Monday, December 7, 2009

Thanksgiving Feast, Halloween Fun

We had a very wonderful Thanksgiving this year. We are so blessed to have so many great friends here in Hong Kong and also at home across the US. Thanksgiving this year was celebrated with several families from our Branch. All together we had 19 adults and 23 kids. And of course all the delicious food you could imagine, I really think I can't complain about food, we can get just about everything here. Bentz really enjoyed all the friends and food and continually tells me "We should do that again".
I was invited to teach Audreys 1st grade class about Thanksgiving, which was so fun! Audrey is the only American in her class of 30! She feels even more special now.

We had a nice Halloween this year! Jorie was Cleopatra, she won a prize for best costume at a party because it was all homemade. She enjoyed the black hairspray alot. Audrey was a Witch, along with several of her friends from school, all very cute and unique, witches must wear high heels, just so you know. Bentz couldn't decide so he dressed up as a couple different things for different events, school party: cowboy, girls school Halloween disco: Batman, Halloween day: Buzz Lightyear, Halloween night: Batman. Halloween is very American by the way. It is a little different here but at least the kids all get sick eating too much candy. Bentz puked his candy after eating about the equivalent of his body weight. The crowded street is trick or treating Hong Kong style. There is one street in our community that passes out candy, I think because they are the most "houses" in a row. I think high-rise buildings wouldn't work very well. Needless to say, it is a little overwhelming to go trick or treating. The funny thing is that our friends from other parts of the world are surprised to hear that it is not like that in the US.

We are preparing for a trip to the Philippines for Christmas. I hope to post about our trip before the end of January.

Merry Christmas to you, I hope you will have Peace and Joy as you celebrate with your loved ones. Sending you our Love from the Leflers in Hong Kong!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Summer and Birthdays!

I know many of those who look at this blog may be shocked to see another posting so soon. I am making a bigger effort to keep up with stuff.
So I am still not super good at making this blog look cool. I don't know how to do fancy stuff but as long as I write a little and put up a few pictures I guess thats what is most important.
Here in Hong Kong the Swine Flu finally got us, well Audrey at least. The school is closed for the next week because there are so many sick kids at our school. Audrey is going stir crazy, she is like me - needs to get out! It seems like I am never home and I just want to be home for a change. Then I stay home with sick kids for a few days and can't wait to go to the grocery store just for a change of scenery. The crazy thing about my sick kids is Jorie and Bentz have both had fevers and similar symptoms to Audrey but when they were tested they didn't have a flu, just a bug I guess. Wierd.

This past summer we spent one week in California with my parents. Then we went to Logan for a few weeks taking one week out to hang out with my family in Aspen Grove. We had a great time and tried to make the most of everything that was available. I will give a list of the cool things we did.

Fresno Zoo
Chuckie Cheese
Costco, Target, Walmart, TJ Max, Old Navy . . .

Willow Park, zoo
Aquatic Center
Family, cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles
4th of July Breakfast, evening fireworks
SLC childrens museum
Ogden children's museum
American West Heritage museum
Jake's homecoming (my nephew)
Dell and Jamie's engagement
American Fork hot pots
Park City Outlets
SLC Temple Square
Public Library
Great Harvest Bread, Jamba Juice
Loads of Scooby Doo movies
Hiking, camping at Grandma's
Bike rides, picnics, motorcycle cruise
Bear Lake, Pickleville Playhouse: Annie Oakley
Cache County Fair Rodeo
Remodeling mysterious downstairs bathroom
Marjorie's Baptism

We really had a great time. It was a longer summer stay than in years past so we had more time to just relax and not travel too much. Jorie's Baptism was the highlight of the summer. She was baptized in the Provo river at Grandma Leflers house. Same place that Beau and his dad were baptized. It was really nice to have so many family and friends there with us. Everything was absolutely wonderful.

We returned to Hong Kong on Tuesday night at 7pm and the girls both slept really great that night so they jumped into school the next day. They missed the first two days of school. I was really impressed at their jetlag recovery.
Jorie is in 3rd grade now and Audrey is in 1st grade. Bentz has started at preschool, Tuesday Thursday 12-3. For the first time I have all kids in school for 6 hours a week. If I thought it was sad to have both of the girls in full day school last year then I think I could only say that when Bentz is at school it is just lonely. I hope to take the alone time to read a few books and try to find something that interests me enough to go back to school sometime in the next couple of years.

