Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rain, rain, go away...

Well it rained for most of the day today and yesterday. Today was quite humid as well... After two 10 hour days of leaving the house late, I can honestly say I was suffering a bit of cabin fever because I had this cockamamie idea to organize my dinnerware and dining area while my children have testing and this swine flu is wreaking havoc on the schools!

I was productive today though... I did laundry, washed some dishes, finalized some tablesettings, finalized menus and decided that I can do four tablescapes in 5 days! (I think I can, I think I can...)

To my defense, here's what's lined up!
1) May 2- My late dad's birthday that I cook for every year. Instead of remembering his death (on my bday), I celebrate his life.

2) May 4- Attempt to clean our patio and create an outdoor tablescape before the next rainstorm hits!

3) May 5- I'm hosting a Mother' s Day Brunch for 5 women in the morning and at night, we dine for Cinco de Mayo! I need some swirly straws!

With this swine flu going on, I need to make sure that I can stay sane while my family naturally will drive me nuts, so... if our school closes down, I will employ them to help me finalize the dining area organization and clean further the kitchen and bedrooms as well as our patio!

How are you dealing with the swine flu scare?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Got Tagged For Some Eights!

I Was Tagged By:
Debbie @ Jadehollow
8 is Enough

Here are the rules--
Mention the person that tagged you.
Complete the lists of 8's.
Tag 8 of your wonderful blogger friends.
Go tell them you tagged them!

8 Things I Am Looking Forward To:

1. Graduating

2. J-Pony's 10th birthday

3. Calling my mom everyday (I forget sometimes)

4. Summer Vacation

5. Reorganizing my dinnerware collection

6. L-Infinity's Top 10 College List

7. A new herb garden

8. Going to all the places I listed for summer fun

8 Things I Did Yesterday:

1. Blogged

2. Visited blogs (LOL)

3. Grocery and produce shopping

4. Mini-date with Mr. Man (Smallville)

5. Did some laundry

6. Made tons of healthy yummy food

7. Go to L-Infinity's NHS Induction ceremony

8. Posted for today's TOMT post at my tablescaping blog

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:

1. Have more money to stretch

2. Find the Nikko white dinnerware that keeps getting away from me. (see #1)

3. Go and see my mom as much as I want or move her where I am

4. Move to a house so I can have a bigger kitchen (again #1)

5. Put windows in my tiny two bathrooms

6. Have some benches right outside to extend our patio space (#1 again)

7. Serve others more

8. Jet set to all beaches that allow crabbing, fishing, and clam digging!

8 Shows I Watch:

1. CSIs - all three

2. Disney

3. How It's Made

4. Numb3rs

5. Bones

6. House

7. Food Network


Now it's your turn!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I Never Forget a Kind Face...

First of all, I want to say that I am so bummed out that we forgot the camera in the van! (rant, rant, rant...)

Ok, now that I've blown off some steam... (lol)

I wanted to share with you a story about a couple who back in early 90s, helped me feel valued and I never, ever forgot them. We lost contact for a while, but I never forgot them.

I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a single mother to a then barely a toddler L-Infinity. Part of the "new member" welcome package was a pair of Visiting Teachers to check on me, at least, monthly and a pair of home teachers, also signed up as my monthly mentors. Well, instead of two partnerships to keep my faith going, I was given a single pair- a husband and wife; Brother and Sister Dansie. Why? Because they were the perfect pair I needed.

Sis. Dansie has a smile and a laugh that can disarm a whole military base. She can talk to you and you know she was listening. I remember first meeting with her at Mr. Man's parent's home and the whole room felt wonderful. We talked and we listened. We laughed and we cried a little (I was scared and excited at the same time being a new member of such an established denomination where everyone seemed interested in how this single mother would fare in her budding faith now with a solid compass.)

A few weeks later, her husband was assigned to be my first home teacher. Brother Dansie, in his low voice and kind attitude, came a powerful gesture of friendship and welcome. With the two of them proverbially holding me up to gain footing on this journey of undeniable truth I was in, I slowly but surely knew that my destiny lies with learning more, serving more, and loving more. Their genuine interest in my well being didn't stop with the formal release of their responsibility of me, not even their retirement induced move kept us apart. Sis. Dansie sent me birthday cards every year. The last few went missing and is mostly like sitting in the "forgotten" mail slot in some post office between us, but I've always felt their love for me.

When I married Mr. Man, it was like having two sets of in-laws. Mr. Man adored Brother Dansie and his career in Aviation Mechanics for United Airlines. Mr. Man always anchored his love of airplanes on the adventures that Bro. Dansie had and would regale me with how much he would love to do the same things, in his efforts to convince me to love it, too.

Fast forward to the last two-three years. We had to make a big decision of going back to school after Mr. Man's layoff and becoming a family of five. Even though I didn't want to marry a pilot, I knew that I had to let my dh pursue something he loved since he was faithful in pursuing everything else to put food on the table. I sat him down and said that if he was serious about going to school, I want him to go for what he loves because I want him to have a career, not a job. It turned out that he loved fiddling with the planes more than flying them! Whew! (Yes, my husband can fly planes, not any commercial jetliners, but two seaters and very small passenger planes, you bet) As if by fate, we found ourselves living in the area that when we first saw it, didn't think much of it and secretly hoped we would never need to be in. (How many times have I said that Heavenly Father has a sense of humor?)

Next thing we know Mr. Man now knows Aviation Mechanics, has a license and a certificate and is waiting to be called by US Airlines. We waited a year, but nothing. Then the same instructor who believed in him told him to apply at Southwest Airlines. (Here's the divine sense of humor kicking in) After Mr. Man got the interview call (he only waited a week), and the second interview call, and after he was offered the job as a part of the cleaning crew, US Airlines calls and offers him a job! We prayed for clarity but we knew that US Airlines messed up and that Southwest Airlines is a more viable option for us. Then we had to move again- to Texas!

