"Life is hard enough not to take one step at a time...
Friday, January 30, 2009
"Life is hard enough not to take one step at a time...
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Setting: Last night, around the dining table after a late dinner...
Plot: Jasmine correctly guessed what Ian (or somebody on the table) said.
Jasmine: (pointing to her temple, giggling from pride) "You know Mommy, I'm good. I'm telepathetic!"
Me: (I barely heard it) "What? Tele-what?"
Jasmine: (still beaming) "TELE-PATHETIC! Cause I guessed it right, so I'm TELEPATHETIC!"
Everyone: (Laughed till our sides hurt!)
I think she meant TELE-PATHIC, don't you?
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I miss all my AZ ladies, so this is to help us all reconnect. I'm so excited! This is my very first tag game.
So, here's what you do:
1. From your list of blogs, pick 1 blogger that you know or knew from AZ.
2. Tell a 2-sentence brief history of where you know them and how.
3. Describe them and their blog in 3 cool words.
4. Tag 4 bloggers you know or knew from AZ.
5. Click on the featured blog below then comment to invite them to come see yours.
Ok, so here's mine:
I chose... Three Little Ladies by Anne Hanson!
She was in the Gateway Ward in Gilbert, Arizona and was one of the RS teachers while I was there. She is such an inspiration to me; knowing her address and blog is such a treat!
FRIENDLY, BEAUTIFUL, and SMART!!!
Ok... I tag
Lara, Melissa, Anne, Tasha
Go on, make someone's day and tag them right back! :DOk, bye for now!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
We had no seminary or school today; which is indicative of how dangerous the roads are (our school district has not closed their school until today in years). We spent the day doing laundry and just relaxing... (I mean pjs & winter socks under blankets relaxing) Aaahh... (I even managed to squeeze in a nap, yay!)
NO seminary again tomorrow as our warning extends to tomorrow AM. We don't know about another "snow day" though...
Charlie and I (he's off today, so such a blessing; we're all home!) got some soups and other provisions to keep us comfortable today like chips, chocolate angel food cake, berries, and microwaveable dishes (things we can eat while we are cozy in our blankets!) :-D.
Check these out:
We may not have an all-out snow fest like in other states, but we have, icy rain!!! This is in my patio; marvel at my "coated" table and my "sprinkled" herb pot.
I can't wait to take pictures of my trees again tomorrow morning! (Charlie wouldn't let me take pictures now...) :-(
How's the weather where you are?
Monday, January 26, 2009
Here's what we got: (Cha-ching!)
Ian- Matchbox Treasure Hunt track set / TRU (under budget, yes!)
Jasmine- Another You & Me doll (of course)- Baby Brother / TRU (under budget, yes!)
Lisa- Band Shirts and long-sleeved shirts /Hot Topic & Pac Sun (under budget, yes!)
Family Gift- Books- 12 books for $36.00!!
Family Gift #2- My Sims Kingdom for Wii / Game Stop for $29.99!! Last month, it was $49.99!
Plus, on our way out, we were asked to help a Kiddie Kandids trainee hone her craft and by doing so, we ended up having three FREE 5x7's!!! Each kid posed and no sales pitch, just a lot of fun poses... Saved $60.00!!!
I couldn't open up the email pictures, so I had to improvise to show proof of the "impromptu" modeling of our children. Note that Ian decided to be a "smile" rebel. He was too hungry and resisted all the way until the very end.
No more Christmas shopping for our little family ever again. January sprees fit our budget so much better. Yay!!!
For FHE, we made sure that we came back with everyone's limbs intact and that we didn't have to stop at any Emergency Rooms along the way. And we taught them selfless service by going all the way to another city to drop off our unused bird playground to the first responder in Freecycle who couldn't drive at night and whose husband just became unemployed. Mission accomplished!
Sunday, January 25, 2009
All of them know how to pray, mind you, with emphasis on how thankful they are for their Mommy and Daddy and Mommy and Daddy and a pet or two then their siblings if applicable. Toy cars seem to be the #1 on the WANT list. Oh yeah, we love ending our little circle with "Ring aound da Wosie" about 3-4 times.
How can you not looooove such a calling?
So this actually happened last night, but I was too tired to write...
I've only made two to three other cheesecakes in my entire married life, all were no-bakes. Well, after a successful run with the molten lava cakes last Monday, I was spurred on to make a cheesecake! Last night, as a dessert to feed the missionaries. I chose a good old-fashioned New York cheesecake! Only, since I'm a complete buffoon when it comes to reading while stirring, I didn't realize that I was missing an ingredient- great! What to do, what to do?
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Hopefully, I'll remember to do these movie reviews from now on. It would be nice to see which movies we watched each Friday night...
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Today is his birthday, but since he had to go to work, we, (meaning me) had to quickly put together a menu and table(scape) to surprise him with. Well, I came up with this quick fare:
(I used our yellow & green Asian dinnerware with my Italian crystal stemware and realized that our new red plates perfectly matched the red on the blossom print. I used my white salad plates to bring out the white in the dinnerware and lighten the look. My Correlle bowls have green rims that matched the green on the bamboo accents of the dinnerware. I anchored everything with my rust/red fabric I found at Walmart for $1/yard. The placement of the candles and platters are reminiscent of a dragon in honor of the Chinese New Year. The lemonade spread the yellow onto the placesettings. The runner and placemats are our everyday ones, but the weaving and color gave it a more "of nature" look to the setting.)
We had 1.5 hours to get everything from concept to table, but we did it!
