a day of rest and a thankful heart

Date Night . . . Sunday Afternoon

Sunday, after worshiping the most high God and fellowshiping with our church family, Lawrance and I took a three hour nap.  I guess we were tired.  :)

When we woke up, Lawrance asked if he could invite me to the beach.  I said, "Yes!!  Let's go now, before the sunsets!!"

We got there and were actually surprised to see so many people there!  Last time we were there it was during the school year, and we were the only ones there. :) 

This beach is only about 8 minutes from our house . . . we should go there more often.  And it's cool because the sand is black.

So, here we are last spring and this summer . . . then just dating and now married 11 months . . .

lawrance and amanda Date Night . . . Sunday Afternoon

God is kind! :) 

I am so thankful to my very generous AbBa Fu (Daddy God)  who has given me such a kind, considerate, patient husband who cherishes me, protects me, meets my needs, and invites me to go with him to the beach!! :)

honeymoon muffins

Carrot Muffins

(aka Grandmother Smith's To-Die-For Carrot Muffins)

I'm not sure how many of my cousins were given a batch of these to eat on their honeymoons, but I know my sister and her groom got a batch, and so did we. 

That's how good they are . . . you will want to eat them on your honeymoon.  (Ok, so maybe the real reason you want to eat them on your honeymoon is because you are trying to save money broke after the wedding and they are easy to pack and carry.  BUT, being practical doesn't make them any less yummy).

So since I've not enjoyed these treats in nearly a year, I was really craving some.  So, I pulled out my grandmother's recipe and made a batch.  If you follow her recipe you are going to get a "yeild" of several dozens of muffins.  I mean come on . . . it calls for 9 eggs, 6 cups of carrots, and 3 cups of oil!!

At first I was trying to figure out how to half the recipe--but how do you put in 4.5 eggs?  Then I figured out she must have TIPPLED the recipe.  There was no way I was only going to make a mere 1/3 of a batch . . . I wanted extras to freeze for later. 

So, on Saturday I made this GREAT, BIG, HUGE batch of carrot muffins!  YUMMY!!!!

I also discovered that Grandmother must shred her carrots because I grated mine . . . . and there is a difference (in texture, not taste).  So, if you are wanting to "hide" the carrot aspect from children, I recommend shredding, not grating the carrots.  But, if you are wanting them to feel more "hearty" then grate them instead.

So, without further adieu . . . here is my grandmother's recipe for Honeymoon Muffins. :)

6 cups flour (I used 2 cups whole wheat, and 4 all purpose)
3 ¾ cups sugar
6 t soda
6 t cinnamon
1 ½ t salt
6 cups grated carrots
1 ½ cup raisins
1 ½ cups coconut
1 ½ cups pecans
9 eggs
3 cups oil
3 shredded apples (I left the skin on--this makes them SO moist)
6 t vanilla

In large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, soda, cinnamon and salt.  Stir in carrots, raisins, coconut and pecans.

In separate bowl, combine
eggs, oil, apples, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture. Stir only until
combined. Spoon into lined or greased muffin tins.

Bake at 350°F for 15
– 18 minutes.

Like I mentioned before, these muffins freeze very well.  Either let them thaw on their own or pop them in the microwave oven for just a bit and eat hot.

I bet you can't eat just one!!


Also, thanks for the several ideas about recipe storage.  They were very helpful!! :)

chopstick world

Funny video made by Taiwanese college students about using chopsticks.

It shows how you can eat with them (which are all very true things I've seen people do), shows how to separate them in different humorous ways, and then shows some alternative uses for chopsticks.

Here are a few more alternative uses for chopsticks:

--after collecting several (like 20 or so) you can play "pick up sticks"

--testing if a cake is done (similar to the "toothpick test")

--stir drinks (Law often does this instead of using a spoon)

--test to see if oil is hot enough to be used for stir fry

--beat eggs (actually VERY common use here)

--all kinds of craft projects (like making stick or shadow puppets)

--make a rubber band gun (I've had students use this as their topic for their "how to" speeches)

--or collect 7,382 used disposable ones and make your own canoe

There are many more, but I currently have a brain freeze.  So, do you have any other ideas??

need help: keeping recipes handy

side of the fridge, originally uploaded by amanda p. wu.

I need a better method of storing my recipes.

My current method is to stick them on the side of the fridge, but they are slowly taking over and often get wet during the dish washing (not so good).

I know I could google it, but sometimes googling something becomes overwhelming to me as I start to search for the "just right" way for me and weed though all the useless stuff.

So . . . all that to say this. . . how do you store your recipes? Have any experienced homekeepers mastered this with a system that works for you? (Please note: I didn't say housewife for a reason--single women who've mastered this are more than welcome to help out here.)

Thanks in advance!

praying in the third person

I learned something very important about the Chinese language within the last two weeks.

It actually shocked me to learn something so important this late in the game.  How I missed it all these years, I do not know.

Here is what I learned: In Chinese, when you want to show respect, you use the third person and avoid personal pronouns such as "you" and "me."

Manager in Chinese Now, I already knew that in Chinese cultures you don't call people by their given name.  For example, I would address my sister as "younger sister" not Sarah.  And, my husband as "hubby" (literally "old man") not Lawrance.  And, teacher's get called "teacher" not Mrs. Wu; bosses get called "boss" and so on. 

This concept is covered in Intro to Chinese 101.  Nothing surprising there.

