Family

 

 

Honoring Our Mother

If there are treasures on earth that are so abundant yet so priceless, they are what we call mothers. My mother in-law was an example of a simple person who has an extraordinary mothering skills like that of a mother hen. Her inner strength enabled their family surpass the tests of family life. She may not be healthy all the time but she had a strong sense of care for her family. I’ve seen her qualities through the years and I admire her for that. She may not be perfect as nobody is perfect but the skills of motherhood is overflowing in her life. She devoted herself taking care of her family until the very end, a noble task that many mothers can’t do nowadays.

nanay1I have vivid memories of her when we went back to Manila two years ago. I’ve seen how happy and content she was being reunited with all of her children and grandchildren. The picture that left an imprint in my mind was when I saw her watching a television show with satisfaction and laughing her heart out alone while everyone was in the living room during her 59th birthday celebration. It was so nice to see a person happy even if we just had a simple celebration.

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Multiple complications from diabetes and kidney malfunction took her away from us last week. It was a battle of more than a month in the hospital. But God was in the midst of it all. Truly, God’s sufficient grace enabled everyone in the family to do what they can for our mother. And God was so good. We know that she is now enjoying the place where there’s no pain and suffering but pure joy and the presence of our Almighty. We were not able to go back home but we were given the chance to tell her how much we love her, thank her for her life and assure her that we will be living our lives well.

I will not forget how we had snacks one time she visited me in my office. That was probably more than 10 years ago. It was unusual to spend time together during office hours but I am glad we did because most of the time we see each other with everyone else around. I thank her for all the time and effort she made for me and my family. I will always remember how she looked after us whenever there’s an event or occasion. She always made sure that we have seats, choicest food and most of all my kids were treated well.

During our light moments, mother in-law would always share so many stories about my husband when he was young. It made me feel and see how my husband’s childhood was like. She even gave me my husband’s baby shoes and a toy that we let Adrian play with but unfortunately I was not able to keep. I wish I could at least have taken a photo of those (no phone cameras and selfies yet that time). I have so many things to be grateful for her life but the best legacy given to me was giving birth to my husband and raising him to be a fine, gentle and loving person.

Nanay, you are forever in our hearts.

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 Nanay Lydia with her granddaughters (Greenbelt Makati City 2005)

 

 

 

Cooking Adventure: Deokbokki

It’s been a year since our visit to Seoul, Korea. We’ve watched a lot of Korean dramas that visiting Asia would not be complete without a tour of Seoul and a taste of their dishes.

My personal favorite Korean dish is tofu stew. I can skip any Korean dish except this one. When our family decided to abstain from eating out for forty days, I developed this craving for my favorite Korean food. Good thing about living in this part of the world is that Korean market is just around the corner, selling many ingredients. Thanks to recipes online, I can create my soup at home.

(Namdaemun Market: South Korea)

When we were on tour to different places in Seoul, we tried our best to try Korean food from streets, restaurants and malls. As much as possible we skipped McDonald’s and other common tourist food. We tried what looked appealing to us. We tried street food where you would just eat whatever you want and pay. One of them is Deokbokki, a rice cake shaped like a cylinder with hot and spicy sauce. The ahjummas (old ladies) are selling these from enclosed food stalls along the street. But most of the ahjummas don’t speak English. It’s good that when we ate deokbokki and other fish balls in skewers, there’s this young lady that helped us interpret what the ahjumma was saying.

(deokbokki I cooked at home)
We’re not crazy about deokbokki but I can’t help cooking when there are available ingredients and best of all, they’re on sale, nothing to lose. We tried it and it was good, spicy though. I got the recipe from Maangchi.

Digging for Gemstones: Feels Like an Archaeologist

by Michelle
Today is my first time to write my own blog entry. My mom helped me and showed me how to choose the pictures. After a few minutes, I found my subject: the time I dug twelve gemstones from a block of sandstone.
Here, I started to get in more and more. It took me about ten minutes to find my first gemstone, serpentine. Later, I started finding more and more, until I found all twelve. I was really excited, because I felt like an archaeologist!
After a long time of digging, I knew I was getting closer to the finish. I found out that archaeologists really have to work hard, because if they found ancient stuff, they have to dust it with a brush(like me!), so they won’t break any treasures. I was glad when my brother helped me, even if he found big, broken chunks of rock, and tried to break it.
Actually, I don’t even know how long it took me to find all twelve(the picture just shows nine of the rocks), but I know that it took me a very long time! I still had to find two more gemstones, but my dad told me to sleep because it was midnight. So the next morning, I finished the rest, and put all of what I found on a box. When my mom woke up, she didn’t know where I put the gemstones, so she picked up the box, but before she could throw it away, she saw my gemstones fall into the carpet. She only found eleven of it, but then I found the twelfth one next to the sandstone! Also, the gemstones that I found were: One rock crystal, one fluorite, tree rose quartz, one amazonite, one jasper, one serpentine, one sodalite, one agate, and one mahogany obsidian.

