Saturday, 24 March 2012

Lex First Swimming Lessons

Spring is here and so we are back at Etobicoke Olympium for the kids swimming lessons. It's the first time that Lex went on his own, he joined the Pre-school 1 class for 3-5 years old. Actually, he was crying the whole time while his elder siblings were on the pool. Aloysius and Kyle schedule started from 10:30 and 10:45 AM respectively. Lex class is in the afternoon at 1:30 so you could just imagine how cranky he was while we were at the view deck watching his brothers. Today was just a review of what the older boys learned last summer.

After lunch, we headed back to the Olympium and he was so excited that when his name was called and the instruction motioned them to go near the pool, he waved at me and said,
Bye mommy..
Then, I was shocked to see him go straight to the pool and jump into the water while the other kids were waiting for the instructor. The instructor immediately rescued Lex and asked him if he was okay. I was relieved to see him smiling. He was just too excited to go into the water. LOL! The photos here say how he enjoyed his first swimming lessons. Shots that Lito took from the view deck:

Friday, 16 March 2012

A child's view of Manhattan New York

It's our first time to visit Manhattan with the kids in tow. It was a walking tour because taking a car is complicated - high parking fees, attractions are scattered everywhere and the subway is more challenging. Lito and I already did this 3 years ago with Irvin and Faye but this walking tour considering what would be interesting for our children ages 10, 6 and 3 is another adventure. This blog post can also be called "What to do in Manhattan, NYC with kids" but it's more of seeing the city from a child's perspective that I opted to use the title above. It's also a Toy Tour as we visited toy stores in the city. Our first stop was Rockefeller Center. We ended up exiting from the 5th Avenue coming from the subway and it was pure luck that the first store we saw in the Rockefeller Plaza was the LEGO store. The kids had a great time looking at the different toys formed out of Lego blocks from their favorite Disney Cars, Star Wars and Harry Potter. The replica of the Rockefeller Center was amazing that when it was time for them to see the real thing just outside the building, they can identify the parts from the miniature Lego creation. My kids were playing "Guess the flag" and took turns in identifying as many flags as they can around the center. Of course, they didn't miss the US, Philippine and Canada flags. Kyle even asked me why is the US flag in the center, LOL! Next destination is the Apple Store so we walked towards north in 5th Avenue. The Rockefeller Center is at 50th St. and our destination is at 58th St. so we had to walk 8 blocks to get there. The kids had fun seeing the busy street with people, some with shopping bags, some in business suits and mostly tourists like us but in groups and with a guide. There were food carts and those selling I Heart New York souvenir items in some corners. What attracted them are the tall buildings some shaped differently with American flags everywhere. Most of the time, I saw them looking up and staring at these buildings. I remember telling them about the Chrysler building and the Trump Tower. Aloysius said "I want to have my own building named after me." Hahaha, parang ang dali lang bumili ng building ano? So maybe in the future when you see a building called ALOYSIUS, it's probably his. hahaha. My wish! When we get near the Apple Store, they already recognized it because I already told Aloysius that it is an all-glass building. He was telling me, it's not a building because there's nothing in it. His comment is valid but when he saw where the people were going and all the Apple products on the floor, he said, Now I get it. Kyle and Lex were overwhelmed at the all-glass elevator and stairs. There were lots of people at the time we entered and there were also some people lining up for the next day's sale of the new IPad. We just stayed at the IPad station and the kids automatically got hold of a demo unit and played to their hearts desire. Even my youngest was shouting, they have Angry Birds here too Mom! One lady customer looked at them one by one as if saying, "Ang babata pa nito, mga addict na sa IPad!" After the encounter with the glass building, we went to the store next door - FAO Schwarz. This toy store is the oldest in the US founded in 1862. This part of the trip was a treat to our children. This store looked small on the outside but upon entering, a vast array of toys await the kids, grouped and displayed in a different way that attracted tourists like me. By the door stood a man dressed in an English Royal Guard attire and greeted my kids in a fancy manner, sending them to giggles. On the mezzanine, Spiderman and Captain America are waiting for customers who wanted their pictures taken. We had stolen a shot when Spiderman came near