Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I was up at 4:20 to start my day.  I drove these four down to San Antonio for EFY.  They are going to have a great week!

After lunch I headed home to pick up the kids a go to a Rangers game.  We got tickets with Mason's baseball team.  At about 6:30 it was still 103 degrees outside.  We were in the shade at the stadium, but it was still hot. 

We all had a fun game.  The girls kept wanting to start a "wave".  I showed the boys where to find out how fast the pitcher was pitching.  Mason was impressed.  At about the 5th inning Carson asked how long we were going to stay.  I then showed him where to find out what inning it was.  I told him it needed to be a 9.  He kept watching and it helped give him something to focus on.  We ended up leaving during the bottom of the 8th.  The score was 20 - 5.  We were winning.  It was safe to go home.  :)

I climbed in bed at 11:30. 

pioneer day

We rarely do anything for Pioneer Day.  I'm not sure if our boys understand what Pioneer Day is all about.  This past Saturday we went to Plano to see a movie called 17 Miracles.  The boys weren't excited to go.  The events aren't in chronological order but it's all true.  It's about the Willie Handcart Company and the struggles and miracles they faced as they crossed the plains going the the Salt Lake Valley.  WOW!! The amazing strength and and faith these Saints had.  All of our kids thoroughly enjoyed it.  They now have a taste of what the pioneers went through.  My Dad mentioned we had ancestors come across with the Willie or Martin Companies.  This next weekend I'll be visiting my Dad so I'll need to get all the details.  :)

Saturday evening our Ward then had a hike that had stations that shared some pioneer stories.  It was hot but it was a beautiful location.

Brian, above, led the way.  He was carrying a map.
Aiden was able to get a ride with Bishop.  :o)

Friday, July 22, 2011

HK ~ food

One evening we met two other Elders, who had been released, and their families at this place.  Is it really a restaurant?  It's definitely a place that only the locals know about.  It was yummy!

Steamed fish with a black bean sauce.  Josh, my nephew, actually ate the eye.  He said it was kinda chalky.  Nasty!!!  Josh will be leaving on his mission in September to Cape Verde, off the west coast of Africa.  I don't think he will have any problem with the food on his mission.  :)

I know that many restaurants around here display their desserts.  Many  places in Hong Kong display the entire menu.  Thought it was a little strange.

One night we found  a mexican restaurant walking distance from our hotel.  It was nice to have a Western dish.  The restaurant was called Coyote Ugly.  :) 
OK, so I thought displaying the entire menu was strange.  Leaving heads on cooked fowl makes it almost impossible to eat.  Although, I did have peking duck in Beijing.  But it wasn't brought to our table looking like a duck.  They sliced some meat off and put it on my plate.  Very tasty.
This is a dessert.  In Hong Kong they don't eat sweets.  Dessert is usually fruit.  We did have steamed cake, still not very sweet.  This is like gelatin.  We were trying to see if anyone could get it to their mouth without dropping it.  The chopsticks would go right through it so you had to be gentle.  It wasn't bad.  But definitely not my kind of dessert.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

HK ~ this and that

The streets were packed with people rain or shine.  Also lots of free standing signs.   

For scaffolding they used bamboo.  It was strange to see an entire skyscraper covered with bamboo.  They said it is stronger than the metal poles and more flexible.  It is imported from China.

This is an elephants tusk that we saw in a store window.  The detail is amazing!

When Brian and I were on a city bus we noticed this cemetery.  It's pretty amazing to look at all the many different levels.  (Sorry for the glare.) 

They used every spot possible. :)

These two pics are of "Ladies Market".  It was lots of fun. They had everything from purses, watches, umbrellas, earbuds, magnets, to silk robes and ties. Part of the fun was talking them down. At least I thought that was fun, I don't think Brian did. I had no problem starting super low. If you decided to walk away they would still continue to sell to you. Sometimes you would be 2 or 3 stores down and they would finally say OK and sell it to you for the price you wanted. :o)

The boys love their silk outfits.  One more thing to add to their dress up.  All of us girls now have a silk robe from Hong Kong.  (I'm not sure who took that picture of Karlee.  It's kind of blurry.)  I tried to get one for Brian with a dragon on the back.  Not a chance. 
We also bought silk ties for Grandpas and Brian.  Plus many other souviners.  I made sure to pack light so I could fit all the souviners in our suitcases.  I did well.  They all fit and everything was snug.  :)  The best way to pack.


We weren't able to attend the family reunion this year.  :(  On Tuesday night we were able to skype with them!  It was our first time.  It was neat.  Adam was soo excited to see Grandma and Grandpa on the computer.  We will have to try it again some time.  :) 

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Elder McRae

Elder Davis
Of all the missionaries that we've known, these two have made the biggest impact on our  boys.  They are ready to be missionaries.  Elder McRae and Carson have been buddies ever since the first week he arrived, when Carson asked him if Missionaries were Super Heros.  Luckily he replied with a YES!!!    Elder McRae will be going home this week.  I'm sure Carson doesn't really understand.  It's possible that Elder Davies could be transferred this week also.  We hope not.  I hope their families, mostly their moms, know they have raised some amazing men. 

Missionaries are Super Heros!!!

