Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas 2016 at Home

Christmas morning is always exciting  for every family, ours included.  Our children always have a hard time  falling asleep on Christmas eve for the excitement  over  opening gifts the next day.  This year was a little different because our kids  knew  the truth about Santa already.  It doesn't mean that they are less excited, they are more excited if  we can top what Santa brought them over the years.  As it turned out they said that this year is the best Christmas ever (but they always say that lol).

Last year, I had the feeling that  our daughter  had a suspicious about Santa but she didn't say anything.  This year, she wrote something about Santa  and her brother  accidentally read it so we told them that they are old enough to be "Santa" themselves so they can make someone happy this Christmas by being  the Santa.  They were ecstatic about the idea.
Our new neighbor is so nice.  Last Halloween, they left some  treats for the kids at our porch and this Christmas, they also brought them some gifts.  Thanks Larry and Karen, you guys  reminds  us of our former neighbors who became our family in the former  neighborhood that we lived in.
These are the gifts that they have  brought us.  My son had this  remote controlled car, my daughter had an art set and they also gave us this  art piece for our new home.  We loved everything.  We always thank God for always   giving us great neighbors no matter where we live.
Our daughter is like a mini-me, she loves  making something personalized to give as a gift. 

She made this one for her brother which I think was really  awesome and thoughtful!
Our fur babies have their own gifts as well.  Fresh lettuce for our guinea pig Dunkin and a new ball for our super hyper  Jack Russell Terrier, Champ.  I recorded a video of Champ opening his gift and it was awesome, I haven't had the chance to upload it though.
When it comes to  stocking stuffer, I love getting my kids some things that they can use like toothbrushes, undies, socks, mittens, and sweets!
I love this new  keyboard my husband got me for Christmas.  It lights up  whenever it's dark which I really love.  He also tried to get me  something for protecting myself when I go  jogging or walking by myself but he had to cancel it because of some legal laws where he bought it.  He would still get it though, he just need to have a it shipped in one of the  stores here in our places for  legality purposes.
Our kids  got some stuff for us too.  They got me and my husband a new tennis rackets.  They said, we don't have  an excuse now if we lose to them.  Now that's a real challenge there because they are better  in tennis compared to us lol.
I really love how thoughtful these kiddos are when it comes to giving gifts.
My son's face lit up when he saw one of his gifts, a football.
Here they are sporting some of their presents.  
The big gifts they received  includes violin for  her and a laptop for  him.  Just seeing how  happy our children  were for the gifts they received is already a great gift for me and my husband.  Celebrating  the first Christmas here at our new home  was great.  We reminisce our  old times at our first home but glad we have a home now that provide us enough space for all of us.  This year has been  full of ups and downs for us but we are truly grateful for all the blessings that we  have received especially A NEW HOME.  From my family to yours, we wish a  joyful and fruitful new year.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Fun-filled First Football Season

"People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society. "Vince Lombardi
Is anyone else  glad that the election is over?  I know I am!  I can finally watch  TV without negative ads on, oh boy, I am so glad.  Half of the nation is happy and  half of the  nation might be sad or devastated  with the result.  But you know what, no matter what the result is, we should  accept it and move on.  After all, it is not the government that would fix our  problem but us.  It is up to us to address whatever issues we have with  our lives.    Protesting or rioting on the street will not do any good.  I know  we have the right to voice our opinions and concerns but I wish that it is not done the same manner as what we are seeing these past two days.  Oh my, what a thing  for the world to see.  But anyway, nuff said!  
 Working together can really achieve success.  If we can just put  all our  energy into doing something productive, we will be alright.  Anyhow, I took these photos during the last home game of the Jr. Dons football.
This season was a learning experience for all these little fellas.  It was a learning experience for me too as I didn't have any idea how football works  despite my  husband's effort in explaining it to me lol.  I guess when you have a  child who love the sport, you will  get to learn the sport.
Most of these kids are first time players so  they were defeated  for every game they played.  Most of the teams they played against were  in the higher grades and they have years of experience compared to them.  But it was okay, they will be better  next year and the year after that.  They need more practice to be good at it.
The most important thing is that, they had fun while learning how to play.  
They made friends with other kids and the sport taught them about working together as a team and the camaraderie  and sportsmanship
Parents also  learned how to work together as team by volunteering.  I worked at a concession stand once and hubby work on the field with the markers.
We are looking forward to another season next year.  For now, we are glad it is over.  While it is fun, it can be exhausting also.  

Till next season again.  I will  always be scared for my son's safety but  this sport is teaching him a lot of lesson so it is worth it.  I will just keep my prayers that  God will protect him and all the other kids from harm while they play the sport.  Until  next time..  

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Rainbow After the Rain

The past  few months were the craziest and  busiest time for my family.  We moved to a new home and that alone is  draining not only physically but emotionally as well.  Moving is not easy, there are  so much things going in your mind and  during this time in your life, a support system is  very essential.  For those of you who have experienced moving, I am sure you  can relate what we have been through.
After we have moved, I was overwhelmed with emotions.  I mentioned in my post that I wish my family back home was  here with me because I wouldn't hesitate to ask  them to help me but somehow someone misinterpreted it with something else.   I was irritated and frustrated, I cried. I felt attacked with the people  that I thought I could lean on especially that I have nobody here but my husband and kids. I am however blessed and grateful  that we have a neighbor who is willing to help and be there for us anytime.  Thanks Don for all your help.  Even my husband's co-workers helped us during the move.  My husband also asked his niece's husband to help him move  the refrigerator.

