What is AVID?

I had the opportunity to learn about AVID at Adams Elementary this past Thursday. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. It’s actually a really cool program. Their mission is close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college and other postsecondary opportunities. The idea is to prepare all students for college and not just some students.

AVID trains teachers to use proven practices in order to prepare students for success in high school, college, and a career, especially students traditionally underrepresented in higher education. It was really cool learning about the students’ planners, three-ring binder notebooks, dividers, pencil pouch. There’s a reason why the school requires all of these things.

The pencil pouch is important because it keeps all of your pencils, pens, erasers, and sticky notes all in one place and always with your notebook. I asked Kira why she didn’t have a pencil pouch in her notebook and she told me the zipper of her pencil pouch broke. We stopped by Walmart on the way home so she could get another one.

I think it’s really cool how they’re teaching students to be organized by using subject dividers, two and three column note taking techniques, and other things. I looked back at my own upbringing and marveled at how I managed when no one taught me these things. I guess I just picked up good habits from other people. When I saw classmates doing something that seemed to work, I would adopt those methods.

Some students may not have the initiative or interest to learn these techniques on their own. Specially if they have challenges at home. They may not have the time or energy to think about these things so it makes sense to teach them best practices. I think it’s great that the schools are taking an active part at teaching students good study habits at a young age so they can be successful in high school, college, and later in life.

I’m glad that my little sister’s school is part of the AVID program. I wish every school would be part of AVID. Click here to learn more or watch this video (or do both).

What Happened This Week

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I got three strikes on the 10th frame on Sunday. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. With the exception of the open frames, which kept me from bowling a 200-game, I actually did pretty well. I still haven’t bowled a 500 series. That is my main goal at bowling this year.

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Apothic Red went on sale for $7.99 a bottle at Groves so Brian got a case. No, we’re not a couple of winos. Only Brian is. LOL.

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Our alcohol budget far exceeds our food budget and it’s all because he gets a case at a time. There may not be food in the house but there’s always wine.

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I had the opportunity to attend the memorial mass for Tita Sol at Saint Francis. I wasn’t going to attend at first because I had a meeting. However, my meeting got pushed to Thursday afternoon so I was able to attend after all.

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There was a luncheon after the mass and I ran into Gina Ann who reminded me about the Party in Pink Zumbathon at Genesis East Central next week. I hadn’t bought my ticket yet because I really wasn’t sure if I could make it. My schedule has been pretty crazy lately and I’ve been super duper busy.

After some thought, I realized that I could squeeze in the Zumbathon before bowling. She was like, you can get your ticket before you go back to work. The church is next to Genesis West Central so it was really convenient. The universe has a way of making sure I’m right where I’m supposed to be sometimes.

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On Thursday night I went to Kira’s school and learned about AVID. It’s a great program so I’m going to devote a whole blog entry on that later.

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On Friday we had an outing (team building activity) at Color Me Mine. Since we were on that side of town, we had lunch at Bella Luna. I’d never been to the West side location before. Now I’ve eaten at all of them.

We had dinner at Sumo last night in honor of April’s birthday. There are at least a couple of videos on Facebook of Jay eating a huge dollop of wasabi. Dude is insane.

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Oh, and Brian took a day of vacation from work to wait for my iPhone delivery. Apparently, they’ve been getting stolen so we had to make sure someone was home. Yes. I know. I sold out. I didn’t want to spend $300 on a new phone before so I spent $800. But, hey. It’s my birthday present. It just happened to arrive early.

Apple quoted us mid-October for the anticipated delivery date, but it actually came two weeks early. I’m not complaining. I’m glad because I’ve had the case for a couple of weeks. It shipped right away and arrived within a couple of days. I got the (RED) leather case because the proceeds benefit the global fund to fight AIDS.

Alright. It’s time for us to go to the Joyful Noise Twilight Concert at Camp Wood.

Until next time,
Ching

Time to Get Introspective

I don’t typically post blogs that are introspective because, most of the time, it just gives other people something to criticize. But this is my web site and I’m posting this for me, so I really don’t care what ya’ll think. LOL.

