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Cheap thrills, you may call it.

Home gardening gives me time to think. Reflecting, as I pull out weeds or trim the plants.

Makes me eager to see new flowers or shoots or fruits...

With this I look forward.

Looking forward to something gives excitement.

This leads to simple contentment.

Then there is peace. No matter how fleeting.

Isn't that what we all look for?

place of we can take off our shoes and be ourselves.
Scratch where it itches; clutter stuff, pick up, argue, agree.

And most importantly, it is where we learn that imperfections of others and ourselves are acceptable.

Home is...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

...where simplicity begins.

Simple pleasures come from simple things.

Vase hand painted by my daughter. Flowers came from the backyard, left in the wild by previous neighbors.

Mine to behold.

What do you think?

Are you a Brosix IM Client? Have you tried this new technology?

We are trying to research on this new technology. News has it that Brosix has increased its customers three times in the last twelve months. We are not yet new customers of this but definitely will do our part in trying to investigate how this new technology has increased in the number of customers despite lopsided economy.

My husband is an I.T. professional and web designer also. He likes to learn new things about technology. It is very natural for him to read technical manual and programming languages books every day. Maybe he has heard of this. Maybe during one of his lectures to his classes or students he has already mentioned this topic. Since it safe, secure and updated I am sure he likes his students to explore this new technology. If he finds this really reliable he will surely recommend it to his colleagues or even his students.

Aside from the fact that he is a practitioner of the I.T industry, he is also taking up his Masteral Degree in I.T. so one of these days, I am sure he will encounter this new technology.

Sometimes wishes do come true.
Long ago, i wished my kids would grow up fast...

Now that they are bigger, I miss the sticky kisses, innocence and baby antics, too.
There are times I want to just say: stop growing!

Number game has always been my waterloo.

When blessings to decode and decipher figures were vested upon humanity I guess I was asleep. Or was I busy doing something else?

I have long accepted the fact that if numbers were to mathematician, words were to me.Just give me something to read anytime, I will be most happy to oblige. Just do not attempt to throw avalanche of number to me. I will be lost in the myriad of those codes. Then someone has to slap my face to bring me back to my senses.

That is why financial management has always been a challenge to me. That is why I always struggle with the figures and how to put together the numbers that come with budgeting and the likes.
Help is what I need. I searched for financial wisdom high and low. I am forever a blog reader of financial geniuses' blogs and sites out there because I am perpetually struggling to comprehend and manage the family's finances.
Now that we are down to one income household, I am always on my toes regarding finances. There are, however, moments now that I do realize I have improved a lot than before. Learning is a continuous process and if ever I win the grand price in iLASIK Video Contest I will be the most happy being!


Anyone who looked like this last Halloween?

How about this?

It was fun treat or tricking! Did you have fun , too?

I lost my father when I barely nineteen years old. Sad but true.

I did not know at first that he died due to a bullet wound. I was away in the University earning my degree.

Being fourth in the brood of eight kids, I felt the blow and had the awareness of the loss.
Lucky me, I was able to spend my nineteen years with him. My youngest brother was only 9 years old then. He was barely aware of what was happening. He remembers the event, though. Now that he is 26, he spent most of his life with my mother.

The loss made me be aware how precious life is. It made me step back and prioritize relationships and cherish them as life-long treasure.

Cliche it may sound but it made me treasure more those people who matter to me. Most may not love me back or even value how I value them, but I will love them nonetheless.
Life after all is fleeting. Now you have arms that hold you, tomorrow you may not.

Missing a loved one? Try searching MyLife

Who knows you may find the precious one you have been looking for all along!


Who will ever tire of taking pictures of their kids?

No hands raised.

Not me, either.

And she always asks: "Why do you always take pictures of me?"

"Ahhh...I am busy, Mother. I am writing my story"

"This is going to be my story and I will sell it to Papa."

"Are you my paparazzi?"

Yes. Make that lifelong...

I am back in the blogging groove.
Thanks to hubby who got me the new laptop I am using currently. However, being online all the time has its downside too. My eyes are often exposed to to glare of the computer monitor.
I need to check the new arrivals so I can pick which one can help. $8 Prescription Zenni Glasses come good enough for me.
We will see.

Found this letter inside his leather shoes.

My ten year old cleaned and brushed his shoes the night before work.

