The Diva Does It All!

Friday, August 08, 2008


Yes, no, sort of...I don't buy luxury items, or even semi-luxury and no, eBay does not count! I guess it's a need to make sure my family & I look presentable and somewhat up-to date even if it's 3 seasons ago. Don't you know shopping is a form of exercise? It takes me a couple of days to recover before I go off "exercising" again, whew, my arm does hurt from swiping my card so many times.

A quote from Laura Rose as I was going to the kitchen laden with yet more goodies, "Mommy, you bought more stuff? Where are you going to put that stuff and the other stuff you already got?"

Oo nga naman.

I got to the point where I was getting nauseated at my shop-aholicness and decided then and there to shred all my debit cards.

So, in place of shopping I...

Weeded out my closet and the kids' closet for clothes, shoes, books and toiletries to give to the women's shelter.

Weeded out my craft closet to give a few things to a grandma who's starting to crochet.

Am making more and more meals from scratch (does Ramen Noodles count?)

Am starting to make more clothes from my crafts stuff.

Am doing more chores and actually not complaining!!

Suffice to say, staying "clean" leads to a happier (and cleaner) home.

Now, about that eBay account of mine....

Monday, June 02, 2008

Very Talented YouTuber from the Philippines!!

I was just looking around for Incognito's "Still A Friend of Mine" and stumbled upon this Aussie-based Pinoy couple (Sigrid & Lee) who does acoustic versions of great songs (September, Rock With You, Careless Whispers, etc.)...just for fun!!

What really blew me away was their rendition of Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You"...ang galing ng gitarista (Lee) he nailed the "piano intro" down at ang ganda ng boses ni Sigrid, I could listen to them all year long and not get tired!

Here's a sample of "If I Ain't Got You"

Their group, Co-Esion, has done 65 songs, a few are in Tagalog and there is a song in Spanish and Japanese!!

Please forward this to everyone you know, it's sooo worth it!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My first Christmas Party at School

This was my first "grown-up" party that I have been to outside the family ones and boy were my co-teachers cuttin' loose as the night went on. I participated in the "bottle exchange" (parang White Elephant) and I contributed Bailey's to the booty. I got champagne as I chose last (to be enjoyed for Mark & I's Happy Birthsary Valentine's). The funniest part of the exchange was when our beloved coach (known for his penchant for the drink) received a "bottle" of Nutella. The other 2 awful gifts were a baby bottle (and empty at that) and a bottle of cheap men's cologne. The really good ones were my Bailey's (of course), Skky Vodka, Kahlua and Licor 43. I don't drink that often and when I get a sip, I always pour lots of ice to taper down the taste...and then I remember why I don't drink much! LOL!

Mark & I hardly ever drink and I never did understand the big deal about the different kinds of liquor. But seeing how much "fun" most everyone had as they "toasted" the night away, I cannot help but be a little saddened that they are seeking to fill the emptiness in their soul with "spirits" and not the "Holy Spirit." It is so easy to get started with "one drink" and then "one more," never had I been more thankful that God gave me a very low tolerance for alcohol...kasi nakikita ko ang sarili ko "having a great time" kapag mahilig ako uminom...and it scared me a lot so Mark & I were glad that the party was over 30 mins. early.

After that, some teachers invited Mark & I to join them at 927, a club in Addison. Now don't get me wrong, I wanted to go kasi first time ko in the 30 years I have been on this wonderful earth that I have been to a club. I am glad I had Mark with me...I wanted to see if it's like how they show it on TV or the movies, and it did not disappoint. My co-teachers were burning up the dance floor while Mark & I watched, we left after an hour kasi hindi na kaya ng spirit namin to stay longer. I felt like I was soo detached watching them and the other people, yet again trying to fill their empty spirits with temporary pleasures.

I had a little talk with God while Mark was getting the car and decided then and there that it will probably be a long time before I do anything like that again. I can see how easy it is for me to be "of the world" and I don't want to be that.

