Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas'13 ~ Give Thanks in Any Circumstances ~

It’s been another year, so many things going on.
I don’t know if I could do this with smiles.

As I recall, the winter was not that bad ( or, maybe I was wrong.It’s been awhile!). My mother, Susiana, survived the winter. Yay! I was worried that she’d be cold and got sick, but she hadn’t. Thank God! She’s been so healthy. She’s a real survivor! Love her so much!
In Feb, we visited Chicago ( Thanks to Eda Genta for her generosity! ). We met old friend/neighbor in Indonesia there, and visited some places.

As Chinese New Year’s approaching, Mami Susi
Made a special Chinese dish, BAK CHANG.I haven’t had her homemade Bak Chang for ages ( seems like it!)
March 10th’13, Mami left for Indonesia. We’ve been blessed for her presence here for the whole 6months. She celebrated her birthday, Thanksgiving, Anniversaries, Mother’s Day, Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year and joined Fellowship during those months. Thank you for welcoming her so well in this country.

It’s Mom’s Julie, who had the kids after Mami went home. So blessed to have Mom around :)

In March, I received an award from company for an excellent service. The same month, Baby AB had her dedication day :)

We celebrated Mother’s Day, special for Mom. Glad she had good time. She deserved that!

On Memorial Weekend, we had a trip to Gatliburg, TN. The kids had good time. ML wanted to see The Parrots Mountain. It’s a beautiful place. We recommend you to visit it.

What have I done? We’re being silly and had DIY Hair Mask. It turned out bad! LOL. It’s hard to get rid of the banana residue out of our hair!

In June, ML had her 1st Ballet Recital.

This is the adventurous one! We went camping for the very 1st time as family invited by Ronnie’s good buddy! ML was very happy ( She didn’t want to go home! ) Yes, the kids survived!

We celebrated our Indonesian Independence Day in a park with Indo Community. Feels like home! Big family 

September.. the MOST UNFORGETFUL month for me.* deep breath *
I don’t know if I can write this down without crying
( again and again! )

Mom turned 72yo and couldn’t celebrate it with us. She’s in hospital due to stroke attack.My one and only beloved Mother in law, Mom Julie, went home to Father’s house on Sept 26th’13. Unexpectedly, I was in a big shock, couldn’t believe what happened. It turned my world upside down. I was not ready for her departure. We thought we could’ve had her for long good years, but God’s plan was different.

I was in a big depression. Having her not around with us anymore, I felt something’s empty deep down in my heart. I still miss her a lot, till now. I wish I could see her even in my dreams. There’re so many things I’d like to talk to her. I miss her voice, her hugs, her laugh. I miss every bit of her. I want to tell her how much I love her. She’s not only my mother in law, but she’s my mother in love. Everytime I think about her, all I could do is crying like a baby.I couldn’t help myself. I wish I could turn back time and could’ve done more to make her happy and so many “ IFs” in my mind.

Not only once I lock myself and crying. Not only once me and Ronnie hold together, cry on each shoulders for missing her so bad. Letting her go was the hardest thing for me.

As she’s gone, my spirit is going down. ML’s birthday, our birthdays, Baby AB’s birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year are not the same without Mom’s around. It ‘s empty. I was searching her in my mind, wishing her was around with us. But, she’s not there :(

Mom left a great legacy. She'll be missed a lot, her name would be mentioned again and again till the next generation. Kids would remember her as the greatest Grandma!

It broke my heart when one day ML prayed and asked God to send Grandma back to earth :(

I am so grateful that lots of families, friends and co-workers encouraged us to go through the difficult times ( incld. providing babysitter, Janet ). I can’t count the blessings we have been receiving, till now. I see how God takes care of us by sending “ true angels “ in our lives. Thank you for everything you do! You guys make me strong.

Enough of the sad part ( Although I could cry nonstop till I got headache).

As my dedication and appreciation to Mom, I’ve been working on her family tree ( and Dad’s, Big Ron as well ). I am able to track her heritage back to the 17th century ( Swiss, German and Dutch heritage ). Thanks to the technology.

