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Archive for the ‘family life’ Category


As all things go, there is an end to  everything –  days, months and years included. And yes, 2016 is about to end and we think of those  things we did this year,  old and new friends  we met, family togetherness,  places we dreamed of  visiting,  lessons learned,  hours wasted on senseless thoughts (sometimes) and all the other things that make life and living worthwhile.

It’s been a quiet year for us except those times we went out as a family to  celebrate  birthdays and those times we had visitors at home to celebrate with us too.  It is always nice to get in touch with friends, sharing  meals together and being happy just exchanging news and ideas.  It is always nice to be with the whole family celebrating togetherness no matter how simple it is. We do find meaning in the ordinary things in our lives,  one has to look back, discern, and admire what is before us.  We find meaning in our brokenness, those times when we felt so down  and  everyone cared, we are just grateful for that.

Do you make new year’s resolution? I’ve never been good at keeping one.   They always get broken one way or another. So I dream, make some of it into reality and just enjoy what is in store.  The days are not always happy, some are like memories blurred at the edges, some are like a closed book so pleasant to discover, some are lovely thoughts waiting to be shared.

Blogging has become one major step to sharing with online friends. It is such pure heaven to meet fellow bloggers who share their lives, their hobbies, their families and their precious photos and memories. Blogging has become a daily exercise that I look forward to,  reshaping my views with the world outside. Blogging has become a pleasant tool  for friendship.  I’ve finally reached more than 2,000 followers including my 90 followers linked at Twitter.  Isn’t it nice that every day, the blog stats increase a little more than before? It’s close to 445,000 views now. I made a total of 157 blog posts this year, add maybe two or three more before the year ends.  The wonder of blogging. May I just thank you all for sharing with me through my blogs and yours? Thank you, thank you so much.

May  the next year be a pleasant, happy and fruitful one for all of us.  Happy 2017 guys.

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Hello everyone!

How was your Christmas celebration? I hope you all enjoyed it. We  have the family including my Mom to celebrate Christmas with.  It was certainly a joy  to see Nate again. We celebrated Noche Buena  at exactly 12 am  after attending mass earlier at our village chapel. It was a quiet celebration, we only opened gifts on Christmas day with  my daughter’s family.

They  came here yesterday to celebrate Christmas with us and  I cooked the Christmas dinner.  Left-over food is still good to go for maybe two days more.  It is always nice to see food nicely spread on the table. Right after dinner, Nate entertained us  singing while playing with his guitar toy.  I wonder how he got those words with a song he definitely invented. Most I could hear were the repetitive words, You Are My Best Friend.   He could really sing in style while at the same time making some moves that we all laughed about.  Was that an exercise Nate or a dance?

Nate playing with his robot toys at the garage.

Nate playing with his robot toys at the garage.

Nate's loot for Christmas...mostly toys!

Nate’s loot for Christmas…mostly toys!

Nissa and  I. Taken this morning when they were about to leave for home.

Nissa and I. Taken this morning when they were about to leave for home.

 

nate-christmas-16

Nate took this shot using a camera stick.

Those lovely moments sharing with the  family – priceless. Hoping 2017 would be a great year for us.

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Ah, the joys and perks of being a senior citizen.

I turned sixty more than a month ago, finally having that much-awaited SC card.  There are so many perks attached to being a senior in our country. You have the cinemas for free at certain days of the week or having discounts on other days. I am not much of a cinema fan though so I have not availed yet of free movies and such. Maybe, when I am not that busy anymore and could find time to see a movie, I will.  What I did manage to make use of that card  in a big restaurant was when Nissa, Josef and I dined at Vikings Marikina  on my birthday. And it’s not because I am a senior but they give free lunch or dinner to birthday celebrators for the month.  I enjoy the perks of a 20% discount though  at Jollibee and McDonald’s.  Almost every Sunday we attend mass early and have our breakfast at Jollibee. I love their longganisa with poached egg and a cup of hot chocolate or coffee. They also give a  free copy of Philippine Star (one of our national dailies).  That at least makes me enjoy dining out at fast food restaurants. Jollibee is a home-grown food chain  which has also become famous in other countries. Some grocery items also have discounts depending on what you will buy and if it is included in their list.  Hotels and travels have 20% discounts too.

