A Christmas Message

Happy New Year!!!


May 2008 brings you/us lots of love, peace and harmony, good health and lots of blessings from above!!!

I just decided to repost/share this video...

.....oOo.....


Got this video from Patrice's blog... please take time to watch this heartwarming video.




MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL
and a PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!

Bad credits? No problem!

There are tons of credit card providers available in the market today. My husband and I receive an invitation to a switch to another card company almost every month! Each card company provides different offers like balance transfer, no annual fees, earn/redeem points, cash back, and lower promo rates.

Do you have a bad credit? Don't worry, there are companies that will help or give you a chance to restore your credit.

CreditCardSearchEngine.com provides a comparison of these different card companies for you to choose from. They have a list of provider for bad creditors. Once you have decided the most important features that you are looking for in a card company, you will be able to apply for that card securely online.

Apply for your Bad Credit Credit Cards now.

Art Attack #3

After doing the colored paint, my daughter's next interest was in clay.

My friends gave some of these as gifts for my daughter, then I bought a couple more to take back to Canada.

I realized that my daughter was too young to really do this properly. She gets frustrated when the clay wouldn't stay down. So I ended up finishing all her work. And it has become my addiction! For days, all I wanted to do was to finished one after the other. It was truly a great stress-reliever for me.

Here's the finished product.





Paper Clay Art at SM Mall of Asia, Philippines

A Balanced Lifestyle

Financial freedom. A Balanced Lifestyle. I guess this is what everybody wants/needs including me.

There is a sure way to secure a better future. That is to have a home based business. At www.abalancedlifestyle.ca, you will get the chance to start your home business opportunity. This opportunity will show you how to bring balance to your life, money and health with their herbal food products that is sure to nourish and cleanse your body.

This is a global opportunity.

Photo Hunters: Light



Click on the image to enlarge

Airdrie Festival of Lights

Airdrie Festival of Lights

Airdrie Festival of Lights

Taken last Christmas at Airdrie Festival of Lights

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Conversations #22: It's frozen

This happened when we were in Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park. The icefield was very very cold and windy. Before we stop the car to go down and explore --

My FIL said: "Can we stop by the washroom?"
Hubby: "There's no washroom here, we'll just go back to the info center for the washroom." [Info center was about 5 kms back]

After taking pictures for about 20 minutes [none of us could stay out very long as it is very very windy], we decided to leave.

Hubby asked: "Dad, do you still need to go to the washroom? Should we go back to the info center or go forward?"
FIL jokingly said: "We can go forward. I think its frozen now." [Referring to his urine being frozen from the cold weather.] :-)

My kids couldn't stop giggling when they heard this.

My FIL lived in Beijing, China on and off for the past 5 years, so he is used to cold weather, but he just have a hard time adjusting to the cold weather in Canada.

Elfyourself.com

I just made a total elf of my kids with their cousins...

Here's a Christmas video of my kids with their cousins Jarred and Heather...



and here's another one with cousins Andrii and Alex...



Thank you to Linnor for this cool idea.

Web hosting choice

I am lucky that hubby is a network analyst/administrator. Technical things like web hosting is not something I need to worry about. But if you are looking for a web hosting site, you will definitely make the right decision with http://www.webhostingchoice.com. This site is your free guide in choosing the right web site for either your personal or business site.

Web hosting is the act of renting space to host your personal or business web site. There are lots of site that offers free hosting but then it comes with banners and pop up ads. You can also opt to pay a minimal fee for web hosting just so you have complete control over your web site.

My Grown Up Christmas List

I received a compilation of Christmas songs in a CD 2 years ago from Junnie... but since I got it a day or so before or after [can't really remember when] Christmas day, I didn't get to hear the CD that year.

The following year [last year] was the time we moved to Calgary. And since I rarely drive back then, I didn't get the chance to play the CD again.

That is, until this month! The first song in that CD is "My Grown Up Christmas List" and this is the first time I've heard this song as I rarely listen to the radio anymore. Anyway, I just thought I'd share the message of that song to all of you.

