Saturday, 31 December 2011

Our "Firsts in Canada" Photobook

I have been waiting for this moment to arrive. The long hours spent on the computer on my vacation this Christmas week and dried, tired eyes are worth it. Here's the finished product of my labor of love (only selected 30 pages are shown, the book's total pages = 200) - Our firsts in Canada Blurb photobook:

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Alvin and "my" Chipmunks

Today is movie day. We spent the day after Christmas watching Alvin and the Chipmunks - Chipwrecked at Cineplex Odeon. It was a movie for kids it but I found Lex and myself sleeping in some parts of it hahaha. It was fun. The Chipmunks are so cute especially Theodore. Here are my Chipmunks:

Monday, 26 December 2011

Boxing Day

The day after Christmas, December 26th, is statutory holiday called Boxing Day across Canada. Boxing Day like the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, in the U.S. is THE big shopping day in Canada. Stores, malls and most retailers are open and generally continue till New Year's. it's the day that shopaholics like me look forward to grab great deals.

When I first came to Canada, I thought that boxing day meant boxing your way to the shops in lining up to the door before it opens, or when getting the items and lining up for the cashiers. The crowded shops meant rubbing elbows with other shoppers, and literally boxing them to be the first to grab the deals. LOL! Advantage sa mga Pinoys yun because of Pacquiao'sFame, right? But I found out it has a different meaning. Several theories exist on how Boxing Day got its name. It may come from a tradition in the U.K. in which household employers boxed gifts for their servants. One thing is for certain, the name comes from storage boxes, not the sport.

So what did I get from Boxing Day? Ikea Frames for my 3D artwork and crosstitch which we got for 50% off..I didn't brave the crowds at the shops but wanted to try shopping online. I later decided not to because when I shopped online at last week, the deals I got were already good only to find out that the prices went down on the boxing day/week. I got disappointed hahaha. Anyway, some deals are valid for a week, I might head to the shops later on, who knows?

On boxing day, after IKEA, the whole family headed to CINEPLEX ODEON to watch Alvin and the chipmunks - chip wrecked.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas! Happy Birthday Jesus!

I got this from Nhel Miranda's Facebook Wall and I agree with her and I felt that it deserves a space in my blog so here it is:

“X” means wrong…in expressing our greetings by writing an “X” in place of the name of CHRIST in the word CHRISTMAS is totally wrong; JESUS CHRIST is the righteous (1 John 2:1); and it is HIS birth that we are celebrating this time of the year…so please do not replace CHRIST with an “X”…let us give HIM the honor HE truly deserves.

It was a busy week prior to today. I enjoyed the parties, food and being with friends and family. There were a few gatherings in the Philippines that I was able to join virtually thru webcam and skype; Boy,I am so glad to see my family back home. I miss them actually.

Today, I prepared Christmas dinner as early as 6 am to brine the turkey. I think I was standing the whole day and busied myself in the kitchen. The Mabini kids arrived before dinner and we had a Bible Study to honor the celebrant - Jesus Christ. Anyway, it's been a while since we had a bible study with these kids; it was at their place in Rochefort where we all started with their mom - Regina facilitating and guiding us with God's words.

We had fun starting because we can't decide on the Praise and Worship song, whether it's with Christmas theme or just plain worship songs, we had a couple then we started reading in 2 Kings 4:8-37. I was so happy that after reading my son Aloysius asked questions. That means he listened intently and I hope he was blessed. The story of the Shunemite Woman and God's faithfulness will forever be etched in our hearts. We were blessed on Christmas Eve.

Of course, the celebration is not complete without food. So after feeding our minds with God's words, we feast on the Turkey, Sotanghon, Potatoes, Pasta and Salad plus sweets. They all loved the turkey..the recipe is in here if you want to try it. This time, I used cooked rice stuffing with chopped pimiento, carrots, bacon bits sprinkled with salt and pepper and butter. They said, my version is delicious, not bland or malansa.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

My first born is now 10 years old

10yrs ago on my way to buy food for noche buena, my water broke and then after 6 hours, my first child was born and celebrated my first Christmas as a mom in the hospital..Happy Birthday to my son Aloysius Miguel. Thank you Lord for his first 10 years full of blessings.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Our New Toy – iPad 2

We wanted to buy the Blackberry Playbook when it was on sale but since the demand is high and the supply is low, we were not able to grab that chance. We even tried asking for Irvin and Faye to buy for us in the US but to no avail. They got the Apple iPad 2 and we were green eyes when they were showing it on chat. On Lito’s birthday, we went to Best Buy just to look around and the kids were glued to the Apple iPad station trying on the games – Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja. Kyle and Aloysius were even fighting and want to be first. While there were no available demo iPads to use, (there were lots of people trying it too) we went to the Samsung Galaxy Tab demo unit and let Aloysius play there. The 2 tablets were almost the same and the gap on the price tag is not that substantial. Samsung Galaxy is priced at $ 449 while the 16GB Apple iPad 2 costs $519.

