Sunday, December 27, 2009

A few moments from our Christmas

Feshya took this photo on the ferry on the way to Christmas eve candle light service

mall decorations.......and the crowds

no lights on houses, but plenty on skyscrapers

more city views

Christmas eve at midnight after getting home from a candle light service

because big red shiny shoes have so much to do with Christmas right!!??

candle light service

more city lights

views from the ferry on the way to the Christmas Eve candle light service

Sammy captured a wonderful moment of me and hubby

our gingerbread house

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Embracing it all

Christmas. I wonder how many blogs have been written about this. Well, I have been doing a lot of thinking about Christmas.
To me it is cold noses and hot chocolate. Baking and more baking. Tobogganing and classic Christmas movies. Gathering with Friends. Being with family or wishing you could be with family. Remembering old memories and making new ones. Turkey and being stuffed with stuffing. Avoiding the malls yet buying wonderful gifts. The smell of a real Christmas trees. Driving around looking at Christmas lights.......
So, now I move across the world.
And Christmas comes.
And I realize how much emotion is attached with the season.
How much my senses have to do with me 'feeling' like it is Christmas.
There is no snow falling outside.
No oven to bake peppernuts in.
Not many Christmas parties to got to.
No turkey to roast.

We have set up a tree (fake, but I am determined to buy a real one next year!). We are drinking hot Chocolate with candy canes, and watching most of our favorite holiday classics on youtube or youku (the Chinese youtube). The kids are having a blast secretly buying gifts for each other. And because our little island is so safe, they can even go and buy them all on their own. We are going to a candle light service on Christmas eve with friends. Christmas music is the always playing.

I have gone back and forth between loving this new experience in this season, and wishing with all my heart that I was in Canada with friends and family right now. That I was were all is familiar.

Then the other day I remember how I had longed and longed to be here. This is all a part of that. New experiences. Enjoying traditions and creating new ones.
Embracing that and not being frustrated with it.

Not just trying to recreate old ones.

The kids love for me to tell them my memories of growing up and how we celebrated Christmas. Tonight I laughed with them when I told them how one day they will snuggle with their kidlets all cozy in their beds and say

"I remember that one year when we lived on a small island in Hong Kong and we................" That made me smile!

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

all those things I should be doing

There are so many things I should be doing right now. People to phone, emails to write, things to plan, homeschooling books to organize and on and on it goes.

The kids are sweetly sleeping, all cozy under their blankets. Quiet.

I love the quiet of night time. I do.

This morning I skyped with family and friends. I cried when it was all done. I miss you all so much. My children were also feeling very sad after the visits as well. Christmas is sneaking up. I am excited to have our first Christmas here! But I wish I could package everyone from home, put a big ol stamp on them, and ship them all over here.

Went to check up on the house progress today, and there is no way we could be in there for Christmas. Nothing, nada, zip has been done in the last week. So that has me down as well. I had begun to get my heart excited about being in for Christmas, so please ask for peace for me and the family to be content where we are.

Today my two oldest kids went shopping for family members all on their own. So sweet! Although, they used the change from the laundry that I had asked them to take in. With out asking first. Oops!

But, great news.
I found a little tiny shop, well, more like a ground level house that sells coffee/bread/cheese/whole wheat flour/german bread mix, and did I mention cheese! Oh yes, and to top it off, she also runs a bit of a second hand book store. I am so excited. It is a Philippino lady who speaks perfect English.

Plus, just to top it all off. I was telling her where we were moving to (yes the big pink house and she knew exactly!!!). She asked if we happen to be wanting a dog with our big yard. Nefeshya's eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. A family has a golden retriever that they need to give to a new family! We will go this week to have a 'meet the family' time and see if we pass or not.

There is a sweetness about knowing that 'you' are being taken care of isn't it. And yes, finding a used book store that sells homemade bread mix and cheese is a most definitely 'being taken care of'.

Now, go smell your Christmas tree and think of me.

Monday, November 30, 2009

um.....I thought I remember you asking me

One more house story, just to let you in on my daily laugh.

Remember the other day how I was suddenly asked to pick my paint colors? I am sure I was, it wasn't just a dream.
Well today we went to the house to help Brad and some of the students clean the yard.
As I walked into the house I was more than a little surprised to see some of my kitchen walls painted yellow. A rather bright yellow.

For a moment or two I stood rather confused. I went outside, looked at Brad, then went back into the house for a second look.

3 of the walls were painted the color I had asked for, but the fourth, a rather large wall, was indeed yellow.

Then I had to laugh, kinda.

