My Kids, Parenting

On Stage Again

One of my daughters has been interested in acting ever since she was little, but we didn’t have the chance or time to commit to any workshops. When Homeschool@Alabang opened in June last year, offering a Musical Theater class that fit into our girls’ regular school schedule, we enrolled both girls since my other daughter expressed interest as well. My friend May of FullyHousewifed encouraged me that the class is good, especially with Ms. Anamarie Quirino teaching it.

It was extra work and extra expense for us, but we went for it. There were times that they both didn’t want to attend the class because they were tired, times they had to skip it because of sickness or exams, times they wanted to quit. But we are all so glad that we PUSHED ourselves to finish what we started, to honor our COMMITMENT. I would have also easily agreed to them giving it up, but King reminded us that he had already paid for the entire year’s fees. What a waste of time, energy, resources, and OPPORTUNITY it would have been if we just quit, when we’d already invested 6 months of our lives and their show was only a few months away.


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The play was entitled Happily Forever After (A Musical Play About the Kingdom of God), held at Maybank Performing Arts Theater in the BGC Arts Center.

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The result was wonderful! Danae’s call time was 10am because she was part of the Shadow Play team. They had a part in Homeschool@Valle Verde’s show at 1:30pm. King brought her since King had work in the area, and my friends (moms of the other girls) took charge of her while I couldn’t be there with her. Noelle’s call time was at 3pm, along with everyone else. King came back for us at home and we all went in time for Noelle’s call time. With all the time and work they put in that day, I did not hear a single complaint!!! They both enjoyed themselves so much. They loved it! I think being in a real theater with real dressing rooms added to the excitement. When they heard “company call!” they bolted out of the dressing room while I was in the middle of braiding Noelle’s hair! They were so busy and excited about their rehearsals, makeup, costumes, and about delivering an EXCELLENT performance. Not to mention the FRIENDSHIPS they built with new people, and the MEMORIES they created with their oldest friends. This was one for the books!

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inside the dressing room, after the show 🙂

 

We are so proud of all the kids! They were all adorable. Kids with talent, who gave their BEST, whether their part was big or small. Kids who WORKED TOGETHER and displayed so much COURAGE! We’re grateful our girls got to be a part of it. The best bit — they got to SHARE THE GOSPEL through their play!

Our girls truly surprised and impressed me. I could never do what they did with much comfort, except maybe the dancing part. They didn’t have speaking lines, but their facial expressions, their acting chops, and their confidence??? They may look like me, but they’ve got their dad’s performing genes. For sure. And Gianna? She mentioned a couple of times that she wanted to go down and dance as well. Her words seeing Noelle right after the play — “Noelle, I like your make up!” She’s two, and I don’t think she has a problem being on stage either. 🙂

 

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the opening scene — our trumpeteers Danae, Ana and Cassie!
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Danae in red and white (rightmost, upstage), and Noelle in purple (rightmost part of the image)

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The shadow play – Danae handled the head of the dragon. This was a beautiful depiction of Jesus’ death and His victory over death.
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The girls of the shadow play crew 🙂 Thanks for the photo, tita Trickee 🙂
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Danae and Noelle in sync! at least in this shot 🙂 Thanks tita Michelle 🙂
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With their talented director, Anamarie Quirino 🙂
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Wowo, Wowas and ate Ella came to support! Wish Wowo Vic were alive to see this. Thank you, family! 🙂

 

If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. Luke 16:10a

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3

 
My Kids

Crowded House

16996417_1579581138723242_7172769815017688550_nOur older girls’ school, The Sycamore, held their very first Music and Arts Festival last week. It was entitled Crowded House. Featured were their art work, which were mostly paintings, and each grade level’s presentation. They said it was first a small idea that blossomed into a full production. I love how the school and their teachers encourage and cultivate the kids’ creativity, while teaching them important life skills.

