Saturday, November 28, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

 This year is a full on roller coaster 🎒 with everything.  The pandemic have changed almost every aspect of the way we do things.   We have been doing our own Thanksgiving at home ever since my father-in-law have passed on so this year was no different for us but I’m sure a lot of families were forced to celebrate without other family members due to Covid restrictions.  
I started cooking early in the morning so by noon time, I was almost finished and we had our dinner around 2.  Despite many hardships, we also have a lot to be thankful for.  First and foremost, my husband and kids are healthy.  They did get some type of cold but not bad.  The kids get to go to school as well although they had to do remote learning within the Thanksgiving period.  Hopefully they’ll be able to go back sometime soon.  They appreciate the extra tome to sleep but find it a bit harder to do all the lessons by themselves without the physical presence of their teachers.
Hopefully this pandemic I’ll soon be over.  I think when election result ends, this will end as well, I hope.   

Friday, August 28, 2020

A Father's Day Tribute to a #NavyVeteran Dad : #Father'sDay2020

Oh my, August is almost over, time slips by so quickly even with pandemic. We didn't really travel much this year because of Covid but we have been busy with our home improvement projects.

Father's Day and other special occasion came and passed and here I am just trying to catch up writing about it.    I want to  dedicate this  late post as a tribute to a veteran Dad who didn't let age  deter him from finishing his school.  He became a father at a very early age with his first marriage and he had to enlist in the Navy to provide for his two children.  Unfortunately they grew apart and the kids grew up not knowing their father very much.  I wish they have a good relationship but it's sad that they don't.  Anyway, I am glad that he is very dedicated to our children. 
John signed up in the military when he was 20 years old.  He did not  go to college  after he  finished high school because he  had to work.  Realizing that the place he grew up in will not give him anything challenging, he signed up in the Navy.  He originally planned to go to Air Force but the recruiter he talked to  did not show up.  Since the recruiter of the Navy  next door was there, he decided to  try them.  The guy showed him pictures of his travels in the Navy and  my husband   got inspired.
These photos were taken when he graduated  from his Master in Science  degree with  a major in  Leadership and Professional Administration at Duquesne University two years ago (May 2018).

This was the simple gift that we gave him.
I am glad that he was able to get his master's done.    He didn't get to  do schooling  until he got done with his 20 years in the service but I think it's worth it.
The kids handmade cards.
Hooray, I finally got to finish this post.  It's been sitting as a draft for almost two years, holly guacamole.  What have I been doing all these time?   Lol.  Oh well, I hope I can finally get back to writing regularly again now that our bathroom renovations are almost done.  

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Father's Day 2019

My husband  started a new position at Industrial Scientific this year so he had to go on a week training and classes.  The scheduled event was on the week of Father's Day so he had to leave on Father's Day.  Since we knew he was leaving, we have pre-celebrated  this special day a week ahead.  We took him out to eat at our favorite Greek restaurant.
My kids are blessed to have such a wonderful Dad.  He always  make it a priority to attend to their need no matter how hard it is.  Sometimes, I think that he spoils our kids but he always justifies it as giving the opportunities that he didn't had as a kid.   
 We attended  mass and then headed to Theo Yianni's after.  Not sure why but the three of us  were color-coordinated that day ha ha.   I would say though that red looks really good on pictures.
"Neither man nor woman is perfect or complete without the other. Thus, no marriage or family, no ward or stake is likely to reach its full potential until husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, men and women work together in unity of purpose, respecting and relying upon each other's strengths." - Sheri L. Dew

"You go through life wondering what is it all about 
but at the end of the day it's all about family."  - Rod Stewart

"Real fatherhood means love and commitment 
and sacrifice and a willingness to share responsibility 
and not walking away from one's children. "
- William Bennett

Rylie's 14th Birthday

Our daughter was born in the summer so when she celebrates her birthday, we usually go on vacation.  We stopped having birthday parties ever since she started school and does traveling as a family instead.  This year however, was  different.  Due to   school expenses, we decided to just celebrate her 14th birthday at home.
I am glad that she is  so understanding about the situation.  Although we did not go to a major  vacation this year, we did some traveling  because of her history bowl competition and  educational field trip.  Those activities really dented our finances that's why we had to adjust our travel plans.  We're also planning to go visit my family next year so that's another big expense that we are trying to save up for.
Her birthday wish is to have her own sewing machine.  She has been watching  sewing tutorials on  YouTube so that's what we got for her.  She wants to  sew her own dress.  She reminded me of my youth, I was so interested in tailoring when I was in high school.  Unfortunately, I couldn't take dress making course because I couldn't afford the materials needed.  I went to  a vocational high school so when we're on our junior year, we had to pick a major which were  food trades and dressmaking for girls.  I didn't like baking but I took it since  our projects are done by group so it's affordable  since  all of us in the class contributes.  I think if I could have afford dressmaking, I would have definitely chose it,  it would have been better.  I never liked the food trade class, even now I don't like baking at all.
Her brother  got her some cosmetics and she was  very happy about it.

Ice cream cake completed the celebration.  Another year  has turned for this sweet lady.   She's excited to start her high school experience at Madonna High School.  

