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Haven’t shared a layout here in a long while so now is the best time to do so, don’t you think? Here’s what I did for the July Issue (part one – click the archives) of The Daily Scrapper. The Daily Scrapper comes out with two issues a month (one every two weeks) to give you more of the latest scrapbooking news, awesome products, awesome layouts, hybrid tutorials and online coupons from your favorite online scrapping stores. Shop in your pajamas or sip a cuppa joe while you browse through the different featured posts and while you’re there, grab the freebies as well!

Title: Sand between my toes

Product used: Along those lines vol. 1 by One Little Bird; Paint the Moon textures; Les Brumes textures

Thanks for looking folks!

50 Languages. 1 Song. An Amazing Aussie. A Multitude of Worshipers. ONE AMAZING GOD.

It was exactly a week ago to-date when I witnessed one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. A foretaste of a heavenly vision. EN2010 was the buzz word around town. MOA was filled to the rafters with delegates from approximately 50+ nations and a Guinness Book of World Records attempt was made.

It was a wonderful and yet solemn moment. So awesome that when I think about it, it’s kinda hard to wrap my brain around it. I felt like John witnessing the book of Revelation unfold before my eyes. Every tribe… every nation (almost) worshiping God. I lost it when Luchie Huang sang in our native tongue. Unbelievable.

Darlene Zschech (Hillsongs Worship – Australia), spoke about worship prior to that. She shared so many things about worship but one of the most distinct things I remember about her was that she exuded the Presence of God. Amazing Aussie indeed. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from her during the conference:

Worship is the sound of a REDEEMED HEART expressing thanksgiving to an Eternal God. – Darlene Z.

I have my own little snippet of the goodness of God to me. I wasn’t there to attend the conference (can you believe that?!). I wasn’t registered at all and I only had a production pass for the ACTS Manila dance numbers which meant I didn’t have access after the performances. DH texted me to register since I was there anyway and so I inquired if there were any seats left in Level 1 because I didn’t want to be in the “Upper Room”. It was too far away from the production tent backstage and I’d probably need a binocular just to see the speaker way out there on stage because all the prime seats were probably taken already.  At the registration, I saw an old friend manning the registration area and he encouraged me to go ahead cuz additional seating was made available and there were still good seats  in Level 1. I went ahead smiled at the girls at the Reg Table and asked them if they could give me a nice seat. By this time, I was just too happy to find any seat in Level 1. Lo and behold,  I got a front row seat stage left!!! I knew I didn’t deserve that because all my friends fell in line just to get good seats for the conference and here I was registering on the second day of the conference and yet I got one of the best seats in the house.  I think it was just God’s way of showing me that with Him nothing is impossible. AMAZING GOD indeed.

I am still in awe and trying to digest all that transpired. I have an EN2010 hangover and it’s already been 1 week! hahaha Anyway, I’ll probably post other thoughts about it in the future.

Catch ya later, folks!

Yes, m’ladies. 4 steps. I didn’t say fast. I didn’t say easy. I just mean 4 steps with lots of little sub steps in between. This is a follow-up  to my original post  How to Renew Your Passport so I guess this contains the latest information and updates. I’ve taken some pictures to give you a visual so that you know what to expect when you go to the DFA. If you  left a comment or question under the original  post that was unanswered, perhaps your queries might be answered in this latest post. I’m not a travel agent nor do I claim to be an expert in this area nor am I a DFA employee. My aim is simply to consolidate all the bits and pieces of information about renewing your passport all into one post. Hopefully, someone will find the information useful.

Here’s how our regular passports have evolved.

Above: MAROON Passport (left), GREEN Passport (right) – issue discontinued, will expire as scheduled on their original expiration dates, some countries may deny entry to holders of the green, handwritten passports;

Machine Readable Passport or MRP. (left)  (I have this one right now.) The MRP is no longer shown as an option on the sidebar of the DFA website. My guess is that they are slowly phasing it out and all renewals will be the ePass type. I intend to convert mine to an ePass even before the scheduled expiration date. Electronic Passport, Biometric or better known as  ePass. (right) This is the current type of passport being issued by the DFA right now. The little rectangle  below the word “Pasaporte” differentiates it from the MRP.

A little note about the ePass:

The ePassport takes the MRP to the next higher level and standard in travel documents:  an embedded microchip containing the following: Data essential in verifying the passport holder’s identity, including the holder’s personal data, biometrics and digital signature. This chip is interoperable, that is to say, it can be read by any standard passport machine reader in border controls worldwide.

