Tag Archives: son

My son’s 13th birthday ( Part 1 )


My son’s 13th birthday started with an action and fun-filled activities in M9 laser skirmish

Joseph with his friends from school

My son with my brother and his cousins who are visiting from the Philippines.  Their presence is what my son values the most during his 13th birthday celebration since we can’t celebrate every important occasion with these significant people in our lives.

My awesome niece and nephew and my one and only brother with some guests enjoying the arcade games

The birthday boy with his ice cream cake ( part of the package of M9 laser skirmish birthday party )

His party did not end here, the celebration continued in our place.  The birthday boy was really so thrilled, with family and friends with him, and being able to have ultimate fun.  Next time, I will be posting his birthday celebration in our home.

God bless everyone!


Re-purposed pieces used for my son’s birthday party decoration/celebration


I have used picture frames  painted with chalkboard paint where I wrote “the happy birthday” .  These served as decorations on the food table and in the other tables as well where guests sat.  You can check out how to make one on my previous post: Chalkboard paint for picture frames

By the way, this food table is actually a ping-pong table.  I just covered it with table-cloth and table skirt all over to make it appealing. So you do not have to buy a bigger outdoor table for your next party, just look around and for sure you can find something which can be re-purposed.

I made this banner out of paper coasters stapled together in one end. Then I covered it with blue craft paper.  For the letters, I bought it from the dollar store then traced them on a glitter paper and finally glued them one by one.  Then I just hung it on a yarn ( one end only was stapled ) which was so easy to do.

Next time, I will post more photos from my son’s birthday.  Have a nice weekend everyone.  God bless!!

Love for Easter


It’s Holy Thursday and I just read a beautiful text message from my friend here in Sydney which goes:

The season of LENT reminds us that the life we have and the material possessions we hold are simply LENT to us.  We are but pilgrims here on earth who will pass by only once.  We bring nothing when we die. But we can leave behind the love we’ve shared, the hope we have given and the goodness we have done.  

I thought of sharing it with you for us to reflect on as we end the lent season and celebrate Easter.  Likewise, I am sharing to you a LOVE mantel which I just made.

I have downloaded this bird from Graphics Fairy

As we end the Lent season, let’s all remember that “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son” ( John 3:16 ).

Let us end the Holy  season with love and celebrate Easter with gladness in our hearts and share this happiness with others.

Linking it to 52 mantels

and to:Graphics Fairy

also in: Organizing and decorating everything

Inspirations for my son’s 13th birthday


My son is turning 13 on the 3rd of May but we decided to throw a party for him on the 25th of April ( public holiday here in Australia )since my brother and his family from the Philippines will be here with us during that time.  He will have a laser tag party with his friends from school and then dinner birthday party in our place for our family friends.  So, I’m now beginning to plan for the party. I’m browsing party ideas from Pinterest, in fact, I’ve made my own board for this endeavor.  Now I just need to decide which ones from my pins will I actually do it.  I’m thinking if I can have something similar to this since I still have chalk paint which I used for my Easter centerpiece.  Of course, I just need to replace the number with thirteen.

chalkboard as background


I’m also thinking of photo timeline ( from birth til present )like this:


Source: http://www.52mantels.com/2012/02/tweet-bird-themed-first-birthday-party.html

I think photo booth such as this will be great and will offer so much fun for everyone.

photo booth for one's birthday

Source: http://bdesign009.blogspot.com.au/2011/04/diy-photo-booth.html

Well, I have a couple of days to actually make these fabulous ideas into reality.  Hope I can post very soon something I’m working on or better still something I have created and ready to go.



Almost 13 year ago, on the third of May 1999 in Manila, Philippines, a boy who weighed 7.8 lbs was born through a Caesarian section at FEU-NRMF hospital. He was called Joseph Maynard. Joseph because his mother has a devotion to St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus Christ. Maynard was from a baby book which means strong. His mother thought that she wants a boy who is not just strong physically but will grow up as a boy who’s strong emotionally and spiritually. He was given the nickname, JM which obviously stands for Joseph Maynard.

When he was growing he was such a delight to the whole family, before his first birthday, he was mistaken sometimes as a girl because of his long hair which was only cut after he turned one. It was sort of an old belief and tradition among Filipinos. He started school at the age of three at Blessed Scalabrini Institute. The Scalabrinian sisters were so happy with JM because he was such a well- endowed and talented boy. At the age of 5, he won Mr. Talent by doing a declamation piece written by his mom. He also danced during that contest and so by unanimous decision, he won the title. He became too, the overall winner for a popularity contest and he was crowned as the first Mr. Scalabrini.

