Monday, December 31, 2012

My two theme songs for 2013

I'm still working on my "Reflections on 2012" article as of this morning.  It's a doozy and most likely will be split into 2 parts.

To whet your appetite (and in my efforts to fight off sleeplessness-induced writer's block) I will, in the meantime, give you my two theme songs for 2013.  Both of these songs, similar in message, put in music what I want my life to be like in the coming year.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Making health and fitness a top priority in 2013

It is quite predictable that among the top of every New Year’s Resolution list that we all come up with is the desire to be healthy and/or lose weight.  Evidence of this is that the highest sales on exercise equipment come around this time of year.

2012 was a good year for me in this area.  Not perfect, but good…and allow me to share with you my tips on how to be live a healthy life on a budget.

It’s a funny thing that many of the resolutions regarding health or weight loss are among the first resolutions that are broken.  Ok, it’s not a funny thing, it’s more of a sad thing, really.   As I reflect why this is so, I’ve come to the conclusion that:

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from yours truly

Here's a mime presentation that the Kids Church did several years ago (when my teenage daughter, Lynn, one of the participants, was just around 9 years old).  Merry Christmas everyone.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Top 10 Non-Traditional Christmas Songs


As Christmas draws near, I’m sure your ears are gonna be saturated with timeless Christmas classics like Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and Joy To The World, among many others.

Well, if you’re in the mood for something different, but you’re still willing to feel the Christmas spirit, then there are lots of non-traditional Christmas songs that you can enjoy (and, no, it’s not just All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey).  In fact, if you live in Cagayan de Oro, then the local Christian station here, The New J 103.3 FM plays Christmas songs all throughout December (non-traditional songs as well as modernized versions of the classics).

I’m friends with the guy who runs the show over there at The New J, John de Cleene, and he was kind enough to share with me his Top Ten Non-Traditional Christmas songs.  I’m going to give those top ten songs below, with a brief intro by John, himself, and with an accompanying video if possible.  The names are also Amazon links in case you’d like to buy them.  Enjoy John’s Top Ten Non-Traditional Christmas Songs!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bring your teen to B.E.A.T.S. a Christmas party by a great crowd

One of my favorite verses on parenting, and you’ve seen it here before, is Luke 2:52.  It’s the last verse of Jesus’s childhood, and it says this:

“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, in favor with God and man.”  

From a parenting standpoint, we are to do our part in growing our kids “in wisdom” (intellectually), “and stature” (physically), “in favor with God” (spiritually) “and man” (socially).  Like four legs of a chair, if one "leg" is broken, the chair cannot stand, no matter how robust the others are.

Most parents spend their hard-earned money on the best schools so that their kids will grow intellectually.  All my kids are also bookworms, because my wife and I have read to them when they were young.  They can devour books hundreds of pages thick in a mere day.

I’m disappointed that not every home does this, but we in the house eat lots of veggies and make it a point to train our kids to do so as well, so that they will be grow physically.  They also come from a long line of good athletes, and so they participate in sports to build strength and discipline (particularly my eldest and my youngest, both are excellent soccer players).

I also hope that parents are successful in teaching their kids about manners, being kind to others (especially the needy), and to be responsible, so that they can grow socially.  I’m glad that the school I bring my kids to has something called “practical life” to teach these to the students.

But how about growing our kids spiritually?  How do we do that?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Guys, Manny's faith was not responsible for his loss...or was it?


I’m not supposed to be blogging.  I’m supposed to be checking my students’ essay-based literature exams, which will take me all night.  But something about our reaction to Manny Pacquiao’s loss keeps me from working properly, and I need to express it here on Lessons Of A Dad before I go back to my work.

I’ll let a former student’s Facebook status update tell you what irks me:

“I love how Filipinos always find something to blame…The reason why Pacquiao lost is because he stopped being a Catholic and stuff about God. Really, man. Really.”

I’m sure there’ll be comments like what she’s calling out, and my knee jerk reaction was, “Manny’s new-found love for God is in no way responsible for his loss.”  

But then, as I reflect further, maybe God, indeed, was responsible.  Let me explain.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Books that all teens (and their parents) should read


Teaching young teens is what I do for a living.  I’m a high school teacher by profession, teaching in a small private Montessori school in Cagayan de Oro City.  Being in such a small school, teaching in The Abba’s Orchard allows me to not only teach the ABC’s (you wouldn’t want me to teach the 123’s), but it also allows teachers like us to make a big impact in their young lives, an impact a teacher in a traditional school can only dream of having.

On this note, I have come up with a selection of books that all teens (and their parents) should read.  Some of these books I’ve recommended on this blog before, and it can’t hurt that I recommend them again.  However, I now strongly suggest that parents of teens should also read these books, so that they can mentor (key word: mentor…not force or coerce) their teen in walking the right path.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A very cool student-made shadow play

Below is a very cool student-made shadow play, shown in the latest Foundation Day of The Abba's Orchard School, an awesome Montessori school I work for and where my kids go to.  The Foundation Day's theme was One For Africa, and this shadow play was done by the Erdkinder (high school) group, which is where I work (and where my eldest daughter is a grade 7 student).



Note again that this beautiful project is 100% student-made.  It was conceptualized by students, choreographed by students, and executed by students.  All we teachers did was to encourage.

Share this to friends!