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Chinese Character for parental love = ache and rattan

Chinese has different characters for LOVE.  “Téng” is usually use to describe parental love means “ache” or “love dearly”. Its homophone means “RATTAN”.  Homophone is like “bat” for the animal and “bat” for baseball.

Chinese parents usually say,” Wo hen teng ni” which means I really love you dearly. The fact that the meaning says “love dearly” and ache can also means that parents LOVES their children so dearly that it hurts

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What is interesting to me is the homophone for this character is “téng” for rattan! Hmmm no wonder Chinese parents often beat their kids with rattan! 🙂 I remember when I was little my maternal grandmother chased me and my cousins around her house with this rattan tool.  The tool was used to beat mattresses because she used to hang mattresses out in the sun to kill the germs 🙂

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Since that was “teng” is the Chinese character for LOVE… Do we have different character to express children’s love to parents??

Sure we do…. but we don’t call it love! In Chinese children’s love to parents can be expressed in what is called “filial piety”. Children have the responsibilities to RESPECT their parents, care for them, make them proud and  carry the family honor!

Remember MULAN??  She didn’t say she went to war for her father because she loves her father… It’s to defend the family honor and of course SHE LOVES her father. That was how she expressed her love!

The character for is “xiào”.  It consists of 2 different characters.  Lao is for “old” or elderly and zi for son.  See the character is showing that the “son” is carrying the “old”

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So what about “Ai” the famous Chinese word for LOVE??  Well, that word is actually for romantic love. The first part is GRIP… to me that shows how 2 people hold hands as they walk into their marriage. GRIP to me means seriously holding on into something, taking marriage vows seriously as they walk together entering the “ROOF” representing the home…Inside or under the roof is the character for HEART! The center of it all is the LOVE from your HEART… and the foundation of it all is FRIENDSHIP! Isn’t it beautiful?

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY everyone!

Flo


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Diverse America is BEAUTIFUL! This is my favorite superbowl commercial!

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WOW!  What a great commercial by Coca Cola!  Having different languages in the song “AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL”  If you have not watch it… here is the commercial: 

I can’t believe the negative reactions that it received though…

So here is my 2 cents about the commercial.

I am an AMERICAN CITIZEN!  I wasn’t born in this country!  I speak English and other languages. Yes, my English is NOT perfect!  However, most of my errors are caused by what we called “language interference” (since I spoke other languages). I AM PROUD of who I am! 🙂

America is beautiful!  Truly a beautiful country that is so diverse.  I think we should be proud and celebrate this diversity in a positive way. I am grateful for the opportunities that this country has given to me and my family.  Thus said, my husband and I contributed back!  We are respected members of the community that have been sharing our “brain” in our respected work place.  I would like to think that we have been making positive impacts in our community!  At least that is what we are striving for daily!

The video is not about the language folks!  I am actually agree that immigrants should try their best to learn English.  Any immigrants in ANY country should try to learn the country’s language no matter!  Trust me! Learning the language contributes to your success and survival 🙂

Please don’t judge so soon! These people are AMERICANS!  They are real people with feelings!  They speak ENGLISH too! Here are their stories!

I know some people also have issues with the gay couple pictured in the video… My first thought on it ,” COME ON! The ad was not about CHRISTIANITY is beautiful!  It’s about America, The Beautiful!”

I am a Christian!  I believe what the Bible says!  Nothing more and nothing less!  However, to me this is NOT about my faith! I would have had a strong reaction if the ad was about Christianity because that is NOT what the Bible say… However the ad was about AMERICA in general! America is a melting pot!

I came from a country where 90% of the people are Moslems!  So did I have to do whatever they do according to their FAITH? Of course not because I am not a Moslem! I believe in Jesus.  I have aunts and uncles who chose to believe in Islam. Are they no longer my family?  Of course NOT! They are still my family! I still LOVE them! We just don’t believe the same things and we don’t live under the same faith, rules and lifestyle. What you CHOOSE to believe in regards to faith and marriage do NOT make you less or more Americans!

America is very colorful now days!  Look around you!  Listen to each of the beautiful song sang by beautiful faces of America newest generation! I posted one here… Of course the one in Mandarin 🙂 All the singers were beautiful!  Check out youtube and their stories… there were many languages!

I think it is time for people in America to STOP judging and STOP stereotyping! Look BEYOND people’s colors and appearances!  ALL of my children look Chinese!  However, they are only fluent in ENGLISH (sadly! I should have been stricter with them to learn my heritage language!) They are AMERICAN citizens!  They were born in America!  Technically they can run for the presidency someday or represent the U.S in the Olympics 🙂

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To all of you Christians who is reading this blog right now… My faith is standing on solid ground!  I believe what the Bible says about marriage!  However, it is not for me to judge a person’s choice!  If I believe that GOD is Sovereign, I should also believe that my SOVEREIGN GOD can deal or change that person whom HE wants to change!   If that person is IN my circle of influence and I am given the chance to SHARE the GOSPEL with him/her, I will certainly presented the GOSPEL and it’s truth! However, until then… I CHOOSE to LOVE and set my JUDGEMENT aside for MY GOD has set an example when HE sat down and ate with those who were considered “NOT suitable” to sit on the table with him!

