Every year, our high school youth group goes on a winter retreat, and I as an old person, get to join in with them and see how God is working in their lives.
Already before camp started, I was able to see God’s faithfulness in my own life. Before going to camp, I was not that enthused sacrificing my vacation days to spend time with crazy non-sleeping high schoolers. God had to do some stuff with my heart to remind me 1) of all the past counselors I had who sacrificed their vacation for me and 2) that God calls us to sacrifice our desires for His kingdom. I was reminded of a quote from a sermon I heard long ago – “it’s not a sacrifice unless it hurts”. The widow who gave her last two cents to God sacrificed everything because God was worth it. I still have so much to learn about what sacrifice is.
As I was working through all this, God showed me how faithful He is. Out of the blue, I won one whole day’s worth of vacation at a raffle at work that I didn’t know I had been entered into! I was BLOWN away by God’s faithfulness and kindness because Lord knows, my attitude toward serving was pretty lame. But praise God for working on my heart, despite how selfish it can be (like all the time).
Camp Is Here
JW, Stephen, Stephanie, and I left Mammoth at ~5:30 a.m. Tuesday morning so that I could get to church by 2:00 p.m. for part 2 of my winter vacation. So thankful JW basically drove the whole way down from Mammoth without a complaint so that I could be rested for high school crazies.
Every year, one kid brings the biggest suitcase ever. It used to be me in high school. I’ve since become better due to all my travels with travelmaster Camel. You can’t tell from this photo, but this year’s Biggest Suitcase Ever award was granted to D.P. Granted, the suitcase held both his sleeping bag and his luggage together – but still it was at least three and half feet tall. See Exhibit A.
Twice a day we had messages by Pastor Justin Chan about being disciples of Christ. I was most challenged about his message on choosing to be Mary (focused on Christ and who she’s with) rather than Martha (focused on everything she’s got to do). I have come to finally admit fully-heartedly that I am, without a doubt, a Martha. I tried to lie to myself for twenty-nine years thinking I’m not like her, except that I’M EXACTLY LIKE HER.
This message coincided with my one new year’s resolution: Learning to rest.
During free time, the kids did archery, team-building activities, paint-balling, camp fire s’mores, and games/coloring. Feelin’ my age bc I ended up just watching a lot of the activities and laughing at our kids being kids.
Watching the boys paintball
We also ate very well. While driving up to Pine Valley, I adamantly told the girls there would be no Chinese or Asian food. Then the first dinner we ate – there was chow mein and orange chicken.
My favorite time was ladies time – which was all the time, haha. We had three super awesome and super sweet high school girls. My favorite was spending one on one time with them and learning how God is working in their lives. (fyi – one of my favorite things is just to see God working in people’s lives. it reminds me how good, big, powerful, and real He is)
Joining us this year were an additional three awesome ladies – wife + cute daughters of Steven and Scott. Ahhh it was so much fun to have them. We look so cute in the photos below.
More girl time = cabin time fun = sleeping time + Sara brushing her teeth
Every night, the kids loved their game time. The games of 2017 were: Exploding Kittens, dice guessing, and Mafia.
MVP of the year = Tony Nguyen. This guy is one of the best high school counselors ever. He really took one for the team this year. He went out of his way to pick up one high school kid bc the kid forgot camp was happening. One of his kids flooded the room after clogging the toilet. Another of his kids broke the room lamp after jumping around. Tony was shot point-blank numerous times during paintball by kids not following directions. And a kid threw up out of his car and got gum all over the car interior on the way home. SERIOUSLY, can you give this guy a best counselor award? I was so encouraged by how he handled it all with so much grace.
After all is said and done, we are one big happy high school family.
JW came over after I got back from camp to hang out. I fell asleep on him for a couple hours.
It was a crazy jam-packed week, but after I went back to work, all my co-workers noted that I looked really refreshed. I guess spending time with God and His family has that effect on you…
Welcome to a Fung family vacation! Let me take you on a journey of how it feels like to travel with the amazing Fung family!
Christmas vacations start with elaborate emails from Mommy detailing travel plans to the T. Better not be late or pack too much, you’ve been warned!
This year, we are taking an adventure with the entire Fung family clan (Mommy, Daddy, Sabby, Stephen, Stanley, and Stephanie), Julie+Joanna, Joe Walnut, Alethia, and everyone’s beloved, Bolobao. We left on Christmas Eve and stayed over two to three nights, depending on vacation availability.
Good morning! It’s 5:30 – thirty minutes past estimated departure time – which is pretty good for ten human beings + one dog. Here our journey begins!
Another sleeping human.
We take turns driving, sleeping, and letting Queen Bolobao sit on our laps. (Stanley and Alethia even sleep alike!! )
On the Fung family vacation, you’ll be sure to notice, we try hard not to stop a lot on the road…but somehow… we still end up stopping places….
breakfast stop @ Carls
This place was named “Red Rock Canyon” by my dad. None of us know what it is really called.
