Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Little Update

Whew... it's been a busy couple of days!

Sunday we were invited over to the Enn's for dinner with a new couple (with a baby) from the school and then later that afternoon we found out that Adelina, Nick and Kayla were going to join us too! How fun... it turned out to be a very enjoyable evening. Jill and Ryan (and baby Hunter, 5months) were really nice and Jill is a SAHM so I'm hoping we'll get together more often. They just moved to HK mid-August so it's fun to talk adjustment and help out as much as I can. Adelina and Nick seemed to enjoy themselves (since all but Mike and I were Canadians... they were talking CFL) and I just really enjoyed getting to know everyone a bit better. Lori (Mrs. Enns) is an INCREDIBLE cook and we had steaks and carrot cake for dessert. I sure am glad it's Hannah living with them and not me because I'd end up putting on about 100lbs! LOL

Monday we attempted a few things that didn't work out. We had absolutely NOTHING in the flat to eat so we went to Deli France for muffins but they didn't have what I was looking for. So we picked a few groceries up and came home to eat. Once Izzy woke from her nap we walked to the indoor playroom to find it was closed for the day. Thankfully, on our way home we passed a park and so we stopped to play for a bit. In the afternoon, I went with Hannah to explore a bit of TST (ok... mostly Esprit) but we walked around Kowloon Park and chatted too.

Yesterday we went to Lamma Island to help Tim and Cindy (and Lillian too) unpack. They just moved to this incredible village house that quite honestly... I'm a bit jealous over! LOL This island is so peaceful, so calm, so friendly, so unlike HK. What a perfect place to live. I don't know how helpful I was but I sure enjoyed seeing and spending time with them and Isabella sure enjoyed playing with Lillian too.

Today we had to hit immigration to renew our visas. We expected a long day but it only took us an hour so we hit Ebeneiser's for lunch and WOW... I found my new favourite restaurant! Okay... I don't think anything will be Thai food but Mediterrian sure comes in close. I had the most amazing lamb gyro. I told Mike we'll have to go there on our date nights since it's a bit of an effort to get there and eat (it's just a whole in the wall that's open to the streets... not the greatest place to eat with a crazy 1yr old).

This evening Brett and Hannah came over for dinner before their all nighter in Central to win the 'golden ticket' at the new Krispy Kreme. We just got word that they are number 3/4 in line so while they most likely won't get a years worth of KK, they'll probably get a months worth! How cool is that?

Tomorrow brings market shopping for fruits/veggies and grocery shopping for the other necessities and hopefully a trip to the playroom for Izzy.

Not too much exciting going on... Mike and I are praying over a decision regarding all of Children's Church which I think could be really cool if it all works out. And oh yeah... Vivian had her baby! A little girl and she's just precious. I'm so excited for them! And Jenny's having a boy!!!!!! All these babies...

And my babydoll is just growing too fast but we sure are having fun!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Lovin Life.. part 5

So that's been my week. It's had its ups and downs but as I reflect tonight... I'm just in awe of my life. I feel so blessed to be here in HK, living life with a purpose. My purpose here in HK is so different than it was i the states and it's been really awesome to see how it's changed and how I've adjusted. In the states, everything I did was focused more on ministering to those a part of the church. I reached out as much as I could but the majority of what I did was within the boundaries of 'church.' Here... I'm much more outreach focused. I'm involved in the church as much as I can be but I feel I have a better ministry to those outside of it. It's been a hard adjustment for me as I loved being super involved within the church but I have to say that I'm enjoying being on the opposite end right now. God is doing some awesome things and I feel so blessed to be used by Him.

So as I waked home tonight I started making a list of all the negatives/positives about HK and here's a few I came up with....

Lack of space in our 'home'
Lack of accessible grass
Lack of knowledge of the language
Being so far from family

What's so cool is that those are the ONLY negatives I could think of and besides being away from family... everything else is available in just a different way than I'm used to.

Walking everywhere
All the different foods.... hello panda cookies, cha siu bao (sp?...steamed BBQ buns), satay, curry, hmmm... getting hungry here lol
Making friends from all over the world
Being surrounded by people.... did I really just write that?
Feeling safe at any time of the day
The variety of classes/playrooms available to Isabella
All of the parks
Taking a ferry
Shopping at markets
The breeze from the harbour
Meeting people everywhere
Connecting with people just because you're an expat

ugh... I just realized it's midnight so I'll stop there.