My Grown Up Christmas List
by Kelly Clarkson

Do you remember me
I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you
With childhood fantasies

Well, I'm all grown up now
And still need help somehow
I'm not a child
But my heart still can dream

So here's my lifelong wish
My grown up christmas list
Not for myself
But for a world in need

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up christmas list

As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely
Wrapped beneath our tree

Well heaven only knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal
A hurting human soul

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up christmas list

What is this illusion called
the innocence of youth
Maybe only in our blind belief
can we ever find the truth
(there'd be)

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end, oh
This is my grown up christmas list

What is your Christmas wish this year?

Ecommerce with Ashop

More and more people are doing their shopping online. I still prefer to go to the mall to do my shopping, but sometimes the internet would offer a deal that is too good to pass up. Hubby on the other hand, prefers to do his shopping at the convenient of our home.

Now a days, people who wants to be their own boss or make unlimited income, should really consider going into the internet business or ecommerce. And this is where Ashop Commerce comes in to help enterpreneur. They are the leading provider of hosted shopping cart software. They are also integrated with all major banks, getaways and third party processors like PayPal.

Here are the 6 reasons to choose Ashop.

  1. It is affordable.
  2. It is easy to use.
  3. It provides technical support and customer service.
  4. It can be found on search engines.
  5. It is customisable to suit your needs.
  6. And it is the total solution for your ecommerce.

Thursday Thirteen #34: Random things [part2]

I got tagged by Duke about 7 silly little things... anyway, to answer that tag, here's 13 random/silly things about me!



13 random things about me!

  1. I don't have a single dress or skirt in my closet.
  2. The only time I was in a formal dress with hair and make-up done by professionals was during my prom, my wedding and when I was part of a wedding entourage.
  3. I am more comfortable in jeans and t-shirts.
  4. I don't eat salads and vegetables.
  5. I love eating chips [ruffles, lays...]. It's my dessert.
  6. I don't drink coffee or tea or even hot chocolate.
  7. I have a short temper.
  8. I hate doing house chores but don't have a choice.
  9. [Honestly] I am always mistaken to be in my mid 20s... yey! [palakpal tenga]
  10. I am very good at remembering birthdays of family and friends.
  11. I have a lot of earrings and necklaces, but I only wear them during special occasions.
  12. The only jewelry that I wore on a daily basis are rings. Currently I am wearing 2 rings, one on each of my fourth finger.
  13. I lost my wedding ring 2 or 3 years ago... One day, I just looked at my finger and notice that something was missing. And I didn't even know how I lost it. I don't normally take off rings when I wash the dishes or take a bath so it must have slip off while I was taking a bath. :-(
Random Things about Me [part 1]



The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!
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San Francisco

Trusted Tours & Attractions is offering you a chance to win an iPod Nano. All you have to do is sign up for their Trusted Travel eNewsletter.

Trusted Tours & Attractions offers discounted tickets to 21 cities across the United States for the best sightseeing tours of your vacation. The 21 cities are Atlanta, Boston, Charleston, Chicago, Ft. Myers, Key West, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Niagara Falls, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Savannah, St Augustine, Tampa and Washington DC.

Among the 21 cities mentioned above, I've been 11 cities already [Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, LA, New York, Niagara Falls, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco, Tampa and Washington DC].

When hubby and I travelled to the US in 1993 for our second honeymoon, we both fell in love with San Francisco. The Golden gate bridge, the Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39 and Alcatraz were simply breathtaking, amazing and fascinating. A trip down the famous Crooked Street is a must for all tourist. Of course, the tour of the city will not be complete without riding the motorized cable car and trolley hop!

San Francisco is about 21 hours drive from Calgary, while Los Angeles is about 23 hours drive, and we are honestly of thinking of making it a road trip with the kids in the next couple of years.



Change a Life. Change Your Own.

That's World Vision.

Among the many charity/organizations out there, one of my favorite is the World Vision. Here, you have the option to sponsor a child or give a gift or simply get involved.

I started supporting World Vision when I was still in the Philippines. I try to donate as much as I could. I do wish that one day I will be able to sponsor a child.

This holiday season, share a little of your blessings to the children who have nothing. Donations/Gifts can now be made online!