This year was special. Our goal was to make it to the Christmas Eve service on the slopes with the church Daddy helps with. Service began at 1:00 p.m., hence us leaving at 5:30 a.m. Miraculously, the whole gang made it up to the Mammoth slopes on time! THAT was a true Christmas miracle.
Up on the slopes, we got to sing Christmas carols and enjoy hearing God’s word preached – on top of a mountain!!
We took this picture after service. Joe Walnut is sporting some fancy boots, courtesy of Walmart.
Church is held on the first stop of the gondola ride. After church, we took the gondola to the tippy top of the mountain where it was advised to . not . fall . down . the . mountain.
But our family is pretty fast at visiting stuff. So, soon after, we went back home to get dinner started. If you read those emails, we each had meal duties on different days.
Nights in Mammoth consist of hanging out inside. Playing games. Relaxing on the couch. Making cookies. Karaoke. And watching a movie. Also, being on our phones and laptops is part of Mammoth.
Christmas Day – we opened our gifts. We aren’t too big on gifts for our family. Some gift notables:
Gummy bears for Stephanie from Sprouts (allegedly the BEST gummy bears in all the nation)
Drone from Costco for Daddy from the kids
Plastic bowls + $$$ for the Mommy
A limited edition political card game for JW
An original FoxTrot autographed comic strip for Sab from JW!!
We went to the Village for a bit to get out of the house and take Bolobao out. It was pretty warm this time around – not much snow.
We eat pretty well in Mammoth, thanks to our Mommy dearest. We made two of her famous prime ribs on Christmas night. It got the Joe Walnut stamp of approval, the highest honor one could receive.
Their famous prime rib!
Merry Christmas to all from your favorite Fung family
We celebrated Thanksgiving with Kaleo & family! Kaleo hosted their first friendsgiving and it was a blast! Kudos to Lynnette and Tiff Yee for putting the whole event together!
I joined the Walnut-Chan family for my first holidays with JW and his family. It was the fanciest Thanksgiving lunch I have ever enjoyed. After lunch, Grace, JW, and I headed to Best Buy and Target for some Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving Day. We came out with a DVD of Space Jam.
The Fung family gathered at Uncle Peter’s house post-Thanksgiving for delicious food and craziness, per usual.
Choey+JessL+Esther hosted a Friendsgiving with all the traditional Thanksgiving fixins’. Choey is an amazing cook – she whipped a homemade stuffing, green bean casserole, chicken, and gravy – just. like. that.
it’s a sg thanksgiving!
fung family thanksgiving!
One month later, we hosted Kaleo Christmas at our house! Complete with White Elephant gift exchange where I WON A TOTORO APRON!
The Fung family came over later to celebrate with an early Christmas dinner. Both JW’s and Alethia’s family joined our crazy family in celebration.
Our family + SO left for Mammoth the next day to spend Christmas up in the mountains! (more on that to come)!
FCBC’s finest, Joseph, opened up his new home for us to celebrate New Year’s! We ate good food, played some fun games, and had some good laughs. We even had a guest appearance from the Wu family + Noelle and the Lee family + all three kids in tow!
My baby sister got baptized! and we celebrated her 16!!!
I got to spend some time looking at Christmas lights! THREE times this year! Once with JW in Pasadena where we ate Bacalli first. Once with Choey+Esther at Candy Cane Lane in PV where we got to eat ice cream afterwards. And finally once with small group in Naples Canal where we got to eat Cambodian food first. Naples Canal is by far my favorite. also eating.
JW and I went on some dates…
We celebrated RACHEL!!!!!! She’s getting married, guys!!! ❤ ❤ ❤
To top it all off, some bday celebrations! Very thankful to share my 29 with the best of friends. God is so good and has blessed me so richly with these friendships and relationships.
Last month, sweet Charity invited Camel + Sab to join her on a quick weekend trip to Austin, TX – and what is Austin, but good eats, good people, and good times.
It has been a busy and crazy last couple months, so Camel and I were SO thankful to have this quick but refreshing girls getaway. Some highlights from our trip:
1.MY BURRITO I BROUGHT ON THE AIRPLANE RIDE.
I bought this lil bundle of carne asada heaven the night before, got a ginger ale as my preferred airplane beverage, and enjoyed my plane ride like a burrito boss.
2. TACOS!! TACOS!! TACOS!!
“this is where you need to go” – camel
Charity telling you to eat at Las Trancas
So we got to try some tacos on the trip, and Camel’s PSA to the entire world: Please don’t go to Torchey’s, go to Veracruz All Natural (tex-mex tacos) or Las Trancas Taco Stand (street tacos). Camel doesn’t want you to be disappointed with an “okay” taco.
