Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 243: Culinary Prize

Guess what was delivered to my doorstep today? The cookbook from Unilever Foodsolutions which I won at an online contest finally arrived! A few weeks ago, I "liked" a fan page on FB and learned a lot more about cooking. At the time, there was an online contest regarding "Your Adobo Story". I decided to submit my entry on Adobong Pusit and a week later, I received a message announcing that I won a copy of "Around the World in 80 Plates". Thanks to my good friend, Caren for hooking me up to So Pinoy Dishes in Facebook. It has truly inspired me to keep on exploring and discovering the culinary artist in me. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 242: The CeeJae Strut

Our little princess loves music so much...whether it's singing or dancing, she seems to always get into the groove whenever she hears music.

Here's CeeJae showing off her cool dance moves...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 241: BCBP-Butuan's 14th Anniversary

Despite a hectic week, the Lord has blessed hubby and I with the time and opportunity to help out with the preparations for the 14th anniversary of our BCBP community in Butuan. It was an out-of-town celebration and details on food, the mass and program had to be planned and laid out well.

All in all, everyone had their spirits renewed with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, their tummies filled with scrumptious food and their bodies and minds juggled a bit during the fun games.

It was a wonderful event for brothers and sisters in the community to bond with each other and their families. We look forward to many more of these in the future.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 240: A Taste of Heaven

The boxes of Oreo cookies and Pancake batter mix have been sitting on the pantry shelf for a couple of weeks now since I first planned to make a sweet surprise for the family. Knowing how my son, Jarred loves Oreo cookies, it took great effort on his part to resist popping open the box and devouring the goodies all at once. He and his siblings kept on asking when I'll finally make the "goodies". Well, after a tiring week of school activities, I finally had the time to make good my promise to the little ones and my big one. 

This recipe has done its rounds over Facebook for sometime and I was curious to find out if it was really as good as people have been commenting about it...


1 box Oreo cookies (2 packets)
1 pack instant pancake mix
1/4 cup water or milk
1 1/2 cups canola oil (for deep frying)

Preheat pan then add oil for frying. Prepare pancake batter according to package instructions. For creamier batter, use milk instead of water. Dip each cookie in the batter and when fully coated, drop each one slowly onto the hot oil. Flip when lightly browned on one side and brown the other side. Lift from hot oil right away to prevent burning. Cool for a while. Enjoy while warm.

So, was it a taste of heaven? Well, hubby and I enjoyed it. The first bite was the best one...with the soft dough breaking to let the sweet richness of the melted Oreo explode inside the mouth. One or two morsels would be enough as it was too rich to enjoy too much of. Well, for the kids, I guess having their Oreos and pancakes separately was still a much better idea for them.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Day 239: Celebrating BFCS' 22 years

By the end of a very long and tiring week, everyone was ready to take things slower. Today marked the awarding ceremonies of the SportsFest and Literary-Musical events held earlier in the week. By noon, parents and teachers also had an opportunity to bond over the Luncheon Fellowship. In the end, all kids went home winners, their hearts full of pride and joy.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 238: Treasure-Trove of Talent

Every year during the school's Foundation Week celebration, the most awaited event has always been the "Lit-Mus" or Literary Musical Competition. This year was no exception. Everyone was revved up for the different categories. Hours before showtime, students, parents and teachers were scrambling about to prepare for the contest - make-up, costumes and props had their last minute touch-ups.

Right before curtain call, there was a bevy of amazing costumes, animated characters and attractive props. The different groups had to compete in three categories namely, Readers' Theater, Speech Choir and Song Interpretation.

Here is the SUN Team (which my son is a part of) with their Readers' Theater performance that earned them first place...

...and their poignant interpretation of the Newsboys' "Amazing Love" which garnered 2nd place...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 237: Sports Fun

Day Two of the week-long Foundation Week festivities rallied the athletes of Butuan Faith Christian School. It was a fun-filled day of sports, games and a whole lot of bonding. The different teams first competed in a quiz followed by games and sports activities. The mommies and guardians weren't spared as they too joined in the fun.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 236: Grand Parade

Students, Teachers, Admin and Parents unite to start the celebration with a big bang!

Princes and Princesses with their court
After nearly a month of preparations, the long-awaited school foundation week celebration has finally come. This year, BFCS certainly pulled all the stops - from the very successful fund raising activity (plastic recycling) to the announcement of this year's young Prince and Princesses. 

For me personally, this event has given me the opportunity to help out and support the children and faculty in the different contests. It was also a wonderful venue to meet up and get to know the other parents in the community.

Take a peek at the grand opening salvo...

