Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Prayer Request and an Announcement: Register for the 4th Philippine Homeschool Conference and Get a Chance to Win an IPad2!

I'm doing a quick post here because I need to get some work done before I bring little Therese to her pedia later. She's been having a fever since Monday evening and the pedia said if by Wednesday evening (last night) she still had one, I should bring her for a check-up. (Please pray she gets healed soon!)

Also, our family is suddenly, by God's grace, going to go through a major change in the next few days (I wrote a bit about it here) so we'll also be needing lots of prayers in that aspect. (On a personal note, I need a lot of prayers, too, as I have been very short-tempered lately. I don't want to blame it on fatigue, etc, as it's no excuse for being that way. Thank you for your prayers in advance.)

So anyway, back to the announcement! Those who register for the 4th Philippine Homeschool Conference on or before May 4 have a chance to win an iPad2! 
So what are you waiting for?! Register, register, register! :) See you there!

For more information, please log on to or follow HAPI on Facebook.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bo Sanchez's Catholic Filipino Academy is starting their High School Program! :)

Guess what? The Catholic Filipino Academy (CFA), founded by Bo Sanchez, already has a HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM! :) Awesome, huh?! They're launching it this year and will have an orientation session for parents on April 24. :) Something to consider when our kids start high school — though we've got a couple more years down the road to go! (We're still undecided re: homeschooling or progressive schooling though! Our deadline is before the end of this month! YIKES! Prayers please, friends!)
Image source:
It's nice to know though that there are more and more options being made available locally for homeschoolers, especially on the high school level! Hurray for CFA! :) If you have kids of high school age or know parents who do, perhaps you'd like to try homeschooling them! Go to the CFA High School page here to read more about it. :)

You can also call CFA at 7259999 for more information. :)

God bless y'all! :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

4th Philippine Homeschool Conference Update: Last day for Early Bird Registration is this Sunday, April 15!

The Philippine Homeschool Conference 2012 is a little over a month away! If you haven't already registered, do so now, and avail of the early bird discount (which is only available until Sunday, April 15!) Save P200 off your registration fee! :)

For details on how to register, please click here. If you want to support the conference by being a sponsor or exhibitor, please click here.

I've already registered through Ate Rita of CFA. :) (Hubby can't make it as he will be out of town to help lead a teambuilding activity). Hope to see you there!

P.S. I'm hosting my first-ever series of giveaways over at my main mommy blog. Do hop on over and join in the fun! :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How we spent the Easter Triduum and Easter Sunday :)

A blessed, beautiful Easter to all of you! :) I hope the glorious joy and peace that comes with Easter is still very much evident in your hearts and homes — after all, Easter has just begun! (We're celebrating for 50 Days, how awesome is that!)

Anyway, I know I shared with you in a previous post how we planned to "do" the Easter Triduum and Easter Sunday, so I just want to share what we actually ended up doing.

On Holy (or Maundy) Thursday, we ended up attending the Mass of the Lord's Supper at Sacred Heart Parish, a church near my in-laws' place, instead of at our parish here in our village in Cainta. You see, hubby's grandmother, who is bedridden and ill, also celebrated her birthday on the same day, so we went to their place for her birthday celebration with family members on hubby's side.

We ended up staying longer than planned, even staying overnight (the kids were having so much fun playing with their cousins and bonding with family, they didn't want to leave anymore). So we weren't able to do our own washing of the feet ceremony as a family and also skipped the online Visita Iglesia. We did try to teach the kids about the symbolism behind Jesus' washing the disciples' feet (love and servanthood) and also watched these videos with them:

For Good Friday (God's Friday!), we went back to our apartment in the morning and attended the Good Friday/Veneration of the Cross service in our parish. The kids were kind of tired when we got home, so we didn't do any crafts but just enjoyed spending time together. I'm grateful that Tim was mindful of the fact that we were fasting/abstaining on that day, and he contributed in his own way by "fasting" from the educational computer games which he loves to play.

Holy Saturday was spent cleaning up our apartment in preparation for our Catholic group's prayer meeting on Holy Monday. It was "summer cleaning," for us, since we don't really experience spring here. :) I also prepared the eggs and stuff for the kids' Easter Treasure Hunt, a modified version of the traditional Easter Egg Hunt. :) We didn't get to go to the Easter Vigil though. Hopefully next year.

