Saturday, October 27, 2012

Relief goods collected by the girls arrived in Manila

The balikbayan boxes filled with relief goods arrived in Manila
Remember when the girls volunteered to collect donations for the flood victims in the Philippines last August?

Well, the boxes arrived this month at the Malibay Health Center.

the boxes of relief goods in our home before being transported
I know, it took months, but that is why the relief goods are not perishable. Most of them are clothes, blankets, and toys. Of course, the girls gave a sweet pack of surprise to the Malibay Health Center staff who would end up with the work of sorting the items :-)

There were also drawings and notes from the girls, they said they wanted to let the people know, the flood victims, that everything would be okay. I guess they know that from experience, after all, they were in the Philippines when Ondoy ravaged the land in 2009.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Watching history unfolding with the family: On Felix Baumgartner

Let me tell you, I didn't know about Felix Baumgartner until last week, when my husband told me that I should be writing about him and his historical jump from just outside the earth's edge.

Huh? I was perplexed because I really wasn't aware that there was a plan to attempt such a feat! I was intrigued and a bit doubtful about the outcome. Well, I am also praying that everything would turn out well just because the man has families and friends who love him!

That first attempt, my husband left the television on, until it was cancelled due to heavy winds. The next try, we also kept the television on. But it was postponed again because of weather concerns. By that time, I was getting into the excitement of things and I think my girls, too.

Did I tell you that MC has expressed a few months ago that she wanted to be an astronomer? Well, that story about jumping from space has tickled her interest, too. Although she and her sister, IC, have no patience to wait in front of the television. And they really didn't think it would push through because it has been cancelled twice already. How pessimistic are my kids? But I think they really cannot grasp the reality of someone jumping from way, way up there.

Then came October 14, a Sunday, the third attempt -- we left the television turned as early as 8 in the morning. Now we have a very strict rule at home, no matter what day unless there is really something very, very special, nobody is allowed to watch TV before 12 noon.

The girls protested, as expected, but we told them that today, history is in the making because of Felix Baumgartner. We invited them to join us in watching the event unfolding because they really should not miss it. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Beware of online ticket seller viagogo UPDATED

Beware of online ticket seller viagogo

If you usually buy your concert tickets online, never buy them via viagogo.

Viagogo serves mostly European countries, as they have French, Italian, English and German websites but I am sure that they also sell globally because I saw a site for the United States, too.

And their website says: "Buy and Sell Tickets 100% safe and guaranteed."

Let me tell you our story

We bought three Empore tickets at 59 Euro each for a Luca Hänni concert in Capitol Mannheim through viagogo on July 14, 2012. Our tickets were confirmed through an e-mail which we received a few minutes after buying them online. They also informed us in the same e-mail that:
Tickets werden vom Veranstalter oftmals erst kurz vor dem Veranstaltungsdatum verschickt, weshalb Sie mit dem Erhalt Ihrer Tickets 3-5 Tage vor der Veranstaltung rechnen können. Wir informieren Sie mit einer E-Mail, sobald Ihre Karten auf dem Weg zu Ihnen sind. Verfolgen Sie den Weg Ihrer Tickets hier.
A rough translation: Tickets are normally sent by the organizer a few days before the event, please expect to receive your tickets 3-5 days before the event.

Now, my husband was already a bit dubious from the start. He told me we should have received the tickets as soon as the money transfer is done which was two days after the transaction online. Or, we would receive a copy of our tickets for print-out which is what normal procedure in most online sellers.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Watching a Concert with the Girls

Luca Hänni in Mannheim

I promised them we would watch the concert of the winner of Germany's Idol, Luca Hänni, who they absolutely adore.

In fact, MC used up her mobile loads calling to vote for her favorite candidate, they even created a poster and held that poster proudly while watching the finals on television!
the poster

Now, I know we were already too late when we decided to book a ticket online in July, the concert is on October 11. But we were happy to find tickets, with seats, via I realized tickets are more expensive but for the girls' first concert, I think their enjoyment and comfort would be my first priority.

The girls announced that they are watching the concert to the whole school and even the whole neighborhood, that's how excited they are.

Two day before the concert, the girls, once again, decided to make a poster for their idol. It was done a few hours before we are to drive off for the concert because they really took time to create something colorful and with love :-)

Meanwhile, our online ticket seller has emailed us a day before the concert that they don't have any tickets for us. Remember we booked the ticket in July? And they are letting us know in October, a day before the concert, that they don't have any tickets for us? They asked if we would accept Standing Room Only tickets? Of course, I was mad with anger when I received that last minute notice.

I e-mailed them I wanted the tickets that we ordered and paid for, those tickets that were confirmed on June by them. My husband, who already told me not to expect anything from that unrealiable viagogo ticket seller, has started calling the concert venue and were told that only SRO tickets were available.

He informed the ticket seller there that we already paid for our tickets via viagogo and the reply from the venue was, 'oh, you were also victimized,' meaning, this has been happening regularly with viagogo! (I will post more about our bad experience with online ticket seller later).

Friday, October 5, 2012

My 8-year-old Girl Thinks Her Tummy is Big

My third grader, IC, approached me a few weeks ago.

She showed me her tummy and said, 'Mama, I cannot breath anymore when I need to pick something up from the floor. I think my tummy is too big.'

Then with a bit of shame in her voice, she added, 'I think I need to exercise. I need to stop eating sweets, especially chocolates because I am becoming fat.'

'Mama, you need to help me,' was her plea.

I hugged her and told her that her tummy is not too big. That it is her jeans that's making her uncomfortable. But that it is also good to avoid eating too much sweets, too.

I also told her that walking to school daily, which they normally do, is a good exercise, too.

Then I told her if she wants, that she could start joining me in my morning jogs, with our dog, during weekends. She happily agreed. Let's see :-)

I remember that when MC was the same age, her big issue was that she is too thin, she wanted to be fat!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Our Traditional Once a Year McDonald's Visit

Ich liebe es, love ko 'to, i'm lovin' it
It is already September when my girls and I finally entered McDonald's restaurant to enjoy our traditional once a year fastfood binge.

The best surprise of that day was that instead of toys in their Happy Meals, the girls got to choose from eight 'cool' books. It was the girls who used the word 'cool' to describe the books and not me, okay?

Now, the girls are both members of the youth club of Mcdonald's and they receive a quarterly newsletter with free snack stubs. They always receive a free Happy Meal gift certificate for their birthdays. And we always get these promo stubs together with our post.

But despite these free treats, we have narrowed our visit to once a year. (Never mind those unused stubs.)

Not for anything but...