Week 15: Finally, Friday!!


I might just have to change the name this series. Because, it might be Friday, it might not be Friday. Maybe.

This week was pretty sickening, literally. Everyone at home was sick at some point during the week. There was a day or two were everyone in the house was sick at the same time. Luckily, my illness only lasted a day and a half, so I have recovered. The rest of the family is getting better.

We got an early surprise, yesterday, the real Friday. Xavier’s parent, brother, and cousin Todd, came into town to celebrate Christmas early with us. The girls are so excited and happy. And we are pretty psyched to have family during the holidays!! This means that we will have gumbo, turkey necks, and sweet potato pie in addition to our Noche Buena menu. YAS!

AND, shockingly we got some Christmas shopping in this week, this NEVER, EVER happens. YAY!

Week 15 Highlights:

This week was the girls’ last week of school before Winter Break. So not much was going on. Jaelan and Xavi were both sick at the beginning of the week, but have since recovered. Lots of fluids, salty soups, and vitamin c going on this week!

Convo with Jaelan:

Jaelan: Mama, I think that we evolved from monkeys.

Me: (GASP!) What!? Why!? So you don’t believe in GOD!? Why do you say that!!?

Jaelan: Oh, I believe in GOD and I think he is awesome and great, But I think we evolved from monkeys.

Me: Not acceptable! How can you believe in GOD and believe that we evolved from monkeys at the same time.

Jaelan: Oh, that’s easy, cause GOD created the monkeys.

I couldn’t decided if this was caused by school, television, the internet, social media, or what. SIGH.



More awesome news, Xavier and I finally coordinated our schedules so that Aspen will not have to go to day care!! YAY! She started home care this week! The big girls never set foot in day care and we felt kind of bad cause Aspen is having to, but it couldn’t be prevented as we have no family or help here in Kansas. So, now all is well, and Aspen will be cared for by her family πŸ™‚

No fancy toddler smartassedness from Aspen this week because she has been sick and pretty not active. She is doing better as of yesterday though, so I am sure her antics will re-surface next week.

I am pretty excited for this year’s Christmas because Aspen is a little more aware. She keeps asking who are all of the, “pwesents”, for and she knows who, “Santa”, is now. We are not too big on Santa photos, so we didn’t really break our necks this year to get one in. Also, some pre-Christmas activities on the gallery this week.

Week 15 Gallery:

*The photo above is the Christmas tree at Village West*

Holiday Lights!

One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas holiday is to drive around town with my family and look at all of the awesome Christmas lights and decorations. A friend back in Houston recently asked where the best places are to go in Houston to see some awesome holiday lights and decorations. Are you kidding me? You live in Houston and you don’t know where to go to see holiday lights? Well, I guess I need to tell you a couple of my favorite places. As for Kansas City, we have yet to check out the holiday lights around here, and hopefully we will be able to this week, and below are the places we had in mind to visit.

PS: Houston sites are recommended based on my personal previous experience. If you have other suggestions, feel free to share them! πŸ™‚

PSS: Nadine, I hope this helps!

Houston Holiday Lights

1. The Heights

Houston Heights

2. River Oaks/Galleria/Uptown


3. Houston Zoo Lights


*There are also a handful of neighborhood with awesome Christmas lights display, but I thought I would stay within city limits*

Below are the places we want to visit here in KC, if you have other suggestions, please share! πŸ™‚

Kansas City Holiday Lights

1. The Plaza Lights


2. Union Station


3. Crown Center


*images are all from google.com and are not my own*

Week 13: Finally, Friday!!


It SNOWED, this week. The girls were happy and excited and ecstatic and joyous and jubilant, and I was cold. The End.

Week 13 Highlights:

It was Christmas treeΒ and decorations week for us this week, yay! This is my favorite time of the year, so I am so very happy that it is December and the Christmas festivities are near. So, we are making it more Christmas-y as much as possible at home. And, more or less, we are ready for the holidays.

Jaelan and Xavi have been busy with test, choir practices, and math clubs. So, not much in that department. I did find, Xavi, Youtubing Pokemon evolution videos when she is not playing Pokemon. So, I am now convinced, more than ever, that she is obsessed with Pokemon. YES.


Number 1

On our way home back from Dallas:

Aspen: Mama, can I sit with Daddy in the front (front seat of the vehicle)?

Me: No, Aspen, you have to sit in your car seat. Plus, Daddy is sleeping(he was not).

Aspen: But, he is talking, I can hear him talking. Daddy not sleep-in! *Whimpers and starts to cry*.


Number 2

Me: Aspen, I’m gonna take a nap. *Lays head down*

Aspen: Janis Mama! Wake your ass up! *Slaps me on my forehead*

Me: What the!? *No nap*

Number 3

Me: Itchy, my arms and legs are itchy, Aspen!

