Saturday, April 30, 2011

Joey and Tim

Whew! We just got back from a lovely wedding for our friend Joey and her new hubby Tim. It was unlike any wedding I’ve ever been to. Here are some things that made it unique

1. The bride is Chinese and the groom is Australian
2. The whole wedding was pretty much planned in one month
3. Everything was spoken and written in Cantonese and English
4. The guests consisted of Joey’s Christian friends from church and large extended family (all non- Christian)
5. I was the maid- of- honor, Josiah was the “flower boy” and Annette was the “flower girl” (but not part of the ceremony) which all proved to be a bit much
6. We had no rehearsal, just winged it
7. I was in charge of the rings which scared me to death
8. The venue was at a beautiful lake and the weather just sprinkled a little
9. The couple changed into the traditional Chinese clothes for the reception
10. The wedding cake was made of styrofoam so they just took a picture pretending to cut it

Here is Josiah sporting the purple box tie I made with a glue gun the night before (:






Annette loved the sushi at the reception


We did have a few interested "moments" confirming what my gut told me that two is too young to be in a wedding (:
Moment #1- We had practiced Josiah walking down the isle (behind me, in front of the bride) and scattering petals. When I looked back during the ceremony he was very anxiously walking down the isle, clinging to his basket with a death grip, not tossing any petals. When he could take it no more he burst into tears, tossed the basket two feet in the air and ran to my arms sobbing loudly. Fortunately he calmed down rather quickly and then proceeded to take a nap the rest of the ceremony.

Moment #2- During my toast Annette (who had been an angel up until that point) started screaming so Jason took her out. Once Jason was gone Josiah got a little insecure and starting crying. He ran into my arms sobbing into the microphone as a tried to plow through my speech. His 30 pound body clinging to me was pulling my strapless dress down. I tried to stay decent, juggle him and my microphone, be articulate and remember to pause for the interpreter. Craziness.

The best part of the day for me was seeing the love on Tim's face when Joey walked down the isle. These two are SO great for each other and both such fun, passionate, Godly people. I just love them and think we will have to plan a trip to Sydney now to visit them.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Crazy, beautiful moments

It's been one of those days (and it is only noon). After sleeping literally 2.5 hours I took my children to the doctor which turned out to be a comedy of errors, except I wasn't laughing. After a long wait, a lost file, screaming, a clueless doctor, being overcharged, wrong payment method, more screaming, and an office full of staring people, we walked out covered in sticky cough syrup that we didn't even need.

I have heard it said that boys are physically exhausting and girls and emotionally exhausting. This certainly feels true right now. Lately Annette screams all. day. long. (and recently all night long) making this the most challenging season so far for me as a mom of two.

For all the frustrating moments, there are also the beautiful, priceless moments that remind me I won't trade being home with my kids for all the tranquility the world has to offer. Sacred, precious moments like. . .

sticking a bean seed in soil and watching in wonder as it grows

. . . and grows!!!
dolly hugs
tea parties in tents
"almost" first steps


Thanks for being part of my blog- therapy. Praise God for his grace that is new each morning- or in my case each moment!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter

We have been celebrating Easter all week long with two egg dying parties and two fun Easter egg hunts. It has been fun to watch Josiah piece together what the holiday is about. Because he doesn't really have a concept of death yet, I was a little apprehnsive to tell him the Easter story. But, Angela who is a 2 year old Sunday School teacher, gave me some really good advice. She said, "tell the story so he will grow into it, not out of it." Josiah was really interested and I understood "Jesus had owies on his hands, feet and heart cause he loves us". I did have to laugh this morning when he asked in his sweet little voice "why'd Jesus have to die on the crosswalk?"

Giving the kids directions before the egg hunt

hunt and picnic in Ma On Shan park




Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Simplifying


I am in major simplify and downsize mode as we prepare to leave Hong Kong and live out of suitcases for a year. It has really made me think about what we truly NEED. Certainly living in 600 sq feet has been good training for our family.

Here are some things I have lived without at various times in my life since getting married
-TV- 2 years
-vacuum cleaner- 4 years
-microwave- 2 years
-oven- 4 years
-car- 5 years
-car seats (gasp. . . except in America)- 3 years
-clothes dryer- 2 years
-home phone- 5 years
-central heating- 5 years
-built in closets- 5 years- garbage disposal (not a big deal) 5 years
-hot water in the kitchen sink (actually a big deal)- 1 year
-dishwasher (wait for it)- 9 years!!

Things I have learned
- how to cook a big assortment of meals just on a stove top
- how to bake practically anything in a toaster oven
- how to use a broom and mop
- tricks to drip- drying laundry
- how can shop and get home groceries (among other unusual and awkward things) without the help of a car
-how to hand wash dishes, over and over and over and over again - what a lesson!

NEXT year in Africa at different times I will learn what it is like to live with:
- unpredictable electricity supply
- unclean water source from the tap
- hand washing all clothes and diapers
- no air conditioning in crazy heat
- probably more I'm unaware of right now (;

Here is my top five list of things I could not (would not really) want to live without right now:
1. computer with Internet
2. a stroller
3. electricity
4. cell phone
5. hot shower

How about you? What have you lived without? What can you not live without?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Expressive Annette

Annette is really working to get her point across these days. She is lots of fun and lots of noise. Here is a sample. . .
video

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Baby 'Siah


We have two friends that had babies in the last couple weeks and they BOTH named their sons Josiah! At first when I told Josiah about it he was confused and said "no, no no more Siahs!" But, he came around and the next day was begging me to meet "Baby 'Siah". He was very proud to hold him. When we named Josiah I had never known anyone with the name, but now we know several. I am just glad our Josiah didn't "ruin" the name for our friends (teachers you know what I mean!)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Crawling Contest


Well I certainly don't consider myself a "Tiger Mom" but I surprised myself at the competitive spirit that came out during the intense "crawling contest" Annette participated in today. The contest was sponsored by the estate where we live and Annette competed against 3 other babies. She was the oldest and clearly the most capable crawler (she is almost 13 months for goodness sakes!)

At the starting line

We held out food in front of Annette and called her name. That got her going, but soon she plopped down, fascinated by the mayhem of frantic parents making bird calls, shaking toys and offering gummy bears among other treats. She was loosing her lead and slipped into third place. Finally in a moment of brilliance I pulled a toothbrush from my purse that got her blazing to the finish line. The distance was 10 meters and Annette won first place with a time of 2 minutes 3 seconds (:


Here we are accepting Annette's prize. The event coordinator in the photo with us is wearing a hat which reads " Failure is not an Option". Well, at least we now have something to put on Annette's preschool resume.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Small World

As I reflected on my rather ordinary day, it struck me how many different cultures I encounter and how interconnected our world is. Here is a run down. . .

8:00- skype with sister Angela in California

10:00- buy shoes for Annette with a gift certificate given to me from a Japanese friend. The shoes are for an Australian/ Chinese wedding Annette is going to be the flower girl in

11:00- lunch at Ikea with friend from Wisconsin. Eat meatballs from Sweden (;

1:00- While kids nap send emails off to missionaries in Africa

4:00- tutor Chinese girl named Rainbow while her Filipino helper watches Josiah and Annette

5:00- go to my new Pakistani friend's house for tea and samosas

8:00- blog about it for all of you to read (where ever you are!)

At church yesterday our pastor was talking about how Christianity can be contexualized into any culture. It is the only major religion that doesn't require conformity to an outside set of rules pertaining to dress, food, customs etc. I love that we can celebrate cultures, and I certainly did today.