Social Spark

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Parties And Celebrations

Just a few days ago, we joined the Christmas party of Filipino nurses in my wife's hospital.  It's a little bit awkward at first since these people already knew each other for years and we were the new ones in the group.  My wife wasn't alone though, there were 3 other new nurses along with us.  But as we got to know them, it wasn't that bad.  And besides, wouldn't it be much easier to get along with your fellow countrymen, right?

The event was held in an Brazilian restaurant located at Westheimer Rd. here in Houston.  It had a valet parking so I'm expecting that the food inside would really cost us... but then, it's not as if we're gonna eat there often.  Again, it'll be our first time to try their food.  They were more on grilled steaks and seafood, so it's pretty much safe... for me. 

The cool thing about Chama Gaúcha (the restaurant), was they have this card where you flip on the green side, and their waiters will come to you and offer various grilled meats.  And you can take anything you want.  Then, if you want them to stop offering you, just flip the card on the red side.  The only thing was, a lot of the steaks were medium rare and there's still blood when you cut the meat.  I'm more of a "well done" person when it comes to grilled meat... LOL.  So, more seafood here please.

Here's the card...
Here's a slice...
And this is what  I was talking about.  LOL!!!

Yesterday, we were also invited by a family my wife knew, to celebrate Christmas with them.  They were friends of her parents.  It's a bit far from us but I'm getting used to driving in the freeway already.  It's really a blessing that we're having this moment with them since we still hadn't celebrated the occasion together as a family.  More, they prepared a lot of Filipino foods that made us feel near to home.  But what's truly priceless was seeing our kids enjoying themselves, playing with the other kids of other invited families.  Great to feel not only the cold breeze of air but also the spirit of the season.  Merry Christmas.  Yahweh bless. :)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Eve Without You

We're used to spending Christmas eve with our families and relatives back in the Philippines... with the traditional Noche Buena and the opening of gifts as the clock strikes 12 midnight.  And this will be our very first Christmas away from them.  More, as much as we want to celebrate it together, sometimes there are things in life we can't avoid, like my wife being scheduled for work today, and she'll be staying there until tomorrow.

After dropping  her to work, me and my kids had a simple dinner and stayed up until passed 12 midnight.  It was really unusual for my family to have a silent Christmas... well there's first for everything, I guess.  December 24 used to be the busiest day of the year for us... with all the preparations for the grand eve... And now, how I missed those children who annoyingly kept on returning to our house with their familiar jingles but incomprehensible lyrics.   

But come to think of it, I should not feel this way... I'm still in luck that I get to spend Christmas with the kids. I know, spending Christmas day with strangers rather than your family is hard... And I know you're wishing that you're with us right now... thinking and missing us. But then you had to do all these sacrifices since you are called to do your role as a nurse... and that makes us really proud.

Well, tomorrow we'll be spending the whole day together and celebrate.  So time to hit the bed.  See you soon, sweetheart... Hope everything is well at work right now... And Merry Christmas... Hugs and kisses from the kids... Yahweh bless.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Our Justin's Day

It's the first time we celebrated our son's birthday here in Houston.  It may not be the same as what he used to have back in Davao, where we had his cousins and relatives with us to celebrate this special occasion... but still he had us, his family, and that's what mattered the most. 

It was just us, no friends and relatives, so we prepared food just enough for us.  Good thing we had Jollibee (the only one in Texas) and the newly opened Red Ribbon near our place, where we got his cake and pasta.  We also bought some turkey legs and crabs from a nearby market.  But it wasn't the food that excited him the most, so after blowing the candle on his cake, he immediately asked to open his presents... and he wasn't disappointed, we gave him something we knew he had been missing since we got here... a scooter.  We're very glad that he's happy.

How we wished he celebrated it with his cousins and friends back home... but our life is here now.  And for now, we just need to stick together as a family.  I know how he longs to have a kids party as we used to have... and we would love to make it happen for him... but we can't for the moment...

