Don’t Submit Documents Unless Asked For: Lesson Learned from our Ongoing Green Card Application

Back in October 2018, we applied for Permanent Residence (Green Card) in the USA. We initially did not include the medical examination (Form I-693). The form said that we can submit it at a later time, which, I thought, made sense.

So in June 2019, I sent our Forms I-693 to the USCIS. It had a cover letter and included the receipt numbers for our application, as well as our A numbers.

As it turned out, we should not have done that.

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Why should Socks Match anyway?

While waiting in line for security at the Nashville International Airport, I noticed something unusual.

You need to take your laptop out of your bag, empty your pockets out, remove your shoes, and try to be patient as you go through security.

For a lot of us, we don’t want to be caught dead doing anything out of the ordinary.

But there is this one guy who had mismatched socks.

It got me thinking about all the possible back story of why he picked the wrong pair of socks.

Maybe he didn’t get enough sleep last night. I certainly did not. My flight was at 7:20 am and airports recommend arriving there 2 hours before the flight. On top of that, our 8-month baby was awake between 1-2 am so I definitely got little sleep.

But I still got a proper pair of socks–matching brown ones!

I didn’t get a chance to ask him. But maybe it is a statement. It’s just a way for him to deviate from the norm.

Who said that socks needed to match anyway?

Moving to a New Apartment in Nashville

I am no stranger to moving to a different house. While I was growing, my father, who was an itinerant preacher, moved from one church to another every 1-3 years.

The longest time we spent at a parsonage (a house assigned to a church’s pastor) was six years. By the time I turned twenty, we have stayed at about 10 houses.

In 2015, my wife and I reduced our belongings, packed the essentials, and moved from Manila, Philippines to Nashville, TN USA as I started a new job.

So I do know about moving and packing things.

We’re saying goodbye to this house in a couple of weeks!
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Kindergarten Blues: Bus or Car?

Coco’s school is close enough to our apartment. It’s a little over 2 miles away. When we were preparing him for Kindergarten, we talked about the transportation situation. Metro Nashville Public Schools a school bus for kids who live within a certain distance from the school.

For the first month of Kindergarten, we told him that I will drop him off at his school in the morning. And in the afternoon, he will ride the bus home. He agreed.

Every time he gets home in the afternoon, he rides with a bunch of other kids from our apartment complex. He has made some friends, and so the bus ride is pretty enjoyable for him.

It was perhaps a little too enjoyable that he said he wanted to ride the bus in the morning, too!

That presented a bit of dilemma for us.

He tends to wake up in the morning and being the 5-year old that he is, he would dawdle. He wanted to spend an extra 5-10 minutes lying in bed, half-asleep, when we try to wake him in the morning.

And then, he would spend another 25-35 minutes eating breakfast. Then, another 30-40 minutes to take a bath, brush his teeth, and prepare for school! That pretty much ensures that we leave home just in time for us to arrive about 10 minutes before his class time.

For him to ride the bus, we needed to adjust our morning routines at least 20 minutes earlier! That would be even tougher in the winter!

But to be honest, I like driving with him, then dropping him off at school.

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Coco Goes to Kindergarten!

It just feels like yesterday when Coco started attending Pre-School! A week ago, he started attending Kindergarten! Thankfully, I had a full week of vacation before he started school. I came from a 2-week long work trip to South Africa. So we caught up a bit, played a lot, went on a picnic by the lake, and before we knew it, we needed to buy school supplies!

Supplies, supplies, supplies!

The Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) provide the list of supplies we needed. We logged on to the web page of his school and downloaded the list. The supplies he needed include the following:

  • 2– White Avery “View” 3 ring binders (1 inch size)
  • 4 – Wide-Ruled composition books (black & white)
  • 2 – Packs of wide ruled loose leaf notebook paper
  • 24 – Glue sticks (Elmer’s preferred)
  • 1 – Pair of scissors (Fiskars suggested)
  • 1 – Box of 24 count crayons (Crayola strongly preferred)
  • 3 – Boxes of 8 count classic crayons, Regular size (Crayola strongly preferred)
  • 2 – Boxes of 8 count classic crayons, Large size (Crayola strongly preferred) No JUMBOS
  • 3 – Packs of white unlined index cards
  • 2 – Packs of washable markers (Crayola strongly preferred-1 box classic colors & 1 box bright colors)
  • 2– Packs of dry erase markers with chisel tip (Expo strongly preferred-ALL BLACK-4 per pack)
  • 2 – Large erasers (2 or more in a pack)
  • 2-Packages of Mixed Construction Paper(9 by 12)

Strongly Encouraged Items:

  • 1 – Pair of headphones with strip across the head (no ear buds)
  • 2 – Boxes of Ziploc slider bags – Gallon Size
  • (suggested for ease of children’s use)
  • 2 – Boxes of Ziploc slider bags – Sandwich Size (suggested for ease of children’s use)
  • 1 – Pack of baby wipes or cleaning wipes (Antibacterial or Clorox suggested)
  • 2- Rolls of paper towels
  • 1 – Container of hand sanitizer, Large size
  • Paper Plates -Colored Copy Paper -Treasure Box Items

We were starting to get the hang of this process.

Off we went to Walmart to buy his school supplies!

It was Tennessee’s tax free weekend. We ended up saving at least $20 on taxes for our son’s school supplies! In addition to the school supplies, we bought a couple of shirts (with collar) that will serve as his daily uniform. This school thing can be a bit expensive. At least we don’t need to pay for any fees for him to go to school!

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What Winter is Like in Nashville

Before moving to Nashville in the USA, I experienced the coldest natural temperature in Baguio City and Tagaytay City during the month of January. It must have been 14 degrees Celsius, which is about 57.2 degrees Fahrenheit. A lot of Americans would probably say that that is great temperature!

But for Filipinos, that’s sweater weather! It’s great to huddle inside the home and sip a good cup of Kalinga brew.

When we came to Nashville, though, I realized that 14 Celsius or 57.2 degrees Fahrenheit is nothing compared to the cold winter here. I mean Nashville is located somewhere in the Southeastern part of the continental USA. It doesn’t get too cold compared to the Midwest and Northern cities and states such as Chicago, Detroit, New York, and Wisconsin. But it still gets cold.

Heck, our Filipino bones can get frozen below 10 degrees Celsius.

Here’s what winter is like in Nashville.

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NPR’s Curious Nashville: A Podcast about Nashville TN

I moved to Nashville about 2 years ago. While I drive to and from Nashville every morning and afternoon, I am curious about the stories and histories that come from this city. A lot of office mates are not Nashville natives, themselves.

I read a bit about Nashville online. I also tried finding some books about this city. Thankfully, I listened to Nashville’s NPR station one morning on the way to work and discovered a podcast called “Curious Nashville.” Continue reading

Korea House Restaurant in West Nashville: Review (sort of…)

Just a big disclaimer. I am not a foodie. I like eating, especially the food that my wife prepares. I’m also the guy who could eat just about anything! Obviously, I am not Anthony Bourdain or Gordon Ramsay. I’m a guy with simple tastes. Every now and then, I post reviews of restaurants that we visit. You’ve been warned. 🙂

I took a day off on my son’s first day of school. I helped prepare his things, and then my wife and I took him to school.

Ever since we had a child, we have not had a lot of opportunities to go on dates just by ourselves. Almost always, our couple dates have become family dates. Because it was our son’s first day of school, we took advantage of our chance to go on a lunch date.

We looked for a nice Korean restaurant and decided to try Korea House. It had an overall rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. I also search best korean restaurants in nashville and Korea House was listed by Nashville Eater first in a list of 5 Should Not Miss Korean Restaurants. We’ve been to Hai Woon Dai, also recommended by Nashville Eater (located in Antioch), so we decided to give it a try.

Korea House is also rated by Nashville Scene Magazine as the Best Korean Restaurant 11 years in a row! We saw that on the menu and on display inside the restaurant.

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