But, it wasn't until I've overheard my husband on the phone many times recently talking to his boss--a manager.  Unlike other conversations, I heard no "you."  I only heard her title "manager."  So, for example instead of "I got your message," he'd say "I got the manager's message" and instead of "thank you, manager" it is "thanks, manager." 

Bells were ringing all over in my head . . . connections being made left and right.  I was totally "getting" many aspects of culture (that I thought I knew) at a whole new deeper level.  It was a great feeling.

Addressing someone by their title ALL the time and avoiding using even the polite "ning" form of you, is how you show respect.  GOT IT!!

After making this connection last week, I asked my husband about it . . .and then I asked him about his prayers. 

When he prays in Chinese he NEVER uses the first person.  So, instead of "I want to thank you for my wife" the prayer is "Child thanks God for the wife given to Child."  And instead of "Please help me to . . . ," it is "please help Child to . . . "

Child in ChineseWhen I asked him about this he said something along the lines of "it just seems so haughty and selfish to go in front of God and say 'I,' 'I,' 'I,' 'I,' 'I.'  Using the third person is not just showing respect, but is also is a reminder of my place before him.  That I come to him not because of who I am but because of who he is.  It is a reminder of my position as fully dependent upon him for everything."

So, my exciting linguistic cultural breakthrough led to something even more exciting and meaningful . . . a special reminder about prayer.  I couldn't stop thinking about the implications of calling myself "child" in prayer.

Amazing how something that native English speakers use to be proud and arrogant--speaking of themselves in the third person--is used to show humility and respect by native Chinese speakers.

So, I now know that avoiding "you" in Chinese and replacing it with the person's title is a great sign of respect, but avoiding "me" and replacing it with a word that describes my relationship with the person is an even greater sign of respect.

And, as I often say in class, "interesting, huh?"

unfortunately and fortunately

New camera I now like chocolate for more than one reason.  Lawrance came home with a new chocolate-colored camera last week.  

After we got the new camera, we, unfortunately and fortunately, learned that our older camera wasn't as broken as we thought.  (Unfortunately since we didn't "need" to buy a new camera, and fortunately because now we each have our own camera.)

At first we thought it was just the perpetually shaking shutter, which rendered the camera useless even with power.  And, then since "fully charged" batteries were not able to power up the camera for more than five seconds, we assumed that it was dead for sure.  

When we got the battery charger for the new camera, we noticed our older camera batteries fit inside, so we charged our old batteries in the new charger.  We discovered that the perpetual shaking of the shutter stopped once the batteries were charged with our new charger. 

So, it wasn't our camera that was broken.  And it wasn't our batteries that were bad.  So, it must have been our older battery charger, right?  But, the sad thing is . . . the charger wasn't broken either.  The charger was just dusty, so the connection was bad. 

So, I got a new camera all because we have lots of dust in Taiwan.

So . . . the moral of the story is if you think you have a bad camera or bad batteries, make sure the charger is clean before you reach your final verdict on the state of your camera. :)

Anywho, here are some of the photos we've taken with our new camera:

Ice Shop . . . again

{our Sunday ritual of "ice"}


Cutest Bug Zapper Ever

{cutest bug zapper ever}



{one of Law's fav snacks--dried tofu--kinda like "tofu jerky"}

Friday Afternoon's Classroom

{where I teach English on Fridays--at a livestock research institute}

Buying a Train Ticket

{buying a train ticket}

a bad typo: nail remover

Thankfully it only removes nail POLISH and not the entire NAIL! :)

And, yes, let's chalk it up to "typo" and not bad English.

why i've not been blogging

1. I finished grading about 120 final essays and research reports . . . I was at a total loss for words after that. :)

2. I had company last week.  One of my best friends from college came and spent three days with me . . . we talked, did a little shopping (I think we spent 3-4 hours in one book store and another 2 in a bakery supply store), we made apple crisp, pizzas, chocolate chip cookies and carrot cake, and we talked, talked, talked.  It was good to catch up with her.

3. I'm caught in the middle of a book I hate but can't stop.  Someone loaned it to me, it is based on a true story of our criminal justice system gone really wrong.  I hate it because I just don't want to believe it's true, but I can't stop because I keep hoping for a happy ending (which I know won't be there but I can't stop hoping either).

4. My camera died.  The shutter won't stop shaking--totally not a good thing for picture taking.  There have been more times than I could count with my two hands that I wanted to take a photo and couldn't in the past two weeks.  My purse feels so empty without it's constant companion. 

5. I'm trying to start digital scrapbooking.  Most recently, I helped my mom to make an invitation to my sister's baby shower.  I wanna get started with it, and I'm trying to discover what is "my style" before I start investing in kits and supplies.  Any suggestions from experienced digital scrapbookers are welcome.  I currently am leaning towards sites like Ali Edwards and the other Digital Designers, Heather Ann Designs, and Simply Yin.  And, I like what I'm learning over at Write. Click. Scrapbook.

6. I'm helping Lawrance to create a storytelling summer class . . . spending time looking for images to make flashcards with and creating worksheets.  Fun, but time consuming.

7. And, finally, there is so much I wanna blog but haven't had time to, I don't know where to start now that I have a bit more time.

I'll leave you with a photo that Lawrance took two weekends ago when we were in PingTong at a worship gathering of 17 different Taiwanese churches in the southern area of Taiwan.   Sarah took it from our flickr stream and "painted" it for us. :)


Gorgeous, right?

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