Creative Play Unboxed

I always enjoy new finds that can enhance my kids’ homeschooling experience. Last week, I met Stefanie Lim at a speaking engagement I was at, and she handed me a box called Oli Boxship as a gift for my kids. Stefanie’s the co-founder of Oli’s Boxship, which is a box of craft surprises delivered to your door, for kids ages 4 to 9. 

The idea behind Oli’s Boxship is igniting creative play and educating children about science, language, math, and social studies at the same time. 


The box we received covers the five senses. It came with all the materials we needed and a story book, too!


Everything in the box is neatly packaged by activity. There is also a booklet of instructions to guide kids.



My kids haven’t done the projects yet but they are excited to! So I am planning to use the box as a reward at the end of our homeschooling week.

I also checked out Oli Boxship’s subscription options and I have attached them below: 


For more information, you may also contact:

Homemade Ornaments 

Pinterest has such great ideas for DIY stuff, that sometimes I just have to try some of them! 

We just made our own salt dough ornaments. 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water 

Supplies: rolling pin, wax paper, barbecue stick, letter stamps, string (twine looks better)

Procedure:

Mix and then knead dough 


Roll out, cut and design. 



Bake on low heat for 1 hour. 


String ornaments and hang them up! 



I got my twine at Kamuning last year. And I bought my letter stamps in Quiapo. However, I have seen similar stamps in bookstores. 

I am going to try this with air dry clay which is smoother and doesn’t require baking. Amazon sells them by the pound. 

Happy crafting! 

Amorita is a Place of BIG Love

We arrived on the island of Bohol on Thursday morning, eager to spend the weekend at Amorita Resort on Panglao Island. After a hectic October, this vacation proved to be the R&R our family needed to reconnect with one another and benefit from the quiet away from our busy lives in Manila. 
For our family of seven, stress-free vacations don’t come very often. We haven’t quite left the stage of parenting little children, so I am normally on edge and preoccupied with organizing all the kids. However, Amorita Resort cared for our family on such a personal level from the moment we arrived, that I felt the liberty to exhale and actually enjoy myself. 

Now I understand why they got 2016 Traveller’s Choice by Trip Advisor!


From the warm, and attentive personnel, to the thoughtful and organically designed sprawling outdoor and luxurious indoor spaces, Amorita Resort charmed us all over. 

We were escorted to our two-bedroom suite by Winston, who oriented us on the features of the rooms. The suite was delightfully modern without compromising inviting or cozy. 


On the dining room table sat a note from the manager welcoming our family. 



Every night we received personal notes from Noel, the manager, whom we noticed paid careful attention to each resort guest. On the first day we arrived, he chatted with every visitor during lunch. 


Even the housekeepers wrote us a note after they made up the rooms and sculpted animals with towels for the benefit of our kids, who were pleasantly surprised by the swans, elephants, and dogs they saw on our beds. 


Amorita is also very private which our family valued very much. I wasn’t worried when our kids were left swimming in the pool or when they roamed around the resort. Our suite was easily accessible from the ground floor and the amenities were situated near enough to it so that the kids felt very confident finding their own way around. 


The beach area is shared with other resorts and open to the public but it still felt rather secluded since there weren’t too many people wandering to the end of the beach where Amorita is situated. Most of the visitors to the beach at this time of the year are foreigners, too, who tend to keep to themselves so you don’t feel bothered at all. 


We left our three boys playing on the beach without us around at one point because Edric and I had to attend to the girls. But we asked the security personnel to keep an eye out for them while they lingered for thirty minutes longer and eventually made their way back to us. They were perfectly fine.

The kids spent most of their days at the beach or swimming in the pool. When they weren’t in the water, they kept themselves entertained. With the exception of Catalina, who needed a little more supervision, no one really required my help too much. I was in bed by 7PM, unwinding in front of the television, something I don’t really get to do, or taking my time in the spacious master’s bathroom (which was larger than most hotel rooms)! 

