Tuesday, March 31, 2009

FREE Gourmet Dinner Tonight!

Today was just a normal day; the kids went to school and progress reports came home. Homeworks were done and checked. Forms signed and put back in the folders.

The kids wanted a specific meal but I don't have one of the ingredients for it, so they'll have to wait until we go to the grocery store next time. Of course, sometimes that's a blessing. Also, do you remember when I posted about stocking up to share? And I told you how blessings pour out when you do?

Here's proof: Check out this dinner menu:

Italian Wedding Soup
Ribeye steak
Garlic Fried Rice

Potatoes & Green Beans Steamers
Ice Water
Cheesecake slivers

Delish and gourmet, right? But it's all FREE! Yes, FREE!

First, my awesome neighbor, Annette, got a humongous cheesecake last night. This afternoon, she surprised us with half and claims that they have more in their house. Yikes! The cheesecake slices are big enough for 3 people! Then, I found two medium sized ribeye steaks in the freezer and baked them in foils. After we made the fried rice from leftovers. I also found a bag of Potatoes and Green Beans Steamers from last month's grocery trip and the can of soup was from my pantry. After everything was ready, I sliced up the two lean medium cut ribeye steaks to feed 5 people.

I guess the kids will just have to enjoy another luscious and FREE cheesecake for dessert, but just a sliver because it is a New York variety meaning all cheesecake! No crust for Ian...

Oh, did I tell you that the ribeyes I made were from Annette, too? She gave them to me last month. So, I guess tonight, we literally ate for FREE!


Day 35
Love is Accountable
"Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established."
Proverbs 15:22 KJV

Find a marriage mentor—someone who is a strong Christian and who will be honest and loving with you. If you feel that counseling is needed, then take the first step to set up an appointment. During this process, ask God to direct your decisions and discernment.

What I Did:
Charlie and I have this thing everynight where we just go up to each other and hug and whisper I love you several times. It melts away any irritations and renews our relationship- FREE counseling!

I'm glad we do this, because currently we are surrounded by other couples who fight and cuss at each other, cheat on each other and blame their children, separate for petty reasons and the list goes on and that's just the last two weeks! When they talk about it, they don't see how petty or insignificant the reason was, they just wanted to be validated for the hurt. Or how hurtful it is that they let their children hear how disrespectful they were to them by cussing and calling each other names.

Monday, March 30, 2009

FHE: Dining on the Cheap

Tonight, we extended on our 10-day project by having an inexpensive dinner. I ran late so no photos, but we discussed what we learned about not spending for over a week and what that meant for us. We also had join us, our two missionaries, Heather and her son Chase Wolfe, plus we equally divided the food with another family who just had a beautiful baby girl.

So, here's the menu:
Hawaiian Haystacks
Triple Play Tropical Mock Cocktail- (Pineapple, Orange and Lemonade)
Chocolate Trifle

You're wondering how cheap can this be. Let me illuminate:
The main thing we bought today were chicken ($9), orange and pineapple juice cans ($4). The rest, we had in the house. We spent $13, and fed four families.

The FREE dessert were 9 cups of Hunt's Chocolate Pudding, and cut up angel food cake. Layered in low clear drinking glasses for each person. When everyone was ready for dessert, I topped each glass with two small scoops of any flavor ice cream and low-fat whipped cream. Yes, we had all of these in the house, repurposed for company. Enjoyed by three families. Plus, it's healthier, too, since pudding is low-fat if not fat-free, angel food cake is low-fat and two small scoops of ice cream is less than half of what you get at your local ice cream place.

Clever, huh? It was a nice lesson on living on less and being creative with what you have available. The moral is, if you stock up on what you can live with, you can live with your stock and live well.

April 1942 counsel from the
LDS First Presidency:
"In the day of plenty, prepare for the day of scarcity."


Day 34
Love Celebrates Godliness
"Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; "
1 Corinthians 13:6 KJV

Find a specific, recent example when your spouse demonstrated Christian character in a noticeable way. Verbally commend them for this at some point today.

What I Did:
He just did this; he gave the missionaries ride to their next appointment right after dinner since their bikes wouldn't get them there on time. I thanked him for it.

She's 14!

Picture from Static. Open. Salon

Our very own niece, Taryn is big 1-4 today!


She's in Utah, so we can't celebrate it with her, but she knows we love her very, very much!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

"Bonk, Owie, Waaaahhh!" Nursery Day

As you can glean from you the title, we had an adventurous Sabbath in the Nursery. Our leader just gave birth a few days ago, so it was just us two assistants. No problem, we only had 6 children and they know us. Everything was going great until playtime, the last 45 minutes of the class...

