Thursday, May 30, 2013

Amazing Race- Amazing Husband

Last week was the High School's "Week Without Walls" and this year Jason decided to stay in Hong Kong. He designed and led a trip modeled after the TV show Amazing Race.  He had the kids doing tons of crazy challenges all over the city. It was a great outlet for Jason's creativity, high energy and love of Hong Kong. These are just a few photos I snagged from his phone. The one above is on 103rd floor of Hong Kong's tallest building, the ICC Tower. The bottom photo is from the cable car going to the big buddha. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Piece of "Home"

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  I had a little pity- party yesterday because I wanted to be in America (phooey!) either with all my family at Papa's 90th birthday party or at the annual Arroyo Grande Strawberry Festival. Although it has probably been a decade since I've been to this small- town event, my heart (and Jason's) are filled with precious memories of Memorial Day weekends in "the village".

This morning the kids and I were in the "grumpy grocery store" as I call it (I usually try to avoid this store because the crowded isles, bad produce and smells tend to make mommy grumpy) and we found strawberries from Santa Maria, California (home!!!) It felt personal that God sent the Strawberry Festival to me in Hong Kong!

And they are yummy. . . I'm thinking strawberry daiquiris tonight!

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Annette Marie- May 28, 2010

 Annabelle Mei- May 25, 2013


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Musings from my Moments

- I'm not a big fan of Buddha, except once a year when we get a school holiday for his birthday (May 17). Of course Jesus' birthday is way better!

- I realized this week while reading a friend's blog post on how being a Mom in Hong Kong is a spectator sport that I am completely used to standing out.  Just yesterday while getting my hair cut (I brought Annabelle along because we're pretty attached) I was sitting next to a window with her in my lap and nearly everyone who walked past stopped, pointed, smiled, or took a picture on their phone. Of course I smiled and waved back at them all. Sometimes I wonder if deep down I secretly like all the "gwalio" attention. As if it brings out my suppressed wannabe Homecoming Queen fantasies. 

- On that note, why can't my hair dresser follow my directions? (it's not a language problem) (or maybe it is) He doesn't like my ideas and has a lot of his own. Like thinning my "fat" hair. He also thinks my hair would look better if the front was asymmetrical. I think I'll just grow it long again.

- I should really spend more time training my kids. This week Josiah was thrilled to learn two new "skills" (as he calls them)- folding towels and peeling vegetables. I guess I will eventually work myself out of a job.

- I am becoming spoiled having a car and public transportation just doesn't seem worth the effort anymore. Yesterday we took a trip to outer- lying Lamma Island using buses, ferries and taxis. We spent 4 1/2 hours just getting there and back, it cost $220 hkd ($30 US) and we were exhausted by the time we got home. I. love. our. car. Plus I looked a little silly trying to run to catch a bus while wearing Annabelle in the bjorne. Don't try it (:

- I love the beach. The only time I don't really love the beach is with a newborn.

- Annette can now wear her hair in a pony tail. I never thought the day would come. So cute!!

- This week our church hosted the first annual Justice Conference for Asia. It looked incredible and I so wanted to be there.  We got to hear Eugene Chu (from Seattle) speak in church today about the cost of fighting for justice and standing up for the oppressed. It really inspired me to want to do more.  

- Remember my neighbor (the domestic helper) Sunethra? We are becoming better friends and she even came up to my house and brought us a pineapple! I learned that she was married when she was 13 and now at the age of 31 may soon be a Grandma. I can't imagine!! Please keep her in your prayers and our growing friendship. She may have a Sunday off next week so we are hoping to take her to church with us. 

Here are a few photos from our weekend around Hong Kong. . . 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Magic Wands, Chicken Dance and Tea

This post is a little late but I had to share these photos from Josiah's class Mother's Day Tea. It was such a precious occasion and the teachers really went all out. My neighbor downstairs watched Annette (who weaseled her way out of nap time) so I could really focus on Josiah.  