In October, something really exciting happening to me. I was awarded as REGIONAL GEM2 WINNER ( Great Employee Makes Magic ), and the next 2 weeks, I was awarded as DVP ( Division Vice President ) GEM2 WINNER. ( From 65 nominees North America, went down to 9 winners for each division ). Praise The Lord! His love endures forever!

Baby AB turned 1 in Nov. We have a tough baby here. She's very active! We're so blessed to have such a caring babysitter, Adrian, Mom's neighbor. She loves and takes care of her very good. God bless her!

Thanksgiving was a hard time for me. We used to have Mom yearly. We invited church Korean family friend instead. We had Turkey for the 1st time. I did good job, Turkey turned out real good and so moist.

We had The Ries’ family Thanksgiving at the eldest brother in law’s house. It’s good to see all family again ( we talked a lot about Mom, lots of memories about her, we try to keep the tradition from her ). Thanks a lot, Mom! We love you!

ML’s doing great at her school. She’s one of the bright kids in her class. We are so proud of her. She loves reading! I am afraid this girl would wear glasses at young age. She loves art, as well.

We joint the Christmas Carol in our neighborhood. This is the 2nd year for us. We'll make it as a tradition.

Christmas is here. Ronnie asked me what I’d like to have for Christmas. I said NOTHING. He insisted me to have at least one thing. I said,” I want PEACE, COMFORT, LOVE, FAITH, and JOY”. That’s all I want. Those words had been said thousand times in the past, but I never got the meaning of it. Now, I know what it means. For whatever had happened in our lives, good and bad, we must give thanks in any circumstances. I want those words could fill my heart and I won’t have anything to hold back, but being grateful that God put lots of caring people in our lives. He never leaves us nor forsakes us.

Jesus is the reason, for the season. Merry Christmas’13 and Happy New Year’14. May Peace, Comfor, Joy fill your hearts.

God bless,
The Ries
~ Ronnie, Mei-Mei, MeiLee & Baby AB ~
Dedicated to Mom Julie in Heaven 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Season of Thanksgiving ( Part 2 )

Let's continue with Part.2

A Season of Thanksgiving
1 Thess 5:18 " Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Psalm 136

* The repeated refrain " His love endures forever " in Psalm 136 teaches us that God's love is the foundation for all His actions on our behalf and the source of all our thanksgiving. This is a fundamental concept in developing a thankful heart.

* 3 questions to answer to gain a thankful heart:

a. He uses all things for our good ( Rom 8:28-29 )
b. He has a plan for good for our lives ( Jer 29:11 )
c. He supplies all our needs ( Phil 4:19 )
d. He gives us victory ( 2Cor 2:14, 1Cor 15:57 )

a. By praise ( Psalm 107:1-43 )
b. By believing His promises ( Psalm 145:13, 2Cor 1:20 )
c. By fellowship with Him ( 1John 1:3-7 )
d. By proper worship ( John 4-23-24 )
e. By love ( Matt 22: 37-40 )

a. At all times ( 1Thess 5:18 )
b. For all things ( Eph 5:20 )

Ways The Holy Spirit can help thank God this week

1. Write down God's daily provisions this week.
( Thank You God for another award I receive today. To God be the glory!)
2. Express thankfulness to God differently each day this week.
3. Proclaim 1Thess 5:18 to start each day this week.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good and His love endures forever!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Season of Thanksgiving ( Part 1 )

I’m not taking a credit for this. I’m rewriting what we’ve heard from our Pastor Dave Bittinger about Thanksgiving.

A season of Thanksgiving.
Thes 5:18 “ Give thanks in all circumstances, for this God’s will for your in Christ Jesus.”
pic credit :

It seems like Thanksgiving is becoming less and less important in America. A day which once was a significant time to count the blessings of God in our lives, families and nation has become simply a day off to eat and watch television.

The Holy Spirit is calling the MAG congregation to make November 2013 “ A SEASON of THANKSGIVING!”

