Saturday, June 30, 2007
G attended the Maui RoboTech Exploration Program. The one week workshop ended yesterday and G wishes it's longer. He had a blast! G has always been into Legos, Knex, Tinker Toys and now Robotics. I agree with G, I wish the workshop is longer. He learned so much in this hands-on science and technology class. He thrives in this environment compare to the traditional school environment. There's another workshop scheduled on Oahu. Maybe we should check it out. I think I'll go to their website right now: Future Flight Hawaii
Friday, June 29, 2007
A thousand times I've failed
Still Your mercy remains And should I stumble again
I'm caught in Your grace
Your light will shine when all else fades
Your glory goes beyond all fame
Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art of losing myself
In bringing You praise
Your light will shine when all else fades
Your glory goes beyond all fame
In my heart and my soul
Lord I give You control
Consume me from the inside out
Lord let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love you from the inside out
Your light will shine when all else fades
Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart
Is to bring You praise
From the inside out
Lord my soul cries out
I was going through my blogroll the other day, browsing quickly what each of my favorite bloggers had posted when I noticed that Arthur posted something new. In the thought provoking post, he provided a link to his friend's blog and so as a blogger would do, I clicked on the link to follow through. Little did I know that that little link would lead me to a blogger that would inspire me to be even more "authentic and transparent" in my Christian life.
I'm talking about the blog Firebrands. You see, unlike my usual reads of "mommy bloggers" blogs full of bloggy bling blings on the sidebar like awards, praying for pictures, meme and carnival links, contest links, etc. (nothing wrong with these, just different), this blog has a very simple and clean lay-out. It does not even have a sitemeter installed. So I browsed and noticed on the sidebar a heading "blogs I won't forget" which basically some of his best and memorable posts.
I started reading each and very post listed and that's when it hits me that this blog is out of the ordinary. James, the blogger was and is as "authentic and transparent" as could be when it comes to his Christian life. I was shocked, I was touched, I was encouraged, then I was inspired.
My first thought after reading his posts, "James must be out of his mind to post all that!". I mean, he even has his photo on his blog and he uses his real name! I re-read those posts a couple of times, making sure they are what i thought they are - and they are! James talked about some of the most sensitive subjects and most often fought struggle in our Christian lives. It's refreshing to read his posts on these issues, to read his struggle and then his dependence on Christ. For the rest of the week I found myself going through his archives and being blessed some more. I guess another thing that made me attracted to his blog is he likes reading the books of A.W. Tozer, C.S. Lewis and other great and profound Christian authors who I also like.
So what are these "blogs I won't forget" posts? These are posts about his past struggle with lust and homosexuality, pornography, and letting go. My initial plan was to go through each of those posts here on my blog and share what I have learned from each of those... but nah...I think I'll let you go there for yourself, read for yourself, and allow God to speak to you....to encourage you knowing that in our Christian lives, when we are weak, God is strong.
James, thank you for sharing with passion and eloquence about some of the inner struggles you have had so that others may know that Christianity is not just a phony religion, but a relationship with the one who loves us most. Go James! Continue blogging and God bless you as you journey along...
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
For quite a while now, we have been praying for R (my younger brother) and G to get pregnant. They have been married for 3 years now and are more than ready to have a child. I am pretty sure they'd be excellent parents and so I am fervently praying for them to have a child.
About a month ago I talked to our friend Carrie and asked her to pray for R&G. While she said she'd pray, she also reminded me to ask our friend Lucy to pray with us on this. You see, Lucy is a prayer warrior and so it always helps to pray with her.
So last Sunday we prayed with Lucy after the Sunday Service at church. Lucy, Tatay, Nanay, myself and another lady prayed together that R&G will be blessed with a child. After our prayer, while we are walking out of the auditorium, Tatay told me (in Tagalog) "OK, G is already pregnant".
"Yeah right, Tatay" I thought in my head. I know in my heart God will answer our prayers in His time but I don't think it's that quickly. But I didn't say a word. I just smiled.
After the prayer time, we mingled and fellowship. Then we loaded the car to go home. Just as I was pulling out of our church's parking lot, my cell phone rang. "Hello, Ate Liza, this is G". I pulled over and stopped. You see, my sister in law G does not call me regularly. Something was up. She continued "We have news for you..here's R, I want him to tell you". By this time my heart was pounding already... could they be pregnant? I wondered. "Ate, we're going to have a baby! G is pregnant!". I was speechless - oh me of little faith!
YES! R & G are pregnant! They are going to have a baby! Tatay was right. She's already pregnant by the time we finished our prayer with Lucy that day! After all the rejoicing in the car, Tatay cited a verse:
"Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear." (Isaiah 65:24)
The Lord answered our prayers even before we uttered them. God is good. God is very very good. And we are thankful. We are very thankful!
And speaking of answered prayers, I want to encourage you to read this excerpt from A.W. Tozer about prayer titled "Does God Always Answer Prayer?". This article will gave me a deeper understanding of how God answers prayers. Click here to read.