The verdict, He loved it!
Lisa said the food was beautiful! Jas and Ian asked if we're going to use them all soon again.
1. Tall- 6 feet
2. Brown hair
3. Brown eyes
5. Shy and Gentle
8. Pilot License holder
9. Great sense of humor
10. Lovely speaking voice
11. Hard worker
15. Fix-it guy
16. Loves 80s music
17. Not picky with food
18. Missionary in Philippines
19. Married me in the Oakland temple
20. Married me!
22. Mac-n-cheese master chef
23. Loves our simple dates
24. Not a complainer
25. Loves the gospel
26. Careful with money
27. Great with our kids
28. Encourages me
29. Thinks I'm beautiful
31. Loves my food
32. Loves our life together
33. Honors his parents
34. Loves animals
37. Loves common sense
38. Loves chocolate like me!!!
I am crazy about this man, even from the very beginning. We've been through a lot but even now, we still make the best out of whatever life throws at us without sacrificing what we believe and we do it together.
I feel bad that most people get intimated to get to know him because he is shy, but hey, it's their loss...
More celebration tomorrow...
Yesterday afternoon; Ian after getting off the bus and meeting up with me at the mailbox:
"Mommy, bad note free. Mommy, bad note free."
Ian: "Bad note free."
Me: What do you mean?
Ian: "I got a stamp! No bad note! So, "bad note free!"
His teacher gives out stamps for every day that they behave well enough in the classroom. He wanted to emphasize that he didn't get a note, he got a stamp!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Anyway, while we were in the middle of that, I suddenly remembered that Famous Footwear sent me a $5 off coupon back in November as my reward for previous purchases (clearance rack hunter babe, as they call me at any given franchise). So, I called Charlie and he picked me up, we made a lunch date, waited for Jas and Ian to get home and we hit the mall.
Once inside FF, I made a beeline for the "racks", but couldn't find any that fit me or caught my fancy. I was in there for 15-20 minutes and nothing! The saleslady even recommended having me bring a style I like and research if it came in my size. That wouldn't have helped me because- I have a slim size 5! Most 5's come in medium! Meaning, no available size, no available shoes, meaning less shoe shopping sprees for me. Online can't give guarantees either, so I don't go that route. Plus, my most expensive pair of shoes since 1996 was my $25 wedding pumps!Anyway, I digress...
Well, between the lack of candidates and the kids running on energizer batteries, I was ready to cut out of there. As I was getting ready to gather the kiddos, I happen to look up and I saw a box that had a $5 sticker on it. I immediately thought- a mistake! But inside, was one that could replace my last set of Dr. Scholl's slippers back in April.
It was a quite a surprise that it was also Dr. Scholl's and it was a size 5! Given it was blue, but nonetheless, cute enough! I grabbed it, fished for my coupon, rounded up the two kids and went straight to the cash register. I placed my coupon and rewards card on the counter with the box and after it was rung up, the cashier handed me the receipt! The slippers were completely FREE! No tax, no cash out of my pocket kind of FREE! Plus... the original price was $40.00! Yes!
Want to see?
Here's another great deal that we snapped up:
At Kroger yesterday, we had to go and send allowance to my cousin in the Philippines. Ian needed a restroom so we all went inside. After, Charlie says, "There's a lot of batteries on sale at the clearance section". I asked him what kind of discount as batteries do not often go on sale much less clearance. He showed me the price tag and it was 50% off! Energizer brand to boot! That is an awesome deal since around spring here, tornadoes often knock out power and we needed to have tons of batteries just in case! So, we got a lot! We saved a lot of money and we're stocked up for any gadget that needs batteries in the house! YES!!!
(I fell asleep right before dinner and just woke up a few minutes ago... Man, this new cycle reminds me of my Great America shifts and Komag shifts prior to getting married. One word, erratic!!! See you later today!)
We love the show Numb3rs! We've been catching up on the series thru Netflix. I'll tell you why: It's a show about geniuses talking about deep philosophies of life using math, physics, cosmology, profiling psychology while emphasizing the beauty of an educated mind- to solve crimes! Awesome!!!
Monday, January 19, 2009
Again, things don't work out the way you plan; and when you are still high from a spiritual experience, you seem to be a little bit more aware of how else you can be more spiritual. That's where Walmart comes in...
We needed to get groceries and I couldn't come up with a simple enough dinner that all would want (I forgot to thaw some meat and we just ran out of necessities). I left it up to Charlie and he says, "I want tacos." Sounds simple enough, but... the two little ones do not eat tacos so we had to get something for them. They requested nuggets- problem solved. As we walked around each aisle, I wanted to tie in our dinner and movie to our FHE; but how? We came home with only enough time to have some playtime for the little ones with friends, Lisa to do some review for school and Charlie to clean the ceiling fan blades and me, to eat lunch (whacked out sleep cycle). Five o' clock hit and I call everybody into the LR to start our FHE- watching Kung Fu Panda. Still no inspiration! I started dinner (sauteed ground beef and pork flavored with Taco Bell taco sauce mix) and cut up all the toppings after the meat was cooked (so everything was fresh). Charlie helped me cut the veggies, the kids set the table. Then, I started to think about our upcoming dinner with the missionaries and "voila!" (light bulb turned on above head).
I told the kids to gather their scriptures and look up a few words that they can associate with the movie: They came up with Discipline, Perseverance, Humility, Talent and Honor
Martials Arts need a perfect combination of the above words to master even one technique, but it always starts with humility and ends with honor. Sound familiar?
