Friday, February 16, 2018


one of my favorite poems of all time is by Jessie B. Rittenhouse...

“I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more, 
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store;

For Life is just an employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial's hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have paid.”

today, I read Psalm 2 and it speaks about the same thing...asking what we want in life.  often times, I don't ask for BIG things.  I always ask for what i think i deserve, according to how 'good' i think i am.  But as a Child of God, I could ask for the world and God would give it to me, not because I deserve it but because the Father sees the Son in me, and that makes me worthy of the world!  It's not the size of my faith, because even faith the size of a mustard seed could move mountains.  so everyday i will remind myself to ASK, ASK, ASK!

Making the ask is not for everyone, but reserved for God's children.  Not the naysayers, not the unbelievers, not for mockers, but for those who worship God in adoring embrace and celebrate in trembling awe!  Psalm 2:10-12

I ask for favor in this pending business.  I ask for favor in financing this business.  I ask for payment of all debts.  I ask for bigger giving.  I ask for good health and long life for myself and those who are near and dear to me.  I ask for my family's salvation.  I ask for lives changed, bondage and chains broken.  I ask for renewed lives that are dedicated to Christ.  I ask for wisdom and wealth to be shared with others.  I ask for ALL GOOD THINGS and ALL OF GOD'S PROMISES FULFILLED in me, through me, for Christ's glory!

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

how can u afford to travel so much?

i get that a lot.  even my daughter gets a lot of comments from her classmates (sometimes sarcastically) about how often we travel.  it does get annoying sometimes, but to each their own, right? 

i know i don't have to explain myself but here's some of the reasons why we are able to travel as much as we do:

we travel a lot because we like it.  it's as simple as that.  even before we got into the travel business, we saved up for our trips.  we have a savings account specifically for our travels and we put money in that account each paycheck to save up for our trip.  traveling is important to us so we set aside money for that.  

now that we have a business, we started earning points and miles using our credit card for business expenses.  we accumulate a lot so we are able to use a lot of it for our travels, sometimes we travel with almost no out of pocket cost for our airfare and hotel, sometimes we just pay the taxes.  on our recent trip to austria and czech republic, our out of pocket cost for air and hotel is about $2000, for 3 people.  an average of $667 per person for a 9 day trip to europe staying at 4 star hotels and flying business class.  our train tickets and food were extra but we don't splurge too much on food...we eat what we like but we are also mindful that we need to be wise about where to eat.  we have an upcoming trip to Tulum for spring break and we have zero out of pocket cost for the air and hotel.  all we will need to spend on is our food and attractions we want to see.  if you can travel for that cheap, wouldn't you do it often????

we hardly ever go shopping.  i know a lot of people who buy a lot of clothes for themselves and their families.  we have never been that kind of family.  i used to buy a lot of business attire when i worked in a corporate setting but now that i am focused on our businesses, i am dressed in jeans and a t shirt.  paul's work is really casual too so no need to splurge on fancy clothes.  i used to love buying moderately expensive purses, but i have slowly gotten rid of the desire to buy them.  i don't own any LV, Prada, Channel or Gucci purses.  I had a Gucci before but i sold it to my cousin after not using it for 3 years.  i have not bought a purse in two years and am perfectly happy with the purse that i use everyday.  

we only eat out occasionally. i love to cook and can cook most dishes that we crave for so instead of spending $100 for a meal when the 3 of us go out, i go to the supermarket, buy the ingredients and cook the same food for less money and more quantity.  even eating at the mall's food court sets you back at least $10 per person for low quality food...$5 for a small cup of boba.  i buy the ingredients for boba for $10 and we have a boba party at home (with 15 guests) and still have boba left over for another party.  

someone said we are wrong for getting michelle used to traveling...that we might be turning her into a spoiled brat.  michelle's not a spoiled brat.  far from it.  the kid works hard at school. she has a very entrepreneurial spirit, always thinking of ways to work and make and save money and give back is very important to her.  she does not always get what she wants...paul often talks to me about how strict i can be with her about her to dos and her wants.  michelle is so well rounded.  she can talk to anyone and feel comfortable.  

