Monday, December 21, 2009

Building Candy Houses

As a Family Home Evening activity we invited some of the families in our apartment complex to come over and have fun with us building candy houses. We had a great time. Graham crackers were not to be found on Hong Kong island so in the spirit of making do we used creme wafer cookies. We found all kinds of candies to use and everyone went to work building the candy house of their dreams.

The children all helped pile the building materials on the table and set up a working space for each guest.

Let the construction begin:


Monday, December 14, 2009

High School Choir with Sarah singing Oh Come All Ye Faithful!

Caroling in the Information Commons - from DragonMedia

Here's the High School Choir. It's Spirit Week at school and the day happened to be pajama day. Sarah is in the black jacket with the Santa hat on. Take a minute to listen

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


The Wednesday before Mom left for Utah the mission call came!!! Joey is going to....

We are so excited for Joey to go on a mission. I apologize for my delay in posting this. Joey posted it on his facebook and I thought he emailed all the family, but a bad assumption on my part. He enters the MTC Feb 2!!!. We are grateful that we have our beautiful tenor to join us in our caroling this year. This will be a wonderful Christmas.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Packed November

Once recovered from the birthday party, Joey and mom headed out on a tour of the George Washington with our friend Tyler. The George Washington is the largest forward deployed aircraft carrier of the US fleet. Its port is in Japan and when on the water it is home to over 5000 sailors. We took the morning tour and were lucky to have beautiful weather. The trip to the ship took about 45 minutes. We climbed aboard and walked through the ship to the hanger. We viewed the planes in the hanger. We also saw the storage room where the large long anchor chains are kept. We saw the aircraft on the top deck and learned how they maneuver the planes during practice flights. We sat in the "Captain's seat" and felt like we were roaming the high seas.

A couple days later we welcomed Uncle Neil and Aunt Maria Elena to Hong Kong. We had a whirlwind trip to Macau and Tai O. Macau is an island once governed by the Portuguese. The old architecture can still be found in parts of the old city with ruins of catholic churches including the remains (I saw the bones) of some of the early saints and fathers who established the church in Macau. There are also large modern casinos filled with people wanting to gamble away thousands and millions of dollars. Like Las Vegas, there are shows and the hotels are tourist attractions even if one is not a gambler. We spent the day walking the streets seeing the ancient and modern sights. There are still pedicabs for those who like to ride "in style" through the streets.

Tai O is a fascinating contrast to Macau. Located on the far northwestern coast of Lantau Island it is the home to the Tanka people, a community of fisherfolk who have built their homes on stilts above the tidal flats for generations because they do not feel safe on land. After a ferry trip and a 40 minute bus ride on a winding narrow road, the tight walkways between homes allows one to see the personal living spaces of the people.

Before Neil and Maria Elena got on their cruise, Nadine left for Utah to hold our new grandson, David for herself. With only a week in the States, each day was packed with things to do and friends to see. The cheap flights made for long layovers in the airports and Nadine even had time to go on a tour of a couple small cities close to the airport in Taiwan.

After returning from the States, Nadine hit the ground running to prepare with the support team for the Maclehose Trailwalker. November 20 at 9am the Apples and Pears (a British term meaning "up the stairs") started on their 100km (62+ mile) hike. They beat their time goal to the first support station and headed out to the second where they were still ahead of time. The weather was unusually cold for November and the team was chilled as the temperatures went as low as 5 degrees Centigrade (41 degrees Farenheit). The good news is that the monkeys who plague section six were no where to be found. Apparently the Macaque monkeys find a place for shelter in the cold so this year on Monkey Mountain there were no monkeys. Ahead of time still at section 8, the team warmed up with hot chocolate and hot wild rice chicken soup. They didn't stay at any of the support team stops for more than one hour, and crossed the finish line at 28 hours 27 minutes!!! Over one and a half hours earlier than planned. Well done Apples and Pears!

Finally Thanksgiving arrived. We had a lovely day with our family and a few friends. The usual fixins of turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatos, sweet potatoes, salad and various pies adorned the table. We feasted and socialized and enjoyed a relaxing day. We have so much for which to give thanks. We are thankful for God, our Eternal Father, who loves us and sent His Son to die for us and prepare the way for us to be forgiven of our sins so we can live with Him again. We are thankful for family; the people in our lives who knows so much about us, the good and the bad, and love us anyway. We are thankful for friends; those who lift us with their smiles and laughter and with whom our family forms eternal memories. We are thankful for the opportunity to live in Hong Kong and experience life in a culture and among a people unfamiliar to our youth. We are grateful for our many years in Asia where we have learned so many important life lessons.

Now we begin our Christmas traditions. One of which is getting a Christmas tree. We still have not given in to the boxed kind. We like the fresh cut and in Asia have spent a good deal on this tradition. The tradition is that we go as a family to scour the tree lot and find just the right tree with the right height and the right space between limbs to be balanced for all of our decorations and with the right top where we can set our handmade angel.