  • A complex laminate that protects the data page against tampering;
  • Customized invisible images on every page; and
  • A hidden and coded technology that allows the encoding of the holder’s name and passport number on the passport photo.

source: DFA – Speech of Dr. Alberto Romulo  (my note: ‘next higher level‘ sounds kinda redundant…)

Before I get into the steps to renewing your passport, check out this list:

4 Steps  you need to take BEFORE going to the DFA:

STEP 1

  • SET AN APPOINTMENT. By CALLING (02)737-1000 or by APPLYING ONLINE at http://passport.com.ph. If you call, a Customer Care Officer will assist you in setting your appointment. He/She will ask you to provide your personal info and will advise you on the applicable requirements you need to bring on your scheduled appointment. If you apply online, you have two types of appointments to choose from – INDIVIDUAL or FAMILY. You need to FILL UP an online form based on the type of appointment you choose and CHOOSE an appointment DATE and TIME. Allot enough time to process your passport and the time of your travel. We set our appointment early May 2010 and we were scheduled June 30, 2010. If you are in a hurry, you might not be able to leave according to your schedule. Anyway, if you do have the time, these are how the online forms look like:

Did You Know?

ALL passport applicants scheduled for appearance must appear physically at the DFA at the date and time of their scheduled personal appearance for data and image capturing. This applies ALL to  passport applicants, aging from 0 years old onwards. DFA is strict about the personal appearance system, absolutely no chaperone allowed for passport applicants aging 18 years old onwards.

STEP 2

  • DOWNLOAD, PRINT and FILL OUT the passport application forms completely with the appointment reference numbers. WRITE DOWN the reference number given to you because it will be used to cross-check your appointment once you get to the DFA. We were not able to print out the forms because my dh’s laptop crashed. It was actually a blessing in disguise because we found out a glitch in the online appointment system. We contacted Customer Service and discovered that dh was not included in the appointment list even though he applied for himself and our two kids. The system only reflected  our kids’ appointment and his could not be found. It’s a good thing that he had a copy of the appointment reference number so they were able to trace the appointment. Thank God!

STEP 3

  • ASSEMBLE all your requirements. PHOTOCOPY all necessary documents. Applicants will not be admitted at the entrance gate without valid appointment and application forms. For a detailed listing of passport renewal requirements you can check out my previous post How to Renew Your Passport or DFA.

STEP 4

  • ARRIVE EARLY. You must be at the DFA Consular Office 30 minutes before your scheduled time. Early/Late comers will not be entertained. By experience, our June 30 schedule got bumped off because it was declared a holiday. We were given the option to choose which day and what time to go so they were a bit more lenient because of that. Otherwise, as with any other appointment, don’t arrive on time. Arrive before the time. On your appointment date, proceed to the DFA Consular Office located at ASEANA Business Park, Bradco Avenue corner Macapagal Boulevard, Paranaque City (see map below).

Location Map

Here’s a pic I took on our way to the DFA.

Did You Know?

The DFA Passport Appointment System by Internet is currently available ONLY for the DFA Passport in Manila. It is important that all the needed details (i.e. full name, date of birth, place of birth, latest passport number and date of issuance) are provided when you make the request for appointment.

So you’ve done Steps 1 through 4 and finally, you’re all set to go to the DFA. Here’s what you need to do now.

How to Renew your Passport in 4 steps (DFA Aseana)

STEP 1 – Processing

  • PRESENT your printed application form and supporting documents to the Appointment Counter. You will find them immediately as you enter Gate 2 of DFA Aseana. The assigned personnel will verify your papers and your reference number. Once completed, they will direct you to GET your queue number at the Information Counter and then WAIT for your turn inside the Processing Area. Your queue number will appear on the monitor indicating what processing window you will go to.

Here’s what the Processing Area looks like. There are 23 windows (not all are open) available.

Here’s where we sat while waiting for our turn. Wish we had patio cushions but it was kinda fast so it was fine. It was a bit like playing musical chairs.

After the shortest wait in the whole process here’s what happens next. Submit all your documents to the person behind the counter for verification and inform them the type of processing you want – Regular or Rush (Expedited). They will ask you to sign some forms re receiving your canceled passport and you will be directed to the next step.

Did You Know?

Passport Fees

Regular Processing: Php 950.00 (20 working days)

Rush Processing: Php 1,200.00 (10 working days)

An additional fee of Php 200.00 will be charged for processing of Lost Passports if it is still valid.

