Wednesday, June 06, 2018

New Jersey- New York- Philadelphia- Canada Trip (Part 1)

Oftentimes, we get wrapped up in the daily mundane of working and paying bills that enjoying life becomes secondary. David and I however have always discussed seeing new places and creating memories by traveling. As a matter of fact, in the short time of my stay here, we have visited places near Michigan and our recent travel was the farthest so far.

To wander in an unfamiliar place with the person closest to your heart is the most beautiful feeling in the world. Knowing that the reason for our travel was also to meet a very dear friend added to the excitement.

We left Friday at 4:00 a.m. anticipating the thirteen-hour-long drive. Our first destination was NewJersey known for having the most diners in the world. Fifteen minutes after leaving the house, my husband realized that he didn’t have his phone. We frantically searched the car but it was nowhere to be found. Missed calls however indicated that the phone was just somewhere in the car. Finally, I told him to check the car’s roof and of course it was there! Fifteen minutes on the road and his phone was on top of the car!

The travel was quite uneventful but it was filled with picturesque sceneries that stretched as far as the eyes could see. We also savor the moment of just being able to talk without worrying about anything.

There were many road repairs making the travel longer so we were exhausted by the time we arrived in our hotel. Our plan to meet a friend in New York upon arrival did not push through since we were both so tired.

If there’s one spectacular thing about New Jersey was that you got to enjoy New York’s beautiful view without enduring the crazy traffic of the former. Right across our hotel was the Hudson river offering a waterfront view of New York’s skyscraper buildings. My husband and I were just too exhausted though to do anything except to grab dinner so he had his pizza and I had my Japanese cuisine.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

The Best Ways to Deal with People Who Hurt You

Through the years, I had this important realization. The greatest human frailty is simply being human- weak and more often than not, acts on impulse emotionally not rationally. I used to be deeply affected when people are rude or they say mean words. Through the years however, I managed to be more of in control how I react on situations. I perceived it as simply toughening up with the harsh realities of the world.

1. Breathe. Negativity was just hurled. Instantly, the air turned hostile. Taking a deep breath several times while reminding myself to cool off always works. I think just by simply doing this, I get the moment to reflect on what just happened and if it is worth to say or do something.

2. Pray. A long time ago back in Naga City, a very dear friend told me not to pray for the other person who act unkindly to me but pray instead for myself. I pray that I may be enlightened and not harbor ill feelings. I pray that I may find forgiveness in my heart. I pray that the pain would not last for a long time. I pray that I would be strong enough and be kind enough to understand what that person is going through.

3. Forgive. Concealing negative feelings toward others would be more detrimental to one’s self emotionally, spiritually and physically. Forgiving is not forgetting. It simply means choosing not to dwell on the why’s. I have no control about how others would behave toward me but I always have control about my own behavior. By forgiving, I refuse to be carried in the abyss of negativity.

After doing these three steps, I still find myself sometimes broken hearted, hurt, and deeply offended. That’s just another human frailty. However, at the end of the day, I remind myself that by following these steps, I choose to be in control of the situation.

Monday, June 04, 2018

How to Handle Separation Anxiety?

The first few days of school could be both exciting and traumatic for parents and kids. It is a period of big change that when not handled properly might bring so much stress to the family. After all, who would want to leave their kids screaming on top of their lungs because they didn’t want to be left in school? It is then followed by that nagging feeling of guilt the whole day anticipating the pick-up time.

Although there is probably nothing that you could tell a child to stop him from crying, there are some ways to handle the situation before it goes out of hand.

1. Establish a Routine
For kids, it is all about routine. The more stability you give, the better it would be. If you drop the kids off at a certain hour, stick to it so the child would not keep on wondering what is the next thing that would happen that might make him feel more anxious. Making the drop off time earlier than the other kids might help, too. Chaotic environment with so many kids worsens that feeling of separation.

2. Give Special ‘Security’ Stuff
A new place will always be overwhelming for kids. Allowing your child to bring something familiar would help to calm his/ her fears. It may be a stuff toy, a necklace with your picture, or anything special that you know might help to pacify him/her.

2. Be Positive
Talk with enthusiasm about meeting new friends and playing with cool stuff to build up excitement. Do not make going to school like something that the kid should dread. Taking that leap into something new is difficult for anyone even with adults. When you are nervous, your child could feel it and build up his anxiety.

4. Say a Short Goodbye
A fist bump, a kiss, a hug, or a combination of everything is all part of routine. Once you say your good-bye, do not linger because the child would feel your hesitation. Saying the same phrase every day might also help.