In Hong Kong the tradition takes on a different twist. In stead of a lot with trees spaced nicely to allow each family to circle the tree and observe its qualities, the trees are roped up with twine and the only choice to picking out the choice tree to adorn the living room is by height. 3 - 4 feet, 5 - 6 feet, or 6 - 7 feet. Sold by the foot, each tree is guaranteed to be "just right" by the anxious salesperson at the store. So instead of being a family outing, Brian and I went out to the "flower market" chose a 5 - 6 foot tree and ordered it to be delivered on Monday just in time for Family Home Evening when we will decorate our home for the season.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Over the Hill and Back Again!!


Surpise!!! Brian was surprised when he walked in the door. He had no idea. We had a great gathering of friends. We played games, ate food and mingled. Everyone brought an ingredient for gorp and in the end everyone got a bag of gorp to take home along with a plant. Our hiking theme was a hit. The cake even had a little lego guy with Brian's Maclehose team number from 2008. The kids added snakes, Ben 10 and a Yeti!
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Halloween Haunts

Halloween was fun. These are the costumes that came out of the box this year. Audrey went with two friends and together they were the Three Blind Mice. They even had a song to sing at the door!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Arrival





David has arrived!!!! 8 lbs 6 oz 20.5 inches long. Born October 22, 2009 8:35pm.
We're Grandparents and our home is filled with Aunts and Uncles!! Yipeee!!!
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Anyday now!!

The call is going to come any day now. We are so excited for little "David's" arrival. Just can't wait. We're going to be grandparents, aunts, and uncles very soon!!!

Wonderful Day with two kids at the School Pumpkin Fest 09

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Happy Hong Kong Hikers DB to Mui Wo October hike

Today the Happy Hong Kong Hikers set off from Discovery Bay to Mui Wo. Known as an "easy" hike it consisted of a variety of settings. We began on a small trail that skirted the beach. We seemed to be traveling through people's homes as the trail took us through the village and up the hill. We hiked up above the village and had a beautiful vista of Discovery Bay and the "China Pride." We followed the signs towards Mui Wo which took us on a steep up hill road to the Our Lady of Peace Nunnery and the Trappist Monastery. We encountered big spiders and beautiful butterflies. The "two hour hike" took us about two hours even though we rested and snacked along the way. Once past the monastery we avoided tall stairs to the pagoda and met the stairs on the other side of the hill. From there it was down hill most of the way into Mui Wo where we learned ways to do chain link fence gardening! It was awesome. We arrived there 15 minutes before the next Ferry back to Central. Good going girls. Go Fight Win!!! We hope more of you will join us next month - November- when we hike another "easy" trail on Grass island.
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Our missionary's first five months in the mission field (Jun - Oct 08)

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Rebecca's Hair

Rebecca has done many things this year with her hair. She has been a conversation starter with many people. She has no regrets and has been happy to have done it. A brave ten year old girl with a big heart. Her friend Carlo from her class at school has cancer. She has been grateful to do her part in helping a friend.

Wigs for Kids

St Baldrick's
and now
Walk for Kids
are all ways that Rebecca has been able to help her friend. We're proud of her accomplishments.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mom and kids trip to Chengdu

May 9 the children and mom arrived in Chengdu China. We stayed through the 14th to do humanitarian work for the people whose lives were changed by the devastating earthquake that occured on 5.12.08. It was 8.0 on the Richter scale and lasted for minutes. The trip had a great influence on our lives as we saw the crumbled remains of schools, homes, offices, briges and roads. We were just a mile or two away from the epicenter which is still not accessible by roads, only by foot. We heard incredible stories of friends burying friends, teachers burying students, whole villages being swallowed up and rocks coming up from the depths of the earth. Looking over the rubble that lies so still now, we thought about the chaos of the earth heaving to and fro. People fearing for their lives, searching for a safe place not knowing where to go as even the mountains were falling down around them.

Now one year later it is marvelous to see how people have helped people. People have rebuilt lives and structures for the people of Sichuan. Temporary housing has been set up with common areas for cooking and shared bathrooms. Bridges have opened to restore transportation to remote villages. Schools have set up temporary places to hold classes where children can feel safe and are able to continue their education. People are working together rebuilding lives brick by brick.

But with 10,000 schools demolished and over 5,000,000 people left homeless the needs are still great. That's why we went. We witnessed all the work that has been done and all the work that still needs to be done. We hope to be able to organize efforts to bring more hope and smiles to the area. We got to know the people. We were there to celebrate what has been done. We passed out candies and small gifts. We sang songs and got the children to dance. Our hope is that this experience will not be forgotten and will motivate us to do more for our dear Chinese brothers and sisters in that area of China.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Next Chapter in Life!!!