MARK 2:13-17

13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Let us choose to LOVE regardless of colors!

Cheers,

Flo


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“Zero to Hero”Day 23: Chinese New Year Decorations and Sweets

Another Snow day yesterday for us here…. It’s okay because we got extra time to prepare for the Chinese New Year and I got to catch up with the ZERO TO HERO wordpress blog challenge!

Yesterday we made a meihwa new year’s tree.  I found the meihwa/plum blossoms at JoAnn..

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Strings and red envelope (Ang Pao)

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Then we just hang them on the tree!

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VOILA!  The Chinese New Year Tree…. Back home, you can find big tree like this BIG meihwa tree ….  They are more decorated too… But I like mine!  I like that we are teaching our kiddos the tradition!

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Here is the rest of the decoration!

1. Meihwa tree:  Do you know mei hwa is PLUM BLOSSOMS! Plum blossoms is one of my favorite flower because they are very unique! These are the facts why they are so special! Do you know that  plum blossoms are winter flowers.  It usually bloom in late winter or early spring.  They are kind of similar to cherry blossoms.  In DC there are cherry blossoms tree everywhere and they usually bloom in March.They will blossom from a tree branch that seems dead, came out before the leaves!  A flower that came out of what seems a “dead bark/branch, the blossoms show courage, hope, and beauty!

2. Oranges = gold, Tangerine=luck…. So having oranges and tangerines during Chinese new year celebrations is  a must because they symbolically mean good luck and prosperity!

3. A red envelope (紅包, hóngbāo) … red is for good luck for Chinese people 🙂 This was always what I was waiting for when I was a child back home!  You will receive it ONLY after you “pai pai” or pay respect by putting your fist together and say,” Kiong hi, Kiong hi, Xin Nian Kuai Le or Gong Xi Fa Choi”  Loosely translated : Happy New Year!” Usually married working couples would give them to children and elderly.

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4. Golden peanuts on the glass container to the right of the tree represents longevity. Chocolate in pretty red and gold wrapper next to it also means prosperity!

5. Tray of togetherness next to the oranges.  In the middle is kumquat candies for wealth and prosperity. Kumquat is a type of oranges.The big flat orange color candies are lotus root candies  for purity. Next are candies with watermelon seeds inside for fertility, joy and happiness. The colorful coconut ribbons  for togetherness and family unity! Next to the coconut ribbons are lotus seeds for prosperity and many kiddos!  Candied melon for good health and growth. I have to skip the one compartment because I don’t know what the flat candy is. The round white candies to the left of the orange lotus root are longans for bringing many good sons!  🙂 There are 8 trays… 8 is a lucky number for Chinese… Usually you would include 5 spice peanuts.  I don’t know how to make it but if you would like to make the peanuts, here is the recipe for five spice long life peanuts

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Hope you are having fun preparing for the Chinese New Year!  It is so hard to keep the family heritage and tradition alive in our children’s lives… This was the most important celebration that I celebrate when I was home.  In America, we will try the best we can to keep it alive.  Here is another Asian’s family account to keep the tradition alive too. She has an interesting blog as well that you may enjoyed! Little Passport

Let’s celebrate the coming of the YEAR OF THE HORSE!


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“Zero to Hero” Day 16: Confession..I am not a super mom!

Today challenge was taken from the Daily Prompt : 

Do you have a reputation? Well, many of my friends called me a SUPER MOM!

What is it, and where did it come from? I think they call me a SUPER MOM because I am in grad school, teaching and seems to have it together, plus all the extra fancy cookies and cakes I managed to make for my kiddos..

Is it accurate? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! I never feel that I am a super mom..In fact my reply is usually, ” I am NOT!” I am usually embarassed… and deep inside thinking, “If only they knew…. :-)”

What do you think about it?