I really do love it here... it will be wierd to go back to the states and see what I miss about HK. Usually I'm always thinking the other way around.

I was also thinking about some very random things that I wanted to write down so here they are...

Random facts:

~I'm addicted to Hello Panda cookies and I justify eating them because the creamy filling is a milk cream. LOL
~Isabella has a lot of energy.... and I mean A LOT! Everyone gets a kick out of her because she just doesn't stop and we often get comments such as... 'And I thought my child was active.'
~Isabella loves to giggle and the more tired she is... the more she giggles. And no matter what she causes everyone else to giggle too.
~I love being out and about... watch out Moms and Dads in Nov. I won't know what to do with myself. I realized today that rarely is there a day I don't go somewhere and I don't know what to do with myself if I'm stuck inside.
~I love watching Isabella when a dog passes by.
~I really love taking walks... especially around 'downtown' Hung Hom at night. I love the atmosphere of everyone being out and about... all the little shops... street food.
~I really enjoy living in Hung Hom. Funny how a change of heart can often reflect a change of attitude.
~I'm so thrilled to be a part of the family of God and to be serving Him here in HK.
~Being a Christ follower.... RAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay... off to bed!

Okay I lied... here's my most recent LO... a pic of Izzy playing peek a boo with daddy at Disney and another of her at the park actually sitting for a second. LOL

Friday, September 22, 2006

Lovin Life... part 4

Today turned out to be a wonderful, wonderful day! The morning was a little shaky because Isabella only wanted to play on the kitchen counter and for once... there were only a few dishes to do and the rest of the kitchen was clean. So we argued.. he he...
and I managed to convince her that there were fun toys in the living room too. LOL

Adelina and I were to get together but when and where ultimately depended on whether or not I could get a free trial from this one class. Unfortunately, it took them forever to get back to me and so my day was spent wondering what was going to happen. I'm a planner so this was frustrating for me.

Anyway... they did get back to me and due to Kalya and Isabella's naps... we ended up just meeting and walking to the class together. I was really nervous about how Isabella would do. She doesn't sit still very well and when she see's something she wants... there's no stopping her without a fight. So the class started with a few songs and Isabella was just too excited... she was squirmy, antsy, and unhappy that I was holding her down. I was a bit embarrassed because all of the other children were sitting so properly but I had to remind myself that Isabella actually wasn't old enough to be in that class. Anyway... she really enjoyed herself when she had the freedom to roam and play. She LOVED the trampoline and this big ball with a hole in it that she could climb through... and of course the swings. She did better at the end when we sang a few more songs. I was so glad that Adelina suggested coming for a trial because I was about to sign Isabella up for an 1 1/2hr class (more like a preschool class) and I just don't think Isabella is ready for that. I think she would be find after a few classes but those first few would probably be quite the challenge. So I've decided to check into this class (My Gym) or that Musik Box class because both of those are more play... with a very short story time. Plus... I will be working with her at home now to get her to sit still and focus for just a few minutes.

So anyway... (I say that a lot don't I) Adelina had dinner plans later in the evening (at 8pm... it was currently 6:30) but invited us over to her place and wow... what a gorgeous flat! The kitchen is bigger than Izzy's bedroom but I guess that's not really saying much. LOL The girls had fun eating raisins, dried blueberries, riding bikes, playing with straws and jumping on the bed. Adelina fed the girls and once she found out I was alone for the night... she cooked dinner for me too even though they were going out. I thought that was really sweet of her and I discovered how much I enjoy cous cous! She told me that she would like to have me over on Fridays since we're alone and that just really made me feel special. I really appreciated her thinking of me. We parted ways and I decided to walk home.

I walked through what I like to call 'downtown Hung Hom' and I really enjoyed watching everyone, seeing all the little shops, and just thinking about how my life has changed over the past year. We made a quick stop to say good night to Mike and came home. Again, Isabella was pooped and I'm praying for another 9am waking.