A three year old from the neighboring class decided that he wanted to play with toys instead so he slammed open the connecting door and the folding table we had to keep it closed fell over like a leaf and even though I caught the door and saved one of the kids from being hit, one did get clipped on the neck. She seemed fine and I took her to her mom, but the domino effect took place.

Someone from the bishopric needed my co-assistant and got her at 10 minutes to quitting time. But before that, I had to help one of the little girls from the neighboring class in the potty. All the while, two kids fought over a toy and one of them couldn't recover from the loss of the toy and cried for 10 minutes straight; bless his heart... He wanted Mommy but still played "Ring Around the Rosie, (wahhhh) a pocket full of posies (I'ant Mommy and Daaaaaaaaddy!)

Then as if things are not stressful enough, the only girl left in the room got on a metal folding chair just seconds after I threw something away and my vision was obscured by the not so folded accordion separator wall and heard this "thump" and a squeal. I see her behind the chair, good thing she didn't hit the wall with her head as she has done this before and hit the wall head first I heard from her dad after I told him what happened. I couldn't fold the chair, so I put it up against the wall before he came so he had to make sure that she didn't hit her head.

As Charlie said, I had an adventurous time in Nursery today... How was your Sunday?


Day 33
Love Completes Each Other
"Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?"
Ecclesiastes 4:11 KJV

Recognize that your spouse is integral to your future success. Let them know today that you desire to include them in your upcoming decisions, and that you need their perspective and counsel. If you have ignored their input in the past, admit your oversight and ask them to forgive you.

What I Did:
We decided that since we can never afford our original wedding china but we do want to have it for our 15th or 20th wedding anniversary, we decided that we would scour ebay for a pattern we can agree on. Since dinnerware collecting has been my thing, I have always made the decisions on it. But now that Charlie's been giving me pointers on how to photograph the table, and which items go together, we consult on it together. Like my latest find in Tuesday Morning, he's known about them since I first saw them and he has encouraged me to wait for the price that we can truly afford. I'm glad I listened...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

$1.20; That's It!

In June, Jasmine will be 10 years old, and in our household, birthday #10 is a big deal. That means she gets a pretty big party. So, we asked her for ideas of the kinds of gifts she would want. Believe it or not, it is something I never expected for her to keep wanting since she saw them. But, everytime we went to this particular store, she would ask if we can see them. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

So yesterday morning, I called the store's manager and told him the situation. I expressed that though it is reasonably priced, I can't afford the price they're asking for and if I can be informed of when it'll go on sale, because- my Jasmine really wants it. And if you know her, she rarely set her heart on anything for more than a day, so we knew this was a "sure bet" of a gift for her.

It is originally $30 since we moved here back in June 2007. It has never gone on sale until I inquired. The manager, a sweet, sweet man, gave it to me for $19.96. Not much, right? But this store bought this item for 60 more cents than that so because I needed two, they totaled a profit of only $1.20 off two boxes! I'll take that any day! We picked it up last night and told Jasmine that it's her early birthday present. She still couldn't believe it!

Here's a big clue for you...

Lisa accompanied Daniel to his Swim Banquet last night. I just can't get over how cute they look together... As a mother, I can't be more grateful that she found someone who truly cares about her as much as this young age can muster.

See the House Rules in the background, we are all bound by that, in and out of the house. I made sure to add that bit in... ;-)

TODAY, not much happened... Cleaning, relaxing, laundry and my second set of finals! We also walked to Tuesday Morning and found the same items I've been watching since the start of the month, majorly discounted! Woohoo! Then because it was so windy and cold, I treated the kids to a pizza stop at Cici's. I asked the manager if I can order just 1 child buffet and two adults since Jas and Ian don't eat much, he said he couldn't. There were no other promotions going on and they have a "no sharing policy" meaning, for buffet, it's per person. So knowing I have no choice, I reluctantly ordered. When he told me the total, I couldn't believe it, I was ready to pay the $5 AYCE per person price, but he only charged us less than $12! Charlie picked us up, so we grabbed the items I bought at TM then went home. It was a good day... Ok, now, I have to finish up my final essay...

SIDENOTE: I can't believe that I've managed to do the daily Love Dare! Tonight is Day 32! One more week and I'm done! Another thing to cross off the checklist of "To Do's" this month. Yay!!!


Day 32
Love Meets Sexual Needs

"Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband."

1 Corinthians 7:3 KJV

If at all possible, try to initiate sex with your husband or wife today. Do this in a way that honors what your spouse has told you (or implied to you) about what they need from you sexually. Ask God to make this enjoyable for both of you as well as a path to greater intimacy.

What I Did:
Well, I gotta give you something to guess about, right? ;-)

Friday, March 27, 2009

What? When Did this Happen?