Remember how I said they had laughed at my choices and tried to show me other colors. Well, this yellow was one of the colors they had really pushed for. It was called Sunflower. I 'told' (see hand motion/pointing/head shaking) them that no I wanted the Manilla color.

Not sure what happened.

I thought of asking. But just couldn't bring myself to do it. I am not sure why. Let's just call it acceptance for tonight.

Some new friends stopped by and said I lived in the rainbow house. I chuckled.

But these new friends did bring some great news. They told us of a couple that is considering moving to Cheung Chau to start an English/Cantonese fellowship. My heart jumped at this. We have discussed this and prayed for this. We hope to connect with them next week.

On another note, Brad and the students found a bright green poisonous snake in the yard with a whole rat in its body. I was slightly grossed out as the kids stood around oohing and aahing as Brad cut it open. Lets just call that 'Biology'. We were told that cats are good for keeping the snakes out of the yard.
I plan on getting about 10.

From now on I shall be known as

"The cat lady in the rainbow house"

Now to find some one to translate that into Cantonese!

Saturday, November 28, 2009


A few days ago as we were walking on the island, Brad had pulled Ethan aside and was 'talking' to him. Ethan is a very happy 6yr old boy who lives in a world all his own. Most days as we walk we have to constantly call Ethan to move out of someone's way, and honestly, 9 times out of 10 he ends up cutting right in front of someone else.
As Brad was discussing this with Ethan once again, another young boy wearing his school uniform rode his bike up beside Ethan and Brad. In a wonderful Chinese/British accent he asks
"What are you doing?"
Brad replies
"Just talking to my son"
The boy quickly takes in the situation and asks
"Was he naughty?"
To which Brad chuckles and says
the boy responds
'I am naughty sometimes too!"
and then rides off showing us his riding with no hands trick.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The house

I must put in here first that I am EXTREMELY thank full for this new house that they are renovating for us. It is VERY rare for a family to live in a private house this large and have the huge courtyard we will have. I really can not stress enough how blessed we are to be getting to live here, so please take the following as just some humor and a bit of frustration
This is me in front of our new house. See, I told you it was pink. Did I tell you I really don't like pink? Just reminding you in case you forgot.

So yes, that is it. Stunning no? And let me tell you, everyone now knows where we are moving to. If anyone asks were we will be living, and I say the big pink house, they know exactly which one I mean. So that is a good thing..................right????

Yesterday one of the staff told me that they had started painting the bedrooms and asked if I liked it. He looked quite excited about this new addition, which in all honestly frightened me a little bit. He saw my 'concern' and suggested that perhaps I should go and check it out the next day and let them know if I wanted it or not.
So, this morning the kids and I stopped at the paint store to pic out some sample colors to take over. Remember, I was going to have to explain what color I wanted in sign language (me no cantonese, them no english). I was excited to see the paint sample strips in a display cabinet. But the glass sliding door wouldn't open. Looking up, I saw that they had taped it shut. I laughed out loud. It wasn't like they only had one of each strip, no, there was a stack of each one. But obviously these were for display only. When I asked if the cabinet could be opened so I could take one or two, I was only met with very puzzled looks. They were very helpful tho and let me take the sample book they had behind the counter until I could return it later.

So off we go to the house.
The kids went running inside and came out very excited telling me how much they loved their rooms and could we please not paint it over. I went in to see that they had done some funky painted multi color layering effect type thing in all the bedrooms. Not necessarily my first choice, but the kids are very excited about it so that is great. The workers were also very happy to see how pleased the children were.

I quickly explained that I did not want that in the living room and received disappointed looks from the workers. They were just about to start in on the living room. Then I was asked what color did I want for the walls and what kind of cabinets did I want.

This is were I got a little confused.

See, when we first got here I was told that I could pick out the counter top for the house. Then they said I could pick out the tile, paint, countertops, cabinets etc. That was very exciting, but when I inquired further I was told all those decisions had already been made. Buy that point, I didn't care nearly as much, I just wanted the house finished so we could move out of our 'one room' house.

Then, suddenly they want me to pick it all out as I stood there. Well, except the countertop. That was already there.

I laughed out loud. Again!!

So I asked them if I could have an hour or so to pick it out. Sure sure sure they said.

When I went back and showed them my choices ( a little more conservative than their rather flamboyant ones ), they laughed at me. They gave me more disappointed looks. They showed me bright greens, yellows, reds. But I held steadfast in my choice.

I mean, can you imagine walking into a red/pink house to find your self in a bright green room. Wow, that is a little more than I can deal with.