Lovin Life... part 3

I should've known Thursday was going to be great when I looked at the clock in the morning and it was 9am! I couldn't believe it. I guess I successfully wore Isabella out. LOL It was so wonderful to sleep in but honestly it threw me off schedule. All morning I felt like I didn't know what to do or when to do it.

We were going to head over to Victoria Park in the afternoon but with Isabella sleeping in I was afriad it would interfere with her nap and I didn't really want to deal with a cranky Izzy on a long communte so we decided to stay home. I instead took her to a different park with the intentions of returning to the indoor playroom to wear her out once again.

I was not feeling like myself... just wanting to be outside and alone but almost the instant I felt that, I felt God saying well you know Mousumi is alone all the time and would probably really enjoy some company. You can be alone another day but why don't you just give her a call. So I did. My intent was to hit the playroom and be home by 4 so that Izzy could nap and I could get a few minutes rest before Mike came home. However, Shateki had gotten a runny nose and she wanted to be outside rather than in the air con. So we played at the park and again I felt like I was being really selfish in what I wanted so we stayed until Isabella clearly needed to rest. We chatted a little more in depth about a few things... nothing major but I felt like our conversation went a bit past surface level which was fun and she invited us over for dinner on Oct 2. It was really cute how she did it... she asked, "Have you talked to your husband about being availalbe on the 2nd?" Me: "Yes and we are." Her: "Okay then, I cordially invite your family to our place for dinner on the 2nd of Oct." How sweet.. then she began to ask how spicy do we like our food. LOL Some Indian food is VERY spicy so I told her we like spicy stuff but we also have sensitive stomachs. LOL

Mike brought us Subway home for dinner and I made Isabella some rice and veggies and for the first time... she took several bites using a fork! It's amazing the things you get excited about once you have children. I was so proud of her for feeding herself that we took her outside for one more walk before bed. :) Okay... we needed groceries but she enjoys being out no matter what.

And that brings us to Friday....

Lovin Life.. part 2

Well... not to much to write about Monday and Tuesday. None of us were feeling very great and therefore napped when possible. It seems Isabella was teething (though we didn't realize this until Wed), Mike was worn out from the previous week, and I feel that I was dehydrated. By Tuesday afternoon we were all feeling better but needless to say... nothing exciting happened.

Wednesday turned out to be a fun and full day. Mousumi and I met in the afternoon to take our children to this free indoor playroom. Everything in this room was padded and it had slides, funny mirrors, and plenty of things to climb on. Isabella absolutely LOVED it. We got there around 3:15 and for the next hour+ she ran everywhere. I just smiled the whole time. It was like letting a caged animal loose. I picked her up once to give her a drink and her heart was racing!

From there we went to this place that's similar to 'Chuck E Cheese' only on a much smaller scale. I didn't expect to stay long because the last time I took Izzy there she wasn't too interested in it. I guess having a playmate changes that. She went from one ride to the next and she even let me put in some coins so it would move. LOL I guess she's hooked but it will be a nice change of scenery in the 'winter' (I wonder what they really call it here?) when we're tired of playing in the flat.

We came back and Isabella was just pooped. She rarely and I mean rarely sits still but for about 15 minutes, she just sat on my lap. About and hour later, Royce and Auntie Vivian came over to play. Isabella and Royce play (as much as two little ones will)so well together that I just love having them over. And it's always fun for me to have another mum around to talk to.

Needless to say that Isabella was exhausted by the time they left and she slept hard. More on that in the next post... ha ha

Lovin Life... part 1

I have quite a lot to say so I've decided to break it into several shorter posts rather than one very long one. LOL

Sunday was our 'Family Day/Picnic at the Park' for church and it was an awesome day! The weather was just absolutely gorgeous... blue skies, warm but not so hot that we were sweating like crazy. The morning service went really well. I had a blast sharing with the children and ended up going with the, we need to "PLEASE" (Pray, Love, Encourage, Accept, Serve and Expand) our family of God message and I was so excited at the end when the children told me what 'Please' stood for. Sunday school was a bit more challenging as they were painting our room so we all moved outside and yeah well... two teachers within a few feet teaching among many other distractions... I was distracted but thankfully my girls understood and it was actually a great chance to talk about life and learn a bit more on how to pray for them.

