All About Life, Marriage, Parenting, Homeschooling as we walk our lives with Jesus

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

On 6:48 AM by A Bucket of Grace   No comments
More than 19 years ago, God blessed us with a beautiful child. Our first born, Ivan Elijah.

I can vividly remember how easily I was able to give birth, with just three strong push Elijah was out.

Arnel and I were very young when we had him. We were at our 20s. Both of us were undergraduates and we do not have our own place. We get our food and shelter from our parents.

This was so far from God's design of leaving and cleaving thus, our journey became difficult.

We also did not know Jesus yet at that time. Though my mother who was a long time Christian would really insist on having us baptized.

When Elijah came into our lives, our world stopped and revolved around him. He became sickly too and we took all the extra precautions to keep hin away from sickness. At age 3, he had a convulsion because of high fever which really scared us and made us more focus on him. We did not understand that this was a form of idolatry. Being our first born and only child back then, he consumed us wanting to give him the world and at the same time he became our world. We loved him more than we love the Lord and more than each other. It was just now when we try to look back we were able to understand why he was not blessed with good health.

I was also a very strict mom and did not know anything about good discipline. All I know was if he committed a mistake I will spank him with anger which should not be the case. One of the things that I was not proud of as a mom back then, it was an ugly heart that could have been the cause of having a rebellious son.

He was our trial and error when it comes to raising a child.

When he was 9, God blessed us with our second child Kyle and most of our attention were moved to him. Elijah grew and had better health. He was not an idol of our life anymore. I also started working at this time and became busy.

He grew and years really passed by so fast. Our first born who was once just a baby that we cuddle is now 19 and is a young fine man.

It was more than 3 years ago when Elijah joined a youth retreat and have come to know the Lord and accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior. He had this passion to invite people in our church and share Jesus.

He is now in college and by God's grace, he has been serving the Lord through the Host Ministry in our church for almost 3 years.

I praise God for his beautiful life, oftentimes I thank the Lord for giving him to us. Elijah saw our journey as husband and wife, how we were bad examples to him before. But he grew to be an obedient child. I remembered when he had his purity ball and got his purity ring. He made a promise to the Lord that he will remain virgin until the time he gets married. He would always ask if he needs to eat out with his friends or if he has a decision he would like to make.

We do not have a house help but whenever we need to be out we can rely on him in taking care of his siblings.

I know I do not deserve a child like him, a very good and obedient son, but I am in awe of God's faithfulness because by his grace He made Elijah grow in obedience.

Few weeks ago, he told me twice that he wants to volunteer in another ministry in our church that involves IT and multimedia which is his college course. I was surprised at first but I praise God how he is working in the heart of our son.

If I will compare my teenage years to him, I was rebellious and with no direction. But because of God's goodness Elijah was able to grow and live his teenage life for Jesus.

He helps me with our chores and was able to do it well after several months of teaching.
I remembered the first time I saw him giving his thithes, it was the very first thing he did as we entered the church. I saw the pureness in his heart and the desire to give it back to the Lord. He remindes me how we needed to put God first in everything that we do.

He loves to draw and I have seen how great his works are. Our prayer is for him to use hia talent for God's glory.

He is not a perfect son and is still a work in progress. There are still areas that he needs to fix especially in being a good steward of time.

Elijah is the first gift that God gave me and Arnel. We are grateful for he is a wonderful blessing from the Lord and our prayer is he continues to grow and walk with the Lord and be a man after God's own heart.

All by His Grace!

"Children are a gift from the Lord ; they are a reward from him."- Psalms 127:3

Thursday, September 15, 2016

On 9:38 PM by A Bucket of Grace   2 comments
It was our first time to attend the Manila International Book Fair. As homeschoolers, Kyle and I were excited to see what books are in store for us.

We arrived at the SMX Convention Center at 1pm and we were blessed to get free tickets.

The place was a feast of so many books to choose from.

