T is for Timothy!

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T is for Timothy!

We really had a blast doing our first letter of the week. :) I was so giddy and excited that I woke up 4:30am Monday morning to prepare our activities! Haha! I already outlined what we’ll be doing and all my ideas came to life in that ungodly hour. I can only attribute it to God, the giver of awesome ideas even in the most uncanny time. :) I think it paid off because Timmy and I enjoyed our T Week!

I mentioned in my previous blog that we’re spelling his name first before doing the alphabet chronologically. Got that idea from Mommy Bares All and Timmy got excited with the idea, too! Since T is a pretty easy letter, we had lots of things that start with T. So I decided to make a sensory bin full of things and books that start with T. :)

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Bible Character:

Of course, it had to be Timothy, my son’s namesake. :) I made a 3D-ish card that has the meaning of Timothy along with our memory verse for the week. I also found two cool videos that fit our lesson. :) One is about the story of Timothy and the other is a song for 1 Timothy 4:12! Praise God for people who create these videos! Timmy memorized the verse easily along with the basic outline of Timothy’s story, too!

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Reading:

For this week, I set aside books that start with T for our story time. :) We have multiple reading sessions a day so it’s great to have a lot of resources. :)

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English:

We did an activity on sight words. I asked Timmy to get the corresponding toy that’s written on the paper. :) It’s a simple word association game that’s fun and easy to do! I think it’s the searching for the toy or object that makes it exciting. :)

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Writing:

Timmy designed a big T and small t using a Tape. My little boy is not fond of writing and he’s not interested in tracing no matter how colorful the workbook is. He doesn’t like pencils. He prefers colored pens. :) So I decided to combine his love for words and pens! I wrote words that start T but didn’t write the said letter. I told him that he won’t be able to read the word because it’s not complete. He needs to write the T’s so he can read the words. It worked! :) I only did one set and since he was on a roll, we ended up finishing three papers practicing T under the guise of completing the words! That idea came out of nowhere but I knew it was God who reminded me about what Timmy loves and took advantage of it to get him to write!

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Math:

I made 3D-ish cards again that contain the words LESS and MORE. I placed two sets of Trees, one with more quantity and the other with less, then asked Timmy to put the LESS and MORE where it should be. :) When I first tried to teach this concept to Timmy, he didn’t seem to get it. But when he saw and touched the Trees, he immediately got the idea! We also did the TWO, THREE, TEN counting game. I asked him to place the corresponding number of toys under the TWO, THREE, TEN squares. It’s great because it helped Timmy to be patient especially in counting up to 10! He seems to be in a hurry when counting (always) but the GAME concept and the goal to win helped him to slow down and count properly. :)

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Art:

I made a basic outline of a Turtle and asked Timmy to design it with Triangles! He really had fun with this one! He even suggested that we put shoes and hat on his turtle! :) The googly eyes made the Turtle cuter, too! :)

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Science:

We made a Telephone (a cellphone actually) and I explained to Timmy how it works and why people use it. :) Up to now he still uses his phone and calls us everyday. He’s very proud that he has his own smartphone now! :)

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Filipino and P.E.

I made a Filipino mat for Timmy with Tagalog words that start with T. They are mainly verbs so that’s what we used for our P.E. like “Takbo, Timmy!” then “Talon, Timmy!” then “Tago, Timmy!” It was fun! He even remembered the word “Tulog” and told me “Tulog na si Timmy!” Haha! Another part of our P.E. is his favorite T activity, TICKLE TIME! He got extra doses of Tickle Time last week because of our theme. :)

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Pop Culture:

I asked my husband Omar to tell Timmy a superhero story. So my boys visited Asgard and learned about the story of THOR! :) It’s very timely that Timmy has Thor’s hammer, too! I really love when my boys read together! :)

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That wraps up our letter of the week! This week, we’re doing letter I. I admit, this letter is pretty challenging so we’ll see how our week turns out. Heehee! I’ll share with you again our activities next week! :) Ciao!