To our dearest Justin, we are so proud of you.  Since we got here, you've always been brave in going to school... didn't hear a single worry from you, always been positive.  Your thoughtfulness never fails to amaze us...  You always think of your siblings, not only yourself.  Like when buying stuffs, you always see that we would also buy one for them.  It costs us a little bit (that's the downfall), but we're just glad you are thinking of them.  You maybe a little naughty (makulit, malikot and may katigasan ang ulo) sometimes... but we know it's because of your age.  We maybe just only expecting you to act more responsible since you are already a kuya.  But it's okay son, just remind us that you're still 7. hehehe.

Happy Birthday, anak... We love you as always.  Yahweh bless. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Proud Parents

When we got here in US, we knew that school would be a big challenge for our kids. They entered school at almost the end of school year which barely gave them enough time to adjust. This was why when we transferred here in Houston, we didn't expect too much from them.  And yet they did well... 

My son was enrolled in a magnet school and passed the qualifying exam for his grade level.  When we got here, he still had a hard time in writing and reading words but he learned fast and now he's doing pretty well in school and more, having excellent marks almost all the time.  But what we admired most of him, is that he easily adapted himself in school, as if nothing has changed.  He easily got along well with his classmates and teachers... and had no problems in going to school, very independent indeed.

Our daughter also had very good marks in her card that she was recommended and eventually got transferred to their school's magnet program and also, became a candidate in joining an inter-school competition.  And although I'm the one who gets intimidated with her subjects (lessons I only encountered in high school and college... engineering, chemistry, advance math... they even have robotics), I always believe that she can handle these.  She never fails to amaze me when it comes to her studies... very reliable ate indeed.

We know that things will not be easy for us here in the US... even for our kids.  Everything is new and I can say, it's not our comfort zone.  That's why we are so proud that the kids are doing well with their studies and even excelling in some subjects.  We are so blessed to have them as our children... we will always thank the Lord for them... and cherish them, for as long as we live.  Yahweh bless.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

To Our Youngest Child

It's seems like yesterday when you had your first birthday... we really can't stop you from growing.  You don't even know how to blow a candle back then, but now it's no effort from you.  How time pass by so fast... I hope it slows down a little bit.  You are our last baby, so we won't have any if you grow up so quickly.  Oh well, reality bites.

But on the other hand... growing up has it's perks.  Now, we know that you are hungry and tell us when something hurts.  And we are more confident now when you are moving around the house... and some more years, and we can say bye bye to your bottle and diapers.  I guess watching you grow up wasn't that bad after all.

Daddy just can't make up his mind... I guess all I want is to keep you guys a little more longer.  So take your time growing up, me and mom will always be by your side in every step of the way... to guide you and cherish your every accomplishment for the rest of our lives...

We may have a simple celebration today, since we are far away from our relatives and friends back home... but our presence and love will make this day nonetheless a very special day for you.  We wish you all the best in life... and may the Lord bless you with the things you need most.  Happy birthday, Jacob, our bunso...

Friday, October 31, 2014

Trick Or Treat Houston

It's our first time to really go house to house for the Halloween trick or treat.  The kids have long been looking forward to this since the start of October.  So, even if we already felt the autumn cold wind... we pushed through with our plan.  First, we drove downtown and went to the Children's Museum (I thought it was a free event, oh well (LOL!!!)).  The kids enjoyed the place since there were a lot of activities and learning stuffs prepared just for them.  The kids still wanted to stay longer but we had to move on with our main plan... Trick or Treating...

Being new to Houston, we had a hard time finding a place for the event.  But as we were about to call it a night, we found this village where people really go and accompany their children for the Trick or Treat (lucky us... thank you Lord).  Then the long walk begun.  It was a merry event... the homeowners (of really nice houses... whew) were prepared.  My kids collected two bucketful of chocolates and candies... and you could really see how delighted they were, that they didn't even had the time to mind the distance we walked.


