Friday, October 30, 2009


I have started playing a game called Mahjong on Friday afternoons with a few ladies from the American Women's Association and also a funny British lady named Barbara Bugg. This game is kinda like playing Rummy except it is played with tiles and they have Chinese characters on them. It is a thinking game and that is why I decided to learn to play. I need to think. I haven't really had to think for almost 4 years now. My brain is getting mushy - hehe. Anyways, I have been playing for about a month now and each week I feel I am getting the game down a little better. When your are about to "mahjong" you have a term called "fishing" which means you only have one tile left to complete your game and you have to announce that you are fishing for that tile. I went fishing twice yesterday. I was very happy. Next week - who knows - I might actually MAHJONG. If so I will take a picture of it - for a treasured memory :). I might even post it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I ventured out on a new exploration today. I needed to Visit Teach a sister that works at one of the universities here. Rather than get a taxi to get there I rode the bus. It is always a little nerve racking going on a bus when you aren't really sure which stop to get off of - but I googled directions from a site here - - it gave me very specific instructions - so I decided to venture out. It is so easy to catch the bus here - because a stop is right outside our front gates. It is also the cheapest way to get around. A taxi would have cost about $10.00 - the MRT would have cost a little bit more but I still would have had to take a bus to another stop so...I decided to get out there and just do it. I DID! ...and in so doing I found places along this bus route that I have been wondering how to get to and discovered how easily accessible they are. I am quite proud of myself :).

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Baby Girl Nielson

Received a phone call at 4:11 a.m. with good news that Baby Girl Nielson had arrived.  After talking again with Taylor this morning - her name is Halle Joy Nielson.  I think this is a beautiful name.  I am so grateful that Kiers had a safe delivery and that all is well.  Now I just have to be patient till I get home to give them all hugs.  It's time like this that I really, really miss my family.  

Sunday, May 17, 2009

BABA House

I went with a group of ladies to a museum called the BABA House on Thursday, May 14.  The group of ladies were mostly from the Australian/New Zealand Women's Club and a few from the American Women's Association.  I was happy to have been invited to go with them.  The BABA House was the home of a very wealthy and prominent family of the Panakaran Culture.  This culture comes from the blend of Chinese and Malaysian cultures.  Wealthy Chinese men would marry local women and that was how the culture came about.  The house was very beautiful.  It was decorated as it would have been in the 1920s.  This culture was very prominent in the politics at the time and from the house there is a lot of symbolism that shows the prominence of the family.  I was able to take pictures of the outside of the house but none were allowed on the inside.  Symbols of birds, flowers and statements written above the door - all pronounce  these things to the eyes of people as they look upon the house.  After the II War this culture was despised because of their support of the British during the invasion of the island by Japan.  The locals felt that the British just left them to be overtaken by the Japanese.  The people of this culture then mostly just called themselves Chinese to avoid the discrimination.  Not until just recently has the culture started to explore it's roots again and have pride in the culture.  The museum is fairly new and so I really enjoyed the experience very much.  

After we visited the museum we went to a restaurant that serves the Panakaran food.  It was very, very good.  The blend of spices were wonderful.  It seemed like a blend of Chinese, Indian and Malaysian.  I am learning to enjoy the spices of the Asian cultures very much.  

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mothers Day & Random

I had a lovely Mothers Day - well actually several days of Mothers Day.  Friday I talked with Andrew and Liz for quite awhile and enjoyed visiting with them.  I received a fun card from them.  Taylor called on Sunday morning and I received lovely e-cards from both Taylor & Kiersten.  Bryce called yesterday morning (his Sunday evening).   I received a Mothers Day card from Annie (our adopted Chinese daughter - who is serving a mission in Sydney, Australia) so I had a great Mothers day. Kurt took me out to dinner last evening (Monday night).  I am a very blessed Mom.

I am done going through the major unpacking.  Allied is supposed to come today and take away the boxes and as soon as they do then I can really start organizing and decorating.  We had a new sideboard and mirror delivered and I'm going to love it.  Also, ordered a new sofa (L-shaped) for the front room but it won't arrive until late May or early June.  I am going to go back to the shops in an area called Dempsey Road to look at more tables.  It's fun buying new stuff and the cool thing is we aren't having to pay for it.  It's part of our lease with the apartment.  If we decide we like it we can offer to purchase it when we leave.  So it's fun spending money that I don't have to worry about - hehe - I'M LIKING IT!  As soon as I get it all set up I promise I will try to post pictures.  

This Thursday I'm going on a tour of a museum called BABA House.  It's from the late 1800s time period and is a house set up like what a wealthy Chinese family would have lived in.  I'm looking forward to it and will take pictures and attempt to post more about it after I have toured.  

I am very proud of myself.  I have gotten in to a workout routine.  It's been very nice to have a treadmill available - so it has become a part of my daily routine.  It feels good to listen to my i-pod and walk very briskly for 25-30 minutes.  Feels really good :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Since I last wrote we have enjoyed a wonderful Easter weekend.  We were invited to the home of the MacArthur's for dinner.  It was nice to visit with them and the Swingle family were there, too.  It's been great to catch up with good friends.  On Tuesday Sondra took me and another friend, Carolyn Conquist, to the pottery shop here.  I'm going to love this shop.  Lots of pottery and I love dishes so....I have already warned Kurt - :).  She also took us to a nursery called the Orchidville - beautiful orchids (which Singapore is famous for).  They were so cheap - I couldn't believe it and the smell is so beautiful.  I will probably purchase many of these and even pay to ship them home when it is time. 