3. THE BEST ACCOMMODATIONS EVER.
serene, comfortable, and happy
😮 most delicious welcome treat by the hotel
an army of amenities
i LOVE hotel breakfasts
Camel and I were so thankful that Charity let us crash with her at her hotel room for a couple nights. It was an honor to be her plus twos (heh, thanks Mr. Chan for letting us take your place for a couple days). Basically, it was amenities all day and all nightsss!!
4. HAPPY HOUR at June’s (one of Camel’s highlights!)
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Literally, everywhere you go in Austin has a brunch menu and happy hour menu – and their happy hour menus are SO GOOD. (like where else can you get half off entrees!?!?) So, we had an early dinner at June’s where 1) Their happy hour is amazing. 2) Their food is equally as amazing. 3) Their interior design is modern, rustic, yet quaint – all the way down to the lit aromatic candles in their bathroom.
So, you basically need to go.
5. The murals of Austin: Everywhere in the City are unique and creative murals to enjoy. Although, most of the murals require the photographer to stand in the middle of street to take photo… so just don’t get killed trying to take a ‘gram photo. (kinda poor planning on someone’s part…)
6. The barbecue joint of choice was Cooper’s BBQ. Brisket and beef ribs all around with plenty of sides and beans. Happy bellies all around.
7. You might have noticed that 5 of the 6 highlights involved food, somehow. Honestly, that was 85% of Austin. But in order to make you not judge us for endless food… I am here to tell you that, yes, we did do other stuff like…
So, end of summer and beginning of fall/winter is here. Basically, there was a lot of eating mixed into adventure.
We went to the San Diego Safari Park!
but secretly, my fav part of that trip was dinner…we found this mom and pop Mediterranean restaurant called Ali Baba and everyone needs to go here. We got a platter for two to share between us four girls and no regrets…like NONE. These pictures don’t do it justice, but I wanted to post them so I can look back and drool over the amazing-ness.
this bread was heaven guys, HEAVEN
and this feast platter for two, was bomb.
Then a couple weeks later, Maester Bud hosted a Game of Thrones dinner party and it was also, the best meal of my life. Maester Bud knows how to throw a party, my fellow peeps. It was an honor to a guest in the House of Bud.
fanciest cheese board ever
the Sansa salad
these yorkshire puddings were WAY better than Lawry’s
uhm, look at that. look at that.
this was such an inspiration
these brownies were beyond the wall amazing
hand vs. meat
That night was just . Words can’t even describe. Thank you Maester Bud for an evening of unforgettable festivities.
Festivities continued with JJ & Lucy’s show-stopping wedding at Los Willows in Fallbrook, CA. It was a beautiful venue and filled with so much love, sweetness, laughter, …and food. 🙂
First dance ❤
there’s my guy…haha
he’s trying to get the swing to flip over. -_-
Then one night, Lynnette and I attempted to study together…and this ended up happening at 9 p.m. I haven’t been out for late-night eats in so long. You end up ordering crazy stuff past 7 p.m. guys. It was a glorious mistake that neither of us regretted at Cafe Gunul in Buena Park, CA.
“i think we made a mistake” “but i don’t regret this”
sorry lynn, this was the only photo of our food spread
We made the high school kids play chubby bunny & stuff their faces with marshmallows.
this has nothing to do with food, but i love this photo and family – the lee family comes to visit me at work from time to time! they get to play in the fountain and i get to see some of the cutest kids grow up!
also, nothing to do with food but the solar eclipse happened! do you remember?! the whole nation went crazy watching it.
Noelle turned one!! such a sweet and lovely one. I love her so much!!
rachel’s design skills
look at this fun bunch of kiddos
and one last favorite thing, Camel started in AOK!!!
this guy went to hong kong & he was looking forward to eating at cafe de coral so much that he made his own snap filter.
NFL season has started …meaning he gets to watch football & i get to eat happy hour food. Tried out Buffalo Wild Wings, TGI Fridays, and Applebee’s for their NFL happy hour and I think Applebee’s won. I was surprised…but their spinach & artichoke dip + Asian steak taco appetizer is on point.
before summer ended, we had spring rolls in our casa! super yums! and good family time!
Super Roxy and I went to eat! And so many funny adventures happen with Roxy! The first time we tried to study, but ended up at an AYCE shabu shabu buffet. Then later we went to Kaleo together and her car GPS wouldn’t work so I ended up driving her back with JW behind me to take me home – when all we had to do was plug her phone into her GPS for it to work. Good times with the Roxy.
and our favorite military couple Cow and Rob came back to visit!! We did poke lunch & a Mediterranean spread dinner complete with pita, chicken, microwaved beets, hummus, garlic spread, homemade falafels, Costco cheesecake, and a peach crostata (inspired by Maester Bud). ❤
And finally, the cool kids night out at AFF – after Friday fellowship. After a fun night working with high school & college kids, us counselor get in some good ole hang out time. #tcsjj
My heart is so full, guys!! Lots of food, people, and love! Winter is coming and lots more adventures to come! Thanks for following along.