Amazing Efficiency

My daughter and I went to the Secretary of State today for her driver's license. We were talking as we drove to the office that we both felt like this would be an all-afternoon affair like dealing with government offices can be in the Philippines. We knew it probably wouldn't be but after ten years in the Philippines it's hard to break those thought processes.

Her appointment was at 1:30 pm. We were back in the car by 1:45 pm.

"Did I really just get my license that quickly?" she asked me, incredulously.

"Yes. I feel like I need to pinch myself and ask 'is this real'?" I replied.

We laughed, thoroughly enjoying the efficiency, the ease, the fastness of the whole process. We really like the friendliness and helpfulness of the clerks. Our clerk was probably wondering what was wrong with us when, after he said "you're all done and your card will come within 30 days", we replied, "we are all done?!?!" "All done," he stated.

Wow!! Amazing efficiency!

2 Months (part 2 MI, PA, MA)


Enjoying Country Road Walk

Enjoying a country road walk in Michigan.

Beautiful Birch Trees

First Driving Lesson for Kirsten........


A new friend...........


an old friend............




a dear friend from Davao now living in PA..............

Gettysburg National Park..............

Chocolate World, Hershey, PA...................

Sojo and Whit showing me how they massage their parents backs!


Following Model A's on our trip to MA...........


Aunts, sisters, smiles..............

Museum of Science, Boston.....


Meeting up with our old babysitter - she used to watch the girls and Ben when they were little. Now she's married, works in Boston and is expecting a child of her own!


Selfie Fun...

Sunset in Boston

Wayside Country Candy Store...a nostalgic place!!! I enjoyed seeing candies from my childhood days there!


Wayside Inn Grist Mill

Wayside Inn....The October 1862 visit to the old Howe Tavern by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his publisher, James Fields, would have a far reaching impact on the literary and artistic significance of America's oldest hostelry. Longfellow made the defunct Sudbury tavern the gathering place for the characters in his 1863 book Tales of a Wayside Inn, and because of the poet's immense popularity, generations of readers, poets, and artists would seek out the colonial landmark for decades to come. It's fun to go in and see the rooms as they used to be, to eat in the restaurant and visit the museum. You can feel the history.

Longfellow's Wayside Inn is proud to be the oldest operating Inn in the country, offering comfort and hospitality to travelers along the Boston Post Road since 1716.

There are far more pictures of all our touring. Someday when you are face to face with me I can show you more!

2 Months (part 1)

Kirsten and I have been in the USA almost 2 months now. We've had many travels and visited many people.

We started in Houston, Texas visiting my sister. Houston is as hot if not hotter than Davao some days - at least while we were there.

Sarah, Kirsten, Me

Astro Ball Park Game

Showing Aunt Sarah South Korea

Bucees in Houston

Entering Detroit

Wonderful friends picking us up

With Kent and Anne


Kirsten's classmate, Joy, came to Michigan and we picked her up from the airport. They have been friends since third grade.

Picking Berries

Making Pizzas

Taking Joy to College

Visiting Aunt Carol

Kirsten, Carol, Me

Those are a few pictures from the first two weeks in the USA. More to come!!!

Prepare Enrich

In preparing to be a para-professional counselor I am collecting "tools" in my counseling "tool box" that can assist in mentoring others. One of those tools has been to be trained as a Prepare/Enrich facilitator.


"PREPARE/ENRICH is a customized couple assessment completed online that identifies a couple's strength and growth areas. It is one of the most widely used programs for premarital counseling and premarital education. It is also used for marriage counseling, marriage enrichment, and dating couples considering engagement. Based on a couple's assessment results, a trained facilitator provides 3-4 feedback sessions in which the facilitator helps the couple discuss and understand their results as they are taught proven relationship skills. There are several goals of the PREPARE/ENRICH Program. In order to achieve these goals there are exercises designed to help couples improve their relationship skills. The program helps couples: Explore strength and growth areas ; Strengthen communication skills ; Identify and manage major stressors ; Resolve conflict using the Ten Step Model ; Develop a more balanced relationship ; Explore family of origin issues ; Discuss financial planning and budgeting ; Establish personal, couple and family goals ; Understand and appreciate personality differences"

This program leads the way in helping couples explore and strengthen their relationships.

