Saturday, October 31, 2009

Best Halloween Yet!

We had a wonderful Halloween! It was packed with everything, but ended on a great note! Of course, it'll be wonderful, candies are involved, c'mon!

First, it was attending the PolserFest at the kiddos school where J-Pony performed with her 5th grade Choir group at the end. They sounded great and looked oh-so-cute in their costumes of choice.
Look, even the Choir director is Snow White!
Then it's on to the fun (creepy and scary) part! *cackling*
Here's our 2009 version for our ward's Trunk or Treat... Notice the skeleton has two set of eyes in each eye socket! Clever placement on my part. ;-) Recognize the background, Walmart, people!
How do you like it? Gumby wants to know! He relieved my hubby after Mr. Man decked out our trunk. People came up and took pictures of both the car and Gumby. L-Infinity became an instant celebrity! Hee hee...
(Most of the children didn't know what Gumby was and when he would mention he was a clay cartoon, the confused looks were hilarious to see!)
Ta-da! Of course, we would have a jack-o somewhere in the trunk and the spiders we got this year to spin this web must have been on steroids! ;-D While the ghosts decided to float down to sniff the bloodied roses. Aaaahhh.... Halloween aura, it's everywhere!
Even I-Dude couldn't help but pose with Gumby, he was an instant hit with our family.
The bloody rose and coveted candies... Only on Halloween can both be so beautiful...(lol)
The girls had to have their turn with Gumby. L-Infinity was some sort of fairy this year, a zombie one I think. *wink*
Of course the photographer has to be in the picture, too! After all, she is married to Gumby!
See?! It's Mr. Man the whole time! Didn't he look great as Gumby? Love that man! And J-Pony in the background, too!

In the evening, we decided to "haunt" our fave neighborhood for their sweet scares- my collectors, my two ninjas, Dragon and Leather, aka J-Pony and I-Dude.
Oh look at that... Proof that they were trick-or-treating! (Made you look!)
Some homes really get decked out for Halloween. I'd love for us to do that with our own place someday...
And some just love the simplicity of having trick or treaters come by.
Awww... Gumby, aka Mr. Man, came with us again. He loved waving to everyone who either recognized him or wanted to know what he was. It was great!
It was a perfect night; the weather was clear and not too cold. Walking was invigorating though my feet ached by the time we were done since I've been on my feet the whole day!
This is our fave house to stop at this time of year- the owners are just such huge Halloween fans!

"Hope you all had a Safe and Happy Halloween!"

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thirteen (13) Years of Bliss

Hello! I'm just excited to be able to have time to blog again today. Not consistently just yet as we are in the middle of several big projects towards another move next year.

Today, since we all had a late night, our breakfast date became a lunch date. Mr. Man treated me to one of the nice upscale bbq place in Dallas called Dunston's Prime Steakhouse that SWA employees go to for all occasion. (Look at that dining room!)

(Photo courtesy of Dallas Dines Out dot com)

Again, we had a romantic moment: we were seated on the backwall where all the booths were and in the middle. We were the only ones on that wall... Left alone to enjoy our time together, to talk about life, together... We had the typical bbq lunch selection: bbq, potatoes, salad, soda, but the atmosphere and the great price... The bbq was nothing short of delish! I was in total awe that I forgot to have the server take our picture. Maybe next year... or next time since Mr. Man wants to take me there again (I say, "yay!")

The above was their bbq pit; the mesquite logs are both fired and cooled here; notice the ice cubes? The inside is naturally dark, so I took a risk by having the flash on to capture this part of the restaurant. It was worth it! Below is the entrance... Doesn't that fire just beckon you to sit down and relax? I was blown away for sure!
Like most young couples starting out, we were dirt poor, but Mr. Man and I have always admired good restaurants and imagine what it would be like to sample their menu. Each year, for the first 9 years, and our 11th year, though without any funds, we would imagine the next year and the real possibility of going to such places. I love Chinese and seafood and he loves a good steak, so this year, after pinching enough pennies (and I mean, pinching!) to afford two restaurants that he wanted to try, were gifts that we have both sacrificed for, to give each other.

I don't like jewelry much, and I'm too practical to accept just any household gift and too lazy to shop to pin down any store GC. I'm a flowers girl, but being married to Mr. Man who is practical and loves restaurants, I've learned to not expect flowers and chocolate. I get my own during the holidays or as centerpiece when I can afford it or on occasional splurge. He has probably bought and brought me more pens than he's ever thought of flowers. I have chocolate hidden in our bedroom that it's no longer a special item so just being able to go out by ourselves have been our annual vow renewal, and each penny we spend becomes that much more valuable to us...

Here's a caption of our past anniversary celebrations.

1st year- I cooked and shared the top of our wedding cake. That was so much fun!

