Monday, December 31, 2007

Ringing in the New!

"I am beginning to realise that every point in one's life at which one loses everything is far more a beginning than an end, for one has lost merely the past, and one has yet to gain the future, and eternity itself."
- Gresham, Lenten Lands

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A new man in my life!

Wow. Wow. I didn't think I'd be saying this today, but I have the cutest puppy ever! I met him and fell in love AT FIRST SIGHT! Let me tell you, I've met many a puppy and I've been able to walk away. Not this time - I mean, look at his face! I've named him Zaccheus because he's a wee little dog. He's filled the puppy shaped void that was haunting my soul. (:

Monday, December 24, 2007


So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby,
who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Luke 2:16-20

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Santa Claus Comes to Town!

When we were kids, long before Tim was ever a thought and Sharpstown mall became shady, Aser was asking my dad to please, Please, PLEASE!!! take us to see Santa! My dad didn't want to. So Aser did what kids do best - Ask, and it shall be given you. I chimed in, too. We probably worked his nerves so bad that he said, "You will see that Santa will come to the house."
Aser and I were both like - YEAH SANTA's COMING!!! Little did we know that Dad was wondering what in the world he had gotten himself into. He asked my grandfather, who was an excellent tailor, to make him a Santa suit and a huge red sack.
So, Christmas Eve comes around and we're celebrating Christmas and there is a knock at the door. Aser was asked to open the door (because it was his request to visit Santa) - Lo and behold it was SANTA!!! Aser was in awe and I took one look and spoiled it: "That's not Santa - THAT'S MY DAD!"

I never heard the sleigh bells. Aser DID!

My dad makes a better Santa now! ;o) He got the chance to brighten some faces. Here's a picture.


Confession: After Thanksgiving, I was freaking out about our family not following through with tradition. With everyone growing up and going different ways, I felt as though we let that win. A Thanksgiving tradition for our family is to sing the song "Por estos favores," eat like crazy, go around and share one thing that we're thankful for, and play hard. We had every intention of doing it all, but scheduling was not on our side. All we did was sing the song and eat like crazy. I left feeling incomplete.

Then I started thinking, what are our Christmas traditions? Thinking of our "OK" Thanksgiving, I kind of started "freaking out" (for lack of better terms) because I couldn't think of any and how in the world would we keep the traditions alive if we don't even know what they are?


I have figured out that traditions aren't necessarily intentional. You don't sit there and MAKE THEM (I mean, you can, but I find that I get too intense if I do that). THEY just happen. And I was trying to hard to make something so meaningful when it was there all along. I let it GO! :o)

Our traditions:
  1. Christmas play at my parents church! There are always super funny stories to go along once it's all said and done.
  2. TAMALES! My grandmother and some of her daughters (including my mom) get together and make the best tamales in the entire world! I'm afraid of this one because I've tried helping and I haven't been successful yet.
  3. Christmas Light Tours! My family does this EVERY year. And since my grampa's been gone, I make it a point to bring my gramma. We go around to different neighborhoods and check out their decked out houses. Last night I took my fam to the Heights. My dad treated us to dinner at Tim's favorite place - Chicago's.
  4. Christmas Talent show!When we're together on the 24th we all take turns showing off our talent. It all gets recorded!! AH! :)
  5. Dressing Up! We make it a point to look super fly on Christmas Eve and go crazy with picture taking.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Wednesday Word: making wednesday worthwhile

From J-Good's quotation stash:
A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the word you first thought of.
Burt Bacharach (1928 - )

I do the above. Reading that made me laugh because it's TRUE! Don't lie!! And thank goodness for God's invention of a brain that never stops soaking new vocabulary. I love words. Have I ever mentioned that?

Today's word is in honor of three great girls - well, really FOUR great girls! We all used to work together and still make it a point to get together and celebrate birthdays, friendship and, OF COURSE, CHRISTMAS!
soi·ree [swah-rey] : -noun, an
evening party or social gathering, esp. one held for a particular purpose.
Also, soi·rée.

Here's my favorite picture of us - old, but good!

Check Patricia's blog for recent pictures!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Checkity Check

It's always around this time of year that I am amazed at how fast time flies.

