Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Warm wishes to our family and friends!
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given..."

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fall update

We are doing well this semester by God's grace! Just celebrated my birthday last week and am grateful for life! Teammate Jenny baked a cake with chocolate frosting for me and we shared it with the flock as we gathered in the morning that day. Here are some pictures from this semester so far. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Humongous Beehive

We came back to the guest house after the summer only to find this humongous beehive nested on the internet cable strung near the ceiling outside our rooms on the porch.

Before and After

The one wardrobe that the university provided in our guest house had only one functional knob for the two doors. For two years, we stuck a piece of cardboard paper to the door as a handle. This year, I finally decided to get a real knob! Here is the before and after.

Whitening Lotion

In America, most women want to get a tan. In Vietnam, every woman wants to get whiter. I have yet to find a lotion here that does not have the word "whitening" in the label. I hesitated getting any, not knowing what "whitening" means and what is in the lotion that makes one whiter and what actually will happen to my skin, until I realized I had no other choice...

New Cooking Partner

For the past three years of living in Vietnam, my faithful cooking helper has been this two-burner gas stove. For three years, we struggled with the decision of whether we needed a microwave. This past summer, friends have blessed us with the gift of one to use in Vietnam! We still hesitated as to whether we should use the funds in something else instead. Well, we finally took the plunge yesterday when Andy brought home a new cooking partner for me! One of our students saw it and asked what it was and how it works. She was amazed when we told her that it can get the food hot in seconds but not the bowl. I still couldn't believe we lived three years without it. And am also thankful that we do have one now. It saves us some time and we are able to reheat things like leftover rice easily. I am one happy mom.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Pepper-Spray Attack

We came back to our university yesterday after a week-long retreat in Hanoi with our fellow teachers. We then had dinner with our teammate and a student at a local joint for "cha ram bap" (fried corn spring roll) near the university. Half way through dinner, a person with a helmet and mask still on came through the entrance holding up a can and started spraying something in the air and then ran away. While I was still trying to figure out what it was, people from the first table already started screaming, covering their mouth, and calling out "run!" We were sitting at the second table from the entrance and our student also started yelling, "run outside!" I was trying to process all that was happening in that split second and the next few minutes were all chaos and panic. Everyone started running out the door, and by that time, Andy started telling us to get up and run outside. As I was helping Caleb get outside during all that commotion, I too began to feel the sting and irritation in my eyes, nose, and throat by whatever that was sprayed in the air. It got worse as we ran past the doorway, and all I was thinking about was helping to shield Caleb from that substance. We finally got out of the alley way and into the big street. Our student told us it was probably some sort of a pepper spray that police usually uses to suppress a crowd. We never figured out who that person was, the reason for the attack, and what that substance was. But it sure shook us up a bit especially Caleb since he never witnessed anything quite like that. Our student asked us to get a drink at the store to help wash down the chemical. So I got Caleb some milk hoping the alkaline would neutralize whatever that went in his system. We felt fine after a few minutes and Andy went back with Jenny and our student to pay for our meal. The owner was very grateful for that. Caleb didn't want to go back and just wanted to go home. So we walked back first on our own and had the chance to process a bit of what went on. I was at first concerned most about Caleb, and doubts came into my mind about being in Vietnam and exposing Caleb to possible dangers etc. But Caleb and I both came to the conclusion that our heavenly Father is sovereign over all. We could be in the "safest" place on earth or the most "dangerous" but He is the one who determines what befalls us. He does whatever He pleases. And He causes all things to work for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. At the end of the evening, Caleb said he wanted to pray for the attacker. As we were running out of the restaurant, he said he kept praying for protection over himself from the chemicals. Later after he drank the milk, he commented that it was worse when JC died on the cross and started tearing up. And he offered thanksgiving afterwards for he remembers we are to give thanks in all circumstances. I am so thankful that we were protected and unharmed, and that Caleb was able to apply what he believes in real life situations. It is good to know we are in His hand of providence.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Heading up north

We'll be heading up north this Friday to Hai Phong to visit our old teammates and Andy's old students from 3 years ago! After that on Monday we'll head off to our annual retreat in Hanoi spending time with our Team Vietnam before the school year begins.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Subscription Links Added

To our faithful blog readers: you can now subscribe to our blog posts by clicking on the Subscribe To buttons on the left sidebar. Looking forward to sharing more of our lives in Vietnam with you!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A trip to the market

Here are glimpses of my trip to the market, taken this morning while Andy is watching Caleb.

