admire02

A House is Not a Home without a Bichon

Hi! I’m Poochie, a bichon frise. I am five years old, and I love my family!

IMG_2281

I enjoy spending time with my family, but my mom likes to take pictures of me.

IMG_2295

I love when mom plays her instruments. Sometimes it’s the violin, and other times it’s the ukulele…

IMG_4382And grandma likes to paint. After she finishes a new painting, she tries to take pictures of it. With me modeling! I like having photoshoots. :)  #tbt (That stands for Throw Back Thursday lol) to when I got shaved.

IMG_5663

My family is usually busy with things.. Grandpa has work, Grandma does painting and cooking and cleaning, Uncle goes to school, but then he usually has a lot of homework, and Mom also goes to school. But once she finishes her homework, she’s either playing the violin or on her phone. Usually on her phone. So I always keep it positive and play by myself when I get bored..

IMG_5533My family does show their love for me, though. Grandpa likes to play with me once he gets back from work. Grandma occasionally pets me for about three minutes straight. Uncle really likes to play with me. And Mom and Uncle give me baths. Mom feeds me and walks me (But Grandma also does that.) I am glad that there is a family that loves me enough to adopt me. Then again, A House Is Not A Home Without A Bichon. 

 

Museum Trips: Mom & Mich Date @ MOCA

A little time set aside for art appreciation for girls bonding while the boys went to Japanese town to check out some anime stuff, thus maximizing our drive to LA. I was really hoping to see Henri Matisse’s works displayed but it turned out it’s Warhol’s works on exhibit. There was confusion somewhere. I became curious before going there to see Andy Warhol’s controversial Shadows because of the reviews.
IMG_4522

Picture was taken outside the MOCA.
IMG_4533

So here we were inside the main exhibit hall. The only selfie we have, not the best though.
IMG_4529

Now, the critic, looking closely and examining this particular canvas and processing what makes it an artwork. Imagine 102 canvases bigger than Michelle in size, displayed in the main hall. She didn’t say a thing.

The show was big and bold. Bold in the sense that a famous and influential artist like Warhol, would create something like that, humongous monochromatic series of silkscreen paintings. He likes to awaken people’s curious minds. I read somewhere that he likes boring things. That makes it interesting.IMG_4537

Below, are some of the other artworks on display that season.IMG_4550

IMG_4553

A pile of glass with broken pieces on display.
IMG_4557This generated a look that only a mother could understand what’s going on in her mind and prompted a response from a mother that only a daughter could comprehend. :) Another piece of controversy?

IMG_4560

This is like a sister of the artwork outside the building, like pieces of big metal scraps joined together.
IMG_4561

Tall figures by Alberto Giacometti.IMG_4571

She asked me to buy this book from the museum store. A watermelon lemonade ended our trip to the museum.

Hiking: Mount Volcan

We’ve agreed that as a family, we will hike once a month. By spending time together outdoors we avoid the tendency to be couch potatoes, lessen our electronics time at home, enrich our nature appreciation, sharpen our geography skills, strengthen our bodies and many more benefits. So we encourage everyone to go out and enjoy what nature has to offer. We can’t do it when we are old and weak. :)

IMG_0117As you can see, everyone is enthusiastic and ready to hike. lol!

IMG_0134

What an entrance to the hiking path! It’s totally unique. I was looking for Neptune! lol. Seriously, nice wood carvings there. Just now, I learned that this artwork was done by a Julian artist named James Hubbell.

DSC_0444

DSC_0449

IMG_0144This is double workout for the dad. The pull. How can you hike when you want to be pulled?

IMG_0167

The push. Hahaha! This is really steep. I had to walk backwards going up. Weird?

DSC_0483

DSC_0463

IMG_6394

DSC_0513

It was considered as a place for observatory before Mount Palomar.DSC_0514IMG_0389

The photobomber is having a blast!

IMG_6412How do I selfie? Let me count the ways…
IMG_0401

IMG_0418And the quadcopter did his job. Strike a pose!

DSC_0566

Salton Sea from a distance.DSC_0569

IMG_0448

DSC_0601 IMG_0453

You don’t have an idea what transpired here. From the start of our descent, she told me the story of Paddington the movie from beginning to end. Listening for more than an hour is a skill. :) Anyway, we had a great hike. It was tiring and challenging but a good one.

DSC_0623 DSC_0633 DSC_0635

 

 

 

Hiking: Charmlee Wilderness Malibu


“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity” ― John Muir

It’s a necessity to have a QT (quality time) with the husband and have fun outdoors so we drove a few hours to Malibu to explore the wilderness. We took the time to go far since our kids had a full day schedule (we should thank the schools for organizing field trips and competitions :))  It was such a beautiful spring (almost summer) weather up there and the view was awesome.