We ate the majority of our meals at Saffron Restaurant. I especially liked the drama of the high, cantilevered ceiling. 


Saffron is part of a building that also houses the tapas bar and function room which both have a spectacular view of the water. 


The resort also arranged for our tours. We rented a driver and van for our family visit to see the Tarsier, Lomboc River Ride, Chocolate Hills and the Bee Farm. 




Our only disappointment was that the dolphins were a no-show during the morning when we took a bangka out to see them, but that was a minor thing. According to the boat man it’s uncommon for the dolphins not to exhibit themselves.


At present, the older side of the resort, where the original reception area used to be is under renovation and will be ready to receive guests by January. Some of the villas are targeted to be done by December. 

In the meantime, the new wing is fully operational and available to guests, as well as the spa, gym, pool, diving facilities, lounge areas, restaurants and function room(s). 



Amorita Resort’s exceptional quality is its ability to make guests feel special and important. From courteous and accommodating staff, a very hands-on General Manager who reaches out to guests and mingles with them, to thoughtful details like bamboo speakers for your phone, touch lamps, Buri bags and slippers to take to the beach, milk & cookies for the kids at night or sweet desserts to end the evening, Amorita is a “little darling” of a place that gives BIG LOVE to its visitors. We left it with our hearts full, and we are already nostalgic! 

Happiness According to Trolls

“Trolls” is a fun loving movie about the power of positive thinking. It has an uplifting message for kids and parents — that happiness is a choice. 

We got to preview it as a family yesterday which was a real treat! The kids thought it was so cool to sit in a private theater with their 3D glasses and popcorn! (Thank you, Mae Vecina!)



In one pivotal scene, the main character, Poppy, declares, “There’s always a bright side,” as she encourages her friends to keep hoping for a favorable outcome despite the odds against them. 

However, the ever-pessimistic, Branch, presents himself as a complete contrast to her perky self, unable to relate to her perpetual optimism. Unlike the rest of the loving, hugging, singing, and dancing Trolls, Branch has allowed tragedy to turn him into a disappointed, cautious, and distrustful Troll. He doesn’t celebrate life the way his fellow Trolls do.


Branch represents those of us who cannot move forward because of the pain in our past. He remains a victim of circumstance and isolates himself from others, cloaking his vulnerability with cynicism and sarcasm. 

There is another group of characters in the story called the Bergens, the antagonists who see happiness as something external, something that they must take from others. They believe they can never be happy unless they eat Trolls. 

The musicality, colorful graphics, and plot will keep parents and kids blissfully entertained. This is one sparkly, tenderhearted story that doesn’t need a complicated plot to weave in it’s valuable message. Happiness is not something that needs to be conditional. And genuine happiness is contagious. 

Anna Kendrick stars as the voice of Poppy while Justin Timberlake plays Branch. 

I am not a Justin Timberlake fan but his singing voice was just, wow.

Directors Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn’s goal was to make a movie about happiness, to explore where it comes from and what happens when you lose it. 

As a follower of Christ, I would like to add that true joy is found in Him. Even if the movie doesn’t highlight this at all, the main character, Poppy, shows us what someone who is full of the joy of Christ out to look like. She is a great example of someone who…

 …is an optimist about circumstances

…believes the best about people 

… stays connected to people she loves and cares about 

….thinks of others as more important than herself 

…is a blessing to others 

…laughs a lot, hugs, sings, and dances for joy

…makes the right choices 


​“Trolls” opens November 2 in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox and will also be available in 3D screens. The movie’s voice cast includes James Corden, Gwen Stefani, Zooey Deschanel, Russell Brand, Christine Baranski, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Swedish pop music duo of Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo, Kunal Nayyar and Ron Funches.

Junior Preneur 2016

This is our children’s first time to join the Junior Preneur event. It’s been a difficult two weeks for them because they did a project that was technical and involved many stages. They made concrete geometric forms to hold succulents.

