Archive for  February 2009

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Well, for good reason actually so I’m not going to hang myself for it. So what’s the good reason? Real life gets in the way of virtual reality – hahaha.

First, it was exam week last week for my homeschooled son – he had an assessment exam for his grade level at the DECS accredited school where we enrolled him. Since we use a homeschool curriculum different from DECS, I had to drill him and review him on the topics that were part of the exam but not necessarily part of our curriculum. (I’ll probably write a post about what your child needs to know at a certain grade level in the future.) So that took up most of my week – I had to make sure that “papasa sya, este, kakasa sya sa Grade Three”. LOL 

Trivia: Did you know that the DECS scope and sequence covers only 4 subjects for Grade Three?        What are these subjects?  English, Math, Science and Filipino

Next, since my kids started doing ballet twice a week, my schedule has become topsy- turvy. Why? because I lose two “virtual” days a week since I have to go with them to ballet school. Of course, ballet always wins hands down as far as I’m concerned. No contest! I will go with them wherever and whenever necessary! I am a self-confessed ballet addict! I wonder what will happen to my bloggie when they start doing everyday class in the summer? hmmmm…. aargh! I need a MBPro ASAP! Or maybe an Audemars Piguet designer watch on my wrist will do so I can I watch time slowly tick away while waiting for them in the hallway. Either way, I need to blog more so I can buy any of those two. LOL

Of course, I do all that aside from my own “rakets” online and IRL. The future is bright but it’s getting tighter and tighter as far as time constraints go.  So much to do, so little time. I know, I know (sheepish grin 😛 ), I can hear it coming. It’s all about time management. I haven’t come to that place yet where my everyday life is like going to the office – you time in and you time out. Same thing, day in and day out. Life is more volatile with kids, you know – the sneezies, the dirty tights and leotards, the unpredictables and all that jazz. I’m trying though. I have a dream… (I’m not MLK, but I have a dream, too, you know).

Anyhoo, sa mga ka-LP ko, babawi na lang ako neks wik pag maliwanag na ang panahon. 🙂 So that’s it, pansit! I might be able to squeeze a few more posts within the week and not be a “baaaad blogger”.

Adios, amigos! Hasta maniana! (spelled as pronounced – can’t find the enye right now hahaha)

LP-Puso

Sa aming paglalayag noong kapaskuhan, binalak naming pumunta sana sa Geothermal Power Plant sa Mt. Apo para ipakita sa aming mga tsikiting ang pangalawang pinakamalaking planta ng alternatibong enerhiyang geothermal sa buong mundo subalit nasa kalahati pa lang kami ng aming biyahe ay di na nakayanan ng aming sasakyan ang biyahe at unti-unti na syang naghingalo at nawalan ng “power” kaya kami ay napilitang huminto sa tabing daan. Kami pala ay napadpad na sa boundary ng Kidapawan, Cotabato at sa aming pagkagulat, mayroon palang magandang pahingahan na pang-turista dito kaya ang aming pagka-unsyami at panghihinayang ay medyo parang nabuhusan na ng malamig na tubig.

Dito ko natagpuan ang kakaibang puno na ito na aking pinagdiskitahan. Labis akong naaliw kasi dahil ang hugis at pagbagsak ng mga dahon nya ay tila hugis puso kaya siya ay talagang aking piniktyuran. Ako ay napangiti sa aking sarili at tunay na namangha – may ‘sense of humor’ din pala ang Dakilang Maylikha. Kahit saan, kahit kailan sa kahit anong paraan puede syang magsalita, magparamdam na lab naman nya kami – kunsuelo de amor kahit kami ay nasiraan ng sasakyan.  🙂 

Makigulo sa mga kapusong ka-LP! Tara lets na (iklik ang kamera para makisali):
 

 

I had a wonderful mommy moment with my son tonight. He’s slowly growing up into a fine young man and I’m so happy to say that I’ve witnessed up to this very moment every step of his journey. I’ve been there from day one and will continue to be there until the homerun. I am not a perfect mom, I’ve had my bad hair days and my “alto soprano” moments and many times I question myself whether I “get in the way” of what God wants for my children. I used to think that I was a patient person, tolerant and not easy to anger – I thought too highly of myself and my journey as a mom for more than nine years has truly  convinced me that I am not. 🙂  But by the grace of God I have learned to move according to the measure of grace that He gives me in each and every circumstance.

Why was tonight special? Well, perhaps it’s because I was able to reach my son’s heart and help him to understand that life’s obstacles are not hindrances but God’s way of forging character and fortitude into our souls. I am reminded of a blacksmith pounding away at a red hot piece of metal on a heavy anvil and how each time the mallet hits the hot metal, it slowly transforms it into the shape that he envisioned the metal to be. I saw this in my son tonight – (btw, he’s only nine years old). God was the blacksmith, my son was the metal and I was the heavy mallet that became the dreaded instrument of torment, er I mean transformation.

