Sunday, February 28, 2010


On behalf of our family, I would like to thank all of you for being here. We have received an enormous amount of support from family and friends during this difficult time and all of the phone calls, meals and gifts of support have truly been a blessing to us. All of you know that my dad loved a party and he would have loved this - a gathering with all of his old and new friends. So thank you very much for being here.

Most of you know my dad from either Capitol College or CCACC. He taught at the college for 33 years, sharing the time as a math professor and department head. After retirement he spent much of his time volunteering as a translator for a Chinese adult day care service.

I will remember two things most about my dad. First was that he was a master communicator. Whether in the classroom, at home, or volunteering, he loved words. Always reading books or newspapers, he loved the ability to transfer ideas and concepts from one person to another. The capability to share thoughts was something he cherished. In fact, he was probably most frustrated near the end of his life because he wasn't fully able to communicate his thoughts due to the level of his disease. I appreciated what one person wrote on the online obituary - that my dad even made Calculus fun. Well, I didn't think it was that fun, but oh well....

I also will remember that he was a believer in the human spirit. As a professor, he always identified with the potential in each student. He had the remarkable ability to look past the present and project the future path of students he taught. A remarkable and uncanny gift, this is what drove him - the future was his passion. Teaching was the medium by which he could inspire the present and create in his students people that embodied what mankind was truly capable of. Perhaps this balance between present and future represented his most frustrating times - with me as a lazy, apathetic high school student with dire grades - as well as his most proud - when I graduated from his esteemed Capitol College. I represent, as many others, the product of his projections.

My dad was an immensely, funny, kind, caring man. We will all remember his sense of humor, his ability to make friends, his warmth and care. But in the end, I believe he would have wanted us to live lives that count, ones that reached our potential and lives that projected a better future for those around us.

Thank you again for celebrating his life with us today.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Never Ready

Most of you already know - my dad passed away on Tuesday [2/23]. He suffered from a few types of cancer and the past few months were very tough as the cancer progressed.

We've had an amazing outpouring of support since his passing - that's been a literal, tangible comfort that is unexplainable. We are having a very short memorial service for him tomorrow. My mother is a bit more private and doesn't want anyone to be inconvenienced, however, I'm pretty sure my dad was a WOO so the more the merrier. More details and some pictures are here.

Thanks to everyone again for praying and loving our family during this time. You - our friends all over the world - have blessed us.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Happy 40th birthday to Deanna. I thought we could all celebrate by having some fun with her facebook 'stati' from the last year. I think you will appreciate her humor; realism; and her commitment to God and family; and her resolve to mark human history.

Love you.

:: "if you give me your credit card number I'll give you cash."~my 12 year old. Uh, how 'bout NO!

:: one lunch shift today almost turned into a scene from Fame. I put a stop to that! Funny looks when I whipped out the mic and started singing. (not really, but I thought about it! and still got funny looks!)

:: my prof. is from Darien. Tony called me a brown noser. He just doesn't understand the CT connection....

:: me to Em: Did you watch President Obama today? Em: Yes, we did. Me: Which activity did you do after you watched him? Em: Stack and pack for home. Me: That exciting, huh?

:: seriously torn between not getting out of bed today OR getting up, taking a shower, cooking something and taking it to the impromptu neighborhood pot luck... this is a challenge for a snowhating introvert. Believe me!

:: nothing like a blizzard to make you thankful you have a roof over your head, food to eat and the internet!

:: me: Em, you need to remember periods at the end of your sentences. Em: Oh, yeah... I think I have short memory loss! That's pretty bad for a 9 year old!

:: wondering what Tony was thinking as Em was about to head off to the bus in capris and a t-shirt. Uh... it's January!

:: 30 6th grade girls are watching American Idol at my house. Chaos and insanity are sure to ensue...

:: Em, while opening up her American Girl fondue set: "You know what's wrong with these golf clubs?" Me: "They are fondue skewers?" Em: "Oh... I was going to say they are missing a golf ball..."

:: my college roomie is moving to town - somewhat of a "dream come true" for me! Finally, someone in MD who understands me!! And yes, I am that complicated and I know it.

:: NY Res: Micah 6:8....He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

:: is it too late to finally send out my Christmas cards?

:: Kt and Tony are downtown for her 12th birthday, helping feed the homeless with National Community Church at Ebenezers. Birthday festivities when they get home!

:: my favorite house guests are here - my mom, sister-in-law and brother. When they aren't cooking, cleaning or doing repairs, they are just hanging around having lots of fun! They remind me how blessed I am to have come from a great family!

