Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Getting ready to say good-bye

The large picture above was taken a couple weeks ago while out on a junk boat dinner cruise with a group from church. We all had such a great time - the weather was wonderful, it was clear enough to take some good pictures, and we all kept saying why we hadn't done this before!

Tea at the Peninsula with girlfriends and a bit of shopping was just what I needed in the midst of the chaos of a big move the other day!
It was so relaxing to sit, chat, drink delicious tea and eat these yummy morsels of food!
Peninsula lobby where tea is served. In the Mezzanine above there is an orchestra that plays during "tea time."

Once we put our "home" on one of these container ships, we hope and pray it arrives safely in New York ASAP and then on to the home we hope to have soon!
We had a fun Wii game night with a group of Filipina ladies that attend our church. We look forward to hanging up this lovely hand-painted wall decoration they gave to us from the Phillipines and thinking of their beautiful smiling faces every time we look at it!Our delicious feast thanks mostly to these ladies!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hong Kong from my phone

When we arrived in Hong Kong in August of 2006, I purchased a Motorola phone with a camera. I have taken pictures over the years but have just never taken the time to download them into my computer. I thought the time has come, because our time has just about come to an end here, and wanted to share with you some of the things that caught my eye while living here.

The large picture above was taken at one of my favorite places (not) which is the subway at rush hour. When Brad saw me taking this picture, he said if I post this no one will want to visit us!

This precious picture captures the first day of school here in Hong Kong for Ellen in the fall of 2006. Also in the picture are Ellen's fellow West Island school friends, Nina and Emily. Not sure who the boy is. But I can tell you that these kids have changed so incredibly much!! (sniff sniff).

This is just an adorable picture of our Zobo - this girl has changed quite a bit as well! She uses napkins more often now :) :)
Our beautiful Siena Club pool. On a clear day you can see over to Hong Kong. The kids have had lots of fun times here!
Angry skies over HK from the back of the ferry.
My mother would have approved of how the groundskeepers protect their skin from the harmful rays of the sun!
Looking down on a street in Kowloon.
Zoe and Melman (her going-to-the-dentist buddy) in June of 2008.
View from Crestmont where we live overlooking the Plaza/beach area of DB
This was so adorable. I was walking to the grocery store when I looked to my left and saw these three JRT's (Jack Russell Terriers) sitting on the bench with a paper attached to one of them that said something like "Don't pet, we will bite, owner back soon." Only in DB.
Retta and I couldn't believe it when we saw Miss Maddie Rae Fuman Kelley showing off her multi-tasking skills of drinking her apple juice and milk bottles at the same time!
Zoe and Ellen with the God of Fortune at Chinese New Year 2008
LOL!! Zoe snapped this of me on the bus after what must have been a very long day out. It's so true, "a picture is worth 1000 words."
Another picture from the ferry, this time coming to Hong Kong early in the morning
We may have McDonald's here in HK but the menu definitely caters to non-Western tastebuds! But you could combine breakfast and lunch I suppose in this meal. . .
You might be in need of this product after eating the meal above :) I was in Watson's not too long ago, which is a chain drug store in HK, and my eyes just happened to catch the word "Defecation." Then I just howled when I read the rest of this!! Look out Ex-Lax.
These are the pork chops I usually purchase at our grocery store, however, I passed on them this day after reading the sign. . . instead of "tender" it says "terder." Ew.

Okay, that's it folks. Hope you have enjoyed my trip down memory lane thanks to my cell (got to get used to saying this instead of "mobile" now) phone's camera!

Monday, March 16, 2009


We had a very fun overnight stay at the Venetian in Macau this past weekend. Macau is becoming something of a Las Vegas of the East. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you are not into gambling and all it brings with it) the casino industry has taken a hit from the downturn in the economy. We saw many large construction sites that looked like work had either been stopped or slowed down.

The picture above is of St. Paul's Church (well, what is left of it) that was built in I think 1565 or thereabouts. The Jesuits were expelled in the early 1700's and the buildings were burned sometime after that.

We were fortunate enough to be able to catch the Cirque Du Soleil show Zaia. It is unlike anything I've ever seen and though I probably have watched a Cirque show on TV, seeing it in person is incredible! I loved every minute of it. Living in a big, overcrowded, polluted city as we do, my eyes gratefully absorbed the grace and beauty of this show.