7 Reasons for Confidence in World Vision

  1. Canadians have given World Vision their trust since 1950. Today, more than 568,000 Canadians support our work and 415,000 children are sponsored through World Vision.
  2. World Vision is a registered charitable organization that complies with the requirements of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), which handles audits and regulates compliance activities for qualifying organizations and charities.
  3. An independent Canadian accounting firm, KPMG LLP, audits World Vision's finances annually. The audited statement is available to the public in our annual report and on our website.
  4. World Vision is accountable to an independent board of directors with considerable expertise in the private, public and non-profit sectors. They receive no compensation for their work.
  5. World Vision is accountable to external organizations such as the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the World Food Programme, who require us to follow strict reporting requirements.
  6. World Vision is one of two international non-governmental organizations to receive top rating in One World Trust's 2006 Global Accountability Report. The report measures transparency with donors, participation with the public, evaluation and measurement of programs, and complaint and response mechanisms.
  7. In 2006, 82.5% of our revenue went to support programs that combat poverty and help children in need. When we fundraise, for every $1 spent, we raise $7 to help children in need.
* This is NOT a sponsored post. *

Winter Getaway

A lot of the seniors citizens of Calgary are now travelling to Florida to get away from the cold winter and they will come back around spring time. Actually not just from Calgary, but senior citizens from all over the cold places in North America do this. It is their yearly routine.

One of the top 10 islands in America as noted by Condé Nast readers is the Amelia Island Plantation, Florida's premier island resort, where the weather is warm and sunny all year round. This is one of their destination.

Here's a deal for the perfect getaway from your busy life or from the cold winter days. Their current promo is book 2 nights and you get the 3rd night for free! Make sure you check out their Lodging Special for participating hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Amelia Island Plantation offers a lot for nature lovers, outdoor activities, romantic getaways, family activities and even historical tours. You can go shopping, golfing and even try different cuisines.

I could see myself retiring in Florida someday... I just love the sunny and warm weather, the beaches and of course, the numerous theme parks that are there. And I hope to visit Amelia Island one day. The place looks like a paradise to me.


Photo Hunters: Long



This is definitely a long climb for these 2 little kids... but not for my daughter! She was up and down in no time! She just loved rock climbing... I wish I could afford to let her do this as often as she liked.



Taken at summer camp [an indoor acitivty]
~ July 2007 ~

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Warning Sign


"Malate Church is dedicated to Nuestra Senora de Remedios [Our Lady of Remedies], an image of the Virgin Mary to whom the faithful have turned in times of trouble over four centuries. The church is also historically significant as the base from which the British launched their assault on Intramuros, which then placed Manila under British rule for a two-year period. The present weathered adobe structure is actually only over 100 years old, though various predecessors have stood on the site since the end of the 16th century."

This sign is posted as a reminder inside the church.

Start spreading the Christmas love

I got this from Toni's blog [again and again]... she got this from Kayni, who started a wonderful Christmas gifties project over at her blog.

The rule is quite simple:

Before the end of 2007, I will send a card and physical gift to each of the first five people who comment here. The catch? Each person must make the same offer on her/his blog.

C'mon! Let’s start spreading some Christmas magic!
For the first five people who leave their comments here, please include your email address so I can get in touch with you. Thanks!

20 more days to go...

Tag #22: Two Things

I got tagged by Raquel...

  1. Two names I go by: Jo and Jocelyn
  2. Two things I am wearing right now: T-Shirt and shorts
  3. Two things I want (or have) in a relationship: Love and Trust
  4. Two things I like to do: daydreaming and sleeping
  5. Two things I want very badly in this moment: Sleep and a body massage!
  6. Two things I did last night: Put up my christmas tree and help my son with his homework
  7. Two things I ate today: Salmon and Fried pork with mushrooms
  8. Two persons I last spoke to: Fellow screening officers and passengers
  9. Two things I am doing tomorrow: Work and house cleaning
  10. Two favourite days of the week: Monday and Tuesday [my day-offs]
  11. Two favourite holidays: Christmas and New Year
  12. Two favourite beverages: Coke and coke
  13. Two things about me that you may not have known: I'm stubborn and very strict with my children
  14. Two jobs that I have had in my life: Tax Consultant and Pre-board screening officer
  15. Two movies I would watch over and over: Somewhere in Time and Dirty Dancing
  16. Two places I have lived: Philippines and Canada
  17. Two of my favourite food: Chinese and American
  18. Two places I would rather be right now: In a cruise and trip to Paris

Marriage Proposal

This is from Toni's blog.