We wish good health Anak and good luck on your  high school journey this year.  May God always lookout for your safety  when you are not at home.  We love you.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Forty Six Years: A Long Tale of My Life

Forty Six years ago, I was born in the Southern part of Luzon in the Philippines.  Never in my wildest dreams would  I be on  the other side of the world.  Life... you'll never  know where it will take you.  I would say though that I have been blessed with so many great  opportunities in my life and meeting my husband is one of them.  
 Growing up with 8 other siblings who were younger than me was tough.  I used to lament on my parents why on earth they have so many  kids because we didn't have stable income in the family.  My father used to be a farmer and we had a good life but something happened and we had to move to my mother's place and our life  crumbled down.  My father forced to become a fisherman and he wasn't really good at it so I grew up rather early helping my Mom make a living.
 My Mom used to make  snacks and I was tasked to  sell it to our neighborhood.  I did  that through my entire elementary years.  I gotta say, I learned so much  growing up that way.  By the time I was ready to go to high school, a  huge typhoon wiped out our entire house, all we had left was the clothes we had on our bodies.  It was a living hell but we got through it.
 My Mom discouraged me to go to high school because we didn't have money for it but I found a way.  I talked to this family who were willing to  take me in and let me live at their house for free and in exchange I help out with the daily chores.  I met so many good people  all though my life and this family was one of them.  I lived with them for two years until a teacher (Thank you Mrs. Arizala!)  helped me out and she paid for my third year of high school.  She left after a year and another  great human being helped me out on my last  year in high school (Thank you Mrs. Venus) .  I can't thank these people enough for the support and encouragement they gave me.
 As I reflect on my 46 years of existence, I realized of how blessed I am with meeting people.  Life was tough but God led me to the right people that  helped me mold of who I am today.I can remember when I graduated high school, my parents were very proud and happy.  My NCEE result (SAT in US), was  high and I was qualified to apply for college but I couldn't do it since money was the  major issue.
 I worked  for years  after  high school to help out my parents and I also slowly  saving some money for college.  I was already in my mid-20s when I  decided to go to college.  My savings was only good to cover a year of my schooling so I  took an exam to qualify to become a student assistant (working student) in school.  I was lucky enough to pass but was put on the waiting list since there were so many applicants.  I always believe that God was there for me all the time, I was  accepted to work at the school and was also offered to  live at  the dorm for free.  On day time, I work at the finance office to avail the  tuition assistance and after school, I work as an aid for the school administrators for an extra allowance.
 I didn't have the luxury that other college students have which is free time and partying.  My  college days was spent working and studying only.  I was determined to achieve my goal and I finished my degree in 3 1/2 years as oppose to four years.
 The school employed me after I finished my degree which I was very grateful.  I was finally able to help my parents financially.  I remember, my very first  salary, I bought me a Nokia 3210, my very first cellphone (I never had one) and the remaining money I had, I paid for my Mom to have a set of dentures.
 My life was  pretty stale as I was approaching my 30s.  I enrolled in the graduate school and planned to  teach  after I get my degree but my knight in shining armour came and I got hitched lol.  I was very busy  writing my thesis and preparing to defend it so I never had time to date.  The student assistant in my office  told me that I should try online dating, I said no way.
 To make the story short, she signed me up.  Next thing I know, I was on this matchmaking site , well at least my profile was.  I was actually apprehensive about it but my student assistant said why not give a try.  I only responded to a couple of messages.  The very last message I got before my  free account expire was an email address pleading me to email  since  his account has to expire also.   We communicated for 5 months  and then he decided to meet me in person.
 He came to meet me during my graduation.  I was elated and happy.  We  agreed that he would come back in 4 months and well get married. Our relationship escalated or I would say it was expedited lol.  Well, I was 30 years  old and he was 34 so we didn't really want to  wait besides we have been talking for 9 months now at this point so we felt like we knew each other so well.
 I was in Manila greeting him at the airport when I received a call from my brother   informing me that our father had passed so suddenly.  I didn't know what to think and feel.  I was just very happy that we will finally get to get married but this tragedy happened. After sending off my Dad to his final resting place, my Mom told us to go ahead with our plan.  She said that it was what my father would have wanted  as well.
 We decided to have a  simple ceremony, it was like a formality to  register  us as husband and wife.  He went back to Guam after that and I stayed in the Philippines working at Divine Word College of Legazpi.  We were married but on a long distance relationship, it was tough but we managed to pull it through.  My husband and I  decided to have a formal wedding at church a year and a half  after our first marriage.  After that wedding, I got pregnant with our first child.
 I decided to take a break from working  as  recommended by my OB GYN.  I had a tough  first trimester and my husband said that I should resign from my work and that's what I did.  As I wait for my papers to get done to come to the states, I  spent my time with the family and also taking care of the little human being inside me.
 I was 7-months pregnant with our daughter when I  flew to Guam to meet my husband.  He fished his tour there so we flew back together to the mainland.  Coming here was a big  adjustment  for me, not only I was culture shocked but also suffering from homesickness
 Thank God, He made me strong and was able to get through the rough time.  Hubby and I have been married for almost 16 years now and living in the US for 14 years, I would say that I found my home here in West Virginia.
 It still had from time to time especially  if I am missing my family but with my husband's emotional support, it gets better.
 I have been a stay at home Mom ever since I got here in the US but I never once regret giving up my career.  Our children are growing up so well and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  To personally  take care of them  24/7 is a blessing.
 In life, you  never knew what  will happen.  The path that you take will led you to the life that you want (or not).  It's important to weigh the pros and cons  when making life's big decision.
 I could say that I made the right decision.  It hasn't been smooth sailing but getting through the rough time is quite satisfactory.  I feel like I have succeeded my goals in life plus more.  I am blessed and thanks to all the people who helped me get through it.
 I hope that I could continue to live a healthy life so I could  be there for my children as they choose their own paths.  My wish is that hubby and I  would live long enough to witness our children grow up and have their own families.