Saturday, September 29, 2007

...toothpaste and stuff....

Just some random things to chat about...

We recently switch to an "all natural" toothpaste because we've been trying to decrease the unnecessary exposure to different chemicals. We have the Tom's of Maine anticavity in a Spearmint flavor currently and it's very yummy! We even had a bunch of our visitors give it a test drive and they all liked it. "D What Tom's of Maine lack is all the artificial ingredients, like saccharin and dyes, that is so common in big name brands. At first taste, it was so weird because it's not sweet at all and the spearmint oils definitely pack a punch! But after a while, it felt so refreshing and there's none of that funny aftertaste - your breath truly feels fresh and your teeth feel so clean. We also started using Tom's mouthwash [no alcohol, dyes or sweetners] and when we got over the sour taste from the witch hazel, we found it a good companion to the toothpaste. :) So, there you have it - our review of our new toothpaste. :D

After many years in hiatus because we lived close to Kiley, I was summoned to cut Kevin's hair. I was really hesitant because: a)it's been 3 years since my last stint as his 'barber', b)he's actually working now [don't want his patients to think he's unprofessional because his hair looks like Aidan cut it], and c)I want him to look good, too. But it turned out a-ok. I wish I had pics to prove it but I don't - so you'll just have to believe me. :) He did help me with the front sections and the sections close to the ears, I'll admit. :P Anyhow, I'm sure it turned out well because I had prayed beforehand.

Through that wonderful website: Facebook, I've gotten in touch with so many of my friends from High School, College and pretty much all over the place. [More on that another day.] One really neat thing that I found out was that my friend, Michael Maltese, started up this non-profit organization - Global Medical Knowledge, Inc. - to "bridge the medical knowledge gap between developed and developing nations. GMK uses technology to improve access to current, actionable medical information in developing countries and to build collaborative partnerships among medical educators around the world". [Taken from his website] In short, he's trying to help get the medical knowledge that developing countries have over to the underdeveloped countries, where it's very needed. Maybe Iris Ministries can utilize this organization?! Definitely check out his website and read all about it! Check out Iris Ministries, too, if you don't know who they are - it's all about God doing His thing: caring for the poor and changing lives! Simply awesome!

Ever since I had kids, I've struggled with this. This guilt about all sorts of things, from small to big. For instance, I had felt guilty when I was spending time with Jana because I wasn't there to focus on Aidan. And the same when I was helping Aidan out and couldn't get to Jana, though she was wanting my attention. I felt better when J grew older but now it's guilt about other things. Am I being too strict about things? Too relaxed about others? Not teaching them enough Bible? Not modelling the lifestyle I want them to emulate? Not making the days fun enough for them? Not teaching them what they need to know? Not being patient, loving, and kind enough? Yikes! As I was praying about things that I felt guilty for, the list just grew longer and longer. :( I knew I had to spend more time at His feet to get recharged and get into the Word for the truth more often. I knew that this guilt was not really from Him but I took some things to heart because I really needed to change what I was doing. I needed to plan more and be a bit more organized, esp with my free time. I probably need to spend less time on the internet [though it is so fun and one of my ways of keeping in touch]. Anyhow, I feel that as long as I can separate conviction [good] from guilt [bad] and make the changes I needed to, I was ok. Plus, I need just so much more grace and revelation in parenting, too. Thank God He has an abudant supply. :)

Getting this membership has been great! Not only have we taken our visitors there for free, most of the time, we've gone to several other venues for free during certain months. For example, this month, we've gone to the Lowry Park Zoo and the Museum of Science and Industry both for free! There are other places that have discounted admission tickets and free admission months all for FL Aquarium members. How fun is that? For all you parents: Maybe check out our local aquarium/zoo to see if a membership there can give you a discount? If not, maybe ask for a membership somewhere for Christmas?! :)

I have lots more to say but it's getting late - my bed and a free massage is calling. G'night!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

...what's new with the Hsu's :) (I almost rhymed!)

