Monday, May 16, 2016

Big Island Day 3: Akaka Falls, Hilo Farmer Market, & Richardson Beach

We like to stayed at rental home instead of a hotel not only because it's often cheaper but we can do laundry and cooking. The kids still have to do their schoolwork in the morning.

The place we stayed is pretty spacious and clean though not as clean as I hope but the price was good.


Mango, papaya, and coconut trees around the complex,

Monday, May 9, 2016

Big Island Day 2: Kapoho Tide Pools & Volcano National Park

We stayed in a rental condo from vrbo nearby Kapoho Tidepools about 2.5 hours drive from the Kona airport. We spent the next three days on this side of the island.

The boys can't wait to get inside the calm and warm as they are geothermal pools.

I was in my twenties the first time I went snorkeling and this little guy discovered the underwater world when he was five.

O... hi there

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Big Island Day 1 and some packing tips

Aloha!

We just came back from the Big Island, Hawaii. It's been a long time since we take a long vacation trip (more than two days weekend trip) together. It was such a refreshing trip. No wonder Michael Hyatt wrote, "Vacations are essential for your spiritual, emotional, relational, and physical health."


I strained my neck the week before and could barely move my head. The neck pain accompanied by headaches almost made us cancel our trip. Thankfully, after a lot of prayers, visits to doctor, chiropractor (my first time ever to experience dry needling), and taking medicines; I felt much better on Saturday and we're able to go. Yayyyy.... He hears our prayers indeed.


To avoid paying for luggage, each one of us bring one bag and one personal item:
Waiting for Papa to get car from car rental:

Greeted by the humidity, palm trees, and ocean view. It's time to change to shorts and flip flops.

First thing first: get the Hawaiian Shave Ice. We went to One Aloha Shave Ice thanks to Yelp's recommendation.


We requested Kona ice cream at the bottom of Shave Ice. It taste so good.


Followed by Hawaiian style lunch.

Originally, we planned to drive 2.5 hours straight to the East part of the Island, where we stayed the next three nights but the kids couldn't wait any longer to snorkel so we stopped by at a nearby beach: Kahalu'u Beach

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Ephesians 3:17-19 Printable



Full size resolution printable can be found HERE

This verse has been in my mind today. It speaks volume to my heart especially since we have been working on our back yard lately pulling out weeds. Some of them have roots that went down so deep, which make them hard to pull.





I pray that our roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love; that we may be able to feel and understand, ... how long, how wide, how deep, and how high his love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, ... And so at last we will be filled up with God himself. - Ephesians 3:17-19

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Exploring Rancho San Antonio and the reason we hike



A few months ago, our family took time to do a short hike at Rancho San Antonio.  I don't know why it took us so long to check out this place. If you live in Bay Area, definitely put this on your bucket list.


Friday, March 4, 2016

Parenting wisdom from seasoned parents



A month ago, we invited the more experienced/ seasoned parents in our church to answer some of the questions we have as parents of young children. 

Below are the questions that we asked them and my take away from their answer:

a. How do you decide what extra curricular activities  for your kids. And how much is too much?
Pray about it. Study your kids, give the activity a try and see if it matches their gifts and interest. Each kid is different. Choose and focus on the one that match their strength and interest. One of the good thing of keeping them busy is less time for games/ television.

One family has tradition: during summer months, instead of keeping the children busy with summer camps, they focus on volunteering, traveling, or going on mission trips.

b. Do you discipline your kids? If so, how and do you do it differently according to their ages/ personalities?
It's different for each family. Pray for wisdom to communicate grace and truth.
Give warning and explain the consequence and be consistent if the rule is indeed broken. For instance too much video games -> no video games for a while. 

c. How to know if we are being micromanaging/ helicopter parents vs. letting the child learn/ choose/ grow on their own? 
When the kids are younger, we have to do a lot of managing/ directing but as they get older such as in middle/ high school (depends on the kids' personality) we have to start letting go and let them handle things such as classes, schedule, and conflict on their own. It's part of growing process. Don't worry, pray and trust your children in God's hands.

d. Any perspective, lesson, you wish you knew when your kids were younger that you would like to share with us?
The years go by so fast especially once they reached teenagers. It's so true that the days are long but the years are fast.

Question to ponder: Can our children say it's a blessing to grow up in a Christian home?
God gave us good times and hard times to develop our character. Sometimes His timing is not ours. 

Never give up on your child because God never give up on you.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Travel: Mono Lake



It was about 32 degree Fahrenheit or 0 degree Celsius that November morning when we drove from our hotel at Mammoth Lake to Mono Lake.

Mono Lake is a shallow salt water lake in California often known for its tufa towers.


The guide at Visitor Center told us to go to the South Tufa area, where we can get better view of its unique limestone rock formation, called "tufa".

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sliding at Mammoth Lake, CA


Remember our trip to Bodie? We stayed at Mammoth Lake area that night. It's a well known ski area like Tahoe but since we opted for sledding this time. Maybe when the kids are a little bit bigger we'll try ice skating or snowboarding.

We don't get snow at where we live so the kids were so excited when they see snow and play for hours until they cheeks turned red. Thankfully we bought them snow boots so I don't have to worry if their feet got frostbite.











The red sled looks nice but it doesn't work so well.

so we exchange it to the round one.
  


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Take a deep breath: Patient & Gentleness Series #13



Max and Wes were playing together at church when suddenly they got into fight. Wes was furious, crying, yelling, and running toward his brother. I hold him, trying to calm him down and ask him to explain what happened. He's still crying and couldn't calm himself down until a friend of ours came by and told him "When you are very upset try this following trick:
 
Take a deep breath and count to ten. Then you will calm down and feel much better. It works like magic."

I am reminded that day that I can choose my response instead of just reacting. There are a lot of things I can't control: circumstance, other people attitude or mood, but I can always choose my response

"Say only what will help to build others up and meet their needs." Ephesians 4:29

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

How to Create Wall Gallery

After a year moving in, we finally managed to hang the pictures on the wall.


Just like the one we had at the old place:


First thing first, measure the space.


Arrange the frames on the floor, measured as big as the wall space.


Didi was helping me choosing the pictures.


Then the boys had fun taking each other pictures:




Okay now back to work.


Make a paper template of each frame.


Tape them on the wall. Move around and adjust accordingly before hammering the nails and hang the picture frames.
.

Papa worked his magic and a few hours later we have our Gallery Wall.


Every time I see it, I am reminded to be grateful and not taking each day for granted.