The fierce warriors - DACTYL Team
The bright and cheery SUN Team
The ever-sparkling  STAR Team
The young scene-stealers - TITANS Team

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 235: Hero

Growing up, I always looked up to my Dad as my own personal hero. To me, he was invincible, there was nothing he couldn't do. I was always confident that he'll be around to save me from danger and pain. So it wasn't a surprise that from the time I was a teenager, I knew that the man I would eventually marry should be someone just like Daddy. 

Well, that journey of looking for Mr. Right was such a long and arduous one...no one seemed to get past even first base of the requirements. It wasn't until I was well into my very late 20's that I met and eventually married my true hero. Although he wasn't exactly like Daddy, I'd like to believe that I chose someone who was a very close replica of Dad and at the same time, a very well-upgraded version of him. 

Daddy will always be the hero of my childhood and teenage days but hubby is and forever will be my life hero. 

Who's the hero in your life?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 234: Girl Power!!!

Not too long ago, there was constant struggle and battle with my eldest daughter during dress up time. She refused to wear anything feminine and opted to strut in jeans or sportswear. For a while, it was devastating for me as I've waited such a long time to spend "kikay" moments with my daughter since for many years before her birth, it was only Kuya Jarred I had to dress from head to foot. Of course, for boys it's a no-brainer...shirt, shorts/jeans, slip-ons or rubber shoes and that's it! 

It took the arrival of another princess in the family to finally awaken the fashion diva in  Atchie Caitlin. Nowadays, dressing up is such a breeze! My big princess now loves to do fashion shows of her different outfits, mixing and matching them up. And with her gorgeous long hair, Mommy can really bring on the kikay power to the max!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day 233: Unity

There is much to learn from a jar filled with decorative sticks...or simply from a bunched up "walis-tingting". Separately, each stick is nothing and would just fall onto the ground. But held together, they stand proud and strong. 

The same goes with faith, family and friendship. Without God, our lives mean nothing. Without our family, our life is empty. Without friends, our life is dull. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 232: We Are Family

It wasn't too long ago when it was just hubby and I starting out our life together...that was in early 2001. A year and a half later, we were blessed with our firstborn, JARRED ANDREI. And for quite a number of years, it was the three of us, living a simple life in down south Philippines. In late 2006, we welcomed a new addition to our family...our princess, CAITLIN ALYSSA. Five months after she was born, our family packed our bags and moved to Northern Mindanao, in the city of Butuan, which we now call home. Our family received a surprise blessing in early 2009 with the birth of the "bunso" of the family, CATHLEEN JANELLE. 

Life at home is rarely quiet and serene, most of the time it's filled with shrieks and laughter. The zen design hubby and I have always aspired to have in our home has taken a temporary backseat to the pieces of toys, books and thingamajigs that the kids manage to strew all over the place. There's wailing, crying and quarreling but there's also a whole lot of loving, caring, understanding and praying. 

Whenever I look at my family of five, I never cease to wonder how everything turned out to be this way...it seemed only yesterday when it was just hubby and myself. My life now revolves around what I call a HAPPY CHAOS...filled with laughter and tears, ups and downs, fighting and making up, misunderstanding and understanding, trials and blessings.

I thank God for placing me amidst this wonderful and crazy bunch I call family...it's His most wonderful gift to me. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day 231: Ang Langka (Jackfruit)

I wasn't too fond of jackfruit as a child. I thought it smelled funny. When Jollibee came out with their Banana Langka pie, I thought it tasted weird. And langka in my turon didn't thrill me either. 

Well, maybe there's something about promdi living that actually changed my taste buds. You see, langka is now one of my favorite fruits and I love to munch on it when it's sweet and ripe and I adore it as a vegetable dish - Guinataang Langka. Even with turon, I've come to prefer the ones with a sliver of jackfruit inside. 

Hubby and all three of my kids also love eating ripe jackfruit - we usually munch on the succulent yellow flesh as dessert. It's a good thing there's a regular langka vendor near my son's school so I don't really have to look around for some whenever we get the jackfruit craving. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 230: Princess DIVAS

Two months ago, I posted an entry about my concert diva daughter, Cailie. Apparently, the youngest in the family, CeeJae, has also been bitten by the concert bug and now joins her Ate in a "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" concert.

Watch and listen to their beautiful voices as they lovingly dedicate to you their masterpiece...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 229: Golden Kernels

As I was exiting the school gate with my son today, these golden orbs attracted my eye. A local vendor with his "kariton" was busy arranging his fare when my three kiddos cajoled me into buying some for their afternoon snack. Well, gullible me gave in to the temptation as well, not being able to resist the smell of freshly boiled corn on the cob.

Well, I wasn't able to capture a photo of the remnants of our corn snack but suffice to say, even 1-year old CeeJae had a hey day snacking on these golden kernels.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day 228: Breaktime!