This post is also my sharing for this weeks Thankful Thursday. God is awesome!
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
And who says God can't use "blogs" to speak to us, to encourage us, and to prompt us into action? I guess I had been spending A LOT of time blogging that God has to use a blog to speak to me :) :)
Tonight as I was blog hopping I read about this "Honor Your Husband, 30 Day Challenge". It started last week and therefore I am a week late. The linky comes out on Mondays, so I am late in linking too.
The interesting thing about this, is that God's timing is perfect. This week's encouragement or challenge is to pray for our husband's work. That's what got my attention because that is exactly what my husband needed this week. I need to pray for his work situation. Had I seen this challenge last week, I probably wouldn't participate.... But this week...this week my hubby needs prayer, he asked me to pray for him, and I will do just that.
One thing we need to do on this challenge is to set a goal...and so my goal is to pray for him daily, using the "Power of A Praying Wife" book as a guide.
Speaking of prayer, I have an answered prayer request that I will sharing tomorrow at Thankful Thursday....it's powerful...so... stay tuned!
On the church's Tween Family Camp that we attended last month, we were encouraged (actually asked to commit) to do a Family Night at least once a week. On these nights we have to do an activity as a family, TV, videos not allowed. For 3 weeks now we've been playing board games as a family and we're having a blast. Kids look forward to Family nights, actually we all do. There's a lot of interaction and laughter.
Now let me tell you that my husband is not the "board game" kind of guy, but when we discovered Apples of Apples and Cranium Family Night, he actually enjoyed playing board games with us. It's a fun game, instructions and rules are very easy to follow. These board games worked for us.If your family has not played this yet, go try it out. There are different levels available: adult, junior and kids - so you can choose one that fits your family. Search "Apples To Apples" in that Amazon Box on the left and you'll see all the different choices.
Here's helpful "Guidelines For A Great Family Night" (thanks to Karen and Joe):
1. Set aside the same night every week.
2. Keep it "sacred" - everyone shows up
3. Keep it simple
4. Keep it interactive - no monopolizing
5. Plan an activity ahead of time
6. Turn off TV, phones, ipods and video games
7. Cameras and videos create memories
8. Change it up ... keep it fresh
9. Include food and laughter
10. Keep it positive and affirming.
For more "tips" that work, please visit Rocks In My Dryer.
Monday, June 25, 2007
I had been tagged by both Kamsin and MamaP to do the 8 Random Facts About Me. This will also serve as my reply to Joyful Day's tag on 7 Random Facts about me. Here's the rule:
1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts (check)
2. Each participant posts eight random facts about themselves.
3. Tagees should write a blogpost of eight random facts about themselves.
4. At the end of the post, eight more bloggers are tagged (named and shamed).
5. Go to their blog, leave a comment telling them they're tagged (cut and run).
I did the 5 things about me meme before so some maybe a repeat. Here it goes:
1. I love to laugh. My husband's sense of humor is probably one of his traits that attracted me most to him. Sometimes I also get annoyed by his sarcasm, but most of the time I find it funny :)
2. I love to worship (that's obvious in my blog). I raise my hand and sway when I sing at church. I can't carry a tune so it's mostly a "joyful noise unto the Lord". One time a nice lady next to me at church said I sang the worship beautifully... either she's lying or she's deaf. I think she's deaf.
3. The main reason I majored in Psychology in college was because I heard there's only 6 units of math required. I am not good at Math. However, while in college I realized I love psychology and I would take it again even it has more math requirements. I am fascinated by the whole psychological make-up of God's creatures.
4. I am always late at (for) work. Sad and embarrassing but true. I am trying to get better. I think I should start a separate post on this.
5. I love being a mother! I think motherhood is one of the greatest ministry on earth.
6. I do not eat sushi (raw fish) but I like fried chicken liver or grilled beef liver. Sorry if that grosses you out.
7. I think Matt Damon is handsome, don't you think so? (Jayred think he's not, but still think he is :)
8. I own so many cook books. I love looking at those cook books with pictures. Of the 30+ cookbooks I own, I probably have only tried 10 recipes, (maybe less). For me cooking is a "big production" so I get discourage when it does not turn out as good and tasty as the photo looks.
OK, I need to choose 8 bloggers to tag. I think I'd do that tomorrow. I am sleepy now.
I'm back (6/29/07). Here are the 8 blogs I am tagging:
Cameron and Ava
Growing In Grace
Overflow of a Forgiven Soul
Because of His Forgiveness
Jen (Prayer Warrior), I went to your blog to look for that meme you tagged me before (about places to eat) and I can't find it. If you can, can you please post on the comment the link to that particular post so I can do the meme? Thanks!
tried to go back to sleep but couldn't
I got up at 5:15
Has been staring at the computer screen...
Did a little blog hopping,
but it was truly more of a hop
I did not finish reading any post
nor left any comment
5:34 and still have not done a thing ...
