Score for Chore!

Joshua is in the age where it is easy to let him follow some instructions. I want him to be more independent and give him a sense of responsibility, so I thought of doing a weekly chore chart!

We both agreed that he has to complete a set of chores everyday and when the week is over, if he does all his responsibilities he gets a reward from the grocery.

So for the first week, we agreed on 4 chores he has to complete everyday.  His chores included washing his plate and utensils, bathing himself, putting his clothes in the bin, and cleaning up his toys. As his Mom, I have to remind him if he did his chores. If he forgot, I would remind him to complete his task. If he completed it, he gets to put a smiley face on his chart.

His chart is also reported to his dad at the end of the day. He feels really accomplished that he got to complete his work. Together with my help, Joshua designed his chore chart folder by putting family cut outs of which some of them he painted.

At the end of the week, he completed it and he did great! It’s a fun and good way to do chores at home.

Letter brain practice

When Joshua saw the wooden cut out letters I bought, he was so thrilled! He was excited because it came in many colors and looked like fun! So I used it to make him look for the right letter to spell words.

Then we tried a different approach. He had to find all the right letters to all 26 letters of the alphabet. He worked hard on it! After A-G, he was already breaking a sweat.

The reason I believe he was challenged because he had to complete 26 letters. Well I encouraged him to go on and he probably finished this activity in 12 minutes! 

When he was done it felt like an accomplishment. But he was also so tired looking for the right letter to match his chart.

I’m so happy he never gave up and was able to succeed in this task. This is a good activity to do at home.

Another Angel

You surprised me when I got back from Hawaii. I thought I was jet lagged. I was feeling strange… Always hungry, body warming up, and feeling tired. Then a couple of days of feeling that way, I decided to check. Just maybe, who knows I may be pregnant.

True enough you were alive. I saw you on your 5th week. Yes you were tucked in a sac, with a heartbeat. I had mixed emotions… Could not believe that at 39, I would be going through pregnancy again. But I did get excited that you have come, my love. 


I settled in my heart, that I would slow down to have you. I chuckled how since 2012, I have not stopped breastfeeding. I am sure I will commit to breastfeed you like Josh and Anna. I wondered if you were a girl or a boy.  I am happy that my pregnancy symptoms were not as overwhelming as the last one. You were going to be someone great because I prayed that God would use you and make you beautiful.

Then, I started to bleed. I never bled in any of my pregnancies. Doc says just to take progesterone and isoxilan and you should be fine. I checked on you and you were there showing off your heart to me. It was beating but not at optimum. Doc says there is blood above the sac. I should stay still and relax. So mommy did. 

Two weeks later, I brought your older brother  Josh to my check-up. He was excited to see you. He has been kissing mom’s tummy and praying for you. Then Doc said, you no longer have a heartbeat. Joshua blurted “Baby died?” I had to tell him, you returned to Jesus.  Joshua could not believe that baby is dead and is in heaven. He says he wants to go to heaven too.

I was crushed inside because I will not have the opportunity to meet you here. I will have to wait for heaven to know you. Baby, know this… I love you even when you were mine for a little while. Oh Daddy was more sad because he wanted you so much!

I now have to wait for when you will come out of me. It’s a very strange thing knowing you are still in my uterus but no longer alive. 

I thank the Lord for the opportunity to be pregnant again. I thank Him for the weeks I held you,  baby. But in everything, I will still choose to say… The Lord gives, the Lord takes away… And yet,  Blessed be the name of my Good and Faithful Lord.

Words as sweet as Honey

The night before my flight, Daddy Steve watched Joshua go through the mobile bible app and really engaged on the stories of the bible. Joshua talked about Jesus being nailed on the cross because of our sins. He also spoke openly how he asked sorry from the Lord for his disobedience. Then Joshua said, “I told Jesus I’m sorry for not obeying. I fight mommy, I fight daddy, I fight Anna, I fight Yaya. And then, Jesus said, “it’s okay Joshua”.


