Happy Home 1: Coming Home

It took a long time for me to finally sit down and re-read again this Christian values children’s book entitled Happy Home 1: Coming Home written by an award winning author, Grace D. Chong.  

This book was actually provided by OMF Literature Inc. for book review along with LaLa Burara (Messy LaLa). Its an imprint for Hiyas.  

It’s a paper back book with 32 pages, part of a series, and each page is rich with colorful illustrations by Leo Kempis.  Kudos for your work, Mr. Kempis.

Happy Home 1: Coming Home for me is a story that projects the happy, loving and secure family of Atty and Mrs. Zambrano.  Their children Abi and Sam, typically joyful and healthy children, portrays the character of a well nurtured family having a comfortable lifestyle. That is, until one day, the brother and sister’s normal comfortable living was interrupted by the unexpected presence of a kin who lost his whole family to a fire in the slums. Who seemingly creates an awkward feeling between siblings and kuya Ped.

The first time I introduced this book with our daughter, the first thing she noticed was the old-rugged shoes printed in the cover.  She said, “Daddy’s Shoes.”   We read it together before her afternoon nap time, and since the name of the young girl is also Abby which is exactly pronounced the same as our daughter’s nickname, she easily found a connection.  At her age of two years old, I noticed that her focus wasn’t so much the story line but the images printed on every pages.  She can easily relate with the books with family images (She’s a visual learner).  Like, when she saw Atty. Zambrano she would simply ask “Where is Daddy?  Then point her  finger on the image followed by “Where is Mama?”  And so forth.  With her doing this, I concluded that our daughter is fond of stories that talks about family, and her concept of family is quite established as having Daddy, Mama, Brother, Sister and Baby (thanks to the finger family songs).

The character that was modeled by Atty, and Mrs. Zambrano explicitly valuing love for others.  To the point of cancelling their family planned night out just to give way the welcoming for Ped, a relative that was really a complete stranger.  I remembered one time,  our family was about to have lunch when suddenly a young boy called outside our gate, and asking for a glass of water.  He was looking thirsty, sweaty, and with a strong sun smell.  We decided to invite him and shared our food with him.  We found out that he was the youngest among  his brothers, his father was always outside working, and his mother passed away when he was only 5 years old.  Since then, once in a while this young boy called outside our gate and asking for a glass of water.   Giving him a glass of water doesn’t required so much effort on our part but what  Zambrano’s did was greatest by offering their house, their resources, their care, their time, their family and even themselves.  Amazing.

3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. -Philippians 2:3-4

I praise God for He uses this story to personally minister to me, revealing the condition of my heart. These past days, I’ve been questioning the agenda of people towards our family.  In my mind I concluded they  just know us if they need something from us.  Those people who gave importance to us if we can offer our arms to them, but without these arms… my perception was that to them, we don’t exist.   I even questioned my husband’s heart in helping others whenever he mentioned he was doing it to help the people.  I said, help our family first before them.  A selfish statement of mine.  I thank God for this story, this made me more reminded of the good characters Ive witnessed from my husband and my previous boss.  A characters that echoed, “do not let the blessings die in your own hand.  Share it.  Give it away, use it to give comfort to the people.”  That is the love of Jesus. 

To all the parents, educators, and neighboring community if you would like to learn more about the heart of caring for one another, and modeling it to the children of today… you can grab a copy of this book for only PHP 80.00  to any OMF Literature Book Shop or shop at  OMF Online.

Special thanks to Mr. Chino Camacho for entrusting this book with us and the LaLa Burara (Messy LaLa).  To God be the glory.


For International & Local Publisher, Author and Book promoter, we continuously accept book reviews whether it’s ebook, paper back, hard bound or board books.  kindly message us here.  Salamat!

