Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy Feast Day St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael!

I started off this day with a reflection about St. Joseph and Mama Mary, which was inspired by some videos I watched with the kids. What a fitting way to start the day!
The Three Archangels with Tobias by Francesco Botticini from
Today, on Michaelmas, besides celebrating the feast day of St. Michael the Archangel, along with Saints Gabriel and Raphael, the other archangels, in various ways, let's pray for our families, and all families everywhere. Let us especially pray for protection from the evil one and for stronger families built on the ROCK of Christ.

Here are some prayers to get us started from a website about St. Michael:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Celebrating the Feast Day of St. Lorenzo Ruiz

It is St. Lorenzo Ruiz's Feast Day today (Sept 28). Since it is still flooded outside due to Typhoon Pedring (which seems to have "calmed down" a bit, thank you for joining us in prayer!) I thought I'd try to come up with a post on how to celebrate his Feast Day. (Since I can't find one on Google! haha!)

But first, here is some information about the St. Lorenzo, or San Lorenzo Ruiz, as he is fondly called by Filipinos everywhere:

Lorenzo Ruiz is the first Filipino saint. He is also the first Filipino martyred for the Christian Faith. Lorenzo Ruiz was a layman, married, and had two sons and a daughter. Born in Binondo, Manila, about 1600's, he was educated in the school of the Dominicans there. He served as an altar boy and later was a helper and clerk-sacristan in the church of Binondo. He was a member of the Confraternity of the Rosary. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ideas for Celebrating the Feast Day of St. Padre Pio (Sept 23)

St. Padre Pio has a special place in our family's heart now because we believe that it was through his intercession that my sister got pregnant, after waiting for almost ELEVEN years! (I wrote about that on here.)

Today (Sept 23) is his feast day, and here are some great ideas for celebrating it from Catholic Icing. (Forgive me, but I'll just copy and paste Lacy's post below, hehe). Thank you St. Pio for praying for us! Happy Feast Day!

Pray, hope and don't worry. - St. Pio of Petrelcina

Note: The Philippine Center for St. Pio has an official website here. It is a wonderful, solemn place to visit and celebrate the Eucharist. The chapel is located at E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave (C5). You can view the directions/map going there here.

St. Padre Pio has a feast day coming up on September 23. If I were to rank St. Padre Pio on a popularity scale from 1-10, I would give him a 10! He sure seems to be a 'crowd pleaser', and there's no question as to why if you read about St. Padre Pio. The most famous thing about him is his stigmata. Well, that and his fist fights with demons and levitating and all kinds of crazy cool stuff :-) Anyway, here are some feast day ideas for celebrating with your kids:

Ok, call me crazy, but I love these Stigmata Rice Krispie Treats
from Family at the Foot of the Cross
My Little Flower made a St. Padre Pio Lapbook.
over on Catholic Online.
Waltzing Matilda has 2 St. Padre Pio Coloring Sheets!
These were colored by Keeper of the Keys
Find a St. Padre Pio Spoon Craft over on 
Cottage Blessings. He's standing with St. Francis here.

Catholic Lesson Plans for Preschoolers and Kindergartners

I am so amazed by the wonderful Catholic moms who take such time and effort into posting free stuff for other Catholic families to use! ;-) Aside from my favorite crafty Catholic mom Lacy's Catholic Icing blog, "Amazing Grace's" The Catholic Toolbox blog  is a great resource too!

Here are her lesson plans for PreK-K. :-) Hope this helps you! God bless you abundantly, and God bless moms like Lacy and Grace, who are such blessings to homeschoolers like me! ;-)

Lesson Plans: Pre K - K

I have made several Pre K - K lesson plans. Here is a list of the ones I have done so far. Each lesson plan consists of: Objectives, Word Wall, Bible Story with questions, Songs and/or Finger Plays, Activities, Crafts, Games, Snacks, Coloring/Puzzles, etc.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Raising smart savers is a Catholic thing to do!

