Teaching our daughters frugality

Frugality is one of the important lessons in life we’re teaching our daughters while they’re still young. This is the reason they don’t have everything, materially speaking (like ipad). Last Wednesday night, my friend and I spoke in front of the women and talked a little bit about our childhood in the Philippines. There were a few young girls in attendance because they wanted their mothers learn about other people’s way of life on the other side of the world.

As a mother of half American girls, parenting for me becomes interesting. Of course, compared to my childhood and our daughters’ life right now is way different. I want them to know the real value of life is not solely based on possessions or the price tag on everything they own. That sometimes it’s okay to expect less from life. We don’t need expensive things in defining real happiness.
Last weekend, my husband and I took the girls to Goodwill to shop for their Halloween costume. At first, they wanted to go to Walmart to buy a Butterfly and princess costume which no doubt, it would cost us at least $30. They didn’t whine when we told them Goodwill has some cute costumes too. Our girls are not strangers to this place. We go here at least once a month to buy our clothes. And guess what? We only spent less than $10 for both costumes they picked. They will only wear it once because I’m sure next year, they want a different one. They’re happy and excited to go trick or treating on Halloween rocking these costumes!

Have a wonderful and frugal weekend, everyone!

Gladys Starkey

Lost in translation

I’ll be speaking at Women’s Banquet at the church in town this coming Wednesday. I’ve been keeping in touch with the event coordinator for weeks so that everything is well-planned. From food to serve and the speech I’ll deliver (which reminds me how my weekend will be busy). We shared ideas for a successful event (hopefully) and that includes throwing a few Filipino words. I got a text message from her at work and gave her a call during my lunch break (with my phone battery dying!). I was in the car talking to her hoping my phone doesn’t die on me (it’s been acting weird lately because it got dropped a couple times) to wrap up everything about the event because she’s writing for their church bulletin for their church congregation to read. She asked how would I translate a certain English sentence. I told her the translation and she was happy that she got everything she needed.

I went to a Mexican restaurant across my workplace to have some Pupusa. I started reading a book (The Seat of the Soul) when I realized I gave a wrong translation! I called the event coordinator again for a correction. I was too embarrassed to tell her how I switched the words wrong. To be honest with you, Filipino subject wasn’t easy for me when I was taking it in high school and college (I’m not kidding). Both of us were laughing for that simple mistake.

The first time I went back to my native Philippines four years ago, a few people noticed my “accent” even though I wasn’t speaking English. If I speak Filipino, there are times I mix English words with it which is typical to a lot of Filipinos. But of course, it’s understandable because aside from our own dialect, we still speak Filipino (with some Spanish words) and English at the same time.

I might encounter this “lost in translation” line sometimes, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m forgetting my native language. Because I won’t. For someone who speaks a certain dialect, a native and  one foreign language, it can be confusing sometimes.

What happened today wasn’t really a big deal but it’s only a reminder that we can still laugh at that “small mistake” and this narrative is something I can share with the expected 100 audience on Wednesday!

Have a fun and safe weekend, everyone!

Gladys Starkey

They have time for “gadgets”

During school year, we always make sure our girls focus hard on their studies. Although, I have no plans on being a “tiger mom” to them someday, I want our daughters value their education as how I valued mine. Why? With the great education they get from a public school here is something every kid should not be taken advantage of.
But of course, life is not all about school, books, and studies. Sometimes we have to take a break from that. My high school and college classmates once called it “unwind” time. Not in expensive terms or whatsoever except enjoying ourselves by playing outside or hanging out at my classmate’s house.
Our time back then was so different from today’s kids’ time. For one, gadgets are part of almost every kid’s life. In our daughters’ case, it is. But not excessively. They spend a certain amount of time using it. I remember when I was at their age, the only “gadget” my siblings and I played was a Gameboy brick game (if you ever know what that is) that we only borrowed from a friend or a cousin. It’s just like yesterday knowing how it felt the happiness and excitement it brought to us. That single item that occupied our young mind. For some reason it allowed me to enjoyed my childhood more for doing different things other than studying all the time.

As a parent myself, the rule in our house right now is our girls are only allowed to use it once they’re done with their homework and a few chores we’ve given them. On weekdays the usage of it is very minimal. They whine (of course!) but that’s the rule we have for them because of more important things to get done like supper, bath time and reading time. But they get more time on weekends, if we’re only staying home.

For many parents like us, parenting is a challenge. We try not to be too strict or too lenient to them as long as there’s a balance on everything.

I hope your week started great!

Gladys Starkey