Easter Sunday saw us attending morning Mass at our parish and going to my dad’s for lunch. We were joined by my youngest brother and a few Youth for Christ (YFC) leaders and missionaries from Timor Leste, who are here for the YFC International Leaders Conference this weekend. It was great to catch up with them and speak in Tetun again! (We used to be based in Timor as missionaries).

The kids had a blast hunting for goodies on their Easter Treasure Hunt and eating the Easter cake their Tito Jay brought for them. 

All in all, it was a truly blessed Easter for our family. I only hope and pray that the seeds of love and life in Jesus will continue to be sown in our kids’ hearts, as well as our own, throughout this Easter season and beyond, and eventually, bear good fruit. In the future.

Enjoy the rest of Easter, everyone!

P.S. Sharing some of our pics with you. :)

I forgot to include this pic in my last post. :) These love notes from Jesus were the last Easter "treasures" in the kids' treasure hunt on Easter Sunday. 

Hubby, me, my dad and our Timorese brothers and sister

Alleluia! :) Kids with their Tito (Uncle) Jay

Ready for our Easter Treasure Hunt! :)

Treasure under Lolo's pillow 

Where to next?! :)

Treasure under their cousins' pillow (The cousins were not present, though..)

More treasures! :)

Our Easter cake. C/o my brother. :) Store-bought from Red Ribbon, hehe!
Didn't have the time to make a genuine Resurrection cake, but I hope we could do it next year! (If we have an oven by then! LOL!)

Of course, we had to have a candle-blowing ceremony! :)

The kids enjoyed playing checkers with their Tito Jay back in our humble home. :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A blessed Easter to all! {We're going on a treasure hunt!}

Image source here.

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Corinthians 15: 55-57)

Although our Lenten and Holy Week plans and promises did not all go according to what we had hoped, we are nonetheless grateful for how God has brought us to this wonderful day — Easter, when we celebrate Jesus' rising from the dead! :) Thank God we have 50 days to celebrate this beautiful, blessed occasion!

Here's a peek at what the kids will be getting today at our "Easter Treasure Hunt," which we will have during our planned Easter party later at Lolo Mon's house. We'll be having lunch with my dad, my youngest brother and our young "family" members from Timor Leste, who are here for the Youth for Christ International Leaders Conference next weekend:

I reused the plastic Easter eggs we bought last year for our Resurrection Eggs set and placed different "goodies" in each egg — the pink and purple ones are for Rysse and the green and blue ones for Tim. I also bought some Catholic items at our local St. Paul's store.

Can you guess what are inside these eggs? LOL! I think the sticks pretty much give it away! (Lollipops! Tee hee!)

I bought these little books about stories from the Bible (OK, they're kind of NOT related to Easter, but we don't have that many choices here in the Philippines!). Then, I taped Easter eggs to the covers of the books, with each egg containing a one-peso coin. :)

These eggs contain small glow-in-the-dark statues of the Sto. Nino (for Tim) and of Mama Mary (for Rysse).

The last and greatest "treasure" in our hunt will be these VCDs of Saints Stories with holy picture cards of the Resurrected Christ, the Holy Family and St. Therese (for Rysse) and St. Michael (for Tim, they didn't have a St. Timothy card at St. Paul's). The Easter eggs contain a jelly candy each.

I taped the eggs to the kids' favorite snack foods - choc chip cookies for Tim and cheese crackers for Rysse. The eggs contain, again, one-peso coins. :)

We don't have Easter baskets, so I'll just ask the kids to use the bags they got from the CFC Kids for Christ International Kids Village we were blessed to attend last year to gather their Easter treasures. :)

Last-minute additions :) I tried to make a cross out of lollipops, after reading this post about symbolic Easter baskets for Catholic children. How I wish we had Catholic stores that sold Catholic-themed candies and goodies like those featured here! :) 

It's not too late to have a Christ-centered Easter activity for your families, friends! :) Here are some useful links:

While we're at it, let's include the whole family! :) Here are 50 Ways to Celebrate Easter from The Word Among Us website. :) 

P.S. This Easter Sunday, the kids are going on a treasure hunt and we'll be having a simple party. But our only prayer is that they discover the greatest treasure of all, i.e. the Resurrected Christ, alive forevermore! Alleluia! :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

It’s NOT About the Bunny, Honey

Easter Sunday is only days away — it seems like yesterday when we started preparing for Lent. Has it really been almost 40 days since? Gosh, how time flies.

