Posted by: katlea611 | October 8, 2014

Always, Always Pay it Forward

I firmly believe that the more you give to others, the more you will receive in return.  My boys are not selfish kids.  When we go to toy stores, you don’t hear, “Daddy, get me that toy!” or “Mommy, I want that!” followed by tantrums.  I don’t get that reaction and I so glad for that.  I teach my kids not to be materialistic.  When they receive toys that they are not into, I tell them to reconsider giving them to someone else or selling them so that the money could go to their savings.  I always let them know that toys are not needs in this household and that there are more important things than toys and gadgets.

Anyway, from time to time, we check our stuff and get rid of things we don’t need, use or play with anymore.  We either give them to relatives, kids in the provinces or the local streetkids.  In the beginning, when the boys were younger, it was so hard parting them with old toys.  I would ask them, “Can we give/throw this away?” and I would get all sorts of reasons from “but we’re playing with that yet” to plain “no”.  I make it a point to talk to them about their stuff because even if I can easily throw their stuff away, I want them to know that I respect their things, and that they should know how to respect others’ stuff as well.  So, I always consult with them about the stuff to be given/thrown away and a bargaining usually ensues.  Before, 2 out of 10 things usually end up in the “away” pile but now, 5 out of 10 things are picked.  Am so proud of their maturity.  We’ve already given away books, clothes, toys, kitchen stuff and it does help in the decluttering of the house.  We’re trying to follow the plus 1, minus 1 rule, that is, if you buy a new something, you have to get rid of the old something so that house won’t be a mess.  We’ll see how that one goes. 😉

For now, here’s the pile of stuff we’re giving away soon:

0102 Now it’s your turn to pay it forward. 🙂

Posted by: katlea611 | September 25, 2014

Ethan and Watercoloring

Ethan really loves to make art.  We’ve done art using crayons (A LOT!) so I thought, it was time to introduce him to watercolors.

Nikki still had his Prang watercolor that he used before and there were still a lot of colors left so we decided to use that. And we had many brushes as well, so we were set.  We don’t use canvass for our art because I think sketching paper or watercolor paper would do for the kind of art that we make (simple, artsy-crafty kinds).  Anyway, Ethan is just a be01ginner.

He has this book on watercoloring.  So, we decided to practice some brush strokes first.  Sometimes Ethan rushes things and can be impatient so I remind him all the time to just relax and if cannot finish it, there is always another day.

So Ethan did some practice strokes with several brushes and I thought that was a good intro.  I had to gently teach him how to properly hold the different brushes, how to move his arm when he makes the different strokes and to practice diluting watercolors as needed.  It’s not 02easy for Ethan the first time but I thought that as time goes on and he getsused to the process, he’ll eventually get the hang of it.

After practicing strokes, I thought, okay, it would be nice to begin with something simple.  So, we picked a coconut tree because it needed detailing but not at an advanced level.  It would be good practice for him to try the different strokes as he completed the picture.

I had to remind him again not to be impatient because most of the time we had to wait for the paper to dry a bit before adding more color and details.  He needed much instruction from me (how much colors to add, which brush to use, what strokes to apply, how to blend one color with another and how to dilute the watercolor.  But again, it’s all right.  Ethan is still a beginner and he’ll need help initially but afterwards I’m sure he’ll get the hang of it.

03Ethan still needs some practice with shading and strokes and blending but I think his art looks great!  What do you think?


Posted by: katlea611 | September 21, 2014

Enzo is 4!

Our youngest is now 4years old! We no longer have a baby! Waaah!

Enzo was so unexpected. I didn’t think we were going to have another baby after Ethan and we were not really considering it yet, but what a joyful surprise! This boys has added a whole range of other colors to our world and our lives are just more vibrant with him in it.

Dearest Enzo, happy birthday! We wish you happiness and love and good health.  You are precocious, pilyo and full of fun and we love you so much! God bless you baby!


Posted by: katlea611 | September 17, 2014

Books and More at the 35th Manila International Book Fair

Went to SM Mall of Asia today for the 35th Manila International Book Fair. I decided to go today because I’ll be quite busy tomorrow until Sunday and since I don’t want to procrastinate and since I don’t want to miss this opportunity, I decided to go today after putting Enzo to sleep for his nap.

