Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Paramedics at our House!

Yes, the paramedics came to our house about 10 minutes after I called 911 yesterday around 12 noon. No, it wasn't me. It wasn't Izzy either. It was Izzy's friend. What happened was this... my bff came to see me and for her 30 months old son and 1 year old daughter to play with Izzy. Something "terrible" happened at her kids' pediatrician clinic earlier and she couldn't wait to tell me about it. Her 1-year old daughter was given a wrong vaccination shot!!! The nurse admitted that instead of a Hepatitis B she mistakenly gave the little girl the shot for Hepatitis A, which is not supposed to be given to kids under 2 years old! What a serious error on the part of the nurse! Worse thing, the nurse didn't even apologize! I was really angry when I heard about it. This is the life of a one-year old girl we are talking about... how could they make such a mistake? It is so unacceptable!

Anyway, my friend and I were talking about it when suddenly we heard her 30-months old son cried in pain in Isabelle's room. It was a cry that really got our attention... we knew it wasn't one of those fights between him and Izzy because it wasn't Izzy crying, if you know what I mean. So we rushed to Izzy's room and found my girl standing on her bed and the little boy on the floor, screaming in pain. When his mother checked him, his blood squirted from below his chin! We both screamed and panicked. We thought it was more than just a little cut. We even thought the blood came from his throat! My first thought was to look for my first aid kit, only to find out I didn't have first aid kit for cuts. So I looked for a clean cloth to use to press on the cut to stop the bleeding. While his mom did that I asked if she wanted me to call 911 and she nodded. So I called 911 and answered a few questions from them. About 10 minutes later they parked the ambulance in front of out house and two paramedics came in. They suggested the boy to be brought to the urgent care for stitches. He and his mommy went with the paramedics to the hospital, where I gave birth to Izzy. I was left at our house with my friend's 1-year old daughter and, of course, Izzy. Two hours later, she called and said that they had been waiting at the emergency area and that she already got really sick and tired of waiting there. She said that there was not many people but nobody had attended to them yet. The bleeding in her little boy's chin had stopped, so she decided to come back home even before a doctor could to see them. It's terrible. They were very hungry, too! I was so disappointed at Fairview Ridges hospital! So, they came back and had lunch at our house, gave him a bath and drove back to their house.

Such a traumatic day for me and my friend. I could also feel the trauma that Izzy experienced when she saw her friend fell from her bed to the floor. I had to comfort her. Later, she explained what actually happened. She did it pretty well that I was able to understand what cause the cut below his chin. The cut was about half an inch. I have no idea how deep it was though... must be deep enough to spurt that amount of blood. Anyway, he was reaching for Izzy's stars (those that light up in the dark) on the wall by the bed. Somehow, he lost his balance, tipped over the edge of the bed and hit his chin on the foot board. I figured out that the strong pressure caused the cut. I didn't know it was possible until one of our neighbors told me. Anyway, I believed Izzy's explanation because there was an evidence... we found little stars in the boy's hand. The stars are not strong enough to cause a cut, so it was the stars. Here's the thing, when I shared this story to one friend, he said... "it's dangerous to reach for the stars without being careful!" He was being funny but yes, there's some truth in it. Lesson to learn: Always keep an eye on your little children while they are playing. Double check what the pediatricians give to your kids.

Weekend Recap

We had quite a weekend. P was off from work on Friday so we could attend the conference at our church. We had such an awesome speaker! We were so blessed. The conference started on Thursday night and ended on Friday night. I got to actually be at the conference twice and got to hear the speaker, otherwise, I was helping at the nursery so other moms would have a chance to enjoy the conference. Oh, and I made cookies the day before the conference and brought 4 dozens to church. There was a lot of good food for the fellowship after the evening session. The women at our church worked hard to serve such great food for the delegates. That was really fun.

Saturday, we stayed home most of the time because all three of us had allergies. It's this time of the year where our noses get itchy. We've been taking turns sneezing and blowing our noses! Not fun at all but it happens.

Sunday, we drove to our friends' place in St. Paul for their daughter's first birthday right after church. We got stuck in traffic because it was raining and so the traffic was very slow, plus, there was an a car accident... so that wasn't very fun... what was supposed to be a 30-minute drive became one and a half hours. Bummer, yes... but also yes, it happens. When we got to our destination, I almost didn't have time to dress up like a fairy. Yes, I was supposed to look like a fairy mother to Izzy who was dressed up as Tinker Bell. I had to make two Filipino dishes, so it used up my time to put fairy make-up on. My friend (the mom of the birthday girl) looked fantastic in her fairy outfit and make-up. Good I still managed to have time to wear my simple pink fairy dress. So we had fun at the party! Quite a few of our friends came so it was a great time catching up with the latest in their lives.