On to the picnic... this park was INCREDIBLE! If it weren't so far away (listen to me... I've definitely become more Hong Kong in my perspective... this park is about an hr away) I'd go every day. It had GRASS and lots of it! We played a few games together as a church and then we were just free to roam and chat with others. That's a very intimidating set-up for me as I always feel like I'm butting into someone's group so I chose to chat with a few ladies only a bit more in depth versus very briefly to everyone. We had a great turnout... about 150 people there and I don't think I heard one complaint. I hope we do this again... it was a great way to feel connected as a church body.

I was even blessed by one of the older children who enjoyed entertaining Isabella almost the whole time. She was so good with her... walking around, blowing bubbles, carrying her when she was tired. It was so cute to watch. Hmmm... future babysitter? :)

The only disappointing aspect of this day was the fact that Isabella did not enjoy the grass. It was actually quite funny. I took her shoes off for her to walk around and she immediately jumped into my lap, with feet as high as they could go. She would not move until I put her shoes back on. I couldn't believe it. Here we (all these western people) are taking pictures of our feet in grass, walking all over the place barefoot, etc... and she wanted nothing to do with it. I guess she's a Hong Konger for sure. LOL

We got back on the bus to head home and Isabella still had not fallen asleep... that was until one of the ladies took her and the bus started moving. She was out instantly and I was able to rest too.

It was such a wonderful day and I'm so thankful to Mike for putting this all together.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Despite an unusual morning... our day ended up to be quite nice. Our playdate with Mousumi and Shateki went well. She made us lunch and we chatted about life in Hong Kong, our families, differences in cultures and being mums. Her husband works pretty much ALL day... not getting home until about 8:30/9 each night, 6 nights a week so she is pretty lonely. We talked about going some places with the kids that she's uncomfortable going to alone since her husband is not able to go and she seemed really excited about being able to get out and explore a bit. She is very interested in her son to be well rounded and aware of the world. I asked if she missed India and her family and while she said yes... she doesn't want to leave HK for awhile because she wants her son to remember the diversity here and experience a bit of kindergarten since education here is incredible. We were just about to listen to some Indian classical music when Isabella had a melt down. She hadn't napped all day and was incredibly tired. I felt so bad for her and for having to leave Mousumi but she understood. So we made plans to go to the public library and play area either Mon or Tues and then headed home. I was so glad I left when I did because poor Isabella was just exhausted. I put her down and she immediately fell asleep and slept for the next three hours!

My heart just goes out to Mousumi. I can't imagine having Mike gone as much as her husband is and not having anyone else to spend time with. So I'm praying hard that we can build a friendship that will allow me to share with her true joy, peace and comfort.

Of course the rain stopped for most of today so we didn't get to try out Izzy's new boots but here's a picture of her wearing them last night. I'd say maybe tomorrow we'll get to play but I'm praying for really great weather for the next few days so our 'picnic at the park' isn't cancelled.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Awesome, Awesome God!

I know this is such a cliche saying but 'God is SO good!' So many wonderful things have happened over the past few weeks that I just have to praise Him over and over! I'm amazed and very humbled that despite my issues... God has continued to bless and answer prayers.

I've been praying for over a year now for opportunities to develop solid, woman friendships. I've tried my hardest to stay close to my best friends in the states, to even build new stateside friendships, to meet solid Christian women here, and to build solid relationships with non-Christians here as well. I've managed to stay close to my best friends and meet a few very wonderful women here but up until about a month ago... I've really struggled with everything else.

But God has blessed me more than I could ever imagine over the past few weeks! I've already mentioned my friend Adelina and how I met Mousomi. I mentioned spending time with Vivian last night and today I received the sweetest... probably the biggest answer to prayer... email from a gal who I attended college with. They just moved to China and she was hoping "to find a kindred spirit with you as a mom and as a mom in China."

I was really excited to receive this mail because I've always felt it was important to have people in your life that are in a very similar stage... maybe even going through the same things or being in the same type of ministry. In the states, I was blessed with some wonderful friends who were the wives of fellow youth pastors and together we were able to support each other and talk though issues that as a pastor wife you can't just talk to anyone about. Now I feel blessed to have this friend to share that with here. Now I do have some friends here who I share with but there are some fun connections that make this email so special for me.

