Thursday, May 31, 2007


That's how I kinda felt today. We had a bad night of sleep and therefore I wasn't totally myself to begin with. Then I chatted with my Mom (hadn't done that since before we moved because of not having a phone) and she let me know that my Aunt passed away last week. I must admit this has got to be one of the worst things about being across the world from family. first not being there with my family during times like this but then secondly... not always finding out before the fact. But I was kinda numb in my response... in fact when I told Mike I said, 'Well I kinda expected it.' It's true, she had some health issues that I figured would lead to bad things and my family is huge so I didn't know her super well but that's not a normal, sympathic response and I felt bad all day that I seemed to be numb to the fact of what had happened. And then I went running and after my initial run I decided to walk for a bit and listen to some worship music... and the numbness faded away. I felt like and idiot because I'm stretching in the gym and the tears just came. I may not have known her super well but I do love her and I love my Uncle and the reality of life and so many other things just hit. It once again opened my eyes to how short life really is on earth and how important it is to live a life that glorifies God and that is worthy of Him saying, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.'

So anyway... I'm glad to be going to visit my family in just over a month and a half. Today made me realize how much I miss them and I'm anxious for Isabella to see everyone again... she's starting to say many of their names (though she'll probably still call 'Uncle Juan'... 'two' lol) and it'll be fun to watch her with all her cousins.

Now it's off to bed and prayers that Izzy will sleep well.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Views from the 29th floor

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day so I had to take some pictures of our new view. We could even see the mountains across the way and CHINA! How cool is that! I had no idea that we would be able to see China... so cool to me. So here they are... the view from our bedroom. Isn't it amazing! We see those mountains from every window in the flat and it makes me feel so not in Hong Kong. LOL We can only see buildings if we are up close, looking out of bedroom window. It's so peacful and I'm daily stunned at the beauty we get to enjoy every day.
This is a more zoomed in view of the mts across the way. We don't always see them.. sad huh but good ole haze and pollution.
If you can see the buildings to the left... to the right of those and before the mts... that's China.

And just because she's so adorable. Here's Isabella watching Veggie Tales. And the bottom one is her goofing around. Her face looks so chubby here! LOL

And speaking of my Izzy... we left for the pool at 8:30am and didn't come back until 11:30am when we were kicked out by the lifegaurds (the pool closes at 11:30.) Isabella was in heaven, floating, jumping, watching the frog. Yeah there was a frog in the pool and it totally grossed me out because I wasn't expecting it and I almost stepped on it. LOL She's growing so much... she now helps me set the table and tidy's up. Her vocab is growing too though she keeps saying 'ee a' after everything and I have no idea why or where it came from. She can finally say 'puppy' (her treasured stuffed dog) and baby.

I'm so proud of myself today... we didn't have Bible study but Mike still gave me the time to myself so I went to the gym and decided to just run as far as I could. I ended up doing about 8+ miles (the treadmill and Nike+ are giving me different numbers)! It was so great... I took a slower pace to build up endurance and I felt wonderful until about 6.5 miles and then my knee started to bother me (it happens with a sudden increase in mileage) but I was determined to hit 8 miles. Two weeks ago, I decided that my approached to building endurance and mileage wasn't working so I printed out Hal Higdon's 1/2 Marathon training guide and it's been awesome! I'm actually a few weeks ahead but I'm praying that by pushing myself... the weeks with much longer runs won't be so intimidating. So anyway... my May challenge is about to end and currently I'm in 17th place. I should be a bit higher but my Nike+ didn't always work. But anyway... I'm so excited and decided to continue this challenge in June in hopes to break the top ten.

I think tomorrow is Izzy's last Little Gym class until fall and then we have playdates set up for the rest of the week. Should be a fun one. Can hardly believe June is almost here!

Have a great day!!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Count your blessings... name them 1 by 1

I'm sitting here watching lightning flash out the window... it's rainy season and over the past few days there has been some amazing storms. Some may think I'm crazy but I love a good thunderstorm or rainshower though I must admit it's a bit freaky to be so high up and see things a bit more clearly/close up. Yesterday I was visiting the twins and within seconds... we were among the clouds.. couldn't see a thing. It was really cool.

I've got so many started blog entries but since we didn't have internet and I couldn't post them right away... I slacked in finishing them and now I don't remember what all I wanted to write.