Every aisle has a lot to offer and we really tried our best to see and visit every booth.

It is a blessing indeed to be able to have book fairs like this. But first thing that I have learned is to have self control, otherwise your worldly desire to have everything you see will conquer your heart.

Our first stop was PCBS. This booth offers a lot of Christian books. We were surprised to see that they have good books on sale for only 100 pesos.

We looked for books that will be useful in our daily lives. Daily devotion for our children was our first pick. Then I also got a good book from a well know author Gary Chapman for me and my husband.

When I saw this from a booth ( forgot the name) it easily gave me a smile. My sister in Christ Irinne was the first one who showed me these and she said it is good reminder to put inside our house. I couldn't agree more.

In our busy days we would always need a lot of Jesus just like what it says below 😃

Fully booked has one of the biggest stall and the books were sold at 20% off except for scholastic books. We got our favorite from national geographic - 5000 facts. The book is informative and it gives actual true information.

We stopped by Adarna publishing, and I looked for read aloud books for my toddlers that has moral lesson. And I got these books that are Bible connected and has good character teaching. The books thay I got were sold from 50 to 60 pesos each.

And then off we go to Rex Bookstore, the books we saw for our homeschooling were really great finds. We got our textbooks for 50 pesos each only. I keep on praising God while paying for our books. These are worth more than a thousand and yet He lead us to this booth where we got it at a very cheap price. The employees were also very helpful. They really went out of their way to get the books we need for each specific grade. Good find, good people plus a good price.

Next stop was Lampara books. The post caught my eyes instantly. It says books with moral lesson. We got books for read aloud that can teach our children with values and character. It was also written both in English and Tagalog, so you can teach English and Filipino at the same time.The books were sold at a cheap price plus 20% off if you buy 5 pieces of different kinds. I also got some chapter books for Kyle which fits his interest too. These books have colored pictures and for a visual learner like Kyle he will definitely enjoy reading this.

Kyle and his friend Yuan enjoyed staying here too while coloring some pictures and at the same time waiting for us. They were able to browse some books too while we do our book hunting. They patiently waited for us though they were already hungry.

Then we stopped over the Learning stall. We had great finds in here. My kids are very much interested with animal books. Kyle gave the books he liked from 10 pesos to 20 pesos each and I added some supplemental books worth 20 pesos each for our Science subject. Most of the books that we got were hardbound too.

We also got this chart that we can use in our homeachooling especially for my toddlers. I chose a chart that we can customize and we can use in different subjects.

By God's grace, we accomplished our needs first before the wants especially we are working on a limited budget. I feel blessed too because I was able to shop with Irinne, we talked about the books that we purchased first to make sure that it is aligned with the Bible and if it will promote and encourage character. We need to be consistent with what we teach. Our goal why we encourage our children to love reading is to gain knowledge of our Lord first, the source of our wisdom. Second is to know more about character, values and third will be academics.

"Set your mind on what is above, not on what is on the earth" - Colossians 3:2

After walking and carrying all our books the kids got hungry and of course the mommies too.

We had dinner and we went out to get some donuts courtesy of my sister Irinee :) we stayed there and rested while enjoying and talking about God's goodness in our marriage. I praise God for my sister Irinne, she shared how Jesus changed her. I saw in their family how God is truly faithful to His children who are obedient to His will.The conversation, laughter and time spent was worth it. I remembered how Rick Warren shared in his book "A Purpose Driven Life" how we need to have fellowship with our brothers and sisters, by doing this, we glorify God as we lift Him up in our lives and showing others how He is a God without limits.

" But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen." 2 Peter 3:18

I also praise God that He blessed my kids with a father who supports their love for books. He allowed us to go to the book fair and managed the house while I was out. He also provided for our budget for the fair. We see the Lord above Him because we know that above my husband, God is our true blessing for He is the source of everything.

God is marvelous, the overall experience was awesome.

His timing is perfect, just when we need these books He provided for us plus more extra for the kids.

