November 30, 2009

First Day of A Beautiful Week

Monday, November 30, 2009

Outside my window...

is warm and sunny! Good time to get tan, if one likes ;-)

I am thinking...

where I put my set of keys. been a bit out of control with some details in the house these past days with all things I needed to attend to.
I am thankful for...

the week that has gone by. I felt I did move forward, unlike other days when i felt like I was only maintaining or moving in circle.

From the learning room...

new materials arrived today (US and Philippine Economics) to complete my son's high school requirements.

I am wearing...

the full armor of God.

I am going...

to the inner city this afternoon to buy train tickets to our favorite island in the neighbor country.

I am hoping...

to find my keys today!

I am hearing...

my daughter talking to my niece. She's my most talkative child, always has something to say, and always excited to share what's on her mind.

From the kitchen

the sweet aroma of yesterday's egg custard still in the air.
Two big blocks of cheddar chesse came in today!

Around the house...

everything seems normal only lacking some fresh touch but maybe a vase of fresh flower will do much difference. Haven't got one quite awhile.....missing the sight of beautiful flowers inside and outside the house. Only few blooms in the garden these past few weeks.

One of my favorite things...

afternoon naps which I seldom get.

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Get all necessary preparations before going on a week-trip outside the country. Make sure there's enough food for pets, too.

Pictures I am sharing...

My two girls love to have tea party together. This is their latest party, inside their room, reading to each other their favorite books then enjoyed playing Monopoly Deal. To make this happen, they went to the nearest shop to buy some chips and managed to find some candied fruits in the pantry. They made sweet milk tea, too, and decorated their room. Some other days they play dress-up which amuses their big brother. I'm wondering how they convinced him to take this photo and how he survives sharing the same room with them.

Thank you for stopping by to read my Daybook for this week. Click on the simple woman's daybook picture above to visit Peggy, the kind host of today's meme. There are more than a hundred of the simple women joining her every week. I invite you to have a good glimpse of their journals and see what simple things in life bring joy to their hearts.

November 28, 2009

Friends Are Gifts From God

I always look forward to Saturdays where I can celebrate friendship here in my blog. Well, celebrating friendship should be at all times but here in my blog, I make Saturdays a chance for everyone to share their friendship stories and celebrate the gift of friendship together. I invite you to click here to meet my celebrated friend.

November 27, 2009

Friday Flashback: 100th Post!

I was a nervous blogger when I first started in April. Ideas were rich but words were scarce. 8 months later, little did I know that today I will be writing my 100th post! But more than the number of posts, I'm very happy to have reached this far. It was quite a challenge to discipline myself to continually writing, and not just writing but also dwelling only on thoughts that are relevant and worth reading.

I would like to thank all my friends who keeps visiting and taking time to read my heart, and also to my sweet friends and followers whom I've meet in blogosphere, meeting you here is a sweet delight and your comments always warm my heart.

I have grown and learned a lot here.. about myself and the things I want to do. I've also learned to read beyond words to see people's heart, share their joy and sadness, and appreciate their different views in life. It has been a good journey to reach this 100th post.

Did you remember my previous header, the overflowing vat? It speaks a lot to me about myself being an earthen vessel receiving from Above to overflowing. Now, it has found a new owner, a poem written by a friend who inspired me to start blogging. My friend and I agreed that my overflowing vat and her poem belong to each other. And with my friend's permission, I'm sharing her poem here along with my overflowing vat.

Overflowing, overflowing, overflowing grace (Rom. 5:15)
Precious gift from You, Father, that can never be contained
You saw my need, my broken world, my fallen heart
And you gave me Your Son . . . Oh, far beyond imagination!

Oh, Your grace overflows, overflows in my heart
Let the world see the overflow and praise You!

Overflowing, overflowing, overflowing hope (Rom. 15:13)
By the power of Your Spirit as I put my trust in You
I look ahead at days to come, there's no fear
And I find joy and peace . . . Oh, far beyond imagination!

Oh, Your hope overflows, overflows in my heart
Let the world see the overflow and praise You!

