Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's our 4th wedding anniversary!

Today, as we celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary I am thankful of all the blessings and graces that God has showered on us. I am also thankful of the man who love me and cherished me so much amidst of my idosyncracies, shortcomings and imperfections. 

Our love story begun on August of 2001. We chatted two years  then we agreed to meet in person May of 2003.  He arrived Manila May 16 and proposes me that night. With one single pink rose and the ring hanging I say Yes! After a year and seven months we got married and today is our 4th wedding anniversary. 

We went to dinner at Red Lobster I ordered the ultimate seafood platter which has the lobster and crab legs (my favorite) and hubby ordered the admiral seafood platter which has scallop on it. Our wedding cake as you can see is the smallest of all cake I ever had lol but with a flare of pink which is for me is cute. 

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas day 2008

Things we did yesterday Christmas day..

1. Woke up not so early and already getting so excited because I knew I had to open up my gifts. Hubby had the ball taking pictures he loved to see me so excited and happy.

2. At 10:30 am we are already at our parish church ready to hear the words of God on that special day.

3. Came home from church I immediately started preparing my ingredients since I am going to make spring rolls.

4. By 3:00 pm starts another family party of ours and we arrived  in my step son's house just on time. My spring rolls were a big hit by everybody, I think I will continue to make spring rolls everytime we have a family party.  We headed home at 8:30pm and I was ready to hit the hay. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


To all my family, relatives and friends may the joy and blessing of Christmas be with  us today and this coming year to come. 

Monday, December 22, 2008


Is shoveling a form of exercise? Because if it is then I did shed plenty of calories today lol. I woke up at 7:20 am, I looked outside and found out that my across neighbor was stuck at her driveway. I immediately  dressed up with my snow attire so I could help her shovel her driveway but when I get out somebody already help her. So then, I decided to shovel our dinky deck and make a pathway going to my car. I could feel my back is sweating my hands my rosy cheeks and red nose are cold. Our temparature says it is 13F but it is a little windy and that makes it very very cold which I don't like. I just keep my shoveling fast until I make a good path. Thinking that i shed a good batch of calories makes me feel  goodddddddddddd lol!!

When you live in a cold state there is no room for belly aching. Just be thankful of the snow and enjoy the moment or else you ended up depressed and miserable. 

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Our 2008 Family Christmas party!

Yesterday was our 2008 family christmas party. Although not everybody were present but we filled the house of Doreen as in totally jam-packed, I told Loren that maybe next year we gonna use a community hall this family is growing fast lol! Anyway, every one brings their goodies and food that we filled the countertable fast too. I brought pancit, bean casserole and a special dip for the fruits that kids love. As always after eating we are looking forward to the white elephant game. Angie (hubbies 1st granddaughter) came out with a different twist of the game. As the bowl containing all the numbers went around I picked the number 1, I thought I don't have no chances of changing what I picked but I did. There were 48 adults  with gifts (not everybody is present at that huge number lol) that makes the white elephant game really fun. We came home almost 8:00 pm thankfully yesterday was not too bad weather wise and everybody just had so much fun.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

First winter storm

Yesterday, we had our first winter storm. The news said that it will start at around 4am, when I woke up yesterday morning and looked out the window everything are all covered with snow. It was almost knee high at noon time. Thankfully, my son in law came  by and plowed our driveway.  By late in the afternoon hubby and I went outside to looked around and shoveled the path from the deck to the car. Today, it is starting to snow again I just hope it won't last the whole day. Guess we are going to  have a white christmas this year. 

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas

I had heard that the Christmas song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written to help teach children catechism. Do you know anything about it?
Beginning with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1558, the Roman Catholic Church and any practice of the faith was strictly forbidden. Some of the various penal laws against Catholicism included the following: The Mass was outlawed. Priests were expelled from the realm, and threatened with the charge of high treason with the punishment of being hung, drawn, and quartered for returning and offering Mass. Any Catholic harboring a priest in the home or allowing him to offer Mass was subject to the same penalty. Catholic citizens were not allowed to vote, to hold property, to be witnesses in court, or to have weapons. Anyone who did not attend Protestant services was fined and imprisoned for repeated offenses. All Catholic schools were closed and instruction in the faith was forbidden. Anyone appointed to a civil office had to take an oath denouncing the Pope and the belief in transubstantiation, thereby in effect preventing any Catholic from such positions. These laws remained in effect until April, 1829 when King George IV reluctantly signed the Emancipation Bill, granting political and religious freedom to Catholics. However, to this day the King or Queen of the United Kingdom cannot be a Roman Catholic. 

