Saturday, February 11, 2017

January - February 2017

2017 came in quietly here in Discovery Bay....we've celebrated three birthdays and welcomed in the year of the rooster. Lizzy got a new haircut and the weather has been great for hiking. Steve is continuing to do well with his chemotherapy treatments. We can finally see the end!! As of today, he has two more treatments to go. We are so grateful he has continued to have minimal side effects and has been healthy during this winter. I don't want to jinx anything, but the whole family has been well this winter. This is a miracle itself!

So, our Lizzy turned 9 years old on January 4. She and her friend, Jessica made her birthday cake together. Lizzy wanted emoji cakes, so they made three small cakes. They were yummy! We only got a photo of one of them they were so good!! Can't believe this is my last year with a child in single digits....


Then it was time to celebrate Sam and John on January 21st. John is now 18 and Sam is 13. It is hard to believe John is about ready to leave home for university. And it is equally hard for me to believe my baby boy is now a teen. We are so proud of them both. They are as different as can be, but are turning into really good people.


My young men.


Chinese New Year came early this year, so January 28 we brought in the year of the rooster. Decorations are everywhere during this season. Some are beautiful and some are just odd...The ones below are giant KNITTED dragon lions.


Lizzy and I ventured out to a new mall in search of yarn...I'm spending a lot of time crocheting these days. We found an old mall that once had a roller coaster in the top! Now it is full of little stalls and shops. We found the yarn shop and will go back! It's the Dragon Centre Mall.

Found a shop for all the Nana's of the world!

And Lizzy bought herself a emoji pillow and used the ride home! Ha!

Lizzy got a new haircut...about 6 inches shorter and long layers. It is very becoming.

We've been hiking quite a bit this year. We first tackled the Lantau Country Trail, which is about 7 miles from the backside of Lantau to the village of Mui Wo. Long trail, but by HK standards, not hard.

Some of us handled it better than others....

Not sure what this sign is trying to's lost in translation, I think.

We found a funny sticker in the village.


Then our Girl Scout troop and 6 other troops hiked over Lamma Island. Fun day and nice hike.


Steve and I were walking home from the grocery store and saw an amazing sunset.

My boys have really been helping out a lot. One of their favorite things to do is walk the dog. She loves it too.

The dog doesn't love waiting at the grocery store, but sometimes there are friends...

Speaking of friends, Lizzy and her friends have discovered selfies. I have 1 million of these on my phone.


The cat is still spoiled and still everyones favorite cat.

We've enjoyed our year so far. The kids are digging into their school work, I'm taking a couple online classes for Parish Nursing and Steve is focusing on his health. He is very consistent with his exercise and I believe this has made a huge difference for him. He is swimming a mile many times a month, walking miles weekly, and lifting weights at the gym.

Here's to 2017! May it be as quiet as the first two months!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

December 2016

Wow, what a wonderful month we had! It began with Lizzy's drama performance of Pirates of the Caribbean Coast. This is a group of English speaking Cantonese and international homeschool students who meet once a week and learn drama, public speaking, and improvising.


Lizzy and some of her drama friends.

Then Lizzy and I went to The HK Ballet performance of The Nutcracker.


Paul and John did a field trip with other teens to a nearby river with a group that deals with water quality.


THEN...this happened!!!!

See that bunch? They all came for a visit over Christmas. It was really just wonderful to have family here and we enjoyed our time showing them all around Hong Kong and showing them how we live here. Rachel Glenn is living in Korea now stationed there with the Air Force and is a short plane ride away!! It's such a nice feeling to know she's close to us now.



The whole Barry Tillman clan plus our nephew Turner came to a China and then Hong Kong. They were able to stay in a nearby apartment and we did some fun day trips all over Hong Kong. We took them to see the Big Buddha, Victoria Peak, Aberdeen and the Jumbo Restaurant, Kowloon and the street markets, Hong Kong Disney, and we all enjoyed Christmas services at our Discovery Bay church.


All the Tillman grandchildren at Big Buddha in Ngong Ping




LOVE The giant round tables in dim sum restaurants. I want one when I return to the states. Completely with the big lazy Susan in the middle.

The previous photos are of our trek to the Jumbo Resturant in Aberdeen. We took a sampan (small hired boat like the one in the above photo), which was an experience!! The food was great and though the Peking duck kinda traumatized Lizzy....think the Chinese resturant scene in the movie A Christmas Story...we all enjoyed it very much.