Then they looked up verses that may have used these words.
Of course, no FHE is complete without a treat.
I decided to tackle my fear of baking and try to make chocolate molten lava cakes from Kraft Foods, and I was so grateful that I also found a way to tie that into our "drawn out" lesson (no gathering in the living room here tonight! I was teaching from the dining room, Charlie's in the kitchen and the kids were on the couch.)
I told the kids that just like the cake, you'll never know what beautiful things you are made of inside, unless you...
So how is this movie related to missionaries? Who else do we know that have to go through these stages in two short years, often in an environment foreign to even our own imaginations?
Each of our children gave examples of how each missionary can share their talents with those they teach; each missionary should honor their work; each missionary should humble himself to gain more inspiration and testimony; Ian even said that if they are disciplined, they can get a lot done while they are on their mission.
Each movie we watch, each show we choose on TV, with our children, is subject to scrutiny. Not just over language content or grossness level, but what gospel attributes we can extract from it so that we can share it with them to help each one see the same show or movie through a different set of eyes. It is Charlie and I's way of "being in the world, without being of the world." It certainly helps me sleep better at night.
How do you and your family fend off the world's influences? Don't be shy, and share.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
I was asked to teach the lesson today in Nursery about Heavenly Father's plan for us. If you've ever handled, owned, borrowed or looked up the Primary Lesson manual, you'd remember just how wide the reach is in teaching 18 month-old "newbies" to 3 year-old "seniors".
It was a pretty hard lesson to dissect. The choices scattered in my head! "Do I go with the doll recommendation? (It might incite an "I want it" riot) Do I go and infuse the lesson with the all-familiar I am a child of God? (I might confuse the audience with downtime) Do I go with the recommended scripture verses? (Might be too way over their heads)"
You can see my dilemma... But as I looked over my printout, I couldn't help but have that automatic prayer in my heart spit out an SOS to our dear "'ole Dad" and ask HIM for some directions to teach all that would be there today. (I don't do so well with teaching; it makes you wonder why I took up Elementary Education-well, me, too!)
I wanted to encompass all of the above choices but without any of the pressures of structured teaching- I was going for fun! Immediately, I spotted these sure-fire "attention grabbers" that even I couldn't stop looking at them. One of them was the poem, "I am Thankful for my Eyes". While handing the children out their coloring sheets of a boy/girl, depending on if they are a boy or a girl, I told them that no matter what they look like, their color, their style, Heavenly Father loves them. And guess what happened? I felt the proof of that statement! It gave me the confidence to sequentially do the rest of the lessons through two more interactive poems involving Heavenly Father letting us live here with our parents and how God loves us because He created the moon and the sun.
Do I know if the children felt the impact of the lesson? I can only hope so; but I certainly did and I certainly felt His love for all the precious children that were in that room today... I am thankful for my eyes that I was able to see their faces light up when we held hands and made moon and sun imitations.
All I know is, each child knew they were a child of God, that He loves them and that they love Him back. It trumped "Wheels on the bus..." by far. I am also thankful for their parents that help them each day to know that basic but powerful fact...
Saturday, January 17, 2009
They relate to who I am- a faithful sap! :D
When I Saw You
Soft heavenly eyes gazed into me
Transcending space and time
And I was rendered still
There were no words for me to find at all
As I stood there beside myself
I could see you and no one else
When I saw you
When I saw you
I could not breathe
I fell so deep
When I saw you
When I saw you
I'd never be
I'd never be the same
Only once in a lifetime love rushes in
Changing you with the tide
And dawn's ribbon of light
Bursts through thte dark
Wakening you inside
And I thought it was all untrue
Until there all at once I knew
With no beginning and
Without an end
You are the one for me
And it's evident
And your eyes told me so
And your eyes let me know...
How I live my life:
When You Believe
Many nights we've prayed
With no proof anyone could hear
In our hearts a hopeful song
We barely understood
Now we are not afraid
Although we know there's much to fear
We were moving mountains
Long before we knew we could
There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail
It's hard to kill
Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you believe
Somehow you will
You will when you believe
In this time of fear
When prayer so often proves in vain
Hope seemed like the summer birds
Too swiftly flown away
Yet now I'm standing here
My heart's so full, I can't explain
Seeking faith and speaking words
I never thought I'd say
They don't always happen when you ask
And it's easy to give in to your fears
But when you're blinded by your pain
Can't see your way clear through the rain
A small, but still, resilient voice
Says help is very near
Which songs describe who you are?
Friday, January 16, 2009
Where I did catch this bug? From all of you (so you're all to blame, lol!:D)
To the few blogs that I visit, I love the different levels of creativity.
Anyhoo... I've been having my family judge my efforts. They tell me which look, looks good or what colors I need to stick to, include pictures or not, and so on.
So, if you see that I have pink one hour then yellow the next, then just blame it on my curiosity in all things "personalized".
The above current title image got all thumbs up from everyone, so it may stick a while. Though... I wouldn't bet on it!
The pics below are some of what I've done so far. I've decided to do at least one every month so I can get more practice...
If you have time, can you tell me if you like it too?
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Today was an "early release" day for the children; that meant no school tomorrow and 1:45P return of Jas and Ian as well as Lisa hanging out with friends from 12 - 8PM.
(Chant with me) "It is going to be a quiet day..."
I let the fully bundled up Ian and Jas play until 5:00P in the chilled afternoon with friends because, you got it,
"It is going to be a quiet day...".