Ever since hubby and I attended free financial education lectures last year, we have been more conscious about how we spend and invest our money. We have also been trying to teach our kids about the value of money, even if they are JUST almost 5 and 2 years old respectively. We believe that raising our kids to be good Catholics also means raising them to be good stewards of the resources and blessings we receive from the Lord. This includes being "smart savers."
Photo from

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ideas for celebrating "Michaelmas" - Feast Day of St. Michael and all the Archangels (Sept 29)

The Feast Day of all the Archangels - St. Michael, also known as "Michaelmas," falls on September 29. Two other archangels, Gabriel and Raphael, are also honored on this day. (To know more about "Michaelmas" please go to the articles on these sites: Women for Faith and Family, Catholic Culture,

For ideas on activities, crafts and the like, check out my favorite Catholic crafty homeschool mom Lacy's suggestions, which I am re-posting below:
Michaelmas comes every year on September 29. It is the feast day of St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, and well- basically the Archangels :-) When getting ready to celebrate Michaelmas with your kids, think "tough angels". Because that's what archangels are. Save your "fluffy angel" ideas for the feast of Guardian Angels in October.

I love this Angel Mobile Craft from Bountiful Blessings.
If you're not crafts enough to cut the pieces out like she did,

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Our homeschool "theme song": Seek ye first the kingdom of God

We've been trying to teach Tim (and Rysse) this since we started homeschooling 2 weeks ago :-) One day, I hope to be able to post a video of them singing it, like the kids in the video (who I am assuming to be Filipino, hehe). ;-)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Secrets of a Successful Homeschool Mom

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom (the original post can be found on Simple Homeschool.)
Three weeks ago, I had the privilege of speaking at the Heart of the Matter virtual homeschooling conference. My topic? Secrets of a Successful Homeschool Mom.
The talk went well, and afterward I had the idea to turn it into a series for you here. So over the next few Mondays, I’ll share tips that set a homeschooling mama (or papa!) up for success in the homeschooling lifestyle.
When I use the word “secrets,” I don’t mean they are necessarily earth-shattering ideas or principles you’ve never heard of before. In many areas of life, often the most profound truths are also the most simple.
I’ve called them secrets because they encompass ideas I wish I would have known at the beginning of my homeschooling journey–ideas I’ve had to figure out and stumble across along the way. If I would have known these from the beginning, I think it would have helped me approach homeschooling in a more relaxed, pressure-free way.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Suggested Activities for the Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross (Sept 14) and the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows (Sept 15)

Check out these great activities for two of the GREAT* Feast Days in September posted on the ROCKERs page:

*Why are they GREAT in my book?! Well, the Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross reminds us all about the POWER of JESUS' SAVING WORK on the Cross, while the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows invites us to unite ourselves with Mama Mary in prayer and compassion for the world. :-) Hope you and your families enjoy celebrating these days!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Warning: Monster Mama alert!

I was a very, very, very mean mom to Tim yesterday. Taking from the words of fellow homeschool mom Jen, I was a "monster mama."! Literally! (Believe me, I won't describe what happened in details for fear of you not reading my blog anymore! haha!)

I was so distressed by what happened that I posted about it on the ROCKERs Facebook page:

was a really really really really really mean Monster Mama today. Praying for the grace of healing, forgiveness, patience and selective memory loss (for my kids). Haay, pray for me please fellow ROCKERs! This Teacher Mama lost it today! Huhuhuhu

Friday, September 9, 2011

How we celebrated Mama Mary's birthday

Photo from
Here is what we did aside from incorporating "tidbits" about Mama Mary's birthday in our homeschool lessons for the day (I had to report to work today though - thank God for my mother, who for us who are blessed to know her, consider her as a modern-day Mama Mary in many ways! She became "Teacher Lola*" for today.):

 - Cupcake decorating for Mama Mary's birthday "cake"
I brought home supermarket-bought cupcakes and blue and white icing (ready for decorating) from Goldilocks bakeshop and let Tim and his cousin Gabby (one of his FAVORITE playmates!) decorate them. Rysse and Gabby's brother (born a month apart, they love playing with each other too - when they aren't fighting over toys and books! haha!) participated in the fun by trying to decorate their own cupcakes too - though they ended up eating their share too early! haha!

