Monday, December 31, 2007

I'm not...


one of those people that can hold a big secret for too long and I've been dying just to scream at the top of my lungs for a few days now about how the Lord blessed us this Christmas. So with great joy and excitement, I announce....



I can hardly believe it! There's a bit of a story that goes into all of this but it's hard to write out to where it would make sense to most people (believe me I tried...hehe) so I'm not going to go into it aside from saying that this was a total blessing from the Lord!!! So over the next few months, I would appreciate your prayers as this makes major adjustment number 4. :)

Hope your Christmas was amazing and that the New Year lying ahead brings great joy, growth, and love!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

It might be time to clean when....

Your child asks for a certain type of cracker based on the crumbs at the table.

My goodness yes this happened to me this evening. Izzy was eating cereal, picked up some crumbs off the table and said, 'Mamma I want dis cracker.' Maybe it's time I put all this Christmas stuff away and start cleaning. LOL

Another cute Izzy saying recently is... 'My arms broken.' Whenever she doesn't want to do something it's... 'Mamma my arms broken.' Where'd this come from? Just ask her daddy. Hehe

A huge praise... I think we have a home!!! Wohooooo! This is so exciting! I'll write more and hope to have some pics soon.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!!!




This was ALL I needed this morning! I received exactly what I was praying for (actually I got it earlier this month but with an extra surprise today), I think Mike was quite happy with his surprises and I know Izzy was thrilled with the gifts under the tree. She showed most joy with her


'twinkle-bell' underwear, her 'Mater' car, the Dora card games, 

and of course her new Snow White bike. But she loved everything once we were able to open it up and show her what everything did. We took a walk outside after opening gifts so she could test out her bike

and now she and Mike are resting. Sadly, Mike is not feeling well today but we didn't plan on doing anything anyway... just relaxing and being together. We were blessed to have Christmas with Grandma/Papa/Aunt Nikki/Uncle Juan/Shay/Addison/Karly too! We skyped the whole time we opened gifts which was loads of fun!

This evening I'll hopefully speak with my sister and then tomorrow morning I'll get to talk with everyone.  So lots more fun lying ahead! We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!


Sunday, December 23, 2007

2 minutes 'pa-lease'

Izzy's favorite sentence right now. :) I always give her a two minute warning when we're about to change what we are currently doing so I guess she has picked up on that and always says... '2 minutes pa-lease Mamma' when she doesn't want to do something.. like go to bed. :)

Well it's hard to believe that Christmas Eve is tomorrow. While it still doesn't feel like Christmas in Hong Kong.. I am excited. I think Izzy is going to be so excited with the gifts that her grandparents have gotten her. What a blessed girl she will be on Christmas morning and it will be so fun to watch her open them. She's already had a few practices and she thoroughly enjoyed it. My joy will come from just watching her and Mike. I enjoy receiving gifts but I find more joy in giving them and watching them be opened. I've got everything I could possible need... a great husband, a sweet daughter, a family that most would only dream about, and most importantly a relationship with the Lord. What else could I ask for?

Tomorrow Mike gets a special treat... he's been invited to play golf with a few men at church in the morning. So he'll do that while I run a few errands and then we'll head to church in the evening for a potluck and game night. Will be fun.. I'm sure.

I was blessed with a special treat last night... my friend Jocelyn took me to see the Nutcracker! It was AMAZING! I really, really enjoyed it. I knew I would like it but I was surprised how much I enjoyed myself. I loved Act 2 as probably most people do but the dancing and music was phenomenal. I especially loved the Arabian and russian dances. But seriously... I was just glued to the stage all night. it was so wonderful to do something like that again. I've pretty much decided I will use my Christmas money to buy tickets to a symphony or something... I had forgotten how much I enjoy being a part of the arts. At WVU, I was required to see so many concerts, etc each semester and while I at times complained about having to go to something... I was never disappointed. But alas...

It's been a filled month of activities but it has been great to be surrounded by people when this is the time I miss my family the most. I've been reminded over and over why we are here and it's been great to focus on that rather than feeling sorry for myself.

Well... I'm off to catch some zzzz's. I hope everyone has a blessed Christmas Eve Eve... :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Nothing too important

Wow has life been crazy the past few weeks but it seems (I should be careful about saying this... haha) that things are calming down... at least I hope some things are falling into place. At least I can say that my responsibilities for the holiday season are pretty much done so I can relax and enjoy making cookies, crafts, Christmas shopping, etc... with the fam.

This morning it was quite hazy/rainy out but it made me smile because it looked slightly like a snowstorm (ok so maybe I'm reaching a bit but a girl can dream). So Izzy hopped into bed with me and we snuggled for a bit. :) Then we got ready and went to Kowloon Tong (festival walk mall) and did some Christmas shopping. Actually I was looking for icing to use for our cookies but they didn't have any so we went to the record, book and toy store. So anyway... while we were there a school choir came in to sing and Izzy was so excited. She danced around and leaped for joy when they began singing Jingle Bells or 'Twinkle Bells' as she calls it.

Then we headed out to meet Grace (one of about 15 real estate agents that are looking for a home for us.) She actually showed us one that's shows a lot of potential. We are looking at another tomorrow and hopefully can make a decision soon. I just can't get over how there is so little available and how much rent has gone up. rent in HK is like 1000's US monthly. The flat that we live in right now is going for 2400US a month. Crazy!

But anyway....
This whole process of getting kicked out and flat hunting has been difficult but such a good reminder and test of faith and trust. I was about to lose it (mentally...hehe) the other night when I sat down to read Izzy's devotional to her and it was all about faith and trusting that God is in control. funny how many children's things hit adults hard and many things about Izzy teach me about God.

We got home and since it was late I didn't want Izzy to nap so I put on 'Cars' and made her sit on the couch to rest. I only planned on making her sit for about 20 minutes so I could get some cleaning done but about 10 minutes into sitting, I hear... 'Momma, more treat (aka Yakult... a yogurt type drink)' but by the time I got it from the fridge and went to hand it to her she was out cold. Sleeping sitting up. It was so cute.

So I worked on all these forms I have to fill out to teach so I can get them mailed off. Yep... I'm gonna be a teacher but that's a whole other story. :)

On a much less important note.. today I got my certificate from my race and I was excited to learn that I was #22 in my age group. I don't know how many runners there actually were but it made me smile.

But tomorrow's a busy day... my school is having a carnival that I'm taking Izzy to, then I have to hit the markets in Mongkok and then we'll be looking at a flat in the pm so I'm off to bed. Have a great day!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

christmas reversal carnival

So we've been trying to figure out what a Christmas 'reversal' carnival and so far the only thing we have come up with is that it was outside. But anyway... it was quite nice. They had some blow up jumping things, some electronic cars, some games, etc... The lines were long so we didn't stay long but we waited so Izzy could jump. Here's one of the videos. She was so excited but I was convinced once it was her turn she wouldn't want anything to do with it. I was SO wrong. She had a blast as you can see.



Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

2 Corinthians 12:9

I love this picture of the tree at Disney.


'My grace is sufficient for you.'

I find it easy (at times) to think about what I feel I deserve, to compare myself to others, etc... and forget what God has done/and is doing in my life, to lose confidence in what I feel He has called me to or how He guided me, etc... Today was one of those days. In an instant, I felt like a failure in so many ways but the more I thought about things... God gently reminded me of how He had worked in my life, the beliefs that have come from a personal relationship with Him, the desires He has laid on my heart, etc... and then I read this... 

"the Truth is, whatever you are going through right now, whatever you will go through tomorrow, or next year or fifty years from now.... HIS grace is sufficient." ~Nancy Leigh DeMoss

I have a verse that I quote when my mind goes into fear mode but when dealing with the above mentioned issues... I've never found something that helps me to refocus quickly enough. "My grace is sufficient" that's exactly what I needed to hear and what I need to remember. These thoughts do nothing but bring me down and/or frustrate me and all I need to do is focus on my God. I just need to seek Him and have confidence in Him... 