Dang! It's Monday morning and
I am hyper ventilating.
I do not like Monday mornings
Now, what I really need to do is
Make a pot of coffe
Find a quiet place
Read my Bible
Pray for this day
and I am pretty sure this anxiety
will fade away.
I think I'll do
Lately I've been winning battles left and right
But even winners can get wounded in the fight
People say that I'm amazing
Strong beyond my years
But they don't see inside of me
I'm hiding all the tears
They don't know that I go running home when I fall down
They don't know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and cry for just a while
'Cause deep inside this armour
The warrior is a child
Unafraid because his armour is the best
But even soldiers need a quiet place to rest
People say that I'm amazing
Never face retreat
But they don't see the enemies
That lay me at His feet
I drop my sword and look up for His smile
Because deep inside this armour
Deep inside this armour
Deep inside this armour
The Warrior is a Child
Sunday, June 24, 2007
I am not skilled to understand
What God has willed, what God has planned
I only know at His right hand
Stands one who is my Savior
I take Him at His word and deed
Christ died to save me; this I read
And in my heart I find a need
Of Him to be my savior
That He would leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior
My Savior loves, My Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God: He was, my God; He is
My God is always gonna be
Yes, living, dying, let me bring
My strength, my solace from this spring;
That He who lives to be my King
Once died to be my Savior
That He would leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior
My Savior loves, My Savior lives
My Savior loves, My Savior lives
Last Easter, our church had a great worship service, and one of the worship song that was sung was the song "My God My Savior". After the service I thought I'd search for that song but didn't get around to doing it and I had totally forgotten about it. So when I saw that on You Tube, I clicked on it and there it was - the video that lifted my spirit tonight.
WARNING: The version of the video below contains a short graphic video of Christ's crucifixion taken from the movie "Passion of Christ". The short snippet is towards the end...but if you're one of many who do not want to see this kind of video, I will post another version of the video where the singer was singing it live. I will post it next to this..
Be ready to sing...the lyrics are in the video. I'm sure you'd love this song...
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Again, I ask that yo help us spread the word about Pia's Art. Thank you.
One of my first posts when I started blogging was about my dental woes. I think it's fitting that I continue posting about this to document my dental saga. Who knows, these posts might save someone else's teeth :) Seriously, I know many people struggles with this issue too. It's not a usual topic of conversation, because "dental problems" is a personal issue, but once someone starts talking about it...it really matters to many.
So... many of you know that on May 8, 2007 I underwent a surgery...yes, a dental implant. They planted 3 screws in my gums! When I said it's very expensive, t really is very expensive! $ 6,000+++ just for this surgery. I do not have the "teeth" that goes with the school yet. Another several thousand dollars for those. Since this is "aesthetic", it's not covered by insurance. My husband "almost had a heart attack" when I told him how much this dental implants will cost us. However, when it's all said and done, these implants are really worth it.
A couple of weeks after the surgery, I was itching to blog about my experience but I held off. I didn't want to "scare" anyone thinking about undergoing a dental implant. About two weeks after this dental surgery...I was very worried and scared. Why? Because at that time, I was experiencing a slight numbness and a tingling sensation on my lower left lips and chin. I called the Orthodontist and he kept assuring me that it will go away but I was scared that it might be a permanent thing. And so I started my research a.k.a. "Google".
I learned a new term. It's called dental paresthesia (or dental parasthesia). I won't go into detail, just read the link I provided if you're interested. The articles I have read are not consistent (or at least not consistent enough for me) so it wasn't much of a help. I also visited some forums about this and that helped a little but my concern was still there. And so I prayed...and prayed hard that this paraesthesia will go away. At that time I was thinking ..."dang..I sent $6K for this???" and "this is why I am scared to undergo a tummy tack... because I afraid it might cause more harm than good.... ;)"
Well....I am glad to share that at this time, the numbness subsided to the point that it's almost gone. It took about 2 months. Yes, 2 months!
Last night, my right side molars were hurting. You see, I had been chewing all my food on that side since the other side is all gums and still healing from the surgery. Did I tell you that some molars on my right also has major fillings and I have one molar there that has already been root canaled and been capped? Oh, yes my friends...my teeth are falling apart....
Opsss, I need to log off. I may or may not continue this dental saga post. Thanks for reading (a.k.a. cyber listening)
Lesson from the post: Take good care of your teeth and train your kids to do the same. It'll save you $7,000 :)
RELATED POST: Hardware in my jaws ...
UPDATE 2-15-08. Sunday Scribblings' prompts are "Sleep" and "Teeth" for this week. I thought it's appropriate to dig up this old post and enter it there.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Liza: (uhmmmm...unsure how to answer) Yes....not everyday, but we do read it on our own regulary....
Tatay: (In Tagalog) I have been re-reading the Old Testament lately and it's amazing how even though I have it a couple of times already, I still get something new everytime I read it. Here's an example. Have you read these verses yet?
