Family, THE BRAINY BUNCH

Summer is over!

Summer is officially over because we started homeschooling yesterday! Where did the two months all go? As usual, it was hectic with all sorts of activities for the kids and for us. With April and May alone, I created about 29 albums in my Facebook account!

The highlights for me were the following:

noelletinychef
making Japanese fried rice!

Last May 22-24, it was Noelle’s first time at Feed 5000‘s Tiny Chefs class. She is finally old enough to join. She had a blast! She likes to pretend to cook, most especially with my things that are totally unrelated to cooking, i.e. boxes, jewellery, cards among other things. So it was great to see her participate in her 3-day cooking class. She was typically quiet at first, but warmed up already by end of day 1. Because she was the only tiny chef among older kids, I’m very proud of Danae for not hovering over her sister the entire time and letting Noelle do her own thing. I am also very pleased that although I seldom cook, I know I can count on them to help me.

danaeonstage
photo credit: Jo Tomas

On May 16-18, we had our Vacation Bible Camp in church. It was Danae’s first time to volunteer as a dancer and it has paved a way for her to volunteer in Kids Church as well. She’s enjoying it and is always willing to help. We really appreciate how the teachers are so accommodating. They told me one Sunday that they let Danae lead the dance and they, the teachers, just followed her! My hope is Danae will get a sense of fulfilment in giving of her time, energy and talent as she serves God by serving His people. My hope is that she will understand that it’s not about what she does, but what God does though her, that it’s not about her and her ability, but about God’s grace and love for her. It was also a joy for me to volunteer alongside my daughter. Looking forward to Noelle joining us in the years to come.

In April, Danae joined McDonald’s kiddie crew again but this time with their best friends Ana and Andrea. I am so grateful that my girls have great friends whom we know will influence them to love and obey God too; friends whose parents we know and actually look up to. It helps that they are our senior pastor and leaders in church haha. Noelle enjoyed getting McDonald’s goodies daily that whole week and is excited to join them next year!

kiddiecrewdanae
drive thru!

Summer 2013 has been another fruitful summer for our girls, for us all actually. My life has never been busier, but it’s worth it. 🙂

Family, FEATURED

Great Tip to De-Stress Your Life!

Before our 10-day stay in hospital, it has been 4 months of not having a permanent helper at home and about 2 months of having a weekly cleaning lady and weekly laundry woman. I would have to cook our meals, which I have said here that it’s not something I am used to, OR we would have to order out, which is totally unhealthy and expensive. I have learned to cope with our situation, doing minor cleaning myself 6 days a week, and drying & folding clothes after laundry day. I realized that it was the cooking that would stress me out the most, and so we had to come up with a plan for when we’d get back home. I could already foresee what I would be up against because unlike in the hospital where there are nurses 24/7, ready regular meals including snacks delivered to the room, and the housekeeping staff to clean the room & bathroom, I would have almost no help at home, not even from King because he’s still recovering — taking care of the kids, bathing them, taking them to the bathroom, bringing Danae to and from school, washing dishes, vacuuming, even the simple act of picking up something on the floor or grabbing King’s shirt in his cabinet…..you get the picture. And so I thought, to lessen my work (and stress), I need someone to cook many meals for us, so that I could just reheat them. I wanted clean, healthy, home cooked meals. My friend Chef Len Santos-Ding came to mind.

I immediately messaged her if she would be willing to cook for us in bulk — food that we could put in the freezer, then reheat and add fresh vegetables as needed. Being my friend and a woman, she completely understood me. She was on board immediately, telling me that she has been wanting to provide exactly this kind of service for women like me. We came up with a possible menu that suited our liking, but I told her that it’s up to her since we knew that we would love whatever she cooked for us. It’s been six days since we got our food and we have been enjoying our meals! I’m not pressured to cook and I can have our meals ready within 30 minutes, as opposed to an hour or two, including prep time (yes, I am slow). Everything has been delicious and we still have loads in the freezer! We’ve consumed the baked macaroni & cheese, beef stew with mushrooms, meatballs with mushroom sauce, 2/3 of the beef nilaga, half the chicken teriyaki, half the chicken pineapple stew, half the one loaf of embotido. We still have 2 kinds of spaghetti sauces, adobo, sinigang, chicken estofado, another embotido loaf, and more meatballs. I didn’t have to do anything but pay as I picked up all the food. She even gave me tips for left-overs. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner. Seriously, this is one of the best tips I could give you, if you want to de-stress your life. I can’t wait for our next batch of food. I see delicious, home made arrozcaldo, tocino, longganiza, lasagna and kaldereta in our future! 🙂