One thing I also was reminded is that I need to be in constant communication with the Lord... listening, talking, seeking Him. I need to know that I am seeking Him... that my heart is right with Him.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Peace

Well... after weeks of uncertainty I feel like God is finally bringing some things into place. I knew He would but when so many things come at once... I find it very overwhelming and at times I struggle with trying to do things on my own. The past several months have been very humbling for me. I've felt knocked down and put in my place on numerous occasions but it has reminded me that I need to be close to God and that I can't take even a step away from Him and even that my identity needs to be in Christ. You'd think that after years of following God, I'd have some of these things figured out and dealt with by now but it's amazing how satan creeps in and grabs ahold of some things and brings you down. But alas...

A few weeks ago, we watched Evan Almighty and there was one conversation that just grabbed my attention and I haven't been able to forget what was said. Evan's wife was talking to a man (who happened to be God.. she just didn't know it) and God said... 'When you pray for patience, does God automatically give you patience? Or does He give you the opportunity to be patient? When you pray for...etc and He went on.' And I began to think about some struggles that I was having and I thought... well this isn't going to go away overnight but God will give me opportunities to deal with it and grow. And wow... what a different attitude and perspective I've had on some things. I can honestly say that in one specific area... my heart has really changed because of this question and I'm so grateful!

In my last post, I mentioned how many things were weighing heavily on me to where my race was just one more thing on that list and now that it's over... I feel like a new woman. Not only that but my job situation has really perked up and I will know (well most likely) by the end of the week.. what my job will be and we are starting to have some success in finding a new flat. In fact, we found such an ideal place but we're ultimately leaving it in the hands of God because He knows where we'll be best used. So things are finally calming down and I feel excited about life again. I'm anxious (in a good way) for the next race in feb, I'm anxious (again in a good way) about our new home and new job. It's very difficult at times to wait upon the Lord but I've constantly been reminded that His time is absolutely perfect and this is once again... proving my point. While I have wanted to know some things months ago and wish they had been settled... I believe that I would have missed out on how God wanted to use me.

But anyway....

I have a second interview on Thursday morning for a possible teaching position at a local school. I'm very excited about it as I may have the opportunity to teach Music but I will patiently wait and see what happens. I have also been offered another position so after Thurs I have a big decision to make. This weekend begins our holiday parties and I'm excited about that. Helps to make the holidays more enjoyable when you don't have your immediate family around.

I've finished most of my Christmas shopping. I hated to do it but for everyone in the states... I shopped via Amazon.com It was just the money wise thing to do and while I hated not being able to wrap the gifts or walk the isles.. I still had fun trying to find some unique items.

Well... I better hit the hay. The pics below are of our most recent visit to Disney. Izzy was into riding this time so we didn't meet a single character. She was super excited to see 'The Lion King' and danced the whole way through it and of course the rocket ships. She couldn't get enough of those despite Mike and I begging to try something else so we wouldn't lose our lunch. We hope to go back one more time before the Christmas decorations are taken down but we'll see. We may be busy moving!




Daddy and Izzy... but she doesn't look at all like him.


She didn't want to ride Dumbo just sit and take pictures and give him a kiss.




The rocket ships... she just loves these!




Sunday, December 02, 2007

UNICEf Half

Well what can I say.... I'm DONE and SO glad it's over. Not the same attitude I had last year after completing my 1st 10K. There has been a lot going on for us over the past few months... a few quite stressful things that I attempted to just put behind me and trust that God was in control but it was clear to me this morning how heavily these things had been weighing on me... including this race.

I was neither excited, nor nervous... all I could find myself saying was 'let's get this over with' and '1 thing to cross off the list.' NOT a good mental state to begin a 13.1 mile run. I jumped into the middle of the pack and when the countdown finished... I let others pass me as I picked a slow pace to begin with. One of my biggest struggles is starting too fast and then after just a few miles I'm done. So I had my Nike+ with me to keep track of my pace. This was so supposed to be a flat and fast race and in comparison to the Standard Charter... it is... but it did have some slopes that caught me off guard and I began to panic about how many hills there were going to be due to my lack of training in that area. However, I was actually quite surprised in how I handled them and found them easier to run than other areas of the course.

I was doing well... (despite my mental weakness already) until I hit 11K and looked down at my iPod to check time and turn it on for awhile. And that's when I lost it and literally almost broke down in tears. I have used my Nike+ to train... it tells me the distance that I've run and the pace I'm going. I calibrated it against my treadmill and thought it was right. However, at 11K (approx 6.8miles) my Nike+ said 8. At first I was stoked.. I though wow.. I'm doing much better than I thought (I was thinking the 8 was Kilometers) and then I realized it was miles... 8 miles. A bit off? So all my hard work in timing things, pacing things... was wrong so at the point I knew I wasn't going to make my 2hr goal and I was just discouraged and disappointed.

It was at that point too that the sun starting beaming pretty good making it much warmer out than anticipated and well... my body just doesn't do well in the sun. I'm not trying to make excuses for my poor training but the sun really took a lot out of me... I just haven't trained under the sun and I paid for it. I seriously just wanted to cry and quit because I knew my goal had just gone out the window and I just wanted to get it over with. I tried a gel pack but it just made me sick to my stomach. I don't remember much until 15K and then I was just happy to be on the down stretch. At 19K, I felt my toenail going... and it became harder to push myself. When I saw the sign for 20K... I just started to book it... I just so wanted to be done. I finished at about 2:20:28. Ugh... what's even worse was that I looked at my Nike+ again and at this point it was 2.5 miles off! That's crazy!!!! So while my time wasn't even close to what I wanted... I feel somewhat okay as based on the terrible calibration of my Nike+ system... I've never run 13.1 miles before! Based on what it said... my longest run was probably about 10.5 miles and my average runs about 6/8 miles. Not good in preparing for a half.

So I learned many lessons today....
1. Don't depend on my Nike+
2. Don't use gel packs
3. Don't drink sports drink along the way... just water for this girl
5. Bring a hat
6. Train in the heat
7. Train on hills more often
8. and most importantly....Don't carry burdens... lay them at the feet of God.

I'm proud that I could finish sprinting as usually the last thing i want to do after a long run is to sprint and I'm proud that I had the energy to do that but aside from that... I'm just glad it's over. Now... on to the Standard Chartered half. I'm beginning to think I'm crazy for wanting to do this but once the heat comes back around I don't think I'll be doing any racing so this may be my last chance for awhile and plus Mike's running the full so it will be fun to share this race with him.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Especially for Grandma and Papa

I'm slacking big time in the blogging department... it's been a crazy, crazy week and I've felt like I lost my sanity several times this week but I'm still pressing on. Our life seems to have turned upside down in such a short time. LOL Nothing too major... nothing that won't work out in time... it just seems like craziness right now and not how I like to enjoy the Christmas season. But alas... I get to spend each Sat this month sharing about the Advent season with my English fellowship and I'm very excited about that!

But anyway... I need to get to sleep. They say two nights before your race is the most important night for sleeping so I'm trying to get ahead of the game. Just had to share this special video for Mom and Dad rose.





Oh wow.. just noticed that Safari now allows for editing HTML within my post. Cool!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

back from Shanghai





Well Shanghai was AWESOME!!!! I'm SO glad that this all worked out! We had a fabulous time being together and watching tennis. I was a bit nervous when we arrived at the hotel... it seemed like a very shady area but it was great.. nothing special but we were literally there only to sleep and shower so all was good. We found it very easy to get around and the metro was just a short walk from our hotel. Each morning we explored a bit of the city and by 2 we were on our way to the tournament. I have to admit that I thought I would get bored at some point watching tennis but it didn't take long to grab my attention. I have a whole new appreciation for the sport and for tennis players in general. Wow... is all I can say about those guys.

If we hadn't left Izzy behind, it would have been hard to want to come back but I guess that's always the case with holidays. Too bad we can't retire first in life and then work. LOL

Well... I have an early morning appointment so I want to pick up the flat and lay in bed and watch one of our new movies.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Shanghai at Last

Yeah.. we're here! I've been dreaming of this since early, early summer and I can't believe it's here. We dropped Izzy off at Nick and Adelina's about 4ish and then headed on our way to the airport. We decided to cap it to our hotel since we have absolutley no idea how to get around and it turned out to be a more expensive cab than we expected but alas we made it about 10:30pm last night.

