Saturday, September 17, 2022

A few weeks ago, God called Bobo, my local mom and the kids' local grandma to Heaven. 

We held a home going service at church and many people came to celebrate her, her care, and love.

During the service, we gave people chance their memory with her. Friends and family shares how much she cared toward them, always calling and checking on them, giving people Chinese medicine whenever they are sick, always ready to serve and help anyone. Wherever she goes, she always make friends even with her limited English. To the spouse of her neighbor who has dementia, she kept on encouraging him and prayed for them.

I used to think I was special that she treated me like her own child but then I realized it wasn’t true. I wasn’t special. She loves and treat everyone like her own. 

When the kids were little, I often stop by her place during weekdays. It is such a blessing because the grandparents half a globe away. It's such a blessing to have a local mom and grandma.

Getting Kids To Listen Without Nagging, Reminding, or Yelling

Sunday, May 23, 2021

We watched this parenting webinar online earlier this year and it has been so helpful as our kids grow into teenagers. As parents we need to continue to learn, grow, and change as the kids grow and change.

Parent's Crazy cycle:

As parents, we often ask -> Repeat -> Remind -> Yelling

What are your battles:

1. Homework/ Chores, unwillingness to listen and learn

2. Backtalk/ defiance

3. Delaying on doing works/ turning off their devices.

Behavior is not random. There is always reasons for behavior.

Kids have a longing for attention and power. Many kids act out when they don't get enough attention/ love and power/ respect/ independent/ control. 

Kids only continue the behavior that works for them. Kids pushing back in order to gain some power.

Human being are born with Free Will. It means it's always their choice to obey or not.

Most parents use time out, counting 1, 2, 3 but this strategies doesn't work with a strong will kids and they will fight back. 

Punishment and discipline are totally different animals. 

Punishment cause the child to feel: blame, shame, or pain. The child natural reaction will be defensive and lie.

Discipline teaches kids to make better choice in the future

No Yelling Discipline Strategies:

Our personalities play a huge role in power struggles. Take a note when your personalities trigger your kids response?

The more we want things done our ways; the more kids fight back. 

If we simply stop responding with emotion, we are solving 50% of the power struggle.

5R's of Consequences for kids 3 to teens:

1. The consequences must be Respectful. If you can't deal with the problem in respectful moment or when you are angry and resentful, wait or don't do it immediately.

2. The consequences must be Related to the misbehavior. For example: if one doesn't want to brush teeth, he/ she can't eat sugary food like ice cream/ snacks. For older kids: when not turning off the device on time, he/ she can't play the next day. Your kids don't have to like the consequence but it must feel fair. Otherwise, the kids won't feel not fair or justify in their behavior/ anger and shut down

3. Consequences must be Reasonable in duration.

4. Revealed in advance so the child can make a choice, when every body in good mood.

5. Have the child repeat back if he/ she chose not to follow that rule. 

How to talk:
Use: I've noticed... not "you never" or "you always"
In the future, I expect that...
Technology is a privilege not right
I am sure we won't have an issue with this just to make sure we are in the same page; 
Can you tell me our new rule? -> have them to repeat back. 
If he/ she won't repeat back, that means you have power struggle in your hands.
She gets to choose whether she gets to keep her video privileges. 
At the time when the kids breach the rule, watch for your tone whether it is blame, shame, or pain.

Implement consequences with respect:
"I see you CHOSE to lose your computer privileges, but it's learning opportunities. I trust you'll make better choice next time." Let them learn from that and not blame, shame, or pain them. 

Mom's cancer journey - Part 1

Monday, September 21, 2020

It's been a while since I write here. I decided to jot down my mom's cancer journey on the blog. I want to record this journey as we go through the valley of shadow of death and so I don't forget how God's hands holding us through this. 

