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Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year Menu


We all went to the grocery yesterday to buy the stuff that we need for tonights'  Media Noche. I expected not to cook much on the eve of New Year but my husband wanted something special to send the old year off. He requested me to cook Paella, and Chow Mein while the kids requested for fruit salad. We bought a quarter each of edam and blue cheese for the "mini" festive dinner.  And to complete the menu my husband also requested for gelatin which he volunteered to prepare that is if I successfully get him to wake up before I start getting busy in the kitchen :) Will make sure that I get pictures of our Media Noche dinner and post it as soon as I can. Happy New Year to everyone! May we all have Peace in our hearts!




Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010...in Retrospect

picture borrowed from http://miipz.tumblr.com

If the Year 2009 has been kind to us...this year has proven even better! I say this because everything started with a simple dream and my husband is a mighty dreamer...once he does, he puts them into full fruition. My husband has taught me how to dream even against all odds.  When he left for Saudi Arabia more than a year ago, it was a sacrifice that we all needed to embrace in exchange for a better life. It was so hard for us to be apart as we have always done things as a family. Most weekends were spent home or somewhere else together. So when my husband went back to the Philippines for a vacation we began to dream again.  My husband and I would talk about this "dream" of ours even after he has gone back to Saudi after his month-long vacation. Then we began to plan and again everything else fell into place. 

Of course there were trials as well but not so much as the blessings that we received in return. And we have always been thankful for the trials that has made us stronger and every ordeal worth the wait. So as 2010 is about to end its course, our family would like to give thanks to having celebrated another year of the gift of life, of having new friends and the rekindling of friendship, of having our parents alive and well amidst adversities; and the greatest blessing of all...having one another...a husband and a soulmate, and children who surrounds us with laughter and so much love.

Our family acknowledges the greater force behind all these; as our Creator, only He holds the blueprint of our lives. There has not been a day that our family has not given thanks and we continue to thank God for the blessings, the trials and the miracles...

For 2011 my family and I pray for soldiers all over the world to finally be able to come home, for women to give their unborn child a chance to live, for broken families to reunite, for the rebuilding of severed friendships, for hearts to heal, for forgiveness, for sons and daughters to take care of their aging parents, for homeless and hungry children that they may know what it is like to have a home again and be able to eat three meals a day, for the hopeless that they may be able to rise above their hopelessness, for worldwide peace. For our family...the Lord knows what's inside our hearts...once again we entrust our life to Him...His plans will be ours  and His path will be the road that we will continue to traverse.

Happy New Year to everyone! May 2011 bring us new beginnings and whatever our heart desires! And may we also work hard for a better and peaceful life this coming new year!




Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Post Script

I just want to share with you the letter that my son wrote to Santa, he was in such a bad mood during the early part of Christmas eve. I was surprised to see this letter attached to his Christmas stocking...



Sunday, December 26, 2010

Santa Claus returns

We forgot to bring my children's Christmas stockings and I did want to make our first Christmas in Saudi Arabia a happy and memorable one albeit the absence of Christmas decorations. Hence, at the last minute I thought of making them their Christmas stockings with whatever material I have available. :) Then I asked my daughter to make a name plate that we can tape on the stockings. I also asked them to post their letter to Santa next to their own stockings. Here take a look... :)




I used plastic bags which I asked my daughter to shape into stockings and I used aluminum foil as a trimming to make it look a bit "Christmassy." These are the gifts that they received from Santa :) Waking up on Christmas day to find Santa's gifts even without a tree is always one of the best Christmas memory for a child! I remember my own Christmas memories with fondness and I would like my children to have their own treasure chest filled with nice ones!

Ally received a Spongebob stuff toy, Alloy got a Ben 10 robot, while my youngest got a Ben 10 gun with watch plus chips and chocolates :)











Noche Buena

This is a bit late but I just want to share what we had for Noche Buena. I prepared two kind of salads - fruit and macaroni which is always present on the tables of most Filipinos during special occasions. I also cooked chicken siomai (chicken dumplings), Spaghetti Tomatina and my own version of tosta dulce (it goes well with Spaghetti Tomatina). And we had dates for dessert... :) dates are common here in Saudi Arabia and there are different varieties. My favorite are the ones that are not too sweet... Yum!




Primary complex

We had to bring our son early this morning for a Microbiology, as the Pedia who saw him, called it. We brought him yesterday for check up because of his cough and to find out what medicine we can give him as his Isonaizid is about to run out. When he was 3 years old, he was diagnosed to have primary complex and this recurred again now that he is 7. He may have acquired this from our previous maid. In this country there is no such thing as Primary Complex, in fact, most of the nurses we have come across with would ask me to clarify what it means. Primary complex is Pulmonary TB and there are no other subtle term for it here. I am just happy with the way the doctor is handling my son's case. Pediatric doctors here have their own specialization, and the doctor we saw is a Pedia in Infectious disease. She recommended the tests to be done to my son to check if his liver is still okay from the medicines he has taken for his primary complex and also to check the source. 