I had to drive down that truth. Jesus has paid on the cross all our sins. So when we confess to Jesus, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins (1John1:9). It’s the humility to confess that is most important. Steve was looking at his 3 year old little preacher Joshua explaining further that because Jesus is in his heart, he has power. I honestly enjoy listening and discussing about Jesus and the bible to Joshua because he loves the stories and he does practical applications from it.

 That Sunday, Steve and I were in church and the message was about LOVE and about being intentional about forgiveness and being intentional in mentoring and discipling our children. Then my husband told me, “You do that well babe. You disciple our children. Thank you. I’m not sure how to do it, but you do it really well.”  I looked at my husband a little surprised that he said that. But that encouraged me so much as a wife and as a mother. Those sweet words were so sweet.

Before I left we were all on the bed, and my husband, my son Josh and daughter Anna all laid hands and prayed for me and for the success of my study mission in Hawaii.  All their words and prayers were sweet honey to my soul. It is such an encouragement for me to have the love and support of my family. 

Now, I will  be gone for about 9 days. I’m missing every one of them so much. But with my family backing me up, I am  a mommy ready and inspired! 

When your child teaches grace…

I was so happy to have been invited by Child Evangelism Fellowship to share to a group of pastors how I taught my 3 year old son about the bible. I shared how my 3 year old was able to memorise 10 bible verses.  I was in so much delight to encourage them to keep sharing the gospel to every child in their home, church and community.  It was a blessed morning of testimony sharing.

Returning home from that event, I was greeted by my children. After lunch I prepared to bring Joshua to his swimming class. He enjoys swimming and I really want him to learn the basics of surviving in water.

In swimming class, my son is the youngest student. In order for him to feel secure, I have to get in the water and join him too. Good thing the coach is very understanding towards us. After most of the drills that day, Joshua suddenly changed his mood. He must have felt tired. But instead of saying he is tired, he started screaming and feeling upset at me. After discussing and trying to pacify, he just kept screaming at me in the pool. I knew we had to stop swimming. So I asked his nanny to take him to the bathroom and change him so we could go home. He screamed and cried even harder and we could still hear him from outside.  I was getting embarrassed because other parents were asking if he was okay. I tried to rush and leave the hotel.

Joshua just did not stop his tantrum. He kept crying and screaming and was not at all listening to my instruction to keep quiet. This was going on for about 30 minutes already. People were looking, and I was stressed.  He kept on crying as we rode the elevator, all the way in the lobby of the hotel and even when he reached the car.  Despite all the commotion, the staff of my husband wanted to get from me the hotel membership card. I asked if I could give it at home because Joshua’s tantrum was uncontrollable. However, she asked if I could give it now because she needed it already.  Having Joshua screaming and crying by my ear…I banged the door at her, slapped Joshua’s mouth and screamed “SHUT UP JOSHUA!”.  I said this in front of my driver and the nanny, and of course even the staff of Steve heard all of this. Joshua mellowed a bit, yet I was so tense looking for the card in my wallet.  Finally, I found the card and gave it to the staff, but my good testimony in the morning was lost in that moment of tantrum.

It felt like a long way home as Joshua continued crying. My mind was just out in space in disgust with my own behaviour. Here I am professing I am a Christian, and at that one moment of stress, I blew it.  I lost my cool, I let anger take over, and it was such a bad testimony.

When we got home, I had to administer discipline on Joshua.  His butt met the spanking rod and he asked for forgiveness and stopped crying.  But the whole commotion overwhelmed me, that I was so upset with how I behaved. I just kept quiet when Joshua said “sorry” and did not mind him. In the shower, I prayed and told the Lord how I felt and how upset I am with myself. Meanwhile, Steve was talking to Joshua about obeying and respecting me.  Joshua knocked at the door of the bathroom and kept saying, “Mom, I’m really sorry.” But I kept quiet and did not mind him.

When I got out of the bathroom he kept following me. He would from time to time say, “Mom, I am sorry.”