And what makes all of these friendships so special to me is that I know they're from God. They're special blessings from Him, that He has chosen to give me in the most perfect timing. He's answering prayers... both mine and all of those who support me. And it's SO COOL to see and so humbling to know He loves me that much.

On a few random notes:
Hannah watched Isabella this evening so that Mike and I could go see a movie. I was looking for humor so I chose 'Click' which is an Adam Sandler movie. I enjoy some of his movies because they are so funny and I wasn't familiar with anything else that was available to watch. Anyway... the movie totally surprised me... was not at all like I expected it to be. I've never cried while watching one of his movies but I did tonight. LOL

*****If you have not seen this and don't want to hear what it's about please skip this part**************

This movie was about how Adam (can't remember characters name) was trying desperately to reach a 'partner' position at his job and so he was working late hours, missing family events, etc to reach this 'title.' Then he met this man who gave him a remote that controlled his life. He could fast forward through events, visit past events, etc... and he began using this to get out of arguments, get over colds, etc. In fact, he used this to fast forward to where he becomes partner.... which turns out to be a year later. He's beginning to lose everything and his life is just 'fast forwarding' away. He finally realized what he's missing, how he's too focused on his career, etc just in time to die. But thankfully it turns out to be a dream and he's given a second chance.

Anyway... all that to say... I was actually really touched by this movie. It really gave me a refreshed perspective on life. Sometimes I'm always looking to the future, wondering or getting excited about what's next and forgetting to live in the moment. I realized that sometimes I get so focused on my hobbies that I forget about enjoying the moment.. like carrying my camera everywhere so I have pictures to remember things but then being so focused on getting pics that I forget to play. Make sense? I was reminded that we all are born, live, and then die... die being the focus. Why? Because it's a reminder that we all end up somewhere at death and I want everyone to experience heaven and therefore I need to be sharing the love of Christ in all that I do. And again with dying being the focus (sounds morbid but there were a few deaths in the movie that made me think)... I need to cherish my family and the moments I have with them. I need to let go of my selfish desires and put them and others in general first. I walked away from this movie challenged... (and that seems really funny to me since it is Adam Sandler!) challenged to live a life that reflects my love for God, my relationship with Him, my desire to serve Him... a life that's worthy of the words, "Well done my good and faithful servant."

On a fun note...
I realized how much time I spend with Izzy. As Mike and I walked out the door to see the movie our guard looked at me and said.... 'No baby? Where's baby?' with this look on his face like... she's not alone is she? Just made me realize that I don't really go anywhere without her. LOL

Computers are obviously big here... they're in coffe shops, bowling alleys, and today they were at the movies! I thought it was crazy but I checked my email just so I could say, "I used the computer at the movies.' LOL

Hannah took Izzy 'rain boot' shopping while we were gone and came home with the most darling pair of yellow duck boots! I'd show a pic but our internet's not co-operating very well tonight. Tomorrow though for sure. She was a bit unsure walking in them... in fact she was frightened to take a few steps until I held her hand.

I also realized how often we stop at the 7/11. We stopped for drinks on our way home and as we paid the lady said, 'Thank you. See you tomorrow! And oh.... they have their own umbrellas and since mine broke on my way to meet Mike today... I bought one... again just to say, 'I have a 7/11 umbrella.' Ahhhh the little things that make me smile.

Okay... so I told Mike I'd be in bed in just a few minutes but I have to share this brief (I'm hoping Mike will share more specifics at his blog tomorrow... hint hint) awesome God moment Mike experienced yesterday. He was running late to his meeting so he grabbed a cab to the KCR station. His driver spoke English and began to carry on a conversation with Mike... asking about his job. Mike shared he was a Pastor and the driver began to ask questions about God an the differences between different faiths. So in brief... Mike was able to share some of the gospel!!!!! HOW AWESOME IS THAT! The driver asked for Mike's number and if he could call him sometime because he often has questions. I can't remember his name but I feel like maybe it's Taxi Ray so PLEASE say a prayer for this man and that he would contact Mike.