I know I am selfish. I do things for my own pleasure and satisfaction. Luckily, I’m not a sick, sinister person so the things that bring me joy also bring joy to others. I have said this many times before. I cannot deny how blessed I am to have the time and resources to pursue the things I want to do.

Some people talk about living life not necessarily following their passion or doing something with purpose, but simply going through the motions and doing the things you’re supposed to do. I’m lucky that I stopped doing things I was supposed to do a decade ago and I think my selfishness has a lot to do with it.

I have always been pretty straight-laced and nerdy. I followed the rules. When I was younger I really did things because I was supposed to… For instance, I got married because I was supposed to. I didn’t want to get married. I was perfectly content with my relationship with Brian. I didn’t feel like we needed to get married. We loved each other and that was enough for me. However, we were living together and when you’re living together you’re supposed to be married.

I dropped out of college after my four year scholarship ran out. Brian sort of tricked me into going back to school, but when I went back and got my undergraduate degree I mostly did it because I was supposed to. Both of my parents are college-educated so it didn’t make sense for me not to finish college.

However, in going through the motions of life and doing the things I was supposed to do, I found myself. I found that I really enjoyed going to school. I found a passion for learning. So I decided to stay in school and continue on to get my MBA.

I realized the power of doing something that you want to do vs. doing something you’re supposed to do. When you do something that you’re supposed to do, the effort is halfhearted at best. When you’re doing something you want to do, you can be really great at it. I’m not saying that I’m great at school, but if I pursued my MBA because I felt like I was supposed to do it then it probably would have taken me ten years instead of two. I got my MBA because it was something that I really wanted to do. Mom and dad didn’t ask me to do it. Brian didn’t ask me to do it. I didn’t need it for work. It was something I wanted for my own on pleasure and satisfaction.

Brian and I are supposed to have children. After we got married the pressure to procreate started. Having kids is something you’re supposed to do when you’re married and financially stable. We’re both decent looking. We would have made beautiful children. Neither of us wanted children. We’ve talked about it numerous times in the fifteen years we’ve been together and I feel like we’re on the same page, but I can truly only speak for myself. I knew I was supposed to have children and be a mom like most women, but it’s not what I want for myself so I know that I’d be terrible at it.

We would never have gotten out of debt if we didn’t want to do it. If it was something that we’re just supposed to do but not something we wanted to accomplish I think it would never have gotten done. And, we paid off $40K in debt in record time. That’s the power of doing something you want to do.

There are a lot of things that I do that are really just for me. I knew I was supposed to focus on my health and not be too fat, but I really didn’t lose weight until I decided I wanted to do it. I hired a personal trainer a few years ago to help me. When you do something you want to do, you put resources into it. You put money, time, and lots of effort in things that you want to do. As a side note, I’m up in weight right now and I’m not currently working with a personal trainer, but I think I’m pursuing too many things and just need to re-prioritize.

I teach Zumba because I want to. I’m actually licensed to teach several Zumba formats. I have all of these licenses not because I’m supposed to have them, but because I wanted to get them. I do volunteer work not because I’m supposed to, but because it really makes me happy. Of course, I didn’t have the luxury of doing all of these things before because of a lack of time and resources. I’m really lucky that I’m finally at a stage in my life that I can really pursue the things I want to do.

I’m not perfect and I’ve made some mistakes. I’ve been confused about what I wanted at times. I’ve learned and grown a lot from these missteps, but I’ll probably make some more mistakes and stumble along the way.

Just as Brian and I reevaluate our budget every year, I think it’s time for me to pause for a moment and reflect on the last decade. What is it that I really want out of life? Am I using the resources I have (skills, talent, time) to get there? I need to do a personal audit and commit more of my energy to becoming the person I want to be instead of letting a little bit of myself escape through various outlets because of a lack of focus.

The bottom line is that I’m living the exact life I want to live right now but it’s time to think about tomorrow. I’m the person that I wanted to be ten years ago, but now I need to think about who I want to be ten years from now.

