Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 212: Our First AGM

Having graduated recently from BCLP Batch 12, we became the newest Action Group (#6) of BCBP - Butuan Chapter. Being neophytes, we were oriented into the role of an Action Group and what goes on during regular meetings. With the guidance and support of our AGL's (Action Group Leaders) and Course Leaders, we enter into the BCBP AG life. Our regular meetings will serve as the anchor of our continuing struggle to follow Christ in this mad temporary world. With a supportive group like this, carrying the Cross will definitely be a shared sacrifice. 

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 211: Mommy's Special Sinangag

Whenever I have the time, I love preparing breakfast for my family. One breakfast fare I love to cook is fried rice and its many varieties. If pressed for time, I quickly saute finely minced garlic and leftover rice from dinner and come up with garlic rice. Sometimes, I perk it up with a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce or Asado sauce. I had more prep time today so I came up with this all-in-one special fried rice made more attractive and healthy with the colorful mixed veggies (carrots, corn and peas) and yummier with scrambled bits of egg. 

Don't you just love rice?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 210: Icy Treat

One refreshing treat that usually delights my kids is the tingling icy goodness of ICE POP or for those who grew up in the 70's and 80's, we used to call it ICE CANDY. This millennium's version are rainbow-colored fruit-flavored gel treats sealed in plastic that can easily be frozen at home. They're sweet and cool but personally, I prefer the good old homemade ones in tiny ice bags filled with real fruit bits and milk.

What's your ICE CANDY story?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 209: Gettin' Ready for Foundation Week

For the past two years, my son Jarred took part in his school's foundation celebration as a member of the preschool group. Well, since he's in primary level now, this is will be the first time that he will be grouped with other elementary graders. 

He is a member of the SUN Group composed of 18 young boys and girls from grades 1 to 6. In preparation for the week-long celebration, they are knee-deep in preparations for the numerous group contests: Field Demonstration, Song Interpretation, Speech Choir and Readers' Theater. As shown in the photos, I caught them practicing for the Speech Choir competition.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 208: Makin' faces

Our little bunsoy knows when the camera is focused on are just some of her many faces...

CeeJae dear, you really are my precious gem! 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 207: Golden Glory

This is how the new altar of the St. Joseph Cathedral in Butuan City looks like now. For the past several months, heavy construction and renovation has been going on to produce the marvelous golden glory that is seen in the picture. 

The kids couldn't keep mum their amazement and awe at the beauty in front of them as we took our places on the front pew during Sunday mass. Quickly, questions shot at me one after another: "Mom, who's that one on top?", "Which angel is that?", "Who are those people on either side of the altar?". Fortunately, there was still enough time to answer all their questions before the mass started.

I found it a good exercise too that the children got exposed to the different characters in Jesus' life. At least now, it'll be easier for Kuya Jarred to understand the scriptures when he's reading them for family Rosary time.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 206: Fullhouse at Breakfast

It was almost "standing room only" at BCBP joint breakfast yesterday as Bro. Noel and Sis. Dina Mercado took to the stage for their life sharing. The combined wit and comic relief style of Bro. Noel and the calm and relaxing manner of Sis. Dina brought together a powerful sharing that had me laughing and crying at the same time. Their journey was full of life-changing and life-challenging twists and turns that can only bring about inspiration and hope for people like me who are given the opportunity to listen. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day 205: Nutrition Week 2010

In celebration of this year's Nutrition Week, here's a mélange of photos taken at Butuan Faith Christian School as the students showcased their healthy bodies and minds in an entertaining program filled with wit, talent and creativity. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 204: As a judge

During the recently concluded Nutrition Week celebration at my son's school, I reprised my role as judge (last schoolyear was my first time). From the A1 Child competition for preschool, primary and intermediate categories, the jingle-making and interpretation, to the slogan and poster-making contests, there were so many talented children to choose from this year. Some were more witty and charming than others and yet hid wonderful treasures of talent inside.  Together with three other parents, we were tasked with choosing the best among the best. In the end, it was difficult to decide but the choices had to be made. For the preschool category, the A1 winners were from Kinder 1, for the primary category, the pair from Grade 2 bested their opponents and the Grade 6 partners were triumphant in the intermediate category. The Grade 2 and 6 pupils were the grand winners for the jingle-making and interpretation contest. Overall, it was a grand showcase of talent, skill and teamwork from all BFCS students. Kudos to all!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 203: Just chillin'

As with numerous articles of baby clothing and toys, this director's chair is a hand-me-down  item from Kuya Jarred. Like the diva that she is, CeeJae took to the chair oh so naturally, grabbing her shades and make-believe cocktail cup and straw, posing just at the right moment for Mommy to capture this photo.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 202: Soursop