Please note that these same penal laws were enforced in Virginia until the time of the Revolutionary War. Also, the intensity of enforcement of these laws depended upon the particular reign: for example, during the time of the Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell (1642-60), the Puritan Parliament even outlawed the celebration of Christmas. 

Therefore, the song The Twelve Days of Christmas was written in England using seemingly secular images or symbols to help catechize children in the faith. The “true love” mentioned in each stanza does not refer to an earthly suitor, but to Almighty God. The “me” to whom the gifts are presented refers to any baptized Catholic. The purpose of the repetition is not only for the sake of pedagogy, but also emphasizes God’s continual renewal of His gifts to mankind. 

The partridge in a pear tree is Christ. In nature, a mother partridge will feign injury to lure predators away from her defenseless nestlings. In the same way, our Lord protects us, vulnerable human beings, from Satan. The pear tree symbolizes the salvation of mankind, just as the apple tree symbolizes Adam and Eve’s Fall from Grace. 

Two turtle doves represent the Old and New Testaments. Also, Jewish couples of modest income offered two turtle doves instead of the customary lamb as a sacrifice to God when they presented their newborn child in the Temple. Interestingly, our Blessed Mother Mary and St. Joseph offered a sacrifice of two turtle doves for the presentation of our Lord (cf. Luke 2:22-24). 

Known for their beauty and rarity, the three French hens signify both the gifts of the Magi (gold, frankincense, and myrrh), and the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. 

The four calling birds are associated with both the four evangelists and their gospels’ Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; and the four major prophets’ Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. 

Five golden rings has a two-fold significance. A ring, or a circle, has no beginning or end but is continuous. Thereby, the ring reminds us of both God’s eternity, His permanent, faithful, and continuous love for us and the circle of faith God’s love for us, our love for Him, and our love for our neighbors. The number five also signifies the first five books of the Old Testament the Pentateuch or Torah (the books of law for the Jewish people). 

The six geese a-laying represent the six days of creative work recounted in Genesis. 

However, in Judaism, seven was a number of perfection. The seven swans a-swimming continues the Genesis theme, reminding us that God’s plan included not just the six days of creating but also the seventh day of rest; we in turn must not forget to make Sunday a holy day by worshipping God at Mass, spending time with our loved ones, and relaxing. Moreover, the seven swans a-swimming refers to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven corporal works of mercy, the seven spiritual works of mercy, and the seven deadly sins. 

The eight maids a-milking signifies the eight beatitudes and, at that time in our Church, the eight times during the year prescribed for the faithful to receive Holy Communion. 

The nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit and the nine choirs of angels. 

The Ten Commandments are represented by the ten lords a-leaping. 

Eleven pipers piping are the eleven faithful apostles at the time of the resurrection and ascension. (Remember that Judas, one of the Twelve, betrayed our Lord and committed suicide.) 

Finally, the number twelve for the Jewish people represented completion and fullness. Therefore, the twelve drummers drumming are the twelve minor prophets, the twelve precepts of the Apostles Creed (still the structure of the first part of the Catechism), the twelve apostles (particularly the original 11 plus St. Matthias who replaced Judas), and the twelve tribes of Israel. 

As we draw closer to Christmas, we should keep in mind the significance of this carol. Actually, I used to find the repetition and lengthiness somewhat irritating until I learned of its historical and religious significance. A good practice would be for parents to teach the carol in light of the history of persecution and the catechesis presented. 


Saunders, Rev. William. "The Role of Godparents." Arlington Catholic Herald.

This article is reprinted with permission from Arlington Catholic Herald.


Father William Saunders is dean of the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College and pastor of Our Lady of Hope Parish in Sterling, Virginia. The above article is a "Straight Answers" column he wrote for the Arlington Catholic Herald. Father Saunders is also the author of Straight Answers, a book based on 100 of his columns and published by Cathedral Press in Baltimore.

Copyright © 2003 Arlington Catholic Herald

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Who was Santa Claus?

Who Was Santa Claus?
Still, behind the figure most embodying the commercial nature of Christmas in the minds of the public, we find a humble and saintly Bishop, and a clear Christian message for our times: the need for generosity both towards our neighbors, and towards God.

