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Showing posts from April, 2009

The warmth of the fire from within

I had an idea on what to do or what to write, but since being a mom comes first, I didn’t get a chance to truly work on it. (So here are some quick scribbles of my mind and heart...) A Fighting Tree – the warmth of the fire within a woman’s soul We love this tree. It was planted by the original owner of our home 55 years ago on Mother’s Day. For over ten years now, our lawn guys have been telling us that the tree is dying. Earlier this spring, we’ve trimmed and cut-down a few branches that have no more life. This morning, my 8yo noticed this tree and exclaimed, “Mom, how can a tree bloom with so much flowers when it’s already dying? I think my life as a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend is like this fighting tree. I am very passionate about keeping the family together. I can’t just give up and just like what I want my children to learn and remember: “Dream Big” “Keep on Fighting for What You Believe In” “You can accomplish anything that you put your heart and m

Blogger Awards - thank you and congratulations!

This week, I’ve been given a few treats by my fellow-bloggers: ( Thank you !) Blogger Buddy Award from Mom Time of I Am A Hot Mom . Please check out her site for some fabulous tips - a fellow Filipino who happened to work in the IT Dept, and a Certified Coach, too! (She’ll probably get you going with that work-out regime you’ve been wanting to do! ) So here’s the list of bloggers I want to pass along the Blogger Buddy Award to. They’ve all been there for me! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 1) Mamahood, Among Other Things 2) Brown Eyed Gal 3) Techy Mom’s Blog 4) Mommy Kingdom 5) Thursday Sweet Treat 6) It’s A Beauty-Filled Life From Veronica Lee of Of Mice and RaMen , a mother from sunny Malaysia who blogs about anything! You'll be amazed with the pictures she post! Veronica totally surprised me with 2 amazing awards – the Blogger Buddy Award, and the Zombie Chicken Award [smile here ],. Blogger Buddy Award goes to: 1) Mommica 2) Dawn Nicholas 3) Shabby Chick s 4) Life wi

Do the right thing or lose a friend?

My children had to make some tough decisions at an early age. One scenario stands out the most: It’s been a year since my 13yo had to make the toughest decision (for now). A best friend confided of using drugs. My 13yo was shocked and hurt. He was upset and couldn’t understand how that could have happened to someone he loves. (For the purpose of this story, I will name the friend, “Jose”). In my 13yo’s heart, he knew he had to do something to save Jose. To make it more difficult to my 13yo, Jose also said the following: “ I know where you live. I know a lot of people who has guns and who are strong enough to inflict hurt in you and your family.” I still remember that day. I knew immediately that something was wrong. As a mother, you have that feeling that something's not right. It seems like mothers have a radar system. I guess the umbilical cord is still connected in a way! My 13yo (then 12) came home and started crying. He told me and his father what happened. We cou

Mom, I am a very lucky boy

Sunday, my family attended our twin cousins’ bat-mitzvah. It was a formal celebration. My boys got to wear their suits! While we were eating some appetizers, my 8yo tapped me and said, “Mom, I am a very lucky boy.” I looked at him and said, “Of course you are, but why did you say that?” “I am here.” (He was looking around the richness of the place) The final celebration (party) was held in a catering hall – complete with entertainment, cocktail hour, dinner and Viennese table! It was like a wedding reception. So what’s a bat-mizvah anyway? If you ask my 8yo, he thinks he’ll say it’s a birthday party where you feel like a truly lucky person. Bat means daughter, mitzvah means commandment. Becoming a daughter of the commandment means that Jessica and Brittany are now considered adults within the confines of the Jewish community. The twins read from the Torah and the Haftorah. The readings are performed with great ceremony. It is important to value these times because there were

