Saturday, February 28, 2009

Love Dare Challenge- Day 5

Day 4 challenge was done quite nicely. I can't wait to see if I pull this day off. Here's what's next:

Day 5
Love Is Not Rude
"He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him."
--Proverbs 27:14 KJV

Ask your spouse to tell you three things that cause him or her to be uncomfortable or irritated with you. You must do so without attacking them or justifying your behavior. This is from their perspective only.

What I Did:
I was right about the three things, but as hard as it was to hear, I'm glad he said them.

I hope that I can pull this off... He's so patient, but I know that things get to him.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Love Dare Challenge- Day 4

(Borrowed online)

The third day was easy enough for me despite the fact that we had so many things going on today.

Day 4
"Love is thoughtful"

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me,
O God! how great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they are more in number
than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
—Psalm 139:17–18 KJV

The Dare:
Contact your spouse sometime during
the business of the day. Have no agenda
other than asking how he or she
is doing and if there is anything
you could do for them.

What I Did:
I was really sweet and even told him I set the table nice just for him.

I can't wait to see if I can do this since Fridays are my busiest days and the laundry's calling my name...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Love Dare Challenge- Day 3

If yesterday was easy enough then let's move on to what's next... Do you have a problem parting with money like I do? If so, what are you doing to redirect this towards showing love to your beloved?

Day 3
"Love Is Not Selfish"
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly clove; in honour preferring one another; Romans 12:10 KJV

"What you invest your time and money into will determine what you have chosen to love. Your heart will be inclined to what you invest in. Today, buy something unexpected for your spouse as a way of showing them that they are what you value most."

What I Did:
I gave him an extra in his allowance for
those "just because"
expenses that he deserves.

I can't wait to see how much more I can do to make my marriage better... I'm so excited I found these dares again...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Techno-Girl; Who? Me?

In May, Charlie will graduate from his Apprenticeship and will be traveling more for work, so the family schedule and needs that we currently enjoy is again out the window and adjustments had to be made. Couple that with an expired cell phone contract and what do you get? A third line- for me. Yup, you read right, a cell phone for me!

First of all, let me declare that I am not into cell phones, pagers or radio thingys- never been. Perfectly fine with land lines. Why? Because it's just not my thing, that's all. You don't believe me? I had a cell phone when Ian was about 6 months old. Charlie got me one as a tool since I loved to walk everywhere in and around our apartment complex. But when Charlie accidentally swam with his phone on Ian's 1st birthday party, I gladly gave up my phone and never looked back. Then on 2003, our schedule changed again and an extra phone wasn't needed. (Woohoo!)He was asleep in the morning, so sometimes I took it with me as a security to get hold of him if needed, but other reasons to keep one, I never had any.

Back to last Saturday; all of us decided on phones and I am now a somewhat miserable cell phone owner. I was at Ross the other day and this contraption rings in my purse. Thinking that it must have been one of the ladies waiting to pay in front or behind me, I just quietly listened until I recognized the ringer's tune. It was mine! Grrr... "I will never get used to having this thing!" was what came out of my mouth while reading the name of the caller. It was Charlie announcing he was done with his browsing inside Radio Shack. In the sweetest voice I could muster, I said, "Ok, I'll see you in the van soon, I'm still waiting here to be checked out." Since my phone is one of the newest ones out there, I felt all the gaze in my direction which made me more uncomfortable in holding this thing much less talk on it!

Of course no bad thought or deed of mine against cell phones go unpunished; I ended up waiting in line for another 30 minutes! Serves me right I guess...

I can kick and scream that I have a new phone to worry about, complain about the higher bill we'll get from Verizon and even forget it like today but I know that I have no choice... my family is evolving once again and a new cell phone, in my possession with my name on the voice message prompt, is now the newest member of our family along with two others...

Thanks for letting me rant... How do you feel about your own cell phone?

Love Dare Challenge- Day 2

How did you do on Day 1? Was it hard or easy enough? Remember, it doesn't hurt to improve our relationships. So this love dare challenges are for that unless of course YOU ARE CERTAIN YOUR MARRIAGE OR RELATIONSHIP IS PERFECT. IF NOT, like most couples, then here is what's next in line (you can't cheat on this one):

Day 2
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted,
forgiving one another,
even as God for Christ’s sake
hath forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:32 KJV

In addition to saying nothing negative
to your spouse again today,
DO at least one unexpected gesture
as an act of kindness.

What I Did:
I let him choose what cell phone case he wanted and I paid for it. Also, he found this fruit crepe and really wanted one and since I'm the money keeper, I gave him the go ahead to treat the family, his way.

Ok, remember, be nice with your words while also taking this challenge. No cheating... Also, tell your friends. The more the merrier!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Love Dare Challenge- Day 1

Hello! I found this at another blog, but I want to start it here, too!

Thanks, Leigh of "Tales from Bloggeritaveille" for directing me to your friend's site.

Ok, in the movie Fireproof, Caleb Holt (Kirk Cameron) needed convincing that his marriage can be saved, and his wife some convincing that she can give him some slack too!

Anyway, I'll do one Love Dare each day and would love to see if you've done this or are willing to do it for your beloved! Are you ready? Ok, here we go!

Day 1
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering,
a forbearing one another in love;
Ephesians 4:2 KJV

The first part of this dare is fairly simple. Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our words often reflect the condition of our heart. For the next day, resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all. If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. It's better to hold your tongue than to say something you'll regret.

What I Did:
Just like in the movie Fireproof, this is not easy. Especially when all your kids do not want to listen and your hubby lets them get away with a lot more than what you're comfortable with. So in this dare, I chose to just say, "Please stop..." This shows my kids I've had enough and my dear hubby enough time to jump in without us getting into any frustrating arguments ourselves. Working good so far!

Make sure to tell your friends to chime in so they can see how fun this really is and maybe even save your own marriage!!! I'm so excited!

Love you all,

Monday, February 23, 2009

FHE: Sharing and some Ice Cream

Lisa was sick today and Jasmine and Ian kept growling at, bickering with and not nice to each other. I've really had it. I wasn't a happy Momma, but I had such a good day with my husband (yes, we were on date for deals again...) that I wanted to carry that into the night to end the day on a good note. Then it hit me- it's Monday!


So since I was able to visit my friend to see if she needed anything and Charlie needed gas, we decided that we could replenish a few perishables in the fridge like veggies and ice cream. (What? Ice cream is perishable! Granted it's a sweet, refreshing and tempting perishable- I know most people eat it in one seating that it rarely gets left to suffer from freezer burn, it is still a perishable item)

Anyway, I made my signature "bistek" dish and steamed rice and the kids made lemonade. As I reminded all about FHE, the table got set and the food was laid out without much hassle. Charlie offered the prayer and we all enjoyed praising Mommy for such a good meal. (Yay, me!!!)

