Nature Walk

>> Saturday, July 19, 2008

Today we went on a nature walk, given there are no forests or big wide open spaces near our village, we had to make do with the open lots and the village park. The boys were excited to be out, they had been bugging me to go out on a walk with them for days.

It was really nice out this morning, although we did bring an umbrella just in case it rains. It has been a full week of cloudy skies and intermittent monsoon rains complete with muggy weather. Although, when the rain comes the breeze blows nice and cool, which is such a relief.

We took lots of pictures with my "bring anywhere" Sony digital camera, I love that it is small and can be brought along in my purse all the time and at the same time has a nice wide screen and can take up to 8 megapixel photos. Although, now that I'm trying to develop my own elements and stuff for scrapbooking, I sometimes wish I had those really cool professional cameras. But for now, I'm quite happy with this camera of mine.

The kids kept pointing out this and that plant, flower or insect for me to shoot with the camera, even pointing out different textures of stuff (they know I've been Photoshopping and keep asking me, "Mom, can you use that for Photoshop?". I wanted to show you some photos of the type of foliage we have in our tropical country. I'm not too familiar with the names of the plants (shame on me!) haha, but I promise to look them up (that is why I left blank wordstrips on the pictures - so I can fill them up later). Maybe the same flower or plant grows in your country too? If anyone knows what the plant is called, post me a comment so I can add the name.

What struck me was how very different the foliage and ground cover is here compared to the one in California. I had the privilege of hiking and going for walks near my sister's home (where the hiking trails are practically 5 minutes away!) during the spring time. The hills were covered in tiny yellow flowers, and anything that could bloom was abloom! I remember when I used to go hiking up mountains here in the Philippines (which was ages and ages ago, wah!!!!) how very beautiful everything was, so lush and green, gosh I can still smell the earthiness of the land and it is a wonderful fresh, musty and loamy smell. Both places are so different and yet both so beautiful. I wish the kids will be able to experience and go to more places than I have ever been, the world is so beautiful, don't you just want to give it a **BIG HUG**?

So on to the photos, here are some photos of flowers we saw along the way. Oh, BTW, Enzo took some of the photos, he likes having a camera in his hand (although I almost always for sure end up with gazillions of photos, hahaha, thank goodness for digital cameras).

This is it for today, I will post more photos of the kids and stuff we saw at the park tomorrow.

But before you go, always remember to "Love and Protect Nature" - this is the only Earth we have, lets keep it alive!


Many Thanks and an Update on Relief Drive

>> Friday, July 18, 2008

Last Saturday morning after the boys had their haircuts (finally!), we packed the car with the boxes of relief goods, squeezed in the kids and motored over to Vivs house in Makati to sort and repack all the donations. Our couple friend Mike and Rina, both Ilonggos came over to help. Boxes were sorted into mens and women's clothing, children's clothes, school clothes, shoes and miscellaneous. We were able to fill up 7 "balikbayan boxes" with assorted items. Not a whole lot, but not bad either.

We are happy to report that the quality of items given away exceeded our expectations and we felt very pleased that people did not just give away their very old tattered unwearable stuff but gave up items that looked almost brand new and some that had a lot of wear in them still. I was also pleased to find out that a friend whom I texted sent a whole balikbayan box of clothes, towels, bags! Wow everyone, your efforts at going trough your closets, asking from friends, driving to my home just to drop off goods, putting up donation signs in your store, all those efforts are so greatly appreciated by us and will be greatly appreciated by the recipients.

Sorting and packing ended before dinner and as usual, when this group gets together we find ourselves having so many laughs! Mike has so many funny and amusing anecdotes about his kids (he and Rina have been blessed with 3 girls!), we are always in stitches laughing. Its always good to know how other kids behave in their own homes, helps us all feel we are not the only ones having the same experiences, whether frustrating, exasperating, happy and heart-warming.

May God Bless You and Your Family.


Summer Tweets at Weeds and Wildflowers

>> Wednesday, July 16, 2008

One of my favorite digital scrapbooking shops is Weeds and Wildflowers, they have lots of fun, whimsical stuff, doodles, wire art....they make making great scrap pages a breeze!

I suggest subscribing to their newsletter so you don't miss out on any of their new stuff, challenges, sales, exclusives and of course freebies. They're having a Freebie Challenge over there right now using this wonderfully colorful, fun mini-kit called "Summer Tweets" by Patricia Christensen.

You can preview it here:

Summer Tweets

Doesn't it look like something that would be fun to use scrapping? If you are able to subscribe in time, all you have to do to join the challenge is to make them a layout, using at least 80% Weeds and Wildflowers-goodies, post your layout in their gallery and leave a link to their thread before Sunday July 20th. And even if your too late for this freebie, by subscribing, you won't miss any of their upcoming freebies.