We didn't drive home until around 10:30pm. Yes, it was that late. It's all because Paul did some ministry of witnessing to the men who came. We know them so it wasn't really evangelizing strangers. In fact, some of them kind of expected for spiritual talks to happen because they know Paul loves to talk to them about God. I am so proud of my husband!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Izzy and Mommy Day

Yesterday, Isabelle and I went to the Mall of America for some fun time. She, of course, wanted to visit the Lego Land first and then the rides. We went to her favorite places first... kind of making her feel obligated to go with me (with a smile) to my favorite stores, like Arden B. And so yes, she didn't complain the whole time we hopped from one store to another. I'm glad she has now a good understanding that what is "deal" is deal... and that she has to keep her promise to me.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Miss California's Boldness

News have really been redundant the past few months. If it's not about the economic meltdown which is referred to as one of the reasons for murders and suicides, then, it's about the liberal moves of the new president. Today, though, was different, a young woman made a bold statement of her stance on the Biblical correctness of marriage as between a man and a woman. Here is a new face among the icons of beauty and brains... Carie Prejean was expected to win the pageant but she obviously didn't care if she lost the crown of the next Miss USA to someone else, she knew she had to remind America and the whole world that this is still a country of citizens standing bravely on the freedom to live as Biblical Christians. Awesome!!! We are in a free land... we have a full right to declare what we believe! We do not have to compromise our very own beliefs to appease the people who have continually refused to receive the gospel and are given to a reprobate mind.

My Favorite Wedding Songs

Well, what can I do? I got tagged by my sisi, so here I go...

5 of my favorite wedding songs:

1. All in His own sweet time (I don't know who the song writer and artist are, but that's on top of my list because in my wedding story, that song speaks it all!)

2. The Lord's prayer (That song was sung by P's best man who is an opera singer in New York on our wedding day. It was awesome!)

3. You are my song (by Regine Velasquez only)

4. How did you know (by Gary V... makes me cry! so touching)

5. Love is stronger than anything (Cathy Maliza)

Now, I don't think there's anyone left not being tagged of this one. I'll just end here, if you don't mind.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Steak Season

I call spring and summer the steak season. Steak (the real thing... beef!) is one of the many reasons I love my life in America. My all-time favorite is a well-done rib-eye. This year though, I am planning to start eating medium-rare. The reason why I have been a big fan of well-done is because I don't think eating food that is not cooked thoroughly is good for pregnant and nursing moms. Anyway, I have started to make steak on our charcoal grill. Last Tuesday, I made steak, served with baked potatoes, freshly baked garlic bread and fruit salsa, P was very happy! It's his favorite meal. And we had dinner at our deck... that made it just the perfect one for my hubby.

Spring is here, at last!

Spring is finally here. It felt like forever waiting for the winter to end. Winter seemed to refuse to exit until last week. It's been really warm since then. Belle and I have been enjoying the outdoors. She loves running on our lawn and playing basketball with me on our driveway. When a friend of mine and her two kids came to visit us from New Brighton, we took an afternoon walk together... it was refreshing. P and I and our little Belle have also started our after-dinner daily walk around our neighborhood. The little girl enjoys it because now that she is bigger she gets to actually walk and not have to sit on her stroller. Now, she gets a lot of exercise. She needs it... and loves it.

On Saturday, we did a lot of yard work. P was raking our lawn and cleaning our garden beds. I was planting flowers. We love having annuals in our garden beds because their blooms seem to last from spring through fall. I still have to study more about planting flowers in our place. The perennials are difficult for me to figure out. I still want to someday have the most beautiful flower garden- one that has a lot of blooms at least on spring through fall. Anyway, on Saturday while planting flowers under the nice warm sunshine, I remembered my mom. She loves planting flowers and is very patient with caring them. I'm not sure if I will ever have the same amount of patience and passion for flowers. I love flowers around the house but I'm not as hardworking as my mom and other ladies in gardening.

I am happy that it's been raining since yesterday. It's sporadic though. I just can't wait to see a green mini-jungle in our backyard. I'm kind of tired of the brown dead branches on the trees. I want colors!!! These rains we have now will definitely bring colors in a few days. Can't wait.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Blessed with Great Friendships

One of the things that I was praying for when I got here 3 and a half years ago was friends. Being thousands of miles away from the family, I was desperately needing friends- friends who would make me feel less homesick. In my heart of heart, I knew that God would answer this particular prayer and bring special people into my life. Back when I was traveling in Central Asia, God didn't fail to provide me wonderful friends each time I asked Him. So I never doubt He wouldn't give me friends in America. Today, I am so blessed with great friendships! All women in my neighborhood are my friends but two of them are very good friends. There's a Filipino group that I became a part of and I have made a lot of friendships in that group, but 5 of the ladies in the group are special... and one of the five is my bff. I have so many American friends but two of them are very close to me. I am forever grateful to God for the blessing of friendship!

