2009 Halloween

If this was last year’s Halloween image, this year it’s this:

halloween closeup

Hanna (top right) bagged the prize for scariest makeup, but everyone was a winner.

AJ kept us all laughing the entire evening.

Next year’s party is going to be a lot tougher. Though the two older girls Shanti and Butchik were partying with us, they are not even in this photo because they didn’t want to dress up anymore. Jomar was out with his dad. The neighbors aren’t around because they also attended the same birthday party that Jomar went to. The kids are growing up. We don’t know if they’d still want to do this next year, or if there’s going to be enough of them interested. We’ll see.

Checkout our 2005 photos (I can’t seem to find photos of the first year we did this, or was 2005 the first?):

How did you spend Halloween?

More pictures next time. (maybe)

Happy Birthday Shanti!

It’s my niece/god-daughter Shanti’s birthday. She turned 15 today.


She’s a good student – currently in third year high school in one of the Science sections in a good public school. She graduated from gradeschool with honors too.

She volunteered to teach at the VCS last summer.

I hope she enjoys this year, and the many years to come in her life. Happy birthday sweetie! 🙂

shanti shanti3 shanti4

Because I am her ninang and just because I like to, I normally give her a gift for her birthday. Today, I haven’t even seen her yet. I wonder if she’d still want to read Nancy Drew? She’s probably the only one among her cousins who might have some interest in books, next to the little boy Esban. And I’d like to encourage her in that. I’d probably get her a Fully Booked GC or maybe take her with me to the bookstore and let her pick up a title or two.

Good to Great Workflow – Lesson 1

As a gift to myself, I signed up for a Photo Editing class at JessicaSprague.Com. Check out the class page to understand why I feel excited about this.

I’ve been trying to edit my photos through my Paint Shop Pro X, but it’s mostly a hit-or-miss thing. Through this class, I’m learning how to take my photos from good to great! It also helps me get more acquainted with Adobe Photoshop CS3.

I have so far only finished Lesson 1 where I learned to adjust Exposure, Brightness and Contrast. Here’s a look at one photo’s before and after:


That’s my niece Butchik/Chiki and this was taken on my birthday. I think I definitely brightened up the photo but I may have overdone the saturation – doesn’t her skin look too yellow? It’s a first attempt after all, cut me some slack! Hehe 🙂

Heart of Beads

I  super appreciate that Ruth (my immediate sup) bought another yummy cake for me and my team on Wednesday early morning at work because my fellow TMs already ate the first one she got.  And I was very humbled at the many well wishes I received at work that day.

I also can’t describe how moved I was that Arianne, Y and Mayeen even thought of celebrating my birthday on Y’s bridal shower last Saturday.

But this heart of beads that the kids made for me is by far the best gift I received this year.

heart beads

A few days before my birthday, Esban (7) and Adam (9) came to tell me that they already have my present. They argued about giving it to me right away, or waiting until the actual day.  On Tuesday morning, they both came up to the house again to say the same thing.  I was sleeping on the couch that afternoon, thanks to the awful awful migraine that lasted for more than 24 hours.  E crept up to my side to kiss me awake, and say: “Birthday mo na bukas!” (Tomorrow’s your birthday!)

So after spending a few hours at work on Wednesday, and then a yummy early lunch with Alfred at Chocolate Kiss – Roces Cafe, E and A welcomed me with the warmest greetings and their masterpiece – my heart of beads. All their names are on the paper: Esban, Adam, Dalnes (13), Shanti (14), Butchik (14), Hannah (9) and AJ (5).   I’m sure this project was the older girls’ idea and they helped the little ones make it. A real team effort 🙂

You can tell this really was made for me: the bear in the middle, and the purple leaves all around.

Hay, thanks kids!


On to a totally unrelated topic…

I’ve decided not to buy the cookie diet I mentioned in a previous post.  I figured I should do some fat burner exercises instead, or do something like the fat burning soup diet I used to follow back in high school. It’s a seven-day diet that’s mainly based on this soup that has a lot of cabbage and other herbs and veggies. It’s a full plan of what to have for meals in a seven-day period. It’s probably a good way to cleanse my system before I go on another regimen. Delaney also sent me some muffin recipes from the 8-Week Cholesterol Cure. (thanks again!), those are sure to help me burn fat!

I guess what I’m trying to say is that, if I want long term weight loss, then I have to work for it and not rely solely on diet fads.  I will still probably turn to some diet principles, and maybe still try fat burner pills but they will only be there to support my efforts – not be the only effort. Know what I mean?

Pens of Hope – Davao!

pens of hope Blogger Nortehanon’s Pens of Hope had a lot of support, and it inspired other bloggers to adopt the concept in another locality.

Thus, as Northern Samar’s children will be receiving their pencils (or they may have actually received it already), donations are still being welcomed in Davao. Click on the badge to the left to find out how you can help, where you can send your pencils.  We’ll ship out some, hopefully by Friday.  My birthday’s coming up on Wednesday, you can either send me a gift (haha) or you can make me happy by sending pencils to Pens of Hope Davao.

They’re only accepting donations until July 30th so we have to act fast!

Meanwhile, check out Nortehanon’s post about the packages she opened up three weeks ago.  I am happy to see my old pencils there, along with the new ones and erasers we sent through. Can’t wait for the pictures of students receiving them.

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