So now we're just trying to figure out how to get around... and stay warm. My winter clothing supply has significantly dwindled since moving to HK so I'm praying that what I brought will be enough. LOL

Anyway... the tournament starts at 3 so we're going to try and explore a bit before hand. Wohooo!!! We're in Shanghai!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Team Pic




Blogger is still is not letting me upload photos so this will have to do. This is the team minus Mark who was using the lu at the time... from left to right ... Mike, Tim, Tom, and Howard. This was like Tim's 12th attempt, I believe Tom's second, and the 1st for the rest. The picture is of friday night about 6pm when I got to meet them. Did I mention that they started at 9am? I can't remember so anyway... this is already after a day of hiking.

Mike sure had some fun stories to share and it was great to hear about this experience. It's tempting to want to try and do something like this... to push myself harder than ever before... but I told Mike and Tim the only way I'd do it is if I could finish in 17hrs or less because I couldn't go without sleep. LOL

Well... I'll keep attempting the pictures but for now I'm going to head to sleep. We head out to Shanghai tomorrow evening so if you think of us please keep us in your prayers. This is the first time we've been gone from Izzy for this long and she's staying with friends so I'm praying she's on her best behaviour. :) And that Mike can walk a little faster (or 'saster' as Izzy says) tomorrow. Hehe

Oh yeah.. almost forgot to mention that I had my first tutoring (English fellowship) group today and it went fairly well... their English level is lower than I expected... not to sound rude because I don't mean that in a bad way but I keep forgetting that this is a local school and not international but anyway... the 1st group had about 12 students and the second group there was 4. Needless to say.. the second group went much easier and more smoothly and I belive the students got more out of it but I think the 1st group had fun too. there's a group of boys who like to goof around so I'm going to have to be more creative to keep their attention but anyway... The teacher has asked me to focus on reading the Bible, prayer, singing church songs, etc.. so I'm really excited about the focus being on God. Today we discussed being Thankful and we read Psalm 136 where it tells us over and over to 'Give Thanks' and one students said, 'oh many, many, many give thanks' and it was a great opportunity to talk about all the things we can be thankful for and how God is the one who provides those things and how ultimately we need to be thankful to/for Him.

So anyway....

off to Shanghai

Trailwalker Completed

12:49 the guys walked over the finish line for a total of 27hrs and 46 minutes!!! Wohoo!!! They ALL made it. I spoke with Mike and he shared that while they all had blisters and were incredibly sore... there were no serious health issues. Will write more later but now I'm enjoying the in person updates! Thanks SO MUCH for all of your support and prayers! I'm so proud of him!

Stage 8 Completed

Mike just texted at 8:42 saying they have 20K left which means they've completed stage 8! Once the team gets all checked in he figures they have about 3.5 hrs left and compared to the terrain they've experienced... this should be easy though I'm sure the mental side is much tougher knowing you're so close. Please continue to pray for energy and safety. He says they're all doing ok... lots of soreness and blisters but the worst is over! I have to say that this is one reason I love HK... how many places can you go hiking and aside from just a few times... be able to stay in contact via text message! LOL

24K to go!

At 8:04 Mike texted that they were at the highest point in HK and about 24K left to go putting them at the end of stage 8. Mike seemed in good spirits but glad to see the end in sight. I cannot wait to hear all about this when he gets home... sadly I won't get to see him until much later. They are walking to one of the team memebers house at the finish to rest, shower, eat, etc... and then he will get a ride home but Izz and I'll be in Hung Hom at the church. So anyway.... until next time. :)

30K to go

At 6:31am they had 30K to go which put them at the beginning of stage 8! Mike said he's got blisters but they weren't going to stop him. According to the map this stage is 'fairly difficult' and the final too are 'easy walk' so the end is in sight!

39.4K to go

At 3:44am Mike texted that they had 39.4K to go which put them in the midst of Stage 6. Mike said that he was struggling a bit but felt he would be okay to finish. He said the next 6hrs would be big and then they were on the home stretch.

Stage four Completed

Yes I'm still up. It's so hard not to be when your hubby's out hiking his heart out and I can watch his progress. But alas... at 12:05 they were halfway done!!! Mike said he's feeling sleepy but overall pretty decent though he feels the next 25K will be tough. This'll be the last update from me until morning as I need to get to bed but feel free to keep up with him on the site. On occassion the GPS system stops but if you keep checking back... it'll eventually work.

No word on the ladies (we've got a group of four women from church participating as well... all wives of the crazy husbands except for me of course and Lori Enns) so I'm praying for them as well. They did not intend to run a lot of it but they were determined to finish strong.


Okay... well I have some pics but they aren't uploading so it'll have to wait until morning. I'm beat. Have a blessed day!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Stage four Completed--Almost

Well... the latest update I got was about 3 minutes ago. They've reached a peak and are headed down. Should be another half hour and they will be welcomed with some soup and coffee. I'm not sure I'll be up in another half-hour so I thought I'd put up a brief update. This next stage(s) will be the longest stretch I believe without support... I don't believe they'll get anything until 6am at the earliest so please continue to pray. However, I do believe that once they complete this stage... the hardest climbling (up/downs) is over. So they can rejoice in that!

Thanks again for all the sweet emails... Mike will be so blessed to read how much you all care!

Stage 3 Completed

Seeing the guys walk out of the woods was so fun... I am so proud of all of them because I know they're pushing themselves and all the work that they've put into it.. just amazing. Sometimes it's not about the race itself but the discipline and hard work in training that's most important. But alas...

Shortly after 6pm they walked out completing stage 3... right on schedule. One of the members has been a bit sick so please pray for extra strength and energy for the next 12+ hours. It was fun to sit with them for a bit but it wasn't long that they headed onto to Stage four. The next rest is at about 10:30 and most likely not again until 6am. Mike was in really good spirits... having a blast and enjoying the challenge. His knee is beginning to bother him but he says it's only on the downhill and if he runs it.. he's okay.

Ahh.. it was so great, so inspiring to be able to see them at this point. And again I'm just so proud of Mike. The team is only allowed four people but there had been 5 training and since Mike was the last one to begin training with them... he's the one who's not officially in the race.. bascially this means that if he were to drop out it doesn't matter. The team has checkpoints that they cannot get through without all four memembers but Mike has freedom to do whatever. His attitude so impresses me that he's pushing himself, encouraging the other guys... simply because he wants to and he hasn't even considered dropping out... know that's motivation, dedication and I'm just so proud.

Stage 2 Completed

At 2:15 they completed stage 2! They are ahead of schedule and planning to see us between 5/5:30. I'm just praying we get there in time. He said they're doing good so far. I'm hoping to get a little more info when he stops but they're not stopping for long so we'll see.

Thanks again for your support!

Oh yeah... the GPS is working now so feel free to check in on him. Here's the link...

http://www.webtracker.hk/webtracks/trailwalker2007.php#start_here

They're team 0055 and most likely you'll need fire fox browser to view the map. You can download that here...


http://en.www.mozilla.com/en/firefox/

Stage 1 Completed

I got a text from Mike that at 10:37 they had completed stage 1 (of ten) of the race! The website isn't as accurate as I had hoped so I'm praying really hard that Mike will be able to contact me in time for us to meet him. I think I was up half the night too because I was just so excited for him. Stage 1 is an easier one, stage 2 is a bit more difficult and supposedly stage 3 is a killer and where many drop out so please keep him in your prayers and I'll keep you updated. We'll see him at the end of stage 3.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Squid and the likes...


Izzy loves her popsicles but they don't sell them in boxes here... just individually at the 7/11 so if she's been a good girl we take a walk to the Circle K and pray they have some. for some reason they always have the red bean but not orange and well... red bean dumpling... GOOD... red bean popsicle... BAD LOL

It's just one of those foods that I will not be able to stomach. I tried... and if I didn't have to look at it, I'd be okay. But the second I see some purple or little bumps... yeah even thinking about it makes me queesy. But anyway....

