Bible Reading for Kids

I woke up this morning with Dawn sleeping soundly beside me.  I looked at the time and saw that i still have a few more minutes to spare before my alarm clock goes off.  As i was about to go back to sleep, i was surprised to see Dens and Troy already awake and reading Troy's children's bible. My surprise was not so much that they were reading the bible together, it was more because they were up extra early. If you know my husband well, you will know that sleep is oh-so-precious to him. That is why i appreciate him so much more when i saw that he took the effort to wake up early to have this special time with Troy.

Dens started their daily bible reading around 3 months ago.  Troy enjoys the stories and the time with his dad. He looks forward to it when he wakes up and makes sure the bible is on Dens' bedside before we go to sleep at night. On some nights, Troy would request for Dens to also read the bible to him before going to bed. In effect, he has two devotional time with the Lord in a day! That's double the quota i've set for myself during my 21-day challenge!

They have finished the entire children's bible and are just reviewing their favorite stories now. We have been using My First Bible from Good Books.  It has a lot of colorful illustration and the stories are simplified to make it easier for children to understand. There are a lot of children's bibles out there. Go to the bookstore with your child and have them pick out their favorite. We just might do that again with Troy soon.

Psalm 119:133 "Direct my steps by Your word"


Rasing Kids with High FQ

It's no secret that I'm a very sentimental person.  I cried buckets while watching A Goofy Movie, I cried the first night i lived away from my parents in our new home, I cried when my dad had to fly to Cebu for a 2-day business trip...yes, i cry a lot. But one thing for sure is that i haven't cried during a financial planning seminar...until last Saturday.

Several weeks ago, the SoMoms were invited by AXA Philippines to a talk on financial planning. I was initially quite hesitant because I didn't want to get trapped into another sales conference with hard-selling agents. But then again, it was going to be held in the newly renovated New World Hotel and I know i was going to be with good company, so i decided to attend. 

The talk was held in a function room called Gallery 1 near the lobby. It is a great venue for small parties or business meetings. I love that it has its own little kitchen inside where the chef actually prepares your meals.
Chef preparing our lunch in the beautiful kitchen showcase inside the function room
Breakfast spread
Muffins overload
Free-flowing TWG tea, no less!
Our dessert for lunch. I miss you creme brulee!
One or our speakers that morning was Rose Fausto. She was truly inspirational! She writes for the Philippine Star and is a mother of 3 boys and wife to a fund manager. She talked about how to raise our children to have high FQ (Financial Quotient).

Rose describes FQ as the ability to make sound decisions in managing one's personal finances.  Now why is it important for kids to have high FQ at such a young age? It is because preparing for the financial future of the family should not be a monopoly of the bread winner. Gone are the days when the Dad is the sole bread winner of the family. We've already entered an era where it is not only acceptable, but appreciated, when a wife contributes to the family income as well.  Rose takes it a step further by teaching her kids how to manage and grow their own finances. I find this concept very new and quite interesting.

When the famous Warren Buffet was asked about when he started investing, he said "My first investment was at age 9. I started quite late!" Rose spared no time and taught her kids how to invest. They started with familiar companies so that it's easier for them to understand. For example, she would ask them if they would like to invest in Jollibee or SM.  These are all pretty stable stocks (blue chips) and are of companies known to the kids.  They would eventually venture into other stocks while still consulting their parents.  Rose would also ask her kids to submit quarterly financial statements to her. I think this is a great idea to still be on top of things.

Here is an example of their balance sheet.
Her children are now in college but i bet their savings are far greater than a lot of income-generating young professionals these days. I did a little bit if research and learned how Rose encourages her kids to start saving enough for them to invest. She didn't even give them the money to jumpstart their investments!

Step 1: Put their savings in their treasure chest/box with a small notebook that records their savings.
Step 2: If the amount in their boxes reaches around P1,000, they deposit it in their ATM accounts (which we call small account for easy understanding)
Step 3:  If the amount in their small account goes way beyond the minimum balance of P5,000, they transfer some to their big account.

And the 'big account' usually means investing in the stock market.

I am very inspired and would like to instill the same financial values to our children. Our kids don't get allowances yet but they have savings from the gifts given to them during birthdays and Christmases. I would really encourage them to start managing their finances while they're young. I am confident that they will reap big rewards in the future.
SoMoms with Rose and the people from AXA Philippines
There were a lot of reflection on our core values and how we want to failproof our family's future during the event (hence, the tears!). I am so excited to learn more about investing in the stock market and teaching my kids the same. Now for those of us who don't have the time to monitor the market, we can always go to a fund manager who can do all the calculations for us. There are a number of really good financial companies these days that we can go to, one of them is our event sponsor for that day, AXA Philippines.

