Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas: St. Joseph

During the homily today, the priest reminded all the fathers of their important role in protecting the family and teaching prayer and our traditions to the children. Families need good fathers to lead them. There aren't many stories of St. Joseph in the Bible but Jesus must have learn humility and obedience from him. Jesus was strong because St. Joseph was.


When Joseph was an old man, an old man was he

He courted Virgin Mary, the queen of Galilee
He courted Virgin Mary, the queen of Galilee

When Joseph and Mary were walking one day
Here is apples and cherries so fair to behold
Here is apples and cherries so fair to behold

Then Mary spoke to Joseph so meek and so mild
"Joseph, gather me some cherries for I am with child"
"Oh Joseph, gather me some cherries for I am with child "

Then Joseph flew in anger, in anger he flew
"Oh, let the father of the baby gather cherries for you"
"Oh, let the father of the baby gather cherries for you"

So the cherry-tree bowed low down, low down to the ground
And Mary gathered cherries while Joseph stood down
And Mary gathered cherries while Joseph stood down

Then Joseph took Mary all on his right knee
Crying, "Lord, have mercy for what I have done"
Crying, "Lord, have mercy for what I have done"

When Joseph was an old man, an old man was he
He courted Virgin Mary, the queen of Galilee
He courted Virgin Mary, the queen of Galilee

JOSEPH'S SONG (Michael Card)

How could it be this baby in my arms
Sleeping now, so peacefully
The Son of God, the angel said
How could it be
Lord I know He's not my own
Not of my flesh, not of my bone
Still Father let this baby be
The son of my love

Father show me where I fit into this plan of yours
How can a man be father to the Son of God
Lord for all my life I've been a simple carpenter
How can I raise a king, How can I raise a king
He looks so small, His face and hands so fair
And when He cries the sun just seems to disappear
But when He laughs it shines again
How could it be

Go to sleep my Son
This manger for your bed
You have a long road before You
Rest Your little head

Can You feel the weight of Your glory?
Do You understand the price?
Or does the Father guard Your heart for now
So You can sleep tonight?

Go to sleep my Son
Go and chase Your dreams
This world can wait for one more moment
Go and sleep in peace

I believe the glory of Heaven
Is lying in my arms tonight
Lord, I ask that He for just this moment
Simply be my child

Go to sleep my Son
Baby, close Your eyes
Soon enough You'll save the day
But for now, dear Child of mine
Oh my Jesus, Sleep tight

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas songs

I'm trying to get us sing more Christmas songs. (Yes, I know, we need voice lessons!)

Her favorite song to sing:

A song she made up herself:

And just making music...

Christmas songs-- (listed, more or less, according to the Christmas story. :-) )


O Come O Come Emmanuel

What Child Is This

Away In a Manger

Hark The Herald Angels Sing

Silent Night

We Three Kings

Listen also to:

Joy To The World

Listen also to:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Kids Say: Learning About Our Bodies

Skeletal system:
Me: A worm doesn't have bones that's why it's soft and wiggly.
Marion: Huh?
Me: Like you have bones that's why you have shape. You have a skeleton.
Marion: Skeleton!?! No! I'm scared of skeleton!
Me: You have bones inside you Marion. See, feel your knee, that hard part is your bone. And touch your head, that's a bone there called a skull.
Marion: Uh, okaaay.

Circulatory system:
Me: If you get a big sugat or if you cut yourself, blood will come out.
Marion: It's red?
Me: Yes, blood is red.
Marion: Blood is liquid?
Me: Yes.
Marion: But where is it (looking at herself)?
Me: Your blood is inside you, Marion?
Marion: What will happen if I move? (Starts to tilt herself side to side)
Me: It will move with you, inside.
Marion: Oh.

Digestive system and Reproductive system:
Marion: (after a meal) Mommy, I'm pregnant.
Me: Why do you say that?
Marion: My tummy is big.
Me: Oh. You're just full. After you chew and swallow your food, it goes down the esophagus inside your neck and all the way down here (tapping her tummy) into your stomach.
Marion: My food is making my tummy big?
Me: Yes, because you just ate. Then the vitamins from your food will go all over your body to make you grow and be strong.
Marion: My tummy is big because I ate a lot.
Me: Yes, that's right. And, you're still a child. You're not ready to get pregnant yet.

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I think she'll be ready to learn more about our bodies. I've seen posters in National Bookstore so I'll probably start with those. I'm on the look out now for more playful and interesting ways for her to discover more about human anatomy. :-)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas poems & prayers

O Father may that Holy Star
Grow every year more bright, 
And send its glorious beams afar
To fill the world with light.
     - William Cullen Bryant

Caress is with Your tiny hands,
embrace us with Your tiny arms
and pierce our hearts with Your soft, sweet cries.
     - St. Bernard

Hail, most loving little Jesus, sweetest love, far above all created love!
I greet Thee, and in the desires of all Christendom I embrace Thee.
Hail, most charming little Jesus, noble Child of Nazareth,
full rose of Jericho, blooming flower from Heaven!
Draw our hearts to Thyself and refresh them with Thy sweetness.
     - St. Gertrude