Ok, you're probably going to think I AM so unorganized lately, but hey, life happens, you know? Even the Feng Shui girl, Stephanie McWilliams get overwhelmed with life. It happens!
In the midst of my schooling, the kids schedule, Charlie's work hours, two adorable but picky pets, tablescaping, blogging, penny pinching, household duties and photography (pant, pant...) stuff gets overlooked and things surprise you!

(You're reading this and two things are happening right now: you can't stop nodding your head because you're laughing from seeing your own chaotic days, or you are saying, "Man, I can't believe she's so overloaded! I'll never be like that!" Yeah, like that'll happen! Good luck with that...)

Anyway, so during the last 10 days, we only: (The rest of the story...)
Ate, played with, used, didn't use, portioned, thought of, avoided, cleaned, planned and gave away (excess) food and items that are in our apartment. And during this time of "self-reliance", I personally discovered (with some looks of transparent surprised ("what? we didn't have anymore? we ran out? I didn't know we had that...") faces from my brood) that...

1. Our burner liners were becoming a set of fire hazard charcoals from spills. That's what I get when I try to teach my children responsibility (LOL). It is nothing short of a miracle that we didn't produce "ash smelling or charcoal tasting" dishes, that's for sure!

2. Our whole apartment has become host to most of our kitchen towels- the dirty ones- FOLDED! (It was maddening at first, but after a while, it was hilarious to see them in so many different places.) Again, responsibility is such a two sided blade... ;-)

3. We have not had a bath mat in the kids' bathroom floor since our cat, Cece, prefers to pee on them rather than her litter box! Ewww! But, the kids safety comes first so we gave in and grabbed one today. (I don't know if it'll be a nice surprise or the kids will try to telepathically convey to Cece to leave the mats alone! Or... give me a glare that'll melt me to the floor for setting up another soon to be disaster. What do you think? LOL)

4. We've been cleaning the bathrooms with one brush. (gag fest over here!). Normally, most won't see anything wrong with that. We were being frugal is all, you can all understand, right? But, our bathrooms are a whole story apart, so can you imagine what kind of a yucky transport that is? This is how it normally goes: when I need it, I use it and leave it in our bathroom (no window- hate it!). When the kids need it, normally Lisa's in charge, she has to ask to get it while grabbing a hole-deprived grocery bag to transport the brush upstairs! She then cleans the said toilet in distress, toss the bag, rinse the brush, spray the tub with Lysol, rinse with hot water then cold water to sanitize it. And vice versa... the cycle goes on. Why?!

5. That most of our books have been read and read well (most are worn from being read in different rooms and spots in our small living room) that my children can "continue" the stories playing the game, "What If..." (I told you I have cool kiddos!)

6. That I like using my crockpot (what? when did that happen?) My MIL gave it to me a few Christmases ago, but had very few reasons to use it then, but the last 10 days, it was key to my flexibility in putting together a meal and great tablescapes! I'm a new fan! Does this mean I'll use it more, just maybe, I don't like to make promises I can't keep, you know... ;-)

There, so now you know the rest of the story of our "Being Self-Reliant" Family Project. We were lucky to be so "equipped" to do this without realizing it in the beginning. I kid you not, I was the one most worried as I'd be the first to be thrown into a volcano ready to spew if we happened to not have enough food to play with and enjoy. I'm Filipino, Charlie went to the Philippines, my children survive on rice and soysauce. You get the picture... Whew!

Oh, did we tell you? We also celebrated with ice cream... We hadn't had any since we paired them with angel food cups! Yummy exhale... And a trip to Walmart today...

Thursday, March 26, 2009


We survived on what we have in the house for 10 days! The only things we had to buy were breads, milk and eggs plus bottled water we normally slowly stock up on for the summer. Albertson's were selling 6-packs for 50 cents each! For not spending outside of what we needed, we actually saved over $100!!! With me in school, I've made mistakes of doubling on certain things. The cut off was today, at 5PM, so to announce our victory, Charlie and I treated the kids to their favorite Italian restaurant. No, not expensive at all. A big portion of Chicken Parmesan is only $5.99!

1. We didn't mind not having TV for 10-days at a time; Ian said, "I like not having TV, we talk more."
2. We didn't miss looking through clearance bins as much as we thought.
3. We became closer, because we played, sang and talked more;
4. We truly love each other and enjoy being together. One visitor said, "your family looks very together". I thank her for seeing that. Jasmine and I love doing tablescapes and Lisa loved coming home knowing there's food in the house. Her friends constantly murmured about not having anything in their house to eat, so they hang out at their friends' instead. She tells them, "I don't have that problem at my house; Daniel pipes in, "She's telling the truth; I love going to her house, her mom makes good food and make it look good, too!"
5. We are truly humbled to know we can be Together Forever and belong to the Lord's true church.


