Podcast

September 8th, 2020

I think I started sometime last year. I used to only listen to Ben Shapiro on Youtube when I get the chance. His “Ben destroys …” videos caught my attention and helped draw me into his talk show. But when it came to a point where I actually waited for the show to appear, that’s when I knew I was ready to be a subscriber. And so, when their Thanksgiving fifty percent off deal came, it was a no-brainer. I got my one-year subscription plus two leftist tears tumbler. I didn’t care much for the tumblers but I’ve been listening everyday since then. I think this season has been marked by my increased appetite for politics, especially with all the crazy things happening in the world. It reminds me of Glendora days when I used to listen to Duffy and Co. on my way home from work. That was my first exposure to conservative politics. Ben is a lot younger than me, but boy, do I learn a lot from him!

daily wire

Today was a tough day for homeschool. I think the purity of productivity went to yesterday. Ian was not as motivated. I have a feeling he got worn out. I hope he’s not getting burned. I’ll be monitoring it closely. I actually woke up at 5:30 a.m. this morning to prepare for my tutoring job as well as get my mind ready for today’s activities. I was still able to go walking for about 30 minutes. I’m worn out tonight and ready to turn in early. As a kind of reward, we received this assessment test that Ian took last week. What a boost to my confidence!

MATH
READING

Praise the Lord.

Exercise

September 7th, 2020

Lately, we have been feeling lethargic. We think it’s because of the kids becoming more energetic or that we are just getting old. We have actually started taking vitamins again. Last night, I felt bloated and heavy. I’d been thinking that I need to start exercising soon. This morning, we were discussing something and we actually came up with the same conclusion — it’s time to start exercising again, as in, today. So, we put aside time to either go on the elliptical, go out for a walk or a jog, or just start moving again. I decided to take a walk thinking I’d go to Costco and back. I forgot it was Labor Day so I ended up walking to Sprouts and all around the marketplace. It took me 40 minutes to go there and back. I felt satisfied with what I was able to do. Because of the 40-minute mark, I set a standard for the both of us. Now we are planning to give each other time to exercise everyday.

my view from Myford

Today was also the first day of the Fall homeschooling session. It was a smashing success. Not only was I able to tick all the boxes, but the kids were on a roll. I don’t know if it was because it’s still a Monday and they still have energy but they eagerly participated in everything I planned for them. What a way to start! I spent last night finalizing my lesson plans for the week. Thank God for answered prayers. I was even able to squeeze in some PE time for them in the afternoon.

Little sports video

New Printer!

September 6th, 2020

There are few things that comes close to touching my heart as a genuine gift as a writing tool. For example, I love looking at various types of tablets, stationery paper, laptops or even Inkjoy pens. Writing is indeed one of my first loves. When I received a laser jet color printer as a gift, I was thrilled. My mind went crazy with all the things I can do with this new fancy printer. I did have an inkjet, but this one is 100x better and relieves me of guilt (long story). For the first time, I allowed my mind to travel to places I never dared before. Today, I actually got to use it for the first time. I loved it! I can now totally dive into homeschooling with gusto. First stop: History.

history timeline

Today, we watched Mulan a second time with the kids. Though they had to “snuggle” through the scary parts, they finished the movie. I don’t think they will want to watch it again, though. But I just love this picture.

snuggle

Heat Wave

September 5th, 2020
hot!

It must be some kind of record-breaking heat. It was super-hot today. I was going to go out to return some items and go grocery shopping but changed my mind. Instead, we stayed indoors with the air-conditioner blowing (at 82!). We were invited to a dinner party but the kids and I will most likely skip it. Today, we caught up with some last-minute summer session activities. We performed our final Engineering experiment using a lemon and some wires to light up a bulb. It was a big Fail! So far, we haven’t had any luck with any of these types of experiments. I paid over $25 for the material which I will end up returning!

no luck!

Last night, even though it was almost midnight, we pushed through and bought the premiere of Mulan online. It was a satisfying movie and we are so glad to share it with the others in our account. I realize now that people are willing to spend money for quality product. Mulan was definitely quality. I think we will watch it again.

Mulan

Quiet Time

September 4th, 2020

Today is the end of the summer session. I made it official myself. On Monday, we break out the new books and we start the fall season. We won’t even take Labor Day off. I think we have a routine down at this point. If we just have Thursdays off every now and then (like yesterday’s beach day), I think we’ll last a while. I am quite excited for another new beginning.

puzzles

Every afternoon, the kids have gotten used to spending an hour or two in their room. This is usually after Ian’s online piano class or Chinese class. Sometimes, I give J a book to read or an iPad. At times, she has “dolly stickers” or paper dolls. Today, she’s did puzzles — a princess one, of course.

reading

Ian has gotten used to reading his books during quiet time. He knows when he is done because he would do other things, like write or play on his own. At times, he would go over to his sister’s room, especially when the quiet time goes too long, and he would initiate with her to play. This is how it’s been during quiet time in the summer season.

Newport Beach

September 3rd, 2020

We took another mid-week break and headed to the beach today. I think we are getting better at setting up our spot, tent and all. We had lunch there and it was so much fun for the kids. I wasted and I actually dozed off. As I lay on the beach mat, this was my view on the right.

Newport Beach Pier

We’ve been on this particular beach so many times — to take a walk at the pier, to shop for fish at Dory Fleet, to go on bike rides on the path, to play in the waves. We should come here more often than we do. But because we want to explore different OC beaches, this is one of the few times we actually got to enjoy it.

view from the left

It doesn’t show the tent but we were definitely under it. It was so comfortable and cozy. I made a ham and cheese sandwich with mayo and mustard. We also brought chips, cookies, gummy bears, apple slices. It was a really good day at the beach.