"Tell me a story about a marriage proposal — yours, a friend's, a family member's, or someone else's story you just heard about from somewhere. I'm certain there will be a spectrum of moods and tones here — some will be grand, some simple, some saccharine, some funny, and hey, even disastrous. Not all marriage proposals are successful, right? This'll make for a really interesting blog carnival. And who knows? Maybe some readers will get ideas for the new year. Hmmm.

Write about it in your blog and link back to this post. I will collate all links and entries and have the set up by mid-December. Deadline for submission of entries is on Dec. 9, 2007, 11:59 pm."

Let the Marriage Proposal Blog Carnival begin!



.....oOo.....


I already blog about this before. But here is how my future SIL, D, would relate her special event, verbatim. I got this from her weddingannouncer.com's site --

R is hubby's youngest brother, the future groom
D is the future bride, and a single mom
M is D's 9 year old son
and A is D's friend

"I was in Basement 1 of Robinsons Galleria Mall with A, my officemate, who was hitching a ride with me to Makati. We were busy ranting about our stressful day and had to stop by the trunk of my car so I can fish through my purse for my car keys. A suddenly said, "Oh!" with a startled tone and I looked behind me and then seconded her, "Oh!"...

R emerged from the SUV parked beside my car. He was holding a bouquet of red roses and, sweating like crazy, seemed to have lost at least 5 lbs in the process of waiting to surprise me. He gave me the bouquet and whipped out a sheet of rolled bond paper from his back pocket.

He then proceed to read his "speech" entitled, "The 12 Things I Love About D." (This was around the time I turned to M and said, in a very bridezilla tone of voice, "Huy! Take pictures! Activate your phone-cam! Video, video! Picture, picture!")

R was already on number 5 of his list when I turned to him, dramatically teary-eyed, and lovingly said, "Hon...ang init...ok lang if pasok na tayo sa car tapos continue natin ito sa aircon?" [Honey, its hot, do you mind if we continue it inside the car with the aircon on?]

When we were about to get into the car, I saw the petals on the windshield... he had partially covered the windshield with blue, red, pink and white petals!!! [So, once again, I snapped to attention, whipped my head to my side and said, "A! Look alive! Stay alert! Shoot! Shoot!"]

Inside the car, he continued to read, "The Twelve Things I Love About D" which, in my completely unbiased opinion, is a great literary work of art.

It was a wonderful surprise and well-executed! No one else can claim to have been proposed to in a carpark, with flowers and a speech! He somehow knew that no other surprise would have worked as much as this one did. He chose the least likely venue, and the least likely time... Anything else, such as a fancy restaurant or a romantic setting... and I would have guessed within the first 5 seconds! It was the best surprise ever and I can't ask for anything more :)

The Twelve Things I Love About D --
  1. She is a good mom to M. She takes care of him all the time. Her love for him overflows. M is always top priority.
  2. She is very animated, candid, true to herself kind of deal.
  3. Her passion for the arts [visual, music] is admirable.
  4. Music is her zone - song-writing, composing & singing. Combined with her talents, her sheer intelligence brings out an excellent performance in terms of her corporate career life. She is always on top of her game.
  5. She is a go-getter. She knows what she wants and knows how to get it.
  6. She loves dealing with people. She's so good at it, she can be mistaken as an HR practicioner.
  7. She is very generous with her time, resources, efforts & money especially with matters with her family.
  8. She is a let-your-hair-down, fun-loving, free-spirited, adventurous type of person. She is full of energy, and always on the go.
  9. She is not maarte, can adjust to any type of place or situation.
  10. Although not maarte, she knows how to take care of her health & beauty. Her fashion sense is also very good.
  11. Her best trait I guess is her taste in boys. Or shall I say, she has finally improved on her good taste in boys... ehem, ehem.
  12. Finally, she loves her boyfriend a lot, as much as her boyfriend loves her!
Will you marry me?"