(Now, Charlie's thinking we should go for a whole month! Yikes!)

Day 31
Love and Marriage

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
Genesis 2:24 KJV

Is there a “leaving” issue you haven’t been brave enough to conquer yet? Confess it to your spouse today, and resolve to make it right. The oneness of your marriage is dependent upon it. Follow this with a commitment to your spouse and to God to make your marriage the top priority over every other human relationship.

What I Did:
I can honestly say that Charlie and I constantly refresh our togetherness by talking about how good we are for each other, and we are very grateful for that fact.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

MM: "They'd be BAGELS!"

Ok, I have this warning of Blogger's schedule outage at 4:ooPM PDT tomorrow, so I'm cramming in as much posts I can today that I don't want to forget!

IAN has been cracking us up with his jokes, I remember two, so here they are... (if you think it's funny, let me know, if not, oh well, he's 7!)

Ian was in our bedroom and we were telling him how much we love him when he wiggled out, but before he left, he took something, used it as a microphone and says,

"Once there was a skeleton made of bones, and he only ate bones... (the sheer randomness threw Charlie and I into fits of loud laughter). Then, he continued with, "he tried to eat chicken because it has bones, he ate beef because it has bones, but he couldn't drink water or milk because it just went through him. Why? Because he is a skeleton made of bones! And since he has no brain, he forgets that he is a skeleton made of bones!"

He woke up just a little bit ago asking to use the bathroom. Before he went back upstairs, he says, "Mommy, I have a short joke to tell you." I said, "ok".

Ian: "Why are seagulls not allowed to fly away to a bay?"

Me: "Why not?" (really puzzled)

Ian: "Mommy, if they fly to a bay, they won't be seagulls anymore, they'd be BAGELS! (Bay Gulls)"

Gotta love him! Where does he get this stuff? Hee, hee...

Rain, rain, don't go away...

Today, right after the kids took off, I blogged, commented on some then joined Charlie for some needed sleep (I didn't doze off until a few minutes before 6 a.m.). After making sure that my kids were awake, fed and ready to catch the bus, I started to question if I should stay up or go back to sleep. Sleep won...

When I woke up at almost noon, it was so dark that I thought I imagined the whole thing, but when I saw Charlie, it dawned on me that maybe, it's raining again outside. Just at that moment, an intense rumble hovered over the complex. I got up to verify that it is raining.

I was so glad the kids needed a ride home since it was Chess Club today, so they didn't get wet too much. Whew! For me, the first thing I did when I saw it was raining, was open up the drier window and let the cool air in. It was quite refreshing! But alas, it was gone in a few hours... In its wake, it left our clearing wet and refreshed. The air crisp and cool...

It was a good day; Ian and Jas got good behavior stamps, Lisa needed to be picked up from Choir again, and she didn't have much homework but type up some terminology for US History. Since we still do not have access to our TV until Thursday night, the quiet of the kids reading was almost heavenly. I love quiet days...


Day 30
Love Brings Unity

"And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be bone, as we are."
John 17:11 KJV

Isolate one area of division in your marriage, and look on today as a fresh opportunity to pray about it. Ask the Lord to reveal anything in your own heart that is threatening oneness with your spouse. Pray that He would do the same for them. And if appropriate, discuss this matter openly, seeking God for unity.

What I Did:
Of course, when you're a zombie like me, remembering that you have other parts of the house you need to clean sometimes, don't. Charlie told me on Day 3 that he wished I did more housework. I think it's because since Lisa's chores are the dishes and she doesn't do it well, we are conflicted on if I need to take over or not. So, lately, I've been impressing on Lisa that dishes come first as we need clean dishes and spoons to eat with and I've also been reteaching her how to rinse and stack if she does need to delay doing the dishes so that there are no "surprises" at the bottom of both of our sinks. We have discussed it and through prayers, I've decided that teaching Lisa to find other acceptable ways to do the dishes is the best compromise. They get done, she gets to keep her phone, and Charlie doesn't complain about the dishes...

Saying Goodbye...

Saying goodbye is never easy, but one way or another, we have to do it... Belief in God is what strengthens us, the knowledge that His eternal love and wisdom constantly bestowed upon us, are for our own happiness while exercising our free agency. Sometimes, he calls us when we have fully enjoyed this earth, sometimes He calls when our youthful bodies are at its peak, and sometimes, even Heaven needs a pure soul to refresh its walls...

