Removing Conditions on Residence


April 4, 2015

Middle of February, I received the notification from the Homeland Security to remove conditions on my permanent residence within 90 days before my green card expires in June. First thing I did was to go to uscis.gov website to read the instructions on how to file and check the documents I need to send.  After finding out what I need, I immediately worked on gathering all the documents. On March 11, I sent the documents to USCIS Vermont.

Here are the documents I included in my packet:

– Application Fee – $590 check (this includes the biometrics fee)

– Accomplished and signed Form I-751 – you can print this out from the uscis. gov site under green card

– Copy of Permanent Resident Card (front and back)

– Copy of our joint US Tax Returns for the year 2012, 2013 & 2014

– Copy of our apartment lease contract and car loan agreement with our names together

– Copy of our Pre-approval for a residential mortgage as we are currently looking for a house

– Letter from the bank confirming our joint account

– Copy of our bank statements for the last three months (checking & savings accounts)

– Letter from my employer confirming my husband as one of my beneficiaries in my 401k and dependent in my health insurance

– Copy of health insurance cards showing a joint policy (front and back)

– Statement from my retirement savings company stating my husband as a beneficiary

– Copy of auto insurance policy and auto insurance ID cards

– Copy of home insurance policy

– Copies of various bill notices with both of our names on it

– Copy of marriage certificate

– Copy of our son’s birth certificate

– Copy of our driver’s license

– Various pictures with family and friends from 2011 to present

I also included a cover letter. Before I sent the documents I made sure that I have copies of all of them as well.

I sent my packet to USCIS Vermont Service Center.

USCIS sent me a notice that they received my case on March 16 and stating that my residence card is extended for a year.  And on April 2, I received my Biometrics appointment which they scheduled on April 16.

So hopefully we won’t need to be interviewed but if they would require it then that wouldn’t be a problem at all.  After I do my biometrics, I will just have to wait until they sent me my new green card which should be good for 10 years.  I will be USCIS-free again for a very long time unless I decide to apply for citizenship! Lol. We’ll see!

Life is like a box of chocolates…


I started this post a month ago but I just couldn’t finish it due to life’s daily “worries” and busyness! Having an energetic toddler doesn’t help either! Lol. But at last I was able to pause and take a breather and continue my writing.  🙂 So here goes….

A new and exciting year has just begun! Goodbye 2014 and hello 2015!  There’s just something about a new year unfolding that makes you want to make it an even better one, isn’t it?  Fresh start.  New beginning.  It’s the perfect opportunity to make new resolutions, map out future plans and travels and so on and so forth.  It’s all exciting!  These make one anticipate more for what the new year might have in store. We can hope and pray that all will be well this year and that we’ll go through it with flying colors and utmost health.  Truth is, we really don’t know what the future may bring.  I always say that life is full of uncertainties as well as possibilities!  Just like Forrest Gump said, “life is like a box of chocolates!” You never know what you will get!

Year in and year out I’m always faced with the question, what does the future hold for me and my family?  As a woman, it’s so easy for me to fall in the trap of worrying.  I believe worrying is a sin because it’s not having faith on God. Good thing I would immediately snap out of it and remind myself of God’s promises in His Word and just leave everything in the hands of my Almighty Creator and Father who knows best.

Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

2014 Highlights

2014 has been a good year for me and my family.  A lot of things to celebrate for and some things to learn from and take with me that made me even stronger in my faith in God.  Allow me to just focus on three big things or events that happened in my life in the past year. In all the events in my life, I give back all the praises to Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior!

This year my precious, beautiful baby boy turned one! He’s such a ball of energy and fun! He’s officially a toddler!  And that meant a whole new chapter in my life as well as a first-time mom.  One thing is for sure, as a mom, it’s so delightful to see your own child discover and learn new things for the first time and that I am a part of it.  His brain is like a small sponge that absorbs everything and anything you expose it to.  That’s why me and my husband are being careful on what we expose him to. Now that he’s almost two in two months, he’s just popping out new words like a machine gun! These little buggers know more than what we take them for I tell ya! Lol.  He can speak 50-60 words now and know what they mean.  He can follow instructions.  He loves to mimick his daddy a lot especially when he’s talking on the phone.  He loves to look at his books. He loves to listen and dance to music.  He is such a jokester! He loves to laugh a lot! He doesn’t like it when his hands are dirty.  And boy how he can try to manipulate us or me when he can! So it’s the right time to start disciplining.  Parents, it’s okay to say “no.” My son knows what no is by heart but of course he still violates it every now and then.  It’s called the learning process.  Just continue with it and be patient.  It’s all worth it in the end.  🙂  One thing that I pray for my son is that he would not fall in love with the things of this world but fall in love in Jesus.  That one day, someday, when he’s grown, he would fully give his life to Him and would serve and love Him all the days of his life.  Lord willing.

