Sunday, April 21, 2013

Church Party for the Graduates

I was one of those tasked to take care of this years tribute to the graduates. We thought we'd turn it more into a party instead of the usual program. We've been doing it a particular way for many years now and I agreed with my sister (another assigned organizer) that it was time for a change. Not that we really deviated much, and I'm not sure other people preferred our way of doing things, but I think we were able to do away with some of the elements that caused some cringing and wincing in the past, lol (e.g. impromptu speeches).

Here are pictures:

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Kids' Pool Fun

Here are a gazillion pictures of my kids from our church's Holy Week fellowship. The pictures are here, but the stories are over at Our Lemonade Days. Please make sure you drop by, like, comment, etc. I would really appreciate it. Toodles!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Tiger Ghosts and Electric Youth

Well, he does have a green sleeper, and we almost used it to make a leprechaun out of him, but just thinking what a fit he'd throw if he had to don the hat and the fake beard was enough for me to ditch the brilliant idea (although his sister was all for it). Instead of a leprechaun, he was a... well, everybody thought he was supposed to be a tiger. They could have been right, but I think it's just a Halloween sleeper; there's a ghost patch on it.

Marguerite is getting to be such a know-it-all, it's really mostly funny. Her dad is a frequent victim of her corrections, and I myself haven't been spared either. There are times when she's just so set in her ideas that she's funny in her obstinacy. Once I told her that she had to rinse off the shampoo well or her hair would be sticky, and she said, "I think you mean stinky." I explained that I had actually meant sticky, and she said, "Yes, but it will also be stinky." In the end, I couldn't argue with her. Another time I told her to make sure her hands are dry before switching off the bathroom light or she might get electrocuted. She nodded her head, but after a beat or two, she turned to me and asked, "Does electrocuted mean that I will become cuter?" Stifling laughter, I explained what "electrocuted" meant. She made noises implying that she understood, but a couple of days after that incident, I heard her using "electrocute" to mean "make cuter" during one of her eternal games of LPS Makeover/Hair Salon.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Painful Lymph Nodes, Mullet Babies, and New Website

I'm making some blogging changes around here. This, Spinning Lovely Days, is going to be my personal blog, so you'll probably find inane musings and random news about me and my family here, which is why I'm going to tell you about the painful lymph node behind my right ear. It was extra painful Saturday and Sunday (the pain becoming more intense as the day progressed), but considerably dulled Monday onwards. It's still there though. I've prayed for it to go away and I expect it to just disappear without me even noticing it. I did have the beginnings of a cold twice last week and it never fully developed both times; I'm thinking that's related to this lymph node episode (rhymed!).

If you've been following this blog for years, you probably know that we didn't give Marguerite her first haircut until she was 3.5 years old. Now, with a boy, lurking in the back of my mind is this notion that we'll be opting to grow his hair long, about shoulder length (just like Jesus'!!! - is what we'll point out to naysayers). The thing is we didn't factor in that he'll find those wayward wisps of hair irritating, but we wouldn't want to tie or clip them back lest people mistake him for a girl. We're also now considering the climate here which is muggy 97% of the year. Mark said that he could cut the long strands hanging over the baby's ear (we still refer to Cameron as THE baby even if he's 1.5 and about to start slow potty training - my dear husband found out what that meant and quickly announced that he's going to stay completely out of it. So much for support!) unwittingly offering to give the baby a mullet. Shudder!

Anyway, here are some recent pictures, a few of them with good friends. The other little boy is Asher who's about a week younger than Cameron. The boys were so adorable playing on the grass. Precious moments! I, on the other hand, look fat in that black and white blouse. While clearly overweight, I am nowhere as heavy as I seem in it - just wanted to say.

