Over use of “Awesome”

Over the years I’ve heard complaints about the over use of the word “awesome” because when too many things are “awesome” you are now out of descriptors for things that are truly AWESOME!  I have friends who are even pickier and insist that only God is awesome so the word should be reserved to describe God.  Well, in that case “good” should also be banned from describing people since according to Jesus, no one is good except for God right?

I tend to stay out of discussions like that.  One of my daughters likes to use “awesome” and I tend to just stay away from saying anything.  But sometimes words like awesome is truly over used and something has to be done to bring attention to it.  Recently we received an invitation for a client appreciation dinner.  We are not able to attend but forgot to reply.  Anyway, got a call this morning from the daughter of the man inviting everyone.  She was calling to see if we were attending the dinner, I said no, and she replied, you guessed it, “awesome..”  Hum… I know it’s just a habit of using the word as a filler and she did not mean “I’m so glad that you are not coming,” but that just came out so wrong.

So next time if someone is over using “awesome” as just a filler, warn them of the danger of it becoming a bad habit that comes out at the worse moments.  Can you imagine someone mentioning that their mom just passed away and the other person replies “awesome?”

Funerals

Maybe I’m just one of those weird super introverted person who’s still trying to figure out funerals.  Who is it for?

Recently some friends of ours drove a distance to a funeral.  The funeral itself was a very public event (including media coverage) due to the circumstances of the deaths.  The family concluded with a family only reception and did not greet those who came.  So it really got me thinking as to who is the funeral for?

When my mom and grandmother passed away, they both had so many friends who wished to say good bye we held funerals for each at their churches so everyone would have a chance to remember them and say good bye.  And it was good because I found out more about how their lives had impacted others and it was a reminder for me to live victoriously and with others in mind.  When my grandfather passed away, it was a family only event because besides our family, my aunts and uncles really didn’t know the people with whom he had interacted and so it turned out to be more of a family reunion.

Maybe it really is a time to remember the loved ones.  But it just seem so hard at a time where there is mourning and perhaps the stress of how to carry on, there’s the issue of pulling everything together the last minute and don’t forget the cost.  And then the people who come.  Are they there really to say good bye, or to support the family or just there out of obligation?  I’m way overthinking this.

Hum, how true it is that it is better to go to the house of mourning and reflect on our end.  We have our will taken care of, but perhaps it’s time to think of last wishes and also parting words that I’d want to say to my loved ones.

 

Waiting for Immigration

Several years ago I watched the documentary Waiting for Superman.  I cried at the end as the families awaited the result of the charter school lottery to more or less determine their kids’ futures.  It really highlighted some of the problems with the public school system and how it’s failing our kids.

I think someone needs to do a documentary on the problems that legal immigrants faces in trying to legally immigrate to the US.  Being an immigrant myself (albeit naturalized as a minor through my parents) and having been in contact with a number of foreign immigrants really gave me an appreciation for how tangled the immigration process can be to navigate and how hard it is to legally come to this country from one of the more restricted countries.

Few years ago I was helping a US citizen with talking to her lawyer regrading applying for green cards for her parents and siblings.  Well, the waiting time for bringing over a Chinese US citizen’s siblings was ten years at that time but if amnesty happens or the door becomes open to illegals, the wait time would be extend for at least couple more years.  WOW!

Last weekend, we have friends who just got married.  The wife is Chinese and the husband American and both are teaching at colleges.  He was shocked to learn about the immigration system.  Her immigration status is good as long as she maintains her current employment, however, if she quits her job, she will need to leave the country immediately  even though they are married.  Crazy isn’t it.  Now they are talking to a lawyer to try to figure out the best course of action which would give them the maximum freedom of choice in terms of employment.

Of course there were a number of cases that I know of where the couple after getting married, had to wait another year before the spouse of a US citizen is allowed to come into the state.  And this one really got me, a US citizen was not allowed to return to the states with her husband unless they can show prove of employment.  And of course we can’t forget the thousands of dollars spent on lawyer fees.  It just gets me boiling mad when we hear from the news that these policies apparently are not applied uniformly depending on which countries you are coming from.  That is not racist at all… sigh…

Oh there are countless number of stories I’ve heard throughout the year that just makes your heart ache.  So many people are waiting on immigration.  The lines are a whole lot worse than those in Disneyland.  People wait years only to be denied because they did not cross the t or dot the i.  I feel sad for these people and wish them the best in their effort to find a better life and pray that while they are waiting, we as a nation would not open a floodgate of line cutters who will further delay those who are going about things legally.

Micro Fractures

In the past, I’ve read about why people in martial arts seem to have very hard bones.  When there are significant impact with our limbs, often time there can be micro fractures and as the fractures heal, the area becomes denser and thus building up stronger bones.

I can certainly testify that the master who I spar with have very STRONG bones!  Some of them are in their 70’s and you do not want to mess with them.  We also get a chuckle that if thugs thought that these folks are easy targets, boy are they going to be in for a surprise.

But truly the dense bones that they have built over the years are something to be noted.  I suppose that’s like the little events that happens everyday that eventually determines who we become.  Often times when the big things that do happen is when we finally see the results.  It’s like when the masters break the boards or bricks.  We can see how tough their bodies are, but it really is the week in week out practice that has made them that tough.  I hope that in each of our lives, we take each little things seriously, so that we are faithful with the little things so we can be entrusted with much bigger things.

