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I haven’t had a chance to post pictures from this Holiday Season yet, so to get things started, here are some pictures from Halloween this year.  Amy, Ava, and Samuel attended our church’s Trunk or Treat event.


8 or 9 Months ago, we were mulling over an Elementary school for Ava, looking at a number of charter schools and fundamental schools.  We have some families in our church who have sent their kids to a private Christian School in the county called Keswick, and they have strongly recommended the school for a number of reasons.  We had never really considered a private school, thinking we would never be able to afford tuition to a private christian school.  In February we visited Keswick and walked away feeling a little frustrated, as we loved the school, the classes we saw, and the fact that the folks at Keswick are unashamedly Christian.  We went home kind of bummed, as the tuition is well beyond what we can afford.  A couple of months later we decided to go ahead and apply for financial aid to see what kind of help we could get.  We received our financial aid packet back, and were completely blown away by the tuition assistance Ava was given.  We decided to apply, and send Ava to Keswick.  I can tell you that it is early in the year, but after speaking to the elementary school principal, Ava’s teacher, other parents, and their kids, I thank God every day for providing us the ability to send Ava there.  We are excited for this school year, and Ava is bubbling over with excitement.

Yesterday, Aug 20, 2012, was Ava’s first day of Kindergarten (had to include the year for posterity).  🙂

Here are some pictures.  Sam was so proud of his sister, and had to jump in a picture.  Also, Ava spilled water on her shirt first thing in the morning, which is the wet spot you see on her shirt.  She inherited the hole in her chin from her daddy…

Happy 5th Birthday Ava!

5 Years ago at 1:50 AM Amy gave birth to a little baby girl.  I don’t want to be one of “those” parents going on an on about how fast their child is growing up, but truth is, time flies!  1 year, 2 years, 50 years.  It just moves so quickly.  I can’t believe how fast these 5 years have flown.  But what a blessing…

Amy and I woke up this morning, and went to wish Ava a happy birthday (usually she is waking us up).  After waking her up, immediately she told us “I think my arms grew”!  She has been anxiously awaiting her 5th birthday.  Many of her friends have turned 5 and she was ecstatic to join the club, and the excitement didn’t wane all day long.  It is funny, because 5 years ago, her mom and I had a similar excitement.  It was the only thing keeping us awake after not sleeping for a couple days…  I guess I can admit now, that I was able to sneak home for a shower and a nap under the guise of shower and work.  5 years have flown, and I can’t help but hope she doesn’t grow too fast out of after dinner wrestling matches, back rides, practical jokes (I have a feeling mom could be in for trouble).

Anyhow, we had a great day, and had family over for an excellent flank steak dinner.  I think Sam was taken back at times with all of the attention focused on Ava.  Throughout the day he kept telling us that his birthday is coming soon, and he couldn’t keep his hands from tearing at Ava’s presents…  We had a wonderful birthday, but missed all the family that wasn’t able to make it…  Now, time to gear up for another party on Saturday!

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!  We love you!


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Spring Break

Two weeks ago was Spring break for Ava.  A friend of Amy’s, invited her to take the kids on a play date to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.  The Clearwater Aquarium was made famous by the movie Dolphin Tale, featuring Winter, a dolphin with a prosthetic tail.  The aquarium is more of a rehab and release center, than a permanent aquarium, but many of the permanent residents have serious injuries that do not permit them to be released into the wild.  The aquarium has struggled to stay open in the past, so it is good to see all the publicity, and income generated by the movie.

Ava and Samuel loved the trip from what I heard, and Ava has taken a keen interest in marine animals.  The next day we took a trip to Sea World as a family, and she seems to be very fascinated with all the animals, but dolphins are her favorite…  Here are a few pictures Amy snapped at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.


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Bose 321, Meet Samuel

So 5 or 6 years ago, Amy and I purchased a Bose 321 home theater system.  The system has sounded great for years.  Whether it be a movie, ipod, or Pandora, we love the sound of the system.  Well, a couple weeks ago, the new Passion album arrived in the mail, and I was looking forward to checking it out.  After dinner, I put it in, and turned on the Bose…  Well, the album sounded horrible!!!  Don’t get me wrong, I love the music, but it sounded horrible on our stereo.

Well, according to Amy, Samuel had taken some type of an object, tore off the speaker cover, and poked holes in the speakers.  So, taking the cover off I found he didn’t poke holes, he tore holes in our speakers, both sets.  Amy was his accomplice covering them up, and never mentioning it to me…  Awesome!

Samuel is Two!

We are a little behind on Samuel’s birthday post, but we’re going to try and keep the blog up a little more frequently now…  March 3, 2012 was Samuel’s second birthday.  It is amazing how fast time has flown.  While I was exporting these photos, we took a look at some of our older photographs.  It is amazing in a matter of 2 or 3 years, how much more grey there is in the beard, and hair.  God is gracious to have given us another birthday with Sam.  He brings a different spice to our family.  It is good to have a little boy pushing trucks, flying spaceships, and getting into mischief…  More on mischief later…  For now, here’s some pictures of Samuel’s birthday.


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Merry Christmas in March!

Just in time for spring, I thought I’d post some excellent memories from Christmas 2011.  This past Christmas we packed up and went to KS to celebrate Christmas with our family in KS.  We had a wonderful time.  Sam was completely fascinated with, and loved flying in the airplanes.  Ava was her usual sweet self.  Things worked out for about 8 inches of snow while we were there, which was beautiful!  The kids loved playing in the snow and sledding with Papa.  As well, Sam loved riding in the Tractor with Grandpa Sonny.  Sam is intrigued by mechanical things like most boys.  He loves tractors, trucks, and airplanes!  It was a excellent trip, and we were sad to go.  Here are some pictures from our trip.