True Love Disciplines

A couple of weeks ago we had to go through a week of intense discipline with our three-year-old toddler. Timmy is a very sweet and funny boy but that doesn’t exempt him from having tantrums and rebellious moments. One thing that kept recurring with him is his tendency to show his rebellion by stomping his feet, raising his voice, and hitting objects (like the table and the couch). IMG_20140908_181718 We knew we had to deal with it more drastically even if it meant having to spank him every day (and on certain days more than once a day). For some reason, it doesn’t stick to him that this behavior is wrong. He had been already been spanked before for doing these things but after which we went back to simply telling him to stop. 20141029_212807 My husband Omar became quick to discipline the moment he did any of those things. Timmy would cry his lungs out and even shout while crying. He would call my name and beg for my rescue. As painful as it was for me not to even come close, I had to do it. I had to let him sort things out with his dad and once they’re all good that’s only time I could come in. He also did the same thing to me when I spanked him and he was calling for his dad. Sorry son, dad’s not home so you have no choice but to deal with me. IMG_20141010_081437 After that intense week, we saw those antics lessen a lot. Even now, he’s very mindful of how he reacts to situations. I can see in him that he gauges his own response before actually doing or saying it. There was a time when he whispered, “I want to sit down on the floor.” Before, that was his way of expressing his rebellion and he says it loudly. When I asked him again in a stern voice, he looked at me and said, “I just only want to play.” He then continued to play and didn’t say that statement again. 20141025_092845 It’s true what they say that it’s easy to love your children but it’s so difficult to discipline them. When I see Timmy, I see a lovable child who gives butterfly kisses on my cheeks and always demands my attention in the cutest possible way. But I also see that he’s growing up and his human nature (that we all share) is kicking in fast. The desire to do things his way, the urge to push boundaries—the very things we adults struggle with are manifesting already. 20141025_101102 God made me realize that it’s the very reason we are given parents to correct us and direct us to the right direction. I grew up being disciplined, too. I developed a healthy fear and respect for my mom because of that. We want our son to have the same healthy fear with us, too. We want him to grow up listening to our guidance and counsel because we only want what’s best for him. I learned a lot of things during that week and I want to share them with you. We need to be consistent. As parents we need to be consistent on what is allowed and not allowed in our home. If raising voice is not allowed then we should not to do it to each other, too. When we discipline Timmy we tell him that he doesn’t see mommy and daddy do that to each other. It’s hard but we have to model it consistently in our household so that he gets the idea clearly.

Proverbs 13:24

Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.

 We need to be forgiving. I have to admit that it’s hard to deal with a stubborn child. It’s hard to forgive if your child keeps testing you. I’ve learned to be more forgiving through Timmy. You see, after we spank him, said our sorry’s and I-forgive-you’s Timmy is back to his normal self. He would play with us. Show sweet gestures as if he wasn’t bawling a few minutes ago. He, too, was forgiving of mommy and daddy. Sometimes after I discipline him I still feel irritated but his natural response of wanting to be with me again taught me that this is what forgiveness is all about. You forget and move on.

Proverbs 22:15

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.

We need to be patient. Our children are not robots programmed to do anything we ask them to do. They have free will just like the rest of us. We need to patiently mentor them. Guide them, explain things to them, and pray for them. Even if it means having to teach the same things over and over again, we need to just press on and do it until they fully understand. I realized that I can’t give up and just let him go on showing these behaviors just because I’m tired of it.

Proverbs 29:15

The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

We need to show tough love. Not everyone believes in disciplining or spanking their children. But tough love is the only way kids learn. Even us adults, we learn the most from our most painful experiences. You don’t learn by cruising through life. You learn from its ups and downs. Tough love makes our children realize that there are consequences to their actions. It makes them realize that their decision to disobey mommy and daddy is wrong. Tough love may hurt but it only hurts for a while. The lesson sticks for a long time.

Hebrews 12:11

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. I can’t say that it’s over and we’re all done disciplining Timmy. He really improved a lot after that week and we can only praise and thank God for that. We know that in the future he will have other behaviors that we have to deal with but we’re taking it one day at a time. God is the same with us. He always keeps an eye on us, disciplining us (even as adults) when we stray far from Him. Not because He’s a possessive God but because He’s a loving God. He knows when we’re headed for destruction and discipline prevents that from happening.

Deuteronomy 8:5

Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you.

What a week it has been but it was full of lessons for all three of us. We show our love to our son through so many things like spending time with him, buying him the stuff that he wants, taking care of him, teaching him, and playing with him. But I guess disciplining him is the form of love that truly helps in molding his character. It’s the most difficult expression of love yet the most fruitful in the long run. :)

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Alphabet Week!

This week I decided to kick off our Letter of the Week activity by doing an Alphabet Week. :) I’ve been seeing my fellow homeschooling moms do this activity with their kids. I decided to research more about it and found the site letteroftheweek.com. It’s the ultimate resource for letter of the week ideas! One of the mommy blogger’s suggestions was to start off with an introduction by doing an alphabet review. :) That’s just what we did!

