And a Merry Christmas from our pets Jubee, Kobee and Rudolph the rusted reindeer!
I cannot believe that in 92 hours, we will be MIA
(Missing in Action) in order to go on MIA (Missions in Asia)!
I feel like I'm leaving this life (in the U.S.) to continue another life (on the other side of the planet). I feel like I'll be warped into a different world for 480 hours and when I return from the "other side", it will be New Year's Day, 2009 here!
I already miss my birdies....and family...and all of you! But I know that God will teach life lessons during this trip and I look forward to sharing with y'all what we learned there! I suppose the most precious gift we can give to is the gift of acceptance, forgiveness, and precious time with our loved ones, and even with those we have yet to meet!
With a grateful heart for all the Lord has blessed us with this year, despite the shaky economy and plummeting stocks in our portfolio, we are bringing the Good News to our brothers and sisters in the churches of Shan-Hai Guan (Mountain-Ocean-View) in the city of Jee-Long (chicken coop). [Note: The Mountain/Ocean view is not one we envision in Santa Monica pier, but rather, "blessed land" located by the ocean cliffs, or cemetary ground...good view for our dearly departed, I suppose! Yikes!).
Thank you for your love and prayers as we embark on our journey. Yesterday hubby was hit with stomach flu and fever, but we know that God is in control and will take care of us even if these doggoneit winter bugs are bugging us.
Oh, here is a few videos of our little baseball boy. The first clip is a batting practice blooper (can you find me and mei mei)? Feel free to turn on your speakers too!
How is everyone doing? Did you have a good Thanksgiving?
We had 3 days of continual feast...total of 2 Turkeys, 2 Steaks, and a Big Hot pot! I'm afraid to even get close to a bathroom scale!
On Thanksgiving day, I washed down my delicious thanksgiving birdie until he was squeaky clean! He, however, would not allow me to stuff him, so I decided to leave him 'as is'. Take a look at our little turkey!
Oh wait, we have TWO birds.... The boy bird above weights 0.125 lbs and the big girl below weighs only 0.5 lbs! I overheard them saying grace before their holiday meal and it went something like this: "Thank you, Lord, that I'm NOT a Turkey."
p.s. Guess who Kobee and Jubee had for Thanksgiving dinner? Yup, their RELATIVES......(aka: leftover turkey)! Many people didn't know that parrots are actually omnivorous, and eat meat too! So beware!
There's no school all week for him, lucky kid.... so we dropped off little sister, got a haircut, and ran for the theaters! Tomorrow Caleb will be 7 years old! My Turkey boy!! I still remember 7 years ago, I had a big Thanksgiving potluck lunch at church and the next day I was in labor ^_^ I guess there was no more room in the tummy inn for him!
p.s. We were going to cancel today's afternoon plan to pick up hubby from work and head to Disneyland, since it poured last night. BUT, we woke up to sunny skies! So we will stay the plan and head to Disney....before our annual pass expires in December! The "IT'S A SMALL WORLD" ride FINALLY opened....after 11.5 months of renovation! That's Abbie's favorite ride and she didn't get to ride it ALL YEAR!
Happy thanksgiving, everyone!
Over the weekend, I took the kids to Mission Viejo library. During checkout, I saw a bright yellow flyer on the wall.
It reads, "Holiday Survival Workshop
Group meeting once a week until January.
Meet at library lounge."
I was wondering why a workshop would be needed for such a merry time? Then it dawned on me that this is undoubtedly the most stressful time of the year! If we had unresolved relationship issues, then this would indeed be the time these cans of worms surface.
Recipe for the Holidays:
Expectation + past slights/grudges = Holiday madness.
I took Caleb to Target today and we listened to KOST 103.5FM on the radio...The Christmas songs already started playing! One song lyric was very true...it sang, "The best gift I could give to you is the gift of forgiveness. And the best gift you can give to me is to forgive." The closer we are with our beloved, the more likely we will accidentally step on their toes, and vice versa (i.e. Ever been in a crowded elevator before?) ^_^
So instead of letting the misguided feelings fester, it is best to nip it in the bud and communicate our feelings. This allows others to know our likes, dislikes, what works for us and what overwhelms us, since each of us have different energy levels & boiling points.
In this difficult economy, everyone's stressed, depressed, pressed for time/money, and celebrating is the last thing on our minds. Yet I know that our loved ones are a gift, and being with them (you all) is a blessing. Happiness is a choice, and when I began to count my blessings (despite all the bad news), there really are lots to be thankful for!
