Category Archives: HOME, FAMILY & FAITH

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heart tugger… made my eyes sweat, really.  Reminds me so much of my dad. Sigh. 96 years old. There’s just something right about the good old days. Wish I could head on out and check the king instruments at Guitar Center and grab a new set of strings for the guitar my kids got for me during redemption Sunday. Relive the good times all over again.

Rean here…

Our 12 year old son has been taking has been taking piano lessons since January this year under Prof. Perla D. Suaco of the UST Conservatory of Music. I am pleased that in a span of 4 months, he completed the Aaron Grade 1 book and he now works with the Czerny 299 and the Hanon books.  In a couple of weeks, he will be working on Bach.  I am just thankful for this.

Our 9 year old daughter is also beginning to demonstrate musically although we still have to determine which instrument she likes. At times she wants the violin, sometimes the flute and at times the guitar.  Buying a guitar would probably be good because she could share this instrument with her mom.  I’m reading that Charvel guitars have great acoustic sound and are quite rare.  Thinking that one day, I get one for for them so they can enjoy playing beautiful music together.

I’m quite sure you’ve seen this picture already. It is actually a great idea, isn’t it?  Bunk beds have been around for ages but this  just makes you wish you were young again. I’m sure my kids would have so much fun here. The clamor for sleepovers would definitely be endless. But there is one thing though, no more jumping on the foam mattress! Unless the kids don’t mind a few bumps on their heads. 🙂

My son recently started his very first formal piano lesson (thru the kindness of good friend, Nathan G.) with probably one of the best piano teachers ever, Ms. Suaco. He was totally over the moon after the first lesson. Of course I knew he would enjoy it. He’s been tinkering with our old keylight keyboard at home which isn’t quite the same as your good old fashioned piano. Not a Steinway,  but for now, it will do. I could probably connect it to my computer and amp it up with something like this:

2BA-221 Tube Mic and Line Module

Summit Audio 2BA-221 Tube Mic and Line Module

Check out the specs:

The variable-impedence Summit 2BA-221 Tube Mic and Line Module is a microphone preamp that has individual controls to mix mic with Hi-Z or line inputs for variable vacuum tube output. You can mix them together through 12AX7A/ECC83 tube output or separately through individual solid state outputs. A stackable input design allows multiple 2BA-221s to be linked for a modular mixing device with individual outs, inserts per channel, and a final vacuum tube gain stage. Its swept high-pass filter, multiple simultaneous tube and solid state outputs, insert jack, and internal power supply makes the 2BA-221 a powerful tracking and mixing tool.

Features

  • Variable mic input impedance from 100 ohms to 10K ohms
  • Variable high-pass filter
  • Hi-Z instrument, line, and mic level inputs
  • Hi-Z input and mic input available simultaneously with separate gain controls
  • Separate solid state and tube outputs
  • Insert jack
  • Stackable with more 2BA-221s
  • 1/2 rack size
  • 3 year warranty
  • XLR and 1/4″ I/O
  • 3 variable, independent gain stages
Cool, huh?
Today Chopsticks, tomorrow Czerny! 🙂

And it has no citizenship, no race, no color, no age group. It is not bound by country or continent or IP address. Just a loud, powerful, influential voice that can make the whole world know it has spoken. A voice that can influence current events and shake, make or break anything or anyone that tries to shackle it down or imprison it.

The days when you get imprisoned for saying something against any establishment or any political figure are slowly becoming a memory of the past. Today, you can express either your praise or  adoration for anyone or anything,  or cuss, curse, and use all the seldom used characters on your keyboard to give your 2 cents worth on the Top Headline for the day.  SOPA and PIPA are shelved, give yourself a pat on the back and hand out the Padron. Or maybe not…yet.

This enormous POWER that’s been placed in our hands – the power to communicate in real time. To make our COLLECTIVE VOICES be heard as ONE  to change our world’s landscape as we know it. This freedom to build our virtual Tower of Babel should be BUILT with words seasoned with salt, not to overpower it but to improve it’s taste.

Yes we are FREE. Free to speak our minds. Free to have our say. This is the generation we live in right now. However, this freedom could also usher in a new era and speed up what has been spoken of long ago –  until it finally reaches the ends of the earth.

Yes, Virginia. There is no doubt that the Internet has a VOICE. The question is, what comes out of its heart, I mean, mouth.

They call it action figures. That’s according to my son who got a really cool Transformers “action figure” for Christmas. Okay, fine. But it really is a cool one. I haven’t seen one like it until he opened the box. It wasn’t your typical multi-colored DIY toy. Of course it’s not a Gears of War 3 beast mode toy (whatever that one is). But here’s my son beaming with joy, quite content over his new “doll”, oops, “action figure”. 🙂

Of course, this was shot with my new toy too. 🙂

Making daily meals for your family can sometimes get frustrating.  For me, it’s a challenge.  I found a collection of great tips that will help take the stress out of making meals. Hopefully, this will help make this task more enjoyable for you.