There were still a lot of houses we had not been through and I know they still wanted to go on... unfortunately, we still had one more stop.  We needed to buy stuffs for the birthday celebration of our youngest (which will be on the following day, the 1st of November).

When we got home, we were all tired but fulfilled.  After a short late dinner and kids sorting all the candies they collected (and given to mom for safekeeping and control)...  It was I think the first time that we didn't even ask the kids to go to bed (that's how tired they were).  A great way to end Halloween with a smile.  Yahweh bless.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How To Get A Rare Dragon In Dragon City

It's been a while since I posted something in my blog... and Dragon City is the reason why (LOL!!!).  I had my free time preoccupied playing it on my phone.  Anyway, for those playing the game, here are a few tips in getting the rare dragons:
  • If you are just starting, don't go for the rare ones (be patient).  Chances are you won't get any.  And if you are unusually lucky to have one in the early stages, you still won't have the habitat to put it in (speaking with the legendary dragons).  I suggest you start collecting the basic ones first.
  • There's no easy way to get the dragons, unless there's a cheat for it (which I don't know if there is any).  It's really a game of chance, so try and try until you succeed.  Although it's uncertain, there's a way to make the chances of getting the rare dragons higher.
  • For the incompatible elements dragons (like Gummy, Armadillo, Leviathan, Cool Fire, and Soccer), wait for Dragon city to give the free double same element dragons (i.e. Double Fire, Double Ice, etc.).  This will make the breeding very easy, giving you a 100% chance of getting the rare dragons.  Though there is still a chance of getting one if you make use of hybrids.

    Nature  +  Laser (hybrid)    =   Gummy (20% chance)
    Nature  +  Double Electric  =   Gummy (100% chance)

    Apply with the others except for Cool Fire and Soccer, since they have the same elements (Ice and Fire)

    Flame  +  Double Ice  or  Double Flame  +  Ice  =  Cool Fire or Soccer
  • Only the Dark Angel dragon (dark/light) for incompatible elements has no easy way of breeding and you have no choice but use hybrids to get a slim chance to have it...  Since there's no Double Dark or Double Light dragon.
  • How to get Legendary dragons???  First, you need to be in the level where you unlocked the legendary habitat or you won't have any place for the dragons.  Here, you have a slim chance of getting one since they are very rare.  But what I would suggest is to choose the dragons to breed that would give you the shortest time possible in case you miss... and that would be using 2 Pure dragons.

    Legendary Dragons... got them all :)
    You can only have Legendary dragons if you breed two pure or pure hybrids.  Any way you choose, the chances are the same.  Here's the difference:

    Pure  +  Pure  =  Pure (12 hours breeding time)  or  Legendary dragon  (54 hours)
    Pure  +  Pure Dark (or any pure hybrids) =  same as above but there's a big chance you also get a Pure Dark (48 hours waiting time)
  • Then the dragons with level 10 and above parents.  I made this last because almost all the dragons that I have under this category was bred using 2 (level 15 to 20) legendary dragons.  I also tried using  other dragons but the legendary dragons yield the higher success rate.
 There you go... I hope the tips would be of help.  Happy gaming.  Yahweh bless.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Thanks For The Help

The Lord is truly wonderful... He provides even before we think of it.  And He definitely knows what we need.  He let us meet new friends that helped us during our transfer to Houston... and even filled our home with things we didn't have, all for free.  Our family felt so blessed with everything we received.

As soon as we arrived here in Houston, people we barely knew offered their things to us (luckily, those were the things we were planning to buy).  They would always tell us that it's a "pay it forward" thing.  When they were also starting, there were also those who helped them.  More, there were times that we would find cool stuffs (mostly furniture) we can use within the vicinity of our apartment.  If the garbage collector in our place (the bote/bakal) can go here... I think, they would be the happiest people in the world.  For people are throwing away good stuff here (clothing, electronics, furniture, etc.), some are even good as new.  They just leave it in the side, and then it's free to take.  In the end, we have enough to buy the other things we still need.

