Tuesday, June 28, 2005

"Save Josue's Blog" Campaign

Ok, I believe you share this feeling with me. If you're reading this, the absolute next thing that you need to do is to either drop a comment at Josue's blog, or email him (at jvillarreal@gmail.com) and ORDER him to update his blog!!! I know I've already told him numerous times myself, and he actually has had some time to do it, but I believe my motivation is not enough to push him at this point. You guys might just do the trick. I'm afraid that if we don't do something now, we'll lose him forever from our blogging world, and that would just be so unfortunate. So let's combine our efforts and make a difference! Mucho gracias.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Baby Blues? I Don't Think So...

In case you don't already know this about me, I love babies and toddlers. They are the most hilarious and unpredictable 'creatures' alive, and they usually bring an abundance of joy to everyone who come across them (parents don't count). As much as I enjoy being with little people though, I have yet to feel the need to start having some myself. I don't feel any motherly urge, and I don't think my biological clock is ticking itself away too quickly. Good grief, Josue and I are constantly surrounded by little ones. We have enjoyed getting to know our niece Miranda who turns one next month. At church we have our buddies Nathan and Macey whose son Adron is one of the most adorable and happiest baby to play with. Tim and Hillery just gave birth to their first son last week, and the Maya's are expecting a baby next year. These are people whom we hang out with virtually every week, and not counting other little people whom we know and bump into often. You'd think being surrounded by babies has 'inspired' us to think about trying ourselves, but it's been quite the contrary. Josue and I enjoy playing with them and babysitting them for awhile, but once they start showing their 'ugly' sides, that's when we gladly hand them back to their mommies and daddies. *wink*

Sarah and Kyna, I have always respected both of you as 'supermoms' because I know I am not able to handle all that you handle with your kids with much joy and satisfaction as you are right now. It's got to be a gift from the Almighty Himself. AND, I know that kids do come when you least expect it, so anything can happen. In the meantime, Josue and I are happy to just stand back and observe with great admiration for our peers who are parents. =)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Side Effects of Moving

I feel 'old age' kickin' in gradually. This morning we helped our good friends Tim and Adam move out of their individual efficiencies into their cool 2-bedroom apartment down the road from us. We started at 8 am and amazingly got everything out and in by noon with a U-Haul truck and 2 borrowed pick-ups. There was a total of 6 adults working, and we moved everything from heavy wooden furnitures to the smallest and lightest of boxes. We were rolling along like crazy, trying to beat time and of course the heat! But man, we're feeling the pain in our bodies now. It's terrible to feel how worn out we are, and my realization of our out-of-shapeness. But who likes moving anyway?!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Questions for The Juice!

Okay, you know the rules: you answer your special questions on your own blog, then copy & paste the instructions at the very bottom of this post.

Jeremy's Bloggerview Questions.
1. What is the one thing you absolutely love AND hate about living in Chicago?
2. Who is the one person in your life who has been most inspiring to you and why? (it has to be someone you actually KNOW)
3. What is your biggest pet peeve?
4. What is the craziest thing you have ever done, to the point where it almost killed you?
5. If you could date and marry any well-known woman, who would she be and why?

Here are the instructions to post on your blog.
1. Leave me a comment saying “interview me.”
2. I will respond by asking you five questions here on my blog (not the same questions you see here).
3. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Question/Answer Time by Sarah

Ok Sarah, I finally got around to answering your questions. Sorry for the delay! =)

1. How many kids do you want, and when are you going to start trying?

We talked about 2, 3 the most. As of now, we haven't even thought about kids. We're having too much fun ourselves! We do talk about it occasionally, not that seriously though. We're really in no hurry! Of course, we will try before I hit the big 30!! =)

2. What is your favorite thing about yourself?

My ability to cook well! I'm gradually discovering this art and totally loving it. And I know I'm getting pretty good at both experimenting and picking up recipes. That's why I'm thinking about catering. It's all because of Mom. I inherited this ability from her!

3. Name THE Malaysian food that you miss the MOST. (You can only pick one.)

Yikes, that's REALLY, REALLY tough. I think I'd have to go for Penang Char Kue Teow (fried noodles), from the original road-side stalls along the streets of Penang!!! Yum!

4. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Ha, what age should we count as being 'grown up'? Hehe...I guess I want to be a wonderful wife (already working on this one), a supporting and loving mother (yet to come), and a successful business woman--be it with Josue's insurance business or with my dream catering business (another yet to come, Lord willing).

