Tuesday, October 11, 2016

school is canceled

The kids have been home for almost a week now because of the hurricane. Or the aftermath. Houses are damaged here in the east coast. Some areas still have water and others do not have power. It is a mess. Our house was spared and for that we are very grateful. We had a bit of cleaning up to do because of broken limbs from the neighbor's tree that landed on our backyard but that was all. Schools were canceled the middle of the week last week and it is still canceled up to tomorrow. The rest of this week is still unknown, pending announcement from the district. We were lucky that our internet was up and running the day we returned home so the kids have been pretty occupied. The little girl was upset about the storm but she got over it after we explained to her how storms work and why. Of course it helped that she was around her nephews and niece because they all got busy playing while the adults worry about the storm. They did not play with brasswinds and woodwinds but the online games were a blessing. The storm passed with the kids barely noticing. There was a bit of discomfort when power went out but the temperature was cool enough we were able to sleep with windows open. It was an experience for sure and we are glad that we are alive to tell the tale. It sucks to go through a hurricane but we cannot stop nature, we can only try to stay safe.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

hurricane matthew

By now, everybody who has access to television and social media has heard about hurricane Matthew and the devastation it caused the east coast. It was an experience for sure. I grew up in a country that gets hit with typhoons several times a year and I thought it will just be another "one of those". I thought wrong.
The day before our area got hit, I had a luggage packed for the whole family with provisions that was good for a few days. I have learned to pack from years of experience with storms and having kids. Yes, when you have kids like mine you learn to pack light without skimping on the necessities. Anyway, the governor did not order a mandatory evacuation. She urged residents to voluntarily evacuate for their safety. Our zone was not included on the list of areas that was urged to evacuate but we still moved to a bigger house in a better neighborhood since ours is prone to flooding. The husband and his son-in-law visited our house twice on the 8th (Saturday), in the morning and after lunch. Everything was fine in the morning but when he came back after lunch he said the place was flooded. The streets was nothing but water and that some houses had water up to their front door. The wind was bad, it felt like it was swirling. He had to turn around quick because he was afraid he was going to get stuck on the road if a tree falls. There were, in fact, a bunch of trees down either uprooted or broken at the trunk.
The good thing about a big house is that no matter what was happening outside, we hardly heard any noise. Sure, we heard the wind from time to time and we know it was raining but in a way the house provided security which we knew our house would not have.
The one thing that was bad was the media. We were watching "live" broadcast and I am telling you, it was horrible to watch. They make it sound like it was so bad (which it was in some areas) that friends and relatives sent me messages asking about us and praying for our safety. I did not mind those, to be honest. I was happy that somebody else somewhere was praying for us but it worried our loved ones. We were so grateful when it finally passed. We could not wait to go home to check our house and the neighborhood. We went home on Sunday to find our house dry and the yard full of debris. The fence were in good shape and the power out. Power was back on about thirty minutes after we got in and the internet started working again like nothing has happened. We were lucky and for that we are grateful. We pray for the ones that are badly affected by the storm and we hope that people will recover from this quick. Let us all hope that that was the first and last hurricane for this year.

Monday, September 5, 2016

he wants to join the archery team

The little man wants to join the archery team at school. He got so excited with his high scores during a tryout that he wants us to buy him an archery set which costs "only $200" according to him. I do not know where he looked but my goodness, if it is mandatory to buy such an expensive set I may have to make him pass this opportunity up, lol. Seriously though, I hope he makes it. But, I also hope there is a cheap set we can find. A few years ago, I was seriously thinking he might be into music making and that he will be asking us to buy him things like the sony acid pro and similar stuff. How things have changed.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

we did it!

 A view from Manhattan Beach Pier

For years, the husband has talked about wanting to visit his birthplace, Manhattan Beach. For years it stayed a a dream. It is just too expensive to travel to California with four people. There were airfare, lodging, food and miscellaneous expenses to budget. But something came through for us that made that dream a reality. So by end of summer last year we flew to LA to spend a few days there, not really knowing what to expect. This is something I have not been in my life. The husband might have been born in California but he has only been there once after his parents moved. Once! You can only imagine the excitement we all felt. Even the kids got excited just by watching us. Lol! The place did not disappoint, not for us. It was beautiful. It was fascinating. The people were fascinating. The view was marvelous. The houses were unreal, price-wise, that is. The Strand was delightful. We have not even left and we wanted to go back already. We talked about our trip for weeks after it happened. We still do now, with happiness and hope that it will happen again. Heck, if we only have the money we would like to move there, right now! Maybe one of these days. :D

