It’s confirmed that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will permanently close its field office in Manila, Philippines.
According to their official statement published on uscis.gov website:
USCIS will permanently close its field office in Manila, Philippines, on July 5, 2019. The last day the office will accept applications/petitions and be open to the public is May 31, 2019. The office began redirecting Forms I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, to the USCIS Lockbox on May 14, 2019. Read More: USCIS to Close the Manila Field Office
With the upcoming closing of USCIS field office in Manila, Philippines, we can’t help it but remembering all the good things it helped our family with in terms of an expedited processing of my immigration papers or the Petition for Alien Relative or the Form I-130.
USCIS Manila Field Office, provided an exemplary immigration services to numerous US Citizen’s families from the Philippines for the fastest approval of the Petition of Alien Relative or the Form I-130 with a maximum 30 days of response time through Direct Consular Filing.
We thought to give this update about changes in the USCIS Field Office in Manila since we had previously shared about our experience and gave an advise regarding Direct Consular Filing giving emphasis to the 6P’s Principle that we used. Though the 6P’s are still applicable in processing the Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative and other situations, please take note that the office began redirecting Forms I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, to the USCIS Lockbox.
To avoid confusions, the U.S. EMBASSY IN THE PHILIPPINES IS NOT CLOSING, only the USCIS Manila Field Office at the Manila, Embassy is closing.
The U.S. Embassy in Manila will assume responsibility for certain limited services previously provided by USCIS to individuals residing in the Philippines (source: www.uscis.gov)
For reference, here’s our vlog about our experience that has also helped a couple of other families since it was published.
Thank you so much USCIS Manila Field Office. Paalam!
I have met people whom expressed their desired to go back to school to earn their High School diploma and they have varying reasons that obstructed them to complete their education when they were teenagers.
Every year, over 1.2 million students drop out of high school in the United States alone. That’s a student every 26 seconds – or 7,000 a day.
In my first ever job in USA, somebody asked me if I have a desire to go back to school and pursue a degree I am seeing myself being passionate about. My answered was yes, but in the right timing. I also said that, “I’ll take it one step at a time. One season at a time.” Its more on prioritizing. Though I already earned my Bachelors Degree in Agricultural Engineering in the Philippines, here in USA, it doesn’t have any bearing for I was tagged us “foreign-educated” as referred to migrants like me whom received the highest degree of education in a foreign country. The diploma, and years of study aren’t recognized. Everything was reset and back to zero. Though the title isn’t recognized, I am thankful to God, to my father and to myself that all the knowledge I have gained years and after years of study are with me and usable everywhere I go. Even the experience and expertise I’ve learned from my previous job, I am confident that I can use it well as the need arises. I remembered the words that my father instilled in my mind and my heart,
Wala akong ano pa mang materyal na kayamanan na maari mong mamana sa akin, ngunit ang halaga ng edukasyon na aking sinuportahan at pinagkaloob sayo ay ang natatanging kayamanan na maari kong iwan sayo. Ito’y mamumunga at walang sinuman ang makakakuha sa’yo. Ito’y kasa-kasama mo saan ka man magtungo. -BALAGTAS I. CALDERON
Translation in English:
“I don’t have any material riches that you can inherit from me, but the value of education I supported and empowered you to have is the best inheritance I can left you with. It will bear fruits that nobody can take away from you and it will be with you everywhere you go”
“Education and knowledge has its own way of showing it self out, it keeps the feet of the foreigner grounded and both his hands up reaching out to his goal.”
It has been a long time plan, preparation, investment and prayer that we will take the homeschooling path for our child even before Abigail was born and even before Joshua and I got married. Together, we share the same conviction of God calls us parents to assume responsibility of our children’s education. In fact, our family already attended two consecutive years of successful Homeschooling Convention in Nashville Tennessee which were attended by many Homeschooling families across the country.
Though there was a minor technicality, when I was checking the Homeschooling requirements, it is listed that the primary teacher or parents education must have a High School Equivalency Diploma or GED. (Source: Homeschooling in Tennessee). Its actually not a huge issue since my husband, has already attained his Bachelor of Arts in Human Services Administration, and this month of June, he is about to complete his masters degree in Public Sociology. With the motivation that us parents to assume responsibility of our child’s education, and driven as husband is, I took the initiative to become more qualified and meet the requirement for High School Equivalency Diploma through HiSET® .
WHAT IS HiSET® ?
The HiSET® or High School Equivalency Test is one of three tests U.S. states and territories use to measure high school equivalency skills. The General Educational Development (GED®) and the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC™) are the other options. Some states offer only one of these tests. Other states offer all three tests and let you decide which one you wish to take. What’s important to know is this: All three tests allow you to earn your high school equivalency credential from your state. (Source: hiset.ets.org/what)
TENNESSEE OFFERS FREE HIGH SCHOOL EQUIVALENCY TESTING
The state of Tennessee offers two test options to earn a high school equivalency diploma. The HiSet is managed by the nonprofit organization Educational Testing Service, and the GED is administered by Pearson Education. The HiSet’s original cost is $75 compared with $125 for the GED. In order to reach as many potential graduates as possible, the HiSet will be the only test offered at no cost by the Adult Education program. Once a student passes either the HiSet or GED, an official state high school equivalency diploma is issued that does not make reference to which test was taken. (Source: Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development)
HOW DID I FIND OUT ABOUT HiSET®?
I found out that Chester County Adult Education offers “Free Classes! Free Books! Free Testing!” to earn a “High School Equivalency Diploma the moment after I consummated the one year work timeline my husband and I agreed on (a different story to share). One day we went to the local library, I noticed the piece of paper hanged in the library’s bulletin board. I snapped a photo to sent to people I knew whom expressed their desired to finished high school. Never I thought that, I would later used it for myself.
What are the steps I underwent in earning my High School Equivalency Diploma?
With Joshua’s support and encouragement, I immediately called the number provided in the flyer, and inquired. I found out that the only requirements the participants needed to submit are two forms of identification, a photo ID & a Social Security ID. For my status, I provided my Social Security ID, my photo ID which is my permit to drive, and plus of course my permanent resident card or commonly called as green card.
April 15, as I recalled was my first day at Chester County Adult Education Center. That same day, I had my first pre-test using the TABE® or Test of Adult Basic Education.
TABE® is the most comprehensive and reliable academic assessment product in adult basic education. Educators use TABE testing to provide a solid foundation for effectively assessing the skills and knowledge of adult learners (source: www.tabetest.com). It is scientifically validated test that is both timed and untimed depending upon the content area.
On my first day at the Center, Ms. Tammie Phillips, the Administrative Officer at Chester County Adult Education Center, was the one who facilitated my introduction to the Adult Education Program and the one who handed to me the pink paper or the welcome form for new students (which I also provided below). Thankfully, I was accepted 🙂 YES!
On the succeeding scheduled days, with the kind assistance of Adult Education teacher Ms. Connie Blackwood, I was able to complete my TABE Test on the computer, Reading & Math, and thankfully the results were good, and it both gave me a Level 4 in reading & Level 4 in Math. According to the blue paper I provided below or (Steps to Getting your Diploma) for Level 4, I was only required to invest a 12 hours of class instructions for Mathematics, Language Arts- Reading as well as Language Arts-Writing, Science and Social Studies. Once I measured that I was ready, I took the OPT or Official Practice Test. The purpose of OPT is to predict readiness.
My Adult Education Classes Journey (April 29 to May 30)
The FREE classes for Chester County Adult Education Center are scheduled Monday and Thursday from 9 AM to 12 NN. That means, that each accepted adults in the program have a choice to invest 3 hours of learning in each day’s entire session. Since my goal was to earn my High School Equivalency Diploma before the official school year on August. I found it more motivating and effective to set a time frame to complete my entire credentials. My strategy was, I opted to invest a 3 hrs of learning each class and that gave me a total of 6 hrs of learning investment each week. To sum up, I invested a total of 24 hrs of spread-out instructions (which I only completed for 4 weeks) in the class together with some persevering adults at the center under the instructions of Ms. Blackwood. During these entire period, I strategically planned my learning.
By the way, I strongly believe that every individual has different learning styles. This mean that, the way I completed the program is not the only strategy others can follow to complete the program. Remember, all of us are coming from different walks of life, with different priorities, of varying level of stored knowledge and schedules to consider. The good thing about HiSET, is that you can go at your own pace. You have your options! For more info, check this: How long does it take to earn a HSE credential?
How Did I prepared for my Exams?
Since my goal was to earn my High School Equivalency Diploma before the official school year on August will start, to become more qualified for Homeschooling requirement, I strategically planned my course of actions. I used the 6P’s and these are Patience, Perseverance, Prayers (Of course), the People, Practice and Passing the Exams.
The first three P’s which are Patience, Perseverance, and Prayers that I first put emphasized to are pertains to my character to achieved my goal aligning to our family’s core values and to say it again, our believe and conviction that God calls us parents to assume responsibility of our child’s education. This is very important for me to have in conquering my fear of failing my own exams before.
My last and worst experience of taking an examination before I took the HiSET was the Agricultural Engineering board examinations. I failed it. It was a nightmare!
9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9 NLT
The second sets of P’s are as equally important of the first set. The people, who has given me ton’s of motivations of achieving my goal. First and foremost, my husband and our daughter, Abigail. They too are the source of my encouragement, my support system and my prayer partners. My Adult Education Teacher Ms. Blackwood, who relentlessly answered my questions in the subject matter, and generously shared her techniques in Mathematics mostly algebra 🙂 . Of course, the inspiring Ms. Phillips, who tirelessly showed her compassionate heart towards us the Adult students. My sister, Beejay who always cheered me up on our online chat and exchanged of stories, and placed her confidence on me. As well, as Sis Deng and Sis Pam (a two decades of Homeschooling Mom) who prayed for me. My mother-in-law who sent me off of good luck words, and warmed hug. Our wonderful friends and families Roxanne, Cristina, Jhessa, Tita Esther, Sis Evelyn, Veronica, Kuya Nath, Christian (my nephew), Aunt April, Shelly and Clarissa whom I shared my plan with.Of course, Aunt Kathy, how can I forget. For expressing her joy for my accomplishment. For my father, Balagtas I. Calderon you are my roots. I will always make you proud.
Practice and Passing the Exams. Earning a USA High School Equivalency Diploma for me was a fruit of committed learning and practices. As an old saying goes, there’s no such thing as overnight success. It took an hours of reading, and committed days of Practice Test for me to complete all the paper works and passing all the examinations for all the subject areas. The 24 hrs of formal instructions at the center together with the class helps a lot too. It helps me to refreshed my stored knowledge. The adult students I was privilege to work with, they inspired me. I learned from them too. I also like that I learned new techniques in mathematics and broadened my understanding in United States Civics and Government, its History, as well as its meaningful Culture & Society through Social Studies which of course God willing in the future I can use for Naturalization. Nothing was wasted. Its all worth it! Aside of my formal instructions at the center, I also did a self-practice/review using the online Interactive Practice Test. It helps me to estimate my level of readiness for the real test. How Can I forget, snacking food & unlimited coffee from my husband (its helps a lot too ) 🙂
Registration & Scheduling my HiSET Exam.
Right after I passed all my OPT in all the covered subject areas, my instructor Ms. Blackwood, requested a vouchers on my behalf to covered the cost of my exams. When the vouchers were issued and released (Praise God :), she then created a HiSET account for me which I was provided an access codes. Since I strategically planned my learning, I already pre- aimed my computer-delivered test dates. I took my first three (3) sets of exam for Social Studies, Writing-Language Arts, and Reading-Language Arts dated June 4 at Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Jackson & Science and Math dated June 11 at the same testing center. For more information about HiSET, here’s the Frequently Asked Questions About the HiSET® Exam
A NO, NO!!!
Don’t skip sleep! Well, the night prior my last schedule, I was reviewing my mathematics and Science so I didn’t sleep. I was in zombie mode the day of exam. So DON’T SKIP SLEEP. As much as possible, have a rest. OKAY! 🙂
Adult Education Graduation is happening soon! 🙂
Having an established family core values makes it easier for me to see which path to take. I am THANKFUL to God, for clearly giving me the vision and a heartbeat of the desire He wanted me to pursue. Its easier to filter out my choices. Because of that desire, I efficiently plan well, and invested my time well in achieving my goal in Adult Education. Proverbs 3:5-6 says,
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all the wonderful & hard working people behind Adult Education. Its a program that helps adult like me not just to earn a High School equivalency diploma, and be skilled but it also helps families to achieved goals, and be a message of encouragement from one family to the other and to the community at large. After all, nothing is impossible if we will persevere. Options are given, so its yours to take. 🙂
PAY IT FORWARD: If you have a desire to earn your High School Equivalency Diploma through HiSET®, and you are unsure how to start, you can message us here or, you can go directly at the contacts I provided in this article (if you are from West Tennessee Area) or you can check the official www.hiset.ets.org
Leaving then living in a new place and starting again are few of those challenging events a global family like us underwent. Anxiousness, fear and letting go of family ties and friends are also the hardest thing. We met precious people along the way. People who had something good to share, experiences, fun, and wonderful friendships. Some of them stay for a season because life is in constant motion and change, and some of them sticks closer no matter how many miles away!
There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. – Proverbs 18:24 NLT
That no matter how many seasons life will bring, no matter how far a way we go, they will always hope to see you later on 🙂 . Jjust like what happened with us, and with our ever stunning Clarissa who effort-fully flew and visited us in our state and spent her time with our family, and finally met our daughter Abigail and again bond with us, with me and Joshua for a second time around.
Special thanks to Aunt Kathy, Mama Tammy (my mother in-law) and our dear Roxanne and her family for extending your welcome to Clarissa, THANK YOU!
This story wouldn’t be written without the helping hands of my brothers, brother in-law, my sisters, my father and my husband. Thank you God for your faithfulness.
The yearly celebration of Mothers day is almost come and gone. I’ve been hearing the announcer on the radio, “What would you get for your mom’s on mothers day?”
Yesterday, after 43 years, my mother’s bone was collected and transferred to a more decent place. Most of my siblings and my father except me of course, were present on this monumental day.
Its been a long desires and prayers of my elders siblings who are old enough to have remembered her love as a mother to give her an own place for her bones to rest, and on May 8 (Philippines standard time) it was fulfilled. All glory to God, yes Praise His glorious name for giving us the season and reason to never stop waiting on the completion of His blessing, and for fulfilling this desire at the right season. Isn’t God amazing?
At first, I perceived the idea of transferring the bones of my mother from the old cemetery to a new one impractical. Why we needed to entertain such a plan, what are the benefits of it? At first glance it seems like illogical. It doesn’t make sense. Her bones were actually fine though it was crowded with other bones of deceased relatives, and love ones. But I remembered the word of God, the story of Joseph, the dreamer. The Jewish guy in the coat of many colors, who was greatly loved and favored by his father Jacob. Joseph, whose brothers were jealous and hated him and who planned evil against him, and sold him into slavery. Joseph, even in slavery God’s heavenly wisdom and knowledge was upon him. That he succeeded in everything he did as he served Potiphar, the Egyptian master and who appointed Joseph to be in charged of his whole household. Joseph, whose Potiphar’s wife begun to looked at him lustfully, but he refused to commit such wickedness for he doesn’t want to sin against God and because of his righteous act, he was place in the prison for the crime he didn’t commit. 21 “But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden.”-Genesis 39:21
Joseph, who rises to power and became a ruler of Egypt. 38 So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?” 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, clearly no one else is as intelligent or wise as you are. 40 You will be in charge of my court, and all my people will take orders from you. Only I, sitting on my throne, will have a rank higher than yours.” -Genesis 41:39-40
The more I read about Joseph’s life, the more I discovered the faithfulness of God. Why? Do you know that in each season of Joseph’s sufferings, God was with Joseph and never abandoned him. In the hands of his brothers: 9 “These patriarchs were jealous of their brother Joseph, and they sold him to be a slave in Egypt. But God was with him” -Acts 7:9 As a slaved of his Egyptian master, Potiphar: “The LORD was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master.” -Genesis 39:2
While in the dungeon, and was accused of the crime he didn’t commit: 21 But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden.” -Genesis 39:21.