Timmy loves letters and he’s a born reader if there’s such a thing. :) I really thank God that He gave him that natural inclination to read. It made my job a whole lot easier when I was teaching him phonics and reading. :) Since he’s crazy about letters (and numbers) we bought him different kinds of letters over the years. I decided to sort them and put them in containers and place them in a huge bin as my BIG SURPRISE when he woke up last Monday. :)

Sorting done! :)

Sorting done! :)

I also picked the books that we will read for the week. :)

Alphabet books! :)

Alphabet books! :)

We played the alphabet spin game from his book. :)

We played the alphabet spin game from his book. :)

My little boy busy reading :)

My little boy enjoying his alphabet books. :)

For Arts and Crafts I asked Timmy to make an alphabet artwork using my scrapbook stickers. :) He arranged the letters in chronological order and doodled some random design. He enjoyed doing this one!

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We also formed letters using pipe cleaners and clay! :)

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We did our usual spelling practice, too. I also asked him to sort the upper case and lower case letters. :)

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For math, we did some counting exercise using his letters. I asked him to put the corresponding number of letters in the boxes. :) We also sorted the letters by color. :)

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Timmy already knows that we’ll start with letter T tomorrow. :) We’re both excited about it! We plan to spell his name first and probably his dad’s name then mine before we go chronological with our letter of the week. :) I’m grateful to moms who generously share their ideas online. They inspire me to be creative and make learning more fun for my toddler. :) I also praise and thank God, the giver of all wonderful ideas! Will share with you how our first letter of the week went in my next blog! :)

Order in the World of a Toddler

Any mom can attest that order is a luxury when you have a toddler. I have been in constant search of the perfect schedule or some sense of steady continuity from the time I gave birth up to now. I didn’t realize that what I was looking for was contradictory to the nature of this season of life which is UNPREDICTABILITY. From repeatedly waking up in the middle of the night to feed the baby to constantly keeping an eye on an exploring infant to the running around and wrestling with a very active toddler, all of these have spur of the moment activities, accidents, and everything in between. It’s crazy but (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) it’s fun!

The joy of being a mom is unexplainable. It’s like a combination of having an adrenaline rush and sugar overload with all your senses heightened every single day. You’re always on third gear, full throttle ready to go from the time you wake up. You need to match the energy of your child otherwise you’ll miss out on a lot of things. I love seeing Timmy explore and discover stuff on his own. I love hearing him appreciate the basic colors and shapes he sees in nature. He’s always fascinated by the moon and stars, things that I don’t get to appreciate as often as I should. He sees grandeur in the little things. His sense of awe and wonder is contagious! :)

Now, that is not to say that everything is easy breezy in our home. It’s not. This is why I’ve decided that we need to have a schedule to follow daily. We have already established the basic routines like prayer time, meal and snack time, toothbrush time, afternoon naps, and all that. However, it’s those dead periods in between that can completely drive you nuts especially when you have other things to do. The most challenging part is Timmy’s attention span. You really can’t keep a toddler still for hours unless you give him a gadget, which has become a go-to toddler pacifier. We do let Timmy use our phone or tablet but in intermittent periods of time. He’s allowed maximum of one hour a day and that’s it.

His bustling energy and short attention demands one activity after another. He needs to be constantly engaged and entertained. I know that Timmy loves personalized stuff so I decided to create a schedule that will make him more aware of our routine. God reminded me one time that parenting should be intentional. We should make an effort to nurture, discipline, and train our child. I’m awful at scheduling and this is something I don’t want to pass on to Timmy. I’m blessed to have a husband who needs to plan because it complements my always-on-the-go mindset. :) Yesterday, I finally finished my DIY project. Thank You, Lord! :) It was officially launched and used on August 22, 2014. Haha!

 The materials I used are:

  • red cartolina (because Timmy loves red)
  • magnetic Cars characters
  • craft foam for embellishment
  • silver metallic pen
  • Sharpie colored pens
  • wooden letters
  • black cartolina
  • illustration board (to mount the cartolina)
  • star puncher
  • felt paper
  • scissors
  • double-sided tape
  • glue
  • velcro

It’s so heartwarming to see Timmy appreciate his personal schedule! He kept reading the things he needs to do, he counts the remaining squares with velcro that still needs stars, and he likes getting his star medal! :) Last night I told Omar that the schedule helped me, too. I was able to keep Timmy busy, I got to finish my work, and enjoyed my time with them. Sure there were still gaps because you can’t really ask your toddler to settle down and let him finish tons of activities. Plus, I wouldn’t want to bore him. Everything in his schedule should spell FUN. Our day was more manageable, less crazy, and it went by with ease. Unbelievable. Haha!

