Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Weekend Recap

Friday night: We had that junk movie, called, Duplicity. Driving home from the movie felt like driving home from a dinner date at McDonald's. How unromantic was that... ooops, rephrase... how unhealthy and fattening was that! We were so bumped. But life is like that. We can't expect things to be always beautiful.

Saturday: P volunteered at church, painting with other guys. I was home with baby, kind of like complaining that I had a Saturday morning that felt like a regular weekday. But when P came home, he had two bundles of pretty roses and a Caribou vanilla latte for me. Not only that, he also bought roasted turkey so I didn't have to make dinner. How sweet is that! That is just as sweet as any wife can get! At night, we stayed home and talked.

Sunday: I woke up earlier than usual. It was one of those Sundays that I need to be at church for praise and worship rehearsal 2 hours before the service. Yes, I now sing at church. It was my second Sunday. Exciting! For lunch, we joined some friends from church at a Chinese Buffet. There was definitely a party in my tummy! After lunch, I did shopping for a couple hours. Then Paul and I and Izzy (sleeping in her car seat) went joy riding. We went to the nearby lake and watched the kids skateboarding. One of the kids approached us and asked P if he knew "drifting", referring to that thing when you drive your car in spinning, which is actually only possible with a really high-powered sports car like the Thunderbird that Paul had before. So they talked about it. Eventually, P led the conversation into witnessing. The four kids were listening and were very responsive. I was praying. Then we went home feeling so satisfied! Really, there's nothing more satisfying than sharing your faith to others.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Yummy Sunday

Our neighbors invited us for dinner at their house last week, she served us this fruit cake for our dessert. Paul was very happy... he is a fruit guy!

Scenic Sunday

Aerial view of Davao City. I took this one on our trip to the Philippines a couple months ago. For more scenic photos visit Scenic Sunda...

Scenic Sunday


P and I are not into movies anymore... well, we were never fans of Hollywood movies. In almost 4 years of being husband and wife, we only went out for a movie 4 times. For us, going to a movie theater for a date is kind of a WOT (waste of time). Well, except for that one time when we watched the Fireproof. Fireproof was a real "date" material for married couples. Anyway, I was talking with my BIL on the phone last night and he asked me why I said in an email that P and I are not into movies anymore. I told him that one of the main reasons is that we are so disgusted with the dirty language that most movies now contain. The constant cursing and using of the name of God and Christ as cuss words seriously bother us. We can't stand it. Sitting there for two hours listening to sinful words is just too much. If a Christian can sit in a theater for two hours per week for a PG-13 Hollywood movie but can not even read the Bible and pray at least two hours per week at home, then there is a serious problem. Sanctification can never be attained by intentionally exposing ourselves to the ungodliness of this world.

Last night, for some reason, we thought we would go out for a movie while Izzy stays home with her Uncle Orgil and works on her new geography jigsaw. We planned on watching the movie called, Confessions of a Shopaholic. When we got to the theater, we realized that it was no longer showing. We decided to watch Duplicity. Oh, it was two hours of listening to cuss words. We also felt so uncomfortable watching the lead stars kissed and did some bed scenes knowing that they are not married. How can other people overlook that... I don't know. I was surprise we didn't walk out. I guess we just got curious about how the story would end. And when it ended, we sighed... and said... "such a piece of garbage!" That movie ruined our date, that's for sure. I wore my red shoes and used my gold purse for that date. But I guess it happens. In the future though, we will be more careful.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bulgogi Recipe

I am posting this for Gigi.


1 lb. very thinly sliced beef
1 Kiwi fruit or apple (kiwi is the best tenderizer)
1/4 c. soy sauce
3 T sesame oil
1 T sugar
3 dashes black pepper
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
green onions
2 T Japanese or Korean cooking rice wine
1 T vinegar (optional)


1. Put the meat slices into the large mixing bowl and sprinkle sugar over it and mix with hands or chopsticks. Let it stand of about 10 minutes

2. Prepare the marinade... place onion and kiwi into food processor or blender until liguid and pour into small bowl. Mix soy sauce, sugar, black pepper, sesame oil, cooking wine and vinegar. After mixing taste it. You want have a slightly salty, sweet taste. If it's too salty, add a bit more sugar.

3. Chop garlic into small pieces, cut green onion into 2 to 3 inch pieces and put into sugar/meat mixture.

4. Pour both sauces into the garlic/onion meat mixture and mix well, using hands or chopsticks. It is important to mix thoroughly so the marinade is evenly distributed throughout the meat. Refrigerate for at least tow hours or overnight.