A Christmas Prayer
Loving God, Help us remember the birth of Jesus, 
that we may share in the song of the angels, 
the gladness of the shepherds, 
and worship of the wise men.
Close the door of hate and 
open the door of love all over the world. 
Let kindness come with every gift and 
good desires with every greeting. 
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, 
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children, 
and Christmas evening bring us to our beds 
with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, 
for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
     - Robert Louis Stevenson

Monday, December 10, 2012

Marco: 9 months

December 10, 2012 check up with Dr. Pia
     Weight: 17 lbs, 3 oz
     Height: 27 1/2 in
     Head circumference: 44 1/2 cm
     Immunization given: Hep B #3

5th tooth: Upper left Central Incisor visible by November 11, 2012

He's been pulling up to stand, cruising in his crib and still trying his best to catch up with his sister. We're still waking up every night, around 3am but otherwise he's not fussy at night (just rolls around a lot sometimes).

My favorite thing about this month is that when he sees a bellybutton, he's going to get to it as fast as he could and blow on your tummy. The cutest thing ever! :-) We have videos but it wouldn't be cute to see my (or Rocky's) belly so I'm not uploading it here. ;-p

Christmas: Stations of the Crib

We adore You, oh Infant Christ, and we praise You because through Your incarnation, You have transformed our lives.

I don't remember ever doing the Stations of the Crib, but I think it's a great prayer and activity to prepare for Jesus' birthday!

Without me knowing it, I've kinda been doing it with Marion here:

I did some googling and some versions of the Stations of the Crib has six stations only--
1) Mary says "Yes"
2) A Trip to Bethlehem
3) No Room at the Inn
4) The Angels sing to the Shepherds
5) The Shepherds Visit Jesus
6) The Wise Men Find Jesus

In our story-telling pictures on the wall, we missed out Mary's very important "Yes!"

More googling led me to a Stations of the Crib which has 14 stations also just like the Stations of the Cross. The 14 Stations of the Crib are:
1) Annunciation
2) Visitation
3) Joseph
4) The Pregnancy
5) The Edict
6) Journey to Bethlehem
7) Searching for a Room
8) Birth of Jesus
9) Angels
10) Shepherds
11) Work
12) Magi
13) Flight into Egypt
14) Growth of Christ

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Sewing: Bow Ties & Bows

For Marco

For Marion
fail :(

Holiday Book & Show: The Nutcracker

I don't know which year it was when Ballet Center did The Nutcracker. But it was one of the most memorable recitals (?) I had. I danced the Waltz of the Flowers & the Arabian Dance. And I'm not sure if I was a Snowflake as well.

I was very excited to take Marion to watch her first ballet. CCP Dance School did The Nutcracker for their recital. It was the perfect one to bring Marion to. On our way to the theatre she already kept saying that she didn't want to watch a movie. I could tell she was already getting nervous about being in a dark theatre, but we told her we were not watching a movie. Not exactly a lie but it didn't address her concern. Sure enough, when we enteringto get to our seats, she started whining and shouting that she wanted to get out of there. Thank God the tickets I got were balcony seats, Php150 only.

Rocky took her out to the hallway for a few minutes before they snuck back in and took seats at the very back. And then she started to get interested, sat at the edge of her dad's lap. I joined them at the back after the fight scene between the mouse king and the nutcracker. She was "shivering" when I asked her why she said she was very excited to "pick the candies from the Land of Sweets". :-)

To prepare, I got her two books.

A used book.

The little girl is "Marie" here, not "Clara".

Another one I found at NBS.

The little girl here is "Clara."

We both like the Berenstain Bears book more. It's about the 3 bear cubs using their imagination and some costumes to act out the Nutcracker story when they got tired of playing with their video games/other toys.

Marion's quotable quotes:
     1) While watching the Sugar Plum Fairy dance-- "I can do that!"

So as soon as we got out of the theatre, she twirled and said she was the Sugar Plum Fairy.

     2) Everytime after she says Nutcracker, she'd ask "Does he really crack nuts?" I think she's trying to wrap her brain around what a nutcracker is. ;-p

     3) While we were pretending to be the nutcracker (she was) and the mouse king (I had that honor) and swordfighting with swim noodles, she suddenly said-- "Fighting is not good. Let's not fight anymore. Can we be friends now?" I was surprised! :-)

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Holiday Book & Activity: Gingerbread Boy

The Gingerbread Boy
by Paul Galdone

Do you know the story of the Gingerbread Boy? Marion and I read it together for the first time. The gingerbread boy ran out of the oven. He is chased by a little old woman, a little old man, a cow, a horse, a group of men who were threshing and mowing who all want to eat him. But he was fast and he outran them. (Marion: I'm the GBB. I can run really fast!) And then the GBB got to a river and a sly fox offered to help him get across. But when they got to the other side,

"Snip- half the Gingerbread Boy was gone. Snip, Snap- he was three-quarters gone. Snip, Snap, Snip, at last and at last he went the way of every single gingerbread boy that ever came out of an oven..." 