Speaking of AXA, they have an upcoming promo for a trip to LEGOLAND! I will discuss the promo mechanics in a separate post. Watch out for it!


I am a #SoMom!

As a mom, it's always fun to share experiences and ideas with other moms.  Usual topics vary from our top school picks to the latest fashion find.  Gather a group of fun moms together and you're in for a great time. That is what happened last June 15 during the general assembly of the Mommy Mundo SoMoms.
The Mommy Mundo SoMoms is a collective of moms who are active on social media and have unique voices and points of view that are relevant to moms. We come from different backgrounds and share different advocacies.  Yet one thing that we all believe in is becoming better versions of ourselves.  During the general assembly, the new campaign for #BetterMe was launched. Whether our goal is to be healthier or more financially savvy, we all want to level-up and be excellent role models to other women and, more importantly, to our children.

The event was held at the Winebar 1771 which is on the 2nd floor of Chateau 1771 in El Pueblo. Chateau has been an old favorite of mine. I love their cozy restaurants and the beautifully plated meals that they always served. I've never been to the Winebar prior to the event.  I've always thought Winebar only served drinks so i never bothered to check them out.
To get to the Winebar, you will need to pass through Chateau 1771 at the first floor.
Once you get to the 2nd floor, the ambiance instantly changes into something equally unique and tasteful. The 2nd floor holds two separate function rooms which seats about 25 people each. Each room has glass sliding doors which opens up into one big hall. The middle of these two rooms can also be converted into an extra dining space to accomodate more guests.
I was surprised to know that Winebar 1771 has its own food selection. The buffet that was served during our event was oh-so-good! I took some pictures but believe me, the photos don't justify how good they are truly are.
Salmon Lasagna
Chicken Piccata with Lemon Butter
Croque Monsieur

On my plate: Salad, Mini Pancake with Caramelized Banana and Candied Walnuts, Vegetable Fritata
During our formal meeting, each of us was asked to present our blog and our advocacy. On top of the individual presentations and endless chikahan, we also had a mini exclusive bazaar from the mompreneurs in the group.
Jenny or My Mommyology for MyTwo Tots
Tin of MFO for Thurston Hatchett
Neva of ManilaMommy for Manila Baby
Michelle of MyMomFriday for Green Sproutlets
Janice of MyMundo for Nurture Nook
Kris of OCMomInManila for Aquasana
Cai of applesanddumplings for PaperChic Studio
Patty of NonStopBabble for Yellowbirdshoes
Pam of RunaroundGirl for Willow Clothing
It's really an honor be part of this wonderful group of moms (and a dad). Here's to more adventures and shared experiences. Our journey has just begun.


Results of My 21-Day Challenge

So, remember when I decided to do the 21-day challenge 22 days ago? Well, i officially ended my 21st day yesterday and here are the results.

1. Have my daily quiet time with the Lord.

I keep my devotional and journal in the office so i missed out on most weekends (except the first weekend of the challenge when i remembered to bring them home). I technically did around 4 to 5 times of quiet time a week.  Not quite there yet so i need to be more diligent.

2.  Exercise EVERYDAY

This one has been very successful! I exercised everyday and i'm now really looking forward to it (seriously!). I don't feel that it's such a chore anymore and i'm actually thinking of joining a 42-day fitness challenge. Woo hoo!

3. Moisturize daily.

I probably missed a night or two but i've been very diligent at this and am seeing better skin already (or is it my imagination?). I may not really see the big difference at this time but i'm sure my skin will thank me when i grow older.

4. Sleep before 11pm.

Err...i blame iwanttv! i've been so hooked on watching a Be Careful With My Heart lately (yes, it's true! I am chaka on some levelz) that i wake up to watch the day's episode after putting the kids to bed at around 9pm. My bedtime ranges from 10:30pm to 11:30pm. Not that bad considering my self-imposed curfew is at 11pm.  But then again, late is late. Whether it's 30 mins or an hour past my supposed bedtime. I will improve!

5. No colored drinks.

This challenge has also been successful. I've skipped Iced teas and juices for most of the 21 days (except for a few sips during parties where water is not available). What i noticed was that i didn't really crave iced tea as much as i thought i would. And also during one party that we attended, I was forced to drink iced tea but couldn't finish it anymore since i found it too sweet. Maybe my taste buds have been reconditioned. Yay! Here's to less liquid calories.  Now about that Chai tea latte...hmm...that's another story.


Crayola and T-Pencils: Safe School Supplies (SSS)

Every parent is so worried about toxicity these days. Why not? It's constantly on the news the past years. From the paints used on imported toys to the chemicals that some plastic bottles emit. It's really a valid concern.

Two Saturdays ago, the SoMoms were invited to an art workshop at the Shangri-la branch of Gymboree. The event was orgaznized by the Amalgamated Specialties Corporation (Amspec), makers of Crayola products and T-Pencil.