 When I first came here in America, I thank God everyday for giving me a wonderful new family.  Things were really good and I get along with them well until recently.  I have been keeping this feelings for a long time, trying not to say anything because I don't want drama but  there's a time when you have to stand up for yourself and  say "enough is enough!"  I wouldn't divulge the details but I was very hurt of what has been done.   So for now, I am taking a break with the family I used to love and respect.

But I thank God that things are looking great now, I have moved on and adjusted with our regular  life in a new house. 
Moving on, I always believe that there is always a rainbow after the rain.  We   sold our house after  just 18 days in the market and I couldn't be more happier, the weight has been lifted from our  shoulders.   
I hope that the pain will slowly  heal in the future.  I don't think it will go back the way  it was but  time will tell.  Damage has been done and it's hard to forget  when emotions are hurt.  
 "Family quarrels are bitter things. They don't go according to any rules. They're not like aches or wounds, they're more like splits in the skin that won't heal because there's not enough material."  F. Scott Fitzgerald

Monday, October 10, 2016

Saying Goodbye to Our First Home: Park Avenue

Saying goodbye is always hard especially when you are leaving something that is very close to your heart.  Something that  binds your family for years.  I feel very sad leaving  our first home on Park Avenue.  We lived in it for 10 years.  My son was conceived there.  We've built  so many sweet and happy memories there.  Our children grew up there and it's hard to let it go but we had to.  The space is no longer  enough for our growing family.
When I first came here in the States, my  father-in-law  was very nice to let us live  at  his house  for  a year.  In fact, he did not want us to leave when we told him that we  bought a house.  My FIL is the nicest person I knew here in America, he   treated me like his own daughter and I am forever grateful for that.  However, I wanted a home that we could call our own, a home I can decorate the way I want to,  that's why even though we are welcome to  stay in his house, we chose to bought our own.
 We bought a fixer upper because we wanted to  make it our own. We thought it was a great starter house for our family and it was.  It's funny because when we were  house hunting we had a list of things that we want in a house  but  most of it wasn't met when we bought this one.  There was something in the house that made us fall in love with it.  I think it was the sense of a close knit family feel  that the former has in this home.  We felt  right at home when we first looked at this home.
This house was built in 1952 so it was already old when we acquired it that's why it needed a major renovation. We gave the basement a total lift and made it fresh and look new. We added a bathroom there, replaced the flooring, added some walls and painted them.
The whole family pitched in and helped us with some of the projects we did in this house. Our daughter was just 6 months when we bought it but we didn't move there right away.  We wanted to  spend our daughter's first birthday at Dad's.  
 Dad  was still healthy and strong  back then so he helped us a lot in  making this home especial.  He was the one who  painted my daughter's room.   Glad I documented every thing that we did in this house because we will have something to look back to.  
When we came back from South Korea, we  put  a fence around the house  because we wanted a dog.  I also  love gardening and the fence  provided a protection for the plants against the deer.  
The backyard  is a  decent size and I really had a great time  hardening in it.  I hope that the new owner love to garden as much as I do.
We had so many great memories in this backyard.  I can still remember so vividly the laughter and energy my children had whenever we  played outside.
I planted so many  flowers and vegetable in here over the years.  I actually got some if it and transferred it to our new home.
According to our  agent, the new owner  love the cement patio set.
We put  so much work in making this  house  comfortable and presentable.
As you can see in the first photo, the look of this house is old and dingy.  We completely change it by building a new and bigger porch.  It cost us $22,000 to have one built.  Home renovations here in the area is  very expensive.  That's one reason why we were not able to  upgrade the kitchen in this home because  the contractor wanted 40 thousand for it.  I told my husband to just forget it lol.
My husband originally thought of listing this house  the price that we paid for when we originally bought it but I objected because I thought we put in around 40 thousand on it and I didn't want to under price it.  So the agent came and assessed its value and thank goodness, it was way higher than I anticipated.  
My husband really want to get rid of the second mortgage that's why he wanted it to be listed lower but we agreed  to list it  a little higher and see what happened from there.
After just 18 days  of listing it, we  received an offer and we accepted it.  The buyer wanted us to do so many things but we declined some of it because  the house is in great condition and we left them a complete kitchen appliances.
We officially closed on it  on October 4th and it was bitter sweet handing out the keys to our first home that we love and became a big part of our family.  My son is heartbroken because he loved this house.
We planted the tree in the front with the help of our daughter so this cherry tree is as almost as old as our daughter.
Saying goodbye to our first home in Park Avenue is  hard but we had to.  It only have 2 bedrooms and with two children, it wasn't big enough to accomadate us all.  It has been 3 months since we moved to our new home and my son is starting to like it.  The great thing is, we still live in the same neighborhood so the neighbors that we call our family is still near  from us.  I hope that this new home will be our last home because I  don't want to move again.