Fast forward to last week, I hear the phone ring and the ID said, "M Dansie". I had to reread it three or four times before I answered the call. When she first said "hello, is this...?" I said, "yes it is and I'm grinning ear to ear because it's you Sis. Dansie..." I was literally shaking with glee and was beyond shock when she said that she was here visiting her son and his family (Chris and Lisa) for a few weeks and if we can find time to see each other. I kid you not, I almost dropped the phone! I wanted to see her that day, but with a household of eggheads, the calendar's always full. And so we found time to meet at her son's and tonight, yes, tonight, we had the long overdue visit. Just like a little kid, I made sure to be the first one to get out of the van! I even showed her my blogs! Yes, ladies, I did and she loved them! She loved the tables that I did, and as always, she was genuinely interested in me and how I've turned out. I just love her!

Brother Dansie was happy to be talking to Mr. Man about his past career and L-Infinity had a great time talking to Lisa who is probably one of the nicest ladies I've ever met! Chris and Mr. Man grew up together and as good friends. The Dansies and Mr. Man's parents are great friends.

Chris and Lisa were such gracious hosts. I wish we lived closer to them. And to think that they have been here in Texas for 10 years!

Hugging my first ever visiting and home teachers goodbye was so bittersweet... But it's like being away from your parents, it is enough that you know they love you... I wish soon will come sooner...

Monday, April 27, 2009

FHE: NHS Induction Night & TAKS

Tonight, we celebrated for two main reasons: L-Infinity's NHS Induction Night and J-Pony's TAKS testing.

When our children have something to celebrate or testing the next day, the Filipino in me comes out full force and the table ends up groaning from all the food requests and menu tweaking! I take dinner requests and find food items to surprise them with to make dinner more fun! It's my way of making sure they get the proper nutrition and be full enough to get a good night's rest! No sodas or junk food on testing times! ;-)

So here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure!

First, we dined on Shrimp with Snowpeas in White Sauce over Rice (homemade or bought?)

Then, they enjoyed a melon salad mix and this Steamed Cheese Cake Bars with diced strawberries. These yummy pastries is one of the desserts at Ono's Hawaiian BBQ in Gilbert, AZ, made in Japan.

These were made in and imported from Tokyo, Japan distributed via California!
These strawberries were freshly put out on display when we got to our fave Asian market. The containers were still cold! We grabbed two and washed them well before enjoying them with this delectable treat. It's soft and sticky but oh so yummy!

We also dined on Filipino Tocino (sweet cured meat) and oranges, bananas, apples and refreshing ice water!

Here's the podium dressed for the NHS ceremony in the auditorium. Each candle represents the attributes that NHS stands for- Scholarship, Leadership, Service and Character.

Here's the principal, Mr. Jones. Apparently, he ends up winging his speeches every year because the prior speeches by the officers end up covering what he wants to say! ;-)

My favorite part of the ceremony was when the Principal reversed the standards of NHS: Scholarship, Leadership, Service & Character to Character first because if you have character you will have the tendency to do right by people thru Service. When you serve others, Leadership follows. And when Leadership becomes part of your character thru service, Scholarship is the resulting factor since Leadership begets experience and skills leading to knowledge and intelligence. Pretty good summation of what I've always tried to instill in my children. I'm glad we went!

There's L-Infinity walking with the other inductees! The officers noted how quickly everyone got up and took their certificate. LOL. I was wondering why L was almost down the steps on the other end by the time they called her name!

Here's L-Infinity with her NHS certificate! Yay, L!!! Congratulations!

And here she is with her two church ward and school friends who were inducted last year.
Each year, to support the inductees, the members are asked to attend. What a great way to support friends!

Here she is with her guy, Daniel. I can't believe it's been three months!

And the kiddos with Mr. Man after eating slices of NHS cake and punch! I'm surprised they weren't that wired by the time we got home! Two desserts in one night! YIKES!

So goes another busy Monday and improvised FHE, but at least we had one! It was about celebrating each other's acccomplishments!


Sometimes, you just need to let it out...


by Savage Garden

Maybe it's intuition

But some things you just don't question

Like in your eyes

I see my future in an instant

And there it goes

I think I've found my best friend

I know that it might sound more than a little crazy

But I believe

I knew I loved you before I met you

I think I dreamed you into life

I knew I loved you before I met you

I have been waiting all my life

There's just no rhyme or reason

Only this sense of completion

And in your eyes

I see the missing pieces I'm searching for

I think I've found my way home

I know that it might sound more than a little crazy

But I believe

I knew I loved you before I met you

I think I dreamed you into life

I knew I loved you before I met you

I have been waiting all my life


A thousand angels dance around you


I am complete now that I've found you


I knew I loved you before I met you

I think I dreamed you into life

I knew I loved you before I met you

I have been waiting all my life


Repeat chorus 3x with chorus

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Cutie Crew Tours Dallas!

... with the help of the Lap Bus!

We only had four children today in Nursery but boy, were they awake! They were ready for anything and welcomed the two great ladies who helped me, Shari and Anna! (You both rock!)

They ate all the snacks, lesson, songs and games we did, but it wasn't enough. They even chased each other and screamed with delight on practically everything! You know that young children love to be entertained so I made up the Lap Bus!

Using my lap as the bus, and with some key rattle, we went to the Dallas Aquarium, Zoo, Arboretum, and even McDonald's for lunch! Anna even gave them a tour on her Lap Jeep to other various places including the library where they got books on helping to clean up the toys!

It was so much fun! I so love being in the Nursery; seeing the littlest ones learn and enjoy themselves is its own reward. Any Nursery leader can see that. I'm just grateful that I do, too!

We started the lesson with Shari reading from the scriptures after our own Cutie Crew member, Madeline said the prayer, I gave the lesson and we ended the class with Red Light/Green Light with Anna. You gotta love Nursery! The kids are just our source of energy! Yeah!