17months3

Second highlight of my 2014 would be our Philippine trip.  There’s nothing like going back to your own country and your family after being away for more than 3 years.  My husband couldn’t come because of work so it was just me and my 14 month old son (at that time) who went.  The travel going and back was not easy but it’s all worth it!  It was a 22-hour travel going there and 18-hour going back but I made it through by God’s grace and protection!  We just missed my hubby not being with us but next time we come home, we’ll make sure he’ll be with us! It’s not the same without him. 🙂

The third event that I’m going to talk about and share would probably shock most of you because I really didn’t share it with many people nor did I post anything about it on facebook.  I don’t share a lot of things on fb. Lol.  But it’s one event that God used to make me even stronger especially my faith in Him and I want to give back all the glory to Him alone.

Last October 4, I found out that I was pregnant again for the second time! I was very ecstatic as I really wanted to have another one, at least one more, and maybe a girl this time, of course, as the Lord wills.  I kept it a secret for a day and didn’t  tell my husband right away because I wasn’t sure how he would react as he told me that he’s already okay with having just one kid. So what I did was to ask my sister-in-law and sister to pray for my husband that God would take care of his heart when I break the news to him.  When I told him about the good news, his reaction was not the one I expected.  Instead of being happy he got worried and a little upset.  I was sad. But not too long after that, God convicted him and apologized to me and said that he shares my happiness and that he hopes for a girl.  I was so relieved!

Right away I called my ob-gyn to set up my first appointment and started taking prenatal vitamins.  We shared the wonderful news to the rest of our families and some close friends.  They were celebrating with us and shared our joys of a blessing of another child!

But after a few weeks, even before I had the chance to tell the whole world of this wonderful news, my nightmare began.  Never in my wildest dream that I thought I would experience something devastating as this.  On Oct. 21, I had a spotting.  It was a pretty strong one.  I had spotting with Nathan (my firstborn) but not as strong as this one.  So I was a bit worried.  I called my ob-gyn and they immediately scheduled me for an ultrasound the next day.  During my lunch break, my husband picked me up to go to the hospital to do my ultrasound.  I was still spotting.  The technician did an abdominal and internal scan on me. She said she could see the gestational sac and yolk sac but not a fetal pole.  She said that it’s still too early to see as the sac was only 5 weeks and 5 days.  She said that she’ll show it to the doctor in charge and will be back.  When she came back, she just told us that my doctor will either call me that day or the next day to discuss the result.  We left the hospital with a little ray of hope that maybe just maybe everything’s fine.  And that I was just experiencing a “normal” spotting.  So I just continued with my activities.  I didn’t feel any cramping nor abdominal pains.  My husband and I just prayed about it. Prayed about the whole situation.  Surrendering to whatever God’s will is for the situation and for the baby but at the same time being honest enough to ask God to save the baby if it’s His will.

The next day, Thursday- October 23, I was still bleeding but I still went to work that day.  I even worked late to close the branch.  I received a call from one of my doctors and said the same thing as the technician said, it’s still too early to see the fetus.  She asked how heavy my bleeding was and I told her it’s like having a period.  And she paused and said it could be an early miscarriage.  But she’s not sure.  So she said to go for another ultrasound after a week.  My heart sank when she said that.  I knew something was terribly wrong.  I could just feel it in my body.  I even told my girl at work that I feel something’s going to come out.  And guess what? A few hours when I got home, I huge, liver-like blood clot came out.  I showed my husband and we just hugged each other.  He tried to console me but  I was devastated. I felt so defeated.  I thought to myself that I will just call my doctor the next day.