STEP 2 – Payment

  • Hooray, you survived Step 1 so now it’s on to Step 2. GO TO THE SECOND FLOOR and look for the Passport Enrollment Center. You won’t miss it. Go inside this room and PAY your passport fees at the CASHIER.  After that, go a little further into the room and GET another number and wait for it to be flashed onscreen. Once you see your number, proceed to your assigned enrollment booth.  Step 2’s a fairly easy step, depending on how long the line is. You’ll be done with this one within tolerable time.

Here are a few more pics to show you how it looks like.

The Passport Enrollment Center. Note: the spelling looks a bit weird and shows up in my spell check so I’m sticking to the old spelling.

This is how it looks like inside. You can see where the cashier windows are.

Don’t forget to get your number at Number 3 or else they won’t process your enrollment.

STEP 3 – Enrollment

  • Step 3 is where it get’s a bit tricky. This is the part where they do all the biometric stuff. They encode all the data in your application form, get your thumbmarks (left and right) and they take your picture against a light blue background. No need to bring pictures that get rejected after you’ve done all the queuing and waiting. Since that’s a lot to do just for one application, how much more if you’re a family. So this is the longest part of the whole process. The number we picked was 2500 so we had to wait for a looooooong while before it became our turn.

Here are more pics to give you an idea of what it’s like.

Check out the numbers on the screen. We picked 2500 so you can imagine how looooooooooooooong we had to wait for our turn.

This is what happens when you become bored from waiting. A poor paparazzi shot of Benjie Paras (the one in stripes) who was there that day.

On the wall near the escalator…going up to the 2nd floor.

The holding area (the view from outside)… where people inside waited… and waited… and waited…

Can you tell how bored I am…

FINALLY!!! Our turn…

Data Encoding. Check. Fingerprints. Check. Signatures. Check. Snapshot. Check. Hallelujah!!! It’s almost  5 0’clock…whew! We made it!

STEP 4 – Delivery

  • Finally, the long wait is over and you’ve done Steps 1 through 3. You now have the option of claiming your passport personally or have it delivered to your doorstep via courier. We opted for the latter since we didn’t want to go back to the DFA.

After 2 weeks… and a day earlier… TADA!

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Ü lol

RENEWING YOUR PASSPORT IN DFA REGIONAL CONSULAR OFFICES

Did You Know?

ePassport is now available in 19 RCOs Nationwide.

As of June 18, 2010, the Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of Consular Affairs encourages the public to avail of the passport processing and/or renewal in any of the 19 Regional Consular Offices (RCOs) located nationwide.

The RCOs are located in:

  • Clarkfield, Pampanga
  • San Fernando, Pampanga
  • Baguio
  • La Union
  • Tuguegarao
  • Batangas
  • Lucena
  • Puerto Princesa
  • Legazpi
  • Iloilo
  • Bacolod
  • Tacloban
  • Cebu
  • Cagayan de Oro
  • Davao
  • Zamboanga
  • Butuan
  • General Santos
  • Cotabato

LIST OF DFA OFFICES

DFA Main Office: Board of Foreign Service Examinations, Department of Foreign Affairs, DFA Building, 2330 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City ° Tel. (02) 834-3080/ 3083 ° Fax (02) 551-5976

DFA RCO Baguio: Don Monsylito Building, 16 Legarda Road, Baguio City ° Tel (074) 424-3358, 442-2258 ° Fax (074) 442-2255

DFA RCO La Union: Pasado Building, Pagdalagan Norte, San Fernando, La Union ° Tel (072) 888-3733, 888-3107 ° Fax (072) 888-5484 ° Email: dfalaunion@sflu.com , la_union@dfa.gov.ph

DFA RCO Tuguegarao: Municipal Building, Tuguegarao, Cagayan Valley ° Tel (078) 846-4813, 846-1482 ° Fax (078) 846-2310 ° Email: tuguegarao@dfa.gov.ph

DFA RCO Clark Field: Balikbayan Shopping Mall, Claro M. Recto Avenue, Clarkfield, Angeles, Pampanga ° Tels. (045) 599-7777 ° Fax No. (045) 599-6555 ° Email: pampanga@dfa.gov.ph

DFA RCO Lucena: 3rd Floor, Pacific Mall, M.L. Tagarao St., Barangay III, Lucena City ° Tel. (042) 710-4526, 373-1898 ° Email: dfarcolc@pldtdsl.net

DFA RCO Puerto Princesa: 2nd Floor, Puerto Princesa City Coliseum, National Highway, Barangay San Pedro, Puerto Princesa City

