Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We've had a few friends send us e-Christmas cards, so this one is for all our family and friends! :-)

watch the nice dance steps we learned!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

snowballs grow into avalanches

our white team started as the underdogs - all new to HK ultimate leagues, not knowing each other, and looking pretty weak...especially with a name like "snowball." (i still think of white furry kittens).
after our first game 12 weeks ago, we looked like we would fit that name.
then we became snowmen (we got to graduate) when we beat red soundly...
but when a snowball gets going, it quickly turns into an avalanche :-)

and we avalanched our way into the finals last night, playing against the only team that's beat us! (3 times out of 4...) sadly for them, we weren't a snowball or snowpeople. 15-4 baby!!

grant and i loved our white team - what a great introduction to HK ultimate with awesome people. we didn't yell at each other, our captain was encouraging (in his own cynical way), and we made some great friends. alas, the beauty that is avalanche will never be again!

*soon to come, a team photo from the finals...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

an expensive mistake...

grant left for indonesia monday morning!! pray for him - he's in a remote island with 17 middle schoolers: 14 boys, and 3 girls... yikes. they get back friday night at 10:45.

i went with grant to the airport on monday morning, since i didn't have to work. we got up, rushed out the door to the bus, stopped at the ATM for money - for his trip and my shopping date with katie (a youth intern at another church). we were the second to last of the group to arrive at the airport (the 3rd teacher was the last). i hung out at the airport for about an hour, then hopped on the hourlong busride home (with some burger king)... called steven wilco and talked for awhile... then called john unrath on the last leg of the trip. i got back to my flat and sat outside to finish my conversation with john. then, i needed to be leaving to go see katie, but i wanted to drop some stuff off and desperately needed the restroom (diet coke on a busride does that to you).

take the lift up to our flat... dig through my bag. twice. no keys. ahhhh!!!! grant locked the door, and i pushed the elevator button when we left.

so i had to communicate this error to the security guard who spoke very little english, and i eventually got pointed to the locksmith near our building. they sent someone with me up to my flat - and it was supposed to be $150. sure, fine, whatever -the only set of keys available are in indonesia! then he sees the grate on the front of our door and says, nope 200 for that lock. ok, sure, no big deal.
he picks, fiddles, etc with the lock, and finally gets the grate open. the lock we use on our front door is the deadbolt. he looks at the deadbolt and tells me that it's a computerized key, and i'll have to get a new lock. ok, sure, i really need to get in, whatever works!!! he proceeds to get a screwdriver, hammer, and wrench out of his bag and completely demolish the lock and pull it off the door. i was so glad to see my keys on the kitchen table (i was semi-afraid i'd dropped them somewhere). then i find out it's $800 for the whole situation! $400 to open the door, and $400 for the new lock... well, i had to say yes. luckily, i had $770 in my wallet (remember the atm trip?). he didn't take credit card, but he said that 770 was fine.

what a great beginning to a day...

at least i got to go shopping!! katie and i went to the markets in mong kok and stanley - i finally got new jeans: 15USD for a pair of American Eagle jeans, and 9 USD for an Abercrombie sweater. oh, and some xmas presents. plus some fun hangout time with katie (a new friend:D)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

a couple additions

yay grant made a post!

a couple things in recent times -
we spent last weekend in manila at another frisbee tournament. it's fantastic to find relatively cheap flights to places that are really warm and sunny (ie sunburns!!). our hong kong team only took 8 people (which is pretty brutal), but we picked up 5 when we got there, and we had a great time. Overall, we got 9th... but we won 5 out of 6 games :-) it was just a blast to hang out with frisbee kids, play some good muddy ultimate, and get some sun. (grant fell asleep at saturday dinner).

contrary to popular belief, we actually do a lot of things other than frisbee :-)
we're involved in a small group on tuesday nights with (mostly) other ICS teachers - and that's been fantastic. we've been working through 1 John this year using a study guide, rotating who leads the discussion. it's just nice to get togehter with other people our age, in similar positions of life, and talk about spirituality and faith. good stuff.

youth stuff has been alright - trying to spend time wth kids outside of church (sometimes easy, sometimes not). painting was (mostly) successful last night, so my office/youth room is now orange (with one white wall with handprints). it livens it up a bit.

and it's the weekend! so we're off for groceries....