And like I said, it is not like the houses here are colorful like that. Just for me I guess.

Another rather confusing aspect is that I was told last week that they had ordered all the cabinets but nothing had been delivered yet, so honestly, I am very confused today. Did I just pick out the cabinets, are there some already on their way? I guess we will find out.......

Here is a few more pictures of the house and yard. Next week Brad will start going with some of the boys to get the yard cleaned up. We asked where the garbage needs to go and was told that they still are not sure where it will go. So, we are going to have a designated garbage corner so at least it is a little more manageable. Brad is also going to show the boys how to cut the trees into smaller pieces so they will burn.

Ethan found this hat in the yard and has been wearing it ever since

these are the trees they cut down from the yard and tried to burn, plus A LOT of garbage

and you can't even see the old mattress, couch, boxes and lighting corner

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

That's right.....blame it on the Canadians

Well, just a few short days ago we were wearing shorts, tank tops and letting the kids go swimming in the afternoon to cool off. This week............



Well, technically not freezing. But it is only 10 out right now. But think of it this way. We live in a cement building. The windows are single pane, and most have large gaps in the corners rather than a snug fit with weather stripping. The floors are slate. We live looking over the ocean, but that also means the wind comes whipping up our hill right at the house. The kids sleep on the floor on inch thick foamy mattress'. And........

there is NO heating.

So we have made a few trips to the storage room to exchange our shorts, tanks and sun dresses, for pants, sweaters and anything that will keep us warm. Extremely strange. But, we were all missing the crisp cool air in Canada, so I guess I could just look at this as a gift.

Tonight when we spoke to Alman he asked us how were dealing with the cold. Then he laughed and said we must have brought it with us from Canada.

That's right, just blame it on the Canadians. Not the many many Europeans who live here, no not them, but definitely the Canadians. Too funny! At least they tell us this is abnormal for here. This is usually what the weather is in January or February for a few weeks.

So tomorrow we head into town and look for a room heater.

And tomorrow as I am all snuggly in my blanket and heater blazing away, I will shiver as I think of my hubby at the school.
Not only will he certainly not have any heater. The windows are even thinner and gaps even larger. And he will not take a nice warm shower before he crawls into bed.
Remember this picture.........

This is where he will shower or rather 'dip and pour' to clean after the day and it is certainly, most definitely NOT heated water. BRRRRRRR! I don't know, if that doesn't produce a little character in the students.....nothing will! Well, maybe just a little hair on their chests, well, hopefully only the male students! If not hair, then hopefully a deep appreciation for the person who created hot water tanks.

Maybe if he thinks of it like camping in the cool fall Canadian wilderness it will...................nah, that is just plain and simply cold. Sorry honey.....really I am....I will think of you as I snuggle in my bed!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

School friendships

A big part about us coming was that we came as a package deal. We were not just coming so Brad could go work at the school, and I would live some sort of 'expat' life with the kids, but that we come together, we will all be involved. Of course, hubby will be there the most, but our hearts all there with him.

Since he started working, the kids have been taking turns going with 'daddy' to the school. The staff is very open to this and what a blessing. They are also open to us going with Brad and doing school with the our kids there while the students are in classes, and then helping/hanging out during the afternoon.

It is not just a blessing that my kids can go with daddy to work sometimes, but the relationships I see our kids developing with the students at the school. Walking thru a group of the students with the our kids is almost like at the end of a hockey game when the two teams shake hands. Almost every student says hi and breaks out into big smiles when my kids respond back. The look for the kids to say hi way more than myself or even Brad.

Sammy is the most outgoing, and quickly earned a reputation with his big smile (which earned him many a cheek pinches). Ethan still tends to play shy, but that seems to have become and challenge with some of the girl students who love to get him to smile. Today a few of them almost fell on the floor laughing when he showed them how he can wiggle his ears and flare his nostrils. And my dear Nefeshya. She has stood back and bit, assessing this whole situation. She is not a child like Ethan, and realizes that. She also realizes some of the girls are not that much older than her. But as she opens up, I see them being drawn into her laugh and love. My heart bursts as I watch these things happen. Alman has given all of the kids Chinese names of which they are very proud and the students know them by these names.

Nefeshya - A le(prounounce the E a short e), meaning Smart Girl
Sam - Summae, meaning beautiful forest
Ethan - Efan, meaning spaghetti (he was a little offended at first but thinks it is hillarious now).

