Thursday, November 28, 2013

DIY: Advent Calendar from Plastic and Glass Jars

It's that time of the year. After the Advent wreath, another item is on the list: Advent calendar.

This year's Advent calendar took sometime to make because I needed 24 jars that would be big enough to carry the surprises I have collected throughout the year. Plus, the pieces of woods I intended to use as the base for the calendar were not stored properly that. Our dog, Rikki, kept on playing with them and disappearing with them in our garden!

I finally finished the Advent calendar made of wood and jars after three days of working on it. I really though I would have to do overtime work that would keep me up this weekend because I was focused on our donation drive, but the girls have stressed that I promised to create one for them. "Promises are not made to be broken, right, Mama?"

Advent calendar using plastic and glass jars

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

DIY: Simple Advent Wreath

I was so busy with our donation drive, it took my husband's nudge to remind me that the first Sunday of Advent is fast approaching. He asked me if we need to buy something to create our own Advent wreath, like some greens?

I told him we would have a simple Advent wreath, using the old ornaments I have collected the past years. And nope, we won't need any greens, too. I managed to finish the Advent wreath last Sunday.

The only things new are, of course, the four candles.

Materials needed for a simple Advent wreath:
four candles
some clay (or a glue gun)
a sturdy plate or bowl or whatever type of base you want to use
assorted Christmas ornaments
some nuts and twigs, if possible

How to create a simple Advent wreath:

Make sure you have all the materials on hand. If you are using a glue gun, it should be plugged and ready to use.

Place the four candles on the plate or bowl. Fix them in place using the clay or the glue gun.

Put the candles on the base of your choice.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ich bin Kaputt!

Yes, I am dead on my feet!

After a late Thursday night lugging and dragging boxes of donated items to be loaded into our car to be delivered to LBC, Friday morning started with washing.

As mentioned here, I have decided to wash most of the donated clothes. Most of them are new, but because they have been in the storage for a long time, they smell funny already.

The washing machine was in full working load that day. Okay, I was also in full working mode as I have to hang those clothes to dry and fold them afterwards, too.

Good thing my girls helped me in sorting out items and again and again, translating/labeling some of them.

The staircase is the only space left to work!!!
Then Saturday came. I wanted to clean the house because we are ready to box all the donated items. So I did. The girls have an arts lesson, but since they were invited afterwards to the cinema, I didn't have to wait for them in the city.

I dusted, vacuumed, and mopped. I changed bed sheets and towels. And in between, I washed., hang and folded clothes.

And because my girls reminded me of my promise, I started making their advent calendar. This is after all, a family tradition.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Conclusion of our Donation Drive for Haiyan Survivors

Day Eight of our donation drive:
From the mother who attended the World Youth Day 

She told me she's visited our country. She was there during the World Youth Day with Pope John Paul II. She was amazed how big the crowd was during that event. I was there, too, I told her  She has attended every World Youth Day since.

She said she also went to Boracay, Subic, the Smokey Mountains, etc. She said visiting the Philippines was an experience that she would never forget. She said the Filipino people are amazing. I totally agree with her, as I agree that German people are amazing, too. :-) (Okay, everyone is just amazing especially the generous ones!)

She told me she's visited our country. She was there during the World Youth Day with Pope John Paul II. She was amazed how big the crowd was during that event. I was there, too, I told her  She has attended every World Youth Day since.

She mentioned going to Boracay, Subic, the Smokey Mountains, etc. and added that visiting the Philippines was an experience that she would never forget. 

She said the Filipino people are amazing. I totally agree with her, as I agree that German people are amazing, too. :-) (Okay, everyone is just amazing especially the generous ones!)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Days Six and Seven of Donation Drive for Haiyan Survivors

It is now day six of our donation drive and I am completely exhausted but happy with the result.

Day Five came with a small package but before that day ended, I received a call from a hotel/restaurant owner, who wanted to clear things.

Number one, until when could they send the donations? A lot of people have asked already. That is something I should have noted in my letter. I told her until the middle of the week as I need time to check the labels before we bring them for shipment.

She gave me happy news. She informed me that she communicated with doctors in the area who promised to organize medicinal packages. And since she's a hotel owner, she would also be providing bedsheets and towels. Yay!!! I mentioned to her that underwears would also be much appreciated.