We are really thankful to the Lord that He surrounded us with good people.  People (friends) who helped us during our transfer (it would  have been really costly and difficult had it not for them).  People who shared their things to us (which is a big help especially for someone starting in a foreign land away from our families).  And for all the people who helped us get  familiarized with the way of life here.  Yahweh is good... all the time.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Moving Again

We left the place we called home for 6 months to transfer to a nearer location where my wife works.  Leaving wasn't easy for us, especially that we already were at ease and familiar with the place... it's already been our comfort zone.  The kids, most specially, had their friends in school and within the community... But we explained to them, that it would be a lot easier for all of us if we move to downtown Houston to cut the travel time.  The cold months are coming, and we don't want the kids to suffer the long travels.

We will surely miss our place in Pasadena.  It was our very first home here in the US.  The stores (just across the street) and recreation areas near our place.  The pool, said the kids (well, we still have pools to where we are transferring).  And most of all, our nearby Filipino neighbor friends, who had always been kind and helpful to us.  They were the ones responsible for making the transfer easy for us.  And for that, we can't thank them enough.

The kids way of saying farewell to the pool in Pasadena.
There's almost a week difference between the day we move out from our old apartment to the new one... but the Lord was so great that even before that we were offered by another Filipino friend (my wife's co-worker) to stay in their house for the time being since they will be on vacation during those days.  We were so blessed to have stayed in their beautiful house in Humble for 6 days... and we  enjoyed the place.

Making noise in the quiet neighborhood of Humble.

For all the Lord had done and given to us, the friends He provided, as if everything is in the right time.  In everything we do, He is always way ahead of us... so we always put our trust in Him.  Yahweh bless. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cooking New Menus

Being in a new place, we can't resist to try the foods they usually have here.  Especially when we always hear them in our country.  We tried two dishes that's new to us:

First, the french toast.  It's familiar even in our place, I even tried it in one of our local restaurants in the  Philippines.  But I never knew how to make it.  Maybe because, unlike here, some of the ingredients were not readily available in the grocery stores or not included in our budget (hehehe).  Back to the french toast.  Well, it's easy.  Just mix milk, eggs, orange zest (if available) and cinnamon (I added sugar to taste).  Dip the bread to the mixture.  And fry it using butter.  Serve with butter and honey or maple syrup.  That's it.

Then, we tried cooking their local seafood... crawfish.  When cooking it, you should have live ones (or the dead ones will affect the taste).  Here are the steps:
  1. Clean the crawfish first with water. 
  2. Boil water into a pot.  Add seasoning (we used Louisiana premix) 
  3. Once the seasoned water comes to a boil, add the potatoes, corn, garlic, and sausage. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the crawfish and cook for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat after and leave the pot covered for 10 minutes. 
  5. Drain well and serve immediately.

Now, eating crawfish is somewhat like what you do with shrimps.  Take off the head ant tail, then peel off it's shell.  And by the way, remove it's digestive tract (it's the black part located inside the meat of the crawfish).  It's easy to remove it, just watch YouTube if you'll get a hard time figuring it out.  Bon appetit!  Yahweh bless.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Me & My New Found Skill

Have I already shared that life here in the US isn't cheap?  If not, let me then give a brief overview of the cost of living here, particularly in our state of Texas (figures are just rough estimates):
  • Apartment rentbetween $800 to $1,200 (basic/ monthly) and there are those that cost much more.
    Water, gas, trash and other fees$80 monthly average
  • Electricity– $40 monthly average
  • Groceries$70 weekly average
  • Car (2nd hand)– around $400 monthly payment (down payment, taxes and other fees not included)
    Car I
    nsurance $140 (basic) average monthly payment
    soline– $30 semi-monthly consumption
  • Health Insurance– $800 family coverage (semi-monthly payment)
  • Phone lines– $60 (post-paid/ monthly average); $40 (pre-paid/ monthly)
  • Internet connection– $50 basic/ monthly average
Along with other petty expenses, I guess one needs 2 to 3 works or a good paying job will do.  Don't be discouraged with the figures.  Life here is still a lot better.  If not, why do you think we are here? 

