September 25, 2010

My Bride-Model

I took 2 flights to the Philippines to be in my niece's wedding. Well, some of you knew the plan in my previous post. So, here are some of the photos I took during the special family occasion. I took tons of photos so expect I'll be showing more for the whole month, I think!

It was a sunset wedding but the bridal entourage was already getting dressed and made-up in the morning at the 16th floor of Marco Polo Hotel.

Loved the view of Mt. Apo from our window!

Michelle, the lovely bride, had her own official photographer but I had my pleasure snapping shots on the side.

 I didn't need a professional camera. The natural lighting in the room and the bride's beauty were enough for me to take the best shot.

 I used to enjoy taking photos of her when she was a little girl. Michelle is the first grandchild in our family so she was our living doll. Oh, how she loved to pose for me!

Isn't she the loveliest bride? You can tell I'm a proud aunt.

“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood,
but of respect and joy in each other's life.”
-Richard Bach

September 15, 2010

My flower girl is now a bride....

She was my flower girl 18 years ago. I don't have her solo picture so I just cropped this from the original photo where I was the bride. Now it's her moment to be showered with flowers and to say "I do". Oh, she would surely be a lovely bride! I am excited to be there for her.

Last month, Michelle flew with her groom to visit us. She invited us to be part of her wedding entourage. I'm going to be the matron of honor. What an honor, indeed.

I - for Invitation and "I do"

My list of thanksgiving for this week:

I thank God for His faithfulness in Michelle's life. I wrote in my previous post how she misses her mom, but the Lord has been her comfort in times of loneliness.

I thank the Lord for providing her a good  husband who loves and provides for her, and a new family where love and joy abound.

I thank God, our Father, for surrounding Michelle with family and friends who helped her grow as a beautiful person inside and out.

I thank the Lord, my Provider, for my plane tickets so I can be with family in Michelle's wedding.

I praise God for the gift of family where I feel welcome and loved, and where His grace and joy abound. I'm excited to stay (again) in my parents house, see relatives, and visit my family in-law.

Click the button to take you to Judy's list of thanksgiving, and also to meet other thankful women.

September 13, 2010

Mother and Child

The picture has gone blurry but the memory is still clear.

I took this photo when Michelle was two. This was the time when all guests had left and Michelle couldn't wait to open all her gifts. I remember that day so well. Michelle's mom, my dear sister, wanted her first child's 2nd birthday to be a special event, just like the first and the following birthdays. I was always my sister's assistant in events like this. She wanted the best for her child. She's the doting mother. And the two were inseparable.

A week before Michelle turned 12, her mom was suppose to be flown to the capital city for a major surgery. The night before the flight, she wrote me a letter full of love, faith and hope to be home again and be reunited with the whole family. Sadly, she didn't see the next day, for she was taken to her real home with the Lord, and there she waits to be reunited with her family.

In her letter, she asked me only one request.

On Sunday, the 2-year old child in the picture is going to be a bride, and she is longing for her mom. What a powerful bonding that cannot be erased by years of absence! I will be there at the wedding but no one can take her mother's place. 

The mother's image may go blurry but not her memory imprinted in the heart of her child.

"Children and mothers never truly part -
Bound in the beating of each other's heart."
- Charlotte Gray

September 11, 2010

Our Garden Story

When we moved in to our rental house more than 2 years ago, the yard was all weeds and with few fruit trees. All green; no signs of fruit or blossoms. We cleaned the yard, and started planting flowers and pruned the trees.

I spent my first hour of most of my mornings in the yard.I had a picture in mind.

 This is exactly what I wanted to see! A mosaic of sights that I see everyday.

Our butterfly garden is not yet complete but it is already attracting beautiful butterflies.
(This  is my entry for Camera Critters this week.)

More than the happy butterflies fluttering about, I'm amused to see my girls and their friend having tea in the garden. 

Sometimes, my garden is brought inside the house. It's flowers don't only fill my vase but also adorn my chocolate cake.

Three weeks from now, we'll be leaving our unfinished garden behind, and in our new house, we'll start a new one.

"God almighty first planted a garden.
And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures."
- Francis Bacon

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September 10, 2010

Sky, Flag, and Plane

We're back to the Bangkok Immigration Office last Monday. It took us the whole day to get our visa extension. This gorgeous sky was a consolation after long hours of waiting to get our passports stamped.

The red and blue flag is flying high. It is, as the country's economy is still souring despite the political storm months ago. The services at the immigration is a lot better and faster now than before. It was just an unusual day for us because many expatriates came on the same day. We hope and pray that they give us a whole year visa next time instead of 3 months each visit.

Did you see the plane? I like it when there's little surprises when I'm taking photos.

