Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!



Maybe this is the only Halloween or All Saints Day that I am not busy, and one that I am not really looking forward to... well, I may have probably outgrown the excitement of halloween (coz i'm old!!) or just because there isn't enough motivation this time to get excited for this event...(i) to start with it was not declared a holiday so I cannot participate in any parties in the morning like the Trick or Treat at our village in Nova Romania 2, (ii) coding is not suspended and today is my coding day so I can only leave the office at 7pm. I may still be able to arrive for the halloween party for adults at the village (yea, at the Gazeebo just in front of my house...) but I don't really feel like attending (iii) I am sick...my vertigo attacked last Wednesday night and I still feel some tinge of pain in my left eye and forehead (iv) I lost my ATM and cannot withdraw any money! I used my ATM last night at UCPB and didn't realized that I forgot to get my ATM card after taking the money out... and only now that I realized that I didn't have it...what a life hahaha. I have the card blocked so it is good and I can have the replacement card in 3 to 4 banking days and last but not the least (v) my driver asked for a day off tomorrow so he could bring his family around. Who am I to refuse? Well, one good thing really about the holiday tomorrow is that I am going to have the whole day to sleep...yeepppee!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Belenda's Feelings About Dining Together


This photo was taken during a late night get - together last April 19, 2008 on the occasion of our son James 7th birthday (the one wearing sando). I had dinner with the kids early on, put them to bed, baked some cookies and when my husband came home with a birthday cake, I woke up all the kids. In the photo from left to right: Shane, me, holding baby Shanara, James, Ian and my husband Allan. During that night, we had a simple but meaningful birthday celebration and had an enjoyable family togetherness at the dining table. I always look forward to our family meal time just as how I look forward to mealtime when I was growing – up. My family would come together at the end of a busy day to enjoy a meal which was a welcome time for me, because not only I would be able to taste my mom’s cooking, but also it means a ‘no- holds barred’ time with them. With my family ready to listen, I overcame shyness and learned to speak up a piece of my mind whenever asked. Now that I have my own family and knowing the positive effects of family mealtime on children’s behaviors, my husband and I planned to have plenty of mealtime together. We see to it that no matter how busy he is, we would find time to eat together every night. We hope that in having a reguIar family mealtime, our children will fight less (especially the two boys), be more open and trusting that they can share anything to us and excitedly tell us what they liked about their day without getting reprimand. It is a rule that we turn off the television and cell phones, and everyone just focus on the conversation. We give Ian, James and even Shane an opportunity to contribute to the conversation and give them opportunity to practice or rehearse what they learn in school and at their church primary classes. Doing this I know that my children will grow to be better kids: kinder, confident, and happy.

Amy's Thougts on Family Meal Time


When I was growing up, my family ate together almost every night. It was a good time for my mother (who raised us singly) to check in on what was happening to me and my three brothers, in school, church, activities and friendships. Because I didn’t want to report any negative things that will make my mother unhappy and my three brothers pretty concerned, I always tried to obey God’s commandments especially the law of chastity and Word of Wisdom (non - use of alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea and illegal drugs). I owe it to my family dining experiences that I remained pure until my wedding day and have not tried the negative influences of tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs just like all my brothers.

I am married now, with four growing children: Mitch (9 years old), Jay-M (7 years old), Jay-A (4 years old) and baby Mikaela (8 months old). Because of the positive effect of my family dining experience on me, my husband and I always see to it that we dine together as a family every night and on Sunday lunch after church. This photo is an example of those family dining experiences. This was taken during our family lunch last October 13, 2007, coinciding with my 27th birthday celebration. In the photo is me, with my daughter Mitch while the other family members are not seen in the photo. I always involve Mitch (since she is old enough) in planning and serving meals, with the hope that when she grows up she will look forward to dining with us, despite her busy schedule and other fun activities. We make our dining experiences a pleasant experience for everyone. We make it chance to enjoy family togetherness as we listen to Mitch, Jay-M and Jay-A report to us how their day went at school and church primary classes, new friends they have, new riddles they learned and all their funny interactions with their cousins. I hope that as we continue to have family meals, we will have a strong family relationships and our home will be a bit of heaven on earth.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ian's Thoughts on Family Activity


