Sunday, November 30, 2008

The First Sunday of Advent

It has been a tradition that we light the first candle in our Advent's wreath during breakfast on the first Sunday of Advent.

This is to remember that Christmas is not only about giving gifts and having a party but also because Christ is born. And more importantly when the kids see this candle being lighted, they are always reminded that Christmas is not just waiting for their Advents calendar to be opened and their gifts to be presented but also, Christmas is for sharing.

That was why after breakfast, we headed off to opa's (grandpa) house to be mesmerized by his effort to create a festive atmosphere despite having to do it alone. He said, he tried to preserve oma's (grandma) memories by decorating according to her taste. We had to share this Sunday with him, too.

And I made that Advent wreath myself. I used the decors from the old wreaths to create a 'new' Advent wreath. I simply added fresh fir needles and new candles.
Not to forget, we've also found the fresh mistle twigs :D

Wikipedia states that Advent is:

Advent (from the Latin word advenio, meaning "to come", "the coming of Christ our saviour") is a holy season of the Christian church, the period of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Christ, also known outside the Church as the season of Christmas. It is the beginning of the Western Christian year and commences on Advent Sunday.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

No to Nintendo this Christmas

MC wants a nintendo this Christmas.

And my answer is, as always, a big no.

She's been asking for one since the start of this year.

But I refuse to even consider buying one. And I wont change my mind in the near future, sorry.

Why would she need one? She said because almost everybody she knows have one. I know that nintendo is the 'in' thing for kids.

And I told her that she's special. Because she dont have one. And wont have use of one in the near future. I told her she would have more fun playing with her toys and playing with her sister and her friends than being alone in a cold corner busy tapping a small stick into a small mini tv-like game.

Why wont I not give her one? Because of stories I heard. And things I observed.

Of kids getting so much fixated in one that they would ignore even their bestfriends when they come over to play. Of kids being asked to take care of things at home and yet wont get anything done because of nintendo. Of kids forgetting their own things in some places just because they were busy with nintendo in their hands. Of kids' grades suffering because of nintendo. Of kids alone and yet seemingly happy with their nintendos as company.

I dont think having a nintendo is healthy; but that is my opinion. I know there are ways to break down the fixation with nintendo. But my way of doing it is avoidance.

Thus, I refuse to buy a nintendo for MC.

I said, maybe, I would consider buying one when she could already read, write and do her math. But that's still a maybe. And maybe is still a no.

P.S. As I was finishing this post, MC approached me with a brochure of game consoles. And she told me, 'mama, I am going to wait until I am in high school for my nintendo.'

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Filipino Arts and Crafts at Dive Solana

Ang Pagwawagi = To Triumph

Napadpad kami sa Dive Solana sa Batangas nitong nakaraang bisita namin sa Pilipinas. At ano ang nakita namin? Ang pagwawagi ng mga katutubong disenyo at mga gamit na tubong Pinoy talaga. Maganda talaga ang gawang Pinoy. Ipagmalaki natin :D

sa reception (the reception area)
hagdan patungo sa massage area at relaxation lounge
(the stairs going to the relaxation lounge)
ang kwarto kung na napapalibutan ng tatak Pinoy
( the hotel rooms are decorated with Filipino arts and crafts)
katulad nitong burda sa mga unan at kumot, pati na rin ang kulambo
( the pillows and blankets were hand embroidered, even the mosquito nets are one of a kind)

We discovered Dive Solana in Batangas during our trip to the Philippines early this year. And it is there that we saw the triumph of the Filipino arts and crafts. Something to be really proud of :D

Mama is out for the weekend

Thus, Papa and the kids got busy.

What did they do? Baked!

I was tasked to buy all the ingredients last Friday. Instead of buying just a bunch of stuff, I bought them loads of stuff :D I figured, if they do plan to get busy and bake, then they could always bake more and more. After all, they have both Saturday and Sunday to work on it, right?
And here are the photos, courtesy of the kids. Here's coole auge kekse (cool eye cookies) and in the bowl are the spritzgebackenes dipped in choco.
Inside this cookie box are the famous German butter kekse (butter cookies). The kids always pimped them up with choco or colored sugar sprinkles.
Another photo of the coole auge cookies which my husband said are flops. Just because the cookies are bigger and the marmalade dots arent dots at all. When the kids heard his comment, they both said, ' but they taste soooo good.' I agree, too.