- Candle-blowing ceremony for Mama Mary
After the kids were done decorating the 10 cupcakes, we arranged them on a plate, placed the plate in front of a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, lit and placed a single, white candle beside it, and sang "Happy Birthday" for our dearest Mother. The kids had lots of fun taking turns to blow out the candle!

- Eating and sharing the "cake"
Once we were done with that, the kids (and some of the adults present!) enjoyed eating the cupcakes! :-)

- Praying the Holy Rosary
This morning at the office we had a recollection focusing on "Moments with Mary" (one of the perks of working fulltime for our Catholic community) and I was reminded again of the power of God's grace manifested through the sacramentals attributed to Mary, one of which is the Holy Rosary. 

It was wonderful then for the kids and I to pray the Rosary together with my parents (after such a loong time, especially since we don't live with them anymore!), and brother and his kids. (Hubby was at a Thanksgiving Event for our community's "Build My House" project, heading the Logistics Committee).

To my delight, our almost 5-year old son Tim occasionally led us in praying the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be, and would even lift up his own intentions when my dad would offer up prayer intentions before each decade. (Of course, towards the end, he was already getting restless and asking me "Are we almost done Mama?" hehe). Praise God!

All in all, it was a great way to celebrate our dear Mother's birthday, and bond with extended family members too! ;-)

I'll be posting pics from my dad's camera soon :-) hehe.

Once again, dearest Mother Mary, thank You for your love and for saying "YES" to God's will! May we imitate you in all we do! WE LOVE YOU!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Mama Mary!

(We're incorporating Mama Mary's birthday into our lessons for today. I have work *huhuhu!* so the kids will be at my parents' place. I've prepared the lesson plan for my mom to implement. Check it out here if you like. We are praying for God's leading regarding my work situation right now. Please do pray with us! Thanks! Godbless all!)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Why Homeschooling is Best for Your Preschooler

The preschool years are a precious time, not only for children but their parents as well. It is a time of wide-eyed wonder, discovery, gaining independence and learning life skills that will help one survive the sometimes-stormy years of adulthood.

It is no wonder then that for many parents, sending their children off to preschool during the tender years has been replaced with another option: to homeschool preschool, or, in the words of homeschool preschool mom, writer and advocate Susan Lemons : “homepreschool.”

Quoting from Jane Claire Lambert, founder of Before Five In A Row, a homeschool preschool “gentle learning” curriculum: 

 “Now is the only early childhood you will ever be able to share with your child. These are golden years. It might be worthwhile to once again thoughtfully consider how you really want to spend your time. What could you put off until later in order to maximize and preserve these few precious years with your child? Your sacrifice today will mean a stronger academic and emotional future tomorrow. Your love, time and attention mean so much. In a child’s world, there is simply no substitute for you!” 

If you are considering homeschooling your preschooler, let me tell you now based on my own experience, it may be the best decision you could make for your young one! (Check out some of the benefits here).

To read the rest of this article, please go to Smart Parenting Philippines' website here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Activities for other special Catholic events in September, especially Mama Mary's birthday

Besides the Feast Day of Blessed Mother Teresa, there are a couple of other memorable events coming up this September, namely Mama Mary's birthday (or Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary) on September 8, The Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14 and The Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows on September 15. Exciting huh?! ;-) 

Let's take a look at what two of my favorite Catholic mommy bloggers have posted with regard to ideas and activities for celebrating these feast days:

First of all, may I just say that Lacy is really one of my favorite Catholic mommy bloggers?!! She is so blessed with creativity and resourcefulness, and I always refer to her blog for crafts and activities that highlight the beauty of the Catholic faith. Here is her compilation of ideas (from other amazing Catholic moms!) for celebrating Mama Mary's birthday:

So the most obvious idea for celebrating this feast day is to make a birthday cake for Mary. Anything blue is a great idea since that's Mary's traditional color.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ideas for September 5: Feast Day of Blessed Mother Teresa

I have JUST decided to include some activities for Blessed Mother Teresa's Feast day for our first day of homeschooling. Did a search on Google and here's what I plan to use: (wish us luck! haha! Blessed Mother Teresa, pray for us!)