Overflowing, overflowing, overflowing joy
(II Cor. 8:2, Phil. 1:26, II Cor. 7:4)

Just to be in Your family and to never be alone
Bearing burdens, sharing sorrows, tasting tears
And You turn it all to good . . . Oh, far beyond imagination!

Oh, Your joy overflows, overflows in my heart
Let the world see the overflow and praise You!

Overflowing, overflowing, overflowing comfort (II Cor. 1:5)
From You, Father of Compassion, to my soul in my distress
You heal my pain, then let me see Your aching world
And there I am Your servant . . . Oh far beyond imagination!

Oh, Your comfort overflows, overflows in my heart
Let the world see the overflow and praise You!

Overflowing, overflowing, overflowing love (I Thess. 3:12)
From one heart to another, holy, pure, spreading wide
Loving brothers, loving sisters, joy to me
And it gives You such delight . . . Oh, far beyond imagination!

Oh, Your love overflows, overflows in my heart
Let the world see the overflow and praise You!

Overflowing, overflowing, overflowing thanks (Col. 2:7; II Cor. 4:15)
For the treasure that you gave us, hidden in these jars of clay
Rooted deep, growing strong, Christ in us
And this mystery brings you glory . . . O, far beyond imagination!

Oh, our thanks overflows, overflows in our hearts
Let the world see the overflow and praise You!

I wrote this poem last year after doing a word study on "overflowing" in the New Testament. The photo is from my friend Ruth, a gifted photographer. When I saw this photo, I thought the photo and the poem belonged together! The photo is posted with her permission and the poem with her encouragement.

November 26, 2009

"Unleash the hero within you."

This is an encouragement from the chosen CNN's Hero of the Year, Efren Penaflorida. Watch the following video to know more about his story.

Meet someone he saved from a dangerous road leading to a dark future.

Knowing people like Efren and seeing changed lives inspire me more to keep pushing our own "cart", the learning center and community library project. I'm excited to share to you that just yesterday we have successfully gotten our license to do community work as a non-profit foundation. It's sad to say that we needed to get a license to help but this is also wise for the government to have this law and more wiser for us to follow the law. Well, that's another topic for another post :). But if you wish to know more about our foundation, the poor children and families we are serving, and the opportunities to be involved, please leave a note and I'll be happy to email you more info.

And yes, Judy @ Benmakesten, you can help collect more books for our library. Thanks for making this your family's Advent project. I will email the information to you.

Efren's story has also become our homeschooler's inspiration this week. Visit out HS blog You Can Be A Hero! to see more heroes on the list.

"Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God."
William Carey

November 25, 2009

Give Thanks!

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endures to all generations."
Psalm 100:4-5

    "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever."
    Psalm 107:1

There are four things I want to thank God for this week. Only four things but important. Four things I can't live without:

  • God is good all the time. I thank Him for His unfading goodness in my life.
  • God is merciful. His tender mercies are new every morning. He knows my frailty and weaknesses. I thank Him because He picks me up each time I fall. He forgives my sins.
  • God's Word I trust is true. His promises never fail. The Truth is the Rock I stand on and that is unshakable. I thank Him for my eternal security in His truth.
  • God is love and his love endures forever. I thank Him for the love He showers me everyday, it's always evident through His constant provision, protection and through the loving relationship I have with my family and friends.

What are you thankful for this week? Judy @ A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessing is hosting this meme every Wednesday. Click on the horn of many blessings above to get you to Judy's encouraging blog.

November 24, 2009

Going Bananas

I saw a crowd of people crowding, clicking cameras. I was glad I had mine, too. And we all went bananas over these wide display of nature's surprise.

I come from a banana-exporting country but never saw such varieties all in one place.

Have some banana feast!

I took more pictures but thought these would be enough to remind you that when someone say "banana' that might be a different banana you have in mind :)

My country is popular in banana export; I do hope it doesn't qualify as a banana republic.

a banana republic (informal)
a small, poor country with a weak or dishonest government.
People fear that the country will become a banana republic if the economy doesn't pick up.