As a child, I have witnessed classmates chew on pencils and crayons in class (true story!). It's weird but not uncommon for kids actually. They sometimes do it when they need to think or when they are stressed. Sometimes it can also be just out of curiousity.

Since i cannot monitor my children's activities 100% of the time, it's comforting for me to know that they're surrounded by products that are safe for them. During the event, i found out that Crayola and T-Pencils are 100% nontoxic

It was a fun event of storytelling, art, and play for the SoMoms and the SoKids. After the craft session, the kids were allowed to enjoy the play area in Gymboree while the parents chatted over the yummy merienda that was served.
Lion puppet from a paper plate
The smaller kids waiting for their turn to do the crafts
Mr Wood of Amspec talked about Crayola and T-Pencils

Training on shading techniques using T-Pencils
Even the moms enjoyed doing the crafts
SoMoms with the people from Amspec
Play it safe and make sure you get safe and nontoxic school supplies for your kids!

I end with these cute animations on how TPencils and Crayola crayons are made.

TPencils -
Crayola -


I Want to be a Supermodel!

I became a model in 2008...

...the moment I gave birth to Troy. I am not talking about the ramp or commercial kind, but the kind that all moms aspire to be the best at.

Before every bedtime, Dens and i would pray together with the kids. Troy would always pray first, followed by Dens and me.  I would always pray that Troy would grow up to be a good boy and that God would help Dens and me become good parents to our children. 

Last Saturday, while Dens and i were getting ready to sleep, Troy and Dawn were still busy tinkering and playing with our things in the bedroom. Dawn wanted to get something from our night table but Troy was blocking her way. Then Dawn said 'Ahia, go away'. I don't think she meant to be rude.  At 2 years old, she is still learning to choose her words wisely. But then again, we still needed to correct her.   I immediately called her attention and asked her to say 'excuse me' next time instead of 'go away'. After that, Troy asked me if he can also talk to Dawn himself. I said yes.  He brought Dawn to sit with him behind Dawn's crib (just as i would bring him to an isolated place when i needed to scold him) and talked to her.

I could hardly see them through the wooden bars of the crib but i can hear their conversation clearly.

Troy: "Dawn, next time don't say 'go away' to Ahia, okay?"
Dawn: "Okay"
Troy: "That's not so nice eh. Do you want Ahia to get angry?"
Dawn: "No"
Troy: "Next time, just say excuse me na lang.
Dawn: "Okay"
Troy: "What should you say to Ahia?"
Dawn: "Sorry, Ahia"

Dawn goes over and embraces Troy. Troy immediately kissed Dawn on the head and said "Ahia loves you naman. Ahia just wants you to be a good girl"

Before we slept that night, Troy's prayer included "Lord, I pray that Dawn will grow up to be a good girl. Please also help us so that we can help Dawn become a good girl"

I've read countless discipline books and applied a number of tips that i've learned from friends and families. But one thing that has always proved to be most important is to be a good role model to our kids. They really learn from us whether we like it or not. They take in the good with the bad.

I am far from perfect and i am learning to be a better person every single day.  My prayer is that i will be a supermodel to my kids. That if they eventually end up to be like me, I can confidently say 'It is well with me.'

Are you a supermodel?


How I Keep Myself Healthy

Before I became a mom, i was not so concerned about death. My own, that is. I worry about my love ones passing but not my own. When Troy came into my world, my perspective changed. I get very concerned about the slightest lump or infection. I guess that's what motherhood does to us.  We take our health more seriously. We want to live longer. We want to see our children and grand children grow up and reach their full potential.

I have lived a pretty healthy life since I was in gradeschool. I loved veggies and all things healthy and natural.  But I have been a lot more conscious about staying healthy these days.

1. Eat good food.  Enjoy your regular meals but modify it a bit.  You can still have the usual fried chicken but maybe start by not eating the chicken skin (okay, love, i know you are rolling your eyes and are about to stop reading).  Or if that's too hard, then order something less sinful like fish or pasta.  Try to eat as much fruits and vegetables whenever you can.  Find the salad dressing that you will love. Dens learned to love Ceasar Salad recently. It may not contain the 'healthiest' salad dressing but it's a very good start to eating more vegetables.  I still have the occassional (okay fine, frequent!) junk food binges (hello Boy Bawang!) but I compensate by taking healthier meals.

2. Drink water.  I drink a lot of water everyday and totally stopped drinking softdrinks at age 12.  Water is still the best. Fruit juices are not a good alternative. They are still loaded with lots of sugar even if they claim to be 100% natural.

3.  Exercise! You don't need to hit the gym. You can do a simple exercise at home. Check out my 21-day challenge.

Here's to good health! Losing weight and having good skin are just the side effects. How great is that?

