Sunday, December 31, 2006

Monday, December 25, 2006

The best this Christmas

Christmas 2006

It’s Christmas day and I only had 3 hours of sleep. It wasn’t because I had to stay up for Christmas Eve. We were all ready for bed by 10ish last night after our family holiday routine: Christmas service, Christmas dinner and opening of gifts. My hubby and kids were soooo tired from the excitement. On the other hand, I was too full of emotions, mixed I guess. I just couldn’t sleep straight.
You see, after two years of putting our house up for sale, finally, a buyer found it and they’re very interested. I’m kinda’ excited yet sad of the turn of events. Last night, during the Christmas service, I couldn’t help but cry for joy as I recollect the many awesome blessings He has bestowed upon this family. At the same time, I couldn’t understand what has gotten into me when the song, “How great thou art” began to unfold its melody and lyrics. I just wept, sobbed and wept. Good thing I was wearing a waterproof mascara or my face would have turned out to be real muddy!
I may be losing a house that my husband and I built with our own hands, a house filled with love and laughter! I saw my children grew up here. I recall, my daughter who is fond of cooking baked her first choco chip cookies as she laid them neatly on the kitchen counter… in my favorite part of the house, the kitchen! I had my quilting classes here, bible studies, family get-togethers and reunion, big time and memorable events! On a good early morning with a fresh cup of coffee in my hand, I open the lanai french doors, sit on an inherited butaca, comfy chair and just listen to the birds chirp their praise and worship to the Lord, meditate on His goodness as the cool, fresh breeze brush the skin of my face. The garden, the smell of musky, all green grass and the blooming flowers with all kinds of color: red, orange and violet, brightens my day! The dining area with the dining table where we eat our meals together….. the island table in my kitchen….. this place is so peacefully beautiful, I could hear a pin drop. This place is home. This place is haven of rest. This place, this house, has been such a dear to me and moving out will definitely break my heart!
And with all this, I thought, no matter what I do, no amount of plans I set and goals I want to achieve, the journey for this family is still in the hands of the Father. The bible says, “have faith in the unseen”. It’s hard to ascertain when they are not seen on sight. In the unforeseen events, God has taught me to increase my faith and entrust everything on His sovereignty knowing that the path and destination for my family was established way before creation came to be. It’s letting go and letting Him take authority of the many concerns in my life. And indeed, miracles happen! God is faithful and good. At the end, His plans prevail and His name, glorified!
For Him to send a buyer for our house is a sign that He is taking us to a better place, our “Promised Land”. A land that is filled with milk and honey, a land that will give my children better options and a brighter future, a land with a new set of mission work where only this family can accomplish under heaven.
I have to go through the process of pain so I can move on. Having to experience the reality about life here on earth….. earthly things are temporary. Only one thing is permanent: “relationships”…. with our God and the people whom we care and love around us.
The best thing that happened to me this Christmas is knowing I have my loved ones, families and friends whom I keep a great relationship with. All of them, all shapes and sizes, different personalities, most often times unpredictable, great giftings and skills. Your lives are all important and valuable to me far more than rubies and diamonds!! That is the best blessing, not only this Christmas but knowing it in my heart everyday, life is full indeed!
Christmas wishes from my home and as we welcome the coming new year, I send you blessings of peace, joy, love and good health!
Jen

Friday, December 15, 2006

Our 15th Christmas

December Family Newsletter
Our 15th Christmas, 2006


Warm greetings in Jesus name!

“To God be the glory!” There truly is no other way to live life but to live it for His glory.
Our four lovely children are a blessing indeed, CJ (13), Jed (12), Daisy (7), and Kay (4). The first three are in school while Caila will start school next year. They are all healthy, smart, well-behaved, and have earned not only academic awards but character awards as well. It is only by God’s grace that they have turned out the way they have and we as parents delight in them.
CJ (Christopher Julian) loves badminton and is “Captain” of their school basketball team. He is about Bim’s height now with a 12 shoe size! Jed (Christian Jared) enjoys badminton and soccer and has “tons” of friends. Both boys are very active and excel in sports activities. Daisy (Cyra Jannela) loves to be a chef or a baker someday. She is fond of identifying ingredients of the food that she eats. Her dream is to bake the best chocochip cookies in the world! She learned to ride a bike this year and is saving all her Christmas money for a new one. Kay (Caila Jazper) is talkative and is just a darling. She loves to draw, write and create stuff out of paper. She home schools with Mom and is excited to start Kindergarten next school year.
Jenny is in school too, taking up a nursing course as her second degree and will graduate by March 2007. She will immediately review in April for the June local boards. She has been very much involved in Medical Missions twice this year serving to about 13,000 less privileged people in Kabankalan and in Bacolod.
Bim has been a full-time staff member of the Baptist Conference Church of Bacolod since 1998 and tasked to head the Membership department and Small group ministry. He loves to ride his motorcycle and enjoys leading a group of motorcycle enthusiasts for rides and fellowship as often as possible.
It’s been a great year for us. God has never failed to provide for our needs and much more. In His time, He makes all things beautiful!
Blessings from our home to yours!


