You know the feeling when you wish you keep a journal where you actually write (not type) things down, or even just jot down notes and snippets about your daily life, so that when it’s time to publish a long-overdue blog post you can just whip your journal out and type away, without straining your brain to recall the weeks and days that were? No? Oh ok, so it’s just me then! 😉
Yes, it’s actually been TWO weeks since my last (sorry) attempt to write a Weekly Wrap-Up/7 Quick Takes post. So that means I have THREE weeks “undocumented” over here! Needless to say, this is going to be a rather lengthy post! (Prepare yourselves, people! ;)) I’ll try not to be too detailed though, since I still have other stuff to do! (Can you say “backlog”?!)
Well, you all probably know that we lost my grandfather, our beloved Ama, on March 2. We found out that he had passed away on the night we got back from our trip to Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay (which I was able to write about here — what a wonderful blessing for our family!).
Ama would have been 89 on his birthday, March 5, which coincidentally was Ash Wednesday this year. I thank God that my youngest brother and I were able to visit him two nights before he died, the night before we left for Tagaytay. We weren’t allowed to talk to him much because he was already having difficulty breathing that time so nagmano lang kami (“mano” is a Filipino tradition where we ‘seek the blessing’ of our elders by getting them to place their hands on our heads/foreheads). *sigh*
I wish I could have told him all that I wanted to tell him then! I wrote a post on Philstar.com in his (and my grandmother’s) honor though — in loving tribute to them and their legacy of love. Ama at Ina, mahal na mahal po namin kayo!
The day before our Tagaytay trip (and before going to Malolos in the evening, to visit Ama), we attended the Parents’ Orientation of The Master’s Academy. This is part of our current “discernment process” — about whether or not we should enroll the kids in a local homeschool provider or continue being independent homeschoolers. It was SO nice to see fellow homeschooling-work-at-home momma Blessie there! 🙂
So… are we going to enroll in TMA Homeschool? We’re still praying about it! 😉 Of course, we’re also praying about our other choices for DepEd-accredited providers, namely Catholic Filipino Academy (CFA) and Peniel. CFA has new tracks this coming school year, so we’ll see how it goes (Lord, lead the way)!
Since we were already in the area, we treated the kids to a few hours at Ark Avilon Zoo. They had SUCH a blast feeding the animals!
My main concern (and my husband’s and the kids’ too!) about the zoo is that the animals seemed SO hungry whenever we would feed them. I was pretty shocked when the fish seemed to be in such a frenzy when we put in the fish food! Calling on the Ark Avilon Zoo management — is this a ‘normal’ thing? Do your animals get fed regularly? Please do something about this!
Needless to say, for that particular week, our homeschool highlights were the two ‘field trips’ we took — to the zoo and to Tagaytay! Both were blessings I/we did not expect to receive this month! Thank You, Jesus! 🙂
The next week — March 2 to 9 — went by in a blur. Since my grandfather passed away on a Sunday, we went to his wake on Monday with my brothers. (Anthony was in Baguio for a teambuilding session.) It was bittersweet to have an instant ‘family reunion’ with my mother’s side of the family, to mourn Ama’s death.
Tuesday was spent catching up on chores (read: A LOT of laundry! ;)) and trying to squeeze in homeschooling and work.
The kids and I also prepared our Jesus Tree ornaments and other Lenten ‘materials,’ i.e. their sacrifice beans jars and our ‘repurposed’ Lenten countdown prayer chain (we took the chains from last year and just placed them individually in a basket).
To be brutally honest with you all though, it’s already almost two weeks since Lent began and we still haven’t hung a SINGLE ornament on our Jesus Tree! And used any of the prayers in our basket! We’ve just been following along the Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure and praying one decade of the Sorrowful Mysteries every evening. Hopefully, we’ll be able to catch up on the other stuff this week!
On Ash Wednesday, I left the kids with my mother-in-law and met up with my new ‘colleagues’ from TheAsianParent.com. I’ve started working for them part-time as the copy editor for the Singaporean site (the main website) — it’s been such a blessing so far! 🙂
I went to Mass afterwards then met up with Anthony (I so love him!) and the kids — he came home from his Baguio trip early so we could be present on the last night of Ama’s wake. We returned on Thursday for the burial of his remains. In the midst of our grieving, we rejoice still, knowing that Ama is no longer in pain.
Friday to Sunday was all about chores (again!), work, the kids’ activities, plus Holy Mass of course. We also got to attend the surprise baby shower of a dear friend and fellow homeschooler. It was good to connect with other families — and the kids made new friends! And got to take home small tubs of slime, which they totally enjoy playing with! 🙂 Time to try making our own slime again, I think!
A special blessing for that weekend was also the opportunity to watch our first ballet show together — for free! Thanks again to fellow homeschool mom Liza Castaneda of Ridgepointe Ballet for inviting us! 🙂 Our little aspiring ballerina especially enjoyed the show!
The week after that — March 10 to 17, last week — also passed by so quickly! We didn’t do much ‘formal’ work in terms of lessons but I did try to have more read-aloud time and outdoor time again with the kids. I also had Tim take some of his third and fourth quarter exams (they come in the ‘packet’ sent by Kolbe when you enroll, along with the curriculum and daily lesson plans).
We’re done with Phonics (yey!) and are more or less three-fourths done with the other subjects in Kolbe’s First Grade curriculum (except Geography, which we opted not to cover). We are also not formally doing Spelling, and Reading is also done informally lately — more of having Tim read aloud to me and answering questions orally. Sometimes he chooses what to read, sometimes I do.
The Science lessons in Science and Living in God’s World seem a bit ‘fluffy’ to me, so we need to ‘beef’ it up with more hands-on experiments and supplemental reading material. We need more Art and P.E. activities too! For starters, I think t’s high time we used the KaHone box that we were blessed with a while back!
For Filipino and Sibika (Civics), I hope to enroll Tim in The Learning Library’s Summer Program for Filipino, and finally continue using the Civics book I got on sale (One Country, One People). We started using this on the anniversary of People Power but haven’t been consistently doing so.
Last week was also the time we commemorated the first anniversary of my father-in-law’s death. Babang luksa, as we say it in Filipino. It was a time of prayer and reconnecting with family and friends too. Grieving but also rejoicing. Life’s like that, isn’t it? There are times when we are sad and times when we are happy.
We also had a fabulously fun playdate with our friends from The Learning Basket and their kiddos later in the week. The kids absolutely loved it, and we’re already planning for the next one! 🙂 The kids and I spent the weekend at my parents’ place because they were set to leave for another mission trip — more fun playtime for them, this time with their cousins!
Yesterday, Monday, was my attempt at returning to a more ‘normal’ schedule. It was Saint Patrick’s feast day, too, so we did some activities to celebrate before our formal ‘Learning Time’ in the afternoon.
We are so blessed in so many ways and although I feel like I’ve been failing A LOT lately, especially with it being Lent and the time for repentance and change and all, I am greatly encouraged by the knowledge that my God (and YOUR God too) is more than enough for me. He will fill in where I lack. I will not allow satan to steal my motherhood and I will do my very best to keep love in Lent and beyond.
Whew! And that’s it! How have YOU been lately, dear friends? Come share! I’ve missed you so!