-The Free Dictionary by Farlex

November 23, 2009

Kids' Stained Glass Project

Isn't it gorgeous? My 10 year old daughter made this today. This, I think, is another lovely idea to decorate your home for the coming holiday season. If you want to see how simply it is done and what our other homeschoolers did, visit our homeschool blog or go direct to this link Stained Glass Crafts.

Happy Crafting!

"......shine like stars in the universe..."
Philippians 2:15

One Fine Monday Morning

Monday, November 23, 2009

Outside my window...

Lovely morning. Cool, dry, and sunny, 22 degree C. The kind of weather I like!

I am thinking...

many things... expecting another busy week...must prepare for an important meeting tomorrow...the special class today...

I am thankful for...

the week that has gone by. 2 babies were born, both very healthy.
Painting job upstairs is almost done.

From the learning room...

We are making stain glass Christmas decors and more Christmas cards.
Looking forward what dear husband has for our devotion today.

I am wearing...

the garments of praise!

I am going...

to dear husband's office today to do some decorating for his board meeting tomorrow.

I am hoping...

for another simple but blessed week. Less rush, more contemplative and loving moments.

I am hearing...

It's a quiet morning except for the slight noise of vehicles passing by outside our gate.

I'm pondering on.....

God's infinity! How BIG and Sovereign He is. Even if there were 10 earths, He could still hear my prayers and grant my supplications. He will never be too busy, or His hand too short to reach me.

Around the house...

is clean and organized, ready for class. My son just mopped all floors, smells fresh and good. I love it.

One of my favorite things...

Photographs of nature.

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Plan a party for Saturday's triple celebration: dedication of 2 babies and 4th birthday of my nephew.
Finish painting job.
Clean, scrub, wash, and read.

Picture I am sharing...

Another big baby boy born to our family this week! The third child of my younger brother.

Thank you for visiting.
Every Monday, I write a weekly journal and join Peggy, the kind host of Simple Woman's Daybook. Please click the simple woman's picture above to go to Peggy's Daybook and see what other simple women have in their journal.

Have a blessed week!

November 20, 2009

Celebrating Friendship

Some have more , some have less. No matter how many friends we have, I believe we are all thankful that we have even at least one.

Did you know that there are 49 verses in the Bible that speak about friendship? Here are some of my favorite verses:

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Prov 17:17

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Eccl 4:9-10

Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
Prov 27:6

I'm sure you would agree with me if I say that friendship is one of the most celebrated themes in the world. We have celebrations of friendship between countries; in most beauty pageant competition there's one award for Miss Friendship; I've crossed a few Friendship Bridges in Asia; There are popular phrases, too: Friends Forever, BFF, Friends for Life, etc.

Friendship is such a powerful and special relationship. Jesus knew that! He said:

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:12-15

So, every Saturday, I'm inviting everyone to celebrate friendship with me by writing a post dedicated to a friend. Just click on the friendship button above and it takes you to my extention blog where I have the easy 1 2 3 guidelines of joining the celebration.

Dear husband asked, "There are many Saturdays in your blogging life, what if you ran out of friends to write to?" Well, it could happen. But that possibility could either make me worry or inspire me to keep making friends. For now, I just want to celebrate the few precious ones I have because they deserve to be celebrated.

For my entry this week, please click on this link Missing Mala and learn about the woman who sat on this beach for some years.

Friday Flashback: Special Edition

In 2003-2005, life was hard for us.
We lived in a country far from home and the children were still small.
Our resources were limited.
Adjustments living in a culture, climate, food, and language not our own were difficult.
I almost forgot what it was like to want.
I was overwhelmed with the necessities of life.

On February of 2005,Pride and Prejudice, you gave this to me.

To own this would be a vanity at that time when we were struggling with poverty.

These words you wrote....reflects how much you care for me.
You don't only think of what I need.
My wants and desires you also take heed.

If you remembered how much I burst in tears when you handed this gift to me,
that's how my love is bursting from my heart everyday,
only for you, on this day especially.

Happy Birthday, my love.

It may be corny to say but it's not just for the sake of rhyme that I would dare say
"You are my Darcy."

