Well, we are diving into the world of online selling with an online store called David & Malen’s Treasures (DM Treasures for short). We have our own site, plus we are selling on Amazon (partial inventory). Here is the info:
Our own items are hand-made with care and creativity, using the best materials available at affordable prices. We also sell new items that come from other manufacturers and suppliers. We search for unique and interesting items that we cannot make ourselves, but would if we could. We may get these from wholesale outlets, local shops, or via drop-shipping (where our suppliers are the ones who ship the product to you).
Finally, we are always looking for great, gently used, pre-owned items in garage sales, antique shops, and online.
We are a very small outfit. Dave is a retired computer professional and handles the photography and web site, while his wife Malen is from the Philippines and provides the creativity and dexterity to produce the items we sell. We hope you enjoy our products!
So, tell your friends, spread the word, make us rich!! LOL!
We have made major additions to our picture gallery (see the menu link on the left). We have added a new album for the 8th trip (the pictures without people in them), called Philippines8. We have also added several sub-albums in the “Dave, Malen, & Family” main album. These include pictures of people taken during Dave’s 8th trip in an album called “The Eighth Meeting!,” pictures from our wedding, A few pictures taken at Thanksgiving, and finally some pictures of us at a progressive political rally in Sequim.
It’s been a LONG time since we have posted anything new here. That is because so many things have been happening! It is already December!! Well, since August SO much has happened! I scheduled another trip to go and see Malen and the kids in the Philippines. I left on September 5th and was scheduled to return on September 26th.
Before I left, we received word from the USCIS that our petition had been approved! Then, within a day or two of my departure, we learned that the National Visa Center (NVC) had forwarded it on to the US embassy in Manila, and we got a case number (what we needed to schedule the interview at the embassy). At this point, we knew there was a possibility that we could complete everything while I was with the family in the Philippines. But on a sad note, a week or so before I left I lost my dog of 15 years, Candi-Louise, who passed away.
So, once I arrived, we got busy with all the steps and processing that was needed to finish the visa process. Malen and the kids had to have a ton of paperwork, including passports, birth certificates, police clearances, and a lot more. Malen and the kids had to have medical examinations, which was a two-day process. Malen scheduled her interview with the embassy, but when we arrived we found out that the embassy did not have her her documentation from the NVC yet. So we waited until we could confirm they had the documentation package, and scheduled the interview again.
The interview was long and grueling, taking the entire day. At the end, instead of getting the visas approved as we expected, our case was put in administrative review for two weeks. Finally we heard that our case had been submitted for “visa issuance.” but days later, still no visas. I had to extend my 21–day stay by getting an extension. I was running out of my medications and we had to vacate Malen’s condo because it had been sold. After sending an angry email to the embassy about the delay, our case was put BACK into administrative review (and we were told it could take up to two months)! We were forced to move to another location on a temporary basis.
Finally, towards the end of October, we were told the visas had been approved and were submitted for printing! Once we verified that the delivery service had picked them up from the embassy, we went to their warehouse and finally had our visas in hand! So finally, we had to book our flights to the US, the kids had to attend mandatory counseling (CFO), and Malen had to go and pick up her CFO certificate. Then, after 2 1/2 years of waiting, anxiety, frustration, and hardship, on October 31st, all 5 of us boarded a plane to come to the US!
During this extended stay in the Philippines, and even with so much going on, Malen and I were able to squeeze in a short visit with our great friends Mike and Cathy. In addition, they came and spend a week with us while we were in the new and temporary living space. We also had Malen’s mom and pop come and visit us for a couple of days.
The last little hitch that happened before we left the Philippines was that the flight we booked was delayed for 9 hours. We went to the Delta office at the airport and they put us on different flights so that we did not have to wait another day. We ended up flying from Manila to Nagoya, Japan, then to Detroit, and finally to Seattle. A VERY long day of flying. As a result, Malen and the kids had to go through immigration in Detroit instead of Seattle, and we arrived in Seattle in the afternoon instead of in the morning. So, we stayed at a hotel near Seatac airport on October 31st, and drove up to Sequim the next day (November 1st).
Once the long flights were over and we landed on the 31st, everything has been great and wonderful. Malen and the kids have experienced American coffee shops and restaurants, Jedd has started his last year of high school, Yeng & April will start attending Peninsula College in January, we have been to Costco several times, as well as WalMart, Home Depot, and Ross, and Malen and I were married on November 18th!!
There is still a lot to do, including getting Social Security Numbers, processing Adjustment of Status for Malen and the kids, looking into getting jobs, and adding Malen to all my accounts. But we are together as a family, and that makes everything else easy!!
Our photo album (use the “Our Pictures!” Main Menu item on the left) has had several additions recently. The most recent are new pictures in the “Where We Live” album and the “The House and Land” sub-album. There is also a new “Philippines7” album with pictures from my lasted visit to Malen and the kids (pictures of us are in a new sub-album under the “Dave, Malen & Family” album). Enjoy!