And so the mama had to clean last Monday.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Secret 'Cuddle Time' with IC

It started a few weeks ago.

IC usually would wake up as early as her sister. But not that cold and dark morning.

IC woke up a few minutes after MC stepped out of the house. I asked her if she wanted to stay longer in bed. She said yes. So we cuddled a bit. IC rubbing her warm feet into my cold feet.

Then she said she's hungry, so we fot up. And yet, we continued cuddling.

We cuddled in the kitchen. I let her sit on my lap while having breakfast.

We cuddled in the bathroom. I let her sit on my lap while brushing her teeth and while washing her and while helping her dab lotion all over her.

We cuddled in the bedroom. I let her sit on my lap while helping her dress up and while combing her hair.

And the highlight of our cuddle time? When we cuddled in the living room while watching a short cartoon. For me to agree to turn on the tv and to watch a program with her at such an early time -- that tickled her a lot. And for me to tell her that this is our secret cuddle time, that made her day :D

I did bring her to kindergarten, just a little later than usual. It was worth it. Because the next morning she told me, 'Mama, let us stay cuddling again.' That's the greatest compliment of all.

But I had to tell her that we cannot do that everyday, or else it would not be a secret anymore. She would need to wait. So now she learned to be patient for the next cuddle time.

I didnt realize that cuddle time, aside from giving us a special bonding time, would also give her the chance to learn how to wait patiently. She knows it's worth the wait.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Little Miss Charity

'Mama, Mama,' shouts MC excitedly.

'Do you know that RTL (a local tv station) is collecting old yet still usable things to be given to poor kids all over the world?' she said. 'We could send those toys that IC and I dont want anymore.'

And then she stopped and added in deep thought, 'of course, those toys that dont function anymore we could send to the other poor kids who might still want them despite them being broken.'

I am happy that MC is really very open when it comes to sharing -- to being charitable. IC, too. I guess it helped when we exposed them to the Bahay Kalinga Foundation during out last visit to the Philippines this 2008. And I am grateful for Bahay Kalinga for a very warm welcome.

And we encourage them, too. In fact, in one corner of our storeroom is a big box where they place all their 'dont want anymore' toys and clothes for the poor kids. When that box is full, then it is time to send them to their favorite charity house in the Philippines, the Bahay Kalinga. It is a charity house that takes care of girls from ages 0-18.

They say those girls are their playmates, therefore, they would share their things to them. After all, as MC said, 'sharing is fun.'

Thursday, November 20, 2008

IC's Grocery List

The first three on the list are my husband's. Those in all caps next are mine. Those in all big caps on the right belong to IC.

The third on the list is pizza. Noticed how she wrote the 'z's? After pizza is 'wasser' (water); noticed how the 'w' turned upside down; and her 's' tends to 'sleep' a little, too. But hey, she's still learning. The main thing is, she's enjoying her scribbles.

That is always how my grocery list would look like -- chaotic. Because I do encourage my kids to tell me what they need or to remind me if I forgot something. When they do, they would want to write down their ideas.

I have started doing that when they were younger. When they were still learning how to write, the grocery list would look like a drawing of a tornado with their kriddle kraddle. Most of the time I needed a new list.

But it was during those grocery list times that both kids found their enjoyment with writing and with words.

I cant wait for the time when I would just be opening and closing the cupboards to check what is needed while dictating the grocery list to them :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Street Food: Madumi o Hindi? = Dirty or Not?

LP: Madumi (Dirty)

Sabi ng iba madumi daw ang mga pagkain na nilalako sa labas, na niluluto sa harapan ng kalsada, na nakabilad sa palengke. Ang ibang mga magulang ay pinagsasabihan ang mga anak nila na umiwas kumain ng mga ito. Pero mabenta pa rin sya kahit anong sabihin nyo.

Some people says street foods are dirty. Most parents warn their children against eating those kind of things. But whatever they said, those food lining the streets are best sellers.

Katulad ng tinda ng mamang ito. Busy sya sa kanyang pag-prito ng kwek-kwek. Habang nakaparada ang kanyang kariton sa isang kanto ay maraming nag-aabang na maluto ang mga itlog para simulan na ang tumusok.

Just look at this man. He is busy frying his kwek-kwek (fried quail egg) while people were waiting around him to pick their choice.

