Posts in “Faith”

Christ-Centered Christmas Countdown (Fun Arts & Crafts!)

Friday, November 30, 2018

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Two years ago, I started doing a Christmas countdown and my boys loved it. This time, I decided to do it again but with simpler activities. This way, even busy mothers can participate and get crafty at home.  The important thing is to focus and understand the story of the day based on Bible verses. As a Christian parent, I firmly believe that it’s our duty to share the life of Christ and it’s lessons to our kids. Christmas is the perfect time to share the true meaning of this event – it’s all about our savior Jesus Christ who died for our sins.

It took me a while to finish researching the activities (most I found from Pinterest) and to put it all together because of this very busy season. Nevertheless, I’m excited to start soon! Some of the activities are inspired by pictures I saw online. I tweaked some of the activities to make it more personal.

I used couple of my kids’ children’s Bible books like “The Beginner’s Bible ; Timeless Children’s Stories” and “The Action Bible”  to read the stories to them before doing the activities. We also use this as a guide to help us decide which story of Jesus we want to discuss on a certain day.

Here are some of the craft activities to help my kids understand more about the story about Jesus.


An Angel Visit Mary (Luke 1:26-38)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”




Paper Plate

Drawing of a face

Glue/ Tape

Paper, Pencil and Scissor



Baby Jesus Is Born  Luke 2:1-7

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”




Small Paper Bag

Scratch paper


Star sticker or yellow cardstock



You can use popsicle stick or craft stick and wrap it up with tissue paper. Use pen to draw the face.


Shepherds Visit  (Luke 2:8-20)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”




Cereal Box

White Paper

Black Marker

Cotton balls

Popsicle sticks



The King of all kings (Matthew 2:1-12)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”




Yellow cardstock

Different colors of kraft paper (cut into small square size)


Crayons (optional)

Glitter Markers (optional)


John Baptizes Jesus (Matthew 3:1-7; Mark 1:1-11; Luke 3:1-22)

Read: The Action Bible




White paper plate (or any white cardstock)

Piece of orange paper

Eye decor

White feather (you may add more if you’d prefer)



Jesus chooses his disciples (Matthew 4:18-22; 9:9; 10:1-4; Mark 1-3; Luke 5-6)

Read:  “The Beginner’s Bible”




Straws (cut in half)

 Craft Papers, cut out of people as 12 disciples

Small bowl


Jesus’ First Miracle (John 2:1-11)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”








Jesus teaches on a mountain (Matthew 5:1-12)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

jesus teaches on a mountain 1608_Week3_03 (source)


Small Canvas or white card stock

Acrylic Paint (2-4 colors)

Cottons and Clothespins


Cut out heart shape using cardstock


Up on the roof (Mark 2:1-12)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”




Yarn / Twine

(2) Popsicle Sticks

Small cardstock or small fabric

Lego man

Small Box


Jesus calms the storm (Matthew 8:23-27)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”




Empty Large Bottle

Blue Glitters


Toothpicks to make the boat


The hungry crowd (John 6:1-14; Mark 6:30-44)

Read: The Action Bible




Printed fish and bread (or draw a simple drawing and cut it)


Paper Plate

Wire string


Jesus Walks on Water (Matthew 14:22-33; John 6:15-21; mark 6:45-52)

Read: The Action Bible

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Boat Water Illustration

Wood Sticks /Popsicle sticks (2)

Peter and Jesus Illustration


Faith at First Sight (from action Bible; John 9:1-10:21)

Read: The Action Bible

Blind man at Siloam game



Illustration of a man’s face

Brown paper




A good Neighbor (Luke 10:25-37)

Read: The Action Bible




Illustration of a man


Cotton and Glue (or you can use band-aid)

I’ll draw a wounded man on a piece of paper and let the kids do the coloring. Once done, I’ll color a red spot (wound) on the man’s body. The kids can be the good samaritan helping a stranger by attending to his wound with glue and cotton.


Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”





White cardstock

Crayon to color the ears




The Lost Son (Luke 15:11-32)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”


(teaching kids forgiveness / source)





Wiggle eyes




Printed Bible Verse: Ephesians 1:7


Lazarus Lives Again ( John 11; Mark 10:13-22)

Read: The Action Bible




Cut out papers (tomb, man and white small strips of paper)

Wiggle Eyes

Glue or Double sided tape


Man in a Tree (Luke 19:1-35; John 12:1-8)

Read: The Action Bible




Paper Plate

Green paper



Popsicle stick

short man illustration


The True King (Mathew 21:1-11; Luke 19:20-42; John 12:12-19)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”