So today I finally got to take Izzy to a dr about her bumps. Turns out she has Molluscum Contagoiosum a type of pox... nothing serious but not very pretty. So anyway... the treatment options are 1. do nothing and hope it goes away quickly 2. use a cream 3. numb the areas and basically scrape them off. After our 5 minute consult with the Dr., he realized that the 3rd option (his preference) was not realistic for Izzy as she couldn't sit still and didn't care for him even touching her chin so we're going with the cream. I pray this works because if not, we'll have to attempt option 3 and it may take several tries. Letting it go isn't an option in my book as if they pop on their own, they scar and I don't want her chin/mouth area to be totally scarred. So anyway... we'll know in about 3 weeks if the cream is doing the trick. But let me say... that was the most expensive 5 minutes of my life! Crazy how much the consult cost for such a short time... though we didn't have to pay extra for the cream. :)

After the appointment, Adelina and Jayden met us for lunch. It was quite the experience and I'm very thankful for Adelina's patience and quick creativity as Izzy was a handful. I don't know what's gotten into her lately... she's not been sleeping well and on top of that not feeling well but my goodness... my patience is running thin this week. So anyway.... we had lunch at the flying pan and I just had to rub that into Mike because he LOVES that place. It's an American Breakfast place.. but anyway... I enjoyed waffles with strawberries and Izzy had (with Adelina's help) a huge bowl of oatmeal and bananas... just like her Daddy. Then we just walked around the island and had some great conversation.

Just 1 more day until Mike heads out to the mountains. I'm SO excited for him that it's all I can think about ... I even keep forgetting that we head out to Shanghai on Sunday.

Last night was Alpha and it was a great discussion on evil. Nicky Gumble (the Alpha video speaker) shared a statement that really grabbed my attention. He was explaing how the devil works and how we should deal with that and one thing he said was that sometimes we need to just say, 'I've escaped the darkness... I don't have to believe what you are saying.' Or something to that effect... lol... I can't remember word for word but the idea being... I've been forgiven, God loves me, I don't have to listen to what satan is saying. He was saying this in reference to when we know that the thoughts we are thinking aren't related to unconfessed sin but just satan trying to bring us down or make us feel unworthy... we just don't have to take that and sometimes we just need to say that and stop those thoughts. Anyway... it was quite interesting and I appreciated the simplicity of his words. Life is so different for me here and even after 2yrs I still struggle with my role and get down and self-conscience about the littlest things and this was a great reminder to me that I don't have to feel this way... I've been set free... I've been saved by the grace of God.

But alas.... I need to get to bed.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Cantonese Lessons

Some Daddy/Daughter Lovin
I'm so excited! I found a website that has some Cantonese lessons on it! So right now... Izzy and I are learning our colors. We know red, yellow, purple, and blue. So fun!

Well... Izzy seems to be doing better but I'm not feeling the greatest so I'm grabbing a coke zero and a book and heading to bed.

Hope you have a wonderful, blessed day!

Friday, November 02, 2007

More pics..

Princess Cinderella
Izzy and Saytaki
Izzy and Soda
Handing out the goodies (Hunter, Jill, Mousumi, Soda and Izzy)



So last night was not fun... I don't know what happened to my baby but she was up crying out lots yet half the time was not even awake. I brought her into bed with us thinking that would help but no... she actually asked to go back into her room yet every time I was about to fall asleep, she woke up again. I finally pulled out some blankets and slept on the floor next to her. Needless to say, I napped with her this afternoon and am already drousy... just waiting for Mike to get home. She did have a fever today but it seems to have broken and she was asleep until I went in to move her toys off her bed and give her some actual sleeping space. LOL Now she's awake again and hungry. Ahhh....

So my interview/meeting seemed to go well today and we actually found a school for Izzy that I think she'd really like but now it's just figuring out what to do with her for an hour inbetween her and me getting home. So we'll see...

right now I'm just more concerned about a good nights sleep and her feeling better. :)

Just wanted to upload some more Disney and Halloween pics. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Wohoo!!!! The parkas have come out!

At Disney
She adored Minnie this trip... lots of hugs and kisses!

Today was just a fabulous day! Izzy and I didn't get up until almost 10am, it was about 20 degrees out, I got to talk with my sister, Mike and I got our visas for Shanghai, we had dinner at CPK with David and Wendzi, Mike got Bumblebee, and it's 10:11 and Izzy's asleep!

It's been a crazy few weeks around here... good but crazy. Lots of things happening. I have yet another interview tomorrow morning. This one came totally out of the blue but based on some things... I felt it was worth checking out. I honestly don't know what God has in store for me. I totally thought it was this Saturday job but then this new opportunity came up and well... it seems like a God thing. Just crazy... and I don't totally know what to think. I was talking to my sister today and we were discussing how we often think we know what's best and even believe that this is how God should work but yet God always seems to have another plan. They just personally dealt with a situation like this and now I'm trying to learn from her experience and trust God and His plan. So we shall see. I'm hoping to have some answers tomorrow but as always... I think I will have to wait because I think these are always opportunities for me to have faith and trust God. In some ways, I'm such a planner and need to have all the answers and this is definitely one of those times though I am gettng better at just waiting. :)

So anyway.... just 1 month until my half-marathon and I'm excited but am also ready for it to be over. The training has been good but takes a lot of time and energy though training won't stop until the end of feb as I'm planning to run the 1/2 in the Standard Charter Marathon. (The race that started this all)

Mike runs his 100K race in just over a week and I'm so excited for him! I think he's crazy but am so proud and he's talking about doing the 1/2 with me in feb too so that's fun to think about to.

And we leave for Shanghai just after his race so I'm praying he's not too exhausted to enjoy 2 days of tennis and exploring. I'm really excited for this trip as well. He so deserves it and it will be so wonderful to have so much time to ourselves!!!

So anyway... just some little updates on our life.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Puddle Jumping

Well today we had our little costume party in the park. There was going to be a great turnout until it started drizzling but we still had four moms and little ones come out to play. It seemed a bit awkward at first... I hadn't seen Mousumi or Asako in several weeks and the little ones seemed a bit hestitant to play with each other but it didn't take to long for things to return to normal. The 15 minutes of pouring rain helped too.... Soda (Asako's boy) started running around jumping in puddles, followed by Hunter (Jill's son). And when Izzy realized it was okay to be in the rain she went nuts an Saytaki followed her. They all were soaked but they had a blast. I'm sure we'll be the talk amongst the Chinese... 'those foreigners... not only are their kids getting dirty... they're getting wet too... they'll be sick for sure.' LOL I could just imagine the thoughts of the ladies watching the kids jump/lie in the puddles. And tonight was an Alpha night so I had to buy Izzy a new outfit but that's okay.. I found this new little shop and got a pair of pants and long sleeve shirt (yes.. it was actually cold enough to wear them) for Izzy for a great price and she looked adorable as usual.

Well.. I have some pictures and videos to post but it's late so I'll do it tomorrow as I wait at home for our Tennis Master's Cup tickets to arrive. Wohoo!!!!

Oh yeah.. just a cute Izzy saying. She can now officially say her name but she calls herself... 'Izzybella' too cute.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mommy... I broke it

Izzy: Mommy, Mommy
Me: What Isabella?
Izzy: I broke it
Me: You broke what?
Izzy: (with all seriousness and holding onto it) I broke my arm.
Me: What?
Izzy: (rubbing her arm) I broke my arm.

So I have her come over to see what she's talking about. I thought maybe she was talking about her shirt that was torn but she kept saying, 'No I broke my arm.' I moved her arm all around... it was okay. And then I realized she was pointing to the virus (wart like thingy) on her shoulder. She had scratched it and thought she popped it.

It was so stinkin cute! I thought at first that she was being funny because sometimes Mike teases her when she wants me to 'carryo' her and tells her my arm is broken... but no she was serious.

And now... it's 10:50 and she is still up, reading her Mickey Book and eating cheerios.

Sweet Izzy stories.

Boring Update...

So much has gone on and I've just been lazy about writing. So many sweet Izzy memories, fun surprises, decions to be made... and hopefully I won't forget those but if I try and go back to write about them I'll just get discouraged so alas...


Yesterday, we took a family run and it was awesome! We went a little over 13 miles and Izzy even ran a bit. We took a different route and even found some new places to explore which was fun too. But needless to say, I'm tired and very unmotivated to run again this week. LOL And I have all my speed workouts yet to do. A cute Izzy moment was when we got home... she was stretching with me. I don't know why it was adorable to me but it was. :)

Today I had yet another interview and I surprisingly enjoyed it. I don't normally enjoy interviews at all but this was at an English Center in fanling which is just two stops away from China. The owner was awesome, very sweet, a believer, friendly, etc... She is buildling her center and has offered for me to basically do whatever I wanted with just a few guidelines. Which sounds exciting to me. She's also totally willing to work around when I am available and Izzy can come to work with me if necessary. She's also willing to do some Cantonese/English swapping where she'll teach Izzy and I and I'll teach her. The whole time I was with her this morning, she was teaching Izzy. I loved it!

