Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013 And Hello 2014, Happy and Blessed New Year!!!

This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:16, 18-19 NIV-Biblegateway

Other countries had already celebrated their New year, but here in the US it will be in a few hours. 2014 is another year of opportunity to learn, grow and experience joy, love, happiness, trials and challenges. For me 2014 is another year to serve my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, it's another year to enjoy life with my family, church family and friends and whatever else the Lord wills to happen.

As I sit here on the couch, I  ponder how my 2013 was and how God has blessed me and my family. This year has been a combination of joy and sadness for me, but at the end I choose to praise and thank God because I believed on His Sovereignty over my life. Whatever happened, happens for a reason because God allowed it to happen for His glory and for my good. I may not understand what goodness a circumstances brings but I can trust God that He cares and loves me.

Here's how God has blessed me in 2013

  1. My mom passed away January, it was sad  to lose someone who was my spiritual mentor, best-friend, great listener and adviser, the one who brought me into this world. I so miss her but  I know that she is with the Lord for eternity and I will see her again someday.
  2. Due to the passing away of my mom, I was able to visit Philippines, spent 2 weeks with my family there. Someone also paid my plane ticket (round-trip), what a blessing. Although I didn't like spending my vacation this way  but I just looked at the bright side. 
  3. Month of June, we had our new addition in the family, my 3rd son who brings us so much joy for being a happy  and healthy baby.
  4. I quit the job that I so loved and enjoyed so I can take care of my children. I miss working at the Vision Center, but my children's welfare are more important. They grow fast and someday soon I might be back working.
  5. I started blogging this year and so far it is doing great. I enjoyed meeting bloggers around the world and  get updates of their travels and other things.  

There were a lot of things that happened this year, but these are just the highlights of  God showing grace to me and my family 365 days. He has been a good provider, He is my guide, strength, peace, hope and my Salvation.  I always count my blessings and it will take me my lifetime to write it down. Now, another year has come to experience God's blessings....

So, Goodbye 2013 and Hello 2014. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

I Received My CoverPlug

This product is the third item I won from a  blog's give away. Yay!! It came in the mail two days ago and I was surprised how fast they shipped it. It's perfect for my plugs since I have kids that are curious and loves to experiment including plugging chargers for gadgets. I also have a baby that one day will start walking and reaching stuffs. This product  will cover the plugs and keep it away from kids reach.  

The product fits perfectly and look how old and dirty our power plug is

Viola!!! it's gone

I received two Coverplugs and I tried one right away. It makes my plug looks clean and as if it is not there. The other one I put it on my plug near the kitchen counter. Thanks CoverPlug for the free gift!!!

Thanks Friends For These Asian Products

The last time I had been to an Asian store was more than a year ago. There are only few Asian stores around here and  usually it takes 30 to 45 minutes to get there. I am not confident driving that far unless if I have been there many times with my hubby. Thankfully my Filipina friend Malou and her hubby Isaac went to Asian store yesterday. It was so nice of them to asked me If I needed anything from the store so they can get it for me. Right away I asked for vinegar, soy sauce, 3 in 1 coffee and hopia. 

Datu Puti brand is for me the best brand when it comes to vinegar and soy sauce. I am currently cooking Chicken Adobo and the smell of the vinegar catches the attention of my oldest son. He said "mom whatever I smell, it smells familiar". Then, I told him what I am cooking and that I put Datu Puti Vinegar and soy sauce.

The sourness of vinegar makes the food delectable and the soy sauce saltiness is just right. It also adds brown color to whatever you are cooking.

One of the things I miss about the Philippines is the abundance of 3in1 coffee that I drank every morning. It's hard to find this coffee here in US unless if you go to  the Asian store. In  one sachet, you get coffee, sugar and cream and all you need to do is add hot water. Now, I can enjoy drinking 3in1 coffee daily until supply last.

Who would not miss this delicious biscuit? Hopia is one of my favorite snacks when I was in the Philippines. In fact, it can make your stomach feel full and you don't want to eat your meal anymore.

These are salted eggs that my friend bought for herself but she gave some to me, I usually add slice tomatoes and eat it with rice. Thanks again friends for being so kind and I was able to satisfy my craving for Filipino food. 

I do not endorsed these products nor the brands. Just sharing the products that  my family and I likes.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Our Little Green Bay Packers Fan

The Green Bay Packers fans including my hubby are rejoicing tonight because their favorite team made the play off. They won their division  against the Chicago Bears. I don't usually watch the game because I am not into football, but I rejoice when they win and I feel sad when they loss. I like the Packers  because, first I live in Wisconsin, 2nd my hubby told me that I have too LOL. Actually Packers is a unique team, they are the only team owned by shareholders and not  by a single person. Also, Green Bay is the smallest city in the NFL. By the way, here's the newest member of the Packers fans.