Green craft papers

Popsicle sticks




Washing the Disciples’ Feet (John 13:3-30)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”




Action figure (or doll)


Bowl of water



The Last Supper (Matthew 26:17-29)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”




Cut out of brown paper as a bread

Cut out of white paper as wine cup

Purple crayon (Kids will color the cup)



On Trial (Matthew 26:57-27:2)

Read: The Action Bible




Red Paper for hand cut out

Round white paper

2 small triangle yellow paper




Popsicle stick

Wiggle eye


Death Sentence and Crucified

Read: The Action Bible




Salt dough (find the recipe here that I used before.I probably will double the ingredients)

Bag of Toothpicks



The Sealed Tomb (Matthew 27:59-28:15)

Read: The Action Bible





Card stock (for one person and tomb)




This activity is perfect for preschoolers. It teaches them to be more creative and resourceful. At the same time, they learn about a lot of things too, from vocabulary to storytelling. Expensive materials are not necessary for these activities. You can use anything that’s lying around your house. The important things is to share the story and meaning of Jesus Christ’s life.

How do you teach your kid’s the true meaning of Christmas?


Dream Big, Pray Big. Free 2018 Calendar.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

free 2018 calendar

Hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve! My family and I a had a totally great one with our good friends from church, although we didn’t stay up late until midnight. We watched fireworks and had a great meal prepared by the Bilnoski family. Speaking of New Year’s Eve, it’s so funny to know that most of my American friends on Instagram had no plans to wake up their kids or let their kids stay up until midnight. On the other hand, most of my Filipino friends on Instagram planned to celebrate with their little ones. If you haven’t seen how the Philippines celebrate New Year’s Eve, here’s a video taken in Manila.

Since it’s the first week of 2018, I wanted to share to all my readers a simple and inspiring calendar, to use for the new year of 2018! It says “Dream Big, Pray Big” and encourages me to trust God more this year. I also included a Bible verse too! This printable calendar is nice to use for your workspace, post on the fridge, on your school binders, or you can attach it to a clear clipboard like I did.

What you need:

FREE printable of 2018 Calendar

Clear Clipboard

Corner Rounder Punch


free 2018 calendar 2

All you have to do is print out the free printable 2018 calendar. Then, use a corner round punch to have it perfectly fit a clear clipboard. That’s it! I love having this in my workspace!

free 2018 calendar 1

Dream Big. Pray Big. Whatever your dreams are, use the most powerful tool you have: praying and trusting Him. God knows what is good for us, and in His time.

Happy New Year, friends! I can’t wait to see how 2018 is going to be!



When You Don’t Feel Thankful

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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photo source @nellyfriedrel

Most days, I feel thankful and appreciate my life, as well as the things and people around me. But I’ll be honest, there are days where I compare myself to others and find myself full of complaints, frustration, and disappointment. We are now studying Romans at Bible Study Fellowship and I read a verse this week from Romans 10:11. It says, “Anyone who believes in Him will never be disappointed”. It lit my eyes up this week and showed me that no matter how we feel, the important thing is to trust Him and be thankful for what plans He has for our lives. It might not always be the way we want things, but it’s part of His plan for us. To keep myself from forgetting some of the things I am thankful and appreciative for, I made notes for myself. Here they are:

  • Having more time to see my kids as they grow up, and being able to be a stay-at-home mom with them.
  • Having helpful and generous parent-in-laws who help us.
  • Having good health insurance for our family.
  • Having enough money to buy our groceries every week.
  • Having a husband who helps out with the kids after a long and stressful day at work.
  • Having my sister, mom, and brother who take time for my kids by talking and entertaining them in video calls, even though they are thousands of miles away.
  • Having friends who encourage me in spirituality and motherhood.

How about you? What are the things you can forget to be thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving!


Donate For Hurricane Harvey Victims

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Photo source: @lindseyjurica

My heart aches for what’s happening in my city, Houston. Six years ago, I came to Houston from the Philippines, so it was my first home in the United States. It was devastating to see what Hurricane Harvey did to my city. I’ve been through several situations with big typhoons and floods in the Philippines, ever since I was a kid. I know from experience how sad and chaotic it is for the families and everyone in Houston, affected by the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. My family is safe and I’m thankful that my husband urged me to leave Houston a day before the Hurricane arrived. I am also thankful that my mother-in-law is with us. She’s been helping us a lot ever since I gave birth to my third son. She drove us to her home in Dallas to take care of us, especially my boys. I can’t imagine how terrifying it is to experience flooding if you have kids and/or a newborn during this kind of calamity. Today, I shared some organizations you can help and share your blessings with for the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas.