The good, the bad, the unknows, all this too shall pass. In the very very very end, God is in control, and everything will be okay.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!^_^
I just went to the mailbox and noticed we got a big brown envelope from my mom! Inside was a big colorful farm magazine and mom's letter that reads,
Today at our church there was a wonderful opportunity!
I gave $$ to Heifer Int'l for a cow for Caleb and Abbie's Christmas gift. This is better than giving money, because this little female cow can work and provide milk! Enjoy!
So mom is giving us a cow! ^_^
Actually, in the brochure, it says "Heifer", to be exact! What a clever idea, good job mom! But can you believe it? A cow to give milk and work our land?
I came into the house and told Caleb that grandma is sending us a cow for Christmas! His eyes lit up and he said, "Wow, that's great! We won't have to buy milk!"
Then his eyes dimmed and he looked worried. "Where are we going to put it?" Looking at our yard, he said, "There's not enough grass for it to eat! We need to plant more grass seeds right away! Who will care for it when we go on our mission trip?"
I reassured him that it'll be ok, we'll put the cow in our front yard, and it can roam across the neighborhood and get fed that way (and we'll all save on gardener expense). ^_^ Of course, we have all these wonderful neighbors whom we can rotate "heifer-sitting" duties! Perhaps we can have cow-milking sessions and moo parties! I suppose we do live in Ladera 'ranch' and we do own a farmhouse, so it's oh so natural to raise moo moo here, don't you think? ^_^
[Disclaimer: Nobody tell the homeowner's association about this, promise?]
Kobee and Jubee birds (and hubby) will be really surprised. I haven't told them yet (so far only Caleb and I know about this). Imagine one more animal in our family circus!
Here's what the heifer looks like:
Oops, .....sorry, wrong picture ...
Ok, Here's what the heifer looks like:
I proceeded to read the magazine from Heifer International then it dawned on me that the little cow wasn't coming to our home! She was to be donated to the less fortunate in the Philippines (or Uganda)! One heifer can bring milk for the whole family and work the land too! In just one day she can produce 4-5 gallons of milk (hey, no more Costco for us!) which can become cheese, yogurt, and the extra milk can be sold as income! So the cow was donated in the name of Abbie and Caleb....
I decided to name our little Christmas cow: CABBIE
(although Caleb suggested "MILKY")!
Thanks, ma! And early Merry Christmas to you! We'll be on our Mission trip in mid-December and I'm sure we have lots of surprises waiting for us there as well!
Thank you all for praying for our upcoming trip!
Sigh....why are we having 90+ degrees temp in the middle of November? And Brush Fire AGAIN? This is getting old! The past few years, whenever there's any inkling of wind, there is brushfire, and not just one but several fires burning at the same time. It's the pyromaniac's Christmas whenver there are high temps, low humidity, and windy conditions. Oh brother! The fires burned places like Brea, on the street where I used to live (in an apt) before I got married. Another fire burned in Anaheim hills, close to where I also lived (in a house), after I got married.
Hm.... I think the fire is just following me everywhere! ~*_*~
Ladera Ranch is brush fire heaven too, and our house is 20 feet from Cleveland National Forest (border)! Aye...I guess that's the cost of living in beautiful 'middle-of-nowhere'! Fire also burning near Diamond Bar, where mom lives, so I have to keep an eye on mom and beg her repeatedly NOT to go sweep ashes in the driveway while the embers are still flying.... She's too tidy! Here are a few pictures of the aftermath of the fires that I find interesting....
The picture above is of the fire in Anaheim Hills, very close to where we lived prior to moving to Ladera Ranch. Good thing we don't live there anymore! Mark's big bro lives there so we invited them to come hide out, but they stuck it out and the fire moved north to my mom instead.
This picture is of a home in Selmar (in L.A.), which just hours before was 'For Sale'. I guess the house is no longer up for sale!
This is the picture of Sam Sung Korean church in Brea, taken at 1 a.m. early this morning. When we woke up, hubby was astonished the church was still standing (as he watched the news 6 hours prior, he thought the church would be gone for sure!)
Hubby kept muttering, "This is definately a divine intervention!" This hillside church stood in the path of a blazing fire coming down the hillside, and everything burned except this church!
I was thinking about this year, and it is hard to believe that we are almost done with 2008! It is probably one of the most difficult year to give thanks for, as our country goes through struggles not seen in decades. But in whatever circumstances, I know that there are plenty to be thankful for ~(^_^)~
When we were in Utah, we went up a really flimsy (and scary) lift called the "Peruvian Express" up from Alpine slide, the ski resort we stayed at.