Then I told him, “Joshua I need you to stop fighting mom. Im feeling sad.”

Joshua looking at me said again, “mom, I’m sorry.”

I told him, “I need time out from you, I am feeling sad.”

In my surprise, my 3 year old came close, placed his hand on my head and said… “Dear Jesus, thank you for my mommy.  Take her sadness, make her healthy and strong, make her have good dreams tonight, in Jesus name. Amen”. When he did that, my heart softened and I hugged him.  I then told Joshua, “Next time when you are feeling upset and angry, I should pray for you so you don’t fight mommy.” He then blurted, “pray for me now. pray so I don’t get angry.”

It was a moment of grace. My 3 year old was teaching me not to delay and pray.  So I placed my hand over his head and prayed, “Dear Jesus, thank you for Joshua. Give him a good heart, remove anger from his heart. We cast out any spirit of anger in his heart. Lord, make him obedient, loving, and kind. Help him love you Jesus. Let him know that Nothing can separate him from the love of God. In Jesus name”  and we both said, “Amen.”

I was fully humbled by God! Yes, I can start the day right, mess up in the middle, but God will always, always, make me right with Him at the end of that same day.  His mercy and His grace is so overflowing.  God used my 3 year old to show me an area in my life that I need to improve on — To be consistent in prayer, consistent in discipline, consistent in forgiveness and in the knowledge of God’s grace.

I thank the Lord for giving me a child who teaches me how to stand up after I stumble and reminding me that God’s grace is sufficient even in my weakness.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swim Lessons

Joshua had introductory swim lessons when he was 2 years old. We just wanted him to get familiar with the water. We also wanted him to have no fear of the deep and learn to survive in the water. 

We may have forced him to get into swimming lessons too early because he wanted to play more than to do the drills. For a time he did not want to take lessons and he felt maybe a bit pressured.  But Joshua loves the water. We just want him to build the confidence to swim.

There was a time that he became reliant on a batman body floater that he received as a gift. He would jump with it and be unafraid because he knew he would surface. 

But we want him not to be dependent on the floaters. We want our son to be able to swim.

Good thing Bert Lozada Swim School opened in Gensan. I enrolled Joshua and he is one of the smaller kids in his batch. He likes the swim coach and enjoys having classmates who do swim drills in the pool. 

He can now float and not be afraid to lie on his back.


He can now go underwater and hold his breath for 10 counts! 


He can kick with a kick board


He can also swim short distances. 


All these happened in less than 10 sessions! I really like the technique and style of Bert Lozada Swim School. I could say my 3 year old has improved in confidence, endurance, and survival skills. I know if we continue, he can really become a formal swimmer.

For moms in my area, I suggest for the summer to enroll your children to Bert Lozada Swim School in Greenleaf Gensan. Coaches are from Manila and they are great instructors. I highly recommend it. Plus the French fries and the spaghetti in Greenleaf are pretty good to eat after swim class! 

Make your own bubbles! 

I bought my kids a hand held bubble maker. We had so much fun with all the bubbles that we were making. My little girl was trying to catch bubbles and Joshua was blowing them away. 

   
 
We were having so much fun and we ran out of the bubble solution. Often times we ask ourselves if we should go to the toy store and buy bubble solution or make it ourselves? So I searched for recipes on bubble recipes. And I found one that I liked. It is the Tear Free bubble solution.

  
Here is this simple recipe:

TEAR FREE BUBBLE SOLUTION:

1/4 cup tear-free baby shampoo

3/4 cup water

3 Tablespoons light corn syrup 

As simple as this, you can let your toddler be the one to make it (with supervision of course). Mix the shampoo and water and then add the light corn syrup after. 

  
Not only was this solution easy and convenient. It is definitely cheaper. The bubbles would make big round bubbles that would float long in the air. It’s pretty good quality bubbles. But because of the corn syrup which is sweet and sticky, I suggest you play with the bubble maker outside of the house.

  
Children will always be amused with the bubbles. It’s a good bonding activity with your kids.