Katulad ng maruyang ito na dalawang piraso na lang ang naiwan kahit na walang tabing na nakabilad sa kalye at nakaumang sa mismong tambucho ng mga sasakyan sa EDSA.

These fried bananas were snapped up in a minute. Even though the store selling them is right in front of the bus station where it adds a flavor of the smoke of the passing vehicles.

Katulad ng bananacue na ito na dinumog ng mga tao dahil bagong luto sya. Kahit na ilang beses na syang pinagpilian ng ibat ibang kamay.

And this bananacue (banana coated with sugar) which were grabbed by the crowd right after being taken from the pan. Even though the sticks have been passed from one hand to another.

Ibang klase talaga kapag pinagbawal ano? Mas masarap talaga namnamin.

Maybe it gives a different flavor when something is verboten.
Street foods taste even better.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Schlachtfest = Butcher's Festival

It was Schlachtfest (Butcher's Fiesta) a few Sunday's ago; during the celebration of our local gym's 50th anniversary. It was a festival with prominent guests and a full sports program plus the awarding ceremonies.

But for us, it was a special event because opa (grandpa) joined us. It was his first festival after loosing oma (grandma). We thought a short visit out of the normal circle of people around him would be good for him.
As usual, the kids wont leave home without bringing something to keep them busy. This time, they brought a bag full of polly pocket items. Good thing we got a place in the corner, thus, we have enough space for their toys.
IC cuddled with opa almost the whole time. And opa was happy to cuddle with her.

Father and son, enjoying the show, enjoying each other's company.

And because a Schlachfest means food, here's what we got. This is the schweinepfeffer or pork blood cream. We call this the dinuguan or pork blood stew in the Philippines.

Here is the whole deal. The Schlachtplatte or butcher’s plate which includes a portion of sauerkraut, wellfleisch or boiled pork, leberwurst or liver sausage, blutwurst or blood sausage and served with a piece of bread and some mustard. The butcher's plate varies according to the restaurant or the festivity, sometimes there are more things added.

If you are wondering if they also served other things; then yes, they also have something for non-enthusiasts Schlachtfest-eaters. There were some normal bratwursts on bread and some potato salad; plus mouthwatering cakes to go with coffee or tea.

The kids enjoyed the free-for-all basket of sweets.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Homemade Dried Apple Rings

Here is one snack that is a favorite of mine, dried apple rings.

I could munch on it for hours and what makes me love it more is that it is really not lined up along the sweets department. The kids dont really like it, but then they learned how to do it by themselves thru the nutrition program in their kindergarten. The result? They are now munching on it just like mom!

Since we get apples from our farm market almost every weekend, we buy enough of those freshly picked fruits to make our own dried apple rings. It is not only great as snacks but the times spend doing this procedure with the kids are really special bonding times.

If you want to do this dried apple rings at home, it is very easy!


lemon (I dont know if calamansi would do the trick, too)

1. Wash the lemon and squeeze the juice on a bowl.
2. Wash the apples, remove the seeds and cut them into slices. Don't peel off the skin.
3. Dip the sliced apples into the bowl with lemon juice, one by one. And place them on a plate.
4. When you are done, tie those apple slices on a string and hang them to dry (see photo below). Or you could simply leave them on a place, without cover. They could be eaten after 4-5 days, when they are already dry.
Why not try it? This is fun and simple to do with the kids.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Independence and saying 'no'

Although we are a bit hesitant in letting MC walk alone with her friends to school, we slowly had to let her have her independence simply because she's already asking for it.

It was a process though. At first I walked with her and her friend to another house to fetch another classmate and I let them alone in the short walk to school.

And then I had to let her go in front of our house when her schoolmate came but I had to observe them until they reach the next corner. And now, I simply let her out of the front door and she meets her friend and walks with them to school.

Now she is so proud to be walking alone. Thus, when she told me that she would like to walk home alone after gymnastics, I allowed her. After all, the gym is just in the next corner from our house. I didnt realize though that due to the change from daylight saving time to the normal time, it would be really dark outside after her class.

When it was time for her to walk home, I was waiting outside for her. And it was really dark!

I could see a part of the gym from our house and the streets where she would be passing through. And then I heard her talking with someone. And then I saw a car's light beside her. That made me wonder and I wanted to run to her but MC and the car were faster. I saw that inside the car is a gym classmate with her mom.