Big 20!!

WOW!! I can't believe McKinzie is 20.  These past couple of months she has had some mom/wife traits (as she calls it) really kick in.  She is doing an amazing job providing for her family and taking on the responsibilities of a single mom.  We are so proud of her.  I try and tell her often how proud I am of her.  I hope she knows.  Do you know Kinz?

Brian and I gave her concert tickets to Katy Perry.  Plus a babysitter.  :)
She's a little bit of a Batman freak.  The boys gave her a new Batman shirt and Brian and I gave her two Batman belts.  She now has 8!!  OK, maybe she is a big Batman freak!!  The girls took her out to lunch yesterday and they all had a great time.
Kinz I'm soo glad you are part of our family.  We are proud of the woman you have become. I hope you've had a happy birthday.  I love you!!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

funny story

Thursday night Bailee and Karlee gave us a laugh. 

I was in the kitchen doing dishes talking with Kinzie and we thought we heard a knock, but Stella never barked.  Then the phone rang and Mason answered, it had to be family for Mason to answer.  It was Bailee.  She was locked in the downstairs bathroom.  She later told us that she thought McKinzie was holding the door.  There was a toy sword in the bathroom so Bailee used it under the door to see if she could hit whoever was holding the door.  She then joked and said, "OK, let go of the door.  It's not funny anymore."  Still nothing.  She knocked a couple of times and no one came.  Luckily she had her cell phone with her and she called the house. 

That same night, Bailee and I went to Aldi.  The boys were watching a movie upstairs, then Kinzie left.  When Bailee and I got home Karlee was locked in the bathroom.  (Obviously the lock is broken.) She said she was in there long enough to learn how to french braid her hair.  So now she braids her hair every 15 minutes.  A few days before she was thinking about cutting her hair, now she wants to keep it long so she can braid it.  :)  I've told her that whenever she complains about her hair I'm going to lock her in the bathroom until she learns to love it.  Crazy kid!

good week

For Mason's birthday we gave him some kid sized tools and a few kits to build.  This past week one kit was finished, his tool box.  Mason was very excited.

 He did a great job.  He went to take it out to the garage to put away and I told Brian that he might need to make room on the same shelf so Mason could put his tool box by his.  Mason walked in the door just seconds after I finished and said, "Darn, there's no room next to Dad's tool box."  We all laughed and Brian went out and made room for Mason.  :)

This past week we also:
  • went to the library
  • went to a baptism
  • chaperoned a dance
  • watched Adam
  • grocery shopping
  •  laughed at Bailee trying to park...she forgets to focus sometimes
  • fed the missionaries
  • had cub scouts
  • practiced doing hair for a wedding
  • went to a movie with Adam, we won't do that again any time soon
  • surprised the kids with breakfast at IHOP and went school clothes shopping
  • finished school clothes shopping  WAHOO!!
  • went to a baby shower
  • did more hair
  • girls had babysitting jobs
  • swam with friends
  • swam without friends
  • baked in the sun
  • have a date...tonight

 This is Colton (next door neighbor), Mathew (friends since a baby), and Carson.
 Becca and Karlee did their own thing.  They're growing up way too fast.
This is Dawn, a friend for 7 years now.  She use to live three doors down.  She now lives 25 minutes away.  We miss her and her family.  Luckily I still do their hair and her kids go to a private school just up the road so we do get to see them occasionally.  They hung out with us on Friday.  It was fun to catch up and laugh, and vent a little.

Friday, July 15, 2011


I'm not sure where to begin with this post.  This was our (my sister and I) greatest fear while in Asia. We first saw one in the Japan airport, our layover to Hong Kong.

This sign is on a bathroom stall door, this stall has a pit.  It's basically a hole in the floor so you can...squat. 

The entire time my sister and I rationed our fluid intake (in China).  No joke!!!  When we were in China it was the worst.  There were times we saw women coming out of a stall wiping off their legs.  It was nasty.  Every time we went to a restroom we would cross our fingers, hoping for a sign that read "western style".  A few times we decided to wait.  Luckily we never had to experience one of these pits.   

This one was at Big Buddha.  In China rarely was there toilet paper.  We would pack some from the hotel. Since visiting China I have a new outlook on our public restrooms.  I have no problem using an airplane restroom anymore.  :)

Hong Kong members

Since our purpose of going to Hong Kong was to pick up a missionary, we were able to meet a few members.  This is one of the families that Jake taught. She invited us over for dessert.  She doesn't speak English, although her kids do.  The daughter, Polly, is 15 and will graduate from High School in two years.  I asked her if she wanted a pen pal from America.  Bailee loves pen pals and is great at keeping in touch through letters.  She gave me her address.  They both are excited!

She lives in a very modest apartment building, but I think she has a great view.

Jake, Vincent and Polly.  I don't remember the moms name.  :(

On a different night a family from Jake's favorite ward, Sha Tin Ward, invited us to dinner and they "chang us out".  Which means they paid for dinner.  That is Brother and Sister Yeem in the middle.  The current missionaries also joined us.
We had such a good time getting know these people and seeing their love for Jake and the other missionaries.  Getting to know some locals was definitely a bonus for our trip.