He pointed me to Hagai Chapter 1 verse 5:
5Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, "Consider your ways!
6"You have (G)sown much, but harvest little;
you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied;
you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk;
you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough;
and he who earns, earns wages
to put into a purse with holes."
7Thus says the LORD of hosts,
"Consider your ways!Yes, it's a subtle reminder to always put God first in our lives....
* photo courtesy of Prolife
I will, my secret keep
Way way down below
where no one else can peek
Sacred secrets are meant to last
secrets revealed are secret past
secrets neither good or bad
secrets, silence is a must
I have a secret
or do I have one?
I do not think I have
but maybe it's way way down
Secrets that memory tries to fade
Secrets longing to be shared
Secrets locked up in our hearts
My secret? where do I start?
Sacred secrets are meant to last
secret revealed are secret past
secrets neither good or bad
secrets, silence is a must
Let's see if others will reveal their secrets. Visit Sunday Scribblings to find out.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
But that's all right as long as I can have one wish I pray.
When people look inside my life, I want to hear them say.
She's got her Father's eyes, her Father's eyes
Eyes that find the good in things, when good is not around.
Eyes that find the source of help, when help just can't be found.
Eyes full of compassion, seeing every pain.
Knowin' what you're going through, and feeling it the same.
Just like my Father's eyes, my Father's eyes,
my Father's eyes
Just like my Father's eyes.
And on that day when we will pay for
all the deeds we have done,
Good and bad they'll all be had to see by everyone
And when you're called to stand and
tell just what you saw in me,
More than anything I know, I want your words to be
* * * *
This song is one of my favorites when I first became a Christian (and still is). It's sung by Amy Grant. There's a You Tube video but it cannot be embbeded so go THERE if you're not familiar with the song. I'd say this is my blog's theme song :)
UPDATED: I found a video I can embbed:
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Yes dear friends... I am once again trying out Google Adsense on my blog. I'll give it several months and see if I'll earn enough money to take my family out to lunch :) - I checked out some of the ads and some of them are pretty good. I clicked on the gifts for dad and the above mug is what I found. I think I'll buy that for my hubby's birthday next month :) And maybe I'd buy a Darling Mummy Tee for me :)
Because we have two tweens in the house (8 and 9 yr olds), I have been reading a lot about tweens. I have been combing the internet on information on tweens. I have already started a folder titled tweens because I had been bookmarking many articles, blogs and websites on tweens. One of these days I would organize them into a blog of it's own. Through reading and observation, one striking fact about tweens is that they are very computer savvy. It's the age when their interest moves from traditional toys (like G.I. Joes and Barbies) to computers, video games and websites. If you're a parent of tweens...or an educator...I want to share this book ith you:
The title of the book is Homo Zappiens: Growing up in a Digital Age. It's written by Wim Veen and Ben Vrakking.
I was actually on the bookstore that day to buy a DVD that my boss asked me to purchase. While in the bookstore during an office errand, this book caught my eye. I browsed quickly and after browsing I knew I needed to buy the book.
And so I bought the book (despite the fact that it's quite expensive). Unfortunately, I can't find the time to read it thoroughly. I have been browsing here and there but I really need to concentrate on reading it. It is quite interesting to say the least. The book contains a lot of information that we parents of kids in the digital age should know. Even if I end up not agreeing with the author's point of view on learning, I know I still would recommend this book for the useful information on the present digital trends that our kids are exposed to.
Here's a book review and one site that talked about the book. If you've read this book, let me know what you think about it.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Remember the busy month of June post I did? Well, the list is only half of what's happening. We are busssssyyy! I don't think we've had any "quite" weekend since Tatay and Nanay arrived. I told them to get used to it - it won't slow down as much :)
Last weekend we had some family friends come over to celebrate Father's Day. This coming Saturday we are having an aloha party for our very good friends and neighbors who are moving to the mainland. We volunteered our house for the "goodbye and goodluck" party..there will probably be 100 people coming. OK, maybe 75....
So, some of you might be waiting to hear how my parents are adjusting. I think they are adjusting well. Tatay may be a little "homesick" but I think he's happy to be here with G and N and he's happy to see Nanay happy. You see, my mom has the tendency to have psychosomatic symptoms and sickness when she's depressed, lonely and problematic...but my dad told me that she hasn't complained about anything since they arrived. No psychosomatic sickness means she's happy and content. Her forgetfulness continues to manifest. I actually should give credit to my husband for being very very patient about this. You see, hubby is quite anal retentive and for him to "have patience" to my mom when my mom keeps on "losing or misplacing" stuff is quite impressive. God bless him. Another "thing" about Nanay is that she seems to have an obsession to washing our rags and socks and making them shiny white. I have told her not to worry about the stains in the white rags and socks but she doesn't listen (or keeps on forgetting). She takes pride in the fact that she could make the sock sole stain disappears and make the dirty white rags shining white. Oh...patience, patience. I guess I just have to learn to appreciate this obsession. Overall, it's great to have Tatay and Nanay here.
