Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rain and Clothes

I cannot remember any birthday that I had that it didn’t rain!

And just last Sunday, it rained cats and dogs! Or shall I say, it rained Maine Coon and St. Bernards then? I’ve watched in the news that the floods in some areas of the metropolis were neck-deep! What a downpour that was!Earlier that day, we were about to go to church when I checked if the clothes that I hung outside were already dry so I can take them inside before it rains. They weren’t, so even though an overcast sky warned me about drenched clothes, I didn’t follow my instinct and ignored the weather signs, and left for church.

The service was ongoing when loud sounds of rain drops on the roof managed to take some churchgoers’ attention away from the service---especially me. I thought of the whole week load of clothes that I washed! They were almost dry!

But I also know that I was there at the church listening to God’s words. I shouldn’t put my attention to something I cannot do about anymore. So I concentrated on the service.

On our way home, my mind was boggled by questions like: “Do I have to wash again the clothes?”, “How drenched were the clothes?” It rained so hard it was impossible to think that they were just damp.

I quickly touched the clothes when we reached home. They were all dry. I couldn’t believe it. I looked everywhere around me and all I saw were water and all things wet. I silently thanked the Lord. It was a mini-miracle!

It was indeed one rainy birthday and a blessed one, too!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Husband's Addiction

...and the kids are hooked, too! :)

Earlier, we went to Philsports Arena in Pasig to watch Kobe Bryant live! Fred was really excited! It was his first time to see his favorite basketball player. Kobe was here on a one-day visit to promote Nike Dream Season shoe. I'm sharing with you pics of Kobe's visit:
Fred posed while waiting for the program to start
the stage
the stage before Kobe came out
Kobe looked happy to see the Filipino fans' warm welcome
Kobe being interviewed by Sarah Meier,
TJ Manotoc and another emcee
A short basketball clinic by Kobe

I support Fred's love for basketball. It is so beneficial to his health. Besides, I'd rather let him be addicted to that sports than in anything or anyone else, right? *wink!

Monday, July 20, 2009

My Love for Shoeboxes...and Their Contents!

I love shoeboxes. They pack and keep some of my favorite things (shoes, of course!) but can also be used as organizers which are necessities to a mom with more than one kid like me.

When the school opened, my kids’ teachers asked us to bring shoeboxes where Gabby and Sunday can put their things on. The teachers believe that recycling is one of the best ways to save money! And I was relieved that my kids’ school admin understands the parents’ financial situation.

To make the contents and the box more colorful and less boring, I just put small colorful bags for the shirt and towel, and containers for toothpaste and toothbrush.

Anyway, here are some of very creative shoebox packaging which I saw on the net:
Nike came up with a Stadium look for the inside of this shoebox.
It has an embedded sound chip and when opened,
you can hear a sound of a crowd going wild! Cool!

Elefanten came up with a dollhouse interior for their kids' shoeboxes.
They know that the users of their products also love to play! :)

This packaging allows the kids to lace up the box
which can help them in their motor skills.

And if you have ordinary-looking shoeboxes, here are some ways to jazz them up or reuse them:
They can be used as gift boxes.
Or organizers for toys or albums or what have you!
Or as cord keepers! Very creative!

Happy Tuesday to all! :)

Images sources: gift shoebox | Converse toddler shoebox | organizer shoebox | cord keeper

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Life and its Sad Surprises

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. - Isaiah 41:10
I didn’t blog for a while because my family is experiencing some crises today.

My husband had an executive check-up and the doctors found a disease which I don’t want to get into detail here. It’s not malignant or deadly. And it’s not the end of the world for us. It’s just that we didn’t expect it. It can be treated but still, the cost of medicines will surely dent our ever-short budget!
Fred receiving his flu vaccine: one of the freebies a client gave me

But I have to still thank the Lord for it. God has His way of telling me that we were still blessed. Last Monday, I accompanied him to a medical center for another series of test. While waiting for his turn to be checked up by the doctor, I heard the conversations of some patients, relatives and the doctor. Most of the cases diagnosed were worse than that of my husband. I can only heave a sigh of relief upon hearing them. Not that I was happy that some people had worse illnesses than Fred’s. Who would be? I am just thankful that Fred’s disease was identified in its early stage.

And just today, I knew from Fred that his friend is dying of lung cancer. He now breathes with just one lung. I am sorry for him and his family! I know how much that man loves his family! We are going to visit them this weekend.

I’m so sad for these happenings but this is life. The more we dwell on its negativities, the more unhappy and ungrateful we become. Life has to go on.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I Lost My Wallet...

There were countless of times that I returned something I found to its owner. I believe in the Golden Rule. And I believe that what you sow, you shall reap. So when I lost something earlier, my belief on that rule and Bible verse was put to the test.
This image is for representation purpose only. photo source here

After giving Gabby his lunch at 11:45 am, Sunday and I left to eat at home. Already about a block away, I noticed my wallet was missing! I decided to go back to school because that was the only place I remember I held that wallet. On the way, I thought hard where I left it. I admit I am absent-minded at times. In fact, it has been my YM status message for days: Online but Absent(minded)!

I looked everywhere for it but no wallet was in sight. I’ve asked the school guard and the moms I know but to no avail. I felt a deep regret for not being watchful of my things. If that wallet was gone for good (for bad, in my case), I’ll be losing two ATM cards (one is for paid posting payment), my TIN card, some discount cards, some cash and my son’s healthcard. There is nothing I can do about it now but pray.

And answering my prayer in broadband speed, God let one mom overheard my inquiry on the school canteen’s staff and said, “I think you should check the High School Principal’s Office. Someone informed her that he found a wallet and left it there.”

To end the story happily, I have my wallet back. I was so happy! It's just so difficult to apply for another TIN card or affidavits of loss for those cards these days.

Is it possible that the boy who returned the wallet practices the Golden Rule and believes and applies that sow-reap verse, too? I think so. I believe so.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My Extra Help…and Expenses!

One thing that my kids enjoyed last summer is tagging along whenever I go to clients to get payments, deliver files or just to meet and discuss projects.

Gabby and Sunday at a client's office
My kids really love going to offices and seeing adults at work. Maybe because when they were younger, I would always bring them along on company parties and outings. Now that I work at home, they have to come with me to experience those office visits again.

Thinking of bringing your kids to the office, too? Here are some tips:
1. Pray for good weather and safety. Sometimes, rain spoils kids’ enthusiasm.

2. Inform them beforehand that where you are going is an o-f-f-i-c-e. They have to behave properly and be polite especially when you introduce them to people.

3. Bring the essentials: drinks, snacks and candies for survival on a short term basis; toys, coloring books and crayons, pencils and papers for entertainment; and towels, caps or umbrella, hand sanitizers and wet wipes for protection.

4. Thank them after that visit. It pays to instill gratitude at an early age. Thank them for the energy, effort and good behavior.

5. Reward them after a day’s work. I let my kids know that accompanying me on my clients’ visits is like helping me collect payments or talk with clients. After those visits, we would head to the nearest mall for a snack or stroll before going home. It’s my way of rewarding them for a job well done.

Gabby and Sunday enjoying a stroll outside a mall
after accompanying me to a meeting.

Bringing my children to work has some long lasting benefits. It strengthens our relationship, opens their mind at very young ages on work manners and environments, and teaches them some values like delayed gratification (e.g. ice cream comes after the meeting!), patience and hard work.

It doesn’t matter if I spend some on them after client’s visits. Just seeing them happy being with me is enough consolation. :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Mommy Moments: Encounter with Animals

mommy moments
My kids love animals. Proof of that is their love for animal programs and shows in Animal Planet and their books about them. But watching and reading about animals are not enough. Nothing beats live encounters with them. So whenever we have money and time, we head to the zoo or I take them to places with animals like dog shows, pet shops, etc. Here are some of their encounter with animals:
Gabby was less than two years old here when we went to Manila Zoo.
He wasn't afraid of the snake then!
Gabby and Sunday love Manila Zoo!
This isn't a real zebra. Just one of the
stuffed toy-like animal displays in Manila Zoo.
Gabby and Sunday had a good time observing the marine life
at Manila Ocean Park.
My kids love to have a pet. But sadly, Gabby has an asthma and their pediatrician advised us not to have one for now. Robby, the rabbit here, was given by their Lolo but returned to them after a month.

Exposing the kids to animals teach them sympathy, kindness and love for nature. I'm so happy my kids love animals! :)

More posts about Encounter with Animals here!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Resorting To Email Marketing

Being a work at home mom, I also have fears regarding the stability of my work. Freelancers like me have peak seasons or those times when I have so many projects that sleep is sometimes a luxury. But on lean times, which happen more frequently now that we are experiencing economic crisis, I have to think of ways to have more clients.

Having worked in the marketing departments of different companies before, I must say that I have first-hand knowledge of what to do. The marketing managers I’ve worked for were just some of the best in the industry and I’ve learned so much from them. They always let me and my co-graphic designer, if any, join the sales and marketing meetings not only because we are the ones in-charge of executing their marketing plans through our designs of promotional materials but also because they want to share their knowledge with us.

Advertising and Marketing were also tackled in college but I still believe theories are not enough. I learned then about some of my best loved marketing strategies which are direct mails and e-mail marketing. Promotional messages are sent directly to target markets and they are way cheaper than TV commercials or billboards.

I think I have to resort to e-blasts if I need to. It’s time to apply those theories!