DFA RCO Legazpi: 4/F, LCC Expressmart Building, Rizal St., Legazpi City ° Tel. (052) 480-3000, 820-3396 ° Fax (052) 480-1773 ° Email: dfa_ legazpi@yahoo.com

DFA RCO Iloilo: Yulo Street, Iloilo City ° Tel. (033) 336-1737, (02) 487-3041 ° Fax (033) 335-0221 ° Email: dfailo@skyinet.net

DFA RCO Bacolod: 2nd Floor, East Block Square, Circumferential Road, Barangay Villa Monte, Bacolod City ° Tel. (034) 434-8338

DFA RCO Cebu: Causing Lozada Building, Osmena Blvd. cor Lapu-lapu Street, Cebu City ° Tel. (032) 256-3193, 253-6798 ° Fax (032) 256-0624 ° Email: cebu@dfa.gov.ph , dfacebu@mozcom.com

DFA RCO Tacloban: Leyte SMED Center, Capitol Site, Sn. Enage, Tacloban City ° Tel. (053) 321-8233, (053) 321-8237 ° Fax (053) 321-8237 ° Email: taclobansco@dfa.gov.ph , dfa_rcotac@glodelines.com.ph

DFA RCO Zamboanga: Go-Velayo Building, Veterans Avenue, Zamboanga City ° Tel. (062) 991-4398, (062) 991-2202 ° Fax (062) 991-7958 ° Email: rcozambo@jetlink.com.ph

DFA RCO Cagayan de Oro: Geleng Building, Lapasan Highway, Cagayan de Oro City ° Tel. (08822) 724-309, (088) 857-2175 ° Fax (08822) 726-578 ° Email: rco@cdo.webling.com , cagayan_deoro@dfa.gov.ph

DFA RCO Davao City: Ebro-Pelayo Building, E. Jacinto Street, Davao City ° Tel. (082) 227-3900, 224-4885, 227-0713 ° Fax (082) 221-4552, 227-0712 ° Email: davaorco@ultimate.info.com , davaorco@yahoo.com

DFA RCO Butuan: CESIA Building, Montilla Boulevard, Butuan City ° Tel. (085) 342-7822 ° Fax (085) 342-5700 ° Email: dfarco_butuan@yahoo.com

DFA RCO General Santos: Gaisano Complex, J. Catolico St. Lagao, General Santos City ° Tel. (083) 553-8380, 826-9089 ° Email: rco.gsc@gmail.com

DFA RCO Cotabato: People’s Palace,City Hall, Cotabato City ° Tel. (064) 421-3478 ° Fax (064) 421-3495

ETA: (edited to add)

DFA RCO Pampanga

OIC: ASUNCION N. FLORENTIN
City Central TrTerminal (CCTT)
Lazatin Blvd., Corner Olongapo-Gapan Road
San Juan, City of San Fernando, Pampanga

Tel. No: (045) 961-6175
Email add: pampanga@dfa.gov.ph
rcopampanga@yahoo.com

More RCOs will be opened this year and in the future to further enhance the issuance of passports to all Filipinos travelling overseas.

The Philippine ePassport is also now being issued by the following Foreign Service Posts (FSPs), namely: Agana, Brunei Darussalam, Chicago, Doha, Dubai, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Kuala Lumpur, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Osaka, Ottawa, San Francisco, Seoul, Tokyo, Toronto and Washington D.C.

Other FSPs are expected to issue the ePassport in due course.

The Philippine passport is also widely accepted by most commercial establishment as a valid government-issued identity document.
(source: DFA Public Advisory)
Thanks for reading this far. It’s been a looong post but I hope you find it useful. If you find it helpful, comments are highly appreciated. Shameless plug – if you want to stay up to date with the latest on my blog – follow me on twitter.

We had the opportunity to display some of our Everything Ballet products at the CCP Lobby last month. I found a lot of inspiration online on how to set up our display table. I wanted to do a little shabby chic inspired tablescape much like this one from Such Pretty Things.

Here’s our version of her lovely table:

Everything Ballet cupcakes

Everything Ballet cookies

We displayed a lot of products on our table aside from the pastries above. We had bags, cards, stationery and anything and everything ballet-related. It was a fun experience and hopefully we can plan a better setup next year. I think I’m going to look into those point of purchase displays to see how we can step it up a notch next time. Thank you to all who purchased from our table. Until next time!

HOLA!