Okay... I really need to get to bed. Isabella and I are meeting Mousomi and her son tomorrow and REVOLVE begins (also... please pray for this... for those of you in the states it's similar to what a wed night youth group meeting is) in the evening. And I'm praying for a bit of rain so I can take Izzy out in her new shoes! LOL

Give your family and extra hug today!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Typhoon Again

Are these pictures so cool? They're from the fireworks show at Disney.

Wind blowing sideways, raindrops climbing the windows, doors slamming... that's what I woke up to this morning. Another typhoon warning 1, then 3, a red then amber rainstorm warning, and ended with a thunderstorm warning. Crazy day! I must say though, I enjoy our big windows during these storms. Love watching the rain and lightning.... and people racing to wherever they need to be. LOL

Needless to say, I cancelled our playdate with Mousomi because we would've have been soaked (just ask Mike) the second we stepped outside and that would not have made for a fun playdate but no fear... we're getting together on Friday. We did however get together with Vivian and Royce and I'm SO glad we did. The kids play (well as much as two little ones will) well together and Vivian and I were able to talk about things besides our children. :) It was just really fun to talk scrapbooking (they don't do this in India and so it was really fun to hear her perspective of it... I also learned that there are a bunch of moms who get together once a month to scrap and it really gave me the bug to get back into paper scrapping... now just need to find someone to watch Isabella during that time... lol), other hobbies and family traditions.

We were to get together with Adelina, Nick and Kayla tomorrow but Kayla's under the weather. I'm bummed but we'll see them on Sunday so it's all good. We may meet up Friday if Kayla's feeling better and I think Isabella can handle a busy day out. We'll see... I don't want Izzy to be a handful with my new friend.

So on a very random note... After watching Isabella dance to Toby (from Rock Star Supernova) all morning, I felt the need to vote for him but I was a 1/2hr late. :( I was so bummed but I'm anxious to see who wins tomorrow morning. I wasn't into this show at all until the last two weeks or so. I find that it's so easy to get into (or maybe tolerate is a better word) random shows here (probably ones I'd never watch if I were in the states) because that's all that's on. Like... the Miss World Pagent. LOL

Well... my mind is drawing a blank so I guess that means it's time for me to stop. Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Family of God

Blahs are still here but the 'cool' weather sure is helping! Isn't that funny? I took every chance I had to get outside today... even in the rain! Isabella and I had a really fun day... well at least I did. We went to the park, took a walk, I took her to this place that's similar (only on a much smaller scale) to Chuck E Cheese, we took another walk, explored some new boutiques, ate Subway, drank strawberry milk... ahhh it was just fun.

The only down side was Izzy was quite off balance today and had a few spills.... both with her body and her milk! LOL I had to change her clothing three times today and unfortunately do three loads of laundry because we discovered recently how bad chocolate milk stains! At the park she slipped on the steps and rolled down one of them, at home she decided to walk off the couch (thankfully I got her as she was about to hit her head on her wooden blocks), she was looking at me while walking and walked straight into a bookshelf, she was attempting to climb onto the couch and somehow slipped and slid off the side, and to top it off she tripped over her own two feet numerous times. Poor girl... PTL she knows how to fall and didn't get hurt at all.

This Sunday is our big 'Casual/Picnic at the Park' day for church and I'm really excited about it but also a bit nervous. I'm responsible for sharing a children's message in front of the entire congregation... yikes! What did I agree too? I love sharing with children but I've never done it in front of adults as well so I'm a bit intimidated but as I laid in bed last night praying about what to share God laid something (actually two somethings) on my heart and I got really excited. The focus of this months sermons are the church and Sunday is all about being the family of God so I came up with these ideas as visual aides...

Have a group of 11 people standing with a piece of paper.. this paper will have their family name on it. Then I talk about how we all have our own families but that we can become a part of a larger family... the 'Family of God'. And as I say 'family of God' those holding the papers with their family names will flip the paper and it will have one letter of 'family of God' to signify that even though we have our immediate families on earth we have a larger family in Christ that scatters all over the world.

The other thought I had was this.... we all have responsibilities within our families. There are things we are expected to do and ways that we are to treat each other. Then explain that as the family of God we also have responsibilities. And a great way to remember what those are... is to remember that we are to 'PLEASE' our family of God. PRAY, LOVE, ENCOURAGE, ACCEPT, SERVE and EXPAND.

