Sunday, July 31, 2011

We're Moving!!!

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank you so much for being a part of our lives here at "In the Moment" over the last 3 years. I love the community of bloggers/ readers that we get to share our lives with via internet. Today (in 2 hours) our family sets off on a year long trip from Hong Kong- Philippines-South Africa- Mozambique- Hong Kong- America. We are very excited, nervous, and expectant. For the next year we will be writing at our new blog "Moving in the Moment". Please add us to your RSS feed and come along with us as a "follower" (no vaccines necessary!) We value your friendship and look forward to hearing from you in blogland!!

Much Love,
Christine and gang

Monday, July 25, 2011

Staying Cool

We go to the pool practically every afternoon these days since it is like 140 degrees here. It has been really fun to watch Josiah's confidence in the water take off. Last summer he didn't even like being splashed in the face and now he dives under water. Annette is a little water bug too and nods her head and smiles after we dunk her.
video
When there is not a pool around there is icecream. I love summer. How are you staying cool?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Summer School Safari

Here are a few pictures from Josiah's first two weeks of summer school. The theme was the Rainforest and the teachers did a fabulous job really transforming the kindergarten into a tropical paradise. It is such a great feeling to entrust him to wonderful Christian teachers that we know. Most mornings Josiah gets a little reluctant to go, but he is all smiles at the end of the day and proud to show us his work. Parents are not allowed to volunteer, but we got these photos off the school's website.



He's pretty easy to spot with his blond hair (:

This was on safari dress up day

I am excited to get to take Josiah to school now as Jason takes his turn teaching.

Spontaneous

Jason and I love being spontaneous, but have come to learn 1 and 3 year olds prefer routine. One thing we've loved about having a car this month is the ability to explore more spontaneously. On Friday Jason picked me up from school and our two tired tots were asleep before we got home.

Seizing the opportunity I spontaneously grabbed some frappacinos from Starbucks and we drove our little bug almost to the China border. We pulled off the road at one point to have a good conversation at a vista overlooking a waterfall.

Around this time the kids woke up, but in the spirit of spontaneity we decided to stop by Tai Mei Tuk on the way home for a Friday afternoon bike ride. 30 minutes was all our kids really needed, but it was so refreshing and beautiful.


Josiah put his arm protectively around Annette- so sweet!

By the time the bike ride was over our lack of planning had caught up to us and we had a a baby in a soggy diaper and a starving little boy. It was so nice to zip home rather that wait for the bus and train.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Getting Out







Our first summer in Hong Kong is now in full swing. I drop Christine and Josiah off at summer school and then I get to hang with my little girl all morning. She is now an adamant walker, which means greater exploration. Speaking of exploration, with our friend's car we have been able to zip around this beautiful place. Annette has been my co-pilot on these adventures.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day




(thanks Sara for the title)

While all you Americans were grilling burgers and watching fireworks, we were kicking off the 4th with summer school! We have been preparing Josiah for this school experience for a while and took him last Saturday to tour the school, find the toilets, meet his teachers etc. He seemed very confident and prepared this morning. The summer program was a big jump for Josiah since he has never really been in anything organized unless I was teaching it. And it is 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. He goes to five different teachers for music, art, science, pe, and reading. Pretty full on. The teachers are great and although he is a minority (actually the only white kid) he didn't seem to notice. Josiah reported that he cried a "little bit" but had fun. Fortunately I was teaching at the elementary campus which distracted me from thinking about my big boy that became more independent today.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Biola Reunion


Five years ago we had a reunion when Biola University's beloved president Clyde Cook was in HK. This week the new president Barry Correy was on an Asia tour so we had the chance to meet him. We also got to hear more about the vision Biola has for the future. It was interesting to meet other alumni in the city and one family that came from mainland China. We LOVED our years at Biola and were deeply impacted by our time there. We hope one day our kids can have a similar university expereince, but we'd better get saving because the sticker price is now 38K a year. Yikes!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Sunset on Monte Vista

Monday was our last night in Tower 2, 35 Floor, Flat A at Monte Vista. Although we only lived here a year this little home will forever hold sweet memories for me of bicycle rides on the podium, beautiful ocean and mountain views, and a baby pitter pattering happily across the wooden floors. One thing we especially enjoyed about our time here has been the sunsets.

So the last week has been busy as I've been tutoring a lot and going through a very sophisticated/ creative packing, loaning, selling, storing, donating, trashing process. What little stuff we have left is now residing in five different locations across Hong Kong. Cray-zee!I guess the kids have been a bit neglected and I even said "mmm hmmm" from another room when Josiah announced that he was "dwawing on Annette". Yeah, that was permanent marker
Anyways, but look at my sweet accomplishment. An entire kitchen in ONE plastic bin. Don't ask me how I did it.