:: Em told me a really good Christmas present for her would be to stay home from school for a day. I'm thinking she had more than one day in mind!

:: the Salvation Army Angel Tree booth last night renewed my belief in the generous spirit of Christmas. Giving is way more blessed than receiving!

:: did you know there are 445 days left in middle school for Kt? Neither did I. Apparently, though, someone is keeping a very close count. also... wreath is up, minimal lights, garland, and I still have a pumpkin on my porch. True story.

:: has a tall, skinny tree. It reflects half of our household demographic. It looks seriously abnormal! but we're going to work with it!

:: Tony, just now: "It says here Tiger Woods hit a fire hydrant!" Me: "Where have you been?" Sometimes I wonder....

:: thankful for a wonderful Chinese-American Thanksgiving meal.... turkey, potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, shrimp, Peking duck and General Tso's chicken. We are stuffed!

:: thankful that my girls get to experience another culture when they sleepover their grandparents. Sounds like the Chinese grocery store with it's various seafood delicacies was the bonus - dungeon crabs! Not to mention, they HAD to make a stop at the Chinese Community Center. Em said, "We were the only Americans ther...e!" We'll have to correct that thinking! LOL

:: thankful that I can read.

:: thankful that I have more than enough food in my fridge for my family. Off to make a quiche for dinner! (Tony is having rigatoni, just in case you were wondering - men!)

:: despite the temp being 74, Em insists on wearing her boots to ride her bike. I, on the other hand, am happily in flip flops!

:: Kt is realizing a dream tonight thanks to Sean Moffitt! Off to Superchick tonight with Tony and her two BFFs! Thanks, Sean!=)

:: yesterday in reading class: me: "....vegetables and herbs...." Can anyone tell me what herbs are? student: It's a place you live, not the city or country. ...and we grow them in our garden?

:: just got in my first car accident. Glad it was a tiny one, nobody was hurt and it wasn't my fault.

:: I'm allowing Tony to do all the pumpkin carving this year. I wonder what we'll end up with?

:: apparently, the bus driver has introduced my 8 year old to ghostbusters... and now all we hear around the house are random "GHOSTBUSTERS!" screams. I've even had a request to look it up on You tube!

:: thinks we've fixed the water pressure issue. In our house. Still millions, however, who do not have clean drinking water in this world.

:: going to assume the one shared middle school brain cell did not make an appearance last night when the girls destroyed my simplehuman garbage can. i had not considered protecting the garbage when they were around, but now I know!

:: will miss visiting NCC at Union Station, esp their homeless ministry. Excited to see where God moves them!

:: this morning, Em: "Yesterday I was playing in my room and the boys next door were yelling at each other. I was scared, so I went on lock-down!" huh?

:: favorite middle school girl question of the evening: "Is Auzzie Osbourne Australian?" So much to learn! LOL

:: devoting tomorrow to Gay... and finishing this project so I can get on with my life! I think Gay would agree that enough is enough!

:: reading, laundry, reading, cleaning, reading, cooking, reading, entertaining my children, reading, planning for my reading groups next week, reading.... sounds like a lot, but really, I'm blessed.=)

:: tony just told me to stop leaving my Gay papers around the house. Off to transform myself into Gay Su Pinnell. he'll just have to live with it!

:: has to transform herself into a literacy expert named "Gay" before my next grad class on Tuesday. This should be interesting! (At least tony thinks so!)

:: Em's new favorite school subject: nursing. Today's ailment: she "sprang" her ankle. It needed two ice packs - one in the morning and one in the afternoon. No wonder the school nurse has been calling my cell phone!

:: Kt's going on her first retreat without us! So excited for her!! and she couldn't be happier leaving us behind!;-)

:: email to Tony this morning: "Please tell me you did not dispose of that dead squirrel in our garage!?!?" Of course, the smell gave it away.

:: in the mood for some Fanta Citron... just not sure I can make it to Hungary and back before morning!

:: heading out to Houston's Steakhouse to celebrate Tony's 40th birthday! Yummmmeee!

:: my 8 year old, the walking infomercial, just told me we should call "Direct Buy" to furnish our basement. So this is what it's like to be an auditory learner.... interesting!

:: a little reading on cultural contextualization of literacy acquisition methods, critical literacy and the impact of cultural and linguistic experiences on decoding and comprehension of reading material. I'd call it a night, but I'm in the middle of an exciting article on designing and conducting family literacy for differing racial, ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds.

:: got 100% on my first grad class assignment. =) I think I'll stay in school. for now!

:: nearly finished painting my basement. I thought we'd never make it!! Of course... still have to paint all that white trim white!=)

:: having another "what have I gotten myself into" moment while sorting through hundreds of pages of reading material for my first homework assignment. I paid to do this?