Activities from Paper Dali (like this cute coloring sheet below!)

Coloring Pages from 4Real (scroll down to September 5)

Watch videos:
Mother Teresa of Calcutta cartoon for children

For me (hehe!): Mother Teresa on God's mercy and forgiveness

First Day at the Kingdom-Seekers Academy

Today is our first "official" day of homeschooling. Although I believe that all parents have been homeschooling since birth (or even BEFORE birth, when the baby is still in the womb), today is the day we actually start to (try to! hehe) follow a curriculum. We will also formally "baptize" our homeschool with a name:

"The Kingdom-Seekers Academy"
based on Matthew 6:33 (which is our family's life verse now, and the verse on which I based my other mommy blog)

(Incidentally, it's Blessed Mother Teresa's Feast Day today! How cool is that?! We named our daughter, Alyssa Therese, with St. Therese of Lisieux and Mother Teresa in mind! No coincidences when it comes to God' plan!!!)

We will be using the daily lesson plans of Catholic Heritage Curricula for preschool and kindergarten, which were given to us by a fellow homeschooling mom in the US (thank You God for the kindness of others!).

Some of the lessons seem too "simple" for Tim, as he has been doing workbooks and worksheets for letter-writing and number-writing for some time now (mostly using books from Easy to Learn, which can be bought at most local major bookstores). However, I still like the way the lessons incorporate different aspects of the Catholic faith, and there's nothing wrong with going back to basics.

Whenever possible, we will supplement with lessons from Mater Amabilis, which is a free Charlote-Mason style curriculum for Catholics (don't you just LOVE the Internet?!).

We also decided to invest in the Catholic ABC's Preschool Curriculum by Lacy of Catholic Icing. The kids love to do arts and crafts and this is an excellent resource. I hope our book arrives soon! ;-)

We also might be getting the following, which come highly recommended by other  homeschoolers (hopefully we'll get them secondhand or discounted, unless there are kind strangers and not-so-strangers out there willing to give them to us, thank you very much in advance! ;-) hehe!)

Reading - Sing, Spell, Read, Write  (I found out this is available locally through C & E Bookshop.) 

Math - Math-U-See (The local suppliers, Noel and Tasha Tison, can be contacted through

Music and Movement - Making Music Praying Twice (This costs US$98!!! Waaah! Plus US$45 for shipping to the Philippines! Huhuhu!! hehe. Maybe there are used sets on sale on ebay! I'll look for them!)

Well, that's it for now. Got to prepare before the kids wake up (oh yes, I still need to get more organized in terms of preparation! haha!). Also, we're going to mass today to "kick off" the schoolyear, as suggested in CHC's newsletter for parents starting the schoolyear. Pray for us as we pray for you ok?! ;-)


P.S. Last First Friday, I was privileged and blessed to lead a meeting of like-minded Catholic parents who homeschool or are considering homeschool. We've decided to call our group ROCKERs, which stands for Roman Catholics Keeping Education Real. ;-) Feel free to check out our site here and see what we did in our first meeting. (If you want to be part of the group, please e-mail me at Thanks!)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Homeschooling Your 6 to 7 Year Old

Photo from

Homeschooling is gaining more and more popularity in the Philippines and many parents are becoming curious about how it works. I personally have received a lot of inquiries from parents about homeschooling preschool, mostly because of my blog

I don’t claim to be an expert on homeschooling, but I have been able to learn a lot about it through my own research, reading other homeschoolers’ blogs, as well as linking up with other homeschooling families, and homeschool groups like the Homeschool Association of the Philippine Islands (HAPI) and the Catholic Homeschool in Asia Pacific & the World yahoogroup. 

There are actually quite a number of parents who home educate their children even beyond preschool, some even going on through elementary school to high school. For those who are interested in knowing how homeschooling their 6 -7 year old kids can work out, get tips from these real homeschool moms:

(To read the rest of this post, please go to my article on Smart Parenting Philippines' website here.)

Teachermama Tina writes about

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