November 19, 2009

New Morning, New Blessing

If you've read my post yesterday on thanksgiving, you knew I had a battle deep inside . I was feeling low for no reason at all. Some call it "waking up at the wrong side of the bed". But I had a good fight!

Early this morning, I woke up expecting for a fresh new day. "Speak, Lord." I prayed. When I went to see my garden, this is what I saw...

This beauty was on the ground. I picked it up and it stayed on my palm until I put it on a flower head. "Behold the beauty of each day." He spoke gently to my heart.

I feel so blessed to day. So much different from yesterday. Maybe I was too busy and occupied that I missed to see the beauty of that day.....

From today, this would be my inspiration for my blog..beholding the beauty of each day. If you noticed, I finally have my blog button on my sidebar. I will also be saying goodbye to my overflowing vat. It has served its purpose, reminding me of God's overflowing joy.

Soon this page will have its new look. I will be posting more on this new theme until I hear another theme from my Lord again.

The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, "The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!"

Lamentations 3:22-24

November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving Doesn't Depend On The Way I feel


"A thankful heart is a JOYFUL heart!" This is what joyful Judy (the host of this meme every Wednesday) wrote in her post today. This is my first time to post for this meme though I have been wanting to but Wednesdays are just too busy for me. And so why now? Well, two reasons: 1. I was reminded of the story in the Bible where Jesus healed ten lepers and only one came back to thank Him. I don't want to belong to those bunch of nine ungrateful folks. 2. Honestly, I don't feel joyful today. I woke up this morning feeling already defeated even before the day's battle began.

So, I'm writing this post with hard punches on the keys!!! This is an actual battle. It doesn't depend on the way I feel...I need to thank the Lord!

1. Thank you gracious Father for Your grace that is sufficient for me. I'm still here, alive and whole even though I feel low.

2. Thank you Omnipresent God for Your presence in my life though sometimes I don't feel it.
Your promise is always true, and You said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you".

3. Thank you Jehovah Jireh, God my Provider. I have everything I need and in you I lack nothing. I don't have to worry of my future needs because You are my Good shepherd.

4. Thank you God for your loving kindness that is better than life.

5. Thank you merciful Father for your tender mercies that are new every morning.

I still feel the same though. But I believe something is broken in the spiritual realm when I decided to choose the way to joy rather than to despair.

So, if you feel the way I do, I would like to invite you to join Judy of A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings and the rest of thankful ladies. Let's shrug off our shoulders the feeling of heaviness that is weighing us down by counting our blessings and thanking Him who is the Giver of the many gifts. He deserves our thanksgiving no matter what circumstances we are in.

And to all my American friends, Happy Thanksgiving to you all. This is such a wonderful tradition you have!

November 16, 2009

Hello Monday! I'm Glad You're Here Again!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Outside my window...

Cloudy, humid and warm. It looks like it's raining in some areas of the city.

I am thinking...

what if I accept teaching jobs on weekends? To do or not to do?..... I haven't been in a real classroom for some years now.

I am thankful for...

my life and my family's that are secured in God's loving hands.

From the learning room...

We are making Christmas cards, and learning the art of blogging :)

From the kitchen...

Cereals and fresh milk. Didn't plan to cook hot meals for breakfast today. Will have chicken adobo for dinner.

I am wearing...

Green, long sleeved top and a brown corduroy skirt. Trying to dress nice even at home (as Peggy does).

I am going...

to sew a table cloth to cover our ping-pong table. It will serve as conference table at dear husband's office. I bought a gorgeous fabric from Chinatown for 1$ per meter!

I am hoping...

that someone would volunteer to be a help for our community library project.

I am hearing...

birds chirping outside and children laughing and talking while making Christmas cards.

Around the house...

Hundreds of assorted brand-new books on the floor donated from Books for Asia for our community library project. My son is helping me encode them to our library database.

One of my favorite things...

reading stories to my youngest child while in the hammock under the tree in a cool day.

A few plans for the rest of the week:

build (or buy) proper cages for our fast growing rabbits, scrub walls and hopefully start repainting job in our family room, organize cd's and dvd's accumulated for ages, wash window panes, and get something DONE!