I am grateful for what God has always given us and how He is faithful to His promises.

When we continue to seek Him, we will know Him more and His greater plans for us.

He shows me how to love him more each day with good or bad circumstances, simple and big moments. I see, feel and hear Him each time.

Indeed we have a God without limits.

"Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you" Matthew 6:33

All by God's loving grace!
All Praise and Glory to God!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

On 6:47 AM by A Bucket of Grace   25 comments

We were blessed to experience wonderful activities from Kidzania.

Kidzania is an interactive kids' city combining fun, and learning through role play. It is where kids can have fun exploring the adult world.They had more than 100 role play establishments for children ages 4-I4 years old. It was a blessing that I got the tickets with a 40% discount plus we got lots of free kidzos ( play money being used in kidzania).

The kids were thrilled when they found out that we are going on a weekday. There were fewer guests, plus we get to enjoy the place from 9am to 4pm. We arrived early and were greeted with a dancing crew. A great way to set the mood.

We were all delighted to see the place. It was like a mini city inside BGC. They call the kids as Mister and Miss, it makes them feel like grown ups.Our first stop was to claim our kidzos from BPI bank. Then off we go to our first stop - The fire station.

The kids learned about fire safety and were trained to put out fires in the city (inside Kidzania). Then they went into the fire truck and acted like real fire men. They loved the activity. They also enjoyed they role play at the baby center where they were taught how to take care of babies.

My kids love cooking too. We went through all the establishments that involves cooking. The good part with these role plays is you get to take the food you made. They were so bloated with all the pizza, burger, sandwiches, cookies and mini cake that they had.

They also get to experience some life skills, Sean and Simone painted the walls while Kyle tried to learn how to change tires. They also experienced to put a cable wire, take care of pets, set a table, clean a room and do some groceries. There were some tasks that they get to earn some kidzos too.

While doing all these activities, their Dad and Kuya were our photographers and cheerers.

My favorite part was when Kyle acted as a host in a mini TV Patrol show. He was able to deliver the story well in Filipino and he enjoyed the activity.

Before we went home, the kids joined the parade with costumes. Simone was not in the mood to dance but he still walked with us.

As homeschoolers, it is a privilege to teach our children and be with them every step of the way. We get to enjoy doing things together and experience wonderful activities.

Role Play is a good way to allow our children experience learning. I have been focusing on teaching them about life skills and seeing them being trained and doing the actual role play was a big help.

" We learn to do something by doing it" - John Holt

They also get to learn about valuing money and being good stewards about what God has given us. They earned and paid using their kidzos and was able to use their remaining earnings to buy school stuff from the Kidzania store.

I praise God that He gave me the desire to homeschool my children. Though it can be messy and crazy some times, the rewards are priceless.

I am very grateful for each time that I watched my children progress. As I was watching them do their activities, God reminded me that the best memory that I have were the times spent with my family.

It hit me that the heart of our children are very fragile.

Raising four boys to be godly men is challenging and it can only be possible by God's grace alone. I commit mistakes at times and still struggle, but I keep on asking the Lord to give me the grace of becoming a Mother after His Own heart. I am also taking advantage of all available parenting books and resources that I can read and apply what I have learned.

Their lives is in our hands.

No one knows what great potential lies within a child but helping them to unleash their potential through customized learning and supporting their interests is a big help.

And we rely to our one true source - God's grace and His enabling in our home are more than sufficient to meet our needs day by day.

While I was doing our curriculum mapping God reminded me that my main goal are the hearts of my children. I started having our Morning Character Basket which focuses on their spiritual need, values and character. It is my goal that each day they would be nourished by their daily bread...God's Word.

" You as a parent will always be the most powerful factor in determining the destiny of your child" - Harold Sala, The Parent Map

As parents, it is our tasks on how we will be leading them to be children after God'w own heart.

" Keep your heart with all diligence, for out if it spring the issues of life" - Proverbs 4:23

All Praise and Glory to God!