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House renovation...

... was one of the things that kept us busy on our last trip to the Philippines. I decided to push through with this project without thinking twice.

The budget was limited so have to set our priorities accordingly. As per Mamang’s request, first on the list was to install fences on the extra lot and ensure that Papang’s multicab can be parked within. Next was the house interior that seemed gloomy adding sadness to our hearts as we remember Papang. After tossing all the mess away, double walls were mounted and painted to my favorite shades of light blue. It felt a lot better and surely, some western decor will give it a refreshing ambiance. The kitchen came next and was extended to accommodate the fridge and cabinet, also giving extra space for both our dining and living rooms. The bathroom was our last priority that didn’t demand a lot except for its wall finishing.

It has always been my dream to get my parents a decent house. My ideal was not a mansion but just a basic shelter to cater our family’s needs. With the Lord’s provision, I got myself a small house with an extra lot as my housing loan application easily got approved without any difficulties. Simple as it may seem, it was a dream come true for me. We didn’t have as much money as we have years and years ago but we’ve never been as happy as we are in this little home.

At Indiana's first...

McCormick's Creek State Park

Wedding bells ringing...

Oh yeah, a good friend is getting married! Due to special request that their engagement be kept secret until the couple will formally and personally inform the girl’s parents, I choose to secrete any information of my friend’s identity.

I must admit that I have been doubtful that their relationship will last especially that they only met through cheltenham uk singles online dating. I am a firm believer that long distance relationship never lasts. But despite cynicism, I decided to be a better friend by keeping all my qualms to myself and be supportive of their relationship.

Although theirs wasn’t perfect, they have worked very hard to get to where they are now. I am a witness of how their friendship grew into a commitment of two people devotedly in love with each other. I bet it wasn’t easy. It ain’t even easy for couples who stay in the same roof. What more with distance weighing in- especially over silly misunderstandings and kinda sober fights? I really personally find it too complicated to maintain a long distance relationship where communication is at stake. It’s always better to sit down and talk things over… Don’t you think?

Oh well... they have proven me wrong! I am so happy for both of them and so looking forward for further announcements…

A relaxing evening

with Little Miss Annabelle...
I sooo love this baby girl!

Labor Day Holiday 2010

Twas a great long weekend spent with Daniel, Raquel and little Miss Annabelle.

We were warmly welcomed to their humble abode with some Filipino dishes including Sinabaw na Tahong, Ginagmay and Fruit Salad. Rice, of course, can’t be missing. After chitchatting a bit; we were toured by the lovely family around their small quiet town. The place is a lot more relaxing than Lexington, where we the hassle-buzzle of the city can become a pain sometimes. We concluded day 1, with a trip to Lieber State Recreation Area where Cataract Falls is- Indiana’s largest waterfalls. Back to their house, we had a sumptuous dinner of BBQ baby pork ribs, corn and beans. Yummy!

Daniel, Miss Annabelle, Raquel, I and Nell
with Cataract Falls behind us...

Day 2 was a Sunday and there’s no better way to start it of, than a good church service for our spiritual nourishment. We devoured good Asian food at a Chinese Restaurant for lunch. We were too full already when we got home but needed to leave right away for a Filipino get together. A variety of familiar Filipino dishes were served where we took a little bit of anything we wanted to try and still managed to dig up some room in our tummies. It was also nice getting to know a handful Filipinos who were all excited to mingle and have some fun with their fellow Filipinos. Each of us had her own story to share. I enjoyed and learned a lot from the brief and pleasant time spent with them. When it was time to part ways, we exchanged personal networking cards and reminded each other to keep in touch.

Our crazy pose at McCormicks Creek State Park.

However day 2, wasn’t over yet. We visited Indiana’s first state park- McCormick’s Creek State Park this time. We hiked along trails and got our feet soaked in the rivers, caught some shells and crawfishes for Daniel’s aquarium, and took some crazy shots of the four of us. We were worn out by the time we got home but were still very full. We spent a few more hours chatting until I gave up at half past 12.

Brownings, I and hubby with Ate Nelda and Dave...

Ate Nelda was one of the Filipinas we met at the Filipino party. She and her hubby, Dave, invited us to their place for lunch on day 3. Their house was beautifully seated in a country. We picked some veggies from their garden, got to driving and riding Dave’s ATV around their place, feasted on Ate Nelda’s well and especially prepared Filipino dishes and played Wii.

It was indeed a superb weekend and a wonderful fellowship with wonderful people.

Grief and Gratitude...

Losing Papang is definitely the most painful ordeal that our family has to go through. Emptiness has held me captive to this day, feeling sorry for myself, my siblings and especially Mamang. We will miss him forever. We will miss everything about him- from his little acts of care to the most exaggerated way he showed us love.

This is the toughest of all “toughs” for our family. But the overwhelming sympathy, support and encouragement that came from people, both known and unknown to us, helped us accept and deal with this greatest and unexpected loss. We may have been unable to extend our gratitude to all of you but please know that we do appreciate you all. Indeed, God’s great love and His sovereign goodness continue to reign amidst life’s adversities.

Although I am (and so is the rest of us) still in constant struggle between missing Papang and coping with the pain, I hold on to the Lord’s promises and continuously seek for His strength and wisdom moving forward.