Lessons from my Super Duper Sunflower! (^_^)

This summer I didn't pay much attention to my sunflowers because we had an enormous vacation planned...3500 drive from here ending at Vancouver/Victoria Canada and back! Unbeknownst to us, our sunflowers grew gigantic without any human help! They grew true to their name, "Giant Mammoth"!

I remember the one in the yard came from a tiny seed smaller than the size of my pinky fingernail....and when we left for our trip, she was just 2 feet tall. When we returned, she was up to my shoulders! Now she's 1.5 story tall!

Soon (3 days later), her head got so big that she was leaning forward with her head bowed! This struck me as God's way of reminding me that, "When you start to have a big head, you must learn to be humble!"

And it never ceases to amaze me that....Sunflower seeds...DO come from Sunflowers! I just never knew where they were, exactly! Abbie and I noticed that when you 'de-face' the sunflower head by removing little yellow follicles, inside you get a huge geometrically symmetrical sunflower seeds placed in perfect rows! It showed me how thoughtful God was in giving us delicious foods after we get to enjoy the flowers from which they come from! So we tried them! Abbie LOVED eating them, and she closed her big eyes as she enjoyed the crisy yummy Organic sunflower seeds!

This summer roller-coastered between heat wave and cool windy days, much like the stock market fluctuations we've recently experienced. But between all these uncertainties, I've begun to look for the ups amidst off the the downs. Without the scorching heat, we would not have the gigantic, breathtaking Sunflowers, nor scrumptious sunflower seeds to nibble on today. Nor would the beautiful yellow finches and fat (scary) juicy flourescent-green catepillars come and visit (devour) our delicious, super sweet red tomatoes)!

Our yucky visitor

Sweet Healthy Snacks

Super sweet tiny tomatoes

Grape tomatoes

Yummy strawberries


On Your Mark, Get Set, SPARRRR!! (^_^)

This is the first week the kids officially begin Tae Kwon Do!

It's exciting because it's a sport the kids actually do together, and since they love fighting so much, I decided to let them do it professionally. Speaking of fighting...... Lately I got to thinking....why do these sibs fight & bicker so much? Yet when one of them is not around, the other mopes around looking sad/bored! I guess that's the sibling 'dance' - the constant ebbing and waning of feelings. At home and with each other, they feel safe to unleash their lowest and highest emotions, without fear of rejection or judgement. It is in the home where people accept you as you are, and you don't have to act like class talent, super scholar, or star athlete. Hence, this summer I've learned to also accept that the sibling duo will continue to test one another with their 'true self'. After all, home is where  you can let yourself all hang out, and family memeber still love you for the way you are!

So this ATA Martial Arts training, twice a week, will help 'bond' the 2 peas in a pod....  The class consists of a good combo of  strength/endurance exercises, learning respect for others, learning self-control and responsibility, and socializing with other kids too! So we will take on this challenge for 1 year, and see how it goes! Good-bye to Ballet for awhile, and watch out world...for my 2 karate kids (Abbie especially)!
This Summer is So hot! Here is Abbie's alternate karate wear

One problem I do see (drawback for moms) is that the kids (well, Abbie) know how to block me (and kick back) when I try to swat her when she misbehaves! Maybe I should take mommy karate to counter her attacks!


Happy Birthday dear Brother Davy!

Dear Brother Davy, Sister Joan, and Sweet Sabrina ~

Happy Birthday, Davy (In Taiwan, where you were born ~ right now it's your birth day ^_^) ! The Lord bless you and your family richly!! May your dreams and Birthday Wish come true!

As you continue to serve the Lord, remember that He loves you with all his heart and life, and has in store for you unimaginable plans and gifts!

We had a great time at your home! Thank you for the seafood fest, and for showing us your beautiful finches, Koi fishes, fig trees and magic tricks! We love chatting with brother Philip too!

God bless you! Have a Very Happy Birthday! God bless your family!

Sophie, Mark, Caleb and Abbie


Cirque De Soleil Siblings ~ Caleb & Abbie's 1st Circus Camp

I was flipping through Orange County Register, and an ad from Cal Elite Gym's caught my eye: "Circus and Aerial Camp, Fun for Kids of All Ages"! I though...."Hey, it's a very good deal and my monkeys can go together!" I even took the extra precaution to call the gym and ask them if a 9 yr old Boy would enjoy this special kind of camp. The teenage receptionist cherrily answered, "Of COURSE your son will enjoy it!! Sign him up NOW!" And so I did. To my surprise on day 1, we were greeted in a small room with 2 female gym teachers and 17 girls whose ages ranged from 6 to 14! There was NOT a single boy in sight!

Hiding my surprise, I nonchalantly told Caleb that, "Oh, the boys may arrive TOMORROW. Have a good time kids!" And ran as quickly as I could. I wasn't bad actually. When I picked them up 3 hrs. later, they actually all had a great time! They even went up fabric ropes like they do in Cirque de Soleil, and climb up high trapeeze and did aerial stunts!

I was surprised that they actually did things that you see in Ringling Brothers, and Caleb was balancing on a huge ball like the elephants on "Curious George" episodes! It was a super fun 5 day camp, and the experience will surely be another unforgettable one in the kids' memories. Though it was a very unusual camp, and Caleb was a bit on the minority when it came to gender, the two siblings learned to cope with different arrangements and adapted super well!

On the last day of camp, they did a "Surfin' USA" Show, and Caleb ended up being the Top Dude, enjoying his spotlight, albeit short-lived, as "Mr. Lifeguard"! Hey, now THAT is every guy's dream!!