The next morning, I tried to force myself to go to work but I was too weak both physically and emotionally.  I was a wreck.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to focus at work as well because of my situation so I decided to call off which was the best thing I did.  That whole day was a terrible day.  My husband had to go to work and I have an 18-month toddler to take care of amidst the pain I was feeling.  I had to be strong.  Thank God for His grace!  The whole day I was still bleeding and hurting but I had no fever.  I called my doctor in the morning to inform them of what happened the previous night but the whole day almost passed and there was no call back.  My husband had to call them again in the evening.  Then after a few minutes, my phone rang and it was the doctor.  I told her what happened.  So I asked her if it was miscarriage. She said she couldn’t really say until I undergo another ultrasound.  So she said, for me to call on Monday to schedule for another ultrasound.  I just said okay and asked her if I should go to the ER.  She said that based on the information I gave her, she doesn’t require me to go to the ER but I could always go if I want to.  Gee, thanks doc! That was so reassuring!  So I just said, okay and then we hung up.  I really didn’t feel any empathy nor compassion in her voice.  Basically, it’s up to me to decide.  I was told that if it’s a miscarriage and it’s already began there’s really no way of stopping it. A few hours after talking to the doctor on the phone, I felt something came out.  And sure enough it’s the tiny fetus. 😦  I wrapped him/her in a tissue and put him/her in a plastic container.  I was really so sad. I’ve never felt so devastated. The next day, I called my doctor to let them know and she wanted me to go through another ultrasound just to make sure that everything came out and that I didn’t need to undergo d&c.  Shared the news to our families and to some of our church family.  They were very sad as well but tried to comfort us especially me.  I appreciated it a lot.  We buried the fetus at my in-laws’ backyard with their permission.  They’re just so generous enough to allow us to bury our “baby.”  It was tough times.  I never imagined that it could happen to me.  This is one of the “uncertainties” in life that I wasn’t prepared for.  But you just have to go through it and choose to trust God and believe that He knows best regardless of the circumstance.  That’s what I did, by grace.  I believe that God is good no matter what.  At first, I was blaming myself that I lost the baby. But God reminded me through my doctor that it’s no one’s fault. She said that there are other possible reasons that caused but it’s hard to pin point exactly but it’s never the mother’s fault.  It’s nature’s way of getting rid of something that would have not survived in the first place.  To her, it’s that way. To me, being a child of God, it’s being reminded that He gives the blessing but He can also take it away.  It may sound unfair and cruel. But I’ve wholeheartedly accepted it.  I chose to trust my Father no matter what.  Besides, it’s not about me but all about Him. Life is truly like a box of chocolates, you’ll never know what you’ll get.  But one thing I know for sure, my Father has me in His hands.

I have a Maker
He Formed My Heart
before even time began
my life was in his hands

chorus
He knows my name
he knows my every thought
he sees each tear that falls
and hears me when I call

I have a father
he calls me his own
he’ll never leave me
no matter where I go

(chorus)
He knows my name
he knows my every thought
he sees each tear that falls
and hears me when I call

He hears me when I call….
He hears me when I call….
He hears me when I call….(you are my father and I love you)
He hears me when I call….(you are my father and I love you)
He hears me when I call….(you are my father and I love you)
He hears me when I call….(you are my father and I love you)

He knows my name
he knows my every thought
he sees each tear that falls
and hears me when I call

http://www.godvine.com/He-Knows-My-Name-Beautiful-Christian-Music-Video-873.html

Updates, updates and traveling with an almost tod…..alone!

Updates, updates and traveling with an almost tod…..alone!


Wow! I can’t believe how many hits I got on my blog in just a span of 3 years! Almost 90,000 views! Praise God! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and I really hope … Continue reading

So big, so quick!


CELEBRATING HIS UNIQUENESS — MILESTONE AFTER MILESTONE!

It just blows my mind how fast babies grow! My baby is now 10 months old! Time surely flies so fast and you don’t even notice it!  The last time I blogged, Nathan was just 3 months old and now he is getting ready to walk and is soon turning one! It’s just amazing to see his development.  Almost every month I could see changes in him that suggest healthy growth. I really thank God that he is a healthy and a normal baby. His pedia couldn’t be more happy seeing him grow as he does.

Nathan is growing so fast that there are times that I wanted to slow down his growth process.  I want to really cherish every moment of his growing up phases.  They said that when they start to walk, they start to walk away from you.  I hope it’s not going to be true with my Nathan. lol.

Since I am a first time mom, there are a lot of things that I am eager to learn about being a mom as well as learn about my baby.  I want to be the best mom for him.  So I did a lot of online research just to guide me with regards to my baby’s developmental growth.  And that’s when I learned about certain milestones that every baby achieves on a monthly basis.  This became my sort of rule book to determine how my baby is doing.  But of course, every baby is different and every baby has their own different pace in achieving their “own” milestones. So don’t force your baby nor hurry her up to achieve hers.  Let her enjoy growing up and achieving her milestone at her own pace and style! I believe that “babyhood” is a time for fun growth and discovery so it shouldn’t be rushed. Your baby will not pass through that stage again so let them enjoy it to the fullest. And you as well, mommy, enjoy every minute of her uniqueness because it sure happens so quickly!