Kurt had to travel to London this week.  It's not been as lonely as I thought it would be.  The days have gone pretty quickly.  I'm loving the easy lifestyle here.  I could learn to really, really like this life :).  I have maid service every day - lol.  If I want I can go upstairs to have breakfast because it is included in the lease at this service apartment.  I can just go sit by the pool all day and read.  I have my groceries delivered.  Yes, I could really get used to this lifestyle. 

I think we have found our permanent residence.  It is at a highrise called the 4 Seasons.  There are actually four towers - Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.  We would actually live in the Summer tower on the 16th floor.  It has a beautiful view and the minute I saw it I felt good in it.  I will be able to feel at "home" and enjoy it very much.  I have made a new friend, Carolyn Conquist, and she lives on the 14th floor of the same building.  It is just a 5 minute walk to all the major shops.  It is going to be very easy.  If we still wanted to walk to Church we could do that too but we would have to catch the MRT and go one stop.  No biggy at all.  I will probably do that at least once a week because they have a scripture study class for the RS on Tuesdays and I will be attending that.  The classes will end in June for the Summer break and then will resume in September when school begins.

I love reading all of your posts.  It helps me keep in contact with my world.  Hugs to all of you out there in cyberland :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Well, we arrived safe and sound.  The flight actually wasn't so bad.  We flew business class and had LOTS of room.  Now I know why Kurt can travel and it not affect him so much.  We left at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday March 31 and arrived in to Singapore at 7:30 a.m.  April 1.  It was about a 13 hour flight but as I said wasn't too bad.  

Singapore is absolutely beautiful.  It is like being in paradise.  I look out my living room window and see gorgeous landscape of tropical flowers and a huge pool with waterfalls.  I feel like I am in a resort hotel and any day now we need to pack our bags and go home.  Then I remember that this is home for awhile.  It's HOTTER THAN HECK and humid but beautiful.  We went on an island tour yesterday that the company arranged for us.  We went with this beautiful Singaporean woman named Suzie.  She was great.  She showed us the ins and outs and wheres of the island and I feel a lot more comfortable and not quite so overwhelmed.  We went to the top of a beautiful hill that used to be a rubber plantation, Mt. Faber.  Now it is a state park and it has cable cars that carry people across to another one of the small islands called Sentosa.  It was a beautiful view because you could see the ships out in the harbor.  I have always loved watching ships come in and out.  There was also a beautiful view of the city of Singapore.  She took us to China Town and showed us the areas within the city that we would probably want to look for our permanent housing.  It was nice to see the different areas and have a better feel of where we want to live.  During lunch she found out the we were LDS so she asked us all sorts of questions.  It was fun to play missionary for a bit with those questions.  I don't think she was really interested for religious purposes but she enjoys history so we are going to try to get a Book of Mormon to her.  After lunch she took us to China Town and there was a beautiful Buddhist Temple there.  We went in and toured a couple of floors of it.  It was gorgeous and there was amazing artwork everywhere.  I plan to go back to visit the museum because it tells the story of Buddhism and it's beginnings.  It will be very interesting to learn about the religion and the culture.  

After we got back from our island tour we rested for a bit and then met up with our agent, Peter that is going to help us find a permanent residence.  He took us to 4 different locations yesterday.  One place was in a brand new building that was on the 29th floor.  It had an amazing view and nice balcony.  We could see clear out to the harbor.  The only negative was that it is out quite a ways from the inner city area which I want to be close to and not real convenient for me to get public transportation.  That is a real necessity here since I will not have a car and will need to walk or ride public transport to get around.  

We did see a very nice apartment at a place called the 4 Seasons.  It is absolutely beautiful and the kitchen in it was a true American size kitchen.  I am in love with it.  It also had a beautiful view but I'm going to go out tomorrow to see a few more before a decision is made.

We went to our new ward today.  We don't get conference until next weekend since we are a day ahead.  Conference is taped and then we will view it Sat. and Sun. of next week.  We did hear the announcement of our new Apostle today, Neil Anderson.  It was good to hear.  As usual, no matter where we go and how many moves we make - the gospel is always a blessing and a comfort.  We saw familiar faces today that we know from Louisiana and Houston and we met wonderful new people.  It's always amazing to go where people are willing to serve and love and that is what we have always found in a new ward.  Today was no different.  It is a great blessing.  We actually walked to Church today because it is only a 10 minute walk.  I told Kurt from now on I'm wearing my tennis shoes to walk in and carrying my heels to put on when I get to Church.  My feet hurt so bad from walking in my heels :P  When Church let out it was raining cats and dogs.  It was pouring down very hard so we waited around for a bit to see if it would stop.  We finally ended up sharing a cab with a sweet young couple (Matt and Jenna Wong and their little girl Verena, who is about the same age as Izzy).  I secretly was very glad that I didn't have to walk again in my heels - hehe :).  Prayers are answered and LESSON LEARNED. ;)

Our RS lesson today was on "Finding Joy in the Journey" by President Monson from last October Conference.  The focus was on dealing with changes that happen in our life.  It was good to hear it.  Actually, this has been my motto since Octobers Conference.  Life is wonderful and our attitude is what makes it a happy ride or a hard ride.  I love this ride and am very grateful for it.