Picture I am sharing...
Simplicity and a Smile
We were strangers to each other but she's so kind to let me take her photo. She was shy to look at the camera, but gave me a good smile that left a soft spot in my heart. She seemed happy and content selling chicken satay in a local night market. What are her longings and heart desires? How does she vent her frustrations and sadness? Does she journal like I do? I was just passing by that village and may never be found in that place again. Sadly, I realized I could have been friendlier by spending more minutes to get to know her a little bit more than just exchanges of nods and smiles.

Thank you for visiting.
If you want to do more visits and have a glimpse of other simple women's journal, hop on to :

The Simple Woman's Daybook
Peggy, the kind host of this Daybook is happy to welcome you.

November 15, 2009

Need To Vent?

Doylene @ A Gracious Home just published an interesting post on venting, and is starting a meme for Fridays. Here's an excerpt from her post.
As women, even Christian women, we need to vent sometimes. We have migraines, cramps, disagreements with our husband, workplace problems, the government, our freedoms don't seem to exist now that we are married etc, etc etc. Any problems you have you can vent them here. You can yell and scream and be inappropriate. As mothers we get tired and weary. As wives we are often neglected. As homemakers our work is never finished. I am here to listen and pray for you. You can share pictures if you like. This is a No Boundries, No Holds Barred, place. I understand , I've been there. Doylene

And if you want to know some ways to vent out the frustrations, sadness, and anger that arise as a normal part of growing and a healthy life, click on the picture to go direct to her post. I'm sure you would be glad you took time to visit her gracious home.

Sunday Sightseeing: China Town

How does the Chinatown in your area look like? Or do you have one? In all big cities I've been, there's always a place called Chinatown. And in the city where I live now, the Chinatown is quite far, 1-2 hour-trip depending on the traffic condition. I've been to the place more that 20 times already but still get lost in a maze-like alleys. Here are some pictures I took during my last shopping for fabric.

This is the place where you can buy almost everything! You name it, they have it. This is where I buy my craft materials and school supplies.

Here, the price is almost 50% cheaper compared to that at regular shops so even weekdays the area is always crowded.

And this is my vision at the end of my shopping day. Feeling dizzy but happy!

November 14, 2009

Time To Celebrate Friendship

Happy Saturday! My friend Floie just wrote in her facebook status that weekends are like rainbows, they look beautiful from afar but they disappear as they get closer. Though true, I still hope your weekend is more beautiful up close. Mine already is! I started it by writing a post for my friend, Floie. See what I got for her by clicking the button. You're welcome to join the celebration this week!

November 13, 2009

Books and Library Stories

I took my homeschoolers today to a field trip where we visited a big "public" library and ended up bookshop hopping instead. I posted a more detailed story in my homeschool blog but here's a bit of what happened.

We heard of this first class library on the 6th floor of a mall in the inner city, so we went. True, it's huge and very classy, with floor to ceiling shelves of beautiful books. BUT not "public". There's a membership fee of USD100+ a year. The books are not for check-out and photocopying is almost a dollar per page! Oh, how my heart beat even stronger for under-privileged children! I want to build one like this for them!

As non-members, we were allowed to have a quick tour but must follow strict rules and all those passport check, filling up of forms, stickers on our shirts, etc. Whoa! I'm just here to read!

You wont see any picture of that library here. I wasn't even at ease to breath, how much more to take a picture! Can you see the smoke coming out my ears now?!

It was quite a disappointment, so I decided that we should go to 2 bookshops. There, we freely read and were at eased to share excitements over good books we found. We also went to a second-hand book cafe, an old building but with very friendly atmosphere. Did more reading and browsing....

But I almost jumped to find the young reader's edition of my favorite book! I bought it for half the price of a new copy. This is my third copy of it.

I just loved this book! It inspired me more to dream big about our library project for the community.

And speaking of community library, I'm so pleased and excited to announce that we just got another batch of brand-new books donated from another local foundation for our library project! More books to cover and more shelves we need. But these are all happy problems I'm willing to face this coming week.

Oh well, that's my only post for today. And I'm looking forward to Celebrate Friendship with you tomorrow. Have a nice weekend!