I was feeling good about my "best mom of the year" moment until...
Jasmine's friend's parents left her alone in the apartment at 5:30P, and since she has nowhere else to go, came by and knocked on my door determined to stay with us until her parents called to tell her when they're going to come back! It's the girl's 11th birthday today... (5:30-7:45)
Lisa, in her giddiness of being allowed to hang out at the mall with friends, mistakenly declared that she's bringing home Daniel for dinner after they grab the potatoes I need for my "nilaga" or braised pork with cabbage and potatoes in broth. Daniel wanted to come... (7:55 - 10:30)
No problem; except... I was still in my pajamas, Ian was in his undies (due to cold and friction rash), toys were everywhere, I forgot to start the dishwasher, today's mail and crusty cereal bowls litter the table, Charlie's work jackets, yes, jackets hung on a chair, the cat kept threatening everyone with her gaze from atop my entertainment center, was catching up with everyone on Facebook, promised to make and serve hot chocolotes, needed to cut pork, cabbage + onions for dinner, and... I only made enough rice for 4 servings!!! (There's 5 of us and I needed 9)
(I now leave up to your imagination the WB "road runner" impression I did to have a decent place while so hoping no one noticed the mess; "beep, beep!!")
Are you done laughing yet?...
Mary Kay Giveaway
It ends tomorrow night at midnight, so go and try out your luck! Go, go, go!!!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
"When you see a penny on the ground, do you ignore it or pick it up?"
(See a penny pick it up)
In the part of Laguna, Philippines where I lived, back when I was around 10, a schoolmate told me that I should never ignore any coin I come across because it is money. When you come across money, even a sentamos (1 cent), your luck is bound to change for the better.
(All day long you'll have good luck)
I was also instructed that "found" money should never mix with "earned" money because you would most likely want to spend it all, then you'd be out of luck. It is better to stash away your "found" money.
Since then, I delighted at every coin I saw and promptly picked it up. It felt great to have a little bit more than what I started with and from experience, I found myself grateful for having that extra coin to pay for the treat in the vending machine because it required exact change. Or the odd tax amount at the end of a cash transaction or the noise each one made, fooling me into thinking that I was saving so much money.
Fast forward to living in the US... I never forgot that saying. When I started to go to school here, I was flabbergasted (does anyone still use this word?) that teens and adults alike all around me, ignored the pennies they dropped or laughed at anyone who tried to return their pennies, including me. I wasn't hurt of how they reacted, I was confused as to their lack of interest for lost coins, starting with the often ignored penny.
(Pass it on to a friend)
Well, between Charlie's love of them and my likening a found penny to having opportunity to do or having done a good deed, our home is blessed with many of them. Just like anything, it starts with one; sure you need hundreds of pennies to make a real difference, but how can you gain hundreds without acknowledging the first penny counted?
With this belief in mind, I taught my children to respect money, starting with the lowly penny because to me, how can I cement the concept of respecting the value of money when I don't start with the smallest denomination? Retail giants like Target and Wal-Mart bank on enticing consumers with odd numbered prices to show just how affordable it can be to shop there. In our minds, it's easy to calculate 10 items priced at $2.67 is cheaper than 10 items priced at $2.68 or 2.69 because we see how quickly it all adds up and yet, when we see a lonely, no doubt dirty penny on the ground, we often dismiss it with an accompanying disgust. It's perplexing to me, because this seemingly indifferent attitude is from a country that turns junk to art, promises a greener world, and coined the phrase, "one man's trash is another man's treasure."
I've also taught my children that respect is earned by all things provided by the heavens, including the miracles produced by the hands of inspired men and women. Currency and coins, definitely earned that right. "They make the world go round." So when I see my children's excited squeals at finding a penny or sharing a found penny with a friend, or counting their collected pennies at New Year's Eve coin toss to figure out their tithing for the New Year, I get that warm fuzzy feeling that they just learned a little bit more about what respect means...
(Then your luck will never end.")
The Irish created a saying to commemorate its value; they knew... did you?
Heavenly Father, thank you for making a penny...
Charlie, Lisa, Jasmine and Ian; thank you for picking them up.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Rather slow and beautiful to listen to:
Then she gets to the E-i-e-i-o
Toot-toot-toot-toot-toot!!! (on steroids)
Me: What was that?
Ian: (laughing on the floor)
Me: Jasmine, what was that?
Jasmine: I'm playing Old MacDonald, you know, "e-i-e-i-o!"
Plays it again two more times then asks, "Do you get it now?"
Ian: (still laughing on the floor!)
I guess I'll just have to listen better, huh? (Can't type well, still laughing myself!)
If you've never heard of FreeCycle before, it is basically a swapping forum for things you no longer use and want for the moment. And, just like the name, it is all free! Leary of strangers stopping by your home, no problem? Leave it on the porch!
So why do I love it even though I've only been a member for a few weeks? Because...
-I asked for a cake stand and got a response within hours, and picked it up the next day
-I responded to "Wanted: Curtains" so I get rid of my excess, haven't used drapery without spending any gas or looking for the local Goodwill drop-off place.
-I found out that people have a real need for those mini sewing baskets I've only used to hold Charlie and I's love letters. (Getting rid of them because of our small space and no real use.)
It is done by city and they use specific lingo (Wanted, Offer, Taken, Received and porch pick-up)so you don't have to stray far to make someone's day.
