Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Walls are Coming in On Us

These photos were taken from our balcony. In the less than two years we have lived in this house, 35 story towers have shot up around us. The sky seems to be shrinking and as you can see in just  few more stories higher (they build a story a week) the mountains will disappear from our view. The restless energy of Hong Kong is a force that I both love and hate. It invigorates and drains me depending on the day. 

So we are gearing up for another move, for several reasons, not just to do with this construction. This will be our fifth, most remote, and hopefully final place in which we reside in Hong Kong. Our new place will not really be much bigger, but does have three bedrooms which will help a lot with our current sleep issues with Annabelle. It also has a big, useable balcony with a breezy sea view. And most exciting to us, we will have the building's rooftop which means BBQs, kiddy pools, and outdoor space of our very own. We are very thankful!

At church a couple weeks ago we were singing an old beautiful hymn 

My hope it built on nothing less 
Than Jesus blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus name

I’m not sure what a “sweet frame” is but as we sang I was visualizing my dream house.  Sometimes I feel bothered by our unconventional lifestyle feeling like I would prefer the security of a 30 year mortgage in an American neighborhood. But I think the point is, whether we're living in a suburban home, mud hut or flashy high rise our trust should not be in that "frame". God has been reminding me this as I've muddled through all the emotions of finding a new place to live. He must know my propensity to rely of things other than Him. How I long to wholly rely on his name. . . 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring Showers and Spring Fever

The rainy season arrived right on time. I have been enjoying the thunder storms that seem to keep rolling in and the sound of pummeling rain through the window screens. Whenever I can I try to give my fellow villager friends a lift to school, especially during downpours. So on a typical day I can have 4- 6 kids crammed in my car which I just love.

Off to school!

Saturday the storms took a rest and we all got major spring fever. 

                                                          Happy Spring to you!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Annabelle Mei Turns 1

Annabelle turned one the day after we returned from Laos. In order to stay sane we decided to keep it to a low key family celebration. For me the day was full of remembering hour by hour the events of the wonderful day we got to meet tiny little Annabelle.

Annabelle officially took her first steps while we were waiting in a long taxi line at the Bangkok airport (how many people can say that?) We made a huge scene with wild clapping, come- to- mamas, and video taking. Her preferred mode of transportation is still crawling, but she can walk. Here she is loving her birthday gift which can be converted from walker to little car.
Thanks Aunt Christy for the sparkly pink Toms- what could be cuter?!
The kids and I had fun baking a rainbow cake for Annabelle. We were all curious what here reaction would be to her first introduction to sugar. She daintily dipped her finger in the frosting and. . .
a look of sheer delight spread over her face
Until mom decided to put this ridiculous hat on her head, yep the party's over. . .

Annabelle you truly bring so much joy to our lives. You have a cheeky little sense of humor and love any excuse to laugh. You get into absolutely everything, empty all the drawers daily and pull clothes over your head to play peek- a- boo. You  love playing with big kids and aren't afraid of strangers (except men with beards). You hate the fuss of having your clothes changed or your face wiped but you love a splashy bubble bath. Lately you think it is funny to make fake gagging noises and then laugh when I look at you with concern and panic. You have 12 teeth and can eat just about anything we eat, although some things you won't touch. You give the best cuddles after you nap and are a perfect angel in your daddy's eyes. We love you Annabelle Mei. Happy Birthday!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring Break in Laos

We just got back from an incredible trip into Laos. We took a short flight from Bangkok to Nakon Phanom, Thailand then crossed the boarder over the Maekong River by car. Jason was here last October but I knew little of this country with just 6 million people. But let me just tell you it is beautiful and sunny- two things this city family loved. It was also nice to be off the beaten tourist path.


 Laos was colonized by the French and the town of Thakek where we stayed still reflects some of the influence (including fresh french bread, yum) 

We stayed with some friends who work in Laos and they were amazing, generous hosts.
 Our kids got along great with their two girls. Within an hour of arriving they'd already caught a gecko!

 We all loved hanging out in their yard. In the afternoon the Lao kids come over to play. Josiah especially loved basketball, four square, climbing and even a slip and slide (whoot whoot)

We took an overnight trip with our friends near the Vietnam border. Along the way we stopped at villages and got to see the water filters at work that Craig sells. 

Behind me are the bungalows where we stayed. Very rustic- but only $6 a night. 

 Three boys playing with machetes and a mama with her 10 day old baby

Laos has lots of caves in its many limestone formations. The kids got to play in this one and Jason had some fun of his own goofing off on this tightrope. 

I will add that this was our first trip since Annabelle became mobile and she certainly did keep us on our toes! Laos was a bit of a hard country to have a crawling baby in because everything is so dirty. Plus she was cutting a tooth on the trip so her fingers were constantly in her mouth. Day 5 of our trip Annabelle developed a fever but praise God she seems totally fine now. We love to travel but we always love coming home to our own home and beds!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Annette Turns 4- Part 2

 This tea birthday party was just too much fun! 8 little ladies, necklaces, feather boas, ribbons, bow, cupcakes, dancing and tea. All of Annette's favorite things rolled into one morning.

As the girls arrived they did some coloring and then we got go busy decorating our fancy hats

 Time for Tea! (in this case pink punch)

 I love this photo of Annette praying before lunch

Opening presents with her very special friend Ava
 And just for fun, here is a picture of me at my fourth birthday party (that my amazing mother hosted 2 days after giving birth to her fourth child!) Looks like Annette inherited my bangs.
 All the girliness around here seems to be wearing off on us all. Josiah walked into the living room like this tonight (it's hard to sees but he has on plastic high heels). Looks like it's time to pack the feather boas and tiaras away!