After dinner, we started the lesson with "I'm Trying to be like Jesus". We just listened to it (except for a few snickers, it was impressively reverent) and then I proceeded to ask what the song was about. Answers of "we need to be like Jesus more", "love one another" and "listen to your parents" rang out from the kids and Charlie and I quickly redirected all of them to the meat of the lesson- SHARING.

To sum it up, "Sharing is of God; Heavenly Father shared His beloved son with us, His son shared his love and compassion and miracle with us. He chose special men to continue sharing the sweet message of His gospel while he was on earth and after he was ressurected. God shares with us so we can learn how to share." And since they were kids, we also added, "It is wonderful to share good things, but never ever share bad things (with exceptionary pointers)."

As for the treat, we used the ice cream and some spongecake cups to make a delectable dessert. I call it,
"Spongy Cream with Berries"

First you'll need... Fruits and grated milk chocolate bar

Then you need a sponge cake cup with a scoop of your fave ice cream; we used C & C

And you'll end up with one of these! Yummy!

Or... if you want to make it more interesting, go find an inexpensive Martini glass and do this!
Walmart clearance- 86 cents!!!

I'm just so glad we remembered to do another Family Home Evening. It feels great everytime we remember. Do you agree? What's your favorite memory of your own family's FHE?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Which "Love Dare" Day You Liked The Best?

I really loved this movie; I cried through most of it, but admittedly, I've forgotten about it until I saw it again mentioned in another friend's blog as a review for the movie (Thanks, Melissa M!). So since I didn't blog about it when I did see it and I forgot to post on Saturday, this is for all that.

Do you remember the Love Dare book that Caleb Holt (Kirk Cameron) was given to test for 40 days? I do and I loved every single suggestion in there! Love, love it!!!

Anyways, the best Love Dare day for me was Day 18 when he was supposed to prepare a nice dinner for her.
I personally love this challenge because I love tablescapes and this is the best way I show my husband that I appreciate him. Plus, he just so drove me insane (in a good way) when he said that I BELONG TO A RARE GROUP OF WOMEN WHO CAN COOK AND COOK WELL! What a compliment considering I am very insecure about my cooking! He said that he's like a mini-superstar at work when he brings homecooked meals to work and his coworkers end up saying, "Your wife made that didn't she? It looks and smells good!" He proudly nods and enjoys his food. Of course he shares...

So, my challenge to you is, which day in the Love Dare did you like the best and why? (If you haven't seen the movie, go rent it, now! Then come back and take this challenge.)

Yes, it's because I'm nosy! Now go on, share!

A Meme for March

Ok, I know technically it is still February, but it's fun to do memes (Lara got me hooked!) so we will do another one, starting... Right now!

1. What do you do when you see a penny on the ground?

I pick it up. No penny is safe once they've been spotted. Unless of course it belongs to somebody, then I pick it up and give it back to the (careless, I mean poor) owner.

2. If you picked it up, where does it end up?

In a piggy bank or a jar for pennies. It depends really on who in our family found it first.

3. When you think of a penny, what's the first word you come up with?

"Penny!" (Don't you?)

4. Do you prefer shiny or patina'd pennies?

Patina'd; only because I know that there's a possibility that it may be an older penny. Those are cooler, especially the earlier ones- before the Lincoln Memorial

5. Do you collect them?

Yes, and save them and teach with them. My dh is the more avid fan of penny collecting. I go through them more for the older ones.

6. Do you clean them first?
No, not normally, but I did wash my dh's huge collection while I was bored one day waiting for my classes to start. I washed them all with bleach and proceeded to sort them by decades. Did I mention I was bored? (Yes, I did do some laundry, the dishes, made dinner and checked homeworks in between...)

7. What would you rather get for a lucky charm, a penny or a shamrock?

Honestly, a penny because I know its value and I feel lucky to have that extra ".01" spendable cash in my possession, lol!. A shamrock, what would that do but wilt on me. Who needs that?

Alright, it's your turn... Try it and see how many pennies you'll notice after this meme. What do you think inspired this meme, a penny of course!

Some Sunday Solace

We all need to be reminded just how loved we are...

Steven Curtis Chapman

Tomorrow morning if you wakeup
And the sun does not appear
I will be here
If in the dark, we lose sight of love
Hold my hand, and have no fear
'Cause I will be here
I will be here
When you feel like being quiet
When you need to speak your mind
I will listen
And I will be here
When the laughter turns to cryin'
Through the winning, losing and trying
We'll be together
I will be here
Tomorrow morning, if you wake up
And the future is unclear
I will be here
Just as sure as seasons were made for change
Our lifetimes were made for these years
So I will be here
I will be here
And you can cry on my shoulder
When the mirror tells us we're older
I will hold you
And I will be here
To watch you grow in beauty
And tell you all the things you are to me
I will be here
I will be true to the promise
I have made
To you and to the
One who gave you to me
Tomorrow morning, if you wake up
And the sun does not appear
I will be here Oh, I will be here

Because we are... Every single day...

Friday, February 20, 2009

What Weekend?

Just when you think you've got the weekend to relax, recover and plan for the next week, things seem to pile up more in front of you...

Let's see:

There's a Choir UIL tomorrow, but how did it turn to a sleepover?
Hangout at a friend's house, so why are they coming here?
An extra hamper became available, so where did all these dirty clothes come from?
Extra boxes from UPS deliveries, so why are there more things to store?
Just hit the grocery, so why is there nothing to eat?
Kids just got home, so where's the extra help?
Garbage was just thrown, so where did all these trash come from?

Sound familiar to you? Or maybe, just maybe... it's just my weekend to not get anything done! Nah, I'm sure it happens to somebody else. I'm just dreaming (I hope...)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Simply Amazing!

It would seem that I'm cursed with this thing called "guilt".

On different years, we have had our "slim pickin'" times and hoped feverishly that miracles would happen. We have gone through being told to get ready to bury two of our children or face the consequence of a hard life for them. Fun news, fun news...
Even being unjustly evicted because we fought the management from living with a rickety front set of stairs, electricution from bad porch light wirings and rotting bathtub foundation. Not to mention caring for a son that started out with jaundice, double pnuemonia and fibrile seizures.
Or how about silently panicking while fervently praying for our 18-month old little girl old who swallowed a penny which slowly choked her, but she first had to suffer from hunger and dehydration because the nurses couldn't prep her for anesthesia while simulataneously almost overdosing her with anesthesia because of labeling error on her bracelet. Or not having enough money to put on the table, away from all family, in a new state and it's almost Thanksgiving.
We suffered job loss, taking on multiple jobs to put food on the table, fallen-through job interviews and prospects. Even loss of first home purchase opportunity and not knowing when the next bill can be paid.
We went through all that, just like many of you, so why is it that when things are good for us, I feel guilty comfortably celebrating, afraid to acknowledge and shy to shine?
Why is it? It's not like it's a natural response, to me it's almost unnatural-- I can feel impending doom and pain of others and as if getting ready for a storm, I brace myself for it because it becomes physically painful for me. (Of course, when we're the ones suffering, I feel of everyone's joys too, and I feel hopeful for us...)

