October 2014

Winter Leopard, Triangles & Spring Flowers

It’s during one of those days where mother and daughter bonding happens in between chores and homework, over messy counter and dining table. Part of the daughter’s homework is to practice playing violin for at least 30 minutes. She was complaining of how difficult for her to do her recital piece. I hope she won’t give up on that Vivaldi. Anyway, I encouraged her to repeat after me, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13). She then continued and finished her routine practice with some (playing by ear) Jason Mraz songs. I offered her some Ferrero chocolates as a booster. :) We decided, we want to relax and relieve some stress so we started painting. We’ve done fall painting last time, so we thought of doing different seasonal painting. We came up with these:

Mich painted this using our tiniest paint brush, 5/0 Princeton spotter. She wants to torture our brushes, you know. And she wants to use the newer ones. Anyway, she combined different neon and metallic acrylic to produce this artwork. She called it “Winter Leopard.” So those are leopard footprints. :)
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One season ahead than Mich, I did this “Spring Flowers” using a big brush on an 11×14 watercolor paper. I need more brushes! That concluded our bonding moment. We love to paint not only our nails, but also using different media.

IMG_4089Earlier that day, I painted some triangles inspired by the challenging geometry homework done by Mich with the help of her uber patient tutor, her dad. Haha! Common Core! This is for you, father and daughter tandem! Solve my triangles.

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High School AMPD Camp

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High School is starting for me. A new and somewhat long part of my youth. As a teen, there can be many obstacles that will trouble me through the years. Here at the camp, we discussed the various things that we, as Christians, believe will help each other and ourselves to stay strong through this times.

The beginning of the camp was very fun. Most of us have come to camp in the previous years, but some are newcomers. A lot of us, as soon as we got there, were looking for our friends. Others were looking for new friends. Going on in the evening, we started to play some games, like infection tag on a playground, which seemed childish, but it was fun. I eventually found myself making quite a few new friends in the process. We continued on that first night with dinner and worship. Worship is always fun at camp, you would find yourself praising God with your friends. Sometimes you would unexpectedly get chosen to do some games in front of the crowd, like having a team member throw eggs that you must catch into a plastic basket on your head. Overall, the first night was fun. The guys definitely didn’t stop there, after all the commotion of great and disgusting mini-games, we continued to play some sports in the dark. One example of the things that we did almost at midnight were some basketball. Some got injured, but they took it well and kept on playing. Sometimes the bad things can help us bond closer to each other. Once we had to go back into our ‘cabins’, we had a great time talking to each other, making jokes and whatnot. There was a very unexpected twist to the night though, right as we fell asleep at 2:30AM or so, our leaders woke us up very suddenly to go play games on a wet field. 2:30 in the morning is just great for sock wrestling in the wet and cold night. It was tough but i managed to play a few rounds against some older highschoolers. We then made some s’mores, very early in the morning.

After the fun stuff, we did some discussions about who we were spiritually. First day, we discussed about how we could be more aware of what we do and who we are. Some of the leaders spoke about their stories leading up to who they were before and who they are now. The next day was plentiful of games and fun events. The guys didn’t seem very tired on the outside, but they really were. One thing that stands out to me was how much nicer and outgoing the guys were when they were without their parents, other friends and society in general. Since phones weren’t allowed to be brought, most of us were talking a lot more to each other rather than texting or look through at their social status. Every morning and evening, we had group discussions about some bible verses that explain to us that we should be serving God and other, not ourselves as it says in 1 Peter 4:10, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms“.

After lunch, we started to play some games that really helped us be stronger as a team, and some for fun. One event that we do yearly is something we like to call the “Dye-Wars”, where the entire camp is divided into two teams and we soak each other with colored water in a full on battle across a large field. We do that just for fun. The games ended and we were allowed some free time. That night, we were discussing about making a difference in the world and what our purpose could be. One of the leaders, came up and talked about his mission trips to places around America. He went on a mission trip to Haiti, living there for 6 months in a very small and cramped room with another friend. They were building houses and preaching to the people, changing some of their lives. One man was saved with the leader’s help and continued on throughout the rest of their trip to help and spread the Word of God. Because of that leader, and other people, I feel encouraged to do some mission trips to help the people who don’t have God in their lives.

Some night games ensued the discussions and the worship. Dodge ball and Mission-Impossible were the more popular games we played. Mission impossible is a game where we, as a team, must reach a goal without getting caught by ‘guards’ who were people with flashlights. We also must get to the goal as fast as possible, but if the ‘guards’ catch us moving, we had to start over from he beginning. That night was the most fun I’ve had with my friends. One of the leaders offered to go to a nearby “45 minutes away” grocery store, almost at midnight, to purchase some snacks for our all-nighter. We gave him some cash and it turned out great. Some of us made it through the night while the others fell asleep. Jokes and our stories, as well as root beer, chips and candy, got us going through the night. I felt like we’ve been there for a week during that night due to how close we got to each other.

The next day was the end of camp. Most of us started packing up our stuff after the morning worship session. We didn’t do much that morning but talk quite a bit to each other, getting other’s information so we can still talk. The third day’s discussion was about Doing Something, whether is to join Life Group at our church, or even do mission trips. A leader, Patrick, spoke of the definition of Baptism. It is not something that we should do because others want to do it, but because it is a public example of our beliefs. I got Baptized and it was a great opportunity to do so with my friends. After the Baptism, parents started arriving and picking up their children. It was a little sad, but we will be seeing each other again. I can’t wait until next year….

 

Ripple

Ripple

11×15 Acrylic by Che

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I was inspired by a young lady’s story about her calling to be a blessing to the nation of Jordan. We prayed for her and the word spoken to her as she goes back to Jordan to do humanitarian works was “ripple”. That her passion will cause a ripple effect in the lives of people in Jordan, both the locals and the hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria. With what is happening there right now, so many things popped in my mind. The reality of us being blessed and comfortable in this part of the world is overwhelming while millions of people in the war torn places in Middle East are continuously suffering. It’s heartbreaking to think that those people don’t have the time to grieve and can’t even bury their dead. Being displaced in a different country and being uncertain of future was mind-boggling. The least that we can do is to pray for them and donate at least.

 

 

 

Abstract Painting: Specks

Specks by Che

(acrylic 11×15 in archival paper)

Celebrate life’s unique episodes of glorious success and pain in suffering. Life is not perfect. Specks of black paint symbolize hardships & the colors represent chapters of life. In totality life is beautiful & interesting.

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Car by Champ

Made from recycled board & laughing cow packaging designed by Champorado for his physics project. After receiving grades for their projects, the boys enjoyed racing their cars to the point of destruction. And they had fun doing it. rubberbandcar