Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 54: Halloween Wednesday

October 31, 2012

Today we were invited to a party at Lamma Island.  Cam and Arni were bringing their Catamarin over and everyone was going to cook out on the beach and sleep on the boat and have a lovely time. . .only it was the middle of the week and we are behind on school work.  Yikes!  It is summer all year here.  We are feeling a bit under the weather right now anyway so we opted out (even though it sounds extremely fun.)

Instead Devon took Emma and Jason Trick or Treating apartment style.  (By the way, the only costume JP would wear was his dinosaur hat and he was done after 1 tower!) Crazy!  We have 5 Towers of apartments here with 2 per floor and around 42 floors.  Anyway, it was impossible to catch an elevator for the evening.  They still had fun.

Alexis and I were too tired to go!  I had run to Ikea with Emma and Jason and finally bought some dressers for my room and the rest of the shelves and shoe thing(it is soooo cool--I wish I always had it!)  Alexis stayed home.  She was just not feeling well.  None of us have been 100 percent this week. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 52:Science Experiments

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Today Emma finished up a unit of Science.  We were studying cells.  I learned tons of things that I did not know--I hope she did too.  It was incredibly interesting.  I probably was not paying attention when I had it in school.  Well, today Emma finished up by making model cells for us for desert.  After putting together 6 desserts, she has the structure down amazingly well!  Funny, tomorrow is Halloween these seem appropriate!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 52: Happy 13th Birthday Alexis!

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you. . .

The birthday breakfast of champions.  Alexis wanted muffins, bacon and eggs!  Or lemon cupcake, hot dogs and eggs but same difference right?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 48: Archipelago

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Today we did salt maps illustrating Geography terms.  It was a lot of fun but last year we did them at the Doyel's house and it was even more fun.  We noticed our apartment window looks out at Archipelago.  In fact Hong Kong Island is part of an archipelago!  What a great word we learned today!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 47: Pumpkin Party!

Today we went to take a cooking class with a group of special needs children and then we helped with their Halloween party.  It was an interesting day.  We suited up and learned how to make . . .drum roll please . . .cookies!  Now I am not sure about every person in the group but my kids are better at making cookies than I am.  There was a demonstration where the teachers mixed up a batch first.  The kids were shown how so in depth.  Unfortunately, everyone had a hard time paying attention for the long in depth instructions.  Then they got to make some too.  I think everyone did a great job and we really enjoyed getting to know the kids that were in the class.  The cookies were very yummy.  Next we demonstrated by doing and having the kids help us how to carve pumpkins.  Unfortunately, some of the kids in the group had never done this so I had to lend my pumpkin carving and degooing skills instead of just watching!  It was fun and too funny!  We have never carved pumpkins wearing masks, hats and white sterile uniforms before!  Then we went down and sat and sort of sang along as some local high school students entertained the kids.  Kids would keep sneaking away and make a dash for one of two things--the cookies or the door!  Unfortunately, both were next to me!  Those were some big boys too!  They were very fast.  When it was our turn I asked if we could pass out the cookies because I was tired of guarding them.  One boy thought it was funny to chew it up and machine gun it out of his mouth at me!  Yuk!!!!  They were an interesting group.  JP loved the disco ball. He was a little shy until it got chaotic in the room.  That boy loves to shine in the middle of chaos.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 46: IKEA Party!

Today we worked on putting the dressers together for the kids rooms and suddenly realized we completely forgot about our own room.  So the boxes in my room will have to wait with my clothes stuck in them until I can go back to IKEA (they do not do online orders) and then wait for them to deliver it in a week or two.  Nothing like a little Pride and Predjudice to go along with this endeaver!
I also got book shelves and cannot wait to get them put together and our books organized off the floor and school started!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Day 45:The Washing Machine

October 22, 2012

Somehow the battle with broken washer and dryer follows us everywhere we go!  Why did we think that it would be different here?  So, yes we tried to do laundry and both the washer and the dryer were not working.  So, after calling the landlord Friday we waited for someone to contact us and fix this issue.  Today Tim had a day off of work and we had planned to head to the Chinese Embassy to get some visas so we can go to China!  Unfortunately, they called and said the guy to fix the washer was coming at 1pm.  That pretty much killed the day so Tim and the girls went to the beach and I waited for the Mr Fix It, finally, 7 pm he walks in the door!!!!
Ikea Delivery at 9 pm Wow!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day 44: Help!