ROME, DEC 23 (ZENIT).- As Christmas comes closer, children everywhere are eagerly awaiting their Christmas gifts. In most of the English-speaking world, these will be brought on Christmas Eve by a grandfatherly figure in a red suit and a penchant for milk and cookies. Yet “Santa Claus” comes from the Dutch “Sinter Klass,” which in turn means “St. Nicholas.” 

Saint Nicholas, whose feast day is December 6, lived from 280-343. He was a priest and later the Bishop of Myra, in modern Turkey. Unfortunately for the historian, he has been such a popular saint that many legends have sprung up, and it is difficult to separate myth from reality. 

The legends say that Nicholas was a very holy child, some going so far as to say that he refused his mother's milk on Fridays to keep the Church discipline of abstinence. Apparently he came from a rich family and was known for his generosity. He gave gifts to the peasants of Myra, trying to do so in secret by night, out of humility. 

The most famous story about Nicholas comes from his time as a Bishop. It seems a poor man had no money to provide a dowry for his three daughters. Bishop Nicholas climbed onto the roof of the house and dropped three bags of gold down the chimney. These landed in the socks that were hanging by the fire to dry, explaining today's tradition of Christmas stockings. The three bags of gold, incidentally are the origin of the pawnbrokers' symbol of three golden balls, as St. Nicholas is also their patron saint. 

While much of the foregoing is undoubtedly legendary, or at least embellished by the ages, it is a fact that in 303, the Roman Emporer Diocletian demanded that all the citizens of the empire worship him as a god. This order applied to the territories of Asia Minor as well. Many Christians were imprisoned or killed for their refusal to worship the emporer. When he too refused to submit, the Bishop was arrested and held in a small cell for more than 5 years. 

In 313, Constantine came to power and Nicholas was released. Christianity was no longer oppressed, and Nicholas returned to serve Myra as Bishop. He remained in that post until his death, on December 6, 343. 

His fame for sanctity spread rapidly, with the first churches in his name being built around 450. By 800, he was recognized as a saint in the Eastern Church, and by 1200, St. Nicholas' Day was celebrated in Paris. By the 1400s, St. Nicholas was the most popular religious figure, apart from Jesus and Mary, with more than 2,000 chapels built in his honor. 

The Origin of Santa When Dutch settlers came to New Amsterdam in the 1500s, they brought with them their tradition of St. Nicholas (“Sinter Klass”), and this tradition spread more generally, the name being converted in the process to Santa Claus. 

The image of St. Nicholas gradually changed to that “right jolly old elf” described by Clement Clarke Moore in his “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” better known as “ `Twas the Night Before Christmas.” He traded in his mitre and crozier to dress “all in fur, from his head to his foot.” The illustrations for a series of advertisements for Coca-Cola gave Santa his current “look,” whose red cap and suit are known the world over. 

Still, behind the figure most embodying the commercial nature of Christmas in the minds of the public, we find a humble and saintly Bishop, and a clear Christian message for our times: the need for generosity both towards our neighbors, and towards God. ZE99122324 


ZENIT is an International News Agency based in Rome whose mission is to provide objective and professional coverage of events, documents and issues emanating from or concerning the Catholic Church for a worldwide audience, especially the media. 

Copyright © 1999 ZENIT

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Christmas Tree Blessing...

                                                             A Christmas Tree Blessing       
                                                       Holy Creator Of Trees,
                                                       Bless with your abundant grace this
                                                       our Christmas tree as a symbol of joy.
                                                       May its evergreen branches be a sign
                                                       of your never-fading promises.
                                                       May its colorful lights and ornaments
                                                       call us to decorate with love our home
                                                       and our world.
                                                       May the gifts that surround this tree be
                                                       symbols of the gifts that we have received
                                                       from the tree of Christ's love.
                                                       Holy Christmas tree within our home,
                                                       may Joy and Peace come and nest in
                                                       your branches and in our hearts.
source:St. Anne Catholic sunda magazine                                 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Welcome Ms. Emily

Last Saturday morning while the weather is so nasty and cold (temperature was 10F) me and hubby went to get Ms. Emily ( I named her). Ms. Emily lives in a farm not too far from us. But the family who raised her transfered to North Carolina because of the economic crises here in MI. Two of their chickens was taken by another neighbor and the one left inside the chicken coop was Ms. Emily. The owner told us that they are so worried for Ms. Emily she felt that Ms. Emily was kind of lonely living alone. Fortunately, the owner knows my step-sons girlfriend and this girlfriend told us if we like to have a duck who thinks she is a chicken!! LOL! I agreed to the idea to get one duck, so that wintry saturday morning Ms. Emily was born in our farm. Here she is.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Below freezing..