It’s taking a long time for my Social Security pension to be credited to my account. SSS said it usually takes two months to process such.  I wonder what’s taking them that long. Hopefully, by January I’ll be able to enjoy it.

Talk about the joys of blogging. Imagine a grandma blogging still and enjoying reading other blog posts. Sometimes, I just could not keep up with those wonderful posts I see here on WordPress. And I noticed too that most bloggers I follow are in their senior years like me.  Well, base on experience,  they have more things to share  and more wonderful happenings in their lives. We talk about our kids, how successful they have become. We talk about our grandkids,  how we enjoy their company and their presence in our lives. We talk about several things like photography, gardening, trying new recipes, visiting places and our daily struggles in life. We learn, oh how we learn from other bloggers.

I follow a certain blogger here Ana Linden. She’s giving away free copies of her e-books  until December 31st I think. I just downloaded them  They have 5 stars at Goodreads.

Happy Sunday to all.

 

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There comes a point in one’s life when it all goes down to reminiscing, remembering the past and some golden dreams.

Those times when your kids were just babies and you were learning how to change diapers and make “hele-hele”  while singing out of tune and discovering to your delight that you could compose  a particular tune right there, waiting for them to close their eyes and sleep.

Those times when you went up the stage every end of the school year to accompany your kids to receive recognition awards and medals.  You were so proud that they were so responsible in their studies.

That one particular afternoon when one of your daughter’s professors called you up over the phone just to say that deliberation was over and that your daughter will be graduating Magna Cum Laude.   You cried and jumped in joyful thanksgiving that she made it to that much coveted Latin honors.

The first time they shared their paychecks with you and said “let’s go out and celebrate Ma”.  Music to your ears.  And the following days when they would just say,  “let us do the grocery shopping Ma, just make a list of the things you need”.  Those days when you would watch movies together or just stay at  home doing a marathon of Prison Break until 3am. Those times playing couch potato with your daughter while waiting for her  final interview for  a new job, watching Korean movies on DVD.  Can’t forget the laughter and the crying sessions we had together.

The day that your daughter got married and you were happy and at the same time sad that she’ll be residing in another place and you won’t get to see her every day. Her excited voice  saying “are you ready to be a grandma?” a few months later and you were so excited you can’t wait. You were just as excited seeing a sonogram a few months after.

The joys of finally seeing your grandson and discovering that you like the sound of being a Nonna. The days in between, the happy days of discovery while your grandson  is growing up to be a smart, intelligent and a loving young boy.  The phone calls when you can’t see each other, the hi and hello, the how are you, the I miss you, the shouts of joy saying “I love you Nonna” and you shouting back saying “I love you too baby”.  The excitement in your daughter’s voice while sharing a copy of your grandson’s report card in Nursery school. He is doing pretty well with very good and excellent grades.

The simple joys of family life sharing meals together, eating out together, sharing stories,  fun moments playing with the grandson. They are priceless moments indeed.

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Yeay, happy December friends.  December morning breeze. It’s cold outside.

Did you notice? WordPress has again activated the falling icicles in our posts.  It’s lovely, isn’t it?

I’ve been looking forward to December. I guess it’s actually the best month of the year,  a joyful season to celebrate and to bring joy to others too.  Trite as it may sound and no matter how commercialized the celebration of Christmas has become, it is still the best  season to share, to bond with families and friends  and to remember the sacrifice Jesus has made for mankind.  It’s the season of faith, the season of joy and the season of togetherness.