It's been an amazing week of blessings this past week. In my previous post, I shared what a great Bible study we had last Tues night and how open people seemed to be in sharing requests. Some things I asked for prayer were.. Isabella's sleeping and eating habits, Adelina and the twins, and meeting some moms in the area. And I was humbled by how graciously God answered every single one of those requests. There is a 'How to raise your children in HK' website where I go on occassion to find potential playgroups or other questions I may have and when we moved I posted a 'Do you live in Ma On Shan' thread. This past Wed, I received an email (and not totally sure how she got my email but that's okay) from a Mom who lives in MOS and through our disucssion we realized that we live just 5 buildings away... in the same complex. We had a holiday last week so we decided to meet this week. What a HUGE answer to prayer!!! Isabella on Wed ate the most I had ever seen her eat at one meal time and her sleeping habits have greatly improved. Wed morning... the twins were born and everyone is doing well. On top of that, I've been trying to get one of my friends to attend church and she called to say... 'Can I come this Sunday?' WOW!!!!! I was on cloud nine for the week. It was simply amazing and top it off, I emailed the ladies group to thank them for their prayers and three other ladies replied with how God had answered their prayers too. What an amazing week of seeing God at work... a real 'faith booster' as Lori said.

We're still finishing up putting together our flat but it's looking good and we can see the floors. We couldn't have asked for a better place to live. I absolutley love it here and Isabella is doing great with the lengthened travel time.

Off to read...

We're called to Serve but what does that mean?

Last night I was our ladies Bible study and the topic was of service. Last week we began our discussion and then practiced it and this week was follow up. It was a great meeting... I felt like many were very open and honest and it wasn't just a bunch of what I like to call... 'sunday school answers or prayers for great Aunt Bertha's big toe.' (LOL)

I really enjoyed learning about the 'how's' of service and how that develops our character and strengthens our relationship with the Lord. We're often told that we need to serve but there's so much more to service than just doing it.

Matthew 5:13-16 tells us we are the light of the world but exactly how do you live as that light? How do you shine so that other's see Christ in your life? Mike and I always make an effort to acknowledge everyone but especially those that get looked down upon here. I try very hard to always have a smile on my face. But I know I'm not doing enough.. and it's good to know that people shouldn't just see my works of service but they should see Jesus through them. Gives me a new attitude in how I should be serving.

Galatians 5:13-1 tells us that we have been called to live in freedom and that we are to use that freedom to serve one another. freedom in Christ is sometimes a hard thing to understand and explain but in regards to serving others I think it's saying that we need to serve in any possible way. There aren't a list of things we should or should not be doing... we are free to serve in whatever is before us.

Galatians 6:9-10 tells us not to get 'tired' of doing good. It's easy to get focused on ourselves and tired of serving others... especially if it seems that no one is appreciating our service but God says that at the 'right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up' and to me... that's motivation enough to keep pressing on. Who would want to pass up a blessing from the Lord or see God work in those you are serving? On the other end.. we shouldn't be serving for what we get in return but I think it does help to know that whether or not our service is seen or appreciated... God sees it all, knows our hearts behind it... so we need to be faithful in doing what He has called us to do.

Ephesians 6:7-8 tells us to work with enthusiasm. Yikes.. that one was a hard one for me. We discussed a lot about how hard it can be to enthusiastically serve our families day in and day out.. . but those are God's words. We shouldn't begrudgingly serve others. As Sharon said... (jokingly but with a point) 'We might as well cross that service off the list of rewards from God' if it was done begrudgingly. That's not how God wants us to serve. On of my biggest struggles is to be joyful in serving Isabella when she's cranky and won't sleep but I really prayed hard for a better attitude and after this study... I've been able to stop, breathe, and pray before responding with frustration... seems like common sense but I really had a hard time dealing with my frustration and not thinking of praying a quick prayer.

1 Peter :10-11 says that God has given us gifts and we are to use those to serve others. That means we have to be aware of gifts and willing to use them and on top of that... be able to balance serving with our gifts and the other things that the Lord calls us to. This one seems so common sense to me... use your gifts, bless others by your gifts... but yet how many churches struggle with the 20/80 principle... 20% of the people do 80% of the work. I don't understand this... other than 'I'm too busy.' I think everyone has a million things to do so to me... I figure there must be something else.. but have no idea what. Please enlighten me. :)

And the final thought comes from revelation 5:9-10 which talks about 'priestly' service and we decided that this meant God calls us to be a go between... we are to go to God on peoples behalf and go to people on God's behalf. On even simplier terms, we are to pray for others and to witness. This idea of a 'go-between' was a new perspective for me and I love thinking of it in this way. What an honor it is to think of life this way... 'a go-between.'