October 21, 2012

 Even the evening is paradise here!  We feel richly blessed.
Another week has passed—wow!  Today we visited a church in Cyberport called Watermark.  Tim and I really liked the service but the kids were not crazy about the youth group.  Church hunting is hard.  After church we went to Central in two taxis.  It was so difficult to find a bus or taxi from where we were.  It is hard work getting around sometimes.  The kids went and bought us some lunch while Tim and I interviewed helpers.  That was an interesting process.  I hated telling 3 of those ladies that I could not hire them.  We did hire a lady named Rubee to come and help us.  She will be coming in January to help me with grocery shopping and cleaning.  I am so excited.  These are survival issues that I am just not doing very well.  Grocery shopping has never been exciting and here it is just plain difficult.  We do school all day and then have to head to the store to figure out food!  Yikes!  The interviewing process took all afternoon.  So, by the time we got home it was dark.  I got the kids fed and parked in front of a family movie and Tim and I went “grocery shopping” in Stanley.  We stopped and ate dinner along the beach.  I love those little restaurants along the beach.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 43: Macau

October 20, 2012

Today Tim had an adventurous day.  He headed to visit with Tim Mansfield in Macau.  It takes roughly 45 minutes to get to the ferry and then an hour ferry rid to Macau.  Jp and I went on the beach and got saw some snails.  I talked to Aunt Patsy, Grandma and Grandpa.  We figured out how to hook up Vonage.  Devon, Alexis and Emma scaled the cliffs outside and found a hidden cove.  I am not feeling all that well lately, something got me—either a bug or something I ate.  Tomorrow we will visit Watermark and check out the youth there.  The kids have not really clicked with other kids at the church we have been visiting so we think we will search a little more.  Tim and I like the adults there—they are super nice but the kids need a youth group they like.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Day 42: Getting ready for the weekend . . .

October 19, 2012
We worked hard on school work today.  This afternoon a neighbor came and helped me clean a little bit.  It is tough to do school work, cleaning, cooking and shopping and stay sane!  We will try to interview a few people on Sunday and see if we can hire someone to help me.  Now if we could just get the washer and dryer working. . .story of my life—we always have broken washer/dryer but it is especially discouraging when you move in and they are already broken!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Day 41: Women’s Bible Study at Aberdeen


October 18, 2012

Today Emma, Jason and I went over to Aberdeen to visit the Women’s Bible study.  It was very nice and a wonderful group of ladies.  Emma got to try a voice lesson given by the pastor’s wife.  She would dearly love to take voice lessons but it is an hour over to Aberdeen.  Devon and Alexis stayed home to catch up on some school work.  On the way back we stopped at the park with some other homeschoolers and then I ran in and bought telephones and a printer!  Now home with boxes and a tired 4 year old who wants to sleep but can’t let him or we will miss our stop. Good thing Emma is there to help keep him awake!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Day 40: Homeschool Day at the Bee Farm


October 17, 2012

The outdoor pool was a little chilly so we decided to check out the indoor pool which was amazing!

Well today we missed this one.  We spent a half hour waiting for the bus and then on closer inspection noticed it only ran on Weekends and Holidays!  Getting used to getting around is relearning everything now that we moved from Kennedy town.  How disappointing!  Well, we went home and headed to the pool instead.  There are gorgeous pools here!  It is a pleasure just sitting on the patio looking at the ocean.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Some observations--by Tim

Some observations about dining out…

In Stanley, there is a strip of outdoor restaurants facing the bay.  We were walking along looking over the menu of one particular restaurant being enlightened by the hostess of all the differentiating merits of her restaurant from the ones farther down the strip.  The menu looked good, boasting tacos and BBQ ribs, but I noticed that they didn’t have a table for six that I could see.  I often wonder if small families get the same hard sell we do or do they just see our big family as pay dirt.  Well, in her eagerness to close the sale, the hostess said it would be no problem to prepare a table for us so we had a deal.

As we walked towards a table for four, the waitress grabbed a small round table for two.  I’m pretty flexible, but I wasn’t excited about the notion of butting a small round table against a square table so the six of us could gather around a lower-case “i” formation.   However, my worry was for not.  The waitress took the small round table over to a couple that was sitting at a square table for four.  She muttered something in Cantonese to them and the couple held up their drinks while the waitress swapped out the tables.  We ended up with two square tables for our party of six and the couple enjoying their drinks carried on with their conversation completely unoffended.  Proprietors often shuffle patrons in a human game of Tetris to maximize capacity, even pairing strangers at larger tables.  It’s all good.