Anyhow, it's been a while since I've last written and here's some stuff that's happened during the interim:

We're currently in the midst of a 28 day fast called by our Pastor Lloyd. This is to seek God's fact about the vision that God has given the church. Even though we've only been there for less than 2 months, we really feel, in the Spirit, that the vision he got is so right on track! PL shared that God has given him a vision for the Youth because that is where our future holds and our generation is called to minister to the future so that they can fulfill their purposes to usher in God's presence here on Earth. With the astouding statistics about how few of the new generation (forgot what generation they're called) know Him and anything about Him, it's really quite alarming. Instead of God, they are constantly filled with junk from the Media, Internet, and Video Games. :( So sad. So, PL felt called to build a new building and then let the Youth take over the entire old building (which is already huge) and some parts of the new one - to create a Youth Center. They are also devoting more time, money and energy to the Children's Program (they already have a great one!) to make it even better. I just felt so blessed by this vision. Kev and I talked a lot about this the night we heard the vision shared and we realized what a great role the Youth Group (and having friends in it) played when we were young. I feel a big part of why I even sought the Lord in college was due to having such a tremendous support when I was trying to figure out who I was and who I want to be. [Though having Christian parents also played a key role - didn't want to downplay that - but I really didn't care about their opinion as much as I did my friends' when I hit a certain know what I mean! :P] So, we are now praying into it and sowing into it financially. I'm so excited for the fruit that will be reaped!!

On a side note: If you happen to read this, please pray for me. I'm teaching a Junior High/Senior High Sunday School after our service ends on Sundays for another church. I need wisdom and revelation about what to teach on Sundays. I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to teach the Youth but I need all the help I can get! Thanks bunches!

So, there's a whole lot of water everywhere in Florida, be it beaches or pools. They are truly everywhere! That's a good and bad thing - let me explain why. It's good because Aidan (and now Jana) love ocean creatures and playing with sand, so there are lots of opportunities to do that here. And since we go a lot after dinner so it's cooler, we get to see a lot of spectacular sunsets. It's really amazing! However, since the kids can't swim and I can't tread water well [I know, I need to work on it....doh!], there's an increased chance for there to be an accident. So, we're looking into swimming lessons for them and happened upon this. ISR is mainly a drown prevention program and it states that it helps even infants as young as 6 months to learn how to float and not panic in the water on the off-chance that they fall in. They learn to respect and be comfortable in water. It sounds great and I heard so many good things about it...BUT, it's a huge chunk of change. [Not sure if that's everywhere or just in FL.] Anyhow, I'm looking to see if they have any scholarship programs and will let you all know if the kids do end up taking it and how it goes.[And in case you're wondering, yes, I can float. ;)]

Yay for visitors! We love them, we really do! At the beginning of Aug, we had Joe Lee come thru for for fellowship interviews. The kids had such a great time with him that they still talk about him sometime! :) Plus, he was the first to test out our pillowtop queen-sized Aerobed and he gives it 2 thumbs up. Haha! Then we had Will Zhou and Ken Chan over for Labor Day weekend. Kiley Hsu and Ray Hwang showed up that same Friday and stayed for a week. And, man, those guys know how to make the most of a weekend. WZ and KC went scuba diving, deep sea fishing, biking parts of the Pinellas Trail and visited the Floida Aquarium all within the span of 3 days! There were lots of good eats in between. :) Will even caught us a barracuda that we promptly had for lunch at Crabby Bill's that day - thanks again! The other guys caught Mackerels and Bonitas. Fun stuff! We even got to fish at the Chang's [those distant relatives of ours that live in the area that are SUPER, SUPER nice!] and I learned how to cast and reel. Fun stuff! Anyhow, more visitors to come and we're excited! Hope to see more of you before we leave this sunny state - AND, it's gonna get super nice soon!! (Hint!Hint!)

Finally found a Pediatrician for the kids, though I'm not sure we're a good fit yet.

Jana got 3 shots today, that poor girl.

Jana speaks a lot of Chinese now - it's pretty fun.

Check out these videos of the kids in action. They're a riot!

We've been doing some 'homeschooling' for Aidan and he likes it quite a bit. Good ol' Aidan and praise God for this site. Still need some inspiration, though. Feel free to chime in, moms. :)

And, that's all, folks. :)