{Simply Grateful} 10/27/2007

....for a fun family time at the beach (Pumpkins on the Pier)

....for the soothing loveliness of our blooming rose garden

God hath not promised
Skies ever blue,
Flower strewn pathways
All our lives through;
God hath not promised
Sun without rain,
joy without sorrow,
Peace without pain.

But God hath promised
Strength for the day,
Rest for the labor,
Light for the way,
Grace for the trials,
Help from above,
Unfailing sympathy,
Undying love.
-Annie Johnson Flint

My prayer:

Dear God,
Right now these flowers are in bloom
Soon they will wither and fall but they will bloom again
As I delight in the constant renewal of life
may it serve as a silent reminder of your promise
not of flower strewn pathways all our lives through
but of your constant presence and undying love
and help me remember that though we plant and water,
it is you who provides the life and growth.

Pumpkins on the Pier

We took Isabella to Pumpkins on the Pier, the 7th Annual Trick or Treat Extravaganza of the City of Pismo Beach. She enjoyed decorating a pumpkin, jolly jumping, and going trick-or-treating at the stores while Phil had fun boogie boarding.

Scary Pumpkin

Isabella and I took dad to Avila Valley Barn when he was here last week. We bought a pumpkin and Isabella enjoyed carving it with dad. The pumpkin became a scary one as it was invaded by some flying insects. According to Phil, dad and Belle were not able to completely gut it out. We ended up throwing the scary pumpkin...but I managed to take a photo...

{Simply Grateful} 10/22/2007

....for an opportunity to share a church friend's grief and show our love and support in her time of loss
....for Isabella's memorable birthday (through the graciousnes of ate Cecile she will forever remember and rave of watching the HS Musical on ice with her BFF on her 8th bday)
....for a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate covered pretzels from thoughtful ate Pinky that came in an opportune time of my chocolate fit
....for a wonderful dinner full of FUN (through the kindness of ate Pinky) in the company of my BFF and her whole family (it was very nice meeting her beautiful and wise mom & dad for the first time)
....for a chance to witness the joy in the sweet eyes of two wonderful girls as they spend time together during a sleep-over and most of Sunday
....for hope as my "lost sheep" start showing some signs of maturity
....for a safe drive back

Delightful time in Union City

We drove back to Union City Friday night, to spend Isabella's 8th birthday in the company of her BFF, Krystn. They went to watch Disney's High School Musical on ice, Saturday morning.

(here's some photos from ate Cecile's site)

Ate Cecile came to pick them up at 10am just in time for my chocolate fit. She brought a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate covered pretzels from her bestfriend, ate Pinky. Boy was Russ thankful...it saved his life:) i was getting ready to strangle him (no chocolate during my coffee break turns me into something not right:)

Then mom and I attended a memorial for a friend at church.

In the evening, we had a delightful dinner (courtesy of gracious ate Pinky) in the company of my BFF, ate Cecile, and her entire wonderful family (her beautiful and wise mom and dad included, and of course, the very FUN and kind ate Pinky). After dinner we had the pleasure of sweet Krystn's company for a sleep-over. It was great joy watching the two cute BFF's have fun together.

On Sunday morning, we attended the 9am service at St. Paul's. Krystn and Isabella sported a matching red dress with matching sparkly shoes that Cecile bought for them (of course I forgot to take pictures). The people at church thought they were sisters...some even thought, upon seeing Krystn, that Isabella grew in a rather rapid state. After the service, during our fellowship time, the girls had fun playing at the church playground.

Then we were off to home where they were able to spend more fun time playing..magic tricks and all...while I was busy packing for trip back to Pismo...and while my mom was busy entertaining and enjoying a friend's visit (tita Warlita and her husband).

We had planned to leave at 2pm. And normally, during this time, I start getting anxious and scared. I worry about some family "drama" (brought about by Immanuel and Krystal wanting to "stretch" their time together and dad's reaction). But this time, to my great relief, Immanuel called at 1:30 and said that they are just finishing lunch and will come home soon. I am starting to really see a little bit of light in this dark tunnel of immaturity. Praise the Lord!:)

What's happenin?

on my mom:
She left with Immanuel last Friday and is back in Union City this week for her ankle check-up.

on Immanuel:
He enjoyed visiting Krystal for the week-end then drove back here with dad late Sunday night (well, actually, very early Monday morn). Thank God for the "no drama" weekend. I tell you, I really dread (more like a phobia) the week-ends when he drives to visit Krystal. the phobia is on: either a disagreement with dad (more like a battle where I'm stuck in the middle), or a speeding ticket. Well, at least I can see a little light at the end of this particular tunnel as he and Krystal are both showing some sign of maturity...on some decisions.