At first, it was a struggle of the wills – him succumbing to self-pity and condemnation and I, the imperialistic queen dispensing the law upon him. But I am no queen… I am his mother and I saw that divine opportunity to speak into his life. To lift him up from where he was wallowing and impart destiny into his soul. What joy it was to see him step out of his self-centered world and into an awareness of the world around him where his greater destiny lies.  It was a priceless moment. I don’t want to forget it – hence this post. 

Sometimes the pain of discipline (not necessarily physical) can blur the lines of love and acceptance and distort it into separation and rejection. When that distortion happens, the one who delivers the discipline may be perceived as unloving and uncaring. I believe as a parent, one needs to address those doubts immediately and reassure the child that it is the behavior that is being corrected and not the person being rejected. What do you give a child who misbehaves? Give them a “sandwich”! Yup, a “sandwich”. You give them the “big fat juicy discipline” between two buns of praise and acceptance. A word of encouragement right before the correction and a word of acceptance right after the correction. A sandwich, right? 

Well, my sandwiches aren’t perfect all the time but I try to arrest those “self-pity party” moments when I sense them rising up in my children. I always assure them that my love for them is unconditional and is never based on how “good” they are. That is not to say that they will not be corrected when they misbehave.  But good or bad behavior is not the criterion for my love for them. I hope that when they grow older there will come a time that they will see that side of the picture as well.

I love them dearly and I thank God that they have made my life so much richer in every way imaginable. I will be forever grateful to God and to them for giving me a chance to know and experience the reality that children are indeed precious, priceless gifts from above.

I read this via a homeschooling site and I want to share it to you straight from the source right here: http://www.freshbrewedlife.com/cd_69.aspx . It’s an excerpt from a book by Nicole Johnson entitled “The Invisible Woman“.   I seldom post stuff like this but i think it’s worth the read … really.  Besides, I think it’s in keeping with my little motto up there in my header. Thank you, Nicole for sharing this excerpt to inspire us.

Excerpt By Nicole Johnson

It started to happen gradually…
One day I was walking my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him, “Who is that with you, young fella?”
“Nobody,” he shrugged.
Nobody? The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only five, but as we crossed the street I thought, oh my goodness, nobody?
I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something to my family, like “Turn the TV down, please.” And nothing would happen. Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, “Would someone turn the TV down?” Nothing.
Just the other night my husband and I were out to a party. We’d been there for about three hours and I was ready to leave. I noticed he was talking to a friend from work. So I walked over, and when there was a break in the conversation, I whispered, “I’m ready to go when you are.” He just kept right on talking.
That’s when I started putting all the pieces together. I don’t think he can see me. I don’t think anyone can see me.
I’m invisible.
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?” Obviously not. No one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.
I’m invisible.
Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more.
Can you fix this?
Can you tie this?
Can you open this?
Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being.
I’m a clock to ask, “What time is it?”
I’m a satellite guide to answer, “What number is the Disney Channel?”
I’m a car to order, “Right around 5:30, please.”
I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude – but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.
She’s going…she’s going…she’s gone!
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out of style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped
package and said, “I brought you this.”

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription. “To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.”
In the days ahead I would read, no, devour, the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I would pattern my work:

•    No one can say who built the great Cathedrals—we have no record of their names.
•    These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.
•    They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
•    The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, “Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.”
    And the workman replied, “Because God sees.”
    I closed the book, feeling the missing piece just push into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, “I see you Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one else does. No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.”
At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn, pride.
I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who will show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, “My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.” That would mean I’d built a shrine or monument to myself. I just want him to come home. And then if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, “You’re gonna love it here.”
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

I think this is one of the most encouraging articles I have read that’s why I am sharing it here as well with all due credit to Ms. Nicole Johnson. No amount of home insurance, financial stability or social recognition can reach deep down and give us that security we need about ourselves.  The affirmation and the self-worth that we all crave and long for can only be found in that quiet place of rest; that place where you are safe and secure in the unconditional love and acceptance of God – unshaken by the pull to be someone other than who you are. I know this place – I’ve been there… it is my place of refuge… my hiding place.

How about you? Are you invisible?

Success! I’m finally 2009 and no longer in the Christmas past, woohoo. Well, actually, my blog header is… at looong last. Bye-bye Christmas trees… hello grungy graphic. I think I’ll be keeping this header for a while because I want to remind myself about my little motto for the year.

Live.Deep. Live.Deliberately. Live.Life.