At home, we had the funnest lunch as our own Mr. Man got us laughing over how to teach our children to help me distract other shoppers to secure the great deals. His best one for 90% off deals was to have our children go up to the other women and ask, "Are you my mommy?" LOL
L-Infinity said, "I would so do that!" while laughing her head off and J-Pony said, "If she does it, I'll do it, too so mommy can get her great deals!" I-Dude said, "Me, too. No, I won't..."

There's only one other thing I'm waiting for to go down at least 60% off. I'll tell you when I get it, IF I get it. It hasn't broken over 55% off yet since I saw it after Christmas, so I'm trying to be really patient! ;-)

How was your Sunday?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Mother's Day Giveaway!

Come check it out! It's a great big giveaway!
I'd love to win any of the prizes!
It's by 5 Minutes for Mom!

Some Re-arrangement

From One Bean dot comToday was quite a day! We woke up with an agenda: to re-arrange my dining room and create more "hiding space" for my (ahem!) few (maybe more) (ahem!) dinnerware collection.

Then, we went to Tuesday Morning today for their B1Clearance, get 2nd Clearance 50% off trying to see if I can find something for the upcoming Mother's Day Potluck Brunch I'm hosting for the moms I know around our building. And would you believe it? I didn't find anything! Nothing! I am shocked myself! Wow! Nothing!

After, we went to Kohl's and what happened there? All of the pieces that I've been watching out for (that turned out perfect for my brunch) were on clearance for either 80% or 90% OFF!!! Hooray!!!

While we were at the end of our shopping trip, I noticed this other clearance shelf had some new items on it. I quickly went over there but not looking like I was going to pick up anything until I saw that it was the same items I've been watching for over 6 months now! Anyway, on approach to mentioned shelf, another lady buzzed around three times and didn't pick up anything. Well, after I got over my shock of seeing these items (after 6 full months of waiting) for 80% off, I quickly grabbed the ones I wanted. Well... when I started doing that, the lady quickly came back and started grabbing some of them! My ammo, I had four children with me so I was grabbing them quicker than she is since I had four hands taking away my picks and stashing them into the cart! I think the lady felt bummed out, but she waited too long. They were to be mine, today, after 6 long months of salivating, hoping, saving, hoping, salivating... oh, you get it. Sorry.

How was your Saturday?

I had L-Infinity's boyfriend, Daniel to also help us out but it turned out that I could have done it all myself. I love how it's looking but it's not done yet so I'll do a show and tell later one. Oh well... Anyway, post again tomorrow. I'm sleepy now...

Friday, April 24, 2009

I Love Postcards!

This is my first weekly meme here on our family blog, but since I love postcards and I tend to send them to family members, I thought it more fitting here!
I don't have anything vintage, but I do love scoping out interesting and one of a kind type of postcards.

Like this one of a

We recently enjoyed going to the Dallas World Aquarium and while we had to remind our children that they can only get T-shirts for a souvenir, I spotted this one at the entrance for only 50 cents !

This one is called the Leafy Seadragon or Phycodurus Eques

They are closely related to seahorses and pipefishes and live mainly in Southern Australian waters. On the tank they were in, the description stated that the mythical Chinese dragon features were gleaned from these species.

Isn't it unbelievable?

From afar, the tank looked like its full of floating seaweed leaves!

I like this meme, I hope to remember to keep joining in! I just sent off the other one of a great field of bluebonnets I found in a quaint hospital pharmacy to our niece in Utah. This one will go to my niece and nephew in California. I know they'll love it!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Perspective on Motherhood

It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding. ~Erma Bombeck

Tonight, I attended a great friend's baby shower. It is her first child and the host is also pregnant but though they have the same "width", the host is due July while my friend is due late May.

We played two games: "Guess what's in the bag" and "Baby Animal Names". I smoked everyone on the second game with 12/15 right but with the first game, I only got 6/10. Given my three children are ages, 16, 9 and 7, but something about not getting all of them right bothered me. Almost laughable really cause I've been to two other showers where I also stunk in the same game. If anything, that should be the end of that, right? NO.

Each woman that chooses to be a mother doesn't necessarily become entitled to that lot. Many choose to still act single while they have a starving, bawling child. Some chokes their children with so much affection, the poor kid can't talk straight until they start pre-school! Some think that other people are better at "mothering" they feel that they owe it to their children to pass them on. Some hide the pain of losing a child to adoption while others couldn't wait to dump their child or children to the state so they can enjoy life again. Others, are true mothers. Those that love, teach, suffer, cry, obsess and pray for and with their children. I want to be that kind of mother.

Being around young mothers who truly exude love and excitement over their children throw me back to when my own three were babies themselves and I practically did not allow anyone to touch them. I cried every time I had to go to work when L-Infinity was born but it also drove me to be better enough that my talents were noticed and people were willing to teach me the tricks of the trade. At one time, I am my own technician, lead, supervisor, inspector, gopher and Engineer's Assistant. It didn't matter the task, I wanted to do it all so that at the end of the day, I have great stories to tell my oldest daughter, my first gem...

When J-Pony was born, I felt like I couldn't do anything right. I fumbled with her baby gadgets, I dropped her twice (minor) but I felt so horrible that I'd call my MIL crying as if something truly horrible happened. I was ready to fight anyone that got near her after an 18-hour Christmas Day ordeal at a hospital when she accidentally swallowed a penny that got lodged horizontally. I became more determined to stay at home and be with my two baby girls. I walked L to school, I picked her up, library trips, reading time, nightly rites and all that bonding jazz that you hear about and I taught them, I mean taught them everything I knew to gauge how well they are doing. And I loved every minute of it!

