Pity Party

I woke up in the middle of the night, went into our living room and cried in the dark for a few hours.  I’m mourning Taiwan and I haven’t even left yet.

It’s now June, the month we leave Taiwan.  The move is no longer 6 months away, or 3 months away, or even next month.  The move is next week.  Our days are now numbered in the single digits.

I’m trying to hold it together.

Sitting alone in the dark and lacking sleep, one’s mind can go to crazy places.  What if I refuse to go?  Will the State Department handcuff me or drug me or drag me onto the plane kicking and screaming?  What’s their policy on this kind of thing?  Surely I wouldn’t be the first person to refuse to leave a post.

With the sunrise came the realization that it’s inevitable.  A week from Monday I have to get on a plane.  There’s no getting out of it.  I’m afraid I will have shed a bucket of tears between now and then.  For the sake of those around me, I’ll do my best to shed those tears in privacy of my bedroom or my shower or my living room in the dark.  But I’m sure a few tears will escape in public; so I’ll apologize in advance.

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Before and After

Not long after we moved to Taiwan we took some pictures of the family at the Chang Kai-shek Memorial in downtown Taipei.  Yesterday after church we re-enacted a few of those photos.  Here are the changes in the SixAbroad Family after 2 1/2 years in Taiwan.

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After

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Before

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After

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Taiwan has been very good to this SixAbroad Family.

15 on the 15th

***I know I’m a day late with this, but we were having computer issues yesterday.  Besides, it’s still the 15th in the U.S.***

Happy 15th Birthday to my son Ben!  3hale20-R2-041-19When Ben was a baby, he was like a little roly-poly potato bug.  I immediately fell in love with his funny little personality.jasonha-R2-035-16

As a toddler he was almost cartoon-like.

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I let him get away with way too much, because I had the hardest time disciplining that little face.

DSCN0817_2And he had a way of saying things when he was naughty that would make me laugh and get him out of punishments.  One day, when he was about three, I was particularly mad at him.  Jason was out of town and I was a frazzled mom at the end of my rope.  I put Ben to bed in a huff and this was his prayer:  “Dear Heavenly Father, Mom’s mad at me – but she’s not the boss of this house!  Cecily’s not the boss of this house and Noah’s not the boss of this house!  I’m the boss of this house!  Amen!”

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Ben also went through a stage where he blamed Jesus for all his bad behavior.  “Jesus said I could jump on the trampoline in the rain . . . Jesus said I don’t have to eat my vegetables . . . Jesus said you can’t make me go to bed.”  Jesus took the rap for a lot back then.

When Ben’s little brother Noah came along, I felt like I was raising squirrels.

Christmas 2002 164Like most Mormon kids, Ben was baptized when he was 8 years-old.  When he and our bishop walked out of the bishop’s office after Ben’s baptismal interview, the bishop was laughing and shaking his head.  When I asked him what happened, all he would say was, “That was very entertaining!”

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Through the years, Ben has fought with the Rebels:

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Re-enacted Lord of the Flies:

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And earned his Black Belt:

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Moving to Taiwan 2 1/2 years ago wasn’t easy for Ben.  He has faced challenges that would crush some kids.

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But Ben is strong, he is good, he is smart, and he is a fighter.  I am so proud of the young man he is today.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd I still can’t resist that face!

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My Adorable Penguin Who Became a Beautiful Swan

Seventeen years ago today, I gave birth to an adorable little penguin.

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That little penguin grew . . .

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And grew . . .

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And grew . . .

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And grew . . .

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And grew . . .

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And eventually became this beautiful swan.

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Happy 17th Birthday to my Cecily who is just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.