on our flight to/from europe, two flight attendants approached me and told me how well behaved and well mannered michelle was.  she always asked politely, always says thank you, and engages people in conversation.  as a parent, i love hearing compliments like that!  who doesn't?!  our travels is turning michelle into a well-rounded, global citizen.  

there are still a few things she needs to learn and she is learning through our travels.  like when we were in prague, all the streets and sidewalks in the first district were cobblestone.  it was hard on the feet to walk on these kinds of streets and when you're in europe, you did a lot of walking.  so she asked our tour guide, 'why don't they pave the streets and sidewalks so it's easier for people to walk on them and the cards to drive on them?'  the guide answered, 'it will be too expensive to do that now and the streets are perfectly fine as they are.  don't you think it looks pretty?'  

when we got back to our hotel, we told michelle that traveling allows us to see things from different perspectives and how we do things at home may be different from how things are done in another country, it does not make one wrong and the other right, it just shows us that there is more than one option to how things work.  like the streets are paved where we live, while in europe, many are cobblestone.  why in japan, australia and new zealand, they drive on the left side of the street while we drive on the right.  neither one is wrong, and both work fine because that's what people are used to.  

traveling broadens the mind.  we will continue to travel for as long as we are able because we like it!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

trying out these writing prompts

i miss much!  this blog was never an outlet for my creative juices...i'm not really a creative writer...i just like to write.  i like essays and non-fiction.  i know i'm very rusty, but i plan on writing again, and writing better. 

so here's the first crack at this thing i downloaded, writing prompts:

Day 1
Breaking Up With Writer’s Block
It’s time for you and Writer’s Block to part ways. Write a letter breaking up with Writer’s
Block, starting out with, “Dear Writer’s Block, it’s not you, it’s me …”

Dear Writer's Block, it's not you, it's me.  I have been utterly lazy and spent too much time wallowing in misery. Yes, I have been miserable these last few years.  That's actually something I have not admitted to anyone but you.  Yes, I have been miserable.  Not to the point of depression but to the point of indifference, which, might be worse.  I felt like I gave up on many things and lost the will and the fire that I used to have inside me. 

I don't want to get too personal and bore you with my life's drama.  It has been a challenging 3 years but I have vowed to bounce back and get that spring in my step and that zest for life that I used to have.  It's coming back, slowly but surely. 

I told you I was rusty.  My sentences are short and ill-constructed.  By the time I get to the end of these writing prompts, I am optimistic that my writing will be fluid and my sentences well-constructed. 

I have to say goodbye, Writer's Block.  Don't take it personally, but I hope to never see you again. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

saw my rheummy today

I got scolded by my doctor today.  =(

My Rheumatoid Arthritis has progressed because I am not taking my medications correctly and I have not seen my doctor in a year.  It's really not what I wanted to hear but I'm tired to seeing doctors and getting poked for blood tests.

But unfortunately for me, what I have done (naturally) had a negative effect on my body.  =(  

I feel terrible physically and emotionally.  I have not cried about having RA for a long time but now is one of those moments when the realization of this disease hits hard.  

I'm exhausted.  I am tired of feeling tired. I know my doctor means well, but he doesn't have RA so he may have the wisdom to help me get better control of this disease but he does not feel what we feel- the pain, the brain fog, the exhaustion, the frustration...


things will get better.  it always does.  

Friday, November 17, 2017

Thanksgiving is just around the corner!

Which means I will be on pie duty for the next several days while the dusting of flour and the smear of butter covers the kitchen.

I love making pies.  It really makes me happy. 

I also love helping people plan their trips.

I am blessed to be doing work that I love to do. 

After the baking madness, I'm leaving for a trip to the Philippines and Thailand for work. I would enjoy it more if my loves could come with me but they can't.  I miss them terribly when I am away, but time does fly so the 9 days will be over in no time.