It's been a long busy week. Thank God it's Friday!
there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.”
  Victor Hugo 
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September 9, 2010

Tea Invitation

Hello, everyone! It's Tea Talk once again in my other blog. Life has been a bit hectic here. But I'm glad to have a bit of time to share with you. Thank you for joining me this week. See you there!

September 8, 2010

A House Is Not A Home

Today I had to explain to my 8 year old daughter, Zoe, that our home is not the house we have now but it is anywhere where our family lives.  

We only have 3 weeks left in this house in the picture. We will move to a smaller house with a very small garden. There are several practical reasons why we need to do the move. We have been thinking and praying about this. Just didn't know that it will be this soon. The sorting and boxing of things has started, busiest days are ahead!

Zoe was quite sad that we're leaving our unfinished butterfly garden project, and her favorite hammock in our patio. I told her that that we can start a new garden in our new house, and we'll bring the hammock and find a good spot for her to do her reading. I assured her that we can make any house a beautiful home for all of us. She beamed with hope and I know she will not be disappointed.

Where thou art, that is home.
Emily Dickinson
I thank God for my 3 children who have been cooperative and compliant in all our family moves, changes and adjustments.

I thank the Lord for providing for us to rent this house at the time we needed it. Now He has provided another house that is suited for our present need.

I praise God for all the wonderful times spent in this house. With all the miracles, blessings, surprises, friendships and love He showered us, I can say that His presence is always with us the whole time, and, His presence will be with us in the new house.

I praise God for making our family a beautiful home for each of us. For 18 years, we have moved more than 20 times already. Our family have learned to let go, and be content to live wherever as long as together. We can build our home in a tent and still be content.

Hop on to ABC Wednesday  and see more happy H's. 

Be blessed! Click the button to take you to Judy's list of thanksgiving, and also to meet other thankful women.

September 5, 2010

Morning Sunshine on My Kitchen Counter

I wonder how many mornings I have already spent in this corner. For more than 2 years, this has been the routine; brew coffee first and then prepare warm breakfast. I will definitely miss this sunny spot as we are moving to a new house soon... will make sure that there will always be mornings like this in my new kitchen.

September 4, 2010

Tending My Yard and My Heart

For many years, I lived in different high-rise apartments and I only had potted plants to enjoy in my balcony. But even with limited space, I managed to have grown vegetables indoor even during winter. In those years I wished to have a real grounds to till.

Now, I am blessed to have a yard large enough for me to enjoy daily gardening. It such a blessing to do a bit of farming activities while living in a big city.

I was pruning our mango tree to let more sunshine on the corner where we wanted our butterfly garden to be.
In my previous posts, I mentioned about our latest project which is the butterfly garden in one corner of our front yard.  It's been a month since we started it and I'm excited to share the progress. But that will be in another post. You can have a peek in my front yard here.

For some time, I've busied myself tending the front yard more than the back where I used to have my vegetable garden. Recently, I'm reminded that I should care for both. It also spoke  of my heart's journey where I put more effort on taking care of what is seen than the inner self. So, as I'm back tending my backyard, I am also looking into my heart. How is the plight of my heart?

My backyard is prone to flooding during heavy rain so I decided to do pot-gardening. My heart is prone to depression when heavily pressured and stressed so I'm taking things bit by bit, one day at a time.  As I said in my garden blog, when I work in my garden, I'm also gardening in my heart. I plant seeds of faith. Uproot weeds of doubts.

This time I planted more herbs and spices. I have different kinds of basil and chilies, pandan, lemon grass, rosemary, lime, malunggay, bell pepper, turmeric, and spring onions. The banana tree is also  bearing fruit and so is the rose apple.

Gardening is a hard work. Although I enjoy doing it but I admit that sometimes I wish I live back in those high rise apartments so I only have potted plants to care for.

For sure, the spaghetti for our lunch today tasted better with fresh basil from our garden.

But then,every time I put on the table food fresh from my garden, my being a farm girl at heart is again revived.

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September 3, 2010

Frangipani in the Sky

It's scientific name is Plumeria but I grew up calling this "kalachuchi". This flower brings back memories of childhood. Sad and happy thoughts came at the same time.

In the province where I grew up, we had lots of big kalachuchi trees.  We would climb on those trees but the branches were not strong so my dear sister fell down and ended up with stitches on her head. That part of the past made the memory more vivid until now.

I loved gathering its flowers that had fallen on the ground, then stringing them together to form a lei around my neck; 2 smaller ones around my wrists, and a single flower on my ear.

Then I would pretend to be Miss Hawaii.

I'm always fascinated on how girls use its flowers to beautify themselves.

My girls do.

I was once like them...

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