my writings and thots

Blue Moon New Year

It’s a Blue Moon! It’s so exciting to have one when there’s a cancer in the family 😛

In other news, the year has come and gone. Every year I sound more and more like the ‘adults’ used to sound when I was a kid, “Where did the year go?” “Time sure flies!” “It feels just like yesterday…” etc. I’ve been so blessed this year in ways I can’t even begin to count. I won’t deny that this year hasn’t been one of the roughest for me in almost every way, but there is that balance that the Lord brings in, the balance of love and care in ways I’ve honestly never felt as strongly as I do now.

I’m so thankful for all my friends and family, the home here, the work we’re involved in, the way the Family is changing, the people who keep me going through prayers, notes, quotes, and words of love and care. I know I couldn’t do it without you!

So, let’s see where this New Year will take us. I’m excited about the changes, about my resolutions and goals, about the ways the kids will continue to grow and mature and learn. I’m excited because I have prayers that were answered this last year, giving me faith to keep praying for dreams and visions to come true. It’s exciting to look ahead and see all that still needs to be done and not feel overwhelmed by it because I know the Lord is in control.

Happy New Year and New Decade on this Blue Moon, everyone!

PS. If you haven’t read The Shack this last year, I suggest you add it to your list of resolutions for the new year…

about the kids, read this

Christmas Show

We were invited to perform and participate in a sports day for underprivileged children. The kids did well in their performance…here are some pix:

I love how it looks like they’re all elevating, though they’re not even jumping for this part, heh.

Sameer and Cherise singing together, they were adorable.

The girls participating in a race, CC came in second 😀

Another race, much tougher!

Watching another competition…

Peter participating in the blanket give-away

Cherise and Sameer were chosen to cut the Christmas cake with the Bishop.

My favorite quotes, songs and stories

Quote for the day

Thanks to my mom who sent this to me today, it was perfect!

(Maria:) You have to remember that no matter what things look like, no matter how great the problem, no matter how confusing the questions, or how hopeless the circumstances, all of that will pass, but Jesus and His Love and truth and His plan for your live will still be intact.

I’m reading the book, The Shack right now (I can’t remember when I last read a book so slowly, there’s so much in there, I don’t want to rush it, but want to absorb as much as I can), so much in there is along those lines. I want to take the time write about it properly, but with less time right now, it’ll have to wait. There is one chapter where it’s explained to him about what we humans consider ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in our lives. I love how it’s explained to him how we can’t ever know what is good or bad for us, as there’s a master plan that we can’t see yet. Yes, I k now it’s not a new concept, it’s just the way it’s explained that makes so much sense. God actually considers it a compliment when He’s told that His work looks like a mess. I had to laugh several times when the beauty of the confusion is pointed out to Him. In the end, it’s all about trusting God’s love enough to let Him work without trying to ‘organize’ our lives the way we think it should be.

My favorite quotes, songs and stories

Drawn to the Warmth

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stories of Faith

BY: Marion Smith

Factoring in the wind chill, I knew the temperature was below zero. The bitter cold cut through my Californian sensibilities, as well as my enthusiasm as a tourist, so I ducked through the nearest door for warmth… and found myself in Washington, D.C.’s Union Station.

I settled onto one of the public benches with a steaming cup of coffee — waiting for feeling to return to my fingers and toes — and relaxed to engage in some serious people-watching.

Several tables of diners spilled out into the great hall from the upscale American Restaurant, and heavenly aromas tempted me to consider an early dinner. I observed a man seated nearby and, from the longing in his eyes, realized that he, too, noticed the tantalizing food. His gaunt body, wind-chapped hands and tattered clothes nearly shouted, “Homeless, homeless!”

I wondered how long it had been since he had eaten.

Half expecting him to approach me for a handout, I almost welcomed such a plea. He never did. The longer I took in the scene, the crueler his plight seemed. My head and heart waged a silent war, the one telling me to mind my own business, the other urging a trip to the food court on his behalf.

While my internal debate raged on, a well-dressed young couple approached him. “Excuse me, sir,” the husband began. “My wife and I just finished eating, and our appetites weren’t as big as we thought. We hate to waste good food. Can you help us out and put this to use?” He extended a large Styrofoam container.