:: humbled by the reality of a child my daughter's age waking up this morning with a new heart... so happy for this family and so aware of how fragile and precious life is.

:: kt is freaking about how much she's responsible for in middle school... like, having to get to class on time and all. Hard to keep a straight face! LOL

:: it's chilly outside! one off, one to go!! then, just shoot me now, I'm working in the lunch room.

:: going to the beach for the day tomorrow. And let me assure you, that is no small feat from where I live!

:: looks like it's movie night at the Shengs! Any other small creatures in the neighborhood need a good movie night?

:: it's 10:15 and I'm the only one up... we are going to have to change these sleeping habits, but it'll have to wait until after our CT trip!=) YIPPEE!

:: Em announced at dinner that she was pretty sure this would be the year she would end up in the principal's office. This cannot be a good sign... of course, she reminded us that she has been there before - in kindergarten... yup, not good.=/

:: loves how my 3 year old nephew call my dog (Phoebe) "Fubby"... and then corrects us like we have 10 heads when we do the same!

:: we've got some doors going in downstairs.=) It's really coming together!! Soon we'll be taking reservations.;-)

:: fun painting with kt, not so fun listening to her country music blaring in the background. Oh, the sacrifices we make as mommies! (who said they would NEVER listen to that junk!)

:: if I left for Korea today and flew home on Sept. 8, I could get a ticket for $798 - round trip! I'm just not sure I can really stay that long, nor have I packed yet! and it's on United....=/

:: feeling old this morning... realizing I've not taken any classes since 1) the internet, 2) becoming a mom, and 3) texting. This is going to be very interesting!

:: laundry. That about sums up my day!

:: kt's in wv at camp, em's on her way to CT with mom, tony's in VA today working. I am the only one in MD. Weird.

:: one wonders when the first drywall guy shows up in an Escalade and the second in a Hummer. Things that make you go hmmmmm....

:: Tony made it for our 15th anniversary at the beach. It's perfect in every way! =)

:: took Em to North Beach to meet her camp for a field trip but Miley Cyrus apparently rented the whole beach! So we had to head to South Beach....

:: beachcombing this morning, Em is at a hatchery and fishing at camp, saw a shark yesterday and saved a sea star from a spiny lobster at the aquarium. Life is sweet!

:: first order of business today - I managed to let a fiddler crab into the house, and I have no idea where it little booger!

:: I am officially packed and heading to Tybee tomorrow.=) We might even see Miley Cyrus! Woohoo! (not!)

:: slept an extra 30 minutes this morning thanks to a husband who happily took his girls to swim practice. Thanks, Tony! =)

:: really proud of Emily being a "swimmer of the week" for having best times in both strokes two weeks in a row! But I also can't imagine how they choose because all the swimmers are so amazing to watch! Kids inspire=)

:: wonders how my girls have ended up with amazing social lives.... must come from their father!

:: amazing sunset tonight. Now I don't want to leave... although it would be nice to have a non-reclaimed water toilet!

:: amazing day at the canyon, even with only 1 hour of sunlight. Sent Tony and the girls out for a tour... in the thunderstorms! I think I'll head over to the IMAX with my mom.=)

:: at the Grand Canyon. First view in torrential downpour - crazy!

:: in Surprise, AZ tonight. Lightening show cut our pool time short!

:: quote of the day: "This place looks just like Maryland... except for the palm trees. Oh, and the cactus." We clearly don't get out enough!

:: quote of the day: Em, "Seriously... I didn't notice how long my arms are until now!" Hmmm....

:: fun day at NCC/Georgetown and the International Spy Museum. Now steaks on the grill, garlic mashed potatoes and cupcakes - Tony's favorite. Happy Father's Day!

:: now has a middle schooler. And she's going to Jell-O night tomorrow and bringing a bunch of friends. How do they grow up so fast?

:: thinks tweeting is for the birds.=P

:: finds some comfort in the fact that my 8 year old wonders what homeless people do in thunderstorms, but not at all redeemed in that that was the farthest thing from my mind while driving through hail and torrential rain.

:: piano, swim team practice, Hillsong!=)

:: We are heading down to DC to see Night at the Museum at the Natural History Museum IMAX. =)

:: am not ready for another teenager in this house. Tony is difficult enough!

:: oh, motivation... where art thou?

:: planning our Arizona trip. Kitt Peak to the Grand Canyon - lots of driving! Lots of Cacti!

:: so glad we went to the beach today - it was perfect!

:: excited for the Brussels team from our church going to Serve the City with Christian Associates. Yahoo, Brussels!