Today, my family and I, along with the Eldredge and Reidhead families, say "goodbye and see you later" to baby Sage Lawrence Eldredge, my friend Crystal and Spencer's 5th child, and 8-month old baby boy. May his sweet soul be nourishing to all he meets "back home". She has released balloons in his honor at the cemetery. We've decided to do the same as she has asked...

In the same token, another friend revealed that she too, lost a young daughter, almost two, as a young mother. Today, we will also remember her...

Sometimes... Winter's long sleep encourages to forget...
How each season is beautiful, even with death...
We scream and beg for Spring to come; in reality, nothing brings us calm.

A tiny bud, a sign of life, but we forget each victory crowned with suffering and strife.
Time is both endless and limited; each choice molds.
Just like a new blossom, words and actions help life unfold.
Loving and to be loved is a divine gift, the only one never to be spent with thrift.
Little hands reach out to love; glimpses of heaven appear and come like a dove.
Little eyes close to eternal sleep, only God his soul can keep...

(My children; Jasmine, Ian and Lisa with the balloons)

(We released the balloons before they headed to the bus stop; the balloons, just like little children have a way of "staying put" before venturing out on their own, "slowly", "one at a time", but surely...)

Love until you forget how, but more so,
love because you can, now...

To Britta Hanson (pink and yellow), we say "see you someday"...

To Sage Eldredge (green, blue, orange) we say, "pave the way".

Both souls are precious in the sight of God; two chosen ones that made us better, just with their precious smiles and occasional nod.

I thank thee for freeing from earthly pain, choice souls Heavenly Father;
When thou deemest me ready, I will dwell with thee forever...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Quiet Day? Maybe Not...

Today was cereal again for breakfast as the kiddos didn't really want anything, but I was told that once they got to school (Ian and Jas), they ate breakfast again. So all was good. I can't believe it is Day 8; two more days... The only thing we had to pick up today were balloons for Sage and Britta tomorrow- to remember their brief time here on earth with two amazing families... The Eldredge and the Hanson.

Charlie and I slept in after Lisa left for school and not much after that, just more organizing and brief visit with my neighbor, Heather Wolfe. The kiddos came home wanting snack, so they had popcorn and some Otter pops to cool off. Then homework and playtime outside. I visited blogs and choked on some lovely comments (Thanks, Anne, Caitlyn and Rorie!) while also keeping up with the house. Charlie put away my dinnerware sets up in the pantry and I was able to put away my Gorham "Flowering Meadow" crystal goblets and flutes in a more secure box. Thank goodness for that!

We then picked up the mail and then Lisa at the highschool after their Pre-UIL competition. They were told they did pretty well, so we'll see on that. If they get a 1, they are again in the lead.

Charlie played with Jas and Ian and taught them how electricity works. He used the book, "Science Fun Station" and showed them how batteries work and how to even create a switch.

Watch the bulb...

Do you see it? It's lit!

Ok, here's one more fun thing they did.

They made a SWITCH using a clip and two bolts! Watch Ian...

How cool is that?! Thank you, Daddy!

Daddies are so much fun, don't you think? WE DO!

For dinner, we decided to use the spaghetti sauce for something else. I remembered that Annette also gave me some ribeye steaks during their recent "half-a-cow" purchase that they do every year, so I made those. Just a quick run on the grill on both sides, a little salt and pepper and that's it! Of course, around here, steak means, rice on the side, so... Here's our ribeye steak strips on rice with spaghetti sauce and peas! We had ruby red grapejuice to drink! YUM!

We hope you had a great dinner, too!


Day 29
Love's Motivation
"With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:"
Ephesians 6:7 KJV

Before you see your spouse again today, pray for them by name and for their needs. Whether it comes easy for you or not, say “I love you,” then express love to them in some tangible way. Go to God in prayer again, thanking Him for giving you the privilege of loving this one special person—unconditionally, the way He loves both of you.

What I Did:
I actually do this every night; I pray that he is safe and that those around him would be supportive and aware of his goodness so he can get over his shyness at work and be let to shine as he loves everything about commercial airplanes. I tell him that I love him several times a day and ask him for his opinion on most things as I value his wisdom. I am very grateful for my husband and Heavenly Father gets an earful of that statement a day also! :-)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Back to School, Back to Normal...

Today is Day 7 of our "Being Self-Reliant" family project. Yes, we lasted one whole week!!!

Not much happened today except that Spring Break is officially over! Today, since Charlie was off, he let me sleep in while he took the kids to school and then stocked up on some water. After about 8:45, he took off again for his doctor's appointment and dropped off some lunch money for the little ones' account at school. Don't I have a wonderful husband? YES, I DO!