IMG_6798

We drove along the Pacific Coast Highway and saw the blue ocean and beautiful multi-million dollar Malibu houses. We don’t have the luxury of time to wander around so I just took some photos.

IMG_0698

Parking is $4. There’s not much hikers here that day because it’s a regular working day. Husband took a time off just to be with me. Well, he’s the one who is actually persistent to hike so it’s the other way around. I took a time off my household chores to join him.

We decided to bring Pooch because definitely we will be home late and nobody will take care of him. Glad we did coz he really enjoyed being outdoors. It was windy and the grass here is gorgeous especially when the wind blows, it’s like scenes from the movies. I am imagining aerial top view shots from one of the Lord of the Rings. Hmmm, GoPro?

IMG_0716

Mountain, ocean, spring flowers, wind, sun, some water and bananas, it’s a cheap date. Don’t mind the gas that was on a peak price.
IMG_0713There’s also some running involve here. We saw some lizards and Poochie enjoys playing with them. Hide and seek?

IMG_0735

IMG_6878

Giving our pet some break. Looking at his tongue sticking out, he must be tired and needed some water. This was going up and was having a great cardio work out.

IMG_6866

Follow the lead! Pooch is in between us. He had some fun with the narrow paths.IMG_6853

IMG_6834

It’s funny to look at when Poochie runs and his ears are perked up! Don’t count the wagging tail! He’s just happy.

IMG_0780

We’re on top of Charmlee wilderness around noontime. At the background is Malibu beach.
IMG_0726

Blue sky and water, green grass, flowers of different hues, purple, blue, white, yellow, orange, red. It’s springtime. Charmlee is really charming! Easy 3 Mile hike. We definitely had a great time here and wish to come back with our kids. Now, off to xiao long bao.

IMG_6864

IMG_6906 IMG_6909

Ocean Beach = Doggie Beach

 

A day in the life of Pooch… It was the head of the house’s forty something birthday and we decided to drive the Pacific Highway Coast til we get tired. We were beach hopping. First stop was this beach, my happy place called Dog Beach (Ocean Beach). A little trivia about this beach: It’s one of the first official leash-free beaches in the United States (according to Ocean Beach San Diego official website). Woohoo! Everybody’s having a great time here. But before I have my great time, they would not let me go around unless I pose for them. So here it is, with this giant umbrella that resembles my grandma’s color wheel. Maybe she would paint me sometime. Hmmm. What do you think? Look at me, I don’t have a leash and I am just obeying them to stay put and smile for the camera. I am a good boy.

DSC_0248

DSC_0093

After striking a pose here and there, they let me be free but with one condition, no barking! I should be friendly with people and with pets like me. By the way, I heard Zena (my doggie friend neighbor) sometimes visit this beach. I hope one day we could see her here. It’s gonna be paw-some fun!IMG_2355You see, I am the youngest member of this family and they won’t let me be alone in the house on this special day. They love to play with me while the mother of the house is busy with photographing our moments together. They want me to play catch but sometimes I am overwhelmed with so many things. I want to chase other dogs and I want to run freely as fast as I could. 
DSC_0263

This doggie beach is perfect for pets like me. I just love going here. People and dogs like me co-exist peacefully and wonderfully here. What a wonderful world! Woof! Bring me often here. DSC_0271

An Opportunity for Joy

IMG_4689

My husband and I went hiking on a winter season. The place is called Canyon Sin Nombre or Canyon Without Name. I can’t imagine this place during summer as it was so arid even in winter when dews are aplenty in the morning. We stayed overnight camping so we knew how cold it really was. It’s surprising to see this plant with red flower in the midst of dryness. How come it has thrived when everything is brown or black? My photo did not do justice to how pleasant it is to see a red flower in the desert. One can not miss it for sure. God can make things grow no matter how difficult it is to thrive. Not only that, things can even be beautiful and attractive!

Life can be challenging at times. And sometimes challenges happen at times when we are not ready and when problems keep piling up. But consider this: “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4 (NLT). We have the freedom to choose joy and grow from experience. Are we going to allow dryness to overpower us? Or let joy overtake us and create something beautiful?

IMG_4688 IMG_4683 IMG_4666

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. :)
IMG_4091

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.

IMG_4071

High School AMPD Camp

camp

 

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

IMG_3852

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.

specks

 

Page 2 of 1312345...10...Last »