Well, enough with the advertisement and go back to the main program... my topic (LOL).  With all the expenses mentioned above, I learned a new skill BARBERING... all thanks to the ever reliable YouTube for the tutorials and helpful videos.  And for my very first victim... err... customer, my son, Justin.  Everything was prepared.  I got my newly arrived haircutting kit from Amazon;  newspapers spread on the working area; one lovely assistant (none other than my wife); and plan B (just if everything won't be what is expected)... skin head (bwahahaha). 

But I was pretty confident that I can pull it off.  And so did I.  Wasn't good as a pro but my wife and kid told me that it wasn't also bad for a beginner.  Looking at it, I myself can't believe I did a good job.  

The only downside is I cannot cut my own hair.  I guess there was just enough good new for the day.  At least we didn't need to resort to plan B.  Yahweh bless. 


Monday, June 9, 2014

And The Summer Classes Begin

As the class just ended and the kids were so excited with summer, came a great news, their school required them to attend summer class.  I guess it's because they only had 3 weeks in school which wasn't enough for them to be evaluated.  And we're also glad they're having it, especially that they are still adjusting to a new environment and a totally different culture and language.  Although we had English subject in our country, still we know, it's a totally different thing having to speak pure English. I feel like they really miss the comfort of home where they can use their native tongue in expressing themselves or answering questions.  But as we keep on telling them, this place is now our home... we all need to adapt to what life gives us.  And with all the murmuring about why they still need to attend summer classes, we just simply answered that they very much need it... and I know, my kids are smart to understand it.

Getting to summer school here isn't a hassle at all.  The school sent us a letter of approval if we wanted our kids to take summer classes.  We just filled up the form for necessary information and they're good to go the following school day.  But they had to go to different schools now, since my daughter is going to be in middle school already.  And the experience will be tougher for my son, being used to having his sister around.  Yet we know that they will be alright by themselves, as we saw how protective the teachers here are to their students (they only let go of their students when a parent or recognized guardian is picking up the child).

We were just happy that the schools here for our kids are free of charge, which in a lot of ways help us with our finances especially that we are still starting our lives here in Texas.  And sending them to summer school became an easy decision for us.  We give high regard to their education... for the fact that it is one of the most important  things we can provide them to have a good future.  Yahweh bless.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Off To School They Go

I know in my country, the Philippines, the school ended last April.  But here in the U.S., it'll end up in June.  We wanted to enroll them as early as possible (since we arrived in February), but there were other things to consider (especially the mode of transportation and we had less knowledge about the place).  Then, when we finally had a car, we immediately roamed around our vicinity to find and choose a school for them (with the help of a GPS device).  Then when we finally chose one, we found out it doesn't work that way... The school administrator told us the zone where we belonged to and what school should our kids go.  Furthermore, their school nurse told us that we had to comply first with their needed immunization before we can enroll our children.

Don't get me wrong, when we had the immunization taken cared of, we easily had our kids enrolled and started the next following school day.  And the best part was, we didn't spend a penny for it.  Yup, no tuition  fee!!!  Although, it's not totally free... We still had to provide for the necessities; basic things (like bag, notebook, pens and other stuffs) and packed meals or meal allowance.  Child transportation on the other hand can be free (through a school bus ride), but we are located within the range that the school consider near, so we can't avail it.

By the way, here is the list of school requirements upon enrollment:
  • Documents to prove the child's age and identity (such as birth certificate or other reliable documents like Permanent Resident (PR) card, passport, baptismal certificate, social security card, etc.);
  • Proof of residence (like your driver's license, utility bill, house mortgage or rent statement or any official document that show your name and address);
  • Vaccination/ immunization records. The school did specify to us what immunizations were needed;
  • Past school report cards;
  • And fill out necessary registration and other child information forms.
With everything made easy and provided free by the U.S. government, I think there's no reason for anyone not to bring their child to school.  And if I'm not mistaken, it's against their law to deprive a child of their right to education. Yahweh bless.