The main component of the program is an online survey each person in the couple complete. It's not just any survey. The items each person responds to are based on research and intended to help the couple identify the unique strengths and potential growth areas for their premarital or married relationship. PREPARE/ENRICH has been improved and refined over the years to become one of the best, most effective, easy-to-use relationship assessment tools available.

Prior to Kurt's and my marriage, God gave me 1 Peter 3:8-12 as a foundation to build a marital relationship upon. This passage helped prepare and enrich me for marriage and has been a flagstone to know how to walk in the way God would have me.

"Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For 'Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.'"

Learning one's strengths and growth-potential areas personally and within a relationship can increase the strength and resiliency of the marital relationship.

Check it out - PrepareEnrich

Interesting Information about TCKs

I wanted to share some interesting information about Third Culture Kids (TCKs). "Third Culture Kids" (TCKs) describe kids who have spent a majority of their developmental years outside their passport country. TCKs integrate aspects of their birth culture (the first culture/passport country) and the new culture (the second culture), creating a unique "third culture."

Missionary Kids (MKs) typically spend the most time overseas in one country. 85% of MKs spend more than 10 years in foreign countries and 72% have lived in only one foreign country. MKs generally have the most interaction with the local populace, integrating themselves into the local culture; and the least interaction with people from their passport country. This makes it much harder for them to return to their passport country for college, a job, etc.

There are different characteristics that impact the typical Third Culture Kid:

  • Teenage TCKs are more mature than non-TCKs, but ironically take longer to "grow up" in their 20s.
  • 90% feel "out of sync" with their peers.
  • Lack a sense of "where home is" but often nationalistic.
  • Depression and suicide are more prominent among TCK's.
  • Some studies show a desire to "settle down" others a "restlessness to move".
  • TCKs are 4 times as likely as non-TCKs to earn a bachelor's degree (81% vs 21%)
  • 40% earn an advanced degree (as compared to 5% of the non-TCK population.)
  • 45% of TCKs attended 3 universities before earning a degree.
  • Educators, medicine, professional positions, and self employment are the most common professions for TCKs.
  • 90% report feeling as if they understand other cultures/peoples better than the average American.

You know you are a Third Culture Kid (TCK) when:

  • "Where are you from?" has more than one reasonable answer.
  • You've said that you're from foreign country X, and (if you live in America) your audience has asked you which US state X is in.
  • You feel odd being in the ethnic majority.
  • You have a passport but no driver's license.
  • You go into culture shock upon returning to your "home" country.
  • You wince when people mispronounce foreign words.
  • You don't know whether to write the date as day/month/year, month/day/year, or some variation thereof.
  • The best word for something is the word you learned first, regardless of the language.
  • You get confused because US money isn't colour-coded.
  • You think VISA is a document that's stamped in your passport, not a plastic card you carry in your wallet.
  • You own personal appliances with 3 types of plugs, know the difference between 110 and 220 volts, 50 and 60 cycle current, and realize that a trasnsformer isn't always enough to make your appliances work.
  • You fried a number of appliances during the learning process.
  • You think the Pledge of Allegiance might possibly begin with "Four-score and seven years ago..."
  • You believe vehemently that football is played with a round, spotted ball.
  • You get homesick reading National Geographic.
  • You think in the metric system and Celsius.
  • You may have learned to think in feet and miles as well, after a few years of living (and driving) in the US. (But not Fahrenheit. You will never learn to think in Fahrenheit).
  • You haggle with the checkout clerk for a lower price.
  • You've gotten out of school because of monsoons, bomb threats, and/or popular demonstrations.
  • You speak with authority on the subject of airline travel.
  • You think that high school reunions are all but impossible.
  • You have friends from 29 different countries.
  • You sort your friends by continent.
  • You have a time zone map next to your telephone.
  • You realize what a small world it is, after all.

Information resourced from :