First I get geared up with my backpack, helmet, and mask.

On the way out to the gate, I pass by ladies sweeping the campus.

Reaching the gate of the university.

My faithful motorbike taxi driver Mr. Vinh (or "The goggle guy" as our old teammates used to call him when he did have his goggles on all the time).

A 5-minute ride costing 50 cents brings me to the main market.

This is the small grocery store where I can get fresh packaged meat in a tray and foreign products such as cheese, margarine, peanut butter, cereals etc.

It is avocado season so they abound in the market.

Motorbike parking is quite a nightmare and maneuvering through them is even more challenging:

Some nice treats from good earth:

I avoid buying meat this way and opt for the packaged ones. But at least I've seen this while growing up in HK so it is less intimidating.

A must-stop is snacks for Andy (banh bo, or "white sugar cake" in Chinese).

The major brand of ice-cream (and all other diary products) Vinamilk comes in durian, coconut, green bean flavors, and more.

Dried shrimps also abound here.

My rice lady enjoying her breakfast in the back corner.

My veggie ladies.

My cute canh chua (Vietnamese sour soup) lady. It comes complete with a slice of pineapple, bean sprouts, tomatoes, okra, tamarind, and other greens ready to be tossed in the boiling water once washed.

Dalat is, I believe, the only place in Vietnam that can grow strawberries.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Starting a new school year

We had a blessed time with family and friends this summer in Hong Kong, Canada, and the U.S. See some of the pictures here. Now we are back in Vietnam settling in for a new school year. Caleb started school this week in 3rd grade. Here is his time table. So far so good by His grace!

Caleb got this Pop-Up Port-A-Bug this summer perfect for his bug collection here. Today he caught a little grass hopper.

Do continue to lift us up as we begin our fourth year here. Thanks!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Homeschool in the summer

The flexibility of homeschooling is that it can happen in Vietnam, Hong Kong, Vancouver, or California. On a reduced summer schedule, we still try to work on some subjects like Spelling, Writing, and Math. Otherwise Caleb's either reading, building circuits, or playing with friends.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pool and sun time

Caleb has been able to enjoy the pool a little bit this summer with daddy. He has yet to learn how to swim though. Right now he is still more interested in playing instead. I try to soap up some sun too as my doc just told me I'm low on Vitamin D. Perhaps living in the Central Highlands of Vietnam did it. Or just the fact that I've been doing more of what the Vietnamese do--carrying an umbrella under the sun.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Enjoying some delights of home

Being back in California means we get to taste and do things not found in Vietnam, like Bok Choy, blueberries and raspberries, asparagus, button mushroom, shaved ice, and miniature golf with friends!

Time back home

We shared 6 meals in the past 4 days with friends and supporters back home, catching up and blessing one another! Been home for a month and one more to go before heading back to Asia!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Back home

Caleb and I are back home and Andy will join us Wednesday. We've been traveling with my family visiting relatives along the West Coast. Some pictures of our past three weeks can be found here. Send us an email if you are in the area so we can get together! Lord willing, we'll be back in VN mid-August for our fourth year.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Lord willing, we are coming back to Vietnam next school year! Thanks for lifting us up. And we will be home for the summer in June and July. Email us so we can get together!

New projects

A student introduced me to a yarn store the other day and I ended up with a ball of yarn and knitting needles when I got home. Hopefully by this winter, I will have finished knitting my first scarf for Caleb. Here's the partial project.

There is only one bakery in town where I can find wheat bread. We love making peanut butter jelly sandwich with it as shown here. But when I really miss those whole wheat bagels back home, I have to resort to making my own, for the first time! Here are pictures of the boiling dough and the very-homemade-looking products...

Updated pictures

Finally uploaded some pictures from the past couple months here. Still have more to upload but that will be another night... But here's a picture of my second attempt at using up my whole wheat flour before leaving for the summer: Braided Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


We've been back for over 2 weeks now from our Thailand conference but all three of us have taken turns getting sick. Many were sick at conference and so we didn't expect to be spared. Caleb though had a good time at the children's program together with children of teachers of our organization. Here's a clip showing their little presentation see if you can spot Caleb.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Our new mode of transportation

Some friends back home have blessed us with a motorbike. So Andy is now officially our chauffeur. We do ask for traveling mercies daily as the streets of Vietnam are not the safest of all. Did you know there is not a single traffic light in Dalat? One teacher puts it well--we are always merging.

I've also posted pictures of our HK trip here and recent pictures here.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year of 2011

Spent the new year morning where I grew up with my family...