Col 3:15-17

1. The PEACE of Christ in thankfulness ( v.15 )
a. Jesus promised His peace through the Holy Spirit ( John 14:27 )
b. Jesus promised His peace in a world of trouble ( John 16:33 )
c. Life in Jesus “ overflows in thankfulness “. ( Col 2:6-7 )

2. The WORD of Christ in thankfulness ( v.16)
a. The scripture will dwell richly in a thankful heart ( Psalm 119: 10-16 )
b. Songs of worship will flow from a thankful heart ( Eph.5-19-20 )

3. The WORKS for Christ must be done with thankfulness ( v.17 )
a. Is it being done for God’s glory? ( 1Chor 10:31 )
b. Can it be done in the name of the Lord? ( John 14:13 )
c. Can it be done with thankfulness ?
d. Is it a Christ- like action? ( 1 John 2:6 )
e. Will it weaken other Christians? ( 1 Chor 8:1 )
f. Will it hinder my witness for Christ? ( Mat 5:13-16 )

Ways The Holy Spirit can help me be more thankful
1. I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving
2. Thanking God for helping me through bereavement due to my beloved Mom in law passed away in Sep’13.
3. Provision and cara for me and my family these past years. Answers to prayes and deliverance from all my fears.

NOW, what's yours?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Aug 21st'13 : Counting Hours Back to School

Last night, I was getting ready to put all things together for ML's need back to school. Yes, summer break is officially ended. Today is the 1st day she's back to school after months.

I guess, I was not ready to let her go. I was very emotional last hours.

As I planned, I would fix ML's lunch box. ML's really picky about food. She could eat BOLOGNA SANDWICH, PB&J, HOTDOG daily! She don't eat veggies, nor grilled chicken unless it's from Mc.D ( only nuggets ). I have to come up with something else. She don't eat rice either, nor corn, nor mac&cheese ( but, surprisingly, she would eat at one's house! ) She loves Pizza, only pepperoni, nothing else on it.

ML came home from Grandma's house, and I told her we'd experience with food. She asked, " Could I do it,too?" I said," Yes. You'll have the honour to decorate it."

I've seen lots of friends playing around decorating the food. They look so cool!!!!!!!!!! I wish I could do that. But, looking at all the efforts and times, I was chickened out. I didn't think I'd do it.

Till last nite...

I went to the basement, checked on my storage, and I found some cookies cutters. Hey! Let's do the project!

ML's waiting for me. She said," Well, let's do this one. I like the HEART shape without the ARROW." ha ha ha ha ha ha.
After decorating here and there, ML said," I think we're done, Mommy!"

So, I took her pic. I said," Come on, let's take the pic! Ohhh, it looks so cute!!!!!!!!!!!"
ML said," I can't wait to eat it tomorrow!!!!!!! Cutie!!!"

We put away her lunch box. I told ML that the lunch box was put in the fridge, so it won't stail. Daddy came up and said," Please write down the notes what need to get done tomorrow, and put on the front chair. It's easier for me to do in the morning."

I wrote down the lists ( incl. the sign of 1st day back to school ). While I was cleaning, ML turned on her CD player, listening to her VBS cd " KINGDOM CHRONICLE" songs. She jumped around, she's really happy.

She finally went upstairs, went to her bedroom, watching tv. I said, " Baby, it's time to sleep. It's already 10pm." She said," My feet are dirty." I said," Well, let's go wash away the " MONSTERS" from your feet". :D We've been playing " WASHING AWAY MONSTERS" by washing feet, hands and face.

She jumped out, went to the bathtub. We washed our feet together, brushed teeth, washed faces and hands.

She laid down, and I was watching her. All a sudden, my tears came down :(

I laid down on her belly and started crying.

ML : " Mommy, are you crying?"
Me : " Yes "
ML: " Why? "
Me : " I am sad, I'm happy."
ML : " Why are you crying like a baby?"
Me : " I am sad, you'll be going back to school tomorrow. I'm happy at the same time.
ML : " Please don't cry... Please... please..... It makes me stop from doing anything,and pause me."
Me : " I have a mixed feeling now. You're getting bigger. Huggggggggggggg. I love you!"
ML : " I'll be OK, Mommy. Here, I draw you a HEART. You'll remember me tomorrow."
Me : " Thanks, Baby! I love you!"