Saturday, July 23, 2016

big dreams

The little man is currently working on a game. When I say working, I mean trying to build a program to make his own game. I know it is a lot to take in. Believe me, I already told him it is impossible. If I sound pessimistic it is because he does not even have a computer with large memory or operating system that supports what he is doing. But, he is doing it nonetheless. I do admire this kid's perseverance. He has asked a couple of times if we could buy him a newer and nicer computer with better specs but we told him to hold off on that. It will happen, of course. He wants an Apple computer though so I may have to save to get him what he wants, at the right time. I know it will not be long and he will be asking for a raven mti or some such equipment he can use to make games, or post quality videos online. As long as school is still a priority, we do not have any problem letting him do what he wants. Provided it does not cost us much and it does not take time away from his studies.

Friday, May 1, 2015

a short trip up the east coast

Back in January, we went to Virginia Beach for a short vacation. We did not get to go anywhere on Christmas so we decided to go somewhere the first chance we get after the holidays. It was still cold but we were lucky that it was sunny all the time we were there. The good thing about going off season is that the motel rates are cheaper and there rarely are tourist which makes for a good time to enjoy the area. Virginia Beach and the cold weather is not our normal destination for vacations but we went there anyway because I have been wanting to go to Jollibee, a fast-food which started in the Philippines. They serve the same food, cooked the same way, in their branches here. The husband has promised to bring me to one years ago and early this year he made good on that promise. It was an enjoyable vacation. The little man who was hesitant about the trip said that Virginia Beach is now his favorite vacation destination. He loves it there. He was even sad that we had to go home on the third day. We told him we will go back. What we did not tell him is that we do not know when. I do hope it will be soon.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

sprucing up the yard

We went to visit the husband's oldest daughter today. She bought a house close to us and we occasionally drop by to visit her and let the kids play with her kids. They are almost of the same age that they can get along for long periods of time without aggravating each other, lol. She was working on the yard, saying she wanted one side of the backyard paved with white rocks while the other side will be done with patio stones. We then discussed the merit of grass over paved yard where we both agreed that paved yard is better because it is less messy and should cost less on maintenance as well. I suggested she buy a patio set when she is finished with her project because she has plenty of room for it. She can actually have two of those patio sets in her backyard and still have plenty of room to spare. That is how big her backyard is! She said she will definitely buy a set but will think about buying another set because she might just buy something else entirely to put in her yard. Did I mention she has a pool? That was where most of the kids were on today's visit which limits the babysitting to just one area of the house. It was nice. It made me almost wish for a bigger yard but then I know that it will not be paved like hers because the husband and I would probably till the whole area for a garden. Different priorities, I know. Anyway, what are your plans to spruce up your yard this season? Do you need to redecorate your patio? Here's some popular teak at Home and Patio D├ęcor Center! This might help you with ideas on what to do with your own yard. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

spring break

The husband wanted for us to spend spring break away from home this year but it seems like it is not happening. It is ironic, really. We have the money to go somewhere but we can't because of other reasons. Whenever we planned on going somewhere, money was always the reason why we could not go. Now that we have saved up enough to go on vacation, we can't because the car we always use on trips is not conditioned enough that the mechanic in him is afraid to drive it away from home for days. So, we might just stay home and perhaps work on the back yard. Am I disappointed? No. In fact, I am relieved. Although you might have to keep that secret for me because he is disappointed. Fortunately, he could not blame me for this so I am off the hook. Lol!
In as much as I love to travel and I enjoy every trip we make as family, I did not see any reason to go somewhere else this spring break. What for? We live on the beach, more or less two miles away from it that when the wind is blowing on the right direction we can smell salt air while sitting in the backyard. It had been a mild winter so even if there were cold days, it was offset by milder days where we get to actually enjoy being out of the house in the middle of winter. No cabin fever here which was a nice change from a couple of years ago. It is really nice, to be living in the coast. He does agree to it. As for wanting a getaway, I told him if he really wants to go on a trip, we can always go to D.C. so I can process mine and the kids dual citizenship at the embassy. Now, that will be a trip worth planning for!