As Nathan achieves his milestone one after another, his personality is slowly unraveling as well.  He’s such a happy, easy-to-take-care-of, sweet little guy.  He is also a charmer that he would always flash his winsome smile to whoever is trying to play with him or even talk to him. Yes, even strangers who couldn’t resist his cuteness! lol.  I’m not bragging about it but everywhere we go whether at church, at a mall or even in a restaurant Nathan never fails to attract attention and people would come up to us and tell us how adorable our baby is.  Of course as the parent, you couldn’t help but be thrilled as well!

Every time Nathan would achieve a milestone I get really excited just like any other first time mom. lol.  So here are my Nathan’s “own” milestones and uniqueness:

2 months – Starts sleeping in his own crib in his own room alone. Shows interest in music by responding when I sing to him.

3 months – He rolls over on his own but not back yet. Smiles a lot. Didn’t have any separation anxiety when he starts day care.

4 months – He cuts his first two front bottom teeth! Starts rolling over and back with ease. Charms any one who talks or plays with him.

5 months – He starts feeding on solid food.  Sleeps 10-12 hours straight. Enjoys his bath time more. Sits up with support.

6 months – Claps his hands when you tell him to.  Knows his name when you call him. Said his first word, “dada.” Shows more curiosity about things around him. Looks at you very intently when you talk to him. Sits up without support.

7 months – Starts crawling with belly still on the floor.  Talks a lot! Explores things by “scratching” them. Loves to play and goof around a lot.

8 months – Masters the art of crawling. Loves being sang to and responds by singing himself. Starts showing interest in books. Knows what “all gone” mean.  He claps his hands when I exclaim “all gone!” after giving him the last spoonful of his solid food! But he cries when he wants more. lol

9 months – Starts to stand up with support. Usually he does it in his crib. Eats just about anything except for shell fish and peanuts. Very strong appetite. Loves to explore. We started to introduce the wonderful word called, “No.” 🙂 Easily laughs when you make goofy gestures specially with your face and voice. Starts saying “mama.”

10 months – Starts to stand up on his own by holding on to something. Talks a lot and aloud! It’s VERY easy to make him laugh and smile. Loves it when you make funny faces and peek-a-boo is still his all-time favorite play time! Learns to do “flying kisses,” “gimme five,” and “buh-bye” by waving his hand. Looks at the fish I have on my bathroom wall when I ask him where the fish is, and looks at the light when I ask where it is. He’s also learning what kiss is. When I say give Mommy a kiss, he stops and moves his face forward anticipating a kiss! Dances when you say dance or when you sing to him. 🙂

In less than two months, my little charmer and explorer will be turning one.  I still can’t believe how fast he’s growing.  I still can remember so vividly the first time I learned that I was pregnant.  I was totally ecstatic! He truly was the highlight of our 2013. As his name connotes, Nathan, is our wonderful gift from God! He’s the answer to many of our prayers.  We prayed and hoped for a boy for our first born. God protected him even while he’s still in my womb.  Amidst being diagnosed with gestational diabetes and passing out one time at work, he came out a healthy, bouncing baby boy at 8.11 lbs!  His budding beautiful personality is such a delight to see and as a mom and it makes me so proud.  The road ahead is still long for this neophyte mom but I know that everyday will be filled with excitement and anticipation as my little man continue to unleash his beautiful uniqueness in the world.

By God’s grace, I’ll be there with you all the way, Champ! 🙂

P1010760 (2)

One of God’s Great “Don’ts”


KoalaFRETTING MEANS GETTING OURSELVES “out of joint” mentally or spiritually.  It is one thing to say. “Do not fret,” but something very different to have such a nature that you find yourself unable to fret.  It’s easy to say, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (37:7) until our own little world is turned upside down and we are forced to live in confusion and agony like so many other people.  Is it possible to “rest in the Lord” then?  If this “Do not” doesn’t work there, then it will not work anywhere.  This “Do not” must work during our days of difficulty and uncertainty, as well as our peaceful days, or it will never work.  And if it will not work in your particular case, it will not work for anyone else.  RESTING IN THE LORD is not dependent on your external circumstance at all, BUT on your RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD HIMSELF.

 

Worrying always results in sin. We tend to think that a little anxiety and worry are simply an indication of how wise we really are, yet is is actually a much better indication of just how wicked we are.  Fretting rises from our determination to have our own way.  Our Lord never worried and was never anxious, because His purpose was never to accomplish HIs own plans  but to fulfill God’s plans.  Fretting is wickedness for a child of God.

 

Have you been propping up that foolish soul of yours with the idea that your circumstances are too much for God to handle?  Set all your opinions and speculations aside and “abide under the shadow of the Almighty: (Psalm 91:1).  Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about whatever concerns you.  All our fretting and worrying is caused by planning without God.

“Do not fret — it only causes harm.” Psalm 37:8

–My Utmost for His Highest