Aspen: What’s the cause?

Me: My allergies make me itch

Aspen: You need to take your medicine, Janis.

Week 13 Gallery

This Weekend

Plaza/Union Station Lights

Stockings and Presents(Maybe)

Frozen (the movie, not the weather πŸ™‚ )

Houston Rockets and Houston Cougars on TV

*Will add as activities present themselves from now on*

Christmas tree!!


I have been itching since the day after Halloween to put up our Christmas tree. Then we realized our tree never made the move. SIGH. So, here we are, the week after Thanksgiving, and we are finally ready for Christmas. For the most part.

We got a new Christmas tree and decorated it over the weekend. We don’t do real trees because, and we are just starting to collect ornaments, so we don’t have that many unique ones yet. Some of our old ornaments did manage to survive the trek, so we had those to add to the new tree.

FYI: Xavier did not make any of the photos because he fell asleep on the couch. We were tempted to decorate him, but we held back πŸ™‚

The big girls did a great job of decorating the tree. As expected, Aspen and the kitty did more damage than help, but they all love the tree, so all is well, and we are ready for the holidays!


Week 12: Thanksgiving Day 2013


I hope everyone had a wonderful and delicious Thanksgiving. As you can see, no Friday post this week, instead, a Thanksgiving 2013 πŸ™‚

This year we went down to Dallas to celebrate Thanksgiving with Xavier’s family. So, we were close to home. It was a much needed trip, especially for Xavier and the girls. It was great to see everyone.

I started off Thanksgiving like I did last year, with a turkey trot. This year was the Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot, I ran the 5K. Last year was the Houston Turkey Trot, and it was a 10K. It is a new tradition that I am hoping to do every year on Thanksgiving, no matter how cold. Hopefully, my girls will join me, once they get a little older. It’s a great way to start the day. The weather was awesome, once I started running. Before hand, the cold was a little nippy, it was about 28 degrees. Brr! As usual, there were a ton of people, the course was flat and fast, and I ran ok, definitely not one of my better runs. But, I did get to see a little bit of Dallas, since I had never been downtown before. Dallas is very pretty and view of downtown from the front of city hall, is gorgeous. My lack of photography skills does it no justice πŸ™‚



After the run, everyone pretty much got to relax and hang out, while the elder ladies worked the kitchen with their magic. I have so much to be thankful for this year, it is unbelievable. The kids played with their cousins the whole time, and Aspen was so happy to see everyone, especially, her Mimi, Poppa, and Uncle.

I ate about 3 plates of food, and I could barely move after. The food was sooo good! I feel so bad that we forgot to pack some left overs to bring home. After we ate, we took the kids and the the big kids to the movies. We saw, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”. It was great, but I think, no, I am positive, that there will be a part III πŸ™‚ After the movie, we ate some more and just enjoyed the rest of the day with family. Now it’s almost Christmas time! πŸ™‚

Here are a few photos. I am sure that everyone has seen enough food photos the past few days, so I opted for others, instead of food. Ok, maybe a couple of food photos πŸ™‚


A Book of Wishes!


A little blurb on holiday family traditions, instead of shopping, plus December is almost here. I believe that family traditions, no matter how small or silly, are pretty important. To me it is part of a family’s, “fingerprint”. Β They are the little details that you look back and pass on to your kiddos that make every family different, special. Growing up, I don’t remember us having many memorable family traditions, and this is something that I want to change or have with my kids.

I still consider us a pretty young family, yea we are, so we are still in the infancy portion of creating our own family traditions. Already, I have a couple of favorites, my Thanksgiving Turkey Trots, which I hope to include my girls as they get older, holiday photos, and Xavi’s idea of how to tell us what she wants to for Christmas.

A couple of years ago or three, Xavi couldn’t decide on what to tell us that she wanted for Christmas. Before Xavi’s grand idea, we would usually take the girls to Toys’r’Us, Walmart, or Target’s, Gamestop, and a few other places to make a wishlist from. Well, this particular year, Xavi decided to snatch up the Walmart Toys Catalogue. Yes, there is such a thing. I never knew. A couple of weeks later, we ask the girls what they want for Christmas. Jaelan hands us a list of a few toys and stuff. Xavi handed us this:


This is a sample of a Walmart Toys Catalog. Except the one Xavi handed us had something circled and numbered by importance, on every page. Yes, she did. I thought it was brilliant for a 5-6-7 year old. I mean if someone comes up to you and asked you what you wanted for Christmas, wouldn’t you hand them the ultimate wish list? Well, that’s what she did.