5. Describe everything that is on your bedroom floor right now. (Not including big items of furniture)

Ok, excluding the carpet that already came with the apartment..hmm...a small blue rug that I got from Bed, Bath and Beyond at the foot of our bed, and a random baseball glove that Josue used to play during Sunday's softball game at church. Other than that, absolutely NOTHING. I'm a cleaning nerd. =)

Here are the instructions to post on your blog.1. Leave me a comment saying “interview me.”2. I will respond by asking you five questions here on my blog (not the same questions you see here).3. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Monday, June 20, 2005

A Random Thought...

Have I told everyone how excited I am to be back home in Dallas?! My comfy bed and pillows, my clean shower, my computer...oh, and of course, my sweet Mexican whom I've missed dearly this past week. Sigh...the joy of being home.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Question/Answer Time by Kyna

1. You just got married about 6 months ago. What has been the most rewarding and the most difficult part of being a newlywed and why?

I guess the most rewarding part of being a newlywed is the exploration of daily living together. People say that it can be quite a tough transition from singlehood to couplehood when you get married, but Josue and I have had tons of fun with this particular transition. We love doing everything together and finding both the joy and sadness in various issues. Of course, there are days when I wish I had my space (which I actually do occasionally get, thanks to my honey!) but overall we love being together constantly. We are each other's companion in every form of way. This past week when I left for New Orleans and we were apart, I really felt this void without him being there with me in everything that I did. Something was missing, and I knew it was him. It was actually hard! The most difficult part of being a newlywed is discovering each other, you know, just when you thought you knew that person well, something new comes up and completely throws you off. I'm not saying that it's bad, it's surprising more than anything else. I know Josue continues to discover things about me that still shocks him and vice versa. I don't know if it's a difficult thing; more interesting, I'd say.

2. If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be and why?

Hmm..that's a tough one since I can think of quite a few. But I've always felt that I have a rather low self-esteem. I would like to take myself more seriously and actually feel better about myself. I would much rather have the Lord be my guide to happiness than to let the way others think about me determine who I am and feel. Does that make sense to you?

3. If you could go back in time and change anything that has happened in your life, what would it be?

As crazy as this might sound, I don't think there's anything I would change. I've gone through a heck of a lot of things in my lifetime with my family and close friends, in fact the bad ones seem to stick out more in my head right now. But even for those bad times, I wouldn't trade them for better ones because those experiences helped me become the person whom I am today.

4. Where do you see yourself and your family in 10 years?

Probably still here in Dallas, working alongside Josue in his successful insurance business in his own office space and with his staff members. On the side, I'll probably also have a small catering business that I will be joint-venturing with my mom.

5. What is your worst fear?

Leaving this world not accomplishing anything. The Lord has blessed me with many abilities, and the worse thing would be not using them to their greatest potential. I want to die and be remembered as someone who lived life to the fullest by accomplishing however much I could and being contented and happy with myself!

(Kyna, thanks for the tough questions! =) )

Here are the instructions to post on your blog.1. Leave me a comment saying “interview me.”2. I will respond by asking you five questions here on my blog (not the same questions you see here).3. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Wonder Voyage 2005

I feel like I've been gone for too long. Feelings of exhaustion and soreness overwhelm my body, but nothing beats the inner feelings of much happiness and spiritual fulfilment that overflows from within. I've come home with much wonderful stories and insights to share, but talking about them or writing about them won't ever measure up to the real-life experience itself. You'd have to be there in person to get the picture.

15 kids, one senior minister, one Hispanic preacher, one youth intern and 2 young adults--what a great combination! If we hadn't come back with anything else, at least we returned knowing that we had bonded emotionally and spiritually from the very beginning. Living in one big house with only 1 bathroom would have been a huge factor. More than that, the activities that we did together were challenging but very productive in every sense of the word. We had gone through each day not knowing what to expect except to trust the Wonder Voyage leaders and their plans for us. During that process, each of our lives were touched in some sort of way, and our perspectives changed. Above all, the Lord was glorified through our acts of services towards others in the New Orleans community. From doing landscaping and cleaning, to tearing down a building under the scorching hot sun, to talking to people in a poor community downtown, we were the 'relentless pilgrims'. We went there as a team with that theme, and returned knowing that we had lived up to it all week. The kids had personally inspired me with their enthusiasm for the Lord and His people, among other things, and I now have a greater sense of respect for my preachers whom I have gotten to know closer and better.

You may check out the pictures here. And by clicking on the title of this blog, you may also learn more about Wonder Voyage. Do feel free to ask me more about my trip at any point. I'd love to tell you more!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Silence For A Week

Starting tomorrow morning I'm going to be gone for about a week to New Orleans. I'm one of the 5 adults who will be taking our church's youth group on a mission trip, and I'm truly excited. We aren't really sure what's going to happen there, but we are confident the Lord will be using us accordingly. Hopefully I'll have some pictures to show when I return. Pray for our safe trip.