God reminded me today to be "in the World, not of it" again as I was having a little mini-pity party while I was doing chores over some things that have happened in the past 24 hours. He reminded me that I am such a blessing to my friends and family and at work and to keep it up and not let other peoples insensitivities pull me down.

I won't be on this earth for too long, I have so much to look forward to in Heaven with my family and friends, I am soo excited!! And that, my dear friends, is what Christmas is really all about.

Friday, August 10, 2007

My daughter loves her mommy very much!

Now that Bam-Bam aka Anne Marie will be in 1st grade this year, she has left me precious moments in paper that I will use to decorate my classroom (if I do have one). This picture was drawn on her slate, I had to take a picture of it before it got erased.

If I Were A Butterfly

Steven caught this Butterfly and the rest wanted a turn posing with it.

Anne Marie


Laura Rose


Friday, August 03, 2007

The Year of Jubillee...2007!!

I admit it, 2006 was a year that I would rather not live through again. It started out great as the family was celebrating a long overdue reunion in the Philippines and went downhill from there as Mark lost his job days after returning from our vacation.

Of course there was the financial ramifications to consider and so it really hurt us...our wallets, savings, planning and most of all our pride.

I will not go into what we had to do to survive, but it was not pretty.

And to top it off I gained 20 lbs because I was drowning my misery in chocolate and chips.

Yeah, 2006 was a total bummer!

Fast forward to 2007.

We started the New Year off at church. We had an exercise in what we would like for our partners, ourselves and our family to acheive in the coming year. Wrote it all on paper, put it in an envelope so that the church could mail it back to us in March.

I received the letter back right after Lola Debs died, I put it away, forgotten, in my grief.

My spiritual mommy, Ate Adelfa, who is also my surrogate mommy here in the US, told me that while 2006 wasn't so great, 2007 will be the year of Jubillee for me! I kinda sorta believed her, not really know what the year would bring.

2 days before Lola Debs' death, I had made up my mind that I will try and get my Teachers' Certification because I am missing my family so much that I have to do something to be able to visit them more often than every 5 years! So I looked around the internet, called Texas Teachers, an alternative teacher certification program, got what I needed to know and do and after I returned from saying goodbye to Lola, signed up to take my Special Ed Teachers' exam.

In the meantime, I had the Garland ISD (Independent School District) Job Fair to attend and I show up in my smart, new business suit (care of Tita Pops) ready to take on the world! Thank God talaga that an old church friend of mine was one of the teachers there and she told me that even though I did not pass my teacher test yet, that to go ahead and submit my resume and tell the schools that I will take the test and pass and that I will be eligible to be truly considered for the program.

I was just planning to get the calling cards of the key people of each school and call them later when I pass the test, but I am so thankful that Laura was there that day to encourage me and give me confidence in the job fair.

Praise God I passed the Special Ed Exam (pasang awa plus!) and of course the bonus was that Laura Rose, my 2nd daughter, asked Jesus in her heart and life the day after I took the test!

During our trip to Michigan, I received a voicemail from someone at Sellers Middle School wanting to schedule for an interview, and the week before that someone from Lakeview High School emailed me for an interview as well. I was not able to entertain them until I got back to Garland and then the staff and faculty were out for their summer vacation so I diligently called almost everyday until I got someone to actually pick up!

And so I called Sellers, finally got a real person to pick up and told them that I was contacted for an interview. She took my details and told me that the Asst. Principal would call me back to schedule an interview, The Principal did and we scheduled to meet July 19. So I got there and she asked what area in SpEd was I interested in, I said Content Mastery and that I like Math a lot. What she said next floored me! A teacher called her right after we hung up the day before with the intent of resigning as she was trying to get a teaching job at another district and so they may have a possible opening for what I just wanted to teach! She said that the principal would interview me next and then left me all alone in her office for about 10 minutes while she talke to him about me (I guess).

