Thursday, July 23, 2009

Book's Cover

I'll ask you to stare at the image above carefully, what can you see? Many of you will say that there's a point or black dot. That will be the very first response we’ll have in our minds. That’s what I answered before when somebody asked me about this. We only see what is obvious. We didn’t give enough attention to what is bigger and more evident in the picture --- and that is the clear and enormous WHITE, surrounding the black dot. Actually, if the black dot was not there, then we will now say, it’s empty or there's nothing in there. Just blank. Sadly, this kind of viewpoint lives among all of us. What we see first are the negatives, we often forget the beauty that lies beneath those. This is true in meeting people, we sometimes prejudge them on how they look, how they dressed, how they walk and others. I would like to present this thought in a video and you be the judge.

Susan Boyle

She's really amazing, isn't she? It's true what they say that you cannot judge a book by its cover. You have to know the person better first before you can say anything that really has sense about that person.

This is sometimes true which is happening right in our own homes. Our spouses will do their best in cleaning the whole house but instead of appreciation and compliment, they'll get criticism, whether the cleaning is not right, they wasted a lot of cleaning agent when they can just use little or there’s still a place in the house that is unclean. We didn't consider the hardship they've gone through, the sacrifices they gave just to clean up, they could be watching their favorite show or do shopping for themselves instead. We should be grateful of what they're doing especially when it's hardly done just to please us.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

One busy child equals one happy dad.

We went to Clarence’s playgroup today and it was held in PACT, a Kennedy Krieger institute that helps children with special needs. I didn’t anticipate that they will be involved in water play even if I already saw in the playgroup’s calendar the phrase “water play”. I thought we will just have a trip on some swimming pools and water kind of stuffs. Good thing, Like Dora and Diego, I always carry my backpack. I have his complete set of clothes that can be good for 3 days hehe.. towels, food, wipes and etc..

Clarence really enjoyed it, the fact that he’s allowed to play in the water as long as he wants and to do whatever he likes to do, is really a good treat for him. It’s really different when he’s with other kids, he can see how their creativity and courageousness set into play. There are kids who have no fear to get wet, tried high slides and climbed arched steel ladders. And there are some who squirted and sprayed water using the toys around them. No doubt, it’s another great and learning experience for him.

At home, letting him play in our patio with water hose, watering can, pail and dipper made him so busy that I can do some chores without any interruptions. Of course his safety is still considered, our patio is not slippery when wet and I can clearly see him from where I am. He loved playing with water. He’s very much free to do whatever he wants, I believe this will develop his cognitive skills. He’s trying to get answers from his curiosity, like the cause and effect theory. He’s there watering the veggie plants, the grass and the patio table and chairs while me in the computer, blogging hehe… Again, it’s a win-win solution for parents and child. You may also think of other ideas that can make your child busy. Other parents in Clarence’s playgroup shared to me that they bought set of locks, magnets, and others that are not toy-like items because as you’ll notice, kids are more attracted to those things that they’re prohibited to play than to their usual and kind of weary child toys. Here are some of the pictures I took for that event.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Each Day, Another Chapter!

When I was not into CFC (Couples for Christ) yet, I don’t know how to start using the Bible. Some have told me things about it. One has said that people who are bringing the book are hypocrites because they are exposing it when they have a bag to keep it, another said to the one who carries it, “What’s the gimmick?” But most often I heard people saying that they got answers from it. I’m really confused why some people find it waste of time while others claim it as wisdom. Two people has attested to me that when they are in their lowest moments of their lives, they just get the bible, open it and in front of them is a scripture which lifts them up and resolves their confused minds. I can say that people who has lack in knowledge about the Bible has no right to say anything bad about it. Like, you cannot give criticism to a movie that you, yourself haven’t watched. I, myself is still discovering what it can offer to my life and I’m happy that I was accepted in CFC to make this process possible for me. I cannot say anything yet about the Bible because I don’t want to make mistakes on describing it, all I know is, there’s a purpose why in a very long time, it is still in existence. Having joined the Christian Life Program made me committed in their objectives and goals. Like a husband to my wife, or a father to my son, I have an obligation and interest to pursue. One of them is to read the Bible.

