January 04, 2016

First Monday ~

It's the First Monday of 2016 ❤️

Having coffee while planning and blogging ✅

First Sunday ~

First Sunday Verse...

Day 1 ~

The most important thing about planning
 is to forge more life into your day. 
That doesn't mean listing and tracking only your to-do lists; 
but rather looking for a space to 
relax, think, love, eat, walk, read, sleep, and dream. 

Day 1 of 2016 ~ definitely so much to look forward to.❤️

~ 2 0 1 6 ~

New Chapter

New Beginning



Welcoming 2016 ~

We are ready to welcome the Year 2016.

* Food is ready ✅

* Hot chocolate bar is replenished for the last time ✅

* 12 kinds of fruits are present ✅

* Rice bin is filled ✅
* Salt dish container is filled✅
* House is cleaned✅
* Coins in everyone's pocket✅
* Wearing polka dot clothes ✅
* All lights are on ✅
* Ready to play board games until the midnight strike ✅


There is nothing as rewarding and healthy
 as doing what you love and loving what you do. 
And the whole month of December has been crazy busy for me, 
yet inspiring and satisfying. 
However, it is now time for me to wind down a bit.  
After all, relaxation is good and necessary. 

My First Gift from God ~

My Monica Isabella, my first born, my only princess turns 20 years old today. I look at her and I can’t believe how much she has changed.  The baby girl that took my breath away and stole my heart forever is independent, courageous, and determined in pursuing her dreams.  My love for her is immeasurable.  Every year I try to quantify it, in some way, but it always fall short because how can you express the true meaning of “to the moon and back” plus “infinity and beyond” with all that I am or will ever be? 

Last night, while she was at work, I sat in her room and looked through her baby pictures, christening and first communion gowns, art works, middle school plays memorabilias, talent show awards, cheerleading uniforms, soccer awards, football and basketball uniforms and gears, prom dresses, and high school adventures ~ hmmm….my heart ached.  Time truly went by so swiftly. Then repeatedly, I closed my eyes and inhaled deeply, I could still smell that perfect baby smell. And no matter how many times I looked around the room, her current photographs, her things ~ the remnants of her baby face was still the only thing I saw….. 

To my Kweng-Kweng, 

You came into my world and have been my happiness and strength ever since. On this 20th anniversary of your birth, I wish you a lifetime of love, the same wholehearted, all in love you give to others. To this day, your smiles still soothe me, your tears tear me down and your sadness destroys me.  Your laughter is contagious and infectious. I love the way you go after everything in life with such flare and optimism. I hope that you always allow your wonderful self to shine. Remember; do not let others tell you how or who to be. Do not let others let you waiver from your own path that God has carefully designed for you.  Above all, do not let anyone make you feel anything other than amazing. You are intelligent, sincere, caring, generous, funny, creative, and oh so kind.  Know that you have been blessed with everything you need in life to succeed and to find happiness. This world is an amazing, yet a challenging place. It is yours to savor, navigate, learn, and enjoy. Always live each day with a sense of gratitude and God will honor your heart.

I love that you stick up for what you believe in and for the underdog.  I love your stubbornness and your follow through.  I love that your heart compels you to get involved when you see a homeless person, sick person or a sad child.  I love you for being exactly who you are and I would never change a thing about you.  You are perfect in every way.

You have shadowed me. You have mimicked me. You have, and still do, sit on my lap and played with my hair. You have dressed me up. You have made me sit down and snuggle with you, watching and crying over love stories and drama movies. You have always wanted to know, in maddening detail, what I thought about everything. But, mostly, you have watched. And you have seen me as no one has seen me. You read my face and my body as if it were a map to your future. And you listen. You hear every self-directed negative muttering, every frustrated sigh. You’ve noticed my tired voice, happy voice, sad voice, and angry voice. Whenever you noticed I was crying, even though I made no noise, from the other room, simply by the sound of my breathing, you knew and you were there to comfort me with your warmest hugs and silence.  For all those times, thank you for simply being my strength and direction.  

Now, as you continue to venture into your new world with independence, always remember that I am here, for today and always, to hold your hand, to wipe away your tears and yes, to kick anyone’s behind if need be.  Even though you drive me crazy with your sense of independence, particularly when it’s in direct opposition to mine ~ inside, I am so proud of you for standing your ground.

May you continue to be completely and totally you. May you know how deeply and truly you are loved...by me, by your family, and most of all, by God.  May you dream big dreams, and have the courage to follow them.

So today, I celebrate you and all that you have become.  But most especially, I celebrate the day that I met one of the most amazing person I have ever known, YOU.  I wish you a lifetime of love and acceptance of yourself, I want you to see and love yourself the way I see you; perfect, just the way you are.

Happiest 20th Birthday my sweet Kweng-Kweng, my forever baby girl, my precious gift from God. 

I love you deeply ❤

Key Ingredients ~

Three of the key ingredients to our happiness are FAITH, FAMILY, and FOOD. Ergo, this Christmas Day, with everyone present, we are sitting down together, chatting endlessly about everything, and enjoying our Christmas dinner while thanking God for ALL the blessings He's provided for us, especially for our families, relatives, and friends across the globe and for our Brothers and Sisters In Arms who are faithfully and unceasingly serving our great nation and protecting our freedom. 

From all of us, MERRY CHRISTMAS

Merry Christmas ~

During this time of faith and family, 
may the true meaning of Christmas
 fill you with joy, love, hope, 
and forgiveness. 
From our family to yours, 
we wish you a Merry Christmas.