An Awesome Week - Hardwork Conquers all

A week of family time, awards, medals, recognition and just an awesome week all together! I have so many things to share but there’s just not enough time. So hopefully a few words, pictures and videos can show you highlights of how hard work conquers all! My 13yo teaches piano lessons to children age 7-12. His studio, KIDZZ Piano Studio , currently has 11 students including his younger brother. The toughest thing he has to do is to teach his own younger brother. (I had to be the referee in some cases). But with just four lessons, my 8yo was able to perform at today’s recital. At the recital, it was nice to hear my 13yo introduced my 8yo as: “My next student looks just like me….It’s nice to have another brother I can play the piano and music with”. My 13yo wrote in today’s program: “ Teaching piano is one of the greatest things I have done. Watching the kids develop in their musical life is just fascinating.” All children performed an amazing job. We held the recital in our

Fun with Recyclables on Day 5 of Power-Down Week

With a project due tomorrow and a motivated child, my 8yo and I had fun (and mess ) making these recyclable crafts - Battery Recyclable Bin or Table centerpiece, Carry-all or Desk Organizer and Magical Music Shaker. Battery Recyclable Bin – can be used as centerpiece for parties or First Communion Materials used: Empty orange juice carton or empty tissue boxes Glue Paper – (Using the back of school notices, we printed our favorite collage) Instructions: Wrap the orange juice box or the tissue box with your favorite photos. For the battery recyclable bin – in one of the sides, print out the recycle logo to remind family members! 5 years ago when I put together Mom and Dad’s 40th wedding anniversary, I used tissue boxes. I had the sitting arrangement so I gathered all the old photographs depending on the guest list. Each guest in the table is featured in the tissue-box-centerpiece. They weren’t using digital cameras then so I had to scan the pictures one by one. E

Just Because I’m Me

It’s another Thursday Sweet Treat! This week’s theme is “The Landscape of the Soul”. I’m not a professional artist, photographer or writer but I always admire people’s passion and talent for the arts. I love to be a witness in the story of their artwork and Thursday Sweet Treat provides me with plenty of inspiration. It’s like going to the museum (and my family loves going to museums. Maybe that’s why my husband proposed to me at the Tiffany Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) I toyed around with different ideas and different visions in my head. But because of my limitations, I can’t seem to quite capture what I needed to convey. My mind thinks in images and most of the times it’s tough to accurately translate the images into words. My life’s been a crazy ride, and yet I’m at peace. As I was sitting in my family room with my family, a view just reminded me of what makes me “me”. With that in mind, I wanted to put together photos from my past, my present any my future.

Paws for Charity, Wonderful People Sharing Their Love for a Better Cause

I’ve got a super hectic schedule today but reading something about people sharing their talents and passion to make a difference in this beautiful world of ours, I have to pause and just share the good news. Most news you’ll hear spread through the air waves or the internet are those that just break your heart. If people just channel their energies into the positive, there’ll be less anxieties and fear. This day, being the 39th Anniversary of Earth Day, it’s inspiring to feature people that are making a difference – sharing their love for a better cause. So when I read about Natasha’s article on “ Inspirational Tips: The Gift that Keeps on Giving” in her blog Thursday Sweet Treat, I had to share it with you. A group of artists from the US, UK and Canada spread their wings and put together the 2009 Paws for Charity Art Book Project , an amazing compilation of images of dogs and cats. The proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade. In the

Our favorite room

It’s empty now but a lot of stories and memories are shared in this room. The dining room is our favorite room in our home. I remember the night of 9/11 when we finally had everyone accounted for, late that night, we were all gathering in this dining room; I remember the day in 2005 that I felt the world ended, we all came back to this room to find solutions, peace, hope and love; I remember so many family gatherings, holidays, birthdays, graduation, First Communion, Confirmation - we celebrated the good times with families and friends in this very room; I remember that we laughed, cried, had discussions and just shared whatever we had in our hearts and minds; When the kids were younger, we were in this room every single night. Now with everyone’s busy schedule, Monday is the only weekday (for now) that everyone gets to be together. No TaeKwon-do, no choir practice, no gymnastics, no band practice, no music lessons, no track and field, no other activity than

