Crazy Year

September 18th, 2020

This is the common theme of what’s been happening this year, 2020. Today, there was news that RBG, the SCOTUS just passed. This adds to the craziness that is the election. There are wildfires going on all along the west coast. On a personal note, the death of Auntie Lourdes affected me. Tonight, we had an earthquake 4.6 in San Gabriel. J was already asleep but Ian felt it. He was a little freaked but we downplayed it and he was calm.

I know it’s more than just saying, “it’s 2020” but, indeed, these are like birth pangs. I can’t help but to think it’s leading up to something. All I can say is, “Maranatha!”

earthquake

1 Thessalonians

September 17th, 2020
Bible Study

Today marks the start of another Bible study with the women in my Thursday night group. We ended Daniel a few weeks ago and I can’t believe we are starting a new one again. I must admit that it was hard for me to concentrate. I’ve gotten used to having every night to myself. But I am marking this day down because I know it’s the discipline I need to get into the Word. It’s spiritual discipline that I desperately need during this season.

Last night and today, I went out shopping for things that I can buy for Ian’s birthday this weekend. So far, I’ve already ordered a few things from Amazon. I plan to pick up a birthday cake plus a few other gifts for him. We are going to give them two nights to sleep in the living room while watching their favorite movies. Tonight, he requested to decorate the house. It’s going to be quite a weekend. That and online calls with both sides of the family!

My Son

September 16th, 2020
Ian

“Why can’t I feel it when I fall asleep?”

“How come I don’t see anything when I close my eyes and sleep?”

“When I grow up, can I still keep my panda?”

“What if I go to heaven and my panda is left behind?”

“Why don’t you sleep with a stuffy when you grow up?”

“Can you still sleep with you stuffy even if you sleep with someone?”

These are some of the questions Ian asked tonight as he lies in bed at night waiting to sleep. I guess these are the things 6-year-olds think about. We try to answer the questions as best we can. Truth be told, I think this is the only time his mind is calm enough to actually think of these things, or at least, stop long enough to ask the questions. This is also the time when we can have good one-on-one with him without the activities of the day. What a precious time. It’s a reminder to keep things real everyday.

Every afternoon, the kids have gotten used to watching two episodes the The Lion Guard almost everyday. It’s become their routine. They’ve finished all three seasons, and since we can’t find a good replacement (yet), we are doing another round, starting from the beginning. We are now in season one, episode 17 or so. Today, my son and I have this rare moment of snuggling during an episode. It was one of the few that he thought was “scary” so he agreed to sit close and hold my hand. Again, what a precious time. I treasure these times that I can hold him close, smell his hair and kiss him as many times as I want.

that’s my hand under his

Busy Day

September 15th, 2020

Today turned out to be one of my busiest days. Actually, Tuesdays are my busiest days of the week. This morning, I knew I was behind on my work because not only did I wake up later than I intended but I had to catch up with the kids. They ended up to respond well to timer we set for their meal times. As a result, I had to write the history worksheets while he worked on his English classwork. I was also working on his Science worksheets when he was doing history. After homeschool, I worked on the vocabulary words for tutoring this afternoon. Throughout the day, I was just playing catch-up. At the end of it all, though, it was gratifying to get everything done. By dinner, I was ready to relax and let it all go. It helps to have a supportive husband who took care of the loose ends for me. Because the kids responded so well to the timer, I think it set the tone for homeschool, playtime, quiet time, and bath time. It just made the schedule a lot smoother for today. On to Wednesday!

Snapshot of the vocabulary list I put together today. I liked planning this lesson. I learned something new, too!

Night Vocab

Monday

September 14th, 2020
first time lasagna

Start of another week. It’s Ian’s birthday week and he’s very much aware of it. We are happy to welcome it. Today, I have all kinds of resolve. One is to start a new homeschool schedule focusing on more depth. Another that just developed today is to time their meals. Lately, they have been taking their sweet time, sometimes going up to an hour and a half at the table. The laughing, playing, joking, and walking around are beginning to get on our nerves. Starting dinner time, we limited them to 45 minutes using a timer. It worked. We will be doing it every meal until they learn to focus on their meals rather than use the time for playing. Before they came up, I had them put away their toys and clean up the living area. What surprised me is how efficiently they were able to do it … Ian, at least. He knew what to do and how to clean up the place. For their trouble, I gave them 3 M&Ms each (my new positive reinforcement rewards). I told them tonight that starting tomorrow, after dinner, besides putting their toys away, they will begin wiping the table (Joyanne) and mopping the floor (Ian).