Kids are very happy that they don't have to go to A+ (YMCA Summer Camp). They really just longed to be at home when it's summer vacation and my parents stay with us made that possible.
I still can't find the time to post photos of Tatay and Nanay on the blog I created for them. With all the parties we have each and every week (and some weekdays too)...I just can't find a spare time to do my Tatay and Nanay blog (and the Tween Blog I wanted to do).
It's 10PM. I'm going to bed....
Rocks In My Dryer hosts the famous carnival "Works For Me Wednesday". I thought these rocks are perfect entries for this carnival. It kept my kids busy. It works as a summer fun project. For more tips that works, visit Rocks In My Dryer.
Monday, June 18, 2007
you not only see with your eyes
but with your heart..."
- Zig Ziglar
More quotes from Zig:
* "You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win."
* "You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
* "You are the only person on earth who can use your ability."
* "You've got to 'be' before you can 'do', and you've got to 'do' before you can 'have'."
* "Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude."
* "Remember that failure is an event, not a person."
* "People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily."
(If you're interested, part 1 of this post can be found here)
One of the questions Chilihead had on her Blogging Carnival is "Did you intend to be a blog w/a following? If so, how did you go about it?" 99.9% of the participants answered NO. "No" was what my answer was too. Then I read Deedee's blogging story (It Coulda Been Worse) answer and she's absolutely candid and honest about saying yes. here's what she said: "Absolutely. I always write for an audience. Even if it would only be read by my children some day. As soon as I published my first post, I sent out a mass e-mail to all of my friends and family begging them to please read my blog and leave a comment. And some of them did. Leave a comment that is. I don’t really know how many actually read it. They are all still speaking to me, so I’m assuming either they don’t read it, or they aren’t offended."
Although I am honest about not intending to have a blog with a following, I must say that now I actually enjoy knowing that some blog readers read my blog regularly. And although I wouldn't call them (you) my following, they (you) certainly make me happy when they (you) come and visit.
When I first discovered blogging, I didn't know anything about sitemeter. When I discovered sitemeter, I became obsessed with it - I mean obsessed checking who visited my blog, how many, where they came from, what post did they like, how long they stayed... Golly - it's insane.
And just when my obession for checking my sitemeter subsided, I discovered blogtopsite and got hooked on that too.
And now comes the question, why do I want my blog go up the ranking on blogtopsite? why do I enjoy peeking at my sitemeter and seeing my readers grow? I know that the more popular the blog, the more exposed my thoughts would be to the world. Therefore now I should seriously be thinking about "internet safety" and all that stuff. Then why not just be satisfied with a few familiar readers instead of opening myself up to the world?
I can think of one reason why I like to blog and I am pleased to know that others read my blog. It's because "in-person" I am not a conversant. I am not good at carrying a conversation. It stems out from my insecurity..my thinking that I might be boring the other person with what I am saying.... I also don't have the patience to listen to a lot of "cocktail conversation" ...talks about showbiz and politics...I can only handle for a short period of time, then I tune out....
In blogging, however, I can post what I want to say without obliging the other person to listen. If a person does not like what I am saying, they can click and move on. The same thing when I read blog...if I don't like what the blogger is saying, I can click out and move on to another blog. this could be good and bad. I am wondering if I am sabotaging my "interpersonal skills" by blogging...
Going back to Deedee's answer...I admire her for even e-mailing her family and friends "begging" them to read her blog and leave comments. You see, for me I was shy to do that. I am shy to tell people to read my blog, let alone leave comments.
And talking about internet safety leads me to another question Chilihead has that I want to answer again. The question is "What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started?" I know now that it's better to use a pseudoname than my real name. Good thing i did not use my lastname on any of my post. But I would have used even a different first name had I know now what I didn't know then.
I should end this post for now but I think there will be a part 3....
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Father's Day is almost over. DaddyB had a wonderful day and he is now fast asleep. I, on the other hand, is here in front of the computer blogging away. Why am I so addicted to blogging? That is hard to explain. All I know is that it's sort of a therapy...a catharsis of some sort.
Many of you know that Chilihead recently hosted a carnival of "blogging stories". I found it very fascinating to read the blogging stories of some of my favorite bloggers like Boomama, Rocks In My Dryer, I Should be Folding My Laundry, Coulda Been Worse, and more. Go to Chilihead's post to read their stories
Tonight I was reading Kamsin's post about blogging and it's quite interesting. It got me thinking more about my blogging. The very first time I heard of the word blog is when Scott (from Schwablearning) went on vacation and he gave us a link to his blog, probably about 2 years ago. It was only last year that I decided to start a blog. Funny thing is that now Scott said he hates blogging. His post about blogging is thought provoking (scroll down to April 3 post when you go there)..... Interestingly, Kamsin's blog is also one of the first blogs I read when I first discovered blogging. I can't remember how I ended up in her blog, but I'm glad I did.