Audrey had her 6th Birthday on September 11th. It was loads of fun. Our house was a magical world of butterflies. So much fun!

Now it is getting late and I am running out of words. Here are some pictures to add some color to my words.

Sending love to all of our family and friends. We are so blessed to have all that we have.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Finally an update!

Okay I knew it had been awhile, but not that long. Yes we are still in Hong Kong. Beau is fortunate enough to still have a job. I have no idea what it is like in the states with the exception of what I hear from family. I hope everyone that might view this blog is well.

We have been busy, as I am sure you are. It is crazy how fast time flies. My kids are all growing up too fast. Bentz is nearly three now! I still call him my baby every once in a while.

Beau- Still an amazing person and the best companion I ever could have been blessed with. Beau participated in the 100km MacLehose trailwalker charity event. He and three teammates hiked for 100km in Hong Kong and completed the course in 30 something hours. They all did great! Now Beau is trying to plan a trip with some friends to do something cool like drive a mountain bike through the mountains of Vietnam.

Marjorie- A fantastic student at school and at piano lessons. She also enjoys her scetching class and recently started a swimming class at school, and a singing/dancing class. Jorie is constantly reading, recently she has read; Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, Little house on the Prairie series, to name a few. We are always looking for more great books to feed to her brain if you have any suggestions please pass them our way. Jorie now rides her bike to and from school and receives her bus fare as an allowance. She is saving up to buy an American Girl Doll.

Audrey- Also a fabulous student at school and at home. Audrey loves to do everything that I do. She learns a lot. Audrey keeps up with Jorie most of the time. Audrey also participates in swimming lessons at school and a singing/dancing class with Jorie. Audrey rides her bike to and from school with Jorie and is saving her money also. (Don't know if she is old enough for an American Girl Doll yet) Audrey has become a very strong reader like her big sister, she enjoys reading Berenstein Bears and Dr. Suess and a series of chapter books about fairies.

Bentz- Still as adorable as ever, I can't get enough of this little guy! Bentz has a great little bike without pedals or training wheels he has learned to balance as he zooms down the street with his big sisters. I get a lot of comments on this amazing boy on his bike. Bentz loves swimming and playing and riding his bike whenever he can. I think he would sleep with his bike if I let him. Getting ready for potty training again, long story. He will earn a bike with pedals when he wears big boy underpants. Bentz loves the letters of the alphabet and will listen to anyone that will read to him. He reminds me of Jorie in that department, amazing attention span sometimes (He is still a boy).

I am always busy but don't feel like I am getting much done. I guess that is the blessing/curse of being a full time Mom. I am loving the time that I have to be with the kids and do fun activities, we have a new helper that started in Nov. She is great, making my life easier to focus on the kids and not so stressed about housework stuff. Sometimes I worry that I might loose my skills of balancing housework and kids, but i don't know that I ever really mastered that anyway. So I hope I will be able to handle life when we live in the U.S. again someday.

For Christmas Beau gave me a ticket to Thailand, two of my friends also received tickets. We had a girls weekend without kids a few weeks ago and it was a ton of fun. We saw some sights, shopped, got massages and shopped more. It was great! (and so cheap)

We moved at the beginning of March to a larger flat. We have really enjoyed the increased space, balcony and private rooms for the kids. Each of the girls have very small bedrooms and Bentz has a large room that serves as the playroom. We can host guests now much better than before. So anyone who wants to come please do! Beau's sister recently came for a week on her way to Thailand and we had a great time.

I almost forgot, We went to The Philippines again this year. Two weeks of January we were on the island of Palawan. We again took supplies to a school with Help One Future charity. What a great experience! We had the opportunity to get to know a handful of the students as they came to our rental house in the village every day after school. Seriously awesome, what more can I say. We went out boating and snorkeling, we saw some clown fish and their anemone's, so cool! Too many stories to tell on a keyboard.