A gift from our generous neighbors, we enjoyed refreshing mounds of fleshy guyabano (soursop) for dessert tonight. Soursop is a fruit that looks and smells like an oversized atis (custard apple). More sour than atis, I must say that liking guyabano is an acquired taste. As a child, I enjoyed it in a tall glass, blended with crushed ice and a little sugar. My paternal grandfather loves this fruit so much and I remember how his ancestral home in Frisco, QC always smelled like guyabano whenever I went there to visit him and Lola. As I enjoyed each morsel of soursop tonight, I went back memory lane and relived my wonderful childhood days.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 201: My Lovely Divas

Music must really be running in the veins of my two lovely girls. A few days ago, it was a love affair with the piano, now it's about the microphone and singing. 

These two love staring at the karaoke channel at home and would usually hum to the tune they could hear playing. The same is true whenever they hear popular theme songs from their favorite Disney Playhouse channel. 

Well, dressing the part is certainly a start...these are my talented watch out for them!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 200: The Fruit of Kuya's Savings

Remember my blog entry about Kuya Jarred's savings from his daily allowance?  Well, once it hit a little over the P100 mark, he decided that it was time for him to spend his stash for something he liked. 

Upon arriving at the local mall, he went over the selection of miniature cars available on the store shelf. For nearly an hour, he searched for  the one that he liked that would fit his budget. At a smaller specialty store, he found this Hotwheels bread van miniature and decided that it was what he wanted to buy. For P99.75, he got a new spanking red toy car to join his collection of similar miniatures. 

I'm not so sure if he made the right decision to spend his savings right away...he could have waited a tad longer and saved some more money to probably buy something that was more interesting. Oh well, it is his money anyway and he should be the one to decide what to do with it. I just hope and pray that he learns the value of money and making the right purchase decision while doing this exercise.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day 199: Graduates of BCLP 12

For the past 8 Saturdays since May 29, hubby and I have been attending the BCBP's Brotherhood Christian Life Program or BCLP. Yesterday, we graduated as part of batch 12 together with 9 other participants. With the Lord's guidance, the support of our BCBP community and the unity of fellow BCLP 12 participants, we are all now associate members of the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals - Butuan Chapter. It is but the beginning of our long journey into full Christian life and we are so excited to experience everything else that is in store for us in the community. 

Surely, the regular Saturday talks and meet ups with our batchmates will be be missed but we now have our AGM's (Action Group Meetings) to look forward to plus the remaining programs and talks we need to attend to complete our full-pledge membership into BCBP. 

The changes, the peace, the joy and the new life we're enjoying now was made possible through the grace and power of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We now lift everything for His greater glory and praise! Alleluia!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day 198: Ole!

Here's a sampling of the scrumptious food we had during last Thursday's fellowship at the Rosales'. A staple at any Pinoy affair, the roast pig or lechon was the centerpiece of the buffet. There was a viand to each person's liking - healthy vegetables, tasty fish, gastronomically-delightful beef, tasty chicken and the ever-present pancit. To satisfy one's sweet tooth, a melange of yummy desserts filled one table - leche flan, chiffon cake, macaroons, suman and  brownies. It was a truly satisfying and belly-filling meal...burp!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 197: Music to my ears

My two girls don't really know how to play the piano yet but in this picture, you'd think they do. The sounds they produced with the striking of the keys were truly sweet-sounding.

They banged away at the piano keyboard and had their fill of music-making. Who knows? Maybe one or both of them would venture into music and become virtuosos one day...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 196: Fellowship

Several brothers and sisters from our BCBP community gathered together at the lovely home of couple members Bro. Nonoy and Sis. Belen Rosales to celebrate the eve of their town fiesta (Carmen, Agusan del Norte). Surrounded by a great view, enclosed in a wonderful abode, we shared the company of great friends over chit-chat, food and drink. It was indeed a wonderful way to bond and get to know each other better.  I'm looking forward to more bonding moments like this in the community.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 195: The Family that Prays Together...

As a child and young adult, my parents exposed my siblings and I to prayer especially the Holy Rosary. I remember that we'd pray it daily in front of the altar during the month of October which is the feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. Somehow the busy teenage life turned to the busy career life and sadly, the prayer habit took a back seat.

Ever since joining the BCBP community, I've been reunited with the power and essence of prayer. Understanding more about why we need to pray and how to do it properly has really rekindled the passion of prayer and praise in my heart.

