21 Takeaways

2021 is about to end. Many lessons learned. Many lessons reinforced. Let’s see if we can actually come up with 21! 😂

1. Sometimes we just have to ride it out. Heal, rest, wait. Be patient with yourself.

2. Control is an illusion. Instead of trying to gain it, relinquish to the One who has true control. It’s counterproductive to fight for control. Let go. We’ll grow more and get where we should be, faster.

3. Safe places are precious. It’s all about trust and having people we can be honest and authentic with. Take care of them. Be worthy of their trust too.

4. Give, even if they don’t need it. Give, even if at times they don’t really deserve our kindness. But be discerning. We must allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in this.

5. We have influence. Our simple posts might be an inspiration to others, to be better and to do better.

6. Entitlement is a disease. Recognize it in others and recognize it in yourself. What we tolerate, we can’t change.

7. Pride will keep us from serving others or from listening to wisdom. It can’t always be about our rights or our feelings or our opinions.

8. Listen first! Don’t assume to know what the other person is saying without getting the whole story. Walls go up, minds close when we don’t listen first.

9. Listening is loving. I feel loved when King or the kids are patiently and attentively listening to me, and trying to understand what I’m saying. Make your loved ones feel loved by really listening to them.

10. Doing is the evidence of listening and learning. When we listen and learn, it is seen in our living.

11. Gaslighting is the opposite of really listening. Dismissing someone’s feelings and minimizing what they are going through is hurtful and it might cause them to lose their voice. Be careful. Sometimes we are not aware that we are doing this, especially to our loved ones. Sometimes we even do it with good intentions.

12. Honesty is number one. I call out dishonest comments in my family, or the excuse that something said was just a joke. Lies, big or small, are unacceptable.

13. Celebrate your age! Maturity is caring less about what don’t really matter, and caring more about those that actually do. And not at all feeling sorry about it!

14. Simplicity breeds contentment. I don’t want a lot of things, and I see how that makes my life and my husband’s life easier. Not much to yearn for and buy. Not much to complain about either.

15. Allowing our kids to talk to us about anything, to come to us for every question or crazy idea they have in their minds, to share with us things that we won’t even grasp haha, to come clean with their failures or issues with others, and us responding appropriately, always with love, is the best thing we can do to nurture a close bond between us and our children. It builds trust and honesty.

16. As parents, we get affected by our kids’ friendships, especially when we hear wrong accusations, questioning the heart of their friendship. Sometimes as much as we want to fix it, we can only teach and then let our child learn on their own. It teaches them to stand up for what’s right, while being forgiving. It teaches them to be loving, while also exercising wisdom with regards to giving trust.

17. Rest is productive! Take time to do this regularly. Don’t wait for exhaustion or burn out. It takes longer to bounce back if we do.

18. Not being believed is the worst. Like you have to have proof before they receive what you’re saying. Like your word is not enough even when you have always been honest and you have absolutely no reason to lie! Give benefit of the doubt, especially to those who are generally trustworthy.

19. Skills are good, but character and heart are more important. Skills can be innate, like you might be predisposed to be good at something. They can be learned too. But heart and character are built over time, through difficulty and suffering, by dying to oneself and obeying God.

20. It’s always worth it to make the effort to build relationships. The responses may differ and our effort may not always be reciprocated, but it will matter to those who make it matter.

21. To truly love is to sacrifice. Notice and appreciate the sacrifices people make for you. They do it because they love you. Notice how willing you are to sacrifice for the people you love too. Or perhaps how you are not, and work on being less self-centered. And always remember what Jesus did for you. Appreciate the lengths He went through to save you. Thank Him for His sacrifice — the evidence of His deep, immense love for you.

Happy New Year everyone!!! Here’s to greater things in 2022!!!

May we be people who never stop seeking the Lord and are grateful recipients of His mercy and grace! May we be people who continually call upon His name and are saved from our troubles! May we be people who witness (see) the faithfulness and goodness of God and people who witness (tell) every miracle to others! ❤️

Christmas Traditions!