PMN Family Photo: Messy



Construction is always messy...
and dust is everywhere...

Click here to join PMN Family Photo.



Previous PMN Photo entry:

September 2007: Potted
October 2007: Green
November 2007: Plated

Photo Hunters: Red




I love red decors on Christmas Tree!
It's December and yet I have not put up my Christmas tree
nor have I done any of my Christmas shopping...



I also love red flowers!

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Thirteen Thursday #33: Dream Home



13 Things in looking for our dream home


  1. Location, location and location!
  2. Minimum of at least 2 full bath
  3. A big kitchen with an island in the center and lots of cupboards
  4. Walk-in closet in the masterbedroom
  5. Spacious closets in the kids' room
  6. Minimum of 3 bedrooms
  7. Attached garage
  8. A playground nearby
  9. A community center close by
  10. Close to our current place of work
  11. Close to medical clinic and dental offices
  12. Close to malls/grocery stores/banks
  13. Close to schools/church

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It's easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Join Thursday Thirteen

Art Attack #2

The Filipinos are very creative indeed... this is one of the things that my daughter enjoyed while on vacation in the Philippines. I have never seen this in Canada yet, so if you are an enterpreneur, you might want to bring this concept to Canada. Children of all ages will surely love this activity.

This activity is quite simple. First you choose the design you want... then fill it with colored paint that was provided... once you are finished, they will put it in an oven toaster for a minute or 2 to dry it up. Wet the back a little and it will stick to your fridge.





Patricia and my godchild, Zoe



Kiddy's Art Town at SM Mall of Asia, Philippines

My Firsts in 2007

This question came from Junnie's blog entry today --

What are some of the firsts that you experienced in 2007?

  1. First full time job
  2. First car registered to my name
  3. First time earning $$$ through blogging
  4. First LCD TV
  5. First trip to Jasper National Park
  6. First Reconciliation of Patrick [November 24, 2007]




  7. First Eucharist of Patricia [starts this wednesday]
  8. First mortgage pre-approval in Canada

Photo Hunters: Hot



Care to take a swim in the hot spring pool?
It is refershing and you're going to love it!
Picture taken at Radium Hot Springs in British Columbia.
[A 3-hour drive from Calgary]


Hubby and daughter in the picture.

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Always a winner!

When I was in my teens, I always tagged along wherever my mama would go -- to Divisoria, to the wet market, to the grocery, and even to Casinos. Yes, even to Casinos. Back then, they were not strict on age requirement especially if the casinos are part of the hotel that we were staying. Nobody was really checking IDs as long as they see you with an adult.

I would say I've been to about 6 casinos with my mama, and every time I go there, I always win! Yup, you heard me right, I always win!

You see, my Mama would give me about PHP 500 to play at the slot machines. I would get chips for PHP 100 and once I lose that money, I stop playing. And when Mama asks me if I won or not, I would always say I won PHP 400. Because technically, I didn't shell out any money, it's my mama's money. Yet, I get to keep it at the end of the day. So instead of wasting it all up at the slot machine, I keep it to buy things that I like. But for my mama, she lost PHP 500 [to me] and whatever amount to the casino.

For those who love gambling and casinos, TopUsaOnlineCasinos.com is a free guide to help players find safe and fun online gambling destinations.

Tag #21: Linky love chain

I got tagged by Vanessa.

The rules are simple - When you get tagged... you have to add your name next to people who had done the tag and and let the list grow!

Limadang.com
RamblingMoo.com
blogginginmypyjamas
Chinneeq
Dora-zooropazoo
Babyshern
Girlie HiPnCooLMoMMa
Daphne Laura
Vanessa
Jo

Let's keep the list growing, so more and more people will discover our blogs.

If you want more people to discover your blog, consider yourself tagged!

Conversation #21: On test scores

Two weeks ago, my so brought home a science test with a zero mark [0/6]... and the following day a Math test with a perfect score [52/52]. And I told him that he should be bringing home perfect scores and not zeros.

