Train Them While They're Young

My husband practically grew up with no household help. They would clean the dishes by themselves, wash their own clothes, and help tidy the house regularly. American-living lang ang peg. It's not that they cannot afford it but their parents thought it was the right thing to do as soon as all 5 of them (siblings) were old enough to help with chores. 

Though i have always admired my husband, brothers/sisters-in-law for their independence, I honestly cannot imagine going completely help-free at home. We usually go out sans yaya on weekends or during family trips. But after 3 weeks in Canada, i was really missing them already. Yes, i  am referring to the yayas.

Dens has always told me that he likes the kids to be trained on household chores the same way they were trained before.  On a regular school day, Dens would do laundry before doing his homework. After school work is done, all of them had to help set the table and do other chores.  It wasn't such a big deal for them since they've gotten used to the routine. I'm sure my family and friends abroad who are reading this are also thinking the same. But for those like me who have grown up with helpers at home, the shift would rather be difficult.

Our kids are still very young so it's really not practical to go help-free at this time (whew!). But that doesn't mean they cannot start helping out with chores at home. For now, our rule for the kids is to just pack-away their own mess. Whether it's toys or unfinished snacks, they need to put them back in their proper place. Dawn has been quite an expert on this and would sometimes even pack other peoples' things - yes, sometimes stuff that we are still using like the remote control.  Another thing that we're teaching them is to clean their own mess. Like if they spill something, they have to wipe the mess themselves. We still do not expect them to clean-up perfectly but it's a step to becoming more responsible.
Cleaning up Dawn's baby powder mess

One thing that i really love about this is that they help each other out. Whether it's Troy or Dawn's mess, the other would help (at least most of the time) to clean up. They don't really see it as a chore but just something they need to do. On good days, i don't even need to tell them to clean up. They just do it by themselves.

Truth is, we don't need to let the helpers go just for them to learn. I love that i married a man who is constantly teaching me to be more independent. I pray that my kids will learn to be self-sufficient and not have to always depend on others to do work for them. They're never too young to learn.

Proverbs 22:6
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."


Date Night: Yomenya Goemon, Greenbelt

Every night, Dens and i would try to spend as much time as we possibly can with the kids. We would watch movies with them, tell them Bible stories, or play whatever game they'd want to play. But come Friday, we would take time out from our busy parenting schedule and have our regular date night.  It hasn't been easy sustaining this sacred night since parenting guilt sometimes gets in the way.  We'd often end up bringing the kids along or watching a movie with them at home.

One Friday night in March, we found ourselves sans kids in Greenbelt 3. We wanted to try something new and saw this interesting Japanese Spaghetti House that replaced the old Big Buddha restaurant near the parking building.
The place looked really inviting. There were a lot of people already so getting a table was quite a challenge. The waiter asked if we were okay to sit by the bar and we thought 'sure, why not?' this is something we cannot do when the kids are around.  
I found out that the restaurant is a franchise from Shibuya in Japan. The first Yomenya Goemon opened in 1976 and has now become Japan's 2nd largest food and beverage player with as many as 2,500 branches in their homeland.

They claim to have reinvented the way we eat spaghetti. True to the Japanese cultrue, you have to eat your spaghetti using chopsticks! One thing that i found unique is that they put poached eggs on top of the pasta once served. Mixing it makes for a creamier texture to the sauce. And as with most authentic Japanese meals, they also serve miso soup prior to the main course.
The prices are quite reasonable ranging from P200+ and up. They also serve pizza and other interesting dish that are beyond ordinary. Just writing about them and looking at the pictures makes me want to go back for more!

Here's to more memorable date nights and great finds! What about you? What's your latest food find?


We Will Miss You, Pastor Ed

Things are always clearer in hindsight.

Last night I attended a memorial service of a very good friend. He was the associate pastor at our church a few years back. He passed away last Saturday after suffering from deep depression. He was only 47 years old.

I have so many fond memories of Pastor Ed. When I first met him, I thought this guy doesn’t seem to have any problems. His cheerful disposition was always very contagious. He never failed to make us laugh with his funny antics and ridiculous stories. As I got to know him more, I learned that his parents separated when he was just a small child. He later on lost his girlfriend during the tragic 1990 Baguio earthquake.  His life was full of disappointments. Yet, you never see any bitterness in him. Several years ago, I wrote Pastor Ed a letter. I told him how much I admire his zeal for life and the joy that he finds amidst his circumstances. He was truly an inspiration.

In 2006 we lost our first baby, Tyler.  Pastor Ed was among those who were inside the NICU with us during Tyler’s passing. He never left our side the whole day. He cried and grieved with us. I clearly remember Pastor Ed crying with me as I held Tyler in my arms. He wasn’t suppressing his tears and we cried as children would. He cried his ugly cry because I knew he felt our pain. That was the kind of person that he is. Full of empathy and concern for other people.

The last time I spoke with Pastor Ed was in February of last year. He called me up then and we got to chat a little.  Before we hang up, I said I will be in touch again soon. “Soon” never came.

When I heard of Pastor Ed’s passing, it truly broke my heart. I felt so much hurt and regret. I’ve thought of calling him so many times the past months but other things got in the way. I never knew that he was already in so much pain. I never knew because I didn’t make the time to call. Yes, things are always clearer in hindsight.

Dear Pastor Ed,

Thank you for being a wonderful friend. I am sorry that I failed to be the kind of friend that you were to me during your difficult days. I know that you are happier with the Lord now. We will miss you at our Young Professionals’ bible studies with every White Elephant exchange gift that we’ll have. We will miss your 2 gallons of melted ice cream that all of us tried to avoid. Thank you for the laughter, for the tears, and for the beautiful memories that you’ve left behind. I can only wish that we had more time together the past 12 months. This world is a sadder place without you.

We will miss you very much. You are so loved – more than you have known.


Last night I wanted to speak during the memorial service but was too emotional to do so. I felt so bad when we got home that I wasn’t able to share my fond memories of Pastor Ed. I thought ‘if only I can go back in time, I would have the courage to speak up at the service’…but then again, if I would be given the opportunity to go back in time, I would just go back to February last year and keep my word to stay in touch. Pastor Ed would have appreciated that more.

“We only miss the water when the well runs dry” Don’t take your love ones for granted. Pray for them, hug them, kiss them, and tell them you love them. Be an encouragement to someone today. Tomorrow might be too late.


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