For this particular test, a small rubber "tube" was inserted inside his nostril, it was done pretty quickly, but because my son did not expect it to be done that way, he cried an awful lot. Right after, I gently explained to him why the doctor needed to do the said procedure as he felt very negatively about it.  We need to go back for 2 more consecutive days for the same procedure. In the end, he understood and am sure he will brave tomorrow's task.

My husband was not allowed to leave the office if even for an hour; he was supposed to meet us in the hospital and bring us back home. So, we had no other option but to take the cab alone... i mean without him. We have been here for more than 2 months but this was the first time my son and I rode the cab without my hubby. Fortunately, when we got out of the hospital we spotted one. My husband warned me early on about the cabs that we can and cannot ride. So after checking out from a distance, I knew I hailed the right one. I told the cab driver where he needs to bring us and asked him "Malum? (i don't know how exactly it is spelled but it sounded that way, and this means "do you know?") in fact i was asking the driver whether he knows how to go there if he says "mafi malum" then my son and I have to look for another cab driver who knows the direction. Good thing he knows the way, bad thing though, is he is one of those "la parfum concentre"  oozing really and once inside the cab did not know which direction to turn my nose lol. If i could only reach down I would have placed my nose between my own armpits haha. It was a quick ride though and was just happy that we got home safely. 


Saturday, December 25, 2010

The night before Christmas! Ho! Ho! Ho!

Twas the night before Christmas,
And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
Not even a mouse



And that is exactly how it is at this very moment...the kids are sound asleep. It's a good thing my alarm went off at 12 midnight i did not even set the alarm before I fell into a deep slumber earlier. I was so tired as I had to wake up early to prepare the food for Noche buena. This morning I prepared macaroni and fruit salad which I kept inside the fridge to cool. Then after lunch I prepared siomai and the pasta sauce so that by the time we partake of the Noche buena meal I would have enough "mommy time."  

So the socks have been filled and I was wonderfully surprised that our flatmates bothered to put some of their own little surprise inside my children's stockings! God bless them! :)  I mislaid Santa's letter though, a couple of days ago I asked my husband to print out a copy but I seem to have place it somewhere so safe that I've forgotten. So, I had to do a handwritten one good thing that the copy is still in the recycle bin. It was mighty hard though to change my handwriting and make it legible at the same time. 

Merry Christmas to everyone! And a Happy New Year! Spread the Love! 





Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Bliss

Just one more day...one more...and am off the hook! Hooray! Yipee! Yahoo! Yaba daba doo! My children's holiday break makes that 2 tasks less than my usual. Starting tomorrow I can wake up a bit later than the norm. And that is 12 days of bliss!  

More time to watch movies using WD TV Live Plus... I just love this little gadget it's a type of electronic media that you can connect to the internet or where your flash drive can be attached to watch movies, view photos, and do your fb, flicker stuff and more! I read from somewhere that this little gadget is pegged at around US$100 to US$150 but we got  ours for free through our collective Etihad air miles I remember how excited my husband was when he found out that the parcel was already at the DHL branch, that instead of it being delivered to his office, he went to DHL himself to collect. :)  


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mi-hihihinced Lamb

Am still awake and letting my tomato based pasta sauce simmer... I actually used minced lamb instead of the usual ground beef. I bought 6 packs of minced lamb for a song last Friday when my husband and I went to Panda supermarket. Imagine each pack contained 250grams of lamb and I bought 6 packs for only SAR 10. Amazingly low price! Lamb meat is one of the staples here in Saudi Arabia and is generally more expensive. I tried eating lamb once back in the Philippines and I think I went more for the roast beef. My husband dislikes both beef and lamb but encouraged me to buy the latter so that our kids would know how it tastes. So, for dinner, I cooked lamb meat spring rolls. Surprisingly my children loved it and even had seconds. I, on the other hand, did not like the taste. And for the first time in my entire "dining life" I felt like finishing my food without savoring it further. It has a distinct taste much like goat, although I like goat. I like it cooked ala caldereta and my dad has this killer caldereta recipe. It's a good thing that my kids don't feel the same so the lamb I bought won't be put to waste. I just need a couple more recipe and a bit of creativity to get the darn thing off our fridge. lol. It's not too bad really I just don't think I would ever want to try it again. 


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sahara...