Courageous Heart

Dinner time, my youngest child (8yo) broke down in tears when he found out that his older brother might be going away to college in San Diego, California. He couldn’t understand why his brother can’t just go to college locally. The thought of having his families being separated was just unbearable. Two years ago, when my daughter went to college in University of South Carolina, he also had a very tough time adjusting not seeing her every day. (She’s now transferred to Rutgers University here in NJ). We’ve had families members who had been taken away from us that separation like these are just too much for any of us, most especially for a little child whose day to day revolves saying “hellos”and “good-nights” to his parents, sister and 2 brothers. Sometimes as a mother, you have to make tough decisions and sacrifices so that your children can live their dreams, and in other cases, to survive and live better lives. My mother for one has made plenty of sacrifices in her life so that

Soulful Sunday - Beginning of Power-Down Week

"There's a season for every reason..." "There's a reason for every season..." "There's a time for every purpose..." - Ecclesiastes This week is TV-turn off Power-Down Week so you can imagine what we'll be up to this week! Dancing, singing, writing, baking, painting, walking and all the other fun -ing's... There definitely is a time for every purpose... Here are some of the activities we’ve planned out for the week: (Thank you PTA especially Mary E. and our community for participating!) Sunday the 19th – Barnes and Noble Kick-off Monday the 20th 1) Craft Night at 7pm at Barnes and Noble 2) Outdoor games and in-door games 3) 2nd graders start their work on an invention project made from recycled materials Tuesday the 21st – 1) Scavenger Hunt at 6pm (Barnes and Noble) 2) Scrap booking, mystery reader, Bowling, Cup-stacking tourna

A Serene Saturday and a few words of wisdom from an 8yo

One serene but musical and sunny Saturday! A lot of fun and learning experience – and a lot to be proud of: Work hard, and you’ll get rewarded! My college daughter (19yo) just received the diploma/certificate for National Collegiate of Scholars. She studies so hard and deserves to be recognized. My graduating teen (17yo) just got the acceptance and scholarship letter from Drexel University’s school of Mathematics; We have until May 1st to decide what college to accept. It all depends on the financial package. My 8th grader (13yo), just attended a Festival of Harmony where his group, Celebration Singers’ Boys Ensemble was picked to perform after an 8-hour long of a capella workshop (My 13yo made a big impression that he’s being asked to be a part of a quartet that might go to Maryland on a scholarship) And it’s only Saturday. The following days will be packed with benefit concerts, shows, finals and other fun stuff. Our life is a big canvas ready to be painted Raisi

Artistic Curiosity

Feeding our child’s curiosity is one of the uplifting jobs of a mother; And today was just one of those moments. Central Park is one of our favorites, I was going to take him to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (where dh proposed ) but today my 13yo and I explored a new adventure. About 75 minutes away from our home is Hamilton, NJ’s Grounds for Sculpture , a 35 acre sculpture park dedicated to promote an understanding of modern art. And what a treat! For the first time since this year’s spring-break, our adventure was blessed with warm, sunny and glorious day. I guess you can say that we’re a very artistic family – we love music, arts, theatre and museums. We're always dancing, singing and putzing around. Being raised in the Philippines (where most people sing and dance ) and having married a fun-loving husband raised in Brooklyn – my kids are super into arts! This day’s adventure started out by my driving-challenges. ( Of course, we got lost!) B

A husband's thoughts about motherhood

(One of the reasons why I'm crazy about my honey): After becoming a father for the first time 20 years ago I learned that my wife’s energy and stamina far surpassed my own. A mother’s energy is an amazing thing to behold, and most men simply can’t keep up. Some men can, but most don’t stand a chance. On balance, men are not Olympic-class child-nurturers in the same way that women are not Olympic-class bench-pressers. (Although some might argue about that..) In an extreme situation, most of these “handicapped” husbands can rise to the occasion and surprise their wives, but in the long run they usually under-perform. As you said, it’s not that we don’t care; it’s just the way we’re wired. This is very tough on the mom, as she’s caring for the baby, recovering from labor, whacked out hormones, dealing with weight issues, and to top it off, wondering why her husband is “out to lunch”. Being a mother is very hard, and I’m sure I couldn’t do it. That being said, the mos