Our family started building our Christmas traditions since our oldest girls were small. It was a great opportunity to share them in my friend’s website, simplenotsimple.com!

Here’s the link! https://simplenotsimple.com/2021/12/02/happy-birthday-jesus-four-christmas-traditions-to-celebrate-the-true-celebrant/

Hope it helps those who want to start their traditions, or inspire you with ideas. And I hope it reminds us of why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. ❤️

17 years!

It’s been 17 years since the day we said I do to each other. Let me see if I can share with you 17 things we’ve learned in our 17 years together.

1. Marriage is not the goal. It is just a tool. >Christ is still the goal.<

2. Listen first. We can respond correctly when we listen first.

3. Respond. Acknowledge. This reassures me that he cares, and vice versa.

4. Words must be backed by action. A promise must be kept. A yes must be a yes, a no must be a no. An apology is not enough if there is no attempt at change.

5. >Action should be accompanied by words.< I love yous are highly valued. Apologies are sweet when they are given without prompting. Explanations and clarifications are very much appreciated. Trust is built this way.

6. >High appreciation, low expectation.< Be generous with thank yous! Be grateful for the littlest things! Express appreciation often.

7. We have different love languages. Be mindful of our spouse’s love language so that we can love them the way they are wired to receive love.

8. Sacrificial love. We must be willing to be inconvenienced for the sake of those we love. Out of our comfort zone, beyond what we are used to.

9. Serve with joy. Joy is key! We can serve mindlessly and joylessly. We must remember that we serve the Lord as we serve our spouse and our family. Let the Lord’s delight be our motivation to serve.

10. Never be >complacent.< Being comfortable in our relationship as husband and wife is a blessing, but we remain vigilant. Pray for each other. Protect each other, and protect the marriage. We are not immune to sin and temptation. Forgive right away. We are not immune to bitterness and resentment.

11. God’s design for husband and wife is best. Husband leads, wife helps. Both humbly serve one another. I am called to submit to the leadership of my husband, and we are both called to submit to the Lordship of Christ.

12. He leads, I help. But there are situations where I have to lead, and he helps. That is well and good, as long as it is situational and temporary. I would still not want to be the leader. I help my husband be the best leader he can be. >He must be first into battle.<

12. Submission is not silence. As a watchman for my husband and my family, I need to speak up when I see something that is not right. Wisdom calls for me to do so. Out of love, and with gentleness.

13. Parenting is hard when we are not on the same page. Unity and teamwork are key. Also, a Christ-centered marriage, not a child-centered one, is best for our children.

14. Overlook the things that don’t really matter. Many things will irk us, but nitpicking will only add to the stress. Let go. Breathe and release.

15. Go on dates, on adventures, and laugh often! What a joy to have a constant friend, a best friend in our spouse! In seriousness and in silliness, till death do we part.

16. Talking is healing. Build a relationship where communication lines are always open. Make it conducive, comfortable for unloading. Listen. Understand. Empathize. Speak life. Pray.

17. Walk with other couples. For learning and growth, for accountability and balance, for friendship. Also because marriage is missional. The Lord uses marriage (not just ours) to draw others to Himself.

So much learned, and so much more to learn! May our marriage honor the Lord and bring glory to Him always. ❤️

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:9-10

Yoki’s Farm!

A few weeks ago, the girls had a scheduled free day, and our birthday girl mentioned she wanted to go to a zoo/farm. We remembered Yoki’s Farm, which we saw posts of from our friends. But because lockdowns and alert levels here keep changing, I honestly do not keep up anymore, I wasn’t sure if it was open for kids. I messaged them right away, but did not get an immediate reply. Thank God it was at just the right time when they did reply. I booked as soon as they said they’re open and that kids are allowed!