"Dear Daddy, today is a new day. Today, I will miss your morning hug and kiss. You will spend all the mornings and afternoons with your cubicle and students. You need to spend the entire day without us because you love us. You will also miss lunch time with us. Dad, have a happy and safe travel without us, but with God's protection. God bless. Love, Hannah"

Priceless. Agree?

image from:

One of the most dwindling sights in this wired, techie world of ours - hopscotch by kids!

Rare are the occasions, when kids are out in the fields or open space. They are either in front of the television catching up with the latest shows or tinkering with the newest interactive gadgets no end.

With the busted TV remote for more than a week now, my kids are stretching their muscles and playing under the sun.

It is good for the body.
It challenges the spirit.
The sheer joy of interacting with real human beings in this modern world is one of the pleasures hopscotch brings!

See you in the next round as I search for music torrents.

Our whole family trooped to our parish office, one day.
There was a bloodletting drive. My hubby donated blood.

Guess how much? 450 ml of blood was sucked out of his system.

This has been his nth time to donate.
He says, God loves a cheerful giver...Especially to indigent patients.

Life is simple.
It is us who complicates things.
It is our wants that put us into traps and binds which stress us eventually.
If we follow the simple nature and cycle of things, we will have less of the complications.
It is either I am in the path of old age and sagacity or many experiences have taught me lessons already. Whichever is the answer, I choose the path of simplicity these days: less want, less problem.

This is our coin bank at home. This is where we drop our loose change and coins at the end of the day. Or even right smack in the middle of the day.

Just last week, I was planning to buy a bottle of softdrink or soda to quench my craving. I decided otherwise and dropped it here. Instead of buying 3 pieces of candy, my daughter dropped her coin here.

A coin will always be a coin. It's not much but what do they say: a stitch in time saves nine? It is because 6 months from now, we hope to spend a family vacation. Wherever our coins will take us, we will be more than happy to go.

Simple hope: trip. Simple solution: save for it!

If the Accor Hotels 3-Day Super Sale Asia Pacific will still be on, like right now then that would be a super help!

The family retreat was super.

What better way to reassess life than with people who matter most to me...

It was time to plan, laugh, review, recall, cry, heal, celebrate, perform, enjoy, pray, eat, share and look forward to many years ahead!

Will I trade places with someone? Nah.

Just one shot.
Yet, how many colors do you see here?
Ain't nature wonderful?

Tremendous changes have happened to our family for the last four months. Aside from moving from traditional schooling to homeschooling, measures to be frugal were adopted. Let me count the ways...

We officially shifted from two incomes to one. That alone is a huge adjustment. From being a full time teacher, I now stay at home to teach my own children. Most people find this crazy. I do not. At least, not yet. What is more affective than to teach and monitor the learning of my own children? Who is more responsible in teaching lives I nurture? Me.

Being at home means I can monitor keep an eye on the family consumption: water, electric and food. Would you believe that even if we are home almost 24/7, our electric bill was cut into half? Constant turning off and unplugging of electrical appliances not being used helped tremendously.

With time in my hands, preparing and storing food veer us away from eating out. Not only that this practice is healthy, it also keeps our pockets guarded. Unlike when I was working, we were always rushing that taking out of food was more frequent than cooking our own.

Let me tell you more in later posts. I still need to research about baby formula.


How was your weekend?

Mine was the most fruitful.

Our family spent a 2-night retreat out of town.

It was time to laugh, cry, heal, celebrate, perform, enjoy, pray, eat, share and look forward to many years ahead!

How about yours?

Join Me

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Blessings, everyone!

SO what was your morning blessing?

Homeschooling rocks!

It spells freedom.

It means borderless learning.

Endless possibilities are spelled out every single day waiting to be explored.

There are gazzilion of things and explorations we can do aside from being tied down to the chairs from morning till late afternoon. Possibilities beckon in teaching my kids concepts they need to learn in the most fun or open-ended way. Life after all is not out of the textbook, right?

As of today, my daughter is still busy writing her story. Last I heard, the story she has been writing has reached 43 pages. I am even amazed how she approaches her writing in the most free flowing manner. As if it is so natural for her to write from her thoughts. Ballpoint pen in hand, she does it with ease. Right now, she asks if she can write online thru a blog. It's time to look for a reliable webhosting.

When basic skill building is done for the day, explorations begin. They look forward to this, thus they are motivated to do their basic skills using paper and pencil. Motivation sometimes falter but what am I here for? With prodding and constant reminder they do it nonetheless.

Baking, cooking, gardening, painting, sketching, tinkering with the computer, creating crafts, running around, selling, day camping and performing are just a few explorations they constantly pursue.