But by the time I was pregnant with I-Dude, I was utterly exhausted but I knew another was supposed to join our family. I was excited to tell Mr. Man that we should have another baby and try for a boy. Moving to Arizona was so hard on my system that I was sick for months! It wasn't an easy pregnancy as my back was always hurting, my mind was on missing my mom in California and caring for a 2 1/2- year old girl who can tell you what's on her mind anytime of the day. I didn't dare try to potty train her at that age! I simply didn't have the energy. After I-Dude was born, we quickly found that he would be our most challenging child. He was badly jaundiced when it was time to bring him home. We had to re-arrange some of the furniture to place him at the most sunny spot so that he can stop looking yellowish though I really couldn't tell since he had the most beautiful olive skin tone. He got sick a few months later- back to back pneumonia then as if we are being teased after he turned one, he started losing weight then stopped growing! He stayed at 5th percentile for height for two years! Then of course there's the food allergies that now evolved to all nuts. But he is a gorgeous little boy. My baby boy...

Back to motherhood... I know of my own journey and have vaguely seen or heard barely enough of others'. But it was enough for me to accept that what may seem enough to some mothers is just a start for me. I love teaching my children everything and anything while also allowing them to learn on their own. It's not a perfect system as I am not perfect or the fact that life has a way of testing out my structure. L-Infinity now has too many things going on that patience is not her best virtue when it comes to asking for help while J-Pony still gets in trouble for saying what's on her mind. She definitely has spunk that one! I-Dude is becoming more aware of all of his differences with his classmates but still gets lost in the fun of the game that stopping almost brings him to tears. It is hard most on me when life takes me away from reading with them or my distracted self gets them in trouble because they chose to exercise their "free agency" on the cat or their bedroom (clean clothes as rugs for example). I know I can't be there all of the time, but I often ask myself if what I'm doing for and giving to them are enough to help them reach their divine potential. I'm not worried about their earthly potentials, as they need to stretch themselves to reach those along with my teachings.

My nightly prayers are for their safety, health and friendships. I thank Heavenly Father for my children's great ability to find friends and have the same friends like them enough to "hang out" near our home so I can help watch them without being a "mom" by being outside looking for them and dampening their fun. My mind then wanders to other moms and how they justify the ways they are raising their children. I am a people observer, and when I like something, I use it in my own family and get their response to see if it works better or worst. I watch mothers' interaction with their children. There are some characters out there thinking that toughening up their children mean a daily dose of cussing and name calling. Or hours of non-supervision to help them mature up in no time. Of those that are really good, you see that their children come to them and no matter how young, "speak" highly of them through physical exchanges of verbal and non-verbal cues. I smile at those people...

Often, when my daughters were asked who their hero is, I find myself hearing or reading that it's me that they look up to. It is mostly because I cook good enough food and can help them locate socks, but if you ask them, they will say, it's because, "when I come home after school, my mom will be there". Their friends ask them why we have so many time restrictions which gives birth to questions of "why can't we be..." or "if I do this, can I". I'm not heartless, I'm structured, so when they complain, I explain and re-explain. But other children not of our faith, not of our structure often reveal to my children, you have the coolest mom. Why? Because I stay home, not that I do not approve of working moms, I used to be one, but what other children see are the structured nights of togetherness and excitement of being together that we display and live.

We eat together, we play together, Mondays are FHE and Fridays are Movie and Soda night. Sunday is church time and no TV until 6PM. Desserts are a treat and reading is a must. Homeworks come first but is open for negotiation for moral lessons in responsibility. But still, I feel I am not doing enough. Why because those are temporal things. I can do more divine teaching moments with my children. We can read more scriptures and discuss parables. I can do more to help them be spiritually strong. I can do more...

So tonight, when I went to my friend's first ever baby shower, I wonder what "more" things she will do for her child. What divine truths will she introduce her to. What temporal things will she focus on as her child starts to ask about the world? We were asked to leave a poem or advice using the letters of her child's potential name. I used one word for each letter but what quickly came to me are the same things I've been trying to do for my own children- love them more as my Heavenly Father loves me... Because they are worth more than what I give them now and it is my duty to do more...

I also want to be like Erma Bombeck when she said:

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me".

Room by Room: Freshen Up!

I know this is late, but a promise is a promise!

Now that it's Spring time again, that means Spring Cleaning!

BIG Disclaimer: I DON'T DO SPRING CLEANING because my kids' schedule are chock full at this time and lately Spring meant finals for me, so there... Instead I do SUMMER CLEANING the first week of summer vacation.

7 Tips to Freshen Up Your Home

1. Open up your all your windows before you dust. Let the fresh air in for about an hour. If you have ceiling fans, turn it on for 20 minutes. This brings in enough oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange that it actually freshens up your lungs and energize!

2. Now sit in the main living area where your biggest couch is. If you can't feel the life-giving exchange of breezes, that space is stagnant. Find a configuration where one has a window facing it or the air reaches the couch. It's a simple concept, you have a sofa for a reason, it holds more people and it's subject to immediate stagnation of air. After you close all the windows, then dust and vacuum to "seal in" the freshness for a little while to help you relax and enjoy the cleaner atmosphere.

3. If your main living and sleeping areas are dark (my MB is fairly dark) because of its normal orientation, then place more light in them. That's it! Nothing induces more happiness than a bright (moderately so) area. You wouldn't sleep in a brightly lit room, right? Why would you read in a dark room? Capish?

4. Dust your corners and bring life to them with either a plant or an inanimate object with movement or a light. Corners tend to be forgotten and so are numerous issues in your life that have been piling up.

Example: in my home, my corners are given a purpose: a cat tree, a shoe cubby, utility shelves, important posters, extra shelves. Corners are useful; do not forget them. It's like using up one part of your brain with important items that can exercise it enough to add to your betterment.

5. Kitchens need pruning too! This is my latest project as I am a self-proclaimed "Stock-Up" Queen. If you don't need it, give it away! I just recently did this by giving away some of my unused and rarely bakeware, doubled up kitchen stuff and using up good pantry items. Remember, kitchens are the best indicators of what you value. And to be honest, mine right now says, "busy woman". But I have a plan and slowly being executed! So pictures soon?

6. Just the mere act of clearing the couch (no, not by tossing things off!) can do a lot of wonders. Perform the 5-minute test: sit for 5 minutes on the cleared couch. If you can't smell the fresher air (not the Febreze only) or be able to have a wider view of your home, you are stagnant!