It’s time to start moving in that direction.

Labor Run 2014

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Hats off to Natalie, the Labor Run team, and all the volunteers for another successful run. We doubled participation this year. Woot!

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Brian had fun bossing around the high school girls. LOL.

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Congratulations to all the winners!

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The pancake feed was a huge hit. I think people had a lot of fun catching pancakes.

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And no, I didn’t eat all of these.

The event just keeps getting better. I can’t wait until next year. Great job, Natalie!

Misty’s Belated Birthday Celebration

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Stacy, Cari, Brian, and I celebrated with Misty at Bonefish Grill last Wednesday. Her birthday was actually Thursday, July 10, but we didn’t get a chance to get together because we all had busy weekends.

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Last weekend Brian and I had a practice round with mom and dad at Derby Bowl. We bowled 20 games between the four of us. Mom and Brian bowled four games each before they had enough. Dad wanted to practice his sparing and wen’t for two more games. I kept him company so dad and I both bowled six games.

The practice round actually worked. I bowled my first 200 game on our league that Sunday. I’m thinking if I practice more, I may bowl even more 200 games and I’ll finally be able to make my goal of bowling a 500 series.

Saturday night was Starlite Fun night with the Dills and the Phelpi. I really thought that I’d be able to stick around for all three movies. The second movie ended well after 3 AM. I wanted to see The Fault in Our Stars but we would have been there until morning. As it was we were extremely exhausted when we got home.

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Sunday was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat day with my little sister. It was my first time seeing the show and I thought it was fantastic. Kira was singing and dancing along in her seat.

Immediately after the show Brian and I had to rush to mom and dad’s in Derby for league night. It was a heck of a busy weekend. Thus, we couldn’t celebrate with Misty and the gang until later. It worked out for the best though because we had the good fortune of getting together on “Bang Wednesday” at Bonefish. It’s the best day to be there. Since all of the “Bang Bang” items were on special it didn’t cost much to treat Misty for her birthday dinner. Heck, her drinks cost way more than her food. LOL.

Belated Happy Birthday, Misty! Cheers!

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USA vs. Philippines

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It was USA vs. Philippines last week at bowling. Team Alobaker, representing the Philippines, won 3 points to 1. I wish we could have won 4 points and wiped them out. No such luck on the third game, though. Eddie (photographed) and his teammates pulled out all the stops in the third game. They all bowled better than their average. Unfortunately for us. At least we got 3 points that night though. Hopefully that’s enough to either keep our ranking or move up. Until next week…

Old Friends

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We had a busy weekend last week. We had the Annual Filipino Ball on Saturday and then hosted breakfast at our house for the Sharons since they were in town. Brian and I got to meet Richard and Amy’s kids for the first time. Misty came over and join us for breakfast also. We had a nice time visiting and catching up.

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Immediately after our guests took off I had to take off as well to attend Etaf’s bridal shower. She’s a friend from grad school who I hadn’t seen in years. Thankfully we have Facebook so we can still stay in touch. Anyway, Mary was at the bridal shower as well. It was great seeing both of them.

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Etaf’s bridal shower was super fun. I normally don’t like playing games but the games her sister came up with were great. I wish I could have stayed for the opening of presents except I had to drive back to Wichita for bowling league night with Brian and my folks.

We actually had a great night last Sunday. We didn’t bowl particularly well but the opposing team was having an off night so we won all four points. It’s the first week that we actually won. We tied our opponents on the first night and have been on a losing streak since. It was so refreshing to finally win. I can’t wait to bowl again next week and win four more points. Woot!

Brian and Jay

Here are some pictures of Brian and Jay from last Saturday. Our friends Jay, Becca, Aaron, and Reby came over for dinner. Aaron and Reby called it an early night. These photos were taken after they left.

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These two are so hilarious when they’re drinking. I captured some video but I’m not allowed to post them online. Party poopers!