 The kids made all the moms crowns and magic wands. Then they sang some songs for us. His teacher skillfully integrated their current "Bird" unit with the tea. So we did the Chicken Dance together (flashbacks to the rollar rink circa 1992) and played a game where the "Baby Birds" were blindfolded and had to identify which mom's voice was calling their name. It was pretty cute.
Next each mom had to find themselves in a portrait drawn by their child. I certainly had an advantage in this game as a blonde. Plus, it looks just like me.  Obviously. 

 In the end they served us some us some food and presented us each with flowers. Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Back to Normal (whatever that is)

After a month of visitors and life- turned- upside- down,  May marks our new "normal." Here are some moments from the last week.

 We'll start with the newest member of the family. High Five is still with us (thank you Jesus!) and enjoying his new and improved tank and heat lamp

The second newest member of the family got her passport in the mail yesterday!  She is proud of be an American! It is always such an ordeal to get a decent passport photo of a newborn and this one took several attempts at a photoshop with the world's slowest photographer. But we got it. Nice to know we can take her along with us (: We are not going to the states this summer, but our next trip will be to the Philippines in July. 
 I am trying to enjoy my last month with Annette at home while Josiah's at school.  She is quite a companion and always full of ideas of how we can spend time together.  Yesterday her idea was pedicures. Today her idea was a wedding. "Mom, I want a wedding. But who will I wedding?"
 I have to throw this photo in there. You may remember that bugs have been a theme around here. Then look whose been hanging out on our balcony!!  I'm pretty sure we don't have these in Southern California!
 Josiah has been showing more of an interest in reading and writing these days.  I am trying to kick start the teacher in me to help him in these skills. This week we finally mastered the tricky letter s.
Jason is taking the lead on outdoor education by transitioning Josiah to a two wheeler. He taped a broom handle to the bike and they've been going up and down the bike path this way. 

Today is my birthday and so far I've gotten two amazing gifts.
 1. SUN!! After 7 weeks straight of rain (that's right people) God gave us an out-of- the forecast sunny day. I was so excited I made Josiah stop and take this photo, see- shadows! Sun is like medicine for my soul and it felt like a personal gift from God
2. SMILE!! Annabelle flashed me her first wide- mouthed, toothless smile today. She must have known it was my special day (I'm sure it had nothing to do with feeling good after spitting up milk all over me!) I didn't capture Annabelle's smile, but here is one last sweaty photo of Annette on the train. Hope your  "normal" days are full of sun and smiles too!


Saturday, May 4, 2013

1 Month

 Little Annabelle is one month old! She has been a great baby and an absolute joy. She still sleeps a LOT and doesn’t cry much. Her hair has pretty much all fallen out on top now and she has a bad case of baby acne- but we still think she is adorable!  Annette is such a natural with babies and loves to talk to “Mei Mei” in a soothing, calm voice.  

Many people have asked me how the adjustment has been becoming a family of five. I would say that while the pregnancy was the hardest, the newborn season has probably been our easiest. Annabelle fits well into our family’s rhythm (she doesn’t really have a choice) and is learning to sleep through all the noise and chaos.  My strengths are in time management and juggling/ multi- tasking (something I probably learned as a teacher) so most days I am really happy with all the busyness at home. 

And then I got sick. As in cannot move off the couch or even lift a finger sick. Achy, fever, headache, dizzy sick. And all of a sudden the job of caring for 3 little ones seemed much harder. I did a load of laundry at 8:30 and by 5:00 finally mustered up the energy to hang it on the line to dry (my big accomplishment of the day). God has really been reminding me of my moment- by- moment dependence on Him. Weakness is such a great opportunity to learn this further.  In weakness He is strong.  

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Creepy Crawlies

It has been all about bugs around here the last month.  While I have battling the ants and mosquitos that find their way into our house (grrr) Josiah has been hunting for more insects to bring in our home!  It all started with his insect theme at school . . .
 Then he got this awesome bug kit from his aunties and uncles. First we caught some red beetles.

 Then even I got excited about insects when we found this amazing Lantern Beetle right outside our front door.  Isn't it beautiful!?
 Next we had a gecko in our home for two days . . .
 And on May 1 (Josiah's actual birthday) we made his dream of a pet come true with a Leopard Tortoise. Of all the pets we could have a tortoise is definitely my pick. He is so cute and playful. We named him "High Five" (since Josiah turned 5) and they are best buds.