This study was fantastic. It has given me a new heart for service.. and a new attitude towards it. I know I'm not perfect and will still deal with 'weariness, lack of enthusiasm, not being a light, etc...' but knowing that God provides the strength, gives us the energy it's easier to believe that I can make the choice to ask for God's help and not do it on my own.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I've been a bit slow in finishing my 'A Heart Like His' study but I really want to take in what I'm reading instead of just crossing it off a list of things to do. So anyway... last night I was reading and I just love these statements from Beth Moore:

'I think one reason David remained a man after God's own heart was his unwillingness to turn from God, even when he felt negative emotions. David allowed his anger and fear to motivate him to seek more insight into the heart of God.'

I loved the word 'unwillingness.' It just spoke volumes to me. We're currently studying 2 Sam 6 (the death of Uzzah) and it talks about how angry, confused and hurt David was by what had happened but he didn't react by turning his back on God (like how sometimes we chose to do when something doesn't go our way) it wasn't even a thought of his... he was unwilling to turn from God... but rather he waited, he studied, he listened to God... and through all that he ended up deepening his realtionship and learning so much more about God.

I think sometimes in my life, when things don't go the way I had hope they will, I can honestly put trust in God that He has a plan, He knows what He's doing, etc... but I can't honestly say that every time I go and study/seek more insight into the heart of God. I just 'assume' the basics and move on. But I've been challenged on numerous occassions this year to seek a deeper truth and I've made it a goal to search/seek God, rather than others for answers. I want to understand the heart of God like David... I want to be 'a woman after God's own heart' and I believe that the only way to become like that is to truly seek God with all my heart for wisdom, truth, guidance, etc... rather than just depend on others to tell/teach me.

Beth Moore ends the chapter with this...

David may not have understood more about Uzzahs' death, but he understood more about God, which made his loss more tolerable. God is not harsh; He is holy. He is not selfish; He is sovereign. He is not unfeeling; He is all-knowing. Like David, we need to come to know Him, and respect Him; and, like David, we will love Him more.

This chapter talks about fearing God... having respect for Him and I'll admit that sometimes that's a hard concept for me to understand when it's more common (at least I think) to hear 'God is your best friend.' So this was a good reminder (a good example) for me because it makes me take His word more seriously, it makes me look at sin in a different way, and it makes me want to please God because He's God... not because He's my friend.

Not sure that'll make sense to anyone else but I don't know how else to explain it. Hopefully months down the road... I'll still understand what I mean. LOL Basically.. it taught me not to take serving/following God lightly... but rather seek Him so that every aspect of my life refects Him and be serious about becoming more like Him.

So anyway... on a much lighter note: we're off to buy Izzy's new bed. Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Blonde roots?

Sometimes I really wonder if deep down I have some blonde roots. LOL I went running this evening, actually just went to the gym to do some interval training and to lift so I ran on the treadmill. Sometimes I absolutely love seeing all the numbers and other times they just discourage me and sometimes they just point out how dumb I can be sometimes. hehe

The clock said about forty+ minutes and the distance said about 5 and I was discouraged. I just kept thinking... 'What is wrong with me that it's taking forty+ minutes to run 5K?' I don't think I've ever had that problem but I thought maybe it was because of the intervals I was doing. I never bothered to check my iPod. Anyway... I was feeling pretty good so I decided to run a bit longer to at least cover some more distance since I thought I was moving so slow. When I stopped, I got some water and was checking out my run results and I almost had a heart attack... okay so not really but I was quite pleased. The 5 on the treadmill wasn't kilometres (as I've finally gotten used to this system)... it was miles. :) Duh.... I was about .7 away from running a 10K and I would've run it in about 51 minutes! Wow... that was so encouraging to see my time improving but I was so mad that I didn't realize this in the first place and actually run a full 10K. Oh well... learned my lesson. I actually had to calibrate my Nike+ so I ended up running 10K just not all at the same time. :)

Well... Izzy had a great time with Auntie Dorie as always and now we're trying to get her to sleep. I can't wait until she has her new bed and one that I can't fit in. She's been having troubles staying in her room so I have to lie on the floor for a few minutes (which are turning into about an hr because I keep falling asleep with with her. Ahhhh... she's such a night owl like her momma.