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We rarely get to see Jay and Becca anymore now that they’ve moved to the West side of town. Traitors! Just kidding. We were so happy to finally have the chance to hang out.

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Originally it was just going to Aaron and Reby and Brian and me for dinner on Saturday night. However, Jay and Becca were available that night and they were picking up some money that Donna had left for Jay for the NeatDesk Desktop Scanner and Digital Filing System that she bought from him. So they were able to join the four of us for dinner. It’s always a treat when our friends can come over. I prefer quite dinners like these over parties when we have fifty people over. It’s nice to be able to visit and catch up and nothing breaks and no wine is spilled. Though Brian came pretty close several times.

Jay and I played checkers that night. I think it’s our first time playing checkers against each other. He had to explain it to me. Filipino checkers, or at least the way I remember playing, is slightly different. I took advantage of the fact that he was already two bottles of wine in. I had a little bit to drink but I wasn’t as far gone as he and Brian were. LOL. After a lengthy match (Becca actually fell asleep while waiting for the game to be over), I won. Oh, yeah!

He didn’t think I would blog about it. He didn’t think I would win either. He doesn’t think that it should count because he had a lot of wine. I don’t think he was as drunk as he said, though. Jay’s capacity to consume alcohol and be perfectly fine is beyond that of anyone I know. Brian had about the same amount to drink and he was being his loud, jolly, drunk self. Jay was far more composed. Although, he thinks he lost at checkers because of all the drinks. We must have a rematch when he’s sober just to see if I can really beat him. Then there will be no excuses.

This just goes to show… Don’t drink and drive. If drinking can diminish your aptitude for checkers then you really shouldn’t be driving. Just sayin’.

P.S. Becca drove home that night and they both safely made it all the way back to the West side of town.

I Have Short Hair

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I have short hair for the first time in years!

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Brian packed up my hair and we’re sending it to Locks of Love. I’m not sure that it’s long enough. Brian says it is. I hope they are able to use it. If not, I suppose it’s the thought that counts. Right?

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Additional info regarding Locks of Love:

Fun Times With Friends

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We had such a blast at Oeno last Friday. We’d never been there for salsa night before. It doesn’t get as packed as Suede use to be, but I actually prefer it that way. Now that I know what it’s like, I’m actually thinking of putting salsa night back into our regular Friday night rotation.

It was a little rough this past weekend though because Friday night is our Bond night. When we got home at midnight we put on Live and Let Die just to stay on track of our goal to watch all the James Bond movies this year from oldest to newest. Brian said I passed out not long after the movie started but he was up until two in the morning.

I’m not sure what time I fell asleep but I might as well have stayed up with him because it felt like it the next day. Teaching Zumba at 9:30 AM that Saturday morning was no easy feat. LOL.

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Speaking of Zumba, two of the ladies in my Zumba class got me a plant in honor of my last day of teaching at Evergreen Recreation Center. Since I’m no longer able to attend SeƱor Alvarez’ Spanish class I figured that it was finally time to give up teaching at Evergreen. It was great when I was able to take Spanish classes for free but, since it wasn’t working out with my schedule, it was actually costing me more to teach there than I was making. Not that I teach Zumba to make money but, now that I’m teaching for the YMCA, I can satisfy my need to share my passion for Zumba without having to drive clear across town.

This is actually great news for Brian because then I don’t have to be somewhere until 11 AM on Saturday mornings, the only day of the week that we can sleep in. Although, sleeping in probably isn’t in the cards for us because any time I find a gap in schedule I somehow find a way to fill it with something.

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We spent Saturday night playing poker at Rune’s.

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Brian ended up taking the tournament down (April placed third and Cory placed second), which is ironic considering Mama Dill actually knocked him out early in the game. Thank God for re-buys!

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We had no idea that we were celebrating Cory’s birthday that night also so we weren’t prepared with our birthday gift. It worked out for the best though because delivering his present gave us a good excuse to see Cory in person on his actual birthday (he’s a St. Pat’s Day baby). Happy birthday, Cory!

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