Lito left us to check out other sections and when he came back, the four of us are already occupying the whole Apple station, using all the demo units including Lex who sat on the table and were busy with his artwork using the Drawing Pad. He asked all of us to stop what we’re doing and leave the place but the kids are not moving. I heard Lex said “I want the big iPod” (he is using an old iPod Touch for his games at home) and the 2 older boys agreed so it was not a long time for us to decide and consent to the idea. We came home with our new toy as our All-in-one Gift this year (Birthday, Christmas and Anniversary) and everyone is happy. Lex turned out to be the most addicted because he slept while holding the iPad and while I was trying the apps when they were all sleeping, he suddenly woke up in the middle of the night and asked me “Mom, where is the big iPod?” then went back to sleep. Imagine, my 3-yr-old talking in his sleep about the iPad, he probably dreams about it too LOL!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

The Gift by Jim Brickman

Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary to my dear husband. Thank you for the 12 blissful years and 3 beautiful children. I Love You!

Sweating hard with Zumba

I got my Zumba Fitness game for Kinect from Lito on Mother’s day but it was only when the Flores came that we were able to play the game and I realized it was so addictive. Kelly was so good and even Tita Lorna danced to the salsa tunes. The following weekend, I tried it myself and I was sweating hard after just finishing the Calypso lessons. Zumba is a combination of Salsa dance, Belly dancing and exercise all in one. Since I am using Xbox 360 Kinect, I needed to follow the instructions and movements to the detail in order for me to win or finish the game.
I took the next lessons in the following days and by doing it for 30 minutes a day I think I lost pounds through all the sweat coming out of my body after the workout. This is timely because I will be eating a lot in all the holiday parties and get-togethers. Oh, by the way, this game makes me fart a lot so I think even the toxic gases are coming out of my body too. LOL!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

What is Christmas without Christ?

I feel sad everytime I see people putting an x in place of Christ when signing a greeting card or gift card.

Let us not skip Christ this Christmas. Here's Kutless "This is Christmas" video and lyrics...Let the song move you.

How was your 2011 Qs?

I got this from my favorite e-group and because it's really timely- the year is about to end, I'd like to say that God has poured out His blessings to me and my family exceedingly and abundantly. With these blessings, I am very thankful. Here's a quick glance at year 2011 through these Qs:

1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Sorry but I don't make new years' resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, my sister's friend ANI.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
USA (New York, Washington DC)

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
Time to do my scrapbooking

7. What date/s from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
April 25 - Encounter God retreat
May 6 - Mama and Dadilo's arrival here in Canada

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Joint Effort with hubby - we bought our own house this year

9. What was your biggest failure?
I wasn't able to sort/organize our picture files.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
The House, Flavor Wave

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My youngest son who is more sociable than his older brothers

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
An officemate who thinks she knows everything and bullies new employees like me

14. Where did most of your money go?
The house, travels

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Our First Ski Adventure
All our travels-in and around Canada with my mom and dad
My Sister and Sister in Law being pregnant
My getting to know God more

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Desert Song

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier
ii. thinner or fatter? just the same
iii. richer or poorer? Richer :) we are blessed more this year

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Eating sweets!

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
We will be staying home for Christmas

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
If the degree is asked, I think I loved my family more this year.

22. Who got together and who broke up?
JLo and Marc Anthony, KC and Piolo

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Charlie's Angels, The Listener, Hawaii Five-O, Wipe Out

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

25. What was the best book you read this 2011?
Have a new kid by Friday

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I learned a lot of Hillsong songs this year!

27. What did you want and got?
A new Cellphone and an Ipad, but I haven't gotten them (yet, hehehe)

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Just Go with It (I love Adam Sandler movies!), Transformers

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Celebrated it with my family plus my mom and dad. I turned 43.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
To serve God by sharing His words and inspiring others to come and accept Him as Lord and Savior.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
When I came here, my wardrobe became lean and more on classic styles. I have started to wear skirts and dresses (yes, even in winter!).

32. What kept you sane?
God and My family

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

35. Who did you miss?
My Family and friends in the Philippines

36. Who was the best new person you met?

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:
Whether we admit it or not, we need Christ in our lives.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"in all of my life, in every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship."

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Flores and Castillo Reunion

We had a small get together with the Flores Family for Lex' late and Lito’s advanced birthday celebration. Uncle Nilo, Tita Lorna, Neil and Kelly went to our new home for the first time and I prepared dinner for them. We had a nice chat and I’m glad they enjoyed the sumptuous meal. We had Baked Salmon, Potato wedges roasted in garlic, Roasted Herb Chicken from Flavorwave and Salad. The cheesecake squares from Costco was also a hit. Since it was also a chat day for the Castillo’s, they were able to see those in the Philippines and New York in webcam and Uncle had a chance to chat with nanay as well.