Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Last night we celebrated the old year 2008 and rang in the new 2009 with our wonderful senior couples, friends and cute Adam and Bri. Here is a little glimpse into our begin with, "Baby It's Cold Outside!"

AND then there were the games...fabulous and fun...enough to fill the hours from 9 until 11:30 pm. Of course, once again, Adam and Bri rose to the challenge and were victorious...Adam taking first and Bri... not too far behind! Check out Adams form...

Now here is the winning shot for Bri--this was a play off for first in the ring toss...she is so talented that she can twirl and play ping pong at the same time!

I shall give you a few 'glimpses' of Adam and Bri's visit on another post. Enjoy!

Monday, December 29, 2008

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree!

While shopping in Central the other day, I spied this lovely creation in a store window! I immediately thought of Erin and Kara--and how delighted they would be with this yarn marvel in their living rooms...

This is a closer view of the yarn balls--Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

That was then...AND this is now!

I was thumbing through my picture files and came across this Christmas picture from 1984 and the memories came flooding back. Erin's Christmas dress was a Jessica McClintock(and probably the last time I got her to wear ribbons and ruffles) and Kara's dress was made by your's truly--don't they look darling? This is as close to a smile as Bri would come, but Brett's smile more than made up for hers! Don't you just love the professionalism of Sear photography--with the three girls looking one way and Brett another? I guess you do get what you pay for!
Does this picture bring back any memories? Does it make any of you homesick?On Monday we had our staff Christmas party. So. Much. FUN! We had Chinese and Italian food, fun games and lots of great conversation with some of the best people on the planet!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thanks to Irene, Christmas came to Apartment 1201!

A story: When we first arrived in Hong Kong in 2005, I had elected NOT to bring anything Christmas with me. I thought it would be too much trouble, and besides, our shipping allotment was small and we needed it for more pertinent things. However, when we got back from October conference, Irene and I began talking about Christmas. She was floored when I told her I was not decorating for Christmas--not even a tree! I told her I thought it would be too expensive to start from ground zero! Irene persisted--saying that I would regret it. A few weeks later, Irene and I got a phone call from Sandi Lai--a long time resident of Hong Kong. She knew that we needed to find decorations for the building and asked if we wanted to go to a discount Christmas store--beautiful things for a fraction of the price paid in the states! We said we would love to go. That was all it took. AND it wasn't even a junk store! It had an incredible inventory of wreaths, trees, and every kind of decoration imaginable. Not only did we find beautiful things for the building, but I got excited thinking about how reasonable it would be to decorate a tree! I succumbed, which delighted Irene and now made the task of actually finding a tree to buy a reality! What a marvelous Christmas adventure. From that day, Sandy introduced us to the junk store, and then took us to a wonderful high school Christmas bazaar--all with stellar results! With Irene by my side, we had a great time finding treasures to brighten our homes. And Irene was right. One year later, when the girls came to Hong Kong for Christmas...I was so grateful that our home was decorated--it was a wonderful way to say welcome home! So thanks to Irene, I have felt at home each Christmas we have spent away from home! So come on in...and enjoy the holiday cheer at apartment 1201.

Ever since Kara did that 'opening the door' photo to her new flat...I wanted to duplicate it. However, an assistant photographer would have been most helpful--just know I tried my best!

Our festive wreath!

As long as it looks like Christmas, who needs counter space?

The Nativity is from the Philippines...I Love the Palm Trees!

A glimpse!

The tree and The BIG window!

A littler closer view of the tree...

And now for the closeup!

One of my favorite nativities...Chinese style!

Dad and I are looking forward to December 22nd when Adam and Bri will arrive in Hong Kong for the holidays. I wish it could have been all of you...but I am grateful for what we have!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Junk Store Nana!

Tis the season for a Junk Store update! Have I mentioned how much I love Junk store shopping? Hong Kong is filled with alleys that are full of street hawkers and remnants of stores filled with merchandise that will entice you to stop, look and buy. The price is always right and the thrill of finding a wonderful deal is a regular occurance. Here are a few glimpses from one of my favorite junk stores!
So come along and take a look at what I have garnered over these past 3 1/2 years of junk shopping in Hong Kong! (All $ are in US dollars--except for the last paragraph)

This is my grapevine pumpkin...cost? $2.50

The Pilgrim Couple? $5.00 for the pair! The cute pillow? 60 cents...

Don't you love the snowman and the trees? $3.50 for the snowman, $1.50 for the two red trees and $2.00 for the green tree!

The Stockings? $1 each!