My kids really loved the cake stand. It's actually becoming a source of curiosity and real excitement; even pow-wows over how to make our next family Valentine more memorable.
Like I said, love, love FreeCycle!
Ok, I'm off to dust two mini sewing baskets and wash "been in the trunk so it smells like it" drapes!
Monday, January 12, 2009
I figured,(after the light bulb above my head almost burned out ) how can I teach anyone without proof of my own successes and failures, right? Right!
Warning: This is not a magic cure; it is a philosophy of common sense into how you affect your immediate environment and how environment can affect you. (Of course, if you get a drastic outpouring of good luck, make sure to share with your "sensei", lol!)
Kwai Lan explains: "Feng means wind and Shui means water. The ancient Chinese scholars discovered that wind and water affect our environment and well being. Weather is created by the changing of temperatures, which is caused by the rise and fall of the sun and the moon. This is how yin and yang chi is formed which creates the environment we live in. Both wind and water react to change of temperatures, landscape & the motion of the earth."(Imperial Feng Shui)
Using the bagua, my home currently looks like this: (I'll try to find some pics to show you)
1. From my front door, is the CAREER area, so on the right side (coming in), is our home rules framed in a simple black asian style. Coming in, we welcome all opportunities of networking such as friendships and contacts. Coming out, our home rules serve as a reminder of who we are and who we should be to establish our own reputations to others. Since the couch is on this wall, I chose a dark brown sleeper sofa (black iron) with dark brown feet to continue the black element. I chose a red ottoman/storage to bring down the red from the picture of Christ as a reminder that He is the source of our fame and reputation.
2. My dining room fell into the TRAVEL area so the nickel finish of the light activates this part of our lives very well. We’ve traveled much more last year, than we’ve ever done the past three years alone. Remember that illumination in Feng Shui also connotates emphasis, so if you want to focus your life in a particular area, create an emphasis.
3. The CHILDREN area aptly fell into my kitchen. Since the light and the walls are white in this part of our home, again this part of our lives was very much emphasized. Example, my blogs in 2008. I lucked out; we have had much fun in this kitchen creating delicious treats together.
4. Our laundry room fell into the LOVE & FRIENDSHIP area. Again, you can use whites in this corner. For me, to strengthen this part of my chi harnessing abilities, I displayed our detergents and softeners to renew and welcome new friendships and soften our hearts to others, exhibiting more Christ-like attributes. Again, I found most of the people that I cared about through their blogs, emails, and Facebook. Plus, I partially credit this to my success with my genealogy searches (add that to countless prayers of inspiration). I found 4 families so far, connected to us and hundreds of names to add to the list! Our cat also eats here, and you know, food is a sign of caring, which is encompassed by Charity. I found three great friends here in our townhome within a year. That's an awesome result!
5. This is the first thing you see when you come into my home. Our bedroom and the stairs up to the other bedrooms fell into the FAME and REPUTATION area. Separating the two is a floor to ceiling load-bearing wall. I placed our entertainment center on this wall creating a vertical focal point and to activate this powerful chi, I hung the picture of Christ (the best amulet of good) on the wall, and in front, sitting on the entertainment center, are two flat rounded Asian vases with small necks, and my dragon. This vignette symbolizes our faith as a family and the vases serve as my yin chi harvesters. The red robe of Christ and the golden tint of the dragon activate this area of our lives, ensuring others of our reputations.
6. The bottom of the stairs fell in the WEALTH area and since we are not bothered by how much wealth we want to enjoy, I focused this area more on our comfort level. I placed our shoe cubbies and had hooks for jackets to be hung. Above the jackets, I hung a painting of commercial planes that I got Charlie. It signifies freedom and choice, which are two components of true wealth and prosperity. Also, wealth comes from income; this poster reminds us that our source of stability and comfort is Charlie’s job at Southwest Airlines. Remember that wealth means accumulation of what you value, and right now, we value the comfort of our children. So having their shoes and big jackets in this area activates the chi to fulfill our needs balanced with wants.
7. This is how I knew we had a great place. How many people realize that career and family should strike a delicate balance? Our prophets of old and now! My side door is in the FAMILY AND PHYSICAL HEALTH area and it created a meandering path for both my yin and yang chi! The yin can linger and the yang can slow down so we can refocus as a family and be able to support Charlie’s schedule changes. Last year, when this was blocked all the time due to the reorganizing we did, we got sick a lot and didn’t like being in the living room. My fireplace is also in this area; when we use the fireplace, the fire serves to strengthen our bond and the simple beam mantle acts as a stripe to keep it activated. I also use my floral frames of our family pictures to keep this section of our lives activated. I told you I love my family! Fire comes from wood, so when you light up a firewood, you are definitely focusing on this area of your life. I also had a plant on the mantle. It survived despite lack or regular watering, a sign of the strength of our family values.
8. This corner or the KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM area, I hung Charlie’s Mt. Bachelor framed poster. The mountain serves as a reminder that knowledge knows no limits and wisdom tempers knowledge. The blue sky in the poster and the green trees growing all over the snowy mountain is a strong activator of this area. The result, all three of my children got into the advanced programs and all are doing really well in school. To temper it, I placed the cat tree that Charlie made for our cat Cece. This represents compassion, which is more important than blind accumulation of knowledge. Compassion invites wisdom and contentment in this area.