No more messing around and rearranging the furniture around here… well until I get bored probably with the look. Who knows maybe I might add some kitchen faucets or a carpet… naah! I think I’ll just K.I.S.S. it (keep it simple sweetie). Life’s too short and complicated. We’ve only got one life to live, right? Don’t sweat the small stuff. I think I’m starting to sound like a book. Yikes! Catch y’all later, folks. Ciao!

So I’m still on a blogging blitz and I’m updating the layouts I’ve done for this year. Now, I’m not on a one layout a day thing. What I’m hoping for is to finish 365 layouts for this year (personal) not including SFH stuff I do. It looks like I’m not going to be posting them in sequence because some of the layouts I’ve done can’t be posted until a later date so I’ll be posting them according to my own file numbering (just in case you get confused about my counting skills LOL).

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

LO#3 – My Little China Doll (for TDS Issue No.2)

LO#4 – Deck the Malls (for TDS Issue No.2)

LO#7 – Simply Magical ( I used Irenealexeeva’s freebie QP)

(credits to my layouts can be found in my gallery here and if you want to view all of them in one album you can check out my multiply site right here).

Now, I’m going to check out some feathered tuxedo friends right now – I’ve got to move it move it! Ciao for now!

I’m in a blogging mood this morning so I think I’ll update my blog a bit and then some. I’ve been out the past few days coz my in-laws were here for a visit and I had a few layout jobs to finish for TDS (The Daily Scrapper) and some friends as well. I was also invited by a friend to photoshoot for her at the CCP’s Pasinaya last Sunday. We met at Festival Mall Alabang right after our Sunday Service here in Sta. Rosa and me and my family  rushed to Alabang to meet her at Starbucks Festi. Thank God for convenient coffee franchises! It makes meet ups so much easier.

We arrived at the CCP early for rehearsals and blocking. Fortunately, I had the chance to practice my shots and test my camera’s settings before my friend’s ballet company came on. I’m not done with all the editing, but I am quite happy with the shots I took this time. The photography class I took last year has helped me a lot and I’m slowly taking ownership of my little Oly. 🙂 Here are a few of the shots I took during the event. Most of them taken with these settings (except the outdoor shots) with my Olympus E410 :

Shutter priority 1/100,ISO 1600, F4, no flash

The colors of PASINAYA at the Star Theatre backstage entrance

A Ballet Philippines poster on the sidewalk

A few shots from Ballet Manila’s version of High School Musical

(i like how the basketballs are suspended in mid-air in this shot) 🙂

here’s another one:

and here’s one of my faves, i love how the hair and the skirt swirl was captured :

this is the last one I’ve post-processed, the Madrigal Singers, the Philharmonic Orchestra and one of the company members of Ballet Philippines in mid-air:

Hopefully, I can work on more of the shots I took this weekend. So that’s it, pansit! Catch y’all later!

LP-Tsokolate

Kung ikaw ay isa sa mga libo-libong(? pero di ako kasali dun) tao na nakabasa ng aklat na Twilight o dili kaya ay nakapanood ng pelikulang ito baka sakaling makahiligan mo ang lahok ko sa linggong ito. Ito ang mga paniking kulay tsokolate na matatagpuan sa kuweba sa Samal Island. Talaga namang kikiligin ka at hihimatayin sa kakaibang amoy nila – makapigil hininga talaga! Kailangan mong pigilang huminga kasi baka bumaliktad ang iyong sikmura sa sangsang ng amoy nila. Pero sa tutoo lang, ka-kyut naman sila sa malapitan, di ba? Baka isa sa kanila yung bida sa Twilight, no? Papa-kiss ka ba?

Samal_09

Samal_01

Samal_10

Sali na kayo!

LP- Lila

Ito si Lila, isang di pangkaraniwang bulaklak na natagpuan ko sa gilid ng daan. Nakayuko… nakatungo… parang di nya alam na siya ay kakaiba… na ang kulay niya ay kulay ng mga hari at reyna. Di nya alam na siya’y mahalaga at may silbi ang kanyang buhay. Tila baga mayroon siyang pilit inaabot… ang kanyang maninipis na brasong tila sabik sa yakap at pagmamahal… nangungulila… naghahanap ng kasagutan. Sana balang araw ay mamulat ang kanyang kaisipan na siya ay mahalaga… siya ay maharlika… may silbi at nakatadhana para sa isang di pangkaraniwang kinabukasan.

Ako, madalas kong makalimutan na ako’y nilikha ng Maykapal bilang isang lila. Sa aking isipan ako ay hindi lila, kung hindi isang alila… sunod-sunuran na lang sa hampas ng hangin. Sana ay lagi kong maalala na ang bawat tao ay nilikha ng may kabuluhan, may patutunguhan, may kinabukasan. Ikaw anong palagay mo? Lila o Alila?

Sali na sa Litratong Pinoy, kaibigan!