Joseph, that in all of the recorded years of his sufferings God favored was upon Him. That even in his death, God fulfilled Joseph’s spoken faith. ” 22 It was by faith that Joseph, when he was about to die, said confidently that the people of Israel would leave Egypt. He even commanded them to take his bones with them when they left.” -Hebrews 11:22 NLT
The most interesting fact was, Joseph’s spoken faith in God concerning his peoples freedom and his bones weren’t diminished by the hundreds of years of slavery and sufferings in Egypt. It was fulfilled because God is faithful.
40 The people of Israel had lived in Egypt[c] for 430 years.41 In fact, it was on the last day of the 430th year that all the Lord’s forces left the land. 42 On this night the Lord kept his promise to bring his people out of the land of Egypt. So this night belongs to him, and it must be commemorated every year by all the Israelites, from generation to generation.
Going back to my mother, she was named Juanita. She died when I was at the age of 2 years old and her death was caused by a rabies of an infected cat. Yes, numerous people in our town including my families have told me that she suffered with so much oppressing pain before her death.
As far as I can remembered, there are only three vivid memories I had with her. The first one, there was a women gathering. As I recalled, I was with my sister Beejay. We were under the dining table, we were eating sopas (chicken noodle soup) on a colorful cups. I was hearing my mother and some other women, they were singing a glorious song called Alive, Alive. I was hearing their voices singing, “Alive, alive, alive forever more. Si Hesus ay buhay, buhay magpakailanpaman. Sing Hallelujah, sing Hallelujah, si Hesus ay buhay, buhay magpakailanpaman.”
The next one was, the memory of her face on a photo lying on her coffin on her green dress. When I was younger, I think I was at the age of grade school since she wasn’t there to comfort me or hug me, whenever I got sad, and crying I always pulled out her death photo, looked on her face and called on her name Mama. I guess I was trying to used her photo to buffer whatever stored memory I had with her. Sensory memory.
Lastly, her old beautiful photo with my sisters, young Cecille and young Beejay.
I think my influence and motivation of being a committed mother to my daughter Abigail was the absence of my mother on my growing up years. We didn’t choose it, but its the will of God for us. That’s the main reason also why I intentionally making and collecting more memories with Joshua and Abi.
And to answer this question, “What you will get for your mom’s on mothers day?” I will bring her honor the way I live my life as a wife and as a mother. A lifestyle that will bless her name not only on one season not just on Abigail’s generation but the generation after me and to those who will come. I will influence my child to not forget to always give praises and give thanks to the one who fulfilled prayers and the one who conquered death, and bring life even after death, and that is to live for Jesus Christ. I will always remind her, to remain grounded and faithful in God in the days of joy and mostly in the days of sufferings.
Proverbs 31:28–29: “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.'” 🙂
My siblings and I are very excited. I was informed that they already made a plan to gather together at our mother’s tomb, and celebrate our mother’s birthday this coming June 16. My prayer is that even in our imperfections as a family, we will never fail to celebrate God’s goodness in our sufferings. That He is a God who fulfilled His words. That He is a God who heard our prayers. That He is a God who answered our prayers according to His will, and according to His timing. To gather together and build a lasting tradition. To share a story, that with God nothing is impossible.
40 The people of Israel had lived in Egypt[c] for 430 years.41 In fact, it was on the last day of the 430th year that all the Lord’s forces left the land. 42 On this night the Lord kept his promise to bring his people out of the land of Egypt. So this night belongs to him, and it must be commemorated every year by all the Israelites, from generation to generation. -Exodus 12: 40-42
For us to remember to turn our anxiousness in prayers. To have faith that God’s words will never return void.
57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. -1 Corinthians 15:57
Sharing this commentary of Matthew Henry for the book of Joshua 24:29-33 “Joseph died in Egypt, but gave commandment concerning his bones, that they should not rest in their grave till Israel had rest in the land of promise. Notice also the death and burial of Joshua, and of Eleazar the chief priest. The most useful men, having served their generation, according to the will of God, one after another, fall asleep and see corruption. But Jesus, having spent and ended his life on earth more effectually than either Joshua or Joseph, rose from the dead, and saw no corruption. And the redeemed of the Lord shall inherit the kingdom he prepared for them from the foundation of the world. They will say in admiration of the grace of Jesus, Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
To start -out this spring season, when all the plants are starting to bloom Stockadale’s, an america’s rural outfitter celebrated their yearly Kid’s Planting Day happening at all their different locations.
As for us, this was a good local opportunity to travel right down to the nearby local Stockdale’s branch in Selmer, Tennessee.
This yearly event provides kids some simple community learning with planting of Marigold flowers.
The first day of Spring is coming soon. We will start to get longer, sunnier days and the temperature of the air and soil will start to warm up too! So who’s excited?
But wait, now is the ideal time to prepare our home for the rising spring summer cooling cost, and making sure all the ceiling fan are working economically efficient and safe.
So Breathe easier and stay cool with a ceiling fan installation workshop this coming Saturday, March 16. 2019 at Home Depot. This workshop will cover everything you need to consider for a successful install including fan styles and features, selecting the correct fan size for your space and reviewing electrical safety procedures. Our skilled Store Associates will guide you step-by-step through a ceiling fan installation—making the project a breeze. –home depot
So what are you waiting for, spread the news and join your family to this Home Depot FREE in-Store workshop and find your nearest store, registerhere . Build, learn and create. Have fun with your fam 🙂
Currently, my heart and mind are debating how to start writing this blog. There are so many things that I would like to share since the last update here at the beginning of 2019.
Friday, January 04. The Detour:
I was sleepy at work so I decided to had a detour with my normal work routine. Instead of eating lunch-out, I decided that on my break, I would take a detour to taken have a nap at home. So I called my husband to picked me up from work. I was excited that day and was looking forward to had a good nap, then go back to work again. While waiting for Joshua, I decided to had a quick tour to the bank which is just a crossed the road from where I work.
When I returned in front of our work place building, there was no trace of Joshua yet. I was thinking what happened to him. Did he forgot that I just called and his wife was waiting for him outside in the midst of a chilly weather? Or was he so busy writing his paper or being occupied of marketing our products? Did our daughter wanted to come with him, and she was taking so much time putting her shoes on? Or did he fall asleep again? Hold on, did he literally forget that I was waiting for him? Our place was just 5 minutes drive down the road. What was going on? Goodness, I didn’t have any means to contact him again unless I will go back inside our work building, and make another call. That time, I was contemplating what will I do?
Well the dollar store was just a few steps away from me, probably this is the time for me to have my own personal phone, Ill just get one. After all its not so expensive but wait, I just need one phone call. I was getting impatient, and frustrated. What happened to Joshua? I decided I would walked home, then I realized that the Physical Therapist building Joshua went last time has a phone. I would try to call Joshua. The woman was gracious enough to used their phone but to added on my frustration, Joshua wasn’t answering my call and nobody was answering my call in our home line. Goodness!!!
Finally, I decided to had a walk to home when I heard a familiar voice yelling out my name LADY, LADY, LADY!!!
When I looked back, I saw my manager across the road calling out my name, and she was looking rushed. By this time, I knew that something emergency happened to my husband.
On the other end of the story: another detour.
Joshua had been in a bit of a rush since he lost the keys for a moment. He didn’t want me to wait. He skipped the route he normally takes with red-lights and took a side street instead. This is where he reported having rear-ended a recycling bin trailer that stopped in front of him, apparently at the same time he was checking the phone (which a person should never do). There was no time, he said, for him to even use much brakes. It happened in seconds…. on this, our day of detours. We just thank God no one was injured.
Now, our 2012 Kia Soul is badly damaged and may not even be worth repairing. Just look!
So now our plans for the year were offset. We were looking forward to having enough saved up for our new place that we were planning to go to early this year. Everything was set. And then life throws us a curved.
Prior to this accident, in my journal last January 2 I wrote: Proverbs 3:6 (ESV) In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.
The question are, how can we acknowledge God when the situation became unclear? When the plans that we’ve made for ourselves didn’t happen the way we projected it, and the way we want it? When unexpected set-backs happened?
When Abigail was only an infant and learning to walk, she didn’t have any idea of what walking was about. What she knew was crawling until we introduced walking to her.
There was an event wherein I was trying to encourage her to take steps forward while I was on the other side of the hallway encouraging her. Abi demonstrated how much she trusts our voices, and it brought us joy to see her beginning to walk. As she carefully followed my instructions to her, paying attention to our words, I was overcome with joy. She clearly knows that we love her and want the best for her and for her to grow and learn new things, even if she falls down sometimes. As Abigail’s parents our will for her is to protect her, and prosper her in her obedience to our words. How much more love has our Heavenly Father for us?
His love for us is beyond our comprehension to the point of His redeeming us from our sins. We should be so trusting to our Heavenly Father in our relationship with Him, just as Abigail trusted us.
Even if us, as her parents fall and a major detour like this happens, like her, we will not cry or freak out, but we will listen for God’s voice and persevere on the path He has for us.
We will continue to be patient and prayerful for what will become of us in 2019 after this unexpected set-back. The good thing is that we have full-coverage insurance and GAP insurance, so this will not cost us much money, God-willing.
I will end this blog with encouraging message for myself and others from Psalm 8:1-9
1 O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. 2 You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength,[b] silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.
3 When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place— 4 what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?[c] 5 Yet you made them only a little lower than God[d] and crowned them[e] with glory and honor. 6 You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority— 7 the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals, 8 the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents.
9 O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
It was a eureka moment when somebody blurted out, “Its getting thicker!” Referring to the consistency of the gravy. A mystery resolved. The mystery of achieving a just perfect thickness for gravy. The secret is using a perfectly hot water and mix it together with the gravy powder. Not lukewarm, and not cold water but just a perfectly hot water.
I then realized in cooking, whether easy or not easy, the main key to bringing out the best tasty food is to have an understanding of the recipe or the dishes I am preparing. It actually make sense. I think the best words to say, is to build an intimate relationship with the food your hands are preparing by putting your heart into it.
You may say, it’s common sense. Of course, Lady, you need to use hot water. Didn’t you learn it before?
Yes you are right. But sometimes, I became too focused on achieving the outcome that I carelessly omitted a simple perception of the situation and the facts. Just like in the way I relate with people, I was too focused on rushing in and seeing the best come out of them that I failed to know who they truly are as a person. I was failing to build an intimate relationship with them. Failing to know their needs. Failing to know what matters to them. Failing to supplement what will make them full. In short failing to understand other person.
Today, I am going back to basics. Today, I am going back to my old notes to relearn again about communication. So what is communication?
According to my 2015 notes, communication is a process where two or more people share in a meaningful exchange of ideas for mutual understanding. Communication is not what is said. It is what is heard and what is understood.
What are some hindrances in communication?
1. Not Listening. I always tell this phrase to my daughter whenever I think she’s not paying attention to my instructions, and she was being playful. “Abi you aren’t Listening. Look at me.” Of course, she did the same whenever she was talking with me and I was busy doing things. Mom, you aren’t listening to me. Not giving our full attention to one another hinders our having good communication.
2. No Time.
Quoting Charles Spurgeon, “Now is the watchword of the wise.”I tend to become jealous of my husband’s smoking habit because he seems to invest more time in smoking than in giving his full attention to my story. But thankfully, my husband has improved greatly in this area. He learned to give his ears to my unending stories and become more empathetic and sensitive to my needs. There was just a time that I won’t forget. He willingly sat down and listened to me while I was pouring out my heart to him about my experience at work. He even prayed with me right then and there. Praise God!
3. Pride. When my heart was hardened with pride, I would tend to justify my wrongful actions resulting in my failing to understand other people. Why? Because I tend to focus on other’s faults I notice and not seeing my own participation in why conflicts arise. Just like earlier, when our family (Joshua, Abi and I) went to dine-in to Wendy’s I clearly relayed my idea to Joshua to just get each of us a chicken sandwich. That way we didn’t need to spend much. But at the counter, Joshua asked questions again, and as quick as I can I change my mind and suggest the 4 for $4 which includes (chicken nuggets, fries, drinks and a sandwich of your choice), he had already ordered the wrong thing. In my understanding, we can get 3 sandwich of our choice and a fries for $4, but I was wrong. So at the end, we paid more. My pride reasoned out, and I accused my husband of rushing me to decide while we already had an original plan of just getting a $1 Large Fries and 3 Crispy Chicken Sandwich worth $2.97 + tax, and in this option, we should only spent less. But actually, my fault participation was having a fickle mind. But of course, “Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor” –Proverbs 29:23 (NLT). So we decided to enjoyed our foods anyway and have a clear plan for the next time we are to order foods–communicate well and not rushed.
4. Nagtatampo or Sulky: In the book of proverbs, it says “A cheerful heart is good medicine,but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” -Proverbs 17:22 NLT
I know, its really heard to get over our negative emotions mostly when we harbor resentment, and deciding to be more upset. But failing to process the emotions in a right perspective by refusing to cooperate and not cheerful hinders building a good relationship to people. Being sulky is self-focused. In my experience with my husband, as I continue to become sulky, I failed to understand him simply because I didn’t want to accept his reasons, as well as I failed to expressed where I was coming from. This opt not to build a good communication to resolved a conflict. The result was a clueless Joshua. Thinking what He did wrong?
5. Fear of Conflict. Conflict is inevitable, but with the right perspective and attitude towards it, it is always resolvable. Actually, in reality conflict helps us to improve. It helps us to build relationships more and understand other person.
In fear of conflict, it is equally important to know the types of communication styles of the people that surround us. But, first and foremost we need to understand our own communication style.
Individuals who use the passive communication style often act indifferently, yielding to others. Passive communicators usually fail to express their feelings or needs, allowing others to express themselves. Frequently, a passive communicator’s lack of outward communication can lead to misunderstanding, anger build-up or resentment. At the same time, these communicators can be safer to speak with when a conflict arises, because they most likely will avoid a confrontation or defer to others.
Passive communicators often display a lack of eye contact, poor body posture and an inability to say “no.” Passive communicators also act in a way that states “people never consider my feelings.”
But passive communicators are also easy to get along with as they follow others and “go with the flow.”
Examples of phrases that those who use a passive communication style would say or may believe include:
“It really doesn’t matter that much.”
“I just want to keep the peace”
It’s often apparent when someone communicates in an aggressive manner. You’ll hear it. You’ll see it. You may even feel it.
The aggressive communication style is emphasized by speaking in a loud and demanding voice, maintaining intense eye contact and dominating or controlling others by blaming, intimidating, criticizing, threatening or attacking them, among other traits.
Aggressive communicators often issue commands, ask questions rudely and fail to listen to others. But they can also be considered leaders and command respect from those around them.
Examples of phrases that an aggressive communicator would use include:
“I’m right and you’re wrong.”
“I’ll get my way no matter what.”
“It’s all your fault.”
Passive-aggressive communication style users appear passive on the surface, but within he or she may feel powerless or stuck, building up a resentment that leads to seething or acting out in subtle, indirect or secret ways.
Most passive-aggressive communicators will mutter to themselves rather than confront a person or issue. They have difficulty acknowledging their anger, use facial expressions that don’t correlate with how they feel and even deny there is a problem.
Passive-aggressive communicators are most likely to communicate with body language or a lack of open communication to another person, such as giving someone the silent treatment, spreading rumors behind people’s backs or sabotaging others’ efforts. Passive-aggressive communicators may also appear cooperative, but may silently be doing the opposite.
Ultimately, passive-aggressive communicators are aware of their needs, but at times struggle to voice them.
Examples of phrases that a passive-aggressive communicator would use include:
“That’s fine with me, but don’t be surprised if someone else gets mad.”
“Sure, we can do things your way” (then mutters to self that “your way” is stupid).
Thought to be the most effective form of communication, the assertive communication style features an open communication link while not being overbearing. Assertive communicators can express their own needs, desires, ideas and feelings, while also considering the needs of others. Assertive communicators aim for both sides to win in a situation, balancing one’s rights with the rights of others.
Assertive communicators can express their own needs, desires, ideas and feelings, while also considering the needs of others.
One of the keys to assertive communication is using “I” statements, such as “I feel frustrated when you are late for a meeting,” or, “I don’t like having to explain this over and over.” It indicates ownership of feelings and behaviors without blaming the other person.
Examples of phrases an assertive communicator would use include:
“We are equally entitled to express ourselves respectfully to one another.”
“I realize I have choices in my life, and I consider my options.”
“I respect the rights of others.”