Anyway... there is one major thing that I need to find out before I can make a final decision so I'm praying that God will just give me wisdom on what to do.

So that's the past few days in a nut shell.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

So exciting!

Well this week has been full of some exciting things and it's only Wednesday! Due to a lot of people missing, I was able to be at a different table at Alpha this week... one where almost everyone at the table is truly seeking the Lord and to hear their excitement about reading the Bible, having God speak to them, even just buying a Bible. It was humbling to be a part of that. It can be too easy to slack off in our spiritual lives because we've been following the Lord for even what seems like a long time or because we've grown up in the church and we feel we know everything. But answering some of the questions just reminded me of all the awesome things God has done for me and how exciting it truly is to develop our relationship with him and it was really a fun night.

And after I got home, I made a decision. Since we moved to HK, I've prayed for the opportunity to start a moms group. I prayed that God would build close relationships within these moms and I prayed that in time... God would open an opportunity to do a book or Bible study. And with pure JOY, I get to share that we will begin a book study on Biblical parenting within the next month!!!!! I am so simply stoked! After some prayer, I decided to talk to them all and see if they were interested in doing something like this and all have showed interest! What's absolutely great is that at least 2 attending are not believers but are willing to come for different reasons. So please pray for these ladies, this group and these two women that God would draw them unto Him during this time.

So exciting!!! And one little thing... I have another interview tomorrow for a Sat morning position. It's with the same school that was M-S but just Sat's and I'm excited yet really nervous as I have to do a 15 min phonics demonstration. Please continue to pray with me that God would just make it clear what He wants me to do. Then we have a fun staff party in the evening and the friday begins family camp!

And to top it all off... it's starting to cool off! Wohoo!

This week just ranks up there as one of the best!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Insanity

I feel like I'm going insane. I've been offered one job... have a second interview for another job... and have a 3rd interview in which we are working out the details of where to meet. This is what I wanted right?... or so I thought. But when I got the email in which I was offered the job, my heart sank... like I wanted to get the job... just didn't want to actually take it.

I dunno... I feel like I'm going crazy. I'd like something... but I want it to be on my terms. Simply because I don't need the job and I don't want it to take me away from my family. Am I being selfish? Does God want me to do this? Some would say that maybe He would as He's opened all these doors but could He just be giving me the option since this is something I was interested in? It's times like these where I wish God would audibly speak to me and tell me what to do. Because I want to do His will but with the feelings I have in regards to 2 of these positions... it just doesn't seem right.

And then this brings up another whole set of questions.... aiya

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

23 degrees

One huge adjustment for me living here continues to be the weather. Like it's Oct and it should be cold, or at least cool... I shouldn't be able to swim, shouldn't sweat the minute I step outside, shouldn't have to turn on my air con, you get the idea. I miss my long sleeves, sweaters, sweatshirts... pants.

But today... I'm just so excited that I have to post.... it's only 23 (or 77 depending on where I look) outside right now!!!!!! I can't even remember the last time I saw that number. I'm sure it will go up a bit throughout the day but wohoo!!!! Must take advantage of this.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Job Interview

Well today was an interesting day... I had a job interview for a NET (Native English Teacher) position at a Kindergarten. It all happened so quickly... I've been looking for something very part-time in hopes to make some extra income so that we could adopt. Word apparantly got aroudn that I was looking for something and I got an email last week about this position. I made the phone call and they wanted me to interview today. After talking with them, I was hesitant about the job but I thought it would be worth it to go to the interview which led to an interesting day for me and Izzy.

We hopped on the shuttle at 10 and due to a few mishaps... I was late to my interview. Thankfully they were late as well. :) But I also had Izzy with me, which they were fabulous about. They acutually offered for her to join a class but once she saw the little cars that's all she wanted so one of the ladies sat with her while I had my interview... it was really interesting... some interesting questions. But I quickly realized that it's not the right time. I think I would absolutely LOVE the job... but the communte, having to work on Sat, etc... it's just not a good idea right now. Though I think I will keep my eyes open for a similar position closer to home. So while I kinda feel like I wasted a bit of my day... I know I didn't at the same time. I actually got to see a part of HK that I'd never been too, I got to explore the mall our shuttle drops us off at and realized they have some great children's stores (Izzy is obsessed with Cinderella right now and I found a store that has TONS of princess things/toys, etc... and even a bunch of Dora stuff.. who she also adores... which is rare in HK) and I feel more prepared for future interviews. I also know as far as a job goes... what I want.

So anyway... tomorrow I actually have another interview for a job on Thursdays but I just got the notice so unless they allow Izzy to come... I'll have to wait. And I have another, I'm not exactly sure if it's an interview or a you've go the job let's discuss the details, meeting sometime this week for a friday night position which actually might work out really well. So we'll see what the Lord has in store. I'm looking for something that will give me an opportunity to reach out and minister but at the same time... doesn't take me away from my famiy or ministry with our church.

On a cute side note.... as I already mentioned Izzy's love for Cinderella... well today she was watching it while I was getting ready and I heard her singing along. It was too cute.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Cinderella


Sorry about the sideways shot... forgot to fix it first but need to get to bed so this will have to do for today. This pic shows what I wish Isabella didn't know how to do... use the DVD player. Does your baby book ask this question? Well mine does and it made me laugh that at 2 I could write that Izzy knows how to work the DVD player.


Isabella is in love with Cinderella and today she found this dress in her closet... (she now carries her stool whever she needs it... in the bathroom to brush her teeth, in her bedroom to turn on her light or get into her closet, the kitchen to get into the fridge) and insisted on wearing it and spinning in it. We actually have Cinderella on VCD (cheaper.. not as good quality dvd) so it comes in two disks and Izzy's prefers the 2nd disc where the mice are making her dress, the ball and so forth. She gets so sad when Cinderella gets locked into her room. So cute.

So anyway... once again I'm not leaving myself much time to write but I just have to share how excited I am that by putting the scriptures around the house and just reading them throughout the day.... I've memorized about 4 new verses in just a short time. This is huge for me... for some reason, I can memorize any music (for piano, sax, etc...) with relative ease but scripture has always been very difficult for me so I'm just stoked!

Have a blessed day!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Paci Update #2

She's doing great! No paci and she only asked where it was once today. Horray! What a star my baby is and even whe she's sick. Yup she's coughing again. Looks like to the Dr we go. Aiya....

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Paci Update

Well... I thought 'Gamma' might like an update on how Izzy is doing without her paci so here's a quickie. She survived her first night with a short lived cry. I was quickly able to distract her and she was fine though now I think she's just adjusting to what to do when she's in bed. With her paci's she could lay down and still play with the one... now she has nothing to play with. She was up rather late last night... I headed to bed after 11 and she was still awake. This morning she asked for it and I reminded her that she wanted to send it to Papa and that was it. At nap time she took a bit to fall asleep but napped well without a cry. This evening she was great... just not tired. She asked for it once but I reminded her that it was gone and again she was just fine. I know there must be lots of people praying for her and me (lol) and we're both doing great. I just continue to pray that she will forget about it and that Sunday (a day when she tends to ask for it most) will go well and that she won't even think about it.

On a side note....

I've found it difficult to get in a regular, studying habit with Izzy around even though I have her nap time... that's when I'm most successful in getting housework done, etc... so I decided to take a different approach temporarily anyway... I have short devotional books in almost every room, plus scriptures and prayers plastered all over the place as well... so whenever I have even just a minute, I stop and read, pray, etc... It has absolutely been amazing for me. I have another blog entry about this but I haven't completed it yet but simply... I bought this book while I was visiting the states and it has been just been wonderful and included with this book is a website that will take you through 21 days (see I was right... it takes 21 days to make/break a habit) of different things to make you a better mom. I'm currently doing 21 days of scripture memorization and yesterday I was to choose a verse that was meaningful to me at that time and today I was to write it down in places that I would see it so I can read it often. So my verse(s) is:

Hebrews 12:1 "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith."

James 4:10 "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up."