2-9 years- we just stayed in, I cooked or we saw a movie; also because we moved several times.

10th- he earned his free stay at the Phoenician Resort where he used to work, and we were treated to a wonderful and romantic day of luscious seafood, mouthwatering steaks, desserts to die for, romantic music and the room was next to a waterfall in a secluded part of the villas. It was magical! All for FREE!!! (There was no way we could have afforded The Phoenician let alone the food!)

11th- I cooked and we watched a movie together over ice cream

12th- We went to Maggiano's, a fine Italian restaurant. Of course, we both had something with shrimp. ;-)

Ok, onto the bliss part... We love our life together, despite challenges that befall any marriage. We always come out more in love with another with each passing year.

Each anniversary, I am filled with sheer gratitude to have landed such a wonderful man. In the Philippines, we have a saying, "it doesn't matter if all we have is salt, as long as we are together." That's how I feel about my husband, I'll do anything for him, go anywhere with him. Sure, there's Valentine's in February, but for us, our wedding anniversary is ours, no one else's and it is our time to reassess, review and relive what makes us, us.

Mr. Man has always been my rock, my hero that always knew he wanted to give me the world. He once told me that if he can give me the stars and the moon, he would because he loves me. That was the very first time he's ever told me he loved me and I remember that statement with every "I love you". I couldn't imagine my life without him nor will there ever be anyone after him- hence my threat (though lovingly) "he simply can't die." ;-)

Being with him opened up different sides of who I am; every day, he helps me believe and have faith that my Heavenly Father sees me as a special soul.

"Happy 13th wedding anniversary, Mahal. Every day with you brings me that much closer to the stars and the moon... I love you."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Anniversary Dinner Date

It's not officially until tomorrow the 26th, but since Mr. Man's schedule changed again, we've had to be flexible with our plans- three to be exact...

Tonight, this 13th year, was at Lawry's The Prime Rib in Dallas. We had a fun time enjoying the delicious food, especially the "melt in your mouth" sides that highlighted the entrees well. We were seated in a booth closest to where the servers pass through from the kitchen, but since they were so careful to not disturb us, it felt like the most private spot in the whole restaurant. It was an awesome experience! It was great seeing different people serve you over different things. It reminded me of our 10th anniversary at Mr.Man's previous employment, The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, AZ. Lawry's atmosphere inside was just as luxurious. (Lucky to have found these pictures online as we dined on similar fare and the location shot was done in the fall as well.)

Notice Mr. Man's tie and jacket, yes, it was that kind of restaurant. We scrimped to have a nice celebration for our 13th year to ward off the "unlucky" association with the number 13 and considering our wedding day was also so close to Halloween. ;-) (Nah, we just scrimped since we had a great coupon that we were able to use there.) What, you thought I wouldn't use a coupon at a nice place? Well then you don't know me at all... ;-D

Don't we look great all dressed up?

He needed more work tools for his new station so that was his anniversary gift from me. Easy enough for me! ;-) His anniversary gift to me, he let me buy a new sweater turtleneck top, a great looking beige crocheted dress jacket and my new black "cat woman" boots by CL by Laundry (Chinese Laundry), a fave shoe maker. (LOL, I was trying to show off my ring, but I miscalculated the water goblet's spot in front of my hand.) And you know that they were all bought dirt cheap...

Towards the end, we asked our server to take our picture. Can you see how big this slice of triple layer chocolate cake is?That's actually HALF of what we ordered! It is aptly called, Chocolate Fantasy cake! The shot didn't give it justice- it's bigger than that! They automatically offered to have us take home the other half. Fine with me, more chocolate!!!

And this English Trifle with Strawberry sauce was their signature complimentary celebratory token. Mr. Man loved it while I savored little bites of that huge cake slice above. Can you say we ended on a great note?

We didn't do anything after that, we just went home, because I had 6 essays due by midnight. But tomorrow, our actual anniversary, he will be taking me to breakfast somewhere and another date on Tuesday... We're trying to stretch out our anniversary into three days to make up for the few years we didn't get to celebrate...

Hope you all have a great week!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Being Sick... And Wet!

No, the two are not directly connected but more consequential of each other.

My kids have been sick; first it was J-Pony, then I-Dude a little bit. Then L-Infinity and her friend Kila. Now it's I-Dude again. It's been exhausting in so many levels. Between Mr. Man's new Houston shift and these "way too often" rainy/stormy days here in our area, I am really at the edge of my seat from going nuts! Plus complicate that with the "99.5F fever" minimum by the school district rule of keeping kids home. When all the kids are home during the weekends, it's like dodging a mine field. Coughing, spitting, sniffling and temp checks. Soups, sandwiches, medicines and time tables- aaaaahhhhh!!!