I wrote about friendship because this morning when I woke up, a friend stopped by to bring me a big bowl of her home-made fish soup. I felt so loved! It's not her first time, she has been doing this at least once in a couple months for about three years now. I just feel so blessed!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Sunday

Still in Winona...

We went to church in the morning with P's parents. As I anticipated there was a little bit of a show at the beginning of the service. I apologize if I will sound critical but I don't understand why the church put on a professional singer for a special number at the beginning of the service... well, that's not my concern because, obviously, there's nothing wrong with that. My issue is on the song he sang. Why would they make an Easter service, or any church service, look like a variety show on TV? The singer, by the way, sang "It's a beautiful day" by U2, if you are familiar with that, which most of my readers here are, I'm sure. Well, that one I didn't like much. The rest of the service was good though. The songs during the worship time were great. The message was... well, okay. I said "okay" because I think I only understood at least 50% of the of the sermon. It's not that plain and simple for me... there was too much analogy and too much information. I craved for inductive preaching. Anyway, we're just glad we got to be with P's parents on Easter Sunday. Food at lunch was great... great because we got to eat Pluma Moos and etc.. We also went to DQ for ice cream and enjoying visiting with the neighbors.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I think this is very funny!!!

I found this one in the profile of one my friends in Facebook and it cracked me up!

Micah's guide to being a successful bench player:

the first rule to being a good bench player is admit you suck, there is a reason your sitting there. this is very hard for a lot of people to do, but once you admit you deserve to sit there, the happier you will be.

the second rule is, basketball is not life! if you wanna have a conversation on the bench, then do it! who cares if its the first quarter and we are tied, the interesting stuff happens at the end.

the third rule is, be in shape for the bench. its hard popping up off your butt after being comfortably sitting for couple quarters and dodging out of the way of the cocky starters who feel like the world serves them, not to mention reflexes to grab that water and towel and hand it to them.

the forth rule is dont waste your time, when the coach is walking back and forth looking for the next person to put in, its not you so dont even waste your time trying to look like your ready to go in. dont waste your time stretching, or tying your shoes either. and certainly dont bother watching what he draws on the play board during the timeout, you know it your not involved.

the fifth rule is important. the coach and the players need to think that you are involved and actually care how they are doing, so say good job, give lots of five fives and pretend like you are paying attention.

the sixth rule is above all the most important. no one can be a good bench player without a wing man, this is the guy you will be best friends with, you guys will watch each others backs the whole season and have the strongest bond with. you should take a picture of the first time you go on the court together. pick someone that doesnt take themselves to seriously, remember, your the joke of the team.

the last rule is simple, personize your bench, this is your new home. hang some pictures up, a welcome home matt, have a cushion for your butt and some food. take pride in your bench.

bench players are like the leaders in disguise, they get people ready for championship games by keeping everyone relaxed and confident in themselves. the bench has come a long way, from being made of stone and wood to the more familiar plastic that we know today.
a team is only as good as its bench.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Scenic Sunday

I took this photo from the boarding area at Narita Int'l Airport on January 27, 2009. For more scenic photos, check out...

Scenic Sunday

Easter in Winona

It's been wonderful to get to be with P's family here in Winona for Easter weekend. We drove here last night after our Good Friday service at church. The drive was nice and... noisy, I should say. Izzy was very excited to see her grampa and gramma and was singing and talking a lot. P and I had to put her nursery cd on so she settles down and we could start our conversation. We always treasure our out-of-town drives and we enjoy our endless conversations on just about anything while in the car. So last night's drive was fun.

Today, we were not busy. P helped his dad do some work at the house- preparing for the warm days ahead. Mom and I talked a lot while working in the kitchen. Izzy and I took a long nap after lunch... it was really good to be able nap that long. I don't usually nap for an hour and a half because I prefer the power 5-minute naps in the afternoon. Anyway, mom has been serving us really good food here, so we have been eating well. We had roast beef for supper and that was very delicious. I don't know, for some reason, I feel like I eat more when I am in Winona. Anyway, after dinner, I got to drive to one of P's friends growing up. We saw them at their new house. It was nice for P to meet his friend... play catch and talk. I also enjoyed talking to his wife. She has such a bubbly personality... something rare around here. Generally, Minnesotans are reserved(?!)... kind of like prim and proper. So it was nice to meet someone who loves to laugh out loud!

Tomorrow, we will be going to P's church growing up with his parents. We always go to this church every time we are in Winona. The church is okay, it's just that sometimes their services get too theatrical... sort of too much entertainment... too much creative stuff that are sometimes "distracting" to me. I am hoping there's not a lot of drama going on tomorrow. I kind of suspect that there will be some of that if not a lot because it's Easter Sunday. Oh, well... I guess I can handle that. I just prefer simple services... like worship Jesus and listen from the Word... oh, and yes, fellowship with other believers.