I’m back!!! After a month or so of being away from my bloggie, it’s back to regular programming. I didn’t realize how long it’s been until I read that about the shops prepping up for iNSD and Mother’s Day.

LAYOUT SHARE

As featured in the Products Highlights Section of The Daily Scrapper Lifestyle.

For the April 2010 Issue (read about it here)

TITLE: FLOWERS FROM MY DAUGHTER

(Kit Used: Spring Promenade by Kaye Winiecki and J Design)

TITLE: REJOICE IN THE MOMENT

(Kits Used: Sidekicks Pack No. 12 by Fizzy Pop Designs and Paislee Press Adorned Kit)

iNSD and Mother’s Day Freebie

Finally, since I’ve been away for so long here’s my comeback contribution to the celebration.  A FREEBIE! I know there will be a lot of freebie hunting out there so here’s one right here. (Much more fun than hunting for cheap auto insurance, eh?)

Download 1 (opens in new window, right click and save as) or

Download 2 (4shared) or

Simply click on the preview to download

Please leave a comment if you like it or share your creations using it.

Happy interNational Scrapbooking Day and Happy Mother’s Day to all. Let’s Celebrate!!!

In my last entry, I blogged about our recent ballet pictorial.  As my wife does the post production part of the shoot, we have been staring at all the student’s photos for quite a while now.  In so doing we noticed a few more items worth some attention.  First and foremost, would be the smiles.  As I stated in my previous entry, we had to constantly remind kids to smile.  It was not a surprise to see good shots getting archived because the kids were not smiling.  Second would be jewelry. Just because your kid has a pictorial, doesn’t mean that you have her wear all your loose diamonds.  You have to follow the artisitic direction of the producer.  Its funny if your kid has the role of a simple village girl and her ears sparkle.  Lastly, the weight! Please STOP your children from always going to McDonalds or eating  chips and chocolates.  If you don’t think their fat, look at their pictures. It even gets worse when they get on stage.  The worst thing that could happen is if they won’t fit in their costumes come recital time.  Give them real, nutricious, high quality food.

The weekend was quite busy for us.  It was the pictorial of ACTS Manila ballet schools.  While Saturday was not so bad as it only involved my wife, Sunday engaged all four of us.  We woke up very early to be at the pictorial site at 730am.  The shoot started around 830am, with my daughter’s ballet class. About an hour later, it was my son’s ballet class. At around 10:30am,  it was the turn of my students to be photographed.  The whole morning was practically a family affair.  After lunch, it was back to my wife’s monopoly of things to do.

Perhaps your kid is about to have look into that Canon camera in a ballet pictorial setting. Here are some practical tips:

  • 1.) Come early! – In a production pictorial setting, you have to put on a costume or wear special make up.  For this reason, call time is usually 1hr before the scheduled shoot.  By coming late, you run the risk of not wearing the costume properly or putting on the best make-up.   In some cases, you may even damage the costume.
  • 2.) Wear make-up before getting to the site. – If your circumstances permit and no special make-up is required, you should have your kid wear make-up before arriving at the photoshoot.  This way, you can focus on his/her costume.
  • 3.) Keep the kids busy. –  Do what you can to keep your kid preoccupied while sitting down.  Bring books or games that will keep him/her from running around and destroying his/her costume. Pictorials usually take long because of the number of kids to be shot, so you have to bring quite a number of books and games.
  • 4.) Bring food. – Because of the long wait time, bring along some snacks.  However, don’t let your kid eat brownies or other dark colored stuff unless you want his/her teeth to have stains.  You should also stay away from messy stuff like cream pies as they may spill on the costume.
  • 5.) Bring a good container for the costume. – Bring a container that keeps the costume from being damaged during transport or storage.
  • 6.) Practice your child’s smile. –  It’s interesting that we had to nag kids to smile. Have your child practice smiling the night before. It would even be better if you have a mock pictorial!

Hopefully this makes your pictorial experience more memorable in a positive way. Smile!