There are just some things that are going on that are not to be written on a public blog but I have to say... these two verses have touched my heart deeply these past two days. They were exactly what I needed to hear... I'm SO thankful to have a God that knows me, listens to me, speaks to me, loves me...

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Bye, bye paci

Well today... the paci fairy came and took Izzy's paci's away. Actually we were talking about being a big girl and when I told her that she wasn't going to have them tonight she asked if we could mail them to Papa. :) I know some would say I'm a bad parent for letting her have it this long but when you take public transportation as much as we do and often with a very tired and cranky child who has incredible will power well... it's nice to have something just to throw in her mouth that will calm her down. But alas.... her virus on her chin is spreading and it's just time. So if you think about us... pray that the next few days will go well and that Izzy will adjust well. I actually chose tonight because Mike comes home late on Wednesdays and he'll be gone late friday in preparation for the Trailwalker so I figured if she screamed... he'd only have 1 night to deal with it. However, it's 10pm and Izzy is still up playing in her bed. I wish I could go on as little sleep as she does.

I'm in week 4 of my training and it's going well. I'm actually following the plan which means only one real long run each week and I must say it's nice. Until July, I tended to run as long as I could as many days of the week as I could and while it really got me into shape... I burned out a bit. According to my Nike+ system, I've got approx 240miles (haven't updated it in the past few days) until I reach my 500 mile mark so I've made it a goal to run 500 miles by Jan 1st. That shouldn't be too big of challenge... about 20miles a week... I'll just need to be consistent in my training and not give up after the race.

I had other things to write about but now I can't remember so I think I'll go enjoy a few minutes with my hubby before hitting the hay.

Oh yeah... another cute Izzy story:

I put Izzy to bed and decided to run. I figured if she cried, I wouldn't be able to hear too much of it between the tv and my treadmill. So anyway... I finished my run and walked back to our room to put my shoes away when I noticed Izzy's light on. At first I thought ... oh I can't believe I forgot to turn her light off... no wonder she's awake. Then I remembered that I did turn her light off and wondered how she got it back on. There were no chairs in site. She came out of her room saying, 'up.. baby up. play?' So I told her she could have 5 minutes to play but she had to show me how she turned the light on. So she disappears and comes back with the stool we have in the kitchen. It made me laugh that she thought of that but also that she was kind enough to put the chair away when she was done.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sweet Prayers

Prayer is a vital part of the rose family. We believe it's powerful, we've seen it change lives, we've experienced the closeness to Jesus that it brings. And it's very important to us that Izzy can experience these same things so we take every opportunity we can to pray together, to teach her how to pray, to talk about how God has answered prayer, etc... A few months ago, Izzy began praying at dinner and this was her first guided prayer.

Me: Dear Jesus Izzy: Jesus
Me: Thank you for foood. Izzy: food
Me: Thank you for drinks. Izzy: apple juice
Me: Thank you for friends. Izzy: friends
Me: Amen Izzy: AMEN!

Tonight... these were her sweet words.

Jesus, love you
Thank you (for) Kayla, Uncle Nick and Auntie Adelina (we spent the day together)
Mama joy
Sleep well
Heart, mind, soul, stank (aka strength)
Love friends, me (aka love my friends more than myself)
AMEN

Deep and Wide, Deep and wide


I love and am so blessed that she enjoys praying, she enjoys praying for others.. she often goes through the list of all family members. When I pick her up from Sunday School and ask her what she did... the first thing she always says is 'pray'. When we put her to sleep either at night or at nap time, she asks to pray.

Sweet, sweet prayers that I will always cherish.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Love Actually, 2007



Gotta love the fact that it is September 28th and we're still going strong with our swimming. :) Actually, I would prefer cooler weather but I won't complain about a tan that lasts pretty much all year round. LOL Anyway... you are not supposed to have cameras at pools here... I understand but it's always disappointing when I don't have proof of the one major way we spend our days or all the cute things Izzy does at the pool. But today we were the only ones there and everybody just adores Izzy so I thought they wouldn't yell at me for pulling out the camera but of course the only shot I got of her she looks goofy.

We leave this evening for our big purity retreat, Love Actually. I always enjoy these because it's so interesting to hear such differing perspectives on this topic between the boys, girls, different cultures, ages, etc... Last year was awesome because some of the girls really opened up and I'm praying the same for this year. We are breaking into smaller groups so hopefully they will feel more confident/comfortable to share. We're also doing the speaking differently this year so I'm praying Izzy will be okay tomorrow.

Mike's sharing the closing session on hurts, healing, etc... with another leader sharing a powerful testimony so I pray that God will use them mightily and that the whole weekend will be a good opportunity to look at purity in a godly and realistic way. I find at least for girls it's sometimes easy to blow off the things we're taught on purity because we want to dress a certain way, date a certain guy, and we can be unwilling to admit that what adults say is right, etc... but I pray the girls will be realistic in what the world says, what they really believe and what God's word says and that they would chose to be pure before God. So if you think of us this weekend, please pray that God will move.

Well... I'm off to get one more run in before we head out. Blessings!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

And the race is on

I think I may have lost my mind. LOL I just registered for my next race and I registered for the 1/2 marathon! I can't believe how far I've come in enjoying this sport and actually being able to do it. I've always dreamed of running a marathon but I guess I never really believed I could/would do it. Now the marathon is still a ways away but I'm definitely getting closer.

So the half is at Disneyland. Mike and I had hoped to run in either Macau or Singapore this year but with Mike's vacation time starting each year in Oct we didn't want to use a lot of time so early in the year and we didn't want to just go overnight to run. The race is on Dec 2nd and I'm actually really excited about running and the training. I completed my half training back in June but then with the trip to the states and adjusting back to life here... well let's just say I need to do it again. I was just going to start marathon training but the miles for the long run were too high to begin with after a good 6+ weeks of very little running. But anyway.... I decided to do the 'improve your half' training schedule so it's a bit different and if I find myself back to where I was in early July I'll just jump over to the marathon training.

So anyway... Mike found this race for me and it turns out that it's raising money for children with HIV/Aids so I'm pretty excited that it's helping others too. Makes it more meaningful to me. And hopefully this will be a good prep run for the Hong Kong Standard Charter run that I did last year. Maybe I could push myself to run the full for that. LOL

It's supposed to be a gorgeous run too which will be awesome if the weather decides to cooperate too.

Mid-Autumn

People arriving as we were leaving.
A family self-portrait.
Izzy running with her lantern.


Well it took 3yrs but I finally remembered the exact night for Mid-Autumn (aka Moon festival... check out this site for more history and a picture of a mooncake

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid-Autumn_Festival

and remembered before putting Izzy to bed. In fact, just so I wouldn't forget, I told Mike over and over what the plan was for Tues night so that something was set in stone and I wouldn't forget.

So we met Mike about 7pm at Ma On Shan park for some dinner under the moon (we just had dessert) and walking around with our lanterns. We were actually pretty early (most people didn't show up until 8:30ish and later when we headed home) but it was so neat to see families gathering with their dinners and lanterns sitting under the moon.

We bought Izzy a Minnie lantern this year and she had fun walking around watching all the other children.

It was a lovely evening weather wise so I'm glad we remembered. We had a great time walking around, playing at the park just being together and being a part of the culture. It was interesting to see so many people lighting red candles making offerings to spirits of the moon. I sometimes don't believe things until I see them and this was just another reminder to me of how many people really don't know Jesus and how many people believe in spirits, statues, etc..

We didn't participate in eating of Mooncakes... I personally won't spend the money on them (they're not very tasty) and we didn't receive any as gifts either but that was totally okay in our books... so I guess carrying the lantern was about as close as we'll get to celebrating this holiday Chinese style. LOL

Though I'm glad I finally experienced this. It was something and my pictures and video just don't do it justice.

There's not a whole lot to the video... just trying to show you what people do.. but it's dark and a bit hard to see. Though you do get a glimpse of a lantern catching on fire. :)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bedtime needs...



Motherhood brings me so much joy, so many funny stories, so many things to smile about and here's just the latest. Izzy insisted on sleeping this way. We'll see how long it lasts but for now it's sweet, it's cute, and it's definitely picture worthy!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

What a night...

