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It seems so long ago…

lots of blossoms


We’re a photo taking family and I’m forever trying to catch up with our digital organization of the many pictures we take. The kids were gifted with some cameras this Christmas and Jaylene already has over 500 on her camera. Any suggestions on the best way to introduce her to the delete key? Or how to help her not get bogged down with organizing her pictures?

Here’s my budding photographer.


This is what she’s looking at.


We like to play a game where we snap a picture, show it to the others and they guess which part of the landscape is the part photographed.

Jayden has a camera too, but he mostly enjoys using it in the video game function.

P.S. Friends in Taiwan, any guesses about where we are? It’s related to an upcoming holiday…

By the side of the road

Looking for friends


Thankfully the weekends have been full of sunny days and the rain has kept to the weekdays, for the most part. To enjoy the weather, we’ve been going on sakura blossom hikes.


The last time we went up in the hills near our home and had a little picnic. We made sure to share with the locals.


Jaylene’s got a plan to buy dog biscuits and keep them in the car so we’ll be better prepared next time.

sparklers Jaylene oh

Jayden awe

Vday 173

A few European and Australian street performers were in town last weekend for the Tamsui International Environmental Art Festival.

Italian Street Performer

Italian Street Performer

There’s more events this weekend and next. Should be a lot of fun. What are you up to?

Although the recent typhoon meant delaying the kite festival for a week, and many of the foreign teams had to leave, the event was still spectacular.

This time, we decorated our own kites before we left.

decorating the kites

Here’s Jaylene’s finished kite:

And Jayden’s:
Getting ready to fly

While they were very proud of their own kites, they still admired the colorful kites that surrounded us.

We really liked this penguin one.

But the favorite was the flying pirate ship.

If you could have any kite, which design would you choose?

princess frog

Last weekend we went to a lotus farm in Taoyuan. Jayden wouldn’t go on the lily pads (and I didn’t force him like last time!) but Jaylene was happy to pose. Unfortunately we went just before noon and it was super hot. There’s lots of similar farms around there, but we’re pretty happy with that one.

Torrential downpours this weekend. So we went camping. Thankfully Ahji decided renting a cabin was a good idea instead of fighting the weather with our mix and match set of gear so we stayed warm and dry. The rains let up during the afternoon and we wandered down to the sandcastle festival. There was some rain damage, but the sculptures were still impressive.

one big sandcastle


My kids don’t get enough interaction with sand. They didn’t want to see the sandcastles, they wanted to make their own. So they did.


They weren’t the only kids who wanted to play in the dirt. Ahji and his brother made their own sand creation which gathered a bit of a crowd.

big kids

Jaylene was excited to try out the tunnel but it wasn’t quite big enough.

through the tunnel

Unfortunately, while she was waiting for the adjustments to be made, Jayden threw a handful of dirt in her eye. A kind stranger donated a bottle of water for us to wash it out, I’ve never seen so much sand in one eye before. It all washed out easily and she was none the worse for wear. However, the tunnel collapsed while we were preoccupied.

Here’s a link to a sandcastle cake made from ice cream cones and crumbled graham crackers.

What’s the coolest sand creation you’ve made?

We visited the lovely Paper Museum in Taipei on Saturday. The exhibit was quite inspiring for us to create our own paper art, hopefully in the near future. Jaylene’s favorite part was being able to make her own paper of course. I made some too, but in between steps I managed to snap a few pictures.

Adding Mint

First there was a quick explanation of what we were going to do. Jaylene got to play with the pulp for a bit.


Here she is patting excess water away
Making Paper

They gave a nice little certificate to us along with our paper. I took a handmade paper class a few years ago with a friend. We began by foraging around the botanical gardens to find plants suitable for making paper. We had permission to take away any trimmings or branches/leaves that were off the plant. It was so fascinating to make paper completely from scratch. I’ll have to dig out my notes and see if we can find any suitable fibers around our home.

Oh, and before I forget, Jayden requested that I share the egg he decorated during the Easter Egg hunt.


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