Cooking for large groups can create a lot of anxiety and stress. Instead of panicking, do all the preparatory work a night or two before the big event is to occur. For any dishes that can be made ahead, do so; for all others, prep the ingredients in advance.

Fresh ways to prepare oysters. Most people eat oysters raw with lemon juice, but you can serve them in other ways. Lather a bit of cream on the oysters after you place the opened ones in a broiler pan. Then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and black pepper, place under broiler until bubbling. Another option is to saute the oysters. Dredge your oysters in a seasoned flour mixture, then fry them in some hot butter for a couple minutes until they become a warm golden brown. Another way is to keep the oysters in their shell and bake. Put them in a deep baking dish, season them with breadcrumbs and a little butter over each, then put them in a 425 degree oven for about five minutes. Serve hot on toast points or a baguette when your butter is bubbling.

For a homemade soup that is very low in fat, use fat-free stock or broth as your base. By using lean meat and plenty of vegetables, you will add very little fat to the soup. Once it is ready, stick it in the fridge to chill. Any excess fat will harden and rise to the top. You can remove and get rid of this hardened fat. For each tablespoon you remove, you can save about 100 calories.

Regular meal preparation can seem like a major chore at times. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to help simplify the meal making process. When all else fails, you can always look up those personal executive chef jobs ads and hire one to do all that for you. 🙂

Finally, a post from me. After many months of not being able to post on my own blog because I was doing so many other sites, I finally get to “write” again. Right here. And it feels darn good, I must say. To write for writing’s sake. So allow me to blabber a bit about random thoughts that might not make sense. It’s been a while.

It’s a rainy day. The kind of day that makes you want to stay in bed and stay under the sheets forever. Kinda nice but rather unusual for December. Listening to the gentle pitter patter of raindrops outside my window is like listening to teardrops cascading slowly to the earth reminding me of both joy and pain, unfortunately, this Christmas season.

A colleague of mine lost her home in the Iligan and CDO floods. A dear  friend has a very sick father who needs an operation right away. Abandoned children left to themselves, rejected by their own mother. Real tears. Real people. Real needs that leave a tight knot in your chest.

And yet, I know that there can only be one answer to all this – a REAL GOD. A real God who catches all your tears…who understands your pain…who will never leave you nor forsake you. No matter what.

A real God who works through hearts, hands, and feet of people who are willing. Come, Oh Lord!

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel. 

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times did’st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.  


Rean here…

Day 7 was hectic as team was packing, doing last minute shopping and trying to get to the airport. After having checked in, we were seated at the gate reflecting the events of the previous days and planning the next missions trip. There indeed is a difference between living and existing. Instead of asking “what is term life insurance?” living conservatively, one should live out life fulfilling one’s destiny in God. As a noted discipler in our church has said, “find out what God is doing in your generation and fling your life into it!”

visit www.actsmanila.com

Rean here…

Our sixth day was designated as tour day. As we were going through a city tour, our team leader surprises us by announcing that we were going to Disneyland. More than the rides and shopping for funny tee shirts, it was a chance for us to reconnect with Disney artists we met on the 3rd day. We also got to meet former co-dancers who we had not seen for years.

visit www.actsmanila.com

Rean here…

Day 5 started early as we headed out to International College Hong Kong to perform for middle school kids. The format was quite different from the previous days as team first performed followed by a dance workshop and a discussion. We were elated with the friendships formed between the school kids, the dancers and our own children. This was then followed by a performance for primary schoolers at Hong Lok Yuen International School. Our team performed then had discussion groups with the audience. We had privilege of assisting a girl to start a living personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The dancer who assisted her had tears like water coming from a Steripen Adventurer Opti.

visit www.actsmanila.com

Rean here…

The fourth day of our journey started out with a visit a Pre-school in Yuen Kong. It was quite inspiring to watch pre-school kids express wonder and excitement watching the Acts Manila ballet dancers perform. The place itself is a side of Hong Kong you normally don’t see in tours. The quaint village life and the pristine wetland  habitat inspires you to shop for ATV accessories and go back . Indeed, it was a fitting warm-up for the team to bless and interact with our audience. This was then followed by a performance for 200 high school students at the Lingnan University theatre. Here one of the dancers, shared her testimony that God can use anyone for his glory. The day was capped with a visit to our Every Nation congregation in Tung Chung, made up mostly of Performing Artists from Disneyland.

visit www.actsmanila.com

Rean here…

The following day the Acts Manila team performed in 2 churches: our Every Nation Church in Tsim Shia Tsui and Amazing Grace Lutheran Church in Kowloon Tong where the team met a predominantly Filipino congregation. It was so good for the team to dance and prophesy to the EN Church. It was like having an ncstar accuracy when the Word of the Lord was given. Truly a blessing for our team to minister to Filipino domestic helpers faithfully following the Lord.

visit www.actsmanila.com