 First, they developed templates for the molds, measuring them out meticulously. Then they created the molds using cardboard, duct tape and polycarbonate. (The polycarbonate was a pain to cut. That was my job!) Afterwards, they mixed several batches of concrete, both light and dark, with sand and without sand, depending on the desired effect. Once the concrete was ready, it was poured into the molds and left to cure for several hours. Twenty four hours was the ideal time period. At the beginning we were all so eager to see the finished products that we prematurely opened the molds. This was a disaster!

   
   
After multiple tries and fails, they finally got a cement mix formula that worked well and they followed the right curing time. The succulents were placed in the geometric planters, ready to be sold. 

   

 The final step was preparing their booth concept. Thankfully, Pinterest is a treasure trove of ideas (both for the geometric designs that inspired the kids and how to create an organic look for their display). 

    
 I don’t know if this product is a repeat but the hard work and character training was certainly worth it. Furthermore, I got to know my kids’ personalities better in the process. 

My eldest, Elijah, is a perfectionist and struggled immensely each time we failed. He had to deal with disappointment and follow through even if it wasn’t easy to keep going. Edan, my second son, experienced getting dirty and uncomfortable which he usually avoids. Mixing the concrete and pouring it into the molds was a messy activity. He also got to execute his sense of orderliness when he set up an assembly line system for the finishing stages. Titus, my third son, tried his best to contribute where he could and he didn’t complain even if some of the tasks were beyond his ability level. My daughter, Tiana, was positive and cheery as usual but it made a big difference when she would sing spontaneously to lighten everyone’s mood. Catalina got in everyone’s way but her siblings decided to give her tasks to keep her productively busy.  

As for me, I had to block off the past two weeks to prioritize helping them. So there was no writing for me. Plus I smelled like concrete powder almost every day! But I thoroughly enjoyed the bonding and fellowship that transpired between the kids and me. And I never get bored doing artistic or craft-related things. 

At the end of it all, the struggle to come up with a business idea and execute it was obstacle-ridden, exhausting, and discouraging. But, as my husband, Edric, so wisely put it, “Hard work is a reward in itself.” This is so true. 

    

  
 The kids may not recover their monetary investment (or mine!) but they invested in a learning experience that taught them skills, character traits and values that will allow them to be wiser entrepreneurs in the future.

The 6th Milkshake Run

 Family time is always important. We always look forward to weekends and holidays because it is an opportunity to spend time with family and loved ones, build new memories, and lasting relationships. I think you will all agree when I say that there is no amount of money and success that can take the place of time spent with family.
Mommy Mundo always promotes a healthy family life and finds different avenues to create unique activities and build lasting experiences with families. With this in mind, Mommy Mundo decided to bring back the Mommy Milkshake Run, now on it’s 6th year, this family fun run was first organized in 2007, and lasted uptil 2011. 

This year, they are bringing it back to complement their active parenting advocacy and bring the community together to celebrate active play and bonding. Come join the fun run on Sunday, March 6, 2016, as families bond together with other families to celebrate togetherness and the outdoors.

 The 6th Mommy Milkshake Run will be a 3km and 5km run along the BGC area. This fun run is a relatively relaxed run where every member of the family can join! Including, but not limited to, expectant moms, moms & dads (with or without slings and strollers), toddlers & kids. The run will have no time limit.
This will be a family friendly event with Portable Toilets, a Breastfeeding station and lounge for the nursing mom, a diaper changing area for parents with babies and toddlers, and ample water stations along the route to provide hydration for all participants. First Aid stations and Medics will be available for any untoward incidents

You won’t need to carry your little one for the entire race, as you can bring a stroller for them. However, they will not allow the use of bikes, skateboards, hover boards, and roller skates during the run. Pets are also not allowed.

Mommy Mundo will not be liable for any loss, we will have baggage claim area for all your belongings.