This year, we’re going to try to encourage our kids to get more involved in the Easter Triduum, i.e. the activities in Church starting Holy Thursday up to the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday. In previous years, we’d usually skip the Easter Vigil as the children were still quite little then. Although we haven’t decided yet if we’ll do the Vigil this year, we’re not crossing it off our “Easter celebration-to-do list” for now.

What is very definite though, is this: as in years past, we’re going to emphasize again to our kids that Easter is not about the Easter Bunny, or getting Easter eggs, or springtime (which is not really that relevant to us Filipinos anyway).

What we are going to do is remind them that Easter is about the glorious Resurrection of Jesus, just as Christmas is about the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. Rather than focus on the joy of receiving Easter eggs from the Easter Bunny, we will celebrate the joy of spending eternity in Heaven in the future — which is why Jesus died and rose again in the first place.
Photo source here.
Don’t get me wrong, though. We’re not going to be complete killjoys and “deprive” our children of chocolate Easter eggs and other treats. We actually are planning to go on an “Easter treat hunt” in our teeny-tiny apartment on Easter Sunday (or, on second thought, maybe we’ll have it in my parents’ place, tee hee!).

Aside from Easter eggs and other treats, we’ll hide faith-themed little things, like small Christian books from our favorite Booksale branch, stickers of Jesus, Mary and other saints (if these are available), and other cute, novelty items around for the kids to “hunt.” If our budget permits, we may even get them Easter presents, similar to the Christmas parents most kids usually receive.
Photo source here.
Prior to our planned Easter Sunday mini-festivities, we’re planning to attend the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday (today!) and, hopefully, do our own simple washing of the feet ceremony as a family.  We also plan to do the Visita Iglesia Online, a service provided by the CBCP.

On Good Friday, we hope to be able to do the Stations of the Cross and join the Good Friday service and Veneration of the Cross in our parish. I’ll also ask the kids to do one or two cross crafts (taking ideas either from Catholic, American Catholic mommy blogger Lacy's fab blog, or The Learning, a blog set up by fellow Catholic Filipino homeschool mom, Mariel).

On Holy Saturday, we’ll try to keep our activities as solemn as possible and prepare for the Easter Sunday celebration we have planned.

It’s my deepest hope and prayer that by doing this, our children will not only learn that Easter isn’t about the bunny, but, more importantly, treasure and enjoy living out our faith. I think it’s wonderful that the Church gives us 50 days to celebrate Easter, not just one Sunday! Here’s to more fun, faith-filled activities in our home!

And here’s to a blessed, happy Easter to you all, dear readers! Enjoy your much-deserved break with your loved ones!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Holy Week Reflections and Tips on Truly Rich Mom!

I'm attempting to write a series of Holy Week reflections and tips on my main mommy blog this year (though I may not post anything during the Easter Triduum — I'm going offline during those days — at least, I'll do my darndest to! Or, maybe I'll just stay offline on Good Friday. LOL!).

Anyway, I do hope you'll join me over at Truly Rich Mom for these reflections and tips — and help pray that I will practice what I'm preaching every day! ;-)

Here are the posts so far:
Palm Sunday — Hug It Out
Holy Monday — Use Your Words to Bless Your Kids
Holy Tuesday — How to Reap What You Sow

I don't know if I'll be able to update this blog with the next few posts, but you can always subscribe to Truly Rich Mom via e-mail if you like! ;-) Just hop on over and enter your e-mail address in the space provided on the right side of the blog. Or, you could like my Facebook page for instant updates! :-)

May we all have a blessed, beautiful Holy Week (or what's left of it)! + AMDG +

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Palm Sunday Reflection: Are We Crazy Enough To Homeschool?