Thursday, November 30, 2006

The OR nurse in the making!


Operating Room Clinical Duty at Dumaguete.

Monday, November 6, 2006

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Homemade Sardinas


Sardines: good for one serving only. If you want to have a big serving for 10 people, multiply the recipe by 10.

Ingredients:
100 grams size bangus or 6 pcs. tuloy½ teaspoon salt2 tbsp. cooking oil (vegetable oil will do) or olive oil½ tsp. ginisa flavor mix
recado
peppercorns

4 tbsp. tomato sauce or Olive oil
2 slices red bell pepper
chopped tomatoes
chopped basil
lemon wedges

Procedure:
1. Remove the fish scales, gills and internal organs, fins, tail, and the black lining in the belly.
2. Wash very well and drain.
3. Slice and arrange the pieces inside the pressure cooker and add in salt, oil, flavor mix recado and peppercorns.
4. Pressure cook for 30 minutes
5. To avoid overcooking, place the pressure cooker immediately in running water after cooking.8. open the lid of the pressure cooker and check the condition of the cooked sardines. if it meets your satisfaction, turn on the burner again and add in the tomato sauce or Olive oil and the rest of the ingredients.

Serve hot with lemon wedges, toast or top it on your favorite pasta dish.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

.... so they say!


I learned..... that Whatever you give eventually comes back to you.... What goes around, comes around... so they say!

Friday, October 20, 2006

The miracle of knowing.....


......that my Lord is there at my lowest days.

Monday, October 9, 2006

Friends are.....


I learned...... that Friends who listen are rare treasures.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

About forgiveness....


I've learned - That no matter how good a friend is, they will hurt you once in a while. You must forgive them for that.

I've learned – that sometimes its not enough to be forgiven. You also need to forgive yourself.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Thursday, June 8, 2006

praying for someone


I've learned.... That I can always pray for someone when I don't have the strength to help him in some other way.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Cheese Slicer

Found this really neat gadget in one of my trips to Dumaguete… it’s a cheese slicer. You really do not slice the cheese with it. You simply slide this gadget unto the cheese. There’s a lever where you can adjust according to the desired thickness of the cheese. If ever you find one of these? Get one without thinking otherwise. It’s cheap and a very nifty gadget guaranteed to give you great results!!!!!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Chili Con Carne and Summer Camps

I usually cook chili con carne out of mere “hunch”. Yea, I know what you’re thinking… the result is different every time. But who cares really when this delicious, appetite-arouser is served on the dinner table? More often than not, this family favorite is gone before I’m to scoop a heapful for myself. Mine is a mixed re-invention of American and Mexican. Traditionally, I serve this with a bun and burger patty. The chili is then spread unto it copiously and some grated or slices of cheese.
I happen to serve the same in one of our camping trips at the mountain this summer. So before everyone asks for the recipe, I had to quantify the ingredients and make it available here in my blog. By the way, make room for the bathroom…. It can get crowded after a munificent meal!


