Happy Birthday, Wife!

Happy Birthday to Grace!

As always life seems to get more difficult, not easier, as time passes by and last year was no exception. Still, as Grace and I met many challenges I was able to witness her grow even more in Christ. As she was stretched the Lord met her faithfulness with a greater love for Jesus and those around her. And as we served our church together we learned to depend upon and love each other more deeply.

As always, I am thankful for Grace and all that she brings to our family, church, and marriage. But with all that our family and church had been experiencing, as God would have it, Grace and I were forced to really depend upon each other and thus we grew closer in love towards each other. I didn’t really know that I could be even prouder and love my wife more than before. Although our personalities and interests differ widely, we’ve come to realize that God put us together because we have the same values in life and Christ. So I not only love my wife for all that she does, but for all that she believes in and thus how she has challenged, changed, and support me.

Happy Birthday, Honey! I love you!

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Boston 2017

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After Christmas we took a two night road trip to Boston.

After checking into our super nice hotel, we walked over to the Boston Children’s Museum.

Didn’t get a chance to take photos of the kids’ custom hand warmers made with rice inside.

On the second day we Ubered to the Boston Museum of Natural History.

My obligatory dino photo.

Not too delighted.

Real bees.

Zombie brain.

After Ubering to Mike’s Pastry for some famous cannolis, we walked to Quincy Market for some dinner.

Cold…snow pants cold.

Getting into the lightening show was an adventure in of itself.

Stopped by another market before heading home.

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Christmas 2017

As always Christmas is a whirlwind craziness.

EJ’s class sang a four minute performance of four songs. I was so thankful for its brevity.

Afterwards we were treated to snacks and dessert downstairs. EJ pigged out on cupcakes and we were about to leave when Santa came to town. He had a gift for each child and EJ was so excited. She really egged on CJ when he returned home from school.

One of our neighbor’s elaborate Christmas decorations.

CJ’s snowglobe story is quite impressive, lol!

This kid be snarky like a teenager, lol!

Some of our church friends made this mural for all of Advent.

Best Christmas film of all time.

Christmas Day.

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Happy 6th Birthday, Son!

 

Today CJ turned six years old…wow! Grace and I just cannot believe how old our son is. Sure, it feels like forever since when we were married without children, but how time flies as a parent when we’re always trying to make the present day work while planning for the future of our kids.

CJ has grown so much in 2017. His reading skills have exponentially improved, his writing is becoming more creative and dynamic, his mathematics skills and number sense is faster and more natural for him, he is excelling at taekwondo, and his curiosity and imagination is off the charts. CJ inundates us with so many questions each day that it gets overwhelming for us. Overall CJ is doing great at school, is well-mannered and socially adept.

But most of all we’re thankful that he believes in Jesus and yet is struggling with his faith. Sometimes he has anxiety Sunday nights about the forthcoming school week and I ask him to remember God’s faithfulness in the last week and if he trusts that God will do the same this week in taking care of him, and he says “I don’t know”. I think that’s great that he’s honest with his skepticism as I want him to learn to apply his Christian beliefs to his life and if the two don’t jive, that’s alright. He’s young and I want him to learn to believe in a God that cares about every single and small aspect of his life, and if that takes some time, then that’s fine.

Grace and I are so thankful for CJ. From the small little infant who had heart-rate fluctuations during the night of his birth, to his food allergies and sicknesses, to always being the youngest in his class, we’re so honored and happy to be stewards of this cute little boy. We’re thankful that he’s healthy, growing, learning, is loved by his family and friends, and loves Jesus. We’re so proud of him.

We love you, son.

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The Pool

One of our church family friends moved in the summer and they were gracious to us to gift us their pool.

I was fortunate enough to grow up with an above ground pool as a kid and I remember how much work my dad had to put in to maintain the pool each year, so I sort of wasn’t looking forward to this. Plus I was sad that a good chunk of my beautiful grass was going to be destroyed.

We had to give the pool a good scrubbing to prepare it for the new summer season.

But of course all the hard work was worth it as the kids enjoyed their time spending some hot days in the pool. CJ was actually brave enough to try some under water snorkeling.

Thanks Zhu’s!

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Some 2017 Summer Family Photos

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Friends

Back in May we had Mike and Anna stay with us for a month.

They’re good friends from when Grace and I led the young adult community group at LFCC and they needed a place to stay while in New York for an extended time.

We had a really great time together reconnecting, playing Dead Space 2, and living together. And now we’re thankful that they’ve moved to New York and are now part of the King’s Cross Family.

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Math Test

I really don’t remember taking any tests in first grade, but I suppose with all the talk about assessments, common core, and the U.S. being so behind relative to other developed nations, I’m not surprised first graders are being challenged so early.

I’m not sure if it’s the teacher, grade, or the type of class he is in, but there has been a huge emphasis on mathematics this year. His teacher has him reading, writing, and self-assessing his own spelling, but math seems to be the big hurdle this year.

For the past two weeks we have been helping CJ with writing equations and understanding doubles facts. Grace and I weren’t sure at all how he would do on his first math test, but man, he did really well! I’ll take a 90 any day! We’re so proud of our son.

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Washington, DC [April 2017]

Long overdue. Way back in April during spring break we took a four day road trip to Washington, DC.

Grace and I were last in DC together probably around 2005 or 2006. This time we decided to leave our car parked at the hotel and take the subway in and around DC.

Although the Air & Space Museum is nothing to gawk at, all the museums are free so why not. Well, it was spring break so they were all very crowded.

CJ’s favorite president.

We severely underestimated the walk from museum row to the Lincoln Memorial and found ourselves a long distance away from the subway in all directions. This was a tiring day.

Day 2 we went to the DC Zoo which was surprisingly large and well stocked with all the major animals minus any dinosaurs.

Including a couple of kung-fu pandas.

Elephant poop.

Day 3 we went to the Museums of American History and Natural History.

This Museum of Natural History is much better than the one in New York City.

We actually had planned for a three day trip, but were able to squeeze out a fourth day. Unfortunately our first hotel couldn’t accommodate the extra day, so in between the third and fourth day we relocated across the street and stayed at this really nice Hilton hotel that gave us free breakfast buffet vouchers which was excellent.

We just kept pigging out.

On the drive home we decided to stop off in Maryland and visit their Children’s Museum.

Can’t get enough of them dinos.

We keep vowing the never vacation in cities until the kids are older, but we can’t resist, lol!

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White Belt Pro

Last week, after a month of training, CJ earned his first taekwondo white belt.

As always, we’re so proud of our son, especially for continually trying and not giving up. We want CJ to grow in grit and perseverance, and we’re hoping that taekwondo can build up his self-esteem and confidence and this white belt is the first real step in doing that.

So exciting.

With Instructor Michael.

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