It turned out that they asked MC to get in the car as they realized she'd be walking alone in the dark. But MC said a definite 'no'. She remembered what we told her, 'never to get inside anybody's car without asking us for permission.'

I was grateful for the thoughtfulness of our neighbor for staying with MC. But I am really comforted by the fact that MC followed our instructions and said 'no.' I think she earned that independence.

Let me tell you what else we told her before she gained her little 'walking alone' freedom:

1. Never to get inside anybody's car without asking us for permission.
2. Avoid talking to strangers if she is alone.
3. Try to walk in groups.
4. Wait for her schoolmates to arrive near the stoplight before pushing the button, this to avoid anybody running through the red light.
5. If possible, especially when it is dark, wear her reflector vest.
6. Try to stop, look and listen and then look again before crossing the streets; especially, avoid crossing the streets between cars and big trucks. It is better to always use the corner streets as most drivers pause longer there.
7. When she visits a friend's house alone, she must always call us to let us know she's arrived. This she forgets most of the time, so I had to call myself, but am sure in time she'd get used to doing this.
8. When visiting friends, we tell her what time she must be back -- and she's almost always back home in time, too.

How about you, do you have your own list, too?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ang Palengke = The Market

LP: Kinagisnan

Kinagisnan ko na ang mga ganitong natawin dahil ang aming bahay ay napapalibutan ng palengke, pero para sa aking pamilya na hindi sanay, ibang tanawin ito. Ayan na nga at hindi nila maiwan ang mga isda.

I am used to seeings these things as I have lived in the same neighborhood since childhood. But for my family, these things are something different. You could see how fascinated they are with those freshly catched fish!

Nung unang nakarating ng Pilipinas ang aking asawa, manghang-mangha sya sa mga nakita nya. Hindi mo sya mapigilang maglibot sa kalye at hindi papayag yan na hindi dumaan sa palengke at pagmasdan ang paninda at kadalasan ay may dala syang camera at video recorder.

The first time that my husband visited the Philippines, he was in awe almost the whole time. He would be out in the street with his camera and video recorder. Of course, he wont miss the wet market.

Halo-halo naman kasi talaga ang mga nakasalansan. At iba't ibang klase ang makikita.

I cant blame him as there are really a lot of interesting things to see.

Ang hindi ko malilimutan, kinagisnan ko na ang mamang taho. Sya ang gumigising sa aming kalye kapag walang pasok sa eskwela - ang sigaw nya ng 'taho, taho' ang senyales para lumabas ang mga batang pupungas-pungas pa pero may dala ng baso at bente-singko para sa kanilang almusal na taho. At ang gusto ko, parating may sago!

Here is the taho (something like a jelly made of soya) man. He is our alarm clock during the weekend. When he starts shouting 'taho-taho', then everybody would be up and out of the house carrying their own glasses and a 25 centavos coin for their breakfast of taho. And I love it with sago.
Sempre, dapat ko ring banggitin ang mga tambay sa kanto. Kampay!

I wont forget those group of men in the corner. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

MC's Promise to Her Grandpa

MC promised her opa (grandpa) that she would help him decorate his Christmas tree this year.

Now that oma (grandma) is gone, MC said she dont want opa to miss the joy of having the traditional Christmas tree in the corner of the living room.

Now she's asking almost everyday if it is time to help the opa. We assured her that there is enough time. That opa usually decorates the tree on the 23th of December.

MC's learning how to keep a promise.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Celebrating St. Martin's Day

MC and IC proudly showing off their lanterns
It started with the creation of the laterne (lantern) in kindergarten and followed by a singkreis (sing circle) in kindergarten last week. The parents or grandparents were invited to come for a fifteen-minute singkreis with the kids and their teachers. We learned at least three new songs for the Sankt Martinsumzug (St. Martin's procession) and of course, repeatedly practiced the traditional and more popular St. Martin's songs.

The kids received their Weckman, a bread made of yeast dough and raisins formed like a ginger bread man. These are donated by the city.

The kindergarten celebrated St. Martin's Day with a short reenaction of St. Martin's life, led by the pre-schoolers.
here are the kids watching the reenactment with their lanterns on display
Then the highlight of the evening, the arrival of St. Martin on his horse which signals the start of the procession. The procession glowed with lights from the children's lanterns and cheered by the St. Martin's songs.
here are the kids eager to stay behind the horse and it's rider
Oh and the second highlight of the night? The Bengalisches feuer (flare lights) that were always prepared and executed by the volunteer fire fighters.

