Making our own 雞蛋糕 (^_^) egg babycake!

Since our Canada trip, I've been craving the yummy 雞蛋 egg  babycakes that we had at the nightmarket in Vancouver. So when I saw this babycake machine while shopping, I snatched it!

Funny thing was, I didn't use this machine for the past 9 months! It was daunting to begin a big project and I'm totally a dummie at baking.....so this babycake maker decorated my kitchen floor until I finally enlisted 2 buddies to help me get the recipe going!

After researching the chinese dessert recipe online, I bought the ingredients and we took the plunge! So we made the batter, threw the goo into the babycake machine, and Voila!

Abbie came home and made her own cake pops....they actually taste like  ~ egg custard!

Her response wasn't what I expected! (^_*) She said, "Yuck!" It's actually pretty good, trust me!

Caleb tells Abbie, "Mom's gonna take pix of me and caption it: Caleb's taste
response to egg cake!"    (Wow, this kid read my mind!)

Ugh...it tastes okay mom! And stop taking pix of me!


Caleb's Recital ~ During Lunar Eclipse!

Today in the late afternoon, Caleb had his Recital....during the lunar eclipse! I think that accounts for why his "Arrival to Earth" song was so disastrous! (^_^)

Hubby said his heart stopped (several times) when Caleb lost his place (several times) in his Transformers 3 theme song "Arrival to Earth"! It sounded like aliens came and paused....and paused....after the landing!

Song 1: Thundershower (Goldston)
Song 2: Arrival to Earth (Transformers 3 theme song ~ Jablonsky)

Last night was the lunar eclipse! Maybe we should blame his blunders on THAT eh? (^_^) The food was DELICIOUS thanks to the parents who brought yummy dinner! He officially began 'tweenie puberty' in February (10+ yrs old!) so now we're just riding the waves. Since he may change his mind about everything (hobbies, sports, food) every hour, we're not expecting him to play piano or basketball or eat tea boiled eggs forever....we're going on a day-by-day basis now! That's why these videos are so precious....'cuz who knows what these kids will be doing TOMORROW?! But come to think of it, this is a super hard song. There are tons of sharps and flats and exceed mama Soph's piano skill 10 times! (^_^) Good job, boy! Love you and proud you did your best!



You Are A Precious Pearl ~(^_^)~ Never Give Up!

To: All my beloved on 5/15/12

Subject: Pain produces the Prettiest Pearls (^_^) ~ Don't Give up!