He was six when his parents decided to migrate to Australia. He was sad to leave his friends and their big extended family especially from his mother side. He was not good at conversational English when he arrived in Sydney. He adapted to the language and to the culture of Australia quite easily although in between the adaptation, there were few kids who made fun of him because of his diction and pronunciation. His parent’s heart even broke one time when one kid told them explicitly ” You know what, I just do’nt like JM”. When his parents asked the kid what was the reason, he just replied without hesitation, ” I don’t know, I just don’t like him”. This was the same kid who ruined his favorite toys which they brought from the Philippines. During that time, his parents were trying as well to fit in with a group of people ( Australian citizens but from the Philippines as well ) so they just said nothing, tongue tied they were even though inside they were hurting so much. There were still many incidents which transpired, Joseph being pinched by the same kid, being blamed for nothing and other things . Then it came to a point that his parents decided not to mingle anymore with that group. In fairness though, from that group, his parents found some true friends as well. Friends that they will keep for life.

Now, Joseph is almost turning 13 and is in year 8. This boy has been doing excellently, academically and socially. His parents always receive excellent feedback from his teachers, they always tell them that he is just such an adorable kid, who’s smart and very well-mannered. He plays the violin and is part of the school orchestra. He loves theater sports and is good in acting as well.

Today, his parents know no one can just make fun of him because of his pronunciation and accent. In fact, he’s developing himself to be a good public speaker since he wants to become a lawyer someday. This time, no one can just pinch him because he knows now how to tell them off. His parents know that he has gone a long way and they are just exceptionally proud of him because unlike most kids who were born here and who were never ridiculed, he is someone who was able to rise above all those extraordinary challenges. Definitely, his second name describes him all the more, Maynard which means strong, and yes, he is STRONG!

Blue Vignette


My son told me the other day that our house is becoming more feminine since I’m the one decorating. I really did not agree with him since for my decor I’ve been using neutral colors because I love earth colors anyway. Also, it’s fall here so my mantel has lots of shades of brown. But it seems that he is not convinced. He even said jokingly that he will not be surprised if I turn the walls into pink ( then he laughed loudly ). So when he went to school yesterday I hurriedly check what are the things in his bedroom that has that “boy” touch or shall I say “masculine” touch. Of course, I remember the sign that I just placed on his study desk ( this was in one of my posts entitled ” from my heart to yours”).

His alarm clock as well is aqua blue and he has this photo taken in a studio by a professional when we were still in the Philippines and its background too is blue. Then I thought if I put them together and add a bit, then he can’t complain anymore. Well, at least in his room lots of blue will be seen. I just bought two pieces of items from the dollar shop and one of them is this candy jar with aqua blue lid where I placed his watch and blue armband

I’ve also inspected his books, some of them has a touch of blue in the outside cover like his favorite one, Harry Potter book ( he’s a big fan of HP so he has a collection of HP stuff )

I put them together and what did I get? A simple blue vignette on his bedside table.

When I came home from work last night, I asked him straight away if he likes his bedside table and of course the answer was affirmative!

I am linking this simple, in fact very simple decoration which made my son very happy to:


Also I’m linking this to:




I’ve attended a parent teacher interview last night at my son’s school.   On our way to the state of the art library, we passed by the Arts building which is newly built as well.  My attention was caught with a quote from Banksy,( an England based graffiti artist, political activist, film director and a painter) which was showcased at the entrance of the visual arts building.  Here is the photo of entrance hallway:

His quote really made me think and finally made a conclusion that he is really right.  Without this quote in bold letters, surely I will not have a second look and more significantly I will not take out my phone to catch an image of a blank wall.  He is right with all due respect that is why his drawings in varied places were given attention and credit.  Here is one of his drawings in London ( a girl being attacked by an ATM )

Drawings, quotations or simply words on the wall have a huge impact.  It simply drives someone to have a glance, to have a look carefully or even scrutinize.  So I said to myself, same is true when it comes to our home.  The walls in our house serve as places for our design, creation and decoration.  It just gives us a perfect spot for the messages we have for ourselves and for others.  Let me show you this one from one of my favorite sites: nesting place

The moment I saw this photo, I’ve pinned it to my Pinterest straight away because I was carried away with the word “dwell” and that I am now thinking what to place in our wall later on.  This clearly shows us that the wall can really be a very big weapon, our weapon of inspiration.  Here is another one which attacks the eyes and the heart since it says something very essential about a family.  Likewise, the wall is filled with the photos of the members of the family.

Source: The Bird’s Papaya

This one also penetrates even your soul since it reminds you to pray  to forgive, to share, be grateful and a  lot more.  They are the daily challenges that we have and keep us live with meaning and purpose.

