Thursday, August 23, 2012

Embracing Who They are Made To Be

Last Thursday I worked late, and when I got home, both boys were clamoring for my attention, both excited for me to hear their ideas, wow, I thought, this is a special moment! Guess what they were trying to share with me? Their latest adventures in their respective computer games, Civilization 5 and Spore! Now in the past I would have brushed them aside but now I listen, try to understand and try to get as excited as them, and now they actually want to share with me!!! (Guess what, the games are actually quite fascinating). I'm really learning to embrace them and their interests and quirkiness and teenage-ness, fighting against my mom-instincts of trying to influence (or coerce, lol!) them to embrace what I know is good for them. It's currently my parenting-thing, to discover them, help them find their own path.

I subscribe to daily devotionals from Daily Hope by Rick Warren (you can subscribe here) and there was one entitled Accept Your Kid's Uniqueness that really spoke to my heart. Here is an except:

"The same God produces every gift in every person." (1 Corinthians 12:6b GW)

As a parent, you have to recognize and value each child's individuality.

How can you tell when you've accepted your kid's uniqueness? It's simple: You stop insisting that they be like you. God made us in his image, and now, as parents, we want to make our kids in our image. So we say either overtly or covertly, "You need to be like me. You need to think like I think. You need to like the things I like.The things I was good at in school, you should be good at in school." The message comes through loud and clear to the kids: "You can't be yourself. The only way to get .. approval is to be like Mom and Dad."

Kids are not things to be moulded; they're people to be unfolded. Your goal in life should not be to mold your kids in your image. Your goal in life should be to help them discover who God made them to be.

I saw that I was unconsciously expecting my kids to be like me! No wonder it was getting harder to connect with them as they became teenagers. So now I'm learning to let go, but not just letting go, but giving them over in prayer to God. I'm on an adventure to help them discover who God made them to be!

Discovering Jared
Now he only ever took art classes when he was four, and though he has always been creative, I did not know that Jared had a real interest, until last year, when he told me he wants to apply to the School of the Arts. He didn't, but happily, is able to pursue his interest in his school's Art Elective Program. It is such a joy to see him actually taking to painting, learning art history, trying different genres, so happy he is enjoying it! He is not satisfied with these first tries, but I'm so proud and want to show of his painting of Ryan, and of himself (half portrait), so cool, aren't they?

Discovering Ryan
I can't post photos here, but we are really impressed of late, of how Ryan can be a fantastic host to Jared's friends. Jared has lots of friends over for projects and for fun, and it has been so nice to see Ryan serving them drinks and snacks, making sure all of them are having fun, or helping them when they need ideas for their projects. Considering how shy he can be, we are truly proud of the effort he is making, and how much he is winning over the lot of them :D  !!

Project Life:
Life in July is back to school, to more everyday-ness. Less of the fun and excursions of June, but no less of excitement, like the day we left soup cooking on the stove and it burnt the pot dry and blackened and smoke started billowing out of the kitchen. And we thought some neighbor was having barbeque!
Other fun stuff: Jared is taking Astronomy as an elective in school, and we all downloaded this cool app that shows and names all the stars and planets wherever you are! Try it - The Night Sky (Lite)
I didn't feel the need to print out more photos for highlighting in this month's physical PL, so instead I made a page of just words and stories!

Here are 5 more pages for the album. I've planned out the entire album, by sorting out all my photos into 25 photoshop files, there will be 25 double pages, and all of them will be in the 'One large photo' format! 

Here we were at the History and the Revolutionary Museums. Both are informative and very interesting. Quite inspiring and helps us to understand the people and their history, how hard they fought for what they believed in, and how that made them so resilient and strong. 
Here we are at the House on Stilts, which is where Ho Chi Minh lived and worked when he was prime minister and president.To us it really showed the mark of a true national hero in that he served the country selflessly, even insisted to live in the humble (but oh so lovely) house.
This is the Ho Chi Minh Museum, dedicated to the great leader. It was especially interesting to see war veterans and minority people visiting too.
Now this was where the boys loved most - all the military stuff were here, from both sides from the war. It was definitely fascinating for them!
Then here we are at the Temple of Literature, of Confucius, which has been associated with learning for centuries. On this day, a group of lovely young girls were there taking picture, we think they might be celebrating their graduation!

And here are the 5 templates in a set - find them in the store here!

And now I'm going to share with you all the most amazing layouts my lovely friends have made with Yin templates! They have different styles and it's so great to see how they have worked magic into creating their layouts. There were so beautiful I have to show you this huge bumper of layouts. Enjoy! 

By Christie Stearns - of her trip to Big Island of Hawaii. I'm sure this will be great inspiration for your summer pages :) Notice how lovely and coordinated and themed her backgrounds are!

By Kim. Like me, Kim also loves to put tonnes of photos of her beautiful family on layouts, and she is able to fit more elements in, more color, and more patterns, and still make it look balanced and beautiful :)

By Tawn of Homemakin' Girl - the super talented Tawn also has a photography business, that's why her photos are so stunning, no less the stunningly simple way she lays-out them!


And here's the template for P365 for you!


  1. thank you so much for the template, I love the new ones in the store also!! You are such a huge reason I have photo books for the year on my bookshelf! Thank you again for the freebie! I love the enthusiasm you have for your children's talents also!

  2. Hi there! Its my first time at your blog, I liked to read how do you deal with your teens. Its inspiring :)

    also, thank you for the freebie :)

  3. Thank you! This will be perfect for our vacation photos...I took nearly 2,000 pictures! I love your layouts...thank you for the inspiration!

  4. Thanks for the template, and the beautiful layouts!!!!!

  5. Many thanks as always Yin for an awesome template.

  6. Thank you for another great template, Yin! Love all the inspiration! And what great words of wisdom about parenting. I hadn't thought about it, but I've been doing the same thing (expecting my kids to be like me, but not really realizing it). I need to listen to what they're telling me more - even when it's a recap of the Donkey Kong level we just finished playing. :)

  7. I came by today and was very encouraged by your words. You have a gift from the Lord to be an encourager... continue in your gift my friend. Thank you. My children are all very unique, and I too, am sure I try to encourage them to be like myself, not even realizing this. I am going to check out the link to Rick Warren that you recommended. He to inspires me to life a purposed-filled life in Christ.

  8. Thanks so much for the lovely template! :)

  9. I used the 2901 temp you can see it here



  10. Thanks so much for all of your freebies, Yin! I still love working with them when I need to whip out a multi-photo page :)

    Very encouraging post about your boys. It's hard to embrace the differences sometimes, as I just don't understand them, but I do try. There have been a few times that pushing my teen boy to try something new when he didn't want to have been successful, while others not so much LOL He has been surprised a few times that he actually did enjoy it. I have to be willing to accept that it doesn't always turn out that way too.

  11. Thank you so much for the template, Yin. I wanted to let you know also that I really enjoy reading your blog and catching a glimpse of your life - so different from my own in the countryside here in Virginia (south of Washington, DC). Your templates are wonderful and your blog is a pleasure to read.

  12. Thank you, Yin. Hope you are well. Prayers are with you. -Susan



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