In the meantime, Josue and I will be apart for the first time and for the longest time since we got married. We are both kinda dreading this 'temporary seperation' but we also know this will be good for us. I know he and his guys will be having a blast all this week. Gosh, who knows what they'll be up to! Hehe...

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

More Pictures of Home

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Ipoh's City Hall located right across the street from the train station (scroll down for the picture if you hadn't seen it). I've done some music recitals and performances in there when I was younger and more musically-talented. =)

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This is the Tambun Hot Springs. Yet another place I've never been, or at least I don't ever remember going there. Why in the world we have a hot spring in an all-year-long tropical and humid country is beyond me. Regardless, with the surrounding mountains and grenery, the view is amazing.

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This is a Buddhist temple built and situated in a cave. Yeah, it's really AWESOME. And the surroundings are just magnificant. There are many other temples such as this in caves all around Ipoh.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

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I've been reminiscing about home lately. I'm really wanting to go back for a vacation. And looking at this picture, you can see why. My hometown Ipoh is about an hour away from this beach, and Ipoh city itself is pretty interesting. I thought this is a good time to share with you a little about my hometown and where I come from. It is different from anything you'd see here in America, just so you know. And no, Malaysians don't live in trees. =) I've posted 4 pictures today and I'll be posting more through the next few days. Enjoy! (By the way, these pictures are from a Malaysian tourism website. I'm not that great of a photographer anyway.) 

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The Japanese Garden. You know, I've never been there myself.

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Ipoh's train station, one of the city's famous landmarks.

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This is the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation building. It's where my parents often do their bank transactions.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

6 Months Married!!

Oh yeah, Happy Anniversary to us!! We've been married 6 wonderful months today. I love ya lots, Babe, and I look forward to many, many more months with you. =)

The MTV Mess

At some point on Thursday I happened to watch parts of a few episodes of "America's Next Top Model" hosted and produced by Tyra Banks on MTV. Why I was watching it in the first place is still beyond me, but then something else that I noticed on the show really bugged me. It started off with 10 contestants, and of course the girls had to do various modeling assignments in different fashion capitals around the world and one contestant gets eliminated each round until there's obviously only 1 winner left at the very end. The girls are beautiful, talented and from all over the nation: tall, medium height, long hair, short hair, dark skin, light skin etc. Fair competition, I'd say. However, there was this one girl who stood out to me--in a disturbing way. She was a *proclaimed Christian* from the very beginning and she made sure everyone was publicly aware of it. At first the rest of the girls were alright around her (in fact there were 2 more other Christian girls in the show), but pretty soon she started to really frustrate everyone because of her "believe in God or go to hell" attitude towards the girls. Let's call her "PCG" (proclaimed Christian girl).

One particular instance made me mad. From the get go, PCG seemed to have something against another contestant who called herself an atheist. PCG treated her particularly 'different' and constantly made her very uncomfortable with her strong attitude. On one occasion, PCG decided to show the girl a particular verse in the Bible, apparently a verse in Psalm that basically says a man is foolish for not knowing God (does anyone know exactly which verse is that, let me know). The girl was furious and clearly offended by that. PCG didn't care to explain why she did that either.

I don't know what it was, but PCG irked me. She was a Christian given such an awesome opportunity, on national television....there was so much she could've done to be the light to others, but no...she was quite the contrary instead. She portrayed herself to be the one whom everyone would love to hate. I've been debating with Josue and with myself in my mind over this since Thursday. The media has a great way of twisting things around, especially with reality TV, they want you to see the 'meaty' stuff, even if it makes people look awful. Perhaps PCG got pulled into that media trap and was portrayed in a wrong way. But what if she wasn't and she was really acting like a hypocrite? Yet again, she would be one of the many Christians who act as the typical stereotype, that the world thinks of Christians as a whole, which we all know isn't great. I think I would be ashamed to have someone like PCG be on national television and proclaim herself to be holy and righteous than everyone else. That just doesn't sit right with me at all, and I'd hate to think if others who are not Christians think of me the same way when I'm around them. I know it's hard to be a good Christian in this world, but how did we ever get to the point of being so disliked by others? This is a tough reality check and I know I'm struggling daily to be the kind of Christian that the Lord would ultimately want me to be. I pray that God will continue to guide us through this situation.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

My Dream Destination

Melissa told me last night that her parents had won some kind of contest with their store and were going to leave for a cool 5-day trip to Austria tomorrow! Needless to say, this made me very jealous. Austria is one of the countries that is currently on top of my list to visit in the future. I particularly want to go to Salzburg where they have the well-acclaimed Mozart Festival and it is also the city where the Sound of Music was filmed (one of my all time favorite childhood movies). It's just overall so beautiful and classic. Josue and I should really start saving up now...
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