Monday, December 31, 2012

Our Merry Christmas 2012

Let me share our Christmas Eve in photos. Let me share our gratefulness, too.

The Christmas Eve breakfast, but our expected guests had to beg off  at the last minute. They did arrive a bit later,
but just to remove the  thread from IC's injured toe.
We are grateful that our doctor neighbors took time off to work on IC's toe, otherwise, we would have been spending most of our day in the emergency room of the hospital.
And because we cannot go for a short hike in the woods as a family (because of IC's foot) which we traditionally do during Christmas Eve, the girls chose a game of Monopoly.
We are grateful for board games that include the participation of the whole family, and needed total interaction with each other.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Boiled Egg Snowman

Boiled Egg Snowman

I saw a photo of this boiled egg snowman in Facebook and decided to re-create it for breakfast the next day to surprise the girls.

Cute, right?

The problem is, the girls decided it's too cute to eat :-)

But after taking photos, they started savouring the snowman, piece by piece. First they started with the carrots, and the toasted sesame seeds, then the eggs. They gave me the lamb lettuce.

How to create a boiled egg snowman:

a carrot
two boiled eggs
toasted sesame seeds (or whatever edible thing you have that could be used for the eyes)
something green (lettuce, salad, dill, parsley, etc.)
toothpick (or a plastic/wooden stick)
egg holder

1. Cut the carrots into pieces according to your needs: for the hut, for the nose, for the buttons.
2. Put the snowman together, first the carrot pieces for the huts, then fix together the two boiled eggs.
3. Then add the other accessories: nose, eyes, buttons and something green.
4. Place in an egg holder.
5. Enjoy eating!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Foggy Fourth Sunday of Advent

The Fourth Sunday of Advent
Today is the fourth Sunday of Advent. It was foggy and wet.

We went to church, despite IC still on crutches, after a small accident last weekend. She feels better now.

The church's altar is decorated with a sprawling Nativity scene.

The first words the priest uttered when the mass started were: "Look at our Nativity scene. It is not yet complete. The crib is still empty, Baby Jesus is yet to be born. And we need your Christmas wishes, they would become the grasses and the hays that would make our Nativity scene complete."

And the last words that the priest said were: "Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Mama Mary would give birth to Baby Jesus. Just imagine that our city is Bethlehem. You would not want to miss such as big thing, right? Then come and celebrate with us."

We wish you a beautiful fourth Sunday of Advent. And let's continue praying for the people of Newtown, Connecticut; let's continue praying for peace and love on earth.

P.S. After attending mass, we drove to a nearby village to pick-up our almost traditional Christmas Eve feast, we would have trout and salmon trout. My husband is cooking, yehey!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Philippine Party Must: Embutido


This is something that I have been longing to taste again. The last time I enjoyed this traditional Philippine dish was more than three years ago. It was not cooked at home, I just saw it in a local market and decided to grab a few pieces.

It satisfied my cravings, but I wanted to learn how to cook it myself. 

I really thought it would be challenging. So I skipped this recipe over and over again. 

And, I really thought my inexperience with using the steaming method in cooking would mean a sure failure. So I craved and craved. Until one day last week.

First I googled for the easiest recipe. And, I saw this.

It's simple, I told myself. I can do it. The next time I went food shopping, I bought all the ingredients. 

The very next day, I woke up early. I was ready for the Embutido challenge. As usual, I had to twist the recipe according to my family's taste. They don't like raisins and I don't think the tomato sauce would be for them, too. I lessened the raisins and substituted sweet paprika for tomato sauce. Then instead of mincing the carrots and bell pepper, I chopped them.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Rainy Third Sunday of Advent

The Third Sunday of Advent
Today is the third Sunday of Advent. It is raining and my heart is crying, too.

This third Sunday of Advent, we remember the people in Newton, Connecticut. We remember the innocent lives taken. We remember the educators who died. We remember those affected. We remember the grieving families, the grieving communities. We remember them in our prayers. We hope they would be strong enough...

I will not try to understand why these things happen. But I pray that we would find a way to prevent such horrible scenes even happening again.

Give love, not war. A very common phrase, but one I would absolutely like to happen, forever and ever.

May God bless us all.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Happy 11th Birthday, MC!

My 11-year-old MC
Dear MC,
You are now 11-year-old!
In the next months, you'd be taller than me.
This summer, you started rummaging into my closet.
Asking permission to wear my shirts, my dresses.
You started having interests in bling-blings..
(I mean those necklaces, those bracelets, those earrings, etc.)
And yet, shopping, as always, is not your thing.

You are now in middle school.
I am glad the transition was smooth.
You found new friends, and kept the old ones.
You fought for your friends if they are right,
and tried very hard to understood the misunderstood ones.
And no matter if your friends tease you,
you stay with what's true.

Yet with learning, it remains a challenge.
But you try.
Because I know, creativity is your main thing.

This year your learned what the words 'user' and 'bullies' mean
Just because a friend told you she was being used and being bullied
And I am glad you told us, you asked us directly
You just shook your head because you found the meanings 'stupid'
Why would one use another and why should one bully another?
That's what you said.
Because as you said, you help those who needs help
and keep away from those who are only making 'kulit.' (issues)
Keep that in mind, you are so right.

You still love Barbies and Playmobils.
Luca Hänni is still your Idol.
I know a highlight for you this year was watching his concert,
and the day you met your idol, eye-to-eye --
getting his fan card with his signature,
that's, cool, right?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Snowy Second Sunday of Advent

The Second Sunday of Advent
Today is the second Sunday of Advent and just like the first Sunday of Advent, it was snowing in our area.

While my husband prepared breakfast and the girls stayed longer in bed, I was out walking the dog. Rikki and I enjoyed the first snow flakes. We savored the quiet, hearing only the crunch of snow as we walked in the woods. I let her run while I carefully planned my steps though I would have loved to just run along with her.

The Snowy Second Sunday of Advent

Thursday, December 6, 2012

St. Nicholas Day 2012

For St. Nicholas, a letter from the girls.
St. Nicholas Day, December 6, is well-celebrated here in Germany.

In our home, traditionally, St. Nicholas Day always mean a visit from the man himself. 

We have started this when the girls were smaller. That time, it was their uncle who posed as St. Nick. The girls didn't show any fear from the tall man with the beard. They were too excited, I guess. 

The uncle stayed as St. Nick until the girls realized that he was wearing the same pair of shoes as their uncle! What a shock :-) Good thing my husband's officemate, took over as St. Nick in the next years.

When we were in the Philippines in 2009, St. Nicholas cannot come personally, we had to visit him at the German Club. That was okay, at least he personally knew all the kids (with the help of his elves, of course).

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Snowy First Sunday of Advent

Our Advent wreath 2012
Today is the first Sunday of Advent.
Today, it snowed in our area.
Today is our Kids' Day, too.

First, the first Sunday of Advent.
MC volunteered to light the first candle.
The girls and I created our homemade Advent's wreath.
We re-used the old decors, we mixed them up, and we skipped firs this time.
The only thing we purchased new are the candles.
We love our wreath.