Tomorrow is SATURDAY!

A quick overview (of last weekend) -
  • Friday night: Went to see Gabi's Orchestra Concert. I was really impressed that they learned such a difficult piece in two weeks. I'm also extremely proud that she is SECOND chair! I could never make it to second chair. :o(
  • Saturday: Read for a while in the morning, cleaned the kitchen, went to gramma's for lunch and ended up taking the longest nap ever in my life. I must be tired or something because I'm not a napper. I went to see my cousin Mikey go from cub scouts to boy scouts. It was funny to see how "serious" he gets when he's in formation. My Tia Mimi worked hard on the "arrow of light." I need to get an example of that because it's serious work. Then, I met up with some friends at the Lights in the Heights. That was Christmas fun and festive. We went back to their house and had some soups - not that it was wintery cold outside.
  • Sunday: Went to LA IGLESIA and then had birthday lunch with Amy and Rosy (cousins), who turned 24!! And then went to watch Shane & Shane and Bethany Dillon. These people sound so much better live!! Something about recording in a studio that kills the edge of live music.

Wednesday Word: I've neglected it. But have not fear, it will be here (next week?). I have to get Jennifer to send me the quotation that is perfect to go along with the Wednesday Word. And guys: Check this out. Learn new words while feeding the hungry! Great way of combining charity with education! And speaking of words: Patricia posted this cool link about important 3 words. It's amazing!

And just for the heck of looking at a cute growing girl go check out Susanne's blog. Her daughter Lindsey is SUPER DUPER CUTE!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 1, 2007


It's December! Christmas is around the corner. Oh the pressure! :o)
I can't wait for the annual Christmas talent show at gramma's.

Question: What is a good gift for men? With our Christmas drawing I got one of my uncles and I'm stumped. I'm tempted to buy this.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Wednesday Word: making wednesdays worthwhile

It's dissappointing when you're looking for a fun word and all you think of is the word FRUSTRATION!
/frʌˈstreɪʃən/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled
[fruh-strey-shuhn] Pronunciation Key -
a feeling of dissatisfaction, often accompanied by anxiety resulting from unresolved problems.
It's a common word (although I wish it weren't so common) and it is not anywhere near as fun as the common word success. Success feels far from my reach. And I'm not talking like Hollywood success - I mean the kind of success that makes you warm and fuzzy inside. Satisfaction. You know?

I'll make sure to post that I am feeling satisfied the next time I sign in. Who wants to hear about someone's pity party!
My grandmother once told me: THIS TOO SHALL PASS! :o)

On a less serious note...I recommend the book Runny Babbit for laughs. It's a Billy Sook! Full of Pun Foems!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Long Overdue - a post full of pictures...

The Valdez-Rodriguez family started a tradition this year. It's the First Annual Pumkin Carving Party at my house. I learned that it's not a good idea to toss the pumpkin seeds out into the back yard.

My favorite picture of the night was Alyssa proudly displaying her pumpkin.
That face is full of HAPPY!


Another tradition we have is the annual Family Reunion. We go to the beach house and go a little nutty. I think I've told you about it but never posted pictures. There was lots and lots of laughter that weekend. Oh - what I didn't tell you about is the newspaper fashion show. So we all made dorky stuff and Hannah blows us out of the water with this dress. The rules were: no scissors, only tape and newspaper.

Olivia is modeling this newspaper dress designed by the fabulously talented Hannah A.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Very Merry Thanksgiving

As tradition has it, we meet at my grandmother's house for Thanksgiving around noon. Every thanksgiving I'm reminded of the excitement that would drive me to sing, "Over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go..." The house seemed empty as people came and went and because the entire clan wasn't there. It was a nice time though. Indeed it was.
My grandmother had us guessing what in the world she did to her hair. It looked so real! And thankfully she pulled a fast one on us. She's goofy!