When we got there, around 10 in the morning on a weekday, there were about 2 families ahead of us at the reception area and about 5 vehicles in the parking lot. We were all considered adults except for the youngest. The animal encounter package costs 800 per head, and children (ages 4-7) get 30% off. 3 and below are free! We all opted for the animal encounter package except for 1. The farm tour (that is the same tour but without animal feeding) costs 300 pesos only. Tour guide costs 100 pesos. Tips are permitted, and I encourage it. Our guide was super nice and he made sure we could maintain social distancing in every area he led us to. I like that he and the other tour guides are working students.

Yoki’s Farm is apparently owned by a Chinese man named Yoki, who is married to a Filipina. I forget how many hectares the whole place is, but we only were toured around maybe a third of it. Our first stop was the coi pond. I never knew there were fresh water sting rays. So cool! Then we fed tortoises! Oh how I enjoyed that. The birds were super cool too! Anyway, I’ll just let you enjoy the pictures and >this link< for my amateur video. It took us about 2 hours to finish the tour. There is a cafeteria where you can get noodles, hotdogs, ice cream, and other snacks I’m sure. It’s really worth the trip! Outdoor spaces are good for us and the kids. ❤️

Sulcata tortoises (lighter ones)
and Aldabra tortoise (Lucy)
This one likes to hide but I’m glad
I caught a glimpse of him.
Don’t remember its name though 😅
Ibong adarna? Sarimanok?
Actually a pheasant!
Peahen
Galah – from the cockatoo family
Indian parakeet
blue and gold macaw
Black cockatoo – he was a heavy bird!
Akita – handsome dog 🤍
Cassowary – Kevin from Up!
Red barn
Fresh ostrich egg! It was already bought (purchased for consumption), and we were fortunate enough to see and hold it right before it was brought to its owner.
Ostrich
Foghorn leghorn!
Turkeys
Miniature horse
Zebra – the one we fed was named Marty
(like in Madagascar the movie)
Big space for the animals to roam and eat! Some zebras and miniature horses are too wild to feed or touch.
They have some pretty plants too. This one’s near the hydroponic farm.

You can also check out my daughter’s >montage< on youtube to see reptiles and the museum, and get a glimpse of the hydroponic farm!

I think they are working on having giraffes, and we can’t wait to go back! They only accept about 40 groups per day so it’s best to >book< rather than just walk in.

I pray the animals will be cared for excellently and that they live long. What a privilege to enjoy God’s creation up close. 🥰

So Here We are Again….

Here we are again, almost time for elections, online discussions getting heated. On the one hand, I appreciate the passion people have for our country. I learn from their posts. I believe they really have a place in this world, to challenge our minds and our points of view. Or actually reinforce what we already know and believe. On the other, I understand how things can get out of hand and how important it is to maintain respect. I witnessed debates, the arguing, the disrespect, the unfriending during our last elections. And I’m seeing it again now.

Our eldest daughter is going to be voting in the presidential elections after next year’s, and I was wondering…. What if our family were divided on who to vote for? What if she expresses her support for someone I am not in favor of? What if she has a different opinion from mine? Will we have heated discussions at home too? Will we walk away or cut ties from each other, and then just reconnect after elections?

By that time, she would obviously be an adult, and she can already make her own decisions. My job as a parent is to teach, impart, and yes influence. Should I force her to make the same choices as mine? As if my choice is the only right one. Can I get mad at her, intimidate her for not adopting my point of view? Sure I can, but I don’t think that would sway her to see it my way. It might make her resolve even stronger. Should I attack her or mock her when she expresses an idea that I am taken aback by?

I will share what I think is right, present facts, but I cannot be so passionate that I forget wisdom, love, and grace. Lord help me! 😂 There has to be room for the Lord to work. In her and in me. I cannot control her choices because she is her own person. I must respect that. She has her own relationship with God and I would hope that she prays for major decisions like this and I need to trust that she is listening to the Lord too. I will have the very difficult but necessary task, of not taking it personally, and loving her anyway.