Many might want to try reading the Bible but the often question they have in minds is “How/Where should I start?” In the Bible Reading Guide that CFC provided me, they made it very simple and easy. It has a checklist like this:

Each day, one chapter. That’s really easy, if you can spend a lot of time doing junk in the internet, why don’t you try giving some minutes to do this. They asked us to do this for at least 15 minutes a day. They also recommended the following:

1. Say a short prayer before you start reading, asking for the Holy Spirit to enlighten you and for God’s Word to find a home in your heart.
2. Read the text through quickly. Then read it again, this time slowly and trying to understand more fully.
3. Meditate on what you have read, especially those portions that struck you.

When I opened Mark’s Gospel, It says in the introduction that it’s an ideal starting place for someone (like me) who knows little about Jesus. It’s style --—simple sentences, without complicated transitions or long speeches ----makes understanding easier. I realized it’s true, it made me wanting to read more when I started. It’s my 10th day today and I just read Chapter 10 a moment ago. Who can say that the old Bible we found under the pile of books in my Aunt’s house in the Philippines will be useful for me. Now I know why we were able to dig it up and brought here in US.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Let's Do the Safety Check!

We already taught our son how to cross the road inside our apartment complex but we still can’t be sure of his safety from some reckless drivers. Yesterday when we sent Lorie to work, (we usually walk her to the train station and played in the park afterwards) we were walking slowly in the parking lot when suddenly a man started backing up his car when we were just a yard away from his rear. If Lorie didn’t shout which alarmed the driver, I don’t know what terrible could happen. We’re too big for the driver not to be seen at the back of his car. He just wave like he’s trying to apologize but he still continues driving as if it’s not a big deal. I’m waiting for him to get off the car and check if there’s something went wrong with us, but he didn’t. We were still shocked then and didn’t think of arguing or getting his plate number. All our concern has been brought to our son if he’s okay. We got so scared of thinking the horrible things that might have happened when the man continued backing up. As of now, we’re all okay. Thank God. I know He was there to protect us.

Whenever my son and I are outside I don’t let him get too far away from me, I’m always a meter away from him when walking in the sidewalk. I think I’m getting so paranoid, always thinking that someone might get him from me haha. I love my son so much, that’s why! And when we are about to cross the road, he knows the rule, I just need to say “Okay.. safety check!!!” and he will respond, “Stop! Look and Listen!!!” in a singing mode… He’s now looking on both sides making sure that it’s clear to cross, but sometimes, I still need to remind him. There’s one time, I forgot to do the routine because I can see from afar that it’s safe to cross, he cautioned me, “Daddy, Stoooppp! Stop! Look and Listen first!!!!” hahaha… followed up by saying “That’s dangewoouuss..!” Oh well, I said, “oh, I’m sorry, I forgot about our safety check!”. That’s just one instance, but now when we’re out I always make sure that we do this practice constantly. It’s like making him responsible in a fun and easy way he’ll like it. I believe everybody should have their own safety patrol anywhere and anytime.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Reading bedtime stories

Every night my son asks me to read books for him. If he gets one book, he'll immediately tell me "That's not the last one, Huh?" meaning, he will get another one after I finished the first. I don't know if that is one of his delaying tactics in going to bed but all I know reading books is good for him. Sometimes I enjoyed it but other times, I don't. It's me to blame, I let him gets used to it because I somewhat feel guilty if I don't grant his request (of reading second book). When I know that he’s asking for a good option rather than playing. But the good thing is, he agreed to me when I say that the second book will be the last one. Sometimes, he’s outsmarted me by getting the thickest book he has in the shelf as his last book for the night hahaha.. If I’m so sleepy, I tried to skip pages but there he is to remind me that I missed a page, I think he memorized the pictures in each page hehe.. but according to what I read from, here it is..

Why Should I Read to My Toddler?
Studies show that children with active exposure to language have social and educational advantages over their peers - and reading is one of the best exposures to language.

Sure enough because I can see that his developmental stage is getting advanced from his other playmates of the same age. One time, while I’m driving the car, and out of nowhere he tells me, “BUMPS Daddy!” I was surprised because it was written in a big orange warning sign posted on the side of the road which is under construction along the way. "Don't go to the bumps, daddy huh?!"

At the age of 3, he can read 3 letter words but I haven’t taught him of words with combination of consonants in it. I was really thrilled that when our story time came, I read him the two books he wanted without any complaints. I read him every single word not minding if he knows the words or if he understands it. I tried to explain some words but not all. I believe hearing the words even if he’s not fully listening will still help him. Pictures really help in giving the idea of the words I read. The last time we were out my wife asked me to go to Ross Store for us to get him a Christian story book which is indeed useful and also informative for his spiritual growth. I don’t advertise, but Ross has cheap books and educational toys too.