Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lessons Everywhere

I banned Spongebob Square Pants (the TV Show) from our home. This devastated Sabrina. She really enjoyed watching a few episodes of the show (she was given a dvd as a present) and couldn't understand why she couldn't watch it anymore. 

I told her that everything we watch, listen to, read changes us whether we like it or not and that we need to be careful and mindful. It took a few times but eventually she understood the idea.  

Yesterday I gave her this book: 

It was supposed to be for our homeschooling but she was so excite that I let her read the two-page introduction. 

Sabrina: Wow. Did you choose this because I will learn things from this book?

Liv: Yup
Sabrina: Like what?
Liv: Well first you'll learn new words.
Sabrina: I know what this book is teaching me. It's teaching me that people who are different from us can also do great things.
Liv: Oh wow honey. Yes that is probably something we can learn from this book.
Sabrina: And that ____(name of her friend) is still special even if I'm taller than her/him.

I was floored!! Reflection and application? That's high level learning! Love it!

I wrote more about this book over at my other blog. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Play with Andrea Day

Dear Sabrina Banana, 

Most parents looking at me would think I spend all the time with you. Not a lot of people know that even if I am technically at home with you, I do have a lot of other things going on. I go to school, I train for our church ministry, i have bible studies, I do counseling, I do parent coaching and i do corporate training. 

The time i have left is divided between you and dad. A lot of times we spend a big chunk of our time homeschooling and  talking. It is a considerable amount of time but I somehow forgot that you are a kid and you need play. The other day you told me that I don't play with you as much anymore. This broke my heart. 

A part of me wanted to get defensive and say "What? Are you kidding me? Do you know what I'm sacrificing to stay at home and teach you? And now you're saying that's not enough?"....that was my pride talking. I decided to take what you said humbly (whether or not it was accurate is not the point, you are sharing with me your   perspective and I should honor that) and say 

"I'm so sorry honey. I know I've been so busy. I really can't play with you   tonight because i have a meeting then I have to go to school but i have an idea. On Thursday, I will not work at all the whole day. No studying, no computer, no playing games on my phone. This Thursday will be the PLAY WITH ANDREA day"

You were beyond excited. I asked you to plan our day. You started making a list of games and activities which even included dancing and some snacks. 

You had a running countdown and last night you told your dad "Mom and I are going to play the WHOLE day! She is not going to work at all thy's why she spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday working so hard"

It takes so little to make you happy. Some games, some snacks, yet sometimes i forget. Thank you for reminding me and for loving me through my mistakes. 

Love ya, 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Think Happy Thoughts

Dear Sabrina Banana, 

God created you with such a powerful mind. You have the power to change things around you, to change yourself all with how you think. I hope and pray that you grow up knowing of this power and being able to harness for your good.

Your mind can also work against you. When you focus on things which are bad, you start to feel start to look start to be bad. Avoid this by feasting your eyes not on things on this earth but on God above.

Love ya,


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Conversations with Sabrina: Of Giants, Evil Robots and Secret Code Names

While reading the book "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" Sabrina and I came across a giant named Rumblebuffin. We both found this name adorable so I started saying that since her dad is so tall we can call him Mr. Rumblebuffin, I will be Mrs. Rumblebuffin and Sabrina will be Rumblebuffin Jr. We called these our "top secret" code names. I did this just for fun but Sabrina wouldn't have any of it unless there's a reason. So I told her:

Liv: What if, there's an evil robot who looks just like me and you need to find out who your real mom is. So you have to ask us "What's your secret name?" and the one who can give you the correct answer is your real mom.
Sabrina: Please (in a very bored way as if I'm talking nonsense) why don't I just throw water on both of you and the one who gets broken is the evil robot.
Liv: Yeah, that's a better plan.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

We Can Do This

Dear Sabrina Banana,

A few weeks ago, you asked me why it's hard for you to draw and color like the other kids could. I felt my heart break into so many small pieces right there and then. I haven't told you about your fine-motor delay. When I see you struggling with things other kids do so effortlessly, I feel my heart tightening. A part of me says "This is so unfair, why do we have to go through four times the work to achieve the same results as other people?".

I realized that it's such an arrogant and self-centered way of thinking. Why not? God gave everything to us, why can't he give us this small bump that can probably mold our character in the future? Why not give it to you? God allowed me to have the education and the training to handle kids psychologically....who better to have a kid who needs help?