Dina's Favorite Cookies


3/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 egg
1 stick butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt (opt.)
1 c. raisins
3 c. Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices; add to butter mixture, mixing well. Stir in oats and raisins. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 9 minutes for a chewy cookie, 10 to 11 minutes for a crisp cookie. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire cooling rack. Store in tightly covered container. 4 1/2 dozen.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bulgogi: My Comfort Food

You can not imagine how excited I was when I finally learned how to make Bulgogi. That was two years ago. Bulgogi is made from thin slices of sirloin or other prime cut of beef. The meat is marinated with a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, kiwi fruit or apple. Before cooking, the meat is marinated to enhance its flavor and tenderness. Kiwi fruit is the best meat tenderizer I've ever known.

Bulgogi is traditionally grilled, but pan-cooking is common as well. It is best eaten with raw whole cloves of garlic and radish or cabbage kimchee. My favorite way of eating them is wrapping each bite-size serving of Bulgogi, garlic, rice and kimchee with lettuce or other leafy vegetable. Oh, it's very tasty!

Bulgogi is more than nutritious and yummy food for me. It reminds me of how God blessed my life with my Korean very thoughtful and sincere friends. It also reminds me how I loved being in Seoul, Korea. I got to visit the city three times in 4 years. I love Korean culture, food, cleanliness and the people. I love the Korean Christians' devotion to prayer and generosity. In addition, Bulgogi wrap was my comfort food back when I was in Mongolia. When I got really sick of the harsh weather, when I got tired of the greasy meaty Mongolian food, when I felt lonely and sad, when I have money, I always went to a Korean restaurant and ate a lot of Bulgogi. It made me happy.

I am so glad that one of my close friends here found Bulgogi to be very tasty. She loves it now. It's really great having someone to share the joy of eating Bulgogi wrap. Paul eats it but it's not really his favorite. Well, I understand being that Americans are not trained to eat Kimchee. I wasn't either but I have become a Kimchee-lover!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Weekend Recap

We had a beautiful weekend. We stayed home and played Scrabble with Orgil. It was a great game but very sobering! Orgil has been beating P and me 4 times in a row now! It's embarrassing! I guess I taught Orgil English too much back in Mongolia! The blame is on me, that's for sure! Anyway, it was nice that our Belle flower let us play without her interruptions. She was so happy playing playdough and her new Dora set over popcorn. The big people had banana cake and tea. It was a sweet evening for our family.

On Saturday, we spent time with our close friends, the Samuelsons. We helped them deliver fliers of their architecture business. It was a perfect day to walk around their neighborhood... the temperature was up to 65F. We then went to Famous Dave's restaurant for lunch. I had a big order of their spare ribs and shrimp combo. I shared it with Izzy... she ended up eating just the corn. She wasn't up for shrimp... I know it's strange! She's always loved shrimp except that day. We went back to delivering fliers and went back to their house for the girls to take a nap. Hope, Hannah, Izzy and I napped in their king size therapeutic bed for an hour, while Paul and David continued delivering the fliers. After our nap, the little girls played playdough and I had coffee. Lisa, (the lady of the house) came home from work and made dinner. I didn't feel like helping her. Instead, I and the girls turned on the TV and put the movie August Rush. We were watching the movie while waiting for Lisa's Bolognese spaghetti and Caesar salad. I felt a little spoiled there. I didn't do anything but napped and ate yummy food. We ended up staying until 10 pm. We love to be with them so much that we don't care looking at our watches.

Yesterday (Sunday), we went to church in the morning. I didn't have to go to church much earlier because I wasn't scheduled to sing with the worship team. But it was my first Sunday to teach the preschoolers' Sunday school. It was fun to be with the kids. I told them the story about the wise and the foolish builders. They loved the story. I can't believe how their little brains could comprehend the principle of building a house. I think it was easier for them to understand the concept of building a house in a sand as I talk to them about what happens to a sand castle if we pour water on it. But I was excited that they also understood that if a house is built on a rock it stands strong. They're very bright! Anyway, after church, we went with friends from church to Chipotle. Izzy and I had steak burito in a bowl. I loved it. Izzy didn't. She ended up having chips and choco milk for lunch. How nutritious is that? I felt bad. We spent all afternoon napping, reading, shopping and watching TV.