9. The middle of our living room or the SPIRITUAL HEALING AND WELL BEING is already set for us when we moved in. It’s beige which fell in the earth tones family. We chose not to cover the carpet so that we always have a gathering space on the floor where we can regroup. We have done picnics, games, testimonies, scripture reading and parties using this small area. This is in the middle because this represents the core of your own chi, or life force. You block this with too much color from the other areas of your life and it can be assumed that this is what you truly value. If you must use a rug to anchor your living room or den, choose one with your favorite color as the accent and the activator color as the main or background color of the rug.
I follow Lillian Too's book on Feng Shui basics(Easy to Use Feng Shui: 168 ways to success) and pepper it with the Western practice like Stephanie Williams' (this is why I love to watch FUN SHUI on Friday mornings, HGTV) to apply my sensibilities to my own interior decorating and redesigning approaches. I am also part Chinese, on both sides. My paternal side, my grandmother is pure Chinese, raised in the Philippines, by parents who immigrated from Amoy, China. now known as Xiamen. Feng Shui is part of my birth right, it was my grandmother's approach to the simple life she lead. She had a strong sense of family about her. I miss her so much for awakening this part of who I am. She was a great maternal influence in the Lacho clan. I wish to be at least an eighth of who she was...
I told you it was a long post; if you managed to stay awake during your reading, then you must be truly interested in making your life better. If not, sorry it was so long. If you printed it out for a later read, then you are one sly cookie!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Their topic, "losing yourself in service". What a great reminder! I'm glad I came, attended sacrament and opened myself to any kind of service I can render those three short hours. Again, like a great spa, I came out feeling refreshed and full of hope that my family and I were better for it.
To top that a bit, my friend Heather Wolfe came to sacrament! I know how hard it is for her to sit in one place because of her MS, but that didn't deter her from coming today. It was great to have had the chance to visit with her for a little bit before I headed to Nursery, where I was rewarded with pretend sprinklings of S&P, guessing games and song requests as well as three exciting rounds of "Ring Around the Rosie".
Then, my daughter Lisa, reacting from her wonderful time in YW, volunteered to make lunch of eggs and rice (either she really wants those eggs or she's buttering me up for something else later. Hey, no problem here, yes or no, I get to enjoy some eggs!).
Last night, I also heard from a few friends that I've been kind of worrying about. It turned out that two had to move and the others just had a busy, busy schedule. Whew! ?(my nerves are again at peace with the world- ohm... ohm...)(yoga pose numbing my legs and fingers)
Thanks for reading!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
See, rejuvenating your own good chi, brings in lots of great waves of good luck (no matter the aspect) with it! Of course, a little prayer never hurt either...
Now go do your own inspection of your spaces and see what happens!
Oh yeah, after helping clean the church with my family, I picked up the solid white glass cake stand that I asked for in Free Cycle and it is beautiful! (Thanks, Kim!)
I'm so excited to get started on this "love" table. The hubby says, we go out just by ourselves on his regular day off (a weekday), then do the table as a family Valentine treat. I'm so loving that idea!
Hurry up, February! Just kiddin'...
Love to all! :D
Friday, January 9, 2009
I love themes, so I think I'll call this year's tips,
"Achieving Harmony Room by Room: Feng Shui Basics"
ROOM BY ROOM (January: Living room)
For February, "Feng Shui for the Bedroom"
So... Here are my JANUARY resolutions (I hope this works!)
1. Work out on the Wii Fit every day for 5-10 minutes, except Sundays.
2. Blog everyday with customized blog title
3. Do tablescapes when necessary
4. Clean out Ian and Jas' room of smaller clothes and toys.
5. Do good on all of my Public Admin classes.
6. Go to bed at a decent time and get up when the alarm "yells" it so.
7. Reorganize dining and living room to reactivate good chi
Ok, seven is a good start. It's also my lucky number, so let's see if this will be a good starting point for me. Wish me luck!
First off though, the bills await me...
Thursday, January 8, 2009
No, I'm not using PhotoShop, nor am I using any specialized photocropping software. But that's not the issue, I've got that taken care of. The issue is finding the right background and fiddling with HTML jargon and placing the codes just in the right programming slot. Aaaahhhh!!!
Why do I these things to myself? I don't know, I guess that's my form of OCD. Once I like something, I have to have enough practice so that I can say I did it. Goofy, huh?
Anyway, my brain just focused on something, so I guess I'll be adding it here...
These "no sleep" nights are truly messing with me, but I know I just need to find that livable "timeslot" where I can get things done and keep my sanity at the same time. I've read from several blogs of being night or day owl, but me, I just want to be able to sleep at the same time every night. Preferrably the same time my kids do!
Also, I miss the Philippines like crazy, though again, it doesn't mean I want to rush out to get a roundtrip ticket (my bank account's a few thousand dollars short at the moment. Unless, Ophra Winfrey happens by this blog and feel compelled to grant this poor soul's wish). I'm a little more easily pleased than that; thank goodness!!!
I remember the snacks, condiments and the thirst-quenching drinks. Yum... So, with my stomach leading the way, we headed to our local Asian market and filled our cart with all sorts of goodies that reminded me of being back home, as a young and often hungry, child. Imagine my luck when I even came across one of the sodas I used to buy at a neighborhood or "sari-sari" store (normally sticking out of someone's house within any average Pedro's subdivisions).
Maybe someday, I can go back and enjoy these delicacies while on my way to the Manila, Philippines LDS temple.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
For now, he's on another 10-hour workshift leg of his Apprentice Training rotation, which meant he is home with me a couple of days during the week when the kiddos are in school. Sweet deal, right? Of course, being a couple, we take advantage of our freedom and go on a daytime date. Who wouldn't?
