So, yesterday was fun and busy. It started with a trip to Glorietta to pick up a birthday gift for a party we were going to in the evening.
I ended up picking out a Scooby Doo coloring book, a book about how to draw Dexter from Dexter's laboratory, an Asterix comic book and two abridged classics, The Three Musketeers and Treasure Island.. all for under $8. Then we stopped in at Jollibee for some ice cream because the kids were being good. The Jolibee has dipped cones with rice krispie crunchies, for P10 each. All 5 of us had cones for $1 with Nicholas choosing ube, Katherine picking cheese, Rebecca had strawberry and Jonathon and I each had chocolate. The other day Jonathon and I were in a hurry and stopped in at Auntie Anne's for pretzels and I highly recommend the almond variety. For P35 each, we bought two. I'm definitely picking up why our sponsors talked so much about eating out and where to get snacks.
While Jonathon napped, the other 3 did an art project, drawing a still picture of that VeggieTale cucumber, Larry. We have a mix-n-match Larry (much like Mr Potato Head), so I stood him up and the kids did their best to draw him a couple times in different outfits. I had them cut him out, then glued him onto some foam board and write something with foam letters, and they really did turn out cute.
Once the project was done and cleaned up, Jonathon was still sleeping, but the phone rang. Another mom called us up and invited us over, so I found a new neighborhood on the map and we spent the rest of the afternoon there while the kids built cushion forts and played with the various animals they own (from fish to hampsters to turtles). They have 5 kids, ages 11 years to 5 months and just moved into new quarters. The house is, of course, huge and has a pool. She has a daughter going into 2nd grade (different teacher than Katherine though) and another daughter starting K (we don't have our teacher assignments yet), so this could be a really good year. Manila is their first post as well, so we talked about hired help a bit and discovered we both prefer the same things. Drivers are too much to deal with, live-in househelp is not for us as we enjoy our privacy and a yaya is not a necessity because "lunch functions" are not our thing.
She knows a lot of places to find good deals being a 10 month Manila veteran to my 3 months, and told me one of the stalls at the bazaar has interesting quilts. Quilts are a big thing here, but all the ones I've seen are less than exotic, basic designs you can purchase at home. Granted, here they are loads cheaper, but I've never wanted to just "buy a quilt", so I can't see getting some pastel concoction just because they exist and are cheap. But she had one that had patches of different Filipino interests. Landmarks, cultural symbols, really really neat. I want one. The standard quilt apparently comes with a patch of cock-fighting in the middle, but she requested one with a temple instead. It took me a second to realize that in Quezon City is a Mormon Temple. We've agreed that once the the kids start school again, and it's just us and the little boys, we'll hit the town together a few times to see what we can find.
On a side note, we've been asked to be community sponsors for a family coming in August with 4 kids, expecting their 5th. What is going on here? We're going to be the small family at post at this rate since that will make three families with 5 kids that I know of off hand.
When we left the Lewis house, we swung by home to pick up Ian and then went directly to McDonalds where the birthday party was being held. Again, in a part of town we'd never been in, and the parking was on a slant up 2 curbs. That was an adventure. Thank goodness for parking brakes. Anyhow, this was a nine year old boy who the kids see at summer camp, and he has a six year old sister. It was enjoyable, but it was definitely a McDs birthday complete with games for kids and adults. I have no desire to go back to McDonalds any time soon. They had enough food for an army, giving each kid a big soda, a hamburger, bowl of spaghetti, piece of chicken, piece of cake and a McFlurry. I'm amazed the kids fell asleep at all.
And to finish off the day, we received a package from home that had some really great treats for the kids. How perfect was that? Grandma even included clip-on earrings for the girls that they tried out today and proclaimed much too painful to wear. They're thinking now that the short-term pain of getting their ears pierced might be worth it.
Oh, seems like all is set for our trip to Cebu on Friday. We have air reservations and hotel set up. We're not going to get to stay at Plantation Bay (http://www.plantationbay.com) because one of the nights we wanted was booked, which we're really bummed about, but if we really like it in Cebu, maybe we'll go back. Not hopeful about that since there are so many other places to go and see, I don't know how we'd go back to the same place, at least not for a long while.