In this picture you can see what is on the other side of St. Paul's Church - nothing but air (and a museum further in back).

I wasn't going to include this picture, but when I gave it a closer look, this has China written all over it. You've got the bent over little old lady pushing her cart, the kites for sale, the narrow crowded streets.

One of the reasons for our trip to Macau was so Brad could collect on his birthday present - unfortunately, he was not able to bungy off the Macau Tower due to high wind, but I'm sure we'll be making a day trip over when the weather is less unpredictable. I had not been nervous about it until that morning. When he walked in from golfing and told me that the wind was blowing the golf ball around, I felt a huge sigh of relief!!

Here I captured Zoe and Hannah as this lady (complete stranger) pulled them into her picture. They evidently are in a few peoples' pictures from the Venetian from what they were saying. They really hated all the attention, however (as you can see).

Here we are now in Venice, Italy - well, a replication of it Las Vegas style.

Me and my good bud Nadine - that's the Grand Lisboa, that giant golden building, an older casino, in the background.

As we were walking down a street near St. Paul's Church, I just happened to look to my left and saw this open construction sight. What was interesting is the altar in the background. I can't remember seeing something like that in such a small construction area before.

This is a square where there are several Portugese style buildings- of course you recognize that "M," right? Yep, with four kids in tow, that's where we ate lunch.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Love Without Boundaries

Please, please read the following from my friend Retta's blog and let's get $35,000 into the hands of Love Without Boundaries, a fantastic organization that has done much to help those in most need! Check out their website as well to learn more about what they do here in China.

Ijust received this email and thought I would pass it along. It takes about 10 seconds to vote, so please pop over there and vote for LWB's. $35,000 would go a llllloooooonnnnnnggggg way in China and could help so many children.LWB has a chance to win $35,000 to help even more orphaned children in China, and we need your help! Casting your vote for LWB is an easy way to change the lives of children in need. Simply visit http://www.cookiemag.com/magazine/sweeps/smart_cookie_finalists09/entry/long/ Click on the circle next to the video about LWB. It is the first one, next to Amy Eldridge’s photo. Fill out the rest of the information needed and click submit. You do not need to fill out the “about you” section if you do not wish, and you can opt out of receiving any information in the future from Cookie Magazine by checking “no” on the boxes asking which information you desire. Each person over the age of 18 is allowed one vote. This contest is open to people in the US only, unfortunately. If you live in another country, you are not able to vote. Voting takes place from January 6th to February 10th. Please forward the contest information to all of your family and friends and other yahoogroups. Together, we can win the contest and change many more orphaned children’s lives.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year

I thought this picture would be appropriate for marking the start of a new year. I especially like how Hong Kong Island is sandwiched between the rising sun and the highest building on the Island, the IFC building. When I stumble to the kitchen before 6 in the morning, oftentimes this is the scene that greets me. Then I have to wake up enough to grab my camera and head to the window in the living room where I can get a clearer picture, open it, feel the cool breeze, and half hang out the window to get off a few snaps!

It gives me hope as I begin my day and what runs through my mind is the verse "His mercies are new every morning." I am so very thankful for that, because I get a new start each day, and don't have to wait for a "new year." The reason why I am so thankful is because each day, to a greater or lesser degree, I am in desperate need of God's grace and mercy!!

At the beginning of the Christmas break, I thought two weeks were going to go slowly by - I couldn't have been more wrong. Here are a few pictures of how we spent our time. . .

Ellen proudly modeling the fruit of her labour.
Had to get this picture of the man helping people on and off the ferry the other day. Don't see many orange Michigan shirts in the States.

Hannah was kind enough not to spin the teacup for her motion-sick prone friend Zoe.

Ellen wanted to knit a hat, had never knitted a hat before, so she went on the internet where she saw a pattern, and wa-la, after a few hundred "clacks" of the knitting needles, she made a perfect knit hat! I think she even surprised herself. Zoe and I are now waiting for her to knit one for us :)
Ellen in her new Uggs!! She looks very chic in them when she rolls the tops down too. Ellen has always loved soft and silky things and she really likes the feel of her bare feet cozy and comfy inside these boots.