Steve and his trombone got a workout this holiday season. He played with a group organized by a church member at four different Christmas events. Here are some pictures of him in action.


Sam and Lizzy were involved in the nativity scene during the Christingle service on Christmas Eve. Sam was Joseph and Lizzy was a wise woman. The whole community comes out for annual service.

We enjoyed a simple Christmas lunch and even got to FaceTime with my parents.


All too soon, it was over and everyone went on their way. Turner back to the states, Barry's family on to Thailand and Rachel back to Korea.

Saying goodbye at the airport

Final hike with Rachel before she heads back to Korea.

It was a wonderful holiday season for us.


November 2016




November 2016

This has been a busy month for us and a frustrating one at times. It started off with Paul having surgery on his left index finger to remove a benign growth causing swelling and pain in the joint.

It was an experience to say the least, but overall he was well cared for and is able to move his finger once again! He and I were up at dawn walking to the taxi stand and I must say...I sure missed having a car that day!

Steve is doing well. He's had his 5th chemo after a week delay for low platelets. He was set to have number 6 this Tuesday, but his platelets were low again and so he was delayed another week. This is to be expected. There is nothing he can do except wait for his bone marrow to recover. He's exercising daily, keeping busy with legal work and music! He's been invited to play bass guitar with a local band. A fellow FedEx captain is founding member of the band and he and Steve have played together a few times just for fun. Recently the band lost its bass player and Steve has been called into action. His first gig with them will be December 4th. I'll take photos and video and share those then.



We've enjoyed some community events here in Discovery Bay this month. First, The Big Picnic is a yearly event featuring local bands and other local groups performing on stage. There was every group from dancers to rock and roll bands. It lasted all day. Lizzy and I worked at a merchandise booth selling t-shirts for our church group. Paul and Sam just walked around watching bands. John worked on stage helping to set up the bands. Steve worked all day too taking pictures of every group.





Lizzy joined in a kid's adventure race with two girls she has recently become friends with, Ines and Kyra. The race is called Team Fear. Lizzy's team was in the junior division. They raced on foot, on bicycles, over obstacle courses, climbed rocks, and jumped off a high wall into the sea. The course was a little over 10K, or 6.2 miles. She and her team trained together for several weeks. She got an early Christmas present in the form of a new bicycle. Getting it was an adventure all by itself!! She and I took a couple buses from DB to Mui Wo, found the bike shop, tested out a few, bought one and then grabbed a ferry back. However, the ferry doesn't run straight back to DB, so we had to stop on the tiny island of Peng Chau and switch ferries. It was fairly easy, but about an hour wait between ferries, so Lizzy broke in her new bike really well riding the little winding streets of Peng Chau.

Here is Lizzy and her new bike.


Lizzy before starting



Lizzy, Kyra and Ines...the DB Tigers




Finally...after 2.5 hours...the finish!!


Lizzy Girl Scout troop has been busy lately making a public service announcement video to share with Discovery Bay citizens. The girls have spent a couple months learning about water pollution in HK and then developed a plan and a project to share what they've learned.


The following is a link to the video on YouTube.

Paul and Steve took a short trip to Vietnam to retrieve a guitar Steve had ordered back in June of this year. They had a fun time and Paul received an early Christmas and "Hooray, I can bend my finger again" present!





Steve's guitar based on the guitar Buck Owens (Heehaw) used all his career...though the guitar maker thought the color scheme was because Steve loved France. Paul's mandolin is beautiful and he is getting really good on it.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with several other families. All of these folks have banded together to feed our family each time Steve has had chemo. They've taken care of Lizzy and made sure the boys were fed while Steve and I are at the infusion center. I cannot express enough gratitude to them, so I invited them all to bring a dish and share a meal together. It was a lot of fun, loud and crowded, BUT it was also a wonderful time. My dressing turned out great and the whole crowd decided they liked sweet potato pie even more than pumpkin! We had two British families and three American families. We enjoyed the irony of that and enjoyed explaining the traditions and the different foods. They explained to us that "pudding" is dessert... not A dessert, but it refers to the sweet foods after a meal. Completely confused on little 7 year old American boy here who thought we were only having pudding for dessert. He was happy to see the pies! I did not get any photos of the food, nor all 24 guests. But here is one of the jam session after.


There were a couple sleep overs...Lizzy went to Hannah's and Hannah came they are at our flat.


drama classes,


scout events, and field trips thrown into the mix of the month. When counting our blessings.....I am amazed. We miss every one of you. We love love love to hear from you! So email us and let us hear what's going on in your life.