Ben & Spring's

Sunday, October 31, 2010

2010 Thanksgiving Post

Time really flies and it's the fifth year of our marriage! This year is a little different from the previous four. This year, we experienced God's love in a "bitter-sweet" way.

Perhaps God thinks that we need to experience Him in a deeper way than simply giving thanks in good times. Spring and Ben both experienced God's "teaching" in different ways this year. They are tough lessons to learn with worrying moments... however we both came out of our experiences just a little wiser. :)

For Spring, it is the continuing theme of learning to let go (a project that God seemed to have started since her university years). Spring has a career that she loves (a rare gift as not many people would say they "love" their job). Against all odds, God slowly "brewed" an idea in Spring and Ben's mind over the first quarter of 2010. In May, even though we were still unsure about the life adjustments it will bring, we finally submitted to God's calling for Spring. It's such a tough decision. It was a big deal for Ben to give up his Hi-Fi "expansion plan" and vacations. It was an even bigger deal for Spring to give up something she loves. Those who are close to Spring including her parents and sister, can all attest to the fact that her decision was nothing short of a mini-miracle. As Ben saw Spring's tears over this decision, he knows without a doubt that it was the right one. But bitter indeed.

Praise the Lord, exactly one week after our submission, we found out we were pregnant with our second baby! The due date is January 23, 2010. The timing turns out to be perfect.

As for Ben, well, the years of invincibility is OVER. First, he blown his back when he opened a door at work. It was not pretty, but quite funny. Then in the summer, Ben started developing a nagging cough and irregular heartbeat. After our trip to HK in August, Ben began seeking help on many fronts. So far, it has involved three Chinese doctors and a family doctor.

However, this adversity prompted Ben to really ask the basic questions of our faith again.

Who is in control?

What does it mean to call Jesus our Lord?

What are the important things in life?

Where is God in times of suffering?

From September through November, Ben wrestled with these questions. Ben expressed frustrations with God, even questioning His love. Through these tough questions, God made Ben realize that he had not been living the life of a living sacrifice for a long time! It's so hard to be a living sacrifice when you are healthy, capable, feeling like the world is in your hands. Somtimes it takes sickness for us to realize that we need to be a living sacrific again. The ironic thing is, at that point, are you a "living sacrifice" or a "dying sacrifice". :)

Ben is thankful for his encounter with God. It has rejuvenated him spiritually, and his symptoms have been subsiding in recent weeks.

Ellie is turning 2 in a week! She acts so mature sometimes now. Today when she got home, I watched her sat down on her chair, took off her jacket, took off her shoes, put her shoes on the shelf, seated herself at the high chair and demanded noodles! I thought to myself, "She is one purpose-driven 2 year old!". After dinner, it was time for Ben to drink the chinese medicine we'd brewed for the last hour (it's so bitter!). Ellie said in broken Cantonese,

「Daddy 食藥,病呀因為。幫Daddy祈禱啦不如。天父求你醫Daddy, 奉主名求,啊門。無事喇!」(English translation: "Daddy is taking medicine because he's not feeling well. Let's pray for Daddy... Heavenly father, please heal Daddy, pray in Jesus name, Amen. Now you're ok!").

While I'm not sure how much Ellie understood what she just said, it really warmed my heart.

September 2010

Ben's health turned south then headed back north again this month. Fortunately, his emotion continues to head upward despite his fluctuating health situation.

My goodness, our 5th year anniversary seemed to have gone by unmentioned and uncelebrated! Well, life is hectic enough so nothing-ness is good :)

Olivia was in town with her family for 2 weeks. Ellie behaved surprisingly nice to Annette... there were initial worries that Ellie would snatch away toys and boss Annette around, but that did not happen! It's so cute of Annette to say "Ellie, Ellie, Ellie" whenever they meet. Ellie wouldn't respond back, but she would show her kindness by sharing her snacks, toys and stickers with her.

Spring started having pelvis and hip pains... hopefully, the pain remains bearable for the remaining 17 weeks...

August 2010

Bad coughs... Heart problems? Lung problems? What is it? Ben's been having coughs since July and they're not going away. Spring suspects they are caused by stress… Ben's quite worried that he has hidden health issues… all the "what if's" are popping up in his head, making him more stressful!!! Hopefully the EKG report would give some indications of what could be wrong.