Friday, November 23, 2007

painting turkeys

hey family and friends!

it's about time that i post to this site again. it's only been a couple of months or so. :)

krisitn and i have now been in hong kong for about 4 months.
marriage is great! - full of fun, things to learn, a few down times here and there, lots of conversation, and much teamwork.

school is also well. in case you forgot, i'm teaching 8th grade algebra and bible. the kids are mostly hard-working, and we've been able to have some fun in class. i coached the U14 soccer team, and when it was done, i moved right into the U14 basketball season. unfortunately, the soccer team was much more successful than the basketball team thus far.

coming up in just a couple days, i'm leaving the country. i'm taking a group of 17 kids to indonesia for a week to do service projects and missionary work! there are two other teachers coming along, and we're pretty pumped. if you take a moment, i'd much appreciate some prayers for our safety, growth, and group cohesion.

before i leave for indonesia, kristin and i have been busy preparing for youth group tonight (friday, 24 nov). the kids are coming to the church to paint the youth room and bring some life to its walls! we moved furniture, cleaned, and whitewashed one of the walls where the kids are going to do handprints.

finally, kristin and i decided to celebrate a little thanksgiving in hong kong. fortunately, i received the day off and the rest of hong kong did not. it made for a great day trip to an island called cheung chau. we took an hour-long ferry and occupied our time playing cribbage. thankfully, we weren't hassled for "gambling." once we docked, we hiked around, explored a "cave," checked out some temples, and had some delightful seafood on the harbor-side. i'll post a few pictures.

well, i did it.
i made a post.
hope you're happy.
now go play outside.

love you,

ps, kristin and i are now addicted to boggle, another wonderful word game. rest assured though - we still find much joy in scrabble. :)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

frisbee tournament pictures from janice

as i promised, a few pictures from the tournament. these are from janice's camera - i took a few, and she took the rest. not as many action shots, but they're hard to catch

aww.... it's a frisbee couple!

grant, paulie, toby, and guy. paulie and guy were fantastic captains for the star fairies, and guy does a great job with white team during the league!

the star fairies!

Junk huddle

Kenny and Grant have secret handshakes

kristin on defense

our junk captain calling a play against singapore

this is when paulie (the star fairies captain) and tim (the junk captain) got in a fight about rules and started yelling at each other in the middle of the HK showdown between our two teams.... it was awkward....

Friday, November 2, 2007

i've become a warm blooded creature...

fall is upon us, even here in hong kong.

last week, the highs were about 28-29C (do your math folks - multiply by 5/9, then add 32. it will be good for your brain!) so it was quite warm, but about average, and at least it wasn't going into the 32-33 range!

all of a sudden this week it took a 10 degree plunge, and the high for the past two days has been 19C. The low last night was even 14!

now, if you're following along with me and doing your math, you'll realize that this is quite moderate - by no means cold.

people in hong kong have broken out their thick jackets, warm scarves, and sweaters (or jumpers, if you're British). and me? i've got long sleeves and a denim jacket today. what am i going to do when winter hits? ;-)

love you all!

Monday, October 29, 2007

i wish i'd taken pictures....

but since i didn't, we're going to stick with words. however, i'm hoping for some photos from one of the other girls, at which point they'll end up on here.

this weekend, grant and i spent all day saturday and sunday out playing ultimate at the HK pan-asian tournament. 12 teams from shanghai, beijing, singapore, bangkok, manila, korea, and other asian places all converged upon the tiny SAR of hong kong for some awesome tourney fun.