I am quite sleepy now. I'd continue these thoughts tomorrow.....
Saturday, June 16, 2007
The first time daddyB read this book to G, daddyB couldn't read the whole book straight. He was teary eyed at the end of the book. Actually , he still gets teary eyed every time he reads this book. It really is a sweet and simple expression of the love between a daddy and a child.
Since then, we also give this book as a baby shower gift. We think every father should have read or read this book. In case you have not read this yet, go to this page to read. I must say though that the illustrations of the book added so much so the story is only half of what it really is.
Right now, G, N and daddyB are downstairs in our TV room watching Avatar. It's their bonding time. I should be writing my Thank you notes... I have all the cards laid on the table. I'm signing off and writing those notes - I promise!
* Pictures are taken from Art.com
Could it be cultural? Growing up, I don't recall us sending a thank you card or notes after receiving a gift on different occasions. We are obliged to "say" thank you... and I have always said thank you from the bottom of my heart when I receive a gift...but sending a note after is not something we did.... Is it just our family? Although it is a very nice gesture, in the Philippines, a "thank you note" is not "expected" as much as here in the United States. I am posting this post on the Pinoy Moms network to get a feedback and find out if what I am saying is true...
However, at this point it does not really matter wether "sending a thank you note" is a custom or not in the Philippines. The fact that I have been living here in the States for 13 years is enough reason for me to follow the "etiquette rule" of sending thank you notes. I should be teaching this to my kids also. Sadly, I have not. year after year when my kids receive birthday gifts and holiday gifts, I told them that we would be writing thank you notes and letters, but we never did. Bad, bad, bad.
And why am I being so hard on myself now on this? Because I have seen first hand the difference. Here's an example: In the company I work for we build quality affordable housing. Because the need is huge, we receive hundreds of letters from people asking for consideration. I have five huge binders of letters of requests. Many of those who wrote had been given a chance to buy these affordable homes through our bosses' discretion, in response to their request. Now I have one very tiny binder of thank you letters... and I often thought that it's interesting to see the difference of those binders. More request, less thanks. It reminds me of that story in the Bible when Jesus healed the 10 lepers and only 1 of them came back to thank Him. The other nine didn't.
Many of my friends send thank you notes. I feel guilty every time I get them because I know I should do the same when I get gifts but I don't. Oh, always planned on doing it... but I rarely do. I am disappointed with my self about not sending thank you notes.
What happens is that I get stuck. In my mind I don't want to just send a thank you card and sign my name. I always want to hand write a long note expressing how truly grateful and thankful am, and how the gift touched my heart, and how I really appreciate it. The problem with that is that I end up not writing and not sending. I should just really keep it short and send it right away....
And why am I posting about this now? Because I have received a lot of wonderful gifts for my birthday this year. It's really very humbling. You see, I am not very good at giving gifts either. That's another "issue" that deserve another post...but my point is my friends gave me these generous gifts not because they felt obligated to because I gave them nice gifts before...they gave these because they love me and I really want to send them note to tell them how much I love them and appreciate them as much as I appreciate the gifts they gave me.
So, before I get sidetracked on "just posting" about thank you notes, I should end this post and start writing my notes lest I'll end up not doing it again. In fact, I would once again do a "self imposed restriction" to myself: No Blogging until I finish writing the thank you notes (and not just writing but actually mailing them. It's it's not mailed, it's not done yet and I cannot blog:).
Friday, June 15, 2007
However, even after reading a lot about eccentricy, I still couldn't come up with an inspired scribbling. Probably because I myself is more of a conformist than eccentric. One of the most eccentric thing i have done would not be classified as "eccentric" when applied to others. I'm talking about blogging. For me being a blogger is being an eccentric of some sort.... what do you think?
I watched this video honoring RUTH GRAHAM and I think everyone should see this. In case you missed it, click here. Note: In our computer the video works with the Explorer browser but not Firefox. Here's another article and video. click here. This one works with Firefox. Janice wrote a wonderful tribute. Go visit 5 Minutes for Mom to read it.
Photo courtesy of Yahoo.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
It's 11:39 PM. I should be asleep. Instead I have spent the last hour watching videos at You Tube. I had been searching for a good video about "fathers and daughters" because I have noticed that two of the videos I posted for Father's Day are both with sons. Anyway, I first searched Butterlfy Kisses because I love that song. There's actually a good video but the director restricted it and it cannot be embbeded. Go there to see that version of Butterfly Kisses - it's wonderful.
Then I searched for Father of the Bride. I love that movie Father of the Bride with Steve Martin. I have watched it more than 10 times and I can still watch it over and over again. I found a video called "Father of the Bride - Daughters". It's wonderful too. I wished they kept the original background (My Girl) but the new background music is also nice. So check it out here.
Lastly, there's a slide show called "Father and Daughter" with the song by Paul Simon with the same title. click here to watch it.