Officially? We are not in winter season yet, it will be this coming December 21 that winter season begins but here in Michigan our temperature already reads always below freezing point and that is 31F. Past few days I woke up with a temperature of 14F, thankfully we have a firestove who keeps us warm the whole night and with the humidifier who put moisture on air, and those two helps our autumn and winter season more comfortable staying inside. The other day, I remember I had a huge malong, I took it out from the closet and put it on. I layed down on the sofa with my two feet on top with my book on my lap I am ready to read lol.

Christmas Tree 2008

So here it is my Christmas tree for 2008. Last Friday, I was able to put up this Christmas tree not with too much gusto. I just don't feel like putting all the stuff. Hubby took all decorations from the basement but ended up returning it that day since I decided not to put any ornaments on my Christmas tree. After putting up the tree I sorrounded it with different color of lights and put on top the lighted angel (which I inherited from my MIL) and then the last but not the least the two different colors of ribbons twirl it down and thats it my 2008 Christmas tree is up. Next that I have put up are the three wreaths. The huge one is in front of the huge window and the two wreaths are on the two doors. Then I put some green garland on the window rod and hang on some big red balls.
The last one is of course the reason of the season decoration my nativity scene. I love to watched nativity scene in any sizes and forms. While I was looking at my not so miniature statues I tried to remember the names of the 3 kings and forgot one, Baltazar, Gaspar and --? And remembering what they brought to Jesus--Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh (not so sure with the gold). Anyway, me and hubby had fun trying to remember the other name of the king until now no one has come up with the right answer yet.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Today is the Feast of The Immaculate Conception of Mary

Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, May it be done to me according to your word. (Luke 1:38)

In Mary's "yes" to God, Luke gives us a glimpse into her immaculate heart. He shows us a heart that trusted God, loved him, and wanted more than anything else to please him. Favored by God, Mary freely embraced his plan of salvation and was willing to make any personal sacrifice to advance it.
It is right, especially on a day like today, to honor Mary's immaculate heart. But it is also right to recall that the very same thing that preserved Mary from the effects of sin at her conception-the merits of Jesus' death and resurrection-is given to us in baptism. When we are baptized, we are washed clean of the stain of sin, and heaven is opened to us. The Holy Spirit overshadows us, and Jesus comes to live in our hearts. We become capable of the same disposition of trust and love toward God that Mary had. We can have immaculate hearts!
Of course, this doesn't happen automatically. A disposition like Mary's must be formed is us over time as we turn from sin and place ourselves at the service of God. It's nourished every time we meet Jesus in the sacraments and in prayer. It's strengthened every time we meet Jesus in the poor and needy among us.
Yes, we must make the effort to put off our sinful thoughts and inclinations, but look at the reward! Like Mary and all the saints, we can hear God's voice and actually see his plan of salvation come to pass, both within us and around us. The more we walk on the path that Jesus gives us, the more we too can have the intimacy with God and Mary enjoyed.
Never forget what happened to you when you were baptized! Never forget the restored innocence, the purity of heart, the pwoer of the God within you. A heart like Mary's is within our grasp. As we desire and pursue that purity, God the Father will accomplish it in us.

by: Joe Difato
5 minutes with the Word
Advent 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas tree

This is the picture of my 2007 Christmas tree. This year as of this time I am not fire up to put up my Christmas tree for 2008. I don't know but I guess the lazy bug is on me lol. I will try to put it up today and it has to be today because tomorrow is another day and I have lots and lots of books lining up ready to be read.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The wedding....

Last Saturday, we attended the wedding of Renee and Jake. Renee is one of the granddaughters of my LH. The wedding was held at Mt Zion church and the reception was at Knights of Columbus building. The food was really good who was prepared by Angie B (another granddaughter). The decoration and arrangement was all fine except the music hmmm it seems to me that they don't know how to prepare songs like this kind of event. Overall, the wedding was not prepared in all fabulousness like what we see on tv (whose wedding it is anyway). But it was done in concerted effort by relatives and friends and that is how Renee and Jake will remember.
On another note, that was my third time to attend a wedding. My first was in Austin, Texas and as what I have seen the secondary sponsors wore black gowns. But they are so gorgeous and classy. And most of the guest wore their black dress and the men are in their ties, that makes it more elegant looking. Here are some of the pics.


Again, watching my backyard birds this morning. And as I was watching a small cutie pie Bluebird passed the window. I grabbed my camera and ...