Instruction: Imagine an elephant and a mouse jumping on a trampoline. Considering Newton’s Law, how will you imagine this to look like? Draw me an incredible picture below.
At the end of every school year, I save photos of my favorite papers/schoolwork of my kids. This one was Michelle’s. Every time I see it, it cracks me up. She’s really a good illustrator. Look how scared the mouse is while holding a cheese. And the young elephant is looking prim and proper. Weee!
I was fortunate to have been showered with lots of notes from my kids when they were young, back in the days when cellphones are not available for children. Looking at one of those notes I got, I was reminded of those sweet and memorable times I get to spend with my children’s school class. Once every week I allot one day each for both of my kids to do what the teacher would ask me to do. Most of the time it’s listening to the kids’ timed reading. Seeing improvement in each one of them by the end of the year makes my heart satisfied because I know that not all of them were taught.
I volunteered so many hours in my kids’ schools in different stages of their elementary school life. I won’t forget some of the most innocent questions I got. Young kids have unique abilities to melt someone’s heart. Instead of being burdened or tired after serving them, I find it invigorating. They put a smile on my face all the time. And those were my favorite days.
Though I’ve been to many volunteer work, I find myself lacking in that area and still would want to improve. All of the voluntary work I did from when I was a young kid up to now, I would do them all over again given a chance because of the enjoyment and fulfillment. But what about when it is inconvenient, unpleasant and unglamorous?
Today as I was reading a book about praying for my children, my desire for my kids to have a servant’s heart became a prayer focus. That cultivating a servant’s heart in them is important and worth every prayer. It’s a call to selflessness. I was led not only to pray for my children but also for us, adults as well. That even in today’s culture of self-centeredness, we may find ourselves serving because we want to follow the example of Jesus. We are all called to servanthood not only within the confines of a church setting, but on an everyday living. It is in the giving up of our lives — time, talent, effort, resources and comfort at times when an opportunity for service comes.
So why we volunteer? It’s because of love. Only if we love, we can serve others without ifs and buts. And the motivation for that love is because we love the Lord. That in everything that we do, we do it with all our hearts, as working for Him, not for people.
Let us serve others in love. – Galatians 5:13
“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you.” – Anne Lamott
I remember the days when we used to go to our local library and borrow as much as 30 books in a single transaction. Our kids were exposed to so much library resources and best of all, they’re free! I enjoy every bit of time spent reading our borrowed books wherever we find it comfy to read.
But among all the books that we’ve ever read, about to read and cherished to read over and over, there’s one that stands the test of time. It’s the most precious of all, the Bible, simply because it is the written word of God. No matter how many times you’ve read it, there’s still so much to know, learn and understand. You will find yourself gaining not only knowledge but wisdom. And if you get deeper, it could change you.
Here’s why. “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12
photo credit: Ritrato Photography
Some of the books we love way back homeschool days.
Created in May of 2011, this was my first ever portrait and one of the best any day gift I’ve received. One day, Michelle was intently looking at me while I was doing house chores. I never paid attention to what she was doing at that moment. After a few minutes of repeatedly looking at me, she gave me this portrait she drew. Sweet!
Sometimes you’re in the mood to have someone take a groupfie photo, and you pose with peace sign unconsciously. It happened in a snap. Later on, you realized the camera belongs to the other group in your tour. Then the owner of the Iphone saw the picture, laughs at the outcome, thinks of how to send it to you coz she thinks you got a nice photo. And to break the embarassment, you let her send the picture but she doesn’t know what airdrop means. After that, everybody’s talking about airdrop. So there was a quick tutorial inside the 4-wheel truck ride to the tour site. What an ice breaker! Everybody’s laughing. Lesson learned: Know who owns the camera before posing.
Now talking about Upper Antelope, personally, I like Lower Antelope better because it’s more challenging to be inside an underground canyon and cost-wise, much cheaper. But for this trip, we considered a senior friendly tour. Our nanay marveled at the sight of the terracotta like swirly formed slot canyon. It is formed by sand, wind and water over the years. Both Antelope slot canyons are located on a Navajo nation near Page, Arizona.
What was posted in Facebook about expectation versus reality of tourists in some of the most popular tourist spots in the world is true. See the people? You have to take selfies without photobombers in 1-2 seconds or else.
Here are some of the photos we took using cellphone:
Now, this is heart.
Teenage mutant ninja turtle mummified version? That’s just my observation.
End of the hike. Time to hop in to our rugged ride. Til next time!
The funny thing here is, they learned how to do the peace sign. Look at the grandma on the right.:) Below is selfie with our Navajo tour guide. Then airdrop everyone! I bet he got some good gratuity that day.
Today, we celebrate Michelle’s courageous attempt at being her school orchestra’s principal chair. It takes a lot of courage and determination to step out and let the whole class know that she wants to be the first chair. She accepted the responsibility to become their leader not only in class but during performances.
As parents, we can only encourage her to be patient and exercise her faith. Several times she could have been in that position but it was given to another kid. This time, she didn’t let it happen. For three days she prepared diligently. It took her hours of playing violin. And today, she’s victorious! So glad that she got what she was hoping for but more importantly, we are proud that she did it without any effort on our part. We let her evaluate the situation and take big steps to achieve her goals. We celebrate all kinds of victories in our family because we acknowledge that those victories are from the Lord. He alone can free us from our struggles. Way to go Michi girl! Your performance last February in SDYS is just the beginning.:)
photo credit: Ritrato Photography
photo by mom
This was in 2014. Hiking Fortuna mountains was a good workout. The climb to “Stairway to Heaven” was no easy feat. We started at 7:30 and finished before noon using the Tierrasanta entrance. We were with a group from hiking ministry so it was nice to meet new people and enjoyed praying at the summit. It’s a 6 mile hike with a combination of cold and warm weather ending with a little run to the car before the rain starts to pour. The views from two summits were amazingly great. A must hike for San Diegans.
Love, love flowers specially those that have unique characteristics. My painting was inspired by the colorful, pretty, and diverse campanulas or bellflowers we always see during spring hikes.
“Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1844
Being a follower of National Geographic in instagram, I admire the works of natgeo photographer Aaron Huey. He featured the works of an old artist named Leonard Knight in his photography book, Where The Heaven Flowers Grow. And based from Aaron’s photos & updates in IG, I didn’t want to let this beautiful art be a thing of the past where I could just only see it in photos. Since the death of Mr. Knight in 2014, I think it’s quite a challenge to have someone continue to maintain his legacy. Thankfully, there’s a non-profit organization that helps preserve his artwork.
Salvation Mountain is more than 2 hours drive from San Diego but my husband and I were determined to go. Not sure though if my kids would be very happy about it since they have no idea what they will see. But grandma is here and they’re suppose to show her around.
Located in Southeast corner of California, Salvation Mountain was a product of hard work, passion and love for Jesus. This mountain artwork is an expression of the artist’s inner self and love for God that it took him more than three decades and devoted most of his remaining decades to do his creative preaching. He must be a cool, patient, free-spirited guy who lived his senior life playing with paints and dirts in the free city called Slab City.
My take on what my eyes had seen is that we can be creative and all-out in expressing our love for God. Some may find it to be just a cool “graffiti” or a hip place. Some may find it unusual and weird. But hey, the guy is preaching God’s love for everyone. Repent and invite Jesus into your heart. That’s what Mr. Knight wants to tell us.
Quoting him from an interview with LA Times, he said, “We’ve just got to start loving God more, and these things like wars wouldn’t happen”. What if we start loving Jesus more today?