For example, last year and this year, we have successfully pinned down a budget system that can help us get through some "unforeseeables" (word?), but then I started to feel that unbearable guilt but this time, it all came at once...

Two women, I've heard of, lost their babies.
My baby sister, her van broke down and couldn't pay for it in full so they held it and she had to beg for rides to work and walk to the garage to give them the downpayments.
Two of my neighbors are suffering financially.
A young friend is in danger of becoming homeless.
One of my brothers, will lose his job this September.
Last year, I had to beg Heavenly Father to spare my niece's and SIL's life from a difficult and dangerous pregnancy.
My mom got sick that worried her doctors.
My FIL was operated on for a mass in his system.
My MIL had leg pains that became almost unbearable.
A neighbor and friend came to me for help with reaching out to our church.
Read about so many kidnappings and assault of children, here in Texas alone.

The list goes on and on... And it hurts so much that I find myself crying instead of celebrating my family. I don't know why this happens to me, but it does and I'm so glad that I have a blog that I can celebrate each of my amazing children and wonderful husband. A blog to let people know how wonderful they are, each and everyone of them. And the love and laughter we share everyday. I am so grateful beyond words that I have my three children and a husband who is crazy about his family.

My family is amazing, good or bad times.

Just thought I'd tell you...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Caught with Both Hands and a Smile

My family's been both concerned and happy for me lately. Concerned because I am sooo into my new blog, but also happy because I am soooo into my new blog!

You see, I'm so insecure about what I can do that I am perfectly comfortable just curled up on the couch with a good book, chocolate and a blanket. So, when I got into this blogging, all four of them, where three is often updated, they cannot be more happier for me. Then I decided to just take another leap and do a tablescape blog.

After last year's Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve tables, this old friend and I reunited again in such a level that I wanted to own every single plate out there so I can mix and match, coordinate, be posh and have so much fun! I've secretly salivated over scrapbook, photography and decorating blogs, but even then I wasn't that motivated to start my own about my love of these works of art of the dining realm.

When was the last time you took a look at your table and said, "I want it to feel like we're in Asia, or a chic restaurant". How about asking if you can pretend that the president of your husband's company will decide to pop in?

Well, I did and still do; everyday actually. You see, if I'm not thinking of homework, my children and dh, or Feng Shui or I'm rather stressed about something, I often think of calming, beautiful or exotic tables that take me away from what ails me at the moment. Want proof of this insanity? Last Saturday, after our awesome V-day dinner, I was so fatigued that I couldn't get up the next day, to attend church.

I literally was frozen on the bed and had to rely on the kids to check in on us, at least me since Charlie's already in dreamland after telling me he has a chest cold and crawled into bed next to me. I tried to answer comments and visit blogs, but I couldn't so I took solace in reading and re-reading my new blog, What Now? - I amused myself with my own silly alter ego, the eager and willing simpleton who is easily pacified with a great picture of a decorated table. After a while, the need to post again got the best of me, but since I still couldn't really move, I decided to browse other tablescape blogs.

Lo and behold, I came across "Between Naps on the Porch" where Susan, a Georgian beauty, expertly and beautifully catalogs her "down-right gorgeous" tablescaping so she can share it with her over 300 followers! I think I'm #351 by the time I decided to become a fan and publicly announce my allegiance. Her photographs are amazingly clear that you can almost find yourself sitting at that table, ready to eat such fine food served on only the best set of dishes on a table so well made up that you may not actually be able to eat anything! I left a comment despite her disclaimer that because she has so many to acknowledge, she may not get to me, her newest guest, to answer back. Honestly, I was sad because I wanted her opinion on my recent accomplishment, my Valentine table.

I didn't need to feel sad; she responded within the hour and with such a sweet approval of the table that I felt like a little kid again being rewarded by a good and understanding teacher. It was truly an honor. And her blog is not just a gawking board either. Everyday, she and her friends do a little tribute to something every single day that makes their blog community as tight as any real friendship. It is simply amazing! None have any use of crude words, misspellings or "blonde" remarks. These are accomplished, beautiful women that love to decorate and tablescape as much as I do! What a blessing indeed! I feel their love and friendship through their comments and also learn from each one as I reciprocate the appreciation.

The feeling is indescribable; I found somewhere I belong even just through our fairly anonymous blogs and shared love of things beautiful and wonderful. I don't have to worry about being ignored as if I'm invisible or be let to leave comments without so much as a thank you. Talents, nature and family, that's our bond. (I think that's why I like the SITS blog too, they make sure that whoever joins know and practice the courtesy of leaving a comment when someone left a comment. Common courtesy, so easy and yet so hard to grasp. I'm so thankful for my family for understanding and supporting this side of me.

Sometimes, you pray for sunshine, sometimes for rain, but sometimes you pray that you find people that can relate to what makes you feel alive. And because you want answers, you take that leap of faith, hoping against hope that He will catch you with both hands. Finding Susan's blog and getting to know her friends, I was definitely caught with both hands and a smile to boot.

I hope you find your great blog family, too. You deserve it!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Sap In Me...

Just can't get over how true this song is about how Charlie and I feel about each other. And since it's still February, I will post the lyrics so I can sing along. (it's the one playing right now if you just clicked to this blog)


Do you hear me,
I'm talking to you
Across the water across the deep blue ocean
Under the open sky oh my, baby I'm trying
Boy I hear you in my dreams
I feel your whisper across the sea
I keep you with me in my heart
You make it easier when life gets hard

I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again

They don't know how long it takes
Waiting for a love like this
Every time we say goodbye
I wish we had one more kiss
I'll wait for you I promise you, I will

I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
I'm lucky we're in love in every way
Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed
Lucky to be coming home someday

And so I'm sailing through the sea
To an island where we'll meet
You'll hear the music, feel the air
I'll put a flower in your hair
Though the breezes through trees
Move so pretty you're all I see
As the world keeps spinning round
You hold me right here right now

I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
I'm lucky we're in love in every way
Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed
Lucky to be coming home someday

Ooohh ooooh oooh oooh ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooooh ooooh oooh oooh ooh ooh ooh ooh

IF you've heard this song before (other than from this blog...), isn't it just wonderful and soothing? It makes you want to hug your dh and tell him how wonderful he is for choosing you because you feel the same about him!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine Continues...

First, on February 10th, he whisks me off to Texas Land & Cattle Steakhouse for a wonderful "Sweetheart" dinner of lobster, smoked steak and virgin strawberry margaritas.

Then on Valentine's Day, he indulges me in my love of tablescaping for the whole family with another delicious menu of pasta with shrimp & chicken, salad, soup and gourmet desserts.

