Sunday, May 31, 2009


Pfingsten (Pentecost)
Original Artwork by Otto Freese

Today is Pfingstsonntag (Whit Sunday) and tomorrow is Pfingstmontag (Whit Monday). These two days are considered a public holiday here in Germany. Every 7th Sunday after Easter, the Germans, as in other Catholic countries, celebrate Pfingsten (Pentecost). This also marks the end of the Easter celebration here in Germany.

Quite a long celebration indeed, considering that Easter Celebrations here does not only mean Easter Sunday. The easter celebration here begins with a pre-Lenten Carnival Season called the Mardi Gras (Fasching/Karneval) leading up to Lent (40 days of fasting) and Easter Sunday and then ends with the Pentecost.

And with the holidays, let me leave you with a bible verse to contemplate on:

Live by the Spirit...

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no Law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit.

- Galatians 5:16, 22-25

Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Hanhan!

My still sleepy hubby as he is about to unwrap his present. :D

Hubby turns a year older today.

I have been thinking real hard which gift to give him and have only decided to buy one yesterday. I have been planning to surprise him with a gift that he will really love. I was contemplating on how best to give it to him.

At first, I was thinking of putting the gift in the car and treat this day like any "ordinary" birthday with just a greeting and a kiss from me. And when he gets in the car and sees that he has a birthday present, he will really be surprised and couldn't wait for the day to end so that he can come home and thank me for it. But it was too agonizing for me to wait and see how he would react and went on with Option Number 2.

So early this morning, I woke him up, kissed him and sang him a Happy Birthday song and handed him a wrapped present. He was too sleepy still and as if he was dreaming, received the gift, and closed his eyes again. After a while, he opened his eyes again and realizing that he just received a wrapped present, exclaimed "So this is why you went out yesterday!" I was even teasing him last night and asked what he wants to receive for his birthday. His reply was very touching: "As long as you and Sam are happy, then there is nothing else I could ask for."

It really came to him as a surprise. You see, he has been so used to not receiving gifts for his birthdays that he isn't expecting anything anymore. Not that I don't give him gifts, they just arrive late when we were still a couple because I still had to send it all the way to Japan.
And I just loved seeing the look on his face as he carefully unwrapped the gift, and was even happier to see him find out what was inside.

Happy Birthday Hanhan! May you always be blessed as I am blessed to have you as a hubby and a father to Sam. We love you!

Mommy Moments: With The Oldies

mommy moments

I have missed last week's theme of Mommy Moments so I hope you will indulge me with this post.

Samantha hasn't had her first haircut yet despite her being 15 months old already, so that is another excuse for not posting this week's theme! :D I know that I should cut her hair already so that it will grow faster but I guess I am too afraid to do it myself. Knowing her, I know she would shake her head once I try to keep her still and do something to her hair. She even hates wearing hats, headbands or anything that covers her head, a thing that I call her "Head Wear Blues."

So there...

Samantha has only seen her grandparents from both sides of the family when we went on a two-week vacation in the Philippines last February. It was too short a time for them so that we had to divide the time spent in each household. And they were sooo happy to see her!

Clockwise: When we arrived at the airport, Mama, Tatee, Kuya J, Kuya M and Miggy were there to meet us; Photo ops with my parents and cousins at the mall while waiting for our turn at the photo studio; Papa with his two grandchildren. We just woke up here and Papa just got home from work; Mama, proudly holding her "apos".

Our family picture: Standing L-R: our youngest Kuya M, Mama, Papa, Kuya J (Tatee's Hubby)
Seated L-R: Hanhan, Me and Sam, Manang and Miggy, Tatee (eldest).

Sam with her Mama & Kuya Miggy. My mother doesn't want to be called Lola. So does Papa, he doesn't want to be called Lolo. The third photo is Nanay, Hanhan's mother, taken during Sam's christening and first birthday celebration.

Clockwise: At Sam's Christening and 1st Birthday celebration; Sam with Nanay and Tatay; Sam with Tatay, Hanhan's father; Nanay and Samantha on her born day, February 28th. She was so delighted to see so many kids that Nanay invited".

I know you love to see your kids bond with their grandparents too! I have seen entries from last week that said it all. And those exciting first haircuts are milestones worth the wait and the "trouble". More of those first haircutes here.