Hi Sweeties!:x lovestruck
Thank you for your love, friendship, and patience (esp. in reading soph's super long emails. Maybe read when you are waiting in line or for kids to finish their after school activities :"> blushing) !
One thing that intrigued me most was when I was in the deepest valley of depression (mid Feb-early April), the Lord put in my heart: "Tell everyone about what you are going through right now. Share your struggles and don't refuse help when others reach out to you."
"What? :-O
 surprise Tell everyone that I am a walking zombie, 98% not functioning, my brain is mush, that I take 10 minutes standing in my closet unable to make a simple decision of picking what to wear, or struggle for 8 minutes trying to make toast and butter? That I had insomnia for 2.5 months, couldn't stop eating and gained 8 pounds? And also that I want to walk out of the house, never come back, and can't stand even my own kids? :-w waiting I don't think so.....".
"Yes, tell them ALL that you are going through right now. Tell everyone on your street, in your church, in your extended family, those from college, and don't forget to tell the kids' teachers too", the Lord whispered.
"No way! X( angryThat's so embarrasing! And what if I tell all the neighbors on my street who don't know you? And if I'm like....so messed up....who's gonna want to be a Christian? Who would believe in YOU? That will just embarrass you, and no one should do that to God, right? I should just keep quiet, no one will ever know!"
"Just do it. Trust me." :x lovestruck
"I don't get this....it doesn't make sense. But....I guess I have nothing to lose. Everyone already knows I'm insane (and this is the different attention that Jeremy LINSANITY gets! 8-} silly). Well.... I suppose I've already hit bottom. So it can't get worser than this."
So I started telling Bree, and Katie, and Staci and Joy, and Selina, and Julie and all the sisters in church. I told Mrs. Schofield, Miss Cameron (Abbie/Caleb's teachers), and everyone who crossed my path (and kudos for everyone's bravery, because they have to overcome their own feelings of helplessness & listen to me share :P tongue.....). Amazingly though, as I began to open my broken heart and life to others, they began to open theirs.... They shared about their struggles....their frustrations...(perhaps aware that someone's already in worser shape than they're in! 8-} silly) Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here!
Soph's Conversations with and emails from friends/loved ones in the past 2 weeks:
"You mean, YOU also felt like....giving up....on YOUR LIFE too? You mean, your kid also screams at you and says ~ This house sucks! I want to have a different family! X( angry~ You mean, you and your hubby also go through dark days where you can't stand ANYthing he says or do (and vice versa)? You also begin feeling anxious when your child steps into the house after school? You mean, you also try to impress people and do all these things before guests come and feel resentful even before they arrive? You are also afraid to say 'NO' to requests (from people at school, ministry, work, extended family) because you don't know what 'they' may think/say about you? You worry about how your kids act because it looks bad on your parenting?" Wow.....I thought I was the only one on this planet who felt this way! @-) hypnotized Now I know.....we ALL struggle, we may not say it, but we struggle, and feel alone often (even if we are in a room full of people), and many times (even if some of us are already grandparents), we don't know what to do!
When I was struggling, God put this verse in my heart (and during devotions), "Confess your sins to one another and pray for each other, so you may be healed."
I didn't understand. I thought I was suppose to show them the best side! [This, I learned, is religion/playing church.....not an authentic relationship with the Lord and others]. Isn't this how I glorify you? Since college, my birthday wish every year was, "Lord, let me glorify you this year. For me to live is Christ, to die is gain." I've always thought that glorifying/serving the Lord means doing things for him like joining our church Worship team, leading Bible studies, Caring about everyone who needs my attention (or so they insist), or Blogging about God's goodness. This should be it, right? I love it! Sharing all the goodness! I thought that by being a Publicist for a Christian film company and making movies about God's wonderful works in Bible Stories, THAT will be glorifying Him!
Perhaps glorifying Him means sharing how paralyzed I am without Him! My own fleshly thinking and ways have landed me flat on my back (or face?) for the last 3 months! It's not what I can do for Him, but what He can do through broken Soph! Now I know that I need to share about how REAL He is, how much HE wants the best for us & has the power to help us (not only in eternity but NOW, facing any struggles on this earth), and He loves us even at our worst. I learned what's MOST important on this earth is Christ's unfailing love and FORGIVENESS, and in confessing, I became liberated and had the courage to share my deepest secrets! And people began praying for me, and prayers from all His children are powerful and effective! I've now experienced it first hand and actually lived to tell you about it.:O) clown
Now I learned that when I shared my deepest pain, EVERYONE started sharing theirs, and then we all realized that our struggles are super common, that we are not 'aliens' who feel this way, and that God CAN help us let go of the fear, anger, and guilt (which causes 87% of our physical pain including heart attacks/high blood pressure/depression ~ known as psycho-somatic ailments)! We are all going to be the paralytic man who needs friends to bring us to the Lord to get healed, at one time or another! Today it may be me on the mat, tomorrow it could be my beloved.
I've learned to receive grace and help from others, since I took pride in always being the one 'giving/doing' (and it felt good because Soph is in control!)....yet if I do not hit bottom, I will never experience the exhiliration of being carried in the arms of my Savior (and my loved ones) and brought to the top of the waves, and finally, to the mountaintops where I am fed all you can eat sushi buffet (like Makino Japanese All you can eat sushi & seafood buffet next to John Wayne airport =P~

 drooling). If I didn't hit bottom, I would never tell people the shame and embarrasing things and thoughts that I've shared recently. But because I've tasted how great the Lord is (just like Makino Japanese all you can eat buffet....man...why do I keep bringing this up? :P tongue), I cannot help talking about Him!:)) laughing
Last week I borrowed a book about clams & oysters for Abbie's sea otter science project. The Lord reminded me that we are like these oysters who go through intense pain and irritation in their whole body in order to produce the pearls within. The people that grate us, the circumstances that pound at us....these takes out the impurities in our hearts and produces precious, pure, and priceless pearls that glorify our Father and bless others (esp. the person wearing the necklace)! :) happy
A few days ago, Caleb was working on his May 23rd science project theorizing what storage temperature is best for popping the most popcorn kernels. As we were popping our 7th bag of Costco popcorn, the Lord gently said to me, "You've been like a dried up popcorn kernel that is stuck on the corn cobb, refusing to let me be Lord of your mind/heart/life. Let go of that old cobb and allow me to put you in the furnace (microwave).....With some time and added Heat and Pressure, I will be able to POP you and make you useful, and edible! You can bless others (and smell/taste much better too!!);) winking
So definately Soph has so much to learn each and every day! No matter what comes your way, cling on to the promise that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
I Love you all and I thank the Lord for you!
~ Gratefully ~
Soph :-* kiss
                             Spring Break 2012 ~ Lake Tahoe