We experienced heavy sandstorm from Monday up till yesterday which, I guess, caused our internet connection to work intermittently. I did not get any messages from my parents nor sisters which caused me to worry in fact I only received their messages today! The day before the sandstorm we experience our first rain in this country it was actually short and sweet... My husband said that this normally happens when the weather is about to change. And change it did! It's colder now...we don't even have to turn the AC on, we don't have any heater so we stuff ourselves in oversize jackets. I kinda like the weather though. I just have difficulty looking for a place to dry our clothes as I do not want to take the risk of hanging them outside lest they get soiled again by the sand brought by the strong and cold winds. So this is what the real sandstorm feels like....hmmm...  Just like rain, it has its own distinct smell.  In my other blog From the Diary of a Call Center Mom, I had a "sandstorm" experience... click the link and read through... :) that was one helluvan experience! haha


Friday, December 10, 2010

I love Math!.... I do????

I had a "trying time" with my eldest son yesterday afternoon as I tutored him in Math. For those who know me....yes I was the one who taught him yesterday, not my husband who is so so far better in this subject than I am hahaha. And such put me in the crabbiest mood...my eldest son is actually very bright, he is the one who keeps bringing home the medals. But I was so stupefied yesterday when I came across his Math quiz and he got all the answers wrong except one. Normally his lowest score would have to be a quiz with either 1 or 2 mistakes most times none at all. So I drilled him with Math and what was quite irky was the fact that he would often stand up and make bathroom breaks as an excuse to prolong my ""mathematical agony". I was not a good math student back then hahaha believe me, when I was in school I would rather write long essays than solve math problems. I would always tell my classmates that I already have enough problems that including math in one of them would prove fatal to my health :) And back home, there was always their nanny to take over when she feels that I am about to go berserk. Yes dear old nanny was also my children's tutor when we were still in the Philippines. 

Anyway, imagine...! I started teaching my son at around 1:30 pm and we finished at around 9:30pm (well this is because I had to cook merienda for them and dinner too in between). His challenge is with subtracting 3 digit numbers, with and without regrouping. He seems to find it difficult to understand that when he borrows a digit the next number should be 1-digit less. Am not sure how his Math teacher explains the process to them, my son normally gets the idea pretty quickly but this time he has a "major-major" difficulty in the "comprehension department."  Naah...am not really blaming the teacher, my son probably is not focusing enough but come to think of it most of his subjects are okay except this particular Math topic. 

Well, today we will have another Math session and hopefully he knows and fully understands the principle already.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ho-Ho-Ho

Last night my husband and I went the rounds of Khobar to look for small items that we can give our children. I have dropped feelers during conversations over dinner that Santa might not be allowed entry in Saudi Arabia since Christmas is not celebrated here. My husband, would not agree however, and told our children to write a letter to Santa. Of course we had to tell them the disclaimer that not every request is granted due to some "legal" constraints haha as Santa cannot just go flying around the country on his magic sleigh with Rudolph and the rest of the reindeers to give out gifts. 

Well, let me share with you the letter that they prepared... not really good shots as I used my cellphone :)

from my eldest and only daughter to Santa



my eldest son's wish is a Buzz lightyear robot

my youngest son's illustrative letter, he wants Santa to give him cans and cans of Anchor milk :) and a Ben 10 watch



Thursday, December 2, 2010

Therapy for boredom...

My kids are still asleep as it's the end of the school week (not the same back home though since weekends here are on a Thursday and Friday). And my back seems to be glued to the bed, however, I do have to take care of our week-old laundry, and my husband still has to report for work, so waking up late (for me, anyway) is not an option. Argh! I hand wash smaller items like my children's shirts and undies everyday, so those are done. Thank goodness for that! However, crazy it may seem or sound; hand washing has been a form of therapy for me albeit tiresome to my perennially dry hands. With so much time and nothing more to do, domestic work has been the answer to my boredom. In a way it is good that we are unable to go out that much as this curtails any unnecessary expenses. Though at times I must admit that I have this great urge to run outside our flat with a broom in my hand raised up high, and shout "Freedom!!!" ala Mel Gibson haha!