Ingredients:
•2 cups softened red kidney beans (soaked in hot water overnight, cook in pressure cooker for 45 minutes). Drain and set aside.
•2 tablespoons vegetable oil
•2 large bulb sweet onions, chopped
•½ kilo ground pork
•½ kilo ground beef
•1 large green bell pepper, diced
•1 large red bell pepper, diced
•6 medium-sized tomatoes, seeded and diced
•2 cans (8ounces) tomato sauce
•1 small can tomato paste
•½ cup broth or water or still beer (this beer thing was a tip from my sis-in-law, Meg). Dissolve the tomato paste here
•1 large can corn
•2 tablespoons chili powder
•1 small pack ginisa flavor mix
•2 heapful spoons of brown sugar
•2 small bay leaves
•dash of cayenne pepper to taste
•sea salt to taste
•freshly cracked pepper
•some dried mixed herbs
•2 minced hot pepper (or sili) or depends on how hot you want it
•the secret ingredient: 3 pcs. Chocolate kisses
•slices or grated cheeze

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the chopped onions with the vegetable oil until translucent. Add in the ground pork and beef and stir for 5 minutes. When the meat mixture is starting to brown and the onions are soft, add in the diced bell peppers and tomatoes. Saute for a minute stirring frequently, add the tomato sauce, tomato paste mixture, cooked kidney beans and the corn. Bring to a boil. Put in the rest of the ingredients. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Taste, and add more chili powder or hot pepper if needed. Cover and turn to very lowest heat. Simmer, stirring from time to time. If chili starts to stick or becomes too thick, add some more water. It can be eaten after another 15 minutes, but an hour or two on very low heat makes a tastier chili.
Serve with crackers or crusty bread, or surrounding a mound of white rice. I also serve with chips as chili con salsa, use as sauce in pasta dishes, or base in pizza recipes. I usually make a big batch and freeze it for different purposes.
You may top it with slices or grated cheese and garnish with a dollop of sour cream if desired, and/or sprinkle with a little fresh chopped cilantro.
Now that the recipe is delivered, let me tell you about our camping trip.

Our family-church friends invited us to camp at thier newly-purchased, beautiful mountain property near Mambucal Resort. When they acquired this place came an abundant plantation of fruit-bearing trees, a rice paddy and all sorts of “soul-quench” pleasures turned haven to many of us. Along with some very close friends, the trip going up there was bumpy. But this was my husband’s favorite part… the rough-driving with his so called, "4X4". We had to pitch our tents over the tallest part of the rolling elevations of this property where the vast view of the city lights of Bacolod is just gorgeous once the sun sets. During the day, we hiked up a rough mountain trail that linked up to the access way of Mt. Canlaon. We traversed through narrow passes until we spotted some wild horses and a couple “carabaos” at the river crossing. We could hear the torrent waterfalls just a few meters from where we were standing. Realizing we have treked quite a distance from the camp site, we had to take a spin before anyone of us gets lost. We took a different route on the way back and crossed scenic rivers that led up to a vast forest as we climbed down to the picturesque views of the city of Bacolod.
When we were back at the camp, Sitoy, the monkey was sitting on his pole in an inquisitive mood. He was conceited and just wanted all the attention so we spent most of our time teasing the little guy. After lunch, there was a heavy downpour and so it wasn’t until I slipped into a pair of flip flops and stepped out of the tent unto a muddy ground! What was I thinking? Maybe I was such in the “soul-intake” mood that I just eagerly want to feel, smell, savor and absorb everything around me.
As usual, the kids had hotdogs and marshmallows by the fire while I was chef that night. We had the chili con carne, grilled porkchops and salmon bellies.
The owners plan to expand and will eventually house a pool and a country cottage! That was some kind of camp. I’m definitely coming back to this place.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Road to Takatuka

Scary! As we were leaving Takatuka that day, the water rose to knee-length! Listen to me as I was praying at the background. Bim thought it was an adventure! I was scared the car would drown!

Sunday, April 30, 2006

See ya around, Brother!




April 29, 2006
Bro Mitch, you are a dear friend. You are precious to us! We will surely miss you but I know we will be reunited soon!!!!

Take care always. You know that you are loved!




Thursday, March 16, 2006

Arroz ala Cubana

There are many ways to cook Arroz ala Cubana. But ours is probably the simplest to make. You know, the simpler, the better. At this day and age, I would like to spend as little time preparing meals. My eldest son, CJ, is an expert on this particularly cooking the meat part so he gets to take over the kitchen when he is in his best moods.
Ingredients:

one egg for each (fried or sunny side up)
Cooked rice
1/2 kilo pork
1/2 kilo beef
some garlic, chopped
some onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 can button mushroom, sliced (optional)
Mama Sita barbeque sauce
At least 10 ripe "cardava" bananas, sliced in half and fried
1 large serving platter or can be served individually as shown in picture above.
Directions:

Fry the bananas, set aside. Cook the eggs sunny side up, set aside. In the same pan, pour some oil and saute the chopped garlic and onions. Add in the meat. Stir until meat is cooked. Avoid having the meat sticking to the pan. Add in the button mushroom and the Mama Sita barbeque sauce... about 1 tablespoon or more. You are the best gauge on how much sauce you want to add in. Some salt and pepper to taste.