Here are some pages I made with the freebie and some other Weeds and Wildflowers items I have:

If you can't avail of the freebie, you can also go to their shoppe to purchase "Summer Tweets" for $3.00. Click on the mini-kit preview to get to their shoppe.



>> Friday, July 11, 2008

This week has been an emotional roller coaster ride. What do you tell someone who cannot get over their guilt over something they failed to live up to in their previous relationship? And that persons guilt affects all aspects of your current relationship? How does that person make a decision over what they feel they have to do to achieve inner peace as against staying on because they do not want to also lose the current relationship they have forged?

I've been looking for inspiration and stories and I found this quote from Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now", that I want to share with this person, it is what I have been telling this person for the past few days - Eckhart Tolle says it so succinctly:

"Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally"

Have you ever found yourself in an intolerable situation and you were unhappy but you refused to do anything or felt you did not have the strength to make that step? Have you done anything about it now? Did you remove yourself from the situation, change it or accept it totally? I really would like to know what you have gone through and how you affected that change in your life. A lot of times knowing others have struggled and have come through will help give you the courage to make the decision you know is right in your heart. Your stories are important and I encourage you to tell them.

I made this quote into word art on a tag to use for your scrapping pages.

Here is how I scrapped it. I also included the linen sheet and all the elements in my freebie, as well as the word art and tag separately in case you want to use them for something else (some of which are included in my new kit called Airishs Medley, find out below how you can get it!).

You may get the freebie mini kit HERE. I hope you will be able to use it. Don't forget to leave some love.

Now, for those who have shared their stories with me, I would like to share a kit called Airishs Medley, this kit was inspired by "the birth of new life" and of course by this picture of my niece Airish - to all the children we have borne or who are not borne of us but have crossed our lives in some way or another. To the children we once were and still are; and to children we so expectantly await arrival of. Here is a preview of the kit and some layouts I have made.

Please take time to send me any work you did using this kit, I would love to see what you have done and would like to post them here.

I am not in the habit of giving out and expecting something in return, but I really, really want to hear those stories because I want to have something to share with this person. Each and everyone of your stories will be read and valued and stored in my heart because you have entrusted me with them. I will be sending out the link and password for AIRISHS MEDLEY via email to those who have so willingly let me in. You may choose to leave your story in my comments box so others too may not feel alone or send it to me via email if you feel your story is too personal to publish.

As a parting note, another quote from author Paulo Coelho which echos my sentiment: "There, by sharing something, I realized that I'm not alone, that there is a lot of people that share with me the same preoccupations, the same ideas, the same ideals, and the same quest for a meaning for this life."

May you find the peace within yourself.


Fourth of July Freebie

>> Sunday, July 6, 2008

I hope your 4th of July Celebrations were fun and memorable. Although we don't celebrate the 4th of July in my home country, I wanted to be able to give out something for you to use. I have some Alphas I experimented on while learning to use photoshop actions and want to give it away for you to use to scrap your 4th of July memories. I hope you like them and send me some layouts if you use them. Thanks to Atomic Cupcake for her actions.

Click here to download: 4th of July Alpha Freebie


Pastillas Worth Buying and Other Stories

My brother and sister in law came for a visit to our home yesterday, this of course led to an eating and drinking session at Market Market! We kept moving from one place to another, we started at Trellis wanting to try again the sisig they were so famous for in the 90s, it was quite a let down especially after having tried so many other sisig varieties out in the market nowadays. We then moved to Blackbeard's Seafood Island along the same row, all I can say is never, never ever order the salmon sashimi from this place.

We decided to go scour the food court, DH wanted to eat Razon's pancit luglog and my sister-in-law wanted to eat something else. A really hilarious thing happened as we were leaving, because we ordered a bucket of beer but had not been able to finish it after paying the bill we asked the waiter if we could take the beer just outside to the tables in the food court. We were told that it would be okay but he would just have to put it in a "supot" (in a bag) because it was "bawal" (not allowed) to carry it around. We misunderstood and thought all the while that he would brown-bag the bottles for us. DH came out of the restaurant with the beer literally in a "supot", as in the beer was poured out of the bottle and put in a clear plastic bag complete with straw! Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Totally hilarious!

Well after all that, our most exciting food discovery was the pastillas a friend of ours stopped to buy in the food court area, she sent my sister-in-law some samples for us to try and well, we were hooked! Really one of the best pastillas I have tried, plus they were the "Jumbo" size, more of that sweet milky goodness to eat. I can't remember the name of the stall, but what I remember is that it was beside a fruit stand called "ATM Fruit Stand". Ask them for Iyas Jumbo Pastillas, they cost P250 per box. Now I know where to get pastillas for my sister who always asks me to take some back to her when I visit.