HONG KONG, here we come to conquer you!!! As a family not very fond of travelling to HK, this trip is a mission. We are not afraid despite of all the hassles and hectic-ness! We basically went out every lunch and dinner to meet up with family / friends. But the trip turns out to be very satisfying. It was really great to have Ellie meet her extended family. She loves them, and they all love her (at least we think they do). She had TREMENDOUS fun living with her Churn Gong and Doo Por. She enjoyed her first "swims" in outdoor HK. She went on her 1st cable car ride. She just did so much and met so many relatives. It turns out Ellie's the most Asian out of the 3 of us.
She did not whine about the humid heat when we're walking outside and could even enjoy hot congee in a non-air-conditioned environment (while sweating!!). Her skin is even softer in HK!

Ben describes the trip as an achievement, Spring calls it hectic but worthwhile because we got to spend some quality 2 weeks together as a family and created some fond memories for Ellie.

Shortly finding out that we'll have another girl, Ellie passed some nasty germs to Spring. Ellie recovered quickly but Spring was left with diarrhea and couldn’t keep any food inside her. In a way, that slowed down Spring's weight gain - so far, she's just gained as much as when she had Ellie at this stage.

July 2010

1st camping trip with Ellie and it was C-O-L-D at night!!! We bundled Ellie up really well but Spring was still worried Ellie would freeze to death at night. Ben on the other hand, kept checking to make sure she had not suffocated. For the first time, Ellie made friends. After the trip, Ellie always mentions Dan gor gor, Tim gor gor, Noah gor gor and Nicole jair jair. So cute. Ellie got stomach flu for a week. She was still was happy and had so much energy that we didn't think it was a big deal. The stomach flu went away on its own and Ellie got bad diaper rash.

Spring doesn't feel bad for Ellie when she gets vaccinations, but boy, poor Ellie gave 2 tubes of blood at 21 months. Spring felt so bad when she had to clamp her tight while she tried to break loose and cried so hard... Sob sob... OUCHIE!!!!

YEEEEAAAAHHH - HAAAAAAAAAAAA~ Ben finished his MEng! We're both so excited that this is finally over!!!

June 2010

As usual, June is a feastful month! One celebration after another :) Ellie, of course, did a great job in tumming all her relatives in all occasions.

Ellie's vocab is expanding!! Spring's "professional" assessment suggests that she's an audio learner, just like her daddy. She's not good at learning with flash cards. But when we talk to her, she could remember much quicker. We really need to focus on molding her character - Ellie's not bad, but she is often a rude and selfish being.

May 2010

It was a busy month of meeting up with people we really care about! Dr. Kitty Cheung came visit. It was always nice to have her over and just pour out our true feelings and recent thoughts despite how seldom we meet. She's an amazing person with a huge heart and incredible strength.

Another precious gathering was with the Kwongs. Hearing their experiences, what they're doing, their passion for God... purely inspirational. So thankful for knowing them and they are truly our
parents in Christ. Shortly after our gathering with them, Spring made a tough decision.... And shortly after making the decision, God rewarded us with a baby.

April 2010

Ben got sent to California for a business trip for 2 weeks so we joined him for a few days over the weekend. The trip is such a blessing!! It's the first time traveling with Ellie as a family and we had a lot of fun. Ellie's a such a good child to travel with (except the flight), she's so social and says Hi to everyone she meets. Although she had her moments, especially evident during meal times, she's overall very good. We're so fortunate to have Ellie, she brings so much fun and joy to our trip. She picked up a lot of new vocabs this month, it's amazing! Although sometimes her pronounciation is not clear, it's so cool to have a two-way dialogue with her.

Spring is enjoying every minute she spends with Vivian and Agnes. Loves it when she can touch lives so personally.

Weather in Calgary is so CRAZY... it'd be nice if we could move somewhere warmer...

March 2010

God, I want a 2nd child and I'm kinda angry at myself because my emotion fluatuates. i feel so content just a few days ago. there are times when it didn't matter when and if i have a 2nd child, but there are times when things seem really dim, even impossible.

I know i should be content because You already gave us a precious, healthy and adorable girl. And there are so many people who are happy with one child. I know You're using this to build me up. Maybe it's to be like Hannah (be content with what she has - having a loving husband is better than having kids) or like Job (not needing to know why things happen the way they do and gladly accept the fact that our finite wisdom cannot comprehend Your infinite plan). Maybe You're revealing my arrogance - we had ellie very quickly so we felt it was in our control, but You're trying to tell us life is in Your hands. Maybe You're teaching me patience - just like some friends who took more than a year to conceive, you're teaching me to wait. Maybe You're teaching me to let go because once ellie has a mind of her own, i would need to let go anyway.