*grant's team (star fairies) went 4-1 for the weekend, not including one other loss when they combined with the 3rd HK team for a fun game at the end of the day.
*an awesome star fairies game that was 8-8 at the cap, ending with a win by star fairies!
*grant was mentioned by many of his teammates as an unofficial mvp for his team (heck yeah, that's MY husband!! bet you wish you were that lucky...;-))
*an unfortunate 0-3 start by kristin's team (junk), but a second day that was 2-1 (the only loss coming to the eventual runner-ups in the tournament).
*a demolishing win against singapore (13-5) in the consolation round for 5th place. highlight of that game - one of our teammates making a defensive interception off their first pass for a point! (aka, a callahan). frickin awesome.
*the commentary on the final game: ringers of fire v. shanghai...especially, "let's hope [anonymous ringers player] has better luck with the disc than he did with either of the kristins"...did he really say that out loud?? yes, yes he did..
*grant's principal coming out to watch our games! how cool is that...
*free beer at the end of each day
*free food and drinks at parties friday and saturday nights
*free crocs and new discs
*good weather!

bet you wish you played ultimate :-D

Monday, October 15, 2007

church and frisbee.... that's kristin's life

it was a good times at youth group this past week. 8 senior high students - 2 of whom were first timers to the high school group (not first timers to the church though). it ended with olin and jannes toilet papering my fan, which shot the tp all over the office. nicely done guys.

then friday night, we had about 15 junior high kids come to watch the lion, the witch and the wardrobe, including a few new friends who were brought. also, good times.

saturday, we had 8 kids join us to go out to play frisbee on the beach. you would think more would come, but hey, we'll start with that!! we also invited a few people from our frisbee team to come, and that was great to have them along as well (thanks uli and alicia!)

yup that's my husband

some good defense :-D

youth event = junk food

after the beach time, grant and i went out with uli and alicia twice - once for dinner, and then way later (after a nap) for a 3AM rugby viewing - world cup semifinals england v. france.

we also found out that we did make teams for the tournament at the end of the month... little less than 2 weeks! sadly, we're not on the same team, but it'll be tons of fun anyways :-D

Thursday, October 11, 2007

the crisp fall air....

well, not quite, but it's definitely cooler this week than it's been yet, and it feels great! (by cooler, i mean 23-28 degrees Celsius, so still around 80.)
it's hard to believe that we're in October, and nearly half way through!
grant and i are still beating up our bodies in training for the HK tournament at the end of the month - 3 hour sunday practices, 1-2 hour conditioning on Tuesdays, and league games on wednesdays. it's flippin sweet. but, unfortunately, sleep is being cut out of our schedules quickly!

hanging out with kids is still a blast. a lot of my time is spent at the church, but also doing some stuff at ics with meeting kids for lunch once in awhile and helping with swim team. (hopefully more often at some point).

i'm off to the philippines again next month, this time with a group of about 10 people, including 4 youth. prayers for their eyes to be open, their hearts to be soft would be stellar.

and prayers for my heart to be soft and my mind to stand firm would also be most appreciated. i've had a rough few weeks for no reason other than my mind and my heart fighting a lot.

until next time,

*standard closing to any conversation in hk

Thursday, September 27, 2007

just some general posts on awesome things in life right now

since we haven't put much up here, here's just an information post...

some great things that have been happening -
*last week, ICS took their middle school students to camp, and i was privileged to be their speaker for their sessions. in between time though, i was free to hang out with them and get to know them for 3 days. it was a blast to be outdoors for three days in a COMPLETELY different part of hong kong, hanging out with middle school students, and being able to see the ministry of the ICS teachers at work. the talks went alright, though i was incredibly nervous!

*i love ultimate frisbee, and i'm completely obsessed. grant and i have been playing regularly in the league as we mentioned, and last night was just another great night. we played a long game against the previously unbeaten team. we were down 7-8 at the half, and scored the next 6 points after half until the lights went out. it was a fantastic, tough, and good spirited game. then (as has become routine for us) we went out with some people for a beer, appetizers, and peanut shell throwing fun.

*for mid-autumn festival, one of the ICS parents invited a bunch of the teachers over, so it was awesome (for me) to be able to see some of those folks again and hang out with them more.

*yesterday we took a group of 25 or so kayaking - mostly teens though some parents came as well. it seemed like the kids enjoyed themselves, and no one drowned!

