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.

Our Family Travel Medicine List

Friday, July 19, 2019

Every time we travel, I always bring my medicine kit. Since we also use the medicine at home, I often miss bringing a few of the medicine we need on the trip. I thought I wrote down the list here so I can just print out and double check the list before we go traveling.

Travel Medicine List:
1. Eucalyptus oil for nasal congestion, bug repellent, bug bites
2. Lanolin cream for chapped lips, cracked or burnt skin, reduce itchiness from bug bites
3. Tylenol: Pain Reliever/ Fever Reducer 
3. Neosporin, Betadine, cotton balls, & Band Aid
4. Wes' asthma medicine
5. Probiotic to support healthy gut and and activated charcoal for food poisoning/ diarrhea 
6. Allergy medicine for kids and adults
8. Sore throat/ cold medicine, I used Halls, Chinese medicine: the golden lozenges, Lo Han Guo, and Yin Chiao tablet   
 9. Miracle of Aloe Rub, for muscle pain relieve. We prefer this over Salonpas
10. Mouth ulcer cream and eye infection cream (bought these in Indonesia)
11. Max's eczema cream
12. Vitamin D and iron supplement for my anemia
13. Emergen C 
14. Zambuk, ointment for brushes
15. Motion sickness medicine kids and adults

Anything else you would add to the list?

My Google Plus Contents - Part 1

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Over the year I use Google Plus to share links to interesting articles, movies, or any other goodies. Now that Google is shutting down Google Plus, I thought I just move the contents and share them here. Enjoy!

The Drop Box Story
"Suffering is not a mistake and isn't the absence of God's goodness because He still presents in pain." Kara Tippetts
Only kindness begets kindness; kindness begets love.
Anger does not beget heart change; it begets shame. Yelling does not beget understanding; it begets hurt. Harsh words do not beget love; they beget humiliation. Intimidation does not beget kindness; it begets fear.

I’ve already seen a return on my investment; as I trust God to help me respond to my rebellious children in kindness and love instead of fear and anger, these young hearts are learning that kindness is always right and they treat each other with kindness. What a joy for my mama’s heart!
"Your time spent pursuing love will not be wasted. The time spent embracing your moments, reading that extra bedtime book, sitting together to dinner, loving a child in their unkindness and weakness matter. Live each moment knowing even your unseen movement toward love and away from unkindness matters." Kara Tippetts, Big Love

Challenging Math Questions for 3rd or 4th grader

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

I found this challenge math questions at Singapore math book level 3 to be very interesting. So I typed and changed the numbers so the boys can do more math practice. Putting them here in case I need them in the future. I also posted another set of 3th grade math problems a little while ago.

1.       The chart below shows the amount of money Simon saves from Monday to Wednesday
If Simon continues to save in this pattern, how much money will he save by Sunday?

2.       Complete the number pattern.
2 , 4 , 8 , 14 , 22, 32, _____ , _____ , _____

3.       A group of 8 people shook hands with one another in a meeting. Each person shook hands with another person once. How many handshakes were exchanged?

4.       Form 2 digits numbers with the digits 2, 3, 4. The digits in each number can’t be repeated. List all the 2-digit number that can be divided by 4.

5.       I am a number between 30 and 49. If I am divided by 5, there will be a reminder of 2. If I am divided by 6, there will be no reminder. What number am I?

6.       Complete the number pattern
2, 3, 5, 8, 12, 17, _____ , _____ , _____

Book Summary: Your Best Year Ever

Monday, February 25, 2019

My chosen second book to share is Michael Hyatt's "Your Best Year Ever." I especially likes his sharing on focusing to be an abundance thinkers vs. scarcity thinkers.

Our expectations shape what we believe. One of the biggest reasons we don't succeed with our goals is we doubt we can.

Our lives consists of ten interrelated domains:
Spiritual, Intellectual, Emotional, Physical, Marital, Parental, Social, Vocational, Avocational, Financial

To accomplish anything, we have to believe we're up to the challenge. It means we believe we're capable; we have what it takes to prevail.

Scarcity Thinkers vs Abundance Thinkers
a. Entitled and fearful vs. Thankful and confident
b. Believe there will never be enough vs. Believe there's more
c. Stingy with their knowledge, contact, and compassion vs. Happy to share their knowledge, contacts, and compassion with others
d. Assume they are the way they are vs. Assume they can learn, grow, and develop
e. Default to suspicion and aloofness vs. Default to trust and openness
f. Are pessimistic about the future vs. Optimistic about the future
f. Resent competition, believing it makes the pie smaller and them weaker vs. Welcome competition, believing it makes the pie bigger and them better.
g. See challenges as obstacles vs. See challenges as opportunities
h. Think small avoid risk vs. Think big and embrace risk

Resources are necessary, but they are never the precondition for success. A lack of resources can spurs resourcefulness, builds resiliency and confidence. The more time we overcome difficulties, the more capable we are overcoming whatever comes next.

Gratitude makes us resilient, improves our patience. To practice gratitude:
a. Begin and end the day with prayer
b. Practice thankfulness by expressing gratitude for the gifts you have
c. Keep a gratitude journal

The importance of writing Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Risky, Time-Keyed, Exciting, Relevant Goals.

Summary of The Little Book of Common Sense Investing

Saturday, February 9, 2019

One of my goal in 2019 is to sit down and write summary of one book I read in that particular month. I was about to blog about Michael Hyatt's book: Your Best Year Ever but ended up finishing this one first. I have been a big fan of John Bogle and his Vanguard index fund. Thanks to him we managed to avoid the high cost mutual funds. However, we do need to be reminded from time to time to simplify our portfolio and focus on passive index fund investing instead of active trading.

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing
John C. Bogle
My advice to investor is to ignore the short-term noise of the emotions reflected in our financial markets and focus on the productive long-term economics of our corporate businesses.” John Bogle

Commonsense investing strategies:
  1. Invest at the earliest possible moment, and continue to put money away regularly from then on.
  2. Investing entrails risk, but not investing dooms us to financial failure.
  3. Risk of selecting managers and investment styles, can be eliminated by choosing classic index fund.

Oahu Beautiful Beaches and Snorkeling Places

Saturday, January 26, 2019

During this visit to Oahu we managed to visit a few beautiful beaches and snorkeling places. Surprisingly, only Waikiki and Hanauma were crowded with people the rest are not, so it was a pleasant surprise.

1. Hanauma Bay State Park: the popular and best snorkeling place in Oahu. It takes about 30 minutes to get here from Waikiki. There are only 300 parking spaces so go early if you are planning to go by car then you can continue your beauty sleep once you get there. :)
The park opens from 6 am to 6 pm and closed on Tuesday.
If you don't have car, you can go by shuttle, taxi, or bus. Park entry fee $7.50 per person. Be prepare to walk down the hill to the Bay or pay $2.50 to ride on the tram. 
 There were lots of fishes big and small but the coral is not as pretty as the one in Philippines or Indonesia.