"My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person: he believed in me."  -Jim Valvano

Our older son arrived home yesterday disappointed. You see, Leon and his older sister Rica qualified to participate in the school-wide science quiz contests after hurdling the elimination round in their respective classes. They made adequate preparations over a long weekend that was full of family activities, including an afternoon at the park, a night watching Narnia 3, and the usual outside frolics and longer computer time. The weekend was also extra special because of the bicycle gift Rica received for her birthday from her Titos (uncles) and everyone was just excited to try it out.

After getting my attention away from the laptop, Mama Sez steered me towards Leon who was in front of the shoe rack with tears in his eyes. I immediately picked him up and while leading him to the bedroom, asked him what’s the matter.

After a bit of coaxing, he eventually related that he was upset because a classmate got the gold, while he didn’t even reach the clincher round. He got the third place.

“I know more than he does, and at a higher level“, said he, unhappy about the less than expected results and trying to find an explanation for the discrepancy.

Realizing that he was making comparisons, we tried to deflect his focus to his confidence that he is on a different level as far as science is concern.

“It’s okay to be sad and to cry. Contests are like that, there are winners and losers. But what’s important is you know that you are good at science and you can be the best at it. Quiz contests are not the only measure of one’s proficiency.”

“Moreover, Mama and I believe that you, indeed, have a different level of interest, knowledge and understanding of science. That’s why you can be the inventor or anything that you (eventually) want to be.”

We reminded him about their training in Abba’s Orchard Montessori School- that is, more of cooperating than competing with classmates.

“You compete with yourself, so that you get better at want you are good at and at what you wannabe.”

“Comparing yourself to someone else is not going to be healthy if that’s all you’re focusing on because you’ll always find some who are better than you, so you’ll get frustrated, and others who are worse, then you’ll get conceited.”

Leon’s paradigm has shifted to the merit system of exams, grades and contests in his new school, which is more representative of the traditional school system in the country. And he’s actually really good at it, having aced exams, getting high grades and winning contests. But somehow, he has to balance this with the better paradigm of cooperation and interdependence that he was taught at home and in Abba’s Orchard for four years.

While declaring that he’s okay now, we reemphasized that we believe in him and we know that he is talented, and that we love him no matter what.

“Mama, isn’t it that when you capture hot air, like in a balloon, it will go up?” That was when we were assured that he’s really over it.

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Valentine's Day is just around the corner

Posted by Papa Sez | Sunday, January 30, 2011

Oh how time flies indeed! I didn't realize that January is almost over, it was merely a few days ago that I was telling you about a busy start for 2011, until I noticed an increase in search engine activities for keywords involving "valentine" and "gifts for men and women".  Some of our hubs had been getting the traffic in time for the valentine season.

What Both Men and Women Want for Valentine's Day

Cute Valentine's Day Gift for Ideas for Young Couples

Feng Shui Tips for Love and Marriage

Buy Her a Valentine's Day Gift Online: What Women Appreciate

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Him 

Gift Ideas for Men: Buy Men's Leather Belts Online

Gifts that Tickle Your Senses

Hey, you might want to check them out and get some great ideas for the perfect gifts for your special someone this Valentine's Day.

photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/bluestonestudios/ / CC BY-SA 2.0

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A Busy Start for 2011

Posted by Papa Sez | Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I took some breather early this week from the heightened activities that Mama Sez and I have been experiencing since the start of the new year.  The rest was not just by choice but was also necessary as I was down with a throat virus like everyone else in the family, except for Rica, due to the colder and wetter than normal weather in the Philippines.

We did launch a new website that plays to our passion and strength as entomologists. Moreover, Mama Sez has teamed up with me in providing lectures and consultancy work in pest management as we decided to focus on this area this year. Therefore, for me to be more effective, I forgo my teaching commitment in a university also starting 2011.

What also kept us quite frantic was a stomach flu episode that hit the kids early January.  Having it all behind us now was a huge relief and we learned a lot from it such that Mama Sez shared the experience and the information she gathered about viral gastroenteritis at hubpages.com.

Therefore, we had to make adjustments to our commitments to our writing and posting in our sites and blogs including here at Parenting Journey. We can just realistically do so much. But hey, you won't find me complaining. Nagkukuwento lang :)

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InsectExperts.com is launched

Posted by Papa Sez | Friday, January 07, 2011

A new year, a new blog!

Mama Sez and I launched a new website related to our profession...as entomologists. The new site is InsectExperts.com.  

After a little more than a year of blogging about our experiences as parents such as here in Parenting Journey and as Mama Sez and Papa Sez on Hubpages.com, and on topics related to happiness, we have decided to pursue our online venture further by combining the knowledge, experience and skills we gained while blogging and our strengths from our background as entomologists.

InsectExperts.com aims to develop a community composed of workers in the broad field of entomology, insect enthusiasts, and those who are just interested in learning a bit more about this most diverse group of organisms on earth.

We hope you continue to support us in this new endeavor and get to know more about our passion for entomology.

C'mon and join us at InsectExperts.com and get intimate (hahaha) with bugs, roaches, butterflies, beetles, bees, ants, mosquitoes, flies, hoppers, mantises, spiders, mites, ticks, scorpions, centipedes, millipedes and many many more awesome yet despicable (at times) critters.  See you there!

P.S.  Just click on the lady beetle icon above to check out the site :)

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About Us (circa 2009)

Our journey led us to this place. A little more than 10 years ago we began our journey as husband and wife. Three years later, we found ourselves with two bundles of joy- a daughter and then a son. They're the children we've dreamed of having.

About five years since the birth of our son, an unexpected gift came- a younger brother to our school-age kids. And soon enough, a baby girl arrived to round the family membership.

Brave was a term used by a friend to describe us. Challenging... and loving it -- yeah, this journey is not for the faint of heart.