sweetness of the new marriage.  Or that the guests wish a sweet life on the new couple. 

Lawrance also told me that in Taiwanese the word for "candy" sounds like "di di" which means "little brother."  So, by taking the candy the guests are also wishing the couple has a son very soon.

Sharing candy, sharing sweetnessOne aspect of the candy is that I've been told to take the candy in even multiples.  In other words, never take just one piece.  Taking two pieces is important because you want the two of them to stay married forever. 

So, . . . Lawrance and I got some of the traditional wedding candy and also some other fun Taiwanese candy we thought Americans would like.  We aren't going to stand at the exit door at our American wedding, but we will give out the candy in little bags with an explanation of its cultural significance as our American wedding favors.  The little bags look so cute and make me very happy.

2 more weeks!!

In two weeks I will be ecstatic with anticipation!!  In two weeks I will be beside myself with joy. 

Because . . . . in two weeks, this guy:

lawrance and the sunset

is coming to Texas!!

I can't believe we've already been apart for 25 days.  The time has actually gone by quite fast, but it is getting harder and harder to be apart.  But, I am oh so very thankful for unlimited international calling for only 4 USD a month with skype--can't beat that.

I don't know how military wives do it.  I'm not even his wife yet, and it hurts to be apart.  And, we only have to be apart for 39 days, but still it's not easy.  So, how they do it . . . I have no clue and much more respect.

making decisions

I've made more decisions in the past three weeks than I think I have in the past three years!!

I mean just deciding about the cake alone I think I must have made at least 15-20 decisions!  It's crazy!!  I had no idea wedding planning included this much deciding.

I am SO thankful that we went with the inn.  It was so much easier just answering her questions and choosing from preselected possibilities then thinking and searching and planning and trying to make it all work.  Even having to think of all the questions that needed answering would be an insurmountable task!

And don't even get me started on how hard making all those decisions on music are.  Once I choose what song I want to use, I then have to sort through and find the version I like best.  It can be overwhelming to say the least.  I have set this task aside and will work with Lawrance on it when he is here.

Oh, yeah, all that and I'm planning all the things I want Lawrance to experience while he is here for a month.

And, I made a small registry  . . . that just about killed me.  I honestly was overwhelmed with all the decision making at that time.  Do we really need this?  Do we need that one or this one more?  Is there room for this in our suitcases?  Is it really worth the space and weight it will take up? 

I am SO thankful my brother (who for those of you who don't know is only 14) went with me.  It's summer vacation; he was bored; there was a "gun" to use . . . it was a great excuse to get out of the house.  Actually, he was a blessing.  A few times he got a little impatient with me and was like "yes.  get it;" scan.  But, for the most part he helped me think though and make decisions.  And most of all he was incredibly patient.  I did however have to remove duct tape, a ficus tree, a turquoise tamale steamer, a bobble head thing, and a few other random surprise items off the registry when I got home. :)

Oh, yeah, and another person who has been awesome in all this is my mom.  She has also been really patient and understanding too.  She also keeps chanting "no second guessing" or "nope, can't rethink it now" to me. :)  After I added a fourth color two weeks ago, she stated firmly "no more changes." 

And, when I've vented to Lawrance he's been good about either encouraging me and supporting me or about helping me refocus and keep the Main thing the main thing.  And, of course, he is constantly bathing the all of the wedding planning in prayer.  What a blessing!

Ok, so . . . . all that to say. . . . I am SO tired of making decisions.  I have no idea how some of you who have long engagements spend a year or longer doing this.  I think I would literally crash and burn.

But, praise God!  I think I'm on the downward slope now and have made the majority of the decisions regarding wedding ceremony and reception.  Just need to spend some more time planning how to spend our time together before the wedding experiencing life in America.

our invitations

2662177828_fb5c6d12a6 2662179768_622ea6eecc
(Now, I am "live blogging"--as opposed to reposting past posts--the wedding.)

Yesterday I sent out our invitations to the American wedding.  Yipee!!