Btw, I've started a new website: Our Lemonade Days. It still needs lots of work, but I'd like it if you could visit it and check out what's already there.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Return to the Manila American Cemetery

Like I said in the previous post, Marguerite is taking classes at the Fort, so our Saturdays are spent exploring the area. Last Saturday, we went back to the American cemetery in the hopes of spotting squirrels and pretty birds. Also, we just really like the place The other visitors were mostly foreign tourists. There was even a group of Japanese, which made me wonder, of course, what their perspective is, visiting such a place (the American cemetery is burial ground to many - try 17,000+ - American soldiers who fought and died in the Pacific during WWII; it also holds a memorial to the more than 35,000 missing from that period). There was a group of Spanish tourists near us when we were checking out the hemicycles. Looking at them and not understanding the language, you'd think that the lady who was rambling on and gesturing at the mosaic maps was explaining the actions taken by the US Armed Forces in the region. Only, of course, I could understand them and knew for a fact that she was just mapping out their road trip itinerary. That Saturday, a group of Eagle(?) Scouts had a little flag lowering ceremony. I'm not sure if the young ones (teenagers, they seemed to me) live here or if they're all just visiting. In any case, we got to stay past five o'clock (closing time) as the admin let the visitors witness that.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Art and Valentine

So how did your Valentine's Day go? We don't usually pay the day any attention in our family, but this year most of us felt like doing something relevant to the date. My mom gave Marguerite and Cameron heart-shaped cookie pops while Mark had Cameron give all the ladies in the house (myself, Marguerite, my mom/Nannie and my sister/Aunt Chip) a red rose each (didn't take a picture, tsk). He gave me a big box of chocolate mousse cake as well. Marguerite and I worked on a couple of Valentine's Day-related projects. We tried making gluten-free cake/brownie in a mug (mix was part-cocoa powder, part-powdered sugar; add one egg then nuke), which was a hit with Marguerite (I'm not sure that she really liked it or she was just proud of what she'd made herself), but was nothing the rest of us cared for. We also made fortune cookies with Valentine messages inside instead of the usual fortune or maxim. They were not the prettiest, but they were easy and fun to make.

Marguerite started taking art classes at Kidzart at the Fort, so our Saturdays have been spent around that area. As for her other lessons, she's not going back to ballet until after summer, but we're looking into another form of dance (like tap or hula - something that she can study short term). We're also thinking of switching to karate from taekwondo, but we'll see. I'm not sure if she'll go back to the swimming clinic either. Anyway, it's one summer and she's only 6. We'll go with whatever's fun for her.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Postal System Fail and HK Part III

This is probably the last installment of the HK pictures -- I've shared pictures from the camera and from my phone (which is dead for some reason -- Do not rest in peace, phone! I want my files!) and now I'm sharing the ones from Mark's phone.

When I was a young girl, I joined an international correspondence club. I remember how exciting it was to get something in the mail. Now with the Internet, we're using snail mail less and less, so I thought as part of Marguerite's writing lessons (she reads very, very well for her age, but penmanship just doesn't seem to be as relevant these days - I find that sad...), she could exchange letters with other kids her age. I contacted two other homeschool moms I know and set up an informal penpal exchange with them. The thing is, the first letter Marguerite wrote to one of her penpals was returned to us (it had the correct address and everything). I thought maybe we should address the envelope to the mom, so we wrote a 2nd letter -- it's been almost a month and they still haven't gotten it. Meanwhile, the other girl Marguerite is supposed to write got her letter returned to her as well; it bore the correct address too. What gives, Philippine Postal System?

Friday, January 25, 2013

C's Pics, M's Video, Some News, and a Short Les Miz Comment

Basically, this post has lots of pictures of Cameron and a video of Marguerite siGNing "Silent Night" at the children's Christmas party at our church.
Some news though: Marguerite has lost both of her central incisors and looks really cute without her two front teef. Cameron is toddling around the house and is always in search of mischief to get into. He also doesn't take a second nap anymore, which means even less downtime for me. Also, if you're eating and he's not eating, there's something wrong with the picture. And you're not allowed to say "bye-bye" to him or he has a hissy fit.
I also finally got to see Les Miz the movie and... well, it was a little anti-climactic for me. It came here so late that I got to read reviews and hear other people's comment about it, so I didn't love it as much as I would have if I'd seen it without any of those things coloring my perspective... One thing though, I probably love the stage production mainly because of the music -- so since the singing wasn't musical-theater level for the most part, there was some disappointment.
Here are the video and pics. :)