Day Six is a Sunday. Rest day. But wait, while washing the car outside in the cold, my husband was approached my somebody who said they are organizing the items for donations and would be ready in the next days.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Other Donation Drives for Haiyan Survivors in Germany

A Filipina from Ziesar in Brandenburg has already booked her ticket to visit her family in Davao end of November, but she decided to cut short her time with her family to help out those affected by typhoon Haiyan. 

She has decided to travel to Bogo, Cebu, an area located southwest of Tacloban, were 98% of houses and and infrastructures have been reportedly destroyed and as of this writing, might not have been reached by the bigger aid agencies and seemed to have been forgotten by media. 

Appealing for more donations, (she has already paid for her plane tickets); she asked for support in making this action a success.
Let's support her, please.
If you want to donate, here is her bank details: Dr. Gerhard Harfner Deutsche Apotheker- und Ärztebank Konto-Nr.: 0007468458 BLZ.: 30060601
Verwendungszweck: Pag-asa Hilfsprojekt e.V, Spende für Bogo
*Steuerlich abzugsfähige Spendenquittungen werden ausgestellt.* (Tax deductible donation receipts will be issued when requested.)

Read here for the interview made by a local newspaper about Frau Hafner.

Meanwhile in Stuttgart:

For the Benefit of Typhoon victims Haiyan/Yolanda, the Filipino Community of Stuttgart is inviting to give and share on November 22 starting 18:30 p.m. at St Georg Gemeinde Stuttgart Heilbronner Str. 135.
Lend a helping hand, join them in raising funds, packing relief goods, clothes, collecting donations. Give and share in your own way. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Days Four and Five of Donation Drive for Haiyan Survivors

More donations arrived late afternoon of day three.

My post ended with the bandage sortiments, right?

And I did say more people called. And there's also people who just arrived on our doorstep, not to mention those who simply left their donations leaning on the front door. It felt like Christmas, I tell you. I am so happy for the people who would be receiving these generous gifts.

There was this call about a woman who said she gave copies of the donation letter to her officemates, right? She left her bundle of gifts leaning on our front door late afternoon. She promised more items would be coming.
bandages, medical tapes, plaster, bed sheets, towels
Next came an elderly woman a house away from us. Her husband was one of the first people the girls and I approached with our letters. We found him working in the garage. I asked him if we could leave him our letter and he said yes. Then he added, 'back more than 50 years ago, it was Germany who needed help, and help came. Not it's our turn to help.'

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Day Three of Donation Drive for Haiyan Survivors

And we continue our donationdrive to help the survivors of the devastating typhoon Haiyan...

Yesterday I posted the items we received here.

Last night, a friend who I have never heard for a long time, called up. She said she has been meaning to call me to ask about my family in the Philippines. I told her they are okay but their area in Iloilo needs help, too. Then she offered help and I told her I am collecting donations, reading out loud the list of suggested items for donation.

This morning, a neighbor called up informing me that she gave copies of our letter asking for donations to her officemates. She further told me that in case I am not home, she would simply leave the donations, as they come, on our doorstep.

After a few minutes, the mother of IC's friend called. Telling me that her husband would come around noontime to bring some toiletries and a number of bandages. She wanted to be assured that the donated items would be received by the people who really needed them. I said everything would be coursed through LBC Foundation.

Her husband arrived with this:

All kinds of bandages, gauzes, and wound dressings plus some toiletries!
I didn't realize how many kinds of bandages, gauzes, and wound dressings there are. There are also gloves and emergency blankets.

Another neighbor followed with a call. She asked if clothes, shoes, kitchen items would be urgently needed, too. I said it would be best to stick on what's on the list first, though this time I added that underwears are also badly needed. She said she would get in touch with me as soon as she has everything organized.

A mother of MC's classmate just called and asked if clothes and toys would be appropriate. I sadly have to say not now because other items needed priority. She would get in touch as soon as possible, too.

I am touched by the people's answer to our call for help.

My God bless them all.

I am falling in love over and over again with my neighbors.

P.S. Here's something I learned, though. Since we live in Germany, I might need to label other items that does not have English translations so that the people there would know the uses of most items.

This is a wash powder but might need an extra label so that the end user would know.
For example, this wash powder. There is no German nor English translation. Although you could smell it's a soap. To avoid any confusion, make time to place English labels, please?