How to Become an Assertive Communicator
Understanding how others communicate can be key to getting your message across to them. In order to develop a more assertive communication style, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Take ownership (use “I” statements)
Maintain eye contact
Learn to say “no”
Voice your needs and desires confidently
6. Culture. I myself am a foreigner to the USA. I do not really get some of the humor and phrases people say in jest. Sometimes, I act tough so not to look ignorant, or, if I don’t understand it, I will just excuse myself and do something. But it does help me to ask questions. We are all part of the same human race and culture creates conflict when something is unfamiliar, but the good thing about it is that with the right desire and a dose of humility, we can usually bridge the gap. I am reminded again of mine and Joshua’s marriage verse,
Colossians 3:15 (with commentary) “Let the peace of Christ control you (bringing opposites closer together). God has called you into this peace (divine revelation) by bringing you into one body (togetherness). Be thankful (the resolve).”
Despite our differences, Christ has become salvation for everyone. He has shown us the perfect example of humbling oneself for the sake of redeeming from death to eternal life.
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8).
These durable, magnetic building blocks brought a lot of happiness to our family. Aside that we can all play with it together either indoor, it is also designed to be used outdoor. As we observed, our daughter is growing her building skills through imagination and creativity with these different colorful geometric shapes, plus alphabets and numbers. It also comes with a guidebook with numerous 2D & 3D forms to follow.
VCANNY MAGNETIC TILES is also a good educational tool to develop the following:
2. PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP.In parent–child relationships, the way parents respond to their children’s expressions of emotion influences how securely a child is attached to their parent, and can therefore affect a child’s relational experience and their experience of later adult relationships. (Journal of Child & Family Studies, 2017).
3. LOGICAL THINKING. Children learn classification and other mathematical structures the same way that they learn about the rest of the world- by manipulating actual objects and constructing new knowledge after reflecting on their physical and mental actions. As children develop, they move away from constructing graphic collections and begin to sort objects using consistent criteria. While most young children are able to differentiate the attributes of objects, they need opportunities to learn how to use this capability. The more experiences that they have, the stronger the base from which they can continue to develop (Childhood Education, 1995) .
5. PATIENCE . Abi loves to build castles with her blocks and tiles, and she is really good at it. At early age, she already knew how to manipulates and play Wooden Stacking Board Games with adults, with our friends. Though whenever she builds 3D forms like Ferris wheel and it suddenly collapsed, she became frustrated and impatient. Whenever we see her in this attitude, we took it as a way to teach her in the area of stretching her patience, and ministering to her heart by saying, “ABI BE PATIENT.” She actually understood that being patient helps her to receive things at the proper time. We believe that this is one of the most important thing we can do for our child to teach her to be patient.
15 Patience can persuade a prince, and soft speech can break bones.
So the first comment on our Youtube Vlog will receive a FREE SET of VCANNY MAGNETIC TILES as show in the pictures. TELL US WHY you would like this for your family and we will ship it to you. 🙂 GOD BLESS. There is ONLY ONE WINNER here! USA families only.
We’ve been receiving various inquiry related to Filing I-130 or Petition for Alien Relative through Direct Consular Filing at USCIS US Embassy Manila Philippines.
So what is Direct Consular Filing?
Its basically a process available for all US Citizen living outside the United States with an intention to return to United States to reside together with their alien relative such as spouse, children and parents through filing the I-130 or Petition for Alien Relative. Provided that the petitioner or the US Citizen spouse has been residing in the Philippines for at least the past six months. Filing of I-130 can be done at foreign country where USCIS office is available.
Form I-130 may be filed with our office by a U.S. citizen who continuously resides in the Philippines on behalf of a spouse, child (unmarried and under 21 years of age), or parent of the U.S. citizen. A general guideline is that the U.S. citizen has been residing in the Philippines for six months or more prior to filing Form I-130 in order to establish residence. Source: USCIS Manila Field Office, January 15, 2018
If qualified, your husband would have to file the Form I-130 petition with our office at the U.S. Embassy, Manila, in person, with the required documents and filing fee. Source: USCIS Manila Field Office, November 24, 2016
What is the Plan?
To bring your Alien Relative specifically your spouse in United States using Form I-130 through Direct Consular Filing at USCIS Field Office.
The question is:
Are you qualified to file I-130 at USCIS Field Office in US Embassy Manila, Philippines?
Proof of continuous and Current 6 months tenure in the Philippines before Filing I-130
Proof of residency: resident alien card (ACR). During your stay in the Philippines 2015-2016, does Philippine Immigration Provided you the ACR as a tourist? If yes you can just renew it. This alone will satisfy the 6 months or you can choose to attached one of the ff document below:
Local Mayor’s Certificate whichever city in the Philippines you will stay making sure your Philippines address will be indicated and date too. (you can request this for FREE and you can request this the moment you and your fiancee will process all your documents for your wedding.
Proof of apartment rental, Utilities billing named after you (if any)
Proof of Relationship
Marriage Certificate (Authenticated PSA (previously NSO) Paper) and any one of the documents below (Copy)
You can open a bank a joint bank account in the Philippines after you have Marriage Certificate and your resident alien card (ACR) or
Joint Tenancy or proof of same rental residency
Pictures together, traveling tickets together
Affidavit of sworn thrid part statement just you know to affirmed the lawful existence of your marriage.
Birth Certificate of your spouse
Proof of your US Citizenship
US Passport (copy)
US Drivers License
As of today, the Filing fee of $535.00 (US Dollars or its PESO equivalent on the day of filing) – Only cash or U.S. Postal Money Order payable to “Department of Homeland Security” or major credit cards are acceptable.
The process of paper works with USCIS are intricate. But with the right planning, perseverance, and pressing towards the goal, in our own experience it can be done.
Here’s our family’s “6P’s must have learning experience” in pursuing your PLAN to petition an immediate relative or processing a spouse visa (IR1) using the Form I-130 or Petitioning an Alien Relative through Direct Consular Filing at USCIS Manila Field Office at US Embassy Manila.
The 6P’s are: Internal (Characters) Patience, Perseverance, & Prayer. External Paper Works, People, & Pera (Money)
We never thought “such a deep black can make your teeth bright white. Meet us the “Pido & Dida” and here we are trying the newest Family Brand (FamBrand) 👨👩👧.
COFFEE STAINED TEETH? Get your Fiberganic All Natural & Organic Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder from unique blend of charcoal powder from 100% organic coconut shells and baking soda. Click here to use our Amazon Affiliate Link: http://amzn.to/2DQV1LI
FACTS: Do you know that our 1st family encountered with Activated Charcoal was a lil bit uneasy!!! When our daughter accidentally ingested Haloperidol, she was prescribed with activated charcoal (through oral route) to prevent the anti-psychotic med to being absorbed by her system. Thanking the good God that now its just part of the history.
We are currently using the strawberry & orange flavored Probiotic Gummies by BeLive It actually tasting good, and Joshua and I are taking one gummy each daily for our healthy tummy. The first time I opened the cap, it smelled of antibiotic so our three years old doesn’t like it the first time she tasted it probably she can tell the difference from the taste of her fruity gummy multivitamins that’s she’s taking daily.
But since the key role of probiotics is restoring healthy balance to our bodies, improving immune system functioning, and curbing inflammation today, we encourage our little one to try it again, and make a choice for herself what flavor she would like to take so she wouldn’t feel like forced. Thankfully, she took an orange flavor and had it.
Digestive Health is really important. Our digestive system is one of the many regulatory system in our body, and when one works better they all works better. This is a 90 count supply, so, a good 6 weeks worth for one adult, longer for children. This will be good for you, and your whole family.
Are you a daily to-do-list person like me? if yes this classy-smart undated daily planner planner by On-On-On is for you to grab this Black Friday.
The protective cover is made of faux leather, and the left pages are designed for your to-do’s daily while the right pages are for listing your creatives ideas. As we all know, scientific research proves that we use our left brain for logical problem solving and our right brain for creative thinking.
Are you a daily to-do-list person like me? if yes this classy-smart planner is for you. The protective cover is made of faux leather & the left pages are designed for your to-do's daily while the right pages are for listing your creatives ideas. amazon.to. https://t.co/3ibtkUGMwrpic.twitter.com/2CC8rJu29I
Men grow beards. Joshua, my husband is a man whose facial hair comes out quickly and fully. We opted to get him this trimmer so he can shave his face, even though he doesn’t feel the need. But as he mentioned, sometimes, “Change is good.”
It’s kind of thrifty too to not need to visit a barber just to get a good shave. Aside of saving time, we’ll also save money. The precision blades cut his hairs all evenly, and it was easy too. Abigail, our three year old said to him, Daddy why did you shaved your hair? She immediately noticed the difference.
We got this sturdy Regalo Cot for our 3 years old and 7 months old daughter just last October. Our goal is to provide a temporary-safe & comfortable sleeping bed for her. Its already fully assembled when it arrived. You just need to unfold it and it comes with one fitted sheet, and one carry bag. Its portable, designed for indoor or outdoor use. The size is kinda small, but our daughter will get at least ONE YEAR OF USE out of it so it is good value for the price.
Thrifty-Practical: If you are thinking to get one, make sure to purchase it here at amazon because its almost $15 cheaper than their website. PLUS shipping fee is covered with Amazon Prime.
Continuity and permanence. Block play engages spatial sense and motor abilities; it can be a solo or a group effort; block creations can stand for an indefinite period-of-time.—Lawrence Balter
The first time we introduced the Colored Blocks to our daughter, she was only 2 years old. The primary reasons why we decided to buy these blocks was to supplement our family routine with a more engaging family game time, and for our daughter’s benefit, we chose a colored inspired Jenga blocks for her easier adaptability since the only requirement to play this game with a dice is familiarity with colors, and mind maneuvering. At times that we weren’t playing as a family, our daughter herself finds it useful for building and structuring house and towers.
2. Creativity. Blocks and other loose parts can be moved freely by children, to be combined and recombined in countless ways.—Angela Eckhoff
3. Imagination. Children can follow their own plan, or they can share a friend’s vision and work together to create something they never dreamed of.—Karen Cairone
That’s the beauty of having a wooden blocks as a tool for our young one’s learning, she can explore and express more her own creativeness and imaginations in a countless way. Like she managed to create a house for her miniature toys.
4. Development in all areas. Block play requires fine and gross motor skills. Blocks enhance children’s problem-solving abilities, mathematics skills, and language and literacy abilities. And constructing “creations” builds self-esteem and feelings of success. —Linda Taylor
Whenever our daughter successfully piled the last piece of the wooden block on the top of the tower she was building, after herself figuring out why it kept on collapsing, and several times becoming frustrated, celebrating, she called us and showcase with us the product of her small hands and hard labor.
5. Mathematics. Important concepts and skills are practiced and strengthened through block play, including length, measurement, comparison, number, estimation, symmetry, balance.—Kristen Kemple
6. Problem solving. Sometimes it is intentional: “I want to build X. How do I do that?” Other times it is in-the-moment: “To go higher and add to one side, what can I use?”—Peter Pizzolongo
7. Science. Blocks offer opportunities to test hypotheses and build scientific reasoning.—Gayle Mindes
It’s an all-in-one thrifty-practical tool that we are using for almost a year in training our little one in risk-taking familiarization and application; practicing logical reasoning, decision-making, strategizing, verbal and calculation. Concepts introduction, and motor development including quick reflexes, steady hand, and fine-motor control.
8. Self-expression. Blocks offer many ways for young dual language learners to explore, express themselves, and demonstrate what they are learning across languages.—Karen Nemeth
9. Self-esteem. Children discover that they have ideas and that they can bring their ideas to life by creating, transforming, demolishing, and re-creating something unique.—Holly Bohart
10. Social and emotional growth. Blocks help children learn to take turns and share materials, develop new friendships, become self-reliant, increase attention span, cooperate with others, and develop self-esteem.—Kathleen Harris
Yes, one of a good tool for character development like, developing patience in playing solo and even in a group set up. In-fact this is our 2nd set of Wooden Stacking Colored Blocks. The first one was we left the dice at a friend’s house so we decided not to bring the whole set when we migrated back to US.
If you have your own story of THRIFTY-PRACTICAL way to invest resources mostly in educating your children, please comment below. God bless 🙂
There is a Halloween mania in the air. Everyone’s mouth keeps on mentioning it in all the conversation we heard. As I observed, most of the commercials marketing the Halloween super hero’s costumes which I will not deny too cute-or-not to look at both for adults and children are colorful and very much enticing. Personally, if I am not too careful, I’ll shop online and get our daughter one of those fancy princess outfit. Okay I don’t find anything wrong with parents who decided to dress their kids with such detailed costumes. It’s their prerogative. Our daughter can wear one colorful princess outfit, but I don’t see the dire need for her to have one. With or without fancy or colorful outfit, we are training our child to believe that she is a blessing, precious on her own, a princess for she’s a gift of God for us. Our training is for her to be grateful for who she is. As Abigail Exodus Haltom, princess.
At 12 noon we are allowing our daughter to have a structured viewing of Paw Patrol. Though it’s a kid friendly show, it’s not free from promoting Halloween and all those ghostly stories as an observance for the approaching yearly adapted tradition. There is a temporary way for her not to see all these ghostly definitions of what the medias definition of Halloween and that is by restricting her not to have access to television. But this is temporarily.
Our mission is to lead her in a direction, and have choices narrowed down for her so that she will have a better understanding of making good and right choices, building a lasting value, character, and a strong faith in God. We believe, with constant prayers and training, with God, these are all possible.
6 Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. -Proverbs 22:6 (NLT)
According to http://www.childstats.gov, a forum on child and family statistics, the projected number of children ages 0 to 17 years old in the United States is 73.8 million. Envisioning the numbers of costumes and candies to be sold just for the observance of this once in a year traditional night. Wow this is a big income generating business. But this is not really my concern. I am more concerned of how our daughter’s will view, process this tradition and how she will handle this year after year.
I’ve been hearing the conversation between our little one and her Daddy, Joshua, my husband. In one of their conversation, Joshua was asking Abigail what costume she wanted to wear on Halloween? Abigail responded saying, “I don’t want to wear costume, I wanted to be Abigail.” It doesn’t stop there, it was a constant Halloween related question and answer segment between these two. And I am hearing the same respond from our daughter. “I don’t want to dress up, I want to be Abigail.”
I wanted to know why a father and a parent like Joshua was so eager to ask his daughter about the same question again and again. Was he trying to impose something or what? Was he trying to become “chauvinistic,” and insensitive of his daughter’s firm stand about the matter? Was he just teasing her trying to change her mind? What about our daughter, was she just wanted to not to agree with his dad or what? Why she doesn’t want to give up and just agree with her father? Where is she coming from?
Finally, I got an answered to why Joshua was so assertive towards Abigail dressing up on Halloween and do the trick and treat thing.
He said that as far as he remembered, he felt outcast for not wearing a store-bought Halloween costumes and just being the same “vampire-do-it-himself-look” with a blood on his mouth or cuts on his face as a zombie year after year. I know that my husband loves our daughter very much and when I said very much, he will do his very best just to let our daughter know that he loves her not just in words but mostly in action and his 100% support is for her. One-time Joshua decided to helped Abigail to get rid of her shyness. He boosted Abigail’s confidence by involving himself to the ballet routine in one of our daughter’s ballet class. He walked tiptoed back and forth with Abi and the girls, and even bent his knees. He did it all in front of us mothers just for his love for Abigail until she was fully assured of her Daddy’s support, and did the routine by herself and us just watching at her in the corner. From where he was coming from concerning his childhood experience, his desire is to protect our daughter’s emotions which is one of his primary role as a father. To provide emotional support. His thought was all the kids outside will be dressing up with their own Halloween costumes while Abigail may feel left out. In his mind, the outcast pattern, as he processed it, will be possibly prevented by conforming and wearing costumes.
Today when the topic of Halloween came across again in our conversation, Abigail’s made her final statement:
Daddy keep on saying Halloween again and again. She turned to her Daddy and said, “Daddy looked in my eyes. I don’t want Halloween and I don’t want to dress up.” When we asked her why, she responded with a very decisive word. “Because its spooky and Jesus doesn’t want me to dress up.”