Let me explain our schedule a little bit. We have storytelling three times a day because we really want him to grow up loving books. The best part is, Timmy is not content with one story. He would request a minimum of three for each session. If he thinks you’ll still indulge him, he’ll get more! :) If you’ll notice, we do it twice—when he wakes up in the morning and after his nap—and once before going to bed. This is because we don’t want him to associate books with sleeping. I want him to see books as something that energizes him once he’s awake! It’s funny because his favorite book now is “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Go to Bed.” Heehee! :)

We do homeschooling twice. This involves fine motor activities, reading sessions (we’re at long vowels now), and pre-writing exercises. This is 30 minutes tops. I don’t want him to feel that homeschool is boring or burdensome. We even use his stuff toys to show them how it’s done and he enjoys it! Free play is his I-can-do-whatever-I-want time. This could mean blocks, cars, dinosaurs, letters (he loves all sorts of letter toys and he sometimes thinks that spelling time is play time!), numbers, and basketball. Of course, clean up means keeping all his toys and getting praised for doing so. :)

At first, I wrote down his schedule on a sheet of paper and tried following it. Then I realized that it’s not as effective as getting him involved in the process. Kids love looking forward to things and a schedule gives them that. It also gave me a semblance of order in our day. I’m so grateful to have a supportive husband who even got his wrist a bit injured when he was trying to get the illustration underneath a heavy pile of boards. He also helped me mount the poster and cut the board. Praise God for awesome husbands! Most of all, I thank the Lord for His convictions and gentle reminders about intentional parenting. It’s hard but He shows and affirms to me that it’s rewarding. :)

Just when I was about to give up on my search for the ideal schedule, God reminded me that He is a God of order. From the time He created the world to His plans for mankind, everything was set ahead of time and accomplished according to His plan. He made me realize that there is no such thing as a perfect, foolproof toddler schedule but I can do something to make our day and our household more manageable and less chaotic. :) This DIY project imposes that I follow it, too, and be consistent in keeping order in our home. After all, that’s one of my main roles as a homemaker. I hope this encourages every overwhelmed mom to take a step back, breathe, pray, and see how you can make your day more predictable and organized. The craziness will always be there but at least you have a fallback routine to follow after a potty accident or a temper tantrum. :) There’s order in a toddler’s world when there’s someone drawing the line for them. :)

Why we’ve decided to homeschool our child

Up to now I still get blank stares and awkward smiles when I tell people that I’m homeschooling Timmy. A lot of parents are unaware of homeschooling—what it is, how it’s done, or if it can be done at all. Coming from a traditional school, I didn’t know about it until high school when I found out that some of my friends from church were homeschooled. Since then, my interest for homeschooling grew and I’ve decided that I will go that route when the time comes. And here I am many years later about to venture into the wonderful, whimsical world of homeschooling. :)

Our little homeschooler :)

Most people think that home and school are two separate locations meant for different things. My husband and I believe the opposite. For us, home is where teaching, learning, and mentoring take place. It’s the fertile ground for values formation, character molding, and individualized learning. Omar and I both went to traditional schools and he is a teacher by profession. We have seen and experienced what it’s like to be on that side of the fence. We’re also non-traditional learners so it was a no-brainer that we’re going to homeschool Timmy. :)

Our son is three years old and he’s been having informal homeschool from the time he was born. From the songs we sing to the daily activities we do, we incorporate fun and learning at home. Most kids his age are already in school particularly in Nursery. Apparently, this level is not required anymore by the Department of Education (DepEd). Their age requirement for kindergarten is five and for first grade it’s six. We’ll start formal homeschooling in a couple of years and he’ll be at the same grade level with the rest of the kids who started early. He will graduate at the same time, too! So, why did we choose homeschool? :)

We want to build our son’s CHARACTER first more than anything else.

Toddler years are the child’s formative years. We want to instill obedience, respect, and discipline in Timmy more than academic excellence. Sure we want him to get good grades and all that. We know it will come if he has developed certain disciplines and when he is obedient to do school work. All these involve character formation. We’re raising a man, a future leader of his home and we know that a lot will be expected of him. Through homeschooling we know we can instill and prioritize godly values that will prepare him when he goes to a normal school and onto adult life.

Matthew 19:14

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Deuteronomy 11:19

Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

In addition, we feel that his confidence is best developed when he gets constant love and attention from us. You see, Timmy is a shy boy but he is slowly coming out of his shell. :) He can now easily talk to someone he has just met. Just recently he has been sharing his toys to other kids even those he doesn’t even know! :) He will extend his arm and say, “Want to share my letters.” Usually it’s toward the kid in the other table or someone just passing by. He does it to kids he knows, too, but he’s still too shy to give it so he puts it down on the floor beside his friend. Haha!