Marguerite signing "Silent Night" (Side story: My mom was my Sunday School teacher when I was 12 and this was our class' Christmas number that year (longer though)... she wanted her class (Marguerite's) to perform it again this year, but it's understandably a much younger group this time and she never got around to relearning the signs to teach them to her class, but she was determined to do it again this year, so about a day before the program, Marguerite learned the signs and here's the product of that effort.:) )


Cameron walking around with Daddy, being Elmo's bouncer, and posing with a couple of the pretty chicas from our church (Cameron in suspenders pics c/o Ate Maureen and Ate Kaycee, thanks!)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year and HK Part II

Happy New Year! I don't really do resolutions, but if I did, one of them would be to blog more regularly this year. :) I have big plans up ahead, but since I'm not yet ready to share any of the details, I'll just share some more of our HK pics instead. These are the ones from my phone, so the quality's not the greatest (an understatement, clearly).


Monday, December 24, 2012

The Real Hong Kong Post (Probably a Part I)

And here are the Hong Kong pictures... We were there early this month. We were so excited. Mark loves Hong Kong. And when I'm not hating it, I really love to travel. So we thought we'd start the habit with the kids. We thought we wouldn't take those tour packages because the itinerary would be too tiring for the kids. Also, we have people who don't really function all that well before 1pm, so... So, package tour or not, travel with kids? EXHAUSTING.

We start at the HK International Airport - got the early flight because we were only there 4 days, so we thought we'd start the 1st day early and end the last day late. Brilliant reasoning for people who have high levels of energy -- not Mark and Ivy. Ivy can start insanely early, but is barely functional by 6pm. Mark is on zombie-mode until about noon and can go strong until about 4am. I tried adjusting to that schedule, but my conditioning made me feel less worthy as a human being... Conditioning, people.

So. whatever. We got to the hotel and spent the rest of the day resting. Mark can sleep anytime. He can take a 3-hr nap about 30 mins after sleeping for 16 hours straight. , I was tired from the early morning flight and then the train ride and then the walk from the MTR station to the hotel... I zonked out as soon as we checked in. Mark got food and napped as well. We all slept until about 9:30pm (so great plan, that - start early to optimize first day...) and felt refreshed so we thought we'd go for a stroll around the neighborhood. Had a late dinner and then went up to the roof deck bar (not for drinks - we totally wasted our coupons) for the view. Marguerite wasn't happy about being there. She's very afraid of heights, but I know she tries to conquer the fear every now and then.

The following day, we hit Disneyland. Marguerite only cared about meeting the characters, but she did like some of the rides. Of course, nobody's a fan of standing in long lines, even with the fast pass. Cameron obviously could take it or leave it (babies are so cool), but he did poop there, so maybe he also feels a little territorial. It was fun, magical for little kids... but we're probably not going back for another 5 years. They'll appreciate it more then. As usual, we were exhausted.

We went to this mall where the Apple store was, but there were insanely long lines and you had to place an order in advance and I think only HK residents were allowed to do so -- or whatever. Somebody else clearly cared more about that. We rode the ferry, ended up on Tsim Sha Tsui where all the high-end stores were. There were also lines of people waiting to go in. I guess they only allowed a certain number of shoppers at a time. Didn't care about that either. Had lunch. Ended up at Elements -- another place with lots of designer stores. Tried to take a cab to our hotel (exhausted yet again), but forget that, line was also long... Got back to the hotel; kids and I napped, totally beat, while Mark left us to go traipsing around the city, still completely pumped.

We finally did the Mongkok market. I could have done without that, but I suppose it was requisite. We had ourselves shuttled to the Kowloon station after and got ready to take the flight home. We have more pictures on our phones, but I'll have to wait another day to upload those. I'm exhausted.