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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Top 13 Things That We Are Thankful For 2013 (or in the past 13 Months)

"I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ."- 1 Corinthians 1:4

We are foremost thankful that many Filipinos and our friends in the Philippines showed their usual best as the biggest disaster and strongest typhoon hit the land of the best people (I am bias) in the world.  Thank you to my kababayans.

There was a study that shows that expressing gratitude is healthy and keeps us motivated and inspiring.   I hope this serves a purpose for us and you as the reader.  Even though it will be self serving and self gratifying to write our 13 "Thank You" notes to our creator I hope some of you can also share what you are thankful for this year.  (Don't forget to join us in last year's memory lane in photos at the end).

It has been a great 13 months that we've been here in Virginia or 13 months that we left California.  (The gap was when we were on the road - a Navy family tradition).  Here are "13" that we are thankful for in 2013:

1.  My wonderful wife.  Without her constant devotion to God and constant reminder to me, I would have been in a different direction. I believe in divine intervention as well as spouse intervention.  Thank you to my lifetime partner.  If you don't have one, don't worry, see 1 Corinthians 1:4 (verse above)

2.  MVOSS Creations.  Our business have picked-up slightly and we think that after almost 7 years, we will be able to establish our niche  as a premier all service company as total printing, marketing, promotional product, social media and advertising consultant.  Watch out world.

3.  The Road Trips - last year we were grateful in exploring some of the best cities and National park as we left California in Halloween of 2012 (from Joshua Tree in Arizona to Burlington Alabama and so much undiscovered places in the south).  This year we explore so many other places  in most weekends, mostly living museum of American History and Geography lessons in Mid-Atlantic (DC, MD, NC, VA).  You've seen most of them in our timeline photos.  Thank you for creating this great playground.

4.  Grace Bible Church of Virginia Beach - after almost three months of "church window shopping" for the best community that we can grow, serve and be filled with guidance, we've found the place in GBC.  Every Sunday is a celebration.

5. Filipino Community of Virginia - we were surprised how close knit and how big the Filipino communities there are in this side of the coast.  To prove, never saw a big Philippine Cultural Center in the 16 years I lived in California and there is so much social gatherings, we are just too lazy to attend.

6.  Technology we can Follow & Like - we caught on and got over with fear of privacy and finally give in to the future and so we have arrived to Social Media.  Accept the fact we are more connected than detached actually - just trust your perspectives.  We google and youtube everything. Thanks to our Kindle, Phone Apps (Groupon, Airnb) Samsung S3, iPhone 5 & HDMI cable internet to all our monitor (Computer is our new TV), Roku, & other hi-techs ... we are connected and made our life a little easier.

7.  23 Years in the Navy - well almost.  By January I have reached the time not so many could endure, almost maximizing the time in the military.  Finally submitted my Retirement papers and excited to celebrate this with my friends next year.  Like anything that involves change, there is always fear and this is definitely scary.  But in know there is greater things for us out there.

8.  Sam Topnotch in School, Again - he already excel in the best school in the central coast of California moving to the East Coast known for high standard made us proud parents again for having another Honored student in Sewell's School.  He continues to excel in every sports as well.  Minus (or this could be a plus) is his addiction to computer game:  Minecraft.

9.  European vacation - this could be the best vacation trip we had after Hawaii two years ago.  Our time spent with our cousins and relatives in Switzerland and Italy is the best.  Our short trips to France and Germany was icing in the cake but definitely doing the Mac Flight again next year:  London & Spain perhaps - but definitely stopping over Auntie Lita, cousins Marites & Pedro in Geneva and cousin Tess in Rome for another overnight.

10.  Our parents are doing great past 80s.  Papa is in great health - who would believe my father Carlito gets stronger than ever.  I just wish he can attend my retirement ceremony next year.  We will continue to pray for him.  Mama is as beautiful and healthy - thanks to Filipino nurses that loves her back in California.  We first thought of bringing her to Virginia with us but we made a right choice of keeping her in the warmer and cozy nursing home in Camarillo.  Nanay is strong and doing well and always serving the Lord.  Still going strong in spite of Tatay left us almost two years ago.

11.  Hobbies that explore God's created playground:  photography, body surfing, fishing, golf, living museums and we all do this as family in so many places:  Sewells Golf Club, Sandy Bottom for fishing & boating, Williamsburg & other living museum, Botanical Garden for seasonal photography, magnificent beaches such as Dam Neck and Outerbanks and so much more.    Not only our chance to get closer to each other but close to beautiful mother nature.

12.  New Friends, new communities.  We develop new friendship that we cannot mention all because we may missed some of them from Grace Bible in Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, Meetup groups such as dog lovers, toastmasters, Knights of Columbus, Philippine Cultural Center and more.  The Military Community - this is our 2nd time to live in a military housing and we love the convenience and how much money and stress we have saved this year.  So thankful that we are finally out of the bondage of mortgages just this year also.  We will miss this community after our next transition to civilian life.

13.  Cultural adventures in historical Virginia.  We are now home to many landmarks and destination that we can appreciate the past everyday & every weekend.

Below are some of the few photos or highlights on where we've been and most importantly the human relationship we build and will continue to build and treasure.

THANK YOU Lord for everything.

"In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." - 1 Thessolonians 5:18

My Next blog:  Top 13 Christmas Wishes and Prayers on our Challenges.

Las Vegas is for kids too.  Fall 2012.

Thanks to $15 MAC Flight from US to Europe. 
We get to see Summer 2013 in France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany 

Summer at Outerbanks 2013.  Beats Malibu if you ask me.

New Friends and Party Company

More New Friends. 

Sam Top Honor Once Again 2013

Summer in France 2013

Working with my Staff.  Mostly Grrr-lss, I mean Girls.
Time to retire next year.  Thanks for the experience.

Summer in Rome (Spagna) 2013.

Great Water Resort in Rome.  Best 4 day Deal to Stay: 
Camp Favoloso Summer 2013 .

The Astro Family in Switzerland.  Summer 2013. 
Great after Dinner Photo at the Yard. 

More Friends:  Becky and Lalaine.  Chikahan.

Annecy France. Summer 2013.

Thanks for a great Italian host, cousin Tess. 
We still got the 2 bottles of wine unopened.

Hanging out with a Virginia local Filipino celebrity concert artist Enrico.

First Christmas at the Busch Gardens.
Our favorite day trip city:  Washington DC.  Here at Lincoln Memorial. 
January 2013.

First Christmas at our new home in Virginia 2012

One of our many National Park 12 Day 2012 Road Trip from Coast to Coast

Sanguano Cave National Park in New Mexico 2012.

Vatican City Summer 2013.
Colonial Williamsburg Virginia Fall 2013
Montecillo, Virginia.  Home of Thomas Jefferson.
Joey Albert & Enrico Benefit Concert
for Philippine Red Cross November 2013
Bible Study and Service Community Group
Humble Home in Norfolk

Plaza in Rome Italy Summer 2013.