And now, February 16th, since we had to get errands done though still a little sick, we stopped by at Kohl's and he decides that I deserved these:

Mystic Topaz earrings on 14K gold hoops!

Aren't they beautiful?

I just love Mr. Man; when he shows his love and appreciation,
it's like a monsoon-it pours and blows me away!

Have a great week everybody!

A Romantic Meme

Another brilliant meme from Lara's blog.

1. Where did you and your husband (or boyfriend) meet?
San Jose, CA inside a Taco Bell. His friend and my friend flirted and next thing I know, we were sitting next to them at a booth and then talking at the nearby park!

2. How long before you kissed?
About after our third date; a stolen one. Then, after a month, we went up to Highway 9, and talked about where we're headed with all these dates, since I already have a kid and all, I wasn't comfortable acting like a highschool girl on a date (though I loved it, he was hot!) It turned out we liked each other a lot so we sealed it with a kiss.

3. Who kissed who first?
He stole one from me; I was adamant that we weren't dating and I guess it was his way of telling me otherwise. It was quite flattering. After a month, it was mutual.

4. How long from the time you met until you were engaged?
2 years + 9 months

5. How did he propose?
Actually, if we want to be technical, when we were dating for six months, he knew he wanted to marry me, but my "single mom" adventures kept getting in the way. No, I don't mean L-Infinity, it's the people around L and I that made our dating difficult.
On July 31, 1996, he calls and offered to take me to work, but we stopped at his house first. He had to look for something which took long enough to threaten my work schedule. Then he asked if he can show me something- we ended up at our favorite park in a nearby city. He parked somewhere that overlooked a beautiful garden setting. He then asked me to help him look for his commuter mug. I found it under my seat; he asked me to open it and the ring box was in it.
When I saw the ring, I was speechless! But I also didn't try to say anything because on our 2-year dating anniversary, he gave me a promise ring and I didn't want to be presumptious. He took out the ring and asked me to marry him by saying my full name (though he won't admit to it) and, of course, I said yes! On our way to work, he treated me to a quick dinner and I was almost an hour late!
I got reprimanded, and then my manager asked why: all I could do was show him the ring. He paused and said, "Do not be late again. Congratulations! Now let me see this ring."

6. Did he pick out the ring or did you?
He did; he designed it for me. I wasn't a "big ring" kind of girl, so he designed this 14K yellow gold solitaire setting for a 1/4 carat diamond with one small diamond each on opposite side, diagonal to each other and the wedding band thinned out at the top with a graceful twist to hug under the diamond. It was perfect!

7. Do you still like the ring?
I do, but I lost it back in Mesa, AZ when I had strepthroat and fainted outside the urgent care after my exam. Someone from the ambulance or hospital staff must have taken it out of my finger just in case, but we couldn't remember who or when. I hoped that it was somewhere in the house.
I still miss it.... I was distraught over it for a long time, but then when we were packing to move to Texas and it still didn't turn up, he said that he'd rather lose the ring than me.
Then, on our eleventh year, on Valentine's Day, he replaced it with this...

It was his Valentine's Day gift for me! A beautiful 1/2 carat solitaire diamond on white gold surrounded by over twenty smaller diamonds. It's just beautiful! HE WENT TO JARED! He took me there to see if I can spot a similar ring to replace the original someday. I went through the whole store but didn't find anything that compared. Given, most were beautiful pieces, but I kept seeing the original wedding ring in my head that I wanted to cry... Then he says, "I know I can't replace that specific one, but what about this one?" and pulls out this gorgeous diamond studded band setting and asked me to choose a diamond for it. I couldn't contain myself; I was so nervous picking out a diamond, it took us another hour just to decide on one. There was a couple who were also upgrading their ring, and she told me, "get the biggest diamond honey and just pay it off slowly." Yeah right, lady! First of all this ring is already twice as thick as my original one, can you imagine it with a 2 carat bauble like the one she chose? (Hers was gaudy by the way, because she chose a big band filled with diamonds, but chose a bigger diamond that covered most of the ring! Ugh!!!)
The lady who set and cleaned my ring, called me about a delay but ended the phonecall with "we are all in awe of how beautiful this ring is! It's one of the most beautiful I've set, and I've been doing this for over twenty years!" It made the ring that much more special...

8. Where was your wedding and reception?
We were married in the Oakland temple, an hour and a half than our appointment because Mr. Man slept in! His parents wouldn't even wake him up for me. His mom said, "He has an alarm, I'm sure he set it. He'll wake up." This was 15 minutes before we were supposed to be at the temple and we were coming from San Jose- 1 hour away from Oakland! We also wed during one of October 1996's windy days! Mr. Man wanted my hair down... (you get the picture)
The reception was at our then future church ward. The carpet was perfect for our colors.

9. How many bridesmaids did you have, and who was your maid of honor?
MOH- My BFF Sheila in highschool; two bridesmaids- my SIL and Sis who refused to wear purple then saw the colors and said, "why didn't you just buy me a dress?"

10. What color were your bridesmaids dresses?

11. What was your bouquet made of?
White stargazer lilies, purple irises, lisianthus and ivy

12. Who gave you away?
No one; temple weddings do not practice such things. But I did seek the approval of my dad in the Philippines and asked my eldest brother to be there at my reception to stand in for him.

13.Did you cry during your wedding?
During the ceremony, yes! The whole time! I barely acknowledged anybody in the room.

14. What style was your dress?
It was something that a tall wide person would look good in; I thought it looked good as an alternate to my dream dress, but even my MIL said, "That looks too big on you, C!" Let's just say I wouldn't ignore the possibility of offering it in FreeCycle.

15. Was your wedding kiss sweet or sexy?
Honestly, I don't remember if we kissed or not. But if we did, I'm sure it was sweet, Charlie's very appropriate.

16. Who caught your bouquet?
One of my highschool friends; though Lisa was knocked down during that.

17. What flavor was your cake?
German Chocolate with buttercream frosting. It was delish! I insisted on it.

18. Did you smash the cake onto each other's faces or feed it to each other nicely?
Nicely; Mr. Man wouldn't have done that to me. I think I smeared some on his face though. LOL

19. What was "your song" that you danced to at your wedding?
Last minute, I didn't want to use any of the songs we've exchanged with each other, so I started looking for something different. I heard Mariah Carey's "When I Saw You" and it was perfect!

20. What did you serve your guests to eat?
His mom and some RS ladies took care of the food. All I remember is how much grapes we were able to enjoy on our first night together because they packed a big picnic for us since I was starved at my own wedding reception!

21. What did your friends do to decorate your car?
They trashed it with soap, cookies, lotion and whatever else that we couldn't even see out the windows! We spent our route to the wedding night suite in the car wash three times!