Source: Between you and me

I will stop at this point and allow you to think of words, quotes , pictures that you want to place in your wall as I contemplate too.

Organization in few minutes


In my previous posts, I’ve been organizing some paperwork in our household.  You can bet, there’s a lot more to do.  But today, I’ve paid attention to my son’s stuff, particularly his Wii Console games and DS lite games (I may be calling it incorrectly, can’t really cope with all these games). Well, this is how they look inside in one of the cupboards of our entertainment  and TV stand

This is not something that anybody can see unless you open the cupboard, but I know I need to do something before it gets more disorganized and the worst is that if something falls off the moment you open it.  So I thought of using the foldable storage box which I bought from Aldi Store Australia only for $4.00 three weeks ago.

I did expand this box so easily and in few seconds, I have a box which is 20 cm in height.  Then after few minutes, I was able to place inside it the Wii Console and DS lite games. This is how it looks now

The organization that I’ve done is so simple and easy but it made a lot of difference.  It can save the time of my son looking for the game that he likes.  This is how it appears now inside our TV entertainment stand.

But wait, I’ve realized something, there is no label.  I shall label it soon.  So yeah, it’s in progress.  Can’t complain though, I did it only for few minutes.

My first love


It’s Ash Wednesday today and so I remember my country of birth because I’m pretty sure all its Catholic churches will be full again, knowing that the Catholic faith is so strong in the Philippines.  So today, I’m thinking of my first love, the one that I was with for 35 years.  I have millions of good memories there and when I think of her, I can’t help but to think that it’s where I first met my husband, in Mactan Cebu..one of the famous and beautiful islands in the Philippines.  Here is a glimpse of Mactan, Cebu:

Hence, when we had our holidays in September 2010, we visited the place again and of course it brought to our memories how our love story began.  Here is a picture of mine taken by my hubby:

Oh, we just enjoyed ourselves in that island with lots of refreshing drinks.

For my hubby, the local beer in the Philippines is still one of the best!

We also ate to our tummy’s delight.  We made sure we’ve tasted one of the Philippine’s pride, its roasted pig called ” lechon”.

We just had the time of our lives when we were there

During that time we also went to another island by ferry, the equally popular Bohol.  We were just fascninated by the Chocolate Hills, thousand of hills which look like mole hills that are covered by grass.  During the dry season, the grass turns into chocolate brown where its name originated from.

We’ve also seen the endangered species of the petite tarsier whose large eyes are fixed to their skulls.  But do not feel sorry for them, they can rotate their head anyway 180 degrees.  Also, these small species have excellent night vision.  Well, they’re truly amazing.

We’ve also visited the Butterfly sanctuary in Bohol and to give you an idea what you would enjoy, here is a picture of my son

and a picture of my brother with the longest ( 23 feet ) and the heaviest phyton  snake in captivity.

So with all these adventures, I do not mind seeing an overloaded dam truck with people on top ( as long as they remain safe ) and an open garbage truck with heaps of garbage collectors on top ( as long as they keep healthy and sickness free ).

My point is, my first love, the Philippines has so much to offer and it will always occupy a big space in my heart where i could laugh with and hug my cousins,

and friends

and just enjoy the company of those that I love .

To my first love, part of my heart still belongs to you!

A mother’s prayer


I read a very heartbreaking news this morning from the internet that an 8 year old boy was hit by a car yesterday here in NSW, tried to be revived by his own mother but later died in the hospital. Apparently, it was a girl, an older student from the same school who was the driver of the car. This news struck me deep within. As a mother, I know this is something unfathomable. I knew the mother of the boy ran to him and tried unceasingly to revive him, was hoping that he would not stop breathing, was praying for her boy to survive. But her efforts did not succeed and so the efforts of the medical team. Her boy, who only enjoyed life for 8 years is gone. I really felt the pain and even though I do not know her, I prayed for her. As I am writing this, I again burst into tears and prayed once again for GOD to comfort her, for the LORD to carry her in HIS arms as she goes through the most difficult time in her life. I also pray for the mother of the the girl who unintentionally became the cause of the untimely death of the boy. I know she is in deep agony too. I also feel for her and pray that she will have enough strength to help her daughter face and accept the tragedy and eventually forgive herself. I pray for these two mothers who are in great sorrow and lastly I pray for my own son for him to be free from danger all the time.

I am praying for God to allow me to hug him more, to feel the warmth of my embrace

to be able to kiss him more, for me and my husband to show how much we love him.

I pray to God to let me walk beside him, support and guide him as he grows and experience LIFE.