In planning our whole wedding . . . we don't necessarily want to "buck tradition," but we don't want to be bound by it or to it either.  We are seeking to do things in a simple way that doesn't cause lots of stress and that also honors our Father. 

Ever since I saw my parent's wedding invitation when I was a child--which included an engagement photo of them on the invitation--I've also wanted a photo on my own wedding invitation.  And since everyone we invite to the American wedding hasn't seen me in two years and won't meet Lawrance till August, we thought having photos on our wedding invite would help "introduce us."

Originally I was going to just make my own photo-based wedding invitations, but we decided that paying someone to design them for us might cost a little more but would be less stress.  So that is the route we took. 

We are both very pleased with the results!!

In addition to going non-traditional with the layout/design/paper of our wedding invite we also changed the words of the invite to be uniquely ours but still seem formal/traditional.

Here is the text of the invite (minus all the specific details):

With joyful hearts
Rev. & Mrs. Kenneth Parmley
invite you to join them in celebrating
the union of their daughter 

Amanda Nicole
Lawrance Aaron 
son of Mr. & Mrs. Sen-Song Wu
as they glorify God
for what He is graciously joining together.

On the return address label we used a "double happiness" seal/stamp.  This double happiness character is used at Taiwanese weddings and is hung on doors and walls of a new couple's room or home.  It is called "double happiness" because it is the word "joy" twice.  Kinda like "joy joy"--meaning that when two are joined together there is double the joy.



Yesterday marked 11 days till I leave Taiwan AND 11 weeks and 3 days till our wedding!!

CRAZY!!! :)

Lawrance and I have a standing date on Thursday mornings.  Yesterday we got a little silly.

It was fun.  :)

Gosh, I'm gonna miss this guy like crazy when I am back in the States for five weeks without him!!  I better stay really, really busy!

What a blessing he is to me!  I love that he can make me laugh (sometimes without even trying)!! :)

(Originally posted on June 13, 2008.)


engagement noodles :)

Engagement Celebration in Meinong
Recently, Lawrance and I went back to Meinong with his family to celebrate our engagement. His grandmother was so happy for us, she decided to treat the whole clan to noodles! She reserved the restaurant and called all the relatives to come home for the weekend. It apparently was a BIG deal. :)

It's too bad I was sick. I was right in the middle of a cold at the time. It started on Thursday and was at its worst on Monday. Lawrance took good care of me though by forcing me to go see the doc who said the reason my "common cold" was so bad was because it had activated my asthma. So, once my airways were open again . . . I started feeling much better. So, today, Wednesday--I'm feeling better--and went to school for the first time this week. Now, if only I can survive the next two weeks!!

Anyway, back to this weekend, I am so blessed to be welcomed with open arms into this family. So many people I tell about our engagement are surprised at how welcoming the Wu family has been to "a foreigner" marrying into the family. Even non-believers have been telling me how much God is blessing Lawrance and me. How cool is that?!?!

See all you Texans soon!

With much love,

amanda :)

(Originally posted on June 11, 2008.)

a fortune teller

On Sat. night Lawrance's mom along with her mom and some of her sisters met with a fortune teller.

Of course high on Lawrance's mom's list of things to talk about was the impending marriage of her son. 

fortune teller told her that Lawrance and I would have a very happy
marriage.  That things would just get better and better.  He also
predicted that by the end of next year we'd have a daughter--he was
afraid to tell her this since most Chinese women want sons before
daughters.  He wasn't sure if the daughter would be born by the end of
next year or just that we'd be pregnant.  He also told her that even
though at the beginning of our marriage we'd be tight on money, in a
few years it wouldn't be a problem.

Lawrance asked me to tell you all this so that you can be praying for us. 

might have already told you that Lawrance's sister saw the two of us
together in a vision before she even knew Lawrance had a girlfriend. 

There is definite spiritual warfare going on in his family.  Please pray for us and for them. 

Thanks much,
amanda :)

(Originally posted on June 9, 2008.)

it's a date

We have a date set for the wedding!!