The way I respond will matter more than who I vote for. Because honestly, I have used my right to vote ever since I could vote. And none of the candidates I voted for ever became president. I still believe in not wasting my right. I still believe that my vote matters. And my only choice is to trust the election process and trust the Lord for the results. I believe no matter what I do, He is still in control of everything. The only control I have is over my own choices and my own responses.

2019 local elections 🌹

And I believe the most significant impact I make is in my smallest circle, my family. The impact I will make with my presidential choice, yes, because though it does not reflect ALL of my values or represent EVERYTHING I value, it does reflect some. But more importantly, the impact I will make with how I conduct myself when talking about the presidentiables. With how much Christlikeness or how little is seen in me when I communicate to my children and to other people with regards to the elections. Because what I hope to teach to my kids the most, by words and by example, is the love of Jesus, obeying Him, honoring Him with our lives, and trusting in His ways. THE LEGACY I WANT TO LEAVE MY CHILDREN IS JESUS, not my presidential bet.

I hope in our families, in our spiritual families as well, we consider this. We are family. We are all connected through Christ. Remember that it is His name we represent. We are first a Christian. Our nationality, race, family name, school, organization, political affiliations, etcetera are all secondary. OUR LOYALTY IS FIRST TO CHRIST.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deut 6:5-7

“May he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.” Hebrews 13:21 NLT

My Thoughts on ODL

So it’s the second year of online distance learning. My kids miss their face to face classes, but I still think ODL is the best set up. And I don’t mean just for this season.

Last year taught us a bunch of things. I heard my older daughters complain about school being different. About the work they needed to do and schedule they needed to keep. But I also saw them take responsibility for their classes. They woke up on time. They got themselves ready to go onscreen. They actually stayed in their classes — trust me, this is a big deal. They checked their classwork and made sure, as much as possible, they had no missing work. They communicated with their teachers as needed. I did not have to nag them or even check on their work.

After the first few weeks, my eldest surprised me by her saying she liked ODL. She said she could focus and therefore learn more. She’s the type who gets so easily distracted, even by her own daydreaming 😂. I was also pleasantly surprised by how her teachers tapped her and entrusted her with certain tasks. And through practice, her drawing, painting, and crocheting skills developed greatly.

My second surprised me with the friends she gained outside of school, and all the techie knowledge she gained from watching gamers and gaming herself. The stuff she tells me goes over my head 😂. She kept up her school work and her social, albeit online, life. And it wasn’t all gaming too. She reached out to a couple of girls, built friendships, and shared the Gospel to them.

It was my youngest that I was a little bit concerned about. She started school early the year before, so she started first grade at age 5. She was the youngest among her classmates and knowing that all her classmates were either almost 7 or already 7 weighed on me. But she also surprised me with the way she coped. I mean it wasn’t a surprise that she would get bored and would rather play, but she understood her lessons (with some help of course), did the work, participated in class, and even gained gold achiever status. In fact, all of them did by the end of the school year!

Gold achievers’ circle medals 🏅

I am a frustrated homeschooler. I love homeschooling. I envy my homeschooling mom friends who are doing really well and whose kids are thriving. We tried a number of years with our older girls, but with all the factors in play, it just did not work for us. I always have to remind myself why it is best that the kids are in regular school haha, but I do agree that it is for the best. Our loving relationships remain intact. My sanity and health remain stable 😂. They learn to have their own standards, not to please us or meet our standards, but to be motivated to do their work excellently for their own satisfaction. They learn to do school as their worship to the Lord. They learn independence and responsibility. They develop good study habits. All the reasons for wanting to homeschool them actually.

But while homeschooling, the opposite always happened. We were many times at each other’s throats, mainly because I was impatient and they would get impatient with me too. They took teacher for granted because teacher was mommy. Standards, habits, responsibility, independence, motivation — all out the window. Because of the pressure to do academics, the fun I wanted to have with them and the faith I wanted to teach and impart also kind of went out the window. Plus, the fact that my kids wanted to go to regular school already, was undeniable. I didn’t even try homeschooling the youngest anymore. Hubby also wanted stability for them, so we finally decided to put them in regular school.