I know you have full control over my body and even Ben's, so I know even when our bodies aren't functioning regularly, You can make things happen.

Please help me to have peace with whatever you're trying to teach me. Make me a better person as a result of this and uphold me so I can stand firm as You teach me.

February 2010

During the feastful weekend of Chinese New Year, Ellie ate a lot of yum yum adult foods. It's so cute to see her munching/stuffing away - her tummy was hard like a watermelon that weekend!

The month of germs!!! After a week of fighting a cold, Ellie got her first ear infection. We should have took her to the doctor sooner but she did not appear to be in any pain at all! This little person was tiny to begin with and lost quite a bit of weight because of that... She's less than 20 pounds again.

After Ellie's all better, Ben's usual neck stiffness turned into what felt like a pitching nerve pain down his neck after a simple motion of opening the washroom door. The pain is so sharp that he could not work and move and couldn't drive. Ben moved like an owl for a couple of days.

Ellie's new vocabs: "por por" (grandma), "gng gng" (grandpa), "ma ma" (grandma), "yair yair" (grandpa), "da bun ern" (elephant), "abbit" (rabbit), "dum" (throw), "hai" (shoes), "duc" (duck), "ou-ie" (ouch), "bay" (nose), "mud mud" (socks), "derd derd" (feet), "nai" (milk), "dun dun" (chair), "bu bu chair" (car), "bud" bud" (pen), "bear bear" (bear), "shu shu" (book)

January 2010

Wow.. Spring was sick 3 times the past month, what's going on? She usually survives winters without getting sick but not this year! A friend warned her that her body will give out noticeable signs once she hits 30, maybe it's no myth afterall! God uplifted Ellie's health despite being surrounded by sick people, praise the Lord!

Mom Judy was testing her new knife and she accidentally cut her thumb... eekkk! yikes... drip drip drip... 8 hours after the accident and after an hour of convincing, mom finally surrendered and agreed to go to the hospital to get stitches... 6 stitches! Mom, in hindsight, was glad that her wound was treated by medical professionals and dad was excited that he got to see a live surgery! Spring was glad that her mom was willing to put aside her stubbornness.

Ellie still speaks mostly baby language... When she wants to, she can say "mum mum" (food), "ma mi ar" (mom), "da di ar" (dad), "did did" (fall down - she says it whenever she sees stairs), "dun dun" (lights), "wou wou" (dog bark), "lammy" (her lamb)...

December 2009

My goodness, talk about brutal winter. This kind of weather really gets us thinking about moving to a warmer place... brrrrrrrrrrrr... too cold, too cold! Spring can't imagine living here when she's old - it's too uncomfortable!

Ben Wong came to stay with us during his Christmas break. We abandoned him whenever we have personal engagements haha... hope he didn't mind! We enjoyed his company during the holidays, hope he enjoyed us too!

Ellie's teething like crazy... All her molars are either coming out or out already. She's a cute little girl, babbling lots and imitating our words. Ellie truly is a non-stop toddler. She keeps walking and moving, touching this and that, grabbing things and dropping things along the way, crawling up the stairs and sliding back down. She's never still.

Ellie can comprehend us quite well and would respond (when she wants to) when we ask her to put things away. We started timing her out when she intentionally touches things that we taught her not to touch. Next on the training list: teach her to sit still and speak softly when we eat out, not to put every object into her mouth... she chews and rips everything!

November 2009

Ellie turned 1 this month :) We threw her a party at home and invited her best friends over - Mom, Dad, Gong Gong, Por Por, Yair, Yair, Mar Mar. She was so excited and happy at the party, it was just a lot of fun for everyone.

A week before her birthday, we figure it's time for her 1st haircut! Her hair has always been really messy and uneven... we could have trimmed her hair a while back but we decided to wait till her hair is longer so she wouldn't look too boyish after the trim. Spring didn't want to deal with any mess and didn't want to fight with Ellie while having scissors around, so we decided to head out to a baby hair salon to get it done!

Ben's been really busy the later part of the month because school was catching up to him! He had put it off for too long so it was time to make up for the neglected assignments... Spring on the other hand, finds herself very busy on her fridays off... there's always a medical appointment for either herself or Ellie!

Now that we're very settled into the routine, praise the Lord that we've made positive changes to ensure growth in our marriage. We miss the years when we could easily spend quality time with each other. Now, with a child, it takes extra effort to find the time and energy to focus on spending quality time with each other. We started having a date day once a month and we truly look forward to them!