"Crazy" is the most oft repeated word in my vocabulary right now.  It is just sheer crazy to think how much has been decided in about a week's time!

My mom found this amazing package deal at this inn.  I love that they do EVERYTHING for us!  When she first told me about it . . . I wanted to kiss her feet to thank her.  Too bad she was an ocean away! :) 

Doing it this way relieves me of SO MUCH pressure.  Ahh, the stress that just vanished as soon as I looked at the website and the inn's package deal.  It's wonderful.  THANKS MOM!!!! 

So . . . we are getting married on August 31, 2008.

Crazy.  Just crazy.

(originally posted on June 7, 2007.)

colors and flowers

When mom asked me to start thinking about colors and flowers . . . I was clueless.  I had NO IDEA what I wanted.

Well, it didn't take me too long to realize I want gerbera daises.

Here is the photo that made me decide:
Bouquet 1

But, I also like these:
Bouquet 2
Bouquet 3

Bouquet 4

Here are some other random gerbera bouquets I've found pics of online:


I like the all pink bouquets.  But, I think I really prefer the mix of colors--pinks, reds, oranges, and yellows too.  Since I'm having no attendants, I think it's ok to go with a bright mix of fun, happy colors!

Mom found this pic of a wedding cake with gerbera flowers on it.  It might be my fave of all the gerbera cakes I've found pics of online.


Here are some other gerbera wedding cakes I've found:


(Originally posted on June 5, 2008.)

About Us
About Lawrance
About Amanda

Our Story
How We Met
Making a Match
First Date
Holding Hands

Wedding Plans
In Taiwan
In America

Directions to US Wedding

Gift Registry

Photo Albums

Guest Book

Amanda's Blog


our wedding bands

One of the easiest decisions--besides saying yes to Lawrance--so far has been picking out the wedding bands. 

Corrina asked me the other day if Lawrance and I were arguing yet regarding all the quick decision making with wedding planning.  I told her absolutely not.  She couldn't believe that we were getting along so well!  :) 

It's fun.

So, anyway, here are the bands we've decided to go with:

Wed ring

Of course, we will  wait till he gets to America to try them on and purchase them, but for now, this is what we are leaning towards.  Something simple but elegant.

(Originally posted on June 3, 2008.)

blogging about the wedding

I've decided to blog about my wedding here on "my blog" . . . and move my few wedding blog posts over here and keep the wedding blog site purely a site with pages rather than a site with a blog. 

That way I am more likely to blog about it.  :)

So, for the next week, the things that I blogged about the first week of June on our "wedding blog" will post here in the exact same way I posted them at that time--except I will add an "originally posted on" line at the end.

I decided to do this not just to make it easier on me, but also because several people have commented or encouraged me to blog about our wedding planning process.  So, here I am . . . coming back to blogging as best as can at this time in my life. :)

nate nate

Me and NateNate

I've been able to hold and give sugars to my nephew twice now.  Both times were wonderful!!!

He is such a cutie and such a good baby!  What a blessing!!!

Below are some of the photos I took of Nate with his Uncle Sam (my brother, who strongly dislikes being called Uncle Sam), Nonny (his grandmother, my mom), Great Grandma (Nate is my grandma Smith's eleventh great grandchild!!), and Mommy (my sister) too. :)

Nate with Family

howdy yall!

Greetings from Texas!!

I've been back in America for about two weeks now.  It's been good to be with family--both day in and day out and at family reunions.  It was wonderful to hold my nephew, the cutest little boy, in the world!!  And, I've enjoyed eating yummy Mexican food and Bluebell ice cream.

But, oh, is it ever so hard to be away from the man who has become my fiance and will, in about two months, become my husband. 

Wedding planning has had it's ups and downs.  It's been fun at times but at other times it has been a little stressful.   When it gets stressful it is always a reminder to refocus and remember Who is to be the center of our wedding.  Not always easy to refocus but necessary.

Pictures from the past two weeks coming soon. :)

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