I'm thankful for...

In no particular order --

  1. GOD's never ending blessings
  2. My parents, brothers, and sisters
  3. My husband and kids
  4. Hubby's family
  5. Our relatives and friends
  6. The day hubby was born
  7. My Independence day
  8. Hubby's job and paycheck
  9. Hubby washing the dishes at night
  10. Love, health, shelter and clothing
  11. Rent, mortgage and grocery money
  12. Our Honda Civic
  13. TV, digital camera and cellphones
  14. Computer, emails and internet
  15. Debit cards, credit cards and internet banking
  16. Health and dental insurance coverage
  17. Vacuum cleaner, washer and dryer
  18. Family and friends visiting us
  19. Gameboy SP, books and toys for kids
  20. Playground and parks
  21. Disneywold and free plane tickets
  22. Hallmark cards, letters and our postman
  23. Air-conditioner and electric fan
  24. Photo albums and scrapbooks
  25. The day I met hubby (November 1988)
  26. The day we became a couple (October 1993)
  27. The day of his marriage proposal (June 1994)
  28. The day we got married (October 1995)
  29. The birth of our [hyper-active] son (January 1997)
  30. The birth of our [shy] daughter (August 2000)
  31. Nora Daza's recipe books
  32. Kraft dinner (cheesy macaroni) and instant noodles
  33. Dollar store and Wal-mart
  34. Winter = white christmas
  35. Spring = flowers
  36. Summer = family picnic and day trips
  37. Fall = fall colors
  38. Drive-in movies
  39. Public library's (free) DVD collection
  40. Blogger.com and Blogskins.com

and a lot lot more ... too many to mention ...

My Favorite Things

In no particular order --

  1. The inquisitiveness of my son
  2. The addicting laughter of my daughter
  3. Hugs and kisses from hubby and my kids
  4. Mickey Mouse (Disneyworld)
  5. Christmas time
  6. Steak, shrimps and coca cola
  7. Dining out with hubby and kids
  8. Travelling and out of town trips
  9. Pictures pictures pictures!
  10. Sleeping
more to follow...

A sign from GOD?

Have you ever ask a sign from GOD and see it happen?

I was cleaning up the den when I came upon a scrapbook I gave my hubby as a Christmas gift in 2002... it contains cards, letters and pictures we gave each other throughout the years, also important dates in our relationships and a lot of mushy stuff... and I came upon this...

I was never such a believer in asking for signs, maybe my faith wasn't strong enough at that time, but I did ask for a sign from GOD to see if hubby is really the guy for me... There were just too many obstacles and hindrances in our relationships, so many people will get hurt along the way and I just wanted to make sure that I am making the choice! So what did I ask for?

the card It's very simple... All I wanted was to hear him say "I love you" 3 consecutive times (he is a firm believer in "action speaks louder than words")... I came up with this while I was at work... and when I got home that very same day, I received a card from him (he was in France at that time) saying "I love you" 16 times!!! WOW! And inside the card it said "It bears repeating!"

Sunday Picnic

It was Victoria day long weekend, my family together with Junnie and Mitzi went on a bbq picnic lunch at Forks of the Credit in Caledon. For lunch we had chicken pork adobo, chicken inasal, steaks, vegetables, corn on the cobb and fresh fruits. Yum yum! It was a feast for 4 adults and 2 kids. ",)

The kids get to play skip rock by Kettle Lake... they also got the chance to climb a fallen tree branch for the first time... while climbing down, my daughter decided to jump down, hence, a sore foot. And she's still limping up to now. Poor gal!

After hiking along the trails, we went on to look for the "ghost town" in Cheltenham... but all we saw were some really pretty and huge houses with Ferrari! Junnie said, "I'd love to live in that ghost town and own a Ferrari too!" ... hehehe... so we stopped on the side of the road to look for another place to go... and after much deliberation between the 2 drivers, we moved on, driving not more than 1 km away, we saw Cheltenham Badlands instead. And just had to stop.

