Family, Marriage

Golden!

My in-laws recently celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. First of all, 50 years together? Wow! What an amazing milestone!

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Growing up, I attended the golden wedding anniversary celebrations of my grandparents on both sides. I think I may even have played the piano at one of them. I love that my children will also remember celebrating their grandparents’ anniversary with family and a few friends. They will remember that they got to witness their Dad officiate his parents’ renewal of vows. They will remember the love and appreciation they the grandkids and others expressed for their grandparents. They will remember how their aunts and uncles honored their mom and dad with their messages. They will remember how loved we all made their Wowo Jun and Wowa Remy feel that night. They will remember their grandparents’ legacy of love, a strong marriage, strong family ties, and a committed relationship with God.

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10 grandkids! They sang I WILL as Wowo and Wowa had their anniversary dance. 3rd eldest granddaughter Yelly created and edited a video for them too. 🙂 

 

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With their 5th child and 3rd son King — pastor, officiant, DJ extraordinaire!

 

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My sister-in-law in the US, Leris, with her husband Diego, sent an audio of her message to honor their parents. Each of their children honored them with much love, touching words, and some tears. ❤ 

 

King and his siblings expressed some time last year that they wanted to do something nice for their parents this year. They kind of wanted a repeat of what King organized for their parents 3 years ago, which I was supportive of but absent for, due to a very difficult first trimester of pregnancy. Somebody also suggested a renewal of vows ceremony. To make the long story short, the idea was not at all forgotten, but we were all lacking in the planning department haha. Thank God King and I had some alone time one morning, on our way to a wake, and we had the opportunity to finally talk about the anniversary. It was literally a week away! Things moved pretty quickly from there. King suggested Neil’s Kitchen, we had lunch there and inquired right away. Our first choice, January 21 was booked, so we settled for the next best thing, January 22, a Sunday. We ran it by the siblings, two of whom were in California at that time, and they gave us the go signal. I basically became the very willing coordinator of the party. I guess the hosting skills naturally kicked in haha. Guest list, food, attire, motif were quickly decided. My sister-in-law residing in the US sent teddy bears and candies for our giveaways, through their eldest brother Ronald, who came home the Friday before the event. Thank God for internet. Communication and coordination would have been impossible without it. Good thing I’m married to the officiant too, haha.

 

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Function room of Neil’s Kitchen. By no means was it a grand celebration in terms of scale and cost, but it was a joyous, intimate gathering of family and a few friends, with lots of love, laughter, and encouraging words, good food and cool music.

 

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Prayers for Mommy and Daddy ❤

 

It’s funny because King kept telling me that he wanted a simple party. He didn’t want me to add anything to what was part of the package, basically because he didn’t want me to work and get stressed. Sweet, but no. I needed to personalize it, of course! And what I do is always minimal and always simple anyway, never over the top. But he does know how I lose sleep working on the little details, hehehe. But I insisted. My other sister-in-law also said she was making cut-outs of their parents’ initials. She and her husband are excellent in making decor and props like that.

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I cut out 50s using gold crepe paper and stuck them on the little chalk boards I had at home. I covered my votives with the same paper and tied jute string around them. I put ribbons on the base of little easels. And I bought boxes from a bakers’ supply store and cut the gold covers for the Bible verse print-outs.

 

 

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My other sister-in-law Lanie made the J and R! 🙂

 

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I placed couple shots of daddy and mommy through the years in each table, along with the teddy bear and candy giveaways.

 

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I propped the Bible verses up on the little easels. I put the candy giveaways in the votives. I asked some early bird family members to help cut out hearts from the gold box covers, write thank yous, and tie them around the teddy bears’ necks with jute string. We added some baby’s breath flowers as well. 

 

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The cake! Not the usual, formal anniversary cake, but delicious nonetheless. Can’t go wrong with Mango Bravo. 🙂 

 

To me, it became so much more meaningful when I realized this was something I would not be able to do for my own parents because my dad is no longer with us. My mom and dad can’t celebrate their golden anniversary anymore, though I am certain that they would be if he were alive today. My kids didn’t have the chance to see firsthand my parents’ marriage, how they love and take care of each other. I don’t have the privilege to do something for their 50th. This was my only other opportunity, and I’m so grateful.

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The children, from left to right. Ronald, the eldest. Rammil with his wife Lei on his right. Lanie and her husband Larry on her right. Jay, the youngest and tallest, with wife Weng (not in picture). King with me. Leris and husband Diego (also not in picture).