:: have a sick dog, again. I'm thinking 14 years is long enough. Esp for me!

:: someday may be yearning for my tween to wake me up early to give me burnt toast and chocolate covered strawberries for breakfast, hovering over everything I do, begging to use my laptop and wanting to take me to church. Someday.

:: my 5th grader just told my 2nd grader to write for 15 minutes about Global Urban Migration... this is what happens when Tony Sheng is your dad!

:: cracking up at my daughters singing queen... complete with drum beat.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday Burn

::: World Poverty is Falling
The percentage of the world population living on less than $1 a day (in PPP-adjusted 2000 dollars) went from 26.8% in 1970 to 5.4% in 2006.
Link via @rudycarrasco

::: The World's Smartest Cities's "smart" cities tend to be smaller, compact and more efficient: places like Amsterdam; Seattle; Singapore; Curitiba, Brazil; and Monterrey, Mexico.
Link via Jonathan Dodson

::: The Micro Manifesto
I'm just a fly-on-the-wall, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what's coming next in the western church. It has taken 30 years to move from less than 100 mega-churches to over 7,000 and 10 years to move from less than 100 multi-site churches to more than 2,000. Although God’s fingerprints are all over the numerical growth of these movements, neither the MEGA nor the MULTI appear to be His destination. Instead, they appear to be the means to an end. Increasingly, we can connect the dots and see that they are part of a bigger, ongoing journey to an even better place; from MEGA to MULTI to MICRO.
Like @willmancini says, this is a must read for church leaders.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Frank Update

Thanks for praying for my dad, Frank. He's been in the hospital since the weekend because he fell out of bed and had a good deal of fluid in his right lung. Yesterday, we were all told that he has 'weeks or a short amount of months' left. It's still kind of shocking. Through all of this, we've also come to realize that my mother has some very serious mental health issues. If you remember, pray that Jesus becomes real to him.

So many friends have reached out with support - the texts, phone calls, and messages have been incredible. I've also been sustained by two good friends. One of them checks in with me every few days and drove me around DC's snow deluge in his F-950 to get some groceries to my parents house. The other one prays for me daily. I know this because he texts me every time - that never gets old.

This movement from life to death is a sad progression. What makes it even sadder is when one thinks this life is all there is.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

2010 in book

I love to read books and really live by the phrase, 'leaders are readers.' But I have to admit, for the past few years, I've read a ton of books but have not had an intentional plan to read the Bible. So this year, I decided no books until I at least got into a good pattern for reading the Bible.

I'm using the One Year Chronological Bible and as of the beginning of February, I'm still on track. Granted, who knows what will happen later this year. But so far, so good.

You know those cliches about Bible reading:
+ You read the Bible and have it read you.
+ If you carry the Bible, it will eventually carry you.

I think they are true...

Thursday, February 04, 2010

We Care 4 Others

More evidence of a generation that wants to make a difference. This shot taken at our 12 year old's public middle school. You can bet someone is going to channel and erupt that passion and energy. The question is, will it be us?

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Wednesday Burn

::: Youth Ministry Advance Team - Haiti
A very cool idea by Adventures in Missions. Love everything Seth Barnes does. Note that the whole purpose of this team is to set up for teams in the future. That is non-intuitive and much more complicated. And probably well worth it.

::: The Apostolic
Bob Roberts Jr talks about what this is and is not.
Big Picture Perspective
Future Oriented
Entrepreneurial leadership
Leadership that calls to action and inspires
A Leadership model & role in the church, recognized or not
How many people do you know like that? And what are they doing?

::: Malaria Vaccine
3 years off, says Bill Gates

Monday, February 01, 2010

Golden Feedback

I got some great feedback about Ember's Philly weekend. Overall, it was very very positive, and it's always fun to get that kind of response.

Here's a few observations and projections:
+ Connecting relationally is important. This team loved connecting with the CCCNC students and wanted more opportunities to connect with people they were serving at the homeless mission. Not explicitly in the survey, but just as important - they did this weekend in community as a team.
+ One interesting comment said they wished we had more study/prayer time. Might be an interesting opportunity to frame knowing versus doing.
+ The idea of 'missions' is disconnected with 'mission.' Get a high school kid to understand this and everything else about their life will fall into place.
+ There is still a mindset that a missions trip should include evangelism. [I'm not saying that it should not.]
+ The perspective of a high school kid about missions is gold. These are our future social entrepreneurs, church planters and pioneers.

One more tip - we use Google docs to put together a feedback form. It then collates responses into a spreadsheet as well as giving you a summary sheet.