Now, your turn to tell me about your weekend.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Dinner with Special Friends

We have made our next door neighbors one of our close friends the past two years. They are Somalis who have been living in the US for more than 10 years. They are a wonderful family. Isabelle and I go out with the wife and her daughter a lot. Our little girls have definitely become best of friends. The couple has been really open to tell us how they love us and that they find us rather having beautiful hearts. They tell us how they believe that the reason why we have beautiful hearts is because we love God. It is very encouraging to hear that from them! P and I love and pray for them a lot. We are praying and looking forward to the day when God unite our hearts in Him. We continue to allow ourselves to be used by God to bless this family with His saving grace and love.

Last Friday, they asked us to join them for dinner at their house. We had a great time talking over Somali food. The man of the house asked P to pray. And P prayed in Jesus' name. Every person, big and small, in that table said, "Amen!" Isn't that awesome?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Paul and I are finally back to serving at our church. We kind of stop doing ministry when Isabelle was born. Paul used to teach little girls at our old church. He did that for 6 years. I got to help him with that for a while. When we moved to our new church a year and 3 months ago, we were so content not doing anything until Paul was asked to lead the Food drive ministry, where he leads a group that collects food donations and bring them to Dakota Country food shelf. Just a few months ago, our pastor asked him to lead the evangelism team of the church. As for me, the church asked me to help teach the preschoolers Sunday school. I just gave my "yes" to that request a month ago. I will start that ministry this coming Sunday. Also, I have just joined the music team. In fact, last Sunday I got to sing in front for the first time after about 10 years of not doing any worship leading. So we are happy that we are back to ministry... at church, because we have not stopped our ministry of evangelism and discipleship. It's about time to get involved in church ministries.

"I'm bored!"

"I'm bored!" seems to be the favorite line of the young generation here in America. How sad. And to me, it does raise red flags. These kids who are saying this line have i-Pod's, cellphones, computer games, internet access, televisions with at least 50 channels at home, DVD's of their favorite movies, all kinds of toys, hundreds of books and etc.. On top of the listed things, there are public libraries, fitness centers, community learning centers, malls and schools with everything they need to be busy with. Whatever happened to this generation!

Growing up, I didn't have the luxury to enjoy all that the kids are enjoying now but I can not remember being bored. My sister and I were so content with our Coke bottle we used as a doll. We were so happy making our play house from coffee branches and banana tree barks, as opposed to the ready-made play houses that are available today. We loved recycling our mother's cans and jars from her kitchen into our own play kitchen utensils. Now, little girls can choose from so many kinds of ready-made play kitchen sets.

"I'm bored!" clearly speaks of discontentment and ungratefulness. This generation is plagued with a constant desire for more. Never satisfied. Never grateful. Stomachs are never full. Minds can not rest. Hearts are full of acquisitiveness. It scares me! It freaks me out because this was the case of the people of the Tower of Babel. They were not satisfied to build just a high tower. They wanted a tower that reached to the sky... to make a name for themselves. God looked at them with displeasure. He was so displeased that He punished them with confusion. I believe that He has started to confuse people now. The technology today has become confusing to most of the people.

Oh, by the way, the bulb of our Plasma TV blew up... now we have experienced the peace brought by not having a TV.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Singing Bees

These girls are just three of my 8 nieces in the Philippines. We couldn't wait for my parents first grandson... if he comes, he comes. If not, God must have an important reason for giving them many granddaughters. Anyway, I love these three girls. They are super talented! They each has a very unique personality. But all three of them are very beautiful!

Volume up your speakers...

My Only Sister and "Bestest" Friend

She is fondly called Gigi, Nene, Kokoy, Grace and Mary. I call her Gigi. She is 2 years younger than I am, but I don't look that much older than her (LOL!). We grew up and made all kinds of memories together as sisters, playmates, rivals, co-workers, discipler-disciple (who's who? it purely depends on the situation), master-servant (who's who? it also depends on the situation), and etc..

We are opposites. That's why we attract. She talks all day, I think all day. She does, I watch. She has a million of close friends, I have twenty. She is the life of a party, I am... uhmmm... getting there, I suppose. She loves the outdoors, I love indoors? well, 50/50. She works hard at home, I am usually the beneficiary of her hard work at home. She works and talks fast, I am slow. She is practical, I am impractical? Hehe... theoretical, that's maybe the right... and classy word. She learns by hands-on experience, I am... hhhmmm... well, leaning toward being speculative. Anyway, enough of the opposites.

