Sunday, January 25, 2009

Off to the Philippines

We are off to the Philippines tomorrow. Can't wait! We've been looking forward to this trip. It's been exactly two years since we visited my family in the Philippines... Isabelle was only 3 months. Anyway, we will be flying straight to Tokyo and that's a 12-and-a-half hours flight. We have a short lay over at Narita Airport in Tokyo of about 3 hours. From Tokyo, we fly to Manila where we are expecting to meet my sister and her husband who flew in from Thailand. We will be in Manila for a whole day. On the following day, we fly to Davao City where we meet the rest of my family.

For this family, I spent a lot of time to prepare. There will be at least 4 major events that will take place during our entire stay. One, my parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary. Two, my sister's reenactment of marriage vows. Three, Women's conference where I was asked to speak at. Four, Pastors and Church leaders Evangelism conference where my P and I are going to be speaking at. The rest of our days will surely be spent on beaches, visiting mountain resorts, friends and classmates reunions, scrabble time with siblings and chit-chatting with family members.

It's 10:30 pm and we are all packed and ready to go. I had my favorite bubble bath and Izzy played a lot with Orgil. P was helping me pack up our stuff for the trip this afternoon and now, relaxing... talking to his mom... for almost an hour now.

I better go put our little one to bed. Signing off...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Worth Watching

If someone is truly sincere in his/her quest for truth, he/she spends time investigating issues that lead to the discovery of the truth. One can not say he/she knows the truth and have preconceived ideas. Take time watching this 2 1/2 hours video on Bible translations and let me know what you think of it. Thanks. Oh, and please let me know of your thoughts only if you watch the whole thing.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama's Imeldific Inauguration

I am disgusted at the fact that the series of events of President Obama's inauguration is setting the record as the most expensive inauguration in the American history. The whole event costs more than 150 million US dollar!That fact is more despicable to think that it happens at a time when thousands of American people received "pink slips"! Didn't he conquered the office by his promises to save the country from the current economic crisis? How heroic is spending the money of the people who just got laid off from their jobs to pay for the president's parties? While he and his family are enjoying the royal parties with caviar and the most expensive wine on earth, many people don't even know where to get the money to pay for their mortgage this month. Lord, have mercy upon our new president! Give him wisdom to lead this country in righteousness and genuine compassion.

Weekend Blurb

We had a full weekend. We were looking for very dressy dresses for me and Izzy to wear on my parents 50th Anniversary in the Philippines on the 31st of this month. Glad we found the ones we want at the mall. So that's taken cared of.

It was the 25th Wedding Anniversary of the youth pastors in our church, so we went to that event on Saturday. We had Isabelle's best friends, Hope and Hannah watched her while we were at the occasion. The ceremony was beautiful! We also loved the fellowship with other people over snacks and cake at the reception after the ceremony. For dinner that day, we brought Hope and Hannah to World Buffet. Surprisingly, the couple who had the 25th Anniversary and their family were at the same restaurant. We ended up joining them in their table. It was a long dinner with them... about 3 hours. Conversations over good food seemed endless for us that time.

On Sunday, after church, we brought Hope and Hannah to their home. They had a sleep over and went to church with us in the morning. We didn't plan to stay longer at their house, but we ended up staying for 12 hours. We didn't come home until midnight. We feel so comfortable with them. We feel like we are at home at their house. We didn't do much but eat, talk, sing, pray, laugh, cry and laugh more. We love Hope and Hannah's mom and dad! And Isabelle loves her Hopie and Hannah so much!

So that's about our weekend. Have a blessed week you all!

Car Accident

Two of the boys dear to us had car accidents the few weeks. Both are in their early twenties and bright. Both of their cars were totaled. One happened somewhere in California when he went driving to the west coast with 3 other friends. The accident happened when one of his friends asked if she could do the driving. A mild snow storm came and she lost control of the car in a 50-mph traffic. The car smashed the elevated concrete road island. The driver broke her arm and our boy got burns on his face when the bag went off. The car was completely wrecked. We kind of bought that car for him... and he is paying it off monthly. But we are thankful he is alive! All of his friends are all alive as well. It could have been worse! Praise God for his new life!