Putting him to a nursery would terrify him but since we’re able to build his confidence and teach him at home, he’s now initiating to reach out to other kids and socialize. I could picture him crying everyday in a day care had we opted to enroll him there. Even in his weekly homeschool playdate, Timmy has adapted really well. As parents, we know the personalities of our kids and we need to be sensitive to situations where they can best thrive. :)

Timmy’s Homeschool Playdate :)

We want our son to ENJOY learning and not be stressed by it.

A friend of mine messaged me in Facebook expressing her concern for her daughter’s preschool curriculum. Her daughter knows a lot of things already but what she’s about to learn can be pretty advanced for her age according to my friend. Another friend shared her frustration to her son waking up too early and being picked up too early by his school bus. These are the very things we don’t want Timmy to experience. We want him to enjoy every learning stage he goes through. We want him to have a stress-free learning experience so that his sense of awe and wonder will always be there. :)

I also wouldn’t want to have the stress of dragging him out of bed and forcing him to study when he’s not in the mood to do so. We have to establish a schedule for his homeschool and a specific room for that and I plan to involve Timmy in the process. We’ll create his daily schedule together, fix the room together, and plan our activities together. That way, he feels engaged and not forced to do things. :) We want to give him the flexibility of learning using different methods and not being limited to textbooks. Through guided exploration, we want Timmy to discover and learn things in a dynamic way. :)

We want to focus on his STRENGTHS and manage his weaknesses.

As parents, we know the strengths and weaknesses of our kids. Timmy’s good with letters even at a young age. He has shown interest in books early. He looks forward to story time and initiates it, too! Seeing that inclination, we invested on books and all sorts of letter items because he loves forming words, spelling them, and reading them. It’s also the reason why he started to read early. :) He’s also an auditory and visual learner that’s why phonic sounds were easy for him to remember and imitate. Timmy mastered his phonics at two and started reading when he turned three.

On the flip side, he’s not into writing. I know that he’s not yet ready, too. Girls are more patient with coloring and writing. Timmy gets bored with pencil. I got him to write/color when I gave him colored pens. I noticed his love for colors and focus when he uses colored pens. He still doesn’t write and it’s okay. :) We’re still working on his fine motor skills. :) In the meantime, we will hone his creative mind and let him use as many art materials as he can. They may be random doodles and strokes but it’s a start. I don’t want him to “hate” writing by pressuring him. I know he’ll learn that eventually.  :)

We want him to EXPLORE different learning tools and not be limited by textbooks.

I already mentioned it earlier about utilizing diverse tools to enhance Timmy’s learning experience. When I was teaching him phonics, I made a Powerpoint presentation since he likes to tinker with my laptop. So I gave him a good reason to do so! I will open the file and let him read it. :) I also made some letter pops, reading cards, and a reading book for beginner words. I didn’t buy any phonics books because I know that my son loves visually stimulating materials. Not only that, the internet is full of resources that parents can use and most of them are free! :)

Another Motor Skill Activity :)

I’m sure that when Timmy learns how to Google, he can access all the information he needs. As a parent/teacher I can closely guide him in his internet use. We can use technology and traditional methods hand in hand. We can present the facts in a fun and digestible way that will spark his interest even more. I think this is the advantage of one-on-one homeschooling because you’re able to tailor your instruction to your child’s interests, strengths, and learning style.

The adventure is just beginning

There are many questions as to how homeschooled kids can survive or even thrive in a normal school. Personally, I don’t think it’s a problem because at the end of the day it’s all up to the student. There’s this teen who went from Homeschool to Harvard. This infographic compares homeschool and public school in the US while this infographic shows how homeschooled kids measure up. This TED Talk from a homeschooled boy is also very powerful. The flexibility and diversity that homeschool learning provides gives way to a multi-faceted education for any child. :)

Timmy participating in an arts and crafts and storytelling session :)

These are just some of the main reasons why we’re homeschooling Timmy. Of course there are others such as protection from bullies, cost savings (no uniform, school bus, exorbitant fees, etc.), and many more. I have to admit that at first I was terrified because I thought Timmy will not learn anything from me. Then I realized that as parents we are our child’s best teacher. No one knows them better that we do. We’re also not alone in this. God is our partner. The One who created our children will help us mentor our little ones. :)

Whatever Timmy’s learning so far, I can only attribute it to God’s grace and wisdom. All the ideas come from Him, even my patience comes from Him! He alone can prolong Timmy’s attention span when we’re doing activities together. And with each milestone, I can only praise and thank God for allowing me to witness it and for the privilege of being a part of it. :) Although we haven’t formally enrolled Timmy in a homeschool program, we are enjoying what we’re learning at home.