And of course, what’s a beach day without playing in the waves?

jumping in the waves

Another Haircut

September 2nd, 2020
all smiles

One good indicator that my kids are growing up fast is when they don’t react/respond the same way they did the last time they were in the same situation. This time around, Ian did not laugh or fidget or squirm throughout the session. Instead, it’s almost as though he anticipated what was going to happen and simply sat still. When we praised him for his stillness, he said that he prayed that he will not laugh too much. Though he still felt uncomfortable at times, he was able to communicate his needs (move the cord from his face, warns that he’s getting tired of sitting still). I think it helped that I purchased the haircutting gown and the brush along with it. It certainly made haircutting so much easier!

While waiting for her brother’s haircut, J busied herself with a rainbow ribbon that she wrapped around her waist. Though she didn’t know how to make a know, she managed to twist it around so that it stayed and looked rather fashionable on her. She was very proud of herself. When it was time to go upstairs, she couldn’t get it off so I helped her. But just as the ribbon fell to the ground, I think she felt regret that she couldn’t keep it and wanted suddenly to take a picture of it (so she could remember how to do it the next time). When I told her she will remember and that I will help her tomorrow, she started crying. I couldn’t say anything to console her. Throughout her bath time, even afterwards, she just kept crying. I decided to let her cry it out. Even though Ian laid out and prepared the books on the sofa (another first), I told them that we don’t have to do the reading if J was going to be crying all night. She responded with, “I’m trying to calm down.” As I blowdried her hair, she said to me, “Mama, after I calm down, can we talk about it?” This surprised me. How can a 4-year-old know to request such a thing? Such maturity. And so, after she calmed down, we talked. I explained to her what happened and reassured her that she will remember how to tie the ribbon around herself tomorrow. I enlisted Ian to help reassure her as he had similar experiences in the past when he had to clean up his blocks or magnets or legos after he built his towers. She asked, “How old was Ian when that happened?” I said he was four years old, which was true. This seemed to appease her. Ian told her that when she starts doing it, she will just remember. This was according to his experience. It was at that point that she relaxed, and we were able to do our Bible reading and devotions tonight.

Just some snapshots of everyday life this season.

First Day of Tutoring

September 1st, 2020
book study

Last night and this morning, I was stressed. I told myself I was just going to take it easy, but the truth is, I wanted to do my best job for these girls. Moreover, my plan was to create one lesson plan to teach all three girls in those two hours that I will be teaching. My mind was working even in my sleep, I think. This morning, as I prepared and went about homeschooling, the wheels were turning — and turning fast. Sitting with my laptop open, my fingers kept typing. I was actually able to create lessons for at least the next few weeks. It was exhilarating. The feeling reminded me of my teaching days when inspiration would strike and I’d ride the high until steam ran out. This time, though, my time is limited and I am forced to stop. On the actual hours I was teaching, I found my voice — and my spirit. It’s almost like I found myself again. I reclaimed myself as I embraced the role of teacher. What an experience. I have a feeling this is all just the beginning, too.

Cornish hen

From the old to the new self. Even as I spent two hours teaching and remembering my skills of old, I was able to create a dish tonight. This was dinner tonight. I marinated these Cornish hens in a dutch oven before I went online. I’m finally able to juggle the different aspects of myself. Becoming whole — this is what it’s all about.

Last Day of August

August 31st, 2020

Where has the time gone? This morning, Ian was so excited because he is aware that it is the last day of August. Tomorrow is his birthday month. It is a very big deal to him. As he checked off the last box in his calendar and got a new page, he is happy to welcome in a new month. For us grown-ups, we are this much closer to the end of 2020. It is indeed a different perspective. Even J is excited to get older and bigger and stronger.

It is the first day of Week 12 of homeschooling. Next week, I’ll officially start the fall session. For now, I’m still gathering data and finalizing what this curriculum will look like. Then I think I’ll finally be able to truly plan my lessons ahead. I’m also getting another perspective on homeschooling, one that is truly holistic and long-term. There certainly is maturing happening here.

The kids got a gift over the mail today. National Geographics Kids. Thanks to their godparents, Angelia and Ben.

Nat Geo Kids

Mother’s Beach

August 30th, 2020
Long Beach

We ventured to another beach area today. This one was recommended by the HVAC guy who came for quarterly cleaning. It was intriguing to hear “Mother’s Beach” so we went to see for ourselves. It wasn’t until about 12:30 p.m. that we were able to head out because the online church service ended about that time. When we got there, there was no more parking so we just stopped somewhere (red zone) to have our lunch. Afterwards, we slowly looked for street parking near the beach area. Sure enough, we found one, and it was an easy walk.

twinning

Yes, this outfit was deliberate. Papa picked it out for Ian this morning and they proudly displayed their matching outfits. I like the fact that the sun hats were matching, too! I told him that the older Ian grows, the more he seems to resemble him.

swimming pool

I didn’t go into the water. I didn’t even get my feet wet. But all three of them eagerly went in to wade and play and build a sand castle, rather, sand swimming pool. They spent over half an hour building it. Before we left, Ian was concerned and wondered if it will still be there the next time we go back. I told them we took a picture so we will always remember it. It was certainly a special time for them. The beach is starting to be a family favorite for outings.

my two darlings

This was on the walkway towards the beach. Something about this picture just warms my heart. I don’t know if it’s the way Ian smiles and holds his sister’s hand lovingly or J’s perfect little angelic face with the cute skirt that makes her look like a grown-up little girl. They are the light of my life. I thank God everyday for them and pray I don’t miss out on the blessings they afford me each and every day.