For our dear parents and online neighbors, please feel free to share your experiences of reading books with your children, and if you have any suggestion where to outsource good board books (used and new) for kids please let us know.  Hanggang sa muli.  🙂


Celebrating the Life of Bonise Smith Haltom

Minnie Bonise Smith Haltom was born May 14th, 1929.  She had five siblings named Ruby, Irene, Harold, Glenn, and Joe.  In her story during those precious days that we were privileged to live with her under one roof, she shared that they were descended from the blood line of William the Conqueror.  Bonise had 6 children named Pam, Kathy, Tammy, Steve, Jeff, and the 6th son, David, had passed-away as a baby.

The younger generations in the Haltom family called her grammy and even my husband, so I myself also called her Grammy.  I remember the first time I met her was through Yahoo Messenger.  Joshua back then was my fiance.  He introduced me to Grammy through a Yahoo chat with the aid of the camera.  She was warm and smiling even if I was a complete stranger to her.  I remembered, when I first came to the United States it was about to turn Spring season.  The weather was freezing cold for somebody like me who was coming from the tropics.  But when I stepped inside the Haltom’s ancestral house,   I didn’t have any awkward feeling with Grammy as we first saw each other face to face.  In fact when I first stepped inside Grammy’s old house, she gave me a very warm hug.  She was always smiling at me.

There were many wonderful, edifying talks I was privileged and blessed to have had with Grammy, a few of these are so-very remarkable to me that I will never forget.  When we were preparing for our wedding, Grammy said to me again, that “You don’t have to be crazy to join the family, but you will be.”  True enough, I can attest that now I am 101% crazy.

When we were still living with Grammy in her old house, at night we always had a favorite thing to do for entertainment.  We always spent time at the living room with Grammy just watching Joshua’s favorite comedy shows, Stephen Colbert and John Stewart.  Those times were fun to remember because Joshua and I always had this neat thing with Grammy, almost just teasing her.  She would be in the zone, watching TV, so focused, and then Joshua and I would count 1-2-3  in the same beat, and then called her name, “Grammy!” adding the gesture pointing our index fingers towards her, accompanied by the click of our tongue, and as simple as that she would just smile and chuckle each time.  It wasn’t hard for us to made her smile because she was naturally appreciative and jolly.

Grammy  was also a very observant of us, and that made Joshua and I accountable of our actions in front of her.  One night at the living room, she said she had never seen Joshua and I fighting, so she was wondering if we ever fight.  For us, it was statement that doesn’t require an answer but actually we had some couples of arguments inside our room (Haha).

For me, she was a very influential lady.  I started watching the Little House on the Prairie, because she constantly watched it.  To the point of me watching all the scenes, and even had a days marathon just for me to see all the taped scenes uploaded online.  Can you imagine that?  Her taste of movie was really good one of these was the The Waltons.  And, she liked several others too but those were the most frequent.

She valued her own mother’s story very much too.  Almost every time, she loved sharing about her remarkable moments had with her mother and siblings.

According to her, one time when they went to the Pentecostal church (on a lark), for they were much used to going to the Primitive Baptist Church.  Once, when they had gone into a Pentecostal service, everybody began shouting and speaking in tongues.  Her mom became astonished and overwhelmed of what was going on around her.  With a shout of her own, in shock, her mom instinctively threw her purse in the air, and all of her mom’s things inside things of the purse scattered all over the floor and even under the pews.  She related her having to pick up all the coins and stuff from her mom’s purse herself.  Grammy was usually laughing as she told this story, and she never got tired sharing this again and again to the point of Joshua’s memorizing it.

In our home, I make sure that the doors are locked, and remembering Grammy’s practice every night, before she went to sleep, she also made sure that the front door and kitchen door were locked.  The reasons she locks the doors is because she had seen a “hoodlum man” who had broken inside their kitchen.  She said that she told him to leave and he left.

