Friday, December 9, 2011

Gratitude: November 2011

I took the same guys that were over at my house for Halloween to a tour of Alexandria. We checked out some "tourist spots" (e.g. Kensington Runestone original location, Carlos Creek Winery, etc..). It's always fun taking "new" people around West-Central Minnesota!

On Tuesday, November 8th , I went bowling with some friends at the local bowling alley. While bowling, I accidentally slipped but was able to get some pins down. This would've been a great "funniest video"!

The following day, the group home (Driftwood) I've been newly scheduled at did a "Staff Appreciation" meal at Buddies Bar & Grill (Hancock, Minnesota). I started working at this particular P.C.S group home (developmentally challenged)last month when they needed a "last-minute" fill-in. Due to some "financial challenges", I decided to accept the invitation to be on the "regular schedule" (God's financial provision!). I also want to take this time to give all my co-workers (both my pt-ft job) my personal appreciation to work this "common cause" (see Caregiver Appreciation Month).

The day after, I went to my first swim meet with Hafiz. My niece (7yrs. old) has been taking lessons too, so I've been enjoying watching her "progress" since the summer since I started watching her lessons when I come to the cities. The weekend (following) I went to the cities this month was actually her last swimming lesson (at my old high school). She is far ahead when I was at her age!!

On Sunday, November 13th-my local church in Morris had their every other month potluck. I love cooking, but there are others better than me. I brought some snacks (e.g. chips) and a drink as my contribution, but I contributed more by helping with the clean-up afterwards.

The once a month "Community Meal" was on the 2nd Monday instead of the 4th of the month due to the Thanksgiving holiday. As "active" participant of the Tuesday night Jane Adams Project (see Espanol Services), we volunteered some shifts for 2 days in preparing, helping at, and cleaning after this monthly meal. I helped out with the cleaning part, which working as a "team" made it very successful.

I'm very blessed to have some "paid-vacation" time, so I used 2 days of it during the 3rd weekend of the month. I drove to the cities on Thursday (November 17th) morning and immediately played soccer-football with my 4 yr. old nephew outside. It was pretty cold, so I had him wear my winter gloves. I then had more Mexican food for the week at a restaurant called Pineda Tacos in West St. Paul with a former housemate of mine. I love keeping in touch with my friends (e.g. housemates), which this one was a special get-together as I had a unique "prophetic" dream about him and his family.

The following day, I joined my brother's family to go "window shopping" at Maplewood Mall in Maplewood, Minnesota. It was the first "significant" snowfall of the winter season, which it was very slippery...

1st Significant Snow Fall of the Season (11'-12') on Sat. Nov 19th 2011

On my last day in the cities, I hung out with my sister and her boyfriend (early birthday present) at Target Field for a tour...

On Tuesday, November 22nd-we had our annual Thanksgiving dinner at my workplace. I would interview several or more of my co-workers (clients) asking what they are thankful to God for. I was then blessed with the extra "leftovers" (e.g. green bean casserole, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, etc..) to bless my friends I'll be hanging out this Thanksgiving weekend since I wasn't going to St. Paul since I had to work my 2nd job. It was a week of eating as the same day, the weekly Jane Adams (see Espanol Services) sponsored the 1st community potluck (at the Morris Public Library), which I brought my famous "Filipino Chicken Adobo" to share with the others. Then the following day, "we" continued to eat as we had a "Thanksgiving" theme party (along with a student's b-day and a farewell for a student from Brazil leaving for another training project in Wisconsin) for our weekly (ESL-GED) classes.

On Thanksgiving Day, I had to work the "overnight" (sleep) earlier and started cooking my small "oven roasted" (mini-size that takes only 3 hours) turkey for my housemate (Kazu from Japan) and his friend/former UMM Int'l student of mine last year. I then warmed up the extra leftovers from work and cooked a yummy ("my favorite") blueberry pie for dessert. We ate so much , so we would eat the pie after our short nap. It was so nice outside (50's) to stay inside rest of the day, so I invited the guys to play outside (e.g. playground, baseball with a tennis ball, basketball, etc..). I would continue using the "leftover" 4 days later as I hosted another friend as we (my housemate also) ate ham-roast beef (substitute of turkey).

The Thanksgiving weekend was just a small sample of what I do this in this blog as I celebrate "what I'm thankful" are year round!

more coming...

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