Will’s Entry: Day 3 Hong Kong Trip

10 Oct

Tracie and Troy arrived early this morning. We put them through the wringer. First we visited the Hong Kong temple. It was interesting to see it in a relatively nondescript neighborhood.


It was such a hot and humid day. We’d try walking in the shade as much as we could but it was tiring. We had to just enjoy the small good moments.


We went to a garden. It is tended by monks. There was some cool architecture. They didn’t use nails and screws. They just cut everything to fit together like giant crazy Lincoln Logs.


Here we are, ready to get on a ferry to get back onto Hong Kong Island. We tried to get the kids on every mode of transportation. The metro (subway), double decker buses, trolley, ferry, tram, cable car. Just because you can out there.


Will’s Entry: Hong Kong Day 2

29 Sep

I think Kristin’s caption says it all. Well, it’ll have to because I wasn’t there for it.


Here’s our typical morning breakfast. I wouldn’t mind having a bakery in my basement. Yum.


On this day, we went Ocean Park. I’d describe it as Disneyland meets Sea World. It was a pretty hot, humid day and we even bought a $20 umbrella to ease the pain. Maybe you can see it in subsequent pictures! Truth be told, with that weather, I’d pick Ocean Park over Disneyland. We settled into a pretty smart routine where we’d do a couple rides and then visit an exhibit where it was cooler and then repeat the process.  In the pic below, Jason was trying to stay away from Kristin but wasn’t very successful.


As you can see, I get pretty excited for penguins. They’re one of my favorite “looks can be deceiving” animals. Plus, that exhibit was COLD which was so nice! As a side note, you should Google “Benedict Cumberbatch” and “Penguins”. Oh, I’ll do it for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GHPNKUMf70. It’s one of those clips that brings a smile to my face whenever I think of it.


This is a fun picture. I think you can find more detail on Facebook but I love all the expressions.


I say whenever one of your kids has an idea for a photo, just go for it. Especially in this day of digital pictures!


Same goes for the wife. This wasn’t the one, but we’d look at the exhibits and tell stories about what the animals were thinking. Well, there was this other leopard shark that I said was showing off because he just swam tight circles. I’m still worried about it. It did it for 10 straight minutes and we never saw it stop. I hope it was ok.


Apparently the heat started getting to these two. Yuck! I kiss that nose! Well not really, but Yuck!

day-2-tonguesAnother one worth taking a closer look at. I was channeling my younger-years pose.


Considering her allergies, I’m glad that Elena is not touching the canines.


Before, we get to the next pics, can I say how awesome the Jellyfish exhibit was? No pics because everything was dark and they had it illuminated by black lights. Those things definitely look like they belong on another world. Anyway, here are some pics from the nice and relaxing Carousel ride. Nothing silly to see here. Just move on quickly.




We had some tired and happy kids that night.



Will’s Entry: Hong Kong Day 1

27 Sep

Yes, I pull these pictures from Facebook but I’m hoping to add additional detail to make for a little blog history. What’s missing before this first picture is that we had to drive to Los Angeles 3 days before the flight. This gave us some time to get our passport stuff taken care of. Not very noteworthy but the kids got a chance to swim and ironically, we ate Chinese food before our trip to Hong Kong.

Our flight left at midnight so we worked hard to transition the kids to a later sleeping schedule so they stayed up that night. On the plane, Jason slept on the ground while Kristin and Sierra shared what was left of the seats. Elena slept on my lap. We eventually switched seats and she slept 10 hours of the flight! I thought she was so good. The guy next to us got tired of her though. She stirred and bumped him about a half dozen times on the flight and they weren’t even much more than a brush. The guy needed a better perspective on a 5 yr old. Sheesh.


We arrived in Hong Kong in the early morning and went to our apartment, an AirBnB rental. It was perfect. Plenty clean and more than enough space for our family. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but Hong Kong places tend to be have just the minimum in both regards often. It had a great view and a dining table where we spent many mornings eating our treasures from the bakeries below. Jason enjoyed his Dahn-Tats and Sausage Buns. Sierra and Kristin were fans of the Pineapple Custard Buns. Sierra also enjoyed Jook (rice porridge). For Elena, she looked at the display, then looked above it and just wanted bread. Just plain bread. But to her credit, it was warm every morning just for her. Me, I’m always a fan of the Cocktail buns.

We went and travelled the city. It’s so humid and Jason would often say the “The Humanity’s killing me!” I didn’t see a need to correct him. For our American children it was a challenge to not touch everything and wander towards whatever caught their eye. For the most part, they got better by the end of the trip. But hey, here’s something they could touch!