We ended the day going to a friend's house for dinner and beer and watch the fireworks in celebration of Queen Victoria Day!

Conversation #1

Finally, I was able to find some sweet mangoes in the Asian store, I got 1 box with 16 pieces for $9.99. Cheap or not? I don't really know...

While we were having our mangoes tonight, my son ate 6 sides while my daughter ate 3 sides, I was telling my kids how I craved for mangoes when I was pregnant with both of them! And out of the blue, my son asked me "where did we (babies) come from?" ... OMG! How do I answer his question? ... I looked at my hubby ... smiling ... we were both speechless ... Seeing the look on our faces he finally said "never mind, mom."

I never did answer his question. Should I? He's only 8!

My daughter's question? "mommy did we eat mangoes too when we were in your tummy?" ... And I just said "yes, you ate whatever mommy ate." She just laugh out loud, yung nakakahawang halakhak. ",)

Thoughts #3

Ever since I started dreaming about my future... I never thought of being a stay-home mom! It's just not part of my plans.

I can see my sister as a stay-home mom, its in her personality and she's very good around the house too... both of my sister-in-laws (on my side) are both stay-home mom too simply because they chose to be... ME? I never thought I'd be one. Even though we all grew up without maids most of the time, I still get to sit around the house and watch TV while my sister do all the work.

During the 4 years that we've been in Canada and being a stay-home mom, these are some of the things I've learned:

  1. If before all I know is how to prepare sandwiches, instant noodles, fry hotdogs/spam, take note: I don't even know how to cook sunny side up eggs without breaking the yolk... now I've learned how to cook real food that I can serve to family/friends

  2. If before my hobbies includes collecting stamps and stationaries... now I've added scrapbooking and journaling (of my kids developments/achievements)... and hopefully quilting in the near future

  3. If before all I know is how to access my email via lotus notes at the office and know nothing about the internet... now I've learned HTML, webdesign, surfing the internet, blogging and chatting online.

  4. If before all I do is put my pictures in an album... now I've learned how to turn these pictures into family videos with effects and sounds, of course with the help of a software and design a family website for our family and friends back home

  5. If before I would sit in front of the tv after dinner till bedtime... now I still do that but at the same time multi tasking between other house chores and kids

  6. If before I am dependent on maids to do my house chores and take care of my kids... now I've learned to juggle these tasks with ease

  7. If before I hold on to all of my old stuff, whether I have use for it or not... now I've learned to donate to those who are in need and its a rewarding feeling indeed
So is migrating worth it? Is giving up my career back home and being a stay-home mom worth it? A lot of people has been asking me these questions... my answer is defintiely a YES! There are pros and cons of migrating... but overall it is definitely worth it! :,)

Amazing Race 7

What a relief to know that it was Uchenna and Joyce who won the $1 Million and not Rob and Amber! Despite being stripped off all their personal belongings and money... despite having bad luck with a flat tire... despite having to beg for money... despite being the last team in the last leg... they still manage to win the amazing race! GOD do bless the people with good hearts! Just like Chip and Kim from season 5, they were likewise blessed because of their good hearts!

Hope that winning the million dollars will not change the heart and commitment of these two couples. And unlike Reichen and Chip (gay couple) who eventually got separated after winning AR-4, these couples will stay happily married.

Mother's Day Surprise

I received Mother's Day card/gift from my two adorable kids!

They made these at school and brought them home last Friday and told me to not peek in their backpack. Sunday morning, they told me its a "mother's day scavenger hunt", I have to look for their gifts around the house. It wasn't hard though cause I saw them hide it the night before. ",) But of course I didn't peek till it sunday morning.

For dinner, we had baked mussels and pork tenderloin parmigiana... yum yum! for dessert, we had lychees, nanaimo bars and ice cream. All for the price of $23.34! Where else can you get a dinner for 4 for that price? It's only available at Jo's kitchen! Cheers!

I'm just a Mother??? Excuse me!