I looked at you as you asked this and I said "What does it mean honey when something is hard to do?". You look at me dejectedly and say "It means we haven't practiced enough".  And you know what, as it says in the bible "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me".



Conversations with Sabrina -- Tummies

Mom, why do you have a big tummy even if you're not pregnant?


Monday, July 1, 2013

From the Mouth of Babes

One of the things I started doing was asking my daughter how I can improve as a parent. I wrote about the practice in my other blog. (Click to go to the blog post)

Here is what happened:

Every couple of months, I sit down with Sabrina and ask her how I can be a better mom to her or what I can improve as mother. She takes this to heart and today i asked her the same question:

 Liv: Sabrina how can I improve as your mom? 
Sabrina: I think you should try to have a better attitude?
Liv: (really? my daughter is telling me I have a bad attitude? Is this really happening?) Okay, what do you mean by i should have a better attitude? What does that look like? 
Sabrina: I think you should forgive people faster! Like remember when it took you so long to forgive Dad even when he said sorry? 

How humbling!! This incident happened over three months ago. What happened was, I was talking to Ruy about something and then he received a text message. He then spaced out and started replying to the message on his phone (which took about one to two minutes), then he put his phone away and was quiet for around 5 minutes before asking why I was so quiet and if something was wrong. I was so pissed that I kept quiet. Then he kept bugging me and I finally told him that he was so rude and that he actually forgot we were in the middle of a conversation. I felt very justified about being offended. I felt even more justified at not being forgiving right away even after he apologized. Sabrina was in the car with us when it happened (and no, no shouting or cursing was going on. It was a very quiet and civilized discussion despite my irritation) and I didn't realize she was watching what I was doing. She soon butted in and said I should be more forgiving. YIKES. It took me five minutes to accept Ruy's apology and Sabrina still couldn't forget it. I apologized again to Sabrina yesterday and told her I'd try to be more forgiving.

We don't often realize what our kids see in us. And more importantly, we don't get to choose what they remember when they see us. It's a wonderful reminder to be more mindful of how we act around our kids.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Of Love and Cheese Breads

Dear Sabrina Banana,

You have grown so much in such a little time that your dad and I would just look in wonder as we listen to the things you say. 

You get especially animated when you come from Sunday school. Last Sunday, after Sunday school you started talking about a little friend of yours who wasn't happy with something he received. 

"He should be glad for what he's got.", you said with so much conviction and certainty. You then went on to say that he needs to have a thankful heart in order for him to have a happy heart. 

Dad and I giggled as we listened to you. We know you were reciting lyrics of a song. That made it funny. But behind the humor, I was beaming with pride because you were understanding the message of the song. Not only that, you were able to diagnose the root or the heart issue of your friend. 

You asked us why we were laughing and I said we were just happy and enjoying listening to you talk as we were surprised  you knew so many things. What you said then surprised us...

"I know a lot because I grew up with my mom and dad loving Jesus like I love cheese bread"

Wow.  Like you love cheese bread? That's a whole lotta love!

Love ya, 


Thursday, February 14, 2013

2012, What a year!

Dear Sabrina Banana,

Hi baby. It's been so long since I last wrote you a letter here on this blog. I have been busy...we have been busy together. 2012 had been such an adventure for us hasn't it? So much has happened and I feel like you have matured in so many ways.

We started homeschooling in 2012 and to be honest I approached this with much apprehension and doubt. You have always been shy. It seemed counter-intuitive to pull you out of a traditional school where you would have regular and day-to-day interaction with people your age. So many people tried to stop me, but we talked about it and God is really leading me towards homeschooling and I had to follow him. Boy, am I glad I did.

The development and growth you have shown is astounding to me. There is no way it was because of me, you are growing so beautifully all by God's grace. You learned fractions, time, money, adding, subtracting, energy, simple machines and so many other things but those aren't the things I'm most proud off. What I'm proud off are the moments when you say "Mom, I feel shy but I want to try and talk to her", or "Mom, I want to be a Christian. How can I become one?", or "Mom, I love popcorn so much but not as much as I love God". Those are the moments when I feel like God is blessing me in what I'm doing with you.

I am so proud of you honey.

Love ya,