We took a tram to the top of Victoria Peak. It was quite the crowd and man, the humanity! I think this trip, I marveled at how much of Hong Kong is still “wild”. There’s a lot of the island that is still covered with thick forest. My dad also told stories about the peak and how there a LDS missionary long ago marked the spot. Also, we taught Elena how to levitate for pictures.


I’m guessing the next picture was on the subway. If our kids didn’t stand out before, gosh . . . you think they’d never seen a pole before. Most people in Hong Kong just relax on the subway. Our kids? It was time for Pole-dancing and Musical Chairs.


If it’s not evident by Jason on the previous pic, the kids then crashed. So tired from the long day, the older two couldn’t keep their eyes open on the bus ride down from the top of the mountain. As for this one, we had to “make” her go to sleep.


Will’s Entry: Fall

29 Dec


Fall came and went. Here were some highlights.

For awhile, Kristin had been suspecting that Elena wasn’t seeing correctly. She liked to be REALLY close when Kristin was reading books. Surprisingly, she wasn’t the type to be real close when watching TV but we still had our suspicions. So the next time the kids had their checkups, she encouraged the doctor to check their vision. Both Jason and Sierra passed and then it was Elena’s turn.

Doctor: Can you read the top letter?

Elena: One?

(Hmmm, maybe she doesn’t know her letters so well. We’ll try a sailboat.)

D: How about now?

Elena: I don’t know.

Yep, she has about 20/200 vision which isn’t good enough to drive without corrective lens. So here’s a cute Halloween pic and I think the first day she wore glasses.


We live in a good age for glasses. We found an internet site that provides them inexpensively. I think she actually looks even cuter with them. She has 3 distinctive and unique pairs. Surprisingly, she rotates and wears a different pair everyday in a pattern. Sheesh, I don’t know where such weirdness comes from!

Another highlight was that Sierra was baptized. It was a great experience. She made her own program which includes an illustration that has me asking Sierra if she will be mean, her saying “No”, and deeming her worthy for baptism. Also, Maddy gave her a “quiz” about Baptism which freaked Sierra out. She must have test-anxiety. Grandma Kay just gave her all the answers in her Holy Ghost talk. So take a close look at the water level in this picture. It’s LOW, maybe to my knees. It’s usually closer to the end of the railing (waist level). The group before us pulled the plug. Good thing she’s so little and I’m such an accomplished baptizer. Everything went great.


Friday museum and Chinese

29 Jun

We had a great day on Friday. We enjoyed the afternoon at the Museum of natural curiosity with Maddy and then headed up to dinner for some delicious Chinese food with Christina, ho, and Joanna.

                If you notice the sign says Elena. Maddy and Sierra put it up there for her. She was so excited.         Maddy in the dark cave.     Sierra held on for 308 seconds. I had to make her stop when the guys came to pick us up for dinner.  

Wills entry: Hang Time

25 Jun

I enjoy my job. And sometimes there’s parks. This time they give us free tickets to hang time. Here are some of the highlights.  



24 Jun

Not sure why didn’t blog yesterday, but today I will blog. Maybe it was because I had a migraine all morning, so the kids just watch TV while I laid in bed. Or maybe it really was not an interesting day.

For the last little bit I have been teaching the kids how to clean the bathrooms. We clean the bathrooms in the afternoon. I forget how much patience and how time intensive it is to have kids clean bathrooms. They clean, I help, and then I have to clean it once they’ve left. I just have to keep telling myself this is a good skill I am teaching the kids.

We did go to the library yesterday as well. Lots of reading books, the kids by themselves and me reading to the kids.

Today has been kind of an interesting day. We went to play volleyball in the morning and unfortunately there was an incident that happened. Before I talk about what happened, here is a picture of Elena playing with Gavin and Lexie. She sure loves chasing after him. He is such a great kid.

An older boy, junior high age, showed himself to Sierra today. I was very proud of her for leaving the situation and coming to talk to me about it.

I told her how proud I was of her that she came and talk to me about what happened. I was proud of her for walking out of the situation. We had a conversation with all the kids about the boys choice, and how wrong it was for him to do that.

I am really upset about what happened. After everything I explain to the kids that now at Volleyball they need to stay on the stage or in the gym. They will not be able to go out into the hallways or into the classrooms anymore. I explain to them that it is not a punishment, I want to help keep them safe. We need to make sure we protect ourselves from situations like these. They all understood. I did talk to the step mother who is a friend of mine. She is handling the situation with her husband.

On other news we have been folding paper airplanes and playing crazy eights like crazy. We have paper airplanes all over the house. We checked a book out on how to fold different types of paper airplanes. Needless to say the kids are really enjoying it.