The principal came in, shook my hand and asked me a question that I was not prepared for...what is my philosophy in education? I rambled on at the beginning trying to figure it out myself, but I really felt that God was putting the words in my mouth because at the end of my "statement" the Principal up and offered me the job "unofficially" until the teachers's resignation was final!

And so came the longest 10 days of my life. After calling once to inquire about the status of my pending employment, just this July 31 came the call I was waiting for..."the teacher was not able to be employed by the other district, therefore she will be remaining with the school and that I am encouraged to pursue and consider other schools for employment as they do not have an opening at this time"

I was in shock and a bit angry at myself for not going ahead and calling around to set up interviews with other schools and so I spent Tues morning and early afternoon calling every school in the district to ask if there were any openings. I had 3 schools that were slightly interested and quickly dropped my resume off to a nearby school before they changed their mind!

I had to enroll the kids in school since they have been homeschooled the past few years, and so off I go to the main Admin building to enroll them. When I almost got there, I get a was from the Principal at Sellers where I had an interview. He said that he did call earlier to leave me a message about the job and I said yeah, I was kinda bummed out, but it's ok. And then the next words that came out of his mouth was totally unexpected...Hours after he left me the sad news, another teacher resigned and after rearranging teacher assignments, he was offering me the same job for real this time and if I could drop by soon so we can talk!

And so I got the kids enrolled (another blog entry and prayer request), went to the school and we sat down to talk about the crazy things that had happened that day. We talked for a long time and Principal picked my brain about the Philippines & my family. I left the school with a few "official new teacher goodies" and a heart full of joy and awe and thankfulness to God for this amazing opportunity!

My God's timing may be Crazy, but it is always Perfect!

Oh yeah, Principal mentioned that there was New Teacher Training that started that day, but as it was already 4 pm, to start tomorrow and to call him on his cell if they won't let me in (heeheehee)

I am thankful that my niece Amber can babysit the 15 days of training over the next three weeks...oh and did I mention that I have to report a full week before the kids start school? Today is the first day of rest for my aching brain and oh yeah, I am taking a math teachers test TOMORROW!!!

Ate Adelfa was right, 2007 indeed is the year of Jubilee for the Cole Family!

Ang Galing Talaga Ni Lord!!!

Another one for The Kingdom...

Sometimes the most precious things to happen in your and your childrens' lives happen in the span of minutes, even seconds!

While I was getting ready for my trip to Austin/Temple after taking my Sp Ed teachers exam for a well deserved R&R by my little lonesome, my cutie pie Laura Rose glides into my room, jumps up and down on my bed and sings me a little song about God & Heaven.

"Laura, do you know where Heaven is?"

"It's up in the sky!"

"Do you know how to get there?"

"You die and then you get there."

Well, she got most of the basics down pat. In the midst of me packing, Mark puttering around doing this and that, & the other kids playing somewhere else in the house, I felt the Lord telling me that this is the right time to really introduce her to Jesus.

"Laura, did you know that you need to do one more thing before you can get to Heaven?"

"What's that, Mommy?"

"You need to ask Jesus in your heart, because this is the only way you can get to Heaven, would you like to do that?"

"Oh yes Mommy! I love Jesus!"

And we just prayed a simple prayer for Jesus to come into her heart and life.

"Where is Jesus now?"

"He's in my heart!"

"Will He leave your heart?"

"No, because He loves me!"

Ah, the simple faith of a child, so completely trusting, so completely loving.

Father, remind me of precious moments like this during the times of my life when my own faith is sorely lacking, in Jesus' name, Amen.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Laura Rose and Daddy

First of all, I am all proud of my children (as any mother should) and I am amazed at how different they all turned out to physical appearance and temperament.

Rosie especially has cheeks that makes you want to kiss and squeeze and pinch because they are soo cute (and this is fact, and not because I am her mommy).

Daddy looves to snuggle with her because of said cute cheeks and well, sometimes it can get a little crazy though. He was giving her Eskimo kisses while snuggling one day and she said while pushing him away, "Daddy your nose is not roughy but the rest of you all over is!"