 

I’m grateful that my in-laws are alive AND are still together after 50 years! I’m grateful that we — especially me, my family, and all of King’s siblings and their families — did not miss or waste this opportunity to thank, honor, and rejoice with them. We all worked together to make the celebration possible. I’m grateful for everyone who tried to come and for those who actually came! Some came from as far as Bulacan. We made Daddy Jun and Mommy Remy very happy! So happy that Mommy Remy was overcome with emotion that she could not say what she wanted to say. She told me yesterday that there are so many stories behind their 50 years, and that one day she will tell them to me. I will wait for that day. King has told me amazing stories about his experiences and about his family. I have no doubt that when my parents-in-law share their stories with me, I will be amazed at God’s faithfulness in their lives.

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FAMILY ❤ 

 

Happy golden wedding anniversary Daddy and Mommy! Thank you for setting the bar high, for inspiring us to have strong, God-honoring marriages, for teaching us to love and prioritize our families. Thank you also for showing us that when we get to your age, we husbands and wives can still serve the Lord together. God bless you both so much. We love you! ❤

 

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12

Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Romans 13:7

 
Just My Thoughts

My DIY stars and Jesus

I am super happy with my DIY stars! I used the thin wires I have at home and doubled it up so that I could get the sturdiness of a thicker wire. I realized later that I’m supposed to use a board and nails to perfectly shape the star, but I’d already winged it. I like the imperfection anyway.

I decided to make 2 more and hang them with red ribbon, on our curtain rod against the white curtain, along with medium silver balls as well. I love silver/gray and red. It’s a super simple but pretty way to decorate a portion of your home.


I like the significance of stars. It reminds me of the star on the first Christmas, guiding the wise men to Jesus. It reminds me that Jesus is the light of the world, and we are children of the light. It reminds me to seek the light, to follow the light, to remain in the light. It reminds me that Jesus is the reason not only for the season, but for everything. Me minus Jesus equals nothing. Me plus Jesus equals everything.

Thank You Jesus for allowing yourself to be born into the world, to be God, powerful and infinite, and yet be confined in the body of a helpless baby. To be God, glorious and great, and yet be a servant to your people. To be God, whole and lacking nothing, and yet be broken, sacrificing yourself to pay for our sins and be our bridge back to the Father. Your humility and love always blows me away. Thank you Lord, and happy birthday! ⭐️⭐️⭐️

FEATURED

DIY Advent Wreath

We start our Advent Wreath tradition this Sunday, November 27th! We usually sing carols, read Scripture and have a discussion, or read significant Christmas stories every Sunday for four Sundays before Christmas and on Christmas day. We light up one candle before we begin and the kids blow it when we finish. We light up one candle on the first Sunday, two candles the next Sunday, three candles on the next, four candles on the fourth Sunday and finally all five including the center or Christ candle on Christmas day.

I enjoyed making my own advent wreath for Cherished Traditions. I thought I’d share with you a few ideas, using old and new stuff. I like to recycle even broken ornaments. There is always some use for them. Enjoy! 🙂

 

Materials: 4 small used jars (some are Gianna’s baby food jars), 1 taller used jar, 4 old pine cones from broken Christmas decor, one old thin garland, 6 old berry embellishment thingies, 4 new tea light candles, 1 new long metallic white candle, 1 old round dish

 

 

Assemble like so. I put little pebbles in the tall jar to hold up the tall candle. I keep a pack at home for when I need them. I wish I had white pebbles though.

 

 

Oh you can tie ribbons around the jars to make them pretty. I used jute rope for this.

 

 

I used 5 tall candles for this, and an old poinsettia from broken decor.

 

 

🙂 

 

 

Materials: Basically the same things except a white dish which I placed upside down, and 4 small wreaths I bought for 60Php each from a bookstore.

 

 

Again, I wish I had white pebbles. It would’ve looked so much nicer.

 

 

🙂 

 

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You can also use a bigger center candle if you want.

 

 

Materials: Basically the same things again, except for the new big center candle (less than 300 Php), 4 new fat but short red candles (200 Php total), and a new twig of berries I bought in Divisoria for 20Php.

 

 

Bend the twig into a circle, and arrange everything else like so. I added detached leaves from old decor.

 

 

🙂

 

 

I used tea light candles in the old jars for this one.

 

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Tall candles for this one, and the old poinsettia. The Christ candle is the one in the taller jar.

 

 

Materials: 4 old wine/champagne glasses (not really sure what they’re for, but I’ve seen these glasses in our home ever since I could remember), basically the same materials, a new small wreath (a little pricey at 399 Php), and a wooden tray that King got on sale months ago for less than 500 Php.