Last Friday, we got a call from one of church friends letting us know that her son had a car accident on the way to his school that morning. It was his first day of school after he decided he wanted to be a paramedic in the meantime. He used to go to an expensive university and was studying to become a neurosurgeon. That morning on the way to his new school, just half a mile from home the snow plow hit his car when he was turning from a 50-mph traffic. He had his seat belt on and that kept him from flying through his car's windshield, which would probably put him in a very critical condition. Well, his car was totaled... but he is alive. He had a little concussion but was stable. A few CT scans were done on him and he was found out to be fine. He just needed to recover mainly from the trauma and from his little stitches. We are thankful he is alive and that God has given him another chance to completely put his trust in Him. Over the past few months, he had been doubting about God. The accident sure did put him in a place where he is given a chance to reflect on the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord on his life.

It's indeed a new year with a new life for these two boys special to Paul and me.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Mountain Climbing

I was visiting a friend's blog this morning and read that she has been preparing for mountain climbing. Wow! The last time I went mountain climbing with friends was about 12 years ago somewhere in Zamboanga. Oh, how time flies! I remember how I cried halfway to our destination. It was too much for me. I was catching my breath... we could not stop and take a break from walking because we were time pressured. We had to be on top of the mountain before it gets dark. It was just too dangerous for us to be walking in the dark in that area. My friends were worried about me and the guys even offered to carry me. That was nice of them to do that. But I said... "thanks, but no thanks." My physical stamina came to its last point but to give up is just not my style. So I kept walking... and crying.

We didn't only climb that mountain for fun. It was not fun to me at all. We climbed it for a purpose! We brought the gospel to the minority tribe who was settling on that mountain. The evening we got up there, we held an evangelistic meeting. The said meeting drew all of the settlers in the area. When it was my turn to speak, a drunk man picked on me. He commented on each of my lines jokingly and the people laughed. After speaking, I approached him and told him that God wanted to forgive him of his sins if only he would surrender to Him. He was laughing at me. He told me that nobody could stop him from going to hell because he was the most sinful of all sinners. He said that he had 12 wives, had been drinking for years and did terrible things to his wives. Then he asked what my name was. After I told him my name, he went away. The next morning, while having breakfast with my friends, someone told me that I got invited to our host's neighbor's home. I and my friends went to visit the said home right after breakfast. And guess whose house that was... the drunk man's. I was surprised to see him a different person. He was different when he's not intoxicated with alcohol. He told me that he got born again. He said that when he went away from the meeting the night before, he repented of his sins and placed his life in the Lord's hand. We celebrated his born-again experience. We were literally jumping and praising God until one guy came into the house and told us that we were also invited to visit another house in the neighborhood. Off my friends and I went to that house.

When we got there, we noticed that it was the biggest house in the village. We were all led inside... to a huge but filthy room. I was very uncomfortable there. I felt like it was a home of some demon-possessed person. My friends and I were very silent... silently praying... just looking at each other. The guy who led us in was actually the man of the house. He told us that his wife was in their bedroom waiting for us. He also told us that his wife had been battling with ovarian cancer for many months and that she just came home from treatments at the hospital. She actually came home because the doctors could no longer assure her that her treatments would help. She had a few weeks to live according to her doctors. Knowing that put me and my friends in a scary situation. But we were courageous... well, we were scared but we knew that we were there to show what kind of a God we served! We knew that God could heal her if it's His will. Okay, so we went into the couple's bedroom and saw the sick bald woman lying in bed. She got up as soon as she saw us. She stared at me with her huge eyes! I was overwhelmed with fear. I could feel that some kind of a demon was tormenting her. I was in spiritual warfare! I was battling against the evil spirit in her in my spirit. Then I felt led by the Lord to touch her and speak life in her in the name of Jesus Christ. I hesitated because I was scared. But the urge to do it just got stronger and stronger until I could not hold it any longer. I went closer to her and touched her and spoke life to her in the name of Jesus Christ. My friends and I left that house after we prayed for her. We all went to our respective homes, not really knowing what happened to that woman. A couple years had passed and I met one of my friends. He told me that the woman got healed from her cancer and that she got born again. She even became one of the elders of the church that was founded right after we left that village. What can I say??? Our God is an awesome God, He reigns!!!