The old second hand 8-cylinder “bat-mobile” is gone. The red-plated Minica is no longer. The Mitsubishi lancer was sacrificially sold to pay for attorney’s fees to settle a sibling’s case. I remember these cars my father drove while I was growing up. I can still recall how big the “bat-mobile” was and how I would sink into the backseat and become nauseous. I could barely look out the window because it was too high. Or was I too small? One day it was no longer in our garage. Some time later, my father brought home a smaller car – a red-plated Minica. I remember my dad taking a picture of me in front of the car right before he drove me to PICC for my college graduation. Later on, he gave it back to the office when he retired and our garage was empty again. Finally, my father brought home a Mitsubishi Lancer. A car he bought with his retirement money. He lovingly took care of it. This car was his prized reward from all the years he had been working as a government employee. He would drive more than 40 kilometers just to fetch me and my dirty laundry from my dorm and then bring me back the following day. It didn’t matter even if it was already late in the night. I clearly remember those moments with him in the car. Everything was safe when I was with him. Unfortunately, there came a time that he had to sell it for a greater need. Without a thought he gave it up sacrificially to shoulder the legal fees of someone so dear to him. Our garage was empty once again. My father has since passed. I miss him terribly and though I’ve accepted the fact that he is in a better place, the pain is as real today as the day he left me.  Life is not the same.

Today, I have a family of my own – a husband, two kids. We have our own car, but it was just the other day that I realized something missing from it. I received an email that reminded me what it was. I quickly rummaged through our house to find it and when I finally did, tears welled up in my eyes. My childhood came flooding back to me and the little memento I found was the only witness to all those years of riding with my father. This little memento had been hanging in every car that we had. They are my old and tattered little red shoes that I wore when I was a baby. My father kept and preserved them and hung them on the rearview mirror in each and every car we ever had. Maybe my father wanted to remember me whenever he saw my shoes hanging on the mirror. Maybe he wanted me to be close by… to be within reach… to be his little baby even if he knew I was pursuing my own career. When we sold the Mitsubishi Lancer, I forgot all about those shoes. I got married, moved house and had kids. There was no place to hang them… until today. Thanks to that email, I can now hang my little red shoes once again. This time it’s to remind me of my father and how much he is still a part of my life. Hopefully, I can do the same for my own children – that they too will have many, many fond memories of riding with mom and dad in the car. Thank you, daddy. I love you and miss you.

(here are my little red shoes hanging in our car today)

Thank you Nuffnang for emailing me about this contest.

Tes was out today for a photo shoot.  She does the post production aspects of the team (i.e. editing and layouts).    Since the activies started quite early, she had to stay overnight at a good friend’s house close to the shoot location.  In her rush, she almost left her things last night.  Just imagine if she left home without her clothes, dental care items, day cream, etc. Oh my…what a nightmare would it have been for her.  She would have come home to me very grumpy.  Good thing she remembered her things.  The photo shoot went very well also.

Continuing from my last entry, the place we went bird watching was an estuary.  It is an ecosystem where the river and the sea meet.  Characteristic of this biome are the mangrove forests and mudflats.  As we were walking through this place, I was once again marvelling at the mangroves. The mud banks of the river dont have much air in them so these wonderful creatures have roots dropping from up their trunks all the way down.  They have this “tree on stilts” look if you see them.  This may be the inspiration for typical human dwellings in this ecosystem.  Another peculiar creature we saw were fiddler crabs.  Without any disability insurance, these crabs with one oversized claw function perfectly in this environment.  They use their big appendage to attract females.  My students were so amazed with these creatures such that they went to catch a couple for pictures (short of wading into the mud).  Nature is very much well designed.   Bravo to the Great Designer!

Btw, speaking of disability insurance, did you know that : Allsup is a leading nationwide provider of financial and healthcare related services to people with disabilities. Since 1984, Allsup has helped more than 110,000 people receive their entitled Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare benefits. And you don’t have to have an oversized claw if you need help.

Just popping in to say that we are about to have one hectic week ahead. Kids recovering from sudden cough and colds due to the erratic weather, a death in the family, visiting grandparents from Davao, visiting family relatives from Cebu, a just concluded summer dance workshop in Sta. Rosa, an unfinished article, layouts to finish, a costume to paint, a surprise party for a dear, dear person, technical dress rehearsals and a photoshoot, of course the first two-day Noah’s Ark ballet recital of my kids at the CCP no less, costumes and makeup to attend to and would you believe after 10+++ years of not dancing, I and a few of my dance ministry friends will brave a dance for a friend’s birthday…. whew, are you still breathing while reading all this?  All of that in 7 days!!! I feel like I’m riding a tiny little scooter and am about to have a head on collision with a ten-wheeler truck in the middle of the freeway! Get me an Oakland motorcycle accident lawyer, pronto!

With a gazillion more things I might forget, I know that God’s grace is sufficient for me. To my mind, I need buckets and buckets of it but it is amazing how He can quiet down your soul and order your world if you let Him. I heard someone say this long ago ” I have too much to do today, I think I need to spend more time praying.” And so I shall.