 

 

Assemble like so, using the red candles. Just slip the glasses under the wreath.

 

 

White tea light candles for this one.

 

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Materials: wreath, twig of berries, big white candle, old pine cones, red candles, and an old “patungan” for hot plates. Haha message me if you know what this is called. Seriously.

 

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Arrange like so.

 

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This is our advent wreath this year. I placed it on the piano, on the other side of which is our Belen or Nativity Scene. We don’t have a coffee table at the moment, but even if we did, it’s still better off up there because the little one would have no problem picking it apart haha. But that’s not to say she doesn’t get up on the piano. She does, but she plays with Mary, Joseph, Jesus and the gang. 🙂

 

Hope this inspires you to start your Christmas traditions with your family this year! Keep it simple, doable, and meaningful. Remember that Christmas is about Jesus. This is a wonderful way to teach our kids, family members, even friends about Him. Merry Christmas everyone!!!

 

FEATURED

My Christmas Table Settings

We hosted a few dinner parties this Christmas and I just wanted to share my very simple, very minimal and very inexpensive table settings. I don’t like to waste and I don’t like to spend much, so I usually work with what I have to limit my purchases. Some people notice and appreciate what I do, while others don’t really care or acknowledge. Either way, I just want to make the table look decent for any get-together. 🙂

Christmas table setting
This was for our couples’ group Christmas party. I did not buy anything new to set it up. Our plates are 8 years old — wedding gifts. 🙂
Christmas table setting
I wanted to personalize it, so I made letters out of green pipe cleaners (fuzzy wires). I only have 4 red table napkins, so I worked with them. The ribbon-wrapped votives are from last year’s (2011) “design.” 🙂
Christmas table setting
The adults’ table. Again, nothing new here, except the red table napkins which I bought a month before. I recycled the Christmas balls (which have been with me for at least 4 years) and the votives. 🙂
Christmas table setting
The kids’ table. I bought the Chinese gift boxes a week before our annual Happy Birthday Jesus party, not knowing what I was going to use it for. I was happy with how nice it turned out as a candle holder. I like the effect very much. I used my reindeer plates again, which have been with me for four years, and it’s great that the local supermarket has many choices now on plastic spoons and forks. I had the table cloth made 3 or 4 years ago. 🙂
Christmas table setting
This was for my youth/singles group’s annual Christmas tradition, second year. I brought my table runner from home and reused the Chinese gift boxes, filled them with balls and other old, broken Christmas elements. 🙂
Christmas table setting
The plates and chopsticks are new, but very affordable. 🙂
Christmas table setting
This whole concept began with chopsticks, which I bought on the first half of 2012, also not knowing what I was going to do with them exactly. I bought the plates to give as gifts (yes, they washed them after eating noodles and dumplings, so they could bring them home). I also made the Christmas cards attached to the chopsticks. 🙂
Christmas table setting
This was for our victory groups Christmas party. Thankful for colored paper plates, which I opted for as I anticipated more guests than usual, and colored spoons and forks, available at the local supermarket.
Christmas table setting
I recycled the Chinese gift boxes and votives again. 🙂
Christmas table setting
This was a last-minute prep for dinner with relatives from the U.S. I didn’t cook, so the least I could do was to make the table look half-decent haha. 🙂
Christmas table setting
I used old ribbon and old Christmas balls to make decorative napkin holders. 🙂
Christmas table setting
Christmas eve! Only the place mats and flowers are new. Even the candles are old, handed down to me 3 years ago. Still good and still unlit to this day haha. 🙂
Christmas table setting
New Year’s Eve! Our motif for the Luceros’ annual New Year’s eve get-together was red and white, so I thought I’d do a red and white table as well. 🙂
Christmas table setting
Only thing new are the red floating candles. Even the flowers are from Christmas eve haha. 🙂
Christmas table setting
I forgot to light up the floating candles in all the excitement, so I can still use them in the future, yay! 🙂
Family, My Kids, THE BRAINY BUNCH

Danae’s 7th Birthday Party

Very early on, Danae already gave me her ideas for her 7th birthday party. I would always tell her that we shouldn’t talk about it yet because she always changes her mind. True enough, by around August when we thought we were already set on an idea, she changed her mind again! When she decided to have a pajama party, I immediately closed the deal. I thought a small party at home with a few girlfriends would be perfect!