Oh please don't misconstrue I don't feel like a prisoner it's just that Filipinos like us are used to noisy surroundings. You know the sound of tricycle passing by the street, the barking dogs and screeching cats, the call of  manong taho and manong balut, the sound of barkers, the bus and jeepneys' incessant honking... I just miss those. Here you won't find any dogs walking around nor cats scattering the garbages. There aren't any jeepneys that ply the streets nor bus stops only cabby lanes and cabs do not need barkers to get passengers. So, it's kinda silencio around here. But as I told a friend of mine who suggested that I talk to the walls haha, I can't do that because even  the walls here talk back in Arabic. :)


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Deja vu

picture from zazzle.com
Hmp! This morning I sounded like a raving lunatic hahaha yep I can laugh about it, now that my kids have gone to school. But earlier there was the feeling of "deja vu" at the back of my mind while I ranted like a zombie on a rampage. I realised I was saying my early morning sermons like my mom...oh please don't get me wrong...am not saying that my mom is like a raving lunatic or a zombie on a rampage. That bit part is uniquely me...and my husband can attest to that; he was my sole witness this morning. Well we woke up this morning the same time we always do on a normal school day. And whilst I put my multi-tasking skills to test in the kitchen (cooking cum washing the dishes, packing their lunch boxes, and preparing their breakfast) my kids were exceptionally slow! This drove my mouth to run at the same rate as my hands and legs were doing. And while everything was going topsy-turvy, I noticed how my husband tried his best not to cover his ears lest he earns my ire too! lol

Back to the "deja vu"...i realised how I have adapted much of my mom's usual morning sermon. Back then words like "ako lang ang gumagawa dito" (am the only one who does everything around here), "hindi naman kayo makatulong" (no one even bothers helping me), "ang babagal ninyo kumilos" (you're such slowpokes), "hindi malayong atakihin ako sa inyo" (it's not a remote possibility that I may suffer a heart attack because of you) formed an "integral" part of our usual "breakfast"....haay the list is endless. I just felt weird saying those very same things and to think that when I was their age I would always remind myself not to say the same verbiage to my "future" kids. But now I catch myself doing much of the same hoopla. 

We all come from the same mold I guess, and there's not much that we can do. Except be more careful with what we say to our children. I have to do some editing and make a couple of revisions though as sometimes I feel that I may be going overboard. But for now let me just get a breath of fresh air and laugh about it... haha

Disclaimer: this particular article was not done to sully my mother's good name. It was written to admit that I am my mother's daughter and that a mother's life is like a movie we always have the tendency to do a remake! Good day everyone!  :)


Monday, November 29, 2010

Most wonderful time of the year!

It's 25 days before Christmas! This occasion is much celebrated in the Philippines and will be awfully missed by my family. Yearly we would go to my parents' house and celebrate Christmas with them. We attend the Christmas Eve mass followed by a hefty Noche Buena; after which, my kids, niece and nephews would gather around the family room and open their gifts. It has always been a family tradition and a happy one at that. I miss shopping for gifts, I miss the bright lights that line up every major streets and cities, I miss hunting for the toys that my children would wish from Santa. Ooh I will definitely miss the fruitcake and the Christmas ham. It's a good thing though that Queso de bola is available in this country. But more than anything else, I will surely  miss the delicious food that my parents normally prepares for this happy occasion and the joy of being with them.

Christmas is not recognised in these parts according to articles I have read, it is even illegal to celebrate it openly with respect to their religious laws. So, what to do??? what to do??? I guess we would have to prepare something really special, it's Christmas after all. Normally, my husband would request for pork barbecue which is not allowed here so, we might have chicken barbecue instead, pasta, cheese... I'll try my damnedest to look for fruitcake! We will probably buy cheese and I'll also try my "bestest" to convince my husband to buy us a good  bottle of wine....

I'll need to think about what to prepare for Christmas...perhaps, Rosemary roast beef would be nice and stuff chicken... will get back to you once I have organised what to cook for my family's 1st  Christmas meal in Saudi Arabia :)


Sunday, November 28, 2010

turning to jelly...

I know... I realised of late that this blog has turned mostly into a recipe blog of sorts but I have gotten good  feedbacks about it; as friends and relatives have either tried, are trying or plan to try out the said recipes. And that's good maybe in the near future I would be able to come up with my own purely Recipe blog. For now I am hoping to share bits and pieces of our adventures here in this country; that is, once we have received our Iqamas and am able to work. It kinda scares me though as the thought of landing a job would mean -- me...going out alone in a shuttle full of people I don't know in a foreign country with definitely strict laws. Of me...starting out in an office where people know each other already. That in the not so distant future I would have to brave riding a cab all by myself. This time I am the stranger not the "strangee" if there is such a word. I have always thought of myself as a person who can easily adapt and make adjustments.  The kind of person who appreciates a good adventure. Not the kind who finds it hard to get out of one's own comfort zone, because if I did I would not have agreed to start anew in another country. Sigh... all I know is the fact that mi esposo necesita mi ayuda, that life is hard and that we need get by. 

Oh and by the way, as I conclude this short article, we have received our Iqamas. So that means, I can start hunting for a job. Hopefully, the job I get would give me good benefits and a good enough pay. Insha'Allah.