5. Make a follow-up
During pick-up time, make sure to follow-up from the teacher how your child handled the separation. Some kids snap out of the anxiety as soon as their parents leave. Others however can’t cope well and spend a long time crying. This would give you an overview of how the day went and plan for a better start the next day and lessen the guilt of leaving your child behind.

There is no exponential secret to make the first few days of school easier for our kids. However, there are always ways that we could try to make going to school an enjoyable experience.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Pay it Forward

Each act of kindness has a ripple effect throughout society and can affect people who we do not even know.

Early start on a beautiful Saturday. Larry with Dad and David.

I once heard that to do good must be a vocation of every person. When my husband and I decided to get married at Jakarta, Indonesia without any family members around, we relied on the grace of having good friends who helped us with everything we needed. The same thing was true during the processing of my papers coming here. Hence, when the time came for us to be able to do something for a friend, we knew we got to do it.

I met Larry, our neighbor, when I was in Indonesia talking to my husband through video call. He was still strong and working then. Unfortunately, it didn’t last for long. He was only in late 30’s yet he was inflicted with illnesses including diabetes. At this age and already on a wheelchair, my husband and I knew that it is undoubtedly hard and painful for him. Yet, he stayed strong and tried to fend for himself without asking anyone for help.

The house before painting it.

So, David and I decided on painting his house for him. My husband would come from whole day of work and continued to work on his house power washing and caulking. At some point, I needed to remind him that it was already 9:00 p.m. and he was still out working. Finally, the house was ready to be painted. Last night, we were off on our regular Friday date night buying the paint for his house.

We’re so thankful for Dad who drove all the way here to help, our neighbor also bought wood to cover some bad area, and Alex came as well to help in painting. Above all, I am so proud of my husband who worked tirelessly on this project. I am blessed to marry someone who would stop at a stranger to buy him some food, or jumped out of the car to help push another person’s car.

The look of happiness on Larry’s face made me believe how the good nature of people can bring so much joy to others. The collective effort of small group of people created so much change through act of kindness.

Larry, our neighbor, looking at the newly painted house.

Fresh coat of paint to the whole exterior.

To all the people who did something good for us, we are paying it forward. Kindness is free, spread it.

Unknowingly, the day we painted his house was actually his birthday. Sometimes, things work in mysterious ways and it will be done through YOU.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

I Can Only Imagine Movie Review

I Can Only Imagine (Movie Review/ Reflection) 

The old lady beside me was wracked with an onslaught of sobs. My husband was sniffling and so were the people in front of us. It’s been a while since I watched a heavy-drama movie and apparently, I Can Only Imagine has moved a lot of movie-goers in an unbroken stream of tears.

I knew the song long before the name of the singer. The titular, I Can Only Imagine became my source of comfort during the really low point of my life. The lyrics speak through the core of my soul offering both solace and assurance when I thought that I lost everything.

Movies adapted from books are fairly common and I think it’s a bit odd that a song would be the heart of a movie. I expected it to be a bit tedious and desperately sentimental but the movie far exceeded my expectations. The characters gave in-depth justice to the roles they played and while obviously based on a Christian faith, the movie succeeded in conveying the message without overwhelming the audience with Biblical references. While trying to convey the message of abuse as the source of deep pains and hurts, there’s no overpowering graphic images of violence yet the emotions were tender and poignant.

Finley as Bart Millard impressively brought us into his painful journey that gave life to the lyrics of the song. Surprisingly, Quaid as an abusive father was the reason of the first tears I shed. The scenes were relatable and one could surmise it does happen in real life.

While the song was mainly about a promise when the time to face God comes, the movie was undeniably a journey of forgiveness. More than the lyrics, what really got through me was the celebratory tone of the music despite of all the pains and sufferings Millard went through in the hands of his father. It evoked feelings and memories long buried inside.

Millard’s journey through forgiveness is certainly a beautiful story that’s worth your time. My husband and I were thankful that we spent our Friday night watching it.

“Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel 
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still 
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall 
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all 
I can only imagine 
I can only imagine.”


Click to Subscribe to My YouTube Channel

Click to Subscribe to My YouTube Channel
Free English tutorial videos.

Free Worksheets, Flashcards, and Other Educational Materials

Free Worksheets, Flashcards, and Other Educational Materials
Visit my educational website and download English worksheets, lesson plans, spelling flashcards, writing prompts and others.