Taiwan for the Holidays - Have You Ever Tasted Bell Fruit?

Since Taiwan is located in a tropical climate, I looked forward to trying new varieties of fruit during our six-week visit. One of the Taiwanese friends we met at church on our first Sunday suggested several fruits we should look for at the store. What did they look like? Could we even find them?

My husband was thrilled to discover a pear-shaped fruit he remembered from his childhood years in Taiwan. He called it a wax apple or bell fruit. In other countries, it goes by numerous other names: java apple, wax gambuor, samarang rose apple, or makopa.

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A Crew Review of SchoolhouseTeachers.com

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Did you know that SchoolhouseTeachers.com now offers a full curriculum for every grade? The Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership provides an array of options for core classes as well as electives. Read on, and I’ll show you around the site.

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One Word for 2020

For the last few days, I’ve been considering what my One Word for 2020 should be. In 2018, it was trust. I learned so much about trusting God, trusting my family members, and trusting those around me. Last year’s word was UP! When 2019 began, I had no idea how much my kids and I would grow up. We even flew up into the sky and around to the other side of the world. Indeed, it’s been an adventure.

As we prepare to return home, it feels like something of a fresh start. I get the sense that God wants to do something new in our family—as if spending 6 weeks in a foreign country wasn’t new enough! The word on my heart for 2020 is renew.

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Taiwan for the Holidays - How Do Taiwanese People Exercise?

For the past three weeks, We have been so busy exploring Taiwan that it’s tough to carve out time to update the blog. Over the next several months, I’ll continue to share the highlights of our trip. If you want to see our most up-to-date adventures, make sure you follow #Taiwan4theHolidays on Instagram.

When we first explored Zhongcheng Park, which is around the corner from our Airbnb, we were awed by our surroundings but mystified by some of the exercise equipment.

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Taiwan for the Holidays - An Underground Mall and Cat Cafe

We arrived in Taiwan on the night before Thanksgiving. After gearing up with necessities and exploring a night market on our first day, we explored a nearby park on Friday morning. In the afternoon, we met up with my mother-in-law, who lives three bus stops away from our Airbnb.

Anyone who knows my husband’s mom is aware of her passion for shopping. On our second full day in Taiwan, she introduced us to one of Taipei’s underground malls. Later, we headed to the local cat cafe for a dose of kitty cuteness.

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Taiwan for the Holidays - Day 1 Adventures

Early Tuesday morning, we left my parents’ house in Maryland. Twenty hours of flying and two layovers later, we touched down in Taiwan on Wednesday night. A driver met us at the airport and drove us to an Airbnb apartment—our home base for the next six weeks. The night concluded with a short visit from Grammy and a snack run to the 7-11. Exhausted, we fell into bed.

Thanksgiving Day marked our first morning in Taiwan, where most people do not celebrate the distinctly American holiday. We woke up early and set out in search of breakfast.

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Braces For Five

Our braces journey began eight years ago when the dentist sent our son for a consultation with the orthodontist. Within weeks, my son’s mouth was full of metal. Thus began our initiation into the process of teeth-straightening.

Two years later, my son’s braces were removed to reveal a handsome smile. But our encounter with braces had only begun. Soon, our four daughters would also experience this modern-day rite of passage.

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Wrapping up a Year of Sonlight

When we began using Sonlight a year ago to learn about the Eastern hemisphere, I knew it would be an adventure. Reading exciting novels together, we imagined what life was like for children on the other side of the globe. Non-fiction selections highlighted history and culture. Enthralling missionary biographies demonstrated what it’s like to lay down your life to share God’s good news abroad. As the girls also read many novels on their own, their independence blossomed.

With such a wealth of reading material, both twins were excited to start their Sonlight assignments each day. While they chowed down on breakfast, I asked questions about the previous day’s reading and then began the day’s read-alouds. After a brief break to complete a math lesson, they continued exploring the remaining Sonlight resources on their own later in the day.

It’s hard to believe that we made it to the end of the thick instructor guide and to the bottom of our reading list. What amazing books were included in the Sonlight program! Let me share with you several stand-out books that we will continue to treasure.

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