Happy Thanksgiving

We had a wonderful, casual, intimate, and relaxing family Thanksgiving.

We planned on driving to our home by the bay last Wednesday, but I caught a cold. My DH and I were both feeling "icky" Wednesday morning so we decided to stay put. We called our darling middle son, Immanuel, to come drive up here instead. He arrived late Wednesday afternoon and Isabella was ecstatic having all her brothers around her (another one of my heavenly moments:)). I am truly grateful. We stayed up until 2am (I talked them to sleep:)).

We had a late start Thanksgiving morning. My DH prepared the turkey (you know me and cooking don't go very well together not to mention my bird phobia:), and that is a really big bird). Our darling son, Phil, prepared the stuffing. I prepared apple and pumpkin pies (Mrs. Smith's:)). Then we had all the trimmings...mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry, and candied yams. yum! (but I'm dying for filipino foods:)). Then we feasted but not before we said our grace full of thanksgiving for we are indeed, truly grateful.

Though I'm not very good at taking photos, and the fact that my family aren't really camera friendly, I managed to capture a couple of precious Thanksgiving memories....

The boys left for our home by the bay with Immanuel. It's brotherhood bonding time for them. And they'd be able to bring me back some filipino foods:).

All Decked Out

Before we were all decked out....

And now, we're ready....

for Christmas!

Please Come on in....

Deck the halls....
A reindeer on the entry hall.

And an angel that welcomes...
before her Christmas ball, she had a pumpkin.

Deck the halls...

and the walls...

On the dining area wall, a reminder to Give Thanks

Deck the Halls...

fa la la la la...

la la....

la la!!...

Our tree is up!!

A different angle...from where the tree stands...

LA..LA...!!...our 2008 Wishlist...


The Art of Life

And the message?....it's all about LOVE.


What we are is God's gift to us.
What we become is our gift to God.
-Eleanor Powell

Christmas Card and Newsletter Check!

I am finally done designing our Christmas card and writing our Christmas family newsletter. I did not get to schedule a family photo shoot as I had hoped to do, but, luckily for me, we have a very nice formal family photo from our cruise this year.

For the last 13 years, a family Christmas newsletter has been an annual part of our Christmas tradition. It used to be included with our Christmas cards. But for the last two years, for "green" efforts, our newsletters were only made available online. This year though, I decided to again include our newsletter with our cards. In as much as I don't like paper clutter, the whole preparation adds to the festivities of the season, not to mention the several older family members having accessibility and navigating issues with the world wide web.

Newsletters is a great document of family "happenings" over the years. I have it filed in one place. Isabella had a timeline project a couple of weeks ago. We took out our newsletter binder and voila...we had her timeline joyfully done in no time.

Here is this year's very simple Christmas card lay-out

Here is the photo pasted on the Christmas card I found for $1.99 for a package of 16!:)

Then inside I attached our newsletter, designed the same size as the card, booklet style.

Now I can enjoy assembling the cards and addressing the envelopes. and decorating. and presents. and food. and family. and friends...ahhh the joys of Christmas!

Joyful Home Schooling for a Day

Isabella got sick last week and was not able to go to school for several days. We got her work from school and spent a whole day home schooling...as in from 9:30am to 9:30pm (her teacher gives a lot of work...which she loves and welcomes with open arms). But if you really know me, you know that teaching is not my "cup of tea"...it's my DH, Russ', department. Unfortunately, both for myself and our DD, Isabella, daddy is at our other home 300 miles away. So, challenging as teaching may be for me, I had no choice. Luckily for me though, I have an angel student. Not only is she an eager, willing and a very able student, every time my patience starts to wear out, she calls for a "recess"...her "too blessed to be stressed" reminder to my rescue...an angel, indeed. Thank you, Dear Lord, for turning what I thought would be a challenging day to one of my heavenly moments. It was a great home schooling day for both of us. She prepared our "school" in our dining room complete with a white board for me. I was truly a blessed teacher that day...I am {Simply Grateful}

Family Update

I turned 41!

I read somewhere that birthdays is the beginning of one's own personal new year.

So I guess it's time for my own personal new year's resolutions...(stay tuned on a separate post)

for now, a family update...

I had to work in the morning of my birthday at the dance studio. I also worked the previous afternoon so I was kinda tired when I got home. I was pampered by my DH Russ as he bought me lunch and served it in bed. Then he made a sumptuously creative dinner, a combination of 10 different vegetables on a bed of pasta (no name for this particular dish...like I said...creative!) We had a very nice and healthy family dinner with corn and salad. And of course, it won't be complete without my favourite chocolatey cake not to mention a happy birthday song and dance number from my DD and the family's dancer. Then there were great well wishes from family and friends closest to my heart. It was a blessed 41st birthday...I am {Simply Grateful}.

P.S. there were no candles on the cake in fear of activating the fire alarm:)

The night before...Happy Halloween '08

Here is our "mooning pumpkin" ...Isabella's idea she got from one of her library books.

It got plenty of chuckles from Trick-or-treaters

Isabella's creative costume she handmade herself. She painted a cardboard and downloaded a creepy font to label it "Monster Gum".

I don't know what Phil is supposed to be. The red cape is supposed to be Ian's as a Spartan but his helmet was not ordered. So Phil used it as a Mexican something instead.