No more tears left

Thanks to Natasha of Thursday Sweet Treat , this week’s theme: “ Beyond the Keyhole of Imagination Lies…” touched my heart tremendously. I dream of writing proceed... to be brave.. I am on a mission – a very emotional mission. It’s not an easy task, as the Greek philosopher , Epictetus , once said, “no great thing is created suddenly”. I've written a few pages but I kept stopping because it still tears me apart.... Imagination – that’s one force that drives mankind. Do you have to be a child to live your dreams? It’s like one of my crumbcatchers’ favorite movie, “Narnia”, you’ll never know what you get once you peek through the keyhole of imagination, and you’ll never know what you’ll see once you unlock that door! So here goes… Every goal begins with imagination. One wishes upon a star and dreams that it will come true – and my one dream when I look beyond the keyhole of imagination is for my family to be back together again. On the wee hours of October

A Father's Letter to His Daughter's Date

As I was searching for my journal, I bumped into a letter that my husband gave to our daughter's date on her first Semi-Formal dance. Feb 10, 2006 Hello John, I’m My-girl’s dad, and I wanted to write you a quick note. Although we’ve never met I’m sure you’re a very nice person. My-girl has said many good things about you, and I’ve had you investigated thoroughly. Unfortunately you have one big flaw, which causes me great anxiety. You see, I’ve heard you’re a guy. Being a guy myself I’m very familiar with the various defects in our species. Most of those defects pertain to how we treat women, but they do extend beyond that area. My primary concerns, however, are related to the women-treatment variety of defects. I have the following important guidelines that I’m asking you to work with. 1) Absolutely NO kissing. 2) Also, NO kissing. 3) And one more thing. No kissing. The only exception to this is a quic k kiss on the cheek, at the end of the night, IF

Sometimes you have to let go...

Almost five years ago, my 2nd found an orange turtle, Spanky, wandering in our backyard. So my son took in Spanky as his pet. For weeks, he made sure Spanky’s fed and warm. But our youngest (about 3 then) didn’t know how to be gentle with Spanky so we had to talk to our 2nd son to let Spanky go. It was heartbreaking but my 2nd decided to say good-bye. We set Spanky free and hoped that he’ll be fine. It’s been five years now, and the kids still remember that day. Of course they all feel bad, but they learned that Sometimes, you have to let someone go … (Craft project by my 2nd crumbcatcher) As my kids get older, Letting go is the toughest thing to do. I know I can’t keep them in my arms, I know I have to let them be. I have four kids – all different in every aspect! You have to love, guide and support them for who they are And what they want to be. So my 2nd might be going away to college next fall. Being apart from him this s

multiple RSS subscriptions feeding my brain…

Choices…priorities…results… Oh man, I hate to make choices! But every hour there’s always a choice to make. Do I work out first or do I head to my computer right away? Do I fold the laundry or do I start composing that poem that’s been in my head since I woke up? Do I reconcile the statements or do I go over the list in my Google Reader? What do you think I picked? I think this whole creative process has given me an excuse to procrastinate. My obsession has moved from cleaning and laundry to writing and reading. From organizing kids closets to picasa-editing of my photographs. And the mind – oh my! All this creativity has awaken a sleeping dragon of photo downloads! Stop – did I just have a Paula Abdul moment? (lol) What do you think I should tackle first? Do I continue with my regular house work or do I bury myself in the world of Google, Tweeter and WORD processing? What about completing the playbill for my 13yo’s piano studio recital next week? (