Yea, I know it sounds silly, but ever since then, the girls have picked up a toys catalog and used it as a guide to give us some idea of what they want for Christmas. We have also learned to tell them that they can only circle 20 items in the WHOLE book. As I have mentioned before, no matter how small or silly, family traditions are, they are important. We always look back and talk about that time when Xavi circled something on EVERY page of the Walmart Toy Catalog, and we give her hard time and then laugh about it. It’s fun-ny. And then when they are older they are gonna do the same with their kids. Except it will be hologram or something fancier.

What are your favorite holiday family traditions?

The photo above was our Christmas card photo from last year, 2012 πŸ™‚

Image from walmart.com

Gobble! Gobble!


Well, Thanksgiving is only two days away and I am uber excited to be able to take a few days off, hang out with family, and EAT, EAT, EAT lots and lots of my favorite Thanksgiving food.

With that in mind, what is it that you are looking forward to eating the most? Maybe something that you don’t usually have throughout the year, because only your mom/grandmother is the only one who can make it, “right”.

Here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes:

1. Ham/Turkey: For some strange reason, the only “right” time to eat a ham or a turkey for me is on Thanksgiving. I don’t know how to cook a turkey or ham, but Xavier does(he prefers ham), so we rarely, if ever eat ham/turkey during the year.

2. YAMS: Secret: I never had yams until I met Xavier, true story. And I have loved it since. We eat yams throughout the year, but there is nothing like the smell of yams cooking on Thanksgiving Day.

3. Pancit: Every Filipino needs an excuse to make pancit, and Thanksgiving is no different.

Here are some of my favorites from last year’s feast at home. We had our traditional Filipino-American feast πŸ™‚ When we lived in Houston, we would usually house hop on Thanksgiving until we couldn’t drive anymore. Gotta love having family close by.

Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone!! πŸ™‚

Costumes, Candy, and…Church?

October is upon us, which means a few things around here: the holiday season is near, pumpkin spice latte, my mom’s birthday, but more importantly(I am kidding mother), Halloween!

Halloween is a favorite in my household. I mean, why wouldn’t it be? You get to dress up in an uber awesome costume AND you get lots and lots of candy to get candy wasted on, whether you are a kid or a grown up.

Every year, the girls get to have costumes and candy. The manner in which they get to is not always the same. I was brought up in a church, Christian/Baptist, you get the idea, which means that we didn’t do the scary costumes and the “trick o’ treating” thing, well not that I can remember anyways. In fact, I don’t remember doing anything around Halloween until I was way older. What we had instead, or later on, was a church festival alternative(or we got nothing). Everyone got to dress up in non-scary costumes, enjoy activities and games, and get lots and lots of candy. But more importantly, the kids loved it. It served it’s purpose and actually, I much preferred it. Despite many pitfalls, I do have a lot of respect for religion and beliefs, mines and yours(grammar?). So, knowing a little history and what Halloween ultimately represents, I much prefer the church’s way of diverting kids from the celebration, without taking away the fun.

My husband on the other hand(not that its bad or anything), is your traditional, commercialized, Halloween celebrator. He loves the whole shebang of scary ghouls and monster costumes, scaring (little) people, and coming home with pounds and pounds of candy. And he loves the same for his kids, he loves to take them trick or treating and enjoying the candy corns with them. I think it’s too cold outside.

So, without delving into a religious debate, Halloween is one of those celebrations, where we kind of compromise or try to. One year, they get to go trick or treating and the next year they get to go to Hallelujah Festival at church, which by the way has gotten so much bigger and grander nowadays. In other words: We alternate. This year, because we are in a new city and we have yet to find a home church, they get to go trick or treating. When we first started, of course, Hallelujah Night was not as fun as trick or treating, but over the years it has evolved into an all out celebration for a lot of different churches. So, the whining and complaining when it is church year has definitely subsided, and they would even try to figure out how they can do both in one night.

Halloween is a very tricky celebration. It’s like people know what it means, but it’s more acceptable to ignore that part and just have fun. In addition, it is so over commercialized like a bazillion other “holidays”, that it’s hard not to just go with the roll, especially for those who has children. I think that there is a good way to compromise in this situation, if allowed. My older kids had a lot of questions and a lot of complaints, but I think now they understand and they get it. I’m sure they are still all about the costumes and the candy, but when they get older they will try to figure out why we had church year and they will have some sort of basis. You gotta get them where you can and I think that little basis can make some sort of impact later on. And you thought it was just Halloween.

Here are a couple of Halloween alternatives that I like if you are in Houston, TX:

Houston First Baptist’s First FestΒ (South Loop Campus)

Praise Christian Church Hallelujah Night