Thursday, October 30, 2014

52 Weeks of Patient and Gentleness: Prioritize {Week 8}

I am currently reading this book: Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, a New York Times Bestseller book by Crystal Paine, the founder of MoneySavingMom.com


In the beginning chapters in her book, she specifically wrote about stop trying to do it all and focusing on most important priorities in our life.


One of the big thing I learned when I was on bed rest when I was pregnant with Wesley was to prioritize. I am so thankful that I learned it before I had two kids otherwise I would be overwhelmed with many commitments and lost my patient easily. 


Starting when my first born turned two I got asked, "Which pre-school does he go to?  You should put him in music, art, gym class, story time, soccer, awana, ..."
While I am sure, he could learn from all those activities, we didn't commit to any of those until he was four. The reason besides I love teaching him myself, I just had a baby and it would takes a lot of work if I have to bring the baby in tow to any those activities. We ended up having a blissful year learning at home, occational play date, and outing but that's about it. Max went to a bilingual preschool twice a week after he turned four.  

As for myself there are many great things that I can do, get involved, or learn: women bible study, volunteering at school, church, local non profit organization,... but I learned to be prayerful and careful, and double check with my husband before adding anything to my plate.

Three Steps to help us prioritize:

a. Stop trying to please everyoneLearn to Say "No". I am still learning this. Michael Hyatt has a podcast titled, How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty, which has helped me tremendously. 


“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.” Stephen Covey


b. Determine our priorities.
If we don't set our priority then someone else will determine how we should spend our time.
Crystal wrote this  post titled Time Management: Determine What Your Priorities Are "Everyone’s list of priorities is going to look different because we’re all different with different family situations, different needs, different commitments, different struggles and different strengths and weaknesses. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. And what works in one season of our life might not work at all in another season."

Here is my list of priorities and things I do at this season of my life:
Maintain close relationship with God, husband, family, and friends
Cook or bake almost everyday
Teach my own kids
Teach Sunday School
Help teaching preschoolers once a week
Blog
Sew
Keep my home fairly clean and organized
Manage our finance
Read books and listen to podcast, ...

Things I don't do:
I don't garden,
I don't have pet,
I don't sew my own or my kids' clothes,
I don't knit, I don't crochet, I don't even know the different between those two,
I don't coupon,
I don't do any home, car, or computer maintenance, {so grateful for my handy hubby who takes care of these}
I don't do cake decorating,
I don't do craft, except very simple one like painting our pumpkins instead of carving them,
I don't keep a sparkling clean home,
I don't call people often but I am working on it, ....
http://moneysavingmom.com/survival-mode/
image source

c. Find out our passion and gifts and focus on doing things we are good at instead of beating our selves for doing things we are not so good at. 

I love what Tsh, the founder of The Art of Simple wrote on this post: Do what you love 
"I don’t apologize for being a writer, because that’s how God made me, and there’s no reason to justify His creativity. I’ll bet He made you for something, too, and you don’t need to feel sheepish about it.
Perhaps you’re good at sewing, and you light up inside at the hum and whir of your sewing machine. Maybe you’re a runner, and you feel God’s pleasure when you do it. You might be the absolute perfect parent for the children you’ve been given, and there’s something they need that only you can provide in your unique way.
Whatever it is, don’t wish it away. Be happy with how you’re made. And then exercise that gift. Share it with the rest of us."

You may also like:

52 Weeks of Patient and Gentleness: Make Decision {Week 1}

52 Weeks of Patient and Gentleness: Heart CheckUp {Week 2}

52 Weeks of Patient and Gentleness: Give Them Grace and Truth {Week 3}

52 Weeks of Patient and Gentleness: Death and Life are in the power of the tongue {Week 4}


52 Weeks of Patient and Gentleness: Ex-Squeeze Yourself {Week 5}

52 Weeks of Patient and Gentleness: Perspective {Week 6}


52 Weeks of Patient & Gentleness: Stop being Easily Offended {Week 7}

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Meal Ministry Menu {First Month}

A few months ago we learned that the wife of a friend has been showing signs of dementia for 10 years. We invited them for dinner one day and was a blessed to see their love and faith. We asked if we can stop by to deliver food once a week to ease his burden since his wife is now requires constant care. He humbly accepted the offer. The truth is, we are the one who are blessed whenever we give.
I put the menu here as reference for future menu planning.

Week 1:

1. Stir-Fried Tempeh
2. Stir-Fried Spinach and Mushroom
3. Broiled Kalasan Chicken

Week 2:

1. Mapo Tofu
2. Stir-Fried Broccoli with Egg White
3. Vanilla Ice Cream

Week 3:

1. Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
2. Winter Melon Soup {this is the first time I cook this. I will share recipe after I cook it 2-3 times}
3. Crispy Oatmeal Cookies

Week 4:

1. Grilled Kalbi Beef, Sausage, and Shrimp {recipe coming soon}
2. Red Tomatoes Chicken Soup
3. Banana Chocolate Chips Oatmeal Muffin


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Random post on this blog, social media, and podcast


It's been a while since I am writing about the state of this blog. The last time I did was in 2012, when I changed the blog name to Choosing to Cherish. Our life has changed since then. The kids are growing, and we as parents are growing and changing too. I found it easier for me physically now that the kids are older and less dependent. They can walk, eat, go potty, change clothes on their own, help with cleaning up, getting stuff, and so on, but it's harder for me mentally. There is a lot of "why questions" to answer to, character to mold, heart to shapes, good seeds to sow, and craziness to deal with daily:


We began our official homeschooling journey last year which has not been easy but oh so rewarding. I am grateful and treasure each second knowing that they don't live with us forever. With that said, I just want to communicate this so you know what to expect: I plan to publish only 2 posts each week and one of them would be recipe.