Also, today, to distract me from my own aching back and grieving for Crystal's loss, Charlie agreed to have me browse the Housewares aisles in one of the nearby Goodwill Store. I didn't buy anything; as we are still on our family project of needs only... Was I sad, only a little because there wasn't much to salivate over.

Charlie and I shared some leftover lasagna then went back out to stock up on more water. Albertson's near us was selling 6-packs of Deja Blue bottled waters for 50 cents each! Since we stock up on water for Summer, this fell under the NEEDS category!

We also walked to the bus stop to meet Ian then turned around and picked up Jasmine from Choir practice. After Lisa got home, Ian and Jas were finishing up their homeworks and snacks.

Then we decided on an inexpensive dinner: Spaghetti with sausage, garlic bread and ice water. Remember, we are on "whatever's in the house" way of living, and since they are full on eating lettuce, peas and corn as veggies, then I didn't mind forgoing some tonight.

As before, I make our meager dinner interesting by setting a nice plate. I'm loving these striped dinnerware more and more, I already got my money's worth in so many different settings I tried with it.

Here's the spaghetti! This is Charlie's plate. I added the only Robin Egg's blue plate my MIL gave me to add height to the setting. He took this picture; he had the glass height changed so he can take this beautiful shot. Our dinner, $0, ice water, $0, knowing everyone loved it, PRICELESS...

Family Home Evening Activity: We played Jenga and learned about taking turns and patience.


Day 28
Love Others Like God Loves You

"Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."
1 John 3:16 KJV

Purpose to do what you can to meet the greatest need in your spouse's life right now.

What I Did:
Charlie has a very strenuous line of work and often comes home very exhausted. So, to recognize that, I offer massages and have been finding ways to cook the foods he loves.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Testimony of Jesus Christ

I found myself tagged by Jan of "The Crazy Lady on Road 80" to share my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love this picture of our Lord praying in the garden of Gethsemane; I can almost hear him praying for me and all of us...

I find myself wondering if there would be enough room on this blog to contain my love of our Lord. HE has been with me since I was a little child, abused and alone. HE helped me dream of better things and hope for things unseen. HE helped me develop my faith and keep it. HE has watched out for me and kept me from harm. HE has taught me the value of money and the perils of stealing.

When I was about 5 or 6 years old, I was really hungry and since my mom was asleep and there was no food in the house, I wanted to go downstairs and buy some food. From my mother's room, I can smell the lunch being sold and served by the people living below us as construction workers took their break from building this soon to be a 5-story clothing factory/residence. Out of the corner of my eye, I found near my mom, a 5-peso bill and I immediately picked it up. I looked at the calendar where the picture of Jesus Christ was on and I thought that it was His way of letting me get something to eat, but while I was trying to decide what candy I can also buy with my new found money, a clear voice told me, "Stealing is wrong. You are better than that." I wanted to use the money, I was hungry, but the voice wouldn't go away and when I looked up at the picture again, the Lord's face seemed sadder. I put the money back and took a nap myself. Though I was hungry, I felt good inside and the Lord's picture seemed happier and well pleased.

HE listened to me when I poured out my heart to our Heavenly Father and helped repair my first daughter's damaged heart before she was born. He has always known who I wanted to be and who I can become.

Heavenly Father has never ceased to watch out for me through His beloved son, Jesus Christ and finding His gospel, His true church was just another helping hand he has always extended to me. Our father knew of my love for all people, so he has helped me get over my own hermit like personality and learn to reach out.

The Lord's gospel continues to help be the best mother and wife I can be to my family. I am truly humbled that He has found me worthy enough to help, carry, teach and love throughout my whole life and even now... I am a child of God and I love my lord Jesus Christ, my dearest big brother...


Day 27
Love is Incredibly Powerful

"O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee."
Psalm 25:20 KJV

Think of one area where your spouse has told you you're expecting too much, and tell them you're sorry for being so hard on them about it.

What I Did:
Again, this is about me not being able to read my husband's quiet ways correctly. I apologized and promised to be more patient.

Life... What does it really mean?

I love having a blog and reading my friends' blogs because it helps me put my views into perspective. And through our written stories, we bond and we tackle the most daunting item on the list, we call it, simply, life...

Take me for example, my brief stint in Gilbert and Mesa, Arizona was wrought with misery. Not because it was a bad place where we were, but I found me miserable because as I've previously mentioned, I'm Asian and from a tropical island called the Philippines. I couldn't handle the heat, the dry and the dust. I remember feeling very claustrophobic in our very first apartment in Gilbert, it was dark, we were the bottom apartment and we faced a main road that blasted dust into our patio day in and day out. I went insane! We transferred to an upstairs one and I was happy for a while but our bottom neighbors couldn't handle the noise of small children and constantly told on us at the office and blew smoke upwards through our balconies! We were veritable prisoners!