WE’RE A HOMESCHOOLING FAMILY! :)

There’s no such thing as a perfect day with a toddler but it’s always a grace-filled day. :) I’m grateful that Omar works from home, too, and we’re partners in educating Timmy. At the end of the day, we’re only but stewards of our son and God expects us to be faithful. We’re foremost parents before teachers and raising him in the knowledge, fear, and love of God is more important than getting perfect scores. I look forward to our homeschooling adventures—the lessons, challenges, and the awesomeness of it all. :) It may not be the traditional route but sometimes we have to take the road less traveled to make a difference. :)

Even Superheroes Bleed

When I look at my husband Omar I see someone strong and invincible. He’s our leader, protector, provider, defender—everything you could expect from a real-life superhero. So when I saw him wincing in pain about three weeks ago, my heart was filled with dread and anxiety. We were about to have dinner when Omar said he needs to go to the bathroom. Almost 20 minutes later, he came back saying that we need to go home immediately because he was having extreme stomach pain. I could tell by the look on his face that he wasn’t doing well.

Our Superhero :)

Our Superhero :)

Prior to our dinner, he had a speaking engagement and was not able to drink much fluid before and during the talk. When we got to the mall, he went to the grocery and bought two glasses of gulaman (sweet drink with jelly) to quench his thirst. Half an hour later, his started to feel stomach spasms. So we hurriedly asked the waiter to pack our food and went home immediately. I was so worried because he was breaking into cold sweats and was clearly in pain. I offered that we call my father-in-law to drive instead but Omar insisted that he could do it. While driving, he was perspiring and taking short frequent breaths similar to what pregnant women do when they’re about to give birth. Timmy and I prayed for him and even after we ended I continued praying in my head.

We came home and Omar rushed to the bathroom. The things is, he’s neither constipated nor experiencing loose bowel movement. There was nothing coming out it was just piercing pain and all I could do was watch him. :( It wasn’t the appendix either because the pain was on the right side. I gave him Yakult and antacid which helped a bit but the pain kept recurring. I asked him if he should go to the emergency room but he said no. After almost two hours of agony, he went to the bedroom and curled up in a fetal position. I kept praying for him in whispers and in my head, stroked his hair, tucked him in, and watched until he fell asleep in that position.

We love our Daddy! :)

We love our Daddy! :)

The next morning, I was so relieved to see that he’s okay. Praise God! :) It was Sunday and we were going to celebrate my brother-in-law’s birthday. I was pretty excited to get last night’s incident out of my head. We were just beginning to eat lunch when Omar’s stomach started acting up again. It was the same pain and it was terrible to see him go through it again. This time, he readily agreed to see a doctor. Good thing there was Healthway in Alabang Town Center and he immediately went there. We finished our lunch quickly and followed him.

When I opened the emergency room door, I saw him in the same fetal position again, grimacing in pain. That’s tough to see when you’re so used to seeing your husband up and about. I’m used to being cared for because I’m the perennially sick member in the family. It was a blessing to have my in-laws with us to take care of Timmy while I attend to my ailing superhero. Finally, the doctor came and gave him and examined him. He was given pain relievers and was asked to have a urinalysis done. An hour later, we got the result with all the wrong things in it. He has calcium oxalates, red blood cells, and pus in his urine. Simply put, he has kidney stones. :(

Kidney Stones

If you look it up in the web, having kidney stones is one of the most painful experiences any person could go through. That explained the inexplicable stomach pain. Omar’s not new to this. He already had a bout with calcium oxalate stones 10 years ago. He was drinking calcium supplements at night and it formed into stones. This incident is practically the same except that it’s not as painful as his first episode. At that rate it was not even equal to the previous attack! I can only how imagine how bad it was the first time, poor baby. :(

Answered prayers

I didn’t like the result, not one bit. However, I’m grateful to God for answering our prayers by giving us accurate results. Despite his sickness, now we know how to manage it better. We can take steps that will lead him to a fast recovery. And what a quick recovery he had! After drinking his antibiotics for one week and some pain killers, his repeat test showed none of the previous elements! Sure there were times when he would tell me about certain discomfort he was feeling but it wasn’t that bothersome. Praise God for His quick healing! :)

We also saw an urologist so that we have a go-to specialist if in case it recurs again. The doctor told us to have more tests done to better manage his health. Those tests will show if he’s a stone former or if there are teeny tiny stones that were still not detected in the previous. This doctor is very thorough and despite his seeming pessimism on my husband’s health improvements, we understand that he wants to make sure that Omar receives the best medical care. He has seen far too many kidney transplants and kidney failures and he wants none of those to happen to my hubby. From that standpoint, I’m all for more tests and lifestyle change. :)

Love my boys!