Opting to don our favorite "camo" outfits of sweaters and sneakers, we braved the bright sunlight and hunted down those sweet deals we normally find hiding in the aisles or special endcap "bushes" of our fave stores.
Our weapon? A tight budget. Our target? The 75-90% holiday discounted goodies. Which area of the vast Clearance jungle do we lie in wait? We specially prize the Ross, Target, and Walmart regions that specialize in housing these prolific goodies that will be soon displayed in our home during the next round of holidays.
Now that you have the background of our hunting escapades, today (and yesterday), we found ourselves looking for goodies perfect for the next big wave of "wallet busters" we call Valentine's Day. What did we come up with? A few "species" that can definitely co-exist on my next... tablescape! I can't wait to show it all to you soon!
We had so much fun going to Target and Ross looking for pieces that could go together. One of our (ok, mine) weakness is Taco Bell and diet Pepsi, so we had that for lunch (though I'm proud to say that I indulge every few blue moons since we moved from California. Reason wise, nothing specific, it just worked out like that). When he indulges me, my heart melts just as quickly as those grated cheese strips hitting that warm seasoned meat in each taco... (Man, I must be truly in love to compare my feelings to cheese on a taco!)
We even visited The Container Store, a veritable containment of anything that can "contain" anything! No, we didn't get all sappy and walked in and perused the whole store hand-in-hand! Even I'm not that bad! I'm all for the romance, not the sappiness, lol!
We helped our children with their homework, said thank you to our neighbor next door (they watched our place while we were enjoying Utah's snow) by surprising them with their own beautiful set of dishes (Ross) to go with their new dining and living room sets. While I napped after dinner, he finished up washing our laundry and when I woke up, he left the room and in his wake, inadvertently serenaded me, using the radio, with the song, "I'm Amazed by You" sung by Tim McGraw so I can blog in comfort! I tell you, the man sweeps me off my feet without even trying! (Ok, giddiness getting in the way of my blogging...) I just love that about Charlie!
I'm Amazed by You
Every Time Our Eyes Meet
This Feeling Inside Me
It's Almost More Than I Can Take
Baby When You Touch Me
I Can Feel How Much You Love Me
And It Just Blows Me Away
I've Never Been This Close To Anyone
I Can Hear your Thoughts, I Can See Your Dreams
I Dunno How You Do What You Do
I'm So In Love With You
It Just Keeps Getting Better
I Wanna Spend The Rest Of My life
With You By My Side
For Ever and Ever
Every Little Thing That You Do
Baby I'm Amazed By You
The Smell Of Your Skin
The Taste of your kiss
The Way You Whisper In The Dark
You're Hair All Around Me
Baby You Surround Me
You Touch Every Place In My Heart
Oh..It Feels Like The First Time, Every Time
I Wanna Spend The Whole Night..In You're Arms
I Dunno How You Do What You Do
I'm So In Love With You
It Just Keeps Getting Better
I Wanna Spend The Rest Of My life
With You By My Side
For Ever and Ever
Every Little Thing That You Do
Baby I'm Amazed By You
Every Little Thing That You Do
I'm So In Love With You
And It Just Keeps Getting Better
I Wanna Spend The Rest Of My Life
With You By My Side
For Ever And Ever
Every Little Thing That You Do
Every Little Thing That You Do
Baby I'm Amazed By You…
Don't worry, he reads this post, so I'm sure he probably didn't realize the lyrics to this song either. I can see him blushing now! (lol)
I can't wait for next week! Or tomorrow!
Monday, January 5, 2009
This is not snow, not mere water droplets either, but genuine icicles, on every branch! Amazing!(remember, I'm a tropical girl) I was so happy to see this lovely view that I grabbed the camera, opened the door, and took shot after shot, all the while, in my pj's and barefeet, not caring how cold it was! Or should I say, "crisply chilled moist afternoon air"; nah, it was cold!
I could never get enough of our trees right outside our living room window! Each season of their lives, witnessing all of the surprises they (there's three of them) bring to my four senses does nothing short of rendering me speechless! (you read right, only four since I don't dare taste anything off the trees!)
We've been admiring icicles, big and small in Utah (of course, you'll find them there during the winter months, it snows there!), but to see it here, after the warm days we've been enjoying, is truly unbelievable to me. It's a testimony that if nature can adapt to life's abrupt changes, we can, too! Jasmine and Ian thought that it was pretty cool too, as most of the trees are similarly endowed with beautiful icicles.
These pictures remind me of the "Hot Chocolate" email that I got about how we treat life.
Ok, more tomorrow! Bye for now...
Sunday, January 4, 2009
There's the disappearing dress pants trick, the "I don't know" disease infecting all three, and the infamous, "But Mommy..." epidemic resurfacing during wake-up calls. And now this! Lately, my kids have been getting away with stuff because of "technicalities" on how I say things, so they've been trying to "snag" me in my own "Do as I say" net...
Jasmine: "Mommy can I wear the plaid dress?"
Me: "What plaid dress?"
Jasmine: "The one from the neighbors."
Me: (remembering it was a spaghetti strapped dress) "What shirt are you going to wear with it?"
Jasmine: "Shirt? I don't know; if I can't find one, can I still wear it?"
Me: "What shirt are you going to wear with that?"
Jasmine:(a pause) "Ok, I think I know what shirt could go good with this."
Me: "If you find the shirt, you can wear the dress..."
Jasmine: "Yay! Ok, I'll go look for the shirt now!"