Swab test, Rapid test, CT Scan, Blood test, Biosy, Endoscopy, Colonoscopy, Pet Scan, MRI, Lung Scan, more Swab tests, Mammogram, another Biopsy. Those are all the tests plus some more that my mom has to take since beginning of July. Mom started to have diarrhea since June and has lost 10 kg since. We brought her for CT Scan, which shown swollen lymph node behind her stomach. After so many tests and studied by internist, surgeon, pathologist, radiologist, and oncologist, they gave their final diagnosis: inoperable pancreatic cancer stage 4. Stage 4 because the cancer already spread to neck and left arm. It can't no longer be cure only slow the growth and spread. 

From the gene test, we learned her type of cancer was BRAF positive, the aggressive kind, which mean we likely don't have much time with her. 

For the first round of chemo, they will administer 3 drugs, which side effect include: numbness of hand and feet, diarrhea, dry skin, and spotty, weak, hick-up, insomnia, and constipation. 

She has to watch her diet and can't eat:

  1. Cold food or drink!
  2. Sugar
  3. Oily food
  4. Fruits: grape fruit, star fruit, and pomelo


Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Capri is one of my favorite places to visit in the world. I went to Italy for study abroad almost 20 years ago and this was the only place I came back to so my hubby and kids can experience its beauty.We stayed in an airbrb nearby Solerno the night before then took a Ferry from Solerno port. We had to take these stairs to reach the port.
The Ferry only run sparingly during winter so do start your day early if you want to make the first one around 9A.M.
The beautiful Capri
We arrived at 10 AM and got to catch a Ferry back to Sorrento at 2 PM. We knew we can't waste anytime so off we get on the best to our destination taking a bus then chairlift to Mount Solaro:

Italy Travel: Herculaneum

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The next day, very early in the morning, we took the train down to Napoli, then rent a car to drive to our next destination: Herculaneum

Like Pompeii, Herculaneum is an ancient Roman city destroyed when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. We had to choose between visiting Pompeii or here due to time constraint. We chose to go here after hearing it is a smaller, wealthier cities, and more intact. After the eruption, the town was buried under 20 meters of ash. If you see the above picture, the buildings on the top is the current residential houses and the buildings at the bottom part is Herculaneum.

You can see how rich the town people are, even some of them have mosaic floor.
I told the boys, "Boys look, this street is made of marble." To which Max replied,"But in heaven the street is made of gold, ma." 

Rome Day One: St. Peter's Basilica, Castel Sant' Angelo, and Vatican Museum

Thursday, January 30, 2020

We went to Italy last Thanksgiving Holidays. I went to the northern part of Italy many years ago back when I was still in college. We just learned that ticket to Europe is cheap during Thanksgiving week so off we go exploring the southern part of Italy this time. We were surprise to see "Welcome to Italy sign in Chinese character when we arrived at Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport.
We stay in an airbnb in the city center. This is our first time staying in an airbnb. On the past, we usually use or vrbo but airbnb gave us better and cheaper options in Italy. In addition, our hosts were all very helpful and responsive. We feel like having local tour guide to help us navigate the area.    
 First day itinerary: walk about 30 minutes to St. Peter's Basilica. 
We took the guided tour to the dome and crypt per recommendation of my friend. So grateful we did otherwise we would miss out many important details. For instance, we didn't know on this very spot, Peter was crucified upside down and was later buried there. The church was built to fulfill Jesus’ words to Peter: “Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church” Matthew 16:18

Summary of the One Minute Manager

Monday, January 20, 2020

Good manager care about people and results. They go hand in hand.
One Minute Management consist of few principals:

a. One Minute Goal Setting. The manager always make it clear what the people's responsibilities and what are they being held accountable for. Each person has about 3-6 goals, and each goal is recorded on a single page.
Take a minute: Look at your performance, and see whether or not your behavior matches your goals.

b. One Minute Praising. To help people reach their full potential; catch them doing something right. Tell people how good you feel about what they did right, and how it helps the organization and the other people who work there then encourage them to do more of the same.
Just as when we teach children to walk; we didn't just tell him "Walk," and when he falls down you pick him up and spank him and say, "I told you to walk." No, you stand the child up and the first time he wobbles a step fall down, you gets all excited, praise, and hugs him. The child realizes that this is pretty good deal, starts to wobble his legs more and more until he eventually walks. 

c. One Minute Reprimand:
Step 1.Gives the reprimand immediately as soon as the person did something wrong. Unless discipline occurs as close to the misbehavior as possible, it tends not to be as helpful in influencing future behavior. Specifies exactly what the person did wrong. Never attack the person's worth or value as a person, just the behavior.
 Step 2. Remind them how much you value them. Reaffirm that you think well of them but not their performance in this situation. Realize that when the reprimand is over, it's over.