How to eat it? Simply mix everything together!!!!

Sunday, January 1, 2006

I AM THANKFUL AND BLESSED!!!!!


FOR THE HUSBAND I’M MARRIED TO

FOR 15 WONDERFUL YEARS….

BECAUSE HE IS HOME WITH ME

NOT WITH SOME CHICK AND NOT OUT AT THE BARS.



FOR MY TWO PRINCESSES: SWEETIEPIE AND HONEYPIE,

FOREVER CLIMBING UP MY BACK LIKE MONKEYS,

EATING ME UP LIKE LITTLE PIRANHAS

BECAUSE IT MEANS, I AM NEEDED.



FOR MY TEENAGER WHO IS TURNING 14 YEARS THIS YEAR

WHO COMPLAINS ABOUT DOING DISHES

BECAUSE IT MEANS HE IS AT HOME,

NOT ON THE STREETS.



FOR MY OTHER SON WHO IS FOREVER SO “KULIT”

OFTENTIMES HE GETS INTO MY NERVES

BUT HIS HUGS ARE EXCEEDINGLY EVER SO ABUNDANT

I CANT START A DAY WITHOUT IT.



FOR THE TAXES WE PAY

BECAUSE IT MEANS WE HAVE WORK

THE MONEY WE EARN WILL BUY FOOD

SO MY CHILDREN WILL NOT GO HUNGRY.



FOR THE MESS TO CLEAN UP

AFTER A PARTY

BECAUSE IT MEANS

I HAVE BEEN SURROUNDED BY FRIENDS AND FAMILIES.



FOR THE CLOTHES

THAT FIT A LITTLE TOO SNUGLY

BECAUSE IT MEANS

I HAVE ENOUGH TO EAT.



FOR MY SHADOW

THAT WATCHES ME WORK

BECAUSE IT MEANS

I AM OUT IN THE SUNSHINE.



FOR A LAWN THAT NEEDS MOWING,

WINDOWS THAT NEED CLEANING,

AND GUTTERS THAT NEED FIXING

BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE A HOME.



FOR ALL THE COMPLAINING

I HEAR ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT

BECAUSE IT MEANS

WE HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH.



FOR THE PARKING SPOT

I FIND AT THE FAR END OF THE PARKING LOT

BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM CAPABLE OF WALKING

AND I HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH TRANSPORTATION .



FOR MY HUGE ELECTRIC BILL

BECAUSE IT MEANS MY FAMILY IS COMFORTABLE,

WE CAN WATCH OUR FAVORITE SHOWS ON TV

WE HAVE WATER AND LIGHTS AT NIGHT.



FOR THE LADY BEHIND ME IN CHURCH

WHO SINGS OFF KEY

BECAUSE IT MEANS

I CAN HEAR.



FOR THE PILE OF LAUNDRY

AND IRONING

BECAUSE IT MEANS

I HAVE CLOTHES TO WEAR.



FOR WEARINESS AND ACHING MUSCLES

AT THE END OF THE DAY

BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE BEEN

CAPABLE OF WORKING HARD.



FOR THE ALARM THAT GOES OFF

IN THE WEE HOURS

BECAUSE IT MEANS

I AM ALIVE.



FOR CLASSMATES AT SCHOOL AND FRIENDS AT WORK

WHO CALL ME BY NAME

BECAUSE IT MEANS

I AM NOT ALONE.



FOR THE EARLY MORNINGS AND THE FRESH BREWED COFFEE

FOR THE MUSKY SMELL OF GREEN GRASS,

THE COOL BREEZE THAT BRUSHES MY FACE AND THE BIRDS CHIRPING

THIS MEANS I HAVE A GOD WHO LOVES AND WATCHES OVER ME.



Be thankful always, give abundantly, Laugh often, smile and kiss slowly, hug tightly, Forgive quickly and Love exceedingly with all of your heart. Life is too short indeed to miss out on the simple things that God blesses us with in life! Blessings to all friends and loved ones.