We are both loved by handsome men! Both married on our early 30's! Both hearts were transformed as we surrender them to the Lordship of Jesus. Both are teachers. We both love to sing and dance. We both drink coffee. We each has a cute little daughter. We both love to laugh. We both are silly. We both speak at least 3 different languages fluently. We both have long black straight hairs. We both weigh 105 pounds. We both are Jesus freaks... we love Him so much. We both are so blessed!!!

She loves me and I love her!

It was great seeing her on our very recent trip to the Philippines... that's after 2 years.

Spoiled Generation

During weekdays, I usually wake up earlier in the morning to make sandwiches for my hubby to take to work for lunch. Then, I would quickly turn on my lappy, leave it and make coffee for myself. As soon as I get the coffee maker going, I would return to my laptop to check my emails, Facebook and Friendster, listen to my audio Bible and blog hop. This morning was a little different. Okay, I pressed the power button of my laptop and left it to make coffee. I got the coffee maker going so I went back to my laptop to do my internet routine. However, my laptop wasn't ready yet. It was downloading updates for a couple minutes, which literally felt like an hour. I started to grumble. After complaining I knew I have just proven that I have become a citizen of this spoiled generation.

Checking my Facebook, I came across one of my friends' video link post. It's called, "Everything's Amazing, Nobody's happy." by Louis C. K. I'm not really a fan of Louis C. K., but this particular video made me plead guilty. It's hilarious and it's got a lot of truth in it. You could check it, laugh about it and be guilty. However, I don't recommend watching his other videos, he swears a lot... it's disgusting.

Dear Jesus, forgive me for my complaining attitude this morning. Help me to be patient and be thankful for all the fast things that I am enjoying now. Teach my spoiled generation a lesson- a lesson to bring us to our knees and recognize that every good thing comes from you and that we need to be thankful for them.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Philippine Trip- Tandag

My family moved to Tandag from Davao way back in 1988. It was right after I graduated from high school in Maragusan. I went to college in Tandag, taking up BS in Business Administration majoring Banking and Finance. I have quite a bit of friends in Tandag- from college, church and youth organizations I was a part of back then. Life there wasn't very easy economically, especially when I was in college. However, after finishing my college, things got better that I even got to go to the graduate school without borrowing money.

What I like about Tandag the most is the abundance of seafood. I am a seafood (and veggies) person, so I love Tandag for that... and of course for the special people God has placed in my life.

I love where my parents live now. It's ways from the downtown, so it's quieter (except early in the morning when the roosters do their cock-a-doodle-doo's) and cleaner. Oh, it was nice to see papa's little farm. He has lots of plants, including bananas and rice! Their place has a countryside atmosphere in it. I love it.

Philippine Trip- Davao City

We had a lot of fun vacationing in Davao City last January. We stayed there for 5 days. It was great to be with the whole family, catching up with everyone's life. Here are the photos we took...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bail Out

Since day one of the bail out thing, I have always been opposed to it. I know that supporters of it want to make it sound like it is for the welfare of so many people who would have lost their jobs if the government didn't "come to the rescue" kind of a thing. The bail out, at first, seemed heroic to people who have less care or worst, ignorant of one of the important factors that makes a country the land of the free- capitalism.

The humongous amount of money that the government spent on bailing out the wealthy "fools" of this nation has paved the way for "more government" on this nation. The beauty of capitalism which is to achieve lesser governance has been totally a failure over the past few months. As the government holds the preferred stocks of these giant corporations being bailed out, capitalism has lost its place in this country.

I am just wondering where all of these extravagant spending of this present administration will lead this country to. These stimulus funds are not the answer to rebuild this economy. It only stimulates tax raise! Tax raise for the middle class people who are working hard... working hard to rescue the wealthy.

How about bringing the corrupt big fishes of those bailed out companies into justice?

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Something about Jollibee fast-food restaurant in the Philippines that makes little boys and girls go crazy. The first time Izzy saw it, she got excited... I mean, very excited. She asked me what it was and I told her it was a fast-food restaurant. She has never forgotten about it since then. She fell in love with Jollibee! When we were driving in the main cities, she could easily spot a Jollibee restaurant and scream to the top of her voice and say the word over and over again until everyone in the car says, "oh, yes, it's Jollibee!" When we were at the Metropoint mall in Pasay City, she saw a Jollibee mascot and gave it a big big hug. Her smiles told us how much she loved it!

The "effect" Jollibee has on children made the business launch a very successful record as one of the leading companies in the Philippines for many years now.