Trusting the Lord even when in Tahoe for Spring Break (^_^)

This year, our trip to Lake Tahoe in early April was adventurous both physically and mentally....and spiritually! I was struggling with my relapse of depression which began on 2/4/12, and was rather anxious prior and during the trip!

Packing was very stressful, and the room was surprisingly small (the size of our guest room). But thankfully, the Lord was good and showed me so much even in the midst of my snowstorm!

This year there was very little snowfall, but surprisingly, it was snowing for 4 days while we were there (8 days total)! the kids had a blast sledding! Caleb was becoming a pro at downhill jumps! And Abbie was so fearless that she flew off and bruised her left thigh! We thought she broke her femur!

Sledding was really hard! It looked easy when Caleb did it, but I think my bones were all re-arranged after I went down the hills! I went to the chiropractor the NEXT DAY after we returned!

It was a blessing that we were able to keep spending time as a family, though I was a zombie pretty much the whole time there.

When we returned, I realized what was making me miserable (see 4/20/12 blog post), and after confessing this attitude sin, I was healed! What a blessing it is to receive God's mercy and forgiveness, and also be free to love others unconditionally again!

I thank the Lord for giving me this wonderful revelation about my weaknesses, and helping me let go of my old ways and thinking!

I also thank the Lord for good friends and beloved who stood by paralyzed me and helped carry me (and my mat) through this difficult, dark valley! Happy is she who is loved unconditionally and forgiven!


Subject: The Joys of Depression (^_^)! And Happy Mother's Day Week!

Sent: Saturday, May 5, 2012 9:09 AM by Godluvu99@yahoo.com

Subject: The Joys of Depression (^_^)! And Happy Mother's Day Week!

:) happy Good morning Sweeties!
Love you all and I thank the Lord for you! Last night during fellowship, I was so challenged and convicted when a buddy asked, "Why does God give us trials?"
I used to think that I was a pretty mature, spiritual Christian. After all, I grew up in church, led Bible studies since high school (then in college, while working/married/now!), was a part of the worship team/fellowships/Awana/children's ministry, is a deacon's wife and Pastor's daughter in law! [-( not talking But the past 3 months journey into disaster (depression) woke me up to the fact that I'm a christian gal of little faith, and lots of pride!B-) cool
There's a saying that "A Christian is like a teabag. You don't know what they're made of until you put them in hot water", or "Trials don't make you or break you, they merely reveal you." I used to think I'm Hokkaido Honey Milk Tea (Soph's favorite :"> blushing), but during this trial/depression, God showed me that I'm actually Taiwanese Bitter Melon Tea! 8-} silly
When I was not able to function, I was so bitter and complained, "Lord, I did ALL THESE THINGS to you and never did anything 'wrong'! Why are you making me so misearble? No one else I know (or my peers) suffered like this! :( sad"
The Lord lovingly replied, "I know the plans I have for you,plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future." [And He put this verse in my heart every day since 2/4/12 to Today].
I said, "Lord, what kind of plan is this? X( angry I am unable to function cognitively and physically, I am at the end of my rope, I think I'm going to give up and do something to myself to end this pain/misery."
He gently replied, "Do you love me?"
"Of course I do!!"
"Repent of WHAT? And I've been serving in fellowships, Children's nursery, worship team, Awana, Children's worship; Hubby counted church offering for 2 years and led VBS for 2+ years! We put the kids in Awana/Sunday school, and teach them your words! I am doing these for you, don't you see how much I love you?"
"Lord.... What does that mean?" I asked. 
Well, precious child. I know your heart and you want to do these things to serve me. But let me show you what is far, far better than this! You are weary and tired, subconsciously doing all these things that you think pleases me. And they are wonderful things no doubt. But what I desire is that you acknowledge (seek, obey) me every morning and ask me what plans I have for you THIS day. Only one day is sufficient, and I give you the manna of wisdom/power/ clarity/love needed for this day.