Today, my son brought home the following project/test scores for my signature...

All about me booklet [project] = 66%
Spelling 1 = 30%
Spelling 2 = 80%
Math 1 = 84%
Math 2 = 90%

PATRICK: "Mommy, it is a good thing that I don't get perfect scores."
ME: "Why is it a good thing?"
PATRICK: "Then people will not think that I am bragging."
ME: "Having a perfect score doesn't mean you are bragging. It should make you feel proud of yourself."

This is how my son is justifying his grades to me... haaaaaayyyyy! I should get his first report card on the 26th.

Dyson

Vacuum cleaner is one of my favorite cleaning device at home. My only problem is the previous vacuum cleaner that I bought easily breaks down on me. And once it broke down, it is more expensive to have it repaired or find replacement parts. The cheaper way to go is to buy a new one. And I had my third one in the span of six years. I guess the models that I choose doesn't last very long.

But if you had a Dyson vacuum cleaner, whether you have the upright or cylinder or handheld vacuum cleaners, you don't have to worry. Dyson parts and accessories are now available through their website at a reasonable cost. Just look for the model you have and you will see all the parts and accessories for that particular model.

Dyson is currently having a special promotion where they offer some free stuff on certain models and even free delivery on some orders.

Photo Hunters: I Love Shrimps


I love shrimps. Hubby used to be allergic to shrimps when he was young... but he got over this as soon as we got married.


This is from the all-you-can-eat Shrimp Feast at Red Lobsters.
I had Fried Shrimps and Shrimp Linguine Alfredo [pictured above]
and additional servings of Garlic Shrimps and Buffalo shrimps
-- for a total of approximately 40+ shrimps. Yummy!

Join Photo Hunters

On Retirement

One thing that scares me about living in North America is the influence of the Americans or Canadians about not taking care of their elderly. Coming from a country where people value the family unit, and children taking care of their old and sick parents, I sometimes wonder if my kids will do the same for us.

Hubby's plan, for now, is to retire in one of the beaches in the Philippines. Because he fears that nobody will take care of us here once our kids have their own family and lives to live.

I once met an elderly Caucasian lady as she walks through the metal detector at the airport, she hugged me as soon as she founds out that I am from the Philippines. She said she just came from the Philippines for a visit, and she loved the people there. She loved the way the children takes care of their parents. That brief hug definitely made my day!

But because the trend here is going to care homes after retirement, there is a lot of dedicated service provider out there to help us find the right kind of care we needed.

Is your PC safe from viruses?

I don't know much about computer. I used to download a lot of stuff from the internet and even install free softwares that I wanted to try. I was even a victim of spam mails. Of course, I didn't know that they were spam mails at that time. So I ended up with tons of viruses on my PC and losing some data in the process. That was 5 years ago.

It's a good thing that hubby is a network administrator/analyst. He decided to buy and install Norton antivirus on my PC. He knows how to clean all those viruses.

For those of you who are illiterate on viruses like me, this is your chance to get free Norton antivirus . Hurry, this free download is offered for a limited time. Learn to protect your PC and protect your files.

Kananaskis County

This was the last road trip of my inlaws before they went back to the Philippines yesterday. Three weeks flew by so fast. Three weeks was long enough to spoil and pamper my kids too... ",)



......oOo.....


Please pray for the biopsy of my father-in-law scheduled on November 17. Thank you.

Free Blogger Cards

One of the requirements to get more opportunities for paid blogging is to generate lots of traffic to your blog. And in order to generate traffic, you need to promote your blog to the World Wide Web.

Here's the best way to do that. Ooprint.com is currently offering 100 Free blogger cards. There are 500+ models to choose from. Go get your free cards now!

Readings to share

Here's some stories to reflect on --

  • Beware of Garbage Trucks
  • God's touch
  • The Yellow Shirt

    And the all time favorite of almost everybody --
  • The Velveteen Rabbit

    Please feel free to share your favorite heartwarming stories.

    HAPPY WEEKEND EVERYONE!!!