After the run, everyone will receive a certificate of participation, as well as a bag of goodies from the sponsors. Stay longer to enjoy a family fair with games, music, raffle prizes, food carts, special awarding ceremony, and an inflatable section for all the kids.

Here are a few things to remember from Mommy Mundo:

1. Registration period is from January 25 to February 14. We will accept payments until
February 15. We will follow the No payment, No run policy, so please be prompt. Registration is required for every participant, including children.

2. On February 13 and 14, you can register and pay at Planet Sports, BGC, from 12 noon to 8pm.

3. Registration Fee are as follows:
Children ages 2-12 years old = P300
*Children below 2 years of age can enter for free, but has to be registered. Adults
3k = P500
5k = P650

4. You can claim your Race Kits from February 22 to March 4 at the Creative Juice office in 2F Fun Ranch, Frontera Verde, Ortigas Ave. Pasig City. Other pick up sites will be announced in our social media pages.

5. Race kits include The 6th Mommy Milkshake Run Singlet, Map of the venue, and the 3k/5k route.

6. On Race day, it is important to know that registration will start at 5:30am, location of meet up, to be determined. Race bibs will be handed to you upon registration. For our pregnant participants, please provide a medical certificate from your doctor/OB Gyne, allowing you to join this race.

7. Opening Program starts at 6:00am, where we will stretch and warm up our bodies before the run.

8.Race starts at 6:30 am for the 5 km run and 6:40 am for the 3 km run.
For more details, please visit www.mommymundo.com/milkshakerun2016
The 2016 Mommy Milkshake Run is supported by Curves, Gatorade, Hi-Precision Diagnostics, and Growers.

Media Sponsor: The Fort City, Working Mom, and The Bull Runner

Venue Sponsor: Bonifacio Global City Estate
Medical Sponsor: Ambucore

For more information, please contact:
Monica Santiago | Creative Juice Communications Landline: (02) 5707827
Mobile: (0998) 5399216
Email: monica@creativejuiceph.com

Future Park

We just visited Future Park, an interactive technology-based play center for kids.The kids had a blast! There aren’t too many stations yet but the concepts were really cool!  They gave us a glimpse of what future play will be like. 

 
   

 

  


   

     

Sketch City was my personal favorite and it was designed by the Philippines! You add your own details and color to sketches of different forms of transportation and your final drawing is scanned and uploaded into a program that animates and displays your work.    

 

This board of lights sense your heat and changes color accordingly.
 The best days to visit are weekdays. It’s 200 pesos cheaper!  

“Future Park is the Philippines’ first digital interactive play space – a dazzling exhibit of games and installations powered by cutting-edge tech and your imagination!” (Source: Century City Mall)
 
   

Eagle Point Resort

We spent the last couple of days at Eagle Point Resort with Edric’s family. The beach is always a hit with the Mendozas. Our kids can never get enough of sand and water. 

    

This was our third time to visit Eagle Point. The food has certainly improved over the years. Buffet meals are reasonable and kids can eat at 50% off. The rooms are Spartan but they are affordable and they can accommodate large families (which works great for us). Plus, who stays in a room when the beach and sun beckon? 

Eagle point is more of a dive resort even if it has direct access to the sea. It doesn’t haven’t a decent beach front. But there’s some great snorkeling, diving and kayaking right off the “dock”.  Two sets of pools with waterfall elements keep the kids busy, plus there’s a pool with baby sharks to swim in, too. To maximize our stay, we took a boat to Sepoc Island where the beach was very wide. We rented snorkels and masks at Eagle Point (better to bring your own). 

Just a few meters from the shore we saw all kinds of fish and coral. This time of year the shoreline was pebbly because of corals, but closer to the tree line, the sand got very soft. The little kids spent an endless number of hours digging and building in the sand.        