“God bless you both. Merry Christmas,” came the grateful reply.

Pleased, yet dismayed by my own lack of action, I continued to watch. The man scrutinized his newfound bounty, rearranged the soup crackers, inspected the club sandwich and stirred the salad dressing — obviously prolonging this miracle meal. Then, with a slow deliberateness, he lifted the soup lid and, cupping his hands around the steaming warm bowl, inhaled. At last, he unwrapped the plastic spoon, filled it to overflowing, lifted it toward his mouth and — with a suddenness that stunned me — stopped short.

I turned my head to follow his narrow-eyed gaze.

Entering the hall and shuffling in our direction was a new arrival. Hatless and gloveless, the elderly man was clad in lightweight pants, a threadbare jacket and open shoes. His hands were raw, and his face had a bluish tint. I wasn’t alone in gasping aloud at this sad sight, but my needy neighbor was the only one doing anything about it.

Setting aside his meal, he leaped up and guided the elderly man to an adjacent seat. He took his icy hands and rubbed them briskly in his own. With a final tenderness, he draped his worn jacket over the older man’s shoulders.

“Pop, my name’s Jack,” he said, “and one of God’s angels brought me this meal. I just finished eating and hate to waste good food. Can you help me out?”

He placed the still-warm bowl of soup in the stranger’s hands without waiting for an answer. But he got one.

“Sure, son, but only if you go halfway with me on that sandwich. It’s too much for a man my age.”

It wasn’t easy making my way to the food court with tears blurring my vision, but I soon returned with large containers of coffee and a big assortment of pastries. “Excuse me, gentlemen, but…”

I left Union Station that day feeling warmer than I had ever thought possible.

about the kids

Average Grades

For the quarter September-November 2009

Please note that we took holidays during this quarter, CC went to camp, and we were all very sick for a prolonged period of time, hence the lesser amount of books completed. CC finished 4th grade and started 5th!

Reading-3 books: 98%
Math-1 book: 99%

Bible-2 books: 93%
LA-2 books: 99%
Spelling: 94%
Reading-2 books: 96%
Math-2 books: 90%
Science-2 books: 86%
Social Studies-1 book: 86%

Bible-3 books: 95%
LA-2 books: 97%
Spelling: 90%
Math-2 books: 96%
Reading-1 books: 96%
Science-2 books: 96%
Social Studies-2 books: 92%

Whole Grade (4) Average:
Bible-10 books: 94%
LA-10 books: 93%
Spelling: 90%
Math-10 books: 92%
Reading-5 books: 95%
Science-10 books: 93%
Social Studies-10 books: 92%

Total-55 books: 93%

about the kids, read this

Recent Happenings

I’ve discovered that I don’t like to post unless I have something long and profound to say…that needs to change. The kids keep saying the funniest things; I need to record them somehow. It’s not that there’s nothing happening, in fact, that’s probably why I’m not posting, so much is happening, heh.

The kids finished learning all their songs/dances for their show (first one this coming week), now it’s just drill, drill, drill. They’re doing a lot better this year, I’m hoping to be able to video them and post it.

Jordan is going through a can’t-sit-still-must-be-in-constant-movement phase. Thankfully, he really enjoys school and can usually sit still for the 50 min school hours. However, by late afternoon, he’s climbing on everything and driving me quite crazy 😀 I guess boys will be boys, I just need to get used to this new development. All the kids are fighting bed time with a vengeance; don’t know if it’s the Christmas excitement, or also just a phase.

Cherise is learning to do her own hair and gets help from her older sister from time to time. It amazes me how she’s still such a ‘child’ in so many ways but at the same time wants to grow up so fast! I know they have to grow up and I’m happy that she’s learning new things and can take care of herself more and more, but I feel they’re growing up so fast. Of course, I make her hair properly for school, but the jobs I have to do for her are getting less and less…

Charlotte is writing books and stories faster than I can edit and post them. I need to take the time to get to it right away or there will be a huge back-log, ha. She’s getting better at it all the time, so check her blog from time for time for updates.