Wong Family Highlights of 2013

1. Seems like a while ago now, but we did some travelling in the beginning of the year.

a) Bahamas in Feb b) Anson went to Lake Tahoe, I went to LA in March for mom’s bday c) Napa at the end of March d) Monterey for our wedding anniversary e) LA again in April for Deb’s wedding f) Sacramento with the parents for my bday g) Watsonville at Deb’s beachhouse h) Ensenada and Catalina on a cruise with parents in September i) Week long stay in LA afterward

2. Bought our first home in Santa Clara in December. We had put in two offers earlier in the year and were a little discouraged, but God has his timing in everything. We had a great peace throughout the whole process from getting an agent to final approval of the loan. Pray that this house will be used to minister to others.

3. Thankful for having the experience as a loan processor for a year since it greatly helped in our loan approval for our new house.

4. I am back in the accounting field! I quit as a loan processor and found an accounting job soon afterward. During my transition, had a 2 week vacation down in LA/cruise with my parents. Even though this is a temp job at a nursing facility, I am learning much in terms of payroll which will help me in my next job.

5. Anson was able to find a new job in February at a new company. He gets some pretty sweet benefits at the company and is being challenged each day. Pray for focus and for him to use his time well.

6. I switched to a new bookclub and am trying to be a more active participant. I’m finally making more closer friends at RBF like Nathan and Andrea, Cindy, and Christine. We watch movies and hung out at Nathan and Andrea’s. I watch Rockets games with Cindy. C, C, and i are in the same bookclub, so that relationship can further grow.

7. Slowly going through all the Hiking Trails/Open Space Preserves in the Bay Area. A few are: Mission Peak (on New Year’d Day!), Rancho San Antonio (many times), Fremont Older, Montebello, Picchetti, Saratoga Gap, St Joseph’s Hill, Windy Hill, Alum Rock park, etc.

The 2014 New Year is coming up soon (2 1/2 hours). Pretty sure we’re gonna have some fun moving and buying new stuff for the house, hosting people at the house, see if we’ll rent out rooms. Anson will battle himself to find time to sleep, I’ll also have to find another job, and I’m hoping that we’ll finally visit Oregon even though we won’t be living there for the short/long run. Excited for what 2014 will bring!

Third time’s the charm =)

merry christmas! 2 days ago, we went hiking, ate lunch and dinner at nathan and andrea’s, played board games and ps3 sports games, visited anson’s uncles and aunts, etc…a very productive christmas! so, what else has been going on? well, we bought a house =) whaaa? how? when? where? how does it look? slow down! i’ll answer your questions one by one…
so, we’ve actually tried to put an offer on two other houses:
february: can’t remember much except that it had a nice entertainment room, think it had updated bathrooms and stood out…listing price was $599k, we bid $691k, it sold at $699k
june: on the busy benton street, nice open floor plan with an island kitchen, nice sized rooms with dual sinks in the master bath, but needed some repairs in the shower since it had water damage. listing price was $632k, we bid $713k, it sold at $751k
these two times kinda made us feel discouraged, so we stopped looking, but then, amy and eric, and daniel and kelly were able to buy a house in november, so it made us curious to look again. there were so many open houses in our price range that weekend. we went to five different open houses on saturday (dec 7). i had a really good impression of the seller agent and this house was actually my favorite even though some of the other houses might have been nicer. we went back the next day after church and asked for help to get a buyer agent. monday, we talked with susanna over the phone, wednesday, we drew up the offer, and thursday, susanna presented the offer…and it was accepted! yesterday, our loan had final approval, we will go to the bank this weekend to get money for down payment and sign docs later that week. close of escrow will be wednesday, 1/8/14.
the house was listed at $683.5k. we bid $755k. there were all together 14 offers and we were the second highest. the highest was $762k, but had a 7 day contigency. being that we’ve had experience trying to bid in the bay area, we knew that we had to do no contingencies. our offer was strong with a larger deposit, downpayment, excellent credit scores, and a personal touch including a letter to the seller and pictures of us as a family. it is a 3 bedroom 2 bath house with a living room and family room, dual pane windows, granite kitchen countertops, dishwasher (yay!), fresh inside and out paint, copper piping, etc. the seller had done $20k in repairs before selling, and documented all the work prior (over $50k!). the seller is disabled, so the house has some ramps which will be very useful if my parents need it someday…and also useful once we get older too!
i’m thankful that i worked at maxreal for a year. even though it was hard during that time, i know i learned a lot and it helped me know what to expect with getting our loan for the house. i expected the questions on the large deposits, rent verification, and gift letters my parents needed to sign. I really had a peace about this transaction that I didn’t have with the others. we prayed that this house would be used to minister to others and for God to use this place to further his kingdom. God has a plan in everything. Maxreal was in His plan, and His plan is good. the last year was a blessing in disguise…and now…time to go shopppping!!!

snapshot of my life

For my bookclub, we are getting to know one another. This is what I wrote:

I was born and raised in SFV. I lived in the same house for 26 years except when there was the Northridge earthquake in 1994 where we were temporarily located to another house to repair the current one. I am an only child.