Our daughter is only three years old, but just like us adult she is not free from feeling of being pressured mostly when she already expressed why there’s no need to be doing what she’s not persuaded of doing. When she finally gave her reasons to why she doesn’t need to dress up for Halloween and just wanted to be herself, her expectation as a child just like us adults is to respect her believe, to receive encouragement from us her parents and adults surrounding her and go easy (if can’t be avoided) on the criticism, and to support her decision not to restrict her unnecessarily.
Alright, on the article that I wrote Jesus is not here, she expressed her fears of Jesus and doubt about Jesus not being with us. By God’s grace, her doubt was addressed. Praise God. When she reasoned that Jesus doesn’t want me to dress up I am pretty much convinced why she is clearly making that stand.
In the article that I read, parents and adults are being reminded why we shouldn’t sell children short. “Children’s faith may be simple, but it is often real and profound.” Our three-year-old saying, Jesus doesn’t want me to dress up is a pure message she wanted to follow and to deliver to us and its giving light to why she wouldn’t be liking the idea of dressing up for something portrayed as spooky (scary, frightening, ghostly, unnerving, and mysterious). Her young mind clearly received and processed the messages of two opposing views. God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. Isn’t this something us her parents need not to carefully considered about?
5This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. -1 John 1:5 NLT
The other night when everyone was resting, and our daughter was already sleeping. I heard her scream. I checked on her (she was sleeping on her cot), and when I knew that nothing was wrong with her, and she was sleeping tight, I went back on our bed. But after a few seconds, I heard her screamed again and this time louder. I was deeply concerned because it was the very first time I heard her screamed at sleep. I woke her up, and asked her if she had a dream. She nodded and said that a vampire was trying to bite her. My constant encouragement to her whenever the shadow of darkness cast fear on her young mind, is to remind herself to pray and put her trust in Jesus. As her parents, we ought to train her to walk in truth. The truth that leads to peace. That The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of Holy One is understanding. –Proverbs 9:10 NIV and not the fear of darkness projected to Halloween. We aren’t some perfect parents, but our desire is becoming a transitional generation parents to recover from the sins of the past and not to repeat it. We wouldn’t like to twist our own statement between faith on Jesus and His words and fellowship towards darkness that corrupts the light in our child’s mind and frightened her leading to a divided heart.
During my Elementary days in the Philippines, as far as I remembered my sister and I never experience Trick or Treating, but I remembered that most of the retail store sold some cheap vampire teeth fangs and monstrous paper mask. I bought those vampire fangs since its cheaper, and most of the kids were buying it. My intention was to scared my sister, but I ended scaring myself, and didn’t want to be alone. I even had some nightmares like being followed by ghostly characters. I didn’t had peace.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. -1 John 1 NLT
Halloween Philosophy & Fact:
Halloween projects a day fear
Those who observed the human traditions most probably spend on spooky costumes or dress up like a super hero’s. A day of commercial season. Which according to National Retail Federation (the world’s largest retail trade association) ” this year, consumers are expected to spend $9.1 billion, up from $8.4 billion in 2016.” The top costume for children is reported to be an action hero or superhero, while the top pick for adults is a witch. Pets will not be left behind, with 10 percent of consumers dressing their pet as a pumpkin. (Source: National Retail Federation)
Our resolved are the following:
As a family, we need to be perfectly united in mind that our fears are for God alone, it’s called reverence. So, we don’t need to terrify ourselves or others.
We don’t need to spend our pennies to create a spooky atmosphere, not even to dress up ourselves with a scary costume to fit in, together as a family we will represent ourselves with the image of who we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We believe it’s a more THRIFTY-PRACTICAL way to invest resources to something that we can use for a long time as a tool for our family to be more relational and just have fun and laughter. ThisWooden Stacking Board Games Blocks for Kids-60 Pieces will arrive tomorrow.
We will prepare ourselves to give our service to kids by sharing candies, and tell them that Jesus love them. Our daughter rarely joined with her cousins with their school schedules and stuff so it’s a perfect time for her to enjoy them, and to develop and invest a good relationship and friendship not in a spooky way but in a replenishing relationship to build up each other in a very fun way. Playing.
All this God willing.
Abigail’s final reservation for now regarding Halloween, is that she will share candy with the other kids, like the young boy share to Jesus his bread and fish.
9 “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?” 10 “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) -John 6:9-10New Living Translation (NLT)
Today, as she joined us in our prayer, she thank Jesus for the Rolo Chewy Caramels that her Daddy shared with her yesterday, and expecting for a more to come.
Jesus is not here…these are the words that our three years old used to cut me off while I was encouraging her to remember a comforting verse from the bible, remember whenever you are afraid…(paraphrase from psalm 56:3) then that four words came out from her mouth without warning. I am not prepared. How in the world I will address her innocent rebuttal? Do I need to wake up my husband to help me explain with our daughter that Jesus is with us, and there’s nothing to be afraid of?
As of now our daughter was sharing bed with us. This is just temporary. We are still deciding what bed we need to get for her. But she was used of sleeping by herself, she was only 8 months when we started training her to sleep on her own bed, in a separate room, and a few steps away from our own room.
Because of the transitions we had faced these past months (migrating from one country to another), she became used again of sleeping with us, and with the comfort of skin-to-skin. So last night, after praying with her, bed stories, and with my hand wrapped around her, I was assuming she already fell asleep. I slowly moved my hand away from her, and scoot myself down from the bed aiming to finish some online task. But she suddenly turned to me, and said “Mama, I need you.” As a mother, this sounded good to my ears but I also sense that our daughter was being fearful. With her body gestures not wanting to leave any space between me and her, and wanted me to hug her so tight.
Every time we sense that she was feeling afraid, our words for her was to remember that whenever she was afraid, she can put her trust in Jesus. And after we prayed with her, she peacefully went to bed.
But last night was different. So, I stayed with her, hugged her tight and I decided to be quiet. I felt like my tongue was cut short that time! ‘’Jesus is not here.’’ That was the very first time I encountered those words, and the hardest part was, it came from my daughter. I didn’t take any apologetics class. I wasn’t prepared to answer such statement. I CAN just pretend that I didn’t hear it, go back to sleep and forget that online task. It’s okay. But in my heart, I knew the abrupt need to address Abigail’s doubt. I silently prayed, and asked God to give me wisdom to properly address Abigail’s doubt about Jesus not being with us. To enlightened her young and innocent mind that faith in Jesus is not measured alone by physical senses but found in spiritual senses.
Praise God for the ability to remember things. One morning (few days ago) when we were having breakfast, we were talking about the story of the four friends and how they intentionally brought their lamed friend to Jesus by climbing up the roof and made a hole in it, and lowered their friend in front of Jesus who was lying in a stretcher and unable to walk. (Luke 5:17-26) When Abi heard that story again, she said to me confidently that “Jesus like this house, (Grammy’s old house). Jesus is coming here.” And she even repeatedly said that Jesus was in her heart.
So, I told her. “Remember, you said Jesus like this house, that Jesus is coming here.” I told her that Jesus might not be here physically, but he is in your heart. His spirit is with us. “Remember you said, he is in your heart?”
And one of the good example that Jesus is here is remember whenever you see daddy and mommy had some arguments, and it wasn’t good but, when we ask forgiveness and said sorry to each other and love each other, that is Jesus working in us. Because Jesus loves our family. And Jesus loves you, He is in your heart. And, immediately she said, “Mom, we will wait for Jesus.”
Years ago, when the gospel was first presented to me, and what Jesus did on the cross for my redemption my friends who shared to me the love of God didn’t use eloquent words to speak the truth to me. But the two things that they did that up to now inculcated in my heart, my mind, soul and spirit were: their intentional heart to pray with me and their faith, how they claimed boldly by faith in Jesus that I would received healing, and turned away from my sins.
The revelation of your words sheds light, gives understanding to the simple.
-Psalm 119:130 New American Bible (Revised Edition)
When we returned from our long flight from the Philippines, there was a pretty good size container filled with mails that was waiting for us. So, I volunteered myself on opening all the letters. Most of it were notices from providers for the next doctors appointment, Insurance updates, Ads, pre-approved credit cards, classified envelopes, magazines and news papers offers. But one of them came from Nielsen, and it has a dollar bill enclosed with it.
So what is Nielsen and what are they doing?
The Nielsen Consumer Survey is a national media research study collecting over 200,000 surveys per year in over 120 local areas like yours. We gather information about radio listening, newspaper and magazine reading, television viewing, leisure activities and shopping habits. The information is used by local radio stations, television stations, newspapers, magazines, advertisers, and retailers to understand what consumers are listening to, reading, viewing and buying.- Source: www.nielsensurveys.com
Enclosed in the envelope was a survey form, a return envelope paid by them and a mailing instructions.
Once the roughly 10 minutes Consumer Survey Booklet is completed, and mailed back to Nielsen using the enclosed pre-paid envelope, they promised to mail back another small token or a CASH GIFT as appreciation for each successful participation in their Consumer Survey or a $5 bill. So basically, they are willing to pay you a total amount of $6 bill for giving them the information of your most watched channels, answering questions like favorite restaurants, and shopping habits. There were few personal questions like age, common language you speak at home, household size, race, and yearly income range. In the last page, they asked you to sign it to verify that all the answers you provided are true. And of course, you don’t want to sign it if the answers aren’t true!
Once I completed the survey form with Joshua’s help, I immediately placed it in the mail box. My expectations was so high, after three days, I was thinking I will received my other $5 in the mail box. But, one week had passed and followed by another week, Nielsen envelope didn’t show up! I was getting impatient, and felt like double-crossed. Why not? I invested my time, effort, and my mind in it. I was even tempted to call the 1800 hotline! But, thank God, I didn’t call them. The third week, I finally give in. I prayed.
One morning, I acknowledged that God is the source of everything, and if it His will for me to receive my payment from the work I did for Nielsen, IT WILL BE DONE ACCORDING TO HIS PLAN, AND HIS TIME.
The moment I surrendered my rights of being paid, instantly my heart was filled with peace. I no longer expect if Nielsen will get back to me, not even had a bad thoughts towards Nielsen like they weren’t true to what they promised, that they were a fraud. Yes I confessed, that was an awful thought. I even stopped checking the mail box daily, and let others did it! HA! BUT THE GOOD NEWS, that same day in the afternoon when the mail run, Joshua came back with lots of envelopes in his hands. I was VERY surprised when I heard from him, there’s a letter from Nielsen. When I opened it, Mr. Abraham Lincoln say hello to me.
Change of Heart
I didn’t had any expectations. My main goal was to checked our mails and made sure that we didn’t miss any immediate letters. When I was opening the letters, and found the dollar bill, I was amazed. Why? It didn’t happen everyday. It’s different to find a dollar in the envelope. I knew some people who needs to work a long time, and spend an hour just to earn an amount less than that! On my part, its not a hard earn labor, but a BAIT!
Even before Nielsen, I was pretty occupied of the thought of working and earning at home. There is no dire need for me to do it, Joshua, my husband, is not even forcing me, BUT I feel like I need to start doing it now, as a preparation for my desire in homeschooling our daughter. I need to discipline myself, and investing ample of time to re-established myself again, use my acquired skills, and as Joshua advised to me grab the opportunity that will across my way. In my heart, I’ve been praying for this.
Success is a ladder that cannot be climbed with your hands in your pocket-unknown
So when the Nielsen envelope showed up, I got excited. For me, it’s an opportunity that I shouldn’t waste. It’s a work that I can perform at home. I thought its an answer to my prayer. But, the actual answer to my prayer is me being reminded the actual condition of my heart–that my sufficiency and peace will not come from the Nielsen envelope after they recognized my work in answering that survey form, and I will get paid. That my peace is not worth an Abraham Lincoln (No offense to President Lincoln). That my peace and sufficiency comes from our Lord Jesus Christ. Citing this quote from the book of Larry Burkett, “Success comes from having the proper aim as well as the right ammunition”.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way. -Psalm 139:23-24
Our daughter’s newest set of character, fictional, and imagination-enriching educational books comes from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library’s. It was piled-up for several months, and we are glad that kaki (Joshua’s aunts) kept it all. Most of the books Abigail was using and included from her Infancy to Toddler, Learning to Love Books were left behind on the other side of the world (Philippines).
About Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth until they begin school, no matter their family’s income.
“Inspiring kids to love to read became my mission. In the beginning, my hope was simply to inspire the children in my home county but here we are today with a worldwide program that gives a book a month to well over 1 million children. -Dolly Parton
No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them. -Genesis 50:21 NLT
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library are catering United States, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Canada, and Australia.
So we encourage you, if you are a parent or legal guardian, and you want your children to participate and received these free books, you can check the availability of imagination library in your area, click here.
Our hearts are full for your good works Ms. Dolly and team. Thank you so much for your gifts.
Thank God, after almost 30 minutes of turbulence and bad weather by God’s grace, protection and experience of the captain, our plane landed safely at Hongkong International Airport (HKG). Whew!!! That was the very first we’d experienced that. And I will admit, that uncomfortable feeling in my gut scared a mother out of me. When I looked at my husband, Joshua who was looking calmed and our daughter who was seating comfortable in our middle, I tried to compose myself. I even reminded myself through telling Abi that whenever we are afraid we can trust in Jesus and wrapped it with a prayer.
It only took us 2 hours and 20 minutes on air to traveled from Manila International Airport to HKG.
Daddy is Spiderman, our daughter said. I think he is MORE than Spidey! Thanks Veronica for this eye mask.
Our family arrived and departed in different airports but so far Hongkong Airport amazed me most. The Automated People Mover, their free In-Terminal Transport made our transport from arrival area to immigration (I will update more this article about our immigration experience as transient passengers) and baggage claim quicker. It was an unexpected experience for us.
Going down to the people mover train. Excuse this low quality shot.
You see their covered train down the left side of escalator?
It only took us 2 minutes of waiting for the next train to arrived. The computerized signage is such a big aid for first timer in HKG.
The Visitor’s VISA issued in Hongkong is upon arrival. The immigration officer that assisted us didn’t asked much questions for transient passengers like ours. As the standard procedures, we just presented our passports together as a family, and after that he checked for our connecting plane tickets, and snapped our individual photos and that was it. For US Passport holders like my husband and our daughter, they were granted a 3 months Visitor Visa eligibility or until November 29 of this year. While for Philippine Passport holder like me, they granted me a visitor permit for only 2 weeks. We didn’t experienced any hard time or confusions at the immigration kiosk, the only thing we noticed was the long line, and the first immigration officer that assisted us was replaced by a new one probably a shift change.
We arrived at Hongkong an hour delayed our scheduled time so we missed one activity that our daughter was looking forward to. We told her that we can visit the Children’s Playground at the airport. We never get to any one of it. Our luggage arrived late too so we needed to stay for a couple of minutes at the baggage claim area.
Right after it, we strolled to Terminal 2 and immediately find the Subway (thank you Kaki) which is located at Level 5. We tried to bring Abi to children’s place but we were told by some personnel we approached with that the children’s place was about to closed.
Free Baggage Trolley. By the way not ALL airports offered this kind of feature. Some is requiring the passengers to swipe their debit cards, and will charge $5 just to stroll the trolley to a limited area. KUDOS to you HKG.
Abigail looking exhausted, she was coughing bad the entire trip
Taking the insight of the customer relation officer, Joshua decided for us to stayed in the less crowded waiting area of Terminal 2. The waiting area offered a comfortable chair and unlimited WIFI.
In the previous article that I wrote which entitled Hong Kong International Airport 13 Hrs Layover, What to Do? I shared some options we can choose while waiting for our next flight. So, we decided that Plan A, Stay Inside the Airport made more sense economically and in terms of security and assurance of not being late for our next flight.
More un-occupied seats waiting to serve travelers like us
The waiting area at terminal 2 are equipped with cleaned, less crowded toilets and huge enough to do personal hygiene for a long time without being rushed.
This young lady had a long- comfortable sleep in her car seat.
Their unlimited WIFI was a big help for communications and Joshua’s online work.
Joshua is a certified coffee lover, and with our previous travels, we learned that signature coffees sold at the airports were pretty expensive. So this time, our solutions we brought packs of instant coffees (as given by my sister, and Tita Cora), and energy-chocolate powder mix. My bad, I lost both our plastic water bottles container but the good thing, we saved the emptied cup noodles (we snack it while on our flight with Cebu Pacific) and for the HOT WATER, 7-11 generously supplied it for FREE so thank God. We just NEED to be RESOURCEFUL all the time!