I got to SMX mid-afternoon. I was glad that there wasn’t a lot of people milling about, which was great because I didn’t have to worry about long lines, pickpockets, or crowded spots.  I unfortunately, couldn’t take my sweet time because I had to leave the boys at home and whenever that’s the case, I don’t want to leave them for too long (even if my MIL is home to keep an eye on them).  So I had to give myself only an hour and a half to browse and pick books.  I know for some that’s hardly enough time but I managed quite nicely.  I was so happy to find some 3 for P100 textbooks for Enzo.  Lately, he’s been so interested in studying so I thought, why not get him books to doodle and answer?  I didn’t check or look for books that were more than P100.  I just think it was not sulit (worth it) because I was after the sale books and for regular-priced books, I knew I could always go to the bookstores and malls and find them there.  So yeah, I targeted the sale books and I was able to find some for the boys.  While at National Bookstore, I found some learning puzzles for Enzo and Ethan.  Even if they were around P200 each, I decided to get them.  I think it would be a good activity for Enzo and since Ethan is a visual learner, he will appreciate it as well.  For myself, I bought 4 books by Chinkee Tan.  Wanted to have his books for the longest time and I was so glad I got them for only a hundred pesos each!! So glad to get something for myself because I usually only spend for the boys and their homeschooling.  So yes, it was a fruitful day.  So happy with my purchases.  Here’s my stash:

books Looks like they’re only a few items but believe me, it was a heavy bag! My poor, aching muscles.  But still, I’m happy. 🙂

Posted by: katlea611 | September 16, 2014

Writing in Cursive

cursive Here’s Nikki practicing his cursive.  He initially learned the strokes in traditional school but we continued practicing at home. I think he has excellent penmanship.  I suppose it has something to do with his being a neat freak. 🙂

Posted by: katlea611 | September 14, 2014

Rainy Days in September

It’s quite blustery today and that’s because of the typhoon reported in the news. Already, I heard reports of suspended classes and like always, I say a little prayer of thanks that we get to do our lessons safely and cozily in our home.  I know that’s not always the best option for everyone but I like to hold on to my boys for as long as I can.  Next year, we’re planning on sending Nikki to traditional school and I think I am more nervous than him!  Of course, he’s still not set with the idea because he really loves the flexibility of homeschooling but homeschooling 3 boys is very difficult! Am thinking, if Nikki is in traditional school, I can sit down and teach Ethan and Enzo.  But we’ll still have to see.  So many things to consider…


I can’t believe Enzo is turning 4 in a few days!! I sure do miss my boys being so little.  Nikki is almost as tall as me and I still think of him as my baby. Sigh. Time sure does fly so fast.  But I am so grateful that God has given me a lot of time to be with them, to see them grow, to teach them, to know them so well, to love them all these years… I know that I put my career on hold and although a small part of me regrets that (hey, I have to be honest!), I still treasure and am truly grateful of this precious time with my babies.  Anyway, we’re giving him a monkey-theme party because he’s so active and because my sis sent the party decors so they’re free! Haha!  There won’t be a party but I’m sure it will be fun still.  🙂


Only 3 more days to the International Book Sale!! Are you excited? I am!  Am prepping myself to go early on the first day to check out the toys and books.  Might find some great sale items.  Will have my knapsack ready (for the books) and my small messenger bag (for important stuff). This way, I won’t have to worry about losing things and carrying stuff. My hands will be free to pick and browse and grab. Haha! So excited!


Ruther’s in Japan right now for business matters.  Sure miss him… He’ll be back before Enzo’s birthday though so he won’t be gone long.  Already told him not to bother buying pasalubong because it will only be magastos. Just want him home safe and sound and ready to celebrate Enzo’s birthday the next day.  So excited for my little boy. 🙂

Posted by: katlea611 | September 11, 2014

Simple Gardening at Home

Ethan is very interested in gardening so, when we were at the mall one day we decided, why not? So we got a bag of compost, some seedling bags and 2 packets of seeds.  He was quite excited!  The next day, we started planting.

010203 We got some kangkong and melon seeds. We thought it might not be that hard to grow them.

After a couple of weeks, we had these:

04 Ethan was quite excited.  Unfortunately, half of the plants wilted because it kept on raining and there was no sun to dry the soil so the roots became rotten and the plants died. 😦  Sad, but on the positive side, we could always try again. 🙂  We’re thinking of picking flowering plants this time. We saw a couple of bees flitting to and fro near our mango tree and we think that planting flowers will help the bees.  In case you didn’t know, bees all over the world are dying and they need all the help they can get.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to plant beautiful flowers in the next couple of months. 🙂

Posted by: katlea611 | September 9, 2014

Looking Through a Microscope

We always try to make our activities interesting and fun.  That’s always our goal.  It doesn’t happen 100% of the time, but we do our best.

The other week, I decided to put out the microscope we bought in Japan years back just so we could look into it again and explore the weird world of histology.  We did get to see some prepared slides and others, we tried to see which objects around the house we could view under the microscope.  Here are the things we looked at (100x, 200x and 450x magnification):

1. sponge

2. dried leaf

3. piece of hair

4. some soil (but we couldn’t see anything significant because the particles were too big and wouldn’t let light through)

5. a tick (prepared slide that came with the microscope)

6. paper

7. onion skin

We didn’t get to see any more after that because it became quite cloudy and we had difficulty looking at the things with very little light. So we decided to call it a day.  Am planning on going to Recto one of these days and buying some prepared slides just to add to our collection. Hopefully they aren’t expensive.

Before I go, here are photos of the boys and what the onion skin looked like under the microscope:


Cool, huh? 🙂

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