This photo was taken last July 1, 2006 during a family activity which culminated at a meal time at a fast food chain inside the Quezon City circle. I'm the one wearing an animal cap and joined by my papa Allan, mom Belinda, my sister Shane and brother James. Not in the photo is my youngest sister baby Shanara (11 months old). My parents see to it, that as much as possible, we are complete during dinner time. But because my father has to work and comes home when we are already asleep, my parents decided to set one night each week for a family get-together. We call such time our Family Home Evening. Our Family Home Evening occurs each week, either on Monday nights or on Saturday, depending on my father?s work schedule. I love our Family Home Evenings! I really look forward to the companionship of the whole family as we dine together, play, work, create something and learn important values and lessons. During our Family Home Evening last July 1, 2006, my parents brought us to Quezon City circle where I was able to play with the whole family. During that time, I realize that my brother James can be a friend, and that my sister Shane can be a friend, and that my papa and mama are more than parents to me, they can be friends too.

Jay-M's Feelings About Home Evenings


This photo was taken last December 24, 2006, during our Family Home Evening in celebration of the traditional Christmas Eve. In the photo is me and my dad, who is saying the blessing of the food. Not in the photo is my mom, my sister Mitch, brother Jay - A and baby sister Mikaela. Our family gathers on Monday night each week and on important occasions for our Family Home Evenings. My parents see to it that we meet as a family, in a spirit of fun, following a certain routine: opening hymn or song, opening prayer, games, lesson on gospel topics, talent presentation, closing hymn and closing prayer. My parents, even though we are pretty young, always involve us in the planning of our home evenings. Ate Mitch and I take turns in saying the prayers, choosing the songs to sing, games to play, refreshments to have, or helping in the preparation. I always look forward to these home evenings because the atmosphere is one of love, understanding and enjoyment. I also pick - up good habits like praying before meals and learning values that will help me in my life when I grow up. I learned about sharing and that Heavenly Father is happy when I share my toys and always kind to my brother and sisters.

Monthly Get-Together



One of the Ojeda Family traditions is the monthly get - together, usually on the first Saturday or Sunday of each month. This is done either at my parent's house in Bulacan, or at a special restaurant if there's something exciting going on coinciding with the date of the get -together. This photo was taken during the World Pyro Olympics last May 31, 2008 at the Mall of Asia. In the photo is me (in Mango tee) with my mom Cristy on my left and my papa Lito on my right. We are joined by my three brothers and their respective families.

I always enjoy and look forward to our monthly family dining experience, even though as the family grows the expense grows too. It is a tradition that I started with the family, because it was during mealtime when I was growing up that I learned important lessons in life from my parents. At the dining table, my parents taught me to be curious, to ask questions, to watch people closely especially in a new environment - to treat them respectfully, to work very hard and to always do my best. They believed that no matter what I chose to do with my life, the skills I learned would help me. They let me know in dozens of little ways that they trusted my decisions, trusted me to stay focused on my goals, and trusted me to lead an upright life. I also learned how my parents value education. They were poor and have been obliged to work after high school. College was out of the question and an impossible dream. But they desperately desired an education for their children. It is one of the great joys of my life that I did not disappoint my parents. I am a lawyer now for almost ten years, and currently a corporate attorney in a global corporation sole. Because of the values I learned mostly during my dining experience with the family, I graduated valedictorian in law school, cum laude in college and became a recipient of academic and extra-curricular achievements and recognition both in school and at work. As we continue this family dining tradition, I am able to show my parents my gratitude for all their teachings. Also, it provides opporunity for my nephews and nieces to learn and pick up values which will help them as they grow up.

My Journey through life...

This blog is created so I can account and show to families, loved-ones, relatives, friends and collegues, my journey through life ...through written words and photos of special event, trip and accomplishment.

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