When ODL happened, I realized that it was the set up I actually wanted! Somebody else in charge of their acads, not to mention a Christian school (GCFSMCS) that upholds the Word of God in their teaching, (shoutout to the girls’ awesome, hardworking, loving teachers!), while I get to be joyful, loving, present, inspired and hopefully inspiring mom to them! I get to teach them without the pressure. They get to learn from me without the pressure as well. And they are home! Not out for 4-8 hours everyday, and then busy with school work when they get home. I get multiple hugs and multiple visits to my room each day. We have more time to talk about anything and everything. ❤️

Love my girls ❤️

This year, with their experience and a better organized schedule implemented by the school, they are coping well. They are the same responsible children, the same reliable students.

ODL is a gift! It comes with its challenges, but this mom considers it a blessing. And while I know that some time soon I will have to let the girls go enjoy being in school again, I choose to cherish the here and now. ❤️

Learn From Your Mistakes

Our daughters love to talk. They ask a lot of questions. And though it’s overwhelming at times, with the three of them always having something to say (poor daddy 😂), I so appreciate and enjoy our conversations.

A few weeks ago, they asked about our past relationships. Some were easy to answer, some were not. I stalled with some, to which one of them said….

It’s okay to tell us, mom. I know you learned from your mistakes and did better.

But you know, I realized something really important at that moment. As good an adage “learn from your mistakes” is, it isn’t enough. It’s good advice. It’s true that we ought to learn from our mistakes. It’s reassuring to know that there is hope, that we can move forward from our failures. But it is not enough.

It wasn’t only because I learned from my mistakes that I decided to wait for the right man and for the right time.

My mindset needed to change. I needed to be taught and I needed to learn, accept, and believe this fundamental truth.

Only Jesus can make me whole.

No man, no human relationship can ever satisfy the longings of my soul. I am secure, only because Jesus knows me fully and accepts and loves me anyway. I am complete because for everything that I lack, only Jesus fills. Everything I am not, only Jesus is.

If it were only about learning from my past mistakes, I still would have been in and out of ungodly relationships, just trying to get better at managing them. Had I not learned to anchor my identity on Jesus, I would have still looked for happiness and security in those kinds of relationships. Maybe I would have made improvements on my attitude or my words or my behavior, but I would still not have been convinced to wait for God’s will and timing. Or maybe I would have waited, but only until I found another guy I liked who liked me back.

I can’t thank God enough for the turn-around in my mind and heart. And for discipleship — someone teaching me about Jesus and how to obey Him was key. It led me to not settle for less. To choose to wait for what turned out to be my King in shining armor. 💙

Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:8-10 NLT

DIY Mom

One of the best decisions we made for our home is putting our old floorboards on the wall. I like to keep things simple and minimal, so even though I don’t decorate the whole house, decorating the wall brings some attention to any celebration and to the celebrant. I like to reuse and repurpose. Having no budget spurs creativity in me. And buying party streamers and stuff online don’t work for me because I always do things last minute haha. Going out to the mall to buy is less convenient these days too. So I rely on what I already have.

Our youngest daughter graduated from pre-school last year. Our second-born graduated from grade school this year. All their programs were virtual because of the pandemic. So last year, since they only had a virtual pajama party to end the school year, I decided to have a graduation ceremony for Gianna at home. We invited some of our family to join us via zoom. And this year, I surprised Noelle with a background for her virtual graduation program!

I utilized used and unused old paper for all the cut outs. Congrats is too generic for me so I went with Dr. Seuss’ oh the places you’ll go! Gianna chose pink of course so I just put in some yellows. I almost always cut my letters free hand because I don’t have time to use a ruler and pencil, or even a stencil. I used an old-ish Chinese lantern to make the hot air balloon, wrapped a plastic container with crepe paper for its basket, embellished it with an old scrapbooking fence accessory. I used the bear giveaway from my in-laws’ golden anniversary party a few years back.