After the spectacular display, most of the kids and their families retired to the kindergarten where bratwursts and gl├╝hwein (mulled wine) were served as the kids played and the crowd serenaded by the Posaunenchor (trumpher choir).

What is St. Martin's day? According to :
November 11th is a special day in the U.S., Canada, and German-speaking Europe, but when North Americans are observing Veterans Day/Remembrance Day, most Austrians and German Catholics are celebrating a different kind of holiday. The Feast of Saint Martin, the Germanic Martinstag celebration, is more like Halloween and Thanksgiving rolled into one. Martinstag or Martini commemorates Sankt Martin (c. 317-397), Bishop of Tours, one of the most revered European saints.

The best-known legend connected with Saint Martin is the dividing of the cloak (die Mantelteilung), when Martin, then a soldier in the Roman army, tore his cloak in two to share it with a freezing beggar at Amiens. Today in many parts of Europe the feast is still celebrated by processions of children with candle-lit lanterns (Martinslaternen - see the German children's song "Ich geh mit meiner Laterne") and a banquet of roast goose (die Martinsgans).

In former times, Martini was the “official” start of winter and the 40-day Christmas fast. Today Martinstag is the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season in German Europe.
Here's how we celebrated it last year.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The First Sunday of Advent is in November

I only realized that today!

That means, there would be three more weeks to go. And I still dont know how to start with our own advent wreath!

I am planning to create one this year. Althought I am tempted to check out the Advent Bazaars these coming week, I have decided that I am keeping the money this year. The costs of the advent wreath is just too much (it was 20 euro in 2006 and 40 euro in 2007 -- what would it cost this year!).

After all, I have kept all the decors of the old wreaths and have used them during the other Christmases, too. I simply needed to buy the candles and some fresh pines and maybe re-touch some of them with red and gold sprays.

So wish me luck! For after the Advent wreath, I would only have a few seconds break as I also need to get busy with the girls' Advent calendars.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Soldiers, Our Soldier

LP:Maalaala Mo Kaya? (Would you still remember)

Mga pagmumuni-muni ng isang nanay...Maalala kaya nila kung ano ang simbulo ng dalawang sundalong ito sa kanilang tabi? Maalala kaya nila na ang kanilang si lolo ay isa sa mga dating sundalong ito?

Thoughts of a mother... I hope my daughters would remember what these soldier stands for. I hope they would remember that their grandfather is one of these soldiers who stood up for their belief.

Sana maalala nila ang mga sundalong sumabak sa laban. Ang mga sundalong hindi na naka-uwi para muling maramdaman ang madiing yakap ng mga nag-aantay. Na ang lolo nila, bago makauwi sa piling ng kanyang pamilya, ay namuhay sa piling ng mga kapwa nya prisoners of war.

I hope they would remember those soldiers who fought during the war. The ones who didnt come home to again feel the warm embrace of their loved ones. That their grandpa, before going home to his family, was a prisoner of war.

I would be again, be the guest at Usapang Pinoy, a radio-magazine in UK that showcases Dr. Joy. Click: Future Radio UK to listen online or you could also send a message by clicking the Studio Messenger located on the upper right of the website. See you this Saturday at 2 pm UK, 3 pm Germany and 10 pm the Philippines.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sunday's Treat: Pippi Longstockings

'Pippi feiert Geburtstag' (Pippi celebrates her Birthday), that was the tittle of the much-awaited theater show that we watched last Sunday with the kids.
IC, who's a real Pippi fan, had to be in a Pippi costume, of course! The theater was full of familywith small kids ( from grandparents to small babies) and most of the kids are in costumes :)
I bought our tickets just a few months ago and that was already a little late as I almost didnt get good seats for the four of us. I didnt think it would be selling like hotcakes! Well, I learned a lesson.
Nope, we werent allowed to take photos during the show, the casts were already taking a bow when I snapped these photos. I did it because I saw others taking photos, too.
Plus, I promised IC she would get photo souvenirs. Am glad I took the opportunity as she was smiling from ear to ear when she looked at the photos. Oh yes, the show was great; I could definitely tell as the kids had only all eyes and ears on stage despite it being almost a two hour show with a 15 minutes break.

Here is IC's favorite Pippi face painting. What do you think?