As for his schoolwork, I guess he works well under pressure...everything is done the last minute.
(You know who I'm praying for the most:)

on Russ:
Russ is here throughout the week enjoying attending Isabella's dance classes.

on Isabella:
We went to Isabella's parent-teacher conference yesterday. The teacher showed us her math chapter test for chapters 1-4 wherein she got the highest score in the class with only 1 incorrect answer. All her spelling tests are perfect scores. The teacher also commented about her obvious love of reading. She said that Isabella is one who really thinks of what is going on in the particular story as she is reading it. Isabella presented a story in the class that she wrote herself and everyone were so attentive as they really like her story. She did not get to finish it and so the teacher said that is called a cliffhanger...her classmates can't wait for her to continue her story. Russ & I were so proud of the teacher's comments: "Isabella is a joy, very self motivated and excels in everything."

on Ian:
He signed up for wrestling and asked me to sign a progress report showing A's and 2 B's. He did not want to show it to dad. This brought me to some reflecting as I was very concerned that he thinks dad only want to see straight A's, or worse, that our love is conditioned upon his performance.
Russ and I had a very nice talk about it. We are continually learning in our parenting skills.

on Phil:
He continually takes pride in his work...work that I could not read let alone decipher (it's like what the heck)...quantum physics type and some electrical engineering jargon...work where he shines... where teacher comments great work!
(as I am writing this, Phil comes in and hands me yet another perfect score test and informs me that class average is 50%)
wow! I know I have some smarts in me...but he certainly did not get that from me:)

on myself:
I am approching a milestone in my life...I can't believe I'm turning 40!...a lot of reflection as I face this milestone...a lot of blessings...a lot of gratitude.

Revisiting some old photos

My Younger Years...
filipiniana at St. Paul's - Sept. '06
can you spot the trouble child?:)

Bench of comfort

He sits down beside me
and puts His arm around me
His comforting strength wrapped around me
like a soothing blanket
Speaking to me with such tenderness and compassion
helping me to be aware of everything around me
showing me things I need to see
pointing my thoughts toward a new perspective...

Dance with Jesus

When you stumble,
fall on Jesus.
When you are lonely and your sadness is unbearable,
cry to Jesus.
When you are happy and you can't contain your joy,
dance with Jesus.

{Simply Grateful} 10/09/2007

for a chance to watch the sunset with Isabella after her dance class
for a friend who inspires me to take photographs
and who continues to encourage me to write from my heart

A Sense of God

As inspired by: {Spiritual Awakening}

In the beginning
a sense of God
handed down from generations
of traditions, beliefs and practices.

As time went by
life's distractions got in the way.
Pursuing possessions,
storing treasures on earth,
clouding that sense of the One
Who created it all.

Then a threat of losing it all
knocked me off my apathy.
A sudden emptiness
gave way to a longing
to bring back that sense
of the One Who gave it all.

The hunger for possessions
gave way to a yearning
for that sense of the One
Who provides for all I need
Who loves me unconditionally
Who forgives and welcomes me back.

A True friend

You know you have a true friend
when you feel safe...
...to call for no reason
...to unload your bundle of irritations
...to share a humorous and embarrassing moment
...to just be yourself

With a true friend there is rest, comfort and acceptance of your soul

Miracle in a Normal Day

The whirl of day-to-day activities...

...getting the children up and ready for school
...preparing breakfast
...driving them to school
...doing dishes
...cleaning house
...paperwork, bills and phone calls
...picking up the kids
...supervising homework
...taking them to classes and practices

then starting all over again the next day

at times overpowering

at times overwhelming

Thank you, dear Lord, for leading me to a beautiful quiet place

where I can...

...find time to slow down and decompress
...find peace and tranquility
...find respite to gather strength for the day
...find You, feel your presence and hear Your voice

whispering to me
opening my heart
enlightening my soul

for these, my whirl of day-to-day activities,
are opportunities to give unconditional love

bringing me to the realization
that my everyday living
ordinary as it may be
is an extraoridnary testimony
to Your faithfulness and love.

Dear God,

Thank you for showing me the miracle in a normal day.

Bench of comfort

A Visit from Angel friends

We had a wonderful Saturday...in the company of great friends. We were blessed with a visit from angel friends...ate Cecile, ate Pinky, Nana Lorna, Timothy and Krystn.

what a blessed time...

...to nurture great friendship

...to reconnect
...to enjoy support, laughter and love.

Nothing is as calming and comforting as conversation between best friends.

Friends are truly among the most wonderful gifts of life.

Thank you, Dear Lord, for the special friends You've brought into my life. They are a blessing beyond words. Thank you for making the bond of our frienship strong enough to withstand our distance apart. May we always continue to be close to You and to one another.

A September to Remember

It seems like September went by so fast...where did all that time go?

A fracture on my mom’s ankle...it happened a couple of days before her scheduled trip to Canada with friends. She had to cancel of course. Her angel friends came to her rescue. Thank you so much Tita Rose and ate Lolit. You are indeed angels on earth…an extension of God’s caring hands.

An afternoon talk with Paz and Ener in an effort to shed some light, and, hopefully ease some of our emotional upheavals, regarding our relational problems with our self-willed teen lovebirds.

A visit from Krystal. She arrived Wednesday, Sept. 12th.
We all went to Isabella’s back-to-school night on Sept. 13th.
Wonderful weekend at the beach.

Visit from Pat, Sean and Alexa on Saturday, Sept. 15th. Krystal and Butters drove back with Pat and Alexa the following day.

Drive to Union City on Friday, Sept. 21st to attend my grand nephew, Jerome's, christening.

Great September ending…visit from great friends...ate Cecile, ate Pinky, Nana Lorna, Timothy and Krystn.