Then of course, we transferred to the ASU Williams Gateway Housing and each morning was so quiet and deserted that I thought I would crawl out of my skin! I didn't want to be happy anymore... I just wanted to get out!

But life has a way of turning things around... I have met a handful of women that have truly left a lasting impression in my heart and each of them I still care for. The fact that we have found each other through our blogs, show me that we have yet to care for each other. Each one was an example of love, patience and motherhood to me that I can never learn on my own. (I hope they don't mind that I comment on their blog the moment they post, lol) We celebrate each other through different means and find ways to strenghten our bond despite the different directions our lives have lead us. Blogging, I think is purely inspired...

I love my children so much that I am a "Motherhood" student still hoping that someone would be smart enough to compile all successes and give it to me personally! But until then, I continue to be in awe of these few women that have shown me that home is where I make it to be. A handful of them is all that made me feel grateful I am a mother during stressful times, but it is enough.

Their triumphs, joy and pain, I feel... I want to run to them and rescue them from their hurt. And someday, somehow, I can do that for them, even just to say- "Thank you for teaching me to be a better mother."

Right now, we are all mourning with our dear friend, Crystal Eldredge and her husband Spencer , for losing their son, Sage, at 8 months old last Thursday. Each of us have known Crystal in our own special way and along with the entire Eldredge and Reidhead families, express our love and concern. She is one of those examples that shines without anyone's help. She is simply amazing in all that she does and still find time to compliment others. Some of us will come to her side, some will send their love and some, like me, will say goodbye to Sage the same way as Crystal on Wednesday, even though I am two states away. Life, no matter how you define it, is a gift to cherish and when given the chance to flourish, has a way of binding people; and children is the best glue there is...

Sage; meaning healing herb or wisdom

I can tell you that this precious little boy's name was also inspired; he certainly HEALED his parents of any void they were feeling in their lives and WISDOM to know the truthfulness of the gospel when he joined them, though briefly... That is how I feel about all of my children, and on Wednesday morning, they will join me in releasing colorful balloons in honor of

Sage Lawrence Eldredge

Thank you Heavenly Father for granting my desire to be a mother to prepare me to meet these ladies that will always be a part of me...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Day 5- Just Playing...

So it's Day 5 of our family project and we enjoyed more cereal and leftovers today. We didn't go anywhere so that means, no $$ was spent! Yes!

To pass the time, we did laundry and played- a lot! Barbie, Legos, Hot Wheels and of course, I blogged. I also made Charlie's favorite dinner, one of them, and his fave dessert.

I found these plates at a nearby Goodwill for 99 cents each. Since there are yellows and gold in the centerpiece, I used my golden yellow plates to bring the yellow everywhere. The lack of blue anywhere else made the dainty design of the plates stand out a little better.

We made Hawaiian Haystacks and it turned out so yummy! The tablesetting is my rendition of using and re-using what we have. So the mums were transferred from the green bowl to my vegetable pitcher that I rarely used. Since I won those cute chicks, I paired them up with my rooster, "Red" and he proudly completed the centerpiece vignette. He's such a handsome fella!

And here's a piece of the Butterscotch Banana Bread that Charlie didn't let cool down before he ate a big piece. It is good warm, that's for sure! See the cute chickie peeking up at me? I think he's trying to ask for a piece, too! Should I give him some?

I am glad that it's the Sabbath tomorrow; it's a bonus day as we don't do any sort of business on Sundays.

Friday Catch up Today

Yesterday was a little distracting for me; finding out that my friend Crystal is hurting made me weak and foggy all day. Crystal was one of my former Visiting Teachers and she was one of the "good" ones. She loved learning about me and my family while she also filled my home with the love she felt for her growing family. It was always a treat to see her and finding out she has a blog was an unbelievable luck on my part. I loved reading all of her posts and the fun and love she infuses in each. She loves to make things herself and is a great student of all things fun! I've only been in her home once in AZ in the campus housing we were at and just like me, she made it a home even though she knew it would be temporary. I just love that about her. I hope she knows that her examples are still with me today and I use her genuine love of her VT sisters in my own visits to the ladies I get to meet.

And since Friday is our "lax" day, we walked to different stores and just "looked" at the clearance items they have. It satisfied our (ok mine...) curiosity for things we are not buying. We did have to buy Ian some band-aids because of a blister from his flip-flops.

Lunch was again just leftovers, we washed some more clothes and went down to our church building and cleaned it as a family. Good thing it was Spring Break; it was left fairly clean so we managed to clean up all by ourselves.