7. Look at your colors. See if you can freshen it up a bit. Even if you're a fall gal like me, just adding a neutral light or complementary seasonal color combos can bring great change in mood and energy. Try these:

Rust (Browns) and Red- add in muted turquoise or dusty blue. (Spring & Summer)

Browns and Rusty Red- add in taupe to tone down the heaviness.

The above is regular daylight, the two tone pillow broke up the heavy colors of rust red and brown.The photo below is with flash simulating night time and yet the lighter and smaller pillow still served to lighten up the look.

Burgundy and Black- add in minty sage or pale rust to lighten up the mood

Blue and White- infuse in some reds or yellow to transform the feel

Pink and Black- infuse in some pale sages to bring in a complete look and bring in another level of energy

Sage and Red- add in some taupes to complete the sophistication.

Enjoy your Spring Cleaning!

Spring Time Feng Shui!

Alright, here's another set of rooms to give attention to now that Spring is here. A little touch of Feng Shui never hurt!



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Tita!

(Compliments of Silver Tulip Florist dot com)


Today is my baby sister's big day!

We love you!
Do you like your cake?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

PTA, Choir Concert & Metallophone

Tonight was what you would call, "a full house". You know the kind I'm talking about. The one where the moment you wake up, you're busy! Yeah, one of those days...

Ok, let's see, we...

~ Had to pick up a "Wedding for Dummies" book from a Freecycler. It's for reference for my two girls in the future. They want me to "cater" their weddings. So just in case they still want to, I'll have this book.

~ Had to go all the way to South Dallas to pick up my new dinnerware for my collection that I won from Ebay. It's my family's Mother's Day present for me. Yay!

(Seller's Ebay photo)

~ Had to deliver a Math homework packet to L-Infinity's highschool since she was still feeling sick today, along with J-Pony and I-Dude.

~ Had a hard conversation with a great SIL.

~ Made two dishes out of Pillsbury Grands: one lunch, one dessert. Both were delish!

(top) sausage and cheese biscuit cups

(below) sweetly kissed biscuits

(cinnamon & honey cream cheese)

~ Nursed all three kiddos because I-Dude and J-Pony had a Choir concert following an important PTA nomination meeting.

~ Had to rescue J-Pony from unnecessary meltdown to locate her choir shirt (mandatory) that she couldn't find though it was right inside the door on a pile of newly washed clothes. (Ooopps!)

~ Got to see what Orff instruments look like and I & J did well on them. The highlight was hearing their names mentioned up on the stage with the instrument they'd be playing on. Both used a metallophone.

~ Had to detour to Wendy's for an 8pm dinner. Concert was at 7 and Mr. Man had to take a long nap cause he's working tonight.

~ Had to make sure all got ready for bed and prayed just in time so they wouldn't be moaning monsters in the morning.

~ Had to answer some important emails and catch up on blog visitors.

~ Had to do three posts as I am co-hosting for a meme for Thursday but have no time tomorrow!

How was your Tuesday?

Monday, April 20, 2009

FHE: King of Charades!

Another Monday, another Family Home Evening! Yay!!!

Tonight, we did Charades! Why? Because the kiddos were all sick with one thing or another: tummy bugs, colds, sore throat, and mild fever.

So all of us used I-Dude's Charades kit where the topics are pretty basic.

Well of course all four of us took the simple way for the kids to guess quickly, but not Mr. Man, he had to be the funny and creative participant!

It was his turn and got an "Object" card. It was a pencil. A pencil.

Mr. Man pauses for a little bit then proceeds to grab our cat's bed basket that has an opening that looks like the picture below, puts the opening over his head, turns it three times, then proceeds to go to our big calendar on the wall and "writes" with his head!

Do you get it? He's a pencil! But it was dull, so he "sharpened" it first! The kids and I were bustin' up laughing when he started "writing" on the calendar. LOL

How about this one?

Can you guess what the "Action" is?

See I-Dude? He looks "folded" ...

Now he looks "opened"...

Notice Mr. Man's finger, it's "traveling left to right."

Did you guess it yet?

He was "reading"!

J-Pony says, "Goodbye, everybody!"

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mr. Man and Me

The Husband Meme

Leigh of Tales of Bloggeritaville, a fun, fun blogger I met through my tablescaping blog invited her friends to do this on their blogs.

She even gave it a cute twist... She answered the questions first then asked her hubby so I will do the same! You know just like in the gameshow "Newlywed Game".

After I answered each question, I asked Mr. Man the question. This should be a piece of cake right, we've had 12 married years and 3 dating years behind us.... My twist is that he got to see my answers then he answered the questions.

1. What is something your husband always says to you?

Love you, too!

Mr. Man's answer- "We'll see." (Ok, how could I have forgotten that? That is true!)

2. What makes your husband happy?

His "cheezburger" and tools. We call his IPod Touch "cheezburger" since he is easily entertained by the "I Can Has Cheezburger" program (LOL Cats).

Mr. Man's answer- "A good back rub" and my "cheezburger." (the man does love his massages)

3. What makes your husband sad?

Not having enough time to spend with us. He works graveyard and his schedule changes every 6 weeks.

Mr. Man's answer- "when my kiddos are sick." (Am I having an off day? He does get sad when the kids are sick)

4. What was your husband like as a teen?

His pictures looked great but he was shy though he was liked by one of the popular girls in his
highschool and she became his girlfriend for over a year.

Mr. Man's answer- "shy." (Ok, I feel better now that I got one right!)

5. How old is your husband ?

He is 38. We are 11 months apart so I should know this one.

Mr. Man's answer-"38" (I'm on a roll! Yeah! That would have been embarrassing if I missed this question, huh?)

6. What is his favorite thing to do?

Look up tools in the computer or refresh his music in his "cheezburger".

Mr. Man's answer- "Those are not my favorites. It might surprise you, but I really like to going to the movies with just you and I." (Gotta love a man who can pull that out of his hat, huh?) LOL

7. What does your hubby do when you're not around?

Catches up on sleep and waits for me to come back and wake him up. ;-) He works graveyard so my awake time is his sleep time.