EDIT: After talking to J-Good, I realized that I didn't have a reference for what my gramma looks normally. You could be thinking what's so funny, I don't get it. Well - this is her normal self...
(click to enlarge. She's the lady at the table.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


It's my favorite holiday - EVER! I can't wait for it, even though some family is out of town and it changes up tradition a little. No worries though. We'll hold the fort.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Wednesday Word: making wednesday worthwhile

per·fer·vid (pər-fûr'vĭd) Pronunciation Key adj. Extremely or extravagantly eager; impassioned or zealous. per·fer'vid·ly adv., per·fer'vid·ness n.

me: what are the trees like where you are?
Jennifer: absolutely GORGEOUS very Korea and Missouri like!!! Everyday it's a little more beautiful than the day before! and the weather is PERFECT
Jennifer: today is my last day to work this week!!!
me: omg. i didn't intend for you to give such perfervid descriptions of the weather!
Jennifer: hahahaha

Monday, November 12, 2007


I've been addicted to poetry lately. So much so that I even thought of the poem I had to memorize in seventh grade - The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Who would have ever thought that a name like HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW would stick with a kid?

Here's a poem that is fitting for November.

November Night

by Adelaide Crapsey

Listen. .
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp'd, break from the trees
And fall.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Talking about change! I got change for ya! I went to get a haircut today and it is A LOT shorter than I wanted, HOWEVER!!! I'm not upset by it at all. I LOVE IT!

before: it's the deer in headlights look.

after: a super healthy head of hair!

P.S. Pardon the semi-puckered lips, I'm in the middle of a sentence both times.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Wednesday Word: making wednesday worthwhile

Okie Noodling: the practice and sport of fishing for catfish using only bare hands. Also known as catfisting, grabbling, graveling.

It’s a sport and if you don’t believe me here is an article that is all about a tournament from 2006. These guys are serious about it and they have “scars” to prove it. Some guys have DIED noodling. They are men who work with their hands and would rather have a job like a custodian than being stuck behind a desk. They also choose jobs that are flexible so that they can spend most of their time in the water. To get their girls involved they have beauty contests. AND IT COUNTS!

What makes me laugh is that the states that explicitly permit it tell you quite a bit about the people who are interested in Noodling…the states are OKLAHOMA, ARKANSAS, LOUISIANA, MISSISSIPPI.
And if you're really intrigued you can buy a documentary here!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Costume

My cousin Amy and I went to a costume party this weekend. This is us:

It really is too bad that you can't see the amazing sword I had. IT'S REAL! Amy was Cat Woman.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Wednesday Word: making wednesday worthwhile

pol·ter·geist (pōl'tər-gīst') Pronunciation Key
n. A ghost that manifests itself by noises, rappings, and the creation of disorder.

[German : poltern, to make noises (from Middle High German boldern) + Geist, ghost (from Middle High German, from Old High German).]

Oooooh! Scary!

Some people are celebrating Halloween and others are calling it a Hallelujah night. In any case, costumes will be everywhere!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


This weekend the family got together at Crystal Beach for the 4th annual family reunion. To start, we took 3 hrs for an 80 mile drive! :o) This included a long stop for breakfast. Once we get to the actual house…everyone runs in to claim their room or bed. I think other families would actually have a layout of the house and assign who gets what, but this strategy allows for more chaotic and memorable experiences. Out of choice, I decided on a beach chair. I’m tellin’ ya…it was more comfortable than the beds that provided ZERO support. Add some cozy blankets and a fluffy pillow and Wham bam thank you mam – you’ve got a bed!
From there on out you’re up to whatever you please. On the porch, we hook up some music to some amps – let it blast and we DANCE. We build sand castles. The boys have their sand ball fight. It's all fun and games till - well, sand inevitably hurts when it's launched at you - someone cries!
In the evenings when everyone’s back in we play games. Catch phrase was the most popular this year! And we also play Loteria, which is the Mexican version of BINGO! There are prizes ranging from Bath & Body lotions & soaps to flashlights. All in all it was great!
There were really FUNNY moments that still have me laughing. I’m thankful for such a lovely family! I love spending time with them.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Whatever floats your ice cream!