Now these are just the beginning thoughts so please don't be to hard on me but I would love to hear comments on what I may want to add or change or whatever.

Tomorrow I meet with my new friend. I'm a bit nervous. I always get nervous the first time I'm alone with a new person. I always worry about what we'll talk about but I believe that God is in this so deep down I know it'll be just fine. Then in the evening another friend is coming over with her little boy. So it'll be a busy day but fun I'm sure.

Oh yeah... I almost forgot. I learned how to count to 10 in Cantonese! I'm so proud of myself... now on to be able to say them quickly and understand them when the ladies at the market yell them out fast. LOL Isabella joined me in saying number 1 but that was it... she was too focused on dancing to Maisy the mouse.

To practice--
yat, yi, saam, sei, ng, luk, chat, baat, gau, sap wohoo! got them all right! LOL

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Cool things!

Here's the gang at the entrance to Disney

We were enjoying taking random pictures of Chinese tourists. Here's mine... Hannah got some really funny ones!
apparently I didn't feed her enough at the park and she felt her feet would be satisfying.
Sitting in a cup
Riding the carousel
the mini-Cinderella castle

Meeting Tigger

Meeting Goofy

Random picture for Grandma/Grandpa... she doesn't need a pool to enjoy her tube!

For the past few days I've felt quite blah. Don't know if was the rainy weather or what but I just felt blah. Until yesterday... and then the coolest thing happened. It was a total God moment and I'm just tickled pink about what happened. Here's the story:

We were walking home from church and out of nowhere this woman stops me. She begins asking me questions about what kindergarten programs I have Isabella enrolled in. She said that our children (she had her little boy with her) were the same age and wanted to know what I was doing with Isabella to occupy our days. I immediately started questioning whether or not I had met this lady before... she seemed to know me and she was right on the kids age.. they're just a few weeks apart. It just struck me as really odd but I was excited to meet another non-working mom with a little one.

Now back to the classes...
This is not something I've thought about. Parents put their children in school so early and I just haven't come to grips with the idea of doing that with Izzy. However, I have been thinking lately about signing her up for either a Musik Box class or a toddler kindergarten preparation class so I've done some research on a few of the options around here in the past week. So I shared a little about what I've learned and our conversation just took off. We chatted about a few different things and I found out her husband had lived in MN for 2 years before they married and moved to HK. She was so excited, like really giddy, (it was fun to watch her smile) to know that we had just moved from there and was adamant on us meeting her husband. After a few minutes of talking, I needed to get Izzy home. She was getting cranky and Mike and Hannah were with me and anxious to get home as well. This is the cool part (and quite funny)... she wanted my cell number (but I don't know it... lol) so I had to call her and vice versa to share our numbers. But I thought... if she was interested in my number I should just take this opportunity and make plans to get together. So we are! I'm so stoked! We'll get together this week and she's thinking about joining the same class that Isabella will join! I'm just tickled! I've been praying so hard (and I know many others have been praying for me) to meet mothers close by to build friendships with and minister to and He's SO answering these prayers. Mosoumi is who I just met (she's from India) and Adelina (from Canada) and I have been spending time together for about a month now. This is just so awesome! So I'm praying really hard for opportunities to share my faith and just build solid friendships. I forgot to mention that I've been praying for some friends close-by (like in our Whampoa area... I have some friends further away but I wanted someone that I can easily call and say... hey let's get together in an hour kind of thing) and He's even answered that specific request. Adelina is about a 10 minute walk and Mosoumi lives pretty much across the street! I'm just really excited about these opportunities!