  • Thursday Thirteen #32: Screening tips

    All airports in Canada operates under the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority [CATSA], any complains you may have regarding our screening process may be addressed to them. Screening officers are just there to implement rules and regulations.

    I decided to come up with this list since I have been encountering angry and rude passengers during my training two weeks ago.



    13 things to remember when going through airport security

    1. Don't get angry if we need to search your bag or you, we are just doing our job. And remember there is always a first time for everything. You may travel a lot and this could be the first time you are being checked.
    2. Do not pack stuff in your carry-on that you don't want to be checked or touched by the screening officers.
    3. Do not complain or say bad words, we could detain you and let you miss your flight. Really.
    4. Do not say "I have a gun or bomb" even as a joke! We take these things seriously. You could be banned from flying - forever!
    5. If we confiscate stuff from you [like swiss army knife, your toiletries over 100ml in containers, pointed scissors and other non permitted items], don't curse us. We have no interest in your items. They either go to charity or auction or garbage.
    6. Random checking does not have anything to do with your race or color, so do not ever initiate that you were picked because of your color.
    7. If you were pick for random checking, that is good; it means we are doing our job properly. This is being done in all airports, it doesn't mean that if you had not experienced this before that we are not doing it.
    8. To avoid having items confiscated, please make sure you are well aware of the rules regarding permitted and non-permitted items in your carry-on and checked baggage.
    9. Always remember 9/11... would you want to be one of the passengers in one of the flight that day? So please, let us do our job the right way. No shortcuts just because you're late for your flight.
    10. And if you encounter staff training on the line, be glad! It means new hires are given proper training to make you feel safe and secure during your flight.
    11. Remember, we are risking our lives on the line everyday too... in case of a bomb alert, we cannot even leave our post until police and bomb squad arrives.
    12. Remember, our job is very important for the airline crew and the flying public's safety. You may not think so, but just talk to people who lost their loves ones on plane that were hijacked then maybe you can better understand our position.
    13. Last but not the least, please do not ever complain that the x-ray operator is moving too slow or taking too long.

    Other related posts:
  • 13 No-No at the pre-board screening area
  • Tips for travellers

    Join Thursday Thirteen

  • Get a wireless broadband now!

    When hubby first started talking about changing our current subscription to a broadband, I said “what?” It really took hubby a long time to explain this for me to understand.

    Basically, the wi fi broadband gives you real savings. You see, with wi fi broadband, we cut down our phone bills' monthly fees in half. And we are able to choose the area code for our phone number. Example, if you live in Calgary, you can have the area code of New York or Los Angeles. If you have families abroad, who also have a broadband with the same area code as your phone number, all your calls will be considered as local calls even if you are in the different parts of the world. No more long distance charges to pay. Now that is what I call real savings!

    During our last summer vacation in the Philippines, we even brought our broadband with us so if anybody from Calgary, employer or friends calls, it will still be a local call for them and us. And this is only possible to the technology of wi fi.

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    The Big Apple

    New York City, also known as the Big Apple, is one of my favorite cities in the world. I don't want to live there, but I wouldn't mind visiting it once a year.

    Since 2001, we've been visiting my sister-in-law and her family in New York at least once or twice a year. From Toronto to New York, it’s an average of 10-12 hours drive. And by now, you should all know that we love road trips! Since we've relocated to Calgary late last year, we can't afford to visit them anymore. Driving is definitely out of the question, and flying is going to be too expensive.

    Anyway, if you ever plan to see New York, or if you are a New Yorker who is expecting visitors this holiday season, get the New York CityPass. This pass includes 6 of New York's famous attractions and allows you to skip most of main entrance ticket lines. You can't say you've seen New York if you don't visit the Empire State Building and take a cruise around Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. This pass gives you big savings of up to 50%. And its special winter run gives you up to three months to use your citypass. It is really such a great value for a big city.


    Calgary vs. Toronto

    For those planning to migrate or relocate, here's something to think about...

    All airports in Canada is operated by CATSA [Canadian Air Transport Security Authority], but each airport is run by a private company and its own labor union.