Our Crowning Glory

Our hair will always be a part of who we are. What we do to it and how we manage it is also a reflection of what we are and what's going on inside us. These days, we are faced with different choices for hair styles and various hair treatments are available to make us feel and look beautiful.

I am not so much a fan of styling my hair but I always admire people who take the time to get their hair done. I am more into the hair care though. I guess I am proud of my long black hair that I just don't want it styled, afraid that it would be damaged with all the ironing and spraying. Or maybe I am just plain lazy to bother! LOL!

But whatever you do with your hair, take the time to give it some loving once in a while. After all, it is our crowning glory.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Discover Munich: Maximilianstraße

This is Maximilianstraße, one of Munich's royal avenues. It boasts of great architecture of the Neo-Gothic in the Perpendicular Style and became popularly known as Maximilian Style.

The Maximilianeum, which starts the eastern end of Maximilianstraße, was built as a home for the gifted students´ foundation and also houses the Bavarian Landtag (state parliament) since 1949.

The Bavarian State Museum of Ethnology (Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde) houses non-European artworks and objects of cultural value.

The Munich National Theater: an opera house and the home base of the Bavarian State Opera and the Bavarian State Ballet.

Gucci, just one of the many designer shops that now line the western part of Maximilianstraße.

Let's Be Friends

Mommy Mira over at Scrappy Mommy sent this Let's Be Friends away my way ages ago. Ate Mira is author to numerous blogs and if you visit her digiscrapping site, you will find her scrapping creations to be inspiring because they feature her son and her family. Go check her out, you just might find a friend in her too!


Here's what the "Let's Be Friends" Award represents:

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

Memorial Day

Memorial Day came and went so quickly for me. I guess it is a great thing in the US to remember all the soldiers who have fought hard and have been fighting hard for FREEDOM. And I hail all the soldiers in the US and the world over for their bravery and patriotism to their country. Here's hoping that your great deeds and courage and love for your country will be remembered not only on Memorial but ALWAYS.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Schloss Neuschwanstein

This is Schloss Neuschwanstein, a dream castle built by the famed "mad" King Ludwig II of Bavaria in the seclusion of the mountains and the inspiration behind Disney's Sleeping Beauty castle. The castle is also famously known the world over as the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Castle. Now, I wonder where that came from... LOL! Because it is situated in the midst of the German Alps, getting to the castle involves a 25-minute uphill walk.

The castle was never completed due to the King's untimely death at the age of 40. A massive keep surrounded by small towers, a bailey and a small castle garden were never completed. The cause of his tragic death, whether suicide or murder, remains a mystery to this day. According to history, he only lived in the castle for 176 days.

The original design of the castle was done by a painter, not an architect.

Exploring the castle revealed rooms full of vast murals depicting scenes from German legends, intricate woodwork from the servants' down to the King's quarters and symbols of swans everywhere.The influence of Christianity is also evident inside the castle.

The castle in all its grandeur and beauty. It's like entering a fairyland.

The King's four-poster bed was hand-carved in wood and its canopy, carved as the cathedral towers from every tower in Bavaria. The Throne Room was very resplendent with its ceiling and wall paintings, gigantic glass gem-encrusted chandelier and the intricate mosaic on the floor, consisting of 2 million mosaic pieces and depicting the plants and animals of the earth, and considered the most expensive past of the Throne Room. One can also observe the absence of the throne, which was never built. There was also the splendid Singer's Hall, which the king built for Wagner as a venue to write and perform plays. However, the Hall were never used before the king's death.

The Neuschwanstein Castle was opened to the public six weeks after King Ludwig II's death. The Singer's Hall was also used for various performances since then. Below is the Schloss Hohenschwangau, which lies on the foot of the hills, and where King Ludwig spent his childhood.

The equally beautiful Schloss Hohenschwangau.

A guided tour inside Schloss Neuschwanstein costs 9,00€ per adult guest and FREE for guests 18 below.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Weekend Getaway in Bavaria

I have been away from May 21st to 25th. I am sorry for the sudden absence last weekend and for not informing you that I will be gone for a while. Anyway, I will tell you what kept me busy during those days.


May 20th, Wednesday, the day before Father's Day.
I learned from hubby tonight that their company is pushing through with the plan to make May 22nd a company holiday. Since May 21st is Father's Day, that means we will have a long weekend. So what are we going to do then? Sightseeing is the best option! München (Munich) is the place to go then! It is such a hurried decision so I had to make haste with the preparations. Must remember to bring everything that Sam needs. Hubby says he'll take care of the itinerary and the hotel reservation. So that's one thing off my list.