It's still amused me that I, the girl who didn't like to cook in the beginning, would be able to actually enjoy cooking and making things. I learned how blessing other physically through food can bless their soul or at least can build a bridge for a deeper relationship. What a joy it is whenever I read a message from someone telling me how the recipes on this blog has encourage other to cook more for themselves and/or their family.

image taken from this post: Crispy Oatmeal Cookies

on Social Media:
I am not on Twitter and I don't have Facebook Page. I have a personal one, which I like to keep private. You can add me on Google+ if you have one. I am back to Google+ after hearing Guy Kawasaki's talk below.


I am also on Instagram. I found it useful as tool to capture my blessings/ 1000 gifts: anything from my daily life that make me smile, the sweet little gifts that God bestows each and every day.

Chris and I recently attended a small conference in which Ann Voskamp was one of the speaker. She suggested to list down 3 things we are thankful for that day. Her reasons:



Podcast: 
I love listening to podcast while I do hand activity such as washing the dishes, folding laundry, and driving. Besides a few good ones that I shared before, below are a few more that I found and enjoy listening to recently:
a. Influence Network
b. How They Blog
c. Microblogger
d. Brilliant Business Mom

That's all from me. Thank you for reading my rambling post 'til the end.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Visiting Belitung - Part 2: Lengkuas Island

The next day, we woke up early, had breakfast then headed to Tanjung Kelayang, the starting point of our island hopping:


After securing a boat to rent for $45 for the whole day {we paid a deposit and paid the rest at the end of the trip}, off we went to the sea...



First stop was Bird Island or Pulau Burung



Next we sailed through this island called Sandy Island or Pulau Pasir. During low tide, the island appears, when the tide rises, the island submerges.



How Didi rated the trip so far. He would give two thumbs up but the other hand got to hold on to the boat.


Finally after 45 minutes, we reached our destination: Lengkuas Island or Pulau Lengkuas:








Of course we have to check the old light house. It was either built or opened in 1823.

Inside the light house.

They have a rule that visitor must take off their shoes or sandals, which I don't think it's a good idea since the metal stairs were old and there were some broken part. I prayed all the way that our feet won't get hurt. Thankfully, we didn't get hurt. I think wearing socks would be a good idea. At least it would prevent direct contact with the old metal.


About half way to the top. We were sweating and exhausted. We didn't know how many more stairs we would have to climb to reach the top. I took a peak through the window and saw this amazing view:


I then looked up. Hey, we're almost there! We can do this!


Finally, last floor before we reach the top
We made it. Yay!!! I am so very proud of my boys. They walked all the way up and down the stairs by themselves. It's hard even for adults to make it. Way to go, boys!

The sweet rewards:





I was holding on the boys as Chris took this picture









We went down backward otherwise it's too scary for Didi. We met a couple who were on the way to the top and almost gave up. Seeing Didi encouraged them to do the keep moving. I told them, "It's worth it. Keep taking one step at a time and you will get there!"

Max was rewarded with getting to see and pet baby turtles


He gently taught Didi the proper way to hold it:












Next we took the boys swimming in the middle of the Ocean to see Nemo and his friends.



Friday, October 17, 2014

Blackberry Ice Cream

A few weeks ago the blackberries was on sale at the Farmer Market. I rarely buy blackberries but since it's on sale, I grabbed some knowing that I can use it to make Blackberry ice Cream. What I didn't expect was it turned out to be my favorite ice cream flavor.



Cook the blackberries with a little sugar:
 
Crush the berries with hand blender or regular blender:
 

A few more steps and you get to enjoy the fruit of your labor... Voila!

Blackberry Ice Cream

Cook time:

Printable Recipe
Ingredients: 
1 pint or 473 ml heavy cream
a pinch of salt
250 ml whole milk
130 grams sugar {add more if you like prefer sweeter or your blackberry is tart}
5 egg yolks
350 grams of blackberry

Directions:

1.       Cook blackberries in a medium sauce pan in low heat, add some sugar (about 2 teaspoon), and cook 'till soft while stirring once in a while about 15 minutest then blend them in the blender 'till smooth.  Let it cool until it reach room temperature then put it in the fridge.

2.      Heat the cream, salt, milk and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil then turn off the heat. In separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks.

3.      Slowly pour some of the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the mixture back into the saucepan.

4.      Heat the pan, stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with wooden spatula, until the mixture reach 80 Celsius.

5.      Remove pan from the heat, pour the custard through a strainer.  Let it cool until it reach room temperature. Refrigerate overnight.

6.      Mix in the blackberry puree, stir well.  Process in an ice cream maker for 25 minutes or according to the manufacturer's directions.