Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Gratitude: December 2012

I'm slowly getting back to the "normal life" in the USA after being back a week now from my trip to the Philippines. I went to "Journey" for the first time since I got back. I would share with several people there about my recent trip, which would be just the beginning. The following Sunday, I hung out after Sunday service with a couple of friends (one was a former UMM Alumn-Mark, who lives down in the Twin Cities now) at the "popular hangout" (Don's Cafe).I then attended a special Christmas program at Faith Lutheran Church that "friends" from my workplace (Stevens County DAC) performed.

I then helped out with giving test to current ESL students at the University on Monday, which the UMM students that volunteer weekly teaching ESL has been doing a great job! The students that were post-tested (after weeks of learning after taking a pre-test) had a great score (90% of the students "moved-up" a level)!

Another daily routine I got back after my trip was working out at the local gym. I ate pretty healthy in the Philippine and it taught me to discipline on the foods I eat, so I didn't have to workout to "lose weight/fat". Instead, just to maintain my cardio exercise, which I ran my 15-minutes on the treadmill on Thursday (7th). I saw my "first" significant snow fall since my trip on Friday (8th), which we had about an inch.

Throuhgout this last month, I had to use my Morris Area Schools Savings Book (fundraiser for local music dept.) before the coupons expires the end of the year. I use these coupons as "gifts" for friends (e.g. college students/alumns, a youth and kid I mentor as a volunteer) in the area by taking them out (8th-Pizza Hut, Common Cup-31st, Bella Cucina-31st, Dairy Queen-30th & 31st ,etc..). It was good "quality times" with friends, which I have to start "earlier" next year and spread the "outings".

It was "very" cold the 2nd full week of the month and I ended-up getting "sick" (funny feeling in my throat) . It got worse after going swimming with some clients at work on Tuesday (11th) after coming out of the "cool" pool and being exposed in the "cold" weather. I had to call in-sick for the 1st and only time this year at work the following day (12th). I then came back to work the next day (13th), but my co-workers felt I should've stayed home. A couple of other co-workers were sick, so I felt I needed to come and help with the annual "Christmas Tea Party". I got home and took a good nap afterwards.

GAS PRICES: 14th-$3.12, but $3.07 after using my (Willies) Shop & Save Discount Card

On Sunday, December 16th-I went to Wilmar (1 hour south of here) with friends from work (Stevens County D.A.C.) to see a beautiful well-done Christmas play on the "Nativity". I was very blessed by the whole play as it was a "challenge" to seek the "(Jesus is the) Reason" for the season! I just wanted to thank God also for the safe trip to and from Wilmar as the roads were very icy as I had to drive (back to Morris) slow (sometimes 45 mph on 55mph highway).

I had my bi-annual dentist appointment on Tuesday (18th), which I had a good report. They told me to keep doing what I'm doing (daily floss, mouth wash, electric tooth brush-more upper back teeth). I then went to the RFC to do my cario workout-ran the treadmill for 15 minutes (able to do 1 mile in 8:15, which is much slower than what I was able to do back in my high school days-7:11).

I volunteered my last day of the year of the weekly (Wednesdays @6-9p) ESL/GED classes at the local elementary school. We had a theme on the holiday of Christmas, which we learned the different types of celebrations from the different countries (Mexico, India, etc..) represented in the students we have.

goodnewsmorris's Morris Literacy Project December 2012 album on Photobucket

My last day at my full-time job was Friday (21st-so called "Doomsday") where we had our end-of-the-year annual "Christmas Party". We hand out gifts to all the 70 estimated clients and got gift cards to each other as staff.

I was looking forward to my 1 1/2 week vacation from my full-time job, but had to work full-time hours at my "part-time job". I didn't mine working the holidays as I worked 5-days in a rown in order to get 3 days off in a row to visit family for a post-holiday vacation.

On Sunday (23rd), I went to finally the "holiday season anticipated" movie -"The Hobbit", which I got more "evil vs. good" symbolism as I did from the Lord of the Rings series (see GoodnewsEverybody.com European: United Kingdom-English & British of England-Britain ). I'm currently (January 1st 2013) writing about this movie and the "previous" movie-Lord of the Rings: Tower 2.

During my "vacation" (day time after my overnight shifts 11p-7am) from my full-time job, I was able to catch-up on some projects (e.g. cleaning, basement projects-put curtains, multi-media "endless" work: upload pictures from the Philppines, websites, etc...). I then went home from the 26th-28th to visit family, which I was able to finally share pictures from our 2-week trip to the Philippines since I wasn't able to share more when I got back since I had to drive to Morris when my plane arrived (on Sunday, November 25th).

It has been cold the past 2 holidays (Christmas and New Year, we 've reached almost 10 below zero both mornings-but it stayed above zero y 9am or so today). I would do a presentation of my trip to the Philippines at my local church this past Sunday (30th), which I was supposed to do only a 5-minute slideshow. Well, the slideshow was 5-minutes, but due to technical difficulties (e.g. slideshow wouldn't show on the big screen at the local h.s. auditorium) and so much I wanted to share-it ended up being 10-15 minutes!! A great sports update is the Minnesota Vikings won against our arch-rivals ("border battle") -Packers of Green Bay, Wisonsin! This was the last regular game of the season and we now get to face them again (3rd time this football season) this Saturday (January 5th 2013)! Go Vikes!