It was held in Victory Alabang, and so it was not my kids’ first time to be on that stage. Danae and Noelle have danced there at least a couple of times before as part of the VBC praise dance team and for special numbers in church events, but what they did last week was a first for both of them. Though Danae has sung with a group of other kids there a few summers ago, and she sang Sunday Morning with her class last week, it was her first time to be a co-host. She actually surprised me when she told me that she volunteered to do it! She co-hosted with Sophia, her classmate, and Carlos, a 10th grader. Noelle, on the other hand, sang Moana’s How Far I’ll Go with her class and the 3rd grade class. They were only 7 (part of why we love The Sycamore is the student to teacher ratio), and each had a solo!

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the 5th graders with Sunday Morning 🙂

I am so proud of all the kids. The Festival showcased the talents of many young artists. The opening prayer that was done in interpretative dance, the song numbers, the poems, the original music, and the play. Not to mention all the preparation that went to making it all happen successfully — planning, props, logistics, script among other things. I think it’s safe to say everyone was blown away by the excellence of the 9th graders’ play, Touch Me Not. It was an adaptation of Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere. It was apparently their project for English and Filipino. The acting was so believable, while none of them had any theater background. My mom said they were all so good that they could probably put up a small theater company! The whole event was a success, and I am sure every parent was happy.

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the 9th graders’ Touch Me Not 🙂

I am most proud, of course, of my girls. Yes, they performed well, but more than that, they showed so much courage! I don’t think I was ever as brave or as confident as they are. I am no singer and you would never catch me singing in front of a crowd using my own microphone haha. Noelle did, with feelings and without any hint of shyness! I would probably be squirming and not smiling at all if that were me (yes, even now at my age haha). I am not a host either, but with a simple script I might be able to pull it off. However, I would never volunteer myself to do it hahaha. Danae was comfortable on stage and she spoke very well. Not only that. They enjoyed it! King’s genes at work, methinks. Definitely ten times better than their mother. Thank you Lord!

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the hosts Danae, Sophia, and Carlos 🙂

They both constantly practiced at home. They were determined to deliver a good performance, so we endured a loooooot of singing and monologuing the past few weeks…well, okay, that’s not entirely accurate. We have girls, so it’s been this way ever since haha. Just more so recently.

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the 2nd and 3rd graders with How Far I’ll Go 🙂

Some things we reminded them about….Commitment. We commit, we work our best, and we see it through to the end. Prayer. We can’t do it without Jesus. Nervousness. It keeps us on our toes, to rely not in our own ability, but on the grace of God. Worship. Everything we do for His glory and not our own is worship unto Him.

Congratulations Sycamore teachers and students! Congratulations Danae and Noelle! You make us proud. You make us grateful. May the Lord continue to direct you, mold you, and keep you in awe of His love and goodness. May you always seek to honor God in all you do. May you be good stewards of the talents and opportunities that God continually gifts you with!

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 1 Peter 4:10

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

FEATURED, Just My Thoughts

On Courageous Caitie

I don’t personally know this little girl, but her story touches and breaks my heart. I was not able to follow the whole thing and to this day, even after she has passed, I cannot yet bring myself to read her parents’ posts or look at her pictures. The first post I read, when Courageous Caitie came to my attention a few weeks ago, was one where a picture of Caitie’s bruised arms were shown. A picture of her smiling through all the equipment connected to her was also there.

Oh the courage of this little girl indeed! A tiny body enduring so much, and still having the ability to smile through it. And her parents! Their unwavering faith in God. Watching their baby go through, cry through everything she did must have been torture. Being torn between crumbling like children themselves and being strong for their little one. Being torn between trying every possible treatment in the book and letting Caitie’s body rest. But through it all, they remained steadfast. Not knowing whether God was going to heal Caitie or take her, they still trusted God and believed that He is good. How blessed was she to have been loved, cared for, prayed for by such faith-filled parents.

Now that Caitie is resting in God’s arms, I cannot begin to imagine how much they miss their precious princess. They must be at peace knowing that she is safe, no longer suffering, and happy in heaven, but their hearts must be longing to hear her laughter, see her beautiful face, hold her hand, and cuddle her in their arms. I look at my 1 year old baby (who is also Kaitlin) and I think about my two older daughters. I can’t imagine losing any one of them. It would be too painful. I mourn and cry with the Lucas family for their loss. I pray that the Holy Spirit and the love of so many friends and strangers alike would comfort them in this season. And at the same time, I celebrate with them the life of their courageous Caitie. At such a young age, she touched and inspired so many of us.