  

    

    
My father-in-law organized a series of feats and games for us. He likes being a game master and he knows how to rally everyone together to engage in healthy competition. Some of his bible study group came along which added to the fun.
  

 

It was a tie! “W” for winners!

To end the day, Edric, Elijah and I ran to the peak of the hill where the panoramic view was spectacular.
  

    
2015 came to a close, and after 20+ get togethers/parties, this was the best way to ease into the new year…with the family I love, reveling in the beauty of God’s creation! 

 

Free Tickets to The Amazing Bubbleman!

The kids and I watched the Bubbleman Show with their cousins and other relatives yesterday and they loved it! Catalina was entertained the entire time!  

   
    
    
  
 
As a gift to my readers, I am giving away two tickets (worth 2k+ each) to the Amazing Bubbleman show this Saturday, 11 AM, to the first person to write a comment to the question: What is your favorite bubble memory?

Go, go, go!  

The Amazing Bubble Man – A Show For the Kid In All of Us

BM_about the show

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Louis Pearl – The Amazing Bubbleman will visit Manila for the first time, to perform at RCBC’s Carlos P. Romulo Theater from September 23 – 27.

It’s more than just a family show, it’s educational entertainment. Louis Pearl teaches the science of bubbles, incorporating physics and chemistry into his bubble acrobatics and magic, something he has become an expert at in the past 30 years. From square bubbles, layers of bubbles inside bubbles, fog-filled bubbles, volcano bubbles to flying UFO bubbles and even people inside bubbles — The Amazing Bubble Man is set to enchant adults and children alike with his unique blend of skill and humor.

The Amazing Bubble Man has performed to more than one million people, including royalty and celebrities, in hundreds of cities around the world. He is also a favorite at the world-famous Edibburgh Festical Fringe, where he returns this year for his eighth successive season.

The Guardian, U.K., describes his show as “brilliant.” While Producer James Cundall, Chief Executive of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions says, “I saw Louis Pearl’s Amazing Bubble Show at the Edibburgh Festical Fringe and was absolutely mesmerized. I had no idea you could do so many amazing things with bubbles. I went to talk to Louis after his performance about touring internationally – I thought ‘if a producer with 25 years in the entertainment business can be blown away by bubbles then surely people all around the world will be amazed by this incredible show too.”

This wondrous 75 minute show combines breath-taking artistry, colorful music, plenty of audience participation and enough spellbinding bubble tricks to keep all ages entranced, including adults! The Amazing Bubble Man is for the kid in everybody! My kids can’t wait to watch this!

See ticket prices below:


For tickets:

Ticketworld 
Ticketworld Facebook
Concertus Manila Facebook
Ticketworld Booking Online: 891-9999

For more information contact Anna Yulo at 403-8678 or 0917-827-9856

Louis Pearl, The Amazing Bubble Man is produced by Concertus Manila and Lunchbox Theatrical Productions in association with Louis Pearl.

The Real Star of Our Mayad Beginnings Shoot

IMG_6343.JPGLast weekend, our family had a photoshoot with and for Mayad Beginnings, the photography outfit of the amazing Mayad Studios (who happened to do the videography for my sister’s wedding). Their make-up artist, Rochelle Lacuna, arrived early, probably about 6:30 AM, so I was in that chair getting prepped for the morning’s shoot before breakfast. Mayad Beginning’s team came into our living room and dining room not too long afterwards. It turned out that most of Mayad’s team goes to either our church, CCF, or Victory. But there was one lady whom I chatted with who seemed to be on a search for spiritual answers. I will call her J.P. for anonymity’s sake.

J.P. was the woman who contacted me to set up the shoot via email and it was our first time to meet face to face last Saturday. I began with small talk and eventually got to asking her about her spiritual journey, just to get a pulse for where she was at. Her honesty and openness afforded me an opening to share the gospel.