Texas Diaper Bank – They are in need of cash and/or diaper donations since disaster relief agencies don’t provide diapers.

Impact Houston Church – This is the church that we attend. They are located in the inner city of Houston and always help the less fortunate, especially the homeless. Donations such as baby formula, diapers for babies, cases of water, non-perishable food items, hygiene items like toothbrushes and toothpaste, are all needed. See a full list of needs here. You can donate money as well. See the quick link on their website.

Hurricane Harvey Houston Relief Fund by Houston’s mayor.

Houston Food Bank – The best thing you can do to help the Houston Food bank is to make a donation of money designated for disaster relief.

Check out other shelters and organizations in Houston to learn how you can help, with either donating money and supplies, or volunteering.

If you know other organizations, let me know in the comments below!


Here he comes… (Birth Story)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

birth-story-third-baby 2 birth story third baby 4 birth story third baby 5

We finally came home with our new blessing! All of us have fallen in love with him, especially his older brothers. I’m excited to share today’s post about our newborn son’s birth, and a few helpful ways on how to get through the pain of labor and delivery. So let me begin before my baby wakes up. 😉

An appointment

Earlier this month, my doctor told me that she wanted to schedule an induction for me because I was expecting to have a big baby (much bigger than my two older sons). I had a bad experience with induction from my first pregnancy. I was given Pitocin, an induction medication, which caused me a lot of pain and discomfort. I also felt the staff were in a hurry when I was given it. That is why I asked about stripping membranes or membrane sweeping. This is what I had done with my second son. I’m thankful that my doctor was cool and respected my decision. On the morning of my child’s birth, around 9am, I had the membrane sweeping done. It caused me to have more Braxton Hicks contractions and spotting afterwards. I heard that sometimes this method doesn’t work too. That’s why I kept praying that the membrane stripping would lead to a strong contraction and I’d start going into labor.

The plan

I had been telling my husband for the past few months that I wanted to stay at home for most of my labor. In the afternoon, I felt such strong Braxton Hicks contractions that I needed to do some breathing to ease the discomfort. I was still hesitant if they were real or not, since I had experienced false labor over the weekend. I began timing the contractions, but felt I’d rather do something to distract myself, like laundry or chasing my kids. 😉 Around 4:30 pm, I texted my husband who was at work, about my strong Braxton Hicks contractions. He told me to tell him whenever I wanted him home, so I decided to time how many minutes apart my contractions were. At 5pm, I counted 7-8 minutes apart. Thirty minutes later, it became 3-4 minutes apart… This was when I felt I was getting sick, so Brent decided to leave work. I tried distracting myself between contractions by making dinner for my two toddlers. At 6pm, the contractions were 3 minutes apart. In my head, I was like, “Where are you Brent!?” lol I felt a little worried, but having the kids around distracted me from the pain. When Brent finally got home, I headed straight to a warm shower, which helped a lot during contractions. Around 7pm, we started prepping to head to the hospital. We contacted our good friend who picked up our kids to take care of them. She and her husband are amazing!

My contractions became stronger, so my breathing made me sound like a cow! Haha! Brent said, “We need to go. That’s how you sounded like before.” However, I said to Brent that I could still handle it, and that I bet the contractions were only 4 cm. I started to lay down on my side on the bed, and grabbed Wilson, my tennis ball. I also grabbed one of the Bible verses I wrote on a piece of paper. When our friend arrived, it was time to say goodbye to my boys. I wanted to be emotional, but with so much pain, I didn’t have time to cry. lol

The drive-thru

Brent had been supportive of my decision to stay a little longer at home during labor, but I decided to go to the hospital since I felt he was getting worried seeing me in pain. It was dinner time and I knew it would be a long night for both of us, so I told  Brent we needed to get food as we hadn’t eaten dinner yet. It’s a good thing there was a Whataburger close to the hospital. We went into the drive thru, and ordered burgers and chocolate malts (malts are like shakes). When Brent was picking up the food at the window, I remember him telling the girl working there, “My wife is having a baby. She’s in labor.” I heard the girl was like, “And why are you picking up food?!” My husband answered, “Well, she wants to!” Yes, I totally did want to! Oh, boy! Drinking a cold, sweet chocolate malt powered up my body between contractions! That was the best decision we made that day! Sweets sometimes do good for the body, right? 😉

At last, we made it to the hospital and parked far from the entrance, so I needed to stop while walking a few times during my contractions. I was like, “Where’s the wheelchair??” Brent wanted to make sure the door was open so he left me for a few seconds to check. The strong contractions cams again… I wanted to lay down on the sidewalk, but there were a few people around and I didn’t want them to call 9-1-1 thinking I needed emergency care. Haha! Thankfully, Brent came back quickly.


