Very blessed

I have been neglected this blog! The old ages excuses, busy with things…. 🙂

Little recap of what’s been happening (if you interested hehehe 🙂 )

We went to WI to see the family for thanksgiving. We had a great time! When we’re there we also drive around in Madison looking for area we’re thinking of moving into. As the times get closer, I get so excited over the idea of moving to WI and actually look forward to.

My husband finishes his student teaching and all of his students did a little farewell party for him. The school district where he teaches is one of the challenging school district. He was in for quite a surprise when he first started. At the beginning of the program he would come home mentally exhausted of his students’ conditions and their environment. He also faces a lot of challenge with their behavior and their parent’s lack of interest on their child! At the end, all the students gave him a well sent off and he told me some event cry and wrote him the most beautifully written thank you note. He just realize that his most difficult students is actually the one that he touches the most and have a hard time saying good bye to. He told me they are the reason why he became a teacher.

Tyra & Kalia…. Oh dear, where do I start? So many activities with so many accomplishments. One of my proudest moments is when Tyra’s awarded with an honor student the “Awesome Antelope” certificate and ‘Big Cheese” few weeks later. She went to Antelope Ridge and”Awesome Antelope” is an award they gave to their students to went and accomplished above and beyond academically. In Tyra case, she excels in Math! The certificate was given to her in a little ceremony with the principal.

Tyra is awsome Antelope

 

She’s also chosen to be the Big Cheese just few weeks later. Big Cheese is a stuffed mouse animal that the class has as “pet”.  Students that have good behavior and attitude are allowed to take it home for a week and wrote a journal on their activities. Tyra is so excited when she can be the Big Cheese and took him everywhere with her. At the end of the week the class also does a book on why Tyra is chosen to be the Big Cheese. It is so cute to see what her other classmate wrote about her.

December flew by too fast for me. As a tradition we also adopt a family for the holiday, this time we get a family with three boys! I always have a hard time shopping for boys so this particular tradition is a challenging one for me. It is all good though. I also took Tyra to do the shopping and pick up the toys and the clothes and also to pick up the wrapping paper. She kinda got disappointed because we can’t wrap them; it is part of the rule for Inter-Faith organization. But overall she has a great time and understands the meaning behind us adopting the family and I hope she see the important of it. I think she does, I gave her little gift over the weekend and she told me not to spend too much money on her because Santa will give her gift and I should save my money to give to other kids. Awww…..

I can’t recall any holiday that was not special, this is no different. One main special thing for me is how Tyra started to understand the importance of giving and sharing. She’s now know how to separate her old toys and clothes which one to keep for little sissy and which one for goodwill. I’m so proud of her!

This holiday we will also do things a bit differently this time. We will have what we call all day gathering and eating! Will start off with breakfast at one friend’s house; follow with lunch at another friend’s house and then dinner at another friend’s house. I’m in charged with the dinner together with the host. Then we’ll do Secret Santa for the kids, White Elephant for the adult. It will be fun!

And the next day, I got a very special gift from my work which is two tickets to Trans Siberian Orchestra at the Pepsi Center Box seat, with dinner included! I’m excited!!

As hard as some part of the year has been for me, as challenging as it is, yesterday, I look at the house with the chimney on, the stocking is full and presents from relative for the kids, I can say that I’ve been so blessed…. Very blessed indeed.

From my house to yours, Happy holiday!!

Happy Holiday

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The day of forgiveness…

Most of you know that I’ve been fasting for the past month. Today is the last day of Ramadan, and even though (honestly) there are part o me that relieved the fasting part of it is over, but there are part of me that’s really sad that it is over. Ramadan is a holy month for Muslim, it is the month that all sins are forgiven, the time where we truly can redeem our self and reborn as new person that is sin free.

Tomorrow is EID or Eid Ul-Fitr [Eid in Arabic means festivity, whilst Fitr means purity] so to sum up its mean the festivity of purity. Victory is another word use a lot during the festivity. EID is also the day of forgiveness, the celebrations involved apologizing to others and forgiving those who have hurt you in turn.

This holy month always brings a mixed feeling for me. I have many – many fun loving memories of my childhood especially during this holiday. The house is glowing with decoration and the smells of the traditional holiday food cooking in the kitchen….

