August 29, 2009

Pictures of Home

Let me invite you to my parents' house.....
From where I live now, I took two flights, an hour on the road, and then through this dirt road.

When it rains, we better walk barefoot to save our shoes.

On the left side down the road is this gate to the house.

This lady (my Ma with Ben) will welcome you with open arms. She's always happy to have visitors in the house.

So, this is my parents' house. It's their dream house. Seven years ago, they sold our old house and built this on a bigger lot where my Pa can enjoy gardening. Because of economic reason, this dream project is coming very slowly to completion but at least it keeps my parents busy from noticing their empty nest. They said it's for us, their children, that's why they wanted it big enough for all of us. Well, we're all out of the nest so maybe this is only for vacation purposes and for whoever needs a temporary place to live.

Behind the big house is a chestnut tree and a small hut, where Pa and Ma lives! The big house is for their children (and grandchildren) to enjoy.

This is what you see from the window on the second floor. It was very early in the morning when I took this picture. It rained the whole night when we arrived so my first morning after a long trip was very refreshing.

Pa has planted more than 20 kinds of fruit-bearing trees around the house. Under these trees are seedlings he prepared to plant in another city where he works for the local government under the Natural Resources office.

This is the sight when you walk out of the front door. You'd see pomelo, avocado, durian, marang, banana, etc.

So that's my parent's house, our home, my home.....
What makes it a home?
It's not just because a family lives in it.....

It's a home because it's a place where people live in unity.
This is when we dedicated to the Lord the babies of my two nieces.

It's a home because there is sharing.
The 3 ladies, Michelle, Marisse, Micolle (and Mykka who's not in the picture) are daughters of my late eldest sister.

It's a home because everyone gathers and finds reason to celebrate.
It's not the usual birthday cake but a dedication cake. Our family believes on the importance of dedicating each child to God.

It's a home because you always have time to play!
Naomi and Zoe playing golf with cousin Micolle in grandpa's yard.

It's a home because you have enough time to just sit and do nothing!
Finally, Ben got the homecoming he's been praying for.

It's a home because everyone has a role to play.
Naomi and cousin Kezhiah enjoy being "aunties" to their nieces. That means I'm a grand aunt now!

It's a home because all the food on the table is free!
Alexia Marie understood her rights at home. What is ours is hers, too.

It a home because of the love that binds everyone together.
The cousins: Thea, Zoe, Kezhiah, and Naomi savoring the joy and love till the last moment on our way to the airport.

It's a home because one can sleep like a baby at the end of the day.
Less than a month old, Macy Antoinette, knows she's safe at home.

Where we love is home,
Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

August 26, 2009 Promised

Exactly a month had passed after I last logged in. I feel like a rusting blogger here....
Let me try to pick up from the last entry....
After we came back from our home country, we had to do 2 more travels......but that's not actually the reason why it took me one month to post our home visit photos. I had to sort out some odd feelings in my heart and put them into right perspectives.
The reverse culture shock was a big factor.
The sad plights of relatives were heartbreaking.
The economy and politics were disappointing.
Typhoons, heavy rains and flooded streets added more drama to our long awaited homecoming....

I knew I was supposed to be more focus the brighter side of things...

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

So, here I am to recollect the good days we spent back home!

Ben, Naomi, and Zoe enjoyed the entire trip.

Dear husband's parents. Tatay and Nanay are in their 80's. They're so happy to see all of us after 3 years. Though no longer in the peak of health, they managed to be up and around during our 2-week visit with translated to strength.

Almost everyday, dear husband's extended family would gather to share meals together in the yard.

Ben, Naomi and Zoe with their nieces and nephews. Can't believe my kids are already uncle and aunties!

Little Sophia (wearing an Old Navy shirt) is the granddaughter of dear husband's older sister. Little Samantha is the granddaughter of dear husband's older brother. Both are so pretty in pink.

COCONUT! (Can't help but sing that old familiar song.) When I lived in my parents-in-law's compound, this tree was just a bit taller than I was. Now it's as tall as my brother-in-law's 3-storey house.

This is one of my favorite bits. One afternoon, we all sat down in the garden and enjoyed chit-chatting while eating young coconut from that tall's sweet and refreshing as our family time was.

Well, I think our time back home was after all worth sharing, isn't it?

More pictures coming up......