We had a wonderful day at Disney last Monday. A man in our church works for them (playing piano at one of the hotels... he's very talented!) and is able to bring in 3 quests each day and so he offered us the chance to go for free and what a HUGE blessing this was for us. We've been a bit hesitant to take Isabella because of the cost and because of not knowing how well she would do being out all day (since she refuses to nap while out and about.. lol). So this was the perfect opportunity because we wouldn't have felt very guilty if we needed to leave early. But we left about 11 and didn't get home until after 9! It was wonderful! The park is much smaller than the original but it was nice to be able to see everything. One funny thing is that Cinderella's castle was super small! The government won't allow the castle to be too big since the airport is close by. Anyway... our first stop was The Lion King show and I was nervous about how I was going to keep Isabella still for 30 minutes. But the minute the lights went out and the music started, she got a bit scared and clung to me the whole time. But she didn't hide her head... she took in everything! So after that we took in everything that Isabella could do. It was not crowded at ALL and she could roam around and charm all the native Chinese with her 'golden' hair. She loved seeing the characters but she wouldn't go to them for pictures. She insisted on staying in Mommy or Daddy's arms but we never complain about that. LOL Hannah and Mike experienced Space Mountain and Hannah and I rode the tea cups. We had some great Chinese food and only wished they had funnel cakes. LOL We spent some time shopping for the perfect memory of our first trip with Isabella but she was pretty clear on what she wanted... a Winnie the Pooh bear. We gave her a choice and she went straight for him and held on tight. It was precious! We finished the day with fireworks and again Isabella just loved the lights and then took the bus home. It was a wonderful day and I'm so glad Hannah was able to share it with us. I definitely think we'll go back... even though we've pretty much seen everything. It's just a fun atmosphere.

It was a difficult day at church this morning. Nothing seemed to go right for either of us and we walked away a bit discouraged but I think we also both walked away realizing what we need to do to make things better at least on our end. Tomorrow starts a new week and it's exciting to think about the things ahead. Next Sunday is our 'Casual Day' and picnic in the park which will be a great opportunity to fellowship with our church family. I'm really quite excited about the opportunity to get to know some other church members in a more relaxed way.

Some funny Izzy tidbits:

She now makes the animal sounds of dog, cow and lion (or any other animal that's not a cow or dog... lol)
She had her first bloody mouth last night thanks to walking around with her sleeper over her head and tripping.
She has this stuffed puppy that she carries everywhere and loves to push around in her shopping cart.
She now enjoys coloring.
She knows her way to the nursery and fought me this morning when I told her 'not yet.'

I think that's enough for one day... lol! Have a wonderful Sunday!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What to share....

The past two weeks have been difficult and wonderful at the same time. I've learned quite a few things about life and about myself... things that were hard to learn but well worth it. Over these weeks I have experienced disappointment, physical discomfort, stress, relief, joy, peace, love, and well I probably could go on and on. Some of the things I've learned are: My body hasn't (nor probably ever will) totally recover from my first bought of gastritis; when God tells you to do something it's better to do it the first time rather than the tenth; what I value in relationships with others; that I still struggle with the urgent vs the important; when using the computer... save, save, save; and again I could go on. Like I said... it's been quite the two weeks or so.

I made a few decisions over these weeks and it turns out that while some of those were hard and disappointing... they were the best decisions I ever could have made. One set me free from a struggle of mine that I've been dealing with for quite some time, one that really excites me, and one that will help me be more disciplined. I've discovered some new passions and have been refreshed by the company of good friends.

I've been blessed by God's word and by the worship of our Sunday mornings. I've been blessed by an honest and loving husband, a daughter who gives hugs and kisses, and the joy of having one of our MN family members join us here in HK.

I've enjoyed talking with my friend as we walked along the harbour, seeing a movie with Mike, seeing Disneyland as a family, taking Izzy to the pool, eating street food with Hannah, playing capture the flag, etc...

Yeah... lots of things have happened but it's late, photoshop froze on me again, and I'm tired. I can't wait to upload some Disney photos (oh what a huge blessing this was to us and we had a BLAST!) but maybe tomorrow.

In the words of the Chinese---
'Bye Bye'


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Just for Fun

Tonight Mike and I saw a movie and on our way home we had the joy of bringing laughter to a few people. We hopped onto our bus and about 2 seconds later, we realized that we were on the right bus but going the wrong direction. So we rode the bus to the airport express station, got off, and got back in line for the same bus only this time... right direction. LOL Our first driver was done for the night so he got off as well and chuckled at us getting back in line. He was sweet enough to check with us to make sure we knew where we were going and then shared a chuckle with a few other drivers. Okay... so I don't know exactly what they were talking about but you learn to understand pretty quickly when they're talking about you in Cantonese.

Oh well... we made it home and actually our mistake was best because we were able to be in air con instead of standing on the street in the heat. At least we were able to make someone smile.