Lex because we didn't want to pay, hahaha, cheap talaga! We lingered in my boys favorites spots: Star Wars Station, Thomas the train area and the LEGO area (again, they couldn't get enough haha). The Big Piano experience made an impact to my kids because when I asked them the Top 3 memorable in this trip, this was one of them. Central Park was one of our stops but we opted not to go anymore because it was cold and they can see the mouth of the park from the Apple Store (59th Street). The horse-driven carriages that will tour you around the area make a nice photo opp but the kids couldn't stand the smell of the horses so we just proceeded east to Lexington Ave to take the No. 6 train that will bring us to our next destination. Grand Central Terminal is a popular NY attraction because it is always featured in Hollywood movies even in animation. For the kids, they remember this place as where the Madagascar animals went and broke the clock. By the time we got to the Grand Central Terminal, it was alreay past 5 and we experienced Rush hour. We were carried away by the surge of passengers getting in and out of the trains. When we reached the Main lobby, we had a picnic in the middle just in front of the clock. While nibbling on cookies and chips, we were looking at the ceiling to watch the constellation of the stars. After that, we went to the East Balcony where most part become the Apple Store. After posing, we tried the Macbook Air and the kids tried the IMac. Whispering Gallery - I discovered this in another blog and it was amazing after truly experiencing it. The arch just outside the Oyster Bar is an area where you can hear the whisper of another person from the other end of the arch. The kids enjoyed this but Aloysius just listened to his dad and never whispered. Kyle on the other hand heard the whispers of a couple from the other end asking for his name, he replied once but after that, asked us to go na. It was truly awesome. My pictures are not clear but you can see the arch on the background and maybe try it on your next visit to the Grand Central because not too many people know about this. Grand Central and Times Square are both on 42nd St. so we just walked towards west to get to our next destination - Times Square. On the way there, we already see people coming out of the buildings and walking past and fast - the New York Rush. I think we reached our destination early because we were walking in the same pace as the New Yorkers hahaha. The main reason why we had this trip to Manhattan is because Aloysius wanted to have a picture taken at the street in New York where all the buildings have big TVs. That is how he described the place when he asked me if it's in New York and if we can go on our next visit. We chose to make this our last stop so the kids can appreciate the lights more at night and we were right. The moment we turned right from 42nd street to Broadway, they were awestruck. Our pictures show that they were looking everywhere because of the flashing lights in the buildings. The kids had an opportunity to have a picture taken with NY Police Officers and with a police car, but Lex was not too interested, he just wanted to check out the buildings. hahaha. Aloysius' request was granted. He had pictures with the billboards. My six year old Kyle's description of the place was a street with big TVs, people walking in the middle of the street, carrying a camera and taking a picture of the buildings. Lex who is 3yrs old described Times Square as Big TVs with Spiderman, Iron Man and M&Ms. On the street, there are mascots everywhere, Elmo, Mickey Mouse, Woody and Iron Man. Later did we realize that there's a big Toys R Us store along Broadway and guess what we did next - we went inside for more Toy visits. In this store, there's a big ferris wheel inside with the different character in each wagon. As usual for the kids, a toy store trip is not complete without going to Star Wars, Lego and Disney Cars areas, but the Transformers and Angry Birds got their attention that they had a photo taken there. It was tiring but a fruitful trip to Manhattan knowing that the kids enjoyed it. Here are the Top 3 Manhattan Trip Favorites of my kids: Aloysius (Age 10): 1. Rockefeller 2. Times Square 3. Whispering Gallery - Grand Central Ceiling Kyle (Age 6): 1. The Big Piano 2. The Glass Building 3. The Street with many lights and our video in one of them (My favorite too) Lex (Age 3): 1. The Big Piano 2. Toy Store with man in red (FAO Schwarz) 3. Lego (Star Wars and Iron Man) My favorites: 1. Whispering Gallery 2. FAO Schwarz 3. Times Square (our own billboard hehehe) Here's the picture and video taken while we are being shown in one of the billboards in Times Square. Kyle's and my most memorable and favorite Manhattan experience:

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

10 Reasons to hope when You are hurting

Reposting from an email sent by a friend...Thanks Pareng Henry...This is worth sharing..