In other news, we are approaching the end of the 2nd month since we submitted the K1 visa petition to the USCIS. Somehow, waiting for this 3-6 month process seems much more difficult that the 2-year wait we had to endure for Malen’s annulment!
So, what is so special about my loving Malen and her loving me? What is special about our relationship? Well, of course there are the basic things like physical attraction, having fun together, and sharing affection. There is also the next level – we are of like mind about the important things like family, honesty, and general relationship behavior. We make each other laugh, agree on almost everything, and are very similar people. I always heard that opposites attract, but I always suspected that opposites make bad relationships. No to sound narcissistic, but the closer to yourself your partner (in morals, ideals, behavior, and personality), the better the relationship will be. That may sound boring, but “attraction” only get people together. Similarities are what keep them together.
But with Malen and I, there is an even higher level – complete trust and absolutely no doubts. It is wonderful to be 100% secure in the person you love and in your relationship. Doubts about a relationship you are in do not have to come from your partner – they can also come from yourself. I have never been in a relationship where I NEVER even consider that it might not work out, and believe me, my logical mind thinks about EVERYTHING in the known universe. When you know exactly where you came from, and exactly where you both agree you are going, there is no energy wasted on wondering or doubting.
When we joke with each other about other people, it is just funny – there are no nagging thoughts or doubts in the back of our minds. If I get a little testy from time to time, it does no damage whatsoever to our relationship because Malen knows it has nothing to do with her or how I feel about her. We have an amazing level of trust, compatibility, and being secure with each other. It is as if we have indeed become a single unit. And, THAT is what is so special about our love.
The first step in the process of Malen and I coming together as a couple and a family, and have her and the kids come to the US, was for her to get annuled from her marriage. We expected six months to a year at the most. Well, finally, two years after we started the annulemnt process, Malen has her final documents in her hands. I have finally been able to submit the visa petition to allow Malen and the kids to come to the US. This was not possible until she had her annulment papers. Yesterday I sent the visa packet to out agent who will reveew it and submit it to the USCIS. The visa process is expected to take another 4-8 months. We are hoping for the lower end of that range!
Delay after delay in the annulment process has been very frustrating for us. Having the end finally come is a great relief!
Well, I finally got the pictures from my last trip to the Philippines loaded into the gallery (use the “Our Pictures” link in the menu on the left). The most recent album is called “Philippines6,” and contains the pictures from the trip that do not include any of the family members (scenery and sights). The pictures that include myself, Malen and/or the kids are in a new sub-album under the “Dave, Malen & Family” main album. The sub-album is called “Meeting Six!”
On another front, although the decision granting Malen’s annulment has been approved and signed by the judge, the post-decision processing has hit some snags. We STILL do not have the final paperwork registered and in hand. That is the point we are waiting for before we can submit the fiancee K1 visa request. Our lackadasial, unorganized, uncaring lawyers appear to be at fault again. The documentation sent to the Socilitor General was inadequate for an annulment. The court lawyer has had to put together a more complete set of documentation, and that is now back with the Solicitor General. The court did this because they do not want the judge’s decision to be questioned or overturned. Stay tuned!
Malen’s father has been in an auto accident, and has a fractured hip. He was in the hospital for a few days, but now is resting at home. He is supposed to get a month of bed rest. Malen and her sister has used this situation to move his stuff to the new house from the old house, so that Malen’s father is finally living in the new place (something he has been extremely reluctant to do).
Malen is attending some training during the day in preparation for a new job. More on that later.
Just a quick note to update what is going on. Malen’s annulment, although granted by a judge’s decision, has hit another delay, supposedly 15 days. This is just a delay in the registration of the decision that we need in order to submit the visa paperwork.
I will be leaving soon to spend some time with Malen and the kids in the Philippines!
Malen has finally received word that the decision on her annulment has finally been made – and it has been granted!! As soon as she has the final paperwork in hand, we will be submitting the K1 fiancee visa petition to have her and the kids come to the US. That process is reported to take 4-6 months, so there is still some waiting to go through.
If you use the “Our Pictures!” main menu item on the left, it will take you to our gallery of pictures. I have now updated the gallery with three new albums of pictures and videos taken during this last trip to the Philippines. As always, pictures with family in them (myself, Malen, and/or the kids) is in a sub album under the main album titled “Dave, Malen & Family.” The sub album is titled “The Fifth Visit!” and has 122 pictures in it.
The new main album titled “Philippines5” contains more than 200 photos taken in Iloilo, Bohol, Cebu, and at Camaya Coast. And now for the first time, I have added videos to the gallery! The main album titled “Philippines 5 – The Videos!” contains 24 short videos taken on this trip. Check them out!!