If it wasn't too late at night I know I'd write a longer and more substantial post daughters...but I am beat. I'm going to bed. Enjoy the videos :)
There's two things I know for sure:
She was sent here from heaven and she's
daddy's little girl.
As I drop to my knees by her bed at night
She talks to Jesus and I close my eyes and
I thank god for all the joy in my life
Oh, but most of all
For butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer;
sticking little white flowers all up in her
hair; "Walk beside the pony, Daddy, it's my first ride."
"I know the cake looks funny, Daddy, but I sure tried."
In all that I've done wrong I know I must
have done something right to deserve a hug
every morning and butterfly kisses at night.
Sweet 16 today
She's looking like her mama a little more everyday
One part woman, the other part girl.
To perfume and make-up from ribbons and curls
Trying her wings out in a great big world.
But I remember
Butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer; sticking
little white flowers all up in her hair.
"You know how much I love you, Daddy, But if you
don't mind I'm only gonna kiss you on the cheek this time."
With all that I've done wrong I must have done
something right to deserve her love every morning
and butterfly kisses at night.
All the precious time
Like the wind, the years go by.
Spread your wings and fly.
She'll change her name today.
She'll make a promise and I'll give her away.
Standing in the bride-room just staring at her.
She asked me what I'm thinking and I said "I'm not
sure-I just feel like I'm losing my baby girl."
She leaned over...gave me butterfly kisses with her mama there,
Sticking little white flowers all up in her hair
"Walk my down the aisle, Daddy-it's just about time."
"Does my wedding gown look pretty, Daddy? Daddy, don't cry!"
Oh, with all that I've done wrong I must have
done something right.
To deserve your love every morning and butterfly
kisses-I couldn't ask God for more, man this is what love is.
I know I gotta let her go, but I'll always remember
every hug in the morning and butterfly kisses.
which makes us fathers and sons."
- Johann Schiller
An excerpt from the post:
I drove over to visit my parents and grandfather this week. My dad’s father has recently had a tough go of it. His health has declined. He lives with my parents; my dad, an only child, has sought to care for him as best as he can.
There are those moments in life, as Rob Bell describes, that you know you are a witness to something special, something holy. I had one such moment this week as I witnessed my dad feeding his father. I cannot explain it.
It was the first time I had felt this feeling since Eliot was with us. His entire life was a moment of other-worldliness. And so, the feeling came again like an old friend.
Christ is present when the weak are loved and served.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
The following is from Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot, published by Vine Books in 1995.
While visiting [a] Bible College in South Carolina, I found in the library a little book called Father and Son, written by my grandfather, Philip E. Howard. He writes: “Do you remember that encouraging word of Thomas Fuller’s, a chaplain of Oliver Cromwell’s time? It’s a good passage for a father in all humility and gratitude to tuck away in his memory treasures:
“’Lord, I find the genealogy of my Savior strangely checkered with four remarkable changes in four immediate generations.
Rehoboam begat Abijah; that is, a bad father begat a bad son.
Abijah begat Asa; that is, a bad father begat a good son.
Asa begat Jehoshaphat; that is, a good father begat a good son.
Jehoshaphat begat Joram; that is, a good father begat a bad son.
I see, Lord, from hence that my father’s piety cannot be entailed; that is bad news for me. But I see also that actual impiety is not always hereditary; that is good news for my son.’”
That post above is a re-post from Barbara's blog. She is also doing a series of blogs on Father's Day. Go check out her blog for more Father's Day stuff.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
1) My family went out to dinner together. It was wonderful.
2) My boss, the owner of the company I work for, took us (8 of us from the office) to a nice restaurant for lunch, to celebrate my birthday.
3) My two brothers & their families (one in the Philippines and one in LA) both called to wish me a happy birthday). Thanks again Relly & Gem for the cards and gifts.
4) Many of my friends here on Maui called to wish me a happy birthday. Karen J left a comment on my blog - I read it over and over and over again.
5) My friends at Schwabbieland greeted me happy birthday.
6) My bloggity friends wished me happy birthday.
7) A couple dear to me gave me a very generous gift - my jaws dropped when I opened the card/gift! I was speechless. Thanks T & L ! :)
8) My mother in law called to wish me happy birthday. She sent me a card too.
9) Hubby bought me lots of gifts!
10) I feel incredibly blessed. The list is never ending: good health, good job with excellent employer and co-employees, healthy happy family, beautiful house with a pool near the beach on Maui, wonderful friends, a church where we belong, neighbors we get along with so well, etc., etc.... Life is good... Thank God. Thank you Jesus.
For more thankful hearts, visit Sting My Heart.
Ok, this is my 4th WFMW Post about my de-cluttering adventure. If you're interested, here's Part 1, 2 and 3. Well... I'm still pursuing this de-cluttering dream...and I must say I am seeing some success.
Last Saturday I dropped off six (6) trash bags full of stuff to Salvation Army. Mind you, these are "good stuff". I actually initially wanted to do a garage sale because I know some of the stuff would sell well but after thinking about it, I knew I don't have the time to do the garage sale and it's better for me to donate it to goodwill.