She also loves Apple-sauce cobbler.   Here is why:  she shared the story of days that the local Primitive Baptists group she was used to going met on the first Sunday of every month–and everyone was asked to bring foods–a potluck.  She brought an apple sauce cobbler that her mother had taught her to make by accident.  They were used to eating a peach cobbler, but there were no peaches on the trees at this time.  However everyone loved it even more with Apple-sauce instead.  From then on, she brought it every first Sunday at to Primitive Baptist, and the pastor especially loved it.  This potluck idea was also an idea to attract the tired and hungry who would sometimes come just for the delicious foods.

I remembered when she was already experiencing Alzheimer, in one of her sundown syndromes, she became uneasy and moody.  I was reminding her about how Jesus was, and then she told me straight to my face that I’m not really so kind.  That I’m “not true.”  When I heard this from her, from an old soul who doesn’t have any reason to lie, nor to say good, sugar-coated words just to be liked… I was rebuked.  I was wondering she probably saw something bad in me that didn’t reflect God’s kindness.Grammy loved to tell stories. One time she mentioned about the story of her old house.  She said that her husband, Leland, who worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority, had paid to have it built.  The only request she made was that she would love to have a big front porch and the bathroom not being straight-across from the living room.  But the house was built with it having a small front porch and bathroom designed just right across the hall from the living room.

Our family, God willing is planning to be back in the US to spend time with Grammy and be rejoined with the family there by Thanksgiving this coming November.  That is the fourth Thursday.  Though no matter how we planned things and how good the intention is, its always God’s purpose that will prevail.

You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.- Proverbs 19:21
(New Living Translation)

We had learned that Grammy passed away during her sleep last night here, morning there.  At first glance, it wasn’t a good report for us to receive knowing my husband just had one near psychotic episode triggered by the stress in processing immigration papers and a trip through the emergency room.  I was more concerned of Joshua’s condition and his being diagnosed with Bipolar and how he would handle this news about his beloved Grammy. Just like before our assurance is not depending on each other, nor any human but God’s comforting words.

I remembered the passage from the book of John, when Jesus Brings Lazarus Back to Life.

Lazarus was a close friend of Jesus Christ.  Actually the passage tells that when Jesus was informed about Lazarus sickness, his importance to Jesus Christ as his friend was described as, the one you love“.

3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” 4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for Godʼs glory so that Godʼs Son may be glorified through it. -John 11:3-4

Hearing these words from the Son of God and not being moved of what he heard,  Joshua instead proclaimed a glorious good news that the sickness of Lazarus will not end to death but for the glory of God.  It made our hearts become still, and we received the message of eternal assurance that Grammy  is not just in much better place now, but she is in the glorious presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It’s amazing how the Lord Jesus handled the news of Lazarus sickness.  For the second time, in this writing (John chapter 11) it described the love that Jesus has for these siblings.   John 11: 5 says, Yeshua loved Martha, her sister and Lazarus.  Even when he was told about Lazarus’ condition, he remained still.   John 11:  Yet, when Yeshua heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was for two more days.  This made me think what kind of strength Jesus had, and his important reasons not to be with the one he loved.  What amazed me more was right after two days, he told his disciples to be back in Judea.

John 11:7 Then, after the two days, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.”  8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, not long ago the Jews wanted to stone you to death. Do you really want to go back there?” 9 Jesus answered, “Aren’t there twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day don’t stumble, because they see the light of this world. 10 However, those who walk at night stumble because they have no light in themselves.”11 After Jesus said this, he told his disciples, “Our friend Lazarus is sleeping, and I’m going to Bethany to wake him.”12 His disciples said to him, “Lord, if he’s sleeping, he’ll get well.”13 Jesus meant that Lazarus was dead, but the disciples thought Jesus meant that Lazarus was only sleeping. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 but I’m glad that I wasn’t there so that you can grow in faith. Let’s go to Lazarus.”16 Thomas, who was called Didymus, said to the rest of the disciples, “Let’s go so that we, too, can die with Jesus.”11 After Jesus said this, he told his disciples, “Our friend Lazarus is sleeping, and I’m going to Bethany to wake him.” 12 His disciples said to him, “Lord, if he’s sleeping, he’ll get well.”13 Jesus meant that Lazarus was dead, but the disciples thought Jesus meant that Lazarus was only sleeping. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 but I’m glad that I wasn’t there so that you can grow in faith. Let’s go to Lazarus.”16 Thomas, who was called Didymus, said to the rest of the disciples, “Let’s go so that we, too, can die with Jesus.”

In this passage I realized how great Jesus love for Lazarus was.  He knows what kind of threat he might be facing once he go back again to Judea, and even confirmed by one of his disciples but instead of being overcome by fear, his desired to pass through the shadow of death just to bring life to Lazarus was more profound and overflowing.

John 11:17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. 18 (Bethany was near Jerusalem, not quite two miles away.) 19 Many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother.
20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. Mary stayed at home. 21 Martha told Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask him.”
23 Jesus told Martha, “Your brother will come back to life.”
24 Martha answered Jesus, “I know that he’ll come back to life on the last day, when everyone will come back to life.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the one who brings people back to life, and I am life itself. Those who believe in me will live even if they die. 26 Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe that?”
Today, I will remember again the words I described when I saw my husband, Joshua when  we found about our daughter’s gender,  the time when smiles and tears kissed his hazel colored eyes.  I once heard an old woman from the Pentecostal Church where we were married saying that a couple of things can move a man’s heart, they are the death of nearest kin or a birth of new baby.”
With all of the intense storms God victoriously rescues us from, and tears He wipes from our eyes, knowing the pain of my husband missing his Grammy, and the fact that we can’t be there to give comfort is a painful truth we will have to bare.  But in all of this mourning and great distress we confidently believed that the great comforter is ever present both here and there.  Miles away, He is ever present in so many ways.  Jesus will never leave us without a comforter.

John 11:33 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to Jesus. 30 (Jesus had not yet come into the village but was still where Martha had met him.) 31 The Jews who were comforting Mary in the house saw her get up quickly and leave. So they followed her. They thought that she was going to the tomb to cry. 32 When Mary arrived where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33When Jesus saw her crying, and the Jews who were crying with her, he was deeply moved and troubled. 34 So Jesus asked, “Where did you put Lazarus?” They answered him, “Lord, come and see.”35 Jesus cried. 36 The Jews said, “See how much Jesus loved him.” 37 But some of the Jews asked, “Couldn’t this man who gave a blind man sight keep Lazarus from dying?”38 Deeply moved again, Jesus went to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone covering the entrance. 39 Jesus said, “Take the stone away.”Martha, the dead man’s sister, told Jesus, “Lord, there must already be a stench. He’s been dead for four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you would see God’s glory?” 41 So the stone was moved away from the entrance of the tomb. Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. 42 I’ve known that you always hear me. However, I’ve said this so that the crowd standing around me will believe that you sent me.” 43 After Jesus had said this, he shouted as loudly as he could, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out. Strips of cloth were wound around his feet and hands, and his face was wrapped with a handkerchief. Jesus told them, “Free Lazarus, and let him go.”

As mamma Tammy (Joshua’s mom) related, “No one can ever really tell everything there is to say about Grammy.”

Revelation 21:4
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”


Finally, to end this brief online-devotion to Grammy, we want to remember how Grammy until her last days would relate and recite the 23rd Psalm, that she and all her class were required to memorize in the 6th grade.

1 (A Psalm of David.) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.


Tammy Leigh Askew — Grammy is a fighter. Still a lot more…here..than a lot of people give her credit for that’s Grammy,always surprising us !!!


One Less Reason — Human Resource Management (a) TRIBUTE

 One Less Reason — Week 5 Human Resource Management TRIBUTE

by Joshua Haltom – Friday, October 7, 2016, 12:29 PM

Drawing on all of this week’s study activities, answer the following questions: 

I will attempt to write in a straight line so I might remain focused.

1.  What are the major types of, influences on, and issues related to compensation? Be sure to include your own experiences and observations of how organizations strategize their compensation systems and your own preferences in terms of total rewards for your time and talent.

Compensation is semi-complicated when monies are being forced between customers, consumers, employees and employers.   It’s made out to seem from the idea of scarcity that we need to exchange a scarcity of this for an abundance of that.  We trade our time, talents, and treasures for the same of others.  We feed of one another.  Life feeds on life.  Medically and in biopsychosocial forms, that is how cancerous cells are multiplied.  “Although pay is the major reward component in nearly all organizations (Scott et al., 2005), few firms spend much time and effort communicating to their employees about how pay is determined and allocated” (Day, 2011).
In my own experiences, I have found that the organization needs to communicate its intention to each and every employee so that [they] may be better able to adapt and help one another.  When the business is for-profit, then the services are bound to be wound up in confusion and rust may then gather.  This could be observed in any rock and roll band, look at Hootie and the Blowfish for example.  The history and presence can be found on any search engine.
Ehow asks us (August 8, 2008) in this weeks (week 5) video from the Phillips & Gully (2014) textbook, “Is there a point when do ones’ wages become so high that it may be considered obscene?  What do you think?”

My answer is that it would all depend upon how the wages are used by the receiver.  It really is that simple.  The hoarding of resources cannot be justified in any authentic representation of reality.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.”
(Holy Bible, Romans 6:23-a)

2.  How are incentive plans developed and managed? What experiences have you encountered with incentive plans and their impact on individual, team, and organizational performance and quality?

Incentive plans are what motivates us to work.  The chapter 10 videos for this week at AUC in this Human Resource Management course with professor Leah Nelson text opens with the distinction between extrinsic motivators like schedules and deadlines to salary and rewards versus intrinsic motivators like autonomy, mastery, and purpose (September 15, 2009).
I want to stick with the theme of rock and roll bands here, because it seems as much as is on my mind right now.  When I was a ghost at the American Legion, I got to know a few talented artists.
There is a recurring theme with performers that come out of Jackson, TN we may all can relate to, something like Johnny Cash, a pseudonym.  Just one example is the band most know as One Less Reason, who was originally called Lapdog.  When they signed with Universal Records, many had thought that they had “sold-out” for lack of a better term.  It turns out—as far as I know—that their fans were right.  They had to return to individual recording styles and booking their own shows.  I do not know exactly where they are now, but I can say this much:  their songs have motivated me just this evening to return to the keyboard and write this discussion post.  The quality of their performances, in comparison with Hootie and the Blowfish, we can see (in terms of quality), it iis just a matter of opinion.  But OLR  has seemingly endured for much longer that Hootie has thus far with not even half of the monetary revenue.  Endurance may be a matter of opinion in these means.  The quality of One Less Reason songs continues to improve–in contrast to Hootie and the Blowfish–whose second album Fair-weather Johnson (1996), many of their hardcore fans have never even ever heard.  I did read some ET news just now though that they are getting back together for Dave Letterman’s farewell.

Zohar, Vayelech 2:5-14

Moses is the rule of the sun, Joshua of the moon

“If Your presence go not with me, carry us not up from here. For in what shall it be known…” (Exodus 33:15-16)….”….but sometimes ruin comes for want of judgment” (Proverbs 13:23).

Day, N. E. (2011). Perceived pay communication, justice and pay satisfactionEmployee Relations, 33(5), 476-497. doi: 10.1108/014251111153862

Phillips, J.M. & Gully, S.M. (2014). Human resource management. Mason, OH: South-Western.

Chapter 9 Video (2:32):

eHow. (Aug 28, 2008). Small business tips: Small business employee compensation [Video file].

Chapter 10 Video (4:47):

mondaydots. (Sep 15, 2009). Behavioral economics of intrinsic motivation [Video file].