Most of us would think that a homemaker got lots of time on her hand... well, think again... being a stay-at-home mom means you're on call 24/7... it also means you can't afford to get sick or who else can take your place... it also means you don't get any time off (vacation/sick/maternity leave) even though the kids are driving you crazy... definitely its a full time job like any other jobs out there... it also means you are not compensated financially unlike other jobs out there! It takes a lot of dedication... a lot of patience... a lot of sacrifice... a lot of intervention... and a lot of love and hugs and kisses to keep this job!

The payback? A loving and healthy family! Defintely a job worth having!!!

Happy Mother's Day to all,
especially to the greatest moms in the world,
my mama and mother in law!

I got this from a friend and I thought I'd share it with all the "super moms" out there!

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A few months ago, when I was picking up the children at school, another mother I knew well rushed up to me. Emily was fuming with indignation. "Do you know what you and I are?" she demanded. Before I could answer and I didn't really have one handy ... she blurted out the reason for her question.

It seemed she had just returned from renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk's office. Asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation, Emily had hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

"What I mean is," explained the recorder, "do you have a job, or are you just a...?" "Of course I have a job," snapped Emily. "I'm a mother". "We don't list 'mother' as an occupation...'housewife' covers it," said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high-sounding title like "Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar."

"What is your occupation?" she probed. What made me say it, I do not know. The words simply popped out. "I am a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations."

The clerk paused, ballpoint pen frozen in midair, and looked up as though she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly, emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?" Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, "I have a continuing program of research (what mother doesn't) in the laboratory and in the field (normally I would have said indoors and out). I'm working for my Masters (the whole darned family) and already have four credits (all daughters)! Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities (any mother care to disagree)? And I often work 14 hours a day (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money."

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model (6 months) in the child-development program, testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt triumphant! I had scored a beat in bureaucracy!

And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than 'just another mother'.

Motherhood... What a glorious career. Especially when there's a title on the door.

F O U R

4 years ago,
~ I gave up my job of 10 years and migrated to Canada
~ I sold all of our stuff back home and donated most of my kid's toys and clothes
~ In Canada, I choose to became a stay-home mom
~ We live in a bare apartment and it was my first time to clean the bathroom

4 months ago,
~ I got my first job in Canada
~ My son celebrated his 8th birthday
~ I started my training with people from all over the world -- Indians, Sri Lankans, Russians, Polish, Lebanese, Cantonese, Chinese, Germans and French
~ I left my kids with a Filipino family who were a total stranger to me (at that time)

4 days ago,
~ was my son's first confession and first communion
~ he also earned his yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do
~ my contract ends
~ am back to being a full time mom

4 hours ago,
~ prepared my daughter for her show and tell at school in the morning
~ witness the elimination of Scott Savol in American Idol
~ then watched (for the nth time) Jackie Chan's Rumble in the Bronx
~ multi tasking between laundry and blog hopping

Our Parish

How does your parish celebrate First Communion?

My son goes to a French Public School instead of the Catholic School, simply because we wanted him to be bilingual. And our Parish is "sort of" discriminating kids who are taking their first communion but are not attending catholic school. Our Parish is so weird, they are not organized, they don't make announcements, and the volunteers doesn't know anything! My son attended saturday catechism classes for weeks, and yet they never thought him how to do his first confession???

Sunday, on their First Communion mass, the kids were asked to go in front and sing at the end of the mass, and since most of the kids are from the catholic school, the teacher just asked these kids from catholic school to go in front, leaving 3 kids (including my son) who are from the French school to just sit and wait! So when all the parents gather in front to take pictures, I suddenly noticed that my son was not with them... This just made me so mad! I just have to figure out where to write my complaint!

This is our second parish, our first one was very organized, and every week they made announcements after announcements, they even reminded those who are not attending catholic school to register their kids for the Communion... Catechism classes included the parents too and they even got homework! Honestly, I don't know what's wrong with this parish of ours... maybe that's how Italians are???