Just a couple weeks ago we went camping at a campsite on the beach not too far away. It is a fun time with the kids, small enough that we can let them explore and not worry too much.

We feel very fortunate to be living here in Hong Kong and enjoying the many experiences that life here affords. We look forward to our visit home this summer. We will be in Utah for 6 weeks. Jorie will be baptised in August at Grandma Lefler's house. If anyone will be available for a visit please let us know.

Jorie returning from camping. Riding the ferry, April 2009

Audrey, camping at the beach, Lo Kei Wan - H.K. April 2009
Jorie, on a hike Feb 2009
Jorie, loves to climb trees. Feb 2009
Bentz, thrilled to throw rocks and make a big splash. Feb 2009
Audrey on our hike, Feb 2009
Bentz loves to Hike Feb 2009
Sunset, Palawan Philippines, 2009
Showing our friends how to play Duck-duck-goose. Palawan Philippines 2009

Bentz on a tricycle, Palawan Philippines 2009
Christmas 2008 H.K.
Pirate Bentz, Pippi Longstocking Jorie, Audrey the Bride, Halloween 2008
Beau and teammates resting after a meal on the MacLehose trail. Fall 2008
Audrey Jorie and Bentz entering a cave. Proud Dad following. Beau is a fan of caves. H.K.
Marjorie lost a tooth - again Fall 2008
Bentz watching his sisters jump from a cliff into the Rock Pools. Fall 2008
Audrey jumping from a cliff near Discovery Bay (where we live) Fall 2008
Jorie jumping from a cliff near Discovery Bay (where we live) Fall 2008
Audrey and Bentz each held a baby crocodile. Crocodile farm - Palawan Philippines
Palawan, Philippines January 2009

Chinese New Year Dragon Dance 2009, Jorie and Audrey on the left.
Camping close to home mid-April 2009

Monday, October 6, 2008

Birthday Girls

Jorie had her Birthday on August 16th and was lucky enough to have her party with friends on her Birthday. She had a pajama party, we decorated pillow cases and teddy bears, gave toothpaste and toothbrushes for party favors. We watched the Parent Trap and had lots of fun! Hooray for 7 year old Jorie!

Audrey turned 5 on September 11th. Her party was more than a week later as we were out of town the weekend after her Birthday. Audrey had a beautiful party with frills and sparkles and pink (all that Audrey represents). We decorated "Fancy Nancy" purses. The girls dressed up, had their hair, nails, and make-up done. Each guest went home with a fancy purse, a boa, and lip gloss. Hooray for 5 year old Audrey!

First Day of School!

The first day of school is one of my most favorite days! So much excitement in the air. New clothes, new friends, new teachers. This year our girls started at their new school. Last year we watched the construction outside our window and now the school is finished. The school is absolutely amazing.
Both Audrey and Jorie have wonderful teachers. I especially love how their teachers seem to be perfect matches for their personalities. I couldn't ask for anything better when it comes to education this year!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

More of Vietnam

According to a sign close by this is the end of the world.
Bridge in the jungle as we were looking for the ancient temple ruins.
I was asked recently when my friend saw this picture, "Were the bugs bad, did you see any snakes or crazy insects or anything?" It looks pretty crazy I guess, but it was not at all bad, no problems, we saw one lizard but it was not anything to tell a story about. More than anything else there were a lot of butterflies. It was the most beautiful, peaceful hike that I have been on in a long time.
Both Jorie and Audrey are close to the same height as this woman. She sold us some bananas, this is on the Japanese Bridge, notice Audrey's peace.
I like to tease Jorie about how she puts out the peace sign in a lot of pictures these days. I think it has something to do with the water. This isn't popular in the states is it?

Silk worm breeding tour, the white stuff is hundreds of worms, 3 days old. The green is mostly leafs with a few worms. Motorcycle tour, the guide drove Bentz and I since I don't have motorcycle skills like Beau.

We drove past a wedding and they asked us to take pictures. Aparently Bentz was not done looking at the bride in this picture. Thanks for helping with the pose Audrey.
This is the pride of my photography for the trip. I think it looks like a postcard. I just have to say that if you take enough pictures (i.e. 480 in 4 days) something is bound to turn out GREAT!