Que sera sera...


Stuffed Bell peppers

Our flatmate gave us a bag full of freshly picked bell peppers and cucumbers which sparked my culinary acumen :) (this "light bulb phenomenon" happens when our 1-week grocery supply is about to run out hehe).  Anyway, this is a good and simple dish even my kids loved it... surprisingly!

For this recipe, you will need:

Slices of cheddar or feta cheese (or both, if you are a cheese lover)
a handful of mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of ground beef (can be substituted with chicken, pork or tuna)
pinch of salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 bulb of onion, minced
dash of ground pepper
Olive oil





Chop the top of the bell peppers and remove the seeds

Slice the cheese lengthwise

Saute the garlic, onion and ground beef in olive oil. Set aside.

Stuff the bell peppers with cheese, then

followed by the ground beef

Your stuffed bell pepper should look like this.

Fry the stuffed bell pepper in a dab of olive oil until done.

Top with mozzarella cheese and serve hot!


Dinner is ready!!! I served my stuffed bell pepper with fresh cucumbers, and tomato-sausage sauce




Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Finally!

three generations...
Right this moment and about 5000 miles away, my mom is undergoing angiography and angioplasty while I am trying to keep my mind busy by doing all sorts of things just to take away my apprehensions. Two years ago when she suffered her 4th heart attack she was already advised by her cardiologist to undergo the said procedure but my mom would not hear of it. Her refusal to undergo angioplasty in the past was because of her fear that it would fail and eventually lead her to a bypass operation which she would like to avoid. 

Almost a month ago, exactly 7 days from the time we left for Saudi Arabia, she suffered her 5th! Perhaps the thought of us no longer being with them and with her favorite grand daughter moving far away from her, exacerbated the already frail condition of her heart. But my mama is a strong woman indeed; she is, with a stronger desire to live! No son or daughter would ever be prepared to lose any one of their parents, that is why we are just so grateful that she has decided to take the first step for another chance in life. 

Go Mama! Fight this battle like a true Archer! May St. Luke guide the hands of your doctor... For now I would just have to be contented with news across the miles from my sisters.... Be well Mama! We love you! 




Sunday, November 21, 2010

Enid's Crumbly no-bake Apple Pie

Aside from the occasional tomato sale, fruits like apples, oranges, grapes, and bananas are placed on bargain too. My kids and I are apple lovers and it was just fortunate that we were able to buy a kilo for only SAR 2.95  

It was a timely sale because my kids have been hankering me to bake an apple pie. We do not have an oven to make the usual "crusty" pie crust, so I made the "no-bake" one. This recipe is so simple that anyone can do it...

For my Crumbly no-bake Apple pie, you would need the following:



1. Prepare:
        For the apple pie filling:
              2 - 3 tbsp. sugar, brown is better but white would do (adjust according to preference)
                1 tsp. cinnamon powder
                 a pinch of salt
                3 tbsp. unsalted butter

        For the crust: 
                1 pack (150 g) Graham crackers, crushed***
                1/4 cup melted butter
                1 tsp. cinnamon powder
                1/2 to 1 tbsp. sugar (brown or white, adjust according to preference
                   although for a 150 g pack of graham I only put 1 tsp because the apple filling is already sweet)
                handful of walnuts (optional)

2. Core the apples with a paring knife; when done, skin with a peeler. Slice the apples thinly. 

3. In a bowl, mix the cinnamon, sugar, salt and apple together. Prepare the pan and put it on low heat. Place the butter in the pan and pour the rest of the mixture into the melted butter. Simmer until apples are cooked.

4. While waiting for the apple filling, prepare the crumbly crust. Crush the graham crackers by using a rolling pin if you don't have one you can use a long jar or put the crackers inside a plastic that would hold it and just crush it with your hands. 

5. Mix the cinnamon, sugar, and melted butter with the crushed graham crackers. Cook this in low fire until the crushed crackers are golden brown. ***I could not find Graham crackers at Panda Supermarket, so I used DeeMah Tea biscuits instead which, I discovered, is actually better. On a container press some of the crushed crackers firmly and pour the apple mixture on top (make sure you leave some crushed crackers). Cover the apple filling with the next layer of crushed crackers. 

Your Crumbly no-bake Apple pie should look like this, when done.




You can pour whipped cream or top it with vanilla ice cream
Enjoy!