Just love me and spend time with me DAILY, and your day will not be busy, frustrating, weary, stressed out. I also desire mercy (compassion, forgiveness) far more than anything anyone can offer me. For I also said, Love your neighbor as yourself. That means forgiving them anytime, anywhere when they (including your hubby, son, daughter, mom, dad, neighbor, friends, coworkers, the guy at Pavillions or the one who cut you off when you went to Irvine yesterday) offend you (in speech, in action, in attitude).
"Wow, that's a tall order, Lord!"
"Well, that's why I'm here for you, child! If you could do all things on your own, then you would not acknowledge me or need my supernatural power (Holy Spirit) to work within you, would you?"
"Yeah, I didn't for the longest time. I was so busy/distracted 'doing' things, and mostly did things my way and bossed my hubby/kids around. I guess I didn't handle the place of power/authority (as a parent, especially) too well. That's why I get depressed so easily, esp. when they don't do/act/behave the way I want them to, when I want them to. I guess my 'love' was really self-seeking....and I cannot give my kids/hubby/others TRUE unconditional love unless I receive and experience God's agape love and mercy first!"
"Well, love them with all your heart without expecting them to repay you with hugs/praises/good grades/performance. Remember yesterday when you resisted the urge to scream back at Caleb (though he screamed at you all the way to school), let it go when hubby complained the veggie you cooked were too soft/hard/salty/bland, or gently wiped Abbie's nose after her meltdown without getting back at her insults? THAT, to me, is SACRIFICE.....that is Victory. You showed love and obedience me to me even when you were offended...and THAT to me, is mercy (loving neighbors) and acknolwedging (loving) me. You leaned on me (the Holy Spirit) to overcome your Flesh! It's the heart I'm after, sweet child, not the action (outward rule observing or even serving). Follow me daily, let go of your dreams/plans/natural reaction to offenses, meditate on My Word to give you strength and wisdom, and I will make your life truly abundant. THEN ~ ~ ~ PARTY WILL REALLY BEGIN!!!" ~^o^~ cheer
What a PRECIOUS revelation! :x lovestruck:x lovestruck:x lovestruck I thank the Lord today for the FAITH (Fantastic Adventure In Trusting Him) journey the last 3 months! God showed me my perfectionism is a result of my FEAR (of kids straying/failing, or me not measuring up to other moms) and my controlling/unforgiving attitude is a results of my PRIDE (I'm better/know what's better for you than you/plan better)!
Thank you all for your patience, prayers and persistence in encouraging me when I was at my worst. Now I know that I am no better than any murderer out there, because in my heart I've killed a thousand times. Confessing the anger and pride in my heart had totally lifted me out of this dark cave and helped me soar like an eagle that glides freely above the beautiful trails by my house in Ladera's Cleveland National forest. I used to envy these eagles....they have no cares of the world and soar so peacefully in circles....... Now Soph experienced how wonderful that is! Because the Lord has taught me, "My yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Why? Because Soph not the one carrying it!
So now I think about the question last night, "Why does God give us trials?"
Soph: So that she can experience first hand and deeply how REAL and LOVING her God is! He's not here to torture or test us, or ask me to put Abbie and Caleb on the alter/freeway/railroad track to see if I will really cut them in half. He is actually showing me thru my trials how weak and faithless I am. Yet in the midst of my failings, He loves me and forgives me, and HEALS me while I am still struggling and sinning! He showed me deep His love is for me, as broken and messed up as I am! :-* kiss Good thing I didn't do anything dumb to myself during spring break! #:-S whew!If I did, I'd REALLY miss out, 'cuz He healed me 3 days after we returned from our spring break Tahoe trip!!!! :)) laughing
Hugs and Happy Mother's Day Week to my BELOVED! THANK YOU for your prayers!
Grateful Soph :"> blushing
(p.s. Tonight [5/5/12], the biggest and brightest full moon of the year arrives!as our celestial neighbor passes closer to Earth than usual.Saturday's event is a "supermoon," the closest and therefore the biggest and brightest full moon of the year! http://news.yahoo.com/look-sky-supermoon-due-saturday-155940554.html. I feel like this is a gift and renewed covenant from the Lord &lt:-P party, just as the rainbow was shown to Noah after the flood....that God loves us so deeply and tenderly, that in our worst shape, He still hangs the most beautiful moon for us to BEHOLD to show His unending love and compassion to us! :"> blushing)
But He said to me, My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made Perfect in Weakness.”