The Play offs will start next week and  I have a feeling that I will be a football widow.  It's okay, I support whatever makes my hubby happy. I just don't watch with him because he gets emotional and loud. Also, I rather do something else and just usually ask how it is going and the score. One time, I warned him to calm down and not to shout because he is holding the baby. After few minutes, he was shouting and telling the Packers to do this and that as if they can hear him. It's hard for a fan not to say anything when their team is doing well and especially when they aren't doing well. Also, the baby started crying and he could not make him  stop.  Mommy to the rescue and I was able to pacify him.  My hubby looks hilarious when he watches football, I should have taken pictures of his facial expression.

The next time dad watch football, this little man will be cheering Go Pack Go!!!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Our Christmas Meals

We had  delicious meals during Christmas and some of the foods we had were Filipino dishes and there were also Western food.  I remembered back in the Philippines, during Christmas and New year my mom always cooks her favorite recipe and the family's favorite recipe too, it's called Chicken Hawaii. So, I decided to pass on the tradition to my family and hoping my kids will pass it on to their own kids. I cooked Chicken Hawaii and they loved it. Cooking it takes a lot of patience because I had to cook it in medium heat for four hours. But its worth the waiting because it was a great food to have on your table.

Chicken Hawaii with pineapples

I also shared our foods to my Filipina friend's family and they also shared theirs. Her husband made this yummy food called Monkey Bread. My family loved it because of the cinnamon taste of sweetness. He gave me the recipe and I will try to make this some other time.

Monkey Bread

This is my favorite of all, my Filipina friend cooked one of the famous Philippine dishes, Bihon or stir-fry noodles. She didn't overcook the vegetables and the taste was just right. She also added black fungus, the one you can see black in color.

I also baked this limited edition Apple Pie of my son's school, Ozaukee Christian School. The school makes apple pies once a year for fundraising. We ordered six of them and stored them in the freezer until we wanted to eat it. This year the school made 4000 pies and they were sold out. 

frozen Apple Pie ready to be baked

I also made, mango float and it was my first time. So, it didn't turn out perfectly good but according to my friend it tasted delicious.  I put too much cream, it was too sweet and it overwhelmed the flavor of the cracker

Mango Float

Another food that my Filipina friend made, I don't know what it is called. Maybe Pinakbet because of the squash but because of the black fungus then It can't be pinakbet. Let's just call it Asian Stir Fry Vegestable de Malou :)

Stir Fry Veges

Overall, our Christmas meals were fantastically superb!!! It made us feel we were back home in the Philippines. It was a combination of healthy and delicious foods made from our kitchen with love. Thank God for good friends and for the provision daily. Above all, Thank God for sending Jesus on earth as our Savior. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cookies For Cops, Cookies Baked With Love

wrapped and ready to go

During Christmas month, our church Faith Baptist in Port Washington, Wisconsin bake cookies for the jail guards of Ozaukee Justice Center. This is our way of showing  gratitude for their service and our way of wishing them a Merry Christmas.  My Pastor is the Chaplain and one of the steering committees that trains Chaplains in there. We called the event Cookies For Cops, but since it is out of love that we are doing what we are doing so I added Cookies Baked With Love. 

The church has been doing it for almost five years, but this is my first time participating in this event. Although  I didn't know how to bake cookies and since I really wanted to be part of it, I taught myself how to bake cookies. I searched recipes online, tips of how to bake and even asked my husband and church friends. In the Philippines, the country where I came from, baking is not the usual way of  how we prepare our meals. The first cookies I baked wasn't so bad and my kids liked it. The second time I baked, I took it to the church so we can wrap it and send it to Ozaukee Justice center. 

these are the cookies I baked, dark chocolate chips cookies

The ladies in the church did a really good job, they baked several kinds of cookies. I tasted some of them and it was very yummy. 

baked by one of the ladies

very creative, I will try to make some of these someday

the busy ladies of Faith Baptist

this is how it looks like without the wrapper

According to Pastor Colson, the cookies didn't last for a day. The Jail Guards at Ozaukee Justice Center loved it and they were all looking forward to the next years Cookies For Cops.

our church Pastor 

Next year, I will definitely join the baking team again  and I am hoping that by then I can bake different kinds of delicious cookies with colorful designs on it. To God be the glory for the opportunity to reach out in the community and to serve others. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Greetings From My Family To Yours

Isaiah 9:6

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of  Peace.