Today, the entire family started the daily Holy Rosary habit at six o'clock in the evening. Kuya Jarred has been assigned the role of prayer leader and scripture reader. At first, he showed signs of restlessness but as he continued learning the Rosary, the prayers and the story of Jesus' life in the scripture readings, it sparked a curiosity and interest in him. 

With God's grace and guidance, I'm hoping we can sustain this wonderful habit in our family...and I end with the slogan that the late Fr. Patrick Peyton (the Rosary priest) has made famous, "The family that prays together, stays together."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 194: Special "Bus" Service

The two girls are always excited to see off their Kuya to school or pick him up in the afternoon. Having him spend the whole day in school makes them miss him all the more. Their reunions are always so touching and poignant. Today, I brought them along to fetch Kuya...they happily mingled with the other school children as I was preoccupied with a young Grade 2 student who had been harassed by an upperclassman. All three young ones were happy to play with the other students who were waiting for their parents, yayas or drivers while I was appeasing the young girl who kept on breaking into sobs. We left the school with a disturbed feeling about the new student who has been bullying the younger girls. (Note to self: Remember to bring it up during the next PTA meeting)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 193: Long Test Blues

The reality that a new school year has started only hits me when the need for lengthy review comes along. During Jarred's preschool days, I prepare reviewers right before his quarterly exams. Now that he's in primary school, they have monthly long tests on top of the big quarterly ones. His first monthly long examination falls on this date today and tomorrow. The downside of having this new system is the frequency of reviewing and doing of sample tests but it's really more of an advantage because he gets to review each chapter lengthily in preparation for the quarterly exams. On my end, it's also good because even though I need to prepare the reviewers monthly, each one is shorter than what I used to do for quarter exams and this time, I only need to combine the tests I do for each month to prepare for the big one. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day 192: Sunday Lunch

Weekend meals are considered special...these are the days when we can indulge in our food favorites. Today, the choice was "inihaw na liempo" and after hearing Sunday mass at the cathedral, we trooped down to Botoy's Inihaw for lunch. 

It was a simple, no-frills affair - 2 orders of freshly-grilled pork belly, rice and refreshingly cool Mountain Dew. The kids loved it plain while hubby and I had to have our spicy "sawsawan" (dipping sauce) on the side.  The two orders of the grilled pork were actually too much so we still had enough leftover for dinner (how's that for a bargain meal?). All these for only less than P350, it was a great weekend family meal, don't you think?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day 191: Candy Fix

Definitely NOT nutritious but they sure ARE delicious!!! These hard candies have been part of our BCLP sessions the past several Saturdays. Aside from the cups of coffee that help keep us perky during the siesta hours, these sweet treats give us jolts of energy. 

I'm starting to love these strawberry and cream  & butter-caramel candies although I have to remember not to overindulge as they are really bad for the health...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 190: Up High

Little daredevil that she is...Cathleen Janelle didn't mind being high up on a stack of monoblock chairs. In fact, she warded off any attempts that Kuya Jarred made to get her (notice the blurry hand motion on the second picture).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 189: Toddler Play

The younger ones couldn't catch up with Kuya's busy city track and so they made their own track using his old Thomas the Train toddler train set. 

Of course, it's nothing as complicated as Kuya's big city set but it also makes use of tracks and the two girls can make the trains go around just by friction. It occupies them for about half an hour until the complexity of their older brother's set lure them to once again play with his track set. Then, riot sets in!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 188: P-Noy Time

Barely two weeks into the presidency, P-Noy is setting a trend it seems...

One of the things that the Filipino is quite known for worldwide is his weird concept of time and punctuality. For some reason, we are known for not having a good sense of time management - we think it's okay to be late for appointments, meetings and occasions. We get flacked by foreigners because of this.

For the 2nd or 3rd time since his inauguration, President Noynoy Aquino arrived late for an important event today...the Red Mass of the Catholic Church. When pressed for an explanation the next day, P-Noy blamed his tardiness on three things: staying up late for an event the previous night, brownouts at his place and an upset stomach. 

Much has been publicized about his "wang-wang" directive and I must say he's probably setting a good example but if he really wants to be the role model of the entire Filipino nation, he should start from the most basic behavior and that is having the courtesy to be on time for appointments. By dignifying his tardiness with excuses, he's sending the wrong message to the people - that it is okay to be late as long as you didn't use a siren/'wang-wang' or you lined up at the jeepney/MRT terminal.

This country has bigger problems to address and solve...let's move on to the more important stuff and avoid dwelling on the trivialities please!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 187: Kropek

On my way to pick up my son from school I crossed paths with a vendor selling old-time favorite Pinoy snacks. I hailed him to examine his inventory of goods. After careful thought, I ended up buying 5 packs of snack items consisting of kropek, pilipit and ampao. 