My parents had me when they were older and I was a happy surprise =) They met each other, dated, and married within 2-3 months, and then moved from Hong Kong to California right after. My mom was a computer operator and my dad was a printer specialist.  Both my parents are retired (they’re in their 70s), but they are very active in their church. My mom is their unofficial photographer. She records weddings, church events, funerals, etc. My dad makes dvd covers, and they distribute them all around the church. They consider this their ministry and try to serve the church in this capacity. I saw them for thanksgiving, and I am really learning to appreciate them and to not take for granted their love for me. Since I don’t live with them anymore and I don’t see them that often now, I now cherished the times more when I’m with them, and make an effort to do the things I didn’t do well for them like washing the dishes when I’m told, being patient when explaining things to my mom. My mom has been battling heart problems. Her heart was beating very rapidly during thanksgiving weekend, and they almost went to the ER. I’m sometimes worried about what will happen if one passes away and how we would take care of them.

Experiences that shaped you: I use to be very outgoing when I was younger. I would be the leader of the group and I’d blow out other people’s candles on their birthday cakes, but my parents said that after I messed up during a piano recital in front of a couple thousand people, I started being very closed off. I didn’t know how to deal with the failure. I quit piano. I became more quiet. I was afraid of rejection. Whenever my dad was playing the piano, I would go off and close the door of my room. My mom said that she should have used it as a teaching lesson and felt like she failed in parenting in that way, but i think that this experience has shaped me for better or for worse to be more sensitive to those who don’t always feel like they fit in.

I don’t have a defining moment of when I became a Christian. I was raised in a Christian household and I feel like I went to a couple different church retreats in which I asked Jesus in to my heart just to make sure if the last one didn’t take. My spiritual walk has it’s ups and downs. I have times in which I can gleam so much from God’s word and I know that He wanted me to read a certain passage at that time. There are also times when I feel kind of distant toward God. I feel that I’m right now so preoccupied with my work, with the husband, with wasting time, that reading God’s word is not always the priority in my life. I feel guilty and should rightfully so. I need to repent and honestly be more heavenly minded and not let the worries and cares of this world seem bigger than God. I know that God will forgive me, and for me to not despair in my current circumstances, that God doesn’t give me more than I can handle. Please pray for me and for Anson and for us to always strengthen our relationship with Christ and love him above all else.

Back to more about me: I went to RBS for elementary school, then PMS (hehe), THS, and then CSUN for college, majoring in Business Administration with the option of Finance. I worked for four years as a Corporate Accounting Assistant for National Technical System in LA. During that time, I was in a long distance relationship with Anson. We started dating the last year of college, and were long distance for four years. On our five year anniversary, he proposed at Catalina island halfway up a mountain cuz i couldn’t get all the way up and it was getting dark, so he had to do it before the last ferry off the island would leave. He handwrote a book with 100 things that he liked about me and on the last page, it asked if I would marry him. there were two boxes i could check: yes or of course. We got married April last year. I worked as a loan processor for one year, and couldn’t really handle it, so I now have a contract job as a AP/Payroll Coordinator for a nursing facility. Contract ends in March, but I’m thankful for the foot back in the door to do accounting again.

Things about me: I like to cook, sing in choirs, lazy with playing instruments, watch movies, tv shows, dramas, mindless entertainment. I like Joss Whedon tv shows and James Cameron movies. I love listening to commentary to learn the BTS of movies (for example: Leonardo DiCaprio in that scene where he had to draw Kate Winslet in Titanic? That was actually a shot of James Cameron’s hand, but Jim is left handed, so they had to have her pose reversed and had to flip the camera to make it look like he was drawing with his right hand since leo was right handed….so cool!), I root for the Houston Rockets…too bad Jeremy Lin’s out for two weeks. I like going out to eat, but usually don’t care for expensive restaurants..I like getting stuffed at buffets with Anson. My favorite food is sushi. my new favorite dessert is shaved snow, although chocolate silk pie with an oreo crust is catching up. I love travelling and visiting new places, but Anson hates it. Fun facts about me: I like the smell of fertiliser more than flowers. I have a weird ability to always notice when someone is left-handed (like in movies or just by watching people…that’s the first thing I notice about someone). Bad habit: I like fast food, sometimes I can’t stop the craving and I’d just make a quick trip to MacDonald’s even though I’m at home with healthy food on the shelf. The end =)