I asked Gianna’s teacher what awards we could give her based on her performance in school, so I d-i-y-ed them too. I didn’t have time to get an actual medal so I made one out of cardboard and old ribbon, for her excellent grades. I printed out a certificate to honor her for being most cooperative and friendly. I made ribbons for Best in Fine Motor Skills (I traced old hand stickers on black paper), Best in Cognitive Skills (I used old beads for the cogs in the brain), and Best in Rhythmic Skill (copied free-hand a shadow image online). Again, old paper and old ribbons.

Last year’s graduation. 👩🏻‍🎓
We awarded the older sisters’ medals from their school too. 🏅

For Noelle’s background, I used my stock of black paper which I bought for a friend’s baby shower last year, and ribbon and heart shapes that I had for the golden anniversary party. I had no concrete idea until that morning because I dozed off the night before. I kind of panicked when I woke up that day haha. I went with “you did it!” and made a graduate cap with her initials. The divider’s hinges are a tad problematic, but it’s still good even after about 6 years of being stored.

We stayed in our room during the Zoom party where we all viewed the graduation together. So proud of her for graduating with flying colors! And for dancing the Doxology. Check out the Productive Kids facebook page to watch it.

Upon seeing what I made, she said that we were so extra haha. It was a surprise. But really, it was such a small way of celebrating her and with her.

I also made flags of her name using pipe cleaners (or fuzzy wires), but the spacing on the divider was awkward, so I just put them on our trusty floorboard wall!

Too bad her medal wasn’t available yet at that time. She graduated Gold Achiever. We celebrated with her food requests though! I think she appreciates that more. ❤️

For Danae and Gianna’s recognition day, I reused the flags to cut out letters, and I finally got to use the white frames from an old I Spy board game. I kept them because I knew I would have use for them one day. I’ve had them for years! I turned the D into a P, and put triangles on top of the U and P to make arrows. I hung the other letters together using pipe cleaners. There’s a single nail on the board for hanging stuff.

Another last minute production 😂
Proud of these two for finishing with flying colors as well, and moving up!! Wish their medals were already available then too, but it’s okay because we also celebrated with their food requests! ❤️

It’s not much, but I hope my children know that this is my personal way of showing them I love them and I am proud of them (besides telling them and writing about them 😂). I hope they feel extra loved and extra appreciated, and they take these memories with them long after I’m gone. May they do the same — different form, same heart — for their children too. ❤️❤️❤️

Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord,
who walks in his ways!
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
who fears the Lord. Psalm 129:1-4 ESV

His Eye is on the Sparrow

And He watches over me and my family…..

We were recently at our friends’ place, which they call The Lord’s Camp. Our girls were with their two friends. They went into the pool together while I was watching them in the front porch. I got distracted when our friends (the owners) arrived though, and I went inside. So I think at that point, all the adults were inside the house. But the girls are able swimmers and I knew the little one was safe with them. A possibility of an accident did not even cross my mind. But I did go back out right away. As soon as I stepped out the door, I heard splashing and a tone-less

“Help.”

I saw Gianna moving her arms in the water, looking like she was pretending to need help. I even got annoyed and commented that it’s not funny. I set my stuff down and looked up again. I saw her face. She didn’t laugh or smile. I saw fear and focus. She was keeping her head above water.

I ran and jumped in to get her. She had no floaties on. She was maybe half a foot away from the last step of the pool stairs, where she could no longer reach the floor. I carried her and hugged her. She had swallowed some pool water. She coughed and coughed and coughed and tried to take breaths in. While I kept clapping her back and, though gently, kept asking her what happened. 🤦🏻‍♀️ (Sorry, love, mommy was scared.) She shook her head no to each scenario I suggested.