May 21st, Thursday, Father's Day.
We hit the road this morning. Argh!! The weather wasn't cooperating much.. it was raining on our way here. Thankfully, the skies cleared upon our arrival at our first stop of the day, the Schloss Neuschwanstein (Neuschwanstein Castle) in Schwangau. The road trip proved to be very relaxing with the Bavarian Alps in view as we were approaching our destination. It felt like I was in a picturesque dream: green hills, cool mountain air, farms on either side of the road... and me singing "The hills are alive with the sound of music...." LOL!

Since Schloss Neuschwantstein was situated on top of the Bavarian mountains, we had to walk our way up... It was quite a distance but the view to the "fairytale castle" was worth it! Will post photos of it in my next post, PROMISE! We also bought a souvenir... a snow globe of the castle. I'm hoping the family could go back in winter, but then again, it would be too cold! Nah...

I later on discovered that Schwangau is also home to Schloss Hohenstein and the Alpsee (Lake Alps).

After Schloss Neuschwanstein, we were planning to visit Schloss Linderhof but time is against us. We decided to drive for Munich instead. Another two-hour drive for us. WHEW!

May 22nd, Friday
We went on a bus tour around the city. Got on the doubledecker bus at 920AM and took lots of photos! Good thing the battery didn't go empty since I remembered to recharge. Hehe! Our tour consisted of 8 stops, where we had the option to hop on/hop off in each stop. It only takes two and a half hour if you don't get off the bus, but it took us five since we hopped off at Stop#4 and Stop#7. It was a live guided tour and was thankfully, bilingual! Was excited at first to hear about the great buildings, monuments and the history but later got tired of listening. They can't blame me... it can really get boring sometimes. :D

Munich is such a beautiful city with a very colorful history... with the reign of kings in times past and of course, the Third Reich. With lots of great architecture and museums and beer too!

Then by 3PM, we said "Auf Wiedersehen" and drove back to Stuttgart for our Sto. Niño prayer meeting at 6PM.


An exhausting trip but very exciting and memorable for the family. Was sick Saturday and Sunday but feeling better by Monday. Can't wait for our next adventure!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Yellow Monday: Buses and Rathauses


Last Thursday and Friday, the family visited Munich. We went on a tour around the city last Friday and rode one of the double decker tour buses that offers sightseeing tours. We could hop on and off at the different stop points so that we could tour the area to our heart's content. It was raining when we went back to the bus stop to wait for our bus. Our bus was a blue one, in keeping with the colors of the state of Bavaria, which is white-blue. But this yellow bus was at the bus stop when we got there. And a woman in a yellow dress and yellow umbrella happened to pass by too. I just had to take a snap before the moment is gone!

So here it is:

And this is the facade of the Rathaus (Town Hall). It is a very old building of Gothic Architecture. The yellow flowers and the amber glass inside the lamp post make it alive.

Happy Monday everyone!

Babies Know Best?

There is the adage that says "Mothers know best." In most cases, this is true. But when it comes to milk, babies know best. Why?

It was a Friday evening. I have forgotten, yet AGAIN, to purchase my baby's milk while there is till time. I only told husband at the last minute that Sam only has milk for the night. It was almost 10:00 PM and we were still on the road from our Sto. Niño prayer meeting. The grocery just on the first floor of our apartment building closes at 10:00 PM. With just 5 minutes left, I rushed into the store hoping that they have my baby's milk available. Unfortunately, they only have milk for 10 months and below and the BIO formula for 1 year and above. So I bought the one for 10 months and the BIO formula, hoping that she would like one of them.

Then it was time for Samantha to go back to sleep and that would mean a bottle of milk. I first tried giving her the BIO formula, but she wouldn't drink it. I tried the other one and still she wouldn't drink it. Just by the smell of the milk, she refuses to drink it. My poor baby, she slept through the night without drinking her milk. She would wake up from time to time asking for milk, but everytime I try giving her the milk, she would refuse them. She only had a few ounces of water when 4AM came.

Then morning came and hubby had to rush to the drug store to buy Sam's milk. Sam only got to drink her milk at around 9:30AM. And she knows, it's already HER milk.

I feel a twinge of guilt at the thought. At the same time, it puts a smile on my face. When it comes to milk, babies do know best.

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