Love my boys!

Psalm 120:1 says, “I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me.” God really held my hand throughout this ordeal. I really didn’t know what to pray for during those weeks except “please heal my husband.” It was a repeated cry from a wife’s heart and God faithfully answered. :) During those moments of helplessness, God proved to be my only help. He is my refuge and source of strength. He showed me that as much as I love my husband, HE LOVES HIM MORE. He can take care of him and comfort him far more than I could. :)

Grateful for family :)

Grateful for family :)

Now, Omar’s back to his old self. No more pain, no more discomfort! He still needs to have those tests done but I am confident that it will turn out normal. J It’s good to see my best friend, my superhero looking invincible again. God has been so gracious to give him to us. Timmy and I are so blessed to have Omar as the leader of our home. He is more than what we could ask for. I know that there will be days when we will see him exposed to a different kryptonite and be vulnerable again. However, I also know that God, our real HERO, will come to our rescue. :) He’s not flashy, He doesn’t come with a mask or a cape, He doesn’t even make headlines but HE NEVER FAILS. God’s track record is perfect and His love for His children is so great. That love alone is more than enough assurance that we can face anything as a family. God is not only love personified but also love in action. He answers our prayers out of love, delivers us because of His love, and sustains us with His unfailing love. :)

Accomplishments and A Freak Accident

I never thought that I would experience one of the most exciting and terrifying moments in Timmy’s life all in one day. Two weeks ago, we spent four days attending his first ever Vacation Bible School. This summer activity is for kids ages 3 to 8 years old (i.e. Nursery to Grade 2). Basically, what they do is learn about God and the Bible in a fun and interactive way.
VBS First Timer :)

VBS First Timer :)

Instilling faith in today’s generation can be quite a challenge with so many distractions that can easily sway their views about life. At first my husband and I were hesitant to enroll him because that would mean having to wake up early for four consecutive days. In the end, we’ve decided that the exposure he will get from this event will help him both spiritually and socially. :)
Accomplishments
It was a joy to see Timmy overcome his shyness and participate in class. He loves to read because words excite him. So when it was time to memorize their daily verses, Timmy was fully engaged. He memorized each verse and would review them at home. :) Up to now, he still remembers his four verses!
VBS Day 1 :)

VBS Day 1 :)

Timmy also enjoyed crafts time. He likes to put glue (and I mean lots of them) and stick all sorts of stuff in his work. :) He’s not that patient with coloring and I noticed that with all the boys in his class. The girls were more into it and they would really pick and choose nice colors. Meanwhile, the boys would color in haste just to get the work done. Haha! He had one classmate, though, who was really good and he’s a boy. So I guess it really varies from one kid to another. :) The fact that he was committed enough to finish his work was a big thing because I knew he was trying his best to obey me. :)
The little boy enjoying crafts time. :)

The little boy enjoying crafts time. :)

When it came to games, my little trooper outran everyone! He just wouldn’t stop running! Good thing that the games for his age were all relay-type and it involves a whole lot of running. :) Timmy didn’t even bother to listen to the instructions. When he saw the open space, he saw something he could conquer and so his Forrest Gump stretch happened every single day. :) Their team didn’t win in any game mainly because in the 3-year-old age group he’s the only who was sprinting while the rest of his teammates were running at a normal toddler speed. Haha! For Timmy, it didn’t matter if they win or lose. As long as he was able to run and expend all his energy that was a feat for him. :)
VBS Day 3 :)

VBS Day 3 :)

Singing and dancing was something that Timmy enjoyed at home. :) Meaning he would just stare and listen during class while everybody was belting out and showing some moves. He was memorizing the lines and the steps and would later on show it to us when we got home. :) He’s very selective when performing. He wants an audience he’s comfortable with. I guess it comes with him being shy. :)
Good job, Timmy! :)

Good job, Timmy! :)

Graduation came and we were so surprised that Timmy received three awards! He got Best in Memory Verse, Best in Crafts, and Highest VBS Points in Nursery! Praise God! :) Timmy had no idea what those certificates meant but he enjoyed holding them and pretending to read its contents. :) If the recognitions were any indication that he enjoyed his time in VBS then I could really say that he had a blast. :) With the day going by so well, what could possibly go wrong?
The Accident 
The stage was almost cleared, all the props were nearly packed up, and we were having our final photo op at the beautiful backdrop that the Children’s Ministry Team had designed. Timmy and his friend Kael were on the stage and we were about to take a picture when Timmy took a step back and fell off the stage. When I tried to grab him, he was gone already. I was late by a millisecond. He fell into a more than 5-feet deep structure beneath the stage. No one knew that there was a gap between the stage and the wall. Hearing Timmy wail constantly crushed every nerve in my body. I rushed down to the right side of the stage to see if there was an opening but all I saw a thick concrete.
Graduation Day highlights. :)