Before dinner, they started playing by pretending to be in an airplane. They set up the chairs and boxes and Ian even made signs behind the chair to represent seat numbers. These were the ones they needed to clean up after dinner before their bath.

“take a picture so I don’t forget …”

Perspective

September 13th, 2020

Auntie Lourdes passed away today. It is sobering to know that both her and Uncle Ben are now gone. We pretty much grew up with them and their family, meeting at their house every Sunday. In light of death, everything else seems insignificant. It definitely puts things in perspective. These present light and momentary troubles are as nothing when I think of life from an perspective. As it says in Scripture, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)

Tomorrow is the beginning of another week. May I live my days in light of this spiritual reality.

fresh baked bread

Riverside Visit

September 12th, 2020
social distance visit

Today, we decided to drive to San Gabriel to pick up food from our favorite Chinese restaurant, Golden Soup. The place brings back a lot of memories but we were there for the reasonably (cheap) priced take-outs. Specifically, we wanted to order the duck, per Ian’s request. Afterwards, we drove all the way to Riverside to drop off some food. Adam calls it “comfort food” which I wholeheartedly agree. It’s the kind of food we partook when we were celebrating a birthday or a holiday. To have it again is a reminder of the good ol’ days. I hope the Riverside crowd enjoyed their dinner tonight.

It was good to see my parents again. They looked happy to see us.

9/11

September 11th, 2020
dfdf

Today is the 19th anniversary of that fateful day. I still remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. I was getting ready for the first week of my HS teaching job at Glendora. I was having breakfast before leaving for school and I was watching the small TV in our dining room. I actually saw the plane hit the second tower. I thought it was a preview for a movie. I dismissed it until I got into the car. Since the radio was set to KNX news radio, I remember the announcer saying, “I can’t wrap my mind around this.” I don’t know why that statement has stuck in my head ever since. I remember entering my class in Room 134, some students not knowing what had happened yet. I remember saying the pledge of allegiance with them, still in a daze. The department head was next door so I spoke to him for a little bit. He told me he has the TV on in his room for updates. I think I continued with the lesson but I was also monitoring the news over the computer and keeping students updated. What a day that was.

Today, we are going through our rough patches in 2020. In some ways, even the innocence of those days has been taken away — the unity of the country, the good will, the shared grief. Now, it’s war, albeit a culture war.

Affirmation

September 10th, 2020

These days, as I go through the rigors of homeschooling (which started last year), I feel that it has gotten easier since that time, especially as we have the routine down after a summer of discipline. With the pandemic still very much an issue in education, I’ve met so many families having to deal with virtual/distance learning. Inasmuch as I empathize with the difficulties of suddenly having to homeschool, I feel gratified that I went through the pain of the transition and I’m reaping the benefits now. I met a parent a few months ago who bemoaned the fact that the charter schools are no longer accepting new students. I talked to another parent whose child the same age as Ian is not reading yet. Today, on my walk, I met one of the mothers in our neighborhood whose daughter, also 6, is struggling with writing, and she was also amazed that Ian is reading chapter books. Of course, besides feeling proud of Ian, I also feel affirmed in the work that I put into hours of homeschool. There are many things I can say about the things Ian has been able to do, in no small part due to his own curiosity, his natural abilities, and his persistence.

Our nighttime routine has been that after their bath, they would each read their devotional and we’d read the Bible together, followed by an iPad app corresponding with the Bible story. Tonight, Ian prepared everything on the sofa where we normally do our reading. So proud of this kid. He’s growing up.

preparation

Before we did our study, he wanted to tell me about an observation. He said he wanted to tell me the biggest to the smallest in the world. He started with the universe, the sun, the planets, the continents, the countries, the states, the cities, the town, the house, his bed, then, his stuffies. He has a natural love for learning. Thank God.

Red Sun

September 9th, 2020

I didn’t get to sleep until almost 7 a.m. I stayed up last night because Ian had bad dreams and I had to go back and forth to his room. He finally settled down but still made sounds in his sleep. It was difficult for me to sleep. I ended up going downstairs to do some writing. I actually journaled for a good five pages! I haven’t done that in so long. I only do it when I am stressed … that, I was. Good cathartic moment for me. I was able to finally sleep and woke up at around 10 a.m.

Today, because of the fires around California, the sky was hazy. The weather was cooler than usual and the sun looked yellow. Towards the end of the afternoon, the sun actually looked red. We took some pictures. It certainly looks like it belongs to 2020, alright, in keeping with the apocalyptic theme. Crazy wildfires all around.

yes, that’s our sun