This super inspiring blog post by Ann Voskamp, entitled, "Why Be Crazy Enough to Homeschool?," comes at a perfect time — Palm Sunday (or Passion Sunday), the official start of Holy Week.
Photo from Fr. Stephen Cuyos, msc
Since we're still undecided whether or not to continue homeschooling, we hope this special period of reflection, prayer and fasting this Holy Week will enlighten us in terms of this decision (and so many others!).

For everyone out there who is homeschooling, thinking of homeschooling, thinking about stopping homeschooling (is my grammar correct here? LOL!), I highly recommend Ann's post. The following excerpt from her post left me in tears actually:

... homeschooling is this magnificent crucibleto reveal impurities and sinfulness and brokenness. 
It keeps us on our knees. Homeschooling often hurts and disappoints. 
You cry and wonder if you are insane to try to educate these children, to disciple these little hearts, while laundering, cooking, cleaning, managing a household, and still being a wife, a sister, a daughter, a missionary in your community, a servant to Christ and in your faith community. And He smiles and say that He walks with you, has grand and glorious purposes, and He understands radical and crazy!
Homeschooling is about going higher up and deeper in, for you learn to sacrificially love in ways you have never loved before. You come to know your own heart in ways you never imagined, the souls of your children in intimate, very real ways.
For you will be together, making memories together, laughing together, crying together, praying together, and asking forgiveness together. Throughout your day, you worship God, together. And you learn to die-to-self together. It’s about doing hard things… together. And there will be no fragmentation of learning, home-life, friends, work, God. 
We keep homeschooling to weave a one-piece life – hallowed threads of parenting, love, pain, education, growing, stumbling, creativity, forgiveness, wonder, sacrifice, and God all woven together. 
We wear it, and it’s not perfect and it’s messy — but oh, it’s a good fit for us!
Praying for you this Holy Week and beyond,