Guess Daddy should shave twice a day, huh?

What's In A Name??

Steven aka Tornado aka Blitz aka Linebacker aka Charmer is talking very well. Sometimes I have to ask his Ate or Kuya what he said, but it's amazing how your kid start from babbling the past 3 years to actually talking in whole sentences...7-8 word sentences. And then it's like what can I do to keep him quiet? LOL

It used to be when I ask Steven his name he replies, "Steven Andrew" and when I say, "Steven Andrew is your first name and your last name is Cole", he just huffs, turns and walks away.

This went on for a couple of months (I think) and then a few weeks ago I asked him again his name.


How old are you?


"Cole, Cole, Cole, Cole, Cole!!" he yells as he runs away from me.

I can live with that.

Bam-Bam and her Oral Report on the Solar System

Sometimes I go to the girls' room to hang out with the kids...well, the room is equipped with a 27" tv perched on top of the dresser with dvd/vcr connected to it (Mark & I decided to give the one in our room to the kids). I go in there complete with cell phone, cordless house phone, book & crochet project while we all watch a movie or tv show (I have to be doing something while watching anything...I guess it helps with my ever-thinking mind). The kids love it because they snuggle up next to me and I love it because we're all doing something together that does not require chores LOL

And to my point. About 3 weeks ago after we watched a show, the kids left to play in the boys' room where the toys are and I sat on one bed finishing my crocheting, Bam-Bam/Anne Marie comes in and starts talking to me. "I learned about the Solar System and I want to tell you all about it," she says. "How did you learn about the Solar System?" I ask. "Well, I learned it from Kuya's (Jonathan) Leap Pad actually," she replied back and proceeds to tell me, "The Solar System has 9 planets going around the Sun, the closest one to the Sun is called Me-nus." I interrupt her to say that Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun and Venus is the 2nd closest and Earth is the 3rd closest. "No Mommy, it's Me-nus!" she replied back, I then say that she probably had the first and 2nd planets mixed up and she says, "Okay Mommy." We went through the list of planets and she said, "The last planet is Pluto! But Pluto doesn't get any sunlight because the other planets are blocking the way!!" Wow, her simple logic does make sense because nowhere in the Leap Pad book does it say that the planets go around the Sun in their own pace...I thought that was soo cool what she said!!

Anyways, I explain to her that each planet has their own speed in which they go around the Sun so that they are able to have sunlight without the other planets blocking their way most of the time. Then I tell her sometimes that our moon blocks the sun sometimes so it gets dark for a little bit even during the day and the look on her face was priceless!

All in all we had about a 15 minute conversation on the Solar System.

Not too bad for a 6 year old.

I'm soo proud!!

Online Memory Journal

It used to be that I can just remember what my kids did without writing anything down, but age does get to you and I have decided to type down what my babies have been doing before that particular memory has gone down memory lane never to be retrieved :(

Friday, June 30, 2006

The MisAdvenTures of pOtTy tRaiNinG

Okay, so my son's Sunday School teacher potty trained her boys in one weekend and since we ran out of diapers last week, Mark has decided to attempt said success of SST.

Well, it worked. Steven can now go #1 and #2...but only if you catch him in time and be patient with him while he does his "stuff"

Today silly me forgot that he was still "training" and left him alone with the other kids while I was puttering around in other parts of the house. Anne Marie comes running to me with nose too. Laura has her nose pinched too. I thought they ran into each other and bumped noses or something.

But nooo...Steven gave me a "present" and it was on top of a VHS tape. Yep, yeah, yuck. Needless to say said "tape" was thrown away (thank goodness it was only a tape we use to record shows we missed and we hardly ever use it anyway) and mommy had "floor duty". Now is the time to use the steam cleaner. Might as well, since Mom and Tay are coming tomorrow from Hawaii. Yay! May babysitters na ako!