Obviously I don’t think I am a super mom and this is the reason why: (The truths are in red)

1. I am not in a graduate program by choice.  I am in a graduate program because God told me so.. Since he owned me I better do what HE says. If you want to know why, read:  the path I didn’t choose

2. Making cookies like for Halloween does NOT make you a super mom… It just mean that you are a mom who like to bake…Some moms sew… some moms loves to clean and organized (NOT ME!) I like to bake 🙂

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THE TRUTH: We had to bake that day because I HAD A SUPER BAD DAY at work!  If we didn’t bake, I would have cried ALL DAY!  So we baked to distract me… That way, my kids focused their creativity into something more productive than making messes at home that would drove me over the edge that day! Not to mention that they were practicing their fine motor skills and concentration! 🙂 

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3. Throwing super cool birthday parties do NOT make you a super mom either 🙂 You know that I didn’t come up with those ideas… That’s why we all LOVE GOOGLE!! 🙂

Yes, there was smoke coming out of that chocolate cake volcano…

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Yes, he actually able to SHOOT those little angry birds and knocked down the pigs on the wafer blocks

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and little snow white party was a success…

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THE TRUTH:  Most of the time the kids’ birthday parties were 2, 3 or even 5 weeks late because they had to be according to MY SCHEDULE!  We usually had a small family dinner on the day.  Then, when I don’t have anything due, I called friends (YES, it is usually the last minute :-). Lately, I got a great trick : I ordered the cake from the grocery store, then decorated it!  An example would be that snow white birthday cake 🙂

Why did I throw such parties?  Because my children are precious and they mean the world to me!  I often feel so GUILTY when they came to me and say ,” Mommy can we play or do you have homework?”  ” Mommy, are you staying home today?  I want to play with you…” So making their BIRTHDAY’s WISH come true is one way for me to let them know that their BIRTHDAY is very important and special to me!

4. I have it all together, my kids are doing well in school and my life seems to be in order..

THE TRUTH: Not really!  My kids are doing well because we invested in them since they were little.. They read so well because we always find the time to read to them!

My house is clean and organized (if you announced your visit few days prior 🙂 )because my friend who happens to be my childcare provider/house manager is AMAZING!! I don’t know what I would do without her! Usually, if you didn’t let me know ahead of time.. it is MESSY because I didn’t have time to hide everything down in the basement 🙂

Laundry gets done and I can do my homework because my husband is AMAZING!!!

I am not a supermom… Do you know that I told people I turn into a mean witch by 10 pm because I am so tired and cranky 🙂  I have yelled at my kids.. I have lost it too… My best friends know what can happen when I am stressing out beyond my limit 🙂

I am still preserving my sanity right now because I have so many wonderful girlfriends that I can laugh with when I had a very bad day or week… Then come home to super sweet one of a kind family that love kisses and hugs…

So I AM NOT a super mom at all!! 

If I have to nominate someone to be a super mom, I would say that parents of children who have special challenges ARE SUPERMOMS!  If I have to pick one, I would have to pick Michael Phillips’ mom! Have you heard about him?

He is a 30+ years old man who is a “computer gamer” that has spinal muscular atrophy.  He can not move his muscles 😦  He used to communicate by typing with his thumb. Now he is typing with his eyebrows.  Watch him!! You will look at your life with a different perspective!

I work with children with severe challenges. Some as severe… some less severe… Regardless of what their challenges are, their moms are full of HOPE and they don’t give up… THESE MOMS deserve to be called SUPER MOMS… not me!

Happy Friday everyone! 🙂

Flo


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Time management 101 with my kids

People keep asking me, ” How do you do it?  I don’t know how you teach, go to grad school, maintain a business with 3 kids and a husband :-)”  Well….. today I decided to share a little bit about my time management strategy with my kids and also with all of you! 🙂

The potatoes represent things that are VERY important! God,  family, school , etc…

The carrots represent long time commitment that may not necessary seems beneficial now but will be important for their future … I told my kids, “These are your reading times, piano, violin, saxophone practices, studying, etc…”

The fruits represent all the “vitamins” that we need to keep our life “healthy and fun”… our family time, night time prayer time, movie nights, date nights, cleaning, etc…

The sugar cane represents sweet special moments that comes once in a while that is important such as  music recital, ballet recital, concert, birthday parties…

The small stones: things that are actually harmful if too much such as video games 🙂

The snow: things that are FUN for the moment, but it will quickly go away… such as our parties  🙂

The challenge is to put EVERYTHING into that plastic jar 🙂

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So they got really excited and throw everything in without a system! 🙂

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We had 3 carrots that didn’t make it in 😦

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The sugar cane won’t fit and still have lots of snow in the container…

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So we dumped everything in the sink and decided to start over… This time with mommy’s guidance….

We decided we should put the most important things aka “the biggest items” first.

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followed by carrots…

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fruits….

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small stones…

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snow…. and they all FIT in the jar! 🙂

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Look, there is even space for a cup of coffee with friends….

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J had a great insight!! He said, ” Mommy, the coffee made more room! You know sometimes, talking to friends and spending time with friends can lighten our load because they can help us! They can make us happier too!”

I said,” THAT is GOOD THINKING!”

Isn’t it so true,… sometimes when life is so overwhelming…. we may need to just chill and drink a cup of coffee with friends or with God.  The kids know that in the morning I like to have my coffee quietly and I often do my morning devotion during this time too…

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