Spaghetti ala Tomatina

Tomatoes are quite expensive here hence, when it went on sale a couple of days ago I bought more than a kilo. I used some of them for my Spaghetti ala Tomatina. It is a simple pasta dish that my husband and kids enjoy eating once in a while. I was also able to purchase 3 packs (450grams per pack) of spaghetti noodles for       SAR 10.00 at the nearby Panda supermarket. Normal price of a single 450gram pack range from SAR 3.50 to around SAR 5.50 hence, I saved 0.50 halala. As the saying goes "Every halala (penny) saved, is a halala (penny) earned." :)

For this recipe, you would need:

7-10 pieces of tomatoes, sliced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium red onion, sliced
fish sauce or salt to taste
ground pepper
Olive oil
Crumbled feta cheese or Labneh cheese
500 g spaghetti noodles

Saute garlic, onions and tomatoes in olive oil, put salt or pour 1/4 cup fish sauce to taste. Sprinkle ground pepper and simmer until tomato is cooked. Pour this into freshly cooked pasta noodles along with the cheese and mix thoroughly. Serve hot :)  

Enjoy! Bon Apetit!




Saturday, November 20, 2010

Oh my Gulay!

I had a load full of things to do yesterday that I asked my daughter to cook dinner for us. It was her first time to do so including chopping the garlic, onion and tomatoes needed for the dish. I gave her the instructions and was elated to find out that she was able to follow everything that I told her. Her first dish ... Gulay na Toge (Sauted beansprout).

My husband's verdict? "Super sarap" (delicious!) and he wanted some left to bring with him for lunch the next day. Yey!









Grow old with you...

Last night while my husband tinkered with his iPod, he played this particular song and asked me to dance with him... my husband is that way...you would not know, just by looking at him how romantic he is. But he is! He definitely still makes my heart go thump-a-thump-thump... and while he held me in his arms I realised how beautiful the lyrics of the song was. Go ahead and listen to it and read through it's lyrics as well... :)




Another day 
Without your smile 
Another day just passes by 
But now I know 
How much it means 
For you to stay 
Right here with me 

The time we spent apart will make our love grow stronger 
But it hurt so bad I can't take it any longer 

I wanna grow old with you 
I wanna die lying in your arms 
I wanna grow old with you 
I wanna be looking in your eyes 
I wanna be there for you 
Sharing everything you do 
I wanna grow old with you 

A thousand miles between us now 
It causes me to wonder how 
Our love tonight remains so strong 
It makes our risk right all along 

The time we spent apart will make our love grow stronger 
But it hurt so bad I can't take it any longer 

I wanna grow old with you 
I wanna die lying in your arms 
I wanna grow old with you 
I wanna be looking in your eyes 
I wanna be there for you 
Sharing everything you do 
I wanna grow old with you 

Things can come and go I know but 
Baby I believe 
Something's burning strong between us 
Makes it clear to me 

I wanna grow old with you 
I wanna die lying in your arms 
I wanna grow old with you 
I wanna be looking in your eyes 
I wanna be there for you 
Sharing everything you do 
I wanna grow old with you 

Goofing around

We spent the five-day straight holiday just goofing around and bonding, we decided not to go anywhere because we were saving for Christmas and since it was Hajj here, there was not much to do anyway. So we just watched movies that my husband compiled and just goofed around. It was a happy time for most of us as my daughter complained of being bored (she claims she already belongs to the new genre haha). My 2 sons, on the other hand, took advantage of having their dad to goof around with. Watch this...


video

They were trying to get their dad's phone and succeeded... happily, i must say.... :)







Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bunsoy

When I was  7, my Mama gave birth to a chinky eyed girl and she named that little girl Corinne Marie. I, on the other hand, was given the privilege to give her a nickname...hence, I called my little sister Coco. I remember when my Mama was still pregnant with our bunsoy how my sister, Minpi and I would often kneel down and pray that this time God gives us a baby brother. I guess Minpi and I were so bored that we needed a baby brother to put some life into our already growing family haha. So when Mama gave birth on November 16 some secret years ago and found out that she gave birth to a girl again, I remember getting mad at my Papa. I kept asking him why we had another girl when we prayed so hard to have a brother this time to which my father simply replied, "your sister is a gift from God, and only God knows what is best for our family." 

The first time I saw my sister, I got so excited, she had little hands and feet and she was so cute. Today I keep wondering what happened. hahaha just kidding Coco! All throughout the years, Coco remains to be the only sister I could not borrow clothes from when I was younger because she was always slim. Whereas I can always try my very best to fit into my other sister's clothes hehe. Now my bunsoy of a sister, is no longer that chinky eyed be-dimpled little girl that we can always manipulate hahaha and frighten out of her wits, no longer the little girl who would perform in front of the mirror when she thinks no one is looking. She is no longer the little girl who smelled bad after a weeklong vacation from the province (sorry I just had to say this!). And neither is she the little girl, who, we would hear muttering to herself pretending to be a movie star but rather someone who has built her own character, who has her own 7-year old kid but is still the same little girl who has captured our hearts when she was born. 