Graduation Day highlights. :)

Meanwhile, Omar inserted half of his body in the gap and tried to get Timmy. He was still crying non-stop and it was driving me insane. Finally, I saw Omar lifting up Timmy with those little arms extended up high. A surge of relief washed over me seeing that my son was now safe in his daddy’s arms. When I looked at him and wiped his flowing tears I saw his mouth and teeth bleeding. He had a nasty gash on his chin and a wound on his nose. He had huge bump on his forehead so we needed to put ice on that and stop the bleeding in his mouth.
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It felt like an out of body experience for me. All I was thinking of was administering the first aid, comfort my baby, and distract him from the pain he was feeling. I talked to him the whole time, while giving him ice cream for his bleeding teeth and lips. Omar was carrying him to hold him still while I dabbed Betadine on his wounds and placed cold compress on his mouth. A million things could’ve gone wrong with that fall. He could have hit the back of his head and be unconscious. Instead, he rolled over despite falling backwards.
Our irreplaceable firstborn.

Our irreplaceable firstborn.

We knew that God was there the whole time protecting our son. We were so blessed to have a doctor and a dentist in the scene who observed Timmy and looked at his wounds. Another friend lent us extra shirt for Omar and shorts for Timmy. The structure was damp so when Timmy got out of it he was all wet. We only had an extra shirt for him and good thing we were able to borrow shorts from our friend’s son. After changing Timmy’s clothes, I carried him and prayed for him. We praised and thank God for protecting our son and sparing him from the worst case scenario.

God rescues us.

I was trying to hold back the tears the whole time. I knew that my child needed me to be strong, to have that calm, reliable voice that assures him that things are fine, and to be whole because he was feeling broken at that particular moment. My heart was just overflowing with thanksgiving and praise to our God for sparing Timmy from further harm. Sure he was hurt but not hurt to the point of hopelessness.  I prayed for his healing, with my voice shaking, asking the Lord to remove all the pain he was feeling. I felt his breathing calm down and body relax as we prayed. I knew that God was also working in him and comforting him at that moment.
Our precious boy.

Our precious boy.

Later on, Omar told me that when he saw Timmy lying face down he asked him to stand up so he could pull him out of there. My heart broke into a million pieces thinking how hard it must be for our little one to stand up in the dark after being hurt from the fall. With his sight blurry from tears, he held on to his daddy’s promise, “Daddy will get you, Timmy.” He trusted that his daddy will come through for him even if he’s hurting and he could barely see anything. I’m in tears writing this because this is exactly how God rescues us in the midst of our darkest circumstances.
Our little miracle. :)

Our little miracle. :)

He extends His hands to us, telling us to trust in Him that He will bail us out despite the seemingly hopeless situation we’re in. If Timmy didn’t obey his dad and simply continued lying down there, it would take longer for us to move the heavy stage before we could get to him. Instead, Timmy stood up despite all his fears knowing that when he extends his little arms, his loving dad will grab him and rescue him out of that darkness. I am amazed and extremely thankful for the courage God had given Timmy to tune out all the pain and focus on his daddy’s voice.
That accident was a vivid illustration of how God promises to deliver us in times of trouble. He is our lifeboat, the rope we can hold on to, and the only way out when everything seems to be a dead end.
Our little boy recovered pretty fast and he was back to his old self by the time we got home that night. Now he’s all well except for the wound on his chin that’s still healing. Otherwise, our active trooper is back to his normal self. :)
I’d like to thank everyone who prayed for Timmy and those who were there to help us in every way they could that afternoon. The Church immediately took action and had the gap covered. The whole building was also inspected by an engineer to check for accident-prone areas. We are so grateful for all the love and support we received from our family and friends. God’s promises became more real than it could ever be in that situation.
Psalm 107:6
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
2 Samuel 22:2
He said, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer…”
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For all the joys we had and the tears we shed that time, we praise You, Lord. :) Thank You for being our fortress and our deliverer. This experience will not stop Timmy from being part of next year’s VBS. We know how much he enjoyed it to the point that up to now he still thinks we’ll go back and attend his classes! :) Everything’s back to normal but this experience will always be a part of me as a mom. I will constantly remember God’s mercy and deliverance. I will keep in mind that it pays to obey the Lord even in the most difficult time because He will always come through for us. His hand will hold us steady and His love will forever keep us secure. :)