Mr. Man's answer- "I rock out to my Eurodance music." (Whoa, how can I forget about that? "Brain", are you up there?)

8. If your husband becomes famous, what will it be for?

He will be known for his quiet generosity. Mr. Man doesn't like the pomp and circumstance of recognition for his kind deeds. I love that about him...

Mr. Man's answer- "Being friendly." (True that!)

9. What is your husband really good at?

Fixing things around the house. He has several and specialized tool bags to prove it! He even got me to buy into a rolling toolbox to house all of my scrapbooking doodads!

Mr. Man's answer- "Yeah, fixing things and figuring things out." (Sorry Leigh, he is great with a hammer. Now if I can only convince him to take his shirt off when he's fixing things...) ;-)

10. What is your husband not very good at?

Planning anything romantic. I don't mean he doesn't have any romantic bones in his body, he just doesn't like planning in advance for some quality cuddles. But ask him about hotels and restaurants and you've got his attention. How do you think I was able to hold on to him all this time?

Mr. Man's answer-"I'd have to agree with the romantic planning one and speaking in large groups of people." (Told ya! And who doesn't get scared speaking in public?)

11. What does your husband do for a job?

He fixes sick airplanes...

Mr. Man's answer- "I take things apart and put them back together everyday." (he loves planes so yes he enjoys his work. Like Leigh, I advised him to go for what he loves so he can find joy in it and not just endure it to pay the bills. He's done that too many times.)

12. What is your husbands favorite food?

Wow, I could honestly say I have no idea! He loves my cooking and never really complains, but if I have to choose, I'll have to go with creamed peas and potatoes and banana bread.

Mr. Man's answer- "Banana bread and mac-n-cheese. They can be in the same meal." (Is he hinting on something here, I just can't put my finger on it...) ;-)

13. What makes you proud of your husband?

That he is an incredibly patient, understanding and kind man. He may be shy but he can hold his head up high because of his great heart.

Mr. Man's answer- "I have a hard time holding a grudge." (True that, too!)

14. If your husband were a cartoon character, who would he be?

He's been called "Charlie Brown" because of his baby bald head when he was a baby, but I still see that in him. ;-)

Mr. Man's answer- "Homer Simpson; he may be incompetent but he keeps trying and likes to have fun." (I think Mr. Man is kidding... He better be! Not a fan of Homer one bit! But I guess I see that logic. LOL)

What do you think? Do you see the resemblance?

This character or this character?

This is a fun meme, thanks Leigh! If you join in make sure to let me know so I can come and see what your hubby is like. Of course, we can only perform such memes because our hubs are the greatest few in the world, right? Right!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday Social

Today was spent gardening, essay writing, attending birthday parties, essay writing, eating, essay writing, showers, essay writing, seeing Monsters vs. Aliens (LOVED IT! YOU NEED TO SEE IT!), going to Jo-Ann's for some Easter clearance hunting (found a great egg dish- 70% off; yes I only grabbed one item, I've got a "wish list" of dinnerware I'm saving up for), quick soup sipping, essay writing, bedtime praying, hugging, kissing, essay writing, essay writing, essay writing, essay writing... (can you guess who did what? LOL)

So tired...

How did you spend your Saturday?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Brain Booster: Lowe's?

Well, I finished my second essay! Yay me! I need to finish the third one by at least 2 AM tomorrow so I can turn it in, get some sleep then work on the last one all day tomorrow!

We had some thunderous rainstorm today for several hours. It even knocked out the power (of course while I was typing meaning nothing saved yet) for 3 whole seconds!

I felt restless by the afternoon and decided that maybe some gardening will do! Well, the vision bubble was quickly burst when there are no rectangular terra cotta clay planters in either Lowe's or Walmart for my window sill! But... I did find these!

Some deep purple petunias, more potting soil ($2 less than the tag) and an awesome but dying deep pink Asiatic Lily plant! The sweet part is that the plant is very healthy, just had too many dead leaves and blossoms so Lowe's cut the price in half! I don't mind that one bit... We got back pretty late, but since the storm has passed, another beautiful day will be upon us tomorrow and I get to garden with my children and have a new plant to experiment with! I can't wait!

Oh yeah, I also found a couple of Easter goodies at Walmart I've been watching since mid February for 75% off! YES! I can't wait for next Easter!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easy Essays?

It would seem that when you focus on something, that's when LIFE says, "Yeah, right!"

Wednesday night, I got started with my first final essay out of the 4 mini ones I had to do for my last two Public Admin classes. I actually finished one, but getting started on the others seem to be more complicated. I got maybe halfway with the second one... Did I mention I needed to do 4? By Saturday night? For points of 25, 25, 50 and 100? Yeah, I can feel my boots sh- shake a b-b-bit, j-just a bit... ;-)

In the morning, my brain stopped and asked for chocolate, lots of it! But then, my brain decided to take a rest and watch Food Network. Then Disney! After school, I had to watch a little girl. She's fun and got along great with my kids. Then nature seemed to call me. No, not the water closet kind of call! Nature! You know, trees, birds, flowers?

We walked around, picked up the mail, looked for beavers at their dam at one end of the creek. I found this bird that flew, walked and hopped! I think it was a Northern Mockingbird because it looked like this!


We even found some white bearded iris just growing wildly at the side of the wooded area near our apartment complex. Maybe some frustrated gardener thought that her rhizomes were bad and threw it out. You know, as they mentioned in Jurassic Park, "Life will find a way..." Those rhizomes found just the right combination of moisture and nutrients in that spot and boom! Up they grew! The blooms are simply beautiful... I took a picture with my phone, but it didn't turn out quite as clear as I wanted it to so here's a comparable photo I borrowed online.