Happy Happy Birthday bunsoy! Remember Ate E is always here for you no matter where I am! I love you so much and your daughter Hope, too!





Eid Mubarak!

Hajj is yearly celebrated by Muslims all over the world, it is a pilgrimage to Mecca (most holy place in Islam) and is said to be one of the five pillars of Islam. For us Catholics, we celebrate Holy Week by purifying ourselves and follow certain practices until Easter.  They also do their own share of purification and it is a must that they should be in the state of Ihram before they trudge their way to the Holy City of Mecca. Ihram is the state of sacred purity that a follower must be in before performing the Hajj. 

On the other hand, i think it is also their way of celebrating new year or new life, correct me if am wrong. My husband and I went to the city to buy a couple of stuff at the Kadiwa. This is a small grocery store that most Filipinos frequent in Khobar as there are a lot of items from the Philippines that are sold here. And as we walked the streets I noticed that a lot of firecrackers were lined up and being sold, including stone-like scents. I don't know what these "stone-like scents" are called but will definitely ask my husband about it tomorrow :)

It's already 3:21 in the morning in this part of the world but before I doze off, I would like to greet all our Muslim brothers out there Eid Mubarak! 






Gerger

There is this one leafy veggie that I have began to like eating...and the locals call it Gerger. Back home gerger meant something else and, no offense meant, but am sure my gay friends would know what this means :) Gerger is also known as Arugula or Eruca Vesicaria. It is normally used in salads or eaten raw with Kabsa (Roast chicken served with Basmati rice). It has a peculiar taste which I find very pleasant. It tastes a bit like sesame seeds. I had a handful served along with fried fish over dinner this evening. I sprinkled my gerger salad with olive oil (which is quite inexpensive here). I made a mental note to squeeze a tad of lemon next time and fresh black pepper. And perhaps serve it with grapes and crumbled feta cheese. Yum!




Saturday, November 13, 2010

To remove or not to remove....

A word of advice to friends and relatives please refrain from sharing this particular entry with my mother whose heart is not that strong to take any form of news about her grandchildren. Thank you.

Say "aah!"
My youngest son, since he was 2 years old, has been quite a snorer. My husband and I thought it was something   that he would outgrow. And several check-ups with different EENTs back home, advised us that his adenoids would still decrease as he grows older. Apparently, the Egyptian doctor who saw him yesterday thought otherwise. He said that if the size of my son's adenoids diminished in size, it would have done so by this time since he is already 5 years old. But according to the x-ray done on him, my son's adenoid has entirely blocked his nasal passage, reason why he breathes through his mouth. In addition to this, the doctor observed that even his tonsils has grown bigger than normal. Thus, he needs to go through a procedure called Adenotonsillectomy (a.k.a. T and A or Tonsillectomy & Adenoidectomy). The doctor assured us that it was a routine procedure and that we need not worry. However, I could not help but think if we would be given the same advise by his Pedia and the Eent's back home. 

Adenoids are soft bunch of tissues that protect children from getting sick; they function much the same way as tonsils by filtering out bacteria and viruses. My son's condition is called Adenoid Hypertrophy (Enlarged adenoid). I have read several articles regarding the removal of adenoids and it's effect on the child although the positive results outweigh the articles that says "no don't have them removed", I feel the need to know and feel confident that this would be the best option for my son. 




Thursday, November 11, 2010

Abaya here Abaya there

Friends and relatives back in the Philippines who have seen my pictures wearing an abaya has often commented that I wear it like a pro (not like a pro=poquita but like a pro=as if i've been born wearing one, let's be clear about that haha). Most say I look more feminine... now sometimes this statement gets me thinking... back in the Philippines did I look more masculine than otherwise? But surely my husband would not have fallen in love with me if I did. Unless he like masculine-looking girls. hahaha sorry but the four walls of our room plus 3 kids trying to get my undivided attention all at the same time is driving me a little nuts. 

Wearing the abaya is quite complicated I thought it was just a matter of wearing it everytime we go out. Hence, when my husband took me out for the first time to buy my own abaya, I chose one with a pretty design. However, while recounting to him some trivial stuff that I have observed while hanging our just laundered clothes on the rooftop, my husband asked me whether I went out wearing my abaya. I recall feeling a bit cold when I said "no, I was wearing my sleeveless sundress" and he replied (complete with his scary wide eye look) "you should have worn your abaya because the locals can see you from their own buildings."  Oops okay I never thought about that.... I thought it was safe for me to go out in the open on our own rooftop without the abaya on. So...