First, I asked her why she started attending CCF, to which she revealed that she had grown tired of a religion of performance and legalism. What she wanted was to have a relationship with Jesus, to be able to enjoy him and worship him and she seemed to find this in CCF. There couldn’t have been a more perfect time to insert what it really means to have a relationship with Jesus. And since my make-up wasn’t quite ready, we could continue talking.

While mascara and false eyelashes were being meticulously attached to my eyelids, I recounted my own spiritual journey, which began in my childhood. At the young age of nine, I despaired at the thought of my eternal destiny. Having no assurance that I would go to heaven, and fearing that I was most certainly bound for hell, I confessed to my preacher father that I was afraid to die. After a thorough explanation of how Jesus’ death on the cross paid for my sins and with an invitation from my dad to believe in what Jesus did for me, I prayed to receive Him into my life as Lord and Savior. My siblings and parents sat around me as witnesses since my question about eternal life came in the context of our family bible study.

This was the introduction to the Bible passage I shared with J.P.  Since her disenchantment with her previous place of worship had something to do with good works as a basis for acceptance, I showed her Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not of yourselves, not as a result of works so that no one should boast.” I requested that J.P. read the verses and explain to me what each line meant to her.

“What is faith?” I asked her. And using the simple explanation I’ve often heard bible teachers use, I pointed to her chair and commented that she was exercising faith at that moment, as she sat on the chair, absolutely dependent on it to keep her from falling to the ground. In the same way, Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that we are not saved by our own works and good deeds. It is by grace, through faith in what God has done for us.

I proceeded to show her John 3:16 which says, “God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” What has God done for us? He gave us His Son, Jesus, to save us. What is our part? To believe, to have faith.

Still, J.P. said she struggled to give her life completely to the Lord because of past mistakes. She didn’t want to be presumptuous about God’s grace. So I told her the story of the thief on the cross by Jesus’ side, at the crucifixion. He had no opportunity to live a reformed life and yet when he expressed his faith in Jesus by saying, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom,” Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43)

Death by crucifixion was reserved for the worst of criminals so we know that this thief committed a major crime. Similarly, there may be people out there who feel like they’ve done the unpardonable, the unforgivable. But God’s grace is still bigger. His blood can cover that sin or sins. God’s invitation extends to everyone.

Therefore, the onus is on us to accept his gift, his salvation, or to reject it. There are only two options. Either we embrace what Jesus has done, by faith. Or, we make excuses like, “I’m not ready” or “It’s too simple,” or “It doesn’t make sense, from a logic perspective.”

The reality is, it doesn’t seem to make much sense. How can someone love us this much?  I told J.P. that as a mother, I would never want to give up my children’s lives to save an evil person’s life. Yet God’s Word tells us, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8)

From the perspective of human logic, it is incomprehensible because we are more familiar with imperfect human love. But God’s love is different. He loved us (loves us) in our total and utter depravity and sinfulness, and chose to take our place so we can be reconciled to Him. And while it may not seem reasonable, we can understand the longing to be accepted this perfectly. Haven’t we all attempted to fill an emptiness in our hearts with relationships, career pursuits, habits, hobbies, accomplishments, acclaim, money and whatever else? Yet these things will never be enough to satisfy or save us, no matter what new forms they assume to make us think they will.

I am married to a wonderful man who loves God, and yet, he cannot fill the hole in my heart completely. He can love me and take care of me to the best of his ability, and I can do the same for him. And we enjoy each other in special and exclusive ways that we do not experience with other people. However, the space inside us is eternally wide and deep. Only the infinite personhood of God can occupy the void so that we cease from our striving to fill it.

One of my favorite passages is found in Colossians 1:16-17, “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” 

Because we are made by God, for Him, we will not understand the fullness of joy, peace, love or purpose unless we experience these in the context of a relationship with Him. Why do orphans feel the need to know who their biological parents are? Why do they go through great lengths to seek out their real parents? We want to know where we came from so we can understand who we are supposed to be.  Thomas Aquinas summarized the essence of this by saying, “Our hearts are restless until they can find their rest in You (God).”