I asked ML to pray with me. I was crying in my prayer. I asked God to take care of her, to give her wisdom, kind heart to care about others, to love others, to behave. I was in tears. There's someting like a big thing was stuck in my heart that was about to explode. Gosh, is this the feeling of being a Mom, whose worry about things coming up ?

I do hope that ML's childhood will be a blessed one. I am longing that my kids would be fear of God, remember what were expected.

I asked ML," Ok, cc. Kiss me goodnite, please."
She kissed me goodnite.

I went back to my bedroom. Baby AB woke up, she cried. I took her out from her crib. I was still crying, sobbing, laying down next to Baby AB.

Later on, I heard the door was opened. It's ML
ML : " Mommy"
Me : " Yes, baby ?"
ML : " Since you miss me, could I sleep here with you tonite ?"

I was really happy she asked for it.

I said, " Come on here. Sleep next to Mommy and Baby AB. We'd love to have you."

Aghhh... I felt soooooooooo gooooddddddd!!!!!!!!!!!! I hugged her so tight! Baby AB was playing with her a bit.
I said to ML, " Now, Mommy can sleep good!"

She woke up a couple night. ML murmured about something. Ha ha ha h aha ha. This munckin is so funny! I asked,' What did you say ?" She said," Oh, nothing."

The next morning, I woke up. My alarm wasn't off. I changed Baby AB's diaper, fixed her bottle. I made sure ML's clothes were ready ( which I had prepared last nite ). I went down and looked around. All were there. Good!

I started the car, it didn't work :( Oh no!!!!!!!! Battery must have died! Duh! I went into the house, and ask Daddy to help me. He came down and said," Let me jump it." Well, it didn't work. He said," You must have let the light on all night." :( I thought I saw light was on at passanger door last night, but I thought it'd be off within seconds :(

Daddy said," Here, take my car. I'll take care of yours."

I moved Baby AB out from my car to his. I arrived at work a bit late.

I called Daddy around 8am, he called me back. He said that ML's doing OK, she's ready to leave. I was so glad to hear that.

Today's gonna be a long day for ML, since she'll be done from school by 3pm! Grandma will pick her up. Good for Grandma, she'll has extra hours to get some rest ( ML used to be home by 11'ish ).

Welcome back to School, ML!!! First grade student! We love you! We all wish you the best!

~ Daddy, Mommy, Oma, Grandma & Baby AB...and Putty cat!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Aug 19th'13 : Birthday in Heaven - Happy Birthday, Papi!

My Papi's birthday is on Aug 19th. Sadly, I won't get to hug him and wish him a great birthday. There will be no silly birthday hats for him to wear, or jokes to laugh about. No candles to blow out. My Papi, the greatest dad who ever lived, is celebrating his birthday in Heaven. I even didn't call him back as I promised, days before he's gone. He even didn't have a chance to see ML in person ( except via webcam ). Now, we have another one, which never seen him at all.

I absolutely adore this man. I miss him every single day. Can't count how many times I've been crying wanting to see him even in my dreams. I think about him several times throughout the day even though it has been many years since he went on to Heaven. He was wonderful and I was very blessed as a child. I had the dad everyone dreams about.

I hope he has the best birthday celebration in Heaven. I am sure he does!After all, who deserves a better birthday than our favorite angels? And where better to have the most wonderful birthday ever than in Heaven?

It really hurts to know the fac that he's gone. I wish I could've done something for him. I wish I could've made him happy. I feel that I failed him.

I wish I had been given another chance to keep him for more years. We haven't had enough of him yet.

I love you as I did back then. I just hope... one day I will see you again.

I am so proud of you, brave and strong to the end.

You're my Papi, my own and only Papi. Till the last breath I take, you'll be and the only.

Remember the bday cake we bought you last time ? That was cute, wasn't it ??? The tiny guitar,and everybody was trying to eat it. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. You still made a joke with Mami. ha ha ha ha ha. We loved the moment!

Happy birthday, Papi! You're my Papi, my own and only Papi. Till the last breath I take, you'll always be. Thank you for raising me as one of your children.

The most wonderful quote from Papi :
"It's a short time to be together than to separate. Take each moment to treasure and keep in your hearts. Till one day you look back, and you'll be blessed and greatful, you have memories left behind for your next generations."