Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Adam Stewart!

Today is Adam's birthday and he is all by himself--sniff, sniff. However, what fun it is to wish him a very 'Happy Birthday' via the blog world. Everyone in our family loves this man who stole Bri's heart!
Nice try Grandpa--but it was not to be!
Only Adam could steal the heart of Bri!
He is kindhearted, hardworking and blessed with a delightful wit which keeps us continually smiling or laughing! He passed the Emma, Ellie and Ryan test very early on during his courtship of Bri--and when Erin and Kara quickly approved there were smiles all around! Oh, I should also mention he sings like star and has strong family values! He loves his family and has come to love ours as well--Whew!
(He plays the guitar too!)

So on this very special day...Know that we are thinking of you and wishing you a year full of many wonderful blessings!

(It really is just the two of them so far... that little guy belongs to Brett & Julianne)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

What Did She Win?


Here you go Laurel! I hope it is worth the wait!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Before we leave Mongolia, I simply had to share this...

Mongolia is unique. It is the only country I know of that boasts of Contortionist gymnastics as a national sport...please check this out. I could scarcely believe my eyes!

video

And now for a bit of authentic Mongolian culture. The man in the green is performing "Turvan Throat Singing." Not as easy as you would think!

video

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mongolia Revisited

This is a view of Ulan bator from the place where this land was dedicated for the preaching of the gospel.
This is how missionaries in Mongolia dress for their everyday tracting!

And this is what a cloak room looks like when missionaries have removed their winter coats in preparation for a meeting!

While there, the temperature was a wee bit chilly...with averages in the minus 20's and 30's. You can feel the cold on your face, (face ache) and in your lungs when you breathe...(lung ache). However, being a former Canadian gal with deep roots in this kind of weather, it was nothing I couldn't handle--at least for 60 seconds or so! It is so cold there, that even the animals must have some winter clothing!

We visited with two families in their Gers (tent homes). What a lovely experience it was! A Ger, if you remember, is a tent like structure that is completely movable. It is toasty warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The first Ger we visited belonged to this young couple.

When we stepped into the Ger, the parents turned off their television, much to the dismay of their little boy. (Mind you, the television was not playing anything that would interest a child...he just liked having it on!) Ger's come in many sizes...but the ones we visited were 9-10 feet in diameter. The furniture hugs the perimeter, leaving the center open for the stove and a table with chairs. This young mother loves bright colors. Look how cute her cupboards and washstand are!

Their beds are put away during the day, to give them more room to work and play.

The second Ger belongs to this woman. She was born in this very same Ger and raised her own family here as well. (she is one year younger than me). This picture reveals the strength of her testimony. She is holding her temple sealing certificate. Look at the bookshelf behind her. It contains her most prized possessions!

Here she is showing us how she puts the wood in her stove. This stove is not very large, but performs many duties besides cooking and baking. It is used for heating water for personal use, washing clothes and taking baths. Can you imagine how much effort that must take?

This stove is so hot, I can only imagine the challenge it must be to keep little children from getting burned. Her table was filled with refreshments that she had made especially for us. It is amazing to me how much time and effort she must have gone through accomplished this beautiful table! (FYI: We were so relieved when we found out that we were not being served warmed fermented mare's milk--just good old cow's milk! )

She shared with us her testimony and how much joy the gospel has brought to her life and the lives of her children. One of her greatest joys was being sealed to her husband and children in the Hong Kong Temple a couple of years ago. I am so grateful to have experienced this.
Look what else we found driving around the countryside. Yes, seeing is believing!


AND what Latter-day gospel event does this remind you of?

Now you cannot go to Mongolia without sensing the powerful influence of Genghis Khan. Look at this amazing monument built to him in that resides in the middle of nowhere! It is HUGE!


We walked all the way up to the horse's head to get this view of a Ger camp! I shot this picture using my zoom setting. Can you get a sense of how high up we were?

On our last night there, we had a member missionary meeting. We were expecting around 800 saints. We ended up with 1400 in attendance. This is a picture of the choir! They were spectacular! The more I visited this beautiful country, the more I love it's people and history. I am grateful that the gospel is in Mongolia!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

MAGNANIMOUS

LISTEN to the tribute given to Grandpa for his 90th Birthday by Lorraine Kawakami. An insightful glimpse into the Dad and Grandpa we all love! Aloha oe, Grandpa...until we meet again...

video

Monday, March 16, 2009

AND THE WINNER IS...

Laurel! Picture coming soon as to what you have won! Thanks to those of you who played along...AS this was so much fun for me, I just might have to do it again!

Monday, March 9, 2009

I have finally found the courage to...

...have a blog GIVEAWAY! In honor of my one year blog anniversary, I have decided to be a personal shopper for some lucky reader of my blog. (You all know who you are) All you have to do is leave a comment which should include your favorite colors (both home and personal), your shoe size, and a perfect necklace length! You have until Sunday evening March 15th (because that is when the names will be drawn out of a ???( if I can find one)! The winner will be posted on Monday morning! To inspire you to comment, start thinking about silk pashminas, or mother of pearl 'pearls', a fabulous necklace, a pair of embroidered Thai shoes or perhaps something uniquely jade? How about something for your home? A silk table runner? A Chinese leather box? I do have some ideas, but I would like to know a few details about you before I make the purchase.
The only catch is you will have to wait until March 26th or a little there after to receive it-- because that is when we will arrive in the States. I will either hand deliver it to you or put in the mail ASAP. Of course, I shall post a picture of what was selected before I leave on the 26th. Please leave a comment!

Monday, March 2, 2009

As Promised!

This is just a little recap of Adam and Bri's visit in December...Beginning with them posing in front of the Peninsula Hotel with an amazing Foo Dog...sadly, High Tea was not on the agenda!

This picture was taken in honor of Erin and Kara--as one of their favorite stores in Hong Kong. What is a visit to Hong Kong without a sneak peak inside Shanghai Tang? However, there were no wallets being opened here!
One thing Adam and Bri did that none of the others experienced when they came to Hong Kong, was going to Ocean Park. It was walk down memory lane for me as I had two kids in tow and who were dying to experience every little thing. They simply could not resist a mouth this big!
With a little monkeying around, we were able to snap Bri in the moment!

Of course, not to be left out, Adam insisted on wearing outlandish earmuffs while gazing at the jelly fish!

A funny thing happened while viewing the jelly fish...some were hot!

While some were not! (This was totally an Adam and Bri phenomena. I was just an interested observer!)
Now in this shot, I tried to tell them that they really were not that high in the sky...but they simply wouldn't believe me!

Like her big sister Kara, Bri fell in love with the pandas. THIS was the main reason why we went to Ocean Park. For some strange reason, she was hugging every panda within sight!
Adam discovered if you can't beat'em, join'em! (my first cliche in sooo long!)
Bri talked about their walking up the many, many steps to the Big Buddah! This picture validates their claim!
Here they have just cleared their first 50 or so steps--Look how proud they are!

Now they are off! Where am I you ask? Well, there are only so many times you can climb this monument before it starts to lose it's charm. How many times would that be you ask? Hmmm...one? Besides, look at the photo opportunities that would have been lost...

Now I know that you know that they had a "Happy Feet Massage." You be the judge on how happy they look!