My Mom normally already picks the new prettiest clothes for us to wear for the celebration tomorrow and I can’t wait to wear it! That night all of the kids at the neighborhood come out and play and we chant Takbir – glory and praise to Allah, we play fireworks … it’s like a whole block party, even better, it’s the whole nationwide party cause majority of Indonesian is Muslim and we all celebrate EID!

Tonight the EID eve or end of Ramadan is one of the best night for me to have as a child… the whole atmosphere seems to filled with love, happiness, laughter, with Takbir always at the background. Can’t wait for tomorrow, the EID where after prayer we went and visit relatives asking for forgiveness and for us kids, we’ll get money!!! YAY!

To me, EID is a very beautiful holiday, it’s about thanksgiving, forgiveness and charity. No gift exchange involves, no material stuff. All pure humanitarian holiday from the heart. We supposed to ask forgiveness from each other. This is the year where I know I have the best parents ever. They will humbly ask forgiveness from us – their child. It’s always makes me cry when my mom and my dad will hugs me and ask for forgiveness – sincerely.

I mention earlier how I feel a bit down because again I spend holiday away from home… here in this place, where even most of my friend doesn’t share my excitement of this holiday – gosh I’m such a baby! I look at my family’s picture on Facebook on how the holiday is back home and it’s always bring tears….

Beside the normal pray I said, I also pray for peace and little hope maybe I will be given a change to celebrate next holiday with my family and share that special moment with my two girls. Amien.

Eid Mubarak to you all.

First time meeting Santa

Last weekend we took the family to see Santa. It is our family tradition to attend my company’s holiday party. They always coordinate the party to be at the same time during Denver Parade of Light. Our location its right at Downtown and will be pass by the parade. So we all can watch the parade from the convenience of the office building instead of being out in the cold.

However, even though the adult find it convenience and cozy, children have their own opinion. My daughter always beg us to go outside and see the parade from the street. Even though we’re sitting in a very comfortable warm office with plenty of food and hot cocoa or egg nog “It is not the same!” that’s what she said. We try to reason with her, telling her it’s cold outside, crowded etc… “Of course it’s crowded, all the people want to see the parade outside not inside like us! And isn’t that why you bought be this thick jacket and gloves so I can stay warm outside?” Who knew they can outsmart you that early? Daddy gave up and took her outside for little bit.

This is also the first time Kalia – our 7 month old meeting Santa! I wasn’t sure how she’ll react. Judging from the picture, she wasn’t sure either. You can tell by the look on her face that she just “lost”. When she was sitting on the Mrs Claus’s lap, she pretty happy and just attacking the goose. I mean really.. she grabbed the goose by the neck and shake it and bite it – it’s a fake goose of course – I keep on trying to keep her away from the goose because judge by the goose color, it hasn’t taken a bath since 3 Christmas ago and Kalia still tend to put things in her mouth.

At the end… it was a very nice party. The Bank put a lot of effort on putting this beautiful party together every year. Each year we always find something new. New menu, new candy buffet, new arrangement etc…. and I’m happy because I don’t have to drag my kids to meet Mall Santa, wait in line and pay ridiculous amount of money to have your child picture taken with Santa!

Enjoy the picture and happy holiday to you all!

2010 Picture of Tyra & Kalia with Santa

The goose got no change!

Tyra & Santa

 

Kalia is not sure how she feel about Santa

Tyra having fun in the kid section

Watching the Parade of light

One of the appertizer table

Bye Santa.. see you next year!

You are a very bad man who didn’t deserve Santa!

I went to a grocery store right by my work to pick up some quick lunch. As we all know, during this time most shopping places have one of this ARC people ringing their bells with their red bucket for donations. So is at this store. An older gentlemen with his thick jacket, wearing Santa’s hat just happily ringing his bells and wish shopper merry Christmas – to those who made eye contact anyway.

I was still standing outside looking at some Christmas tree not too far from that guy when out of the blue some guy went into the store and start swearing at the ARC guy. “get a f@#$&^ real job you loser!” that what he said. The ARC guys just smile and said “Merry Christmas Sir.” Somehow that just furriate the other guy more. He grabbed the other guy by the hand and almost started a physical fight. He said “Don’t you merry Christmas me you loser!”