The wheels started turning shortly after that. Danae just wanted her favorite color purple (which is now again somewhat changing, surprise surprise) to be all over. So I decided on purple, pink and black. And by end of September, I slowly (and I mean slowly) started working on the details. The last 3 days before October 20 were the most hectic. It was crunch time! But I was happy with the results. It just goes to show we don’t have to spend so much to make our kids’ birthdays beautiful and memorable. Danae enjoyed her 7th birthday party, for sure. 🙂

This is how I set our table. I used purple paper plates, pink napkins, and black spoons & forks.
I made flowers from pipe cleaners (or fuzzy wires) for the table.
The cupcakes, which I ordered from Pink Teacup Shoppe, were the centerpiece. They gave Danae the chocolate covered marshmallow lollipops as a gift, so I put them in old wine glasses. I wrapped the girls’ mega blocks with paper so each cupcake had a stand. I made Danae’s name out of pipe cleaners. 7 cupcakes. 7 years.
I placed each picture on black cartolina, and glued pink, lavender & violet circles that I made from a regular puncher to design the “frame.” 7 pictures beginning from when she was born to her 6th year. 7 pictures. 7 years.
I designed our old tent with a pajama birthday banner, a curtain, balloons, cloth-covered pillows, flowers & butterflies.
This was in the center of the tent. Danae said it looked like a mobile for a baby. I made hanging flowers using styro balls, tape and Japanese paper. I inserted some beads into a pipe cleaner and shaped each into a butterfly. 7 hanging things for 7 years.
Kids in the tent, curtain parted and kept secure on the sides by flowers I made from pipe cleaners.
I tied the fabric at the back (no sewing necessary) and tied an old ribbon in the center.
For the pillows in the tent, I used our existing pillows at home. I just used old fabric (some given by my mom-in-law) to cover most of them.
I put beads on the edge of a pipe cleaner, inserted it under the ribbon, twisted it to make the antennae. Now it’s a butterfly pillow.
I hung some tulle on each side of the tent, attached some butterflies that I made with pipe cleaners, and some flowers I made with Japanese paper and wire.
I cut out pajamas from colored board, designed them with polka dots, and taped letter cut-outs on them. Each piece of “clothing” is secured onto the ribbon by actual clothes pins. Beneath the banner are the strings and cut cloth cutified with some beads, that I tied onto the ribbon to make a curtain.
I ordered pillow cases from my friend Donna to give as giveaways. She added the necklaces, plus provided for the girls’ crafts for the day! I just packaged, personalized and placed them on the piano.
I put wet soil in a plastic container, stuck the balloons in them, wrapped the container in Japanese paper and tied it with a ribbon. Then I stuck my letter thingies onto the balloons.
Nail corner, where the girls got their nails prettified!
The hair station, where the girls got their curls!
I stuck some paper on the wall, stuck Danae’s old name thingie to cover the uneven part, hung funky glasses on the braided cloth that we use in the homeschool room for hanging art work, and called it their photo wall. The balloon sign says “strike a pose.” 🙂
Family, FEATURED, Parenting, THE BRAINY BUNCH

OUR VERY OWN HOMESCHOOL ROOM!

We converted my brother’s old room into our very own homeschool room! We used purple (Danae’s favorite color), pink (Noelle’s favorite), and green for the walls, ceiling, drawers, and cabinets. We also already had a white and pink desk to begin with, so we needed colors that would go well with that. King and our handyman did the painting.

I originally planned to hang strips of fabric on the curtain rod to make a striped curtain, but since I bought the wrong kind, I braided them instead and used them for Danae & Noelle’s corner, where they can hang their art work. (Yes, we included Noelle even though she’s not being homeschooled yet.) I put old rubber mats on the floor so they have a place to read. Then I opted for a solid bright pink curtain.

I used pipe cleaners to shape my daughters’ names and colored paper as background, and put them in an old picture frame. I tied nylon string at the back so I could hang it on a nail that was already there. I just added stickers to cutify it even more.

These two movable drawer sets have been with us for more than 15 years, and they’ve been idle for more than 10 years. I was inspired to have them painted and used as book shelves, somewhat patterned after a long shelf I saw online, except that one was hanging on the wall. These serve as tables as well, and the drawers themselves could be used as storage. Everything on top, by the way, is not new. We’ve had them for years, and were mostly given. The globe is probably 20 years old.

I was able to put my old letter creations to good use here. Those digital-looking ones date as far back as year 2000. Others I’ve used for parties. The rest are new ones made from old paper. I did not buy anything for this, except those dragon fly stickers on either side. Danae, Noelle & my friend Jo helped me put them up. Danae also commented that the letters are for Noelle since she already knows her alphabet.

It’s been fun creating a space for our daughters that is conducive for learning, for reading, for being creative, and for having fun. Can’t wait to build more wonderful memories with King and my children in here. This is just the beginning! 🙂