Okay... I need to get to bed. 6am comes early!

a star in the house

My sweetie is a star! :) You'd think by now that I would be used to people coming up to Isabella rubbing her face, her hair, kissing her cheeks, wanting to hold her and take her picture... but it still catches me off guard and makes me smile to think about how intrigued they are by her blonde hair and blue eyes. It also makes me a bit nervous when I think about how many websites she may be on without my even realizing or when someone holds their arms out for her to come to them. I'm thankful that these days, Isabella's a bit hesitant to go to any stranger but she wasn't always like that.

And then as we were walking home (past our buildings) Isabella saw one of our guards, Eric, in a different building so she pointed and waved until she grabbed his attention and he came out to say hello. And at the next building she just decided to say hello to that gaurd and he got a big grin on his face. Isabella is really loved by the people here at LV... she's so friendly with everyone and they all know her name... from the janitors, to the guards (both at our building and on the corners of the promenade), and even the real estate agents. It will be hard to say goodbye to these people we see everyday. One guard came out last Saturday (when we were taking over our first load of bags) and was disappointed when we told him we were leaving. It's funny how you get attached to people that you don't even have a real relationship with. I'm glad that Monte Vista is similar in set-up and am praying we'll have new guards just as friendly as Martin, Eric, etc... but these guys, especially Martin, will always hold a special place in my heart as dumb as that may sound.

I failed at getting up on time this morning. Izzy woke up before 6 and I wanted to give Mike the chance to rest since he's been working so hard on getting our new flat looking pretty. {He showed me pictures of the paint job and I just can't wait to get over there and see... it looks stunning!} But Auntie Dorie is coming over to spend some time with Izzy so I think I'll use that time to go to the gym and run. I really need to work on my endurance... I can't seem to get past the 10K marker and I'm getting discouraged.... though I'm wondering if part of my struggle is simply because I'm not used to working out in the heat.

This is the living room walls: all are an off-white with this one dark brown
This is our bedroom: all walls are the same off-white with one wall blue and actually a bit of the entrance wall to the room is blue too. Izzy's room is yellow and the last bedroom is yellow with one wall the same blue as our bedroom.

Yesterday we had a day at the pool with friends... Vivian, Jill and Mousumi joined with their kids and though it was quite breezy, I think they all had a blast. I even got the chance to meet a new mom who just moved to HK 3 months ago and through our conversation... we had the opportunity to invite her to church. She said she will come but I've lost her information so I'm praying I can get in touch with her before the end of the week. I was very excited but bummed that our group is growing and now I'm leaving. But that's okay... I enjoy spending time with these ladies so it will be worth it to make the trip to hang out and I've already made some contact with a playgroup in our new area. God is SO good!

Well I've only got a few minutes before the sweetie wakes up so I better get to some cleaning. LOL

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Who knew?

That I would enjoy waking at 6am.... let alone waking at 6 to run? With our move just days away, I realized that my running options were slimming down. No longer can I count on Mike to come home at lunch so I can get in a quick run and in reality... the heat has arrived and there's no way I'm going to run in the middle of the afternoon anyway and I can only do so many miles on a treadmill before getting bored. So... on Sunday night I made the decision to get up at 6 to get in my run. In my mind I thought, 'well if I get out the door quickly and run for an hour, then I should be able to jump back into bed for another 1/2hr maybe hour before Izzy wakes.' So far no luck but that's because I've done something stupid each morning that's caused me not to actually get outside until at least 6:15 and by the time I get home... Izzy's been up. It's okay though. I feel great and I'm sure after adjusting to this for a bit, I won't get drowsy during the day. I've even been a good girl and gone to bed early. I'm pretty proud of myself because well mornings are just NOT my thing but I do love knowing that by the time a lot of people get up.. I've already put in a few miles and I can enjoy the day... hey, I can even nap while Izzy does if I want. LOL

Life has simply been crazy in attempts to move this weekend. Packing a bit here and there.. hanging out at the new flat while Mike and some friends paint (oh my goodness... wait to you see the handiwork of Mike and ryan!!!! It's gorgeous!!! I'm so stoked about the paint jobs!) trying to do some last minute, very easy things to do while we're still here and spending time with friends that I'm not sure how often I'll see after the move. I forgot all about national scrapbooking day and at the last minute threw my items on sale and I feel awful because I feel like I'm letting my store owner down. But hopefully within the next week things will go back to a normal schedule. I did decide to make scripture quotes for an ABC book and here's the letter...'B'.