We also realized that we've never been to and that it's time we used some of our hard earned dollars to help out Papa Murphy's so we had their Chicago Style Pizza and Cinnamon Wheel. It was so good that I got an extra big hug from Charlie. Love that! Maybe take out again tonight? ;-) Lovely combo... (Ok, getting hungry again) If you've been there, you know what I'm talking about. If not, maybe it's time...

Ok, back to the scent of highlighters as it glides onto the paper illuminating the information I need for my essays...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Final Exam, Tablescaping & Gratitude...


We didn't do much today except be in school and for me gathering ideas for my final essay for one of my Public Administration classes. Charlie got a peaceful rest while I helped my sister tweak and clean up her resume over the phone and email. She's been sick for a few days. My poor baby sister. She rocks because she's raising her two small children by herself!

I just found too that our family friend, Michelle Branch got in a car accident yesterday but didn't feel most of the pains until today. I hope she feels better and gets to see a doctor soon. Also, my bff since highschool, Sheila, just remembered that today is her dad's death anniversary so we kind of were sad for each other... Three days from now, it'll be her birthday. My dad died on my birthday.

But on the upside, I am having tons of fun with my tablescaping blog (click the button on sidebar) and my friend Heather remembered that I love dark chocolate Dove, so she got me the Easter egg shaped ones! Yummy! Love ya, Heather!

The kids came home, did homework and the girls went to their Wednesday church activities. My friend Amy gave Jasmine a ride and even took her with them to dinner at Cici's pizza. Thanks, Amy! Lisa was picked up by one of her YW friends and the daughter of our bishop. Kira, my love and thanks to you and your family!

I feel so blessed today... even though I was overwhelmed with sadness and concern, I felt unbelievably loved by my Heavenly Father and for that I am truly grateful...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Tummy Ache... And Back to Work...

L-Infinity woke up with a tummy ache, but no real other symptoms. Two doses of Pepto seemed to have done the trick. She learned that her school friend who ate the same cafeteria cookie yesterday also stayed home from a funny tummy. J-Pony and I-Dude enjoyed school while Mr. Man spent time looking for some much needed car brake pads that are screaming for replacement. As for me, I spent time trying to look for some coupons that mysteriously disappeared from my purse! Also, now that we know we are staying put for a while, we've decided to put up drapes. And guess what, because we've moved so many times, I didn't realize that my drapes do not match or that the hardware of our drapery rods are missing! So this time, we invested in matching rods and drapes. Will show those later after my gorgeous Mr. Man puts them up of course!

All in all, just another day. Mr. Man's off to work again and L-Infinity's going back to school. Remind you of your own schedule? Scary huh?

(Photo from Scraps In

Monday, April 13, 2009

FHE: Our Home is Our Sanctuary

We hope everyone had a wonderful Easter Sunday. I can honestly say that we did. I'll have to catch you up on it on another post.

I am quite humbled that we remembered to do Family Home Evening again. We focused on being a family, being in our home and how we can keep it safe and more spiritually and physically clean.

I'm the first one to admit that we have a lot to work on when it comes to figuring out what we're going to do with the extra stuff still sitting in boxes that we love and use, just can't store anywhere, we are at a loss. We can't afford pretty containers, bigger storage or get a house, so for now, we get creative.

But our home, since Mr. Man and I were still dating, was to be a home of happy memories, kindness and love. But more than anything, we wanted a home that our children would love to be in. And so far, it is. I stumbled upon the late President Gordon B. Hinckley's conference talk on October 2002 General Conference featured in the Liahona in November 2002. He said:

"If we fail in our homes, we fail in our lives. No man is truly successful who has failed in his home. I ask you men, particularly, to pause and take stock of yourselves as husbands and fathers and heads of households. Pray for guidance, for help, for direction, and then follow the whisperings of the Spirit to guide you in the most serious of all responsibilities, for the consequences of your leadership in your home will be eternal and everlasting." (

We applied that statement to each of us, not just for Mr. Man. We all have a part in making our home successful and more of a sanctuary. We talked of the good things about our family and how our standards are set for our own spiritual safety.

The Family: A Proclamation to the World stands as our compass to keep improving our family life. We have it in our dining room as it is our gathering place.

Mr. Man and I made the sacrifice that I would stay home so that our children will feel safe and welcome in our home. We encourage people to come over but we do not allow bad language or inappropriate subjects in our home. We taught them tonight that protecting our home is a group effort and we need everyone to maintain the loving standards we enjoy.

When you come in our home, the first thing you see is the picture of our Savior Jesus Christ, similar to the picture at the top of this post. We never needed to explain why to those who come in our home why we chose Him to be who greets them at the front door. He is whom we chose to serve and emulate each day and though we are not perfect at it, we want others to know of WHO reigns in our home...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mama!

From Roadfood dot com

I don't know why this didn't post, but it didn't help that it took me a while to realize it either. ;-)

It's my MAMA's 71st birthday today! Yay!

She's a cute Filipino lady with Chinese eyes! I love to see here smile and laugh, her eyes literally disappear! LOL

Here's a great big slice of a luscious coconut cream pie for her!



Happy Easter!

We all hope you had a wonderful Easter that is full of reflection and gratitude for our dear Savior's ultimate sacrifice and triumph over death!
We got dressed up just for the opportunity to take another family picture.
It's a rare event you know.

You like how our cat Cece dodged the camera by hiding in the blinds?

How about some smiles and a wandering cat?
I think they found all the eggs, so time for a picture!
We wanted an enchanting evening to reflect on. Pick a seat.
Make sure to help yourself at the dessert table.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Getting Ready...

Easter is tomorrow and there are a lot to do for dinner and our own egg hunt, so today, we woke up, ate breakfast, and stopped at Kroger. Why, because it is our ward's Easter Egg Hunt for the Primary children. We had so much fun! Of course we did, considering since the last time we had celebrated Easter (you know with eggs and good dinner) was back in 2006. Why? Because we moved in 2007, so I started packing in early March. Last Easter, I was in school and doing midterms, so the celebration happened quick.
We cleaned our windows, vacuumed and we swept out our front step and changed out our rugs. We said NO to any TV all day tomorrow and have finished out our menu.