No English
These are bandages and wound creams, I might not need to translate but I
would take time to label the wound cream in English as when you open the boxes, there creams are in tubes.
I might even translate it's how to use note.
Also for those donating clothes and shoes. Make time to sort and label them such as for babies, for kids, for men, for women -- let's also help make the work volunteers who would end up with our donations a bit lighter, okay?

I am sure the extra effort to translate and to sort items out would be appreciated.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Relief Drive to Help Typhoon Haiyan Survivors in the Philippines

Image from NBC News
It is day six after the super storm Haiyan almost flattened parts of the Philippines.

There are estimated 10,000 deaths, more than 10 million people have been affected among them 1.5 million children and 4.3 million are now homeless.

It is now day six and despite the international aids coming in, more and more people are begging to be fed. More and more people are suffering from thirst. More and more people are begging to be evacuated to a safer area.

Sadly, many people are also still looking for missing loved ones. Sady, people are slowly dying. Sadly, another storm is coming...adding to the misery of the survivors.

We have been bombarded by news about the typhoon. The images were horrific and unimaginable.

IC class have been receiving the local newspaper daily because of a project have been discussing the Philippines and the typhoon. She has came home so overwhelmed because of the questions thrown at her, which of course, she cannot all answer.

MC meanwhile, came home on Monday saying her friends all rushed to her and asked immediately about the typhoon, if we have relatives in the areas affected, etc.

Both girls experienced typhoon Ondoy back in 2009. I guess, that became their reference. Plus, they also watched the news reports with me.

My mother, who hails from Ilo-ilo (another area affected), still have sisters there. That means, we have relatives there. When asked, my siblings told me that they were okay, which is good news. We just don't know how okay they are though.

I cannot stop crying while watching the news and video images online as I fervently clutched my rosary to pray.

But praying at this time, would not be enough. People are starving. People are screaming for help. I cannot take the desperation I see anymore. I feel so useless with my tears. I needed to do something to help.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Help Victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

Dear World,

"It's like the end of the world," narrated a typhoon survivor here.

The people of the Philippines needs help. There's now an estimated 10,000 death caused by drowning and collapsed buildings after typhoon Haiyan, said to be the worst storm ever to make landfall in recorded history.

A family waiting for food relief. Image taken here.
"The typhoon barreled through six central Philippine islands on Friday, wiping away buildings and leveling seaside homes. Most of the deaths and destruction were on Leyte Island, where Tacloban is located," according to NY Post.
Interaksyon stated, "If the 10,000 death toll is proven true, the devastation from Yolanda would be the country's deadliest recorded natural disaster."

More than 330,900 people were displaced and 4.3million 'affected' by the typhoon in 36 provinces, the U.N.'s humanitarian agency said, as relief agencies called for food, water and tarpaulins for the homeless, reported Daily Mail.

This after an earthquake that devasted towns that also were affected by the super typhoon.

Red Cross Philippines are accepting donations.LBC Foundation on their Facebook stated that they are also accepting donations intended for Red Cross worldwide. Check LBC link here

There are many ways to help, check CNN's list by clicking this.

See devastating images of the typhoon here.

Meanwhile, I am sorting out clothes, blankets, shoes, canned goods,etc. and would try to work with our community to collect more donations for the survivors. There must be something we could do to help out despite the distance. 

And yes, our prayers continue. God bless the Philippines.

For those in the Philippines, there's a Dine for a Cause at all Yabu branches. "In the spirit of giving, all branches of Yabu will be holding a Dine for A Cause event on November 13, 2013. 100% of our profits from all Yabu branches will be donated to those affected by the recent calamity caused by Typhoon Yolanda. Go and join them to help."

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

DIY: From a Shirt into a Simple Dog T-Shirt

I did say I am not a fan of dressing up pets, right? But hey, my sewing machine has been busy these past weeks creating Halloween costumes and the girls wanted to be fair to our dog.

They are convinced that Rikki wanted to have her own Halloween costume, too.

I compromised by making a simple shirt, signifying our pet's super power :-)

Materials needed to turn a shirt into a simple dog t-shirt:
- an old long-sleeved shirt
- scraps of easy to stretch cloths (I used old leggings)
- a pair of scissors
- pins
- needles
- thread
Rikki's t-shirt, with cuffs, too!
Get the shirt ready. I used a long-sleeved shirt. You would notice that I already removed the neck area.

After cutting off the neck area, cut the sleeves.

To make sure that the shirt would fit Rikki, there's a short fitting time.