We are now moved into our friends' house in Tai Po while they are away in Canada. The home is spacious and so accommodating for our family's needs. We have the use of their two cars (we've never driven in HK, it is so nice) and wait for it. . . . . a domestic helper! That means no cooking, dishes, laundry, cleaning for a month plus free child care! We love Elsa and are so thankful for this peaceful arrangement in this time of transition. Here is a pic of Annette and I playing the piano today in our "new house". Here ends one chapter and begins another.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Annette

Annette is a happy, healthy 15 month old. It seems like she has been a baby for a long time since she is still bald, chubby, cuddly and not really walking. When Josiah was her age he was running circles around us and could not stop moving if he tried. So we are certainly not in a rush for our baby girl to grow up.
Annette Adores. . .
-swinging
- sitting in the shopping cart
- our Nepalese security guard "Mr. Dave"
- Daddy
- really, just men in general
- music, pop music will get her grooving
- waving to people we pass
- Dogs, she goes nuts, starts panting and repeating "Dogga" 3oo times
- water
- sand
- smearing yogurt, spaghetti, (fill in the blank) all over her body
- food of any kind, the only foods she hasn't liked are falafel and Vegemite
- using sign language, especially if it gets her more food
- cleaning up toys
- flashing big smiles
- cruising on her little car
- sleeping in her crib, just say "nigh, nigh" and her thumb goes in and her eyelids shut
Annette Abhors . . .
- any eating she can't participate in
- Josiah in my lap without her
- when I hold another baby
- being in the stroller longer than 10 minutes
- diaper changes, she is a real wiggle
- having her finger nails trimmed
- being tired away from her crib
- headbands
- getting teeth (she is cutting her 16th tooth right now, then she is done for a while!)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Trick or Treat?

Tonight we went out to sushi with our friends the Lawrences who are leaving Hong Kong. After dinner we got frozen yogurt and were standing around the mall talking. This of course is very boring to Josiah so he practiced his new little trick. He has learned to walk into Chinese shops, flash his friendly smile and make some small talk ("what are you doing?"). If Josiah loiters long enough he is inevitably rewarded with a treat or two or five in the case of the "Santa Claus" in our neighborhood. These "treats" always come in Chinese packaging and usually contain seaweed, corn, sweet potatoes or something of that nature. So tonight was no different, except Josiah happened to wander into a Chinese medicine shop. First they gave him and "Mui Mui" (sister) some wafer candy. But when he came around again they gave him a taste of his own medicine, so to speak. They offered him a dried cicada, cockroach and wasp!
Josiah did not know how to respond and I thought for a moment he might eat it! Later they offered to break off a piece of dried snake for him and then he really started to squirm. I don't know who was laughing harder me or the shop owner (:



In case you are not familiar with Chinese medicine shops, allow me to introduce you. They sell everything under the sun to be used in soups and tea remedies. As you can see there are deer antlers, seahorses, deer tails, and dried worms to name a few


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Daddy's Day

The estate where we live "decorates" for holidays with a series of cheesy posters. Last month for Mother's Day there was a poster of a woman's hands chopping and preparing a table full of food. I couldn't help but be struck by the double- standard when I saw the Father's Day poster. . .

Here is Jason on Father's Day last year

Here they are this year

In the process of cleaning out (in preparation for our move) I found a can of pumpkin I had been stashing. Jason said pumpkin pie sounded good, so I made him a very untraditional Father's Day pie. We discovered that cold pumpkin pie tastes delicous in June heat! We are certainly feeling unAmerican this summer though. It gets even worse because Josiah's first day of school is July 4th. At least Jason is still proudly sporting his Wal-Mart red, white and blue shirt (:

Happy Day to All the Fathers!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

International Dragon Boat Races

This is the first summer that we have ever spent in Hong Kong. So far we are making the most of it and today participated in an annual event that we always miss, the Dragon Boat Races. There were teams from all over the world competing in Victoria harbor. Part of the harbor was portioned off by dredging ships to block the big swells from rocking the thin, canoe like dragon boats. Each team had a captian who sat at the front beating a giant drum that the rowers keep time to. Another person stood at the back of the boat to steer using a long stick. Four boats raced at a time, completing three laps (around 2 miles total). In spite of the sweltering heat, we had a good time. What are you doing over the summer?





Thursday, June 16, 2011

Josiah Lines


Josiah saw a chicken in the grocery store, they come with eyes (closed) and feet here, and pointed saying, “Look mommy the chicken’s sleeping in the bag!”

Josiah loves to say, “Don’t be jealous mommy” (he learned this line from a Robert Munch book). He says it all the time, and always out of context

Josiah got a little rugby ball that turns into a towel when placed in water. He was very disappointed at this turn of events and screamed frantically for 30 minutes shouting “make the ball come back!!” Not a good trade to a three year old.

We babysat Jason’s class hamster for a weekend and I said, “look Josiah, the hamster has whiskers”. To which he replied, “Yeah, whiskers like daddy.”

Josiah off- handedly remarked to Jason last week, “thank you for putting your shoes away daddy.” Nothing like positive reinforcement.

During bedtime prayers I was describing to Josiah how much Jesus loves him. He replied matter of factly, “I want to see Jesus on the computer”. Anybody know Jesus' skype address?

I was describing to Josiah how he used to be in my tummy. He cocked his head and said, “please mommy, I want to go again.”

Friday, June 10, 2011

Picture Potpourri

We're back! We've been working on our list and getting into summer mode. Here's what we've been up to the last week. . .

Swimming. Mostly at the pool, and sometimes on the train platform.

Beaching

Ocean Parking



Umbrellaing the Sun (Chinese Style)

Groving

Entertaining energetic 6th graders

(This is for you Renee) Have you ever seen a vine eating a jeep?

Random I know, but I liked it. Have a great weekend!!