    In Calgary, working on your first day off, you get paid x1.5 [example: if your basic salary is $14/hour, you get $21/hour for the first day overtime]. On your second day off, you get paid x2 [$28/hour]. Not bad, right? And because of lack of manpower, it is easy to be overworked because your overtime is guaranteed to be approved. Calgary airport even have to borrow Screening Officers from Toronto airport to help us out. And even with the $5,000 yearly retention bonus, this job can't seem to hold its employees down due to other competitive wages and job opportunities available.

    We also have a 10-hour shifting schedule. This means you can only work for 4 days a week. And if you want to, you can apply for overtime. On your second and third day overtime, you get paid x2. And believe me, there are a lot of people who choose to work 7x a week at 10 hours each day.

    In Toronto, its the same rate for your first day off [$21/hour]. But on your second day off, you still get paid $21/hour. Big difference, right? Plus I was told by my friend who worked in Toronto airport that it is hard to get overtime hours there as they have full force. And they don't have the $5,000 retention bonus to look forward too.

    DISCLAIMER: This comparison is based on my current employer ONLY. This is NOT a generalization.

    A bad hair day!

    There were times in the past where my first instinct was always right. Sometimes I'm glad I followed my instinct. But there were times when I don't follow it and regreted it.

    Yesterday was one of those days! As I was doing my first load of laundry, I had this instinct not to do a second load. But I still decided to go ahead with my second load and guess what? I forgot to take out my cellphone in my pants! Huhuhuhu... it got soaked in the laundry and now its useless!

    I don't usually put anything in my pants pockets. But working at the airport, where I don't have access to a landline, I had to have my cellphone with me in case of emergency at kid's school.

    I even replaced my old Nokia 6110 with a Motorola SLVR as I need a slim and lightweight phone for my pocket. And it breaks my heart that after only 3 months, my Motorola is gone.

    Now I am back to using my old Nokia phone. Arrrgh! I do plan to buy the same Motorola with my sponsored posts' income, but hubby wants me to find a different one.

    Moral of the story: I should learn to trust my first instinct from now on.

    PMN Family Photo: Plated



    Mango Crepe at Cafe Breton
    Greenbelt 3, Makati City, Philippines
    [This is the "in" thing among my friends after dinner.]

    Click here to join PMN Family Photo.


    Previous PMN Photo entry:

    September 2007: Potted
    October 2007: Green

    Shopping for a Digital Camera

    My brother in law, L, who got married last year, just had a baby boy last August.

    While I was on vacation, I took lots of pictures of baby R and left them copies. They loved it because it’s the only print copies they have. They don't have a camera , all they have is the camera on their cell phone. Quality wise its not that good.

    It's a pity they decided to hold the Christening 2 weeks after I left Manila or I would have volunteered to be their photographer. My MIL took some pictures during the Baptism, but sad to say, nobody initiated or remembered taking pictures during the reception.

    Now that MIL and FIL are here, we are looking to buy him a digital camera so they won't miss capturing the growth of their baby boy. And browsing through the internet, I found SaveBuckets.co.uk. This site gives you a comparison of prices from a wide variety of products through hundreds of different shops.

    Jasper National Park

    We finally made the trip to Jasper National Park last weekend with my in-laws.

    Ever since we first came to Canada, this is the one place that I've been wanting to see. Of course back then, I don't know where Alberta is. I even tried to google map this so I'll know the distance from Toronto and has been bugging hubby that we should make a road trip for this. But of course, driving for 4-5 days one way isn't practical especially with 2 kids in tow.

    Calgary to Jasper is about 430km one way... our travel time was approximately 7 hours with all the stops at most of the lookout sign that we saw. Patricia was very happy to see that there's a Patricia Street in Jasper and a Patricia Lake! Sad to say, Patricia Lake was closed for the season already, so we didn't get to see it.

    I have more than 500+ pictures and video combined and can't really decide which ones to share with you guys. Our first stop was Lake Louise [the mid point between Calgary and Jasper].

    Here's a slideshow with 26 pictures from Athabasca Glacier Forefield Trail, Athabasca Falls, Sunwapta Falls and Jasper Townsite.




    If you can't see the above slideshow, please click here. Enjoy the view!