Friday, May 16, 2014

How To Increase The Likelihood Of Passing The Driving Test

I just recently passed both the written and practical driving exam here in Texas.  In fact, I just received a mail yesterday from the DPS (Department of Public Safety) containing my new driver license.  I was successful in both exams the first time I took them.  But I wouldn't have made it if not for the help of friends who taught and guided me along the way.  And of course, nothing would be possible if not for the blessing of our Lord.  So, part of my "paying it forward", let me share to you what I learned that increased the likelihood of me passing the tests:

The Written (Computer-based) Exam
There's really no special technique in passing this test but to study your state's (in my case, Texas) Driver's Handbook.  One can actually get it for free at the nearest DPS office in your city or download a PDF copy on this website:

In the exam proper, you'll find that all questions are from the handbook.  Just read and answer them carefully.  And if you did study, you won't fail.
The Practical or Actual Driving Test
If you passed the written exam, you'll be scheduled for the practical driving.  First, I'll assume that you already know how to drive a vehicle and you actually drove along with other cars in the highway.  Okay, now let's go to some points to remember before and during the test:

Get tips from those who own a driver's license.  You'll learn a lot from them especially the dos and don't(s) in driving.  A friend who helped me shared the mistakes he made (so I won't commit the same) and what are the things the examiner will give emphasis to.

Practice makes perfect.  You should know how to parallel park, as it's a vital part of the test.  There is a parallel parking in the DPS compound where the test is conducted.  One can practice there beyond office hours and during weekends.  Also, most likely the test will be conducted near the DPS office.  You may want to practice within the neighboring area that surround the office.

Be sure that you take care of everything you need to take the test.  I was rescheduled because I didn't notice that there was a defect on my car insurance and so as another applicant, during the car inspection, one of his rear lights was not functioning.  Anyway, the DPS will provide you a list of things to prepare and bring during your schedule test... just follow it.

Come on time.  Me, I was already in the DPS office an hour before my schedule.  But it's okay to arrive anytime, just don't be late in your appointment... or else, you just might be rescheduled (and it might take a while).
Try to relax and find your confidence.  Honestly, I was shaking when I took the test.  It was really uncomfortable that someone's watching (rating) me while driving.  I was telling myself, "I'll be doing this one way or another, and there's no way to escape this... might as well face it now".  I was drawing strength from my family, since it's for them and no one will be doing the driving for us but me.  Also, praying helped a lot.  I was talking to the Lord the whole duration of the test, and it calmed me and I was able to perform all the tasks smoothly.

Back to basics.  Things we always forget are those things we know for sure.  So let me remind you:
  • Keep everything in order before stepping on the gas pedal.  Check your side and rear view mirrors, your seat distance from your wheel and everyone should be wearing a seat belt (you and your rater);
  • Drive smoothly as possible.  Be gentle on the brakes and accelerator.  Watch out for the humps and the speed limits of streets.  The rater is looking on how well you can control your car.
  • Bring your car in a COMPLETE HALT before a STOP sign (in the case of a red traffic light signal, stop before the crosswalk).  Remember, it's not the same as yield that you can keep on moving.
  • Always use your signal light when turning left or right.  Also never forget to use it also when backing up during parallel parking and moving out from the parking area.
  • Make it obvious in turning your head left and right especially when checking if it is already safe for you to cross a street or intersection.  Moreover, don't just depend on your rear view and side mirrors when backing up and making a parallel park.  When doing it, you must slightly twist your body and look at your back.  For sure, the examiner will be looking if your doing it.
I'm no expert in driving but these were the things I did and it worked for me... I passed the driving tests and got my license.  It may not be applicable to other state or countries, but this is how I got mine in Texas.  Well then, good luck and hope this can be of help.  Yahweh bless.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Long Agonizing Wait Is Finally Over

Ever since my practical for my driving test was rescheduled, the days were somewhat uneasy for me.  I was actually asking myself why.  Did I need to learn more?  Would I have done something wrong if it pushed through?  No matter what the reason was... I knew it's for the best.  But it also meant that I had to endure 2 more weeks of anticipation and it was  such a torture.  I knew, I've been driving here for 3 months already, but the thought of someone (especially of different nationality) watching (rating) me while I drive... almost gave me a heart attack(lol).