I remember some old Christmas past. Back in the province when we were younger, Christmas was celebrated solemnly, attending the midnight mass and having Noche Buena later. Although it was way, way different from how we celebrate it today, it was the best. Mom would prepare a simple Noche Buena meal  of pancit bihon, suman and hot chocolate. Dad would bring home lots of apples and quezo de bola and a big box of old clothes donated by the high school students of the university (UST) where he used to work and mom would distribute them to our neighbors. My uncle would cook binungey, a delicacy native to Pangasinan. It’s made of  malagkit (sticky rice) and coconut cream cooked in bamboo and is lined up over fire and charcoal.  I think that’s the best there is in cooking rice cakes. You just have to cut the bamboo in half to get the cooked malagkit inside.

A simple fare of binungey.

A simple fare of binungey.

Back then, we didn’t have exchange gifts at home  but Mom and dad would buy us simple toys to play with.  The grade school days were the same when Christmas comes near. We would find a robust tree outside and decorate it with hand-made paper strings, cut colored paper made into small parols and stars, candies  and occasional plastic decor brought by our teacher. Exchange gifts are of simple things like hand towels, bath soap, pencils  or box of candies. We were happy receiving gifts that way.

Nowadays, celebration of Christmas has become a  little  extravagant. Instead of simple gifts, we give gadgets, expensive toys, and the like. Gone are those days when a box of candies would suffice. Christmas wouldn’t be one without ham, pasta, meat recipes, sweets,cakes and what have you.

I hope we would always remember why we celebrate Christmas. I hope we would always remember the little child born on Christmas day.

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It is a gray morning here. Weather disturbance  Marce has intensified into a tropical storm. Although there is no typhoon signal here in Metro Manila, the sun hasn’t come out today.

I miss the sun and I miss the beach too. It has been so long since I’ve visited one.  Nissa’s family spent last week at the beach.  Nate told me that he had a wonderful time swimming even at night.  It must be lovely to stay outdoors on a sunny day. It must be lovely to dig your toes in the sand and  smell the salt air. It must be lovely to just idle around and think of  lovely thoughts about life.

A picture of Nate playing with his daddy.

A picture of Nate playing with his daddy.

Moments of bliss. Moments of being thankful. Moments of just being happy.  It takes  a moment to experience simple joys.   Barefoot, while the sun touches your face and you hear the sound of the gentle waves.  The sea beckons  in all its glory.

 

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It’s like some other Sundays, a bit uneventful.  We  attended mass early,  spent sometime at the grocery store before going home for breakfast.

Oh, this is Santa’s official countdown. Right now, there are 42 days  until Christmas.   This morning we have finally put up some Christmas decorations.  I am having second thoughts on putting up a tree because it takes too long to decorate and we need to buy new Christmas lights for it. Unlike in areas where most of you live, we only have the artificial trees here in our country. Every year there are changes in the shape of trees that you can buy in department stores, even the color is not solely green now.  Our tree is seven feet tall so it’s quite big for us to decorate. I am thinking of buying a smaller one where Nate could place his gifts come Christmas Eve.

I am just waiting for the opening of the SM City East Ortigas on  December 2. It  is very near our place, a ten-minute tricycle ride. It is SM Supermalls’ 60th mall in the country.  Count on the traffic in the area when it opens.  It would be an advantage though for us since we won’t have to go to other SM malls to shop, to dine  or to watch movies. So glad to know they’ll have a branch of J.CO donuts there. J.CO Donuts & Coffee is a cafe restaurant chain in Indonesia specializing in donuts, coffee and frozen yogurt. I swear, their donuts are even better than Krispy Kreme. I do hope there would also be a National Book Store there or a Booksale. I am looking forward to it.

Been reading a lot lately. I am on my 110th book this year. Found some nice volumes that would tide me over probably until next year that is, if I won’t join the Goodreads challenge.  How about you, what are you reading at the moment?

Have a blessed week ahead everyone!

 

 

 

 

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