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Fall 2011

Every year I mention how much I love fall.  It is my favorite of all the seasons.  Fall Festivals, Cooler temperatures, Postseason Baseball…  I love it.  We’ve had an awesome few months so far, visiting the zoo, celebrating my birthday, her cousins and great grandma’s birthdays, and going to some fall festivals.  Today was absolutely beautiful reaching a high in the mid 70’s with a nice cool breeze.  We visited the Heritage Village for their annual Fall Jubilee.  We had a great time, taking a look at how folks lived in Florida before the population exploded.  There were crafts, old houses and buildings, exhibitions (Rope making, Sugar Cane Syrup Making, Spinning Cotton), Bluegrass Music, and lots of great food.  Ava particularly enjoyed the School House…

Speaking of, Ava has started Pre-Kindergarten, and absolutely love  it.  She is picking up on everything extremely quick, and making lots of new friends.  The following pictures has some pictures of her all made up from a princess party some schoolmates held.  Samuel is hitting a huge growth spurt mentally.  He’s starting to say words much more clearly, and in a simple way express a few things he wants.  Both of the kids are such a joy and a blessing.  We have so much fun with them.  Here are some pictures of a few things we’ve been up to this fall…


Summer 2011 Pictures

Here are some pictures of our Summer…

Zoo Pictures

Random Summer Pictures

Ava and Amalgam

This has been an eventful couple of weeks.  About 4 weeks ago, Ava was at the dentist when the dentist found she had 4 cavities.  Awesome!  So, at the time she was oddly excited to get her “silver” fillings.  Exactly a week after getting her first two fillings, she started acting very noticeably different.  It was like she really developed a different personality.  She was overcome with worry, and the desire to express every thought she was having.  And she was gravitating toward expressing every bad thought, and even gravitating toward thinking them.  We told our parents about this behavior and asked them to pray for Ava.  Nancy called, and mentioned that while she was praying she had remembered that Ava had her teeth filled, and had looked up the content of these fillings  Evidently the Amalgam “silver” fillings contain more or less 50 percent mercury!

So, the next day, I emailed a friend who’s husband is a dentist.  Alfred is a more holistic dentist than most in the field, and he told me it really sounded like her body had been reacting to the mercury in the fillings.  Evidently a small group of people are very sensitive to mercury, and susceptible to poisoning.  Alfred works in Pensacola, and offered to take out and replace the fillings for free, offering to see if he could find an office to borrow in Seminole (he lives in Seminole, and commutes).  Meanwhile he told us to buy some Chlorella, and put it in Ava’s drink.  Chlorella has molecular properties that bind heavy metals to it, and then Ava passes the metals out in her stools.  The night I called him, had ended, easily the worst day we had experienced thus far.  Ava before bed was repeatedly telling me she was thinking that she didn’t love me, and then telling me she didn’t love me, then immediately breaking down in tears even when I had reacted telling her that I knew that she did love me and that I loved her too.  On top of this she had left a couple of drops of urine on the floor after taking a bath (she had been commenting on burning while peeing, or drops coming out at random times).   This was only a taste of the type of behavior we were experiencing, and this blog isn’t log enough to document everything.  So, we immediately bought some Chlorella at the whole foods market, and called Alfred back and tell him that we would drive her up to Pensacola to get the fillings out.  Pensacola is an 8 hour drive from here…

Thursday, a couple days after calling Alfred, Ava and I left for Pensacola to get her four fillings replaced.  It was a long long drive full of hours of singing, game playing, and playing with dolls.  Ava had been taking the Chlorella for a couple days then, and it seemed as if she was getting a little better.  She wasn’t saying the very shocking (very shocking) things she had been saying for a couple weeks hundreds of times in a day.  Her expressions were mostly geared at saying that she was thinking people are stupid (let me tell you, in the course of the trip, every single person in the world was found to be stupid.  Even non existent ones, like her Alvin the Chipmunk doll).  We finally arrived in Pensacola, and Alfred labored and took these monster amalgam (they were huge) fillings out, and replaced them.  We were then off for the 8 hour trip back home, arriving at 4 in the morning.

You are going to think I’m crazy, and typically I have never been deep in agreement with all “holistic” medicine approaches.  However, I do believe a lot of holistic dietary approaches.  That God has given our bodies a fantastic ability to heal itself, and certain foods/herbs have properties that help our bodies heal itself.  I also believe that some things we do to our bodies hurt this ability to heal itself.  Nearly a week later now, and I am not kidding, Ava has almost completely changed.  I don’t know if it is too soon, but I do know that it isn’t in our heads.  She had been expressing these crazy thoughts and attitudes hundreds upon hundreds of times a day, from waking to sleeping.  Sometimes she would even wake up and say this stuff.  Yesterday, she had maybe 2 or three of these expressions, and they really might be what any kid would say.  She is bubbly and full of life again, running around.  As parents we can correct her now without her just completely losing it for a long period of time.  The insane emotional swings have been gone for about 3 days or so now.

Jesus has been very gracious, answering prayers…  His faithfulness to us is staggering.  We would have never been aware of this potential problem if he wouldn’t have made us aware.  We are extremely tight on our budget, and replacing fillings isn’t cheap, considering healthcare won’t cover it, and people would think you are crazy.  We wouldn’t have been able to do this, at least right away, if Alfred wouldn’t have offered (If you are looking for an Asian Church, he is the pastor of New Harvest Asian Church).  Alfred changed these fillings out completely at no cost to us.  He is a great blessing to us, and we thank God for him.  Jesus is very gracious to us, and continues to show his faithfulness.  We thank Him for this, and we thank Him for brothers and sisters like the Choi family.

On a separate note…  Is it just me, or is it crazy that we are using mercury in teeth fillings, and in vaccines?  Considering how toxic mercury is?

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