Tonight was the greatest!!!! I'm just giddy because of how fun and exciting it was. We had friends over and I saw God at work in the hearts of two of the sweetest people I know. Amazing... God is so totally awesome and after a 'down' couple of days (nothing major just I think the down after a high of tons of fun and family time) it was so great to be reminded of His awesome power.

I had the opportunity to share how God can change us, how we have to be teachable/willing to change, how we have to be sensitive to God and His leading, how we need to seek God to know in what ways we need to become more like Him, etc... I was able to share a personal situation/struggle (Mom you'll never believe it!) and how scripture has helped me in that, and I was able to smile with my eyes at the fact that the person I was talking to, who is new to faith in Jesus... is already sharing the gospel with others! My prayer as I go to bed tonight is that I would have the zeal that she does to share Christ's love with others... that all Christians would. How many people out there are just waiting for someone to love them enough to share Christ with them?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Disney Pics




Well... I had great intentions of writing out a nice long blog but then I realized what time it was and decided it's time to go to bed. It's been a rough two weeks for the rose family... well mainly for Mike and Izzy. That darn pollution got the best of them again. Mike's got a serious sinus infection and Izzy's been put back on her meds in hopes to prevent asthma. Breaks my heart to hear her coughing so badly. She slept (if you can call it that) for about 2.5 hrs today but coughed almost the entire time. :(

If you think of them, please pray for them.

Well that's all for tonight. Here are two pics from Disney... we had a great time despite the sickness.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Friday, September 14, 2007

'Elmo's World'




I'm not sure why this ended up so dark but the voice is all you really need to hear. I absolutely love that she's starting to sing along with me. Her favorite song right now is 'My God is so Big' and of course 'Elmo's World.' She's also become a big fan of the Wonder Pets. Not sure why but I have my cleaning time in the morning where she's allowed to watch Blues Clues and Dora but they are only on Mon-Wed so today was Wonder Pets and that's all she was interested in when we were printing out some coloring pages. Oh well....

Hope this makes you smile as much as it does me!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Sweet Izzy Story

I'm reading this book about how to take care of the 'me' in mommy and it has some really good practical ways to incorporate scripture memorization, prayer, Bible study, ect into your every day routines (plus a ton of other things but alas I don't feel like naming them all) as well as journal ideas so that you don't forget things that happened in your life. She talks about how often our kids do something special/cute/etc and we say, 'I've got to write that down.' but then we never do and she talks about carrying a notebook around so you have immediate ability to write down... but I'm rambling. I haven't gotten my little notebook yet but I don't want to forget a sweet little Izzy moment so I decided to write it here.

Anyway...

Last night Izzy decided she was hungry at about 8pm which is usually her bed time but she hadn't eaten much so I made her mac n' cheese and let her watche Psalty while I did the dishes. She yelled out to me, 'All done.' So I asked her to bring her bowl and spoon to me. A few minutes went by but no dish so I asked her again to bring me her dish. Again nothing. So I asked one more time and in mid sentence she came to the kitchen door with her spoon. I asked where her bowl was and she looked at me and said, "heavy.' In my mind I was a bit annoyed that she didn't do what I asked and wondered why it would be heavy when she ate most of her meal. And then God said to me... 'patience Melissa. Take a minute to breathe before getting frustrated.' And that's when I realized that I had given Izzy a normal bowl because all of hers were dirty and it would have been heavy for her to carry. So I apologized to her and sent her to her room to get dressed for bed. I finished the dishes and headed back to her room.

She got ready for bed, we prayed and sang, I tucked her in and went back out the living room to get her bowl. On the way though, I almost tripped over something. I stopped, looked down and saw her bowl... about half-way between where she had been eating and the kitchen. My heart sank as I realized that she tried her hardest to bring me the bowl but indeed it was just too heavy for her to carry. I imagined her walking slowly, trying to please mommy while I was in the kitchen getting frustrated that she wasn't obeying me (when in fact she was.)

It's amazing the ways in which God speaks to you, the things He uses to teach you. I'm thankful that God spoke to me before I let my inward frustration come through in words/actions towards Izzy. And I'm thankful that God has been teaching me more and more about contentment in Him, joy, patience, and how to balance my life. It's been an amazing 2 weeks of being back in HK.. of which I will share more at another time but I just couldn't forget this moment because it really touched my heart.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Life is Good

The first few days upon returning to HK were quite difficult for me emotionally. It usually is but this time was even worse because every morning Izzy would ask for 'Yay yule and Dee Dee' (aka Laurel and Kara) and throughout the day she would look at their and Shay/Karly/Addison's pictures and say hello to all of them by name. It just broke my heart to know she missed them and that it will be quite some time before she sees them again.

Thankfully... the Lord is good and knows our hearts and needs. We arrived home on a Sat night, Sunday was just bad because Izzy had jet lag and we were just exhausted, but then Monday is Mike's day off so we had some family time which was great. Then Tuesday, Izzy and I met our friends Amy, Lukas and Vienna at the playroom in the morning and the Enn's invited us out on their boat in the afternoon... which Izzy loved! She loves being out on the water it's almost strange to me how well behaved she is on the boat and she still talks about Brett and his boat. LOL Wednesday, Izzy had her first playdate as Jacinda (a 10yr old girl from church who loves Izzy and vice versa) came over for the afternoon. Thursday we had dinner and bowled with Jill, ryan, and Hunter and friday we met Adelina and Kayla at the pool and then went to revolve in the evening. Saturday, Izzy was invited to a playgroup party and Sunday we spent the day with Nick, Adelina, Kayla, Jessica and Jayden at the Disneyland Hotel.

Wait, it doesn't stop there... Monday night Dan and Geeta came over for dinner and yesterday we spent a big part of the day with Amy, Lukas and Vienna again. Whew.... it was crazy but it was absolutely AWESOME!!! And I'm so thankful to God for the friends I have and for Him allowing us all to get together this past week when I needed it most.

Today we took a break... actually we had plans but they were cancelled and I just decided to be lazy. So Izzy and I painted, made a tent, read, cleaned, watched Dora and Blues Clues, ate cookies, played at the park, even did a craft. And here are the pics to prove it... :)




She really was happy about the tent... she was just mad that I stopped to take a picture instead of climbing in with her. lol

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Elmo, SpongeBob, and Blue






Mike surprised Izzy and I by asking some of the youth to do some painting in our flat. Aren't they talentend???? Wow.. I was blown away at how alive they made Izzy's room. Izzy walked in and said, 'ELMO, SpongeBob, and BLUE!' It was too cute. Then she insisted on putting on her raincoat and boats and grabbing her umbrella because that's what Elmo was wearing and she needed some apple juice because SpongeBob had some. Too cute.

Mike even had Ben paint, 'As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.' above our doorway (I forgot to take a pic so I'll have to take one today and post tomorrow.) It looks wonderful!

I'm just super excited at how our flat is finally coming together and looking like a home. Mike even put up our shelves and I've been busy cleaning and reorganizing things so we have plenty of room. Anyway... I just had to share these pictures because I'm so impressed.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

It's SO GOOD to be home!!!!

Well, we survived and made it safely home last evening. Isabella was full of energy but finally gave into sleep about 6hrs before landing. She was really great though... even counted to 10 in Cantonese for me! So THANK YOU for your prayers as they were felt, especially about 2hrs into the long flight where I was getting really tired (but of course not Izzy) and my energy just bounced right back and when the couple sitting in front of me stuck around to help me get my bags and out to Mike.

We got home and I was just exhausted... couldn't seem to keep my eyes awake so Mike took Izzy on a run and I feel asleep immediately. We waited until about 10 to put her down but it didn't seem to matter. Sleeping the last hours of the flight weren't the best. She was up about 2 and the last time I looked at the clock it was after 5 so sadly, this meant.. not a lot of sleep last night and we didn't make it to church. I was so disappointed but on top of not sleeping, I had the beginning of a migraine and my return to Asian food didn't settle well. LOL

So anyway... for those of you who were wondering, we made it safely and it's SO GOOD TO BE HOME!!! Mike had the best gift waiting for Izzy. I'll show pictures later but for now...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Please don't say it...

The Alliance Women of Dover are such amazing women! I was so honored to be able to share with them while at home but one comment was made that as Mom and I left, I snickered. One woman told me that she appreciated that while I shared prayer requests and struggles, I was content and happy about where God has us right now. And then she said that it seems that we are comfortable there.

