Archive for May, 2011

Kung Fu Panda 2

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Inner Peace

I was really looking forward to watching this movie because the first one had me in stitches the whole time! Someone had said this one had more action sequences, so I was prepared for it. But I wasn’t prepared for the profound story line. Very interesting how the most successful “kid movies” are layered with meaning for adults as well. Inner peace is one of the themes that ran throughout the movie. The message was about finding equilibrium in one’s past, present, and future by being spiritually whole. Heavy stuff.

I think this profound idea was lost on my four nephews. They were content to look at the panda’s kung fu moves, colorful cartoon characters, and dancing objects. They caught some of the jokes and understood the story, but I’ll bet they would watch it again if given a chance. We had great seats right in the middle of theater with plenty of leg room, too. It was memorable because all four of them were so good. Bring on Cars 2!

Special Sunday

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Today was special for one main reason: it was my brother’s last Sunday preaching at his church. At the end of the service, they expressed appreciation for his service by giving him a tribute through song, words of encouragement, and a special video. It was nice to witness such a significant event in his life.

We were sitting in the overflow room because of the children, so I was only able to catch a video feed of his sermon. The picture did not turn out so well but here it is:

last message

Another day, another opportunity to catch my nephews in action. Today, two-year-old Avery was acting every bit the big brother to his four-month-old sibling. He was holding his hand while they watched Finding Nemo on video. I don’t think I can ever get tired of documenting these moments.

holding your hand

Upgrade

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

10-gallon Tank

As of today, there are about 14 fishes in this tank, including the original 3 goldfish. Guppies, frogs, and algae eaters are among the ones on the list. We decided to upgrade the tank and went on a fish-shopping spree at Petsmart. The tank still looks rather empty because we got the smaller (but colorful) fishes. It is always a major event in the house to feed them because the boys never forget, and they always insist on getting a turn to drop those flakes into the tank. Along with the filter, heater, and lighting, we added our own accessories of various decorations to make it look nicer. The tank looks cloudy because of the amount of food that’s been dropped in — that, or the filter hasn’t kicked in yet. In any case, we’re hoping that all the fish will survive long enough to help the boys understand the responsibility of caring for pets.

Play Place

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Today, we decided to play indoors, so we took the kids to a “play place” which was just a little bit bigger than the ones in McDonald’s (but we did go for McD’s chocolate-dipped ice cream afterwards!). Even though there were no swings or slides, the boys got on some very interesting rides.

It took several shots before Aiden was relaxed enough to look natural. He was making some goofy faces before we got this one:

on a turtle

On the other hand, we couldn’t stop Aldridge from making a face … oh well. It was cute, anyway!

on a ladybug

Now, Avery is someone who could put on the charm in front of a camera, and we caught him unaware so we can get a candid look.

in a car

It was hard to coax a smile from Allister. He had just finished his milk and was content to look around the other kids playing.

in mommy's arms

New Fish Tank

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

After a visit to the park where my nephews were fascinated with petting a dog, I promised them that I’d take them to Petsmart where they can see dogs being groomed, as well as other animals, like cats, birds, and fish. It was a challenge, but I managed to get them from one section to the next without knocking down too many shelves. It was amusing to see them bewildered by snakes and lizards, but they were delighted in the hamsters and guinea pigs.

Petsmart

Another reason I brought them there was because I promised to buy goldfish for Aiden. I wanted to get him just one (like Elmo), but he insisted on getting two “so it doesn’t get lonely.” The indulgent aunt that I am, I agreed to it … even got him three goldfish! When we got back, his mother set up the tank for the three goldfish. It’s now sitting in the living room where the kids can see it. Training them not to touch it is another story.

pet fish

Glow

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Mona

Nothing like new love to color one’s cheeks.

Tonight, I had dinner with one of my good friends, Mona. It had been a while since we’d seen each other. The last time, I believe, was way back in Shanghai when we were still both in China. We’d known each other for almost 20 years, and as single sisters, we can talk for a long time about the same subjects, but now, she’s singing a different tune. She spent most of the night talking about her “new friend.” It’s a delight to live vicariously through her experience, and more importantly, I was very encouraged to hear God’s faithfulness to her through this miracle of a relationship. With weddings turning into baby’s birthday parties, it’s refreshing to know I still have friends who are experiencing new love.

Picnic

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Wens and the Boys

We were off again to one of our favorite places, the Park! This time, we brought food with us and had a proper picnic. We made our own sandwiches along with chips and drinks and toys. We decided to make an afternoon of it. While Wensley fed the little one and had some mommy “alone” time, I went to the playground with the boys.

We decided to bring the bike so they could ride around the park. But one of them was so afraid of the bees that he cringed walking in the grass (we finally convinced him, though). The bats and balls also came in handy later on after they got tired of the playground. Later, I took them for a stroll around the rose garden. Who would’ve thought that boys could actually enjoy flowers? One of them said the flowers were “cute.” At the end of our time, they were knocked out in the car even before we reached the house. I think this is one easy way for the boys to learn to appreciate the outdoors.

Matching T’s

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

It actually started with the three older boys and their matching T-shirts. Then, when Auntie Kim came for a visit, she got one for little Allister. On this day, we took them out for an outing and their mom dressed them all in matching dinosaur fossil T-shirts. It was just too cute. I took quite a few shots of them on the couch because it was really hard to get them all sitting still and looking at the camera.

This is the best I could do!

Fossil Boys

1st Birthday Party

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

It started with bridal showers, then invitations to weddings. I even got to take part in some wedding parties as bridesmaid and the occasional maid-of-honor. Then, there were the baby showers. And now, it seems time has ushered me forward into attending birthday parties for one-year-olds.

One of the girls I am holding is actually my goddaughter, Blest (there is a story to her name). In the Filipino culture, it is customary for the godparent to give gifts during birthdays and special occasions. I’m afraid that my time in China has kept me from fulfilling my duties. Perhaps now that I’m back, I can make up for lost time.

Blest, Leonivic, Ollie

The party was actually for this little guy’s birthday, Mateo. The last time I saw him was seven months ago. Now, he is attempting to walk on his own. His proud mother threw a great party in the park for family and friends, complete with games, a pinata, and lots of food. There were so many people that I was fortunate to catch some time with her! Now that she’s a mother, we have to be more intentional about meeting together and we’ll definitely plan on spending time catching up.

Marilen and Mateo

Kindergarten

Friday, May 13th, 2011

I tagged along so I can see where my nephews will be going to school in the future. The director of the kindergarten took us on a tour of the grounds — classrooms, playground, cafeteria, etc. Since the school goes all the way up to high school, I imagine that each of my nephews will go through the system, starting from kindergarten. Now, if only two of them can learn to potty by this Fall, perhaps they can get a head-start in their education!

Aiden's School

While their parents registered them, I played with my nephews out in the parking lot, walking them around in their stroller. Little did they know they will most likely grow up in this school district. But how exciting is it to think about them going to school in their little backpacks, lunch boxes, and uniforms! Seasons, indeed.

Outside the Registration Office