Facebook, unfortunately, no longer enough to kill brain cells to keep me from screaming, but at the same time, I'm glad that my kids know they can feel comfortable staying home when they are sick and that they'll be cared for. Talking to Kila, L-Infinity's friend and now staying with us, she revealed how her mom just hands her stuff when she gets sick. She didn't even know what they were! I had to have her call and verify before we headed out to CVS. It turned out to be just Nyquil and Aspirin but the horror of not knowing what she's been taking really got me.

I'm the kind of mom who pesters doctors with what works with my children, what each medication really does and remembers what medications do/not do for my children. I'm a stickler for medication schedule so not to overdose. I can't imagine my beloved ones just taking whatever out there to get rid of a cough or a cold when they couldn't take it anymore. Or the possibility of being left alone until they felt better.

Going off to a subject close to my heart, I know most in our society are still conflicted on having women stay home and be domestic especially the last century, but for me, there was no contest. I wanted to stay home to be with my children as long as we can afford to. How blessed and grateful I am to have found a husband who feels the same way and works with me now more than ever to continue this decision.

People I knew before I was LDS (Mormon) used to say, "Mr. Man must make a lot to keep you at home." And when I tell them otherwise, it's almost an unbelievable concept to them. Even my own family thought that I'm being naive by not going back to work. I'm not naive; far from it. This was a decision that we made even before we wed and one that is fulfilling to me, despite all the normal hassles and what others deem as hampering to my potential. I will go back to work someday, but not now. Not when my children rely on hearing my voice when they come home and have grown up not needing an extra key when school's in session.

I highly respect working moms; I used to be a working single mom myself and worked part time before I was pregnant with J-Pony, but this is where I belong for now and I couldn't be more satisfied. There's no other opportunity for me where I would have had more time to: read both for myself and to my children, keep up with their progress in all areas, learn to bake, indulge in my love of table top designs, cook, learn to do crafts, learn more about Excel, go back to college and learn how to entertain and be a great hostess. So I guess you can say, I learned more the last 12 years, than I ever did working. I'm speaking for myself and I couldn't more pleased...

Monday, October 5, 2009

What Calling?!

... Is exactly what Mr. Man and I are asking ourselves lately. One of the Bishop's counselors came by to give our daughter, L-Infinity, a new calling- Laurel's 1st Counselor. Then when that was done, I was told that the Bishopric has been thinking about our family and several callings that we can serve in, but which one, only Heavenly Father knows...

Well... at least for Mr. Man, they have him for 3 months guaranteed. After that, it depends on what Southwest Airlines will afford him for new days off. As for me, I really hope that they don't find anything new until almost Thanksgiving; I'll be done with this semester by then and I can honestly say that I'll have more mind power and devotion for whatever lies ahead. Whatever the callings may be, I know that it's been impressed to our leaders that my husband and I can measure up to our potential to fulfill the necessary tasks of the calling. What a humbling experience to have one of our leaders take the time to grace our home with his sweet spirit doing the Lord's errands...

I also do have the last General Conference to be grateful for... All of the speakers, especially the First Presidency, spoke of looking inwards to bring out the best person to emulate Christ in efforts of service and practice of our religion. What a marvelous and timely counsel to all of today's souls who are quick to be trapped by modern conveniences and technologically advanced toys. Yesterday, as I kneaded the dough to make french breads, I couldn't be more grateful for my two hands, willing to be dirtied to bring forth food to the table. I was humbled by the fact that when our Savior Jesus Christ was on the earth, he didn't choose to reveal His full magnificence that His two hands can bestow; that He trusted us enough to find our way back to Him and His father's kingdom.

I testify of His divinity and unconditional love for all of us. Eternal life and happiness, His constant promise if we but to have willing hearts and opened eyes to be more like Him... In his name, I leave these thoughts with you, Amen.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Too Many Things

Get in the way of just enjoying mundane moments...

If you've been on Facebook lately, all I've been managing to do to relax and exhale is to play there. Wasting some braincells. Or trying to recover some. In between that, family, all three levels of school (elementary, highschool, college)

I did say back then that we're only going to be here, at least in this unit, for 2 years. Well, that was back in June 2009. We're still here... That's all about to change!

From now until December 31st, we are focusing on:
- New church callings
- New work schedule
- College applications and letters of recommendation
- Holidays
- Packing

From Jan to Sep:
- New work schedule
- New church callings
- New church time
- Packing extra stuff
- Looking for a house to either rent or buy
- Prom or No Prom decision
- Waiting for college acceptance letters
- Graduation (5th grade and highschool)
- Becoming 11
- Middle school and college dorms
- Packing everything else
- Trip to either California or Utah (Stanford or BYU)
- Moving

But until the big wave of changes hit this Monday, we are just enjoying Fall and being together...