Teachermama Tina writes about

" Jesus Tree 3rd Philippine Homeschool Conference 4th Philippine Homeschool Conference About Teacher Mama Achievements Advantages of Homeschooling Advent Advent Activities Advent Crafts Advent Traditions Advocacies Affirmation All Hallow's Eve All Saints' Day Angels announcements Archangels Arma Dei Articles Arts and Crafts Assumption of Mary Babies Baby Einstein Baby signs Back to School Beginning Homeschool Bible Memory Verse Blessed John Paul II Blessed Mother Teresa Feast Day Blessings Blog Giveaways blog updates Bo Sanchez Books Breastfeeding and Homeschooling Catechism for Kids Catholic Catholic Activities and Crafts Catholic Books Catholic Cartoons Catholic Comics Catholic Education Catholic Feast Days Catholic Filipino Academy Catholic Filipino Homeschooling Catholic Heritage Curricula Catholic Homeschooling Catholic Icing Catholic Lesson Plans for Preschool and Kindergarten Catholic Parenting Catholic Unschooling Catholic Vacation Bible School Celebrations Character Development Child Discipline Christian Cartoons Christian Parenting Christmas Christmas Crafts Christmas greetings Classical Homeschooling College at Home Common Childhood Diseases Confessions Conversion of St. Paul Crafts Creative Activities for Homeschoolers Creativity Daily Schedules Day of the Unborn Child Department of Tourism Different Schooling Styles Discernment Discipline Divine Mercy Drawing E-books Earning Extra Income Easter Easter Activities Easter Treasure Hunt Eclectic homeschooling Education Education for Parents Educational Toys Educational Websites Encouragement for Homeschoolers Encouraging Writing Epiphany Epiphany House Blessing Equipping Catholic Families Events Exaltation of the Holy Cross Expo Mom Family Family Activities Family Bonding Family Traditions Fathers and Homeschooling Feast Days Field Trips Filipino Holidays Filipino Homeschool Filipino Homeschoolers Finances for Homeschoolers First Day of Homeschooling 2012 First Friday meet-ups Five In A Row Forever For Always No Matter What Free Bible Stories Free Children's Online Bibles Free E-books Free Online Books Free Online Comics Free Resources Free Workshops Freebies Frugal Homeschool Ideas funny videos Giveaways God God's Call to Homeschool God's Provision God's Provisions Godly attitudes Grade Levels Gratefulness Guardian Angels Halloween HAPI Heaven Help for Homeschoolers Holidays Holy Days Holy Heroes Holy Week Activities Holy Week Tips and Reflections Homeschool Association of the Philippine Islands Homeschool Benefits homeschool bloggers Homeschool Burnout Homeschool Conference Homeschool Curriculum Homeschool Dads Homeschool Domination Homeschool Events Homeschool Goals Homeschool Help Homeschool High School Homeschool Moms Homeschool of Asia and Pacific Homeschool or Not Homeschool Planning Homeschool Preschool Homeschool Providers in the Philippines Homeschool Resources Homeschool Routine Homeschool Schedules Homeschool Statistics Homeschool Style Homeschool Support Homeschool Tips Homeschool Updates Homeschool Vision Homeschoolers Association of the Philippine Islands Homeschooling Homeschooling and the Working Mom Homeschooling in the Philippines Homeschooling Infographic Homeschooling is a Call Homeschooling Solutions Homeschooling Styles homeschooling videos How to start homeschooling How to teach kids about Holy Week and Easter How to teach reading I Recommend Ignatian Imagination Importance of Play Independence Day Ideas Infographic Inspiration for Homeschoolers Is Homeschooling For Your Child January Feast Days Jesus Christ July to Aug 2012 activities June 12 June 2012 activities K-12 Curriculum Kids Kids and the Bible Kids Books Kindergarten Lessons Kingdom-seekers Academy Kolbe Kolbe Academy Language Learning Styles Learning through Play LEGO Pilipinas at SM MOA Lent Lenten "decor Lenten Activities Lenten Countdown Lenten Crafts Lessons Learned Life Lessons Life Skills Literacy Losing your patience Love and Relationships Love for Learning Making Up Stories Mama Mary Mama Mary's Birthday March 25 Marian Feast Days Marriage Benefits Mater Amabilis May Ideas Michaelmas Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel Mommy Mundo Mommy Talks Mompreneurs Monster Mama Month in Review Mother Goose Mother's Day Motherhood My Masterpiece Movement Nagging Nanay Notebook Nanny National Holidays Nativity of Mary Natural Family Planning New Year's Resolutions Nursery Rhymes October Feast Days Online Resources Organization Orientation Our Catholic Faith Our curriculum for SY 2012-2013 Our Homeschool Our Lady of Sorrows Our Lady of the Rosary Outreach Activities Palm Sunday Parenthood Parenting Parenting Bliss Parenting for Eternity Patriotic Filipino Books Phonics Programs Planner Play Pilipinas Play to Learn Pope JP II Prayer Prayer for Protection Prayer for the Unborn Praying about homeschooling Preborn Jesus Preparing for Christmas Preschool Preschool Lessons Preschool Science Preschoolers and Reading Printables Pro-Family Pro-God Pro-Life Pro-Life Activities for Homeschoolers Pro-Life Crafts Pro-Life Philippines Pro-Poor Progressive Schools Read aloud Reading Reading Program Reasons for Homeschooling Reflections Religion Resources Resources. DIY Review Reviews ROCKERs Rosary Routines Rysse Sacraments Saint Cartoons San Lorenzo Ruiz Saul to Paul Schedule Scripture Memory Verse September Feast Days Service Activities Sibling Relationships Sideline Jobs Sign Language Simple Homeschool Simply Living for Him Single Parenthood Smart Parenting Social Interaction Socialization and Homeschooling St. Cecilia St. Faustina St. Francis of Assisi St. Gabriel St. Lorenzo Ruiz St. Michael the Archangel St. Padre Pio St. Paul St. Raphael St. Teresa of Avila St. Therese of Lisieux Stepping Out of the Grade Level Box Successful Homeschooling Super Saturdays Support for Homeschoolers Susan Lemons Teacher Mama's Mama Teaching Infants Teaching Kids To Be Grateful Teaching Nannies Teaching Toddlers Teaching Toddlers about God The Annunciation to Mary The Learning Basket The Mommy Journey The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Therese Thinking Out of the Book Timothy Toddler Signs Toddlers and Jesus Truly Rich Mom Truth TV-free Activities Unschooling Value of Children Videos about Saints What Kids Say Why Homeschool? Why WE Homeschool Wordless Wednesday Work with the Poor Workshops for Homeschoolers World Breastfeeding Week Writing Yaya