I also am excited about opportunities to build relationship with the girls. Unfortunately, Nefeshya has been sick quite a bit since coming here, so I have been home a lot with her while the boys have had chances to go with Brad. We finally took her to the Dr. yesterday and he gave us some meds for her intestines which he said were quite swollen. I know many of you have been praying for her, thank-you so much. When she hears of some one saying that they have been praying for her she always always tells me to make sure I say thank-you for her. So 'THANK-YOU!!!!'. I do hope to start going to the school more often, and am dreaming up things I can do with Nefeshya and some of the girls to start building relationships.

I knew coming into this what an important role the kids played, and I stand in amazement as I watch it begin to unfold before my eyes.

Friday, November 6, 2009

sniff sniff sneeze

Today me and kidlets hunkered down and watched wonderful things like Mary Poppins, Hellen Keller, Harriet Tubman. We are all sniffling and sneezing and few coughs here and there. We stumbled into town and back as we had no food in the house and were amazingly blessed by running into a new friend who bought our groceries for us. The kids played and had a cheap McD's icecream cone while we had a lovely conversation thru my foggy brain. It was a good day. Being sick stinks and we all agreed on this. But we loved one another and had grace and patience with one another today. Now they are asleep, mostly peacefully other than the odd sneeze or sniffle and I pray that I won't be woken to sore tummies or stuffed noses tonight.

And I can hardly wait to have my hubby home tomorrow night again!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

where we live

here is a photo of our house. Okay, lets see if I can give you directions. Left side of the photo is a house just sticking out. That is NOT us. Move right and down and you will see another house.
That is us. Town is over that little hill behind the house and down again. Or we walk around by ocean to the right. Straight ahead you see the little beach area we visit frequently to catch crabs and snails.
Now you all know how to find us when you come to visit!

2 months and counting

Now, it is two months.
Things that were once new and exciting or frustraring are becoming every day. Everyday in a wonderful way.

I don't stand in the grocery store completely dumbfounded as to how to cook a meal. I know how to take the MTR without a vague sense of panic that perhaps I am going in the completely wrong direction. I have 'my' produce vendor they know me/I know them and it is comforting. These are all unto a sense of settling in and that is good.

But, the reality. I knew what we were giving up. We made the choice to follow the voice that calls. I don't miss our van, or our house, or even Great Canadian Superstore and all its millions of choices of cereals. I miss my friends and relationships. I miss seeing smiling face or talking on the phone and not feeling the need to explain who I am or why I am. There is great comfort in that sense of belonging. And I miss that. I do!

I see the beginnings of a relationship like that. It is precious to me. I am thank-ful.

But I still miss those faces that flash before me. To be held dear in a glance. To be understood. To be counted as precious.

I am not sad or dissapointed, just sharing my heart in transition tonight.

May you blessed today with community who love and support you!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Busy days

These last weeks have been busy with much activity. I suppose that is wonderful. Mostly it is. But I am weary of being here and there and everywhere. It has been good to have much going on in our lives with hubby starting work. And his work schedule was very heavy at first so it was good for us to be busy. We have been able to work out a new schedule and we think it will be a good one. He will rarely if ever be gone 2 nights at a time. And will be home every 4th day or so. Seems like a great compromise for everyone!

Of course, now that I sit to write to you of our adventures I can't remember many of them. Weekly and biweekly homeschool group meet ups. This is has forced me to figure out the transportation system here. The other day I went to a neighboring island to go to a girls group for dd, and for my boys to meet some new friends. It is on the next island over. Sounds simple enough. Well, my two options are either ferry into Central on Hong Kong island, and catch another ferry back to Discovery Bay, or take a small ferry to Mui Wo and then another smaller ferry to DBay (as the locals would call Discovery Bay). Well, the first option would take just over an hour if I catch fast ferry's, but cost me over $50Hk per person. The second option would only cost just over $20 HK per person, but the ferries run a lot less frequent. So I went with the second option because I am all into saving my pennies. What an adventure. The trip there went perfectly smooth, other than a mad dash to the bank machine in Mui Wo as I left my children at the second ferry as proof that I would indeed return so they wouldn't leave without us.
But then there was the return trip...........
3 HOURS long

yes I said it


That was painful. So yes I saved money. But lost a whole lot of sanity along the way. And to top it all off, we ended up eating McDonalds for super YUCK!!! McDonalds is everywhere here.

However, we had a delightful day. Feshya connected made some wonderful connections at the girls club, and the boys made some great friends that they are very excited to be with again.

And on one last note today, I must share an important news flash.

We were going to check out the new house the other day. As we came up we saw they had painted it. It was a wonderful red. Then we rounded the corner only to see......
hold your breathe......
a little longer......
are you ready.....
you might wanna sit down because I sure wish I could have,
the other 3 sides of the house were
yup, imagine my surprise.
Now if I lived in a country of colorful houses I would not have been surprised.
But that, here, was a bit of a shocker.
Especially given that pink is most certainly not on any of my even remotely might like list of colors.

So we talked to Alman, and he was told the reason for that particular choice of color,
well, simply put,
They had run out of red.

Pictures to come!

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Adjustments

Been a while. I was going to say life has been busy but that isn't exactly true, so I won't. Hubby started work last week and so we are in the throws of new adjustment. The current roster includes a lot of overnight shifts at the school. We are in the 'we will see how this works for our family' stage. This is a normal schedule for all the staff who works at the school, and so we are going to try it out. There is room for some 'creative' scheduling depending on how our family does. The first day he left the kids cried. The second time I cried. Two nights and three days seems like a long time. Yet, on the other hand, I think it will go quickly. We look out our window to the school lights and say prayers for daddy and the students at night, that helps make if feel not so far away. Here are a few shots of Daddy leaving the first morning.

i love his morning commute
We have been busy exploring and meeting new friends. A small photo journey awaits you.

homeschooler group (8 families) came to 'our island' for the day

the boys went on a hike by our house

as we walked into town one day, this ship was docked at the sampan pier. someone told us it had just sailed from Australia. That is a ferry in the background that we ride to Hong Kong City Center.

me emerging from an old pirate cave on 'our island'

our trip to Macau for our visa run. We were taken on an amazing day to celebrate!

I have just met a local women and will be joining her for fellowship this weekend. She has lived on the island for many years and speaks fluent Cantonese. She knows many families and has a few in mind that we may be able to connect with. She also is a part of some local fellowship here on the island and that is very exciting news for us!!!! One of the big questions that is currently in my mind is how life works itself out here on the island for us. I can not remember if I blogged about this already, so forgive me if I am repeating myself. The kids continue to desire friendships that are closer here for them. Language is of course a huge obstacle to developing many local relationships, so my heart jumped when I met this new friend who could put us in touch with local english speaking families. Trust me, I would rather be speaking Cantonese, but until then, we still need relationships, so English will do just fine!

In the mean time, I am very excited to announce that I have found a local cafe that sells good coffee!!! The only place I had found was McDonald's. Even if their coffee was good (which it definitely was NOT by the way), there just seemed something very very wrong with going there for coffee. Sooo, knowing there is somewhere here that I can go for a nice coffee and a yummy dessert truly makes this feel like home!! Photo to come!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thoughts on our Visa

Yes, it had finally happened. We got word yesterday morning that our visa's have gone through...officially....!!! Of course we were very excited. Relieved. Just last week we met some beautiful people and they shared that their visa's had been rejected. Our journeys of coming to live in Hong Kong were very different but very familiar in that we followed our Father's voice in leaving our life behind to live in this strange and wonderful country. So does that mean I am more 'blessed' than they are because our visa's were accepted? By all means absolutely not!!!!!!! Rather, I step back in awe of what it means to follow his voice. He is so faithful to lead us in small steps, showing us we can trust him, building our trust in him. There are many things I that I have heard Abba speak to me about, but most of them I have not the faintest idea how they will come to pass.

In the last few weeks I was never fearful that the visa's would not go through, but I have also come to have a healthy respect and understanding that 'His ways are not always my ways'. This is the journey he has chosen for us, but I know he is no more with us than he is my new friends and I wait in anticipation to watch how their journey unfolds. I know he has a plan, and and I know he will hold them tightly. Just as I know, I am in his plan and he is holding us tightly.

What is your journey? Do you hear his heart beat?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009



Today was good.

Watching hubby teach and explore with the children. Inspiring.

Finding amazing eats at a street side vendor in some crazy crowded market in Kowloon.

Watching my children become more and more familiar in these new and strange surroundings.

Buying a rice cooker. Yippee!!!! Thanks Kimberly! One day I will cook for you out of it!

Laughing with relief as the humidity is less and I was finally not sweaty today!

I came home and was reading a new friends blog. I found this quote from a book they were reading by Andrew Murray called 'Prayer'.

You know how the eagles are taught the use of their wings. See yonder cliff rising a thousand feet out of the seas. See high up a ledge on the rock, where there is an eagles’ nest with its treasure of two young eaglets. See the mother bird come and stir up her nest, and with her beak push the timid birds over the precipice. See how they flutter and fall and sing toward the depth. See now how she “fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings” (Deut 32:11), and so as they ride upon her wings, brings them to a place of safety…. He (God) stirs up your nest. He disappoints your hopes. He brings down your confidence. He makes you fear and tremble, as all your strength fails, and you feel utterly weary and helpless. And all the while He is spreading His strong wings for you to rest your weakness on and offering His everlasting Creator strength to work in you. And all He asks is that you sink down in your weariness and wait on Him. Allow Him in His Jehovah strength to carry you and you ride upon the wings of His omnipotence.”

I love that, 'all he asks is that you sink down in your weariness and wait on him....allowing Him in His Jehovah strength to carry you.....'.


Tonight Sammy read our bible story 'David and Goliath'. The kids and I have been talking about this over and over. I love how God loves to do crazy nonsensical things. A little boy taking out a giant with a rock. I love that because it is so insane. What hope there is for me and my life, and what a complete release of me trying to 'make sense' of my life. When I look at what my great Abba usually does. What fun to be free to live a life that does not make sense!

Now I wanna paint.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The inbetween places

This week marked the one month stage of our life here on Cheung Chau. I feels like a bit of a 'no mans land' we are in. We still await word on our visa. We have been unable to really connect with very many people yet (yes I know it is only a month......). We have not begun to walk out, and hardly even step into the things that ignite us for being here. Today in the midst of a bout of kids-not -wanting-to do-school-work-and -being-distracted-by-every-little-thing-moment (that included more than a little frustration from mom and dad), Ethan walked up to me and whispered "Mom, my heart feels so much better when I look at the school rock."

we can make out this large white rock on Lantua Island from our window

When he said that I held my breath for just a moment. I remembered the why of it all. I remembered that we are in-between.

For a long time now hubby and I have thought and discussed how we don't really read much about the in-between times of people's lives. We read about the grand vision and then we read about how the vision came about. But not many pages are filled with the spaces and places that filled those grand times. I do feel the importance of this time for our family, but that doesn't always make it easy. My hearts cry is that my life would be poured out for HIM. He is my all, my beginning and my end.

But then I think of how often, even on this blog, I have written about wishing to know how it was all going to work out. Most of the time I would have to say. I have a personality that longs to understand and know how it will all work out.

So then I am reminded again of the lesson of learning to trust. Learning to trust anew. Trusting in the in-between non grandish times of my life. Working out my salvation. Working out my trust in my FATHER. Knowing that he always has his best for me, and that right now, right here, this is his best for me.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Nothing but the cell phone

My last few days have been here, at home. Monday was my birthday and it was POURING outside (tail end of the storm that hit the Philippines and caused all the tragedy there), so we stayed home. A fellow teacher had invited us out for supper, so we headed out for the evening under the protection of our umbrella's. Just as the food was coming to the table, my dd suddenly felt sick and I rushed her home. Well, 'rushed' as in left the supper and slowly walked home hoping we wouldn't have an 'incident' on the walk home. We said our hallelujah's as we got safely home. We have been home bound since as she recuperates. (Hubby made it up to me by bringing home an amazing chocolate mouse cake and some Tiramisu from a local bakery...YUMMY!!!)

Brad has been taking the boys on outings to save all our sanity, and once every few hours I call him, just to make sure we are not alone in this world. Our place is nicely hidden away but after a few days I begin to feel more than a little isolated.
So, seeing as I don't really have any exciting events to tell you about, I will give you some pictures.

my new house.....

Meeting new furry friends and dreaming of getting her own....

enjoying a free ride thru town.......

local answer to a 911 call,,or 999 here.....

a shot of our walk to town.... haha get it 'shot' I have been alone for a few days.....

Friday, September 25, 2009

Some times you gotta laugh.....

Today we are loving a home day. We were all exhausted from the last few days, and as we 'settle in' we are also letting us ourselves relax more and more. The school has officially told Brad to enjoy this time before the visa goes, because as Alman said "You will have years to work soon". This is actually hard to let ourselves do as we are so excited to throw ourselves into life with the organization, the reason we came. So we are learning to relax and enjoying ourselves. Yesterday as we were hanging out at the beach I suddenly burst out laughing.

We have been here for 3 weeks now. Just.....hangin as we sat there, eating our dim sum, being watched intently by the lifeguards and beach cleaners because there was no one else at the beach, I realized how this must look and what they might be thinking of us. I mean really, who can afford to fly around the world and just holiday for a few weeks. I know there are a lot of people who could afford to do that, but we are definitely most certainly NOT in that category. Yet, here we are, living on a foreign island, just relaxing.

For weeks, actually months before we came, I had been asking Abba Dad for a family holiday. I wanted a time for our family to just be together with out all the stress of planning, packing and such. I dreamt of living in a small place close to the ocean. I was feeling a little disappointed when it was time to go and we had not been able to get a way even for a bit.

But, he truly knows better than I, and gives us things in a much better form than I could ever have even asked for. Here I am, living in a small place right by the ocean.

As I listened to his voice yesterday I felt him stressing the importance of this time as a time of 'settling in' for our family. He certainly works differently for different people, and I am beginning to learn the lesson of not 'questioning the potter'. I am beginning to see that this waiting/resting time is perfectly in his plan. A few days ago I was bemoaning the fact that our visa has not gone thru yet,one of my children replied "Mom, Abba knows the perfect time and you need to trust him!!!!". Out of the mouth of babes!

For all this I am feeling thank-ful today!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

oh ya, don't forget the water

Went to the new house to help, but there was nothing for us to do. So we took a few pictures of the work in progress, and walked down to the beach. Brad went swimming with the kids while I walked into town to get us some water.

There was only one problem. The food stalls.

First the yummy bakery, then the dim sum place, then the soup place, then the curry fish balls, then another bakery...........

I finally couldn't do it.

First I got some steamed buns, and other yummy things. Then a loaf of coconut bread, then a mini chicken tart, and a few other type things. Just a smidgen of this and a smidgen of that. I was feeling quite proud of the offerings I was bringing to my family.

But, then I remembered, oh yah the water. So I quickly counted my change and luckily I had just enough left over for water.

That was close.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The walk home

The walk home is always an interesting one. Every time we ask the question to the kids
"Up and over, or around?".

Most days we go up and over, but if we are carrying our water bottles home (right now we have to fill 5l bottles in town at the restaurant and bring them home for cooking and drinking), or if we have a lot of groceries we go around. The path around is a little longer, but follows along the island and we can see the ocean for most of it. It is beautiful. Most days we pass workers riding some of the few vehicles on the island, kind of a quad on steriods. They use it to haul garbage and building supplies. One of the workers has taken a liking to us, and when ever we pass her we get a big smile and hello. The kids have decided she is officially one of our few friends.

Here is a pic of our hike 'up and over'

This is a small part of it, but what it looks like the whole way up. We mostly don't mind it anymore. Once in a while Ethan reminds us that he only has 'little' legs. But generally the kids are enjoying how 'strong' they are feeling.

Most days we are looking for the giant snails. I will have to get a picture one of these days. Today we saw a snake by our gate in the bamboo trees. The boys were begging me to let them catch it. I thought better of it!!!
Often we see frogs after the rain. And of course the many many butterflies are always amazing to watch.

A homeschooler's science paradise!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Where does one begin.......

Tonight marks exactly 2 weeks that we have been here, and just about 1 hour short of when we first walked in the door. Really, it feels like so much longer than that - in a good way. Brad and I keep waiting for it to feel 'weird', but it just doesn't. Yes, I stand staring at the shelves in the market unsure what to buy, yes I wish desperately to understand the talk I hear all around me, yes I am still figuring out which alley's to take. But, it seems fine. Not overwhelming. Not that I don't expect to have overwhelming moments......but for now it just feels like a new home.
As I think of writing this post there seems a million and two things I would like to write. I want to explain how amazing it is to watch the ships and boats, big and small. Or describe the intensity of a thunder storm a few nights ago that last for half an hour right outside our door with lightening strikes just about every 5 seconds (literally). To write about the love that we have been shown and how well cared for we all have been. Post pictures showing how our kids were blessed to have been given free passes to Ocean Park already (an amusement park plus here in Hong Kong). But, those are each a separate post, so I will just start with today.

Today we enjoyed the simple pleasure of having clean and dry clothes to put on. See, it has been rainy here for a few days, and that makes drying clothes out side impossible, and the humidity is too high for them to dry inside. We had enough clothes to last us for a while (we are only living from one suitcase right now while we are in our temporary living quarters which are a bit small), but we were running out. The towels all had a nasty smell to them, and never really dried. So, on our way to the beach, we dropped off our stinky laundry bags. And oh, the joy of unpacking those dry and clean smelling clothes and towels - joy unspeakable.
Our day at the beach was delightful. We have a wonderful beach just moments from our door, but we choose to walk into town, see our new house, and go to a bigger beach.
I am so excited about the new place we will be in. About 2000sq ft, and it has a HUGE yard area. And the view.....breathtaking.

Just a few shots of the trees we will look out on. From what will be our new house, it will only be about a 5 minute walk to Kwan Yam Wan Beach.