Other than that not too much has been going on... I haven't been able to read in days so I'm hoping maybe tonight to pick up a new book. But enough rambling for now...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Pictures---Mongkok Night

This is the food I liked the best... clams and oysters. Looks appetizing right? That's the one thing about Chinese food that I've found... the uglier it looks, the better. LOL

Here's my attempt at eating chicken feet.

Here's the group eating street food... we had fish balls, dumplings, bubble tea, etc... everything was great!

Here's that group at the restaurant. I absolutely love the open aired places here! We're sitting in the midst of the night market. The ladies from L to r are: Map (Chinese), Ave (from New Zealand), Hannah (American: our intern), Me, Imelda and Dorie (from Philippines).

Yeah!!! Map emailed me the pictures from our ladies night out... ah what fun memories.

Friday, May 04, 2007


You've got to love the creativity of a child! Here I am packing away... annoyed that I have to spend my time doing this (lol)... and Isabella is having the time of her life! She's got three bags, her puppies and her pillow and she's having a blast in her tents. Why again do children need toys? She's even temporarily forgotten about going 'ouside' or to the 'pooool'. Now that shows how much fun she's having.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

You're invited!

I'm so excited to share Izzy's invites! I can't belive my baby's turning two... JUST CrAZY but I'm so excited to celebrate with our HK family. Hopefully, most of her little friends can come and enjoy some Elmo fun. A huge thanks to Grandma and Papa for sending some Elmo party supplies... can you believe they don't have anything Elmo here??? LOL

Gotta back up a few days... to Sunday. Map grew up in Mongkok and wanted us girls (Ave, Imelda, Dorie, Hannah and I) to get together as a good-bye to Hannah so she took us on a tour of Mongkok (ie Temple St night market, Ladies market, street food) and to a restaurant that her friend owns. Mike was able to stay home with Izzy and I had such a wonderful night! It was so neat to hear Map tell us about the area and share come culture with us, for her and Dorie (this woman really knows more than she ever lets on... I told her she needed to give me Cantonese lessons. lol) to teach us some Cantonese, and to try lots of new foods. I had fish balls that I actually enjoyed and dumplings on a stick! WOW... those were to die for. I have to take Mike to have some. I thought they were even better than the little hole=in-the-wall restaurant ones. At dinner I had oyster, clams, chicken feet, and some more normal foods but the one thing that I absolutely loved.. .were the clams! Who knew? They were delish!!!! I think I ate half the plate of them. :) I think what I enjoyed most was the fellowship though. I got the opportunity to talk to everyone on a deeper level and it was wonderful. I suggested that we do this once a month and I hope that we will. It was a great way to get to know everyone that you usually only see once a week and it was so fun to have a mix of cultures (we had American, New Zealand, Phillipines and Chinese). That it one of the neatest things about HK... you end up with friends from all over the world.

The other cool thing that has happened is that we've settled on a flat. Mike signs tomorrow and we pretty much start moving in on Saturday. The truck will come on the 12th I believe but we'll take bags out as we can. I cannot wait to set up Izzy's room. We weren't really able to set up much of a nursery since we moved to HK and we just kinda got by with what we had so I've been having a blast deciding how to decorate it. We're going with a loft bed with a tent over it and a play area underneath. It's a bit difficult to explain so you'll just have to wait for pictures. :)

Okay... I'm rambling. I still have much to say but it's not coming to me write now so I'll end with a layout I did today...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


I am SOOOO frustrated!!!! I don't know exactly what the problem is but I'm assuming it was the time difference but my May 1st run is not showing up in my challenge!! :( I'm praying this won't cost me elimination but I'm not sure... one guy ran 18+ miles in one day! Wow... inspiring. ;) However, I decided to use it in my miles tracking so that I can know how much I ran in one month.

But alas.... some good news!!! We are moving and very soon!!! We sign our contract on friday and start moving on Saturday! I'm so excited... we even get to paint the walls to our liking. I know I'm miss Whampoa and some of the conveinences but Ma On Shan will be great... it'll teach Izzy how to love the sand. Well.. at least I hope. :)

And... Isabella's birthday party is all set! I just have to send out the invited tomorrow. The family that allows us use their roof-top are so generouse and helpful and etc... I can't even begin to explain how helpful and kind they have been to us about her party.

Well.. I have more to share but I'm gonna chill in our bed watching a movie. Have a great night! (or day I guess)