Friday, April 6, 2012

Gratitude: March 2012

I started the month with an early birthday present from some friends that used to live in Morris. They bought a cake as we watched a show on Major League Baseball Network. Earlier, we visited a friend out of town and the weather forecast on the internet said a "5-7 inch snowstorm". However, I decided to call a local motel for a personal opinion on how "bad" the weather was there and it wasn't as bad. This was just an example of how one should not trust technology (weather forecast)!

I participated on another weekly (Tuesdays @7:3pm this year) "Jane Adams" (see Espanol Services) get-together on March 6th 2012. It was awesome to see a couple of friends that I've invited in the past before, which was each of their first time. This is another lesson to never give-up when inviting friends. During the event, they showed an article (campus paper) of publicizing this weekly community event. I was encouraged to see a couple of photos I took from the first event from last Fall, which I can add to my photography portfolio!

On March 7th, I joined some fellow local church family members in the weekly eat and fellowship. They meet ever Wednesdays from 5p-7pm, which we can come and go for a quick meal with each other. This week, the them was pasta, which we each bring a pasta dish. This was a great time to touch basis with folks from church instead of just doing it on Sundays only. I had to leave a little after 6pm to participate in my weekly ESL-GED classes I volunteer at the local school. I brought a friend who has volunteered in the past, but hasn't been able to come for a while. It was a blessing to have him help to use his gifted skills of working with computers.

With "March Madness", I wanted to "do" than "watch" sports, so I went to the local fitness center to play catch (baseball) with my Kazu. I saw a couple of other friends, so I played soccer with them too. We would go to Alexandria the next day to watch a movie at the theater there, which would be my first time to do so in more than several years. It was my fist time there since it was remodeled many years ago. Before going to the movie "Act of Valor", I attended the annual "Spring Expo" in-town and was blessed to win a FREE burger (locally produced)! I say blessed because my intention to attend this event was to get a burger, which I rarely or don't even like eating red meat at all. I decided to get one as an exception since I knew where this burger was coming from (locally grown)!

On Sunday, March 11th (Daylight Savings Time) after doing the overnight (sleep shift), I went to my local church to help with Super Church (Sunday School). Prior to teaching, a church family member shared a testimony of how she got healed during worship service after asking God for healing (for a cold)! She then encouraged folks that needed healing to have folks around them to lay hands on them for prayer. This reminded me of my own personal testimony (see Healed from Head Concussion? , from last fall, which I would personally shared with her via email. Later in the evening, I would get together with a couple of friends for a movie night (rented from the local university)-Mongol (Oscar-nominated movie of Genghis Khan ).

The next day, I did more of my house basement remodeling project by working on the wood floor tiling. The day after, I got an early birthday present from a co-worker who won a birthday cake from a community cake walk.

On our weekly Wednesday ESL classes, we had a presentation by one of our students unfortunately leaving home (Pakistan) the end of this month. We did a farewell party for him as we learned more about his home country.

I have a health testimony to share, which I have to attribute to health living habits. Every two years, I have a physical exam as part of the required credentials when renewing my Class B (CDL) License for driving the bus fro my job. Well, I wanted to do well-particularly with my eyes. I've been doing my eye therapy (switch eye patch from left to right eye in regular basis) to improve my "lazy eye" disorder. Well, after doing this for a significant period of time, it has improved. Praise God!

For my on-going basement project, I did my ceiling (sheet rock a small narrow section by the vent and stair way), which would be a week project as I did little by little each time.

I spent my birthday weekend in the cities by showing my housemate around my birth hometown of St. Paul. We've been trying to do this earlier this year during winter break, but it didn't workout for his schedule. We first went to this Chinese restaurant (Tea Garden) at the UofM Twin Cities campus (Stadium Village). I joined a close friend of his-along with his friend's relatives for a get together. The next day, I took him to this new batting cage facility (Lake Elmo). It was my first time here and we had more fun taking rounds in the cage without the pitching machine, which I recommend trying next time. My housemate bought this cool kite earlier, so we had my niece and nephew join us in the open field behind the townhouse.

It was probably a perfect (windy and sunny) day to go kite flying! Then the day we left for Morris, my family took me and my housemate out to a Chinese buffet in West. St. Paul. It was a great weekend in the cities! On our drive back to Morris, the temperature was around lower 80's. It was so hot that I had to turn the AC on our ride back (also on our way to the cities this past Friday)!

My birthday celebration continued throughout the week at my workplace as they have been like family since I started in December of 05'. A co-worker made a homemade blueberry (favorite) pie on Monday and then more goodies on Wednesday (celebrated with another co-worker who had a birthday the following day)! I've been very blessed to work with the people here.

On Tuesday, March 20th (1st Day of Spring)-A "short-term" friend (Hafiz was in Morris for less than 6 months for a special program here), his housemates, and I got together for one last night. We hung out in a couple places in town as we celebrated till late in the evening. He will be certainly missed!

After passing my eye exam last week in renewing my drivers license, I nearly passed the physical exam given by my personal family doctor. Like I mentioned earlier, I have to attribute it to healthy lifestyle (asking God for self-discipline on foods I eat)!

On Saturday, March 24th-I had a long busy day! I was able to do more ceiling work and then enjoyed part of the afternoon by attending the annual CNIA Pow Wow. I hung out with various friends as I was able to catch-up with friends I haven't chatted for awhile. Later in the evening after doing some early "Spring-cleaning" (kitchen on main floor), I joined my housemate to celebrate his birthday along with his friend. We treated him out to Bella Cucina.

The following day, I decided to drive solo to St. Paul to participate in the annual "Philippine Day". I was originally plan on taking my housemate, but he was occupied with homework. Here are some highlights from this event..

After the event, I went home with my sister and her boyfriend. They both had some other plans, so they dropped me off with my niece and nephew. I decided to take them outside and play to enjoy the weather before going back to Morris. It was a worth one-day trip, which I haven't drove to the cities like this for years!

Throughout the last week of March at the local college, it was the annual World Touch Cultural Heritage Week. The theme this year was on Native Americans, which has always been enlightening for me to learn about this specific ethnic-cultural group. That is why I love this annual event as it gives me the opportunity to learn more outside of the "book" or learn what was hardly taught when going to school.
-Monday: Artist shared about various social issues and asked the audience (mainly college students) what are the biggest issues facing us today in this community? He then based his artwork on this theme. There were a lot of "issues" brought up, so he decided to focus on one (history of Boarding schools).
-Tuesday: Screening of this short documentary of an infamous event in Minnesota history.
-Wednesday: Origins of Names was the theme in this evening of different panelist representing different ethnic-cultural groups. What's the origin of your name?
-Thursday: Dinner: Award Banquet

I started the weekend by doing more of my basement remodeling project as I've been busy most of this week. I was able to finish casing the stairway, which took only 4 hours!

It was too nice out on Friday, so I decided to go out with a friend to join some other friends to play cricket. It was my first time playing. Friday was like batting practice before playing a pick-up game the following day..

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