July 31, 2011

"You don't have to be rich to help the poor."

This is the belief I held onto when my husband and I decided to step out in faith and start a charity foundation in the city not our own. But in all good intentions, evil is always there to prevent us.

When we started processing our permit as a non-profit social foundation, a local lady commented to our face, "You are not a president of a big organization and you come from a poor country, who would believe you?" Discouragement has its way to get you  when you are not single-hearted in your intention. 

Yes, we are financially poor but we are rich in many areas. Our family has a collection of quality books and we have friends who have unused books in their homes and with those we can build a community library. We received good education and we can teach poor children for free. We cannot give out money but we can serve freely. These are the things burning in my heart as I reasoned to myself why we do what we do. The old lady thought that only rich philanthropist can do what we intend to do. We are glad to have found like-minded individuals who helped us reach where we are now in our service to the community. We are also thankful to our volunteers who find joy not in monetary reward but in helping others.

July 29, 2011

A Day in a Farm

 My little Zoe, being an animal lover, always wanted a life in a farm and so yesterday we took our girls along with their fellow homeschoolers to a farm resort called "The Scenery" where they fed sheep and enjoyed petting them. they all had a blast around animals and I already thought at the beginning of the day we were there that it would be a fun and educational field-trip for all of us, including parents. I have thought about looking up Guide to Online Schools and maybe adding some online vet tech programs to our homeschooling curriculum. I know Zoe would be interested!

My own farm-girl's heart was also satisfied as I had my "tea talk" with my fleecy friends :-)

Life in the big city can be stressful and so once in a while it's good to run away to a quiet place, have some down time, and enjoy some fresh air. I'm glad that my dh made it happen by driving all of us for 4 hours each way.
Homeschool moms and bloggers.
The drive was longer than our stay at the farm but it was worthwhile. I also get to spend time with another homeschool mom who also appreciatesa life away from the big city.

My heart was blessed to see my girls enjoyed being "close to earth" and know that there are more special way of celebrating birthdays aside from having a balloon-filled parties. 
My farm girls with their cousin, James.
A little late birthday celebration for Zoe 
My first to try archery and definitely not the last.
Hitting the target is as hard as in real life but with all the fun we had at the farm, I'm sure we hit the goal!

Happy birthday, dear Zoe!

This is my entry to a beautiful meme hosted by Lori.

July 27, 2011

Sweet Art Expression

Some people are just gifted with skills of turning ordinary things extraordinary! They have their surprising way of cheering people up. Look what I found on Yahoo News today:
Artist Judith G. Klausner created an amazing art out of Oreo Cookies.
See more photos of Steve Pomeroy here.
Such sweet thing, isn't it? I drooled making a collage of the pictures :-) My girls would be delighted  to know they can do more with Oreo than just dunking it in milk.

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.  
~Mark Twain

July 25, 2011

Are You Happy With Your Life?

I asked my daughters this question yesterday.
I was walking hand in hand with my 11 year old Naomi when I asked her this question. It wasn't a quick response but she replied positively, but then she had a hard time answering my next WHY question. 
My 9 year old Zoe was sitting beside me when I asked her the same question. How quickly she gave her big YES and her reason was "because I had ice cream today!" 
The ice cream that  made my Zoe happy.

I know of many adults who carry heavy baggage of the past. They grow up with bitterness and wounds that never seem to heal in years. For some people, it's because of neglect and abuse and others because of parents' choices and decisions. The former is obviously not in my family. It's the latter that bothers me that's why I needed to ask my daughters. As a parent, I don't want to assume that my children are "okay". Parents make decisions and choices that affect the whole family. And I need to know how my children are affected inwardly. 
This question is simple yet I find it hard to answer. I could easily say YES but then I would not be honest to myself because I do have many trials, big and small. I face challenges almost everyday, and honestly, I'm not happy everyday. I understood my Naomi very well. I also don't want her to answer like her little sister. She's old enough to understand that life is hard and a scoop of ice cream cannot make one happy all the time..When I asked my daughters this question, it was because I wanted to probe what's in their hearts. I later explained to them that although we care much about them being happy but life is not all about our own happiness. Then I talked more to them about what I've read in my prayer time that morning.

Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” – John 12:23-26 (NIV)

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We don't seek for happiness but it comes when we find contentment in whatever situation we are in.

Naomi in her artist mode.

Zoe's visit to a cat show.

I pray to be grateful in whatever state I am.

We're joining a new meme this week.
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