Function vs style

My Taekwondo instructor (he’s a  grand master who doesn’t like to be called that) came from a very distinguished line.  His father had trained under General Choi and was a good friend.  In fact, Master Kim had met General Choi when General Choi was visiting his father.  Anyway, over lunch today, the subject of Olympic style Taekwondo came up again.  The meaning of TaeKwonDo is really the foot hand way, unfortunately Olympic style TaeKwonDo has changed to really about the foot only and the use of the pads really has moved it from martial arts to just a sport.  When people find out that I do martial arts they usually ask what style and if we do Olympic style TKD.  No, we are more mixed martial arts learning about the practical things that would help with self-defense if ever needed.  And I love one of the complaints against Olympic style is that hey if you are really in need of defending your self, you have more than just your foot.  You have hands, elbows, knees, head, teeth, and any and everything else at your disposal and don’t ever limit yourself.

How true it is that the things that we learn should have their proper function and application, otherwise they are just lifeless skills that do no good other than taking up brain cells.  That goes for so many areas of our lives.  I remember years ago in college (probably giving my age away) at some point a stylish friend of mine had a really long and narrow skirt.  We were heading to a party together and the poor girl could not keep up with the group because her motion was so limited.  It was really laughable.  But , isn’t it true so often with fashion, or the latest fad that the style does not promote function, yet people subject themselves to the style sacrificing function.

I’m glad for our TKD classes, we are learning not just the art and the sport but gaining skills to defend ourselves though praying that I’ll never need it in real life.  So what are you doing and learning?  Are you doing it just because it’s the “in thing” and what everyone else is doing?  Is it functioning for you or do you need to reevaluate?  Let each of us be willing and able to thing through these issues for ourselves.

 

Pause and Reflect

I have been busy learning the ropes with WordPress to put together the new website for Mid-Rio Grande Home School Band.  Finally found a music player that I like for the past concert recordings.  As I was uploading and getting the recordings ready, I decided to listen to some of the songs from beginning band from both the fall and spring concerts.  Wow, what a difference in quality and such improvements.

It’s really a silly thought.  Of course there would be improvements from previous months especially when it’s beginning band.  But, I’ve been so used to the girls in the higher bands that I think over time I’ve just became kind of critical in terms of the missed notes the missed counts etc and it’s good to stop and reflect on how far the kids have come.

I think it’s the same with raising our kids.  Often time, all we see is what still needs improving and not the milestones that they have already reached.  So we can become a discouragement to our own kids.  Rather than encouraging them with the progress they have already made, we can become critical as to what they have not achieved.  Especially at the end of the school year (not that we ever have one since we go year round as my kids like to remind me), it’s a good time to look back at the beginning of the year and, perhaps not even focus so much on the knowledge that they have gained (especially if they are in the binge and barf mode as so many of have been in our lives with school), but what good characters have they developed because that is what will ultimately carry them through life.

Classic Guilty Dog

This afternoon we found our dog next to one of the kid’s shoe. When we called her name, she had that classic guilty look, she stayed low, tried to hide the shoe and look innocent. Oh, you’ve got to love things like that. I guess part of me miss those early days with my kids when they were caught red handed and tried to hide.

I think part of us are still like that where we still try to hide from the things that we know we shouldn’t do.  Maybe over time we’ve either became more inventive with making up clever excuses, or we’ve just became so callous that we no longer blush when we are caught red handed.

I need this reminder to take ownership for my action like one of the courses that I got for my kids for “How to Study”.  He states that the students need to say “I choose not to do my homework or study or whatever” rather than , well things got busy, etc.  Even when life does get busy, we still make choices.  We may have chosen to do what really needed to be done and chose to neglect something else.  But it’s still a choice that we made.  I hope I will not become callous towards the bad that I do, but also not to make excuses for choosing to do the things which I should not have done.  And hopefully my kids will learn the same.

Setting up website

One thing that I tell my kids is that I don’t believe that any true efforts that we put into things is ever wasted in life. In the past, I’ve volunteered for different things thinking that they are just one time events. But over time, I’ve learned that the thresholds that we cross and the new things that we learn become stepping stones to other things.

So Here I am, being rather a newbie at WordPress (not quite new at web design and development) is helping our homeschool band set up their new website. I have truly experienced in life, there are so many exciting doors that will open up for us if we are willing to step up and try new things.

So, go out there and do something new, you may find the new niche that will invigorate your life for the better.

Getting ready for Vacation Bible School

I can’t believe today’s already Memorial Day. Summer is here! Vacation Bible School is just around the corner. This year we’re doing a series called one way. One of the lessons in there is The Prodigal Son. I was going to try to make 3D plaster pigs using chocolate molds, but that was turning out to be a disaster. So instead I ordered ceramic piggy banks from Oriental Trading, they were cute and reasonably priced. I’m glad I did that, it’s so much easier then pouring the pigs from plaster. Now I just need to decide if I want the kids to paint it or use markers or other ways of decorating it. That’s one craft down and four more to go.

Funerals, wedding, and graduations

This has been quite an interesting Memorial Day weekend so far. The girls went to Colorado for a friend’s graduation, a number of our friends went to a funeral, and Mark and I went to a wedding. I guess that’s life. And it’s a good reminder to treasure the things that we have now and to celebrate each moment.