The preparations for the BFCS Foundation Week celebration is on full swing now. All groups from preschool to elementary are busy with memorizing their lines for both the Speech Choir and Readers Theater, learning the steps for the Song Interpretation and Field Demo. 

Stage Mom that I am, I've taken an active role in the week-long celebration by helping out the SUN Team with the Speech Choir and Readers Theater. During rehearsals, I would be the one correcting their pronunciation, intonation and pausing. I also helped them achieve the right vocal power and unison. The SUN kids are a bunch of talented, hardworking and energetic boys and girls. Of course, there are times when they'll be kids and get rowdy or noisy but they do know when to get downright serious and give their performance best.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 227: Mommy Piggy is Belly-Mama...

Mommy Piggy is belly-mama as she is now more than halfway through her pregnancy. I guess the process of carrying offspring is similar across species, especially getting the hormones all wired up. She absolutely loves being doused with water very often (being pregnant does make you feel hotter than ever) and those mood swings are apparent now and then. 

Pregnancy is one of the valid reasons I had to "pig out" in the past. Well, I was eating for two, right? Hmmm..."pig-out"...now I know why that expression was coined. I was told that ever since Mommy Piggy got preggers, her appetite shot to the roof - she was hungry all the time!!! I know the feeling of being hungry for two...but can you just imagine being hungry for at least 12? Whoa!!! Eat on belly-mama!

Well, it wouldn't be long now until her wee little ones make their entrance...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 226: Sis. Ched's Journey

"Each person has his/her own story to tell."  This is what I've come to realize and appreciate during our joint breakfast meetings at BCBP.  At the end of two full weeks, I revel in the fact that I will get spiritual and emotional renewal by listening to the life stories of our featured sharers. Each individual/couple has their own journeys to share, crosses and burdens to reveal, and inspirational messages to impart. By sharing a part of themselves, I get humbled by the enormous pains, sacrifices and burdens they talk about that have shaped their lives. I come to realize that my own little struggles are nothing compared to theirs and I become thankful for all the blessings I have in my life. 

And it was such a revelation to me when Sis. Ched made her life sharing today...she is one of the ladies who made such an impression on me the first time I met her. Definitely an extrovert, she's a cheerful and chatty person much like my own Mom (this is the trait I definitely inherited from her). Sis. Ched is the type of person who lights up the room upon her entrance. I also remember how she helped me implore the power of the Holy Spirit for the gift of tongues during our baptism last July 3. 

For someone so bubbly and lighthearted, I didn't quite expect to hear the enormity of the hardships she had to endure most of her life. I know that she is living proof of God's grace and goodness as she was able to endure and overcome all trials and is now living a life of service to the Lord and the community. I learned that by giving your full trust to the Lord and surrendering your life to Him, He guarantees life everlasting with Him in heaven. Sis. Ched's sharing touched me in a very powerful way, at times driving me to tears and I know that it was God himself who was touching my life through her words.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 225: This School Year

The school year has been pretty much mapped out already. It's jampacked with activities, both curricular and non-curricular. I'm glad to know that there will be a Chinese New Year celebration this year too!

It's going to be a year full of fun and creativity for the kids, teachers and parents! I'm totally excited!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 224: Hunger Aftermath

This was what our table looked like after a hunger storm...

You can guess how much we enjoyed that bowl of steaming hot Bulalo...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 223: Glow

I'm quite a BLUE person myself (in cases when it's Blue vs. Green, that is) but I just had to take a snap of my darling princess in GREEN here as it is one of the colors that truly suit her. The blouse she has on is one of her favorites since it has a hoodie which she likes a lot.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 222: Playdate

My children always look forward to being with other children and getting the opportunity to play outside the home. So when the chance came for them to be with co-BCBP kids Paul, Louisse, Mariella and Miko, it was indeed a riot!!! They had loads of fun playing with balloons inside a nice play area.  Even little CeeJae couldn't contain herself with just being with us, she made the effort to join the older ones in their games and exploration. Wow! It's so wonderful to be young again!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 221: First Quarter Exams

The dreaded First Quarter Exam week is finally here. From today until Friday, my son and the rest of his schoolmates will put to test what they've learned so far this school year.

I can only hope and pray that the review and preparations we did over the weekend were enough for my Jarred Andrei to hurdle the exams.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day 220: Jollibee Kids Party

Many years ago, when my firstborn Jarred Andrei was still a toddler and we were still living down south in GenSan, he celebrated two of his birthdays (2nd & 3rd) with Jollibee Kids parties. Those two occasions were birthday packages won from promos of the popular EQ Dry diapers. Today, we were invited to the 5th birthday of Mariella, the eldest daughter of our ka-Bro and Sis in BCBP, Jeff and Manette Dellosa, celebrating it with the ever-popular Jollibee Kids party.