What about you? Any health tip you'd like to share?


I Love You No Matter What

A few Sundays ago, I was talking to Troy about controlling his anger. He got into a fight with one of his friends during Sunday school. They were able to immediately patch things up but I still had to sit him down for a talk.  During our discussion, I asked him if he understood what i was telling him. He said he did. He went on to say 'It's not good to fight noh, Mom? Jesus will be sad if i keep on fighting.' So i nodded and he continued. 'I will not fight na next time.  Diba, Mom, you will also be sad if i get hurt?' So i said 'Yes, of course. Do you know why?' then he said 'Yes, because you love me'.  Then i took the opportunity to prod further. I asked 'How about when Mom gets really angry and spanks you? Do you think i still love you?' Then he answered 'Yes, you just spank me sometimes because you want me to learn. I know you love me naman'

That surely warmed my heart. It has always been my goal to discipline our children with love. I stand by the concept that if you don't show enough love to your child, then you should not be the one to discipline. They will just take it as a punishment and not effectively learn from it. They will grow up hurt and resentful rather than loved and confident.

I like my children to know that their dad and i will love them no matter what. They are not perfect kids and they will commit mistakes. I want them to have the courage to speak to us, knowing that we will always deal with them with love.

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


iPhone Teaches Kids to Share

Last week, i saw Cym's (@ceemee) tweet about a sharing application. I got curious and downloaded it right away. It's a nice way to teach kids to take turns.  It's particularly useful for kids who need to learn how to share a family iPad, a toy, or take turns when watching TV at home.

3 Easy Steps to Sharing:

STEP 1: Upload the child's picture so that they will know it's their turn even if they cannot read yet. You will also be asked for their names.

STEP 2: Select the number of minutes for each turn. It can go from 1 minute to 1 hour.
STEP 3: Click on GO! The timer will immediately start running. It will tell the user when he or she has 10 seconds left (yes, the application talks!). The current user will see his or her picture at the bottom center of the screen. The person next in line will have his or her picture at the top center.
I programed Troy and Dawn on my iPhone and showed it to them. Both of them kept on laughing at their pictures on the screen. They were also excited that it became a game to them. They would set it to 1 minute and pass the iPhone to the next person when their time runs out. They were not using the application as a share timer for other toys - they were sharing the application itself! haha! Oh well...

Try it for your kids. They might just enjoy the concept of sharing. The application on the iPhone is called Storybots Share Timer. Search for it on the App Store.


My 21-Day Challenge

They say that it takes 21 days to form a habit. I am not sure how accurate that theory is but i will put it to a test. Today, i am starting my own 21-day challenge that will end on June 24. I will let you know how it goes.

Habits i intend to develop:

1. Have my daily quiet time with the Lord. I try to read my devotional and bible everyday but I haven't been as diligent as i'd like to. I also have a journal where i write the messages I receive during my quiet time. It can either be quotes from my devotional or verses from the bible. I also list down things that i am grateful for as well and update my prayer request list.
Having my quiet time daily is important. It is a great time of conversation with the Lord.

2.  Exercise EVERYDAY.  I do muay thai (kickboxing) around 3 times a week. I sometimes squeeze in an hour of Yoga on some weeks but not regularly. On weekends, i play badminton but it's also very irregular. For the next 21 days, i plan to have some form of exercise every single day. On days that i can't go to the gym or badminton court, i will exercise at home.

I learned this 4-minute workout recently that is said to burn over 600 carlories. That's what i plan to do on those gym-less days. It's basically just 10 jumping jacks, 10 squats, 10 push ups, and 10 lunges. Do this repeatedly for 4 minutes. You can do it too!

3. Moisturize daily. Whenever i remember to moisturize at night, my skin looks amazingly clear and soft in the morning. I know it has worked its miracle somehow overnight. This is something i need to be more diligent at if i intend to delay the signs of aging for as long as i can.

4. Sleep before 11pm. I contacted hepatitis when i was a child. And ever since, i have tried to take care of my liver by staying away from alcoholic drinks. Another way to help help strengthen my liver is to sleep before 11am. They say that the body (specifically the liver) detoxifies from 11pm to 3am. So my goal is to develop healthier sleeping habits. I think this will be the hardest to accomplish but i will try my best.

5. No colored drinks. I love iced teas! Especially during this hot summer weather - it's always so refreshing. But i also know that iced tea contains a lot of unhealthy liquid calories. Water is still best. I will stay away from colored drinks (i.e. iced tea, artificial juices, coffee, milk tea) for the next 21 days.

Go on and develop your own good habits. Start your own 21-day challenge today!


  © Theme Designed by Fancy Girl Designs 2011 for Breakfast with Tiffany

Back to TOP