22. What was your favorite wedding gift?
My mom's wedding dress fund for me- $1000! (Too bad, I didn't get to use it on my actual dream dress...) Mr. Man loved the toaster oven that my work crew from another building pooled money for. I was their favorite Engineering Assistant Tech.

23. What was the worst wedding gift you got?
I don't know, I thought all were so cute and generous at the time...

24. Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Disneyland; we spent three nights at this Best Western that overlooked Anaheim from the Honeymoon suite. It was very romantic.

25. Looking back, is there anything you would have changed about your wedding? A lot! Read "Different Is Good". You'll know why... But despite all of the mishaps, once we realized we were married, things just became something to "laugh at".

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sickie Sunday continues...

Our home wouldn't be fun if we didn't copy our children...

Now, it's me and Charlie that's sick. I'm super fatigued and achy all over. He has a chest cold. SIGH...

Have a great week to all!

Formal, Fun & Funny Valentine

If you've seen my new blog, What Now? you'll know that we had a great Valentine's Day as a family.

We ate formally, talked of funny things and had a fun time diving into each plate. I say each plate because I served everyone each portion of the meal. We didn't do family style dining, rather, we taught our children how it would have been like to eat at a nice restaurant (like Maggiano's or any 4-star establishments). I did this since we haven't taken them to a nice restaurant in a looooong time!

Lisa's school friend, and tutee, Daniel (Is that a word? She tutors him in two subjects, and he's a good family friend), joined us so the table was set for 6 place settings. We dined on low lights and candlelights. Our 4-course menu was very Valentine-y, so they were easy to eat, but very filling.

Here's how it went:

First course: Campbell's Italian Wedding Soup (1/2 portion)

Second course: Hands-On Salad (1 portion) (my recipe- on one red-leaf lettuce, sat a mix of julienned carrots, quartered cherry tomatoes, green onions and chopped parsley dressed in a little bit of Ranch. You wrap the lettuce around the mixture and eat. It was yummy!)

Third course: Heart-shaped pasta with Chicken and Shrimp (1/3 portion) (my recipe also; I only dished out one ladle full in the middle without heaping. Delish!)

Fourth course: Individual Cheesecake brownie cups- HGTV (the ramekins were small, so there was no temptation to eye somebody else's plus we ate it with a whole strawberry. To die for!)

Our drink was "Grape Sierra Fizzy"- refreshing! (my mix and a new family favorite- a beautiful copy of red wine without the alcohol and yucky wine taste!)

To end the dinner, each one chose a gourmet fortune cookie and gladly announced their fortune. Mine says, I'll be fortunate in love. TRUE THAT, TRUE THAT!

Charlie loved everything (I got a "wow" on both the table and the food) and the kids loved being served like in a restaurant. Each "customer" (I was the server) was polite, patient and lookin' pretty in their coordinating Valentine outfits. Even I wore a red turtleneck pullover sweater while Charlie looked so cute in his white long-sleeved shirt.

Lots of "thank you's, please and "I'd love to's" that night. A wonderful memory indeed...

Here's how satisfied the customers were:

"Happy Valentine's Day, everybody!"

Those smiles didn't just come from anywhere... They were from our wonderful, delightful, Valentine's Day dinner adventure with food, laughter and great tablescape.

We hope that your family did, too! Actually we're curious, so we'd love to know...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Lara won, Lara won!

Lara of Overstuffed won my very first giveaway, from What Now? Tablescapes!

And The Winner Is...


Happy V-Day!!!

I know most of you have plans for tonight, but just the same,


Ok, I'm done... Bye!

Too Busy...

Man, I can't keep up with this everyday blogging thing, but I have a good excuse, I was doing a trial run of the new Valentine's Day tablescape. If I may say so, I did a great job! Lisa, Jas and Ian all agree.

You'll have to see it later today...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

We'll take Bronchitis for 100 Please

I know I've been having fun with my other blog, but a day can be a mish-mash of emotions, happenings and trials, right? Of course, I'm right!

Today is such a day...

IAN came home from school yesterday, exhausted and with a threatening high fever- again! We gave him Tylenol and let his little soul sleep until it couldn't anymore- about 4 hours... So today, he didn't go to school and we headed off to the Urgent Care near a Target and an Office Depot since we also had errands to do. Charlie, though aching for sleep from having just come home after a 10-hour shift, pulled himself together like the trooper that he is and drove as carefully as he can to our intended destinations. That was at 10:15AM

Due to good traffic flow, we got there about 10:30AM; after signing in, we waited for about 20 minutes (I'm sure it was more) for IAN's name to be called. (The whole time, Ian was upset at the fact that there were no kids around and he wanted to go to the one close to our apartment- in reality, that one was just as bad). Charlie, needing to stay awake indulged his son, and took him for a tour of the place. We went upstairs, down hallways and empty office rooms. It helped. A lot. (Thanks, Mahal, I love you!)

We go back in and waited a little bit more. Then, "IAN MATHEWS", "IAN" rings out and we're off to the triage room. He weighed 46.6 lbs. 45 inches tall. Yep, he's still on the small side. (I hate it when he gets sick; he loses weight, pounds at a time! It's like going back to square one, it's maddening at times- like today!)

Then, we wait for 1, 2, 3 hours! Why? There was only one, count it, one doctor! Was that enough to ruin our day? No, of course not, that would be too easy! No, we have to have the doctor confirm the wheezing, give him the Pulmicort/Xopenex breathing combo in this nebulizer which of course the attendant left the moment it was turned on and didn't come back! We had to tell her that the darn thing was done. Did they come running? No, we still had to wait until the doctor shows up with another assessment of his lungs.

As we wait:

Ian: "Daddy, spell transportation."

Daddy: "B-U-S".

(Both Ian and I laugh heartily)

Ian: "Daddy! That's not how you spell transportation!"

Daddy: "You're right, it's "T-R-U-C-K".

Rattle... Rattle... No wheezing anymore, but now there's rattling. Could be pneumonia.

(Me yelling at "Brain": "I don't want pneumonia, his system can't handle pneumonia! He will lose so much weight and be lethargic for days. It can't be pneumonia! We'll take bronchitis, yeah, bronchitis is so much better. Please let it be bronchitis! Are you listening, Brain? I want bronchitis!)

Must be cautious. X-rays ordered. Next room. Fitted with crotch protector. Told to pose and hold just right. Three times. One more because he shifted slightly. Good job. Back to the room. More waiting. Hungry Mommy. Hungry Daddy. Hungry Ian.

The technician goofed and didn't give the films to the nurses for the doctor. More waiting.

Doctor comes back in and says: "No pneumonia, but there are infiltrates that could be viral which is typical of bronchitis." (Yes! Did you hear that, we got bronchitis! Yay!)

We finally get to the prescriptions and the good doctor argues with me as to what kinds of medicines work on my children! ("WE DON'T DO ZITHROMAX! Can you hear me, doc? It doesn't work! All three systems linked to my genetic line do not respond to Zithromax!")

I win the round and he gives us Amoxicillin and OraPred. Taking that last step outside of that building was the best part of the day! Filed under ONE TIME WONDER unless in emergencies and we are closest to it.

We got home twenty minutes before Jasmine got off the bus and reached the front door. EXHAUSTED PARENTS- our new slogan of the year!

Background Tidbit: Last April, I wanted to look for a job, got all the online printable applications ready to be filled out. Ian had to be picked up from school, because he was not responding to Tylenol at school. He was sick with wheezing and sinus infection. This year, Sunday morning, my next door neighbor told me about a work-at-home opportunity with a local business. I started the application process. Monday at 3AM, Ian crawls into our bed with a 103 fever!

Any ideas as to what this means?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened...

at Walmart yesterday.

Read all about it in my other blog.


Well, I think it's funny...

This is to make up for not having an actual Tuesday post; our power went out remember?

Tender Mercies: The Date and The Storm

Charlie's working on FEB 14 so we went out last night to dinner. We had planned on going to a nice seafood restaurant, but it was all the way in Downtown Dallas and the thunderstorm/tornado watch warnings were just put into place. Charlie cancelled the reservation but we chose a nearby alternate instead (we got dressed up for this, of course we went! :-D)

We chose to go to the TEXAS LAND & CATTLE Steakhouse. YUMMY! If you have one, you should soooo go! They know steak!

On the way there and back, everything was calm and traffic was light (maybe because people were already locked up inside and we were the foolish ones still on the road?)

I was unusually calm for someone who doesn't like getting dressed up, rarely goes on dates with her husband that includes make-up and who hasn't had much sleep since her son was sick for two days and who had to ask for homework extension. It felt like I was in another world while functioning amongst my family.

Charlie intently watched the storm before we left, so our date was wrought with some trepidation- we are leaving our three kids after all, alone for 3 hours! We did cut it 2 hours.

Like I said before, the weather was calm in Carrollton throughout our roundtrip travel and dinner. Charlie was charming and conversation was not about the kids (can you imagine that? Of course, I did call to check in on them about 3-4 different times)

Anyway, I asked Heavenly Father in my tired but motherly plea to please, please watch over my children, my family during this storm and to keep Charlie and I safe. I didn't ask for permission if we can go on this date- I was afraid of the answer)

When we got home, we even had time for me to check comments from my other blog and help sign school papers for the kids. Charlie played with them and we took pictures in our nice date clothes. Ian was feeling better, though still coughing pretty bad.

At exactly 9, the rains poured, lightnings abound, thunder was loud and the siren was going off to warn all to take shelter from the storm within our own homes. The kids had just gone upstairs to go to bed after we prayed that all will be well so tomorrow's needs can be accomplished. As the siren went off, the kids had to immediately come down and hide in our master bath like we did back in April. Charlie and I did our best to stay calm and procure flashlights, candles, lighter, water and Ian's meds and nebulizer. Charlie made our bed and I lit the candles and cleared more room in the bathroom. Charlie managed to get a bath radio the day before. With everyone in the tiny master, all we had to do after all that, was wait and see.

Where are the tender mercies you ask? Here...

Ian was feeling much better, no longer lethargic, throwing up and was coherent enough to keep up with the tense situation of a storm.

We found that 50% deal on batteries last month. We had enough batteries for all the flashlights we found in the house.

Charlie's bath radio helped us keep up to date on the storm even as the power was out, including our home phone.

My laptop was always plugged in, so its battery was 100% charged to draw power from to charge Charlie's cell phone for any incoming or outgoing calls.

We just all ate dinner and I had asked Lisa to help her siblings put together their own water bottles and to choose a snack for today (she hid them all in the master bedroom).

Our date was successful- Charlie and I were able to sit down and talk about our future plans after he graduates from the Apprenticeship in May.

I remembered to turn off all the computers, printer and TV prior to the power outage.

Carrollton did not get placed in the warning zone for very long.

But the best tender mercy of all... (if you haven't picked up on it yet)

It was Charlie's day off, we were all home to ride the storm together; safe and sound...

Sometimes, you pray and don't really have your heart in it. You go about your day, you function, get things done and along the way, finding things that you don't expect. If I was Heavenly Father, I would have been frustrated with me-the mother of a home where function became the menu of the week rather than faith and hope. The only grace that may have helped us was that we took the time to go to His temple in Dallas despite the most irritating opposition. Charlie as a priesthood holder, he presided over our family with patience, help, love and good music both on his way to work, back and all day Sunday while also listening and supporting me in my efforts on my new blog. And also maybe, just maybe, the fact that we took care of what we needed in our own home- like restocking our pantry, batteries and our children's needs.

We'll never really know, but I'm just glad to feel grateful for a loving and merciful Heavenly Father... We all are. How about you?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Helping the Economy through Kohl's

Yep, we hit Kohl's today for shoes!

And saved an average of 60% off!!!

Plus we earned some Kohl's cash - redeemable in two days!

I know we all need to help the economy, but we might as well do it while leaving a chunk of it in the bank, right?
(I see you nodding your head...)

I don't normally shop this much at one time, but the sweet deals coincided with our needs, so cha-ching for us and Kohl's! Yay!

Gotta love that give and take cycle, huh?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sickie Sunday

(One of his silly smiles; at his school Winter party, Dec 2008)

Jasmine and Ian are both sick today... Jasmine with a hoarse throat and Ian, he was hit with something at night but it didn't mess up his system until about 3AM today. Good thing, Jasmine's energy is up after a good rest though her voice is still funny, but Ian when he gets sick...

We are talking 102+ degrees F for a fever. Even now, even with the Tylenol/Motrin combo he normally needs, only give him relief for a few hours. I can't stand it when he's sick. Part of me feels numb from having gone through this since he was a baby, and part of me turns into this Wonder Mom that just goes crazy looking for what's best for him, to make him best comfortable.

Which means, no one is allowed to stress him out. He gets command of the remote. He chooses his munchies (within reason of course!). He takes over the couch (can't get to him fast enough upstairs). I wish he can just fight it like normal kids can, but he can't. Not yet; don't know when he'll ever be able to. For everyday that he's not sick, I am super grateful, because on the days that he is, I feel so helpless-like I did when he was a baby...

Great IAN info: He loves to tell me and Charlie, "I love you", he thinks I'm so soft all the time, he wants to be as smart as his sisters (and he is), loves Legos, HW and Build-a-Bear. He loves mashed potato and any soup with potatoes. Also a big fan of cabbage, broccoli and Filipino food. He's so precious to us, sometimes, Charlie and I notice that we tend to him a little more than the other two. But then Jasmine or Lisa does something that equals out the love.

My tender-hearted boy, my baby. I hope you feel better soon. You too, Jasmine. Love you both, Mommy.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Feng Shui your Room

Come read it on my other blog series,


Enjoy transforming your bedrooms!

Friday, February 6, 2009


Charlie came home today and the first thing out of my mouth was, "I decided to go ahead and do a blog about my tablescapes." Of course, that got him curious (which was my point, lol!)

He approved (Yay!!!) and now I can't wait to share more!

I've gone back and forth to see if this is something I want to do, and the more ideas I got in my head, the more I wanted to do the blog, but of course, it took Pink Ink's post, my baby Lisa's knowledge of picture manipulation and Charlie's helpful hints for me to make that leap of faith to share what I love.

Thanks Lara of Overstuffed for doing a plug and a link of my new blog on yours! I feel so loved!

I also have my new dining table on that blog and will post my upcoming Valentine tablescape on that blog. I can't wait!

Could you use $30 from Target, how about your friend? Go to "What Now?" and see if you can win! You have until February 13th, I'll announce the winner on Valentine's Day!

I hope you all visit that blog soon!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

New Blog Giveaway!

I decided that my love of tablescapes is worth sharing with others, but I also do not want to run out of ideas and of course, money, so... check out this blog and be part of the giveaway! It's very new, still under construction for coolness effect. So, in the spirit of love and sharing, I decided to do this.

The more you refer, the better your chances, because the referring person gets the same prize as the winner!

What Now?

I'll announce the winner on February 14th, Valentine's Day! So check back after you participate. Make sure to refer the blog to your friends...

and here's another giveaway link from SITS (Secret's in the Sauce)

Bedroom Bliss


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Still tired... but, we made STATE!!!

This post would be for today, yesterday, alright this whole week! I was so tired from yesterday that I actually fell asleep before midnight. (Did you hear me, before midnight!) I couldn't believe it either! (**imagine "in total shock" face**) Ok, still too tired to even write anything else, so here are the pictures instead... See all of them (wake up!- If I had to stay up, you can, too!)

The day after Michelle arrived: fo-ggy!

The Hawaiian Haystack dinner (yummy!!!)

Michelle getting her pedicure (do you think she's having fun?)

Look at the ten pretty little piggies... awww...

This is last Sunday's lunch: Dutch babies or Blown-up pancakes

And here are Lisa's Ac Dec medals
(now that's the bling I can get into!)

This is an outright shameless bragging ladies...
Her team competed out of 31 schools!

Gold- Hebron's Top Scholastic Decathlete

Silver- Essay Competition

Bronze- 3rd Super Quiz Relay

Bronze- (with red ribbon) 5th place Overall Team

and... THEY MADE STATE!!! Yeah!

Also, been too busy reading others' blogs so I definitely will have some better ideas to post soon (hopefully...)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

2/2 FHE: Movie Review- Inkheart

We all L-O-V-E-D loved it!!!

Look at me, three FHE's in a row! (Ok, nobody slap their heads or clutch their chests from sheer shock, I am more than able to remember these kinds of good things for the salvation of the whole fam.)

Anyway, so we opted to delay to see Inkheart from when Michelle arrived last Tuesday to last night, Monday. We patiently (I think) waited for the kiddos to show up from the bus stop to the front door by making cheesecake! Of course since I'm no Ace of Cakes or Bronwen Weber, things didn't go as smoothly as I thought it did. But the end product was just as good as the first one. (Consistency, such a thing of beauty!)

Moving on... Lisa finally felt better from the weekend, and decided to come with us. I just waited for the cheesecake to cool down a bit to put in the ol' ice box and we were off to the movies. Since I had coupons to STEAK & SHAKE, we scarfed down dinner en route to the big screen. What's a trip to the fast food joint without a hitch, right? Lisa didn't want vanilla shake, but wanted chocolate (can't stand chocolate ice cream- what's the difference?) Ian couldn't seem to hear anything we told him and kept getting in trouble, and Jasmine, she kept the frustration going by insisting on becoming Ian's personal jester! Arrrggghhh!!!
So we finally get there and after getting the tix (2 students, 2 adults, 2 children, please...) what a surprise it was that when we went in, the whole theater was empty. We had it all to ourselves! VIPs in the house!

Because of the better acoustics from having the best movie patrons in the room, Inkheart sounded and looked that much better on the screen! Now, my legs, eyes and hands are itching to get at the books (I guess the Twilight series will sit on Lisa's shelf longer... Sorry, just not interested in them, right now- can't get the images of married and forty-somethings screaming for Edwards and secret eye-gouging chants against his love interest from the ol' noggin just yet- read one too many articles on this sad phenomenon).

This movie had everything that most of us dream of- extraordinary gifts- the kind that help us feel alive and part of something bigger: (Am now an official fan of Brendan Fraser! Love all his movies, except Encino Man-can you say drowning in Cheez-whiz?)

"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. "- Professor Keating (Robin Williams) in 'Dead Poet's Society'

"A good book should leave you... slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it." ~William Styron, interview, Writers at Work, 1958

How was your last FHE? (C'mon dish... I need ideas people, ideas!)

A lot to catch up on...

This week has been an up and down episode for me. Michelle's visits have always been a real treat since I rarely go anywhere. Having someone come to see me is like being given, an award for something you never expected but secretly hoped for.

At the same time, when someone is over, my children seem to catch this "brat" bug and can't seem to get a hold of themselves. Each become a little too silly, too loud, too deaf and too much for me to handle. My stress level goes through the roof (perils of being a homebody I guess...)

But I'm so glad that because we've had so much to take care of this week, Michelle's visit was not the sole activity of each day. She...

-went to the movies, ate out, do a Costco run, bought groceries, watched DVDs, cooked, bought a dining set, play games and ate yummy home treats with us.

-I was able to finally take her to do a pedicure for her 21st birthday (she chose an awesome shade of dark red/burgundy, so pretty!).

-I was able to take her shopping for stuff that she needed (you know, things that guests need! I don't know about you, but I have no room in my little apartment for these extra stuff, so most get used and I just have to replace it per next visitor).

-I loved how she brought her cookbook and made three, count it, three tongue-twisting delish dishes- Hawaiian haystacks, Dutch babies and Sweet & Sour Pork! All I can say is, I want that cookbook! (Thanks, Michelle)

-I was able to recreate the same cheesecake recipe I stumbled on after my first attempt. (And the best cheesecake recipe award goes to... ME! Seconds, please!)

-She was able to have some time with the kids (so glad we didn't find her hanging upside down from the ceiling fan from all their overexcitedness) when Charlie and I had to go to West Grapevine to look for this darn (but oh-so beautiful) dining set.

-We were able to go to the Dallas LDS temple and perform bapstisms for the dead despite obvious oppositions(STOP!)- maybe another post...

-Able to have some time alone with her and talk about life and future (it's our favorite way to hang out).

But best of all, I'm glad just at the fact that Michelle came; sometimes you need your life interrupted because that's when extra blessings come...

Monday, February 2, 2009

What to blog...

Not much today... Too tired to write.

Washed dishes
Reminded Lisa of dental appointment
Got dining table
Did semi-annual Costco run
Helped jumpstart a friend's car
Made cheesecake
Gave old table to neighbor
Took family out to dinner
Watched "Inkheart" in theater (Loved it!!!)
Went to Walmart for yarn for Jasmine's school project
Did two homeworks
Have a headache...

I'll have more tomorrow.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Featuring... Charlie!

I brag about my kids a lot, but I haven't really expanded on how great my hubby is. So I'd like to take this time to honor my eternal companion. I just love him; I still get those pesky "butterflies" in my stomach when I see him come home from work or put on his Sunday suit or when I catch him looking at me.

When I met him, I thought he was so cute, but because I was with my friend Ellen (blond, beautiful and flirty), I surrendered to the possibility that he wouldn't be interested in me. After three days of hoping he liked me, I found out after we went clubbing with Ellen and he held my hands. He said that our hands had such a stark difference that he didn't want to let mine go.

Charlie and I both share a love of the gospel and being home bodies. His favorite time of the day is when we can just be together without any care at the moment.

Charlie learned to love fixing things from his wonderful dad. Their garage was converted into a workshop where it collected all types of tools for just about anything you can fix.

He loves to ski, fly planes and to watch videos with me.

He likes to trick the kids; he would come up with his own vocabulary or twist the kids' words until it makes them stop talking and think about what they heard. He can pull off a serious face until I notice his silliness then he breaks out into a half-smile/half-laugh thing that gets all of us laughing.

He loves to help out and befriend everyone, but he is just as shy and quiet.

He loves to think about his views in life and how it relates to our family.

He is not a jealous man and is totally trusting. When I ask him "what if I fall for somebody out there?", he laughs or scowls and says, "a-hmm".

He's not a compulsive person- he believes in researching everything. Sometimes, that means that we don't get anything done when I want it, causing my frustration, but it also helps me gain patience. (What a sneaky man!)

When he chastises me for something I gave an opinion on, he does it in such a gentle indirect way that I'm able to think about it on my own, so the repentant process starts with me and not of feeling like a little kid that got caught doing something wrong. A rare quality now a days...

He likes to pretend to eat what came out of his nose just to hear the kids squirm and laugh. Of course, that's when I tell him, "cut it out". Or tell stories of how he tried to make a spaghetti come out of his nose. Yuck, but it's a great story to tell the kids and the kids love hearing it. (probable reason why we don't eat much spaghetti anymore; it reminds the kids of this story.)

He's not a picky eater, but is honest about my cooking, so I can get better. (why else would I be slaving over these wonderful dishes?)

He dictated our dating flowers- he got jealous (only time) when he came over to the room I was renting and saw on my dresser, a dozen roses that a friend from work gave to help with my high stress during the day. He chose the purple iris as a form of rebellion. I thought that it was so sweet- it was his way of saying, "we are exclusive."

Charlie is so wonderful in his quiet but full of wisdom ways. I'm still thanking Heavenly Father that we met, loved and got married. With him, everyday is Valentine's Day... my way of course, because I don't get overly sappy on this day, I get more distracted with the romantic aspects through the food and the V-cards that the kids fill out for their class parties. Except this year- I can't wait to see where he'll take me...

Of course, there are more good things about him, you can see "It's Your Birthday, Charlie Brown" back in January.

More tomorrow...

Not Into Superbowl?

Then watch the Food Network Cake decorating challenge marathon with us!

Since three o'clock, we've watched a wedding cake national competition, cater my wedding contest and now engagement cake challenge. It was definitely a Ladies' Time-Out type of day as Charlie is asleep, Lisa is homework bound and Jas with Ian, playing with the Barbies. We indulged ourselves with chips and dip, pork rinds, oreos and popcorn-washed down with juice and powerade. (Who says, we can't eat like most that are piggin' out over Superbowl mania?)

Dinner is sweet and sour pork with steamed rice. More yummies... Want some?

Random addition:

Nursery was awesome today!!! We only had three of our cutie crew, but the schedule so helped me. I love this calling!

Ok, here's some of the great deals I found while cruising with Michelle on Friday afternoon.

Merona Peep toes/ Target: $6.24!!! (originally $24.99)

Asian vase/Ross:$3.99!!! (originally $14.99)

And something else for me $3.62!!! (originally 14.99)

Michelle found her B&BW body splash scent B2G1F, saving $12!

Also, my tablescape is coming together; I just need one more thing and it'll be done for your viewing pleasure.

January 31: Half & Half

Saturday started out with Charlie and I calling 5 different Cost Plus World Market just to buy our new dining table (yes, we caved in after watching our kids hilariously and painfully ram into this beautiful, solid oak though-too-big-for-this-apartment table). The 5th one panned out but it was all the way in West Grapevine! So, despite his desire to sleep, we drove all the way there just to be told that the manager forgot to mention to us that they have no warehouse personnel to bring down our dining set! So, we paid for it and will pick it up on Monday. I forgot to eat breakfast so we turned my hunger into a brunch date- on the nearby town of South Lake- the new hometown of the Jonas Brothers! (I looked for them, yes I did, even though I knew they were most likely would not be hanging out at Costco). Anyway, don't chicken bakes taste better when you are staring into your beloved's eyes while having a deep philosophical conversation? (Honestly, I was just having fun drowning in those vivid browns; *sigh*.)

When we got back, our children and Michelle were ready for lunch, so we brought them Sonic (apple juice slush and chicken strips if you were wondering). I guess that was the wrong lunch because they were either giggling, laughing out loud or nit-picking that lasted through our entire trip at Walmart, dinner time and a round of our newest box of Rummikub. I was too tired to appreciate their gaiety, so timeouts were issued and demands of instant good behavior were dispensed in hefty portions (no, I'm not talking spanking), in forms of begging, 123's and "Stop it and focus. Am I clear?" They just laughed some more- whatever it was, it was that funny!

Me: Ian, Jasmine, focus on the game, it's almost your turn.

Ian: Ok, I'm sorry... (covers his mouth; looks at Jasmine and laughs again)

Me: Jasmine (in exasperated tone), it's your turn, are you playing or drawing a tile?

Jasmine: (ignores me, looks at Ian with a funny face) It looks like my friend Shaun's face! (and laughs out loud herself)

So all in all, I had a half & half day; great date with hubby, somewhat frustrating shopping trip with the kiddos, plus Lisa was not home. She competed for ACDEC in Irving Friday and Saturday (granted she came back with 5 medals, but I was still worried!). Plus, I remembered that I had two essays due and a quiz!

I'll post about my adventures more with our friend Michelle this week, I'm too exhausted to write... Oh yeah, there'll be posts of more good deals I got! Pictures? That'll have to be later, too...

Ok, later!