If I didn't remember that it was a strappy dress, Jasmine would have worn it as is and I would've been snagged in the net of "You said it was ok to wear..."
No one can get up from almost three weeks of staying up late and yo-yo temp inside the house, from the yo-yo weather outside! I finally fell asleep when Charlie knocked on the door (from work) asking for the indoor lock to be opened, at 8:30AM! On top of that, after I go back to bed, by the time I was supposed to get up, my back was so stiff, I couldn't get out of bed even when I wanted to! Obviously, we didn't make sacrament of course and on the way to the church, Ian just kept growling at his sisters for whatever reason he deems at the moment.
What was on my mind, "I wish I stayed home today!"
But then of course there's always the rainbow after the rain. I have a new calling; a Nursery Assistant. I had a lot of fun helping the children sing songs, color, and play with toys that I would have spent hours on myself.
When we got home, Charlie offered to make his Sunday fave, Mac-n-Cheese (though I no longer eat it), and let me stay in the room for a few quiet minutes! When I came out, he had them enthralled about these savants who can calculate large numbers and read with one eye on each page and remember 98% of it! Gotta love good stories!
Then there's the beautiful Sunday music that just warms your insides like a good mug of hot cocoa. It felt wonderful despite the commotion between my three treasured gems. (What was it now, the complicated task of choosing a Sunday appropriate video that all three of them like. I know, evil mom!)
Maybe one of these Sundays, we'll have everyone ready by a full 30 minutes before the Sacrament starts and my children have nothing but sweet words for each other. Well, I can dream can't I? Or is that being faithful? I'll settle for hopeful...
Overall, I think I can count it a good day; everyone's limbs are intact; three warring voices, yes, but still three voices! My three gems' voices. The best blessing of the day.
Of course, if I want peace and quiet, there's always tomorrow... When all of them go back to school! Yes, bliss!
Saturday, January 3, 2009
That's the link to a great giveaway that will end tonight at 8 pm. Maybe I can be more proactive in checking out Lara's blog for these great things!
If you're curious about the details, go ahead and check it out! :D
I didn't really want to start another post, so I'll just be finishing this day's highlights here...
1. Renewed my Wii Fit profile and actually exercised for 5 minutes doing Hoola-Hoop! Boy, am I sore! (Who knew I can still gyrate like that?)
2. Played Life: Twists and Turns; all my children beat me by about $1 million, and thousands of life points! Boy, do I feel old!
3. Walked to the Townhome Office to drop off the rent, and had a great visit with my friend, Heather Wolfe. I just love her, she calls me, "Hey, lady!" I feel so glamorous when she says that...
4. Went through my digi-photo albums of "tablescapes" I've done to get Valentine ideas and I am pleased to know that I actually have two good ones! (Sorry, you'll have to wait to see them in early February...)
5. Got the kids bathe and off to bed in decent time. (YES!!!)
6. And now, I'm off to call my Mama in California.
"Bukas na lang ulit!" ("Til tomorrow again!")
Friday, January 2, 2009
Now, that I will only have 4 more classes to take next week (all electives), I want to see if I can take on the task of writing on my blog everyday.
It wasn't easy last year, but I'll really make an effort this year. I want to see what kind of adventures we get into this year and have it recorded.
Knowing me, I'll most likely struggle, though this is the most doable of all my resolutions- to journal my life and my family's ongoings for our posterity. Of course, the personal and intimate feelings will not be a part of it (I think most of you already have an idea of what I value in life), but what would be included are fun adventures and more of our comedic sides.
So... I'll definitely have more-
1. Memory Maker jokes from the kids
2. Great Lists that make you think and smile
3. Charlie and I
4. Themed Tablescapes
5. Peeks at our adventures
6. My Funny Everyday Life
7. Fun Recipes
Now, the question is... "Can I really do it?" I guess we'll just have to see!
The highlight is walking to Kroger and Albertson's. We ended up just peeking on their Christmas clearance bins, but at least we got some good workout from walking a total of 1 mile, my kids and I.
If you're curious if I found any good deals on dishes, yes, I did! I think I may be bringing home another set soon! :D
See you tomorrow!
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Alright, these are the very first Mathews pictures of the year. We hope you all had a wonderful New Year!
Just before midnight... We watched "Horton Hears a Who" and "Space Chimps". They were both awesome and hilarious! Perfect "distraction" movies. :D
"Ian, Jas & Lisa."
"Winter Flurry Swirls" place setting.
"Sierra Grape Fizzy".
"Nana Mac Bread".
At midnight and beyond (ok, a few minutes into it)...
"The Ladies of the apartment..."
"The Men of the apartment..."
"Here come the poppers!"
"...And of course, Confetti Boy!"
I just have to add that my "tablescape" were all 50% off finds at Kroger (Smith's or Fry's) yesterday afternoon. This year's theme is "Winter Flurry Swirls".
Yes, I finally gave in to BLUE, but as you notice, it wasn't just any blue, it was subdued by the white snowflakes and the navy blue bowls and blue glass chargers. I used my red/white "Snowflake Holiday" plates to break up the blue and brighten up the look. I thought it was perfect for the New Year since it is still Winter, we just enjoyed some Snow and we are in The US of A; red, white & blue! Pretty cool, thinking, huh?
Of course, it wouldn't be complete without my Asian heritage kicking in- we ate Angel Hair pasta with Shrimp for wishes of long life and cookies and fruits for another year of sweet life.
See you all next post!