My family knew that Jesus wasn't born on December 25th. But why do we still celebrate Christmas? Christmas for us is a time to rejoice and thank God for the virgin birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ(although we remember His birth daily). A time to be together away from work, business or school and just enjoy each moments with prayer, food and exchanging of gifts. I have many Christians friends who choose not to celebrate Christmas because of the pagan origin of the celebration. I respect and understand them and love them in Christ Jesus. There are those who celebrate it and I also have the same feelings towards them as those who choose not to. At the end, if we choose to or not to celebrate Jesus birth, may it be glorifying to Him and that in your heart you are fully convinced that your decision has been done in faith. Furthermore, let us not pass judgement to those who celebrate or those who choose not to celebrate especially the bible is silent about this issue. We have been given the greatest gift of all.. our God and Savior Jesus Christ. Let's ring out the news that Jesus is born. 

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year To All!!!!

Helpful answer from Got Questions.Org. Click the question.
Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

This Is What Happens When I Turned My Back

my baby is eating sweet potato and apple puree that I made
It was lunchtime and I was feeding my baby when my hubby asked me to put his food in the microwave and heat it up for few minutes. He asked me because I sat next to it and it was easier for him if I do it.  So, I faced the microwave and put the right settings. When I looked back at my baby, he had already grabbed his spoon and fed himself. I was caught in surprise because I didn't expect him to look like this. He likes to grab stuffs especially during feeding time. But I usually catch him on time before he spills or drop it. My hubby and I were laughing at what happened. I grabbed my camera and snap a photo of it. Isn't he so cute?

The Night Before Christmas

I went to the store to buy more ingredients for the food that I will be cooking for our Christmas meal tomorrow. When I came home, my son told me that Mrs. Lopez came and dropped off a tray of cookies and a Christmas story book. Mrs. Lopez is my church family, my spiritual mentor and she is like my mom here in US. She knows that we celebrate Christmas differently in the Philippines and we don't  make cookies or read Christmas book at night before Christmas. She told my son that the cookies should be eaten tonight when my hubby reads the story book.

cookies in a colored wrapper

looks so yummy

several kinds of cookies with candy canes
I have not heard or read this book before. I will be listening when hubby reads it tonight. This year is a different Christmas experience for us. We have been here in the US for three years now and the first two years our mom-in-law lived with us. We celebrated Christmas with her, but we didn't make cookies or read a story book either. The kids usually just go to bed at night and open their gifts Christmas morning. Still, we had a great time as family, but this year, it will be just me, hubby and the kids. We will be seeing my mom-in-law though next month and spend some time with her.

The Night Before Christmas story book

I remembered what we did in the Philippines the night before Christmas. When my parents were still alive, we usually wake up 11:30 in the evening of December 24 to have a 20 minutes devotional. We sang hymns, read Bible verses and pray. When we were done with the devotional, we ate our midnight food or snack. We call it  Noche Buena(Christmas Eve) food. Then, by midnight we went out to watch the fireworks. Philippines is pretty heavy with fireworks during Christmas and more during New Year.

In whatever way we celebrate our  night before Christmas, one thing is sure... it is a nice family tradition where family is complete, having snack, cookies or hot chocolate and just thinking of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. A time as family to Praise and thank God for sending His Son on earth. His Son who died and paid the penalty of our sins so we could be reconciled to God and be forgiven of our sins. Trust and Believed is all we can do to get right with Him.

How about you? What are you planning to do tonight, the night before Christmas?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Pictures Of Wisconsin Getting 8 to 9 Inches Of Snow

Today we got 8 to 9 inches of snow. These photos were taken with in Ozaukee county particularly in Saukville. Hubby and I went to the store to pick up the photos we got for free. I took advantage snapping pictures while being his passenger. This is the best thing living in Wisconsin, you'll get to see beautiful views after a snowy weather.

driveway in front of our apartment
driveway after being plowed
another angle of our driveway after being plowed
notice the snow on top of our van
snow plower, it sprayed salt behind it
neighbor's fence half-way covered with snow

residents on my street busy plowing their driveway

colored cars turned white
snow pile at Walmart parking area

other side of Walmart parking area
that snow pile must be 9 feet tall

that's my hubby waiting for me inside the van
that's a ramp towards the free way

the road is already salted and plowed

road side
so pretty

bridge covered with snow

park nearby

still part of the Veterans Park

houses on our street


that's my neighbor's car covered with snow
our neighbor's house so pretty

I hope you enjoyed the photo, feel free to share this to your friends!!
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