*grant is rocking my world this week as my substitute for youth stuff as i leave for the philippines. there's a group of 4 adults going on the trip, though they'd been hoping for some youth. however, we're going again in a few weeks, so this will be a good chance to scout some things out i suppose. you can pray for me, that i can have a good attitude for the next 5 days. as i've not had one to this point!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

we made it into the hong kong newspaper!

hello everyone!

kristin and i have been playing ultimate frisbee in HK, and we joined a league that meets on wednesdays and sundays. one wednesday, a journalist showed up on the pitch and started to interview players. kristin was interviewed and a quote made it into the south china morning post, a big english paper in HK. i was pictured on the front page of the section!

some people were also interviewed on video. you can watch that and see kristin and i in the background. click the link below...

if that doesn't work,
go to
click the "life" tab
the title of the video is "the ultimate sport in hong kong"

happy viewing!
grant (and kristin)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

the amazing stupidity of kristin franke :-)

hopefully this is the right picture.
i had a pair of tevas that were this style, though bright green. i only bought them in march, and they've been quite good to me.

saturday, grant and i did a shopping day. he got cleats, we both got books, i got distracted by a few clothes, and i got the hardcore tevas. something like this:

so...i was excited and the busride home was taking a long time due to traffic. so i changed my shoes on the bus. took the new tevas out, put the old tevas back in the shoebox... very nice

when we got home, grant and i started going through our purchases, putting them away, making piles of trash (shoeboxes, plastic bags, etc). so i gave him the bag with my shoebox and told him it was trash.

i should have known...

today i went looking for my old tevas to no dawned on me that they'd hit the refuse chute, LONG GONE.


Friday, September 7, 2007

some captions

blogger on the macbook wasn't being too nice to me, and so i'm going to add the captions here.

our flat... 560 square feet (or so). the second bedroom is a bit more cleaned up as we've stored suitcases, and thrown away the tv box and replaced it with an actual desk.

there's a shipping yard near us. i thought of my brothers and how they'd think that was cool.

i take a ferry to work regularly... see the ferry.

and while i'm on a ferry, i often see those cute fishing boats hanging out.

i think that about covers it :-D

home sweet home!

i finally took some pictures of our flat, though a few things have changed in the past week since i did it, the pictures are pretty accurate!

Monday, August 27, 2007

mobile phones are fun

i'm a fan of mobile phones here. first of all, the price is ridiculously cheap. i believe that grant's plan is about 20 dollars (US) per month. we had to pay most of that upfront as a "deposit" on his phone (which will come out to be free). so, we end up paying closer to 8 dollars a month, because of the rebate on the phone. nice stuff. and that's for about 2000 minutes.

and texting is free intra-network. which is awesome.

and they come with pretty sweet cameras. which is great when i forget to take my camera with me (quite often).

what i haven't learned is how to rotate the pictures, on my phone or on blogger... so turn your head.

in front of the IFC building while we were waiting for the bus to church.

in front of the ferry pier... again, waiting for the bus for church (it's a perpetual wait)

at a lookout tower in hong kong park. those cool looking buildings are the lippo buildings. i think lippo means legos in chinese (JK)

and this was the day i got my phone and we were practicing taking self photos. it was fun.

Monday, August 20, 2007

first try for everything

here's a few pictures that i have. we haven't taken many unfortunately! (at least not on my camera). i promise that i'll work on getting pictures of our flat, but it's still sort of in a state of disarray!

we took the tram up to victoria peak (which i believe is the highest point in hong kong) on the island shortly after we arrived in hong kong. ics arranged a trip as part of orientation... it was a way to learn the public transport. regardless of the annoyances, the view was great. it was apparently a really clear week when we arrived which is not ALWAYS the case (pollution, haze, clouds, etc). so, the view of all the skyscrapers was fantastic. as a reference point, the north side of hong kong island is where the majority of the skyscrapers are (at least the huge ones!). The middle of the island is country park, victoria peak, etc. then the south side of the island is more residential and western. north across the harbor is kowloon, which also has a fair number of skyscrapers right on the water in Tsim Sha Tsui. We live just a bit east of there.

it's like another honeymoon type picture, holy cow!

the REALLY tall building is the IFC building (International Finance Centre) - one of the tallest in the world.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I meant to post this as soon as we knew it... and then we didn't know how to write it because addresses seem a bit more complicated here! so, copying off our gas bill, this is what you get:

Flat G, 11/F, Block 14
Cherry Mansions
9 Shung King St
Hung Hom, Kowloon
Hong Kong

and for those of you interested in making international calls (haha), the numbers are:
kristin: +852 9684 2806
grant: +852 9136 1317

until the next time...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

and back again...

we've got about 12 hours left in the states on this trip!

it's been a crazy week... lots of emotions, lots of ups and downs, but also some good times with family and friends. we've stayed up late a lot with people coming over to the house just to hang out. the memorial service went really well. close to 160 people came, many of whom grant had never met but who knew todd well. i even got to see my parents which was nice.

on the other side of the world, we've had some people who have been just wonderful to us - moving us out of the hotel, waiting for our mattress to be delivered, stocking our fridge, and just generally taking care of us with love and prayers. it's amazing how people show love even though they barely know us. we really did find a great community to be a part of - both ICS and union church.

as for me, i'm ready to get back, and GET SETTLED!!! to finish moving into our apartment, laying things out, setting them up, and then settling into a routine with work, life, etc. some regularity will be nice :-)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

returning to the states

kristin and i are making our way back to the united states for a quick trip into rockford, IL. you may be thinking, "wow, they didn't stay in hong kong very long!" or "they must really like experiencing jet lag!" sadly, we have a much graver reason for returning. my father, todd franke, died suddenly, and we're returning to pay him his last respects and to bring some closure as a family. please keep us in your prayers during this time.

Friday, July 27, 2007

3 countries in 2 days

i'll let grant write his own post on what life has been like for us lately, but i thought i'd start!

today is july 27... which means we've been married for 13 days.

the wedding was fantastic. someday, i'll figure out how to put pictures online, since i don't currently have my own computer yet, nor do i have professional photos... and all our non-professional photos are on cd's packed in suitcases. however, if you're a facebooker, check out our profiles, and click on the "more pictures" link to see a bunch courtesy of lindsey muntz, william campbell, carrie waterman, and gina leon.

monday morning the 16th, our saint kim sawusch got us to the airport in time for our 5:30 flight. the flight to costa rica was smooth, and so worth every penny.

-an awesome resort and pools and scenery overlooking the bay at playa hermosa
-having our own kitchen to cook whenever we wanted
-days on the beach
-renting a car and exploring
-a beach massage
-an adventure tour including ziplining in the canopy, the longest waterslide in costa rica, horseback riding, and a volcanic spa in the middle of the jungle - thermal springs, volcanic mud, steam room... sweet.
-hanging out with megan nelson and meghan number 2 from minnesota

and very much more, but that's at least a start!

we arrived back in the states on monday night the 23rd, and we had a surprise meeting with my parents! steven wilco and kim sawusch picked us up and drove us back to kim's house, where we spent the night, and where we had left our suitcases. we spent the evening (or late night) telling stories and visiting with my parents, steven and kim, and grant's mom and scott.
tuesday morning came, and we were back to the airport at 8 am to check in our bags... 5 suitcases, 2 of which were overweight...and we didn't get charged for any of it!

the 16 hour flight passed relatively quickly. i suppose i spent the first 6 hours reading harry potter though! on the flight, we also met several new teachers and their families. we arrived in hong kong at about 4 pm on wednesday afternoon and were greeted by some ics folks who escorted us to our hotel.

since then, we've obtained our temporary hong kong id cards, had some great chinese food, opened a bank account, and begun flat hunting. this may prove to be more difficult than anticipated, at least in finding a place that splits the difference well, and that is available. prayers are most appreciated in this department!

i'm excited to get out of a hotel room, and actually feel stable here.

this weekend, we're heading to union church ( to meet people that i'll be working with and spending time with in the next few years. should be good!

the jet lag is almost over.... but not quite!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

3 days.... or 2 weeks

welcome to the exploits of us :-)

hopefully, we'll post fairly regularly as our lives unfold wherever on this wide globe God takes us.

for now, we have 3 days until the first life-shattering event takes place : marriage!
and 2 weeks from today, we will be arriving in Hong Kong for the first time to experience the start of our life together!

love- kristin