The ceramic Snowman pitcher? $2.50--and I got 8 of the little snowman candles for $3.00!

These three santas came to a grand total of 7 dollars. (by the way, the cute 'Let it Snow' is from our favorite Vinyl specialist...Happy Jo!)

The two berry trees?...$2.50 for the larger one, and $1.00 for the smaller. The berry centerpiece with the candle...$4.00.

These Santas were a bit pricey at $4.50 each, but I decided to splurge anyway!

These cute snowmen were a great find at just $2.60 each!

And now for a little 'junk store miracle'. One day as I was browsing through lots of 'junk' I spied a fabulous table runner. I picked it up and asked how much...the lady told me 25 dollars ($3.00 US) so I bought it. Then two weeks later at the same store, but hanging right above my head was a matching tree skirt. I couldn't believe it! It was, however, was a bit pricey...50 dollars ($6.45 US) but it was a perfect match, so I splurged. Exactly one week later, I was back at the same store, browsing through a pile of pillows and stockings--when at the bottom of the pile I spied a third piece that matched the other two--a small runner that was 10 dollars ($1.29 US). So I got it as well. What are the odds of finding three pieces from a set over 4 weeks?So this ends my tale of junk store least for 2008! Do you think I got my money's worth?

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas!

It is the day after the feasting and since there are no "Black Fridays" to be found in Hong Kong, (possibly due to the fact that everyday is a sale day here)what is a gal to do to keep busy? Well, if you live in my world, this dilemma is solved via an assignment. What is the assignment you ask? It is decorating our lobby and three other floors in our building with Christmas decorations. The senior couples, area presidency and some of our chinese friends that work in the building all were told to meet at 4pm in the lobby and there we were assigned what task we needed to complete. Our (dad and I) assignment? To deck the walls with wreaths, boughs and Christmas bells! However, we didn't draw the most difficult assignment--which was to assemble our beautiful Nativity. The second most challenging assignment? Decorating the lobby tree!
They say that seeing is come along and see!

This is the corner where the lobby tree will go... The far wall will sport three bells!

These elevator doors are looking so forlorn...

Of course, before the magic begins there are lots of discussions as to how to make it happen!

Discussion ended...magic begins.

Oops! more discussions...

3 Hours Later: O Christmas Tree...O Christmas Tree!

Let the Bells Ring Out!

Deck the Walls with Boughs of Glory!

Away in a Manger...

The first floor Christmas tree! (there is also a tree on the 4th and 6th floors as well!)

It is finished. We were all tired and hungry, but thrilled with the spectacular results. Now if I could just convince the senior couples that Apartment 1201 needs their special touch it would truly be a little Christmas miracle!

Turkey Day in Hong Kong!

Today is November 27, 2008 and at one o'clock this afternoon thirty eight of us gathered together on the fourth floor of our building to celebrate Thanksgiving. The guest list included senior couples, the area presidency and their wives and a few other employees that sport an American passport. We all enjoyed Norbest Turkeys, homemade gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn, rolls and pies--it was a perfect traditional Thanksgiving feast!

But before we could sit down for our dinner, we needed to make the tables and the room festive! This is what it looked like before we began...(The man in photo is Sunny--and he truly matches his name. He works security in our building and always seems to watch for me when I am coming down to the lobby via the elevator...then goes to the door and holds it open for me. What a gentleman!)
And this is what a couple of the tables looked like after we had finished setting and decorating!

We began the festivities with a warm welcome from Dad!

Here is our table...laden with delicious American style food!

Meet the honored guests! It is a fantastic looking group...wouldn't you agree?

To finish off the occasion, Sister Smith worked her magic in Iris folding these beautiful handmade leaves to commemorate the day! On the back of the card was a Thanksgiving message from the Area Presidency!

This is Sister Smith...working her magic serving the pies!

What am I grateful for on this day? I am grateful for senior couples who leave their families to serve the Lord. I am grateful for our many friends who enrich our life. But most especially I am grateful for our family...from our children and grandchildren through to our extended families--know that you are loved and prayed over daily! I am grateful for blogging, and for working its' magic in helping us to stay connected with family and friends. I am grateful for my testimony--for it is sure; for my membership in His church--it anchors me; for an elder brother and Savior--who rescues me; and for eternal truths that assure me that families are forever and that we have a loving Father in heaven--this fills my soul with joy. I am grateful to be Hong Kong with Dad for this season of our life and for the numerous things that I have learned and experienced among the people in Asia. So on this day of gratitude and remembrance, may I wish you all a very "Happy Thanksgiving!"