Sunday, August 9, 2009

Summer 2009

This summer passed like a swift wind. There was hardly any time to savor the warmth of the sun, facetiously speaking. Could it be that the unusually mild temperatures made summer seems as though it lasted only for two weeks? Could it be that there was so much work to get done that the ticking of time was not accurately accounted for? Could it also be that the mind was so focused on thought and sights that were intriguing and thrilling that the mundane, such as keeping track of time was ignored by default?

“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” Henry Van Dyke

Shannon and Brahms, who are now both in high school, will be starting school tomorrow. I therefore assume that summer is technically over. Miriam, being in a different school district, has to wait for another week before she goes to school. She intends to sympathize with her siblings by getting up early and working on her activity book (Math, English, Science) as part of her everyday activities. After a fun time of traveling as a family, Tim is now scheduled to travel to Asia. Summer is really over.

For the sake of accounting and preparing myself to shift to normal everyday, I'm going to list the things that we did this summer.
Shonto Mission Trip Tim, Brahms and Shannon left to go to Shonto, Arizona, a community of Navajo Indians. There they helped build different houses or parts of houses by pouring cement, painting, roofing, framing, etc. They worked hard, Tim arrived limping for another week, but they came home refreshed.
Blitz and Crocodile Dock What could be better than attending VBS? (Answer: Attending two VBSs in one summer) Miriam participated in Blitz at Lakeside Church and Crocodile Dock at Cornerstone Christian Church. One of them coincided with the time when the rest of the family were in Arizona. This helped me in trying to keep her occupied while her siblings were not available to do the job. A great way to keep her thinking of spiritual things.

Cousins' Visit A highlight of this summer was a visit from the other Lewis family (DJ, Julianna, Saskia, and Dave). We don't seem to have the gift of choosing a good place to show our visitors but they are always a pleasure to have and to hang out with. They marked this years' visit by presenting us with a Jelly Belly Dispensing Machine. We are enjoying this equipment in regulating our sugar consumption. My father-in-law, AKA Grandpa George, also came during this time of mini reunion. He showed us pictures from their most recent trip to Israel. We missed Barbara but we saw her pictures wading in the Dead Sea. We also got to enjoy the black cherries and flowers that she sent.

Visitor from Africa Brenda Allen, our missionary friend, gave us a short visit. She's lives and works among the Maninka people in Guinea (Africa). She has a very interesting ministry there as a nurse and Mariamo (woman of God).

Canada We headed to Canada both for adventure and meeting friends and family. We enjoyed seeing Niagara Falls, great lakes that are the size of oceans, and the city of Toronto and London. It was fun staying at 33 Harbour Front. Then, after nineteen years, I visited my relatives in Toronto. It was good to eat a lot of Filipino foods but most of all it was good to see my brother and sister and their families again. We all have grown older but there are things that remained the same. This is comforting and scary at the same time. We brought two kinds of presents for them: Blue Diamond Almonds and NIV Bibles.

Aside from relatives, we also got to meet some of my old friends. Soni, who is now married to Cris, had us over at their new condominium space. It is in a new building, they are among the first few occupants. Cris cooked a great dinner for us and our favorites were the cassava cake, tropical fruit salad and the special cupcakes. Soni also joined is when we went to Alliston.

It was great to see Peter VanderZaag again. If ever considered one as my spiritual mentor, it was Peter. However, we've lost communication since my family moved from Fremont to El Dorado Hills. This was the first time that Tim really had the chance to sit and talk with him. The last opportunity would have been on the day that we got married but he was too occupied with the details of the wedding. Our visit with him (Carla, his wife, was in Nashville at the time) and Ruth VanderZaag (daughter) was inspiring and educational. I've always considered Peter and Carla as godly people. For one thing, Peter was the one who led me to meeting my Savior. He mentored me in my younger days as a Christian. Tim and I both are really happy to have seen them again.
Miriam Turned Nine We made it home for Miriam's birthday! This is the first time in three years that Miriam woke up at home on her birthday. All she wanted was a nice dinner with the family. Later on we invited the Lippuners for more celebration.

Leadership Summit Tim had a blast attending the the Leadership Summit by Willow Creek. He admits that this is probably the best conference that he has ever attended in a long long time. After the conference was over his brain was over-flowing with new thoughts that he would talk about it whenever he is not working until we are already in bed. It was my suggestion that he consolidates his thoughts into different versions depending on the amount of time available for someone to hear him. One-minute, 15-minutes, 30-minutes, or one-hour version. I think I'm getting the 5-day echo seminar!

Child Evangelism Fellowship Training Brahms and Shannon attended this training right before school started. It seems appropriate for them because they are regular helpers in the children's ministry as well as AWANA. They enjoyed and learned so much from it.

Civilization IV Our family enjoys playing hot seat Civilization. In this game each player heads a civilization. The game starts in 4000BC with each player getting one settler and a warrior. It usually end in 2050 AD or when a player is elected in the UN as the world dominator or when a player finishes building the Alpha Centauri. We've played many games of CIV as a family. We do this whenever we are not doing anything. This summer we started a new game and it's a lot of fun! Right now, as always, I'm in the lead! Shannon is trying to catch up and she's still trying! Brahms and Miriam are at war with the Aztecs. Tim and I just traded world maps.

This is summer 2009 in a nutshell.

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