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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Kindergarten Pro

Grace and I so thankful that CJ has not only completed kindergarten, but did so so successfully. He’s learned and grown a great deal since ten months ago, we’re so proud of our boy, so very proud.

CJ’s self-portrait.

All the kindergarten classes getting ready to sing some songs.

  

CJ and EJ are growing so fast.

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Year 14: End

Today was last day of school and I have mixed emotions. I’m delighted and thankful to have finished my 14th year of teaching, and as always I am amazed at how faithful and loving God has been to me with my career.

Yet, statistically I didn’t do too well with my students, for a 43% regents passing rate isn’t something to be proud of. I feel like I let a lot of them down. I’m not going to give any excuses, but I’m resolved to work harder and be more dedicated to my new batch of students in the fall.

Well, time to move on to a much needed restful summer while tethered as to the program office.

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Champion’s Taekwondo: Lesson 1

My friend convinced me to purchase a $39 Groupon for 15 Taekwondo lessons and a uniform at Champion’s Taekwondo in Bayside. Since I do my own Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training, this was obviously for CJ. Of course, CJ was anxious going into this. He is very self-conscious and does not enjoy being put on the spot and being stared at. But I really wanted CJ to try something new that may improve his self-esteem. So although he was apprehensive about starting taekwondo, he was still willing to try.

For the first half of the 30 minute class, CJ hesitantly followed the instructor’s directions and looked as if he was ready to cry at any moment.

But he never gave up and seemed to warm up to Instructor Mike while also earning his uniform. What a relief, lol!

The class seems to be a combination of physical fitness and life discipline centered around taekwondo, which is fine. I suppose I can’t expect much from a class of five-year olds. I’m so proud of CJ because I never had to the guts to take any martial arts classes when I was young. Hopefully this will open the door to more activities that he’ll be interested in trying.

CJ ended up having so much fun that he’s been practicing the moves since we got home and can’t wait to return later this week. Ai-ya!!! And of course EJ now wants to join too.

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Happy 3rd Birthday to Captain Elyse!

Happy 3rd birthday to my cute little daughter! She gives me a lot of headaches, but she makes me laugh so much. I’ve always said I wanted one boy and one girl, and I figured the girl would be a typical girl, whatever that means, but EJ is far from the typical girl.

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! She’s so bold, independent, and funny, I couldn’t have asked for a more unique and lovable girl than her.

I am amazed at how articulate and adamant she can be in describing and pursuing what she wants. And her punches and face smacks are a testament to her fierceness.

Too bad CJ cut her off.

I am so proud and joyful to be her father, and my single prayer is for EJ to use her stubbornness and sense of humor to love Jesus and courageously bring others to Christ. I love you, my daughter.

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