Mommy Growing up

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Instagram: To a new world

In line with Mama Kat's writer's workshop, I was in the mood for an  instagram~ where I would glance through my photos from last week, choose one, and share the back story.

Hence, here's the photo. It shows my elder and younger daughters so excited to be aboard a local barge. We were on our way to a new life...

I finally decided to try settling down in the city where my hubby was recently employed as a college mentor. An eight-hours drive away from home ~ we were moving towards a new environment, new schools, new neighbors, new world. We then found a nice 2 bedroom-apartment and appropriate schools for our kids. And yes, finally, I was hired in the university where my hubby was teaching.

Amidst all the uncertainties, God truly works in an amazing way! I was so elated with our decision. Finally, we can live as a complete family, again, fully geared for new waves of adventures.

The clear white clouds in this photo also encouraged me to share this post to Wednesday Whites, the first time after five months (my apologies for being inactive for so long). It's good to be back!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pink heater

These days are freezing! Living in a subtropical country, we have winters without snow but our winter is so humid thus awfully cold. Aside from warm comforters, we take comforts on heaters. My friend brought this electric heater home and it's so cute in pink, thus perfect for our pink meme...

The cute pink heater. No, it's not an electric fan lol.
My pinky friend enjoying the warmth from the pinky heater.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happiness is...

Happiness is...

simply playing silly with loved ones!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

Almost everybody went to Taipei to watch the spectacular fireworks at Taipei 101 that cost millions of dollars. For the remaining lazy people like us, we just got contented with what our university can offer. We were catered by a parade of colorful booths probably a hundred selling various Taiwanese cuisines and hosting games, a lively concert by famous local artists, and fireworks display on top of the 7-floored university library. After satisfying our hungry stomachs and that means surviving the heavy traffic of people especially along the food stalls, I, my daughter and some friends sat on the grasses by the lake facing the library, waiting for the countdown to new year. We ate, we chatted and ignored the freezing temperature. After the countdown (ended up with hoarse voices), we then went to a tea shop to continue our chitchats and further went to a movie theater to watch Tom Cruise's MI-4. At about 4:30 dawn, we then proceeded to eat breakfast together till 6:30 AM. I know it's a terrible way to start a new year (that is being outside of the house), as my mom would say, we would end up nocturnals for the rest of the year lol. Hopefully not. I guess this is what we get for being away from home, and having our friends as our only family here to greet the new year with.

Gathering for tea in a checkered black and white teashop after new year countdown.
At the lakeside with friends watching simple firework displays.

Wishing you all a prosperous new year too! May 2012 be better for all of us!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas with friends

For almost five years of living as a graduate student in Taiwan, it means I've also been missing having five Christmas with my whole family back in my country. Back home, we have bright and festive Christmas celebrations everywhere, well, crazy it may sound some do as early as September. Homes are highlighted with Christmas decors while streets are filled with mostly DIY stars. On Christmas Eve, the whole family attends a midnight mass followed by Noche Buena, a midnight dinner filled with all sorts of delicious Filipino delicacies shared with joy and laughter by the whole family. The dark skies then will be decorated with colorful fire crackers as fathers showed off to their kids how to create loud colorful magics, the safe way lol.

With my daughter. Hubby and youngest daughter were back in Philippines.

On the other hand, Christmas here in Taiwan is not considered a holiday. Everybody works on December 25th, classes and examinations are held as if nothing happens, which was very frustrating and depressing the first time. I understand they have Chinese New Year which is more important in their culture, however I'm thankful at least Jan 1 is considered a holiday.

Back to our Christmas celebration, I'm very grateful our Filipino community here still continued our tradition by holding midnight masses from December 16th to the 24th, followed by simple merienda. On the 24th, we heard a midnight mass and shared the Christmas spirit with fellow Christians, sharing of gifts and delicious Filipino foods. After the mass, I and my daughter, along with three other Christian friends (2 Filipinos and 1 Indonesian) ran to our Christmas party held with our fellow foreign students (venue: a friend's dormitory). Everybody brought their own country's dish to share with everybody, enjoyed the games and simply caught up with everyone's lives. Indeed, I'm so blessed to have a group of friends here to share the spirit of loving and sharing.  Though we're of different religions and nationalities, we came together to celebrate Christmas as a family.

Christmas with fellow students and friends from our university.
Simple Christmas gathering with friends. No Christmas trees or decor. Just us.
Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year to all!
Though far and away from our loved ones this special season, still we managed to celebrate Christmas. Thanks to our dear friends who were always there to celebrate with on special occasions as this. Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Flash flood donation drive

As Typhoon Washi (local name Sendong) passed by the Southern Philippines last week, along with it came the monstrous rainfall that created fatal and highly damaging flash floods and land slides. Unprepared for what was coming in the middle of the night, more than a thousand from Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City sadly succumbed while a lot more were missing as muddy flood waters covered their roof tops in few minutes and horrifyingly swept out entire villages towards the sea. At present, hundreds of thousands were homeless. Such tragic event happened so close to home, a mere 3 hours drive away, and it was very heart-breaking.

My hubby didn't pushed through with his supposed Christmas trip to Samal island and instead donated the money and some clothes and tents for the victims. I've never been so touched and proud of him. Meanwhile, wanting to help in our own special way, I along with two other Filipino students organized a donation drive here in our university for relief assistance of the flash flood victims. For three days, we set up donation boxes at the Office of International Affairs and by the end of the day, we were extremely touched to see the boxes overflowing with donations. Clothes, sleeping bags, blankets, comforters, bottled waters, canned foods, shoes and even cash were donated. Such warm responses were so touching and indeed, they're the best Christmas gifts we received this year.

Extremely touched by people's generous hearts!

 As of now, the goods were shipped towards the Philippines via LBC, courtesy of a generous donor from our church. Amidst the tragedy hitting us, God still find ways to touch our lives through people's goodness. We continue to pray for the victims of the flash floods and may God strengthen everybody especially in this tragic moment. Christmas may be gloomy this year but with our help, little they may be, makes a big difference to a victim's life. You may donate here - via Philippine Red Cross. Thank you. May God bless us all.

Wordless Wednesday: Xtremely tall xmas tree

This extremely tall Christmas tree reached til the 4th or 5th floor of our local shopping mall. Must be more beautiful with glittering lights at night.
 We felt like dwarves under it lol. Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Resting in the shadows

My daughter was resting under the Cypress tree...
In few minutes she was snoring.
While everybody around her was havin' fun, she was lost in her own shadowy world.
Let me dream under your shadows...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ostrich eggs

Visiting an ostrich farm today, we were greeted by these gigantic eggs.

A parade of ostrich eggs. .. and their shadows :)

Just lovely!
My good friend showing off how big  these eggs are.

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