It was a 15 minute ride up to 11,000 ft. above sea level, and hubby, one who loved hiking yet was afraid of heights, developed really cold hands the whole time en route. We went into a very famous "Peruvian Tunnel" after reaching the top of the Snowbird Summit, and inside the tunnel it was freeeeeeezing, like the freezer in Costco. *_* We walked in the 3/4 mile tunnel, and it was wet, dark, and cold. It felt like an eternity before we reached the end of the tunnel. A bright light ahead was our only hope and motivation for moving forward. It was so bright when we reached there! And warm too, with beautiful hills and flowers awaiting us at the other end!
This year totally felt like a dark, freezing tunnel, as the economy turned ice cold and people suffered terribly financially and in relaionships. *_* But we know that at the end of the tunnel there are bright, beautiful things waiting for us. Things we cannot fathom yet, but God already prepared them in advance if we would just hang in there, keep going, and press on. We will look back and see that God has carried us through, and never left our side when we feel alone in the darkness.
So I'm thankful in 2008 for...
Support....of loved ones in my life and brothers and sisters in my neighborhood, cyber world, and church. It is through your encouragement that I continue to press on and experience God's goodness...through you!
* * * * * * * * *
Strength...Health is something I took for granted until I nearly lost it. When I regained it, I treasured it like never before!
* * * * * * * *
Stability....I've never been more thankful for the roof over my head, food on my table, and resources like medical care and a job (hubby's) to pay the bills . These days, whenever there's a little bit of wind, there's a big brushfire, like this morning we woke up watching Symore Firestorm burning hundreds of houses. $$$ is tighter than ever and people are losing homes and jobs.
Having food (which is very expensive now), shelter, and medical care are big luxuries nowadays. When we go on countryside mission trip in mid-December, I know we will be even more grateful for the things we take for granted here in the United States.
* * * * * * * *
Salvation.... is the best news in the world! No matter what happens here in this world, we know that at the end of the tunnel, there's a beautiful paradise waiting for us! I can't wait!! In the meantime, I will do my best with my responsibilities here, and I hope that my Lord will one day say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant!"
HAPPY THANKGIVING MY DEARS! ~^_^~ I LOVE YOU!
# of days until Mission Possible ~ _26__!
I was thinking of the chinese saying, "Teeth and Tongue are close together, they inevitably will bite each other!" On Tuesday it was Caleb and mommy's "date day" because he had no school on Veteran's day. We played baseball together at Cox Sports park and we had a blast using a real aluminum bat and MLB baseball (the real thing!)
When it was time for him to pitch, I swatted my bat and whoa! I actually hit the ball! It zipped past me and aimed straight at my bewildered pitcher. The ball smacked him straight on the forhead and knocked him out. He dropped and fell down, then a big teardrop slid down his cheek. He said, "Why did you hit me, ma??" I apologized profusely and to relieve my guilt, I took him to Rubino's pizza, Golden Spoon's frozen yogurt, and begged for forgiveness by offering his favorite red vines. After all the goodies, he seemed content and may have even have forgotten his earlier trauma. As luck would have it, at the end of the day as I tucked him in, he said, "Ma, remember today you hit me with the Major League baseball?" (^_^) So they never forget, do they?
(And hubby didn't help when he said, "What? You let him pitch the MLBaseball to you? You could have killed the boy!!" But the last time I looked, he was pitching the same ball to the boy too!! Hm....)
Then last night, while brushing Abbie's teeth, I put my index finger in her mouth to clean her teeth and CRUUUUUUNCH, her chompers took hold of my finger and I screamed and jumped in pain!!! She said, "Mama, why did you put your finger in my teeth!?" I muttered and screamed in pain...She was surprised and so was I, but we both knew this was an accident. So I guess when we love and spend time with our beloved, sometimes pain may just happen!
The Taiwanese word for LOVE is "Tiah", homonym for "Pain", so when we love, we may accidentally cause or experience pain too! I bet the one who knows what this feels like the most is our Lord Jesus... because He loves us to death, literally!
Wow, we are half way through November! Yesterday hubby asked me why I haven't blogged in so many days... I was surprised he even noticed! ^_^ He said he will periodically 'check on me' to see if I blogged. Hmm...so he IS spying on me! Silly guy. Well, this morning I woke up with lots of noise. I heard a blood-curling "OWWWW! Ayeee!" coming from next to me. Not sure what hubby's up to but after he screamed and tossed his CPAP mask aside, he blurted, "I am having a leg cramp!!!" Well, I hope that he will be ok for his big hike coming up...he'll be in the mountaintops and who will carry him down if that happens again?
During breakfast, I hear shrieking again....coming from the same man. "What now?" I asked, thinking this guy must be having a bad day, and it was only 7:30am! He muttered as he looked at the red numbers on his computer... "Dow Jones is down again!! Now I feel the urge to quote a Bible verse from Job....". I gestured for him to go ahead and speak, and he said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb and naked I will depart.The Lord gaveth and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord!!" I was thinking, "Should I quote the wife of Job?" (^_^)
Apparently hubby's riches are dwindling each day and he was just expressing his sentiments.... well said though, since everyone's suffering financially this year and we just have to trust the Lord to provide for us in this economy.
Going to watch the California "Shake-Out" at 10am on the news now...
If Obama is anti-war, then we will see less support from the United States for Israel. Then Israel may indeed, like the prophet Zechariah prophesized, be alone.
I looked at Pastor Jack Hayford's website below to learn a little about the support of Israel by the children of God (Christians), and if we as a country stop supporting Israel, we could see the end-time prophecies (in the book of Revelations) further unfold before our eyes!
Getting ready for ballet class! ^_^
See her funny butterfly dance for yourself! ^_^
Well, there we have it, captured on tape! Hubby just saw the kids laundry fight and caught it all on his camera. The kids are having a 'throw mama's clothes at each other fight" right before our eyes!
That just goes to show....every family has their DIRTY LAUNDRY!! See it all for yourself! ^_^
Happy Halloween everyone! We'll go to Mission Viejo mall for trick-or-treating AND voting, 2 birds with one stone! Can't believe this month is coming to an end! We're gonna head for Mission Possible in Taiwan in another 5.5 weeks! Wow! ^_^
Unexpected Words from Abbie this week:
Today Abbie will go to ballet class....in her Butterfly Halloween outfit! It will be interesting! There is no school tomorrow or Friday, so we will definately be keeping busy! ^_^
This morning I got a call at 8am from Caleb's school administrator. I was called in to be a substitute student supervisor. That just means you're a 'playground teacher' and watch the kids play (and fight, and tattle-tale on each other). ^_^ This is not a great week to start your first day of new job, because the schedule is all messed up. There are teacher/parent conferences all week, no school Thurs/Fri, and no one knows what the bell schedule's supposed to be today. Everyone in the office ran around, confused but happy, and no one noticed my prompt arrival. ^_^ I reported at 10:30am sharp and proceeded to watch the kids eat lunch, clean up their litter, raise their hands with "peace-sign" signaling they're ready to play, and dismissed them. Then they played in the blazing 90 degree sun until the bell rang and another group of kids (different grade level) came out and I repeated the 'supervising' process all over again.
It's so interesting to learn on-the-job, as kids came up to me with different requests, like "please remove him from the tetherball court! He doesn't know how to play!", or tattle-taling on friends writing on bathroom floors. One child showed me her foot and then proceeded to ask me to tie her shoelaces. I didn't know playground supervisors did all these things! I opened up soy sauce packets for one child eating gourmet california rolls too! I had to break up a little fight between 4 boys and threaten them that they'll be 'timed-out' if they don't play gently. My 6 yr old later reminded me that 'time out' is for toddlers, I should've said, "You're gonna be Benched at the cafeteria!" if they were misbehaving. "That works better," he said. I even got my own 'whistle' to blow (since sharing would be unhygenic, said the office manager)! Next time I'll use it on Caleb and Abbie when they fight in the house! ^_^
Other than being a good listener on the playground, I had to treat a head banged by a tetherball and clean up a bruised knee (caused by the child stepping on himself with his other foot and falling down). I was wearing my Angels jersey and must have looked like a groundhog, standing on my toes looking to and fro. By 11:30am it was getting really, really hot, and I needed to go to the bathroom badly. But kids of different grade level kept coming, and leaving, and more came and went. By 12:30 noon, I was glad everyone made it back to their classroom safely, and I signed-out and brought Caleb to Swirlz frozen yogurt to reward ourselves for a job well done today. The parent-teacher conference went really well too! Yoohoo!
I was so !#@*#@$!!#$ that someone would be so rude! Obviously no one was going anywhere in that street condition, and I was looking around for the bldg. number, so what's his problem?
After I parked, I strolled with Abbie toward Labcorp, still fuming at the unfriendly stranger. I wanted to curse the living daylights out of him, as I recollected the look in his face. Then I was convicted by the holy spirit (aka: the angel on your right shoulder....) who reminded me that instead of retaliating at his rude remarks, pray buckets of blessings on this guy and drench him!
Why? This guy doesn't deserve it!