Baking Extravaganza 2015

One of my favorite Christmas family traditions is my yearly Christmas Baking Extravaganza, where I make batches and batches of delicious cookies.  This year, I added two goodies (triple chocolate covered strawberries and Christmas triple chocolate covered pretzels) to the bunch.  Why so much?  Well, there are lots of parties to go to; neighbors who became friends; and teachers who needed that extra yumminess to enjoy their holiday break.  And these homemade cookies and goodies are just the perfect gifts for special people that took care of my family and me this year.  I spent all day yesterday making and preparing these, now packaged beautifully, and ready to be delivered today to our family doctors, dentists, hairdresser and barber, our sweet mailman, my mani-pedi ladies, Soup Kitchen Co-Volunteers, Catholic Women’s Group ladies, town Firemen, post office workers, and of course, our Soldiers guarding the gates of Fort Stewart Military Base.  For some, these might just be a bunch of cookies and goodies, but NOT THESE…..these are KitchenElla’s homemade Christmas cookies and goodies ~ made with LOVE and GRATITUDE!

My Second Gift from God Times Two

Josue and Javier,

I woke up very early today and I instantaneously went to your room.  As I sat in the chair (watching you sleeping), I couldn’t help but ponder for a bit.  I was amazed (as always) and then I realized, it’s just not possible that you’re turning 13 today.  Wow, my twin boys are now teenagers!  It was only yesterday that I held both of you as a baby.  And now, you are both on your way to a new life path that God has prepared for you.

Teenage life is a life-changing passageway.  It will be full of adventures and happiness, but it will also bring forth a lot of challenging situations, such as peer pressures, impulses, and even pimples (LOL).  That being said, I want to take this moment to give you the same advice I gave your sister when she turned 13, almost seven years ago.  

(1) ALWAYS stay close to God and your family in all things.  
(2) We live in phases; therefore, be ready to change because it will keep you busy.
(3) Continue to do well in school and enjoy the perks that come with it.
(4) On making decisions ~ always think of the 3 P’s = PAUSE, PRAY, and PONDER before you act.  Remember, every action has a consequence (Positive or Negative). 
(5) Look before you leap, but follow your gut if you have to. Be courageous.
(6) Stay on your life path, but when opportunities for successes are presented to you, seek advise from us ~ then together, we will pursue it.
(7) Always appreciate what you have, no matter how small.  
(8) Be an example of good leadership to your families and friends.  
(9) Be kind, be helpful, and be respectful to everyone, regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, and status.
(10) Keep your eyes open because magic will always surround you. 
(11) Be honest to yourself and learn to love yourself more.
(12) Don’t be afraid to stand for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.  
(13) Talk to us, no matter how difficult or embarrassing.   After all, we have known you the longest!

Josue and Javier, your life has so much goodness ahead.  So much.  Your unconditional love for God and your family is immeasurable.  While I can’t possibly give you all the wisdom that you need to make it in this world, I hope that I have given you the solid foundation to build on.  As you enter this new passageway, continue to strengthen your prayers for us, our families, relatives, friends, as well as our country and the world.  Pray that life will give you enough slack in the rope to find your own way ~ to direct your path with hope, courage, and determination ~ to learn and grow from your own mistakes ~ and to spell out and achieve your own successes.  And when things get too tough and confusing, I am here! Always! NO ONE else will ever know the strength of my love for you.  After all, you both know what my heart sounds like from the inside.  

Happy 13th Birthday my Twin Tornadoes, my Twin Panganay and Buncho…May you always dream big and fulfill them one by one.  

I love you deeply
~ Mommy

Life is.....

(Late Post)
Early morning planning
for my yearly Cookie Extravaganza, 
Twins' 13th Birthday Sleepover/Party, Xmas Dinner, and Kweng-Kweng's 20th Birthday

Lots to do...and LIFE is definitely BEAUTIFUL

Happy 5th Birthday Diamond ~

Dear Diamond, ❤️

Did you know we had wanted a dog for years and had gone without due to our military duties, travels, schools, work, and all the commitments that come with it?  Well, God must have known our desires because one night, we met you. When we first saw you, your beautiful face was like a bright diamond, sparkling and beaming in the midst of all that darkness. And your sweet nature immediately drew us to you. Ergo, that night, we brought you home as a 12 week old puppy and we were in love.

You were our baby, and still are today. As you’ve grown up, you have continued to delight us with your sweetest cuddles and kisses. You have continued to amaze us with your intelligence and hilarious temperament, especially your awesome combat rolls and loud snorts as a way to communicate with us. 

Every morning when you wake up, you take the time to find each of us and kiss us before you go outside. Your biggest excitement is when Daddy and the boys get home because it's time to play catch. And when your Big Sister Nica is home, you hang out with her like there's no tomorrow. But when it's raining and thundering outside, you find comfort sitting next to Mommy. 

Diamond, you have brought us so much happiness and we just want you to know how much better life is with you around, and how much more living we will do together as a family.

Happy 5th Birthday Sweetheart! 

We Love You ❤️
Daddy, Mommy, Ate Nica, Kuya Josue a

nd Javier, and Baby Sister Chanel

Be Kind

How would your life be different if…You stopped making negative judgmental assumptions about people you encounter? 

Let today be the day. Look for the good in everyone you meet and respect their journey.  


Lift Others

Offer that possibility to another human being -- that they are beings of such great worth -- and you will not only have helped them, you will have offered them the possibility of a life as good as possible on this Earth. And as you rise up and bring out the best in yourself, consider lifting someone else because loving human relationship is the heart of everything good and everything that heals in our lives.

~ Blessed Monday to you ~

Love the One You're With

"Love, not as a surge of passion, but as a choice to commit to something, someone, no matter what obstacles or temptations stand in the way.  And maybe, making that choice, again and again, day in and day out, year after year, says more about love than never having a choice to make at all."