Long before Jack n Jill or Granny Goose came into the picture, children's snack time consisted of these simple favorites. I remember various occasions in my childhood when my sister and I together with cousins would enjoy these snacks whenever Mom would happen to pass by Chinatown in Binondo. 

These fun-filled childhood memories fill my mind as I munch on these crunchy goodies, after a customary dunk in spicy vinegar. Yum!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 186: City Life

It will be more than eight years now that I'd been living the promdi (provincial) life. Being born and raised in Manila/Quezon City for most of my life, it is still a puzzle to me (and to most people who know me) how I was able to appreciate and love the simple life. Knowing and seeing it is one thing but living it is entirely a different matter altogether. 

I was known as "lakwatsa" and "porma" girl in my younger days. The Greenhills Shopping Center was my hangout place and I remember needing to be updated with the latest fashion trend. That was one effect of growing up in a private all-girls school. I had this lopsided view about life and belongingness. I grew up believing I had to be "in" to feel that I fit in. I guess that was the reason why I never felt real happy during elementary and high school days. I was always measuring myself against my richer and well-placed classmates that I forgot that the most important thing was developing my own being and individuality. 

I was fortunate to learn this once I entered the country's state university where my classmates came from all walks of life and from all over the country. It was where kikay met jologs and sossy hobnobbed with geeky and it was sooooo okay. For the first time in my life, I felt that I belonged in this crazy world. 

I guess it was this awesome, mind-blowing and culture-shaking experience that made me  go for the unusual things in life - choosing to start a career right smack in Manila's pier area, deciding to move to Cebu for independence and finally settling for a laid back life in Northern Mindanao.

Shunning away from the busy city life has probably added several years to my life expectancy because of less stress, no pollution and a no-excess lifestyle. The lure of the bright lights only come once in a blue moon and is easily fixed through a brief vacation in the city. Looking at how well my children are - carefree, simple and happy, I know that hubby and I must be doing something right and have made the best decision we could ever make for the family - the rustic provincial living. 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day 185: Turning a new leaf

This is the first day of my new life...I cherish within me the gifts lovingly shared by God.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 184: Miracles and Renewal

REBIRTH...RENEWAL...RECONCILIATION...Our very first Christian experience was the baptism we received as infants. At the time, our parents and godparents stood as "witnesses" for us. As we grew older in our walk of faith, we experience many challenges and reach numerous crossroads and in many instances, we lose touch with what it truly means and takes to be a Christian. Sometimes we get lost in the hustle and bustle of life or get lured by false contentment given by material things. 

Hubby and I were blessed by God to have been given an opportunity to renew ourselves with Him through the loving support of our BCBP community. Like doubting Thomas, we needed to see to believe and when we did, God's promise of eternal life became true and alive. Through our Baptism in the Holy Spirit, we were able to receive gifts of outrageous proportions. We were unworthy and yet the Lord poured out His bountiful blessings into us. 

It is life-changing...and it is indeed a true rebirth into God's loving arms. Praise Him now and forever!!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 183: Toothbrush

Five toothbrushes all in a row...

It amazes me how our family has grown in just a span of 9 years. When hubby and I got married, I got used to seeing two sets of toothbrushes after every meal. Then, we were blessed with a son and when he turned one year old, he was given his own brush to use. The same happened with our first daughter. Recently, even our little bunsoy became part of the family brushing ritual by having her own tiny toothbrush to use. 

Can you guess which one goes with whom? 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 182: Savings

I don't remember at what age my parents first allowed me to bring money to school. From what I can dig up from my memory gap-filled mind is that as early as Kindergarten, I could already purchase stuff from the school canteen. At the time, we didn't use money but "chits" - our parents were the ones who exchanged real money for small laminated cards that had various denominations and gave these to us for use in school.  I know that I used to buy Cone Marshmallow Candy, Fruit Balls and Haw Flakes to bring home to my little sister then. 

Recently, hubby and I decided that it might be the right time already to allow Jarred to receive daily monetary allowance so that he will learn the value of money. The actual amount isn't much really (P10.00/day) but it's enough to teach him to save and keep a budget for whatever he wants to purchase for himself. He was told that he could actually do what he wishes with his allowance but advised that he could save up the money so that he could buy something really big for himself this Christmas.  For the past two weeks, every time he comes home from school, he automatically reaches for the coins in his pocket and places them inside a big blue vase. By weekend, he takes account of his savings and mentally calculates how much he still needs to purchase a most-coveted prize...a Hotwheels Color Shifters set.