For your long lay over, make sure to bring a sheet for comfortable sleep
We said we will kissed in every airport, and glad we had one goofy one in Hongkong :). Every time our daughter witnessed us doing this, she ignorantly ask, “Mom, Dad are you married?” Another good opportunity to address her inquisitive nature which is another story to share.
Story behind this photo: I asked him to take a picture of mine IF and whenever I fell asleep!!! 🙂
We transferred to Terminal 1 at around 3 a.m, and we stayed in front of Hongkong Airlines check-in counter. We were advised that they will open at around 5:00 a.m.
TIP: Their online checked-in-do it yourself kiosk opened around that time, BUT the one operated with humans open at around 5:30 a.m. So if you are flying with Hongkong Airlines and have your printed boarding pass with you, you can drop your luggage at the airport around that time.
By the way for this trip, we appreciate Hongkong Airlines and airport customer relation officer for providing our family one of the most comfortable flight in terms of food, services, quick response to our numerous emails, and live customer chats.
Right there, we also found a comfortable waiting area which was near the charging points, toilets, and a walking distance to the drinking water fountain.
The USB slots are also provided in their Charging Points
TIP: Research the type of electrical sockets (outlets) used in the airport or country of your destinations. Get yourself a Universal Adapter.
The last time our family traveled to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia to availed again the Balikbayan Program, our battery were emptied at the airport. They had different shape-outlet which was not compatible in our charger. So weeks prior to our flight, Joshua bought a universal adapter for less than $5. The type of outlet used in Hongkong Airport is the Type G, Great Britain Grounded or ” British BS-1363. But no worries, USB slots are also provided in their charging points.
Universal Adapter we bought from SM Hardware
Charging Points at Terminal 1
Charging our Laptop, Mobile Phones and Power Bank from My sister, Ate Beejay
These baggage trolleys had been very helpful in carrying our luggage and for carrying our little one while sleeping in her car seat.
Terminal 1 huge and comfortable waiting area for passengers
HongKong Airlines Check-in Counter
At the departure area, our daughter had the chance to experienced their edgy and comfy Children’s TV Lounge for a long hours.
Children’s Free TV Lounge
…and same with us.
Comfortable Bean Bags at the Kid’s TV Lounge
Free Computers and Internet access for passengers situated at departure area.
Hongkong Airport are equipped with accessible Drinking Fountains.
This trip wouldn’t be more comfortable without the help of our families both from Joshua’s side and mine. Thank you so much for all your support and love for Joshua, Abi, and I. We will remain grateful for all the countless help and assistance you have given and extended for us. We love you and thanking God for all His provisions.
When we first learn that this world is not an immortal reality, it begs questions from us about what comes next. Do you remember your first encounter with death?
I recalled my siblings had a zoomed picture of my mother when she was in the coffin. My mother died because of rabies from stray cat bite. How creepy it was for my young mind to fully appreciate why a need to kept that piece of memory. Another memory that I had was when my uncle died (my father’s brother), the elders gathered my cousins and I and lifting us over the casket before the entombment.
How Your Child May React to Death
Our three-year-old daughter, Abigail was playing with her Lego blocks when I shared to her the passing of my sisters-in-law’s sister few weeks ago because of breast cancer. When I told her that somebody died, that Ate Nica’s Aunt died (Nica is Abigail’s cousin) she looked at me with teary eyes, and throw a piece of Lego block from her hand and she said, NO!
Our daughter is a joyful young lady as the meaning of her name is “fountain of joy”. But as we observed her, she easily gets affected and becomes emotional whenever she sees people crying and is easily get sad whenever she is hearing something about death from movies.
The reason why I shared the sudden news to her was because that day we were visiting the funeral service, and she was coming needing to come with us.
It is a practice in our family to always inform our daughter of our current family situation and schedules whether going to a doctor’s appointment, meeting friends, and even travelling. The primary reasons are to engage, to train her character, and to prepare her to envision what kind of situation we will be facing as a family so she may know our expectation.
Words that Console
Abigail didn’t have any close relationship with the person who died. She didn’t even meet her face to face when this woman was still alive and well. But when I saw her reaction (the throwing of piece of Lego block, and teary eyes) in my heart I knew immediately that was the appointed moment, an open opportunity to talk to her about death and hope in Jesus.
When Joshua had one psychotic episode, I never sugar coat our situations to our daughter. I looked her directly in her eyes, and told her that Daddy needs to go to the doctor, and that she needs to stay with Papa (my father) because mommy needs to be with Daddy to see a doctor for Daddy to get well. Though she became sad for a moment that she wasn’t be with us at the doctor, my explanation of our current situation was truthful and left her an assurance of hope. That Daddy and Mommy will become more better parents for her and that we love her so much. That Jesus loves our family. I believe that the time we invested to our daughter since the day she was conceived and all our loving and teaching moment made her become confident in our words.
So, let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. -Galatians 6:9 NLT
I immediately told Abigail that death is natural, it will happen to everybody. In my words to her, I told her that her cousin’s aunt died. That her physical body died, but her spirit is with Jesus in Heaven. That when she was alive, she trusted Jesus.
My niece, told me how her aunt accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and last year, when she was still well and recuperating from cancer, I had the opportunity to talked with her over the phone, and from her story, I heard how she gladly found her hope in Jesus, and how her faith to Him sustained and strengthened her during her trying times.
When we arrived at the funeral, the coffin was open. Though we didn’t have a closer look at it, we had a good glance of the body from the corner where we were seated. We had a good opportunity to explain more to Abigail about what she was witnessing. She uttered numerous time, “Ate Nica’s aunt died!” And correctly addressed what she was noticing. When she said, “Ate Nica’s aunt is sleeping.” We simply and directly explained that, yes, she is dead.
The question of is it okay for a child mostly a toddler to attend a funeral service when a loved one dies? Well I believe each child is unique and different. They have their own way of coping behavior and characters to project. In what we experienced with our daughter, communicating thoroughly with her our family’s plans and what Joshua and I agreed together works best for her. Her being on the same page as we are allowing her to envision the same blueprint we are looking at as her parents. It helps us too to focus on our agreed purpose and enjoy it with the same pace as she is.
For example, at the funeral there were also some kids that wanting to play with Abigail, and likewise with her. But since we clearly communicate with our daughter the purpose why we were there at the funeral, by God’s grace she patiently waited until the funeral practices of the family of the deceased ended. Afterwards, she met those kids.
Use Scripture, and Reaffirmation of Spiritual Truth
There is a story from Abigail’s My Treasured Bible that she always wanted me to read with her. It’s a story about four faithful friends who brought their lame man friend to Jesus and its entitled “Through the Roof to Jesus – (Mark 2:1-12)
One-day Jesus was inside a house filled with people. A lame man had four friends that wanted to bring him to Jesus so he could be healed. But it was impossible for them to bring their friend close to Jesus. Instead, they climbed up on the roof and made a hole in it. Then they lowered their lame friend down right in front of Jesus. He looked at the man and said, “Stand up! Take your stretcher and go home.” The lame man was healed, and he stood up and went home with his friends.
The story speaks how the faith and perseverance of the people that surrounded the lame man helped him to encountered Jesus, and how the four-friend’s faith influenced the situation of the man with a dead body for he was paralyzed for him to be forgiven to his sins and be healed by Jesus.
It gives me encouragement whenever we heard Abigail uttering the line, “Get up, pick up your stretcher and go home.” Just like the four friends, it’s equally important for us as her parents for her to have her own personal encounter with Jesus daily even in her young age, and it’s essential how she will deal with death and for us to teach the truth about death and life in Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
There were times that she was waking up from bed, crying and being afraid. Our encouragement for her is to remember this, “whenever I am afraid, I will put my trust in Jesus.”
I have cited here from BSF Home Training Lesson 15 some elements of truth that we can remember in talking to children about death:
There is sadness at death.
An explanation is given of the physical death.
The aspect of eternity is reinforced.
Confidence in God is expressed.
Loving memories are encouraged so it does not seem we are forgetting all the loved one’s life meant to us.
One of the main things Joshua and I discussed even before we got married is that our future children’s learning will primarily start with us at home.
We started educating our child early from infancy, and one of the educational materials we are still using until now are books. We started introducing her to children’s board books, and training to love it through scanning to each page. Thankfully, Abigail’s first set of board books was easy to access since it was generously provided monthly by Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
As she aged, and her learning increased, we started introducing paperback books, hard bound books and even Amazon eBooks. The good thing about it, the perks of doing book reviews broadens our connections for accessing children’s books. In addition, our family’s side trip to community libraries, book stores and even bazaar helped us to find educational and informative reads.
I have short listed here some of the books that our 3 years old loves to read to her again and again and which are good references for education, character building, and establishing faith in Jesus.
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. -Joshua 1:9 NLT
2011 God answered prayers.
Joshua and I met in an online communities of Christians, Muslims, Jewish Mysticism, Atheist and of other beliefs.
Joshua traveled from Henderson, Tennessee to Manila, Philippines and found his wife, Me.
2012-2013We experienced God’s faithfulness.
Joshua’s petition for I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance(e) were approved and received my K1 visa and flew to USA and got married.
Joshua underwent a 6 months treatment for Hepatitis C, which resulted the viruses in his blood undetected.
My green card application was denied. It wasn’t good but not that bad. Being card less made me restricted in some ways. Like denied to have a permit to work; and denied in application for drivers license; but looking back though it restricted me in paperwork permits, it didn’t prevented me to gained the privilege to always traveled with my husband everywhere I went. My lover and my best driver was with me EVERY TIME in the road. Yes, night and day, in all of my weaknesses my husband was my knight and shining armor. That’s God’s blessing in our marriage.
Met people that helped us and blessed us in numerous ways.
2014, We experienced God’s abundance of blessings, favor and provisions; healing and deliverance.
Our joy was conceived, and Abigail was born. We also transferred to our first low-cost apartment.
We started our small family business, Herblend Teas Holistic Health and Wellness
Experience our first setbacks together in a short period of time due to relapses in Joshua’s mental condition.
2014, 2015, We experienced God’s forgiveness, healing and continuous restoration.
A highly destructive event causing our family to experienced severe pain, severe shame, that crushed not just our hearts but our spirits.
I experienced minor depression and downward spiral outlook in life.
Marital blame and shame
2015-2017, We experienced God as our fortress, our strong foundation, our peace, Our Shepherd, Our Healer, Our Friend, our Father.
September 01, 2015 we migrated in the Philippines and being hopeful to received favor from the government in becoming a pioneer in importing our Herblend product CBD Rich Hemp Oil to helped the Filipinos who needs it. Prior to our traveled date, we communicate our desired in importing the oil to some authorities of the government sectors.
We had a privileged to be connected and met faced-to-faced with non-government organization supporting the legalization of medical marijuana. Behind this organization are lobbyist and the strong parents of children’s who are hopefuls to accessing the medical cannabis legally.
Our request to import the CBD Rich Hemp Oil product that we had stocks at Chester County were denied by Food and Drug Administration Branch at Alabang, Muntinlupa, Philippines. Which resulted our business in Chester County to be forced stopped. The decision was based from the DOH and PDEA issue advisory against the use of hempseed oil.
JOINT PDEA/DOH-FDA ADVISORY PROHIBITING THE USE OF HEMPSEED OIL OR THEIR VARIETIES AND DERIVATIVES FROM CANNABIS OR MARIJUANA IN CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND ITS AUTOMATIC SURRENDER TO PDEA OR FDA DATED SEPTEMBER 8, 2015
Our daughter accidentally ingested some pieces of Haloperidol tablets, an anti-psychotic drugs which brought her to emergency room, and made my husband suffered from emotional anxiety.
Migrating from Tennessee to Philippines from Bulacan to Sucat-Alabang to Imus, Cavite opened another door for us to started a short term outreach which we called Teach Them Well, an interactive workshop reaching out to our neighboring communities. Our mission to raise the quality of life family to family, community to community, building with Pray, Care, Share. Through Teach Them Well, we met parents and their children, government officials, librarians and teachers, and even non-government organizations who helped us and supported this short term cause.
Father’s Day of 2016, we woke up noticing that our house had been robbed.
Met people from SIPAG or Simula ng Pag-asa. Its a 12-week recovery program launched in cooperation with the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), and in partnership with local churches, various business sectors, NGOs, the PNP and LGUs across the nation. (Cited: SIPAG)
In between all of these, Joshua’s mental health extremely suffered causing him to had a severe relapse that brought my husband one psychotic episode triggered by stress in processing immigration papers, and trip through the emergency room last September, 2016 (which led him to another diagnosis of Bipolar and Mood disorder).
In our consultation with Psychiatrist we met patience and faces of supportive families.
November, 2016 my application for B1/B2 for emergency medical purpose of accompanying my husband together with our daughter to go back in USA was denied by the consul of USA EMBASSY MANILA
With the mighty acts of God, we had a one day relaxation outside the Philippines. Our family flew to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia for a purpose of availing again a year of visa less stay in the Philippines for a foreign passport holders like my husband, Joshua and our daughter Abigail through Balikbayan Program.
March, 2017 my husband’s petition for me for I-130, Petition for Alien Relative through Direct Consular Filing (DCF) was approved by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or (USCIS)-Manila.
May, 2017 we received the Affidavit of Support from USA signed by precious people whose favored bestowed to us since then.
With the Lord’s graciousness and compassion, this May will be the completion of my medical examination and following this is our family’s interview with the Immigration Consul.
I would like to commend the commitment of my husband “To Hold.” He strongly refused the idea of going back in the USA earlier than I, and once my paper works are done I will follow them. Though many times he was given a numerous opportunity to traveled back in the USA with Abigail (with my consent), firmly he stood his words. His action showed how he prioritized and valued his strong commitment to me to always be available physically and spiritually even in times of testing. He is valuing and protecting our marriage to bringing us more into one body.
I am thanking God, because he stood the test of time and flee the temptation of leaving me behind.
Yesterday, we decided to had a simple lunch at Rosemary’s Kitchen. They offered a buffet lunch for a very affordable price. Our daughter Abigail was with us and we took this as an opportunity in sharing with her the reason of our gathering.
Our goal is for her to understand that in each phases of joy, pain, tears, obstacles, downhill, sorrow, brokenness, failures, and triumph her parents experienced together in our relationship, with all of our imperfections, sins and flaws there is a God who look after us. That there is He who showed His faithfulness, forgiveness, blessings, and protection to us in all of the series of fiery furnace we’ve been through together as husband and wife. That Jesus got us.
Let us all remember, even in the darkest forest, a tiny firefly will bring light.
Today, our encouragement is “So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD!” -Psalm 31:24
Our prayer is for us to understand all the events that took place in our lives. And to not missed His calling.
…notes from an Identity and Conflict Analysis class
In the scholarly accounts of The Genealogy of the Mexican Other found in Lee Bebout’s 2016 text Whiteness on the Boarder, what I find most intriguing is that the identity of the Mexican Other is largely made with “depictions of Mexican-descent people [as images] within specific historical moments and thus [it] implicitly reinforces an emphasis on change over time” (Kindle location 982 of 6139). I understand that boarders between nations to have become little more than imaginary lines in the ground drawn with fiat monies, lawful value by unlawful representation. This schism in the human psyche creates a false and unnecessary sense of competition between peoples. Economic competition is then radicalized and sensationalized with Hollywood images such as the typical Mexican, of whom writing like de’ Leon script as thematically indolent, morally defective, un-American, and savagely violent” (Kindle location 1032 of 6139).
Shelly Streetby, as the book proclaims, later links those Hollywood images however to the U.S. expansion and political propaganda that influences in and beyond the American people. According to Bebout, Streetby readings alongside the like of Nericco, confirm my suspicions suggesting the all-too-common sense tropes can be expanded upon in every-which-way imaginable as they are resituated beyond the visual. They become, as Bebout suggests, “deployments of a vast symbolic reservoir” (Kindle location 994 of 6139).
This symbolism puts, at least in my view, the oppressors of the Mexican Other at the center of the studies while the Mexican people are seemingly marginalized. I say this because these studies do what they can to identify the source through which the image of the Mexican Other is viewed, which is, in these cases, almost exclusively the non-Mexican, especially Anglos and white persons.
Some questions that I believe these studies leave me, for example, are how far back in history do the implications of prejudice verses favoritism go? It seems they are largely centered only around the Mexican-American boarder when the Spanish conquistadors have a just as large if not larger an influence on the identity of the Mexican Other as does their relationship to the white community. According to Sarah Horton in a work published with The Public Historian entitled Where is the “Mexican” in “New Mexican”? Enacting History, Enacting Dominance in the Santa Fe Fiesta, (2001, p. 41), “there appears to be no consensus among public officials or historians on how to best commemorate the history of the Spanish empire,” as is the case even in communities that were known for having a particularly Spanish legacy.
The discourse on the Mexican Other has largely underwritten Anglo actions as well as being somewhat biased in making its contrasts. I can see how this makes it more challenging to bring the studies together for a clear comparison unless we were to throw out the concept of “the Other” altogether in sort of an anti-racialized, cross-cultural analysis. Such an analysis would be more honest foundationally as economic and climatic conditions will highlight the cultural conditions more equally.
Chapter 2 of Bebout’s book Whiteness on the Boarder: Mapping the U.S. Racial Imagination in Brown-and White (2016) reveals very significant historical accounts of what happens when cultures collide. These moments in time, as this class’ professor Angel mentions, form “a basis for collective experiences to become what they are and how they wish to continue to be.” If, in the U.S. imagination, all weapons and biases thrown down, “unassimilability” (Bebout, 2016, Kindle location 1611 of 6139) of ‘so-called’ non-American identities should no longer be necessarily un-American as they are called. The tropes have been fading in terms of severity. However, the clash comes when the fear and paranoia about colonial history repeating into some endless, downward spiral of Mexican governmental aggression and “radical Latino” (Ibid.) politics. However, sometimes, there have literally been tunnels dug to override what I will call legal propaganda spoken in coded languages. I point out here that lawful and legal are not the same things but respectfully, express verses implied connotations. This is where the written word facilitates the exchanges in very particular ways.
In textual-accounts, in general it is legalism that any name or phrase spelled in ALL-CAPITAL-LETTERS is considered yelling and is somehow improper. However, patterns can show us how any incorporated entity into capitalism will usually spell its’ name like so and will spell living-peoples’ names all it caps too, assuming they are or want to enter into contract. It is a subtle in acceptability and a revealing example of how territorial rights and property laws have been morphed into some neo-genesis of artificial intelligence, so everything that is not black and white becomes a shade of grey.
The language differences in sensuality might also be an indignation to those considered to be “Others.” The language of love and kindness is a universal sign of honor and appreciation. This is echoed by characters like the Latin lover like Don Juan DeMarco but paralleled in Anglo-cultures by the likes of the skunk, Pepe Le Pew from Warner Brothers.
Etymologically, English is a sharp and perhaps broken mixture of all previous languages. It is much more seductive and cunning in elusiveness. The Anglo supremacists have certainly, even today, profited more off of their neighbors, again due to inherited, semi-hedonistic conditioning.
The multi-media conglomerates that began with word of mouth was recorded, and this is what now fashions the mainstreams of conscious awareness. Critical to erasing dissonance as collective responsibility is awakened is the media, I suggest, to make the color-blindness of white-saviorism more apparent. White is a however symbol of purity, and such a weaving together of cultural conditions presented in this chapter is difficult to respond to with anything other than awe and wonder, given to an intentionally pro-unity symbol.
We are thankful to Author Patrick Adams Patrick’s World of Travel, LLC for his effort of sending us a digital copy and sharing this story with us.
Inspired by his youngest daughter Rhythm who was diagnosed with Infantile Spasms, but by God’s grace and healing she’s seizure free with the helped of medical cannabis.
This book is very educational for toddlers ages 1-4, and the art works illustrated by our very own Filipino Artist and musician, Joey Dimaguila (Rhythms grandfather) are fantastic, and lively. The illustrations are clear, and goes well with the text. With repetition, it enhances our child’s photographic memory, and instruments familiarity. We are thinking to have a family visit at musical instruments museum for an outdoor fun learning time.
The story line showed how Rhythm used the various instruments and performs in front of the crowd. We love the part in which Rhythm is playing the Violin outdoor with friends.
When we asked our 2-year-old what instruments she likes best, she said she wants to play Saxophone.
The story is simple, yet educational. Once again, another “AHA!” moments was added in our memories. Through this book, us together with our child became fascinated and aware about the existence of bagpipe, a wind instrument that using enclosed reeds, (thin strip materials which vibrate to produce a sound on a musical instrument) fed from a constant reservoir of air in the form of bag. Source: Wikipedia
We are suggesting this book to be considered by parents, educators, and librarians as a reference for an early educational introduction to musical instruments of different cultures. The World of Rhythm is available both in kindle and paperback.
Reading is Teaching
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 in 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.
Joshua discovered this amazing application as suggested by windows 10 store. Its called Earth 3D. Its been installed in his laptop a couple of months, and explored it a little bit when he was thinking about our plane trip to Malaysia to avail the Balikbayan Program.
Earth3D was developed as part of a diploma thesis of Dominique Andre Gunia at Braunschweig University of Technology to display a virtual globe of the earth. It was developed before Google bought Keyhole, Inc and changed their product into Google Earth. Earth3D downloads its data (satellite imagery and height data) from a server while the user navigates around. The data itself is saved in a Quadtree. It uses data from NASA, USGS, the CIA and the city of Osnabrück. Source: Wikipedia
“during the program’s first release the features it offers were: viewing the earth as a whole, zooming it until countries, cities and even single houses becomes visible (which at that time was limited only to the city of Osnabrück, Germany for the limited maps he had on his hands, and the other feature was embedding external data like current earthquake positions or cloud data.”
Quite genius right?
Right now, the application is free to download from windows store, android play store, and google play only with limited educational features such as:
You can zoom 3D earth on your phone.
The auto-rotate feature and the user can rotate the 3D earth.
3D earth and Google Maps can be viewed in conjunction.
You can see the borders of the country on the 3D earth.
If you touch the flag of searched nation, you will see many information of the nation.
You can set the live wallpaper of earth.
Joshua already introduced this to Abigail months ago, and yesterday. Since we are currently journeying on her book called 1000 Things You Should know About Wild Animals, last night we decided to let Abigail used the Earth 3D of course with our supervision.
In this newest version of Earth 3D that we are using the Animal World (add-on) is included. Joshua only paid a minimal amount of $1.99, and we can access and zoom-in the various types of animals in 3D form like Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Huge and Monstrous Sea Creatures.
Just like us, Abigail was fascinated seeing those 3D images of animals in its 15x zoom. We let her hover across the globe, while her Daddy was reading the description of each animal she was pointing on the surface. As Abi summarized what she learned, we asked her to choose three animals that she likes best. She enumerated elephants, turtles and bears.
Photo Credit: Earth 3D, African Elephant 3D and its description
This will be a very educational tool to use for Abigail’s home learning . It teaches (so far) geography, zoology, social studies, and astronomy. Like the relief model of the earth, World Political and Physical Maps, Day/Night Cycle with the City Lights, Real-Life Night Time Sky, Time Zones, More than 2,100 geographic objects, More than 500 wonders of the World, More than 2,000 photos, and the add-on: Animal World, and Sky Map (which we don’t have yet)
Photo Credit: Earth 3D, World Political and Physical Maps
Photo Credit: Earth 3D, More than 500 Wonders of the World
Photo Credit: Earth 3D, Sky Map (Add-on)
The continuous development and upgrades in our technology, can help us to set our child to an accelerated learning path at an early age. And together with her, we are learning too. In times like this, Interactions and Intellectual Advancements (IIA) are applicable. Learning at home, like this is a thing we didn’t even have access until we were adults ourselves.
Imagine when every home is equip with this kind of learning capacity, learning together with our kids, experiencing together those “AHA!” moments, and us ourselves guiding them to know which path they might want to choose themselves. Our daughter, at this age, is emboldened by knowing that her voice is being heard in her development, letting her to start to make decisions.
I go for a 5 Star Rating for this children’s book Abigail and the Sahara Dessert, another work of author Tali Carmi. Though the story is simple story but clearly conveyed the act of Kindness well. Also, the graphical and colorful pictures are artistically done and will surely enjoy looking by our little one. For parental screening and story familiarity, I read it first before reading this with our daughter whose name is also Abigail.
According to the book Teach Me to Do it Myself, us reading the story first will not just enables us to check for suitability, but will prepare us to introduce the story well and draw our child in before we will start reading to our kiddos. You know those background knowledge… 🙂
The story of Abigail and the Sahara Adventure begins when our favorite character named Abigail found the magical bike in her grandparents old house which brought her to Sahara which is Arabic for “The Great Dessert”.
In this magnificent dessert, she met Jasmine (the tribe girl). She also learned that Jasmine needs to bring water for her family but there was nothing to drawn from their well, she immediately shared what she discovered while she was flying with the magical bike. Abigail mentioned to her the large group of trees she saw and the idea that there might be a water nearby. In her kindness, Abigail didn’t even hesitate to talked with the tribe leader and even led the tribe to the oasis when she was asked by the tribe leader. In responds to Abigail’s kindness, Jasmine’s father gave Abigail a pita bread and sweet tea plus a friendship bracelet.
Photo Credit: Amazon
This remind me of the passage from the book of Galatians regarding doing good thing and harvesting the fruit of that goodness in proper time.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do-Galatians 6:9 New International Version
Because Reading is Teaching, I will suggest this book to be read by parents, teachers and mostly homemakers to their little ones. Abigail and the Sahara Adventure is now available in kindle and Audible (unabridged) format. To God be the glory.
Reading is Teaching
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 in 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. 🙂
We are very surprised receiving this package from Lampara Publishing House, Inc. and Precious Pages Corporation. We’ve been expecting this last November 2016, but it comes near Christmas. A perfect timing for our family’s encouragement.
Photo Credit: Lampara Publishing House, Inc
This book entitled Ang Pinakamsayang Biyahe ni Karen, (Karen’s Most Enjoyable Excursion) was provided generously by the publisher with the kind effort of Ms. Aiko. Clarizza Buduan-Salazar. It was shipped directly to us in support to our cause called Teach Them Well-Barternihan. The story is written by Author Eugenia C. Martin and illustrated by Ar-Ar T. Peñaflor. Its a fictional-paperback book.
It’s a story of a little girl named Karen whose long train-travelled-time to attend her grandmother’s birthday turned into a joyful experience, learning with her mom by her side. She truly enjoyed this moment starting from their home, with her mom’s holding on her hands, down to buying ticket up, to all the scenes she witnessed, and observed while at the train, up to getting-off the train.
As I mentioned in my intro, receiving this book encouraged our family. It was a rough 2016–if in case few of you were aware of Haltom Health & Well Being. So when Abi was opening the package, her Daddy and I felt her excitement, which excites us also. She said, surprises, surprises! This is mine?! When we started journeying this book, Abi wasn’t much engaged with the story. What I did is that I introduced Karen with her, pointing Karen’s picture, and encouraged her to say “hi” to Karen. Just like Karen, our little one is always fascinated in seeing and riding in a train. She even screamed her lungs-out when she was seeing train. So, that’s one point of making her engaged in reading this story, yes using the train images. The illustrations of the safety triangle holder inside the train, Karen’s circular eyes, the train viewing windows made her more familiarize with shapes. And she also like Karen’s red-colored dress, and cute skirt. The rain-like graphics at the background stirred her imagination that it was raining. And she said, Karen its raining, go inside. And yes, she became familiarized with Karen’s name.
Tip: In introducing a new children’s short story book to read with your little ones, parents and educators, my suggestion is first to, or along the way, introduce your children to the names of the different character’s in the story. In this way, they will become more familiarize and engaged in reading book.
The story of Karen reminds me of how our 2-year-old daughter, Abigail always wanted to be held, mostly when we were doing errands. I noticed every time we were surrounded by many people, and she can’t see what’s in front of her because of being blocked by adults ahead of us, her constant words were, “Mom, Abi! Get me! and extending her arms upward. She basically meant, mom pick me up! There were times that I told her no and explained to her that my hands are pull, be patient, but often ended with her father saying, “it’s okay!” For the affirmation that mom is just here beside her. Reflecting back, I missed the thought that she might wanted to be comforted by me, and being overwhelmed that she was surrounded by giants in the front of her. In Karen’s situation whose mom is always almost doing work outside, she truly enjoyed the physical gestures of her mom’s such as, hugging, kissing her, firm embrace, gripping her hand and held on tight to her hands which she truly enjoyed. In fact, in this story, the words held on tight to her hands and the words used with similar meaning was mentioned eight (8) times. Right?
My husband Joshua is also now reading a similar book entitled Be a better Dad Today by author, Gregory Slayton. One of the topics mentioned there is Physical Support. It is mentioned how, research has proven the huge benefits of babies and young children with appropriate physical affection (in fact the gruesome Nazi experiments of World War II proved that babies without physical affection can possibly shrivel-up and die even if they were given everything else they needed) The human need for physical support is a basic human need. Like food and water, we cannot live without it. So let’s not withhold from our kids something that they cannot live without.
One more thing we can learn from reading Karen’s story again and again is the importance of our physical presence to the development of our daughter. We are thankful to God that both of us spent so much time with her, and being around her but knowing more about becoming more affectionate to her, and even to Joshua is a priority that we all need to put deeper our hearts, as everyone is really in life together.
This book is appropriate to read for toddlers and up, to be read by parents, educators, and even book authors. Bring your kids with you, and get a paper back copy of Karen’s Most Enjoyable Excursion at any children’s leading book stores or order it online at Lampara Publishing House, Inc.. 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 in 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.
How is your preparation for this special day going on? Is it becoming more festive and full of colors? What about your gifts for your children, are they already set under your giant Christmas Tree and waiting to be opened? We sure hope so. God gave us these for his glory. So he has commanded us, “Be of good cheer.” Be cause Christ has overcome the world. We have learned as a family that our contentment shouldn’t be limited by anything of a fallen world. That is why Christ has come to give us life and life more abundantly.
Our Family, by God’s grace enduring together all together no matter how many storm will come.
Jeremiah 10 2Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
3For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
Dear Congressman Marsha Blackburn,
Good day, honorable Congresswoman. My name is Lady Lyn Erenio Calderon-Haltom of the Haltom Family, Joshua Haltom (my husband and a US Citizen), and our 2-year-old and very engaged and active daughter, Abigail Exodus Haltom (also a US Citizen).
Joshua and I got married on May 19, 2013, in Henderson, Tennessee. Prior to that year, my husband filed an application for me to be issued a fiancé visa which was granted year 2013, and was issued to me in USA EMBASSY IN MANILA.
After our wedding, my husband immediately filed the application for permanent residency for me, including the permit to work last September, 2013. Though we complied to all the requirements and policy set by USCIS to the best that we can, and the processing fee amounting of $1070, my application was denied due to the reason that my husband didn’t meet the income requirements. At that time, asking people to sign an affidavit of support, a federal document on my behalf was hard to tarry plus the fact that for my husband and I, our intercultural marriage was new and the first in the Haltom clan.
Though we communicated in the letter that we sent to USCIS, the needs of receiving a permit to work for the primary reason of helping my husband, by finding a job which I could use my almost 6 years in finishing my degree in Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering, and years of working in Healthcare Industry for me not becoming a burden to the society, still it was denied. The thing was I sounded so arrogant in that letter, to the point of becoming proud. My sincere apology for USCIS for that.
Also, in the letter that we sent to USCIS year 2014, and the reasons we provided to process the motion for reconsideration, we were trying to explains the situation of my husband as a student, a person who is receiving disability benefits because of his mental condition: Traumatic Brain Injury, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective, Social Anxiety, and a committed husband and a very loving father who was trying to work a part time job to provide for our young, and optimistic family but to no avail, the motion was again denied.
Year 2014 when we started Herblend Teas Holistic Health and Wellness, a small family business which we registered at Chester County. And with the desire to visit our family here in the Philippines, for them to meet our daughter, and at the same time importing CBD Rich Hemp Oil in this country, year 2015 three of us flew back here in Manila, Philippines. We also planned to directly processed my immigration paper here at US Embassy Manila but less fortunately when we got here most of our plans didn’t materialized.
Our request to import the CBD Rich Hemp Oil product that we had stocks at Chester County were denied by Food and Drug Administration Branch at Alabang, Muntinlupa Philippines. Which resulted our business in Chester County to be forced stopped.
Last November 29, 2015 our daughter accidentally ingested some pieces of Haloperidol tablets, an anti-psychotic drugs which brought her to emergency room, and made my husband suffered for emotional anxiety.
This past Father’s Day here in the Philippines (June 19, 2016) we woke up noticing that our house had been robbed. Until now our family is experiencing extreme hardship in processing our immigration papers that brought my husband one psychotic episode triggered by stress in processing immigration papers, and trip through the emergency room last September 30, (which led him to another diagnosis of Bipolar and Mood disorder)
Joshua at the emergency room after receiving amp 50 mg of dipenhydramine shot, and Haloperidol amp 5mg
This smile is worth a trillion. Our beautiful mind.
followed by another series of episodes brought by the death of his grandmother last October 10, 2016, and deep depression because of being far and not able to attend the burial. Because of this our family suffered an extreme emotional hardship because of my husband’s mental health and situation.
Just this November 18, 2016 my application for B1/B2 for emergency medical purpose of accompanying my husband together with our daughter to go back in USA was denied by the consul of USA EMBASSY MANILA because of the reason that he said that he was doubtful the way I represent the reason for travelling back in the USA. The same time of my interview my husband and our daughter were waiting for me in the waiting area and both of them having emotional breakdown: My husband which that time was trying to calm down while experiencing mental disorientation kneeling in the floor, was wanting to be with me inside, and our daughter yearning for her mother’s care which was trying to provide by my husband but he simply can’t because of his mental condition that time. It was really a heart breaking moment. People there of different races, and skin colors witnessed this dramatic moment. Hearing the wailing cried of my daughter broke my heart terribly. The embassy official even pulled me from the long line and placed me next to the window to be interviewed earlier just for me to attend to the needs of my husband and daughter. But still, the consul wasn’t convinced on my words. He didn’t even look at the supporting documents I brought. Immediately I went outside to the waiting area to pacify my daughter and comfort my husband. We tried to seek assistance from the US CITIZEN SERVICES but the official who were Filipinos wouldn’t want us to give a number even if walk-in was allowed. Their reason was, my B1/B2 VISA application was already denied so there was no reason for my husband to seek help from the US CITIZEN SERVICES. I verbalized our concern, with tears and so much pain for my husband’s situation. In my words, I said to them my husband and my daughter are both US CITIZEN why they did not want to help them. People were looking, I saw those empathizing looked in their eyes, and guards talking over their radios. I said my husband needs help. But we didn’t receive any assistance that day. Would you envision so much stress and traumatizing experience this cause to my husband who is suffering with TBI, and once again another rejection for our family to bear?
Right now, if you will ask us we are so much great full to God for sustaining our family. And giving all the glory and praises to Him alone for all His plan for us. We will always be thankful for our situation and no matter how hard it looks like, we will never become discourage.
Our assurance is God’s words.
But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.”
2 Chronicles 15:7 (NLT)
My husband is still finishing his Bachelor’s degree with Antioch University in Human Resource Management, and by God’s grace this coming Spring season, he will have finished it. Though many times he had experienced manic episode with seizures triggered by stress in processing our immigration papers, still we are blessed to say that God indeed sustain us in all the trying times. And I would like to really take this opportunity to ask an apology for the letter we sent year 2013-2014, and for being so bitter towards USCIS in refusing my green card application, my permit to work, my B1/B2 VISA APPLICATION for medical emergency reason of my husband. Forgive me.
My husband saw a Psychiatrist here in Manila, though she was confident that medicines are available here to help his mind to stay leveled, and be functional in what today’s society is requiring from family like ours, still she recommended that it is healthier for my husband to be back in his homeland of TENNESSEE. Being far made him suffer greatly.
Including in this letter is the brief summary of the processing we did, all the case number, years and even the responses of USCIS. Our prayer is that you will find encouragement on this. Our family’s plea is may you extend your helping hands on our situation. This coming January, 2016 we are hopeful to file the FORM I-130 at USCIS, USA EMBASSY MANILA.
With the present medical condition of my husband, which until now is not yet fully back to his normal competitive self but slowly getting there, we agreed to once again process my immigration documents with United States Citizenship Immigration Services (USCIS) and this time the plan is to apply for an immigrant wife visa. To lessen the occurrence of much stress which is not healthy for Joshua and our family, the plan is to stick together as a family and part of it is to process the papers here at USCIS MANILA which is located at USA EMBASSY MANILA, PHILIPPINES. Their complete address is:
Nox 1 Room 247 2th Floor 1201 Roxas Boulevard
The form that we are going to use is I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Normally for US Citizen living outside the USA, this form is directly courier to USCIS Chicago Lockbox Facility but with exceptional circumstances they mostly grant the request to locally file it here in Manila. Circumstances like medical related situation of petitioner and applicant as cited below:
“Medical emergencies: A petitioner or beneficiary is facing an urgent medical emergency that requires immediate travel. This includes the situation where a petitioner or beneficiary is pregnant and delaying travel may create a medical risk or extreme hardship for the mother or child.”
With medical circumstances like my husband who is needing to receive regular medical care like medicines and doctor’s monthly consultation are the benefits he is receiving from his insurance in USA with the diagnoses written in the document we showed to you. We also not wanting to separate our family. The relatives in USA desired for us to come back together as a family. Their words are for Joshua’s condition not to be put to the edge or “crash” as said his family doctor, Rick Rickard, now retired. With these reasons, we are looking forward that they will allow us to file the papers here, and even expedite it. Your recommendation will be a big help for Joshua and our family, and hoping this will give you the information you are needing for the letter.
Honorable congressman, if you will check our immigration records we mostly never failed to complied on what USCIS was requesting from us only the affidavit of support which was already beyond our circle of control. My husband is trying his best, we just need an opportunity for our family to have a fresh start. We just need favor and be free from the oppression of processing the immigration papers. An opportunity for us to break free from the insanity of this world, and not be separated as a family. Also, my husband’s situation as I mentioned above is needing an immediate medical assistance. Our daughter, she deserves to be free from all of this stress. If you will happen to visit our family blog, you will see some of community contribution God allowed us to experienced here in the Philippines.
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. 🙂
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 11:3329 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.
PSALM 23 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 !!!
In our family, we started doing a book review for some children’s book authors from United States, UK through Amazon and recently here in the Philippines. When our family was still living in the USA, our daughter was receiving a monthly free books supply from Imagination Library. Here in the Philippines, as far as we know, no similar program exist. So, we started the Barternihan, which another story I would like to share these coming days.
For now, what I would like to share is some tips in writing children’s book reviews. My husband criticized most of my online article (in an attempt to educate and improve my writings). He said that I always love to share too much information in just one story. So, as much as possible I will become on point in my tips here, and hoping this guidelines will help some newbies, and if you are already a professional, please share your expertise.
Here are my guidelines:
Acknowledgement & Details of the Book–In the beginning of the article for book review, I always mentioned first the main details of the books such as the title of the book, author, illustrator, and publisher. You can also add what type of book you received for reviews, you can share if its board, or paperback book. Or even indicate the categories of the book like, Christian values, Bible stories, or Fictional books.
Marketing Story of the Book– I called it Marketing Story of the Book because in my work, we help the author to market their story using the system of barter to other mom’s like me who love to educate their children through reading books. This part is where you will share your brief knowledge of the book or the heart of the story . In common term, its called the summary of the book or, in business term I will call it the selling story of the book.
Learning Experience- Since our main objective in accepting book reviews is educating our little one, I never published my work without sharing what can my daughter learned in reading the books we have for reviews. For example, when we were journeying the paper back book of author Ms. Reni Roxas, entitled Ay Naku! I shared this, “Journeying on this book with our daughter, made her more exposed not just to the 65 simple Filipino verbs and everyday dialogue that is benefiting for her brain plasticity, and bilingual development but also to Filipino close familial culture.” In addition, she also became familiarized of the tagalog expression Ay Naku and with the name of the child BotBot.
My Personal Experience – In my previous book review, I intentionally shared my childhood personal experience, current relatable character development or even educational learnings to put emphasize in the story of the book. For example when I wrote my book reviews for Lala Burara, I cited this. “In this book, I will not consent on how Lala’s mom’s always pulled her ungracious reactions. When I was a child, people that surrounds me including of blood relation always tagged me as Negrita or even ugly. Growing up, hearing those words made me to believe it and then I became inferior. I am praising God for his gracious love and in revealing to me my beautiful identity in Christ Jesus.”
Take Home Reminder– This is where the part I am sharing what I am reminded of in reading the story of the book. This part is where I make conclusion . For example, I will use my take home reminder from reading LaLa Burara: “The story for me is a gentle reminder to all of us of our tremendous influence that we can exercise daily in our children’s lives in teaching them life skills and building their character using the words we speak to them. I will end this by saying, Redeeming grace is way better than command and control. Redeeming grace is way better than scolding.” Please take note that this is not always applicable to all book reviews. Take Home Reminder part is only applicable mostly to Character stories type of Books or Christian Values.
Suggestions- This part is where I make suggestion to what type of readers the books is appropriate to share or read. Most of the time, I suggested the books to parents or my dear homemakers, teachers, and educators.
Where to Shop– Of course, to make the exchange easily to happen between the possible readers like parents and the authors and publisher, we give directions where to get a copy of the book.
That’s all and I hope my sharing of guidelines in writing book reviews will help your task easier and focus. Thank you so much and God bless you all.
It’s already quarter to 12 midnight… and a few minutes more another year will add to my age. Yes I’m turning 34 years old but guess what I don’t feel like one that age. I noticed the more I age, the less expectation I have for my self but the greater expectation I have from myself in being a wife to Joshua, a mother to Abigail, and to the kids we met through Teach Them Well; a daughter, a sister and to top all of these being a follower of Christ. In this season of my life, I also become more sure of what I need to prioritize.
I prioritize to seek God first. Why? Because in Him everything that I need will be provided.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.-Matthew 6:33 NLT
In His presence there is fulfillment. In His presence there is an outpouring joy to serve others, and He holds everything together.
He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. -Colossians 1:17 NLT
Another valid reason why I need to seek Him first is because I have my sinful nature. I’m Headstrong, Weak in the flesh and Inconsistent. I would be hypocrite if I say that I am always kind to others… well, I am not. A few days ago, I had this heated talked with a telephone operator of Dangerous Drug Board. To help Joshua, I volunteered my self to speak with the people he was persistently following up regarding the email response he was waiting towards the status of Industrial Hemp in the Philippines. The thing was, when the phone was with me, numerous time the transferred call for the persons we were looking for kept on returning back to the phone operator which we later found out one of the guards of the [said] agency. Since I sensed that his tone was changing and becoming a bit agitated, I requested politely to just give me the direct number of the two people we need to talked with for him not to be disturbed but he started to raised his voice and became unkind. That was trigger for me to became reactive towards him instead of being responsive which resulted to a heated exchanged of words between the two of us. I even said bolder words to him like… you were there to serve us because it’s the tax of the people that is paying you! I even cited a foolish statement that an older man like himshouldn’t be respected at all by me because he never respect a woman like me by raising the tone of his voice and become easily agitated. When I confronted him, at first he denied it but I mentioned that even if you deny it God will surely know the condition of your heart in the way you do. I said all of these with a very escalated and angry tone of voice. I demand an apology, but he gave it with so much arrogance. It didn’t stopped there, I made sure I hold the operator accountable of his wrong doing by reporting him. But at the end, I was convicted with my unkindness and asked Joshua’s counsel if I need to apologized of the way I raised my voice. Since he witnessed and heard everything, he told that everything I said were just right but the way I said it made me wrong. After we prayed, I was humbled to called back the operator and apologized the way I talked with him but I wouldn’t apologized for speaking the truth. And that his job as a telephone operator was very important because he connect people. True enough, both of us were corrected. He also apologized for himself and even mentioned that blind spot couldn’t be seen without others bringing it out in open. He also said that there is a God that is looking after the way he work.
The LORD is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.-Proverbs 15:3 NLT
Before we experienced a Father’s Day Robbery, I though my heart was just right in God. Free from anger, bitterness, and fear but I was in denial. All of it was revealed right in front my eyes when I started to question if there is anything good about people. In my distress I found encouragement not from people but directly from His words alone.
It helps me so much to know how King David build back his hope in God’s assuring presence in most of the Psalms He wrote of his trials and tribulations but remains certain, trusting in the Light of the Creator.
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.
Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread. The godly always give generous loans to others, and their children are a blessing.
Turn from evil and do good, and you will live in the land forever. For the Lord loves justice, and he will never abandon the godly.–Psalm 37:24-28 NLT
Another fulfilling Non-Toxic Clay workshop happened in San Juan, San Ildefonso Bulacan Day Care by our collaborating with teacher, the beautiful soul, Ms. Vanessa Concepcion together with her students and their ready and attentive parents.
Joshua shared for about 20 minutes some Biblical words of wisdom projected onto the blackboard. That was after some praise in song lead by sister Veronica Calderon, and, of course, prayer. Joshua notes how his not really knowing much Tagalog hindered his sharing, and so, he now has planned to take some language classes with a local, certified teacher. But, even beyond his broken Tagalog and the projector being unplugged in mid-presentation, the focus on pray, care, and share was well received.
Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. -Deuteronomy 11:19 (NLT).
Afterwards, we asked the parents what they learned from the words, and one spoke about the importance of intentionally teaching our children at home, that she learned a new application of responsibility.
Quality and quantity time, support, love, encouragement are vital to a child’s social and emotional stability.
Another mother said she understands that the main thing for us in life is to show our children the meaning of salvation in the love of Christ holding all things together. Now these kids will surely remember that “We are the clay, and He (Jesus) is the potter.
But now, O LORD, Thou art our Father, we are the clay, and Thou our potter; And all of us are the work of Thy hand. -Isaiah 64:8
We are all truly great full for the success of this outreach-workshop. Seeing those clay being formed in their little hands with the guidance and support of their mothers, teacher, and all the local volunteers/fathers who helped in lifting and kuya louie for fixing electrical wiring to ventilate the room/for Ibee capturing videos and most of all to God for bringing us together in this wonderful experience in raising the quality of life family to family, community to community, building with Pray, Care & Share.
Special thanks to Museo Pambata for their book donations, a few of which were also given to the Day Care. Bayanihan, to God be the Glory.
6 Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. -Proverbs 22:6 (NLT)
Educating our child’s at home in a most convenient, practical, safe and enjoyable way is always on top of our priority list as parents.
Helping Abigail to master the basics that she would need in life like the ability to read, comprehend, communicate clearly, and do critical thinking and problem solving are the essentials we would like her to develop. But there is a minor problem, and if not address properly will snatch-away the time that we must intentionally spend to our child and that is the busyness of this world. Plus us unknowingly giving her to become hypnotize by easy-to-access modern gadgets powered by high-speed internet technology like android phone in which you will be amazed that even a toddler like her can easily operate.
The truth be told, there is an alarming negative side effects on letting our child to be a “gadget child”. Yes a gadget in her hands might settle her at the corner of our house and become busy watching you-tube videos like approved to general audience “finger family” or playing a game-app in which lessens their time to be clingy with us. But come to think of it, this gadget on our child’s hands actually interferes with the talk time between us and our daughter that might result “according to study and research” to a language skills deficit or delayed language skills as commonly called by others. So, the good thing was during Abigail’s Bible Study Fellowship Class, one of their teacher brought her home made non-toxic play dough and let the toddlers played with it. I found it as a good alternative for our child to develop a new habit of learning in an enjoyable way.
Barrowing the line from Joyce Meyer:
“One of the ingredients of forming good habits and breaking bad ones is focusing on what you want to do and not on what you want to stop doing”
After asking Abigail’s teacher about the ingredients of this home made play dough, I immediately mentioned it to my husband. And started making our own.
Aside that its easy to make, all of the ingredients can be easily find even in your pantry. So what are you waiting for, make your kids their own play dough too. Here are the ingredients and procedures to follow:
A mixture of 2cups of all purpose flour &
1 cup of sea salt
Dissolved Food Color in 1/8 cup of Water (each bowl)
Food Color : Choco Brown, Green, Blue, Egg Yellow
Mixed 1/2 cup of dry ingredient with the wet ingredients mixture
Mixed Thoroughly with a Spatula
Kneading, Kneading, Kneading!