So I could go on about the curry fish ball stand, or getting caught in the down pour, oh how we danced a crazy happy dance when Alman Chan surprised us with internet at home, but I will stop for tonight.

I am off to watch a romantic movie with my hubby.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

One week..........

WE have arrived. We have been here for 1 amazing week, but I only have 5 minutes left on my internet time to tell you about it, so mostly it will have to wait. Things are great. We are being extremely well taken care of, and some new friends even showed up with ice cream sundae's at our house last night! But the many other stories will have to wait.
We hope to have internet at our house soon, and will fill in all the many blanks then.
Our hearts are full!!!
Miss everyone dearly!!!
Till we connect again.............

Thursday, August 27, 2009

packing and all that stuff

I figured I should quickly give an update. We are down to 6 days until take off, and 4 days until we have to be out of here. We are doing really well, and getting lots done. We had a few 'surprises' for our visa this week, but it all went surprisingly quickly and smoothly getting it all worked out. All our furniture will be gone by tomorrow morning, and then we just have a few rooms to clean, and packing to do. Tomorrow is also one of my son's birthday, so we will be having a little beach party for him. A few more friends to meet with, a far well party at the beach with friends, and then we are done. Done Done Done.
The emotions I feel during this time is totally all over the board. I feel overwhelmingly excited for the journey we are embarking on! I am completely saddened to have to move even further away from family! I am dreading some of the good-byes that have yet to be good-byed! I can hardly wait to be done packing and cleaning! And on and on it goes. Most days feel like a roller coaster ride. And then I hear a voice say 'lift your hands in the air like this, it is funner that way'.
So I will lift my hands in the air, and enjoy the journey and all that it is right now.
And have one more coffee!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Belly laughs

A long long time ago, when hubby and I were faced with some very very hard times, we had a friend pray for belly laughs for us. You know, those times when you just laugh and laugh and laugh over the silliest, smallest things. And you giggle and even snort. Yes, those kinds of laughs.
Well, tonight, I was blessed with those. We went to have a bar-b-q with some very special friends. Friends who have become family to our family.

So, this evening, as we sat in our chairs, looking over the gorgeous landscape, I laughed and laughed and laughed. How delightful and restoring. Just what I needed. Really. All week was prepping for the garage sale, and today was sale day. Things went well, we got rid of almost everything. The house if feeling very empty, and so was I. So being with friends, enjoying a glass of red, and laughing like a silly girl was the best thing I could have asked for today.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sleeping on the floor

Funny how things work out. We started to list things like our beds, couch etc just last week. We were trying to find the balance of listing them long enough to have time to sell, but not too long before. Well, with in days of listing our major furniture, everything sold, and everybody wanted it immediately. In fact, someone offered us more than we asked for our couch and chair set! So, this weekend we will have no table and chairs, no living room furniture, no beds except the bunk bed. We will all take turns rotating from the foamy on the floor, to the bunk bed. We laughed this morning as we realized how empty the house will be after this weekend. Should making cleaning easier I figure. And really, who cares



Just adds to the grand adventure. And as my hubby put it, the less stress we have for the last few weeks, the better. Yup, agreed.

So here goes to eating and sleeping on the floor for a few weeks.

Monday, August 10, 2009

We have a date

Well, most of you already know, but I must put it here as well. We finally have our tickets. Sept. 2. Wow!! Really, that is all I can say. I didn't freak out like I thought I would. It actually took a few days to set in. Okay, one day, but still. It was so so so so so so so so so so so so so so nice yesterday when people asked that I could say

"Sept 2, 8:00am"

rather than

"well, um, yeah well, we hope to be flying out the first week of Sept. No, No, we don't have our tickets yet. No No we don't have our visa yet. blah blah blah"

yep, it is official. They are bought and sitting in an extremely safe place. But ya know, I still go and check on them every few hours.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Happy Birthday my Double digit girl

Today is my dear daughter's Birthday. Today she turn's 10. 10 it seems is very very big. She could hardly fall asleep last night as she was far to excited to FINALLY be 10. "Not all my friends are 10 already, but most of them" she informed me.

Oh my girl, you bring such life to this home. You keep us focused on the things that matter. You challenge us to see things in a new way. I love you for that! I love your heart to serve and bless others. I love your honesty about how your heart is feeling. You have been created with a strong will and I bless that as I know there will be a great purpose in that! So often I wish you would stay small, but, then I can hardly wait to see your life unfold! The choices you will make! I love you sweet heart! Happy Birthday my love!!!