You got this far

It was around 8:30 pm when we reached the labor/delivery room. I was already on the bed having contractions continuously saying to Brent that I thought I was only at 5 cm, and that we were too early. Then, one of the nurses checked my cervix and saw how far along I was; 8 cm! The nurse asked me if I wanted an epidural, but before I answered, one of the other nurses (her name is Dyana and she took care of me all through night) suddenly said “You already got this far!” That made me feel confident and so I said “No, thank you” to the epidural. During the strong contraction, I knew that at anytime I could be pushing so I asked my husband to get a few things for me inside my hospital bag. I asked him to pick a Bible verse that says “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me,” and a couple pictures of my family. They really helped me mentally.

Here he comes

After just a few minutes, I could feel that I was ready to push… It was so painful and so I screamed, “Aray ko po!!!” I realized no one could understand the words I said because it was in Tagalog. I screamed again, “Ouch! It hurts!! I’m ready to push!” The doctor came in and the nurses became busier, preparing for me to deliver the baby. Brent was so helpful, staying beside me and guiding by breathing pattern. In the 5th contraction, I did the last push and finally, out came our precious son. All the pain was worth it when I held him!

birth story third baby 3 It is the best and most unforgettable feeling to experience giving birth to a baby. Even though this was my third time giving birth, it felt like it was my first. This was the first time that I didn’t ask for an epidural when I reached 8-9 cm. I often asked them in the end from my previous deliveries, but with the help of God, my supportive husband, and people who inspired me to do a natural birth (sister-in-laws and my Houston friends), I finally made it. I’m actually surprised how it was less painful than I thought it’d be. Maybe it’s because this was my third time, but I’m pretty sure it was less painful than taking Pitocin. I was also surprised how the recovery after delivery was not as hard as I thought. If you are an expecting mom or planning to give birth one day, here are the things that helped me get through the pain:

  1. Breathing – Brent was really good at teaching me how to breath the right way when I was in labor. He told me to take a deep breath, hold it for 4 seconds, and breathe out for a few seconds.
  2. Wilson – He wasn’t another man! Haha! Wilson is a tennis ball! I’ve been using it since I had my first son. I liked squeezing it as much as I could when my contractions came.
  3. Bible verses (find them here) – I have a good friend from church who lent me this book that talks about Bible verses for labor and delivery. She gave me the idea to write them down and bring them me to the hospital. I stuck the paper beside my bed and would read a Bible verse when a contraction came. I closed my eyes and kept saying the verses inside my mind. It really amazed me how God’s words are so powerful. Praying and reading Bible verses for this kind of situation really works! You can totally feel His power through these scriptures.
  4. Visualization – On the way to the hospital when I was having contractions, Brent told me to picture that I was by the ocean and seeing big waves. There were many times in the delivery room as well that I visualized that Christ was standing beside me wearing white clothing… I know it might sound weird to others,but it is truly effective to think about Jesus during painful times. There was a point when I thought about how Christ sacrificed himself and the pain to he went through for us. I also thought of someone I know who is in need and imagined that all the pain I experienced during labor was an offering to God, so that he would help that person repent, and change his heart.
  5. Labor at home – It’s good thing that we live only a few minutes away from the hospital so I could do most of my labor at home. There are a lot of things I could still do there, rather than staying in a hospital room. If I had been in Manila during labor, I don’t think I would’ve been able to stay at home longer or I’d end up giving birth in the middle of a traffic jam. 😉

birth story third baby 8

(Delivery/Nursing Robe from Pink Blush)

Thank you again to those who helped us out from the beginning of my pregnancy; family members, church friends, Brent’s co-workers, our Houston friends, Filipino friends, and mom bloggers I have met on social media. You all are blessings to us! Have a great weekend ahead! I’m now off to take a nap…


The waiting begins..featuring JORD Watches + GIVEAWAY

Sunday, August 6, 2017

This post is sponsored by JORD Watches

the waiting begins featuring JORD watches (3)

the waiting begins featuring JORD watches (4)

I always thought that I would be in labor for this pregnancy early in my third trimester since this is my third child. Yet here I am, still waiting and wondering when he’s coming out. I just turned 39 weeks pregnant and I’ve been anxious lately about being in labor, especially when I found out that the baby is around 10 lbs! Yes! 1-0. I don’t know why I was surprised because all my boys were big babies when I delivered them, but if the technician was right, my third baby will be the biggest of them all! To keep calm while waiting, I’ve continued to read Bible verses, which my good friend shared with me, for labor and delivery. Here are a few of them that I wrote on a piece of paper, and I’ll bring them with me to the hospital.