And when she said 'comfortable,' I cringed. Not at all because of her but because it seems that when Mike and I have finally become comfortable in a place to where we feel like we fit in, getting around is easy, the ministry seems to be going well, etc... God saids, 'Okay... time to step out of that comfort zone.' and we've moved.

So I joking told my MIL that no one was allowed to say that because I wasn't ready for any drastic changes. lol

Now I'm not at all saying we're moving, nor do we want to... it was just funny that she said that. Mainly because I don't think I would ever say that Hong Kong is my comfort zone because there is still so much to learn in so many ways and secondly I just don't want to move. :)

So anyway... just a funny story to me that I wanted to remember.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Go Steelers

just had to say that i'm sitting at my sisters, wearing a steelers jersey, watching my second pre-season game with my fam... ahh life is good. LOL The only thing that would be better... having Mike with us too. Love and miss ya hot stuff!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

friday the 13th... the day I was born (maybe that's why I'm a bit abnormal)

There have been a list of things to accomplish before heading home and the final one is tomorrow but it's been on my mind for a few weeks now. I'm leading worship for the first time in front of the church and I just did it for the first time ever while in the Philippines last week. So needless to say... this is a big time stress for me and all I've been thinking about. I knew Sunday was the 15th but because I was so focused on that particular day... I honestly didn't even remember that yesterday was my birthday (well until Mike pointed it out on Wed or Thursday I can't remember exactly what day). I know that's hard to believe but it's true.

So anyway... the day was pretty normal (a trip to the pool, cleaning, etc...) but the evening was awesome. Mike made plans with our friends Nick and Adelina to have dinner and they even arranged the babysitting. Poor Wanda (Adelina's mom who's visiting) had all 4 little ones.. two crazy toddlers and not even two month old twins. I knew we were having dinner but I didn't know where and I didn't know that Wanda was making me authentic tiramisu. I think I've only had one taste of tiramisu before and I don't recall liking it but this... this was absolutely AMAZING. I was so honored that they'd go to all this effort for me because I know with the twins, life has just been crazy for them. They got me this absolutely beautiful bowl and candle as well and even gave us a old Vietnamese painting that they didn't have room for. I felt like a princess. And then Mike pulls out his gifts and they were just perfect. He got me some shorts and shirts and a special foot scrub/lotion thing that my poor running feet need. I loved it and can't wait until tomorrow to wear one of the shirts.

So about 8ish we headed out to my favorite Malaysian restaurant where I thoroughly enjoyed some satay, roti and pak choy...yumm! Then we hit a little place to just sit and talk. It was so nice to get together without children because we were able to concentrate on each other and we had some intense, incredible conversations. We made it home just in time to catch the last train, walking in the door about 1am. It was SOOOO much fun and I'm really thankful that Mike thought to invite them along. Adelina has been one of the best friends I have here and it's just amazing how well the 4 of us get along and enjoy each other. In talking with others, it seems that either the wives or husbands get along but not always all four or they may get along but it's not a totally comfortable situation but I'm so thankful that God has blessed us with several of these types of relationships both here and actually all the places we've lived. It's just so much fun.

Oh yeah... even before the evening began... I hit the salon one more time. I told Mike that this is it... no more dying my hair until it totally grows out and then I'll just go back to highlights. I was just too uncomfortable with how the red looked and so I went to Mike's guy (yes.. Mike could do his 'I told you so' dance). He was actually a different guy (the one I saw there was a bit rude and I didn't want to go back to him) but Mike's guy was great... even gave me a discount because he knows Mike. :) So I told him what I wanted, what had happened, etc... and he picked the colors and just did everything. So my hair is now a dark, dark brown (that still sparkles a bit with the red) with blondish highlights. I've always wanted to try a dark color but was too afraid. Now I have and know that it doesn't look so good on me. LOL But it'll work for now.

So anyway....
Although it was a wonderful evening, I'm feeling a bit blue the past few days. I think it's a mix of just needing a break, the disappointment of the hair situation, waking up to another swollen eye today, etc... but I'm just a bit of a glum chum as Mike would say. :)

So now I'm going try and catch a short nap and figure out dinner plans. Have a great day and thanks to all of the wonderful birthday wishes!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

francis chan

So I love this guy... he's an amazing preacher full of passion and a love for the Lord that's contagious. I didn't realize I could download his weekly sermons so when I was just waiting for LIfE to happen so I could download his messages from there. LIfE is a Christian and Missionary Alliance (the denomination I belong to) youth event every 3yrs. So anyway....

I was listening to his first message this afternoon and I love his bluntness and just calling it as it is. One of the things he questioned was... (and I'm simply summarizing not quoting) 'How many of you are really for real in your relationship with the Lord? How many of you are really pursuing your relationship with the Lord? Or how many of you think you have a relatioship because your parents do?' That's a great question not just for youth but for everyone to ask themselves on a regular basis because it's so easy to fall into a routine or get caught up in the daily aspects of life and forget that our relationship with the Lord takes work like any relationship with a person. It takes time, it takes pursuing God to learn more about Him and draw closer to God.

And he then he went on to ask something that has stuck with me and really made me think. He said, 'If you were to leave LIfE (the conferene) and all your friends and family decided to totally walk away from God... what would you do?' If everyone you are close to walked away from the Lord... what would you do?' He asked that question because God wants a relationship with you.. it's not you and your parents/friends, etc... it's you. And individual thing... you pursuing God. You can't depend on your family, your friends... you can't blame how your parents/friends have acted, etc.... God will ask YOU... 'Did you pursue me?'

What a powerful, thought-provoking question... we probably know what we'd hope we'd do but if you really think about it... be honest with yourself.... what would you do?

Can't wait till nap time tomorrow to hear what he has to say next!
I'm going a bit backwards but sometimes it's easier to talk about the fun things while processing what has happened in your heart.

DABC gaves us a most memorable rest on Saturday of our trip. They took us to an island called "Paradise" and paradise it was... especially for me after the week I had with Izzy. Paradise Island has white sandy beaches and clear beautiful water... a zoo, playground, sand volleyball... it was great. And DABC made it even special by bringing food... the special roasted pig and their amazing fruit salads. Seriously... the filippinos know how to cook. Their food is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!

It was the staff and our group and they just wanted us to have fun so we did. We swam, played volleyball, napped (well Izzy did anyway), some played music, billiards and Mike and I scoped out all the prices because we are seriously considering skipping Dolphin Bay next year and coming back here and if you know how we feel about Dolphin Bay... you know this place has to be amazing! The only negative is that Izzy is still afraid of the sand and I'm not sure if there is a pool. But anyway....

Yes... we suffered for the Lord this day. :) Actually it was very refreshing and I think it was great for our students to have a day to enjoy life with no pressure but to have fun.

Most of the day was free and I finally took Izzy to the hotel pool which she would declare as her 'paradise.' This kid LOVES her pools. And in the evening we ate at Aries' (our filippino pastor's son) favorite restaurant and Toby cleaned up everybody's leftovers. LOL Sometimes teenagers get the craziest ideas and yes he did pay for it later. :) Some of the boys went to see Transformers again (yes a second time in one week... when Mike heard it was out in the Philippines... he made sure we could all go see it and they all loved it!) and the rest of us just hung out at the mall and had the most adventurous time finding a taxi and getting home.

We did have a brief meeting with the Pastor of the Gospel Alliance Church and it was awesome to hear how God is working within that church. In 3yrs they have planted 6 churches! And they were excited to hear that we will return next year and begin sharing ways in which we can get involved more next year. What a great partnership that has been started between AIC and DABC and Davao city churches.

So anyway... Saturday was a fabulous day full of great memories but in the midst of all the fun, I was still challenged in my heart about how I approach the blessings that God has given me. There were two particular instances where I was reminded that while I may not be wealthy, I am able to live comfortably, I don't have to worry about where my food will come from and that maybe I'm not as good of a steward with my money as I should be. Once again in that one week I saw how people can be totally content and happy with little material items... that it's about family, friends and serving the Lord and that challenged my heart.

Can you say gorgeous...


Here's the yummy, yummy food we ate... Sarah with our pig before and Pastor Wilmar getting ready to chop it up.