Now you'd think that with a total of 10 huge bags full of stuff (6 here and 4 on the other post) I got rid off that I am almost done de-cluttering..but the truth is I've only just begun...
It was a great feeling to get rid of those 6 bags and donate them to goodwill. So I am continuing this. Here's an excerpt from that book It's All Too Much that talks about the "trash bag tango":
"...Grab 2 trash bags. Everyday for a week take ten minutes to go around your home and fill one bag with trash - old papers, torn and unusable clothing, out-of-date magazines, anything that you would classify garbage. Fill the other with items you want out of your house. Maybe you want to give them to a friend or family member or charity. Just a consistent 10 minutes a day is all this technique asks of you. Commit to this and you will see significant changes.
Do this everyday for a week and you'll notice a huge difference.
Do this everyday for one month and everyone else will notice a huge difference.
Do it everyday for 3 months and you'll conquer the clutter in your home.
For more Works For Me Wednesday tips, go to Rocks In My Dryer :)
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live*
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works vindication
and justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he keep his anger for ever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love towards those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far he removes our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion for his children,
so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
14 For he knows how we were made;
he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for mortals, their days are like grass;
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
obedient to his spoken word.
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers that do his will.
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Read this exposition by Charles Spurgeon on Psalm 103.
Monday, June 11, 2007
"I'm here, son," Jim says softly, hugging his boy. "We'll finish together." Derek puts his arms around his father's shoulders and sobs. Together, arm in arm, father and son, with 65,000 people cheering, clapping and crying, finish the race, just as they vowed they would. A couple steps from the finish line, and with the crowd in an absolute frenzy, Jim releases the grip he has on his son, so Derek could cross the finish line by himself. Then he throws his arms around Derek again, both crying, along with everyone in the stands and on TV.
"I'm the proudest father alive," he tells the press afterwards, tears in his eyes. "I'm prouder of him than I would have been if he had won the gold medal. It took a lot of guts for him to do what he did."
- How did you start blogging?
In October of 2006, I was feeling stressed and abandoned and I needed a place to introspect. I love journaling and I have kept a journal for many years but at that time I felt I needed something more… therefore I started blogging …
- Did you intend to be a blog w/a following? If so, how did you go about it?
No. I didn’t even think someone else would care to read my blog regularly. Then “hockeymum”, a friend from Schwablearning message board told me that she likes reading my blog…then my brother and sister in law also started reading it … and the readers grew from then on…
- What do you hope to achieve or accomplish with your blog? Have you been successful? If not, do you have a plan to achieve those goals?
- Introspection. Like what my subtitle on my header states, this blog is a place where I write “my thoughts”. Yes, I am achieving this goal.
- Encouragement. I realized that some of my thoughts becomes an encouragement to others when I post it and that was very fulfilling. Therefore, whatever I write here, I hope would encourage, motivate or touch someone else, especially those who need it most. I also love being encouraged through your comments. Not to forget, I get encouraged when I read other blogs too.
- Testimony. Even though I wouldn’t consider this blog “spiritual or evangelistic”, my goal is to show to the world that being a Christian is not being religious. It’s a relationship with Christ and a way of life.
- Has the focus of your blog changed since you started blogging? How?
Well, it changed from personal blog, to a mom blog, to a personal blog, to a mom blog and to both. The essence is still the same (true to my goal)
- What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you started?
I am not sure … I am relatively a “young blogger” .. I have not even been blogging for a year. So far it's been good...
- Do you make money with your blog?
A few cents a day :) through Google Ads. If a viewer click the ads and explore it, a get paid a few cents :) - Yesterday I earned 2 cents - LOL!!!! (update 8/1/07): I make more than 2 cents a day now :)
- Does your immediate or extended family know about your blog? If so, do they read it? If not, why?
My husband knows my blog but he’s not particularly fond of it. He actually wishes I’d stop blogging. He does not read my blog. He thinks having "live friends" is better than having "digital friends". (update 8/1/07) - Hubby now supports my blogging :), and actually "proud" I blog :) )
My kids (8 and 9) know and they love it. They love the idea that their mommy blogs (see Letter L on this post). They think that’s cool.
My brothers and their family know and love to read my blog regularly. My parents are not computer literate so they couldn’t read my blog regularly even though they’d love to.
My husband’s family somewhat knows but I don’t think they read it either.
My friends Karen J and Todd W reads this regularly :)
This may not apply to “all bloggers” but only to a certain type: I’d say:
a. Blog from your heart – be honest, be real. People loves to read honest posts. For me, I also love reading positive blogs and humorous blogs.
b. Develop relationships (on-line friendships) through blog – leave comments and you read other blogs. None of my "real live" friends here on Maui blog. Most of my readers are friends developed from blogging.
For more blogging stories, go to Chilihead's blog here.
RELATED POST: My blogging story told in a different way. click HERE
Updated thoughts on blogging, click here.