Now everytime I need to go to the rooftop to hang our clothes, I need to wear the abaya, which is actually such a hassle. First, because the abaya I chose does not have any buttons in front so I have to wear it like a shirt (meaning through the wide neckline). Second, because I have to take it off again when I enter the laundry room lest I wet the hem of my black long gear :)  

Well, looking at the bright side at least I look more feminine and plus the great thing is I can hide my love handles. No one would ever guess how much "skin" I need to hide underneath. hahaha




Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

either he feels cold or is playing pretend as a pilot while scratching his nose

my bunso finds out I was taking his picture

but he smiles for me anyway... i love this little boy so much :)


Monday, November 8, 2010

All in a day's work

It's my children's exam week and this is the first time that I will be 100% involved in reviewing and preparing them for their quarterly. For almost 3 years my children's nanny was the one who took over this task as I worked nights while she was left with my children. Now I have no choice but to face the music...I am no teacher, don't even have the inclination to be one, and don't have the patience either. But what choice do I have? Just now I have spent 10 minutes seething as my son refused to get his stuff so that I can start reviewing him. Grrrrr!!!  It is so hard to be a mother and we only realised that later on when we become mothers ourselves. Sigh... 

I can say that the independence of living in Saudi Arabia has done my husband good. I was observing him last night as he patiently reviewed my son. Back home he relied so much on me when it came to our children. Now he has acquired a more active role in parenthood. I remember during the earlier part of our marriage when he would always tell me that a woman's place is beside her husband and inside the home. He would often tell me that he would rather I just stay home and take care of our kids. I was brought up differently, I kept on telling him back then. Still I was thankful that he respected my desire to work...now he perfectly understands the need for us to help each other financially. Because at the end of the day, it would not be us but our kids who would greatly benefit from our combined efforts. 

I am very much thankful for all the effort that my husband has put into getting this family together and the effort that he continues to exert. Just last night coming home from the office, he brought several folders with photocopies of the books that my children need in school. We asked permission if we could just photocopy the books since the kids were halfway through the school year and it would be such a waste if we would still have to buy the complete set, and they agreed. I was just pleasantly surprised that hubby took time to pick up the master copy from school and have them duplicated. 

I have to park this for now as the king of my heart (wink! wink!) has just arrived home, and the queen, I supposed, will have to serve dinner. Am pretty sure he would love the chicken adobo that I prepared for him.  In the meantime  my son is still dealing with his tantrum... i'll let hubby take care of it   :)





Doctor Doctor I am sick...

Due to the change in weather, my children and I woke up coughing and sniffling on Friday morning. I noticed that morning how the air was a bite chilly already. After lunch, out of concern, my husband decided to take us all to the doctor. It is a good thing that we don't have to pay for doctor consults and medicine as everything is provided for free via my husband's company. As I mentioned earlier, SAAD Specialist hospital is one of the biggest here so we are pretty much covered. It felt good knowing that the company my husband works for has this kind of privilege and covers all dependents as well. From the hospital we went straight to the city of Al Khobar to buy our daughter another abaya. She requested for an abaya that has buttons in front so that when she reaches school she would be able to take it off and just wear it again when she goes home. We also had our first taste of Shawarma and later ate dinner at the Al Ramaniyah mall and shared 2 orders of Broasted chicken with khubus. The Shawarma here tastes different my children loved it! And aside from the  chicken meat and veggies, was a handful of french fries! :) it only costs 5 riyals.



The price of Broasted chicken on the other hand, is around 10 to 13 riyals per order, which would include 3 big pieces of chicken, 3 pcs of khubus, fries with garlic sauce and chili sauce. Don't they just love fries??? My husband says that Al Ramaniyah is the mall in Khobar that most Pinoys frequently go to and indeed it is. Everywhere my head turned there was a Pinoy walking around. And you'd notice that our "kababayans" are the only ones sporting happy faces.






We went to Everything for 20, 30, 50 and 100 where they sell stuff for not more that 100 riyals. It was there where we were able to buy a 40 riyal abaya for our daughter. There were so many people that my husband offered to take the children with him outside while I pay for our stuff. When I got to the end of the line, I noticed that everyone was trying to catch the attention of the cashier that they call "Sadiq." I don't know if it's his name or what but when I felt everyone pushing I called him Sadiq too! I wanted to pay and leave immediately as my face was just about an inch away from the wet armpits of a local shouting "Sadiq, my friend! here's my money no more change!" And just about a few seconds from collapsing I started waving  exactly 42 riyals right in front of the cashier's face and shouted "this is exact change! this is exact change!"  As soon as "Sadiq" put my stuff inside the plastic bag, I hurriedly grabbed it and ran outside to get a breath of fresh air before I could faint. :)