Thursday, May 23, 2013

The family that paints together...

It's a school break. We have plans, lots of them. Mostly included enjoying the outdoors.

But no chance. The weather forecast: cloudy, rainy, cold. We decided to paint the girls' rooms.

We went to buy the 'right' paints. It was not easy. IC knows what she wants for her room. We argued a bit, showing her alternative paints that are more affordable than her first choices. After giving in to a short tantrum, she finally agreed to go for the cheaper paints.

Whew, I am glad because I wanted this to be over as we have been planning to paint their rooms since 2011!

IC painting her room
The girls woke up early, ready to work. While I prepared breakfast, the girls and their Papa got their rooms ready: moving furnitures, removing any hanging/tacked objects, taking items out of the way before taping and covering the floor with newspapers.

MC painting her room
After breakfast, we worked together. Painting, painting, painting...

The family that paints together,
Gets painted all over!

Here's the evidence :-)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My nine-year-old wants to have body piercing!

Help! My nine-year-old IC wants to have her body pierced!

Where did she get the idea? I don't have any clue.

We were having lunch, and as usual, the girls were taking turns telling us about their school day.

Then suddenly, out of nowhere, IC said, 'I have decided I want to have body piercing.'

She continued, 'I think I'll have it in my tummy, or maybe in my tongue. What do you think?'

Huh? All three of us, my husband, her sister, and I turned to look at her in silence. IC's reaction? 'Why are you looking like that?'

Yeah, why? As if it's normal to hear those words coming from a nine-year-old girl!

I focused on having her tongue pierced.

So, you want to have your tongue-pierced? Let's see, I need to think fast.

And I asked her, 'What are we eating right at this moment?'

IC answered, 'My favorite: baked pork-chop with rice and salad.'

'Do you think you could still eat such things once you have your tongue-pierced?' I questioned her.

She looked at me and shrugged, 'I guess I have to think about it longer.'

I am sure this would not be the end of the discussion about body piercing but at least this time, reason (and food) won :-)

P.S. Both girls have had their ears pierced when they were a year old and that's enough about piercing for now.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Yes, IC, there's a Father's Day celebration

In Germany, Father's Day is celebrated during the Ascension Day, a Christian holiday which falls on the  40th Day after Easter. It is popularly known as Men's Day or in eastern Germany, the Lord's Day.

Father's Day or Ascension Day falls today, 9 May. 

My girls have been busy preparing for Father's Day (and of course, Mother's Day this Sunday). Actually, they got a bit irritated because in IC's class, they have been creating something for Mother's Day for the past month. It was only a few weeks ago that they learned that this year, Father's Day comes before Mother's Day!

Added to that, IC came home early this week saying, "You know what, Mama, my classmates told me that there is no Father's Day at all."

Then she reportedly told them, "Well, I don't care if you think like that, we are still celebrating Father's Day." Well, we already shopped for gifts for Papa, so the celebration would go on, right?

But that was not the end of that. Yesterday, she arrived from school and announced, 'Mama, there is no Father's Day. That's an old tradition and people don't celebrate them now!"

She went on, saying, "There's still Mother's Day because mothers do more, lots and lots of things, for the children, compared to the fathers."

Whoa, hold on, I told her that mothers do more but fathers do things for the children, too. And with her help, we started to list down things that her Papa does for all of us... (see below :-D)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Garden Time

We can't wait for the red currants!
After a long winter, we just couldn't wait to embrace spring time even though it would mean more work in the garden!

I didn't say more work for me though. It was my husband who got busy dragging the old tree branches into our corner pile, separating them according to their sizes. They would go into our homemade swing grill later.

His next work was to create a better stone wall for our portable pool. That stone wall would also be used as our herb and spices area. IC wanted him to plant flowers in that area, but I insisted on the herbs and spices because I am practical.

Then he also started pulling the weeds, replanting the strawberries, harvesting the rest of the lamb's lettuce, and planting a new lawn.

I helped him, too. I created a check-list of our 'must-plant' items such as tomatoes, spinach, squash, red beets, etc.; 'could' have items such as cabbage, pepperoni, etc. and searched for the seeds that we kept dry in our storage.

After more than a week of garden work, my husband planted the available seeds we have at home, before we both headed off to the nearest store to buy seeds according to our check-list.

Mind you, despite having our list, it took us sometime to find what we are looking for. There are just too many variety to choose from, in the end, we went for those with the right price: those affordable :-)

You won't believe how expensive the other seeds are! Good thing we managed to save the seeds of some plants from last year.
Herbs and Spices Corner

I also checked our packs of frozen, dried and preserved veggies, herbs/spices and fruits from last year's harvest. We still have a big bottle of dried tomatoes, a small can of mixed dried herbs and spices, a big plastic bag of frozen spinach, around six boxes of frozen yellow plums, a box of frozen blueberry, and a box of frozen string beans. I should use them to make space for the fresh items!

There's another week of cold and rain, but starting this weekend, the weather forecast is dry! We can't wait to start planting the rest of the seeds.

We can't wait to assemble our portable pool. We can't wait to start the barbecue season (although we already used our electric grill last week to enjoy the first sunny day after the long winter!). We can't wait to just stay outdoors and enjoy the sun.

Of course, we can't wait for our first garden harvest. What would it be this time?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Grow your own mini garden

Our herb and spices corner garden
When we were young, we had a big backyard garden full of fruit-bearing trees, sugar canes, and vegetables patches including squash, ampalaya, and eggplant. The canal by an old well grew a healthy shrubbery of kangkong and talbos ng kamote. Sometimes, when we dug holes when playing  marbles, we would come up with clumps of sweet potatoes.
The fruit-bearing trees were the main focus of our playtime. For our bahay-bahayan, we would grab the fruits as snacks and declare their thick branches our home. If we we were feeling a bit adventurous, we would make a cauldron of spices using all the flowers, veggies and weeds that we could pick all around us. For us, the garden is just a playground.
Looking back, I realized how lucky we were to have that garden. It was not only because we had a big place to roam around but we also saved a lot of money as we used the spices, veggies and fruits we could get from our garden. Once, a cousin and I even bunched a few kangkong stems  together and sold them in the palengke near our place for extra income!
Now, a big backyard is not the most important requirement if you are interested to start a garden of your own. For a mini garden, all you need is patience, time and of course, a little space!

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