1. God is truly in control.
If God is God, then nothing happens apart from His knowledge and permission. While it is difficult to imagine why God allows some painful things to happen, His character, revealed in the Bible and through the testing of generations, leads us to the conclusion that He is willing and able to sustain you during the worst of times. "We were crushed and completely overwhelmed, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we learned not to rely on ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:8,9

2. There is an eternal life to come.
"Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the Glory He will give us later." Romans 8:18
"He will keep you strong right up to the end, and He will keep you free from all blame on the great day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns." 1 Corinthians 1:8
3. The story isn't finished yet.
Time after time, the Bible records hopeless situations that ultimately ended in victory. Think of Job's sickness, Joseph's betrayal by his brothers, David's adultery and the many who were healed in mind, body and spirit. "But Joseph told them, 'Don't be afraid of me. Am I God, to judge and punish you? As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil. He brought me to the high position I have today so I could save the lives of many people.'" Genesis 50:19,20
4. God has not given up on you! Don't give up on him.
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11
5. There is a likely purpose in your pain.
Ask God to reveal His purpose in allowing this difficulty in your life. That's a legitimate question to ask. Often, the answer comes in the process of dealing with your circumstance. Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when Your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for When your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything. ~ James 1:2-4

6. You are loved!
Even the most unlovable person in the world is actually loved so much by God, that He let His Son die a terrible death to restore their relationship. God does love you! He sees your pain and weeps with you. "He has sent Me to comfort the brokenhearted and to announce that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent Me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lords' favor has come, and with it, the day of God's anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, He will give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair. For the Lord has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for His own glory." Isaiah 61:1-3

7. Your prayers are heard.
You parents - if your children ask you for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him? Matt. 7:9,10

8. You are not facing this alone.
For God has said, "I will never fail you. I will never forsake you." That is why we can say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper, so I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?" ~ Hebrews 13:5,6 
9. Others have made it through - you can too.
Try to connect with others who have gone through similar situations. You will find hope, strength and encouragement. A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.  Ecclesiastes 4:12

10. Reach out to someone else who's struggling.
Place your focus on someone else and invest your life in him or her. You may discover  your peace of mind is found in being a source of hope for another. All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort  God has given us. 2 Corinthians 1:3,4 

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Spring Break in New York

Taking a hiatus from work and blogging while on vacation in Irvin and Faye's place in Long Island, NY..Our new nephew is so cute but we go crazy when he cries. At the time I am writing this, he has improved a lot, God must have listened to our pleas. The kids are having a blast just playing video games, watching tv, eat and sleep but, we still find a study time before sleeping to remind them that the school is waiting for them when we go back home. Our other activities include walking to the park, to the mall to eat hotdog and yogurt in Ikea..mas mura ang hotdog dito 50 cents lang. We also watched a 3D movie, The Lorax ksi $7.00 lang hahaha. Cheap ko talaga. Window shopping at the mall, and hopefully shopping at the outlet Mall in Tanger. LOL! Thank God for this precious time to rest, to spend with the kids and the new member of our family. Pictures here:

Friday, 2 March 2012

Dreams - Dolphins, Ocean and Train

It's been a while since I last remember my dream and now that I can still vividly see the 3 main characters of my dream, I might as well see what it could mean.

Dolphins - To see a dolphin in your dream symbolizes spiritual guidance, intellect, mental attributes and emotional trust. The dream is usually an inspirational one, encouraging you to utilize your mind to its capacity and move upward in life. Alternatively, it suggests that a line of communication has been established between the conscious and unconscious aspects of yourself. Dolphins represent your willingness and ability to explore and navigate through your emotions.

Ocean - To see an ocean in your dream represents the state of your emotions and feelings. It is indicative of spiritual refreshment, tranquility and renewal. Alternatively, the dream means that you are feeling empowered and unhindered. You have a positive outlook in life and are not limited by anything. If you are sailing across the ocean, then it signifies new found freedom and independence. You are showing great courage. If the ocean is rough, then the dream represents some emotional turmoil. You are doing your best to handle life's ups and downs.

Train - To dream that you are on a train symbolizes your life's journey. It suggests that you are on the right track in life and headed in the right direction. Alternatively, the dream means that you have a tendency to worry needlessly over a situation that will work out in the end.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

I love the Toronto Public Library..Reading mode again

After waiting for a week, my books finally arrived. Not only was I able to get the John Maxwell books that I reserved, the Elizabeth George "The Lord is my Shepherd" and DVDs also arrived. I hope I will be able to read them all before the due date in 3 weeks. I brought Kyle with me and he borrowed his own books too and he used his own library card. I got Leapfrog's Numberland dvd for Lex which he watched everyday since we got them last Saturday. I also got Aloysius the Hardy Boys Season 1 series in 2 DVDs but he didn't want to watch them, he prefers to read the books. Here's are my loots which will keep us busy and away from the video games for a while: