After Dance Class

Quick photo shoot after dance class outside the studio. Is this a beautiful park or is this a beautiful park?

Another great day today. I met with a trainer (first time in my life) at PBAC and I was given a crash course on weight training. At the end of the session I was handed a long list of machines with my specifications. Hopefully I can remember everything tomorrow. Here's to sore's a good thing per the guidelines I read.

I attended a pilates matwork class and I saw my neighbor. She said she goes there everyday and she loves it. I can feel I'm going to love it too.

Search for Dance School and Fitness Club

So many exciting activities to blog about since last Saturday.

Russ went with mom and I to the 9:00 service. Then he took Belle to a promised afternoon of bowling. And he was off back to Union City...with my mom!

It felt strange being alone after the kids were off to school. I had a chance to search for dance schools for Belle and fitness centers for me. Belle and I visited two schools: Coastal Dance in Shell Beach and Academy of Dance in San Luis Obispo. Coastal Dance is a very charming studio at a home very close to Isabella’s school. It is owned by a former dance teacher at the Academy of Dance in SLO which, in contrast to Coastal Dance, is a big school with 3 studios, a childcare center, a store, and lots of students. Isabella liked the atmosphere, location, and the teacher at Coastal Dance.

I had three fitness centers on my list
1. Avila Bay Athletic Club & Spa
2. Kennedy Club Fitness
3. Pismo Beach Athletic Club

I chose Pismo Beach Athletic Club (PBAC) also for its atmosphere and location (close to Isabella's school and the beach).

I cooked corned beef and cabbage soup for lunch and Phil & I ate together before he left for school. Then we left the house together at around 11:00 to get gas. He headed off for school and I was off to PBAC to join a class called Body Flow. It was a perfect class to start with because it wasn’t strenuous but very relaxing. It’s a combination of yoga and pilates. I had a great time stretching and meditating.

In the afternoon, after picking up the kids, we took Belle to Coastal Dance. She had a great class and expressed she wants to go two times a week. The teacher said she's very good and can come to the older kids class on Wednesdays also.

Then we went to Costo to get some groceries and pizza. On the way home, I really wanted to attend the Body Jam class at PBAC . The kids agreed they will stay in the car and eat the pizza and do homework while I attend the class. As it turned out the class was doing an aids benefit and there was a local news crew covering it. There were three instructors dressed in sexy exercise outfits with crystals. In the middle of the class, the assistant manager came and informed me that my kids were trying to get into daycare but because of the special event the daycare is full. They allowed them to stay in the reception area where there was a couch and a TV. The class was great and my kids behaved very well (so raved by the reception area)...needless to say, I had a very wonderful time.

Paperwork day.
At around 1:30 I left to go shopping for athletic clothing. Phil called and informed me that he is coming home as his next class is cancelled. I picked him up at home and he went with me to pick up Ian. Ian came out later than usual. He said he spoke to his counselor and changed his forensic/speech class to a required skills for success class. Then we picked up Belle and we all took her to dance class. As it turned out, she was the only one there as the other students called in sick. The teacher initially said she can’t have class with just one student but she will show Isabella what they are learning in the class for just a little bit. She ended up teaching Isabella for a full hour. She said she’s getting goose bumps from her amazement at how fast Isabella learns. I have to say I was amazed too. I know how focused Isabella is, but she executed combinations learned for the very first time as if she has been doing them all her life.
The teacher showed her several dance combinations, then they did a broadway style jazz dance, and then they changed to tap shoes and she taught her tap. By this time, the next class students came. The teacher proudly introduced Isabella and asked if she can show Isabella off for just a little bit. The teacher said: "Look you guys, I just showed her these steps just now..." And she counts, 5,6,7,8,... and Isabella did the combination of chasse, pas de bouree, chasse, ball change, left and right across the room in such a graceful manner that the other students also asked in amazement, "she just learned that?". Her brothers were dying to go home at this point but were very proud of her nonetheless. We called dad, who is in Reno on business, and shared the great experience.

I attended a 9:30am trial adult dance class at Coastal Dance. I thanked the teacher for yesterday's private one-on-one lesson for Isabella. She truly is a great teacher. Very knowledgeable, thorough and positive. Her love and commitment to the art of dance is very evident in her teaching. I really feel very fortunate to have found this place. It's a very intimate and nurturing environment. There is also a private patio with unobstructed ocean view and a beautiful public coastal park with beach access just down the street.

The teacher once again expressed her appreciation over Isabella's natural "gift". She was saying this in front of another adult student that came same time I did. She said she taught a lot of great students but it's not often to come across natural talent like Isabella. I was so proud as this teacher has an impressive resume including serving as Executive Director of the Civic Ballet of San Luis obispo for ten years, serving as Production and Stage Manager for the Company. She also has a California Teaching Credential and Master of Education from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Anyways, needless to say again, I had a great oblique, legs and arms were hurting after class. Then I stopped at Belle’s school to drop off her journal that she left at home. When she came home she said that her teacher asked her to read her journal in class and commented that she is a great reader and writer.

Live Life...

...and feel God's pleasure

link to: Tag at the Park

John 10:10b
"I have come that they may have life,
and have it to the full."

Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself in the Lord
and He will give you the desires of your heart.

There is not in the world a kind of life
more sweet and delightful
than that of a continual walk with God.
-Brother Lawrence

Tag at the Park

{constant state of gratitude}

Yesterday, Friday, after school, we stopped at the park before going home. "Just for a little bit Ian," Belle said in her cute baby sister voice, "I just want to show you how high I can go on the swing." Time flies when you're having fun. An hour went by fast. I had such a wonderful time watching them having fun together.

Today, Saturday, Russ came. Yet another wonderful family day at the park. "You're It Pheewee" cheers Belle as she tags Phil.
Then Phil chases Ian, Ian chases dad, dad chases Phil...
who's it?! Belle screams, not knowing who she's running from
"not me! I'm the photographer!"

Talk about a state of gratitude.
Talk about living life.
I was in communion with my Maker.
I feel His pleasure.
Praise be to Him indeed!

John 10:10
I have come that they may have life,
and have it to the full.

No need to doubt

{On Decision-making}

James 1:2-8

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God,
who gives generously to ALL without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
But when he asks, he must believe and NOT DOUBT,
because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord,
he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

Responding to trouble with trust is the difference
that turns one person better and the other bitter

Trust eradicates any doubt
and doubt turns to hope
expecting and knowing
that God will act
and will reveal His goodness
and His greatness

Simply swingin'

Isabella has been wanting to go the park just down the road from our house. I finally got a chance to say yes. So after homework and snack, at around 4:30, off we went with my camera and my book. It wasn't cold until around 5:00 when I wanted to leave but Belle kept asking to stay longer. She had fun showing me how high she can go on the swing. She called daddy on the phone and shared her excitement.

HIS greatness

In last Sunday's service' opening prayer,
the pastor asked us to reflect on the song we just sung.
Particularly on the lyrics, how great is our God.
He asked us to think of His greatness
in our everyday lives, while driving...etc.
and tears of joy welled up as I meditated on the awesome wonder
I feel everyday I drive my children to and from school.
I bask in the beauty of God’s artwork and am filled
with absolute awe and admiration deep within my heart
and I pray that may it never depart, may I never lose that sense of wonder.

on decision-making

{when in the truth}-link from an angel friend

In today’s shopping expedition, a book entitled Change Your Home, Change Your Life caught my eye. I didn’t get a chance to stop and browse but it looks like a decorating book. Its impact on me is more than about changing my home through decorating. I thought of our relocation. Talk about life changing! Deliberation on relocation was very difficult because change is difficult.

Then this quote:
Each decision we make, each action we take, is born out of an intention.

So I believe that my decision can't be wrong since it is born out of good intentions. And whether or not I get what I intended, I know I will learn something from this decision and it will lead me and my family to what will ultimately make us happiest.

When in doubt
seek the truth
in seeking
we find
and we are set free
free to change
our perception
our faith
a faith that provides
a renewed sense of strength
a strength that joins a great force
a force from the source
the source of ultimate power
the power that invalidates doubts
reveals the truth
and sets us free.

Isabella's first day of school

It's Isabella's first day of school. We were all excited for her. Dad took her to school and I took Ian to drop off his paperwork at his school (he doesn't start until tomorrow). Then we met up with belle and dad at the elementary school. I met Kim, the office secretary, who left me her personal cell phone number during the christmas break so that I can reach her for any concerns. I observed that she knew every student that came in the office by name. It's very comforting to know that this is a very friendly atmosphere. Sure enough, when we got to Isabella's room, the teacher was very friendly and she introduced her to two friendly girls who were in the room at the time. Then they were off to the playground overlooking the ocean. What a view! Someone even informed us that they see whales every now and then. We left seeing Isabella holding hands with her two new friends.

Then we headed to the nearby Port to buy some fresh crabs and oysters which we had for lunch. "What a life!" Russ joyfully expressed. What a life indeed.

Another great day in Pismo

Yesterday morning Isabella & I played "spa". She had a bubble bath in the jacuzzi tub and I had a foot bath while relaxing in my pink video bean bag and reading a wonderful book from an angel friend . "This is the life!"

It was Russ' birthday yesterday. He came via Amtrak as we took both the MPV and the 626 with us last Friday. The Benz will serve as Immanuel's transportation until Tuesday when Russ leaves after our appointment with the principal at Ian's high school. Russ was not feeling well when he arrived so we decided to celebrate his birthday the following day (today). Isabella’s idea for a celebration is going bowling as she has been having "bowling itch" since Reno.

This morning, mom & I got ready for church. It was a wonderful service, part I of a series entitled Healthy, Balanced and Free. Though I will surely miss my church I am also looking forward to this new series in this new church.

So after the service, we all headed down the beach. We ate at Splash Cafe then we walked to Pismo bowl. After taking some pictures, mom & I headed down the beach again. That overflowing feeling of gratitude overwhelms my soul once more.

When we got home we had dinner and Isabella took a bubble bath with dad. Now its time for me to put her to bed. What a great day!

Key to Happiness

My mom & I attended service
and the message is entitled "A Healthy Perspective on Life".
It's part I of a series called Healthy, Balanced and Free.
The message called to mind new year's resolution(s).
And mine for 2007 comes from Matthew 6:33

But seek first HIS kingdom and HIS righteousness
and ALL these things will be given to you as well.

I resolve to live for Jesus and to know HIM more.

The message also called to mind a quote:
"there is no key to happiness
the door is always open"

A happy, healthy life is
a matter of perception,
a matter of faith.
If we truly believe
then happiness is inevitable.

Overflowing with Gratitude

This place is so conducive to relaxation and reflection.
As I gaze into the horizon
from the bedroom sliding doors
one can’t help but be in awe
the orange purple color
where the sky meets the ocean
It is here where I feel most inspired and overflowing with gratitude.

Finally at Pismo Beach

Before the holiday break, school transfer deliberation and procedures kept us very busy. And as previously devulged in our Christmas letter, we decided to relocate to Pismo Beach. We're finally here! My mom and I took a walk at the beach at around 6pm. To my pleasant surprise, I was not cold. And the view was breathtaking! Makes me wish I have the same passion and knack for photography as my paper play pals. Well that could be a goal for the new year.

A fabulous holiday vacation

Happy new year to all! It has been a hectic and wonderful holiday vacation for us. We had a great time with the Flores family at their cabin in Lake Tahoe by Heavenly. The boys, together with Krystal and her brother, Edward, had a fabulous time snowboarding. Isabella and dad with Krystal's cousin, Matthew, had a fun time ice skating. Then we all headed to Reno to spend new year's eve at El Dorado.

The children enjoyed playing at Circus Circus and bowling at Starlight bowl. My mom, auntie Edith, Russ, Ener (Paz' husband) and his sister, ate Abigail, were entertained in the casino. I, on the other hand, had a marvelous time at a dinner dance courtesy of ate Abigail. The filet mignon and lobster dinner was superb and so was the elegant ambiance of the ballroom. We (myself, Paz and Vangie (ate Abigail's daughter)) had a fantastic time dancing the night away...well, at least until around 11:45. We then headed up to our beautiful corner suite (again courtesy of ate Abigail) where we viewed magnificent fireworks. Then we all drank a toast to the new year.

A great time was had by all. It's one fabulous holiday vacation indeed.