But I felt the Lord saying, "Obviously, this guy is angry and anxious, and his health is probably compromised because of it. And his frustration easily spills over to his family, friends and coworkers, so pray for his wife & kids, who suffer more than a stranger like you would. He's probably late to work, and if he's part of the unfortunate 7.5%, he probably doesn't have a job to go to. And the best thing is, YOU were not the one who shot angry words at him!"
So after that, I realized that there is much to be thankful for, and that those who are mean have struggles that we do not know. I learned to 'not show my annoyance at once, but to overlook an offense' (proverbs something...). It's so hard, as anyone can easily explode over a small trigger, thus road rage, domestic, workplace and school violence are all too common. There was an interesting formula I saw back in 2004 that goes like this:
Trigger (hurt, rejection, unpleasant event) + Anger X Self-pity =
Aggression (towards others) or Depression (inwards)
Plug in any event triggering strong negative emotion or hurt (i.e. unmet expectations, rejection, unpleasant words, etc.), add Anger and multiply by Self-pity, and you're pretty much headed towards Depression! Amazing! The human emotion is so complex, isn't it?
[Note: This is different,however, from Grief, which is the natural process in which people adjust to the loss of loved ones over time].
So God didn't create rude people after all! ^_^ They just chose to act (and react) that way !
Yesterday we went to the pediatrician at 10am, but the doctor was NOT IN! Arughhh! They mis-scheduled Abbie's appointment to Tuesday instead, and the doc was at a conference in the A.M.. So we ended up rescheduling to 1:30pm. We still had ~3+ hours to kill so I went to my Well Woman exam upstairs, then to the Shops at Mission Viejo ~(^_^)~ And boy, did I shop!
I had my very un-fun, spread-eagle exam, witnessed in full view by my 3 yr. old who sat right behind the doctor. Afterwards, she looked petrified, backed off towards the door and screamed, "MAMA! I don't want to check my Wee wee....pleeease!" I told her she doesn't need to, and she still looked at me suspiciously. "Please, ma, no check wee wee....". I laughed hysterically. I explained that Dr. Jaucian is mommy's doctor, not hers!
While paying my co-pay, the receptionist mentioned, "Your sister in law just called in for an appointment too! This week!" ^_^ I'm not sure why but I immediately dialed her home with my cell phone and announced, "This is Dr. Jaucian's Office! I'm calling you back because...." She interrupted me and proceeded to confess some personal health issues of hers (omitted for privacy) and after 3 minutes of 'chatting', I blurted out laughing, "It's ME, sis! Can't you tell it's my voice?!" I guess I was in prankster mode yesterday...bad bad! I hope she'll talk to me next time I see her!
OH, here's another guilt "trip" I made along the way....
We were at MV mall waiting for Abbie's McNuggets and I (guilty!) looked at the Monopoly game rule brochure for a tad too long. I turned around and Abbie was gone! After 4 minutes I started to try to recall what she was wearing, 'cuz I may need to officially tell the mall security I screwed up and lost my 3 yr old (again....). I decided to try the other side of the food court loop and spotted a little girl, holding her bottle and staring at the Lemon and Corndog cartoon on the colorful Muscle Beach wall. Like a loving mother, I then dogged her for 15 minutes about how she shouldn't disappear on mommy, even if mommy isn't paying attention.
She finally did get her flu and DTP shots in the afternoon, but funny, she didn't cry when the needle went in. She just blurted, "OWWW" and gave the nurse an evil eye afterwards. Doctor Kim waltzed in joyfully and said, "Hi my dear Abbie! How are you?" And when she obliged to his examination requests, he continued, "What a Good boy you are! Good Boy!" I couldn't hold back any longer but blurted, "Dr. Kim! We are a "GIRL", not a boy!" And uncertain if he understood me, he said, "Oh sure, good boy! Uh, Good girl!" I can't reckon how one can mistaken the gender of a little one in a bright pink shirt, pink striped legging and a high-pitched giggle?!%$%$
But we LOOOVE Dr. Kim and had him watch over our precious angels for 6+ years so we'll forgive him... again. (^_^) Health is the most important thing, I've come to realize. I sent some friends a weblink about Pastor Rick Warren (Saddleback Church pastor) whose daughter-in-law had discovered she had brain tumor last week. This diagnosis is just 2 months after she delivered her first baby. It's so hard for a young family to go through this...and she is only 25 years old! *_*
Will keep their family in prayer...I guess Pastor Greg Laurie and Pastor Rick has been going through a lot of challenges lately. May the Lord give them strength as they continue to share God's love with the world....
Back to my 20 loads of laundry....
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