“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh, is anything too difficult for me?Jeremiah 32:27

“I will cry to God Most High, to God who accomplishes all things to me” Psalm 57:2

“For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not, I will help thee” Isaiah 41:13

“So do not fear, I am with you; do not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will upload you with my righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10

“I can do all things through HIM who strengthen me.” Philippians 4:13

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation come from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” Psalm 62:1-2

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

“Do not be afraid, Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today” Exodus 14:13


Do you have other favorite Bible verses that make you feel strong, both mentally and physically, during painful times like labor?

the waiting begins featuring JORD watches (2)

the waiting begins featuring JORD watches (1)

By the way, I have also partnered with JORD wooden watches to giveaway $100 to use on their website. One lucky winner will win and be able to choose his or her favorite watch style! However, everyone who enters will receive a consolation prize worth $25, once the contest ends. I got a watch that is part of the Frankie series, in Dark Sandalwood & Smoke, and I love it! The contest will close August 27 at 11:59pm. Both the $100 and the $25 codes will expire on 10/31/2017. Enter h e r e to join!

Wooden Wrist Watch


Baby Shower for Baby Boy #3

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

baby shower for baby 3

When I moved to Houston from the Philippines in 2011, I found my very first friends at Impact Church of Christ. This was the church Brent and I attended while he was in grad school. Brent and I love this church so much, not only because of the wonderful, diverse people, but also because their main objective is to help people who are less fortunate. Impact helps everyone, from children to the elderly.

Over the weekend, some ladies from Impact threw a baby shower for me and my baby boy #3. Brent and I already have a name for him, but we’d like to wait after he’s born to share it. Even though the weather was so hot outside, they pampered me with sweet treats (good thing Brent was not around…*wink) and delicious foods! Here are some photos from the shower and some of the sweetest gifts that my baby boy received.

baby shower for baby 3 h

(Photos from my good friend, Karla.)

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This is Caroline, one of the hosts of my shower. I loved this game. It’s called “Baby Match Game.” You pick two numbers and see if they have the same words written on the back of the post-it. For example, let’s say #3 and #19 both have the words “Twin Boys.”  If you choose both those numbers back-to-back, you’ll get candies that correspond with the words. For “twin boys” the candy was “Mike and Ike”. Memorization is the key to find the matching words and win candy! baby shower for baby 3 d

How cute is this?! These are customized shirts made by my good friend Ashli, who owns Christian Grace Embroidery. Thanks, girl! I can’t wait to take photos of my boys wearing these! baby shower for baby 3 b

baby shower for baby 3 c

My boys got this handmade step stool too! How talented is Susan?! Having 3 boys will be a BIG adventure that awaits us. 😉 baby shower for baby 3 a

We felt so showered with love from you all! From Brent and I, thank you! 🙂



Hello baby bump #3

Thursday, April 20, 2017

hello-baby-three (1)

I’m finally excited to share with everyone that we are expecting our third child this year! We had told some people when I was in the Philippines (Brent and I decided to share the good news in-person first, then on social media), but I think now is a good time to officially share this blessing with everyone, and it’s my birthday week! I’ve been feeling great since I hit my second trimester. No morning sickness at all. Although, I still can’t stand the smell of coffee… Sorry, coffee lovers…

Was this planned or was it a surprise, you ask? I’ve been praying to God to bless us with another child to add to our family, so nope. It was not a surprise. Haha! Brent knows that two kids are little in number for me. 😉 Last year, was a challenging one with our second child because of his bad reflux, colic, and waking up before 6AM daily. It was also sometimes challenging to take care of a baby and toddler close in age, but it is true that these kind of challenging moments will disappear one day. When I try to look back and remember those moments, I honestly can’t remember the feeling. I know I was exhausted and I do remember it was so hard for Brent and me.  But here we go again, starting another chapter with a new addition to our family. It’s weird to me that I don’t feel anxious and nervous thinking about taking care of two toddlers and a newborn… Maybe I should be, but right now, I’m just too busy with my two boys and focusing on parenting them before the new baby comes. I also believe that all I can do is trust God and His plan for this new little one.

Happy weekend and happy birthday to me! I’ll be enjoying a piece of cake! Sorry, Baby!
hello-baby-three (2)

(Hello Baby book by Mem Fox / Motherhood Maternity Top (from a friend) / Jeans from thrift store but here’s the similar)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17


Welcome to Hello Island Mama! I love to share about motherhood, makeup, DIYs, home styling and faith. Based in Houston, Texas. Originally from Philippines. Thank you for your time to read and don't forget to subscribe above! - Em

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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