Life is good. Matt called us and referred to Brian as grandpa!!!! After a normal stammers, "Grandpa. GrANDpa! You mean.... GRANDPA! Anne's pregnant? We are so excited for this great news. The baby is due the end of October so maybe we will have another little halloween baby just like grandpa!

Anne is doing well. She has survived the first couple of months without excessive nausea. Just enough to help her remember that she is carrying a special package. Matt is very happy to become a daddy.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

This is Rebecca's creation in memory of Ruby who she was really missing yesteday.

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We have many good memories of our sweet dog Ruby. Last week we wrote down some of our fond memories:

JEFFREY - Running around the couch with her. Taking her out to the potty box in her Police Dog jacket. Watching her walk into a corner and just stand there.

REBECCA - Ruby would always cuddle up with me. She wouldn't bark or bite. When she ran her tail would go in circles and she would go a little sideways. Ruby's favorite spot to nap was cuddled up next to someone or by the heater

AUDREY - Ruby was gentle, kind, loveable, and loving. I remember cuddling with her on the couch. I remember watching her run around the house after daddy played with her. I remember having to clean up after her when she had an accident in the house. I remember sleeping next to her. I remember sometimes accidentally kicking her when she was under the dinner table. I remember her licking me everywhere (arms, face, leg, feet). I remember she would sometimes be in weird stretched out positions when she slept on the couch. I also remember her running "flying" across the ramp to get to the pee box.

SARAH - I remember a time when she had to go potty. It was my turn! The trash was being taken out so the back elevator was not an option for getting her downstairs, so I had to carry her down in the front elevator. When exited the elevator and stepped down the stairs to the foyer I set Ruby down on the floor and she took of for the glass door. It was very clean, I guess a little too clean because she ran right into the window head first. She then stood there looking at the window wondering what he happened. I also remember when she was on her medication and her bladder was uncontrollable. She was walking slowly and it was time to take her out. I picked her up because she walked so slow and was weak. I took her to the back elevator and after awhile in the elevator I realized that I was smelly and wet. She had peed on me!

JOEY -I just remember the days when she tried to jump onto the couch and
instead face planted into the front of it. I also remember her nose
always rubbing on the window when she was put out on the balcony
silently begging to come in.

TANNER - Goodbye Ruby. I'm so glad that it was a good experience. Yeah, I'm going to miss her too. She was a good doggie. I remember how she was ALWAYS in the way when I'd turn around. Especially if I was carrying something to or from the kitchen :) I remember the time that she tried to climb up on my lap and I looked at her and said "No Ruby. You can't come up here. You're stinky right now and I don't want you on me." and to my great surprise she turned around and walked away :P I remember how she'd always do her running jump to get up on the couch and sometimes would end up not jumping high enough :P I remember the time she was asleep on the couch (I think this was her) and she all of the sudden just fell off :P She looked very surprised. I remember the time I feel asleep with her on the couch and she looked like an alien :P I remember the first day we got her and how you all came in and put her on my face to wake me up :P She was a good dog :) I'll miss her. But we'll see her again some day, and she'll be all better :) If we loved her as much as we did then God loves her ever so much more :) Ruby used to sleep with her tongue hanging about 3mm out of the front of her outh. I thought she had eaten a worm once so naturally I grabbed it and pulled lightly. When it didn't come out and she had pulled it back in I realized that the "worm" was her tongue.

MOM - Ruby would stand between the cupboard and me when i was fixing food. Her saggy belly hung on my bare feet and kept my toes warm. She patiently waited for some small morsel to fall off my work area. Because of her incessant waiting for any crumb and always placing herself in the kitchen during meal prep, even when she got tripped over when one of us would suddenly turn and walk to do something, we would say "Hope springs eternal in Ruby." I tried to take Ruby on a hiked with e to the Peak. The first time she quit on me 1/2 way up the mountain of Old Peak Road and I had to carry her the rest of the way. Another time I took her on a flat path and before i got 1/2 way on my hike she sat down and refused to go farther. She was happy and willing to walk when I turned back to go home. I didn't take her with my on hikes too often.

DAD - Ruby had a determined gait as she trotted to the dog toilet, with her ears tucked up high against her head. She sort of jumped from side to side as she walked. I remember her jumping up but missing the couch. She high-centered and the look oon her face was "help! I'm falling!" During her last days she wandered around the house parking with her head in a corner or between two bookcases or behind a door. I remember wrestling with her and watching her race around with excitement. She had a hacking cough. She always love a good gag. :) She once attacked a large dog out front near the old toilet. She jumped at him like a torpedo and scared him. He cowered away. Ruby never barked. She had big sad alien eyes. Her belly sagged. Her toe nails click clacked on the wood floor. When she ran her tail wound in circles. She would get under our feet. Once she got a peanut butter sandwich stuck on the roof of her mouth. She was the cutust thing when she would scratch her nose by tucking it under her paws.