I believe that God never moves without purpose and Caitie’s death is no exception. What that is exactly may escape us, but I know her death leads me to pray. I pray that all of us parents will never take for granted the time we have with our children. I pray that we will not be consumed by the trivial, but invest in the most important — God, family, people. I pray that we will celebrate our children, love them, appreciate them, teach them, build them up. I pray that when we (or even they) die, there are no regrets because we loved them well, in words, in actions and with our time, while we were alive.

Children are a blessing
    and a gift from the Lord. Psalm 127:3 CEV

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; 

his love endures forever. Psalm 107:1 NIV 

The Lord works out everything to its proper end— Proverbs 16:4a

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26 NIV

“When the time comes for you to die, you need not be afraid, because death cannot separate you from God’s love.” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

 

 

 

Just My Thoughts, Marriage, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY, THE BRAINY BUNCH, YOUTH MINISTRY

Courage of A King

If there is one thing I want to tell men — youth, single and married alike — is that they ought to be men of courage.

We all know that courage is not not being afraid, but going ahead and doing something despite the fear and despite the challenge.Courage after all, stems from faith. How courageous one is, is directly related to how great his faith is.

I have been seeing many youth stepping up lately. Young men who used to be the poster boys for “worldly christianity,” who have left their old ways and old relationships, and now are obeying the Lord.

I have been seeing single men stepping up, acting on their faith to pursue the woman they had been praying for and exercising great wisdom to remain pure and holy before the Lord.

I have been seeing married men stepping up, being vigilant and staying committed to their wife and their marriage. I have even been seeing married men who have made mistakes, but are stepping up to keep their family intact and restoring their relationship with their wife.

In fact, I have been seeing courage firsthand.

Read more:http://www.actlikeaman.org/courage-2/#ixzz2XxXYqpcW

Family, FEATURED, TRAVEL

The Luge

On our last night in Singapore, after King and the girls swam, we decided to catch The Skyline Luge Sentosa before it closed at 9:30PM and just have dinner afterwards. We got there at the perfect time. No lines, no crowds, in the coolness of the night. We knew we wouldn’t be able to ride the cable car anymore, so I thought riding the Skyride (like a ski-lift) would be the next best thing. We needed to ride that to get to the top of the hill, and ride the go-cart going back down. King availed of the family package for us and the kids, meaning 2 rides up the Skyride and 2 rides down on the go-cart. Sounded like great fun!

We were all excited till we realized what we got ourselves into. It was nice and cool, but it was dark. There were no crowds, therefore it was quiet. Too quiet. It was like riding a cable car, except in a cable car, you’re inside. On the Skyride, you feel the wind and your legs are hanging. Well, at least ours were. Noelle’s legs reached right onto the not-so-protective “protective” bar!

Instead of appreciating the Singapore skyline for its beauty, we appreciated it for the distraction it gave us and the kids from our own fears. We were pretty high up and we had no idea how long the ride was! We haven’t even gone halfway when King and I were already backing out of the 2nd ride. King even forgot to take pictures haha! WE WERE SCARED. Danae was expressive of her fear but she wasn’t frozen much by it. We kept telling her not to move abruptly and not to look down. Noelle was quietly groaning and saying that it was scary. She stayed absolutely put, but actually said at one point “yay, this is fun!” I was so scared that she would freak out and get up to hang on to me! There was nothing keeping her legs or her whole body for that matter, from doing that. I was barely able to keep from freaking out myself! I’m so proud of her for handling it like a champ!