At the store, we picked up candies and plastic hinged eggs. We got the kids some new baskets because our Easter stuff from the past years are still buried in the storage! Now the question is, can you guess who owns which basket?

Before you guess, how about some Tea Cakes?

I got the recipe for these fat soft cookies from a fellow blogger,

Shelia of Note Songs
(you should visit her, her blog is so fun)

My kids loved these cookies, so I made enough for tomorrow's dinner, too!

Ok, here are the pictures to see who has which basket.

Are you ready?

Are you sure?

Are you done guessing?

J-Pony has the orange, and I-Dude has the green!

Did you guess right?


Friday, April 10, 2009

Walk, walk and walk some more...

Yes, that's what we did today. We walked from our place to Tuesday Morning for some inexpensive crystal. Actually, the same specific Gorham crystal that I saw last late February. I told myself (and my budget) that if these are still around by Easter time they will be mine! They must be because all six were still there! I'll show it on Sunday's Easter tablescape at my other blog.

Then off across the street to Kohl's for Easter dresses for the girls. Thank goodness we found some they both liked and the colors are complimentary to I-Dude and Mr. Man's shirt. Thank goodness! L-Infinity and J-Pony have two different styles, so finding any holiday dresses that don't clash is a big relief!

On the way home, as before, we played our "Alphabet game". I-Dude chooses a topic and the first person to start the game. Today was "sea creatures" and I was first. We started with abalone and ended with zebra fish. We didn't mind having people driving by seeing us laugh our heads off from not coming up with a sea creature for a particular letter. For example, L-Infinity got stuck on U, so everytime it's her turn, she would substitute with "U" like uctopus, ulectric eel and ugli fish.

Tonight, we did a dry run with our Easter dinner and dessert tables. J-Pony is helping me and she even chose a dessert for Sunday. Then we enjoyed a simple "breakfast for dinner" fare. And of course since it 's Friday, we also have dessert. We tried making "molten lava cakes", but I think our oven is too hot, since I have yet to see the real lava. I've got as far as ooey-gooey, but no lava... not yet! One day... one more practice. I'm sure I can handle more chocolate, right?

Movie night is "School of Rock" with Jack Black.

Hope you all had a great Friday!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Break, Some benches & Fun Memories

So today is the last day of school for Easter holiday. They won't have school tomorrow which is good. That means I can get a lot done in the living room while the kids clean the blinds, windows, mirrors and their bathroom and beds. I'll also take my children for another walk to Tuesday Morning and Kroger for last minute Easter stuff we've been watching out for, while Mr. Man settles into his sleep. My fingers are tightly crossed that my target items (I've watched for about a month now) will be on sale.

Today was just another opportunity to get things done so I chose to do some visiting teaching. I visited two out of my three ladies. It helps that both of them are also becoming my close friends. After much blog hopping today, I also got to finalize in my head what our Easter table would look like. As it is also my mom's birthday, I wanted it to be a more fun and yet Easter appropriate table while recognizing I have three young children. So we'll see what we can come up with...

In the afternoon, my neighbor and friend Annette shared she saw a great bench that can go under one of the trees in front of my apartment to sit on during the upcoming warmer days to enjoy the breeze and it jogged my memory of how I wanted a pair of wrought iron/wood garden benches on each side of the front door path, facing each other. As we are definitely staying for until L-Infinity graduates next year, I think we may do just that... But then again, I need to make sure that we reduce a lot of what we don't need in the house so that we can truly focus on what would make more inviting inside before we focus on the outside.

Below is my front door, I don't know if you can see what I'm talking about, but I am telling the absolute truth when I tell you we have the best unit in this whole complex. Each day, we are able to witness the sunrise and the glow of the sun setting. We look out onto a 50 plus yards of just grass area ending into a narrow creek filled with turtles, a beaver, fish and an occasional snake. The creek separates us from a small wooded area that is home to some coyotes (further out) that sing to us every night, bunnies that come out at night, all kinds of birds, and our complex is full of dog owners and we have a good group of young children that play together well with our children now. Once again, our apartment area is the play hub of the neighborhood. I love opening the windows and hearing children laugh and play! Especially my two younger ones, Jas and Ian...

Look at that natural canopy/shade action going on at our front door. It is so refreshing during the day when we open the door and windows and let the breeze in. We have about a 5 foot path to the main walkway and dirt on each side. Can you imagine how inviting it would be to have facing benches and my two urns full of seasonal plants at each end of it? Mmmmm... my imagination's going wild!

And tonight, we headed to Walmart for a new front door rug as the other one has seen better days from the wet season we've had lately, plus it's about 4 years old, so I think it was ready for the garbage bin.

Trek down memory lane: It was 2002.

We watched some home videos when I-Dude was only 5 months old and J-Pony was three. We were all in our Gilbert, AZ apartment master bedroom and I-Dude was by the pillows in the middle of the bed playing with his toys. I was folding his clothes next to our director, Mr. Man. J-Pony was helping me fold the clothes by unfolding each bib and towel and refolding them by rolling each one up, bending it in half, twist it tight and pile them on top of each other. L-Infinity was making fun of my socks being in the laundry pile because I rarely wore any. Then you hear J-Pony, without being in the picture, "I, are you a Gerber baby? Are you a Gerber baby, I,?" I-Dude responds by eating his toy Sassy frog.

I then snatch up all the bibs and towels from J-Pony while she was distracted to refold them. She realizes they were gone and asks, "where are the clo-tes? L, where are the clo-tes? Mommy, what happened to all of I's clo-tes?" While watching this video of her calmly looking for her brother's "clo-tes", we are busting up laughing with her. She says, "Mommy, I was three then!" While L-Infiinity kept on saying, "I-Dude was so fat!"

Aaahhh... sweet memories. Nothing like it! Mr. Man will soon transfer all of these tapes into DVDs. That should make it easier to view next time...