Well, I hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday tomorrow... and all Sundays!

Monday, April 6, 2009

P's Birthday Bash

What can be better than celebrating birthday on a Sunday... you get to go to church first and then other fun things follow. That's what we did for P's birthday yesterday. We went to church, came home, took a nap, played basketball outside while Izzy was biking, I baked a colorful cake, went out for steak, came home for cake and P's gift opening and payed Scrabble. P and all of us had fun. For Izzy and my presents, we bought him shirts for summer. Orgil got him two DVD's of Max Lucado and Lee Strobel. When he saw the cake, he thought it was the first most colorful cake he has ever seen! I'm glad he liked it because I worked hard to make it possible. I know he has a sophisticated taste for colors... he likes bright colors so I worked extra on making his birthday cake very colorful.

For steak at dinner, we thought we would go to a restaurant we had not been to together... and that was the Timberlodge. The place was okay. I accidentally (???) ordered prime rib... well, I totally forgot I don't care for it. When I saw it, I didn't like it. P suggested I would order sirloin steak because they only serve a 14-pound ribeye, it was too much for me. Ribeye, by the way, is my favorite. Yes, I know I don't need the extra fat in it. Anyway, I made a second order or sirloin and was happy. We ended up taking home the prime rib.

Well, according to P, his birthday didn't end at 12 midnight last night. He has a point though, we still have a party for him others with his family soon.

Progressive Dinner

Three families in our small neighborhood coordinated a progressive dinner last Saturday. Being that we were free, we got to join them. We started off at one house with appetizer. After about an hour, we walked to another house for a fondue dinner. Fondue dinner is perfect for parties. It's very fun to eat slowly... and talk in between putting food in the mouth. We also played Wii, where Paul beat all in dancing! Believe me I'm telling the truth! Anyway, after our tummies digested part of the Teriyaki beef we had in fondue, we were ready for dessert. It was time to climb the hill where the house of our new neighbor couple moved in a few months ago. By the time we were ready to leave for the "dessert" house, it was already snowing hard. It suddenly felt like December. We walk to the hill during the snowfall. When we got to the house, I smelled coffee. I was happy. I was ready for it the moment the snow flakes touched my hair. We were also surprised to see candles on a German chocolate cake on their dinner table. Paul had a surprise birthday bash that night. So nice of them to do that. I got to have coffee and chocolate cake that night. How nice was that! It was already 11:30 when we got home. Surprisingly, Izzy was so awake and was a great party-er.

Us and our neighbors at the third house...

Winter in Spring

It's just so Minnesota... snowing like crazy on April 5th! It's very pretty though. However, I could care less about looks when I am so ready for the summer. Imagine waking up wondering if it was December or April. I was pretty sure it's April. But looking through our window in our bedroom, it felt so "decembery!" (if there is such a word!) I entertained myself with the glorious snow sitting on the trees. The summer umbrella on our deck was beautifully decorated with snow! Suddenly, the blue jays in our backyard had a day-off from their morning job of serenading us... yes, they were cold too. Anyway, the snow, of course, didn't stop us from going to church and enjoying our fellowship with friends and celebrating P's birthday. The snow was gone before 1pm though. The temperature wasn't low enough to keep it on the ground. Check out the photos I took yesterday morning...


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Honey!

Today, my husband turned a year older. He is one year younger than me, so it should be easy for you to guess his age now... wait, that's only if you know how old I am. Anyway, to start celebrating his birthday, we had his friends from church over at our house for brunch yesterday. Eight guys came with him from their men's prayer meeting. I served them the typical continental breakfast- scrambled egg with ham, sausages, pancakes with honey (I forgot to buy maple syrup... bummer!) and pear honey preserves, bananas, strawberries, oatmeal-raisin cookies, coffee and orange juice. It felt great to see my husband very proud of me! Oh, sorry... I mean, to see him happy with his friends who he can talk to, unedited. When I say that I only meant that he is so himself when he is with these guys. These guys are awesome. They're godly men and are like real big brothers to him. They love him... and he loves them.

One of them asked me if I could join them in the dining table, I got to tell them that I actually felt awkward around 9 big guys. Yes, I felt that. And I figured out that they are better off talking without me joining in their conversations. Izzy was still la la la land sleeping soundly when they were eating, so I felt very much outnumbered.

This morning at church, several women thanked me for serving their husbands great breakfast. Trying to be modest, I said, "You're welcome. I actually served them easy-to-make breakfast, so it wasn't super special." Oh, but I think they really liked the food. In fact, one of them said that if Paul's business goes bankrupt, there is another business opportunity waiting for us... a restaurant! LOL!