Friday, March 21, 2014

Happy Birthday, Aunt Hazel!

My mother's family has had the honor, over the last few years, to get to know a new sister. Aunt Hazel, who grew up in the Philippines, married my Uncle Tom, and then was finally able to arrive in the U.S. in December of 2007.

We didn't really know her very well at the time, but we knew Uncle Tom loved her very much and so were excited to welcome her into the family. Over the years she has become an important member or our crazy little clan, and we love her dearly.

She might be a little quiet when there are so many of us together during the holidays, but her smile speaks volumes, and I know she makes my Uncle very happy. And let's be honest, anyone in a room with so many members of the P family is bound to be a little intimidated by the shear impossibility of getting a word in edgewise.

Today I was reminded of how precious she is to us, and to her family back in the Phillippines as well, by a video they made for her where they all gave birthday greetings and then sang for her. They didn't dwell on their separation, but instead sang a praise song and talked about how much they loved her. They made a huge sacrifice when they let their daughter, cousin, sister, friend leave them for the wild unknowns of west Texas. They love and miss her very much, but their love is the truest kind: unselfish and based on the love of Christ.

Hazel has now made herself an integral part of her workplace, her family, and her new country as she completed her citizenship in 2012. She is an inspiration to those of us who take our easy lives for granted. I hope that I will someday be able to say that my own love for others bears half the power of that of Hazel and her family.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pi in the Sky

We celebrated Pi Day in style this year. Grandma Lilibeth gave the kids Pi shirts specifically for the occasion. You probably can't tell from the picture, but the pie image is made up of many tiny digits of Pi.  Here they are with Grandma. Aren't they stylish?

We did a day of Pi-related school work and activities.They learned what Pi was, got certificates for memorizing it to a certain amount of digits, drew some pictures, then went to Walmart and each chose a Pi, I mean pie, for us to share with our guests this weekend. (Mim chose coconut cream and Zay wanted Dutch apple, if you must know.)

Coincidentally, it was also Albert Einstein's birthday. Zaya is wearing his Einstein pin from the Science Museum trip last fall. We had fun with it all, and the day felt like a little break from normal routine, which is always welcome.

Whether or not they'll remember anything about what we did remains to be seen, but it can't possibly have hurt. Maybe someday they'll be able to find the volume of a sphere that little bit easier.