Another oddity I’ve noticed is the practice of carrying miniature dogs in purse-size carriers and setting them at the table in a restaurant.  Maybe this sort of thing is common in other places, but I don’t recall seeing anything like it in the Midwest.  But plain as day, these women would hold their dog in their lap while they eat.  I can tell you that if I were seated next to someone with a dog in their lap and the dog made a move for my Pad Thai, his little doggie friends would be talking about his Last Supper for some time to come.   But, the new refined cosmopolitan in me wouldn’t do something so brutish and uncivilized.  Probably.

Day 39:Shopping in Stanley

This is outside the grocery store in Stanley.  All over in fact, there are dog potties too!

October 16, 2012

Survival issue. . .must shop or won’t eat!  Today we worked on some school work and then headed to Stanley for grocery shopping.  You should have seen Devon carrying  all the boxes tied up in string!  I bought a food processor, mop and bucket, kettle and tons of groceries.  (Literal tons as in weight, it is not really that much food, not like a Costco run or anything.) We all had bags and we stumbled out onto the street to call a cab to take us back.  Cabs are about $20 to our apartment. When you translate that to US dollars it is about $3 and well worth it!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Day 38: Shopping on Peddar Street

Peddar Street Gang
Entertaining at Ikea

October 15, 2012

Today the girls, Jp and I headed to meet some other homeschoolers in Central for a little seasonal shopping.  Interesting place.  Jason found some things that he wanted so bad—a big spider, a creepy arm and hand that moved, a skeleton that danced.  He settled for a blue dinosaur hat and a ball that has a big blue light up eye on it that stays looking at you when you drop it and it rolls.  Somehow the shop keeper thought that he should have it as it was the same color as his eyes.  It was really kind of funny when he dropped it in the middle of millions of people that were walking on the sidewalk. They all raced to the side and pointed. Then they started laughing and said—“that’s really creepy!”  I think they thought his eye fell out for a minute.  Anyway, I confiscated for the remainder of the trip.  Alexis scored a blue wig to go with her Morph suit and Emma scored an 80’s wig.  We stumbled on this really great Thai restaurant.  Then we headed to Ikea.  I desperately have to have some book shelves and drawers so I can get sorted out!  Unfortunately, they cannot deliver for another week!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day 37: Happy Birthday Jason!

October 14, 2012

Jason is four years old today.  Wow! How fast time runs.  It is Sunday and we headed to church in Aberdeen again.  It is so far to go.  Alexis and I will send the others back to the apartment and make a longer trek over to Kowloon Tong on the other side of Victoria Harbor to check out an electric piano.  We decided it would work great and the Chinese couple called a van for us (they are kind of like taxis) and we headed back to the apartment.  We got home and set up the piano but then it was 5pm and everyone was hungry.  So much for making cake.  We headed in to Stanley for dinner beside the beach.  Tacos and Pizza everyone's favorite $100 meal!  Happy Birthday JP!

Okay, the rest of us enjoyed pizza and tacos but the carnivore had ribs!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Day 36: Forget unpacking—let’s go outside and explore!

October 13, 2012

We slept great in our own beds with our own pillows and bedding.  Although, we woke-up at dawn because the sun shone brightly into our eyes through the huge wall of windows in our room!  One of the first things we found was the Van Dyke garage door opener.  (It is doing great and enjoys the breeze from the sea!)  The kids were so excited to get their rip-sticks and JP’s tricycle!  Our stuff feels great but also makes us homesick.  For the past 5 weeks we felt like we were on vacation but now things are starting to hit us.  We really miss home at this point.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Day 35: Moving Day

First time Jason slept through the night since we left Kansas and he slept by himself on the couch!

Girls in the way while they bring in our things!

The pool in the clubhouse just across from us!

Maybe we packed too much.

They covered walls and floors to prevent damage.

Yep, too much.

Kids waiting for their things after everything is inventoried.

They look happy but it was really tough to see everything but have to wait to unpack until it was all checked off!

Good thing we have so many electronics--you would not want to miss out on life!
October 12, 2012

One little wrench in our plan to relocate from Kennedy Town to Tai Tam was 12 suitcases and 6 people.  How many Taxis would that equal?  I called a couple of vans but kept getting hung up on because they could not understand me.  Oh, no!  What to do?  Fortunately, one of the really nice homeschooling families that we are getting to know are Cantonese!  So, I called up my new friend Cam(they have the sail boat at Hebe Harbor) and she took care of the van in short order!  Thank Goodness! Now for the new apartment and moving van Hooray!