Everyone is a potential winners. Some people are disguised as losers. Don't let their appearances fool you.
People who fell good about themselves produce good results.
Productivity is both quantity and quality.

Summary of The Epidemic by Robert Shaw, M.D.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

I was pleasantly surprised when I picked up this book from the library. In today world when the norm is letting kids do and be whatever they want; the author write about the important of raising responsible, respectful, secure, and loving children.

"The true test of civilization is, not the census, nor the size of the cities, nor the crops - no, but the kind of man the country turns out." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Large numbers of children today are no longer developing the empathy, moral commitment, and ability to love and respect others. Children are malleable and how we rear them is the major determinant of their outcome.  Today's parents are lulled into believing the child-centric theories preached by parenting gurus: "Never let your baby cry," " He'll use the potty when he's ready." "Discipline is disrespectful," "The child's feelings should come first." But creating an atmosphere that feels satisfactory to the child all the time was leading to an increase in what we call today "narcissistic personalities." Moreover, modern parents are encouraged by culture to push their children onto an endless tract of achievement, to desperately squeeze one more enriching activity into their already full schedules.

As they grow older, our children spend much of their time pursuing entertainment rather than accomplishment: TV, video games, mall roaming, computer hacking, substance abuse, sex. When these children get into trouble academically, we are seeing a cultural tendency to dumb down standards.

Before these days, we held high standards for children at home as well as in school. As they grew, kids contributed more to the family by doing chores like washing dishes, mowing the lawn, taking care of their pets. Now they retreat to their rooms to instant message, video games, and social media.

When we don't train our children to behave, they train us to be their servants.

Book Summary: The Index Card

Thursday, August 8, 2019

My fourth book summary this year, one of the most useful, simple, and straightforward personal finance books that I read over the years.

The book was born out of an interview with Harold Pollack, where he mentioned that the correct personal finance advice for most people is simple and fits on a 3x5 index card.

  • Save 10 to 20% of your money. Know where your money is going. Make it your first priority to set money aside for emergency fund (3 -6 months of your living expenses): medical, car service, heater broke, etc. One way to cut spending is by using cash instead of card or electronic payment. 
  • Pay your credit card balance in full every month. 
  • Max Out Your 401(k), never forgo the employer match. Don't count on working forever. After your emergency fund, saving for retirement is the most important savings. The younger you start, the better off you will be. If one start at 25 saving $104 every month for forty year with 6% annual return the person will have about $200,000 by age 65. To accumulate the same $200,000 at the age 45, you will need to put aside $430 a month. 
  • Next step is college fund saving. There are two ways: Coverdell Education Savings Account and 529 plan. 
  • Invest in low-cost index funds instead of buying or selling individual stocks then buy and hold them for the long haul. Even Warren Buffett suggest this to his children, "A very low-cost S&P 500 index fund." 

The More of Less Book Summary

Monday, July 29, 2019

I love Joshua Becker's blog: and was so excited when I heard him published a book on minimalism. I found it very useful not only giving people the "why" but also the "how". Some of the highlight I got from the book:

*Italics is my own words/perspective
The More of Less
The Universal Benefits of Minimalism:
1. More time and energy
2. More money
3. More generosity. This is true for us, we figured if we skipped eating out just once we can sponsor one more kid so we did. 
4. More freedom
5. Less stress because mess + excess = stress
6. Less distraction
7. Less environmental impact
8. Higher-quality belongings. My cheapo's self was having a hard time adjusting to this but after many times throwing lower quality stuffs, I realized if I buy a good quality one in the first place then I use less stuffs.
9. Less comparison
10. More contentment

Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from them.