Last night, I went over to my grandmother's house to drop of some things she let me borrow. She was apologetic about not having dinner for me and to make up for it offered some vanilla ice cream. So I get my scoop of ice cream and a cookie for some flavor. She gets a mug and scoops some ice cream and then....Well, she pulls out the sangria! She made a SANGRIA float!
Wow. I should have tasted it. I've had a rule that you don't knock it till you've tried it but I didn't follow it last night. I can always go back and request it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Wednesday Word: making wednesday worthwhile

brag·ga·do·ci·o [brag-uh-doh-shee-oh] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –noun, plural -ci·os.
1.empty boasting; bragging.
2.a boasting person; braggart.

It's taught in elementary school, in church, and if you're truly blessed at home - that pride commeth before the fall! Learn now if you haven't. Let others see your potential. Display your strengths in action - words come and bite you in the "ask"!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

16 years

It was during lunch time in fourth grade, October 16, 1991 that I stood in the lunch line feeling completely weird. I was thinking, "Today, I'm going to be a big sister!" I could hardly eat from the excitement and I couldn't wait for dad to pick me up to take us (aser and me) to meet our baby brother.
Once we made it to the hospital, we were so thrilled that we sounded like a broken record. We kept saying, "It's a boy! It's a boy! It's a boy!"
Sixteen years later, he's bigger, stronger, taller - OH, BUT NOT SMARTER (or better looking) - than his older sister! He's learned to play the guitar quite well and gives the occasional lesson to yours truly! He's one of the most compassionate people I've ever met! I get onto him about his spelling skills. But if he were perfect, then he wouldn't be so likeable!!'s to Tim for being a delightful surprise!

(Tim is in the grey shirt and baseball cap. We celebrated his birthday at this joint called Chicago's!)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Wednesday Word: making wednesday worthwhile

Have a cup of hope!

Wait for the Lord and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land...
Psalm 37:34

Sunday, October 7, 2007

A True Story

I think I wrote this in 2005 making my way to my back to my home in S. Korea. I have this image in my head like it was yesterday.

Today, I took a little walk and I saw a little man with a little bike. I felt like I was in a little town, near a little bakery, and a little stationary shop. I stared for a little while. I think the little man felt someone had their little eyes on little him. The little man gave me a little glare so I turned around and went along my merry little way.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A Wednesday Word: making wednesday worthwhile

***I'm bringing Wednesday words from the dead. It started in November 2005 with the word hors d'oeuvre.

suc·cess (sək-sěs') Pronunciation Key n.
The achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted: attributed their success in business to hard work.

There's no holding back when you want it. Sometimes you have to say, "WAIT UP! STOP! What am I doing? I've got to stop, drop, and ROLL WITH IT!" That is exactly what I did this weekend. I put a halt to my to do list and I made an apron (from scratch)! It's my very first apron and indeed it was A SUCCESS!! It's brought a big smile to my face...a little sunshine!

Thanks to J-good I have a picture. A cell phone picture, but a picture nonetheless!

An extra word because it describes my Wednesday PERFECTLY!
co·nun·drum (kə-nŭn'drəm) Pronunciation Key n.
A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem; a dilemma: "the conundrum, thus far unanswered, of achieving full employment without inflation" (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


This is a bit different from Xanga. I don't know how to add friends. Can someone help me please?

A Big Fan

I've never had a "favorite" singer before. That's until I heard of Brandi Carlile. Early in the year I found out about her, bought both of her cd's and I'm pretty sure that I played THE STORY on "repeat all" for over a month. It's never in my nature to listen to an entire album on repeat. BUT I just can't help it with her music.

When I first got THE STORY, I made sure roll down the windows, turn up the volume, and sing (more like SING!) along. One of those many times, an unfortunate day, the speaker on the left side of the dashboard just busted (not a pretty sound). I mean, seriously... So thankfully - Pearl is still under warranty and she'll be taken care of! And I will never do that again (maybe).

This past weekend she was here in Houston! And I've gotta say that she is freaking AMAZING! If you like her music, she's even better in person! She did this whole unplugged thing where she got out from behind the mic, the boys unplugged their guitars and they sang. You don't get that anymore! She sang Bohemian Rhapsody (unfinished because she's still learning the chords on the piano), Folsom Prison, and B.C. originals! If she ever comes by your town/city YOU SHOULD go! You won't regret it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007