When she could finally speak, she said through coughs still, that the water pushed her off the last step. She said she tried to get back but couldn’t. And then she looked at me. I encouraged her to go ahead and cry. She did. 😢

Oh my heart! I comforted her and prayed for her. I got her floaties and put them on her arms, and I changed into my suit so I could stay with her. I was also so proud of her for treading! She is an untrained swimmer but somehow she was able to keep herself from going under. I guess I focused on that and the fact that God made me see and hear her in time. God saved us.

I only cried it out the following morning and sought comfort from the hubby. I cannot even bear to imagine the what ifs!!! I am utterly grateful that though it was a tad traumatic and I was paranoid about dry drowning later in the day, the events that happened did not escalate the way they could have. And to think, I learned in the evening, that she said “help” twice and I only heard her once!

When I close my eyes, I do not have to see an unconscious child needing CPR. I do not have to relive the panic and fear in going to the emergency room. I do not have to grieve the death of my youngest daughter. Though my heart races and I take deep breaths as I remember all these, I cannot thank God enough that He saved us.

He saved us in The Lord’s Camp. And He still gave us an enjoyable, restful time there. I will remember it as a beautiful day. Such is the grace of our God! His eye is on the sparrow and He watches over us indeed. ❤️


Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm —
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore. Psalm 121

What Do You Love About Mom?

The girls gave me cards for mother’s day, and in the evening, during dinner, King asked the girls what they love about me. ❤️

Such sweetness. Noelle even gave me cash so I could treat myself to some food! ❤️❤️❤️
Simple dinner prepared by the hubby. ❤️ Baked mac from Dentist is in the Kitchen (check them on IG), and King’s baked salmon! 😋

So what do they love about me? Danae said that I was patient with them even though they give me gray hair. Hahaha. They always say I’m patient but I really do have a loooong way to go.

Noelle said she loves my sense of humor. Hahaha. I do like to be silly with them. They cringe when I copy them but it gets them laughing too.

Gianna said she loves playing with me. On her card, she wrote that she wants me to still “be giggle” with her. What she really meant was to be gigil. We always cuddle and I get gigil with her (like you’re so fluffy I’m gonna die, if you get that despicable me reference 😂). And when King asked them what is one thing they would like me to stop doing, she said that she wanted me stop working (meaning writing, being on the laptop or phone talking or meeting with people, etc) so that I can play with her. Awww. My clingy one. The one thing she would want me to keep doing is decorate (like for Christmas, birthdays, etc). I love that she appreciates and enjoys the things I do. And can I just tell you? That evening right before sleeping, she said to me…

“I don’t know why I like being with you. Maybe I was born to love you so much.”

🥺🥺🥺 What a sweetheart. ❤️❤️❤️

Noelle said she wants me to stop commenting on her tiktok (I just said she was gwapa!). And she wants me to keep giving Gianna a bath hahaha. Sometimes a mom needs to delegate, especially to her because she’s usually the more patient one with Gianna, but I guess she’s over it haha.

Danae said she wants me to stop monitoring her tiktoks and what she watches. She wants to be able to watch movies without having to ask for permission. Oh, sorry, not sorry! We will always be vigilant about this. And then she wants me to keep buying her stuff. Hahaha.

I love my daughters. They are each their own person. They have their quirks. They have their own priorities and desires. They have their own minds.

A super power that moms need is godly wisdom. So that we know when to push and when to back off. When to be cool and when to put our foot down. When to let them explore and when to be protective. When to play and when to discipline. When to gather them and when to leave them alone. So that we know what quirks to respect and what attitudes to never tolerate. What qualities to celebrate and what ideas to shut down. What opinions to applaud and what values to recalibrate.

I love being a mom. A friend made me realize that I have been a mom for 15 years. 😱 It’s been a roller coaster of emotions but I would never trade it for anything in the world. I enjoy my individual relationships with my girls. To know them, to journey with them, and to have a hand at shaping them into God-fearing and God-honoring women, is indeed a privilege and an honor. Motherhood is a gift. Each of my daughters is a gift. ❤️❤️❤️

Thank you dear hubby, for coming up with ways to make me feel loved and appreciated. How truly blessed am I. ❤️

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17