Now, that is true learning for me. Don't we all agree that experience is the best teacher?

My daughter Hannah won a contest.
She joined our Parish's on-the-spot poster making contest in the elementary students level. She won third place. She was so happy, she couldn't believe it when she heard her name being called.

Here she is when she received her award from the priests of our parish.

We were proud parents!!!! Teary-eyed we were when we witnessed the moment.

She got a cash prize and a certificate.

No matter how I deny it, Greek literature was one of my best subjects during my university years. It is not because I was obsessed with the Greeks. It did not start that way. It, however, ended almost that way. Blame it on my literature professor.

How did it happen? Let me count the ways.

First reason - she was animated. She moved and walked and talked non-stop while flailing her arms to all directions. Our eyes darted back and forth all through out the sessions. It was no 3D animation, it was a live one.

Second reason - she used vivid words. She enunciated adjectives to describe story characters as if Achilles or Hector were right next to my seat. She could make us believe that the gods and goddesses were alive and kicking.

Third reason - she was herself a voracious reader.

And there was not a dull moment.

Had I been given the chance, I could have taken another course under her tutelage. However, she left the university. Right now I have no idea where she transferred. But truly she mentored me how to love reading and the pleasures that come with it.

Well, let me try researching for her whereabouts. It wouldn't hurt to thank her for being such a good example or mentor, right?
Let me try using MyLife.


image from

Let's believe that God is mightier and stronger than any typhoon.

Pray with me.

Last weekend was fun.

There was a weekend market 10 minutes walk from home.

Somewhere along the corner, authentic Malaysian food beckoned.
Yum. The spice was irresistible.

Organic herbs and other plants abound as low as $.50 per plant.

Fresh, fresh herbs ready for planting or cooking were up for grabs.

Crafts, fruits, bread and other produce seemed to call out: pick me up!

Blessings abound. Indeed. Have you got one, lately?

Some hand sewing did me good. It felt stress-free and relaxed to do the monotonous needle work.

It was a refreshing break from the usual daily routine. Cause there are times that if I could pass the buck at home, it wouldn't hurt at least once in a while. But that is not a choice.

I felt free and pressure-free as i did the needle work free hand. After about four hours of work, with breaks in between, a blouse is ready to be worn. Since sewing is not my cup of tea, I am learning how to perfect the craft. Hey, Rome was not built in one day, right? So I am taking my time to learn.
Staying at home has its merits and downside. There are times I just want to have short breaks or tell someone to trick or treat me.
Speaking of Halloween, it is almost here. Yeah, time for the kids to dig into loots and goodies. I will still feel my way around if my kids would still love to do it.

AS techie as we all are now, I'm sure you can say trick or treat me on twitter!

Why not? That is totally possible.


Want this?

Just blanch this and add some spices, voila! Lunch or dinner is better with fiber like this.

It is defined here as: It is known in English as water spinach, and has many other names in other languages. It is found throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world; it is not known exactly where it originated.

Kangkong or river spinach contains beta carotene, Vitamin A, Iron, phosphorus and thiamin. Here’s a tip on buying kangkong, make sure you choose those with large, unblemished leaves that are deep green color.


My sister just gave birth last month. It was quite an experience for her cause she had to undergo emergency surgery. Even if it was a happy one for all of us because we welcomed a new family member, she had to undergo close monitoring by her doctor. She needed full rest to recover from her child birth.
She named her baby Raphael which means "healer". We all liked doting over this tiny creation whom we consider as God's gift. He is such a charmer.
I was once in the same stage of child-bearing and nurturing infants. Having had babies in succession, I had to juggle work and life balance very carefully. It was a tough time but well worth the invested effort and time.
Being a working parent, I was not able to breastfeed that long. With hovering guilt and absence from home, I had to buy the best infant formula - if not the most expensive one.
Recently, I discovered that indeed there was no substitute for breast milk. For even the most expensive formula is not that nutritious as mother's milk.
Had I known there was not much difference in nutritional value between store brand formula to that of the expensive ones, I could have chosen the cheaper ones then.


Nail-polishing. That's the recent trend for the 3 girls. Signs they're into fashion?

Baking. Never goes out of trend in our house. Yours too?

Sugar overload here. Ahh. One way to reward ourselves. Feels good though if not too often!

Can you believe I started gardening? Whaatt? There goes the "brown thumb" again. Well, there's no harm in trying, right?

So what's up with yours?