It was indeed deja vu time as I recalled the similar games and songs played during the party. Not to be missed of course is the special appearance and participation of the great bee himself - JOLLIBEE!!!

All three of my kids had a blast with the games, dance numbers and yummy food. Thanks for inviting us, Dellosa family!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day 219: Review

Examinations are dreaded by most if not all students. Well, as a parent, I also dread the coming of quarter exams since it means a toxic week of intense review. Ever since Jarred was in Kinder I, I've made it a point to prepare printed reviewers based on their lesson coverage. I discovered that doing such really makes him more interested in review and testing than just going through his books or notes. 

It does take some deal of preparation on my end (I need to have the pointers ready a week before exams) but the review proper becomes a breeze once the sample tests are ready and printed out.

If it makes my son's work much easier, I'd gladly take on the sacrifice each quarter to prepare his reviewers for him. For parents who need help on making such sample exams for their children, I've made the ones for Mathematics and Science available on Google Docs.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 218: First PTA 2010

With the school's foundation anniversary fast approaching, Butuan Faith Christian School (BFCS) held its first PTA meeting for SY 2010-2011. Instead of the usual general PTA assembly, we were broken into groups. This year's grouping theme is about celestial bodies. My son Jarred is part of the Sun Group. The other two groups in the Elementary level are Dactyl and Star while the Preschool level is called the Titans Team.

Topics discussed were the different contests our children were going to be involved in like Speech Choir, Reader's Theater, Song Interpretation and Field Demonstration. It was such a blessing to have parents who are so open and willing to support their children in this endeavor. At the end of the meeting, we all agreed to come in full force during the foundation week and even participate during the SportsFest.

Go go go SUN team!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 217: Truly Pinoy

Ask any Pinoy abroad what food they miss most from home and I'm sure Jollibee would be on their top 5 list. A brainchild of the Caktiong family of Davao, it began as a small Magnolia Ice Cream House in Cubao, Quezon City originally named JollyEgg. Over the years, the business evolved into a hamburger/fries fast food outlet and eventually changed its name to the ever famous JOLLIBEE

The unique Filipino flavor in their food offerings is probably one of the main reasons why its such a hit for us Pinoys. Nowadays, the famous bee mascot is a familiar landmark anywhere in the country and is even making its presence felt at key cities in Asia and North America.

My own kids have developed a love affair with Jollibee - having the Yum Burger, Jolly Spaghetti and Crispy Fries as their top favorites. Of course, it doesn't hurt that most outlets have a play area where they can spend hours of wonderful playtime.

What's your favorite Jollibee food item?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 216: Childhood Comfort

Not many people like the taste of liver, let alone liver spread. I'm quite fortunate to be married to someone who shares my love for the stuff. I was quite surprised to find out that hubby knew about a food item from childhood that I thought was uniquely my own...

LIVER-MAYO SPREAD was something Mom would whip up whenever she ran out of stuff to make sandwich spreads with. In 5 short minutes, she can come up with a snack that eventually became a favorite (mine only as my two other siblings never quite got their taste buds to like liver). 

Fast forward to today, my entire family loves this humble spread/dip and it truly fills us up during breakfast or snack time. Do you have your own liver-mayo story?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 215: Our Little Explorer

CeeJae is a daredevil! 

Not even 1.5 years old yet, she's not afraid to try many stunts or stretch her physical abilities. One of the things that fascinate her is going up and down a flight of stairs. For some reason, height does not scare her...with her, it's quite the opposite - it challenges her.

For now, she has discovered her unique way of  going down the steps...with a firm grasp on the rail, she slides down each step by sitting on each one until she reaches the bottom.

A few months from now I know she'll learn to go down the stairs the upright way but in the meantime, I'll leave my little daredevil to her own tricks.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 214: Week-Start Breakfast

Of all the meals in a day, the one I really look forward to is breakfast. I'm not really sure what it is about breakfast that keeps me hooked. It could be remembering my childhood when I used to wake up to the wonderful cooking smells in the kitchen as my Mom used to prepare yummy champion breakfasts for us whenever she had the time. Or it could just be the idea of "breaking the fast" from the previous night's sleep. Well, whatever it is, breakfast will always top my list as fave meal of the day. Today we had two of my favorite "almusal" viands - "tuyo" or dried fish and skinless "longganisa" or chorizo paired with garlic rice and sunny-side up egg. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Day 213: Crowning Glory

Wasn't it just last summer 2009 when I could hardly keep Caitlin's hair neatly pinned or tied since it was awkwardly short and her strands were quite thin. Well, look at how her hair has transformed into a gorgeous mane of silky strands. Almost reaching midway to her back,  she likes it when I fashion her hair into two equal braids. Sometimes, when pressed for time, I just let her tuck the sides behind her ear just as in the photo above for a more dramatic look.