When the day of the test finally arrived, I just couldn't understand what I felt.  I was glad that the wait was over yet the uncertainty kept me trembling inside out.  Good thing my family was with me that time, they became the source of my confidence.  I made it clear in my mind that I needed that license for my family's sake.  I just didn't know how many times I prayed to Him while waiting for the one who's  going to rate my driving.  And what I asked our Lord was to calm me so I could do what I had to do to pass the test.

And after months of hard work (yes, I practiced a lot just to prepare for it) and with the Lord providing me wonderful friends to help me, everything paid off. I cannot describe how sweet and fulfilling it was to hear the words: "You did well... you passed the test." from your a foreign land.  I knew the test only took more or less 15 minutes, and it assessed if i knew the basics of driving... but it's also the very thing that made it hard.  One have less room for error and indeed. Everybody knows the basic of driving (one should) but many don't practice them at all, so when they take the exam, they miss to do it and fail.

I'm glad I have brothers (Ryan, Joey and Nong Titoy) and uncle (Kel Matt) who taught me how to drive... found friends (Larry, Kuya Ver, Buddy and Toto) here that shared with me some tips in driving that helped me in passing the exam... and a very supporting family, the source of my strength... truly I'm blessed.  With this new milestone, I will also use it to be of help to others (as part of me paying it forward).  Thank you Lord for everything.  Yahweh bless.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Celebrating Special Occasions In A New Place

April is the month when there's a lot of celebrations in our family.  But unlike the previous years, we had begun having them all here in Texas.  It's a different yet meaningful experience for us, since we're used to celebrating these moments with our families and relatives in the Philippines.  The toughest I would say was the birthday of our daughter.  We used to have her cousins and friends visiting us during such occasion.  But now, all we could do for her was to prepare food good for a few friends (glad we had a Filipino family as neighbors who had helped a lot in the preparation) and a little cash gift.

Celebrating along with our new friends.

Also, my wife and I just recently celebrated the day we exchanged vows, a moment we would forever cherish and remember.  We now have 11 wonderful years of sweet memories and overcoming tough challenges.  I guess we lasted this far since we had these feelings of trust, love and faithfulness toward each other.  And above all, putting God in the center of our family... with this we know we are guided along the way.

And just celebrated my birthday.  The thing is as we grow older, birthday celebrations become less and less fancy as we had them before.  More especially now, we are in our new home, and we need to put our money to what we need to prioritize the most.  Well, I had all I wanted to have for my day anyway... I woke up feeling great that day, I was with the ones I cared the most (my family), and the Lord has always been there for us:
I was in the DPS office, to take my practical test in driving, but the officer in charge found that our car insurance expired just a week ago.  The insurance agent told us that we were given an erroneous copy and the expiration date should still be on August.  As a result, my test was rescheduled and I sued my insurance company and became rich (just kidding!!!).  I'm still thankful to Him that it wasn't a police officer questioning me about an expired insurance
I believe that everything is in it's rightful time and place.  We just need to put our FAITH in Him since He definitely knows what's the best for us, way beyond our human comprehension.

Happy anniversary, my twart... thank you for standing by my side throughout the years.  Everyday, you make me fall in love with you over and over again.
Happy birthday, our dearest Rael... we're proud you grew up to be a dependable daughter and ate to your brothers.  Our love for you never changed, from the day you made the pregnacy test result positive... until forever.
And a happy birthday to me... as again I conquered another year... and received countless blessings... I am humbled, my Lord.  Yahweh ble