Marion: (stunned silence)
Me: You okay?
Marion: (silence, staring at this picture)

Me: Are you sad that the fox ate the GBB?
Marion: Yes.
Me: Well, he was a gingerbread cookie and cookies get eaten.
Marion: He was a cookie???? (with some acceptance & relief at how the story turned out)

***** ***** *****

We didn't make gingerbread boy cookies, but we made some dough ornaments. We just used Marion's play doh cutters. :-)

4 cups flour
2 cups salt
Around 1 1/2 cups water, added a little bit at a time.

Knead. Add in food coloring. Bake at 325 for around 20 minutes. Punch holes using a straw (or I had lollipop sticks so that's what I used).

I halved our dough. I added a few drops of red food coloring to one half. The other I left plain. We just painted it it.

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We put it on bread, cookies, pancakes, etc. :-)

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And a gingerbread house (or gingerbread house kits!) supplier: Sugar and Spice.
Maybe we'll get kits next year.
Jenny blogged about Sugar & Spice here.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Friday I'm in Love: Mobiles

I've been wanting to hang things from the ceiling. Not chandeliers or anything of that sort. Too fancy for us. I wanted something playful... to make use of that space and air.

After a bit of consultation with the hardware people (True Value, not much help there), I finally just went for hooks. Then I finally got around to asking my favorite handyman (the husband, who else?) to put up some hooks. He restrained me from poking the ceiling with gazillions of hooks (for future use, I thought) and just put up three for me.

And so, now the kids and I enjoy staring at these when we're lying on our backs on the mat.

Something I bought: 

Something given to us:

Something I made while the kids napped:
Cloud with rain

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The process of making it. 

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Nothing complicated about the cloud mobile. Nothing fancy. Nothing grand. So unlike Calder's.

Beautiful art!


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Since we're already looking up, I found this to be a brilliant idea.

An mini upside down world stuck to the ceiling.
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Flensted mobiles

Dr. Pia has the sheep mobile in her clinic. :-)

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Christmas: Follow His Star

Let's follow Jesus' star!


My first silkscreen project.

The would-have-been Jesse tree.
She painted the star.

We made dough ornaments.

Star tree topper.

Made by Makati City jail prisoners

Gift tags

gift tags

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

A New Year: Advent!


The only Advent tradition we had when I was growing up was the advent wreath. Last year, I wasn't able to get one for our house and resolved to have one this year. I didn't find one which I thought we could use at home and so decided to make one with Marion. Advent kinda snuck up on me and so we weren't able to make something more elaborate.

So for this year, this is our advent wreath:

Styro ring wrapped in crepe paper. The plan was to stick the pompoms on the wreath but Marion suggested we put the pompoms in the middle too. It was a brilliant idea. :-)

Prayer to bless the wreath:

O God, by whose word all things are sanctified, pour forth thy blessing upon this wreath, and grant that we who use it may prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ and may receive from Thee abundant graces. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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This year, I also wanted to do a Jesse Tree. I feel it's all a bit too much for Marion so I'm doing the readings and prayers on my own.

This was supposed to be the Jesse tree.
She helped me put it up and painted the star & trunk herself.

I downloaded the reflections from here and it started on November 27. I printed the 28 ornaments that go with it.


I think next year we'll use this free Jesse tree ornament clip art. It starts on December 1 and the clip art has 2 versions- a full color one and another for coloring in. The readings to go with it would be here.


Or I might just buy a complete set made by Mano Amiga which includes 23 ornaments and a cd guide through The Learning Basket.

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Aside from putting up our Christmas decors I told Marion the story of Jesus' birthday. The belen is accessible to her so she plays around with it.

The other day I found the wooden baby Jesus in Marco's crib because she said it's nice and soft for a baby to sleep in.

I also downloaded and printed this free printable to tell Marion the nativity story. I got it from here. I just taped the pieces to a wall.

Our story goes something like this.
A king told everyone to go to Bethlehem to list down their names. So Mary and Joseph rode a donkey to go to Bethlehem which was far away. Mary was pregnant. When they arrived, the man said "There's no room!". And so Mary and Joseph had to stay in a barn with animals. In the barn she gave birth. Jesus is very special, a star went on top of the barn. Then the angel went to the shepherds and the sheep and said, "Alleluia! Jesus is born. Go to him!" And so they went to visit Jesus. There were also 3 wise men who rode camels who visited baby Jesus. They brought gifts with them.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Tongue Twisters

It started with her Dora book that mentioned Peter who picked some pickled peppers. So Rocky and I immediately recited the tongue twister to her. She looked at us surprised. When we decided to show off and recited more tongue twisters, she called us silly. We teased her to try to say it as well, but she refused.

Then a week or so after, I was reading in bed when she whispered something. I looked up and asked her to say it again. She was shy and whispered again, "woodchuck chuck chuck wood chuck!" And so I decided to teach her. The easiest was to write it down for her to read.

Here's the first one we did:

(At 0:51 she says "woodstock" without realizing it. ;-p)

Then I decided to teach her another one. It was harder for her and she gave up after one try. I reminded her about practicing to get better and so this is her second attempt at it:

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Here's the hardest one according to the Guiness World of Book Records.

The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick.

We'll try it out soon.