Brad and I have noticed a distinct change in our kids Christmas morning behavior as they get older. We actually had to go wake Ellen up, as it was already 8:30 and Zoe was tired of waiting to open presents. Then in between opening presents, I snapped this yawn!!

Ahhhh, the bag she's been wanting for awhile - of course, it's real, how could you even ask!! (or maybe mom made a trip north of the border?)

Ellen's hands working the dough for Christmas cookies.

We were able to treat some kids from a Hong Kong orphanage to a shopping trip to the mall, lunch at McDonald's, and Christmas lights downtown. Here a few of the girls took a break after buying some clothes. There were about 30 kids in all, 20 adults, and we had a very enjoyable, though tiring, day of activity. Although we couldn't communicate very well with them, because most of us did not speak Cantonese and their English was limited, the little girl I was paired up with facing me in this picture was able to speak an English word while we were sitting down in McDonald's eating lunch. She turned to me and said, "Happy." Somehow made all the effort very worthwhile!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I'll be home for Christmas . . .

. . . if only in my dreams.

It's not easy to be so far from home during the holidays, knowing that your families are celebrating together. Having good friends definitely makes it easier and we will be keeping our Christmas Eve/Christmas Day tradition once again this year as we will be celebrating with our "Hong Kong families." Christmas Eve will find us at Nadine & Lorne's after a combined church service with our church and the Anglican church in town. Christmas day we will be at Martin and Sandy's for another memorable Christmas dinner. Need to make sure the "buffet pants" are ready for some action!

This past Saturday we spent a very fun day at Hong Kong Disney with the Christensen and Lew families. It was a beautiful day, perfect temperature and clear sunny skies. We had a yummy buffet lunch with the Characters at one of the hotels as well.

This is a scary scene - and one that could be a reality in a few short years!! Zoe was not happy about the fact that, despite being the same age as Hannah, did not make it up to the required height to be the driver :( Soon, Zoe, soon!!

Ellen and Zoe gasped when I asked them if this was Goofy. Evidently it's been too long since we lived in Orlando :( and knew the parks backwards and forwards as well as all the characters.

Awww, so cute!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Home of Hope

Ellen and I took a trip to Truelife Children's Home in Dongguan, Guangdong, a couple weeks ago with several students from her school. Dongguan is often referred to as the "world's factory," and it is here where so many from all over China come to work in factories of all kind.

We took a coach bus to Dongguan, about a two-hour ride from Ellen's school. When we arrived we went to a park to meet up with some of the children and their foster moms. There we celebrated the little girl's first birthday pictured above. We hope the next birthday she celebrates will find her surrounded by a loving and grateful forever family of her own!!

Truelife is privately run for the purpose of taking care of children with medical needs that orphanages around the area are not able to meet. The children are paper ready, which means their paperwork has been submitted to the adoption office in Beijing. So after they have had their surgeries, they will return to the orphanage, and hopefully united with a family soon thereafter.

This little angel is six months old and weighs just shy of seven pounds. She obviously has not been getting the nutrition she needed due to her cleft, but that has all changed now that she is in the loving and capable hands of those at Truelife. We call this little one the "West Island baby," because this is the baby Ellen's school is sponsoring every month until she is through with her surgeries and well on her way to good health.

Another angel is this lady, Jenny, pictured above holding the baby. Jenny and her husband came to live in Dongguan about six years ago because of her husband's job. She was asked to oversee the operation of Truelife a few years ago, and she has been the tangible love of Jesus to all who come her way. How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news. . . I was especially touched as I watched how she so eagerly shared with the students about Truelife and the kids in their care. The students were equally touched and who knows what kind of change in their young life a visit like this can make.

Here is my beautiful Ellen Beibei, who is always in her element when surrounded by kids, but has an extra soft spot in her heart for those without a family yet - though the good news is this little girl will soon be united with her very own mamma and daddy next month and on her way to live in Huntsville, Alabama. That is a very long way from this carousel ride in Dongguan, China. . .

Without the help from a place like Truelife, this little one's future would be very bleak.

The birthday girl actually fell asleep on the carousel! It was too cute. Just put her right to sleep.