I am sharing things I learned when watching such well-visited shows with the kids:

1. If allowed, bring small snacks and a drink bottle inside the theater.
2. Ask the kids to use the toilet before the show starts.
3. You could bring a seat booster so that the kids wouldnt have to seat on your lap or to crane their necks to really get a good view.
4. Be aware of other kids watching behind you, some people wouldnt even care if they are hampering the view just because they wanted their kids to have a better view.
5. Buy the tickets earlier so you could find good seats. And I suggest to get those corner seats so the kids could have more space to move or to get a better view.
6. And of course, if this would be the first theater visit, let them know what to expect -- it would be a little dark inside, avoid talking and if there are questions, ask them quietly, etc.
7. And, enjoy the show!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Those Old Shirts and Creativity

Dont throw those old polo shirts.

Because you could use them as smock for your creative kids. Just look at the photos below.

See? Simply let them wear the shirts the wrong way (the front in the back) and voila -- you've got something to protect your kids' clothes when they are busy with their paints or whatever artworks they are working on. If you have long sleeve shirt, simply cut the sleeves a little shorter so it wont disturb the kids.
Of course, you would also need something to protect their chosen work table. Depending on what we have -- they either use a thick carton or a plastic table cloth.

Just because it is winter and they be creative outside that doesnt mean they couldnt work inside right? Here are more tips to encourage the kids' creativity inside the house:

1. Use more crayons or colored pens (nope, not pentel pens) and when they really wanted to paint, buy those small tubs of paints and those thin brushes.
2. Tell them to concentrate on painting or creating small pieces so that there would be less clutter and less mess :)
3. Keep coloring books at home or you could also print their favorite characters from the internet.
4. Have towels nearby just in case.
5. Be clear to them that they should clean after themselves, this would encourage them not to create more mess than when they know that mama would be doing the cleaning afterwards.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween 2008

My girls going as black and white.

IC as the white lady.

MC as the black beast :-D

Sorrounded by her sweets.

IC's loots!

Black and White in the Dark

LP: KadilimanAng magkapatid na naka-itim at naka-puti ang sumalubong sa kadiliman ng lansangan nitong nakaraang Halloween.

The sisters wearing black and white greeted the darkness in the streets last Halloween. Makikita silang kumatok sa mga pintuang nag-aantay ng mga batang naaabang ng munting regalo.

They could be seen knocking on people's doors and waiting for their treats.

Andito ang ibang miyembro ng Litratong Pinoy.

Here are the other members of Litratong Pinoy.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Starting a Nov. 1 Tradition

I came from the Philippines where November 1 is a big holiday for the whole family. The preparation would start a few days before with a visit to the cemeteries and memorial parks to clean the tombs.

And then, when Nov 1 comes, it would always be a time to reunite with family and friends. There would always be enough time to have a picnic, to chat and to be entertained. There would be even games for kids and some games for the adults, too. It would start from the wee hours of the morning to the early trek to the cemetery or the memorial parks and the late night goodbyes.

What do we bring? Candles, matches, flowers and of course, food and drinks! Plus, stories to tell.

MC even remembered my tale about celebrating Nov 1 at home. I told them my mother would have food in the altar and would light a candle for the dead. Sometimes we kids would eat the food on the altar and my mother would pretend not to know this and would always say that the souls came to eat the food. MC was asking me if I would be bringing some food so they would be able to eat them, too.

It was also a fun time to collect candle wax and a contest on who would have the biggest ball of wax. And would also be time to reconnect with old relatives and old friends. It is not just a holiday but a tradition.
Keeping a Philippine tradition alive, visiting the cemetery on All Saint's Day

But here in Germany? Been here for almost 8 years now and I have never visited the cemetery on the same day. We do visit once in a while esp since it is just in front of the church where we regularly attend services; but the traditional visit such as what I was used to in the Philippines? That was definitely not.

Now that the oma's remains are there, I encouraged my husband and the kids to visit today. Actually, they were ready to go. The kids even drew something on the memorial candle that I brought. We didnt bring any flowers as we know oma's funeral flowers are still in bloom. Plus, the tradition here would be dried flowers.
That was the memorial candle and beside it is IC's drawing which I pasted around it.

I hope to keep this tradition going. Because the dead also touched our lives in more ways than one.
PMN: Home and Garden is about making a doll house.