During this whole thing, I was just stand there stunned! Many people were too. Then there’s this one boy – in my opinion he’s around 6 – 7 yrs old – started shouting back to the guy. “Leave him alone! He’s a Santa helper not a loser. You’re a loser!” then he continues while crying “You are a very bad man and you don’t deserve Christmas and Santa!”

Just right after that people stared to defend the ARC guy and that jerk left the store immediately. That poor little boy was so upset, he was crying and shacking up. People that was there to witness the whole thing try to calm him along with his mother, they call him a hero, so is the ARC guy. People also shook his hand.

I was standing there still stunned, I left the store shortly after. The whole time yesterday I keep on thinking about that poor ARC guy and the little boy. None of us – including me!! – stand up for the guys. It was only after the little boy say something then people started to react. What’s wrong with that?! Are we becoming so ignorant?

Target refuse to allow ARC to stand in front of their store because it’s inconvenience their customer. Really?  What have we turn ourselves into? Personally, I know few people that told me how they hated the ARC guy in front of any store. But why? I live here for 10 years and never in my experience those guy ever harm me or force me to donate. To me they’re part of Christmas! Christmas seems different without the bell greeting me each time I enter a store.

I’m trying to give everybody benefit of the doubt. The guys who’s acted like a jerk could’ve had a very bad day – who knows, but it’s still no excuse to treat others like that. Stop the hating!  Whatever issue you have with the world.. whatever anger you have, please don’t take it to just some random guy….

They boy said it all, they are not a loser, they are Santa’s helper trying to bring little more cheers for those who is less fortunate. Let us keep a positive attitude, not just during holiday season for everyday of our life!

Jolly Jolly Jolly….

I normally pretty uncomfortable talking about charity/donating, maybe because part of my belief. It said that “when you give with your right hands, hide your left hand.” Basically saying that we should never brag about giving. I wanted to share my experience this year though, because to me, this time it give me somewhat different feeling.

As a tradition, we adopt a family for Christmas.  I don’t celebrate Christmas religiously, but I share the giving spirit of the season and looking forward for it each year. Normally we get a list of the family – how many are they, their wish list etc… and I normally get family with small children. This year when I receive the family information I got scared. The family that was assigned to me is a set of grandparents with 3 teenagers. I have never shop for teenagers before! Even though I claim to be 21 yrs old, but let’s face it – who am I kidding here.

On top of that, this family hardly wrote anything on their wish list. I have to guess! I contacted the coordinator and ask if she can help me gather more information about this family. This is the part that bring me teary eyes….

It’s the grandparents raising three of their granddaughters. The parents pass away tragically long time ago. This is the first time they sign up for any help therefore they feel awkward and embarrassed to write down any wish list, they think any helps is big enough helps. The coordinator finally able to get some wish list for me and what breaks my hearts more when I hear all the grandpa wants is some type of new clothes for him and his family. That’s all he wants. He haven’t buy/wear new clothes in years. The youngest child is 10 yrs old. She only wanted new baby doll clothes for her baby doll. The grandma only want some grocery store gift card to provide holiday meal and the other two teenagers only want Taylor Swift  or Carrie Underwood CD.

Their story and their humble wish list really touches me more.  Especially when I hear how they were all very grateful and how the grandpa was crying when he ask for new clothes. For real hard working people, it takes a lot out of you to ask for help. I can sense that from this family. They have been raising their grandchildren and manage to do so all this time by themselves. This is the first time they asked for help. The hard economic situation hits them just like it hits everybody.

It encourage me to do more. I share their story with my boss and colleagues and donations and help start pouring in. With all that helps, I manage fulfill their humble wish list and more and also help other family too – all within budget!

As we all know, these are trying times. The economy is still struggling and there are many families that need our help. I’m happy that I can help a little and help spread the words to others to reach to the community so we can provide more gifts and meals to families that cannot afford to fully enjoy the holidays.

I’d like to share few words from one of the family that was help by this program.

I am the aunt of a family you helped this season and I was so touched I wanted to thank you as well. My sister is a wonderful mom. Everything she does is for her kids. I know it is hard for her raising all three children by herself, but she does it any way, every day all year. I also know the state of the economy has everyone cutting corners and that makes your gifts so meaningful, thank you. Really, you have made Christmas for this family.”

Let’s reach more this seasons… if you live in Denver area and wish to support this program, please contact Interfaith Community Service or of course you can choose any charity organization you wish.

Happy Holiday!