Happy Heart’s Day

We had a simple valentine celebration at home. I prepared Chicken Madeira Cheesecake Factory style and chocolate chip cookies topped with vanilla ice cream dessert for my date tonight since we can’t go out. I commissioned two lovable kids to be our musicians and servers. Thanks Ad & Mich! 

I’m Back!

After hibernating for about two years, our blog site has now resurrected! I will be inviting my kids & husband to contribute from time to time. It has always been my goal to update this site but I don’t know what happened. I will just backtrack from the time I stopped just like in the movies.

So to start anew and since it’s the love month, I’d like to touch on one of the 5 love languages – Quality Time. As a family, we love going out and spending time with or without plans. Spending quality time is really a must for our family. We make sure that even if our weekdays are full with individual schedules, our weekends definitely are always busy (I figured out now why I have tons of chores every Monday).

Last week was one of those outdoor fun activities we had. We went to Ogden to see their Winterfest Activities. We’ve learned that they brought tons of snow (460 large dump trucks) from different areas such as Hinckley Airport and paved them up along the 25th street for the event. This was their 2nd year hosting the event and about 12,000 spectators went in the two-day event.

We spent more than 4 hours and we had so much fun. There were too many activities that we don’t know which one to go to. We spent more time with the sled and ski and was distracted by the food booth that’s why we missed the skijoring competition. Skijoring is a winter sport where a person on skis is pulled by a horse.

We started off with watching the Toboggan (Sled) Parade mostly by sponsors. One of them is Coca Cola, thus we have this photo of the Coca Cola Polar Bear.

Then, sledding. Notice how high was the starting point. It’s as high as the traffic light.

We took the opportunity to try cross country skiing with skis, poles and shoes provided by Weber State University.

There were many activities happening simultaneously like snowmobile racing, polar bear swim event, flag football competition. Other activities include junior jazz basketball, 5K run, ski-bike race, live music, dog show, human dog sled race. Plus the many booths that served yummy food. We tried Hawaiian chicken barbecue, pulled pork sandwich, the very popular ribbon fries with cheese and a big buffalo burger.

After the event we went home exhausted but happy. We’re glad we went to Ogden that day.

Happy Holidays!!!!

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Field Trip at Ogden Nature Center Sept 2008



Most of the kids here who went to field trip had their first school bus ride. One of them is Michelle. They had fun inside the bus. I happened to be there as the parent volunteer to capture the moments of Mich’s first school field trip. Inside the bus, the kids were singing “The Wheels of the Bus”. 

 
It was hot out in the field. Some kids were complaining of getting tired and thirsty. Kids get to listen to the tour guide explaining the ecosystem, different animals in the wild, how they thrive in such environment. They also played a hiding game so they could feel how animals get to camouflage themselves when enemies are watching. They were also toured to see some big birds like owls and eagles. 
 
It was a different learning experience for these little ones and it was just so amazing to hear how they reason when asked about what they know and think about nature. 

Lincoln Lynx



Excerpts from Lincoln’s letter to his son’s teacher

He will have to learn,
I know, that all men are not just,
all men are not true.
But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero;
that for every selfish Politician, there is a dedicated leader…
Teach him for every enemy there is a friend,

Steer him away from envy,
if you can, teach him the secret of quiet laughter.

Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to lick…
Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books…
But also give him quiet time to ponder
the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun,
and the flowers on a green hillside.

In the school teach him it is far honourable to fail than to cheat…
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong… Teach him to be gentle with gentle people, and tough with the tough.

Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd
when everyone is getting on the band wagon…

Teach him to listen to all men…
but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth,
and take only the good that comes through.

Teach him if you can, how to laugh when he is sad…
Teach him there is no shame in tears,
Teach him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness…
Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidders
but never to put a price-tag on his heart and soul.

Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob
and to stand and fight if he thinks he’s right.
Treat him gently, but do not cuddle him,
because only the test of fire makes fine steel.
Let him have the courage to be impatient…
let him have the patience to be brave.
Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself,
because then he will have sublime faith in mankind.

This is a big order, but see what you can do… He is such a fine fellow, my son!

My kids are enrolled at Lincoln Elementary. It’s Michelle’s first traditional school and Adrian’s second. They are enrolled as kindergarten and 3rd grade respectively. The school was named after Abe Lincoln. Their vision is to change the world…one student at a time. 

Reading Reward


She is savoring the reward for her diligence in reading. Her quota is a book per day. Mrs. Moon (kindergarten teacher) challenges her reading skills by giving her a book or two everyday. Thanks to Pizza Hut for supporting the reading programs of schools. 

Malacanang Museum



Our first trip to Malacanang Museum. It was an educational tour around the places where our presidents held offices and received guests. There were different memorabilias representing the different regimes of past presidents. The newer collections were some of the state gifts during our current president’s state visits. We’ve also seen the room with the table and chair where Martial law was proclaimed by former president Marcos.

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