Remembering that particular mountain climbing experience brought tears to my eyes this morning.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Scenic Sunday

Hmmm... I am not really sure if that is considered scenic. Anyway, I took this photo at my hubby's parents' neighborhood. That's P pulling the sleigh with Izzy and her cousin!

Yummy Sunday

When minii duu (my little sister in Mongolian language), Chuka was with us, she made us my favorite Mongolian food. Oh, the food sure brought a lot of memories to me. I was telling them how I loved Mongolian food on my first year in that country. On my second year, I just couldn't stomach it! The reality of the difference between the Filipino food and Mongolian food struck me that year. I didn't want to eat anything but Filipino food. So I went home and stayed for a year. When I went back to Mongolia my appetite for Mongolian food was resurrected and I have retained that appetite until now. So it was so nice of Chuka to make me my favorite Mongolian food.
"Mutton Soup" It was yummy!!!

The famous "mantoo"

Authentic Mongolian Milk Tea

Mongolian Friends

Last week, we had three Mongolian kids at our house. One flew here all the way from Massachusetts to spend the holidays with us. The other two live closer to us- one goes to school in Duluth and the other one works for an auditing firm in Minneapolis. All three of them are in their early 20's. And all three of them are gifted with extraordinary brains! Each has at least 3.50 GPA! Talking about intelligence! Imagine if Orgil was here too! But we are proud to say... P AND I BEAT THEM ALL IN SCRABBLE! Ha ha ha!

Contemporary Portrait Contest

Isabelle has learned to enjoy posing for the camera. This is one of the photos I took of her recently. To see other photos for Contemporary Portrait Contest, go here!

Busy as a Bee!

We're still busy as a bee! When will all these parties and trips be over? P was off from work over the week but we felt like we haven't really done something not work-related. There's always "work" stuff to do. Parties seem endless! The one we had last night was very fun but I felt like I was "edgy"... not really feeling like I was up for a party. Today, we decided we would relax... we'll go to the fitness gym- exercise and swim with Izzy. She sure is looking forward to it. She has just learned to dive into the water and she loves it! But before that happens, P has to do his food drive volunteer work for the food shelf in our county. You'd be amazed to know that there are so many people in our county who need free food! The food shelf goes empty a few hours after my hubby and his friends fill them. Now, that's fast! I hope that they will collect lots of food today.

Well, off to post some photos...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year, Indeed!

One of my closest friends and her family spent the New Year's eve with us. We started the time by arranging babysitters for our little ones so we could go out for a fine dining. I so wanted to go to a fondue restaurant, called, The Melting Pot, in Minneapolis downtown but when I called them for reservation they only had 4:30 and 10:30 pm open for us. Both times didn't fit us... one was too early and the other was too late. I was a little bummed because we had a coupon for one free meal at the said restaurant. Anyway, my friend decided to pick the restaurant and make a reservation for our kind of double-date dinner. We ended up eating at the Lexington Restaurant in an old area in St. Paul. It is located nearby the area of old mansions. It was fascinating to drive through that place! The mansions all looked humongous and beautiful! We were definitely happy about the restaurant. The lights were a little dimmer than usual, which made the ambiance more romantic. The food was great.

Both my friend and I love to wear dresses when we are dining out.

Our friendship has definitely been blessed by the Lord!

The best Calamari I ever had!

My friend's appetizer order! It's so yummy! Grilled Mushroom with steamed spinach!

The Lexington green salad.

The best lamb shank in the whole world!

Filet Mignon for me!

After our double-date dinner, we came home for a little New Year's Eve party with our kiddos. Our babysitters did a great job watching the kids. Isabelle and Cy didn't beat each other that night, according to the girls watching them! Yes, they usually did, which is part of their fun! While waiting for the big ball to drop in NY, we played Bingo. And I'm proud to say I won... too. We had some ice cream and the chocolate fudge that I made. We also had sparkling cider in our champagne glasses because we don't drink any alcoholic stuff. It was fun! The kids stayed up with us until after midnight.