We were so glad that shortly after, the ride was done. I was so happy to be touching ground! We got our helmets and hopped onto our go-carts. Noelle was with me, Danae was with King. It was soooooo much fun! It was just us on the trail down, and the lights were really nice. That was enough to get us to abandon our initial plan and get us excited for the next trip on the Skyride. As King was saying that we would leave the kids with my mom, who was waiting for us by the ticketing booth, Danae protested. She still wanted to come! Noelle, of course, had enough and opted to stay with Wowa. She’s only 2, after all.

Our 2nd trip on the Skyride wasn’t as scary anymore. Only Danae was with us, whom I was pretty confident about. We also knew what to expect and we knew we already survived it once. I had a revelation right then. The unknown makes us afraid, but faith makes us hold on and break through. (We were literally praying on the Skyride. Even Danae was!) As we see that we are actually able to endure the challenge, we can face the next one with more boldness. And in the end, stepping out in faith, or in our case grabbing on to faith because we didn’t even think twice when we got on the Skyride (no faith required or so we thought haha), is all worth it. We would definitely do it again!

The Luge experience was unbelievable. We couldn’t get over it haha. It was really scary, but really fun too! And I’m so proud of my girls! They displayed great courage! Fear was present, but they remained strong in the midst of it. My kids are amazing. 🙂

Family, Just My Thoughts, Spiritual Family

HOMEBOUND!

Here’s my take-home as we go home after ten days in the hospital….

COURAGE is not the absence of fear, but STRENGTH IN THE MIDST OF FEAR. I saw this in my husband despite his pain, his fear of feeling the pain, and his fear of what his condition will mean in the future. Although I saw him go through some emotions, I never saw him give in to his fear. I did not see him cower in despair and unbelief. He definitely felt fear and worry at times, but his faith was intact. He was and is secure of God’s love, goodness, power & sovereignty that a few disheartening words did not destroy him. I have courage because he has courage.

ENCOURAGEMENT is something you can’t do without when you’re in the hospital or facing any adverse situation. I did my best encouraging King, but he also drew courage from others. My friends would always ask me not just how King is, but how I am. The family needs just as much encouragement as the patient. Danae broke down at one point and I had to be the one to encourage her that daddy’s going to be okay. THE TONGUE IS INDEED POWERFUL, able to build up or tear down. We are grateful for family and friends who helped build us up by their hopeful messages and timely visits. We appreciate the conversations too, and all the laughter. Nothing like laughter to lift up one’s spirits!

We are also grateful for the few who spoke hopeless words to us because it just showed us that that is not what we want to be, when it’s our turn to be “there” for another. We choose to be encouraging and uplifting, knowing that one discouraging word can bring such gloom to a bright, sunny day (exactly how I felt).

PRAYER is a strong weapon. When that person said those discouraging words to us, it wasn’t anything new. We heard it already, but he just said it in a way that it seemed hopeless. I literally found myself at a loss for words when King and I were alone that night, an hour or two after. I looked at King and I knew that we both felt the same way –DISCOURAGED. We didn’t know how else to deal with it but to PRAY. We fought the discouragement and found courage once again when we prayed. The prayers of our family and friends give us much courage too, to press on and not give up.

SUPPORT from our families and friends was unbelievable. From helping us with the kids and bringing us clothes, to bringing us food and other needs, messaging or calling us, visiting us, praying for us, running errands for us. There was no shortage of KINDNESS  among our families and friends. It makes us all the more appreciative of who we have in our lives.

GRACE is what gets us through each day. THE INCREDIBLE GRACE OF GOD. God gives us the extraordinary ability to be grateful for little things. God gives King the extraordinary ability to push through his fears. God gave me the extraordinary ability & strength to take care of one who, in the first 6 days, could not do anything without my help and of two little ones at the same time. God gives us the extraordinary peace in our hearts, assuring us that everything is going to be okay. God gives me the EXTRAORDINARY LOVE to do everything I never thought I could do for my husband. I now know somehow what my mom went through, taking care of my dad as he received chemotherapy in the hospital. I now somehow know what IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH truly means.

We don’t know yet exactly why God allowed this to happen, but we do know that in times like these, how we respond is always a choice. By God’s grace, we are able to CHOOSE TO BE GRATEFUL. 🙂

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Cor 12:9

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7