>> Friday, July 4, 2008

It is Friday again! Time sure does fly. The week of lessons has come and passed. Time to assess and make the next week’s lesson plan. I find that it really does help me to make the lesson plan on a weekly basis. First and foremost, the kids need some sort of guideline, they want to know what they will be doing (topics, pages to read, exercises or experiments to do, websites to visit or whatever learning activity is prepared for the subject on hand). Secondly, having a lesson plan to follow helps me put some so called structure to the day (although we do not rigidly follow the plan at times), I feel that I am not grasping at topics to discuss and the day goes on so much more smoothly when I’m prepared for the discussion of the topics at hand.

How wonderful it is to see the excitement in the kids eyes when discussing a subject matter they particularly enjoy or when they finally grasp a concept and have their very own “lightbulb” moment. Yesterday, Enzo was reading his handouts on Pronouns and he came to me asking me to explain to him about “antecedents” because he could not get it. We sat together reading the handout again, with me guiding him and citing examples. He went to his desk again to answer the exercises exclaiming “Wow Mom, its so clear to me now, so easy!” How satisfying can that be?

Fridays are spent usually doing our HELE, doing drill work, or reading the assigned books. We still have to choose our form of PE, hopefully we can still be accommodated by the home school group for soccer in our area.

I’m pretty excited about some books I have for my kids to read, I like to hoard books, especially if I think the kids will be able to use it one day. Actually, I hate to part with any books, even if they stay on the bookshelf gathering dust, I find comfort in having them around.

While I was in the U.S., my sister asked me if I wanted some books she bought a long time ago – Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang by Severino Reyes, Why the Pina Has a Hundred Eyes and Other Classic Philippine Folktales About Fruits by Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz, and Kasaysay, The Story of the Filipino People – I brought them home with me and found them very helpful, integrating it into our Language Arts (especially now that we are talking about myths) and into our Social Studies. I love that through our Filipino Folktales the kids learn about our culture and the diversity found in our country, not to mention these tales always have a moral to the story.

I got this book in a garage sale my aunt hosts every year, Enzo is learning about mythology and geography so this fits right into our lessons. Don’t you just love mythology? I do!

I also discovered these Nick Joaquin series of books on my bookshelf, they were also bought at the same garage sale ( they used to belong to my cousin). I’ve never been able to give these books up despite the sorry state they are in because I love Nick Joaquin stories and these books hold some sort of good memories for me (like an old tattered shirt you just can’t throw away).

And here are more books that Teo will be reading this first quarter, he is becoming such a voracious reader.

The wonderful thing about him studying with his older brother Enzo is that he also wants to learn what Enzo is learning. I have all these books planned out for him to read on a schedule but I find that he will just pull the book off the bookshelf and start reading them without being told.

In connection to these, I found some Literature Unit Studies based on Charlotte’s Web and a Charlotte’s Web Study Guide at Our Homeschooling Expedition. I suggest going over to her site to pick up some tips and help with narrowing down your curricula.

Here are photos of the boys busy today with reading. Enzo is trying to finish his book “Inkspell” by Cornelia Funke and Teo is reading Nick Joaquin’s “The Amazing History of Elang Uling”.

And finally here is Teo, making “Mashed Potatoes”, you can look up the recipe at CookingMama. He wants to try making French Toast next week (calling on Tita Yasmin, I need your recipe!).

Phew, this is a long post. I will let you go with a wish for a good productive day!

P.S. To family and friends overseas:

Credit for 4th of July WordArt to Beckie Wallace Designs
Stamp Cluster by SaNo Designs
Rubberbands by Amanda Laborde
DateStampset by S.J. Wright Creations
Skool Scraps by Monique "Eressea" Drost for Buzybeescrapper Designs


A Quote to Tide By

>> Thursday, July 3, 2008

Here is a quote from Mother Teresa which I have converted into a WordArt sticker for my scrapbook kit entitled "Relief". The Kit is almost done, and will soon be out! It is taking me some time to finish it because I'm so new to this designing in Photoshop thing. All the sheets have been completed but I am still trying to add more elements into the kit. You may take a sneak peek at the sheets in my scrapping blog PandorasBoxofThought, let me know how you are liking it :)

Have a wonderful day ahead of you!


20 Great Reasons You Should Homeschool

Have you ever come across someone with a gazillion questions and lots of skepticism about your decision to homeschool? I am sure we all have our stories to tell. Mine is just unfolding. Here is something someone in our egroup shared today in an email...I must say I just love it!

Related Posts with Thumbnails



About This Blog

All about me, my musings, ramblings, fancies, quirks and dreams; the blessings in my life - the kids and their growing years; and my love for digital scrapbooking/design and graphic arts; and my eternal quest to keep learning something new each day and give back in my little way.

This blog used to be 3 blogs which I decided to merge together, my scrapping blog (Pandoras Box of Thought), the blog about my kids (Beyond the Four Walls) and my cooking/recipe blog (Cooking Mama) - all the old posts are still up but I've decided to just post everything in the future in one forum, with all the things I'm doing, I'd like to keep everything in one neat container :)

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