Monday, February 27, 2012

Hong Kong bound...and a free gallon of milk!

Yes, the rumors are true: Mike has accepted a teaching position at the International Christian School in Hong Kong for the upcoming school year. We are at once extremely excited and still somewhat stunned as he went from being jobless next year (his choice) to having three job offers in a week. (Note to teachers--if you can't find a job here, apply overseas.) The difference between this and traditional mission work is that they actually pay you a salary as opposed to our having to raise support. Given the general equality of the various teaching positions, we actually ended up making our final decision on what might seem at first glance to be somewhat minor "perks:" a cross country team for the boys, a furnished apartment that is actually on the 7th floor of the school building (see above), and health insurance that covered our college-aged daughter. Salary wise, we were quite happy. It is less than the average pay for public school teachers with Mike's experience, but about on par with Christian schools here in the states, IF you take into account the 25-50% higher cost of living that HK supposedly has. I don't buy this completely after talking to some of the families who have moved there. I think it's a lot like the US...there are many different lifestyles...and if I can be frugal here, I can be frugal there.

Add to this a great health and dental plan (better than here, actually), flights back and forth to HK for the whole family every two years, a housing stipend (after the first year with a furnished apt.), free private school tuition for the boys and various other perks and we're thinking that this frugal mama will do just fine even if there aren't any coupons or yard sales. If we can sell our home here, which we are going to try to do, then we will be completely debt free. (I soooo want to call in to Dave Ramsey and do the 'WE'RE DEBT FREE' yell...)

The school, ICS, is taught completely in English and Mike will be teaching AP US History and Economics. ICS has a wonderful reputation in HK and the average SAT score is far higher than that of schools here in the states. As of this moment, I don't have a job, but if I do not qualify for any positions at the school, I will most likely volunteer there, at least part time. And no, I don't want to attempt to pass the nursing exam in Hong Kong!

 What will be different? One of my friends here said that when she thinks of Asia, she thinks of people living in dresser drawers. I had to smile. I'm actually really looking forward to downsizing dramatically.  We do have a balcony; I've already packed tomatoe and basil seeds:). This is what our very IKEA-ish kitchen and bath look like:

So, what isn't there to love? Well, there are always goodbyes and that is never easy; especially leaving a daughter in college. We are planning on her flying over to visit during Christmas break, and we will spend about 6 weeks in the states each summer, so in reality we'll see her almost as much as we do now, given that she is going to college 7 hours away.

We do LOVE our home here, but 6 bedrooms is a little large, and when our boys graduate, we will want something smaller anyway. We are updating our kitchen and then will put it on the market. If it sells, great. If not, then we will try to rent it. One big perk of remodeling the kitchen now is that I have already cleaned out and packed up all my cabinets, leaving out only the bare essentials, and I have a huge yard sale pile! So, while Mike will be paid, we do plan to sell off some items in order to have an emergency fund and to fly Abby back and forth. We'll keep you posted on loot you can buy:)

Here's to our new home town:

Meanwhile, back in High Point, I'm still on the lookout for all the deals I can get, especially now! So here's a great one for you:

Who can't use a coupon for a free gallon of milk?? (I used mine today at Wal-Mart!) This site is giving away 10,000 coupons a day until March 3rd, so try another day if it doesn't work the first time. Just go to this link and follow the do have to buy 3 breakfast items to get the free gallon. That should be easy enough:

If that's not enough incentive, try cheaper breakfast items:  add a $4 off 4 boxes of Kelloggs cereal, $1.25 off any I Can't Believe It's Not Butter or $1 off Activia yogurt at  If your zip doesn't work, try 99218.

Happy Frugal Shopping! Oh, and I have teamed up with a blogging group to bring you even better deals and hopefully add to our income in HK. More on that in another post, but be sure to subscribe to my site so you don't miss any posts.


  1. It is so awesome to hear how God is working in your exciting!!!!! Many prayers for you and your family as you step into this new chapter of your lives.....hugs!!Suzanne

  2. What a journey you are about to embark. I'm so very excited for you all. God be with you as you minister on the other side of the world. You all are a blessing and a testimony to those that know you and those that are about to know you :) Kelly

  3. I was surprised to hear that you're going to Hong Kong. I'm am sure that you will have a great ministry there. It is good to get out in His world to see the need and to have God speak to your heart for some ministry. The Lord will meet every need that you will ever have. HE did about a couple of years ago around Christmas. Let all of us to realize that HE knows every need of each of His people.
    God bless you as you prepare to go on your way where you dn't know what lays ahead but as God told the Israelites you win the battles "Little by little". You know that is the way you do it. So go do your part and your will move ahead, little by little.
    Psalm 138:7
    Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.
    D & M

  4. How you getting along in Hong Kong now?