Dinner was almost at 9pm since we still had to do a quick milk and eggs run. Hubby refilled the van with gas just before work and finished what we had to do.

I'll post on what we did today, a little later...

Day 25
Love Forgives

"To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;"
2 Corinthians 2:10 KJV

Whatever you haven’t forgiven in your mate, forgive it today. Let it go. Just as we ask Jesus to “forgive us our debts” each day, we must ask Him to help us “forgive our debtors” each day as well. Unforgiveness has been keeping you and your spouse in prison too long. Say from your heart, “I choose to forgive.”

What I Did:
Charlie normally is so quiet, I couldn't read him most times. And when I react, he doesn't understand why. So yesterday, I realized that I should just leave him alone after I try to get his attention three times.


Day 26

Love is Responsible
"Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things."
Romans 2:1 KJV

Take time to pray through your areas of wrongdoing. Ask for God’s forgiveness, then humble yourself enough to admit them to your spouse. Do it sincerely and truthfully. Ask your spouse for forgiveness as well. No matter how they respond, make sure you cover your responsibility in love. Even if they respond with criticism, accept it by receiving it as counsel.

What I Did:
I actually did this yesterday, but I'll do it again...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Please Pray for the Eldredge Family

Their youngest and oh so darling baby, Sage Eldredge, passed away at 8 months old yesterday; their hearts are broken from this incredible loss.

Heavenly Father needed this perfect soul for a mission only he can perform up in heaven but the pain of losing someone so young doesn't lessen its gravity. Please pray that they can remain strong and strengthen their faith in the wonderful plan of Salvation.

Here is the link so you can leave a comment of comfort. I urge that you be sensitive with your comments as their pain is real... Her mother posted for her. They can benefit from prayers of comfort and healing in their behalf...

Crystal and Spencer with Sage

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Featuring... Cece & Dexter!

So it's Day 3 of our Spring Break family project. So far, so good... We've been having fun using up lots of eggs and milk, but hopefully, we have enough.

Today, we woke up hungry for some muffins. In our pantry, we found this!
So we quickly preheated the oven to 350, made the batter then set the table while we waited. We also found some maple bacon in one of the crispers, so we made that and breakfast looked like...

This!!! Isn't it yummy enough to power up your day? It was to us and we got a lot done!

While we washed dishes, did a few loads of laundry, cleaned the living room and vacuumed the floor, we decided that Dexter, our very cute and tenacious cockatiel, should be free for today, so we let him out of his cage. After a few practice landings on each of our heads, he settled on top of his cage long enough for me to snap this great shot.

Then Cece, our diva of a cat, got some pampering from Lisa by being handfed her snack. She's a pickier eater than Jasmine! We have to buy her different brands almost regularly!

Ian and Jasmine took this cute shot while they are drawing different random things on paper since no one's out yet to play.

Just before lunch, I decided to get a headstart on dinner by using the crock pot my MIL gave me the last time they were over for Christmas in Mesa, AZ with us. "Look Mom, I'm using it for the 7th time now. Aren't you proud of me?" LOL

We decided to have fun at lunch and use our "ZooPals" look-alike plastic plates! I got the Pinky the Pig.
We passed the time with music, dancing, taking showers, more dishwashing and laundry. We also baked some cookies I call, "Chocolate Chocolate Chip". They are so chocolatey, you have to say it twice! ;-)

Then, I realized that I can do an Asian night with what's in the crockpot. So Lisa made rice and I made Oriental Nido Soup with eggs and lobster balls. We had bbq beef ribs, so tender, it became pulled beef ribs!
Doesn't everything look delicious and in the spirit of being frugal, I refreshed last Friday's bouquet by using one of the good agapanthus stems and simulated a Japanese way of floral arrangement called Ikebana.
Then, right after dinner, I remembered that I received my winnings from a fellow blogger and tablescaper, Robyn. So we opened it and look at this cute shade! I love it!

This beautiful "Ball" Jar lamp and "foil" chicks will be featured again in Jasmine's birthday dinner party soon! She loves them as much as I do! Thank you, Robyn!


Day 24
Love vs. Lust
"And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."

1 John 2:17 KJV

End it now. Identify every object of lust in your life and remove it. Single out every lie you’ve swallowed in pursuing forbidden pleasure and reject it. Lust cannot be allowed to live in a back bedroom. It must be killed and destroyed—today—and replaced with the sure promises of God and a heart filled with His perfect love.

What I Did:
Since I love tablescaping, I've really been salivating over different plates, but since we started this 10-day "Self-Reliance" project, the desire is not as strong to spend time looking at different dishes. A definite blessing; I find more time for my family!

Thanks for joining us on our adventure today!