I told J.P. that I believed God ordained our time together for the very purpose of letting her know how much He loves her. The photoshoot was the circumstance that God provided so we could meet and have that discussion. I gave J.P. emotional space to digest what we talked about because she struggled with the next step, the closure – surrendering her life completely to the Lord. She was engaged during the entire make-up session, yet I couldn’t force her to receive God’s love, grace, and forgiveness. This is something she will have to do on her own, between her and God.

Shortly after my conversation with J.P., I had to get ready for our first shoot. The morning passed quickly as our family posed for the three concepts that Mayad Beginnings had in mind. We had a lot of fun but the best part of that day was the thirty minutes I had with J.P. while sitting on the make-up chair talking about our spiritual lives.

God has given Edric and I many opportunities to meet people from all walks of life, and I know that these moments are pre-ordained and pre-orchestrated not so much for our benefit (which a photoshoot can feel like because the attention is centered on us). Instead, I believe that he intends for us to use these occasions to deliver the gospel in whatever way or form we can. Whether this means sharing a conversation about God’s love or acting and behaving in ways that reflect Christ-likeness, we must remember that the greater privilege is putting the spotlight on Him and not on ourselves. The greater purpose is to declare the message of God’s love, grace, and forgiveness.

I pray we never forget that the real star of our marriage and our family is JESUS. It’s not us or our kids. He is the reason why there is joy, love, and by His grace, forgiveness in our home. He is the inspiration behind the smiles and the laughter you will see in the highlights of our shoot. Thank you to Mayad Beginnings for capturing us so naturally. But thank you most of all to the Lord for the opportunity to be representatives of His Name.

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Yearly Garage Sale

One of the cures for materialism and hoarding is parting with the stuff in our closets and cabinets. Besides giving things away, every year we have a multi-family garage sale in my brother’s house where we invite the guards, drivers, househelps, and administration workers of their village to shop. People can buy things for as reasonable as five pesos. While we do make some money it’s hardly commensurate to the actual value of the goods we sell. For our family, the added bonuses are fun bonding, getting our older kids to learn how to work for money, and encouraging one another to “let go” of material things. 

   
               I was especially blessed by my sister-in-law, Jennifer, who cleaned out her house and sold a lot of things that she has been attached to. Since moving to the Philippines from the U.S., it has been a challenge for her to let go of objects and items that remind her of home in America. Furthermore, she is the type of person who collects and keeps random things she doesn’t always need but thinks she might use in the future. So we all cheered her on! She ended up being the day’s biggest winner in terms of earnings, too. Elijah worked very hard to practice his selling skills.   

  Most of the other kids played after the first hour… 

Titus got distracted by a lizard.   

   

Oh dear, Tiana and my nieces started doing some shopping. Girls!  The point is to let go!  

 Catalina went crazy over a toy lawnmower. 

  

And there she took off with just one shoe!  And then she fell asleep…  

    

I probably made the least of everyone but it was still a great garage sale day!

What we usually sell…

1. Clothes, shoes, bags, or accessories that we haven’t used in the last year.

2. Anything that doesn’t fit well or is the wrong color, or looks faded and worn.

3. Clothes and shoes that our kids have outgrown.

4. Baby stuff that no one in the family uses anymore.

5. Objects that take up valuable space but have no functional or aesthetic value.

6. Toys that the kids no longer play with or should part with because they have too many.

7. Gadgets, appliances or electronics that we’ve replaced with updated models.

8. Lotions, perfumes, and other products that have been sitting on our shelves just waiting to expire.

9. Old suitcases.

10. Things we may like to keep but part with anyway because others may benefit from them.

I think garage sales are not just a great way to detach myself from THINGS, they also remind me that I can live and survive with less and still be very happy!

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (‭1 John‬ ‭2‬:‭15‬ NASB)