Kneaded Play Dough Balls
Finished Product, Non-Toxic Home Made Play Dough
Use Ziplocked Plastic Bag to Preserve the Elasticity
and Freshness of the Play Dough
This colorful set of 26 wooden blocks, featuring letters, numbers, and pictures, is just right for stacking, sorting, and learning! Perfectly sized for little hands, these blocks will provide endless hours of hands-on playtime, encouraging letter and number recognition, fine motor skills, and problem-solving along the way.
Before she had this educational Wooden Blocks, at 10 months she became fascinated with the Colorful Alphabetical Wall Stickers in her room. It spelled-out her first name and middle name. At the same age, she can utter and recognized letter “A”. Whenever we were changing her diaper, she was eager to look up, turned her head to the letters on the wall and pointed each letter with excitement. For us it was a good sign of her becoming ready to be introduced with A,B,C’s formally.
So when she turned a year old, we decided to get her an Alphabetical Flash cards with Big and small letters printed on it separately and with colorful images provided on the other side of each card. During our Fun and Learning time (with the goal of intentionally teaching her at least 2 hours a day, allocating an hour in the morning and in the afternoon) creating an environment of us becoming used with homeschooling and learning while having fun. Joshua (my husband) and I also noticed that she was showing a good interest of being taught using a visual educational materials, only though she can mimic the words I was saying like “apple” for letter “A”, the tendency was she would grabbed the flashcards and kept it with her hands and crumpled it. Just recently, she discovered that she can ripped it into pieces. Mind you, she seemed that she was enjoying doing it. Instead of keep on telling her “No, don’t do it” I concluded that at her age, using flashcards in equipping her to know and be familiarize with alphabet wasn’t advisable. What I did, I made a research about the available educational toy material that can replaced the educational function of her flashcards (for the meantime) and at the same time safe to use by a toddler of her age, plus will make her more involved in terms of learning while having fun. I remembered, I once saw this number blocks at Toy’s “R”Us so I just checked its price online and mentioned it to my husband and explained the purpose why Abigail needs to have it.
There are many available alphabet Wooden Blocks at Amazon but this ABC/123 Wooden Blocks from Melissa & Doug got my attention. So when I learned about it, I immediately communicate my desire of getting it to hubby.
Besides of the benefits of learning alphabets using this Wooden Blocks, the advancement in learning to count is also aided since numbers are also featured.
Plus, familiarity in shapes and images like animals and things are add-on.
It can enhance our daughter’s imagination through building blocks. Actually, when we showed her how to build a pile of Wooden Blocks, what she did was she removed it. We kept on encouraging her how to build using the blocks, but she kept on hitting it. In doing it again and again, she realized that once she hit one of the block, the tendency it would collapse. By constant encouragement and modelling it to her, she learned how to stacked it up, by adding a cube in a pile of blocks and collapsed it as long as she like.
Another benefits of this wooden blocks, it can be use for stamping using clay dough because some characters were engraved. A fabric bag was also provided to keep it together, and organized.
In terms of Child Safety, the blocks was perfectly designed for our daughter’s little hands and big enough for her little mouth to ingest. I can attest that its free from choking. Plus the paints and coatings used meet or exceed government recommendations limiting heavy metals, lead and phthalates in children’s items.
Originally, this wooden blocks was designed for ages 3+years. Its for you parents to decide what is good for your kids learning advancement and what will aid for your family fun time and activities. 🙂
Thankfully we received this out of graciousness. Yes only by God’s grace and favor. Again, thank you so much Melissa & Doug.
We received this sunscreen as a complimentary product for review and is currently being sold online at Amazon.com.
Whenever we need to enjoy the beauty of the environment and doing some outdoor activities, all we need to do is to squeeze our Kids Sun’n’Fun sunscreen with SPF 30, apply it generously to our skin and Voila, no worries from damaging effect of the long and short ultraviolet rays from the sun.
In fact, our daughter always love to carry the colorfully designed tube with her and you can’t just take it away from her. Mind you , she will cry. She loves it.
I’m ready to go now with my Sun’n’Fun Kids Sunscreen
Another good thing about this KIDS Sun’n’Fun Suncreen, it was formulated specially for the Kiddos. It is Light and non-greasy, it moisturize well, plus with hydrating benefits for the skin, and it is also soothing for kids delicate skin.
It is not just a baby sun screen, it’s a state of the art skin care pampering treatment – with sun screen. Water resistant. It’s been designed with delicate and sensitive baby’s skin in mind and addresses not only protection from the harmful UVA and UVB sun rays but also helps to care for dry skin and eczema while hydrating and soothing. PABA-Free, chemical-free mineral based (NON-NANO) hydrating and moisturizing Sunblock SPF30+ provides high UV protection for your baby. Organic Marshmallow, Grapeseed and Raspberry rich with vitamin C and antioxidants fights skin damage and cellular oxidation ( that are causes of aging. Yes, aging starts the day we are born), caused by excessive free radical activity. It also contains excellent anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea, thought to be 200 times more powerful than vitamin E for neutralizing free radicals and has a protective role to play here as well. Kelp and Cucumber contain abundant non-essential and essential amino acids and are highly moisturizing, soothing and hydrating. Rosehip oil, rich in Omega-3,6 and 9 Fatty Acids, Vitamins C, E, and Lycopene promotes healing and nourishing, leaving skin glowing and healthy looking. Tamanu oil contributes to the formula with it’s strong anti-inflammatory properties and helps with dry skin and eczema. Combination of Cocoa and a hint of Vanilla create that yummy chocolate scent, that’s achieved naturally, as well as have moisturizing and healing properties.
This product was created for babies but grown-up friends can use it too. It’s highly addictive.
Our family would like to personally appreciate the effort of Author Tali Carmi and Ebookpro for sharing with us once again one of your amazing children’s book Abigail and the North Pole Adventure.
I enjoyed reading this to our daughter whose name is also Abigail. I read this to her twice in a day, during her nap time in the morning and in the afternoon. Though the story was fictional it comes with educational and character learning. Like how the author incorporated the way of life living in North Pole, the type of clothing they wear, the seals, the igloo that really awakened my curiosity to the point that I researched about it and discussed it with our 10-month-old baby girl. The part when Abigail and her new friend named Siku team-up and helped each other, and used their skills and rescued the cub bear emphasized team-work. It actually made me signed up with National Geographic Kids just to fully understood the nature of this animal and shared it with our little one while she was breastfeeding.
As a mom, children story like this encourage me to go beyond my educational back ground, equip myself to better nourish our little one towards the world at large.
I will recommend this book to mom’s and educators who are committed to go beyond traditional learning in educating their children.
You can check Author Tali Carmi’s work and list of her Abigail’s Adventure Books here @Goodreads. And for your families additional educational resources, visit National Geographic Kids @ www.kids.nationalgeographic.com
Teaching is reading
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 in 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.
Thinking how to express my deepest gratitude to God for everything he is allowing my husband and I to experience including all the daily blessings, all of the answered and unanswered prayers that made us to seek and put our confidence in Him. There are no suitable words that I can write to bring back my thanks to Him for the guidance He is giving for our family, in re-polishing our plans and making it happened, in sustaining us in our monetary needs, our health, for our pregnancy, and surrounding us with people that entrusted their stories of faith in God to us. People who underwent and shared with us their physical pain and past-aches that made them more closer to God knowing that only by His grace and love can sustain them with strength to combat the agony of physical pain, and filled the void in their hearts. Their stories encourage us to love Him more.
Almost everyone knows that we just got married, but being newly weds does not mean that we are excused from undergoing situation that is worry free.
With the permission of my husband, I will unmask some happenings in our lives as
a couple that made our love for God increase deeply, and commitment with each other and to our marriage salted greatly . Last September 19, my husband supposed to start his preliminary treatment for the Hepatitis C (I will continue the story).
Months before the schedule, we were advised by his primary care nurse physician that he needs to start the treatment as soon as possible for the reason of viruses in his blood increasing to an above normal level. This added pressure into our relationship, though my husband became honest about this matter the first day we met still I felt worried thinking how serious it might be and the effects of it towards his health. Joshua remained calmed outside, but his action in being healthy confirmed that he is taking it seriously but with less worries. It was like a doomsday for us the first time we talked with his doctor who had specialization with Infectious Disease. The doctor was like dropping a bomb every time she discussed the side effects of the medicines to combat the virus. Well what will you think if you heard these statements: “The worse side effects might be, depression and fatigue. Depression that might lead the patient to think, “his best friend will kill him or worse he will kill his best friend.“ I actually thought of these, “Is she just trying to scare us? Doesn’t she have any good news to say?” At first, Joshua was hesitant and not bold enough to share this story not even to our closest friends. There was a fear of receiving judgement that haunted him. I fully understood him, it was not something to be proud of nor to flaunt with. This was a consequence of the sin his flesh had indulged when he was still wondering in the wilderness (which is another story).But the moment he humbled himself and confessed it during our prayer time with the Church and lifted it to God, we were encouraged. The deception of satan, the accuser was unmasked. It also helped when we started to educate ourselves on how to be prepared for the treatment. All of our fears were replaced with right and positive attitude for “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.-Romans 8:28.
For the deeper understanding, Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major cause of liver disease, and is the leading indication for liver transplantation worldwide. Identified in 1989, HCV was originally named post-transfusion non-A non-B hepatitis. By the time the virus was identified, millions of people had already been infected, many of whom had advanced stages of liver disease. (Cited: An Essential Guide for Nurses And health Care Professionals by Suzanne Sargent. 2009).
Myths and facts about HCV:
The Myth: Hepatitis C virus can be transferred by using the kitchen utensils of person carrying the virus such as cutlery and crockery specifically cutting instruments, spoon, fork, drinking glasses and plates. Fact: Hepatitis C is a blood-borne infection and is not transmitted on household items where there is no blood-to-blood contact. However, items that may be possibly contaminated with blood, particularly razors, nail scissors, and toothbrushes is strictly shouldn’t be shared. (In our case, Joshua have his own nail cutter and our toothbrush are color coded).
The Myth: The virus can be transmitted through saliva or semen. Fact: As I mentioned earlier, only through blood-to-blood contact the virus can be spread from the body of virus carrier to other body. The risk of sexual transmission is low but not zero. In monogamous relationships, couples should be reassured. But high risk with multiple sexual partners. Hepatitis C virus cannot be transferred from casual smooching, hugging, sneezing, coughing, or either food or drink sharing. (In our case, hepatitis C virus test performed to me during the series of pregnancy laboratory exam found to be negative, PRAISING GOD for it).
The Myth: There is a high percentage of transferring the hepatitis c virus from an infected mother to newly born baby. Fact: The risk of transmission of infection from HCV- infected mother to newborn is low, particularly in women with low levels of virus.
The Myth: HCV is transmitted through breast-feeding. Fact: Breast-feeding is not thought to transmit infection as long there is no bleeding from the nipples of infected mother, and the skin is not cracked.
Part of the preparation we did was the self-awareness and knowing the information needed before using INCIVEK, the treatment Joshua was supposed to have. According to the brochure and study aid provided to us, INCIVEK is a hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3/4A protease inhibitor indicated, in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin, for the treatment of genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C (CHC) in adult patients with compensated liver disease, including cirrhosis, who are treatment -naive or who have been previously treated with interferon-based treatment, including prior null responders, partial responders, and relapsers. Joshua’s doctor suggested this medication because on his first diagnosis, result shown he has Hepatitis C-genotype 1. The first time it was introduced to us, the doctor didn’t mention the possible negative effects towards pregnancy.
But when we did our own study about it and watched the DVD provided to us it was repeatedly mentioned that Ribavirin may cause birth defects and fetal death in female patients and in female partners of male patients. This became our main concern, not to mention the other side effects we were about to face once Joshua undergo the treatment. Both of us needs to team up with God for us to be prepared, not to worries and combat the unforeseen effects of undergoing the treatment.My husband became hesitant towards the treatment. The first option was to start it after the pregnancy, he wanted to be okay physically and not experiencing fatigue (he was advised that the treatment will be as serious as chemotherapy) once our baby is delivered. I can only imagine as a novice father how he desire to be strong in attending all the needs of our first born child.We know what to do, to treat the possible spread of the virus but what we were not sure about was if we are making the right decision towards it. As the doctor mentioned, it depends upon how Joshua’s body will respond to the treatment. The only thing that we are sure about is God will take care of us, he will take care of my husband body and our future. Even if we equipped ourselves and yes it helps a lot to know what we are facing still its not enough. Its not by our might nor to our own power, we don’t know what the future has for us but God knows. To him we entrusted everything. We eliminated the first option, in our prayer we lifted all of our concerns with a thankful hearts to God. One morning we received a call from the physicians office informing us that Joshua’s doctor transferred to other place and the change was he have a new physician regarding hepatitis C. They asked him if he still wanted to start the treatment and he agreed.
September 19, the day of the treatment. Silently, I prayed inside our room and my devotion was the verse in Exodus 14:14 says, The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. Then I shared it with my husband. We met his new doctor, he informed us that he reviewed the test done to my husband and calmly he mentioned that my husband hepatitis C virus is not genotype 1 but genotype 3. He also explained that INCIVEK in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin is clinically tested for the treatment of genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C with liver damage only. In Joshua’s case, the new medicines for genotype 3 will come out on December, 2013 and his liver is doing good. Praise God.
He gave us two options: First to start the treatment using INCIVEK but with lower percentage of cure in the type of genotype he has. The second option was to wait for the new medicines that just right for the hepatitis C-genotype 3. It was an impromptu decision, Joshua looked to me, hold my hand and turned to his doctor and said, “We will wait.“ When the doctor left the small room, I asked him, “Are you sure we will wait?” He firmly said, ” Yes”. Outside I asked him what was the basis of his decision, and he said,” God said, we shall hold our peace”. We perceived the illness us one of the ugliest thing that could happen to an individual but God don’t. In his power, he can turn beautiful things out of the dust. He can turn beautiful things out of the viruses in my husband’s blood. We will hold our peace. We will keep our faith to the healing power in Jesus name, we will lift our hands to praise and give thanks to God for what we have and what we are going to be in his presence to our lives. Your prayers will help us in this.
It took me a while before writing another post. We became busy these past days with Herblend Teas, our herbal tea business. Accompanied to our busyness was the changes I noticed with myself as well as my husband noticing.
Almost every night, Joshua and I always prayed to God that if it His will to reward us a children, we asked Him to make them healthy and that they will grow up loving Christ Jesus and seeking His will for their lives.
We mostly talked about a sooner possibility a life will begin to be formed in my uterus. Month of June when I asked Joshua to watched with me the miracle of life. The first time I saw this documentary video about Concepcion from the beginning of miraculous semen ejaculation was when I was in 2nd year high school. The whole time of watching, we were both amazed how this video was shot and how God designed a beginning of life through the fertilization of the egg through sperm carried a father’s genetic material merges with the mother.
I always teased Joshua every night, to gave a goodnight kiss to my tummy. I was just having a feeling of being pregnant.
Last June 24, I started to experience an easiness in my stomach. I thought I was just being hungry, and I assumed that my stomach produced acids for it was a meal time for me. The same day, on our way to Savannah for Joshua’s retest of gaining his driving license, I told him and our friend Candace that I felt like I wanted to puke (excuse my word). I was being dizzy by that time. Candace asked me, “are you pregnant?” I answered back and I said, “no”. We stopped by to a gasoline station, and since my mouth was craving for salty food I asked my husband to get me a potato chips. I had a weird feeling that time, my stomach was stirred like a scrambled egg, and my whole body was so cold. What a relief, when I puked in the comfort room of the gasoline station. I informed my husband about it and he was so concerned. When I started to eat my potato chips, it was like the best food in the whole wide world. I became better in a few minutes.
Having a baby is highly encourage in our marital life, we are praying for them. In fact, before I flew here in Tennessee a dear friend of mine told me her vision about us and our future children. It was my last few days in the Philippines when we met at the food court of the nearest shopping mall in our place. After we had a dinner, we prayed for one another and I heard her praying for me and in a soft voice she uttered her vision to us. She said, “I can see two children that will faithfully serving God in a big ministry.” She uttered a boy and a girl.
Just like all parents, Joshua and I desire the best for our kids. We are not yet sure of their gender for it is too early to know but we both trust in the Lord that He will give us the desires of